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A Start | B Intro | C Staff functions | D Waiter function | E Word lists |
F Notes, Bibliog, App | Short waiter study

Dr Klaus Bung
68 Brantfell Road
Blackburn BB1-8DL
w: www.rtc-idyll.com

© 1973 and 2010 Klaus Bung

Klaus Bung:
The Foreign Language Needs
of Waiters and Hotel Staff 1
(aka "The long waiter study")
- Part F -

previous page

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Note 1 | Note 2 | Note 3 | Note 4 | Note 5 | Note 6 | Note 7 | Note 8 | Note 9 | Bibliography | Appendix | Kleist - German | Kleist - English


Note 1

The classical representative of this type of communication is Mr Jingle in Dickens' 'Pickwick Papers', ch 2. I quote Mr Jingle in conversation:

"English girls not so fine as Spanish - noble creatures - jet hair - black eyes - lovely forms - sweet creatures - beautiful."

"You have been in Spain, sir?" said Mr. Tracy Tupman.

"Lived there - ages."

"Many conquests, sir?" inquired Mr. Tupman.

"Conquests! Thousands. Don Bolaro Fizzgig - Grandee - only daughter - Donna Christina - splendid creature - loved me to distraction - jealous father - high-souled daughter - handsome Englishman - Donna Christina in despair - prussic acid - stomach pump in my portmanteau - operation performed - old Bolaro in ecstasies - consent to our union - join hands and floods of tears - romantic story - very."

"Is the lady in England now, sir?" inquired Mr. Tupman, on whom the description of her charms had produced a powerful impression.

"Dead, sir - dead," said the stranger, applying to his right eye the brief remnant of a very old cambric handkerchief. "Never recovered the stomach pump - undermined constitution - fell a victim."

Note 2

Another organisation that might be interested in sponsoring a parallel case study is the Roman Catholic Church in Spain. An official form exhibited in Spanish bars and giving, for instance, the addresses of the local police station, post office, churches &c also contains a space for the addresses of 'sacerdotes que poseen idiomas extranjeros' (priests who know foreign languages (other than Latin)). This space is often left blank. Since tape-recordings of linguistic exchanges in Italian confessionals have recently been

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published (Valentini and Di Meglio 1973), some corpus for linguistic investigation is already available, albeit not in Spanish. Shorthand records of similar transactions were made in, or around, 1964 in French (see Valentini and Di Meglio 1973, p 7 f).

Note 3

Kleist's (1777-1811) 'Anekdote aus dem letzten preußischen Kriege' (English translation) gives an example of initial refusal reversed into service as a result of argument. The complete text is reproduced in the Appendix. Most of the operations listed in our analysis occur in this episode. The role of the waiter is acted by the innkeeper (Wirt). Liese represents the kitchen staff. The actual sequence of operations in terms of our scheme is as follows:

(Note 2010-05-31: I have added a translation, as best I could to the German text. The original paper did not contain this translationl)

Op 3: Guest appears in front of the inn (= entry without being noticed); demands attention

Op 4: 'Was gibt's?' (What's the matter.)

Op 7: 'Ein Glas Branntwein' (A glass of brandy.)

Op 1: 'Will Er machen, Freund, daß er wegkommt?' (Get away, friend, as fast as you can.)

Op x: 'Ei was!' (arguing to be admitted = served). This operation may be regarded as part of Op 1 or a revised scheme may treat it as a separate item. (Ei was! = Why the heck should I!)

Op 8: 'He! Liese! rief ich' (Oy, Liese! I shouted)

Op 10 and 11: 'und will ihm die ganze Flasche in die Hand drücken' (and want to thrust the whole bottle into his hand)

Op 7: Requests missing utensils (here: glass) in fact explicitly ordered before: 'Wo soll ich mit dem Quark hin?' (Where shall I put this crap?)

Op 10 and 11: 'Da! sag' ich, und schenk' ihm ein' (Here you are, I say, and pour it for him).

Op 7: Re-order: ' "Noch eins!" spricht der Kerl' (Gimme another one, says the bloke). Note: Innkeeper repeats order in question-form to confirm that he has heard right: 'Ich sage: noch eins?' (I say: another?). Thus this essentially receptive operation can acquire a productive element.

Op 10 and 11: 'und schenk ihm noch, wie er verlangt, ein zweites' (and pour him, as he demands, a second)

Op 7: implicit

Op 10 and 11: 'und schenk' ihm, da er getrunken, noch ein drittes ein' (and pour him, when he has drunk, a third)

Op 13: 'und frage: ist er nun zufrieden?' (and ask: will that do now?): This sentence is ambiguous; the soldier's answer suggests that it is Op 13, 'Polite enquiry about quality of food'. The word 'nun' (now) suggest suggests that the innkeeper is pressing him to leave.

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Op 15: Request for bill, followed by 'zero-bill': 'Was bin ich schuldig?' (How much do I owe you?)

Op 17: Deferred payment in kind: 'So soll's ihm Gott lohnen' (OK, then may God reward you!)

Op 7: 'Schaff Er mir Feuer!' (Get me a light.)

Note: It is characteristic of today's restaurants as well that not only food and drinks but also tobacco and associated utensils are served.

Op 3: 'He, Liese! ruf' ich das Mädchen' (Oy, Liese!, I call the girl)

Op 10 and 11: 'schafft das Mensch ihm Feuer' (the wench gets him a light)

Op 18: 'Bassa Teremtetem' (Germany and St George, etc)

The anecdote owes its charm to the fact that the *** ordinary *** restaurant ritual (with which this study is concerned) is maintained in *** extraordinary ***

Figure 19 was designed independently of Kleist's story. The events described above show that a number of arrows have to be added to Figure 19 if it is to account fully for these events. This may be done in a revised scheme provided that the above sequence of operations is not shown to be unique.

Note the potentially polite phrases with which the innkeeper accompanies most of his actions; e.g.

Da! sag' ich, and schenk' ihm ein: da! trink Er and reit Er! Wohl mag's ihm bekommen! (There you are!, I say, and pour him a glass: there! drink and get out of here! Your good health!)

Note 4

Concrete examples for most operations under discussion here can be found in Kleist's 'Anekdote aus dem letzten preußischen Kriege'. There the innkeeper's initial refusal to serve the guest is reversed without a time-lapse. See Appendix for complete Text and Note 3 for discussion.

Note 5

See Frank and Frank-Böhringer 1968. Frank's considerations are particularly relevant here and throughout this paper because very often 'phrase-book skills' (finite sets of utterances; paired

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associates) suffice for the operations under discussion, and Frank confines himself to the treatment of paired-associate learning (Bung and Rouse 1970). For an alternative approach to paired associate learning, see Bung 1972.

Note 6

An Italian labourer on his way back from Southern Italy to Düsseldorf, West Germany, and possessing only a minimal knowledge of German, told me that knowledge of German would be most important to him in two respects:

  1. to do his shopping and
  2. to argue about his wages, tax and other deductions

Note 7

I keep pointing out the various possibilities of algorithmising various analytical procedures because

  1. much time could be saved even in projects of the present (small) size and complexity if these analyses did not have to be carried out manually
  2. projects of greater size and complexity may not be feasible without computer assistance
  3. in the process of formalising the analytical procedures, further insights about the nature of these and similar procedures can be gained which may make future manual analyses more efficient and may lead to the discovery of other useful manual or formal procedures.

Note 8

Note that numbers could also occur in Op 15. The size of the number system required will vary from language to language and from country to country. In England, the numbers up to 100 will enable the waiter to cope with any quantity of pence and for the pounds the numbers required will, we hope for the guests' sake, usually remain below 20. In Italy, the English-speaking waiter may need numbers in excess of one thousand. (Note that it is not the country of the target language but the country of the linguistic setting which determines here what the waiter must know!)

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Apart from the question which numbers must be known, the question arises 'Which numbers must be *** learnt ***?' or rather 'Which number *** rules *** must be *** learnt ***?'.

(Note of 2010-05-31: The interesting case must be mentioned here of languages in which an originally rule-based number system (e.g. in Sanskrit) has been tossed about so much over the centuries or millennia that neither teachers nor textbook writers nor even native speakers are aware of any rules but students have to learn the numbers from 1 to 99 as if they were so many unrelated words. This is the case in many northern Indian languages, e.g. Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, etc. Native Hindi speakers can tell you instantly that, e.g., 55 = "pacpan" but can not tell you which part of it denotes 5 and which denotes 50. They are similarly innocent about 56 = "cheppan", even though 55 and 56 side by side provide a clue. Gujarati speakers will tell you instantly that 19 = "oganis", but do not know that "oganis" "means" "1 below 20" (analogous to 19, 29, 39 etc in Latin and Greek and some other languages). See Klaus Bung: Regularities in Hindi-Urdu numerals (at present only on the Internet, but soon to be published in print) --- end of inserted note)

If the waiter is to be only intelligible (but not necessarily accurate), he can often rely on his intuition in extending (with some perhaps slightly false generalisations) his limited number system without necessarily learning and practising all relevant rules for it. The critical question is whether a specific target language contains special rules or 'irregularities' above a certain point in its number system. English is extremely straightforward as from 50 (provided that the words 'hundred' and 'thousand' have been learnt). The difficulties of French extend right up to 100, especially with such forms as 70 (soixante-dix) and 80 (quatre-vingts). In spoken Spanish, the system becomes fairly regular as from 40 but has a difficult form for 500 (quinientos) while the other multiples of 100 all conform to the same rule. Spoken Italian becomes fairly regular as from 60 and spoken German as from 20. These upper limits for the necessity of learning rules with small domains (so-called 'irregularities') are based on the assumption that existing small-domain rules above these limits can be broken without serious reductions in intelligibility. Thus it is assumed that, at least, native speakers of Spanish will understand written or spoken versions of

false cincoenta seisenta siete-enta in place of the
correct cincuenta sesenta setenta  
  50 60 70  

that Italians will understand the false 'setteanta' for correct 'settanta' (70) and that Germans will understand the

false dreizig sechszig siebenzig in place of the
correct dreißig sechzig siebzig  
  30 60 70  

These assumptions are of the same nature as Ogden's assumptions about international words; they are equally unproven and it would be useful to subject them to the Sánchez test (Section 5.31).

It would also be useful to investigate which specific misunderstandings can occur in the number system of a language due to phonetic similarities for certain types of listeners. In a Spanish hotel, the price of a room was quoted to American guests in Spanish

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as 175 pts (ciento setenta y cinco), which they understood as 775 pts (siete ciento setenta y cinco) and regarded as exorbitant; a possible cause was the phonetic similarity of 'ciento' /Ɵi'ento/ and 'siete' /si'ete/.

If Op 15 is transacted (partly) verbally, the range of numbers required is larger than those required for Op 7 but includes all those of Op 7. Therefore Op 7 could be regarded as a natural stepping stone for Op 15 - yet another reason to support our decision to give priority to Op 4, 7, 10 and 11. However, Op 15 is characterised by the fact that non-verbal communication (i.e. presenting the bill instead of saying the amount of money due) is much more natural here than in most of the other operations (where recourse to gesture only would clearly be interpreted as a sign of the waiter's linguistic incompetence). Therefore number learning has low priority for Op 15. It becomes much more important in Op 16 and so do any measures that can be taken to ensure that no further misunderstandings occur at this stage.

Note 9

The North German poet Matthias Claudius (1740-1815) characterised the Miltonian style of his contemporary Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724-1803) as follows: 'Klopstock would say:

"Du, der du weniger bist als ich and dennoch mir gleich,
Nahe dich mir and entlade mich, dich beugend,
Von der Last des staubaufatmenden Kalbfells!"

But I would simply shout:

"Johann, kumm and treck mi die Stebbel ut!"


"Thou, who art less than I and yet art my equal,
Into my presence come and unburden
Me from the weight of the dust-breathing calf skin!"


"John, come and take off me boots!")

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Abian, Alexander 1965: 'The theory of sets and transfinite arithmetic'. W B Saunders, Philadelphia, USA

Alvarez, María Victoria, and Jillian Norman 1968: 'Spanish phrase book'. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England

Ashby, Ross W 1956: 'An introduction to cybernetics'. Chapman and Hall, London, England

Barrutia, Richard 1969: 'Linguistic theory of language learning as related to machine teaching'. Julius Groos Verlag, Heidelberg, West Germany

Bung, Klaus 1967: 'Programmed learning and the language laboratory 2'. Longmac, London, England (Publisher out of business)

_____ (ed) 1968: 'Programmed learning and the language laboratory 1'. Longmac, London, England (Publisher out of business)

_____ 1969a: 'Prior knowledge analysis for programmed language instruction'. In: RECALL: REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL CYBERNETICS AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS, Vol 1, p 98-117

_____ 1969b: 'Phonetic intelligibility in programmed language instruction'. In: A P Mann and C K Brunström (eds): 'Aspects of educational technology 3', p 37-40. Pitman, London, England

_____ 1970: 'Probleme der Aufgabenanalyse bei der Erstellung von Sprachprogrammen' (Problems of task analysis for the design of language programmes). Julius Groos Verlag, Heidelberg, West Germany

_____ 1971: 'The concept of partial order in programmed language instruction and the freedom of the consumer'. In: PROGRAMMED LEARNING AND EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, Vol 8, p 22-33 and p 122-124. Sweet and Maxwell, London, England

_____ 1972: 'Teaching algorithms and learning algorithms'. Paper presented to the International Conference of the Association for Programmed Learning and Educational Technology, Bath University, Bath, England, 1972. Mimeographed (Paper much later published in: 1982 'Teaching algorithms and learning algorithms'. In: PROGRAMMED LEARNING AND EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, 1982, Vol 19, No 3, p 181 - 218, London)

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_____ 1973: 'The input-output relation in language behaviour'. Council of Europe, CCC/EES (73) 12, Strasbourg, France

_____ 1974: 'A theoretical model for programmed language instruction'. (Note 2010-05-31: Eventually published as follows: Klaus Bung, 'A theoretical model for programmed language instruction'. Supplement 2, January 1975, of RECALL: REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL CYBERNETICS AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS, Longmac, London, 336 pp. ISBN 0 901 135 05 4

_____ and Kenneth Rouse 1970: 'Introduction to Helmar Frank's concept of didactics'. In: RECALL: REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL CYBERNETICS AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS, Vol 1, p 174-196. Longmac, Victoria Hall, London SE10-0RF, England

Crowder, Norman A 1962: 'Intrinsic and extrinsic programming'. In: John E Coulson (ed) 1962: 'Programmed learning and computer-based instruction', p 58-66. John Wiley, New York, USA

Ehlich, Konrad, and Jochen Rehbein 1973'(?): 'Zur Konstitution pragmatischer Einheiten in einer Institution: Das Speiserestaurant' (The structure of pragmatic units in an institution: the restaurant). Bibliographical note: Jochen Rehbein was kind enough to send me an off-print of this paper but I failed in my efforts to establish the bibliographical details of the book in which it has appeared. Contact: Jochen Rehbein, Frankenstr 14, D-1000 Berlin 30, West Berlin, Germany

Frank, Helmar, and Brigitte Frank-Böhringer 1968: 'Zur Rentabilitätsgrenze beim Lernen' (The limits of worthwhileness for learning). In: GRUNDLAGENSTUDIEN AUS KYBERNETIK UND GEISTESWISSENSCHAFT, Vol 9, p 59-64. Verlag Schnelle, Quickborn near Hamburg, West Germany

_____ and Brigitte S Meder 1971: 'Einführung in die kybernetische Pädagogik' (Introduction to educational cybernetics). Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich, West Germany

Freund, Wolfgang S 1972: 'Mehrsprachigkeit als Variable für den deutschen Sprachunterricht in Entwicklungsländern' (Multi-lingualism as a variable for German language instruction in developing countries). In: DIE DRITTE WELT, Sonderheft 1972: 'Aspekte der auswärtigen Kulturpolitik in Entwicklungsländern', p 153-174. Verlag Anton Hain, Meisenheim, West Germany

García-Pelayo y Gross, Ramón 1972: 'Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado' (The concise illustrated Larousse). Ediciones Larousse, Paris, France

Gilbert, Thomas F 1967: 'Praxeonomy: a systematic approach to identifying training needs'. In: MANAGEMENT OF PERSONNEL QUARTERLY, Fall 1967, p 20-33, USA

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_____ 1969: 'Mathetics. (sic!) An explicit theory for the design of teaching programmes'. Supplement No 1 to RECALL: REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL CYBERNETICS AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS, London, England

Harary, Frank, R Z Norman and D Cartwright 1965: 'Structural models: an introduction to the theory of directed graphs'. John Wiley, New York, USA

Jones, Daniel 1967: 'English pronouncing dictionary'. 13th edition. Dent, London, England

Kingsley, Edward, F F Kopstein and R J Seidel 1971: 'Graph theory as a meta-language of communicable knowledge'. In: Milton D Rubin (ed): 'Man in systems'. Gordon Broach Science Publishers, New York, USA

Lamérand, R 1969: 'Théories d'enseignement programmé et laboratoires de langues' (Theories of programmed instruction and language laboratories). Fernand Nathan, Paris, France

Landa, L N 1968: 'Algorithms and programmed instruction'. In: Klaus Bung (ed) 1968, p 57-135

Ogden, C K 1968: 'Basic English. International second language'. Harcourt, Brace and World, New York, USA

Richterich, René 1972: 'A model for the definition of language needs of adults learning a modern language'. Council of Europe, CCC/EES (72) 49, May 1972, Strasbourg, France

Robins, R H 1964: 'General linguistics. An introductory survey'. Longmans, London, England

Schoen, Th, and T Noeli 1965: 'Langenscheidts Taschenwörterbuch der spanischen and deutschen Sprache' (Langenscheidt's pocket dictionary of Spanish and German). Langenscheidt Verlag, West Berlin, Germany

Segeth, Wolfgang 1966: 'Elementary Logik' (Elementary logic). VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, East Berlin, Germany

Trim, J L M 1969: 'Linguistic considerations in the planning of language courses for special purposes'. In: G E Perren (ed): 'Languages for special purposes', p 18-26. Centre for Information on Language Teaching, Reports and Papers, No 1: 'Languages for special purposes'. Centre for Information on Language Teaching, State House, High Holborn, London WC2, England

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_____ 1971: 'The analysis of 'Language Contents' for a European unit-credit system in modern languages, within the frame-work of continuing post-secondary adult education'. Council of Europe, EES/Symposium 53,8; Strasbourg, 22 April 1971, France

Valentini, Norberto, and Clara Di Meglio 1973: 'Il sesso in confessionale' (Sex in the confessional). Marsilio Editori, Padova, Italy

van Ek, J A 1972: 'Proposal for a definition of a threshold level in foreign language learning by adults'. Council of Europe, CCC/EES (72) 72, July 1972, Strasbourg, France

Wilkins, D A 1972: 'An investigation into the linguistic and situational content of the common core in a unit-credit system'. Council of Europe, CCC/EES (72) 67, Strasbourg, France

Wyant, T G 1971: 'The implications of a network drawn of a DPLET course'. In: 'Aspects of educational technology 5', Pitmans,. London, England (Note: The three papers by Wyant cited here deal with the prior knowledge analysis of secondary school mathematics)

_____ 1972: 'Learner-controlled self-instruction'. In: 'Aspects of educational technology 6', Pitmans, London, England

_____ 1973: 'Syllabus analysis'. Mimeographed. Tom Wyant, Dept of Educational Technology, Coventry Technical College, Butts, Coventry CV1-3GD, England

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Heinrich von Kleist

Anekdote aus dem letzten preußischen Kriege

In einem bei Jena liegenden Dorf, erzählte mir, auf einer Reise nach Frankfurt, der Gastwirt, daß sich mehrere Stunden nach der Schlacht, um die Zeit, da das Dorf schon ganz von der Armee des Prinzen von Hohenlohe verlassen and von den Franzosen, die es fdr besetzt gehalten, umringt gewesen wäre, ein einzelner preußischer Reiter darin gezeigt hätte; and versicherte mir, daß, wenn alle Soldaten, die an diesem Tage mitgefochten, so tapfer gewesen wären, wie dieser, die Franzosen hätten geschlagen werden müssen, wären sie auch dreimal stärker gewesen, als sie in der Tat waren. Dieser Kerl, sprach der Wirt, sprengte, ganz von Staub bedeckt, vor meinen Gasthof and rief: "Herr Wirt!" and da ich frage: was gibt's? "Ein Glas Branntwein!" antwortete er, indem er sein Schwert in die Scheide wirft: "mich dürstet". Gott im Himmel; sag' ich: will Er machen, Freund, daß Er wegkommt? Die Franzosen sind ja dicht vor dem Dorf! "Ei was!" spricht er, indem er dem Pferde die Zügel über den Hals legt. "Ich habe den ganzen Tag nichts genossen!" Nun Er ist, glaub' ich, vom Satan besessen -! He! Liese! rief ich und: schaff ihm eine Flasche Danziger herbei! and sage: da! and will ihm die gauze Flasche in die Hand drücken, damit er nur reite. "Ach was!" spricht er, indem er die Flasche wegstößt and sich den Hut abnimmt: "wo soll ich mit dem Quark hin?" Und: "schenk Er ein!" spricht er, indem er sich den Schweiß von der Stirn abtrocknet: "denn ich habe keine Zeit!" Nun Er ist ein Kind des Todes, sag' ich. Da! sag' ich, and schenk' ihm ein: da! trink Er und reit Er! Wohl mag's ihm bekommen! "Noch eins!" spricht der Kerl; während die Schüsse schon von allen Seiten ins Dorf prasseln. Ich sage: noch eins? Plagt ihn -! "Noch eins!" spricht er and streckt mir das Glas hin - "und gut gemessen," spricht er, indem er sich den Bart wischt and sich vom Pferde herab schneuzt: "denn es wird bar

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bezahlt!" Ei, mein Seel', so wollt' ich doch, daß Ihn -! Da! sag' ich, and schenk' ihm noch, wie er verlangt, ein zweites, and schenk' ihm, da er getrunken, noch ein drittes ein und frage: ist er nun zufrieden? "Ach!" - schüttelt sich der Kerl. "Der Schnaps ist gut! - Na!" spricht er and setzt sich den Hut auf: "was bin ich schuldig?" Nichts! nichts! versetz' ich. Pack' Er sich, in Teufels Namen; die Franzosen ziehen augenblicklich ins Dorf! "Na!" sagt er, indem er in seine Stiefel greift: "so soll's ihm Gott lohnen!" Und holt, aus dem Stiefel, einen Pfeifenstummel hervor, and spricht, nachdem er den Kopf ausgeblasen: "Schaff Er mir Feuer!" Feuer? sag' ich: plagt Ihn -? "Feuer, Ja!" spricht er: "denn ich will mir eine Pfeife Tabak anmachen." Ei, den Kerl reiten Legionen -! He, Liese! ruf' ich das Mädchen, und während der Kerl sich die Pfeife stopft, schafft das Mensch ihm Feuer. "Na", sagt der Kerl, die Pfeife, die er sich angeschmaucht, im Maul: "nun sollen doch die Franzosen die Schwerenot kriegen!" Und damit, indem er sich den Hut in die Augen drückt and zum Zügel greift, wendet er das Pferd and zieht vom Leder. Ein Mordskerl! sag' ich; ein verfluchter, verwetterter Galgenstrick! Will Er sich in Henkers Namen scheren, wo Er hingehört? Drei Chasseurs - sieht er nicht? halten ja schon vor dem Tore! "Ei, was!" spricht er, indem er ausspuckt; and faßt die drei Kerls blitzend ins Auge. "Wenn ihrer zehn wären, ich fürcht' mich nicht." Und in dem Augenblick reiten auch die drei Franzosen schon ins Dorf. "Bassa Manelka!" ruft der Kerl and gibt seinem Pferde die Sporen and sprengt auf sie ein; sprengt, so wahr Gott lebt, auf sie ein and greift sie, als ob er das ganze Hohenlohische Korps hinter sich hatte, an; dergestalt, daß, da die Chasseurs, ungewiß, ob nicht noch mehr Deutsche im Dorf sein mögen, einen Augenblick wider ihre Gewohnheit stutzen, er mein Seel', ehe man noch eine Hand umkehrt, alle drei vom Sattel haut, die Pferde, die auf dem Platz herumlaufen, aufgreift, damit bei mir vorbeisprengt, and "Bassa Teremtetem!" ruft, and "Sieht Er wohl, Herr Wirt?" and "Adies!" and "Auf Wiedersehen!" und: "hoho! hoho! hoho!" - - So einen Kerl, sprach der Wirt, habe ich zeit meines Lebens nicht gesehen.

English translation (approximate) by Klaus Bung

(2010-05-31 The original version of this paper did not contain a translation of Kleist's story.)

In a village near Jena, on a journey to Frankfurt, the innkeeper told me that several hours after the battle, at a time when the village had already been evacuated by the army of the Prince of Hohenlohe and been surrounded by the French who thought it was still occupied, a single Prussian cavalryman had appeared in the village; and assured me that if all soldiers who had been fighting on that day had been as brave as this one, the French would have had to be beaten even if they had been three times as strong as in fact they were. This fellow, said the innkeeper, galloped, completely covered with dust, up to my inn and called: "Oy, landlord!", and when I ask: what's the matter? "A glass of brandy!" he answers and throws his sword into its scabard: "I am thirsty". God in heaven; I say: get out of here, mate. Look, the French are about to enter the village! "Who cares!" he says and puts the reins over the neck of his horse. "I ain't had nothing to eat all day!" Well, you, I think, are obsessed by the devil - ! Oy! Liese! I call and: get him a bottle of Danzig schnapps! And say: take it! and want to thrust the whole bottle into his hand just to make sure he leaves. "Bah, nonsense!" he says, pushes the bottle away and takes off his hat: "where shall I put the crap?" and: "serve me!" he says and wipes the sweat off his forehead: "for I am in a hurry!" well, you are a dead man, I say. here you are! I say, and pour the drink for him: there, drink and go! Your good health! "One for the road!" says the fellow; while the shots are already raining into the village from all sides. I say: one for the road? Are you obsessed by - "one for the road!" he says and holds out the glass - "and good measure," he says wiping his beard and blowing his nose from the horse: "for we pay cash!" well, by my soul, I wished that the devil may -! There! I say, and pour, as he demands, a second, and pour, when he has drunk, a third and ask: now are you satisfied? "Ah!" - the fellow shakes himself. "That schnapps is good! - well!" he says and puts on his hat: "how much do I owe you?" Nothing! Nothing! I reply. Bugger off in devil's name; any minute now the French will enter the village! "All right!" he says, while grabbing into his boots: "then God will reward you!" And draws, from his boot, a bit of pipe, and says after having blown out the pipe head: "get me a light!" A light? I say: Are you - "a light, yes!" he says: "for I want to light a pipe of tobacco." Well, this bastard is ridden by hellish legions - ! Oy, Liese! I call the girl and while the fellow stuffs his pipe, the wench gets him a light. "well," says the fellow, holding the pipe which he has started off in his kisser: "now we'll teach those Frogs a lesson!" and with that he pulls down his hat over his forehead, picks up the reins, turns the horse and races off. A murderous bastard! I say; a damned weathered jailbird. Will you in the name of the hangman go where you belong? Three chasseurs - can't you see? are already outside the gate! "Who bloody cares!", he says, spits and with a spark in his eye focuses on the three men. "and if there were ten of them, I am not afraid." and at that very moment the three Frenchmen are riding into the village. "Thunder and lightning!" the fellow shouts and spurs his horse and races towards them; races, by God, towards them and attacks them as if he had the whole Hohenlohe corps behind him; in such a way that, when the chasseurs, wondering whether there might be more Germans in the village, contrary to their custom hesitate for a moment, he by my soul, before one could even turn a hand, knocks all three out of the saddle, grabs the horses which are running about the village square, races past me with them and shouts "Bassa teremtemtem", and "you see, my host?", and "Adieu!", "goodbye" and "hoho! hoho! hoho!" - - Such a man, said the innkeeper, I have never again seen in all me bloody life.