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class being exceedingly active, and having a share in the chief commerce of Norway; sawmills and wood exportations are frequent all along here..
Now we are in sight of the elevated villacovered bank which forms a part of the environs of Christiania; and then rises prominently to view a long plain white building, dominating a huddled mass of red-roofed and smoke-and-timeblackened wooden houses, crouching low beneath it; that great building provokingly reminds me of the fine castle-workhouses of Ireland, but I would not say so for the world, since it is the palace, actually the King's palace and residence, when his Majesty of Sweden and Norway visits this latter part of his kingdom. Now I see one church spire, or tower, and I am told this is Christiania ; but I see only the palace, and the red and black wooden houses, and one church spire. Christiania lies somewhere hidden behind, or among these, and I must not begin to think of Lake Mälar, and the houses and churches and towers of Stockholm; there is plenty of beauty here of course, although I must confess that on first approaching and looking at Christiania, one does not readily see it.
“What hotel shall I take ?" I asked our Norse Captain.
“It is no matter which,” he answered, “they are all alike bad.” As it was a native answer, I record it.
Mr. Murray, once an infallible authority, says, that the hotel de Scandinavie,-all the hotels of the north have French appellatives—is small, quiet, cleanly, and moderate--my beau ideal of an hoteladding for the climax of this, that the master's son speaks English.
Well! the latter is a fact, and so I am established in the Hotel de Scandinavie; for though my ear had grown accustomed to Danish, I cannot understand Norwegian; it is Danish spoken with a brogue; and when the lower class voices are in full play, I could fancy myself listening, with as much intelligibility, to a group of Irish talking their native tongue in a market place.
I took possession of a very small room, with a narrow and very fat bed; and hardly, allowing myself time to answer Herr Hanson's English, I went to sleep. Such a sleep as it was! but I was awakened from it by an alarming and hurried knock at my door. Confused and alarmed I called
out something, in what language I know not, but I am conscious of an earnest desire not to speak English; before, however, my fears could syllable themselves into words, I heard the same knock at another door, and another, and another, so loud, so sharp, so startling! I sprang to my own, impressed with the conviction that the town, if not the hotel itself, was in flames; I had read so much of the alarms of fire in the northern towns ! But on, and on, and on, went the knocking. I threw open my door, and stood out on the wooden corridor or gallery, round which the rooms of the Hotel de Scandinavie are built, forming the square of a very dirty yard below. I was ready for flight, and, trying to act with presence of mind, I was calculating the expediency of throwing my portmanteau out of the window into the street and jumping after it, when, in answer to thirty-nine knocks, there was some cabalistic sound from the room of that number, which made the knocker exclaim in loud and plain English–“O you are in No. 39, are you ?” It was English in every sense, our uncivilised neighbours might say, for this was an English traveller's method of finding out in what room of the corridor his friend and comrade was lodged. He knocked at every door
round till he came to the right one, and made every sleeper in the Hotel de Scandinavie “look alive" in the dead of the night. I fancy some of my French friends would on this occasion have used their favourite remark, “Il faut être Anglais à faire cela."
WELL, I am in Christiania, in the Hotel de Scandinavie; and I am trying to write from it, and to give you a full and true account of all that I see, and hear, and say.
My chamber is No. 13, among those little cells which abut on the wooden corridor. No. 13 is an unlucky number you know. My poor friend, Madame B., was nearly being made a bankrupt by living in a No. 13; and persons used to get a living in former times in Paris by being called in to make up a fourteenth when the unlucky number occurred at a dinner party. So to this No. 13 I think I must attribute the nume