10 SEPTEMBER 1910, Page 12


just returned from three months' sojourn in different parts of Germany, and should like to endorse the remarks made by " A Traveller " in his letter in your last issue. He points out that in the German towns there are no " corner-loafers " as in England ; and not only is this true, but in no German town did I discover any trace of what would in England be designated as " slums." Every one both in towns and villages had something to do, and seemed, as far as one could see, prosperous and well fed, with enough money to spend on concerts and other simple pleasures. Many, no doubt, were not over-endowed with this world's goods ; but the striking feature was that all seemed to have enough and to be contented. And this was not only true in Bavaria, the land of contentment, but also in the towns of Northern Germany. One can only guess at the cause ; but the military training undergone by all seemed in a large degree responsible. The men had been drilled and taught to march and walk upright, instead of loafing with hands in pockets. Even the poorest and meanest when introduced to a fresh acquaintance would come smartly to attention, and the general air of alertness beneath the somewhat somnolent exterior was in striking con- trast to the lethargy manifest amongst the loafers in English towns, whose vagrant, vacant minds may well be said to " tempt the Devil," and whose lack of backbone, both literal and metaphorical, is so sadly noticeable to those of their own countrymen who have had the opportunity to compare them with their fellows in other nations.—I am, Sir, &c.,

R. G.