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sure we do not-agree in doctrines—in our views of the Church of Christ; but in the practical life of the Christian, as the follower of Him who went about doing good, I would fain be taught by her.
I have alluded to old Ofverstinnan E. The following anecdote is one among the many I have heard from her.
There was in Stockholm, some few years ago, a poor young girl, the daughter, I think, of a carpenter, who was a bad and drunken man. Her mother was dead, and the girl grew up without education, without friends to direct or assist her. But she had been endowed with a degree of genius which was able to struggle through the murky clouds of adversity, poverty, and difficulty. Every one in Sweden can have some means of learning at least the first elements of knowledge: the clergy are bound to account for any one being left so ignorant as to be unable to read; and, if they perform their duty aright, they will, in the case of the destitute who are too far removed from the widely-separated schools to be able to attend them, usually call on some of their people to undertake the office of instructing that poor ignorant creature whose parents may be either dead, or incapable, or unwilling to discharge their duty.
Thus, in one way or other, this young girl learned to read and write. Some one gave her an old history of Sweden, which, with her Psalmbook, as the Swedish book of prayers is termed, formed her library. Her next acquisition chanced to be a portrait of the sacred poet of Sweden, Wallin, whose "Psalms," as I have said above, give the title to the book of prayer.
These psalms being her chief study, became naturally the subject of the first essay of her genius, and she wrote some “ verses to the memory of Wallin.”
Now it happened that these verses were in some way brought under the notice of Ofverstinnan E., when she was at a dinner party at the house of a friend.
The old lady, in whom years had not extinguished the romantic and excitable spirit of youthful genius, was instantly possessed with a fancy to make this young girl a protegée and a prodigy; and, to give effect to the design, resolved to introduce her, as what we call a lion, to the company in which she was. She went to the lady of the house, and said to her, “Matilda, if you are of my opinion, we shall soon decide what to do. We shall send the carriage and bring this young
Matilda was of her opinion; the carriage was sent to the carpenter's house; the poor girl, just as she was, was put into it, and brought into the company that awaited her arrival. They all found her charming; they all agreed that she was a genius; a collection was set on foot, and a sum subscribed to send her to a boarding school, where she should be educated as a young lady.
Some Professors came forward, and offered to teach languages and accomplishments gratuitously; and the old lady herself undertook to apply to various literary celebrities on her behalf. Among the first of these was Frederika Bremer; and from Frederika Bremer, she said, she received a discouraging or cold reply. Mademoiselle Bremer doubted the utility of drawing the young girl from the sphere in which she was born, to lift her into one to which she was not destined. The old lady, who was good and kind, as well as sanguine and imaginative, saw the reasonableness of the objections, and wrote again to explain that they intended to qualify the young genius to earn her living as a governess. Here the matter rested.
Time passed on: the young girl's education was declared to be completed ; but she was the victim of heart complaint, and neither to shine in the
world as a genius, nor to fret and pine in the schoolroom as a governess, was to be her lot. Time passed on again; and that poor girl was once more the lonely inmate of a mean dark room, unnoticed, unadmired, unheard of ; without the means of subsistence, unable to turn to any account the little accomplishments she had acquired. Once more a carriage stood at her humble door; once more she was taken into it, and carried to another home-to that of Frederika Bremer : she, who had seemed to pass by when applauding friends gathered round the girl, sought and found her in misery, distress, and loneliness. That poor girl has never left her; she has lingered on in her house, may linger there much longer.
The old lady, with all the admiration and vivacity which the weight of eighty years allows her still to display, related to me what she calls a fine action of Mamzell Bremer.
And so Frederika Bremer comes to me almost daily; and when I see her little figure and benevolent face at the door of my room, I begin to think that it was perhaps all for the best that I met with my accident, since it serves to show me what I love to see—something of the goodness of the human heart. And when she goes away, I
almost fancy that my
time is more profitably spent on my sofa than in wandering alone through trackless forests, or taking moonlight sledge drives to great winter parties.
Thus there is good in everything, and in everything there is cause to give thanks. Sin is the only real evil.
One day, Mamzell Bremer, as she is called here, brought me an enormously large orange, which is a great rarity in this land; another day she brought me a more charming gift, a bunch of the most delicate, small-flowering white lilac; the leaf also was very small, and the odour delicious. To see lilac blossoming in the very beginning of March, in the north of Europe, seemed strange; but she told me that it had been taken into the house in the autumn, and kept near the stove through the winter; the Swedish rooms are excellent hot-houses, and the beauty of the flowers within them is quite amazing, while ice and snow reign so tyrannically without.
And what Frederika Bremer was to me and more,
far more than that she is to all whom her ministry can reach--the poor, the sorrowful, the sick. With feelings too sensitive, naturally, for her own enjoyment in such a world as this, she