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August Becker: Excerpts from The Palatinate and the Palatines (1858)

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These are general features to which there are of course numerous individual exceptions. Moreover, looking at the inhabitants of the individual regions modifies this judgment.

The marvelously resplendent wine- and fruit-rich Vorderpfalz in its splendid, scenic beauty, and the rawer, hilly Westrich, with its quiet valleys and wooded mountains whose depths conceal mineral treasures, both form appropriate opposites in the character of the inhabitants, as well.

Just as one usually thinks only of the Vorderpfalz when one thinks of the Palatinate, the typical Palatine character is found in its inhabitants, and here, especially among those living in the marvelous wine country of the Haardt and the Vosges, the character is found in its purest and most developed form. Here one finds the good side, as well as the dark side, magnified. There are no people more hospitable, more noble-minded, or more generous than the people of the Palatine wine country, but also no people where such excess cleverness accompanies genuine intellect, so much screeching accompanies eloquence and sound judgment. The merriment and trusting nature, the open and honest essence, and the affability of the people of the wine country nevertheless make them very charming. At the same time, the conceit and big heads of the district farmers who inhabit the "rich plain," their constant tapping on their purses, produces a farmer arrogance that can be not at all charming. While up in the mountains everyone still greets strangers on the street, the district farmers do this seldom or not at all. The district farmers are more obstinate, harder-headed, and stingier than all other Palatines. Of course, this varies from place to place, and the residents of the lower Wasgau beyond the Queich and the uplands close to Alsace are noticeably different from the farmers in the Frankenthal plain or in the idyllic countryside of Grünstadt. On the other side of the Queich one finds Alsatian or rather Alemannic elements; there, more of the folk traditions are preserved than in the Vorderpfalz, and the old traditional costumes still persist in part. In the rich, city-like villages of the Haardt and in the

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