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drinks strong and bad liquor, smokes strong and bad tobacco, because both these poor man's luxuries are out of his reach, if their quality be mild and their flavour be fine. Before the rich judge too hardly of the vices of the poor, they should consider the causes from which they arise, and to what extent these causes are removable. Conversation with an officer of the Wenersborg jail leads us to believe that nearly all the crimes of the Swedes result from
drunkenness. This has often been said before. There are about sixty prisoners here, and we saw some sweeping the dirt from the road before the gate of the jail, under the eyes of the officer. They were all well-grown, good-looking, and, alas! very young men. A walk to the two mountains Halleberget and Hunneberget, except by the views at the banks of the Gotha, did not repay the trouble. There was "nothing in them," or our guide was unintelligent.
THE WENERN LAKE
is not one great broad sheet of water, like the Lake of Constance, but broken into numerous bays by granite headlands, and studded with many little rocky islands. It is a fine place for studying sunsets and sunrisings. Half a dozen great perch reward us for a little row on the lake. Some of these fish, which are the easiest of all to take, make a very good fight, and the necessity of keeping down their prickles makes it rather an exciting business to lift them out of the water. There is a very good and cheap hotel at Wenersborg, where we pay for our meals as we eat them, after the manner of a London club, and only for the lodging when leaving. We take a Götha canal steamer again at Wenersborg, the Thunberg this time, and traverse the Wenern lake in steady pouring rain. The course of the canal after the Wonern turns westward; at the first lock, children crowd around the shes with fruit to sell. Some of this a of a novel aspect to us, consisting o borrow about the size and shape of #oos but of the colour of raw wow. Ser acid, and very mawkish de number of locks in this at disposes us to retire resie #heir monotony; but we we zo sieg for all the d. In the dining
Prince's glass of claret when thrown in his face. We sleep, but wake at three in the morning, gasping like a dying fish. Not a breath of air has been allowed to circulate in the crowded dormitory. The only entrance for fresh air, or exit for exhalations, is the cabin staircase, which is hung with greatcoats until it is nearly stuffed. It is strange that so small a number of the human family seem alive to the pains and harm of stuffiness. It seems to us one of the greatest evils of this life, and not the least so that it is a product of human tyranny. Some nervous wretch, who fears to take cold, objects to having a window opened, and so all the rest of his travelling-companions are to suffer the woes of the dog who is put into the Grotto del Cane at Naples for the amusement of travellers. We strongly recommend any of our countrymen who come by these boats, and cannot get private berths, to get plenty of wraps, and make themselves as comfortable on deck as they can, at least if it is not wet. In that case, it is hard what to say. Perhaps it is better to stand in the lee of the funnel all night. The fresh air and bright morning on the Wetten lake revive us, although the thought of another night of stifling is anything but pleasant. Our fellow-passengers seem in our eyes so many Othellos. But the scenery is now beautiful, and the delays of the vessel in passing locks give us a bathe in the Buren lake, a very pretty little one. We have seen the ironworks at Motala, where all the canal steamers are made. They are on a most Vulcanian scale.
We pass from lake to lake, and from lock to lock. The Roxen lake is just the right size for a picture; the Wetten and the Wenern are both much too large. We go aside in one place to see a church, which is full of memorials of the king-like family of the Douglases, those old antagonists of Scotland's kings; the bleeding heart, on the centre of the arms here, in this northern land, and hard by the trophies of flags won in war by his exiled countrymen, must make every Scotsman who travels this way feel his own grow bigger. Farther on in the canal is Soderköping, where is a bell-tower distinct from the church, as common in Herefordshire,
and a hydropathic establishment, which sends forth a bevy of gay guests to look at the steamer. On a rocky mountain overhanging it, which we have time to ascend, is a fountain of pure water, round which the gossips gather, as they do in Germany and elsewhere. At a hamlet called Mem we drop into a fiord, which is, in fact, an arm of the Baltic. We pass by a fine old castle in the twilight, of which the round keep is very striking, and must have stood centuries of pounding; we believe it is called Steborg. After this, we retire again to the arms of Morpheus, in the lap of carbonic acid gas. Is this
We are told that it is; but can see nothing but multitudinous channels winding about and through multitudinous islands all like one another, all rocky at the base, and all clothed above with the same trees. How the sailors can know their course, or find their way in this labyrinth, we cannot divine. We have passed through most of this in the night, and come to our last lock, by no means regretting it. This lock is on a little short canal which connects the Baltic with the Mälar lake, which washes the feet of Stockholm, and all its linen. At a place called Sodertelje, famed as a biscuit-manufactory, there is a great bargaining for baskets of biscuit,
which the passengers, who have just breakfasted, do not want. Most of the foreign passengers, who chiefly seem composed of German commercial travellers, are all excitement for the first view of Stockholm over this landlocked lake. At the distant sight of houses reflected in the water, every telescope and opera-glass is out. The far-off view of Stockholm is very pretty, for it appears, like the Isolabella in the Lago Maggiore, to stand on the water. But the illusion is dispelled, to some extent, on a nearer view, for there is almost an entire deficiency of architectural beauty in the public buildings of the
VENICE OF THE NORTH.
We do not think that Stockholm is correctly so called, as we observed before. The King's palace is its principal building, and that is a great mass with square windows, only striking from its size. Stockholm has the same advantages of situation as Constantinople. It is built on seven islands, which rise into hills in parts, as if to set off its buildings to the best advantage. The highest hill has a dome on it, which somewhat resembles that of the church by the Dogana
VOL. LXXX.-NO. CCCCXCI.
at Venice. But nature has done so much for Stockholm, that, seen under the singular advantages of light which the northern sun offers, and if the right points are chosen from which to look at it, there are few cities more striking, though others are pleasanter to look upon for a long time; for the general aspect of Stockholm is one of sparkling whiteness, unrelieved by a sufficiency of other colours. Give it gilded minarets, and it would be a northern Constantinople.
THE ATHELINGS; OR, THE THREE GIFTS.
PAPA was away from home. That very day on which the charmed light of society first shone upon his girls, Papa, acting under the instructions of a family conference, hurried at railway speed to the important neighbourhood of the Old Wood Lodge. He was to be gone three days, and during that time his household constituents expected an entire settlement of the doubtful and difficult question which concerned their inheritance. Charlie, perhaps, might have some hesitation on the subject, but all the rest of the family believed devoutly in the infallible wisdom and prowess of Papa.
Yet it was rather disappointing that Papa should be absent at such a crisis as this, when there was so much to tell him. They had to wonder every day what he would think of the adventure of Agnes and Marian, and how contemplate their entrance into the world; and great was the family satisfaction at the day and hour of his return. Fortunately it was evening; the family tea-table was spread with unusual care, and the best china shone and glistened in the sunshine, as Agnes, Marian, and Charlie set out for the railway to meet Papa. They went along together very happily, excited by the expectation of all there was to tell, and all there was to hear. The suburban roads were full of leisurely people, gossiping, or meditating like old Isaac at eventide, with a breath of the fields before them, and the big boom of the great city filling all the air behind. The sun slanted over the homely but pleasant scene, making a glorious tissue of the rising smoke, and brightening the dusky branches of the wayside trees. "If we could but live in the country!" said Agnes, pausing, and turning round to trace the long sun-bright line of road, falling off into that imaginary Arcadia, or rather into the horizon, with its verge of sunny
and dewy fields. The dew falls upon the daisies even in the vicinity of Islington-let students of natural history bear this significant fact in mind.
"Stuff! the train's in," said Charlie, dragging along his half-reluctant sisters, who, quite proud of his bigness and manly stature, had taken his arm. Charlie, don't make such strides - who do you think can keep up with you?" said Marian. Charlie laughed with the natural triumphant malice of a younger brother; he was perfectly indifferent
to the fact that one of them was a genius and the other a beauty; but he liked to claim a certain manly and protective superiority over" the girls.'
To the great triumph, however, of these victims of Charlie's obstinate will, the train was not in, and they had to walk about upon the platform for full five minutes, pulling (figuratively) his big red ear, and waiting for the exemplary second-class passenger, who was scrupulous to travel by that golden mean of respectability, and would on no account have put up with a parliamentary train. Happy Papa! it was better than Mrs Edgerley's magnificent pair of bays, pawing in superb impatience the plebeian causeway. He caught a glimpse of three eager faces as he looked out of his little window-two pretty figures springing forward, one big one holding back, and remonstrating. 'Why, you'll lose him in the crowd-do you hear?" cried Charlie. "What good could you do, a parcel of girls? See! you stand here, and I'll fetch my father out.”
Grievously against their will, the girls obeyed. Papa was safely evolved out of the crowd, and went off at once between his daughters, leaving Charlie to follow which Charlie did accordingly, with Mr Atheling's greatcoat in one hand and travel
ling-bag in the other. They made quite a little procession as they went home, Marian half dancing as she clasped Papa's arm, and tantalised him with hints of their wondrous tale; Agnes walking very demurely on the other side, with a pretence of rebuking her giddy sister, Charlie trudging with his burden in the rear. By way of assuring him that he was not to know till they got home, Papa was put in possession of all the main facts of their adventure, before they came near enough to see two small faces at the bright open window, shouting with impatience to see him. Happy Papa! it was almost worth being away a year, instead of three days, to get such a welcome home.
"Well, but who is this fine lady and how were you introduced to her --and what's all this about a carriage?" said Papa. "Here's Bell and Beau, with all their good sense, reduced to be as crazy as the rest of you. What's this about a carriage?"
For Bell and Beau, we are constrained to confess, had made immense ado about the "two geegees" ever since these fabulous and extraordinary animals drew up before the gate with that magnificent din and concussion which shook to its inmost heart the quiet of Bellevue.
"Oh, it is Mrs Edgerley's, papa," said Marian; "such a beautiful pair of bay horses-she sent us home in it-and we met her at Mr Burlington's, and we went to luncheon in her house and we are going there again on Thursday to a great party. She says everybody wishes to see Agnes; she thinks there never was a book like Hope. She is very pretty, and has the grandest house, and is kinder than anybody I ever saw. You never saw such splendid horses. Oh, mamma, how pleasant it would be to keep a carriage! I wonder if Agnes will ever be as rich as Mrs Edgerley; but then, though she is an author, she is a great lady besides."
Edgerley!" said Mr Atheling; "do you know, I heard that name at the Old Wood Lodge."
"But, papa, what about the Lodge? you have never told us yet: is it as pretty as you thought it was? Can
we go to live there? Is there a garden? I am sure now," said Agnes, blushing with pleasure," that we will have money enough to go down there-all of us-mamma, and Bell and Beau!"
"I don't deny it's rather a pretty place," said Mr Atheling; "and I thought of Agnes immediately when I looked out from the windows. There is a view for you ! Do you remember it, Mary?-the town below, and the wood behind, and the river winding about everywhere. Well, I confess to you it is pretty, and not in such bad order either, considering all things; and nothing said against our title yet, Mr Lewis tells me. you know, children, if you were really to go down and take possession, and then my lord to make an attempt against us, I should be tempted to stand out against him, cost what it might.'
Then, papa, we ought to go immediately," said Marian. "To be sure, you should stand out-it belonged to our family; what has anybody else got to do with it? And I tell you, Charlie, you ought to read up all about it, and make quite sure, and let the gentleman know the real law."
"Stuff! I'll mind my own business," said Charlie. Charlie did not choose to have any allusion made to his private studies.
"And there are several people there who remember us, Mary," said Mr Atheling. "My lord is not at home-that is one good thing; but I met a youth at Winterbourne yesterday, who lives at the Hall they say, and is a-a-sort of a son; a fine boy, with a haughty look, more like the old lord a great deal. And what did you say about Edgerley? There's one of the Rivers's married to an Edgerley. I won't have such an acquaintance, if it turns out one of them."
Why, William ?" said Mrs Atheling. "Fathers and daughters are seldom very much like each other. I do not care much about such an acquaintance myself," added the good mother, in a moralising tone. "For though it may be very pleasant for the girls at first, I do not think it is good, as Miss Willsie
says, to have friends far out of our own rank of life. My dear, Miss Willsie is very sensible, though she is not always pleasant; and I am sure you never can be very easy or comfortable with people whom you cannot have at your own house; and you know such a great lady as that could not come here."
Agnes and Marian cast simultaneous glances round the room-it was impossible to deny that Mrs Atheling was right.
"But then the Old Wood Lodge, mamma!" cried Agnes, with sudden relief and enthusiasm. "There we could receive any one-anybody could come to see us in the country. If the furniture is not very good, we can improve it a little. For you know, mamma -." Agnes once more blushed with shy delight and satisfaction, but came to a sudden conclusion there, and said no more.
"Yes, my dear, I know," said Mrs Atheling, with a slight sigh, and a careful financial brow; "but when your fortune comes, Papa must lay it by for you, Agnes, or invest it. William, what did you say it would be best to do ?"
Mr Atheling immediately entered con amore into a consideration of the best means of disposing of this fabulous and unarrived fortune. But the girls looked blank when they heard of interest and per-centage; they did not appreciate the benefits of laying by.
Are we to have no good of it, then, at all?" said Agnes disconsolately.
Mr Atheling's kind heart could not resist an appeal like this. "Yes, Mary, they must have their pleasure," said Papa; "it will not matter much to Agnes's fortune, the little sum that they will spend on the journey, or the new house. No, you must go by all means; I shall fancy it is in mourning for poor old Aunt Bridget, till my girls are there to pull her roses. If I knew you were all there, I should begin to think again that Winterbourne and Badgely Wood were the sweetest places in the world."
"And there any one could come to see us," said Marian, clapping her hands. thing for Agnes that Aunt Bridget "Oh, papa, what a good left you the Old Wood Lodge!"
CHAPTER XXVI.-MRS EDGERLEY'S THURSDAY.
Mr Atheling's visit to the country had, after all, not been so necessary as the family supposed; no seemed disposed to pounce upon the small bequest of Miss Bridget. The Hall took no notice either of the death or the will which changed the proprietorship of the Old Wood Lodge. It remained intact and unvisited, dilapidated and picturesque, with Miss Bridget's old furniture in its familiar place, and her old maid in possession. The roses began to brush the little parlour window, and thrust their young buds against the panes, from which no one now fooked out upon their sweetness. Papa himself, though his heart beat high to think of his own beautiful children blooming in this retired and pleasant place, wept a kindly tear for his old aunt, as he stood in the chamber of her long occupation, and found how empty and mournful was this well-known room. It was a
quaint and touching mausoleum, full of relics; and good Mr Atheling felt himself more and more bound to carry out the old lady's wishes as he stood in the vacant room.
And then it would be such a good thing for Agnes! That was the most flattering and pleasant view of the subject possible; and ambitious ideas of making the Old Wood Lodge the prettiest of country cottages, entered the imagination of the house. It was pretty enough for anything, Papa said, looking as he spoke at his beautiful Marian, who was precisely in the same condition; and if some undefined notion of a prince of romance, carrying off from the old cottage the sweetest bride in the world, did flash across the thoughts of the father and mother, who would be hard enough to blame so natural a vision? As for Marian herself, she thought of nothing but Agnes, unless, indeed, it was Mrs Edgerley's