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linen sleeves of the under garment, and, I think, a red cap, a sort of skull-cap without border. I saw one wearing a black petticoat and yellow apron, and was told she was in mourning. They are a very industrious people, and their homemade linens, cottons, and thin flannels, made of cotton and wool, are constantly exhibited by them for sale in a certain quarter of the capital.
The island of Gripsholm was one of the monastic settlements which Gustavus Vasa, the Henry VIII. of Sweden, appropriated to himself. Its name, to an English ear, conveys a curious association; that name was taken from its oncepowerful proprietor, Ikr Jonson Grip. How little did Gustaf Vasa foresee, when building that quaint-looking palace and castle, the heavy, heavy sighs his own sons should breathe therein! the wearisome days that one brother should appoint another to drag out within these walls! the dark record of his own children's cruelty and crime, which they should transmit to posterity and history, so long—most probably much longer—than one of its stones shall stand upon another! How little foresee that, in that same palace, his own name and dynasty on the throne of Sweden, should finally become extinct! In this castle of Gripsholm, John, the second and favoured son of Gustavus Yasa, was imprisoned by his eldest brother, King Erik XIV., who liberated him after a confinement, by no means severe, of about three years. The wife of Duke John must have found him a better husband than he was brother, for when Erik offered her a royal castle and princely maintenance, if she would part from him, she pointed silently to the Latin motto on her wedding-ring, bearing the words, "Nought but death." And so she went with him to Gripsholm.
The chamber in which this royal pair were imprisoned, contrasts with the miserable one to which John, in his days of power, sentenced his wretched and dethroned brother, King Erik XIV., the suitor of our maiden Queen, Elizabeth. This latter prison-chamber is a poor, scanty room up in the tower; the boards of the floor are worn away just beneath the single window, where the captive king used to stand gazing out at the glimpse of nature that was to be seen; or watching for a still more delightful glimpse of his faithful Karin Monsdotter, whom he took, as the story goes, from selling fruit in the streets, to be (at last) made his wife and queen. From this palace, built by their common father, Erik wrote to his usurping brother, saying that God knew, though he was sure his brother could not know, how inhumanly he was tortured by hunger, cold, stench, blows, and darkness. He conjured him to send him into banishment, for the world was wide enough to allow fraternal hate to be stilled by distance.
The banishment which King Johan III. decreed for his royal brother was that of death. After separating him completely from his beloved and ever constant wife, he caused him to be put to death by poison in the castle of Westeros, in the year 1577, in the forty-fourth year of his age, and after nine years of horrible sufferings.
The use that may be made of Scripture texts to suit a purpose, or a doctrine, is curiously exemplified by the tomb of King Erik, in the cathedral of Westeros. It bore in Latin the words, taken from the Book of Kings, "The kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's; for it was his from the Lord." When the Bible was formally presented to Gustavus Vasa, how little thought he that his son and successor should make such a use of its words! Gustavus III. took the crown and sceptre from the tomb of Johan, in Upsala Cathedral, and placed it upon that of the murdered King Erik, over whose plain tomb he erected a monument. It was in looking at that monument in "Westeros that these thoughts came to my mind.
And at Gripsholm, too, ended the dynasty and race of Vasa; we may say that Gustavus I. laid the foundation in his eldest son, and completed it in his youngest. Gustavus IV. was deposed, imprisoned, and finally exiled from the palace of Gripsholm. It now contains an immense collection of royal portraits from many kingdoms; some from England, among them that of Henry VIII. and others.
The history of the family of Vasa is curious; that of the immediate family of the founder of the line, most wild and cruel; one child seeming to strive to rival the other in sinfulness.
In this history of sin there is something rather redeeming in the strong and constant love of poor Katherine; Erik's for her was imputed to witchcraft; but her love for him, constant in misery as it had been in joy and greatness, appears much more like the influence of some power not commonly exercised over the hearts of the children of this world.
The weather was now most lovely; the views on the lake most charming. A cross, erected on one bank, marks the spot where the Christian faith is said to have been first preached in Sweden. It was at a late epoch; Sweden was not Christianised till towards the close of the tenth century. My tall Swede walked about with a long cloak pendant from his shoulders, and goloshes on his feet. I had only a very slight silk mantilla, and pointed out to him the difference.
"Yes," he said, "but that is not so safe here; a party went to Drottningholm lately, and one of the gentlemen had nothing at all on him—"
"Nothing at all!"
"No, nothing! no cloak, no goloshes," he added, looking at his own attire, and down to his feet.
"0! I understand now what 'nothing at all' means."
"Yes; and the rain came, and the ladies and all were wet."
"It is unwise to go with nothing at all on," I said, "especially here."
"Yes, Madam, you must be careful of our climate; and of your feet, for the ground is cold, if it is not wet."