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also, that the silver spade was likewise an importation. The Crown Prince of Sweden—that is a mistake; as I am speaking in Norway, I should say, of Norway—was to have performed the labour of turning the sod—a labour he would have made very light of indeed; but we are informed that domestic affairs confined him at present to his home. The Chief Engineer, our engineer, Mr. Stevenson, was there, and looked so stately and * noble, all decorated with foreign orders, and seemed so truly the gentleman, that I pointed him out with pride to some who formed ignorant ideas of our national character, and said to them, "That is our nobility!"
In Norway they are so inclined to judge of us by the specimen of a yachting excursion, or a fishing trip; and they seem just to have the poorest opinions of those who spend the most money.
This ceremony was well arranged, and the firing of the guns, when the sod was turned, was meant to be impressive. Processions were formed, and the clergy were led by the Bishop in a black satin gown and the most comical round beaver hat. He delivered a long address at the end; but no one could tell me whether he preached or prayed. A hymn was composed and sung on the occasion.
The same day an enormous dinner was given in honour of Mr. Stevenson; it was a public one, and the tickets were high—I think as much as a sovereign in English. Nevertheless, it was well attended. I went to the gallery, where some ladies were engaged in watching the operations carried on below. I looked on as long as I could at dishes handing, and knives, forks, and glasses moving, and then I went away in company with an agreeable young Norse lad, who had been wiling away the time by telling me a legend of his country, while others were trying to eat something like the worth of their money. I wanted to hear the end of it, but he wanted to return to the scene of the dinner. "I must hear the end," I said.
"I will tell it when I see you again," was his reply.
"But that may not be for fifty years. I am going away."
"Well, in fifty years I will tell it. I promise that."
"I shall be dead before then."
"What! do you mean that I should come to you some time—in your old age, it would be—and demand the fulfilment of your promise? Think of having to rise up in your bed, at some midnight hour, to conclude an unfinished legend to a mysterious visitant."
"Oh!" said the Norwegian youth, quickly, "I did not mean to promise that. No, no! I only mean that I will finish it in fifty years—if you live so long."
Last night I said, "Thank God I am on land!" to-day I scarcely know whether I am on land or water. I know only that I am in misery.
Listen to my story, kind creatures at home, for wide as is the space between us, I feel as if I were obtaining your sympathy while pouring out my griefs on paper.
From Christiania, where I had seen the sun eclipsed and the first sod of the railway turned, I went to Drammen; saw a grand view from a tremendous hill on the way thither, a splendid river; romantic scenery around a neat Wooden town, and twenty-six houses burned down, in what the Irish people would call "less than no time." Guns were firing, drums beating, National Guards marching, and the Fire-king laughing at all; when, finding it impossible to get on by land, as every horse, even of passers-by, was pressed into service against his majesty, being taken to draw the water-carts—I thought it more desirable to get away by means of the steam-boat, on the beautiful Drammen Fiord, and river of that name.
I passed through a most lovely scene to Frederickstadt, where I met the carriage of Mr. Pelly, the proprietor of the great Sarpsborg works, and of the pleasant estate of Borregaard.
The hospitable owners of that agreeable mansion were absent in England; but the house was left open to the occupancy of such a wandering waif as myself. Kind Mr. Simpson received me, and showed me all the manufactures of that little colony, a manufacturing town in itself, built on the magnificent and once solitary Sarpsborg Falls, or, in the language of the land, Sarp-fos.
This Schaffhausen of Norway must needs be beautiful in itself, for it borrows no aid from the charms of nature around it, and is wonderfully encumbered with the deformities of art. It supports a whole town of manufactories, and the deaf