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wood; raised a flame, and then became impatient for my long-ordered supper. But, when I asked for either room or supper, the driver wrung his hands still more, and murmured, "Ack! aek!"— and the woman grinned, shook her head, and called out "Nay! n-a-y!" a great many times. The wretched horse meantime seemed as badly off for bed and supper as myself: he was still waiting at the door. Alas! never was baseless fabric of a vision more void of foundation than the hopes with which Herr Y. had sustained us both. All at once, as if a sudden light had struck into her intellect, the grinning Piga evacuated her place in the chest, made a dart through the other door of the kitchen, which led to the inhabited quarter of the house, and disappeared. I was about to follow her in search of my room and supper, when there appeared before me a Lieutenant, or Royal Engineer, in high muddy boots, and with a very laughing countenance.
"I hear you cannot understand the servant," he said in English. "You are in distress; can I help you?"
"She has not tried to make me understand," I replied; "she has not said a word but way since I came in."
"I am sorry that to all you asked, for she could say nothing else," he rejoined.
"Why? I asked only for my room and supper, both of which were ordered here long ago."
"Yes, too long ago. HerrY. was here and ordered them; I met him far from this, and he told me you were coming."
"Then why cannot I have them now?"
"Because there is going to be a railroad here,'' said the Lieutenant, smilingly, "and a great party of engineers, a dozen of us, I believe, have come here since then, and taken all the rooms, and—yes, I think everything else that was in the house. Herr Y. managed all right, but you see the people thought you would not come, you were so long."
"What shall I do?" I asked.
The Lieutenant said he would go and waken the master and ask him. He returned soon, and said I must go on to the next station, which was not very far off. There was no resource; the hapless horse limped along, and the driver, who had walked nearly all the day, limped beside him. The moon rose however, and the gigantic firs and great red pines of the forest we passed through, looked splendidly solemn in its silver light. So we got safely on; and I found rest, all that I was then desirous of finding, when we reached the next station. There I managed to place myself in a bed, which, from the end of the enormous pillow at its head, to the board at its foot, measured, I think, fully an English half, or even three quarters of a yard in length. And there I managed, too, to fall asleep, and dream of the pleasures of travelling. And I awoke, and got up, and went back to the Capital, where I found No. 13 in the Hotel de Scandinavie had passed into another's possession, over whom I am charitable enough to hope it may not exercise the disastrous influence it seems to have done on my first wanderings in Norway.
"the .twenty-eight" has come and gone—the 28th of July, 1851—a day, indeed, to be remembered by the few who spent it as I have just done. You will remember that the proprietor of the Scandinavian Hotel advised me to stay there, in order to see the sun on. the twenty-eighth, for the simple reason, because then there would be no sun. But I heard many doubts expressed as to the probability that the great solar eclipse would be what it was ardently desired to be by the anxious professors and astronomers who had come from far to witness it in this land of the North, where it was to be seen to best advantage.
Some of these sceptics rationally grounded their doubtfulness on the unfavourable and most precarious state of the weather; but others of the good people, firmly believing that Gamle Norge has always been Old Norway, deem it a sort of heresy to think of making it anything but what it has been, and are considerably offended at some occurrences they now see or hear of.
"The world," said an old Norse dame, "is becoming too wicked. They want to make us believe what we never believed before. Norway has always gone on as it is, but now strangers come here and tell us we shall be running about soon in wagons of fire; and even our own Professor says he knows that the sun will be dark on the twenty-eighth. Well, they may make us poor creatures do what they will, but how can the Professor know that God Almighty wishes the sun to be dark on the twenty-eighth?"
Notwithstanding such doubtfulness, I accepted with joy and hope the invitation of our most excellent Consul, Mr. Crowe, to spend that day at his very pleasant residence, about a mile distant from Christiania. Nothing can be more charming than the situation of this house, or better adapted to give all the effect, that scenery