So I stretched out the fourth week in Leipzig into a year by myself, and during that time I sought solace in the German Bible, from which Jopi’s stories of his sufferings particularly attracted me. The disease that tormented me was a stomach disease that started from a cold. I already felt that pain beforehand and I also knew the way to get out of it. I drank water like a rainbow, because that medicine had cured me of the same result before. But the more I drank, the worse I became, so that at last I began to doubt the curative power of that potion of mine, and sent for a doctor. He prescribed me the same liquid but warmed up (I had been drinking it cold until now), and to my surprise, I noticed that it helped me after just a few days. That stoning under the heart,
When I had recovered a little, I tried to get up from my straw, which I had already been brooding for weeks; but it seemed very strange to me to get up from under the warm cushion with my bare legs into a room where the temperature in the morning was by no means more than two or three degrees. In my room, you see, there was no stone stove, as we usually have, but an iron Kamini, or rather a horn, the lower end of which was heated with coal. It didn’t have a top sheet either, but God’s winds played in that open horn for days and the warm escaped unhindered into space. There was plenty of soup, as long as the coals were glowing in the fireplace, but as soon as the white from the oven went out, my teeth started to chatter again from the cold. There could be no question of working in that atmosphere.
My landlord was a cobbler’s family, and the master hammered the holy, the everyday, while his lady sewed shirts and nursed the children, who lay half-naked on the floor. From the lower mansion (I lived on the third floor) you could still hear the creaking of the sawmill, if there was any kind of celebration. “Are there no public holidays in this country at all?” I asked the master, to which he replied that he hadn’t had time to go to church even once since he got married.
When I had completely recovered, I went to see the city. I have no intention of telling how tall the stone buildings rose on both sides of the streets; I just want to mention that Leipzig has progressed quite a bit in recent years, that is, it has risen and spread out, because the ever-increasing population is enough to pile new floors of rooms on top of the old ones, so the city has grown higher, and the ramparts that used to surround the city have now turned into som park corridors and five luxurious suburbs have gradually emerged outside them.
When I returned to my apartment from such trips, the tip of my nose was usually black. I started to think about what was the reason for that, and soon I came to notice that the coal, which is burned everywhere here, emits such heavy smoke that it cannot rise up into the air, but descends and its soot sticks to all outdoor objects. Even the stone buildings, which were probably white when they were new, have been gradually stained by this soot, so that, for example, the town’s old grotto and the oldest churches are black as coal. Dazzling white houses like ours in Helsinki are nowhere to be seen here. Anyone who wants to keep the outside of their house even a little clean, has to brush and wash the walls at least every three years. The glass batteries in the rooms are also washed every day for the same reason, and you can change your shirt every other day, if you want to go clean. Sometimes when I sat by the open window and wrote, that coal soot would flood into my chamber and stain my paper. I often watched a few white swans swimming in the pond behind the theater room. Even those roaches had something to do, to keep themselves clean (as they always have to be in a big city) in a shack like that, the membrane of which was covered with an inch-thick layer of soot. Before, in their place, I would have flown to the blue lakes of Finland and sung there, as if I were here paddling through the mud of Leipzig, mocking everyone who passed by. who were swimming in the pond behind the theater room. Even those roaches had something to do, to keep themselves clean (as they always have to be in a big city) in a shack like that, the membrane of which was covered with an inch-thick layer of soot. Before, in their place, I would have flown to the blue lakes of Finland and sung there, as if I were here paddling through the mud of Leipzig, mocking everyone who passed by. who were swimming in the pond behind the theater room. Even those roaches had something to do, to keep themselves clean (as they always have to be in a big city) in a shack like that, the membrane of which was covered with an inch-thick layer of soot. Before, in their place, I would have flown to the blue lakes of Finland and sung there, as if I were here paddling through the mud of Leipzig, mocking everyone who passed by.
That thick air of Leipzig gradually began to feel harmful to me too, which is why my mind glowed away from here to some smaller city, and when I had looked out from the tower of Nicholas’s church over that wide expanse to which Leipzig is a rocket, and I saw the back of a blue mountain shining in my eyes on that southwestern bank of the sky, The outpost of the Thüringerwald, I couldn’t hold back my desire any longer, but decided to go towards that shadowy figure, who, among other things, has Jena in his arms.
In any case, I would have liked to have stayed in Leipzig for a while, because now the famous spring market, or jubilee fair, was coming, when traders would come here from all over the world, but especially from the east. The number of visitors to the market is said to rise to 40,000 people every year. Preparations for them were already being made everywhere. On the King’s Square (Königsplatz) a huge stagecoach was built for the circus, and even strange costumes were seen here and there on the streets. Here came the red cap of the Greek, there fluttered the wide pants of the Armenian. And as said, I would have liked to have stayed for a while to watch this colorful life, but my desire for the mountains overcame all restraints.
Before long I was on my way west. Now I was sitting in the fourth class carriage, because you can travel in them for almost half the price of the third class. They don’t have any seats, but no one prevents you from sitting with your own suitcase, and such a short distance as from Leipzig to Jena can be done standing up.
We spent some time after driving over the Saale river and passed by many places famous for their military history, such as Rossbach, Lützen and Grossgörschen. Then we followed the bank of the Saale river, which flowed in many streams sometimes on our right, sometimes on our left. The air was extremely lovely: and when we approached Naumburg, the landscape became hilly. Beautiful hills rose on both sides, and the sky gave abundant rain showers, followed by warm, bright sunshine. The earth really steamed from that blessed liquid and heat, and you can almost see with your eyes how the spring keto turned into vegetables. Around here, I also got to see wine hills for the first time, when one of the passengers drew my attention to a few mountain slopes with hints of white. They didn’t show any vegetation this early in the spring; the stumps of the vines were just visible in places under the clay.
At a stop called Apolda, I got off the train and now I still had to travel a couple of hours in the stagecoach before I reached my destination in Jena. There was room for six people in these carriages, and I happened to get my seat next to a young professor named Sievers, with whom I immediately got into a lively conversation. Our conditions seemed somehow familiar to him. He asked one and another about our most excellent men. Kalevala and Lönnrot were his acquaintances. He also knew the works of Europeanus and Ahlqvist. He also knew about our language dispute, and he seemed to lean more towards the Finns.
When we had crossed the field where Napoleon defeated the proud army of Prussia in 1806 in a two-armed battle, the road began to slope downwards towards the mouth of the Saale river, and before long we arrived, just as the sun was setting, on our way to Jena.
I stopped for the next night at a certain hotel, Zum Schwarzen Bären , the same one where Lutherus made acquaintance and emptied a few glasses of wine with two Swiss students, when he rushed from the castle of Schwarzburg to Wittenberg to restrain a few of the violent proceedings of the wild believers.
The other day, when I was walking along the complex narrow streets of the city looking for a room for myself, I could see names like Göthe, Schiller, Arndt, Fichte, etc. written in large letters on the walls of one house and another. These names meant that their owners had once lived in these rooms marked in this way. Because Jena has also had her glory days. At the end of the last century and the beginning of the current one, several of Germany’s most outstanding men have worked at its university, either as teachers or students, among whom those mentioned are very much included.
I managed to get a house of my choice outside the city, about a stone’s throw away from the city itself. It was by no means a great apartment, it was just a cheap summer shelter made of uncovered bricks, the walls of which were supported on the outside with long ribs drawn criss-cross as if with salangos, because otherwise that clay stall would not have stayed together. This shelter was at the foot of a mountain called Landgrafe, and from the windows of my room I had a beautiful view over the city, along the groves of the Saale stream, all the way to the looming ridge of the Thüringerwald in the distance. The road that led from the city to my apartment and still further along the side of the mountain was called the Philosophengang—a very appropriate name for the passage where such men as those mentioned above and their spirit tribesmen have trodden.
When I laid down to rest on my straw bed in the evenings, the nightingale lulled me into sleep with its sweet melodies. During the days, that favorite bird stayed down in the Saale stream at the water’s edge, but at night he always came up to the mountainside to a wonderfully beautiful garden called Prinzessingarten, and in front of the window, in a few leafy chestnut trees, he sang longing songs from sunset to sunrise.
When I climbed up Hausberg a few days ago, on a somehow high mountain on the right bank of the Saale river, just opposite the city of Jena, there I came across two high school students who belonged to the Teutonian section. Jena’s high school students are divided by province, just like ours, into several departments. So there are the departments: Germania, Teutonia, Westphalia, among others. Each of these departments has its own club room in one of the city’s 40 restaurants, where they gather every night to drink their beer and sing patriotic songs. Apart from these students, divided in this way, whose distinguishing mark is different colors and who prefer duels, i.e. being on the bridge of swords, there is also a student society in Jena, whose members are gathered from all corners of the world and who call themselves “the free” (die Freien); they wear no color, and must not under any circumstances interfere in a duel, either with a sword or any other weapon. But we will get a chance to talk about them later. Now I request my reader to accompany me with those two Teutons to their drawing-room, whither they benevolently invited me for the evening, hearing that I was a stranger and still stranger in town.
When we enter their meeting place, we immediately notice that we are not in any ordinary restaurant room, because those shield-like coats of arms and long swords hung on the walls show that the guests of this lodge know how to use other weapons besides the cup for their defense. A group of young men are sitting around the table, each with a pint (Kännchen) of beer in front of them, and a large drinking horn decorated with silver rings hangs from the ceiling, which in more solemn settings is allowed to pass from man to man around the table. Each of these young men has as a mark a band of the same color, which goes over the right shoulder under the left armpit: their caps are also trimmed with the same colors. I was introduced to those brave men of reason, by a trick of which I was told to sit with them at the table,
I was a bit weirded out by the appearance of the blanks that I had joined. Their faces, you see, were so drunken and scarred with wounds that you would rather have thought them the sons of the god Mars than of Apollo. Almost every one of them had gotten some memorial in their face in a duel started for some pointless reason. Whose cheek had been split, whose nose was cut, whose forehead was in danger, and those cruel scars marred their otherwise manly form. But they themselves consider such pendants as a badge of honor, and when they have swordsmen, the face is the only target. However, the eyes are protected by strong iron arches.
However, the evening in this company passed, even though I didn’t really like it. Beer was drunk heavily and songs were sung in unison, in which everyone had to participate, whether they had a voice or not. A book containing all their songs with sheet music was placed in front of me as well. I’m not much of a singer, but nothing else helped here, I had to howl, for example. When we gradually became happier, that terrible Drinking Horn was let down from the ceiling, filled with foaming beer and made to pass man by man around the table. Everyone whose turn it was to drink from the horn first had to sing a solo song, the funnier the better. And when it was my turn, I also played a Finnish song for the company’s amusement: “Tuoll’ on mun kultani”, which seemed to please them greatly.
Student life can’t be as free anywhere else in Germany as in Jena, and that’s why young students, the so-called Füchs , “yellow noses” from all over the world come here to spend the first two wildest years of their student life here. They call all others who do not belong to the Academy Philistines and consider themselves as some higher beings than them. And the Philistines, i.e. the town’s burghers, don’t dare say much against them, because the whole of Jena’s well-being and life depends almost exclusively on the high school students.
It was strange to see how far this student freedom could go, without your dust getting in the way or other people worrying about it. On Sundays, when a solemn stream was blown from the church tower and the people slowly went to the Lord’s room, to spend their worship in peace, I often saw the students at the same time carry all the chairs and tables out of their huts into the middle of the market and start to have some kind of loud riot while drinking beer. And it was really scary to meet a flock of high school students running around on the street, that’s how wild those ragged, ragged beer bums in their long boots looked to me.
In the restaurant where I usually ate my dinner satria, a few Hungarian students had their social room, and since, being a Finn, I considered them as if I were distant relatives, I asked the host to introduce me to them. The host now took me to their meeting room, the walls of which were also decorated with shield-like coats of arms painted in the Hungarian national colors. I was introduced to eight young men, whom I would not have recognized as tribesmen from their appearance, for their black hair and brown lively eyes showed more the fiery nature of a southerner than the stable nature of a Northern boy mind. The only thing that gave them a hint of ours was that bald, sparse beard. When they heard that I was Finnish, they asked one thing and another about our country and its conditions, and when we had become a little more familiar, they asked me to recite a few Finnish sentences, which request I fulfilled by reciting to them some verses from “Koskenlaskijan’s Morsiam.” They really fell in love with the beautiful chords of our language, which, however, they did not understand a word of, as little as I understood what they were talking to each other in Hungarian.
However, I did not get to know my Hungarian friends very well, except for one, named Vandrak, who spoke German as well as Hungarian, and therefore understood me without an interpreter. At the urging of Professor Sievers, whom I had come to know in the Apolda mail cars, I therefore joined the ranks of a German student society, namely the so-called “free ones”. But I soon discovered that I didn’t fit in with them either. That vaunted freedom was curtailed by all kinds of useless regulations, and I think that I had already worn out the shoes of the yellow beak in my own country, that I no longer needed to strain my foot in them here. Therefore, after a while, I parted from the whole company, thus throwing off all boyish ties from my neck;
The station of Jena is extremely beautiful, and if on a summer evening shortly before sunset we ascend the Forst mountain behind the city on the left bank of the Saale river, then all its glory spreads before us. Down there at the bottom of the valley, the city rests already in semi-darkness, while the mountains on the opposite side still shimmer in the reddish light of the disappearing sun. Those white villages with their churches on the slopes of the mountains also look like Som, and the ruins of the old robber knights’ castles stand eerily on the steepest edges of the mountains. But all this looks even sweeter on a beautiful, peaceful Sunday morning, when a fine bluish auer, like holy smoke, fills the valley and the solemn call of church bells from the nearby villages echoes through the serene sky.
The quality of the soil in these areas is very peculiar: there is sand at the bottom of the valley, gypsum a little higher, followed by red merkel, or sap soil, and the upper parts of the mountains are covered with a layer of clay. The mountains get a strange shape because of this. The lower part of them is yellowish, the middle hills are reddish and the peaks are completely white. Whoever looks at these hills in the evening, as the sun goes down, as I often did from the terrace of the restaurant called Zur schönen Zusicht , gets some kind of description of the snowy Alps of Switzerland and the gradations of light on them. Perhaps even Schiller has one of these hills in his mind when he begins his beautiful poem Walking with the words:
“Hello, hello you glorious hill of the mountain for me,
Hello sun too when you gild its peak”.
On the left ear of the bridge that leads from the city over the river Saale is a restaurant called Zur Tanne , where Goethe is said to have composed his lovely ballad “Erlkönig”.
On Sunday evenings and sometimes on other days of the week, dances were held in the nearby villages, to which young people from the city also flocked. In such rooms I often had the opportunity to look at that glorified German decency in a moment of temptation. In the beginning, as long as the beer hadn’t yet had time to show its strength, everything went smoothly, but later in the evening, when Bakkus was fully drunk, another even more dangerous god, or rather goddess, was unleashed. However, Kemu like this rarely ended in a fight.
When we talk about the morality of the Germans, we can also say a word about their praised honesty. The reader should not be offended if I bring up here a couple of facts based on real cases, which are by no means in its favor. While I lay by myself for a year in Leipzig, I threw all my financial affairs and purchases into the hands of my mistress; and only afterwards did I discover that for every purchase he had put a groschen into his own pocket. This dishonesty pissed me off a bit, which is why, in my sources, I wasn’t going to tip him at all. But this is why the eukko made a fuss! She invited her husband to come and I couldn’t leave them until I pressed a whole hard talar on the table. In Jena, again, my boots suffered a little mischief. You see, the heels of my shoes were completely worn out, for which reason I sought help for them from a shoemaker in town. He fixed the interest rates, as they seemed at first glance, to be quite good, and the price was not extravagant either. For a couple of days, I had happily walked the streets of the city in them, when I happened to be in the port. And now my heels will spread, get fat from that liquid! I did not understand what a blessing had come to my heels. It wasn’t until I looked at them more closely in my cabin that I noticed that those beautiful heels were made of glued together leather straps, which now swelled and fell apart due to the wetness. If my former good idea of German honesty started to waver a little through these experiences, it is not my fault; and that constant, indecent tipping for even the smallest service puts the traveler in real pain.
As for cleanliness, that doesn’t deserve special praise either, because the insides of mansions, i.e. the courtyards, are often so full of dirt and mud that it looks as if they are never cleaned, and even the corridors sometimes reek of a bad stench for the traveler.
The summer was already half over and my red hundred marka bills had gradually dissipated so much that I started to remember the journey home. But before I left Jena, I still wanted to make a small trip to the Thüringerwald mountains. One beautiful day in July, I sat with my good Hungarian friend Vandrak in a third-class carriage and thus we first traveled to Rudolphstadt, where we looked at the prince’s beautiful castle and stroked his luxurious carriage and riding horses. From there, we set off in our sandals to walk along the bank of the Saale river. We soon turned to the left hand, went up some kuttu stairs to cross the stream and came to the area of Prince Meining. Here we got a peasant as our guide, who took us to the so-called Schiller’s bump , whose side of the bump has a bust of Schiller cast from ore. When Schiller lived in the nearby village of Volkstedt when he was younger , he spent many peaceful moments here in the shade of the leafy trees of this beautiful hill, and it is here in the silence of nature that many of his beautiful poems originated.
When we left this hill to step forward, our guide led us astray and we ended up in the fields of the Meiningians, where the field guard started to scare us. But we got our feet under us and ran pretty fast along the steep, densely bushy bank of the river back to the princely land of Schwarzburg-Rudolphstadt, so we got away from our pursuers. We now crossed the Saale river again and traveled on the same day through the village of Volkstedt and Schwarza to Blankenburg , which is a small town right at the foot of the mountains. A summer market was held here and we just arrived at the best time.
The next day we extended our journey to the Thuringian Forest itself. The road meandered along the branch of the Schwarza river, which runs noisily at the bottom of a deep valley. This Lakso was so narrow in several places that a road had to be cut into the side of the mountain. On both sides, the mountain walls rose suddenly steep, but still forested. The air, which was hot elsewhere, felt quite cool here at the bottom of the valley, where the sun’s rays almost never shine. Here we walked like a grand ballroom, the high walls of which were draped in dark greenery and the blue sky curving as the ceiling. Here and there the ruins of some old castle rose from the ridge of the mountain over the dark forest and shone in the bright light of day, while we walked in the semi-darkness at the bottom of the valley. Boars and moose,
We extended our journey as far as Schwarzburg , where the mountains move a little further from the river, thus making room for green meadows and fertile fields, in the middle of which Schwarzburg Castle itself rises majestically. We ascended to a high spur on our right hand, called Trippstein, It towers above the forests of the Thuringian Forest, and from there we had a wonderfully beautiful view over Schwarzburgl Castle and its lovely grounds. Directly below us, at a depth of more than 1000 feet, there was green grass in the arms of the forest, on which the cattle grazed, and at times the tinkling of bells could be heard from down there to our free station. Here, on the steepest ridge of the mountain, there is a small hut for travelers who come here to admire the sweetness of this mountain landscape. When we came down from the mountain, we took a short cut through a luxurious grove. You rarely see such tall, straight trees as the ones that grew here along the mountainside. It was as if tall stone statues raised their naked bodies up into the sky, and at the top only that bushy top swayed. The sound also sounded strange in this high colonnade.
We spent the night in Schwarzburg, and we would have liked to have traveled further the next day to this lovely mountain range, the sweetness of which we had already had a foretaste, but my traveling companion’s time and my resources did not allow it, and we had to turn back from here.