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"You are very disagreeable," said the Fairyhunter, with a look of commiseration at me; but I thought, secretly, that others were still more disagreeable.
"But Mr. Murray's Hand-book says it is dangerous to take a heavy carriage over the hills of Norway, and certainly a roll down them among such et ceteras would not be pleasant," I added.
Herr Fairy-hunter moved uneasily on his chair, worked his hands together, shook his head disapprovingly, and said, "You must be complained of."
"Mr. Murray is not followed much in Norway now," the hardened Professor resumed; "there is a compatriot of yours here, a Mr. Bennett by name, who manages all for the English. If they come directed to 'Herr Bennett, Christiania,' they have no further trouble; their carrioles are given to them ready stuffed and provisioned; they are sent on, and brought back, and returned home, almost without their knowledge."
"Poor Norway! He will be the means of bringing too many English here. But why does he not take any trouble about me? Is it because I am so disagreeable, and so much to be complained of?"
"Nay, nay!" cried the Fairy-hunter, whose impatience to free the Englishman from the reproach of hard-heartedness, scarcely allowed him to utter a word intelligibly; "nay, he is so good, he would send you away, so soon, so soon! yes, he is good to Norway; and just because you are so complained of, he would send you away."
"lam sure I am infinitely obliged by the compliments paid to me in Norway; and I wish, most truly, to be sent away."
"I have thought of a plan," said the Professor, with animation; "yes, this is the very thing. There is an old woman here whose daughter's husband has been in England; she has learned some English, and can go with you as travelling servant and companion."
"Well, that does seem more likely to be the very thing,'' I replied, really glad of a reasonable prospect of success.
"I will go for her now," the kind Professor added, rising promptly; and with many polite bows, and assurances from the Fairy-hunter that he complained of me much, and thought I was very disagreeable, they both withdrew, and left me once more to prepare for my country excursion in Gamle Norge.
The day passed over; the evening came, and with it came the Professor.
"Where is the old woman?"
"Why, I am very sorry, but she has got a grandchild, and cannot leave her daughter."
I was too disappointed to speak. "It is all owing to No. 13," I said, at last, glancing at the figures on my door.
The Professor tried to convince me that this was an old-fashioned and superstitious notion, and finding it hard to do that while matters remained so contradictory to my wishes, he proposed to drive me himself in his gig to the famous Eingcrige—the Eighi of Norway.
I yielded so far as to say, that if he kept his word, and that I was not made, as on other occasions, the victim of contradictory occurrences, I should cease to believe in the influence of No. 13.
The bargain was made; the Professor engaged to be in the yard of the Hotel de Scandinavie at ten o'clock the next morning with his gig; and I assured him, that when I found myself once fairly setting off, my belief would be shaken.
"Calm was the. day, and the scene delightful;" this was the passage of Lindley Murray's grammar, which embodied my notions of elegance in English composition, in the studious times of my sweet childhood; and with it impressed on my mind I set off for Eingerige in the Professor's gig, and kept repeating it to myself, and feeling its applicability as we left the pretty and busy environs of the Capital, as the Norwegians always call Christiania. Never did I hear that term used so often; its use almost looks as if they were afraid that even they themselves would forget that Christiania really was the capital. But they insist on styling the King, the King of Norway and Sweden, instead of King of Sweden and Norway; so it is natural they should call Christiania the capital, to distinguish it distinctly from Stockholm.
It is a soft and brilliant day; one of the very few such that we have had; for torrents of rain or scorching sun have as yet prevailed alternately— the former, indeed, far preponderating. The pretty environs are now left; hill, mountain, and fir forest succeed; the latter opening to disclose charming views of water, islands, and mountains. Yes, Norway is a beautiful country, and amid its novel scenery, it is hard not to be pleased and in good spirits. Even the Professor, generally so grave and silent, became animated. We were going through a splendid pine forest, and coming down a sharp hill; I had often wished to be in a pine forest in Norway, with its beautiful rocks, and lichens and white mosses, such as I see now; and bears and wolves, such as I do not see; but, however, this sharp hill recalled to my thoughts the heavy carriage and its cargo, in which it had been proposed to me to travel, and we were talking and laughing about it, when a sudden fear crossed my mind, and I said, "Take care; this would be an awkward spot for an upset."