Page:The Chartist Movement.djvu/40

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THE CHARTIST MOVEMENT

where they moralised on the contrasts between the new Strassburg, that had arisen after 1871, and the old city, that still sighed for the days when it was a part of France. At Leipzig Hovell revelled in the theatres, in the Gewandhaus concerts, the singing of the choir of the Thomas Kirche, and the old Saxon and Thuringian cities, churches, and castles. He was specially impressed with the orderly development from a small ancient nucleus of the modem industrial Leipzig, with its well-planned streets and spacious gardens, with which the Lancashire towns which he knew contrasted sadly. He attended all manner of students' festivities, drank beer at their Kneipen, and witnessed, not without severe qualms, the bloodthirsty frivolities of a students' duel. He was present when the King of Saxony, whose personality did not impress him, came to Leipzig to spend a morning in attending University lectures and an afternoon in reviewing his troops. He saw Gerhard Hauptmann receive an honorary degree, and delighted in the poet's recitation of a piece from one of his unpublished plays. He was so quick to praise the better sides of German life that he was condemned by his French colleague for his excessive accessibility to the Teutonic point of view. His appreciation of German method extended even to the police, whom he eulogised as efficient, and not too obtrusive in their activities. He recognised the thoroughness, economy, and thriftiness with which the Germans organised their natural resources. He spoke with enthusiasm of the ways in which the Germans studied and practised the art of living, their adaptation of means to ends, their avoidance of social waste. He was struck with the absence of visible slums and apparent squalor. The spectacle of the material prosperity obtained under Protection led him to wonder whether the gospel of Cobden in which, like all good Manchester men, he had been brought up, was necessarily true in all places and under all conditions. But he had enough clarity of vision to see that there was another side to the apparent comfort and opulence of Leipzig. He was appalled at the lack of method and organisation when individual enterprise was left to work out