Franconians Don’t Climb

In earlier days one sat at the desk and worked for pay. Nowadays one sits at the desk, works and hopes to get the contract.
It’s not as bad as it sounds. But in order to land an assignment for a larger transcription project one must proof to command the necessary ability & carefulness – how to do better than by working on the job ? And they really picked out a tough example. Let’s hope all this leads to a contract in the end.

When I had enough of that scribble (and the description of body functions & fluids, it is history of medicine) I had a look into Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine (Eng.) – I have absolutely no clue how the 1867 volume has found its way onto my shelves. Thumbing through I found an article* about Hygiene.
Mrs HOPKINSON says that “every one has heard till his ears ache, how important is ventilation” – but people don’t give a damn : “The steam cars are filled with passengers, who sternly refuse admittance to the outer air.” Also people know that movement in fresh air and moderation in drinking and eating is key to health, but nobody cares.
Interestingly she mentions “Preissnitz in Prussia”, he installed a “water-cure” ; of course Mrs HOPKINSON finds, that “wash and be clean” is simpler and better – who needs these damn Prussians anyway ?
In fact Herr PRIEßNITZ (Ger., Eng.) is born in the Austrian part of Silesia. 1846, five years before his death, he was awarded the große goldene Verdienstmedallie (perhaps something like this, just in gold) by his Austrian Emperor. PRIEßNITZ died only 52 years old of a “shrinking liver” – perhaps a water-cure and moderation in eat & drink – ?

Besides the Austrian water-cure Mrs HOPKINSON mentions fabulous Franconia :

“Our countrymen enjoy change of place and change of air. We like to plunge at Newport, to climb at Franconia, to pour libations at Saratoga to Hygieia. We like to give money for things, and have our money’s worth. Why should we bathe in this miserable brook Jordan which runs before our very door ? Are not Abana (Ger., Eng.) and Pharphar (Ger., Eng.) better.”

Franconia ? Best country in the world, no doubt about it – especially because there is not much to be climbed upon around here. Some stony things in the Fränkische Schweiz (Ger., Eng.), yes, but that is really remote and I doubt Mrs HOPKINSON knew about the very existence of this area. So what is she talking about ?
There are a lot of new ports in the new world, one in Pennsylvanien too (Eng.). “Libations” may point to Saratoga Springs (Eng.) in NewYork. And Franconia ? Climb ?
Maybe she mistook our humble hills for the Alps.


* HOPKINSON: Hygiene. In: Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, Philadelphia, March 1867, 258-260