Imágenes de páginas

of no use whatever, being merely loosely tied to the carriage by a slight rope. The driver had no control over this horse: he ran with the others as a matter of course, but would now and then take it into his head to stop short, or turn round, and bring his nose right into the carriage; there was nothing to prevent his doing so whenever he pleased, and the driver was invariably obliged to dismount from his seat to replace him in his proper position. The expedition with which they change horses is surprising, fully equalling that of our mail-coaches; but we invariably experienced a sad delay in settling the pay of the different drivers, who, strange to say, were generally unwilling to be paid in silver, and near the end of the journey, positively refused to accept it, and insisted upon receiving paper-money.' -pp. 130-132.

We were sorry to find the following statement under the head of Stockholm :


Having passed a Sunday at Stockholm, we were desirous of attending divine service, and were directed to a chapel, which we found to be a Wesleyan Methodist chapel,-the only church, as we afterwards learned, in which the English residents at Stockholm have the choice of attending service. Among the congregation we observed our ambassador and his family. The English residents, it may be presumed, are too few or too poor to support a clergyman of the Esta. blished Church.'—p. 157.

Why should our minister (he has not, we believe, the rank of ambassador) be driven to the necessity of resorting for divine worship to a Methodist meeting-house? Had his Excellency no chapel? Could he not, at least, have had a chaplain? We well remember, that for many years the service of the Church of England was performed in the ambassador's house in Paris-as much, at least, might have been expected in the Protestant court of Stockholm. As to the English residents being too poor and too few to support a clergyman, that would be an additional reason for having a chaplain to the mission; but as the Wesleyans are, after all, a sort of branch of the Church, we have little doubt that where they are able to support a chapel, the legitimate members of the Church itself might, with even a very moderate share of zeal and attention, have anticipated them.

The roads in Sweden are good, and, like those in Finland, are kept in the highest possible order. The expense of posting is very trifling compared with that of most countries in Europe excepting Finland, and, as we have since found Norway.'-p. 166.

Our traveller left the main road, in the course of this journey, to visit the celebrated Fall of Trolhätten, which, according to his description, far surpasses any even in Switzerland for grandeur and sublimity.

'It forms the only outlet of the waters of the great Wenern Lake, as the Falls of Niagara do that of the four great North American lakes, and I should suppose that, in regard to the mass of water discharged, they are inferior only to these celebrated transatlantic falls. The accompanying scenery of wood and mountain is wild and romantic, and the effect was considerably heightened on this day, by the state of the weather, which was so stormy as to amount almost to what seamen call a gale of wind; the clouds, at the same time, presenting a dark and wild aspect, gave additional effect to the foaming torrent as it rushed from rock to rock.

'We could perceive no less than five distinct falls, across the second of which is thrown a narrow wooden bridge, leading to a small rocky island, which breaks the fall. We crossed this bridge not without some difficulty, and not without danger, owing to the slippery state it was in from the spray continually breaking over it, which it did with sufficient violence to carry a person off his legs, even had it not been slippery; this, in fact, did happen to my fellow-traveller, who was very nearly swept away by the foaming waters, his foot having slipt whilst crossing the bridge. The only mode of escaping was to watch the spray, by which it was no easy matter to avoid being caught. It is not easy to conjecture how this bridge could have been constructed across the roaring torrent which rolls with such headlong impetuosity. It is at best but an insecure structure, and seems momentarily liable to be carried away. The sides are entirely open, there being merely a hand-rail at the top, about the height of the middle of a man's body, to steady the passenger, so that the danger of being washed through was not altogether ideal, and I was by no means sorry to find myself once more safe upon terra firma.'— pp. 166-169.

Our last extract from this first tour shall relate to Elsineur, a scene in which the genius of Shakspeare has interested the sensibilities of all mankind-except, as it would seem, the Danes themselves!

We passed the night at Elsineur, at a very clean and comfortable inn, kept by an Englishman, who was civil and attentive.


The Danes have an undoubted right to all that belongs to the history of Hamlet, as Saxo Grammaticus, their own historian, (if he was a Dane, which is not quite certain,) has narrated it; but the connexion of Elsineur with the name of Hamlet would probably long ago have ceased, had not our Shakspeare embellished and immortalized the story. Scarcely had we seated ourselves, when we were reminded of Prince Hamlet's Garden, which of course we visited, and regretted to find in a neglected and ruinous state. The pond, or rather that which had once been a pond, and in which they tell you the fair Ophelia-who, by the way, was no Ophelia of theirs, but the sole creation of "fancy's child," was drowned, is completely dried up, and choked with weeds. Having appropriated the garden and the




pond, they might as well have kept up that illusion by planting the fatal" willow," which we are told

66 grows ascaunt the brook

And shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream."

'An Englishman could not fail to be delighted with the bare imagination that he was regarding some relic or scion of that treacherous tree, from which poor Ophelia met her death.

"There, on the pendent boughs, her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke-
When down her weedy trophies-and herself-
Fell in the weeping brook."

But though this garden exhibits no brook, nor willow, nor other traces of Hamlet or of Ophelia, and though as a garden it hardly deserves the name, it serves as a promenade for the inhabitants of the town-is delightfully situated-and some of its walks are well shaded with trees.'-pp. 178, 179.

This is surely very agreeably narrated-with a happy mixture of the sensibility which Shakspeare excites, and of the pleasantry which Danish indifference provokes.

Mr. Barrow, and his companion Mr. Rouse, had left London on the 26th of June, and returned on the 1st of September; having accomplished a journey of about 4000 miles by sea and land in the space of sixty-eight days, without any accident, with little inconvenience, and with only one really bad night's lodging.

His second tour, with the same companion, was made in 1833, through less frequented, and, as to natural objects, more interesting scenes. They proceeded, as before, to Hamburgh, and by Copenhagen to Christiania-all-with the exception of a day and a half's journey by land from Hamburgh to Travemunde on the Balticby steam.


'Christiania gave us the idea of being a quiet, dull town. most frequented part towards the evening was the ramparts, which surround a point of land projecting into the bay, and form a delightful promenade. The houses in the suburbs or outskirts are generally of wood, but there are also within the town several of brick, covered with plaster or stucco. The view of the town and its beautiful bay, when seen from the surrounding hills, is highly picturesque, and will amply repay the traveller for the trouble of ascending them. These are all skirted with villas and grounds in cultivation, which contribute much to the cheerful appearance of Christiania. These little villas, belonging to the merchants and traders, are called Leckken; they are surrounded with meadows, to give, pasture to a cow or two for their milk, and orchards, producing apples, cherries, and gooseberries; even pears and apricots are said to grow in the open air, but we saw none. Though the Scotch and the spruce firs and birch chiefly compose the forests that climb up the Scandinavian mountains, the ash, the lime-tree, the elm, the alder, the sycamore, and the hazel, grow in


great vigour and beauty in all the valleys, even to the sixty-third degree of latitude, and indeed many degrees higher. Oaks are common in the southern districts, but there are no beeches in any part of Norway. pp. 210, 211.

The streets of Christiania are wide and straight, but the houses are straggling and irregular; at every cross street, or nearly so, there is a large cistern or well, cased with wood, into which a constant stream of water is made to flow, so that the inhabitants can supply themselves with this necessary article whenever it may suit their convenience. In some of the back streets the houses are almost entirely of wood, very low, but neatly and curiously carved. The pavement of all the streets is wretched.

'The house in which the Storthing, or Norwegian parliament, meet for conducting the business of the state, is amongst the best in the city, and has a very handsome portico of wood. This meeting is held only once in every three years, unless anything of great importance should require its assembling. They commence their sittings in the month of February, and continue till the end of August; and the hours of attendance are from nine in the morning till nine in the evening, with an interval in the middle of the day of an hour or so, when they retire to dinner.


'I never saw an assemblage of men wearing the appearance of so strongly as the members of the Storthing. They were mostly of a certain age; clad generally in coarse grey woollen coats-their hair long, and flowing over their shoulders-and their whole deportment grave, sober, and intent on the business before them. The president was reading a paper, which lasted the whole time we were there, and of which each member appeared to have a printed copy. What the subject was I know not, but it seemed to occupy their whole attention: there was no moving about, but all kept their seats, with their hats off, and observed the greatest silence and decorum.'-pp. 213-215.

The route from Christiania to Tronyem (Drontheim of the maps), nearly due north, proceeds alternately over arms of the sea, called fiords, and the rocky ridges which separate them; so that the whole journey is a succession of lake and mountain, and both of the most romantic character. The mode of travelling is described as follows:


Preparatory to our leaving Christiania we were advised to purchase two small, light carriages, called here carrioles, in which we were to be our own drivers over that part of the country we intended to traverse. We were assured that this would be the most comfortable and convenient, as well as independent, and, at the same time, economical, mode of travelling, generally adopted by travellers who could singly manage to drive a horse in harness. The cost of each carriole was about five pounds; and for this trifling sum we purchased what would in any country be called elegant little carriages.'-pp. 216, 217.



The following description of one stage of this wild journey will afford a fair specimen of the whole :—

Early on the following morning we hired a good-sized boat, and, after some little difficulty in getting our carrioles embarked, prepared to proceed on the Sogne fiord, which we were told was the only mode of pursuing our journey. We also engaged five men to row us down this arm of the fiord, at a specie dollar a head, the value of which is 3s. 4d. We ascertained, as nearly as we could, that the distance we had to go was not less than twenty-eight English miles. When all was ready, we embarked on this inlet of the sea, though here at a very considerable distance from it. Our agreement was, that one of the men was to pull two oars, so that altogether we were considered to pay for and to row six oars. Our boatmen were remarkably fine fellows, and pulled a regular and steady stroke; and the oars, being broad and flat at the end, took great hold of the water. The boats were light, and, like the whale-boats, were of the same shape at the bow and stern, both of which rise very much out of the water, and run to a sharp edge. The long tiller they make use of is rather awkward and uncouth, extending very much into the boat, and consequently an annoyance to the passengers. Their general appearance, however, might be called elegant, and the workmanship excellent. Our boatmen had taken care to provide plenty of provisions for themselves, and at the end of two or three hours, at most, they pulled to the shore, where they landed in a cove made by some rocks, and there regaled themselves at their leisure.

'The mountains on either side of this enclosed branch of the fiord descended abruptly to the water's edge, down the ravines and chasms of which fell numerous full and broad cascades, six or eight being visible at the same moment. At one time this branch of the fiord exhibited a fine expansive lake; again it became so narrow, as to give the appearance of a river hemmed in between two rocky banks. The first branch on which we had to row is called Urland, out of which we turned southerly into another arm of the same fiord, called Nærön; the two may be considered as one continued lake, enclosed between mountains of great picturesque beauty, some of them rising perpendicularly, like the side of a gigantic wall, to the stupendous height of 4600 to 5400 feet. The weather was beautiful, and as we rowed along the lake, not a breath of wind was felt sufficient to raise a ripple on the water; but the intense heat of the sun was almost intolerable; and whilst we were suffering from its piercing rays, it was somewhat vexatious to look up to the snow-clad mountains, and still more so to see large patches of it lying very low down in the crevices and other places, to which the sun has never had access.

'It would be endless to describe, or rather to attempt to describe, the ever-varied beauties of the face of nature, exhibited the whole way from Christiania to Bergen.'

To help the very imperfect view which we can give of these natural features, we must add a sketch of the inhabitants.


« AnteriorContinuar »