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there comes the voice of a great mortal grief, mingling with the gladness and brightness of nature; just now, when the warmth of an Engligh May is shed over the snows and ice of a Swedish March—now there falls the gloom of a heavy sorrow on hearts in England, and in Sweden, and in other lands; for one lies dead, within a few doors of me, for whom many will weep—one whom I thought far from death, when only a week ago I wrote her an account of my accident. The gentle and amiable Lady L. has passed away from the joys or the pains of earth.
I managed to get down the stairs, I went out in a carriage, I entered the handsome mansion where so lately her home had been fixed: and as I passed through the noble apartments, so newly and splendidly furnished, now empty and silent; and as I entered the chamber of death, and knelt beside the dead, three words passed with an almost overpowering force upon my heartlife, death, eternity!
Oh! one moment's meditation upon these words by the side of the dead, is more than a volume of sermons could read !
That sweet and gentle lady has gone away. Her loss has made one heart desolate, and many sad. But we sorrow with hope, for the lovely and self-denying life she led in the flesh she led, doubtless, by faith in the Son of God, who loved her, and gave Himself for her; that she might take even Him for an ensample, and follow His steps, till she came to His presence.
And so the first half of this bright month of March has brought a change, and some suffering to me; but, to the respected friend, to whose kindness I have owed so much of my former enjoyments,—how much greater a change, how much deeper a pain !
This is All-Fool's day in Sweden as well as in England, but in Sweden the first of April has a significancy which we transfer, I know not how, to Lady-day ; I mean that it is flitting day; that word “flitting” being nearly the same in Swedish as it is in English.
The beginning of April, consequently, renews in great degree the bustle of October; it is sooner over, certainly, for now neither provisions are to be laid in, confections made, nor clothing prepared. Still, this is the half yearly term when a general change takes place; that of October is from summer to winter; this of April is from winter to summer.
My old hostess is once more in a glorious fuss: she has lost some of her lodgers, and is employed to sit by while a lady of twenty-one years of age, who has just been divorced from one husband, receives the gentleman who aspires to be her second.
Why was she divorced ?" I ask.
Her husband was a tyrant," is the answer. Perhaps our lawyers would get more employment if this plea held good in England.
Karin says I ought to flit too, and that she will flit with me; but I am waiting for the spring, and then I shall travel, not flit.
Servants now are changing places ; poor little Gusta comes to bid me good-bye; takes my hand, bends low, and touches it with her lips; and then, with many good wishes, departs to seek her daily bread elsewhere. How little we can realise a state like this! Living with and for strangers for a few months; being fed and paid by them, serving their interests, becoming acquainted with all their domestic and private concerns,--pleasing, conciliating, liking or disliking them; and acting the same thing over and over again with others. Such is domestic servitude in its lightest features.
Adieu, Gusta; be happy and be good. You will be dressed up for a fancy ball, I dare your next place also.
I have already said that the words "I have not time,” are most seldom heard in London, where most business is done, and oftenest heard in Stockholm, where least business is done. A man has brought me home an ill-done piece of work; I want him to put it right; he says literally, “My time is my money.'
I reply, “Yes, but you must give your time for your money.” “Ack! one cannot help it; one has not time here in Stockholm.” So it is. Men of business have not time to attend to their business ; doctors have not time to visit their patients ; servants have no time to do their work.
But I am able to walk out now, and I must make use of my own time, which will not be very long in Stockholm, for in the changing month of April I, too, ought to change.
But this April month—in England, one of budding leaves and springing flowers, of weeping and smiling skies, of uncertain breezes, of all that is emblematic of gentle hope and fear-has