Reminiscences of Carl Schurz

Margarethe Meyer Schurz

This narrative comes from a typescript in Carl Schurz's papers in the Library of Congress of the United States of America. It is a translation of a German version in the same source. The translation was only half completed, and I, Robert Burkhardt, did the rest. I also edited the existing translation when clarity or fidelity was lacking. But still there was a gap in the manuscript, marked below, toward the end.

NOW something happened, that infused into my apparently gloomy situation, a radiance of sunshine, and opened to my life, unexpected prospects. A few weeks previous to Louis Napoleon's coup d'état, I had some business to transact with Johannes Ronge,1 and visited him in his residence in Hempstead. I vividly remember how I went there on foot through rows of hedges and alleys of trees, where now, probably is a dense mass of houses, not anticipating that I would have a meeting of far greater importance than that with Johannes Ronge. He lived in a so-called “Villa,” a small house surrounded by a garden. My business was soon disposed of and I rose to go, when he opened the door and called out into an adjacent room, “Margarethe, come in, if you please, h. Here is a gentleman whom you would probably like to know.” A girl of about eighteen years entered;, of stately stature, a dark, curly head of hair, something child-like in her beautiful features, and large dark, truthful eyes.

Ronge presented her to me as his sister-in-law. I had already heard her spoken of in the drawing room of Baroness Brüning, but without paying any attention to it. She had, as she afterwards told me, heard of me as the liberator of Kinkel while she was a student at the female college in Hamburg. As is usual with young girls, she imagined all sorts of romantic things about me, and also hoped to become acquainted with me. The meeting had now really come, and it did not pass over without some embarrassment — on her part, because she had in her fancy attributed to me all sorts of great qualities, and therefore been a little afraid of me; on my part, because I had not quite overcome my youthful bashfulness in the presence of women. Our first conversation touched only such ordinary things as common acquaintances, and we parted with the expression of the hope that we might meet again. We did indeed meet again; not very soon, but then very often. Aand in not less than a year, I was to be joined to this girl for life.

In order to narrate how she had come to London into Ronge's house, I must go back again. She belonged to a remarkable family. Her father, Heinrich Christian Meyer,2 (whose stirring life has been compellingly described by his eldest son in a biography, which is unfortunately only too short), had in the first quarter of this century, saved himself through diligence and an active spirit of enterprise, from abject poverty. He had founded a little canewalking-stick factory in Hamburg, which, under his prudent and energetic management, developed itself rapidly into a large business. He acquired a fortune which, for that time, was considerable, and his workingmen, who revered and loved him like a father, soon counted by the hundreds; b. But histhe successful activity as aof the business man did not satisfy the public spirit of the citizen. Plans offor enterprises devoted to the public good, occupied gradually gradually occupied the latergreatest part of his time and his strengthenergy, and his patriotic endeavors, earned him, with new struggles, also earned him a largewidespread popularity. He possessed a strong mind, which itself missed the education denied to him by his early poverty, more than others missed it in him;, and that he had a joy of doing a creating thingscreation which indefatigably contrives new enterprises and does not rest until the scheme has culminated in the achievement. He was also one of those cheerful, luminous and warm natures, one of those sun-children of the sun, who radiate the happiness which they find in themselves among their surroundings, and gather the happiness which they scatter around back in themselves, in joyous contentment. He had married when he was eighteen years old, and there could not have been a happier family than his, until in the year 1833 , in childbirth, his beloved wife died in childbirth. AShe was a beautiful like-minded woman, who in all things had seemed to be made for him, but. But the magnificent flock of his children, — two sons and five daughters, remained to him, and they cherished in all their lives, an enthusiastic love and almost religious veneration for their father. Four of the daughters were married, and when he was still a comparatively young man, he saw a splendid troupe of grand-children grow up around him.

The social intercourse of such a man, could not be confined to his family circle, even if this consisted of personspeople ever so gifted. All his views of life were broad and liberal; his whole being felt itself as belonging to the people. While nothing could be further from him than to be a scoffer andor a demagogue, still every freeliberal movement appealed to him on the religious as well as political field. It was his natural tendency, as much as possible, to shake off all prejudice and undo all fetters, mentally as well as materiallyphysical. Nothing could therefore be more natural than that the house of this well-to-do, enterprising and large-hearted man, was open, without special regard for the traditional rules and considerations which governed societal interactions in other patrician Hamburg households, to all who in some praiseworthy manner had distinguished themselves or made themselves interesting. So it happened that among others, in the year 1846, Johannes Ronge became acquainted with Mr. Meyer and his family, and from this acquaintance, grew a family tragedy of a truly distressing character.

Ronge's public career dated from the year 1844. In August of that year, Bishop Arnoldi of Trier, who, needing money for the completion of his cathedral, exposed for public adoration, a so-called relic — “The holy coat of Jesus.” Hundreds of thousands of believers wandered made the pilgrimage to Trier, to kneel before the holy coat, and there were soon an abundance of reports of wonderful cures of all sorts of diseases, that had been effected by the touch of the sacred relic. In October of the same year, there appeared in a public paper,the Sächsischen Vaterlandsblättern (a newspaper) a letter from a Catholic priest, who denounced the adoration of the holy coat as a gross superstition, and protested in the most emphatic terms against the conduct of the Bishop Arnoldi. That priest was Johannes Ronge. He was a chaplain in Silesia, and, after havinghe refused to recall his letter, the Bishop of Breslau excommunicated him. The letter attracted general attention, and the little Silesian chaplain found himself suddenly in the roll of the popular worlda folk hero, as not seldom happens to those who have the courage to express at their own peril, that which many others are secretly thinking. There were not a few words praisingMany like-minded people praised Johannes Ronge as a second Luther, and associations of Catholics who had revolted against the rule of Rome, and called themselves German Catholic Communionscongregations, were formed under his banner. The movement, which also found much sympathy among liberal protestants, the “Friends of Light,” &c., grew rapidly and apparently threatened to become very formidable to the Catholic church, as this Apostle. Ronge travelled about in Germany as its apostle and was in many places enthusiastically saluted as the liberator from Roman superstition.

So he came to Hamburg in 1846, and Herr Meyer, who recognized the courage of the young reformer and believed to owehe owed his aid to his enterprise, received him with warmth in his family circle. Ronge had then reached the zenith of his popularity. He was thirty-three years old, had a handsome head, vivacious dark eyes, and a flow of language which, so long as it turned on the denunciation of Roman superstition, captivated susceptible souls, by its facility and energy of its expression. Here there was a soul only too susceptible. The most beautiful and high-spirited among Herr Meyer's daughters, was Bertha, the wife of Mr. Friederich Traun.3 She was, although only twenty-three years old, already the mother of a charming little flock of children;. She was a fiery, poetical nature, not of profound or comprehensive education, but eager to learn, of quick perception and easily inflamedenthused for what she considered good and beautiful, energetic, bent upon doing and creating something useful in the world; but, and withal a good mother to her children, devoted to her father with profoundest love, and she herself, loved and honored by all who knew her. Her married life had, until then, been far from an unhappy one, but it had perhaps not satisfied the wants of her heart and mind. Only seventeen years old, she had entered into matrimony. Her husband, fifteen years older than she was, had received his education at the Court of Hanover, and brought with him from there his fine manners as well as his principles and views of life. He was of a most honorable, but apparently all too quiet, cold and reticent, nature. His way of keeping aloof from very disagreeable things, and even conflicts and excitements which he had perhaps owed to his education at court, was apt sometimes to expose him to the suspicion of ambiguity and involve him in apparent contradictions. I have heard his brothers-in-law, who knew and understood his peculiarities, often tell all sorts of droll stories about this. Although his nature was certainly not without warmth, it did not radiate any, and all animated expressions of feeling, all passions of enthusiasm externally at least, seemed to be foreign to him. From the court, he had brought with him his conservative instinct and opinions which did not chimelittle accorded with the cheerful sympathetic, progressive liberalism of Herr Meyer's circle. I do not know how far this wedlock had originally sprung from profound mutual attachment; at any rate, in the course of time, a perceptible contrast had developed itself between idealistic tendencies and the mental vivacity of a large-hearted woman and the all too quiet and reserved man.

The haloaura which surrounded Johannes Ronge when he appeared in Herr Meyer's house was well apt to have an effect upon the imagination of Frau Bertha. Ronge was probably the first popular hero with whom she had come into contact. That here confessed himself soon fascinated by her, and the respect with which her honored father treated this man, would hardly fail to impart still greater splendor to the picture created by her imagination. Soon she saw in Ronge a real new Luther, who had a great reformatory mission in this world. The thought that it would be a grand undertaking to share this worldly mission with him, gradually grew upon her, and finally the probable necessity of great struggles and privations which this task would impose upon her, may have given to that thought an additional charm. In short, relations grew up between Johannes Ronge and Frau Bertha Traun which indeed did not make her forget her duties, but which increased her discontent with her commonplace lot. That discontent may have weighed upon her some time, but now became doubly impatient. It is probable that already theneven at that time she would have taken steps to throw off her fetters in order to follow her ideal, had not her love for her father restrained her; and this consideration was all the more potent as the health of her father, although he appeared to be still in the prime of life, had for some time showed symptoms of uncertainty.

In fact his restless activity in various directions seemed to have easilyprematurely exhausted his strength. Being in the habit of taking an interest in everything that was new and at the same time appeared rational, he had submitted to a severe water cure under the supervision of Priessnitz, who was at that time a great celebrity. The result of that cure seemed for some time to respond to his hopes; but the disquieting symptoms returned and he had to cut loose from all his business occupations and to seek recreation in a long journey. So he resolved upon a voyage across the sea to the United States of America, where some years ago he had already sent his eldest son to find a business establishment, and where his wish to witness the conditions and doings of the New World had long drawn him. He sailed in October, 1847, but already in July, 1848, he returned in a dying condition to his distressed family. On the 26th of July of that year, hardly fifty-one years old, this excellent man closed his eyes, heartily mourned, not only by his family, but, in the true sense of the term, by the people of his native city.

It was probably after the death of her father that Frau Bertha Traun made up her mind to dissolve her matrimonial relations and to unite herself with Johannes Ronge. The declaration of this resolve threw the family into an excitement hardly to be described. Herr Traun himself submitted to his lot with calmness and composure. He agreed that his wife go to Holland, and that a divorce should be brought about on the ground of wilful desertion. This was done, and other incidental questions were regulnegotiated in a friendly way, and in March, 1851, Frau Bertha was married to Johannes Ronge in London. Ronge, who had in the meantime become politically offensive in Germany, had to flee the country like the rest of us. Frau Bertha was therefore obliged to leave not only her children, and her family circle, and her social position, but also her native land, to share his lot. A — a lot which contrasted sharply with the ease and comfort of her former condition, for he was not only an exile, but also a poor man. The proud woman has probably never told any one what she must have suffered in consequence of inevitable discord with her family whose idol she had been and to which she had been passionately attached. But she bore all those sacrifices in order to fulfill what she considered a higher duty at the side of a man who had to perform a great mission in this world.

But now a dreadful fate befell her. The man whom her excited imagination had endowed with all the qualities of a great reformer, to whom she had looked up as to a new Luther, had already for some time been recognized by others as a very ordinary human beingmortal. For some time his weaknesses were concealed by the renown ofwhich the letter to the Bishop Arnoldi had won for him. Then for a little while he may have blinded the eyes of some by his facility of speech, which however moved in a very narrow circle of ideas, but this jingle of phrases constantly repeating itself gradually betrayed the mental poverty so desolate, that the rumor, that he had not been the real author of the letter against the holy coat but that the letter was in fact, the work of Count Reichenbach of Silesia and that Ronge had only given his name to it, found more and more credit among his acquaintances. It was perfectly clear to all unprejudiced and sagacious persons that his role as a reformer was at an end, and that there was no future for a man of his insignificance. No doubt he also possessed some good qualities, but these good qualities were of the most commonplace kind. In Frau Bertha's delusion he had perhaps still remained a great man after others had already seen through him, but after her wedding this delusion could hardly stand the test of the constant union in everyday life.

She was mentally and morally, in fact, in all things which constitute the real value of the human being, much his superior. She had believed to look up to him, but now she had to look down on him. It was for her a terrible experience. realization. Long she struggled against it and tried to deceive herself — in vain. If even sheShe could not forever conceal the truth from herself,. But then she wanted at least to hide from others what to herself she had to confess; others were at least to think that she still believed in him. In the presence of others she would still maintain and defend his greatness. I have myself witnessed conversations in larger circles at which both of them were present. It was a painful spectacle how the high-minded woman attracted by her utterances general attention and led the exchange of opinions. How she suddenly recollected herself and pushed her husband forward to save for him at that opportunity the honor of the argument, and how then with anxious tension she listened, lest some stupid triviality might escape him, which indeed not seldom happened. She fiercely resented as a personal insult every utterance concerning Ronge that was wanting in respect, and no doubt itthey deeply wounded her heart, and. And of such utterances there were many. For Ronge, as the “personal enemy of the pope,” had gradually in the eyes of his fellow exiles, become an almost comical person, about whom the young people cracked their jokes. While the Vatican knew well how harmless he was and had long ceased to pay any attention, and as hostile demonstrations against the German Catholic movement had subsided, he continued to vent his opinions about the detestible tyranny of the Pope and tried to give himself an appearance as if he would soon strike another terrible blow against Rome.

Perceiving that the work of the new “reformation” under the guidance of her husband, was no longer sought, Frau Bertha sought to silence the feeling of her grievous disappointment by a new activity. She had studied the Fröbel4 system of the Kkindergarten in Hamburg and made preparations to introduce this method of educating the little ones in London by instituting a Kkindergarten herself. To — to be sure, at first on a small scale. This indeed was a much more modest field of actionendeavor than she had dreamed of; but she was at least doing something to make herself useful. Ronge, who knew nothing of this subject, could do little more than little chores in connection with it. She succeeded in making so good a beginning sufficiently good preparations that a graduatedcertified Kindergarten teacher was called in from Hamburg, and the school tookmade a good start.

In this way the grievously afflicted woman helped herself along during many months of her London life, but, even in the midst of her Kkindergarten activity, she was interrupted by the first fruit of her new matrimonial union. Her confinement was expected, if I remember rightly, towards the end of December, 1851, or the beginning of January, 1852, and various threatening symptoms of disease preceded this event. Her household in Hempstead was somewhat scantilyuncomfortably provided for — if not downright impoverished. The woman who had grown up under the most agreeable conditions and had, when formerly similar crises occurred, been surrounded with all imaginable comforts, and by the most affectionate care of the large family circle, found herself now almost solitary in that great human desert of London, being obliged to struggle to husband her means, alone with the man who had caused her the most terrible disappointment of her life. For months she was troubled with gloomy anticipations of death. Her family in Hamburg had been estranged from her by the scandal which her divorce and her union with Ronge had occasioned, and the elder members of it could for a long time not bring themselves to it to visit her in the house in which they would have to meet Ronge too. She on her part was too proud to confess the recognition of her error or to ask for aid by a frank acknowledgment of her lamentable condition. But rumors of all this had come to Hamburg, and then her youngest sister, Margarethe, moved by the old love and thea new compassion, resolved at once to hurry to her, and to stand at her side during the time of danger. In vain the older sisters and brothers sought to convince the eighteen years old eighteen-year-old girl, whose own health was at that time not of the firmestthe most robust, that she alone could not undertake a journey to London, and that her inexperience in those unknown and difficult conditions would expose her to the most trying embarrassments, she. She did not waver in her resolve, and so she appeared as the good angel at the bed of her sister, took the conduct of the household in her hand, supplied with her own means what was wanting, and gave with her love and care gave to the sufferer, new courage to face the coming crisis.

In this way Margarethe had come to Ronge's house in Hempstead when, as above described, I met her there. I did not see her again until after the confinement of her sister, but I heard from the BaronessFrau von Brüning, who frequently visited the patient, how the young girl, with rare courage and admirable circumspection and energy, was nurse, housekeeper, aye, whenever Ronge showed himself inefficient, the man of the house, in one person. The good Baroness had evidently taken Margarethe in her heart and spoke of her in words of enthusiasm. The confinement of Frau Bertha was hard and perilous, but she survived it and slowly regained strength. ThenSince at last one of her brothers and her elder sister also arrived, Margarethe, who had likewise studied under Fröbel the Kindergarten method,5 undertook the conduct of the little institution founded under the auspices of her sister in St. Johns Wood, and. And to have some rest and recreation from the troubles and excitements of the past weeks, she and a kindergarten colleaguetook with her a friend who was also engaged in the Kindergarten moved into two rooms, on St. Johns Wood Terrace, not far from the house of the Brünings. Now we met again in the drawing room of the Brünings, and after all I had learned about her in the meantime, I looked at her with a far higher interest than before.

Soon we became more acquainted. Margarethe had had a somewhat checkered youth. Her mother had died while giving birth to her. Never to have known her mother, was to her a sad thought through life. Her father, in his various activities found, as frequently happens, with men of energy andin such situations, little time to devote to the children. In his various activities, her father found little time to devote to the children, as frequently happens with men of energy and such situations. The care of her devolved upon her aunt, a sister of her mother, who presided over the house of the father after the mother's death. But the aunt married a worthy man connected with Meyer's business before Margarethe was old enough to go to school, and her education therefore fell to the control of her elder sisters who themselves had children. When at last, the father also died, Margarethe was then not yet fifteen years old, there was really no more stability andcoherent authority over her. Each one of her brothers and sisters felt him or herself responsible for her, and, as her nature may not always have been rightly understood, she began to feel as if she did not really belong anywhere, while her brothers and sisters believed that it was really their business to superintend her education and to insure her well-being. She has frequently told me how indignant she sometimes was when a brother, only a year and a half older than she was herself, sat in judgment over her.

Thus her childhood left behind for her very beautiful impressions, but also all sorts of gloomy ones. The time she spent in boarding-school she described to me as especially depressing. And such were her feelings when a family council was convened for her case. The feeling of homelessness — which in her case probably touched on many misunderstandings which such situations frequently bring with them — cultivated in her temperament a need for independence and for recognition of her own wishes, and although these needs led to many conflicts, they also yielded good fruit.

Her youth was also many times overshadowed by disturbed health, and she had to spend a not small amount of time in curative spas. To some of these, she took along as a companion a friend from Mecklenburg, Charlotte Voss, an excellent sort who she attached herself to with all the warmth of youthful friendship. (Charlotte later became the wife of a friend of my youth, Friedrich Althaus.) This brought her into contact with the liberal women who had founded the Hamburg Women's College. She belonged to this college for awhile, with Charlotte, and there made the acquaintance of Malwida von Meysenbug.

Certainly her sisters devoted much caring love to her, and for this love they were repaid with usurious interest. No one was dearer to her than her deceased father. Her most beautiful memory was that of her father clasping her to his breast shortly before his death and saying “My splendid child!” And so it remained for her throughout her life.

Many of these things I first learned about later, mostly from her own lips. But it was her nature, as I found it, not her story, which drew me to her. Her education was somewhat spotty. She had not gathered a lot of knowledge, but nonetheless spoke English and French tolerably well, had read much, played the piano, and sang simple songs with one of those beautiful full alto voices which can be so touching. In the process, she had built up a character which was of infinitely more value than all the knowledge and finishing a more complete education could have given her. To the uninhibited truthfulness of her nature could be ascribed that all with whom she spoke, old as well as young, superiors as well as inferiors, accepted judgments, censorious remarks and admonitions which coming from another mouth would have been rejected as arrogant or insulting. In the judgment of people and relationships, her healthy understanding and clear vision got things right, often with astonishing certainty, when more qualified and experienced people were in doubt. Her feelings and sympathies were so genuine and deep, her kind-heartedness so warm, that she was daunted by no effort or sacrifice when these things required such. Her underpinnings with regard to right and wrong, and good and bad, were noble, certain and true in the highest degree, and she possessed an instinct for propriety which never seemed to err or be in doubt. She immediately won the trust of anyone she spoke with. Although by nature a little melancholy, she had a precious gift for seeing the funny side of things and delighted those around her with her bubbling humor. Over and above the genuineness of her nature, an unconscious charm poured out which won all hearts, not only those of the men, but also those of the women, and so she easily became the center of any social circle she found herself in. Looking ahead, I might here say that all these qualities survived the bloom of her youth and remained with her to the all-too-early6 end of her days. Certainly there have been more cultivated, more intelligent and also more beautiful women — although she was truly beautiful — but very few who united in themselves so completely all the traits which make a woman noble and endearing.

When Margarethe and I met in the Brüning salon, it seemed to go without saying that we belonged to each other. We gravitated to each other. This was also noticed quietly by the rest of the gathering. When I stepped up to Margarethe and began to speak with her, the others regularly drew back from us immediately and left us alone, which we found not in the least embarrassing. I noticed a couple of times that then the eye of the good Baroness touched us with an expression of special satisfaction. When I needed to take Margarethe to the door of her residence one evening, and we walked by the door and strolled entirely alone on a solitary evening walk, we really did not have much new to say to each other. What we felt for each other we already knew even without having said it. We found in ourselves the urge to share with each other much from our pasts. And so we wandered for a good few hours through the still streets, even though a light rain trickled down, and we did not have an umbrella with us. We later often told our children how their mother that night wore a hat with a green veil whose color ran, and when we finally came back to her door and I said good night, I found the soaked veil had drawn speckles and stripes of green on her face. We parted with the mutual assurance that we were now engaged. Another day we each shared this with our close friends. Frau von Brüning heard the news with tears of joy. The Kinkels, who knew Margarethe very little, did not know whether they should be happy or not. Frau Bertha was very satisfied, and the good Malwida von Meysenbug rejoiced with us heartily over our happiness.

This happiness was by no means without clouds. At first, we did not think that our union would find opposition. I was certain of the consent of my parents since they had accustomed themselves to approve of just about whatever I did. But when Margarethe wrote to her sisters in Hamburg about her engagement with me, we found that there things were viewed quite differently, and, as I myself must concede after calm consideration, there were very good reasons for this. What did they know about me there? That I had liberated Kinkel. That was very good in and of itself, and had gotten me a good reputation. But it was no proof of my ability to make a wife happy and to support a family. Admittedly self-confidence was not lacking in me, but the sisters of my bride did not know me, and so I viewed their answer to Margarethe's letter with concern. One could really not expect anything different. Margarethe's older brother Adolph, a man of great ability and excellent character traits, with whom in later years I was hearty friends, explained to us in a friendly way that our marriage would be a somewhat hasty story, and he suggested that Margarethe should first return for a time to Hamburg, while I went ahead to America and laid the foundations for a secure middle-class existence. This was an undoubtedly well meant and completely reasonable suggestion, but to us young people it seemed only partly acceptable.

After very earnest thought, I found the idea that Margarethe should visit Hamburg not only acceptable, but even necessary. As I saw it, there, away from me, under the pressure of unfavorable influences, she could test the genuineness of her love and the viability of her determination to share her fate with mine. I had to admit to myself that she had already determined to hazard the leap with me into the wide world, and however much I loved her, and however great was the confidence I felt in my ability to prepare a happy lot for her, I did not want her to make this wager without having heard everything which could be said against it. If her feelings and intentions then remained fast, nothing further would stand in our way; and we could begin together our endeavors and toil in the New World. Her sisters persuaded Margarethe's excellent friend, Charlotte Voss, to travel to London, pick her up and take her back to Hamburg. So it happened. The two young women travelled by way of Bonn where they visited my parents. Then began Margarethe's difficult fight, so much more difficult since her sisters indeed had what is customarily called reason on their side in their dissuading her from a hasty marriage and emigration to America. And I did not make this fight easier. In my letters, I painted for her, in the liveliest colors, how I could offer her neither leisure nor luxury; that by my side she would have a life full of effort, storms and battle, perhaps full of deprivation; that the land where I would take her, if she intended to share my fate, was unknown to me, and I could in no way make any guarantees for our future.

I looked at her letters from Hamburg with such painful expectation! Since Kinkel's return from America, I had again occupied my old rental apartment on St. Johns Wood Terrace. The mail from Hamburg usually came around breakfast time, and when I heard the loud double knock of the letter carrier on the doors in my row of houses come ever closer to me, I felt as if a mysterious fate was pacing toward me with a heavy resounding tread. But this fate brought my happiness. Margarethe remained true. After a stay of some weeks she declared herself irrevocably determined to go with me to America. So she returned to London, and on July 6, 1852, we were married in Marylebone parish. There wasn't a big party. No one — except Frau Bertha and my youngest sister, who was living with the Kinkels — was present from our families. Kinkel, Frau von Brüning and Löwe were also present. The ceremony could not have been any simpler or more serious. There was a light shadow of sadness over it — a true refugee wedding. Quietly we moved into amiably laid-out living quarters in Hempstead, a bit removed from our friends, to spend our honeymoon. There I also wanted to make preparations for a quick departure for America since I felt pressed to look for a new home for us in the New World.

But there was still a great danger to face before this beautiful plan could be executed. Margarethe and I had spent only a few days in quiet seclusion when I felt sick. The doctor who was summoned soon let it be known I had scarlet fever. Soon after this was made known in the house, the landlady gave us notice. Her other renters would leave for fear of being infected, she said, if I didn't immediately move out. The woman insisted with a determination that didn't allow discussion. But where to go? Into a hospital? The thought terrified us, and Margarethe would not hear of it. My condition had meanwhile considerably deteriorated. I found myself for a large part of the time in feverish fantasies and was almost helpless. I could almost no longer speak. Then Margarethe made a bold decision. She herself had gone through a water cure and had great confidence in this method of healing. When her sister Bertha had recently been near death, she had summoned the proprietor of a water cure establishment in Malvern who, as she thought, had saved the life of her sister. Since I had to be moved in my condition, why not take me on the train to Malvern? “That will save you,” she said. “Let me manage for you.” Quickly resolved, she telegraphed Dr. Gully, and I was loaded into a carriage, and we soon reached the train. I must have looked terrible because, as soon as I was brought into a car, several people already sitting there immediately fled, leaving us alone.

That evening, we were in one of the houses which Dr. Gully had at his disposal in Malvern. When the doctor saw me, he shook his head. He spoke with Margarethe in English that I couldn't understand. When we left London, my body was completely covered with red bumps, but these bumps had gone down. The cure began immediately. I was wrapped in a cold wet linen sheet. After some two hours a bath attendant took me out, put me in a tub filled with cold water, had another attendant hold me upright, — for I could no longer stand, — and vigorously rubbed me down with a coarse cloth. Then I was put into bed to rest, and after a few hours the operation was repeated, and so on. The red bumps came back.

On the second or third day, I felt somewhat better. My tongue, which had been dry and stiff, became moist, and I could again speak. Margarethe had not left me for a moment. I was struck by a great concern for her. “In God's name,” I said, “won't you get this sickness too?” “Don't worry about it,” she answered, “we live together or we die together. But it will be alright. The doctor now thinks so too.”

It really was alright. The cure was vigorously pursued, and a week later I sat in an easy chair in warm sunshine on the veranda of the house with the happy contentment of a convalescent looking out into the wonderfully beautiful landscape and then in the much more beautiful eyes of my heroic young wife. A few days passed, and I stood sturdily on my feet. The cure was complete. The scarlet fever had not left the slightest

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Partly because it was somewhat cheaper and we wanted to be economical, partly also because we were promised more comfort than we would have on a steamer, we took passage on a large sailing ship, the City of London. We found very good quarters in its cabin and also pleasant company — among others a professor from Yale College and a pair of amiable New York merchants with their wives and children. So we made our first American acquaintances. We set sail from Portsmouth, and after a twenty-eight-day passage in continuous good weather, we docked on a cheerful September morning — it was the 17th of the month — in the beautiful harbor of New York. With hearts full of hope, we greeted the New World.