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the Lieutenant has now promised to accompany a blind man, who has come to see our country; and a promise to a blind man, you know, must be kept."
"Before one to a lady?" * "Perhaps—yes—before one to a lady who has eyes. But no matter, I have another plan, much more suited to you. Yes, this you will say is the very thing. See, now, one of our fairy-legend writers is going to make a tour."
"A tour in Fairyland I" I interrupted, clasping my hands, and feeling myself wafted back to the far, far distant years of my blessed childhood; "and I shall share it?"
"Yes, he will drive; and if you wish to draw—"
"Draw! what? The carriole?"
"Ack! nay; he is going to collect fairylegends; and if you wish to—what do you call it in English?" said the Professor, marking lines on the palm of his hand.
"Yes, if you wish to sketch, you can do so, while he collects the fairy legends."
"And I will give him my sketches for his legends.''
"No, that cannot be;. native art and literature only are encouraged here. The Government sends this Fairy-hunter, and has already paid him for his legends, and sends him on his tour free."
"Oh! dear. No Government would pay me for mine! We have no Government-train to Fairyland."
"But you must wait till to-morrow," said the Professor.
"Well, it is worth waiting for. Besides, I have promised our most agreeable Vice-Consul to go out in his boat on the Fiord this evening. We are to visit the ruins of an old church and convent on an island in the Fiord; a relic of times when churches were more plenty with you than they are now. In the whole of Christiania there is one church and one tower; and in that tower there are four windows to the four quarters of the compass; and at every quarter of an hour, through day and night, a man pops his head out of one window, and another, and another, and another, and sings out of each, 'Hear! 0 ye people;' and then tells them what quarter of an hour it is. Solitary confinement in the Hotel de Scandinavie, with that tower before one, and that voice resounding in one's ears, might have a fatal result."
"That is unreasonable," said the Professor, gravely checking this outburst. "The Bishop's church is in the suburbs, not far off; and you forget that, if there were more churches in the capital, you would still oftener be reminded of the progress of time, for there would be more towers and more watchmen also."
"That is true. Yet it is strange to think that you Lutheran Protestants have only a single church for the whole population of your capital; while the Koman Catholic Church, against which you protest, has not only a church for her few children here, but its priest is now taking lessons in English from a master, in order to be able to minister to any of the labourers employed on the railway you mean to have, who belong to his church. How very few Protestant priests are there who would learn a language in order to be able to instruct or edify a few Irish navvies! Is it not better to imitate zeal than to protest against it; to keep our own, rather than to labour for proselytes?"
It was a delicious evening, and as I sailed over the lovely Fiord, I ceased to regret that the size of the Candidat had deprived me of another excursion. The blue and beautiful Fiord lay brightly beneath the glowing sun, rippled only by the motion of numerous boats, that moved over it with joyous freights. How glorious the scene; bow thankful should the human heart feel that even for one hour escapes the grasping fangs of care, or grief, or pain, or sin, to luxuriate thus in the purity and loveliness of nature!
We visited the ruins, from which certainly we did not make out much that was not known before; namely, that the convent had dated from the twelfth century, and that the church attached to it was dedicated to our royal saint, Edmund; the monks having come thither from England.
From this now solitary, and once sacred place, we went to one dedicated to the evening amusements of the lower orders of the people of Christiania. I like to see the arrangements made for the recreation and amusements of a people, being very long convinced that they stand in closer connection with their civilization and morality, than we in England have been in the habit of believing.
Certainly at this place there was little to be seen; it was not Sunday evening, the only one in this Protestant land exclusively devoted to amusement.
Vol. r. I
Neither are the Norwegians, like the Swedes, a pleasure and amusement-seeking people. The summer ball-room, made of twisted branches, with their leaves on, was now empty; so was the more substantial winter one; in the neglected garden of the restaurant, in which a few customers were to be seen, we had evidence of the negligent and slothful habits of these Northern folk; and here we found the only species of amusement or recreation which was then going on. There were in this garden two swings, and in the swings two respectable-looking middle-aged Norsemen.
The French say that the English "S'amusent Men tristementwhat would they say of these Norwegians? I stood and looked at the swings; they hung opposite to each other, apparently made to bo used as they then were; the swingers faced one another, and each had, naturally, a long pipe in his mouth. They advanced to meet with the most profound gravity. I fully expected to see them pull off their hats and bow, but they only expelled a cloud of smoke into each other's face, and retired. I listened for a word, a laugh; no such thing, swing and smoke—smoke and swing, to and fro; they came and went, met and withdrew, solemn and slow, puffing a salute at every