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The Initials A Story of Modern Life

The Initials
A Story of Modern Life
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Title: The Initials A Story of Modern Life
Release Date: 2019-02-17
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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THE INITIALS

A Story of Modern Life
By
THE BARONESS TAUTPHŒUS
AUTHOR OF “QUITS,” “AT ODDS,” ETC.
PHILADELPHIA
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
Electrotyped and Printed by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

PREFACE.


Initial, adj. [Initial, Fr.; initialis, from initium, Lat.]

1. Placed at the beginning.

2. Incipient; not complete.—Johnson’s Dictionary.

Initial, ale. adj. Il se dit des lettres, des syllables qui commencent unmot. En termes de calligraphie et d’imprimerie, on appelle plus particulièrementlettre initiale, la lettre qui commence un livre, un chapitre, etc.

Il s’emploie aussi substantivement, au feminin, pour lettre initiale. Iln’a signé ce billet que de l’initiale de son nom, que de son initiale. Dansce manuscrit, les initiales sont en rouge.Dictionnaire de l’AcadémieFrançaise.

I think these quotations authorise me to call the followingpages “The Initials.” According to Dr. Johnson, theywould be intended to be “placed at the beginning;” wouldbe “incipient; not complete.” It is the public who havenow to decide whether what has been placed at the beginningis to have a continuation, whether what is incipient, and notcomplete, is to be formed and completed.

Un billet signé d’une initiale gave rise to all the events hererelated; proving the truth of the words of Bayley, in hisEssays on the Formation and Publication of Opinions, that,“In everything we do we may be possibly laying a train ofconsequences, the operation of which may terminate onlywith our existence.” Had those initials not excited curiosityor interest, the so-signed billet would have been thrown asideand forgotten, or directed to the post-town from whence itcame, there to seek the writer, or to be consigned to thedead-letter office. And so it will be with these “Initials,”should they awake no interest, nor excite a wish to knowmore; they too will be thrown aside and forgotten, or it maybe that the manuscript will be redirected to the place fromwhence it came, thence to be consigned to merited oblivionin the dead-letter drawer of an old writing-table, among anumber of truths dressed in fiction, which had been intendedfor publication under the names of Journals, Reminiscences,Tales, Novels, or whatever else they may have been entitled.

My greatest consolation, in case of failure, will be that Ihave neglected no business or duty for the purpose of scribbling;it has only been with me the means of beguiling someidle hours, with no pretension to any other object; the wishto give a slight sketch of German characters and life, suchas I have myself, in the course of many years, been familiarwith, or have heard them described by others, can scarcelybe considered a more serious occupation.

I have, perhaps, seen and heard enough to furnish me withample materials for something better. That I cannot usethem for the benefit of either myself or others, is my misfortune,not my fault. With this excuse, (if it be one,) Icommend myself to my publisher; and, supposing so adventurousa person to be found, through him to the public.


CONTENTS.


CHAPTER   PAGE
I. The Letter 7
 
II. The Initials 29
 
III. A. Z. 36
 
IV. A Walk of no Common Description 45
 
V. An Alp 61
 
VI. Secularised Cloisters 71
 
VII. An Excursion and Return to the Secularised Cloisters 89
 
VIII. An Alpine Party 108
 
IX. Salzburg 129
 
X. The Return to Munich 139
 
XI. The Betrothal 143
 
XII. Domestic Details 160
 
XIII. A Truce 176
 
XIV. A New Way to Learn German 187
 
XV. The October Fête, and a Lesson on Propriety of Conduct 195
 
XVI. The Au Fair, and the Supper at the Brewery 220
 
XVII. Lovers’ Quarrels 235
 
XVIII. The Churchyard 247
 
XIX. German Soup 251
 
XX. The Warning 263
 
XXI. The Struggle 268
 
XXII. The Departure 281
 
XXIII. The Long Day 286
 
XXIV. The Christmas-Tree, and Midnight Mass 292
 
XXV. The Garret 310
 
XXVI. The Discussion 318
 
XXVII. The Sledge 323
 
XXVIII. A Ball at the Museum Club 339
 
XXIX. A Day of Freedom 353
 
XXX. The Masquerade 362
 
XXXI. Where is the Bridegroom? 374
 
XXXII. The Wedding au Troisième 381
 
XXXIII. A Change 388
 
XXXIV. The Arrangement 395
 
XXXV. The Difficulty Removed 403
 
XXXVI. The Iron Works 407
 
XXXVII. An Unexpected Meeting and its Consequences 414
 
XXXVIII. The Experiment 423
 
XXXIX. The Recall 436
 
XL. Hohenfels 442
 
XLI. The Scheiben-Schiessen (Target Shooting Match) 450
 
XLII. A Discourse 459
 
XLIII. Another Kind of Discourse 464
 
XLIV. The Journey Home Commences 468
 
XLV. What Occurred at the Hotel d’Angleterre in Frankfort 474
 
XLVI. Halt! 481
 
XLVII. Conclusion 495

THE INITIALS.

I.
 
THE LETTER.

About twelve years ago (before the building of the BayrischenHof), the Golden Stag, kept by an old and very corpulentFrenchman, of the name of Havard, was consideredthe very best hotel in Munich. It was there that all crownedheads and royal personages took up their abode; and manyand bitter were the complaints of English families obligedto turn out of their apartments to admit of the turning inof an emperor, king, or archduke! In the month of August,however, such guests were unusual; and, accordingly, ayoung English traveller had remained for a week in undisturbedpossession of one of the most comfortable rooms inthe house. He seemed, however, thoroughly dissatisfiedwith it or with himself, walked impatiently up and down,looked long and listlessly out of the window, and then, withevident effort and stifled yawn, concluded a letter which hehad previously been writing. A few lines of this letter Ishall transcribe.

“I have continued to take notes most carefully of everythingI have seen or heard since I left you; but I fear, mydear sister, the travels or wanderings, or sketches with whichI intended to astonish the world on my return home, mustbe given up; for in the present day one can travel fromLondon

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