Rathskeller Mottos

Capitol rathskeller in 1913 (left) and in 1973 (right) with decorative art covered by layers of paint.

Capitol sayings

The decorative art in the recently restored rathskeller at the Minnesota State Capitol includes 23 slogans in German. The mottos had been painted over under pressure from temperance advocates and anti-German leaders during World War I.

The original rathskeller artists took some liberty with the German language, changing spelling and punctuation when it suited their artistic fancy. As a result, the mottoes on the walls differ slightly from correct German.

The mottoes in the Minnesota State Capitol rathskeller are:

1. Ein jeder Gast ist lieb und werth, Der baar bezahlt was er verzehrt.
A guest who pays for what he orders is always welcome.

2. Trink und ess, Gott nicht vergess.
Whether you eat or drink, say grace.

3. Ein froher Gast ist niemals Last.
A cheerful guest is always welcome.

4. Denk', wenn dir warm ist, An den, der arm ist.
When you are comfortable, think of him who is suffering.

5. Malz und Hopfen geben gute Tropfen. Malt and hops make fine drops.

6. Meint's der Ofen allzu gut, Dampf ich seinen Uebermuth.
If the oven is too hot, I close the damper.

7. Im Becher ersaufen mehr als im Bache.
More people get drowned in the cup than in the creek.

8. Trink gut und rein, zu viel lass sein.
Drink what is good and pure but not too much of it.

9. Zunächst versorge deinen Magen, Dann trink soviel du kannst ertragen.
After hearty eating you can do some hearty drinking.

10. Noch einen gegen das bose Wetter.
One more for that dismal weather.

11. Dem Aerger nicht, der Freude nur, Steht offen dieses Hauses Thor.
The door of this house is not open to anger, but only to joy.

12. Herzlich willkommen im gastlichen Haus.
A hearty welcome to this hospitable house.

13. Gott segne deinen Eingang und Ausgang.
May God bless your entrance and exit.

14. Ein frischer Trank, der Arbeit Dank.
Enjoy a glass after a duty well performed.

15. Fröhlich Gemüth und edler Wein Mögen hier oft beisammen sein.
Cheerful disposition and noble wine may often meet here to a happy combine.

16. Leichten Muth bring herein, Sorgen lass draussen sein.
Bring cheerfulness in with you, leave worry outdoors.

17. Erst schaff dein Sach', Dann trink und lach.
First do your duty, then drink and laugh.

18. Esset und trinket, was ihr habt, und denket, was ihr wollt.
Eat and drink what you have, and think what you choose.

19. Trink', aber sauf' nicht, Red', aber rauf' nicht.
Drink, but don't indulge in drinking; speak, but don't pick quarrels.

20. Im Schatten kühler Denkungsart Trink Wein und Bier nach deiner Art.
Guided by your own good judgment, indulge in wine and beer after your fashion.

21. Besser ein Rausch, denn ein Fieber.
Better be tipsy than feverish.

22. Erst proben, dann loben.
First test, then praise.

23. Ohne Fleiss, Kein Preis.
Without effort, no prize.

The following six mottos found in the center arches were not reproduced because of the need for air vents:

  • Heute ums Geld, Morgen umsonst.
    Today for money, tomorrow for nothing.
  • So geht die Zeit Zur Ewigkeit.
    As time flies we are nearing eternity.
  • Einer für alle und alle für einen.
    One for all, and all for one.
  • Mensch ärgere dich und andere nicht.
    Don't anger yourself and others, too.
  • Wer Zeit hat, wartet nicht auf Zeit.
    If you have time, don't wait for another time.
  • Zeit ist Geld und Geld regiert die Welt.
    Time is money, and money rules the world.