Punch,  59 (1870), 276, 279.

A Deutscher Dove-Coo



Extract, Address; Poetry


War, Societies, Politics, Universities, Cultural Geography, Nationalism, Race, Religion, Religious Authority, Natural Law, Evolution, Human Development, Animal Behaviour, Military Technology, Political Economy

    Begins with an extract claiming that the pro-rector of University of Göttingen, Heinrich W Dove, has replied to an appeal by Royal Irish Academy and Trinity College, Dublin asking 'the various learned bodies throughout the world' to form a 'monster protest against the threatened destruction of the scientific and art treasures of Paris by the prosecution of the siege'. The poem mocks Dove's hostile and overtly nationalistic reply to this proposal to protect French culture from the ravages of the Franco-Prussian war. Most of the stanzas are inspired by extracts from a report of Dove's speech, which are quoted in footnotes. The poet claims that Dove urged other countries to follow Germany because it is the 'Earth's light' and points out in a footnote Dove's plea that the 'German people' have always been 'seeking to realise Paracelsus's proud remark—"English, French, Italians, follow me, not I you"'. The poem continues to urge that Germany is on the side of the just, the University of Göttingen being the upholder of 'Heaven's law' whose preservation will cause the earth to thank the university. Because England favoured 'shop and peace work' instead of military action against breachers of the peace, the Germans had to 'ordeal' the battle. (276) Draws a contrast between the Germans and all other forces in the conflict: following Dove's remark that Göttingen's students had to 'contend with African semi-savages, or the collected rabble of Garibaldian adventurers', the poem mockingly contrasts 'German Geist 'gainst French Ape-dom!' and denigrates the 'Turcos and Garibaldian crew'. The poem notes that the starvation of peasants and Parisians is due to their refusal to yield to the 'wise rule' of Göttingen University, and complains that 'fighting thus till all is blue' is keeping the university's students from their 'books'—a reference to Dove's complaint that 'German science already mourns among the fallen heroes several distinguished savants, and a large number of hopeful youths'. Dove is then shown telling John Bull to continue to 'keep thyself to thyself' and not to interfere with its pursuit of 'Heaven's work', and as telling the English that the best that the learned societies can do is to 'pitch into your own rulers' and stop them from breaching the 'principle of neutrality' by selling arms to France that are used to attack the University of Göttingen. Dove admits that Brother Jonathan (the United States of America) 'sells still more' arms to Germany and asserts 'to please him I'll bully you', even though Göttingen University does not enjoy tackling two foes. The poem concludes with Dove relishing Russia's use of German Krupp guns in its war with England and maintaining that what counts as wrong in John Bull is 'right in U- / Niversity of Göttingen'. (279)

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