A holiday in Germany

A Police-Court adventure
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I had been working pretty hard up to the time of the trials of the cane press, and felt that I was entitled to a little relaxation. One of my German friends, who had ceased to import bronze, was about to visit his native town, and pressed me to join him in a pleasure excursion up the Rhine; my wife preferred taking the children and governess to some quiet English town, and so I set off with my friend, stopping first at Cologne, which, with its quaint old buildings and magnificent Cathedral, afforded us much pleasure for our first week's holiday. After this, we went up the Rhine as far as Düsseldorf, where we arrived on the day of St. Ursula, the patron Saint of Düsseldorf. The streets were all alive with spectators viewing the long religious processions to be seen issuing from the various churches; the large white caps of the lady processionists formed a strong contrast with their simple black dresses; then came numerous bands of children, carrying flowers and various emblems, the clergy heading each procession, and carrying coloured wax candles of several feet in height, all of which was both novel and interesting to an untravelled Englishman like myself, but which has been so often seen by many of my readers that I will not "repeat the oft-told tale." After a short stay here we pursued our journey up the Rhine, passing many well-known points of interest that skirt that beautiful river, and eventually landed at Biebrich, whence we pursued our journey to Frankfort, with which town I was very much pleased. I have still a distinct remembrance of my visit while there to Bethmann's Museum, to see the celebrated statue of Ariadne gracefully seated on a tiger, the room in which it is shown being provided with crimson curtains, through which a rich glow of light falls on to the cold white marble, producing a unique and charming effect.

From Frankfort we journeyed on to Nüremburg, where we took up our abode at Bayrischer Hof. We determined to see all we could, in a week, of this charming, quaint old town. A few days later, my friend told me he wished to go over to Fürth, some miles distant. This little town is the principal seat of the German bronze manufacture, and my friend, having some connection there, we went together to Furth, where he called on a manufacturer with whom he had done business in former years. We spent a very pleasant day with this gentleman's family; the weather was delightful, and we were able to sit under the trees in the open square until a late hour in the evening, enjoying not a few glasses of their light beer, and returning at night to Nüremburg, to renew our search for amusement among its quaint old streets and public buildings. On the second day after our visit to Fürth, on our arrival at the Hotel, the landlord told us there was something wrong, and that two police-officers were waiting our return, and had papers for our arrest. We were, of course, greatly astonished, but had no doubt that it was some huge mistake; however, it was not so, and we found that the order was to arrest an Englishman of the name of Bessemer. After a little discussion, the landlord very kindly suggested that we should remain in charge of one of the officers at the Hotel, while he and the other went to the police-office, where he became bail for our appearance before the magistrate at eleven on the following morning; so fortunately we were allowed to pass a quiet night at the Hotel.

Next day, after some little bustle and annoyance, I found myself in court, face to face with my accuser and the magistrate, who fortunately could speak enough of my own language to make himself perfectly well understood. He told me that I was charged with what was a very grave offence in Bavaria, viz.: attempting by bribery to induce a workman in the employment of a bronze manufacturer at Fürth to betray the secrets of his employer, and go over to England to assist in establishing a manufactory on the model of that of his employer. It was added that I had offered the man 2,000 thalers (about £200). This was the main feature of the charge which was read over to me in German, and then in English by the magistrate, who demanded to know what I had to say in my defence. I then explained, at some length, the fact that I had many years previously discovered a system of making bronze powder by machinery, and that, with three attendants, I could manufacture daily as much bronze powder as eighty men could produce by the system then in use at Fürth; that I had lowered the price of the article 30 or 40 per cent; and that the people of Fürth had, no doubt, lost a large part of their trade, a circumstance likely to cause much irritation to the workmen engaged in this manufacture. I said that the idea of my wishing to establish the old mode of manufacture in England, and to learn any secrets connected with it, was simply ridiculous. I further stated that I had come there purely for pleasure and recreation; and the landlord of the Hotel where I was staying would be able to tell them that, in the absence of my German friend, I was wholly

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