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rous to please, as she always is, more by nature than by study. Seldom has a more simple and amiable girl borne the title of Princess. But the jewel of all was the little old Queen-dowager, the widow of the renowned Bernadotte. On she comes, nodding the white plumes of her turban, and looking so unutterably self-content; glancing through her eye-glass, and holding it up to her chamberlain while she asks, "Who is that? and who is that?" without ever caring to hear the, answer; but nods and smiles in her little French manner, and goes on, taking all the amusement of whatever is to be seen or done, and leaving the other part of the business to any one else—for she has never learned to speak Swedish, and her own dear French is spoken to her chamberlain.
After the royal ladies had made their rounds, King Oscar made his. To his Majesty, this talking promenade must be one of the heaviest burdens to his regal state. lie is not formed by nature to shine in such a thing; he is nervous and embarrassed in mere chit-chat, although in quiet conversation, or in literary or scientific company, he can converse well. But at all times his amiable manner and benevolent smile speak for him. The young Princes followed their father's example most sedulously; took notes from their attendants of all the persons he spoke to, and spoke to them also. I seldom have seen, altogether, a prettier pantomime than was enacted; especially when the King and Queen sat in their throne chairs nodding approbation to each other while their subjects danced, beating time to the music, or beckoning the young Princes, who sprang with reverent alacrity up the royal steps, received gracefully a royal command, bowed, and hastened to gladden some loyal heart by its performance.
Shortly after midnight their Majesties retired. We were then at liberty to do so likewise; and after sitting motionless for six hours, a change would not have been unwelcome, to me at least. But all were not of my mind; my white-robed companion, with pink roses in her hair, most ardently longed to dance at the Exchange ball, while her humility made her think the hope was quite a forlorn one. My eye, however, discerned a very fine young English officer, a really bold dragoon, who has quartered himself in Stockholm. He saw me, and came up to our bench, told me he had come to the north in search of a wife, and asked me to recommend him one; and I, not foreseeing the penalty of an attempt at match-making, at once introduced him to my fair Swede—she was a little brunette, however. The Englishman, perhaps, not supposing that I meant in this offhand manner to give him a partner for life, merely requested her to he his partner in a waltz, which the Swedes affirm no Englishman can dance. Nothing can be more reserved than a Swedish lady's demeanour, and of course more so in the middle ranks than in the higher; yet it would have been a thousand pities if that pretty white dress had been put on for nothing; and whether it was for that reason, or that the saucy look and handsome face and outstretched hand of the young Englishman, with the only intelligible word he could speak, "come,"— were quite irresistible, I do not clearly understand; but the result of ail was, that she did go; she gave him her hand. And really, if he had promised to keep it for life, I should have been quite willing to leave them dancing there, and go home to my own solitude and sleep; for dance, dance, dance, they did; and my head ached, and my heavy eyelids almost closed, and two o'clock sounded from the Stockholm bells, and I had sat on that seat for eight long hours, and I resolved, whatever else I did, never again to chaperone a Swede in a white dress to an Exchange ball. More pleasant to me, I must confess, as I do not wear white dresses, was the solitary walk I took to revive myself the next day, after having been up from six o'clock on New-Year's morning to three o'clock on the morning after it. The Exchange ball was a curious spectacle, as a national institution of very ancient origin; but nature has ever been my friend—almost my best friend; and from artificial life how gladly the spirit rebounds to her who has blessed our childhood, cheered our youth, and consoles our age;
And pleasant was that second day of January, 1852. Deep thanks can even the chilled and strife-worn heart render at that shrine whereon the Most High will permit its offering to be laid— the shrine of nature, which ever bears the tribute of praise to Him whose Eternal Power and Godhead are understood by the things that are made.
The favourite of my early childhood, Beattie's Minstrel, always recurs to memory amid the charming scenes of nature; it is perhaps because they both were loved together, and have grown old in the same ceaseless affection. To have