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head, and a circlet of the same on her neck. Tall and thin, with slightly bowed down head, and with a long narrow train held up by some of the troop of white-dressed ladies who followed her, the grand-daughter of the poor Empress Josephine came slowly on, bearing on her arms a cushion, on which lay a little white, downy-looking thing, slumbering in sweet unconciousness of all the trouble she caused to heralds, guards, chamberlains, diplomatists, and Stockholm in general.
The cushion was suspended by strings from the royal shoulders; yet her Majesty afterwards affirmed that when she laid down her burden after having held it during a ceremony of two hours' duration (for a long exhortation or homily follows the service), her arm dropped benumbed by the weight of her first grand-child. It seemed to me, indeed, a fat and fair Dutch infant; but the people say it is more like its father than its mother, and he is not the least like a Dutchman.
The Queen sometimes bowed her head, but never once raised her eyes from the slumbering face beneath them. The gentle Princess Eugenia, who is her father in a female form, came next; and the old dowager Queen, with her old ladies and her store of strange memories, went up to the font of the Protestant land, whose religion her husband had accepted with its throne, while she shared the latter and kept her own faith also; and saw now the devout Roman Catholic wife of her royal and Lutheran son hold her great grandchild at the font, and answer for it when baptised into the faith of Luther.
The Church of Sweden, however, though the font is at the altar, holds the true faith concerning baptism; yet it was curious to see so pious a Roman Catholic as the Queen is, bearing her grandchild to the baptismal font of a land in which her own religion is proscribed.
All the grand assembly departed nearly in the same order, except that, in going out, the Queen was attended by Prince Gustaf, who tenderly covered the baby's face with a handkerchief as they reached the cutting blast at the door. Now, in coming back, her Majesty smiled as she glanced up at the spectators, and down again on the still slumbering infant, as if to ask—"Is it not a beautiful baby? It would not accord with the fashions of Sweden that the papa should show any interest in the affair, and he, indeed, appeared to be just the person who had none. Births are never announced in the Swedish papers, though deaths and marriages are.
The maids-of-honour, or ladies-in-waiting, came tripping down the aisle with a running step, very much occupied with what a bluff Englishman calls the “little tails of their dresses ;'' the train—which is a mark of the highest dignity in Sweden, because it is, with the addition of a droll little sleeve, the sole distinctive adjunct of Court costume—is still a very small affair, being made as scanty of material as a train can be, in width still more than in length. These trains were dropped, and gathered up; and when the foot of one fair lady came on the falling train of another there was a general stop, and then a pretty trip forward again. The elderly ladies in general wore comical little red velvet caps; and the younger had their heads covered with flowers. The Queen's train was held at full length, and that length was much admired by the spectators in the pews.
I think the ladies of Sweden, indeed I might say the women generally, appear to me to be formed on a very small scale. The upper classes, as seen in Stockholm, are in general delicate and inactive in aspect; their hands and feet are small; and while, even in a large assemblage, one seldom perceives anything like striking beauty,' a goodliness of countenance, and something kindly and comely in aspect, are almost universally seen.
As we followed the royal party out on the stairs that ascend to the chapel, and felt the keenly bitter blast that blew from the open vaults, or arches beneath, I marvelled how ladies who have such a fear of exposure to cold, could meet it with only evening dresses, or at most with their trains turned up on their bare necks; and I thought how English mammas and nurses would be alarmed at an eight-day-old infant being exposed to the same, and kept away from them so long, while presented for the holy rite which the Swedish Church also accounts “the layer of regeneration.”
The young royal Stockholmer made not the least clamour the entire time; appeared to behave with all the dignity due to her station, and I believe came home as safely to her fond and happy young mother as if she had not braved the icy cold of this November day in her native north.
Winter begins ! On the 16th of November comes the first snow I have seen. It really has been a strange delay. In Scotland, in Belgium, I believe even in England, snow had fallen. It was a long autumn, for the Swedes only call ice and snow winter. This sixteenth day was a miserable one-cold, wet, dark. A good old man, an old seaman, who styles himself the Courier of the British Embassy, told me that, in his youth, the winters here were quite different, and that he really believed the climate of his country was completely changing—that the summers were not so hot, nor the winters so cold. The same, however, is said in other lands, even in England. In the evening, as I gazed despairingly from the window, the first flake of snow met my eye. Not the small-grained thing that snow usually appears when it commences with us; but large, pure feathers, fluttering in the murky air. Any change was desirable, and I went to bed, feeling glad that even these white feathers were flying about.
But, the next morning, what a scene met my view!
“Yes,” I cried, though no one heard me, “it is not wonderful that in Sweden they like a good winter, that they abhor a bare one !"
The day was bright; the snow of one night was as deep as that of a week in England would be. The last brick and timber of the old house had been lowered; the view was open, and Grefven was right-I was content.
The broad open place was deep in snow; the