HOW TO ACHIEVE “CONTENTED GAYETY” IN VIENNA, 1848
When John Corson visited Vienna in 1848, what struck him most about Viennese was their contented gayety. How do they achieve this sublime state of Gemütlichkeit?
- First of all: The Viennese drink wine.
- Also: Food, clothing, the necessaries, and even the luxuries of life are exceedingly cheap.
- And – Harper and Wynne, listen up! –the government, for political purposes, carefully assists in providing for the amusement of all classes. They stage shows to prevent them from thinking of politics.
Good advice on Viennese etiquette:
- It is a mortal offense to enter into any establishment without taking your hat off.
- If a woman is married to a government official, she must be addressed by her husband’s title, with a female ending: Madame Directress, Madame Judgess, Madame Generaless.
- It is customary to address persons by titles above their real rank, and to be profuse with compliments.
- A customary form of saying good-bye to a lady was (and is): I kiss your hand, gracious madam. To Corson’s great surprise, the action is sometimes suited to the word, and the gentleman actually kisses the lady’s hand!