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Our Little Austrian Cousin

Florence Mendel

Book Overview: 

In this volume I have endeavored to give my young readers a clearer and a more intimate knowledge than is usually possessed of the vast territory known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which is a collection of provinces united under one ruler, and which is, strange to say, the only country of importance in the world that has not a distinctive language of its own, since the various races—German, Slav, Magyar and others—each speak their own tongue. The book is chiefly devoted to Austria proper and Tyrol, but the other provinces, including Dalmatia and Bosnia, are not neglected.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .This was about 1100; then, being such an important personage, Duke Heinrich determined to make his home in Vienna. He built himself a strong castle, surrounded it with a high stone wall and a moat, as was the custom at that time, and included within it the confines of the city, so that he and his people might not be molested by neighboring princes.

"Here," continued Herr Müller, as they passed to the end of the Platz, "is the Graben. To-day it is our most fashionable shopping district; but in the time of Duke Heinrich it was[14] a moat filled with water; and here, where these rows of modern houses stand, were the ancient walls which protected the city."

"Isn't it great!" cried Teresa, who, girl though she was, could appreciate the ancient struggles of her ancestors for liberty and defence.

"Oh, father, there is Der Stock im Eisen!" said Ferdinand. "Tell Teresa about that, please; she doesn't know."

"Der Stock im Eisen?" repe. . . Read More