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most strikes the eye is the elaborate adornment of the altar, and the remarkable bareness and plainness of the rest of the building. In a very large one the contrast is still more remarkable, and the cold white-washed walls seem to speak of one age, and the altar of another.
A priest was officiating at the latter when I entered; the handsome carved altar-piece, the rich furniture, and his own gorgeous dress, as he stood facing it, with an immensely large gold cross on the back of the crimson velvet Cope he wore, would perhaps be deemed un-Protestant, by a part of England at least; but, with the exception of the pulpit, the rest of the church was as bare and cold, and plain-looking, as the most Protestant heart could desire. During this service at the altar, the people kept coming in, and taking seats near the pulpit, they shook hands with each other, talked and smiled, and were as pleasant as possible, until the priest changed his rich robes and came forth in a stiff black gown, with the old, wide-standing-out ruff worn by the Reformers of old. When he ascended the pulpit they became silent and attentive, and I went away.
In a church where Christians bow the knee in prayer, I, too, can pray; I see and know that
prayer is being made; but in those where people sit on their seats alike in prayer and praise, I feel my devotion at a low ebb; and as I could not understand much of a very long sermon, I went to meditate one to myself among the Kings and Queens of Denmark, in the vaults beneath. And I saw the sword of the great and good King Christian IV. lying on his tomb; and I thought of the words of the “Prince of Peace,” and felt that the soldier of Christ would only desire that the same sign which signed him in baptism should sign his tomb in death. What can the sword speak there, lying on the tomb of one who has gone where the wars and battles of this strange world look like the idle, but oft-times cruel, plays of thoughtless boys? Their valour, and greatness, and pomp, and glory—how are they accounted of by them, when once they have passed the grave and gate of death ? Let then that, the glory of which alone is real, mark even the hero's tomb in death, and tell of the banner under which he fought in life. Could one of those heroes look back-and who can say he does not?-at the tomb his country erects over him, with Fame blowing her trumpet, or holding over him a laurel crown, or catching him in her arms as he falls wounded
to death on the field of blood—what would he think of it all ?
At twelve o'clock at night I set off by a post diligence to Soro. I had long had a fancy to go there, and why I know not; for, at the place I went to, I was told only one English lady had been seen before me.
We passed the old church of Ringsted Abbey by moonlight. Here, they say, rests the dust of Canute the Great-Canute, or, as it is written in the North, Knut, of famous memory. A more uninteresting road, however, I have seldom travelled; straight as an arrow, and as level, neither turning nor hill to diversify it. In the late war a young Dane had to march over this ground with his regiment; it presented to him such a prospect of dreariness that an Englishman, who was then staying in Copenhagen, volunteered to accompany and cheer him en route. He did so, and actually accompanied the young Dane everywhere, and looked on at fights, and shared in marches throughout the war.
"And at four o'clock in the morning, the guard came to the door of the diligence, and said we were at Soro; and I saw a great feudal-looking gate, and a broad avenue, bordered with trees, within it, and a large rather academic house at its termination. But there was a humbler one just within the gate, and thither the conductor conducted me; and having tried in vain to rouse up its inmates, he pushed open a door, and pushed in my luggage, and told me to enter, and went away and left me. And I was very miserable for three or four hours; and then the sun came out, and a cup of coffee revived me still more; and I went out, walked down the broad avenue, and came to a sweet little cottage, all trelliced over, and looking as quiet and poetic as a poet's home need look.
I rang the bell, and asked was that Professor Ingemann's, and if he were at home. The answers were assenting; I went in, and found a diminished likeness of what Professor Wilson once was, walking about a pretty room, with a great pipe in his hand. I had no introduction. Professor Ingemann had never heard my name. Behold me soon seated at breakfast. The Professor's wife tells me it is an understood matter that I dine there also,-spend with them the time I wish to spend at Sorö.
And what is Sorö ? you ask. It was once a rich Bernardine Abbey, a seat of learning and
of wealth, where lived and wrote the famous Saxo Grammaticus, whose tomb is in its church. At the transforming era of the Reformation, the Abbey was changed into an academy or university for the youth of Denmark. The various professors lately had their sweet little dwellings close to the beautiful lake, which once appertained to the Bernardine monks; but another change has taken place. Of the professors, Ingemann alone remains there, and he is pensioned, not employed, desirous to end his days in his poetic retreat. Sorö is now a school for boys.
And after having sat some time in the studio of Frue Ingemann, who devotes part of her time to painting those religious subjects which rest in her truly religious mind-Madonna being ever a favourite one, though she is a Lutheran Protestant—the delightful Professor took me out for a walk. We went along the banks of the fine and pleasant lake, through wood-walks just such as to the monks of old were dear, and we tried to be agreeable to each other in four languages, not one of which each mutually understood sufficiently to be quite intelligible when speaking it. The highest proof, however, that I can give of the pleasure this walk and style of