Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field/Those German Professors


When Gene Field returned from Hanover, where he had placed his children in school, he was full of the German professors he had met.

I reminded him that Lord Palmerston had called Germany "that damned land of Professors."

"I know the woods are full of them. I have seen them in droves, good, bad and indifferent, but I put my kids with the human kind of professor, and, besides, those youngsters can take care of themselves. I am told of a private tutor who, on applying for a job at a country house, thought his future paymaster as big a brute as himself. Accordingly, while the rich man was drawing up a contract, this tutor fell upon the boys, his future charges, as he thought, and began to thrash them without any cause whatever in the most cruel and barbarous fashion.

"The children's howls brought the father to the scene, who seized the scoundrel by the neck and demanded what he meant by assaulting his boys.

"'Well,' answered the tutor, 'I meant to show them right away that I am master.'

"'And I will show you who is master here,' shouted the father, and gave that tutor the licking of his life. Then he kicked him out of doors, and said: 'Now run, for in five minutes I will loose my dogs, and if they catch you, God have mercy upon your soul.'"