« PreviousContinue »
words, being the adventures of a wild have been called Jugelia. The stout student, Rappelkopf by name, who old stadtholder, his father, was a great had formerly been a student of the advocate for the pleasures of the table; university
he doubtless inherited those propensiThere was a curious youth who, at ties from him-proving how true was the time we enjoyed the pleasure of the ancient adage of the apple being his acquaintance, occupied the distin. like its stem: they were hereditary, guished post of senior of the Suabian and consequently, being his nature, chore, the colours of which, as the were hard to overcome. But whether learned reader is doubtless aware, this be so or not, the young Felix never were black, yellow, and white. In cared to inquire; and he certainly did stature he was short, in complexion not take much trouble to control proswarthy, with fierce-looking black pensities so natural to him. eyes, and a mouth of capacious di. His mother, a young, lovely, and mensions ; pot-bellied, bandy-legged, accomplished lady, rejoiced, after and otherwise of an awkward figure. the fashion of her kind, exceedingly He was, notwithstanding, a most ex- over her first-born. She hung over him perienced swordsman, and could drink with the kindest and fondest affection, more beer and play more wild pranks and the best cake, and the rarest Zelwith impunity than any bursch of tinger, were lavished in profusion upon his time.
The parents of this dis- those gossips who, coming to look at tinguished youth were respectable the child, would praise his beautiful stadtholders, who resided in an ob- hair, and eyes so like his mother's, and seure and drowsy village of North admiring his little, fat, chubby, red Germany; and upon a certain bright, arms, pronounce him, upon the whole, crackling, crisp evening in January, the most charming infant the world when the hoar-frost upon every blade had ever seen. So passed the infancy of grass and leaf made it sparkle like of the young Rappelkopf, until, in a diamond in the clear moonshine, a process of time, that period so importgreat bustle and confusion arose in ant in our eventful history (we wonder that house where the worthy stadt- how Shakspeare could have omitted it holder resided, and presently a little in the seven ages of man) arrived, chubby boy, to the great delight of the and he was brecched. In all boyassembled household, came whimper- ish pastimes he displayed a dextering and blubbering to the light of day, ity and strength most precocious for or rather of the night-lamp; which
At marbles few were his circumstance appears to us by no equals; at peg-top he was unrivalled; means so unimportant as it might be at skittles none could dispute his to some, as it accounts for the love ability; and so, in process of time, it displayed by this young citizen of the was thought fitting that talents so reworld, in after years, for late hours markable should no longer be left and revelry—a proof how great conse- uncultivated, and the services of a priquences, which have most wonderful vate tutor were put into requisition. effect upon the lives of men, often For any little education the youthproceed" from trivial causes. He ful Rappelkopf had hitherto received, grew and prospered, and in a short he was indebted to his mother. The time became so stirring and bustling old stadtholder could not be prevailed that it occurred to his worthy parent, upon ever to interfere in a matter of one evening over his pipe, that it would so much importance. be worth while to have him christened. The first preceptor brought in was After due deliberation and much dis- the accomplished and well-wigged vilcussion among the gossips, he at length lage schoolmaster, who had formerly received the name of Felix Karl ller- been a non-commissioned officer in the man, which, in addition to his own pa
Prussian service. He brought very tronymic of Rappelkopf, formed, as little of the science of his former prois the saying in these countries, “a fession to his present one, with the exvery pretty name to go to church ception of a knowledge of single stick, with."
which he was afraid to practise upon The first name of this promising in his promising pupil, however much he fant did not prove so auspicious as might deserved it. Self-willed and obstinate be inferred from his after career. He to a degree, he did whatever came into ought, with more propriety, rather to his head. There was no end to his
childish pranks. He would mix the youth. And so the tutor of Rappel. pedagogue's Strasburg snuff with ink, kopf returned, unthanked and unand his tobacco with gunpowder, as cared for, to his humble home; and opportunity offered, greatly to the dis- his promising pupil repaired, with a comfort of that learned individual. bounding heart and well-stuffed pocAt one time he would hide his velvet kets to the university, where his repucap; at another the worthy tutor tation for roguery and devilment had would be seen rising suddenly from his already preceded him. seat, with an agonized expression of Behold Rappelkopf at college of countenance, screaming - Tausend degree what is termed in Dublin, a noch einmal"_for the wicked young gib; in Heidelberg, Halle, and Jena, urchin had stuffed the cushion full of Maulesel,” which being interpretpins. Under all these trying circum- ed, meaneth “ the jaw of a mule." stances, the tutor kept his temper with The farewell visits had all been duly wonderful equanimity, and was never paid, and the leave-takings from his tempted to inflict corporal chastisement various friends got over with much upon his unruly charge. When it is decorum. Every article necessary for recollected, however, that the
the equipment of a well-appointed had but eighty thalers a-year for the bursch had been provided. There support of his wife and family, his for- was, first of all, a bed, with an endless bearance is not so much to be wondered quantity of linen and clothes. There at; for had he threshed the young was a supply of soap for three years, Rappelkopf soundly, as he deserved, sufficient, in all conscience, to prevent in all human probability, the stadt- any curious inquirer from putting to holder's fair wife would very soon have the promising undergraduate that imgiven him his dismissal.
pertinent interrogatory to which Mr. Matters went on in this way for some Midshipman Easy returned so triumphtime, and each day the reins of au- ant a reply. There was tea and cofthority were held with more relaxed fee for two years, and sugar for one ; grasp by the little village schoolmaster. napkins, knives, forks, spoons, glass, His power, once lost, was never to be re- plate, and books; and as his luggage gained, and he gradually became the butt would have occupied the whole of the of the whole village, in consequence eilwagen, it was previously dispatched of the many practical jokes played by carriers to its destination, to the upon him by the urchin. His lite
very great chagrin and impatience of rary acquirements, at no time very ex. the old stadtholder, who was observed to tensive, were at length fathomed by exclaim several times, while it was being the pupil ; and his manner of impart- packed up,
" Teufel!" - Tausend !" ing what little he did know, as well as and suchlike ejaculations, which seemed the progress of Master Rappelkopf, considerably to relieve his overburthenwere so unsatisfactory to his parents, ed mind. Poor dear Mrs. Rappelkopf
, that much to the delight of all fondest of mothers, how would it have parties, he was at length released from grieved thy gentle heart, couldst thou his onerous duties, and it was deter- but have foreseen what a reckless promined upon that Rappelkopf should fligate of thy treasure that cherished be forthwith despatched to the Uni- son would prove-how soon thy beauversity. The situation of tutor can tiful bed, the fine linen, and the silver scarcely, even under the most favour
ware, would ornament the filthy boards able circumstances, be regarded as a of Jews and pawnbrokers. It had, for very agreeable occupation; it is, pos- some time previous to his departure, sibly, least of all so in the family of a been much debated by the family, a.. German nobleman, where the food sembled in full council, what should which he eats is too often “sour bread." be the future profession of their hope Indeed, regarded but in the light of - whether he should be statesman, an upper servant who works for his doctor, philosopher, or divine; to any wages, and is well paid if he gets them, of which learned professions, it was they who strive often for long years, generally believed by his doting på. enduring hardship and all kinds of rents, that the talents of Rappel. privations, to bestow their knowledge kopf would add a fresh lustrehe and experience upon the urchins com- himself inclined to the law, erroneously mitted to their care, are never con. conceiving, that in this profession he sidered as enlightened instructors of could have more freedom and time to
amuse himself, and that his rise to the lers, and he knew when his present highest offices of the state would be supply was exhausted, he could easily proportionably rapid ; but it was humbug the stadtholder's wife out of otherwise determined by the council : plenty more—he could drink beer like The law was pronounced overstocked, a fish ; was not altogether unpractised and unlikely to lead, speedily, either in the use of the schlager ; he thought to place or emolument for the study of the Burschenshaft at Halle, but of medicine he had a great antipathy: the costume, a plain German frock, the study of anatomy was by no means long hair, and bare neck, did not seem to his taste, and the fatiguing life of to his taste. The Landsmanschaft a doctor but ill-suited to one so fond would suit his figure better, with of his ease and comfort. There were their many-coloured, gay caps, their not the same objections against theo- constant duels, beer carouses, and logy, in which profession there was commers ; his only hesitation was, to little to do, and plenty to get, the which of these unions he would attach only obstacles in the way of speedy himself. In the midst of these doubts, promotion being wildness and gaiety ; the diligence rattled into the dirty, which, of course, would disappear straggling streets of Halle; the long, as he grew older, and the very crooked lanes of badly-plastered circumstance of his being a Herr houses, smelling of smoke, made the Doctor, would oblige him to moderate way to the post-house seem long, and his extravagant fancies, or, at all the town interminable.
He leaped events, to indulge them under a grave out of the "wagen,” scarcely taking and decorous exterior. As for Rappel- time to look after his luggage, took a kopf, he did not care particularly hasty and careless leave of his comwhich of the learned professions he pagnon du voyage,” and asked to be was to honour; all he wanted was to shewn, without delay, to the nearest be off to college, which he pictured to respectable hotel. His impatience to himself a perfect paradise of enjoy. commence student-life was insatiable ; ment, and once he got there, he the golden dreams, however, in which thought he would have time enough to he had, during his long journey, in. look about, and decide for himself; dulged his fancy, were somewhat and so it being agreed upon all hands, damped at being ushered into an that the church was to be his destina- empty chamber in the Lion, and hav. tion, off he set amid the prayers and ing his enquiries for the students blessings of the whole family, and en- answered by the information, that tered the "eilwagen" which was to con- many were in chambers, scattered vey him to college. As became a youth- here and there about the townful divine, he beguiled the tedious- that several had not yet returned ness of his journey, by commencing from vacation ; but of not one of his a flirtation with a young lady, an ac- old school-companions and associates, tress, travelling to Leipsic ; determin- who had preceded him, could he obed to lose no time in assuming the tain the slightest trace; no one knew róle of a student, he gave himself all anything about them, so the poor, dissorts of airs, assumed an imperious appointed Rappelkopf was obliged to tone, and paid double for schnaps, at spend his first evening of student-life every hostlery where the coach stopped in a very disconsolate and solitary to change horses. Rappelkopf's at. fashion. He tried to solace himself with tempts at love-making were by no a flask of choice Brauenberger, but means agreeable to his fair companion drinking alone he found dulĩ work ;
- his experience in the gentle art had then he lit his meerschaum, but some-
biography of this interesting student, but merely to present to their notice a few fragments of the most remarkable incidents of his career, we shall pass over many of the minute details recorded in our note-book. Our readers will, therefore, be good enough
to bear in mind this explanation of what might otherwise appear unconnected. Availing ourselves, therefore, of this privilege, we pass with a bound to what forms the subject of the next chapter.
CHAPTER II.-RAPPELKOPF AT COLLEGE-THE FESTIVAL OF FRANCONIA-THE
DANCE AT THE BIERHELDER HOF-THE FRAY-THE DUEL WITH THE TURNER.
It was upon a certain fine frosty cia. Towards evening the commers evening, towards the end of January, began with card-playing, and uncorkwhen the palatinate looked for all the ing of bottles ; but few of the students world like a piece of frosted wedding- felt any inclination to spoil their apcake, that the festival or foundation- petite for supper, for which meal they day of Franconia was to take place ; waited with some impatience. for several days previous to this inte- Our friend Rappelkopf, who was resting and festive occasion, it was backward upon such occasions, was the custom of the students to parade greatly elated by the request, that he the streets, with orange chore-caps, should act as chairman, which office ribbons, and costly dresses of a si- he filled with a dignity, and with an milar colour. Visitors arrived from air, so self-satisfied and conceited, that all parts, who received the most hospi. a poor-law commissioner, on board. pitable entertainment—huge flasks of duty, or an officer of the board of Bocksbeutel were uncorked for the works, in his levee-dress, could scarcely mid-day potations, and in the evening have exceeded him in importance. “grog," a lovely sort of mixture, first Soon after midnight, the music and invented by the Halle students, was the singing ceased, for a very suffiplaced upon the festal board. All cient reason, the members of the was banqueting and revelry ; but no- choir having got into a state of ex. thing was ever seen like the celebra
cessive joviality, the result of their tion-day: the sledges, decked with deep and frequent potations of the many-coloured ribbons, were assembled glee wine. Each man as he became after dinner, in which they seated "ripe," dropped off, and so as the themselves, two by two, in order to Todten Kammer* began to fill, the make the train more imposing— The “commers saal" grew empty in proFoxes rode on horseback, in polished portion — the transparencies waxed boots, white- leather breeches, and dim - the emblazoned escutcheon of "sturm-huts." This stately proces
Franconia cast an uncertain and doubtsion paraded the narrow streets, to ful glimmer~the clinking of glasses Lingesla, a village at some little dis- was only interrupted at intervals
by the tance, accompanied by the joyous growling of some inveterate old toper sound of horse-music, the ringing of who, still keeping his ground, would bells, and the cracking of whips--the complain that his neighbour was not upper-story of that ancient and re- drinking fair—“papsts, t" and those spectable hostelry, which rejoiced in other huge vessels which are usually the name of "the Thick James," was drained at a draught, were filled, and adorned for the festival, with bouquets set down empty, and still the carouse and garlands of surpassing splendour; went on, receiving a fresh stimulus by and in the principal • saal,” the eye of the reappearance of some form which, the spectator was dazzled by an im
spectre-like, would rear itself darkly mense escutcheon, whereupon were from the "todten kammer,” finding the emblazoned, with many a tasteful de- society there became disagreeable, and vice, the arms of Franconia and Mar
come reeling towards the festive board.
* The todten kammer is a large room filled with straw, which appertains to every commers for the purpose of receiving the bodies of those who are dead-drunk.
† A "papst” or pope, is a measure containing four chopines, drained at a draught.
Still the revel went on, until the strug- upon such evidence, to be convicted gling beams of morning began to pene- of love, it would be a very harsh and trate the shutters.
arbitrary proceeding indeed: but so it Upon assembling the next morning was with our friend Rappelkopf. at breakfast, heads were counted; and The fox major was absent this time, the muster-roll having proved correct, "au carosel ;' for not only did he enthey went to work to drive away the joy this title and the respect which was katzen jammer under which many of attached to it, but he was also the bodythem were labouring, with strong wine guard of the grand Duke of Krollwitz.* and well-seasoned foods; and they to which place he had raised himself by soon contrived to get into sufficient his capacious swallow: and besides, condition to be able
to return. Their without doubt, he was one of the first arrival, however, was by no means the “Marker renonce,"t beloved by his same brilliant cortege as their departure. friends, and in some degree respected With exhausted frames
, throbbing by the more moderate and judicious temples, and depressed spirits, each of his foes. His pride and self-conceit man returned to his lodgings as he still increased, when, soon after his best could, and soon forgot his physical first feat of arms, the entrance into and mental katzen jammer in refresh- the Marcian chore was offered to him ing sleep.
with the unanimous desire of the memIt forms no part of our present bers— an honor which was rarely purpose to follow our friend Rappels conferred upon foxes—and still more kopf through the various phases of rarely upon those who had not underhis undergraduate career ; suffice it gone the ordeal of the mensur. The to say, that at each successive step delighted Felix now saw himself at he acquired fresh laurels, until in the summit of his fortune ; in spirit he process of time, he became one of the beheld himself already the senior in most conceited and self-sufficient fel- brilliant in a carriage and six horses, lows that ever plagued the authorities all eyes fixed on him; he pictured of a university. Overbearing, pre- himself a senior, and heaven knows sumptuous, and bullying, even to the what else. But it was not enough most intimate of his associates, and that he had risen step by step in the ready to fight upon the smallest pro- student's commers, fortune smiled vocation, he acquired a reputation by upon him. The bold rider, and tall no means enviable; it was one, how- student- the rich heir had found faever, which pleased him, and that was vour in the eyes of a certain beautiful enough. But a circumstance, about young lady, named Mienchen, who had this time, took place, which exercised seen him vis-a-vis upon several occasions so important an influence upon his at a certain assembly held at weekly incareer, that he became less frequent tervals, in a hostelry known by the name in his attendance at the kneipe und of the Bierkelder Hof, where music fechtboden, and was observed by a cer- was provided for the company gratis, tain member of his own chore to steal and an abundant quantity of excellent quietly after dusk into the Baierischen liquor for baares geld, or ready money Hof, the first floor of which, it was down, as the saying is. well known, was inhabited by the But ere we proceed further, let us university Tanzemeister, who lived make our reader acquainted with the in a certain square apartment, hung precise locality of this celebrated round with pipes. In fact it was ru- house of entertainment. About a moured abroad, to the great wonder mile from the town, a sequestered and admiration of Halle, that Master path round the base of the river, leads Rappelkopf was taking lessons in the to a quiet little cluster of houses polka, from which circumstance the one can scarcely call it a hamlet_s0 not unnatural inference was drawn that beautifully situated, that it is well he had fallen in love. The premises worth the while of any traveller in for this conclusion, it must be admitted, search of the picturesque, to visit it. were rather slight. If every young
Planted in the very centre of a knot gentleman who takes private lessons in of mountains, wooded to the summits, dancing, when twilight has set in, was, the only object of interest which one
• A student term of dignity.
† Title of a bursch who wears a choreband.