Wednesday, April 12, 2017

German Proverbs from Frederick Pabst

Erica here.

Last week Gabrielle posted about our trip to Milwaukee to teach at a writer's conference. What a blast! There wasn't much quiet going on as we talked our way through the state of Wisconsin, a writer's conference, and several museums. :)

As I was cleaning out my suitcase and tote bag, I found a piece of paper from The Pabst Mansion that we had toured and that Gabe blogged about last week. The museum gave those who wanted one a transcription of a letter Captain Frederick Pabst had written to his children to be included in his will for them to read posthumously. In it he encourages them to be generous and unselfish toward one another, to be honest and noble, and to know that their greatest happiness would come, not from having great riches, but in knowing that they did right. He urges them to care for their mother when he is gone, and to always put each other first.

It's a lovely letter, written in 1899, five years before his death.

Also on the page is a bit more about one of my favorite rooms in the mansion, Captain Pabst's study. The room is full of beautiful wood paneling, bookshelves, and one of the most beautiful coffered ceilings I have ever seen.

Each of those carved wooden panels conceals a bookcase, and the window has bottle glass panes. The ceiling was polychromed with many wood stains and finishes to give the appearance of inlay. In four of the coffers are inscribed in German four of Pabst's favorite proverbs.

They say:

LEARN: A feeling heart suffers pain.

STRIVE: Bread eaten with thankfulness inspires a joyful heart.

HONOR: Never have I found anything more priceless than a quiet and true heart.

WAIT: Never soft, never loud what a friend has told you in confidence.

According to the handout: "Once can imagine Captain Pabst lighting a cigar in this room and thinking to himself his oft-quoted favorite phrase, "All's well and the goose hangs high!"

Do you have a favorite proverb or saying?

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