Charles G. Leland

left arrow   A trinkin’ lager from his poots - The boot was a favourite drinking cup during the Middle Ages. The writer has seen a boot-shaped mug, bearing the inscription,
“Wer . sein . Stiefel . nit . trinken . kan .
Der . ist . fürwahr . kein . Teutscher . man.”
There is an allusion to this boot-cup in Longfellow’s “Golden Legend,” where mention is made of a jolly companion
——“who could pull
At once a postilion’s jack-boot full,
And ask with a laugh, when that was done,
If they could not give him the other one.”
left arrow   Ab ira Normannorum, Libera nos Domine! - “From the wrath of the Northmen, deliver us, Lord!”
left arrow   Ach Faderland!—wie bist du weit!
       Ach Zeit!—wie bist du lang!
        Oh Fatherland!—how thou art far!
        Oh Time!—how art thou long!
left arrow   Ach, Rosalein, du schöne mein - Ah, Rosalie, my lovely one!
left arrow   Adjé, mein lieber Fritze! - “Good-bye, my friend, my Frederick!”
left arrow   allonsed - Allons. Uhlan slang for go or went, as in America, they use the Spanish word vamos to express every person in every sense of the verb to go. Pronounced allon’d.
left arrow   Alt Schwed - An expression only used in reference to seeing again some jolly old friend after long absence - “Uns kommt der alte Schwed.”

left arrow   Bierstadt - Herr Schwackenhammer had evidently here in view, not only the American artist BIERSTADT, but also the great city of Munich, specially famous for its manufacture of beer.
left arrow   “Bist—du—wirkelich—lebendig?” - “And art thou truly living?”
left arrow   Bizzy - Bismarck
left arrow   Blutfärbig ist die schöne Ros’ - Blood-coloured is the lovely rose.
left arrow   Böblingen - The German equivalent for a native of Little Pedlington. It is a Suabian joke, commemorated in a popular song, to inquire in foreign and remote regions, “Is there any good fellow from Böblingen here?”
left arrow   Boot J.M.F. vas dere -

“Ils etaient deux alors; ils sont mille aujourd’hui.
Sur ces temps primitifs le doux progrés a lui,
Et chacque jour le Rhin vers Cologne charrie
De nombreux Farinas, tous ’seul, ’tous ‘Jean Marie.’”
—Le Maout,”Le Parfumeur,” cited by Eugene Rimmel in Le Livre des Parfums, Paris, 1870.
left arrow   breit und krumm: - Breitmann and bride-man, breit and krumm (bride and groom), or broad and crooked, &c.
left arrow   Breitmann in Kansas - Full details of this excursion were published in a pamphlet, entitled “Three Thousand Miles in a Railroad Car,” and also in letters written by Mr. J. G. Hazzard for the New York Tribune.

left arrow   Cela fous fera miseré
       Que she ne feux bas see;
       So, vollow mes gonseillés,
       Et brenez mon afis.
       Shai, moi, deux mille boutelles,
       De meilleur—
        “Ah, that will make you trouble,
        Which I would not gladly see;
        So follow all my counsels,
        And take advice from me.
        I have two thousand bottles,
        The best”—

left arrow   Dann wirst du erst Deutschfertig seyn - Then only you will be ready in German
left arrow   Das sind gethräsht Franzosen - Those are thrashed Frenchmen
left arrow   Die Schöne Wittwe - The author does not know who wrote the first part of “Die Schöne Wittwe.” It appeared about 1856, and “went the round of the papers,” accumulating as it went several additions or rejoinders, one of which was that by Hans Breitmann.
left arrow   Die wile es möhte leben - “During its life.”
left arrow   Der Fader und Der Son - This ballad is a parody of Das Hildebrandslied. Consult Wackernagel’s Lesebuch and Das klein Heldenbuch.

“Ich vill zum Land ausreiten,
Sprach sich Maister Hilteprand.”

left arrow   Dere woned once a studente,
       All in der Stadt Paris,
- There is a German student’s song which begins with this couplet.
left arrow   Deus se fecit olim homo - “Deus se fecit olim homo,”&c. A very curious epigram to this effect was placed upon “Pasquin” while the writer was in Rome, during a past winter. It was as follows:—“Perchè Eva mangio il pomo Iddio per riscattarci si fece uomo, Ed ora il Nono Pio Per mantenerci schiavi, si fa Dio.”
left arrow   Die Färb’ sind mir nicht unbekannt - “The colours are not unknown to me.”
left arrow   Dizzy - Disraeli
left arrow   Dô wart ûfgehouwen - Lines from Gudrun, each of which is freely translated by the lines following it.
left arrow   Dot vos a schwartz Zigeuner - That was a dark young gypsy.
left arrow   Dschavena Bachtallo - Bachtallo dschaven is the prose form. Vide Pott’s Zigeuner.
left arrow   Du bist ein rechter Gelbschnabel - “Thou art a very puppy.”

left arrow   Geh hin mein Puch in alle Welt
       Steh auss was dir kompt zu!
       Man beysse Dich, man reysse Dich
       Nur dass man mir nichts thu!
        “Go forth, my book, through all the world,
        Bear what thy fate may be!
        They may bite thee, they may tear thee,
        So they do no harm to me!”
left arrow   Glatt, zart, gelind, und rein -
Thy feet are white as chalk, my love,
Thy arms are ivory bone,
Thy body is all satin soft,
Thy breast of marble stone
Smooth, tender, pure, and fair.
—Liederbuch Pauls von der Helst, 1602
left arrow   Gling, glang, gloria! - Gling, glang, gloria, was a common refrain in the 16th century, in German drinking songs. “Gling, glang, glorian, Die Sau hat ein Panzer an.” - Tractatus de Ebrietate Vitanda.
left arrow   goot old Sharman lied - “Die Welt gleicht einer Bierbouteille.”
left arrow   Grande Redoute - La Redoute - the gambling-room at Spa.
left arrow   gruenen wald - In the green wood

left arrow   Hab’ und Güter - “All my property.”
left arrow   Hast Recht, mein lieber Sohn - “Thou’rt right, my darling son.”
left arrow   Horrisburg - Harrisburg is the capital of the state of Pennsylvania.
left arrow   He has more on his pipe - “Sonst etwas auf dem Rohr habem” - something else on the pipe or tube - meaning a plan or idea, kept to one’s self, is a German proverbial expression, which occurs in one of Langbein’s humorous lyrics.
left arrow   high-mass of de cord - It was, I believe, Ragnar Lodbrog who, in his Death Song, spoke, about as intelligently and clearly as Herr Breitmann, of a mass of weapons.

left arrow   Ich hab die schöne wittwe
       Schon lange nit gesehn,
       Ich sah sie gestern Abend
       Wohl bei dem Counter Stehn.
       Die Wangen rein wie Milch and Blut
       Die Augen hell und klar.
       Ich hab sie sechsmal auch geküsst—
       Potztausend! das ist wahr.
    I had not seen for many days
    The handsome widow’s face;
    I saw her last night standing
    By her counter, full of grace.
    With cheeks as pure as milk and blood,
    With eyes so bright and blue,
    I kissèd her full well six times,
    Indeed, and that is true.
left arrow   “Ich temand que rentez fous:
       Shai dreisig mille soldaten
       Bas loin l’ici, barploo!
       Aber tonnez-moi Champagner;
       Shai an soif exdrortinaire—
       Apout one douzaine cart-loads;
       Und dann je fous laisse faire.”
        “I require you to surrender:
        I have thirty thousand men
        Not far from here, parbleu!
        But give me first champagne:
        I’ve a wondrous thirst, you know—
        About a dozen cart-loads;
        And then I’ll let you go.”
left arrow   In nostro monasterio si habemus nostrum rentum
       Contra infallibilità non curamus rubrum centrum.
        “If we can in our monastery collect our rents,
        we do not care a red cent for infallibility.”
left arrow   In Sang und Klang dein Lebenlang - In Music and Song all thy life long.
left arrow   Ist wahres Kunstgenuss - Is true art-enjoyment
left arrow   If—den wijn is beter als de min,
       Or—de min doet veel meer als de wijn.
        “If wine is better than loving,
        Or if love doth much more than wine.”

left arrow   Ja, als de bloeme is geplukt,
       En van den steel genomen
        “Yes, when the flower is plucked,
        And taken from the stem.”
left arrow   Ja wohl! Donnes cent mille franken,
       C’est mir ègal, you know;
        “Yes, give a hundred thousand francs
        ’Tis all to me, you know.”

left arrow   Lucifers - The first name applied in America to friction matches, and one still used by many people.

left arrow   M’Closkey - M’Closky. An Irish adventurer, admirably depicted by Mr. Charles Lever.
left arrow   Menschheitsidéal - Human Ideal
left arrow   Mit der Liederlich Aepfel Chor - Liederchor is the word which serves as a basis for this designation.
left arrow   mitout id’s gostin’ a cent. - This refers to the passage of bills in the Legislature of a state by means of bribery. In Pennsylvania, as in many other states, bills which have “nothing in them”—i.e. no money—are rarely allowed to pass.
left arrow   Morál Ideas - The Republicans in America were for a long time ridiculed by their opponents as if professing to be guided by Moral Ideas, i.e. Emancipation, Progress, Harmony of Interests, &c.

left arrow   Nancy - Nancy, the “light of love” of Lorraine. - London Times, Dec. 6, 1870.
left arrow   Nom de Garce - “Nom de garce,” as an anagram of nom de grace, occurs in Rabelais. G.
left arrow   Non vides si infallibilis es, et vultis es exdare - “Do you not see that if you are infallible, and wish to give it out.”
left arrow   Nous brentirons du gelt. - “We will take the ready gelt.”

left arrow   O Mädchen! schön im Himmel! - “O maiden fair in Heaven!”

left arrow   “O mon dieu, de dieu, dieu!
       Nous voilà ruinées!”
        “O Lord, Lord, Lord!
        We are ruined!”
left arrow   O nein—es sind kein engeln
       Vot sail so smoofly on,
       Das sind verfluchte Franzosen
       In einem luft-ballon!
        “O no, those are no angels
        Which sail so smoothly on,
        O no—they’re cursd Frenchmen,
        All in an air-balloon.”
left arrow   O.K. - In a certain edition of the Breitmann Ballads, this phrase is said to have originated in 1845. In 1835, I heard it said that General Jackson in a letter spelt all correct “oll korrekt,” and this I believe to be the real origin of the expression. - C.G.L.

left arrow   painted ware - Spa is famous for painted ornamental wooden ware, such as fans and boxes.
left arrow   pickel-haub - “Der Uhlan was not shenerally wear pickelhäube, but dis tay der Herr Breitmann gehappenet to hafe von on.”—FRITZ SCHWACKENHAMMER
left arrow   prandy mate of plooms - Slibovitz

left arrow   Quid debemus super hoc ipsi respondere? - This verse is parodied from the lines of a ribald old Latin song, “Viginti Jesuiti nuper convenêre.”

left arrow   Rattenkönig - or Rat-king, is a term applied in German to a droll mixture of incidents or details. It is derived from an extraordinary story of twelve rats, with one (their king) in the centre, which were found in a nest with their tails grown together, firmly as the ligament which connects the Siamese Twins.
left arrow   requisish - An abbreviation of the word requisition, which Breitmann had heard during the War of Emancipation. I once heard this cant term used in a droll manner, about the end of the war, by a little girl, six years old, the daughter of a quarter-master. She had “confiscated,” or “foraged,” or “skirmished,” as it was indifferently called, a toy whip belonging to her little brother of four years, who was clamorously demanding its return. “I cannot let you have the whip,” said she gravely, “as I need it for military purposes; but I can give you a requisish for it on my papa, who will give you an order on the United States Government.”—C.G.L.
left arrow   Rhein - A little stream in Cincinnati, beyond which lies the German quarter, is known as the Rhine.

left arrow   sardine - “No more interlect than a half-grown shad,” is a phrase which occurs, if the author remembers aright, in the Charcoal Sketches, by J. C. Neal. The Western people have carried this idea a step further, and applied it to sardines, as “small fishes,” all of an average size, packed closely together in tin cans and excluded from the light of day. A man who has never travelled, and has during all his life been packed tightly among those who were his equals in ignorance and inexperience, is therefore a “sardine.”
left arrow   Scalawag - an American word, of very doubtful origin, signifying a low, worthless fellow.
left arrow   Schicksal - Destiny
left arrow   shentleman who dinked - This was the late Charles Astor Bristed of New York, to whom many of these ballads were addressed in letters.
left arrow   Showing How Mr. Hiram Twine “Played Off” on Smith - The incident narrated in this part, is told in Pennsylvania as having occurred to a well-known politician, who bore the sobriquet of “With all due deference,” from his habit of beginning all his speeches with these words.
left arrow   shtole de gelt himself und rop de oder man - This incident, and the one narrated in the preceding verse, are literally true.
left arrow   Si possum me jacere circum vitrum Rhenovini - “If I could throw myself outside of, or around, a glass of Rhenish wine.” “If I could see a glass of whisky,” said an American, “I’d throw myself outside of it mighty quick.” Since writing the above, I have seen the expression thus given in a copy of La Belle Sauvage. - Bill of the Play, London, June 27, 1870.

“Nay these natives—simple creatures—
Had resolved that for the future
Each his own canoe would paddle,
Each his own hoe-cake would gobble,
And get outside his own whisky.”

left arrow   stinging - An amusing instance of “Breitmannism” was shown in the fact that an American German editor, in his ignorance of English, actually believed that the word stinging, as here given, meant stinking, and was accordingly indignant. It is needless to say that no such idea was intended to be conveyed.
left arrow   Studenten in den Gassen - Students in the streets

left arrow   Uhu - An owl - the bird of kn-owl-edge

left arrow   Und als sie wieder kam
       Zur festen Erde wieder,
       Ward sie Robinson Madame.
        “And when she came adown
        Unto the earth’s firm surface,
        She was Mrs. Robinson.”
left arrow   Und efery dime I blays a cart,
py shings, I rake de pool!
- In American-German festivals, cards are sometimes sold by the quantity, which are “good” for refreshments. This is done to avoid trouble in making change.
left arrow   Urbummellied -
Studio auf einer Reis’,
Lebet halt auf auf eig’ner Weis’
Hungrig hier und hungrig dort,
Ist des Burschens Losungswort.

This, with the other verses, may be found in the German Student's “Commersbücher.”

left arrow   Und wer das lied gesungen hat,
       Gott geb ihm ein glucklich’s jahr.
        “And to him who sung this song,
        God give a happy year!”

left arrow   Vot hell you vants - “Dese outpressions ish not to pe angeseen py anypodies ash schvearin, boot ash inderesdin Norse or Sherman idioms. Goot many refiewers vot refiewsed to admire soosh derms in de earlier editions ish politelich requestet to braise dem in future nodices from a transcendental philological standpoint.” - FRITZ SCHWACKENHAMMER

left arrow   Wat is soeter als de trinken,
       Ja—niet kan beter zyn.
       Niet is soeter as de minne,
       It smackt nog beter als wijn.
       Es giebt nichts wie die Mädchen,
       Es gibt nichts wie das Bier,
       Wer liebt nicht alle beide,
       Wird gar kein Cavalier
        “What is sweeter than this drinking?
        Yes—naught can better be
        Naught is sweeter, though, than loving;
        It tastes better than wine to me.
        There’s nothing like the maidens,
        There’s nothing like good beer,
        And he who does not love them both
        Can be no cavalier.”
left arrow   Wer Rosen bricht die Finger sticht;
       Das ist mir ganz égal,
       Der bricht sie auch in Winter nicht,
       Und kits no Rose at all.
       Was wir hier treiben und kosen, love,
       De joy or misery,
       Soll bleiben unter der Rosen, love!
       Und our own secret pe!
        Who roses picks his finger pricks
        No matter what befall;
        In winter-time he finds them gone
        And gets no rose at all.
        Our petting and caressing here,
        Our joy or misery
        It all shall rest sub rosa, love,
        And our own secret be!
left arrow   Wo bist du Breitmann?—glaub’es - Where art thou Breitmann? - Believe it.
left arrow   woppenshield - Woppenshield, coat of arms.
left arrow   Wurst - literally sausage, is used by German students to signify indiffer ence. When a sausage is on the table, and one is asked with mock courtesy which part he prefers, he naturally replies—“Why, it is all sausage to me.” I have heard an elderly man in New England reply to the query whether he would have “black meat or breast”—“Any part, thank’ee—I guess it’s all turkey.” There are, of course, divers ancient and quaint puns in Pennsylvania, on such a word as wurst.

Thus it is said that a northern pedlar, in being served with some sausage of an inferior quality, was asked again if he would have some of the wurst. Not understanding the word, and construing it as a slight, he replied to his hostess—“No, thank you, marm, this is quite bad enough.” The literal meaning of this line, which is borrowed from Scheffel’s poem of Perkéo, is “indifferent, and equal, to me.”

left arrow   Zieh dein Kanonenstiefel an,
       Und schleife Dir das Schwert,
       Schon lang her han mer nichts gethan,
       Der Weg ist reitenswerth.
        “Pull on your boots so rough and tough,
        And whet your sword beside,
        We have been lazy long enough,
        The road is worth the ride.”

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