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adorned with a series of paintings, representing scenes in peasant life in Norway; scenes they are, which may well serve to show that peasant life in Norway must, in its leading features, be the same as human life is elsewhere; being quite as peculiar to England or Scotland, Persia or America,—a courtship, a marriage, a birth, a family scene, a parting, a death.
A small room had its walls covered with unknown scarlet birds, sitting among green vine leaves.
But art and artists cannot produce the scenes over which the eye delightfully wanders from the tower of that royal lodge.
"Yes," I cried, "Christiania Fiord has, in some respects, the advantage of Lake Malar."
"We can easily believe that," observed a Norseman of our party, in a tone that said plainly enough, there can be nothing in Sweden to compete with Norway.
It is always safest to keep clear of dangerous ground, so I remained neutral between the united kingdoms.
When we got back to Frue K.'s, I must own I was vulgar enough to be hungry, and I took pleasure in seeing all the preparatives for a supper, or dinner, displayed in the salon. The sight of knives, forks, plates, napkins, and a number of small dishes on the table, convinced me that the former meal had merely been what we call lunch, and that the "tea" to which I was requested to remain, was in reality the dinner. But tea we should have also, for I saw an immense copper bucket, with fire in it, and on the fire a great copper kettle, boiling as furiously as any English tea-kettle need do.
I approached the table with very friendly feelings; but a strong sense of repulsion came over me, when two or three dishes of totally raw provisions were presented to me. I began to scrutinise the others, and found that everything except the tea and bread was raw;—salmon, ham, herring-fish, in some other of the varieties in which it meets you in Norway, but all unspoiled by Norwegian cookery. I sighed as I recollected another distinguished person, who had only been allowed to feast his eyes with viands he could not eat. But, to reward me for patiently looking on while young ladies delicately put a little raw fish, that had lain in vinegar for some time, on a piece of bread and butter, and bit it through, as if to tantalise me—the door opened, and who should come in but my old friend, Professor F. He was so astonished to see me that he forgot his bows."
"So you are the French authoress," he cried at last, "whom the Captain has been asserting he brought here yesterday, though no one could make out such an arrival. He said he picked her up among the Danish Islands, and that she must have come here to see the sun. Was it you?"
"Yes; I did not come to see the sun, for I did not know it was to be seen; but being here I should like to see such a curiosity; I cannot, however, remain a whole fortnight in the Hotel de Scandinavie, and what am I to do?"
"Go to the country," said Frue K.
"How shall I travel?"
"In a carriole."
"Who will drive me?"
"Yourself. It is pleasant that, I like it."
"Can I travel four or five hundred miles without any protection?"
"Certainly; no one wants protection inNorway; you can very well travel alone, if you do not dislike it, and are not afraid.''
"I do not dislike it, but I am afraid."
"Then you must not go."
"Could I not get some one to travel with me? I would pay all the expenses of one person."
"Certainly," said the Professor hastily, " every one will be rejoiced to go."
"I can only take one, that is I can only pay for one," I interposed, feeling that caution was necessary; "and that one must speak either French or English."
"Oh! yes, every one does so; I will get a student, or candidat, who will be delighted to make a little journey."
"A candidat, that is the best; a clergyman that is to be ;—the very thing," I said.
"The very thing," the Professor repeated, as if he liked the phrase. "I know one who will do excellently. You must have two carrioles.''
"And drive myself still!"
"That is true; no, that will not do. An English clergyman was just in the same distress with his wife the other day; of course he wished for the carriole, but as she did not wish that they should be separated, he proposed that their carrioles should be tied together. But have you seen a carriole yet? I suppose they are fashionable in England now; the Englishmen take many over."
"More —" Herr B. now called out that his carriole should be brought into the court. The servant held up the shafts; he put himself into a little bit of a leather covered seat, between very high large wheels, and put a foot on each shaft.
"See now," said Herr B., "you must sit so; and when you go fast down the hills you must lean back, so; and then the horse will gallop down without your minding him."
"Very pleasant! thank you; I do not think it would suit me; besides if the candidat drives, where could he go?"
"The driver stands on the board behind."
"And would the candidat do that?"
"Nay, I think not. Besides, you have a portmanteau, and also the postboy must come with you from stage to stage, so he will sit on the portmanteau and drive you.''
"You had better immediately make a trial of this carriole," said Herr B.
I was clapped into it almost as soon as the horse was; the servant stood on the board behind, held the long reins a la Hansom-cabman, and we set off in a manner, and with a motion, that deprived me of the power of utterance. I held my checks with both hands, for I feared they would drop off. I had once fondly imagined myself travelling over Norway in a carriole, but how