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the north quarter, are by far the most handsome, and form the residence of fashion. The spire and church of Ridderholm, rising from the centre of the principal island, add to the romantic beauties of the surrounding scenery. The interior of this edifice, which is large and heavy, is only worthy of notice, on account of its containing the ashes of such illustrious personages as Gustavus Adolphus and his equal in bravery, but neither in prudence nor justice, Charles XII, who carried the system of daring to pretty nearly its utmost extent, and, in his end, verified the words of the great dramatist :
“ Glory is like a circle in the water
The tomb of the latter is very simple and characteristic: it is of black marble, upon which are thrown a lion's skin and club, in bright yellow bronze. In another part of the building are the ashes of a general much more entitled to the admiration of posterity, the illustrious John Baner, who was deservedly the favourite of the great Gustavus Adolphus, and who, after a series of splendid victories, expired on the tenth of May, 1641.
A VISIT IN THE COUNTRY-OBSERVATORY-DINNER AND FASHIONS
BLOOMING GIRLS OF DELECARLIA--DROTTINGHOLM-QUEEN CHRISTINA'S CUNNING-WARDROBE OF CHARLES XII-BEAUTY CONCEALMENT AND PRUDERY-NATIONAL IMPORTANCE OF A BRITISH ADVOCATE-CONTRASTED JUSTICE-HAGA-CAUSE OF THE FRIENDSHIP OF GUSTAVUS III FOR SIR SIDNEY SMITHYA SINGULAR ANECDOTE-A REVIEW-IRON MINES-LINNEUS.
AN invitation into the country enabled us to contemplate a little of the rural character of the Swedes. In our way we passed by the observatory, which stands upon an inconsiderable eminence in the north suburbs : its horizon is too circumscribed on account of the rocks which surround it ; and as the artificial heat of stoves would cloud the glasses in the winter nights, which are the best for observation, it is of very little utility. Our ride to our friends was occasionally very beautiful, but the funereal heads of our old acquaintances the firs were ever and anon presenting themselves, and shedding melancholy upon us. The chateau to which we were invited was of wood, small, but very tastefully fitted up: the grounds, which were very extensive, were delightfully laid out, and on one side rippled the waters of the Mæler, embellished by vessels of various sizes gliding upon its tranquil bosom. A short time before dinner was announced, a table was set out with bread, cheese, butter, and liqueurs : all these good things in this hospitable region are considered as mere preparatives for the meal which is to follow; amongst the superior orders this custom is universal. Our dinner was in the following order: pickled fish, meats, soups, fish, pastry, ice, and dried fruits ; preserved gooseberries formed the sauce of the mutton, and the fish floated in a new element of honey ; by the by, it rather surprises a stranger to meet with so little sea-fish in a country which is washed by so many seas. The herring fishery, which has hitherto been of so much importance to Sweden, has nearly disappeared. To return to our dinner: each dish was carved and handed round, as in Denmark; a regulation truly delightful to one who abhors carving and carves badly.
The spirit of French fashion, but a little disciplined, reigns in Sweden, and gives a lightness and elegance to dress: the table, and the furniture, and even their manners, partake considerably of its gaiety, except that as soon as our amiable and elegant hostess arose, upon our rising at the same time, we stood solemnly gazing upon each other for half a minute, and then exchanged profound bows and curtsies; these being dispatched, each gentleman tripped off with a lady under his arm, to coffee in the drawing-room. Nothing else like formality occurred in the course of the day.
Just as we were quitting this spot of cordial hospitality, we were stopped by the appearance of two fine female peasants from the distant province of Delecarlia: their sisterhood partake very much of the erratic spirit and character of our Welch girls : they had travelled all the way on foot, to offer themselves as haymakers; their food on the road was black bread and water, and their travelling wardrobe a solitary chemise, which, as cleanliness demanded, they washed in the passing brook, and dried on their healthy and hardy frame, which, however, was elegantly shaped ; the glow of Hebe was upon their dimpled cheeks, not a little heightened by the sun,' which had made a golden set upon them ;” their eyes were blue, large, sweet, and expressive; their dress was singular, composed of a jacket and short petticoat of various colours; and they were mounted upon wooden shoes with prodigious high heels, shod with iron. There was an air of neatness, innocence, delicacy and good humour about them, which would have made even a bilious spectator happy to look upon them. Unextinguishable loyalty, great strength of body, content, and sweetness of temper, beauty of face, and symmetry of person, are said to be the characteristics of the Delecarlian mountaineers, a race rendered for ever celebrated in the history of one of the greatest men that ever adorned the historic page
of Sweden, Gustavus Vasa. It is thus he describes them, after he has discovered himself to them in the mines, in the beautiful language of the bard, whose dramatic genius has conspired to render his hero immortal :
here last I came,
Led on by Gustavus Vasa, they restored liberty to their country, and expelled the bloody tyrant, miscalled Christian. These, too, were the peasants who, having heard in the midst of their mines and forests that their sovereign Charles XII was a prisoner in Turkey, dispatched a deputation to the Regency at Stockholm, and offered to go, at their own expense, to the number of twenty thousand men, to deliver their royal master out of the hands of his enemies. Their sovereigns have ever found them the incorruptible and enthusiastic supporters of the throne. Surrounded with treason and peril, their king has found them faithful amongst the faithless, and never sought their succour in vain. In consequence of the terrible defection which appeared in the Swedish army in the campaign of the year 1788 against the Russians, when, owing to the machinations of the Swedish traitor Sprengporten, who was in the pay of the Empress Catharine, the Swedish officers, although confident of victory, refused to march, because Gustavus III had commenced the war without consulting the Estates, the King was compelled to retire to Stockholm, where the insolence and intrigues of the nobility threatened the reduction of his regal rights to the mere phantom of sovereignty. Menaced with revolt and assassination, this great prince, attended by a single domestic, in secrecy reached the mountains of Delecarlia, the immoveable seat of Swedish loyalty, where, with all that bold, affecting, and irresistible eloquence, for which he was so justly famed, upon the very rock on which, in elder times, their idol Gustavus Vasa had addressed them, he invoked them to rally round the throne, and preserve their sovereign from the cabals of treason. At the sound of his voice they formed themselves into battalions, with electric celerity, and encreasing as
they advanced, proceeded under the command of Baron Armfelt to Drottingholm, where they overawed the factious. At this very period, an unexpected disaster made fresh demands upon the inexhaustible resources of Gustavus's mind, which encreased with his emergencies. The Prince of Hesse, at the head of twelve thousand men, marched from Norway to Gottenberg, at the gates of which, at a late hour, the King, having surmounted great difficulties in his way through Wermlandia, presented himself, and the next morning surprised the Danish herald, by informing him in person from the ramparts, that sooner than sur. render the place, the garrison should be buried under its ruins, and accordingly ordered the bridge over the river Gothael to be burnt. It is well known, that the wise and active mediation of Mr. Elliott, our then minister at Copenhagen, prevailed upon the Prince of Hesse to retire. To return to the Delecarlians : the dress of the men is always of a grey or black coarse cloth, and, on account of the many services which they have rendered to government, and their proved patriotism, they enjoy the flattering and gracious privilege of taking the King's hand wherever they meet him : the pressure must ever be delightful to both partieș. From the mountains of health and liberty, Gustavus III selected the wet nurse of the present King, that, with her milk, he might imbibe vigour and the love of his country. This woman was the wife of a Delecarlian peasant, lineally descended from the brave and honest Andrew Preston, who preserved Gustavus Vasa from the murderers who were sent in pursuit of him by Christian. The houses of the Delecarlian peasants are as simple as their owners are virtuous: they have but one hole in the roof, exposed to the south, which answers the double purpose of a window and a clock : their meals are regulated by the sun's rays upon a chest, placed beneath this hole on one side ; or upon the stove, with which all the Swedish houses are warmed, stan. ding on the other.
We were much gratified with the palace of Drottingholm; a pleasant drive of about ten miles brought us to the island on which it stands in the lake Mæler; the road to it lay through rocks covered with firs, and over two large floating bridges; the building is large but light, and is of brick stuccoed white; the hall and staircase are in bad taste; their ornaments are white upon a dark brown