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out where the money came from. The
contents of the letter offered no clue whatever.
It contained indeed but eight words:

"Hierbei erhalten Sie 500 Th. fur Ihr

"Herewith you receive 500 Th. for your

At least this is the way that Johann read
the words, in the meaning of which he is
amply borne out by all German and English
dictionaries. The signature was illegible, as
all signatures are, especially in Germany; and
Johann having determined that the best way
to employ the money for his good was to pay
off the mortgage on his farm, lit another pipe,
and thought no more about it. The next
day, however, he paid his debts, which
amounted to three hundred thalers (or forty-five
pounds)—in all no very large sum; and
just as he was busy in the purchase of a cow,
his heart overflowing with gratitude towards
his unknown benefactor, he received another
visit from the postman. This time, however,
he brought no letter with five seals, and
wore altogether a different look to poor
Johann: he was accompanied, moreover, by
the mayor and a policeman, who had come to
arrest Johann Mentges for receiving and
making away with money that did not belong
to him. To be brief, the five hundred thalers
had been meant for Johann Hentges-- not
Mentgeswho lived at Berlingen in the
district of Daun, and not in the district of
Mittlich, as the letter had been directed; and
the sender, an illiterate man, dealing in wool,
had spelt the German word "Wolle " "Wohle,"
so that the contents of Johann's letter were
intended to run, " Herewith you receive 500
Th. for your ' wool,' " instead of " for your
' good' "—an important difference.

It was fortunate for poor Johann that he
had not bought the cow nor wasted the money,
and still more fortunate for him that he had a
good character, or he would certainly have
got into trouble; as it was, he got off by
giving up the two hundred thalers he had left,
and giving security on his farm for the rest.
Let us hope he had got a milder creditor.

The moral that the German narrator tacks
to his story, refers to the advantages of good
caligraphy and orthography, and winds up
with the apothegm: that "the address of a
letter should be written once, and read over

Passing over an account of California, and
a variety of stories of greater or less interest,
but mostly too long for quotation, we come
to the shorter anecdotes, which cluster
together like a jolly company at the end of the
little volume, and give a very fair specimen
of the German way of being funny.

An old lady received a letter from her son;
nothing but the beginning and the end were
legible. "Ah, poor Tom," said she, "I see he
stutters still."

The point of such jokes as these is printed
in capitals, that it may not escape the attention
of the reader.

"This scenery is certainly romantic," said a
traveller. "I beg your pardon, sir," answered
the postillion, touching his hat, "it is

A letter was brought to the postmaster at
Zartberg, addressed "To my dear son."
"Where does he live, man?" said the
postmaster.—"Why, if I knew where my son
was, I should not have brought the letter
here, you may be sure," was the answer.

A polite man apologised at the end of his
letter for writing in shirt- sleeves, owing to
the heat of the day.

Having concluded the jokes, we come to
instances of grotesque addresses which have
passed through the Brunswick Post-office,
similar to those we instanced in the first
number of Household Words. The first is
rather an odd one, being directed:

"For my former maid, Marg. Deifel, now
in prison for child murder, &c., &c. Oh
dear me!"

As specimens of accurate addresses, we

"his letter is to be given to a pot-boy, one
Celler, who lives somewhere in Hamburgh."

"To Christian Seigler, in Brunswick, just
where the Box used to stand."

"To the late Mrs. Martensen."

"To Pastor Miram, or Mirolo, at Binnen.
I cannot exactly recollect the name now, but
when the letter is given to the preacher there,
with a wart on his nose, it will be quite right."

"To the umbrella-maker who deals in fruit
during the summer, and is a single man.
Cruessen, near Sondershausen."

Wonderful to say, this letter found the
man; for it was returned to the Post-Office
with the endorsement, "The person addressed
refuses the letter. (Signed) Sch├Âmann, Letter-Carrier."
Could the allusion to his being a
single man have come from some too
persevering fair one?

"To Robert Kiunlitze, in Berlin, second
story, No. 7: a water-butt at the left hand
after you get through the court." On the
back of the same letter was written, "If I am
not at home my neighbour will take it in. for
me, but he removed last Michaelmas, and
there is a new lodger."

"To my Brother in America, to be delivered
to his master."

"To the late Cow-dealer his Milkmaid, and
she is my sister."

"To Lorenzo, in Klunenthal; if the Father
is dead, to be sent to the Son in Vochtland:"
which is as though a letter in England
were addressed to "Lawrence, in North
Wales; if the Father is dead, to be sent to

And now, my dear reader, as I am extremely
tired, I will go to bed. I hope I have got
through my evening without boring you.
Good night!

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