Изображения страниц

very wide indeed; and the whole thing looks as if it had sprang up in a night by the work of a few carpenters' hands." There is an old orangecoloured castle, partly in rains, up there on a great elevation, from whence you see interminably around, over one vast plain, unbroken almost by a tree; the widest, barest, most uninteresting scene I ever beheld. There is an immense brick cathedral, deformed by Swedish taste in renovation, standing in an open space: there are multitudes of men, young and middle aged, walking everywhere about with cigars, or pipes, in their mouths, and hideous boys' caps, of white jean on their heads, and no other academic dress; whenever they get together in groups, or set out on their favourite annual tours, they sing a great deal, make much noise, and generally act rather rudely. These are the students.

But where is the old universitat? There is no such thing to be seen, except in its living representatives—the plain-coated professors, and whitecapped students. Those large wooden houses, so new and modern, are the halls, and the young men lodge about as they like.

And thus was my visionary Upsala revealed to my actual sight!


The cathedral must once have been a really grand and noble edifice; but that was in its Catholic times. The deforming spirit of Protestantism is singularly manifest in most of the churches of Sweden. The ugly wooden boxes used for pews, and the huge projecting galleries, are like those which are at last being exploded from our old churches in England.

Still, the interior of this cathedral is more pleasing than the exterior; and its tombs are in themselves a chapter of interest. The most striking instance of the triumph of Protestantism is here displayed. My eye caught a view of a chapel once appropriated to "our Lady," to whom, under this term, the well-known church in Copenhagen is dedicated. I saw a ceiling of blue with golden stars, and many paintings on the walls. I hastened on, and found a tomb with Gustavus Vasa and two of his three wives, resting thereon in effigy; and the walls covered round with scenes from his life—showing him in a peasant's disguise—showing him in battle— showing him triumphant—showing him receiving the Bible. Would that the descendants of his people used that Bible a little more than they do, either at church or at home.

And so our Lady's chapel in the cathedral of Upsala is turned into "the tomb of Gustaf Yasa!"

The treasures of the sacristy are kept in the tower. They are a rich and most interesting store. The sacred vessels, of gold and silver, enriched with precious stones, are amazingly beautiful. The shrine of the good King of Sweden, St. Eric, is still preserved here; and here, also, are the bloody garments of the man, Nils Sture, whom his successor of that name, the unhappy Eric XIV., murdered with his own hand, and with the dagger which had been just tendered to him in proof of trust and fealty.

The modern towers and balls of this cathedral are so frightful as to put one out of humour before coming into it.

The library is the greatest attraction, I think, at Upsala. The manuscripts amount to 5,000; one of them is worth a visit here, at least from Stockholm; the Codex Argenteus, is a transcript of the Gospels of the fifth century, or perhaps the earlier part of the sixth, and was not done by those, it is to be supposed, who did not esteem them; they are written in letters of silver, on vellum of a purple or deep lilac colour; and in the Gothic, not the Latin language.

The house of Linneus still exists in Upsala, but not one of the persons who live in its vicinity could show it to us, or at all understand who we meant by that person. The ignorance would be natural if we had not used his Swedish, and not his Latin name; we asked, often vainly, for the house of Linne, but found it at last—a very simple one with a small court before it, in which a little grass and one or two poor trees were growing. It was inhabited by an artist. The great botanist is buried in the cathedral.

Gamle Upsala, or Old Upsala, is a much more interesting spot to me than its modern successor. It is now a poor village, lying among great green mounds, which are supposed to be each an attehog or tomb of the old pagan kings and deities. One of them has been excavated. I penetrated into it, and the professor who brought me there told me I saw an urn within the railing, which is put up to defend the tomb, supposed to be, I think, that of Odin; but I found the sunshine on the top of it pleasanter.

The old church is a curious place; some contend that a part of it is the remains of the pagan temple. Within I saw the debris of three religions ;—of the pagan, in a hideous wooden figure, called a Statue of Odin,—and in what our guide called a sacrificial chest; of the Eoman Catholic, in a curious carved altar-piece, thrown aside together with the old wooden figure; and of the Protestant,—in the general aspect of the forlornlooking place.

The man who had driven me there from the hotel asked me if I could tell him whether any record of the age of the church was to be found out in books, for he thought that had never been written down; adding, that his belief was, that that church had stood there ever since the flood. He seemed to think the flood had left it there.

The Archbishop of Upsala is the Primate of all Sweden. His present Majesty, Oscar I., studied at this university, being lodged with the Archbishop. The young princes, his sons, have also been students here. Almost all men in this country have been students either here or at the other Swedish University—that of Lund; more than one in seven hundred of the entire male population, is the estimate. No one can enter any of what, among ourselves, are called the learned professions, without a University education. There are, strictly speaking, no barristers in Sweden; but all lawyers, doctors, priests, must

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »