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TO

ADMIRAL SIR EDMUND LYONS, BART..

G.C.B., K.C.H., &c.

THE AUTHOR DEDICATES

THESE VOLUMES,

IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF

THE FRIENDSHIP AND PATRONAGE FROM

WHICH WERE DERIVED

MANY FACILITIES FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF HER

TRAVELS IN NORTHERN EUROPE.

26X3 78

A SUMMER IN NORTHERN EUROPE.

CHAPTER I.

STOCKHOLM,

May 10th. THE winter life of Sweden is at an end. It died a lingering death; a painful one, indeed, to some of those strangers who had to assist at its expiring moments, after having enjoyed its jocund, hearty, exhilarating existence.

That nondescript season called Spring in the North is really nothing but the term allotted to the death-struggle and obsequies of the brave old winter; of that hoary giant, the Frost-King, who will dispute the ground to the last, while his antagonist, the sun, actually seems to slacken his progress just at the time when one might expect he would hasten to

VOL. I.

B

put an end to the conflict. I think I never felt the strength of the sun so great in the beginning of March as in Sweden, nor the cold anywhere so intense on the first of May as in Stockholm. In fact, the poetic spring of the North exists in poetry only.

There is no spring here.

“O! 'tis the touch of fairy hand

That wakes the spring of northern land are beautiful and favourite lines. But yet

summer,” if the word would suit the metre, would be more the truth. The fairy touch is not given until a preliminary process, of a nature by no means agreeable, has been carried on; and then the touch that wakens summer life gives to Nature a sudden jerk, a start, a hasty coming out, that is, to me at least, less lovely than her ordinary morning habits, when the dame slowly wakens up from her shorter sleep in other lands, gradually opening her heavy eye-lids, glistening at the sun, and closing them again; and so wakening and attiring herself slowly, keeping expectation alive until she comes forth in her fresh young loveliness, her own spring time; blushes only kindling as she walks along, decking herself

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