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should call it, on the part of the rest—that is, of the half-withered and closely-packed wallflowers the Royal guests (who had sustained their part admirably—the Queen in beating time and nodding her head, the King in bestowing grave smiles of approval) were invited to supper, and all the assembly partook of refreshments; ices, bishops (not mitred ones), and cakes being abundantly supplied. As soon as this was over, a curious progress was made by each of the royal guests, separately, round the room. It was commenced by the Crown Princess, instead of by the Queen. Why, I know not; unless a suspicion may arise that a retirement from actual duty at an annual Exchange Ball is contemplated by the reigning powers of Sweden. The Crown Princess Louise, conducted by her chamberlains, began the circuit of the room, along the avenue lately occupied by the dancers, and now left vacant between the centre group of male standers and the ladies sitting in rows against the wall. Every one now had as equal a chance of speaking to Royalty as they had before of dancing with Royalty; but somehow the chances seemed to run all in the same line ; for whoever had danced with the Princes, the Princess stopped and spoke
to. The chamberlains informed her of the identity, or good-naturedly told her who was who among
eager aspirants for a word. The task of talking, bowing, and smiling was evidently no easy one to her Royal Highness. Her handkerchief rolled into a ball, and constantly applied to her face, together with an uneasy writhing of the person, seemed indicative of a still more anxious state of mind than that of the citizen ladies before her, who regarded her with that sort of expression which I have not seen any but a Swedish countenance to wear-an expression of what one must call pity, and yet of admiration, wonder and respect; they always wear it when looking at a bride, and generally when gazing at Royalty. Next came the Queen, in crimson velvet and tiara of diamonds; all smiles and graciousness—so very gracious, that it recalled to my mind what a very old lady told me a poor Swedish soldier, with a wooden leg, said of Bernadotte, his Majesty's father, when he gave him an addition to his pension at her request ;“Madame, His Majesty is insupportably good." The Queen had a word for some, a bow and smile for all. Then the young
Princess Eugenie made her rounds; affable, and desi
rous to please, as she always is, more by nature than by study. Seldom has a more simple and amiable girl borne the title of Princess. But the jewel of all was the little old Queen-dowager, the widow of the renowned Bernadotte. On she comes, nodding the white plumes of her turban, and looking so unutterably self-content; glancing through her eye-glass, and holding chamberlain while she asks, “Who is that? and who is that ?” without ever caring to hear the answer;
but nods and smiles in her little French manner, and goes on, taking all the amusement of whatever is to be seen or done, and leaving the other part of the business to any one else--for she has never learned to speak Swedish, and her own dear French is spoken to her chamberlain.
After the royal ladies had made their rounds, King Oscar made his. To his Majesty, this talking promenade must be one of the heaviest burdens to his regal state. He is not formed by nature to shine in such a thing; he is nervous and embarrassed in mere chit-chat, although in quiet conversation, or in literary or scient company, he can
can converse well. But at all times his amiable manner and benevolent smile speak for him.
The young Princes followed
their father's example most sedulously; took notes from their attendants of all the
persons he spoke to, and spoke to them also. I seldom have seen, altogether, a prettier pantomime than was enacted; especially when the King and Queen sat in their throne chairs nodding approbation to each other while their subjects danced, beating time to the music, or beckoning the young Princes, who
with reverent alacrity up the royal steps, received gracefully a royal command, bowed, and hastened to gladden some loyal heart by its performance.
Shortly after midnight their Majesties retired. We were then at liberty to do so likewise; and after sitting motionless for six hours, a change would not have been unwelcome, to me at least. But all were not of
white-robed companion, with pink roses in her hair, most ardently longed to dance at the Exchange ball, while her humility made her think the hope was quite a forlorn one. My eye, however, discerned a very fine young English officer, a really bold dragoon, who has quartered himself in Stockholm. He saw me, and came up to our bench, told me he had come to the north in search of a wife, and asked me to recommend him one; and I, not fore
seeing the penalty of an attempt at match-making, at once introduced him to my fair Swedeshe was a little brunette, however. The Englishman, perhaps, not supposing that I meant in this offhand manner to give him a partner for life, merely requested her to be his partner in a waltz, which the Swedes affirm no Englishman can dance. Nothing can be more reserved than a Swedish lady's demeanour, and of course
in the middle ranks than in the higher; yet it would have been a thousand pities if that pretty white dress had been put on for nothing; and whether it was for that reason, or that the saucy look and handsome face and outstretched hand of the young Englishman, with the only intelligible word he could speak, “come,”were quite irresistible, I do not clearly understand; but the result of all was, that she did go; she gave him her hand. And really, if he had promised to keep it for life, I should have been quite willing to leave them dancing there, and go home to my own solitude and sleep; for dance, dance, dance, they did; and
head ached, and my heavy eyelids almost closed, and two o'clock sounded from the Stockholm bells, and I had sat on that seat for eight long hours, and I resolved, whatever else I