It would be quite easy to imagine our century without carpenters; we would simply use iron furniture. We could just as well do without the stonemason; the cement worker would take over his work. But there would be no nineteenth century without the plumber. He has left his mark and become indispensable to us.
We think that we have to give him a French name. We call him the installateur. This is wrong. For this man is the pillar of the Germanic idea of Cultrue. The English were the keepers and protectors of this culture and therefore deserve to take precedence when we are looking around for a name for this man. Besides, the word "plumber" comes from the Latin - plumbum means "lead" - and is thus for the English as well as for us not a foreign word, but a borrowed word.
For a century and a half now we have been receiving our culture secondhand: from the French. We have never rebelled against the leadership of the French. Now that we realize that we have been duped by the French, now that we realize that the English have been leading the French around by the nose for a long time, we are setting up a front of German culture against the English. We did not mind being guided by the French; it was very pleasant. But the thought that the English are really the leaders - that makes us nervous.
. Die englishe Krankheit