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“Madame," says Karin, with her hand waving from the floor to the ceiling, “lights here, lights there, lights everywhere; does Madame think that is pretty ? "
“Yes, I do; does Karin think so ?”
“I think it is heavenly beautiful!” was her reply. “But Madame has it finer than that in Madame's own country.'
These heights of Södor, or Södormaln, with the two great churches, the great dome of St. Catherine's and the tower of St. Maria's, bound my view in a straight forward line; but the houses going up rocky acclivities, begin close to the water's edge, and directly before them more vessels are moored. The houses being all inhabited in storeys, or what in Edinburgh is called flats, present at night a shining row of lights from each floor; and this being the case generally in Stockholm, where the windows are without shutters and often without blinds, the effect is just what Karin described with her hand far better than I can do with my pen-lights here, lights there, lights everywhere. Behind the headless trees are rows of fashionable houses, for I inhabit Normalm, or the northern quarter, which is the “ West End” of Stockholm; and from these houses, and from the Palace, which stands rather
at the side of my view, the lights also stream out; so that a general and beautiful illumination is nightly presented to me from ту windows, while on issuing into the streets all is darkness; for Stockholm is without gas, and still lighted as Paris was in 1815. Gas, however, is now about to be laid.
And now, in this animated season, the place is interspersed with moving figures and curious sights, which diversify the uniformity of the headless trees that were lately the sole object of my contemplations, and the decline and fall of whose leaves I attentively considered. It is a kaleidescope at which I look again and again, and see something new and amusing. In the day time it is pleasant, and in the evening it is beautiful.
And so you are content,” says Grefven; "it is well even that pleases you.
And I reply, “Yes, with this I am content.”
SLEDGES are now flying about in all directions with a terrific velocity. Some of these vehicles are of a curiously primitive construction. I asked an Englishman who is visiting here to make me a sketch of one of the roughest; but that gentleman's axiom seems to be, to take all the agreeable things he can get, and give none; so I must do without my
These sledges range in all grades, from the lowest invention of necessity, to the refined ones of luxury. There, now, dashes by one formed of eight bars, or poles, of unpainted wood. Two rest on the ground, forming the slides, four are upright,
and are crossed by one at each end: these sledges, when used for the carriage of timber, are generally bottomless ; in other
are upper horizontal poles which support the bottom. The two long poles that rest on the ground, and form the slides, project behind the body of the vehicle at the back: and on the projecting ends the driver often stands, as in the hired drosky sledges, with a foot on each ; and thus, with the long cord reins and the whip in his hands, he dashes full speed along. Sometimes these sledges are without upper rails, and very low, the planks being laid flat on the rests. In this case the drivers sit on the sides when empty; and, being very much lower than the horses, are unable, even if they wished it, to see before them. When they drive two or three horses at once, and seven or eight of the sledges are coming together, the chance of your getting over a slippery street or road appears precarious.
Still, to go out I feel to be a necessity; and the cold now realises
notion of a winter in the north. The air is so clear, so invigorating, but at times so intensely cold, that I felt one day when there was some wind, as if I must be cut in two. The views in Stockholm, and its beautiful environs, are now
most charming. Everything looks so large, so distinct, and one sees so very far around. Hills, valleys, rocks, islands, streets, water-only a little bit of this, however-all as it were on a white ground.
And the twilights are so curiously long; the red light is on the west when the silver light brightens the east. And the bridge called Norrbro looks at each side so beautiful, that I often stop on its fashionable walk to think which is the most so: the Baltic side with the distant banks of the Djurgord; and the nearer Skipsholm, or Ship Island, so called because the Marine and Admiralty Colleges and departments are there; and its neighbour, Castelholmen, or the Castle Island, with trees and rocks, barracks and castle ; fantastic yellow and white buildings, tasteless anywhere else, but picturesque and in character there. This is what I cannot get some British pretenders to architectural knowledge and taste to admit; they look at these, and such like things, and cry out on them, because, I think, they have no eye for beauty as a whole, while they criticise it in parts. The thing itself may be as ugly as need be, yet I would not have it put out of my view for any other building.