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and curtseying, “and we are come to thank Madame, and let Madame see how well we look.''
“Be happy !" said the Englishman solemnly, speaking in Swedish.
I am admitted a member of the noble and honourable order of the Amaranth! I have been actually knighted! But the great personagethe President, I suppose—who confers the order, is too polite to touch a lady's shoulder with a sword, and a wand only was laid upon mine; and a speech was made, explaining my duties and obligations, &c. &c., not one word of which I heard or understood, for the speaker was old, and rather mumbled the exhortation to our knightly duties. Then a medal was fastened on the same shoulder by my cavalier, a handsome young officer; and I was led round and round an immense room, while music was playing, and the company bowing; and then—I sunk again into primitive obscurity.
But when I return to England, do not wonder if you hear of me under a title unknown before. Have you not often heard of a Count Jones, and a Baroness Smith ?-or have you not known these
same illustrious names to be merged in an unpronounceable foreign title? Well, there is a possibility that some of these persons may have been made members of an order as I have been; so I pray you to recognise me, in case you hear me announced as Grefyinnan Von Amaranta.
This order, however, was founded by Queen Christina, in one of those dissipated fits which alternated with fits of another character. It was founded after one of her entertainments, and included originally only fifteen noble persons of both sexes. Nobility is still a requisite for admission; this order is a noble, or aristocratic one, being confined to the higher classes of society. So, you see, it requires, and does not confer, a certain degree of station or rank; and, therefore, though I may wear Queen Christina's medal, I fear I cannot even take the feminine title for Chevalier, on the ground of having been admitted into the knighthood of the most noble order of the Amaranth.
Alas! for all my pleasant sledge-drives ! for all my solitary walks over frozen lakes or untrodden snow-heaped paths! They both are over now! And it is so delightful to fancy that one goes
" Where human feet hath 'ne'er, or rarely been," That I have gone almost knee-deep in snow through the forests, in preference to following the beaten path that would have led me to the same spot. Is not this free-will, and the voluntary system completely carried out ?
But now, alas ! my walks, my drives, are over. That fine forest of Haga, with its great, grey,
earthy-coloured " leaf-trees,” bare, parched, forever-dead looking; and the mighty firs in their changeless green, rising over snow-piled rocks with one brown spot uncovered, and towering over the pure white surface spread beneath them--that forest is brightened now with this March sun that beams so strongly in my windows; but I am not in it. And my favourite, more public Djurgord, with its secluded nooks, its lovely views, the walk over the Baltic, and the romantic drives—that beautiful one especially round by “the Fisher's Hut” celebrated by the Burns of Sweden, the poet Bellman --this too is gone, and I am ready to add, so is my delight;—but no! to add that would be a sin.
Yet I feel very mournful when I remember that they are only gone to me; they are all there still, all just as they were, all offering still the enjoyment I can no longer partake. The sun shines strong upon them, the snow is highly heaped on “ the untrodden ways;" the ice leads firmly to them; sledges glide by as usual ; walkers, sliders, skaters, go on as they did—and I!I cannot even go upon crutches !
The Swedes, whose exclamations are to ears polite—not to say religious—undoubtedly very amazing and shocking, say that the English excla
mation is only—“O dear!"--and I know one who was for a short time in England, and was smitten with a love and admiration of it, who told he would turn away any servant who did not learn to say, “O dear!" instead of her native and truly shocking exclamations. I wish it was our only one that the good man had learned: but I will now say - dear! how very sad it is to be crippled up on a sofa, just able to take a pen in one's hand, because it has learned to find its way there as naturally as a cigar to Swedish lips—but quite unable to use one's feet; unable to move without crying outO dear! O dear!
I write, my sisters, to implore your commiseration and sympathy; though I sincerely hope that before
receive my request-about a fortnight's time-I may not require either. You will like to know what was the cause of this change, why my drives, walks, and pleasant evenings are all suspended; and as it is a comfort and relief to relate one's griefs, I will tell you all about it.
It was a day of intense cold, in the latter part of February; the snow as it fell was frozen into icicles, which flew in the air with a singular appearance. The evening came, and I got the fire lighted in the great white porcelain stove, and