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or cloister, which stood here in days of yore, long before the estate was purchased, and the house built by General Wrangel, one of the well-known names in the thirty years' war. The old arched entrance of this house, now used as an inn, or house of reception for travellers who stop here, is interesting. Close to it is the church, with its pious old tombs. The memorable Tycho was one of the ancestors of the ancient Brahe family, the head of which died shortly after my visit there— Old Grefvinnan Brahe, the widow of the friend of Carl Johan X1Y., who contributed to his election as Crown Prince, and was his faithful adherent afterwards. The Court went into mourning at the death of this old and respected lady.
And so we got back safely to Stockholm; and when I went to my former abode, I found all the books and articles of vertu in the encumbered room where I used to sit, were in the very act of emigration—going to leave Sweden. So, being in want of " a home," I went to the usual asylum. of travellers—Bairn's hotel garni in Drottninggaten, and there I was very comfortable, but very nearly as much afflicted as the Egyptians were with a plague of flies.
What the flies are in autumn in Sweden I cannot express, but by a reference to that plague. I never before understood what such a visitation might be. My face and hands are sore; my table, my paper, are black; I point my pen at them, try to dash the ink over them; write with one hand while I brush them away with the other. I am learning cruelty and treachery; every device do I use to ensnare them into delicious compounds of sticky matter. But I go down to the confectionary department, and there I see the walls covered over with the most frightful garniture of tortured flies; a sticky paper is suspended there, and the miserable things are fastened to it. I have not courage for such an expedient. Gnats, or a sort of mosquito, at midsummer, and flies in autumn, are undoubtedly the plagues with which travellers in Sweden are afflicted.
My tall Swede came in, and saw me engaged in a combat more useless than that of Don Quixote and the windmills.
"Poor lady,'' he said, "it is indeed too bad. She cannot stay here."
"But where can she go?"
"A Countess! take me in because the flies devour me here!" I exclaimed, secretly thinking that I ought to beg their pardon and be grateful to their persecution.
"Yes, thatshe will do. She takes ladies to board." « O-o-o!—That is delightful," I said, but I was thinking of our proud title—Countess!—think of a Countess having board and lodging! But how silly it is to translate titles. There is nothing in Sweden equivalent to Earl or Countess; though Grefve and Grefvinnan are their highest titles, we well know that a foreign Count or his lady do not at all answer to our Earls and Countesses.
"But can I really go to live with this lady?" I asked; "because, you know, as I came here to make acquaintance with the H. family, and social life in Sweden, I ought not to lose time, and this seems a good opening."
"Yes, you can have your own rooms, and mix with the family as you like."
"Pray take me to see the Countess." We set off, and came to a large, rather handsome house, the first floor, or voning, of which was occupied by my future hostess. We went up the broad stone stairs, rung a bell, and the door was opened by an old woman with a coloured cotton apron.
There was a broad smile on one side, a great many bows on the other; and then my guide said to me, " This is the Countess."
She showed me two small rooms, the rent of which was very large; I did not like them at all; but when she said that fire was included in the rent, I thought that fire, in Sweden, for the winter, must cost so much that the rent was really low. And when she added that the house was very quiet, and her son, Grefven, or the Count, talked English, why I thought I could not be better off; and as the old lady said lodgings were only let from October to April, I took mine for that term.
The Salong, which, according to the mode of Swedish pronunciation, is spelt as the word salon is there pronounced, communicates with my rooms by a narrow folding door; the whole house, almost, is en suite; consisting of a row of rooms, the number and length of which are really curious, so that standing at the end of mine, at one extremity, and looking on when all the doors are open, you see a view perfectly enchanting to a Swedish eye; an immensely long line of rooms, the floors of which are of very clean, bare wood, unpainted, unpolished, uncarpetted, and nearly as long as the breadth of a dozen common-sized houses in an English street.
The salong was profoundly still when I took my apartments, and I understood that it was not in ordinary use. Alas! when I take possession of them I find it is the only sitting, as well as eatingroom of the household; and the gabble of voices, and the loud laughs of which I have the full benefit through the folding doors, give me plenty of noise without society, and cause me fully to experience what it is to be a solitary in a crowd.
See what it is to yield to persecution. I fled from the flies; but I have only exchanged one plague for another.
And when I opened the folding doors, thinking I would begin my acquaintance with social life in Sweden, what do you think was the first thing? A little woman in a Bloomer costume—a tunic and trousers of coarse brown merino.
"What is it?" I inquired.
"One of my young ladies is on the gymnastics,'' said my new hostess.
So it is; in summer every one who can rushes from the capital to the country, to take baths or drink waters; and in winter, or autumn rather,