During a stay of three years and a half in Germany and France, sometimes at work, sometimes tramping through the country, the Author collected a number of facts and stray notes, which he has endeavoured in these pages to present to the public in a readable shape.
Of the twenty-eight chapters contained in the volume, sixteen originally appeared in “Household Words.” They are entitled The German Workman; Hamburg to Lübeck; Lübeck to Berlin; Fair-time at Leipsic; Down in a Silver Mine; A Lift in a Cart; The Turks’ Cellar; A Taste of Austrian Jails; What my Landlord Believed; A Walk through a Mountain; Cause and Effect; The French Workman; Licensed to Juggle; Père Panpan; Some German Sundays; and More Sundays Abroad. Several other chapters were published in a weekly newspaper; and the remainder, together with the Introductory Narrative, appear in print for the first time. For the careful and valuable revision of that portion of his book which has appeared in “Household Words,” the Author here begs to express his sincere thanks; and to acknowledge, in particular, his obligation to some unknown collaborator, who, to the paper called “The French Workman,” has added some valuable information.
The desire of the Author in writing the Introductory Narrative was to present to his readers a brief outline of his whole journey, and a summary of its results; and to connect, so far as it was possible, the somewhat fragmentary contents of the body of the work. It was also hoped and believed that the statistical information there given, although of so humble a character, would be valuable as illustrative of the social condition of workmen in the countries to which they refer, and of a character hitherto rarely attempted.
Written, as these chapters were, at intervals of time, and separately published, each paper must be taken as complete in itself; and, as they are separate incidents of one narrative, occasional repetitions occur, which could scarcely have been erased, now that they are collected together, without injuring the sense of the passage. For that portion of the book which has appeared in print no apology will be expected; and, with regard to the remainder, the Author has rather endeavoured to avoid censure than hoped to propitiate it.
In conclusion, the Author must add, in order that he may not stand self-accused of misleading his readers with regard to his personal position, that good fortune has so far favoured his own exertions, that, although still of the craft, he can no longer lay claim to the title of a Journeyman Goldsmith. It was while in that capacity that the greater part of the following pages were written: he cannot but believe that they may be of some practical utility; and if, added to this, their perusal should afford to his readers some portion of that pleasure which their composition yielded to him, his purpose will have been fully answered.CONTENTS.
hamburg.—on tramp to berlin
berlin and leipsic.—on tramp to vienna
on tramp to paris