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the whole of mankind, or specially commissioned to kill and terrify into his doctrines. Instead of this, there is nothing to show that he had formed any distinct scheme of a government to take the place of that which he had aided in destroying. All we learn is, that there hovered in his mind's eye some vague Utopia, in which public affairs would go on very much of themselves, through the mere force of universal Benevolence, liberated from the bosom of Nature. For his folly and au
dacity in nourishing so wild a theory, and still more for the reckless butcheries by which he sought to bring it into operation, we must, on a review of his whole character, adhere to the popular belief on the subject. Acquitted, as he must necessarily be, of the charge of personal ambition, he was still a monster, only the more dangerous and detestable for justifying murder on the ground of principle.
From Sharp e 's Magazine.
PICTURES OF S W E D EN.”
A PICTURE in words must needs be a poetical description. Such, accordingly, is the character of these sketches of Swedish life and scenery by the Danish poet, Andersen. He depicts only objects of poetical interest —scenes of natural grandeur, historical institutions, buildings of ancient date and dignity, spots of pastoral beauty and seclusion—and of these, little is presented save the impressions which they severally excited in himself. Legends and historic incidents are introduced into the delineation, but everything ap
ars under the lights and shades of fancy, and is colored by the hues of poetic feeling. Sentiment rather than observation would seem to be the author's tendency. His book will have few charms for those very “practical” people who delight only in “facts.” There is nothing of what is called “useful information ” in the whole work. It is a record and illustration of the beautiful.
Behold the intending traveller, brooding over the thoughts and fancies which a delightful spring time has quickened in his brain, and listening to the suggestions of a rambling inclination. . The sunshine of the lengthening day sheds gladness within his mind, and solicits him with gentle promises to go abroad and see the world. The birds warble, and he essays to interpret their song;
* “Pictures of Sweden.” By Hans Christian Andersen, Author of “The Improvisatore,” &c. Bentley, London.
and thus he reproduces it in a free trans. lation:— “‘Get on my back,' says the stork, our green island's sacred bird,” and I will carry thee over the Sound. Sweden also has fresh and fragrant beech woods, green mead. ows and corn-fields. In Scavia, with the flowering apple-trees behind the peasan's house, you will think that you are still in Denmark.” “‘Fly with me,’ says the swallow; ‘I fly over Holland's mountain-ridge, where the beech-trees cease to grow; I fly further towards the north than the stork. You shall see the vegetable mould pass over into rocky ground; see snug, neat towns, old churches and mansions, where all is good and comfortable, where the family stand in * circle around the table, and say grace at meals, where the least of the children says a prayer, and morning and evening sings” psalm. I have heard it, I have seen it, when little, from my nest under the eaves.' “‘Come with me! come with me!' screams the restless sea-gull, and flies in an expecting circle. “Come with me to the Skjárgaards, where rocky isles by thousands, with fir and pine, lie like flower-beds along the coast; where the fishermen draw the well-filled nets!' “‘Rest thee between our extended wings' sing the wild swans. ‘Let us bear thee up to the great lakes, the perpetually roaring elvs (rivers), that rush on with arrowy swiftness; where the oak forest has long ceased, and the birch-tree becomes stunted. Rest thee between our extended wings: we fly up to Sulitelma, the island's eye, as the mountain is called; we fly from the vernal green valley, up over the snow-drifts, to the mountain's top, where thou canst see the North Sea, on yonder side of Norway. We fly to Jemteland, where the rocky mountains are high and blue; where the Foss roars and rushes. Up to the deep, coldrunning waters, where the midsummer sun does not set; where the rosy hue of eve is that of morn.’” That is the bird's song, according to our poet's interpretation. However, he declines to sit upon the stork's back, or between the wings of the wild swans. “We will go forward,” says he, “with steam, and with horses —yes, also on our own legs, and glance now and then from reality, over the fence into the region of thought, which is always our near neighborhood; pluck a flower or a leaf, to be placed in the note-book—for it sprung out during our journey's flight: we fly and we sing. * * Sweden thou land of deep feeling, of heart-felt songs; home of the limpid elvs, where the wild swans sing in the gleam of the Northern Lights; thou land, on whose deep, still lakes, Scandinavia's fairy builds her colonnades, and leads her battling, shadowy host over the icy mirror Glorious Sweden, with thy fragrant Linnaeus, with Jenny's soul-enlivening songs to thee will we fly with the stork and the swallow, with the restless sea-gull and the wild swans. Thy birch-woods exhale refreshing fragrance under their sober, bending branches; on the tree's white stem the harp shall hang: the North's summer wind shall whistle therein " Even so. In reading these pages we have seemed to hear it—that gentle summer wind, breathing a mild, Northern poetry. And now we will take the reader to some of the choicest spots which the poet visited, and he shall see how pleasantly and sweetly they are pictured. Let us go to old Wadstene—a place of ancient palaces, and of a flourishing convent, where once the good St. Bridget ruled, and in whose decayed and dilapidated sacristy, it is said, her bones are now resting. “In Sweden,” says our author, “it is not only in the country, but even in several of the provincial towns, that one sees whole houses of grass-turf, or with roofs of grassturf; and some are so low that one might easily spring up to the roof, and sit on the
fresh green sward. In the early spring, whilst the fields are still covered with snow, but which is melted on the roof, the latter affords the first announcement of spring, with the young sprouting grass where the sparrow twitters: ‘Spring comes!' “Between Montola and Vadstene, close by the high road, stands a grass-turf house —one of the most picturesque. It has but one window, broader than it is high, and a wild rose-branch forms the curtain outside. “We see it in the spring. The roof is so delightfully fresh with grass, it has quite the tint of velvet; and close to it is the chimney, nay, even a cherry-tree grows out of its side, now full of slowers; the wind shakes the leaves down on a little lamb that is tethered to the chimney. It is the only lamb of the family. The old dame, who lives here, lifts it up to its place herself in the morning, and lifts it down again in the evening, to give it a place in the room. The roof can just bear the little lamb, but not more—this is an experience and a certainty. Last autumn— and at that time the grass-turf roofs are covered with flowers, mostly blue and yellow, the Swedish colors—there grew here a flower of a rare kind. It shone in the eyes of the old professor, who, on his botanical tour, came past here. The professor was quickly up on the roof, and just as quick was one of his booted legs through it, and so was the other leg, and then half of the professor himself—that part where the head does not sit; and as the house had no ceiling, his legs havered right over the old dame's head, and that in very close contact. But now the roof is again whole; the fresh grass grows where learning sank; the little lamb bleats up there, and the old dame stands beneath in the door-way, with folded hands, with a smile on her mouth, rich in remembrances, legends and songs; rich in her only lamb on which the cherry-tree strews its flower-blossoms in the warm spring sun. “As a background to this picture lies the Vettern—the bottomless lake, as the commonalty believe—with its transparent water, its sea-like waves, and in calm, with ‘Heyring,” or fatamorgana, on its steel-like surface. We see Vadstene palace and town, “the city of the dead,” as a Swedish author has called it—Sweden's Herculaneum, reminiscence's city. The grass-turf house must be our box, whence we see the rich mementoes pass before us—memorials from the chronicle of kings, and the love songs that still live with the old dame, who stands in her low house there, where the lamb crops the grass on the roof. We hear her, and we see with her eyes; we go from the grass-turf houses, where poor women sit and make lace, once the celebrated work of the rich nuns here in the cloister's wealthy time. “How still, solitary, and grass-grown are these streets | We stop by an old wall, mouldy green for centuries already. Within it stood the cloister; now there is but one of its wings remaining. There, within that now poor garden, still bloom Saint Bridget's leek, and once rare flowers. King John and the Abbess, Ana Gylte, wandered one evening there, and the king cunningly asked: “If the maidens in the cloister were never tempted by love?' and the abbess answered, as she pointed to a bird that just then flew over them: “It may happen. One cannot prevent the bird from flying over the garden; but one may surely prevent it from building its nest there !' “Thus thought the pious Abbess, and there have been sisters who thought and acted like her. But it is quite as sure, that in the same garden there stood a pear-tree,called the tree of death; and the legend says of it, that whoever approached and plucked its fruit would soon die. Red and yellow pears weighed down its branches to the ground. The trunk was unusually large; the grass grew high round it, and many a morning was it seen trodden down. Who had been there during the night? “A storm arose one evening from the lake, and the next morning the large tree was found thrown down ; the trunk was broken, and out of it there rolled infants’ bones—the white bones of murdered children lay shining on the grass. “The pious but love-sick sister, Ingrid, this Vadstene's Heloise, writes to her heart's beloved, Axel Nilsun—for the chronicles have preserved it for us — The brothers and sisters amuse themselves in play, drink wine, and dance with one another in the garden.’ “These words may explain to us the history of the pear-tree: one is led to think of the orgies of the nun-phantoms in “Robert le Diable,” the daughters of sin, on consecrated ground. But ‘judge not, lestye be judged.’ We will read sister Ingrid’s letter, sent secretly to him she truly loved. In it lies the history of many, clear and human to us:— “I dare not confess to any other than to thee, that I am not able to repeat my Ave Maria, or read my Paternoster, without calling thee to mind. . Nay, even in the Mass itself, thy comely face appears, and our af
came in many shapes.
fectionate intercourse returns to me. It seems to me that I cannot confess to any other human being—the Virgin Mary, St. Bridget, and the whole host of Heaven, will perhaps punish me for it. But thou knowest well, my heart's beloved, that I have never consented with my free-will to these rules. My parents, it is true, have placed my body in this prison, but the heart cannot so soon be weaned from the world.’ “How touching is the distress of young hearts . It offers itself to us from the mouldy parchment, it resounds in old songs. Beg the grey-haired old dame in the grass-turf house to sing to thee of the young, heavy sorrow; of the saving angel—and the angel You will hear the song of the cloister robbery; of Herr Carl, who was sick to death—when the young nun entered the corpse chamber, sat down by his feet, and whispered how sincerely she had loved him, and the knight rose from his bier and bore her away to marriage and pleasure in Copenhagen. And all the nuns of the cloister sang: “Christ grant that such an angel were to come, and take both me and thee!” “The old dame will also sing for thee of the beautiful Agda and Oluf Tyste; and at once the cloister is revived in its splendor, the bells ring, stone houses arise—they even rise from the waters of the Wettern: the little town becomes churches and towers. The street are crowded with great, with sober, well-dressed persons. Down the stairs of the town-hall descends, with a sword by his side, and in fur-lined cloak, the most wealthy citizen of Vadstene, the merchant Michael. By his side is his young, beautiful daughter, Agda, richly dressed and happy; youth in beauty, youth in mind. All eyes are turned on the rich man—and yet forget him for her, the beautiful. Life's best bless. ings await her; her thoughts soar upwards, her mind aspires; her future is happines. These were the thoughts of the many—and amongst the many there was one who saw her as Romeo saw Juliet, as Adam saw B'o in the garden of Paradise. That one was Oluf, the handsomest young man, but poor as Agda was rich. And he must conceal his love; but as only he lived in it, only ho knew of it; so he became mute and still, and after months had passed away, the towns §: called him. Olúf Tyste (Oluf the Sient.) “Nights and days he combated his loo nights and days he suffered inexpressible torment; but at last—one dew-drop or one sun-beam alone is necessary for the ripe rose to open its leaves—he must tell it to Agda. And she listened to his words, was terrified, and sprang away; but the thought remained with him, and the heart went after the thought and stayed there ; she returned his love strongly and truly, but in modesty and honor; and therefore poor Oluf came to the rich merchant and sought his daughter's hand. But Michael shut the bolts of his door and of his heart too. He would neither listen to tears nor supplications, but only to his own will ; and as little Agda also kept firm to her will, her father placed her in Vadstene cloister. And Oluf was obliged to submit. She was dead to him and the world. But one night, in tempestuous weather, whilst the rain streamed down, Oluf Tyste came to the cloister wall, threw his rope-ladder over it, and however high the Vettern lifted its waves, Oluf and little Agda flew away over its fathomless depths that autumn night. “Early in the morning the nuns missed little Agda. What a screaming and shouting —the cloister is disgraced The Abbess and Michael the merchant swore that vengeance and death should reach the fugitives. Lindkjöping's severe bishop, Hans Brask, fulminated his ban over them, but they were already across the waters of the Vettern; they had reached the shores of the Venern, they were on Kinnakulla, with one of Oluf's friends, who owned the delightful Hellekis. “Here their marriage was to be celebrated. The guests were invited, and a monk from the neighboring cloister of Hussaby was fetched to marry them. Then came the messenger with the bishop's excommunication, and this—but not the marriage ceremony—was read to them. “All turned away from them terrified. The owner of the house, the friend of Oluf's youth, pointed to the open door, and bade them depart instantly. Oluf only requested a car and horse where with to convey away his exhausted Agda ; but they threw sticks and stones after them, and Oluf was obliged to bear his poor bride in his arms far into the forest. “Heavy and bitter were their wanderings. At last, however, they found a home; it was in Guldkroken, in West Gothland. An honest old couple gave them shelter and a place by the hearth; they stayed there till Christmas, and on that holy eve there was to be a real Christmas festival. The guests were invited, the furmenty set forth ; and now came the clergyman of the parish to say prayers;
but whilst he spake he recognized Oluf and Agda, and the prayer became a curse upon the two. Anxiety and terror came over all; they drove the excommunicated pair out of the house, out into the biting frost, where the wolves went in flocks, and the bear was no stranger. And Oluf felled wood in the forest, and kindled a fire to frighten away the noxious animals and keep life in Agda— he thought that she must die. But just then she was the stronger of the two. “‘Our Lord is mighty and gracious; He will save us !’ said she. “He has one here on the earth, one who can save us, one who has proved, like us, what it is to wander amongst enemies and wild animals. It is the King–Gustavus Vasa He has languished like us!—gone astray in Dalecarlia in the deep snow ! he has suffered, tried, knows it—he can and he will help us!” “The King was in Vadstene. He had called together the representatives of the kingdom there. He dwelt in the cloister itself, even there where little Agda, if the King did not grant her pardon, must suffer what the angry Abbess dared to advise: penance and a painful death awaited her. “Through forests and by untrodden paths, in storm and snow, Oluf and Agda came to Vadstene. They were seen : some showed fear, others insulted and threatened them. The guard of the cloister made the sign of . the cross on seeing the two sinners, who dared to ask admission to the King. “‘I will receive and hear all,’ was his royal message; and the two lovers fell trembling at his feet. “And the King looked mildly on them ; and as he long had had the intention to humiliate the proud Bishop of Lindkjöping, the moment was not unfavorable to them ; the King listened to the relation of their lives and sufferings, and gave them his word that the excommunication should be annulled. He then placed their hands one in the other, and said that the priest should also do the same soon; and he promised them his royal protection and favor. “And old Michael, the merchant, who feared the king's anger, with which he was threatened, became so mild and gentle, that he, as the King commanded, not only opened his house and his arms to Oluf and Agda, but displayed all his riches on the weddingday of the young couple. The marriage ceremony took place in the cloister church, whither the King himself led the bride, and where, by his command, all the nuns were obliged to be present, in order to give still
more ecclesiastical pomp to the festival. And many a heart there silently recalled the old
song about the cloister robbery, and looked.
at Oluf Tyste, praying:—“Christ grant that such an angel were to come, and take both me and thee l’” There are other legends and romantic stories associated with the crumbling walls of Vadstene, all of which are beautifully related by the author, but if the reader desires to see them we must refer him to the book. Pleasant will be the hour to him when he sits down to read it. For the present he must be content to take another quotation of our selection—one somewhat differing in manner from the foregoing, inasmuch as it deals not with the recollections of the past, but exhibits a phase of Swedish life now actually observable. It is our author's description of his visit to the provincial town of Sala; and though the reader, perhaps, may think he has noted nothing very particularly worthy of a traveller's attention, we doubt not the sketch will be accepted as being nevertheless graphic and amusing. It has, to say the least of it, a pleasing, picturesque effect, in proper keeping with the author's plan of icture-writing. “Sweden's great king, Germany's preserver, Gustavus Adolphus, founded Sala. The little wood close by, still preserves legends of the heroic king's youthful love—of his meeting here with Ebba Brahe. “Sala's silver mines are the largest, the deepest, and the oldest in Sweden; they reach to the depth of one hundred and seventy fathoms, consequently they are almost as deep as the Baltic. This of itself is enough to awaken an interest for a little town; but what is its appearance? “Sala,” says the guide-book, “lies in a valley, in a flat, and not very pleasant district.” And so truly it is: it was not very attractive, approaching it our way, and the high road led directly into the town, which is without any distinctive character. It consists of a long street, with what we may term a nucleus and a few fibres. The nucleus is the marketplace, and the fibres are the few lanes diverging from it. The long street—that is to say long in a little town—is quite without passengers; no one comes out from the doors, no one is to be seen at the windows. “It was therefore with pleased surprise that I at length descried a human being: it was at an ironmonger's, where there hung a paper of pins, a handkerchief, and two teapots in the window. There I saw a solitary shop-boy, standing quite still, but leaning
over the counter, and looking out of the open door. He certainly wrote in his journal, if he had one, in the evening: ‘To-day a tray. eller drove through the town; who he was, God knows, for I don't!"—yes, that was what the shop-boy's face said, and an honest face it was. “In the inn at which I arrived, there was the same grave-like stillness as in the street. The gate was certainly closed, but all the inner doors were wide open; the farm-yard cock stood uplifted in the middle of the traweller's room and crowed in order to show that there was somebody at home. The house, however, was quite picturesque: it had an open balcony, #. which one might look out upon the yard, for it would have been far too lively had it been facing the street. There hung the old sign and creaked in the wind, as if to show that it, at least, was alive. I saw it from my window; I also saw how the grass in the street had got the mastery over the pavement. The sunshone brightly, but shone as into the bachelor's solitary room, and on the old maid's balsams in the flower-pots. It was as still as a Scotch Sunday—and yet it was a Tuesday. One was disposed for Young's ‘Night Thoughts.' “I looked out from the balcony into the neighboring yard: there was not a soul w be seen, but children had been playing there. There was a little garden made of dry sticks; they were stuck down in the soft soil and had been watered; a broken pan, which had certainly served by way of watering-pot, lay there still. The sticks signified roses and geraniums. “It had been a delightful garden—alas, yes! We great, grown-up men—we play just so: we make ourselves a garden with what we call love's roses and friendship's geraniums; we water them with our tears and with our heart's blood; and yet they are and remain dry sticks without root. It was a gloomy thought; I felt it, and in order to get the dry sticks in my thoughts to blossom, I went out. I wandered in the fibres and in the long threads, that is to say, in the small lanes, and in the great street; and here was more life than I dared to expect. I met a herd of cattle returning or goingwhich, I know not, for they were without herdsman. The shop-boy still stood behind the cbunter, leaned over it and greeted me; the stranger took his hat off again, that was my day's employment in Sala. “Pardon me, thou silent town, which Gustavus Adolphus built, where his *: heart felt the first emotions of love, *