Frankfort Is One Of The Sixteen Cities Which Have
The Distinction Of Being The Place Where The Following
Charlemagne, while chasing the Saxons
(as HE said), or being chased by them (as THEY said),
arrived at the
Bank of the river at dawn, in a fog.
The enemy were either before him or behind him;
but in any case he wanted to get across, very badly.
He would have given anything for a guide, but none was to
be had. Presently he saw a deer, followed by her young,
approach the water. He watched her, judging that she
would seek a ford, and he was right. She waded over,
and the army followed. So a great Frankish victory or
defeat was gained or avoided; and in order to commemorate
the episode, Charlemagne commanded a city to be built there,
which he named Frankfort - the ford of the Franks.
None of the other cities where this event happened were
named for it. This is good evidence that Frankfort was
the first place it occurred at.
Frankfort has another distinction - it is the birthplace
of the German alphabet; or at least of the German word
for alphabet - BUCHSTABEN. They say that the first movable
types were made on birch sticks - BUCHSTABE - hence the name.
I was taught a lesson in political economy in Frankfort.
I had brought from home a box containing a thousand
very cheap cigars. By way of experiment, I stepped
into a little shop in a queer old back street, took four
gaily decorated boxes of wax matches and three cigars,
and laid down a silver piece worth 48 cents.
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