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To A Friend Studying German
by [?]

Si liceret te amare
Ad Suevorum magnum mare
Sponsam te perducerem
Tristicia Amorosa.
Frau Aventiure,
von J. V. Scheffel.

VILL’ST dou learn die Deutsche Sprache?
Denn set it on your card,
Dat all the nouns have shenders,
Und de shenders all are hard.
Dere ish also dings called pronoms,
Vitch id’s shoost ash vell to know;
Boot ach! de verbs or time-words-
Dey’ll work you bitter woe.

Will’st dou learn de Deutsche Sprche?
Den you allatag moost go
To sinfonies, sonatas,
Or an oratorio.
Vhen you dinks you knows ‘pout musik,
More ash any other man,
Be sure de soul of Deutschland
Into your soul ish ran.

Will’st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Dou moost eat apout a peck
A week of stinging sauerkraut,[1]
Und sefen pfoundts of speck.
Mit Gott knows vot in vinegar,
Und deuce knows vot in rum:
Dis ish de only cerdain vay
To make de accents coom.

Will’st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Brepare dein soul to shtand
Soosh sendences ash ne’er vas heardt
In any oder land.
Till dou canst make parentheses
Intwisted-ohne zahl-
Dann wirst du erst Deutschfertig seyn,[2]
For a languashe ideál.

Will’st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Du must mitout an fear
Trink afery tay an gallon dry,
Of foamin Sherman bier.
Und de more you trinks, pe certain,
More Deutsch you’ll surely pe;
For Gambrinus ish de Emperor
Of de whole of Germany.

Will’st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Be sholly, brav, und treu,
For dat veller ish kein Deutscher
Who ish not a sholly poy.
Find out vot means Gemütlichkeit,
Und do it mitout fail,
In Sang und Klang dein Lebenlang,[3]
A brick-ganz kreuzfidél.

Willst dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
If a shendleman dou art,
Denn shtrike right indo Deutschland,
Und get a schveetes heart.
From Schwabenland or Sachsen
Vhere now dis writer pees;
Und de bretty girls all wachsen
Shoost like aepples on de drees.

Boot if dou bee’st a laty,
Denn on de oder hand,
Take a blonde moustachioed lofer
In de vine green Sherman land.
Und if you shoost kit married
(Vood mit vood soon makes a vire),
You’ll learn to sprechen Deutsch mein kind,
Ash fast ash you tesire.

Dresden, January 1870.

FOOTNOTE 1. Stinging. An amusing instance of “Breitmannism” was shown in the fact that an American German editor, in his ignorance of English, actually believed that the word stinging, as here given, meant stinking, and was accordingly indignant. It is needless to say that no such idea was intended to be conveyed.

FOOTNOTE 2. Then only you will be ready in German.

FOOTNOTE 3. In Music and Song all thy life long.