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come my standard of judgment as regarded the New. For that reason I came first to England, and to England I shall, please God, return when I have finished my pilgrimage on the other side of the ocean, in order to obtain a more decided impression, to form a conclusive judgment before I return home. We will expound together the runes in the native land of runic lore.
Now, however, I know what London looks like, and I shall not be amazed by the buildings of New York.
Today, Sunday, has been to me really a festival day. We have had divine service on board, and that was good and beautiful. The passengers, about sixty in number, together with the crew of the vessel, all in their best attire, assembled in the great saloon on deck. The captain, a brisk, good-looking young officer, read the sermon and prayers, and read them remarkably well. The whole assembly joined in the prayers and responses, as is customary in the English Episcopal Church. The sun shone in upon
that gay assembly, composed of so many different nations.
To be so solitary, so without countrymen, kindred, or friends in this assembly, and yet to know myself so profoundly united with all these in the same life and the same prayer—"Our Father, which art in heaven !"-it affected me so much that I wept (my usual outlet, as you know, for an overflowing heart, in joy as in grief). The captain thought that I needed cheering, and came to me very kindly after the service. But it was not so. I was happy.
Since then I have walked on deck, and read a poem called “ Evangeline," a tale of Acadia, by the American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem belongs to America, to its history and natural scenery. There is much dramatio interest and life in it. The end, however, strikes me as melodramatic and somewhat labored. The herinning, the descriptions of the primeval forests of the
New World, the tall trees, which stand like the old Druids, with long descending beards and harps, which sound and lament in the wind, is glorious, and is a chord of that fresh minor key which pervades the whole song, about the peaceful, persecuted people of Acadia-a beautiful but mournful romance, and founded upon history. This little book was given to me by William Howitt on my departure from England; and thus I have to thank him for this my first taste of American literature, in which I fancy I can perceive a flavor of the life of the New World.
How pleasant it is to be able to read a little, and to be able to lie and think a little also! People here show me every possible attention; first one and then another comes and speaks a few words to me. I answer politely, but I do not continue the conversation ; I have no inclination for it. Among the somewhat above fifty gentlemen who are passengers on board, there is only one-a -handsome old gentleman-whose countenance promises any thing of more than ordinary interest. Nor among the twelve or thirteen ladies either is there any thing remarkably promising or attractive, although some are very pretty and clever. I am very solitary. I have an excellent cabin to myself alone. In the day I can read there by the light from the glass window in the roof. In the evening and at night it is lighted by a lamp through a groundglass window in one corner.
People eat and drink here the whole day long; table is covered after table ; one meal-time relieves another. Ev. ery thing is rich and splendid. Yes, here we live really magnificently; but I do not like this superabundance, and the eternally long dinners are detestable to me, all the more so sitting against a wall between two gentlemen, who are still as mice, and do nothing but eat, although one of them, an Englishman, might converse very well if he would. My passage-money is thirty-five sovereigns, which includes every thing. Somewhat less in price,
and somewhat less to eat and drink, would be more to
Later. I have just seen the sun go down in the sea, and the new moon and stars come forth. The North Star and Charles's Wain have now gone farther from me; but just above my head I see the Cross and the Lyre, and near them the Eagle, which we also see at home; and with these companions, by-the-way, I can not be other than cheerful. We have the wind in our favor, and drive on our thundering career with all sails set. If we continue to proceed in this way, we shall make the voyage in from twelve to thirteen days.
I hope, my sweet Agatha, that you regularly received my two letters from England; I sent the last from Liverpool on the morning before I went on board. I was quite alone there, and had to do and arrange every thing for myself; but all went on right. I had the sun with me, and my little traveling fairy, and the last dear letters of my beloved, my passport to the New World, and to the better world, if so be, for they are to me like a good conscience. I say nothing about my good spirits, but you know me, my darling : “Long live Hakon Jarl!"
Thursday. Five days at sea! and we are already more than half way to New York. We have had fair wind without intermission, and if all goes on as it has begun we shall make one of the most rapid and most prosper. ous voyages which has ever been made from Europe to America. 6 But one must not boast till one has crossed the brook.” To-day, when the wind blew and the sea heaved somewhat roughly, my style of writing became somewhat like Charles XII.'s in his letter to “mon cæur.” I get on capitally, my little heart, and do not wish myself away, so comfortable am I here, and so animating and elevating appears to me the spectacle of heaven and earth. Yes, the soul obtains wings therefrom, and raises herself upward high above the roaring deep.
For several days we have seen no other object than heaven and sea, and circling sea-birds; not a sail, nor the smoke of a steamer. All is vacancy in that immense circle of space. But the billows, and the sunbeams, and the wandering clouds are sufficient company; these and my own thoughts. I stand and walk whole hours alone on deck, and inhale the fresh, soft sea-air, watch one leviathan dive down and rise again from the roaring waves, and let my thoughts dive down also, and circle round like the sea-birds in the unknown distance. There was always something of the life and joy of the Viking in me, and it is so even now. Yesterday was a glorious day; it was throughout a festival of beauty, which I enjoyed unspeakably.
In my early youth, when we were many in family, and it was difficult to be alone, I used sometimes to go and lock myself in that dark little room at Aersta, where mamma keeps her keys, merely that I might feel myself alone, because as soon as I was quite alone in that pitch darkness, I experienced an extraordinary sensation-a sensation as if I had wings, and was lifted up by them out of my own being, and that was an unspeakable enjoyment to me. That half-spiritual, half-bodily feeling is inexplicable to me; but it always returns when I am quite alone and altogether undisturbed by agitating thoughts, as is the case at this time. I experience a secret, wonderful joy as I stand thus alone among strangers, in the midst of the world's sea, and feel myself to be free and light as a bird upon the bough.
Yet it is not this feeling alone which gives me here calmness, and, as it were, wings, but another, which I well understand, and which is common to all alike as to me. For whoever, when alone in the world or in heart, can from his heart say, Our Father! – mine and all men's ! - to him will be given rest and strength, sufficient and immor. tal, merely through this consciousness.
Out of the chaotic group of human countenances which at first met my eyes here, a few figures have come nearer to me, and have acquired an interest for me through glances, expression, or words. Among these is a tall, respectable clergyman from New York, by name John Knox, and who seems to me to have a little of the historical Knoxnature of stern Puritanism, although united to much benevolence. Besides him, a family from New York also, consisting of an old lady, the mother, with her daughter and son-in-law-a handsome young couple, who have for their bridal tour visited, during eleven months, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, &c., without having, in the first instance, seen Niagara, or any of the natural wonders of their own country, which I do not quite forgive in them. They are now on their return, the old lady having gained the knowledge “ that all human nature is very much alike throughout the world." This family, as well as Mr. Knox, are Trinitarian, and will not concede that Unitarians are Christians.
There are also a couple of young ladies from Georgia. One of them a handsome, married lady; the other a very pale young girl with delicate features, Hannah Lclever, sensible, and charming, with whom it is a pleasure for me to converse. Although belonging to a slaveholding family, she condemns slavery, and labors at home to make the slaves better and happier. She is consumptive, and does not expect to live long; but goes forward to meet death with the most contented mind. One sees the fu. ture angel gleam forth from her eyes, but the suffering mortal is seen in her delicate features.
Besides these, there are some elderly gentlemen with respectable and trustworthy countenances, who assure me that I shall find much pleasure in my journey through the United States; and, lastly, a couple of slaveholders, handsome, energetic figures, who invite me to the South, and assure me that I shall find the slaves there to be " the most happy and most enviable population !"