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tory, and, nearly stifled with the smell, beheld a scene as different from that outside the door, which I have tried, but vainly, to represent, as it is well possible to imagine.
Most of the persons employed here were Dalecarlians, men and women; their curious dresses being varied according to the parishes of their native province. In the small dark room we entered, a man and woman-whose stout figures, sheepskin jackets, red stockings and caps, were seen to advantage by the light they held—leaned over a great boiler, the vapour from which threw them into shadow. In another department of the same work, we found two very pretty young Dahlkuller; a sight not often seen, for strength, not beauty, is the general attribute of these women; but when very young, before labour and exposure to weather have produced their usual effects, I have seen some pretty ones, and these two were undoubtedly the most so. The fineness of their features was uncommon, for in general they are very large and coarse; but their good humour, their cheerful temper, was not peculiar ; their good and happy laugh came, as it always seems to do, from a true Dalecarlian heart. I asked them to speak their native language, which is
distinct from the Swedish, and one of them naîvely replied, “I cannot, for I do not know what to say;" and then both laughed so heartily, and one kept asking the other to speak, until I had heard as much as I wanted.
Some of these hard-working, and in general good people, stay for the winter in Stockholm, and get what employment they can. It is, however, considered to be unfortunate for them when they do so; and it is but seldom that such persons return to their simple homes with a pure, unblemished character. They are in general a religious people, strongly attached to their own ways and customs; and their appearance in the churches of Stockholm—where (the pew system being strict here) they frequently stand in the aisles during a long sermon—is very remarkable.
I have said, however, that I would relate how I came to be laid aside from all my icy walks and drives, and I must now do so.
Leaving the candle manufactory, the beautiful aspect of the moonlit lake tempted us to walk over it; it was a lovely walk-the round, bright moon, which seemed to come half-way down from the clear blue sky to lend us its light, shone so gloriously, and threw such a radiance on the
snowy scene; and it was so safe to walk there, for the snow lay deep over the ice, and was frozen on it, and yet not slippery like it; so that I never once thought of falling down and breaking a limb, or of the ice breaking and drowning me in the lake, or of any other unpleasantness. But lo! when we were coming away to return to the town, it was late, and the sledge was waiting on that icy lake, and only the point of the driver's nose could be seen between the black dog-skin cap on his head and the enormous grey wolf-skin
cape on. his shoulders ; and whether his eyes were really covered up, or that the Englishman, who accompanied me, took upon himself the task of putting me into the sledge, I am not quite sure, but I was suffered to drop; the step was a block of ice; it was a mere plate of iron, the edge of which was as sharp as that of a spade, perhaps sharper, for I have never had the same experience of the latter instrument. And then I was suffered to fall, miserably cut and scraped as I was; and my icy lake gave me no gentle reception, notwithstanding all my admiration, when I came into closer contact with it.
And thus it has proved the cause of my making more acquaintance with the clever surgeons of
Stockholm than I ever hoped to have made; and also of showing me that it is better to trust to the native style of pushing one into these vehicles than to an Englishman, who may afterwards tell you he knows nothing about it.
So now I am laid up, just able to get from my bed to the sofa ; complaining at one time, at another giving thanks; saying at one moment, “It is very bad," at another, “It is well that it is no worse." And truly the last speech is the right one; for there was a great and pompous funeral, only yesterday, of one of the old Swedish Generals, one of Bernadotte's Generals, who fought with him against his first leader and former friend, Napoleon Buonaparte, and died in consequence of a much more simple fall—a slip in the icy streets of Stockholm.
And here—in a strange and distant landaway from all one loves, almost from all one knows here to suffer, here to die ! without one familiar face, one loving word in the language of home! But is not God the same God? Is not Jesus the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever-in all times, in all places, among all people ?
Yes, but this human nature is still the same; and its wants and wishes will be the same; and
its voice will be heard, loud or low, as grace is given to subdue it. “Why am I thus?" it will still ask. “Why is not to-day as yesterday, and much more abundant, in joy, gladness, health, amusement, occupation ?” “Why was it not thus with you very long before ??? says the better voice in reply. “Why were you so long allowed to enjoy ? Now be content to suffer, and be thankful that you did not suffer sooner—that you do not suffer more."
A soft low voice spoke at the door—it said something, I scarcely heard the words, but I heard the tone—it was that of sympathy, kindness, love; I looked
and saw the face of Frederika Bremer. She had heard of me, she had heard of my accident, and she came, like the sister of charity, which she truly is; for her vocation is to minister to the poor, the afflicted, the troubled in mind, body, and estate; and daily did she come to me, and daily did she talk to me of much that was good and pure, self-denying and morally elevating. I had read her books, but I had not known her mind—I had not known her life. She will not see these lines, or I am not sure that she would not think I ill repaid her kindness in thus talking of her. We
not--ah! I am almost