Thus they continued their way for some time in silence, but soon Ivar again halted,
ind with strained attention listened to the storm, which was rushing howlingly through a
dried heap of dry rustling branches, to which heap every traveller added willingly his share,
as, according to tradition, the body of a murdered man was buried under it."-See page 17.
BY EMILIE CARLEN.
&rnslnatr frnm tif wwtri),
BY PROFESSOR A. L. KRAUSE.
OFFICE OF THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON LIBRARY,
THE romantic literature of the Scandinavian nations has, of
late, been perused with the most lively interest by the reading
public on both sides of the Atlantic. These "Northmen,"
whose ancient history is so replete with daring deeds of glory
and romance, have, as they now lack the opportunity of display-
ing that chivalrous spirit, transferred it from the strife of battle
to the more quiet and peaceful character of highly inspired
Bishop TEGNER, FREDERIKA BREMER, OEHLENSCHLAEGER, and
ANDERSSEN, whose classical writings are known to nearly every
civilized nation, maintain as high and dignified a position in the
arena of literature as any of the most prominent authors of
There is one branch of domestic literature, however, in which
northern nations, particularly those of Teutonic extraction, excel.
It is the literature of sociality; the graphic description of all
those tender sentiments, of all those pleasures and sorrows
encircled within the walls of home," and displayed within the
very bosom of the family circle, when they sit near their snug fire-
side, or when they tread the rougher paths of life.
Writings of this description furnish a true and genuine history
of the human heart; for they unfold the secret thoughts and
actions of society in all its different grades, and are far more
interesting and instructive than the high.flown traditions of
heroes, or the record of warlike exploits and deeds of violence.
Goldsmith, Fielding, and Smollett, first struck this vein in
English literature. They were followed, in modern times, with
equal success, by Dickens and Bulwer, and in America by
Irving, Cooper, and Paulding.
The Germans, compelled by natural and political circum-
stances to confine the outpourings of their romantic, but withal
metaphysical spirit, to the narrow circle of domestic life, com-
menced cultivating this field of literature at an early period.
Goethe, Tieck, Zschokke, Chamisso, and a legion of others of
later times have unveiled the treasures of the romance of domestic
life, to an almost boundless extent.
Sweden and Norway, stretching their iron-bound, sea-girt
coast from the blue waves of the Baltic to the confines of the
Polar Sea, are particularly fitted to call into life a species of
domestic literature, upon every feature of which is imprinted the
type of its origin. The grandeur of the natural scenery of these
countries, the feudal institutions by which they have been
governed for centuries, the simplicity and extreme sobriety of
their strictly Protestant religious views, the monotony of their
secluded life, which renders sociability and hospitality a necessary
element for relief and recreation, all combined, serve to clothe
their writings with a slight air of melancholy, but also with all
the thrilling joys and tender sentiments only developed in
domestic life. It is thus that the harp of Ossian, which once
resounded through the glens and cliffs of Scotland, pervades
these sketches of northern life as stirringly as did Sappho's lyre,
when it sent its mournful cadences over the Hellespont, in
despair for her absent lover.
None but a female soul-none but the soft receptive genius of
woman-could have been able to trace these sketches of nature
faithfully upon the canvas of real life. Frederika Bremer was
the first who undertook the difficult task, and gloriously, as we
all know, did she perform it. Wherever a fireside sends forth
its cheerful light-wherever a home, a real home, enlightened by
the rays of intellect, may be found-the Neighbours" and the
" President's Daughters" have almost become a constituent part
of the family circle; and on many a hearth of our own country
the amiable Frederika herself has lately been an esteemed and
warmly welcomed guest.
But every star, however bright it may send forth its rays, is
seldom without a companion. Where Miss Bremer shines, the
soft but no less brilliant light of EMILIE FLYGARE CARLEN, also
throws out its lustre. Far from derogating in the least from the
high merits of Frederika Bremer, we think that in justice we
should say that the writings of Miss Carlen not only compare
favourably with those of her distinguished contemporary, but are
even superior to them, if not in all, at least in some respects.
In the literary circles of her native country, she is considered far
superior, and her works are sought for with the utmost avidity.
She is not only known in the higher grades of society; but the
peasant and cottager are also acquainted with her name. Her
sketches of female character are exquisite; as chaste and true to
nature, as the most perfect statue ever formed by the master
chisel of Canova, or of her own distinguished countryman, the
Her masculine portraits are of that simple but finely delineated
character which distinguishes the true gentleman," of all
northern nations; imbued with a cast of that iron firmness so pro-
minent in their own king and hero, the lion-hearted Charles XII.
But as true to nature as she describes the high-born, with as
much faithfulness does she depict the lowly peasant; and the
reader is carried from the palace to the cot, each being described
so faithfully and graphically that he almost fancies himself to be
a participant in the incidents of the story.
But there is one striking feature which distinguishes Miss
Carlen from her literary sister. She may in truth, be called
"the republican, par excellence," among female authors. The
shallowness of vain-glorious rank, and pride of birth, fall down
like chaff before her cutting sarcasm, and the true dignity of
man, the self-attained rank of labour, is vigorously portrayed.
This is the cause of her popularity among the peasantry of her
own country. They feel that she is labouring to alleviate their
condition; and her name is only spoken by their lips with the
utmost respect. She does not write merely for the didactic
amusement of her readers; neither does she attempt to give
instruction, although her works all convey a good moral. But she
labours for a higher and far more noble object: the disenthral-
ment of those she loves. She well knows the efficiency of the
means she employs, and nobly does she use them. Pride, arro-
gance, cruelty, and tyranny, all call forth the keenest censure of
With these few introductory remarks this little work is sub-
mitted to the judgment of the public. The translation has been
literal, almost verbatim, and as faithful as the idioms of the
English language would permit.
I. THE HERO . . 1
II. THE COURIER .......... ... 10
III. THE PONY . . . 16
IV. THE JOURNEY-A LITTLE ADVENTURE .... 25
V. GREAT CONFUSION CREATED BY MRS. BRUN'S CAT 37
VI. THE TRAVELLERS ON THE STEAMER .... 45
VII. SOMETHING ABOUT THE CAUSE OF THIS JOURNEY. 54
VIII. THE CONFESSIONAL CHAIR AT THE CLOISTER OF
WRETA . . 61
IX. THE LIEUTENANT-COLONEL TAKES HIS MEASURES 71
X. THE HEIGHTS OF SWARTEBORG--ARRIVAL AT STROEM-
STAD . ... . 81
XI. REVIEW OF IVAR'S FATE . . 88
XII. ANOTHER PICTURE OF MARRIED LIFE . .. .99
XIIL THE MORNING VISIT ............ 107
XIV. VIRGINIA-THE CHAMBERLAIN . 113
XV. THE FISHING PARTY . . 122
XVI. THE NEXT MORNING . . 131
XVII. STROEMSDAL-THE KEYHOLE .. ... 139
XVIII. A HORRIBLE SUICIDE .. ..... 149
XIX. SEPARATION . . 160
XX. TUNEFORS-A LETTER . . .. 166
XXI. IN PAPA'S ROOM . . .. 177
XXII. THE TWO VISITS . . .. 187
XXIII. A LETTER FROM BORGENSTIERNA TO ASSESSOR WIREN 194
XXIV. ASSESSOR WIREN'S REPLY .. ... .198
XXV. BORGENSTIERNA AT HOME. . . 206
XXVI. THE DOOMED CALF. . . .. 211
XXVII. MISFORTUNE UPON MISFORTUNE .. ... 219
XXVIII. NEW PLANS . . 229
XXIX. A MAN WHO KNEW HOW TO BEAR HIS FATE .. 238
XXX. THE LIEUTENANT -COLONEL LOOKS UPON THE
BRIGHT SIDE OF THE PICTURE .. ... 244
XXXI. A SLIGHT CIRCUMSTANCE . . 255
XXXII. NOOKS IN THE HUMAN HEART .. ... 262
XXXIII. THE HUSBAND . . . 271
XXXIV. THE VESTRY-ROOM . . 277
XXXV. MINA'S PARTING ADVICE ... 291
XXXVI. HOMEWARD BOUND . . 300
XXXVII. THE SKJUTS-BOY AND THE COURIER-OFFICER .. 306
THE title of this book, "The Skjuts-boy," may possibly
sound strangely to many of our readers. We therefore deem it
expedient to give a few explanatory remarks. It is customary
in Sweden, for people of some standing in society to travel in
conveyances furnished by the government. The peasants, or
farmers, are obliged by law to furnish horses and carts. This
description of public postal service is called Skjut; the driver of
such a conveyance bears the name of Skjuts-boy.--TRANSLATOR.
SHARP and piercing blew the October blast through the
creaking limbs of a dense forest, in the south-western part of
Sweden. At times it seemed as though the storm was dying
away with a long-drawn sigh; but suddenly it arose again and
renewed its battle with the giant pines, and did not rest until
these, like conquered enemies, bowed down to the ground. .Sur-
rounded with white clouds stood the nightly watch above, in her
immovable grandeur, looking down upon the waging combat.
Upon one of the foot-paths which threaded their way through
the forest, a being hurried along with quickened footsteps, who,
as far as could be seen through the misty autumnal twilight,
seemed to be congenial with the scene. A ragged jacket allowed
the low branches of the pine and fir trees to sweep undisturbedly
his brown, manly brdast; and his wiry hair, upon which his
bushy fur cap was retained with difficulty by his rough hand, flut-
tered undisturbed around his sun-burnt face.
The careless son of the forest was indifferent, however, to all
these obstacles, humming a gay national song; with skilful hand
he bent aside the intruding twigs, and, when the wind blew its
most severe blast, he placed his fingers in his mouth, and responded
with a like shrill whistle. The boy, who appeared to be fourteen
or fifteen years of age, would at intervals throw his arms around
a pine, as though it was his dearest friend, and, with enthusiastic
rapture, would suffer the storming wind to pass over him. It
seemed to afford him far less joy when the storm was abating,
than when it whirled over him, in all the vigour of its mighty
blasts; then he would commence whistling merrily, and hurried,
more flying than walking, along the dark path.
A clear ray of the moon, which suddenly burst through the
dark veil of clouds, lighted up objects that had before been in the
shade; and, in a valley, a small cottage became visible, from the
chimney of which a cloud of smoke, mingled with sparks, was
curling toward the heavens. With a joyful and almost speaking
nod the boy hailed the humble-looking clay roof and the plain
moss-covered walls of the cottage, that contained his world, and
all which he required for his happiness and comfort after his day's
labour in the forest.
When he arrived in front of the cottage, he halted; and,
instead of entering it, took his path beside a hedge, formed of
twisted willows, until he had arrived at a sort of dwelling, or
rather, a barn-like shed, from which, at the sound of his foot-
steps, the clear neigh of a horse issued. A thrill of joy shot
through the boy; with one hand he searched in his pocket for
the small piece of bread that he had spared from his own lips,
with the other he opened the door, and the next moment stood
in the stable beside his favourite.
Poor little pony," said he, "you have fared badly to-day;
scarcely any straw in the manger. Yes, yes! If I am not at
With these words the boy patted the hollow back of his pony.
The pony relished the bread exceedingly, and showed his grati-
tude to his kind provider, by laying his head upon the boy's
After the pony had received all the faithful nursing which his
master was wont to bestow upon him, the boy left the stable,
returning, however, in a moment with a blanket, which he care-
THE SKJTTS-BOY. 3
fully placed over the horse's back, and afterward hastened with
hurried steps towards the cot, where he was welcomed with as
much sincerity as at the place which he had just left.
"Where have you been so long, Ivar Your mother felt
deep anxiety concerning you; she was afraid you might have
injured yourself with the axe. It is long since the night-bell
has rung; and the gruel broth has been waiting long."
These words came from a tall, robust man, who was leaning
with his arms against a rough-hewn table, bending over a large
hymn book, the yellow leaves of which betokened frequent
By no means, mother; that should not have entered your
head. The storm howled so grandly, that I would hardly have
come home at all," replied Ivar, saluting his father with a nod,
and hastening uneasily towards the hearth, on which his mother
was sitting, who had, upon the entrance of her son, stopped the
buzzing of her time-stained spinning wheel.
Surely thou art freezing, my poor boy I"
As well by the tone in which these words were spoken, as by
the hasty manner in which she pushed aside her distaff, and
grasped the pot that contained the oaten broth, which stood by
the hearth, the most unmistakable motherly tenderness was to
Are you freezing, mother, as you sit near the fire and warm
yourself? While I am cutting fuel for you, I never freeze.
The forest is my hearth-fire; and I am never so warm as when
I am out of doors, and the wind is blowing right heartily over
You are an odd boy," said his mother, thoughtfully; and
have always been the same from your earliest childhood; but,
God be praised," she added, with pious simplicity, our revered
pastor was always well pleased with you, when he taught you
During this short dialogue, Mother Ingierd had prepared the
table, and placed upon it the broth and three plates, and as many
cleanly burnished cups, half filled with sour milk.
Father Christopher, the owner of the forest cot, closed his
hymn book, took off his red nightcap, and clasped his hands.
After a short prayer, mother and son sat down likewise. During
the first few moments, nothing was to be heard save the mono-
tonous sound of the spoon clinking against the pot; as soon,
however, as our worst enemy had been beaten, the father turned
to his son, and appeared as though he wished to say some-
The profiles of both were so turned that the light of the tallow
lamp, which was placed in the centre of the table, fell strongly
upon them; and an attentive observer, had such a one been pre-
sent, would have been surprised to have read in them something
noble, almost haughty, which strangely contrasted with the
ragged peasant jacket worn by the owner of the cottage, as well
as with Ivar's half naked, brown breast.
Nature sometimes presents such peculiarities, and they are apt
to awaken our interest. It cannot be said that nobility and
pride are the exclusive privileges of the high and well educated
classes. Such characteristics are found in a like degree in the
lower classes, although they are accustomed to show it differently;
but it is rare indeed that we meet with country people and their
offspring, oppressed by their daily labour, who possess the expres-
sion of free-born haughtiness, which is seldom displayed so
decidedly as it is in the true nobility.
For the last two days we have been exempt from the skjuts,"
said Father Christopher, in a voice which would cause one to
think that this exemption was of rare occurrence.
The white pony wants rest also," said Ivar.
Yes! many a person would want it," replied the man,
gloomily. But in the time of war none must think of it-all
must suffer alike the pest; but if we should soon have peace, as
they say we will, we may hope that the year 1815 will bring us
richer fruits than during the last year, when the French and Nor.
wegians furnished the Swedes other employment than that of
ploughing and sowing."
That will do my white pony right well," said Ivar, joyfully.
"Yes, if he does not break down in the meantime," replied
his father, morosely. "These overbearing gentlemen are driving
on like fools, and consider a poor skjuts-peasant as no better than
mere cattle. They think that those in the service of the crown
are permitted to do everything."
If that is so, I must also try and get in the service of the
crown. Do you not think also, father, it would be queer if I
should become such a noble gentleman ? Then I would make
as much noise as any of them; and, as you say that they think
everything is permitted, I will repay them with interest all the
strokes my poor white pony has received."
As long as I live and command, you shall never become a
soldier," said his father, abruptly.
Why, was not you yourself a soldier in your youth, father "
These words thrilled through the man's entire form like
lightning. His nostrils distended, his brow knitted itself into
a black frown, and his jet black eye glittered as sparkling as
those of Ivar; but instead of the curious astonishment which
was expressed in the boy's, a dark, wild hatred gleamed from the
father's eyes, which was the more bitter, as it seemed to feed
You are angry," said Ivar, in a subdued tone, observing, with
a strange look, the change that had taken place in his father's
Christopher did not answer; his eyes wandered around the
dark apartment, when the mother pushed him with her foot,
and gave him a signal to be silent.
After a few moments, the poverty-stricken family arose from
the table, and while Ivar was assisting his mother in carrying
the table utensils into the kitchen, she whispered to him-
6 THE SKJUTS-BOY.
Never talk that way again, because you will put your father
in bad spirits for a long time."
What does it mean I" inquired Ivar, in a low tone.
If your father wished that you should have known it, he
would have told you so himself," replied his mother, in a reproach-
Hallo! hallo! open, in there 1" a loud voice was suddenly
heard exclaiming outside, and a couple of violent and hasty
strokes were made upon the door.
There we have it again," said Christopher, grumbling, and
turned hastily round; that is Swen, the wagon-master's voice.
Open, boy; I knew that both horse and man would not enjoy
rest for three successive nights."
You need not drive, father; let me go," said Ivar, beseech-
ingly, and approached the door.
You have been in the woods the whole day," was the short
And you have been in Nilpersson's barn, thrashing, all the
day," replied Ivar, almost savagely, and, without waiting for his
father's answer, he opened the door. The wagon-master sprang
through the door, with a cry,
Skjut, in a moment, within half an hour, a gentleman will
arrive who is going as a courier to Norway, and if everything is
not ready at a moment's warning, may God save both you and
me! Therefore, make haste, Father Christopher, it is your turn
to-day. Here is your ticket."
"Well, I should not think there was so much need of haste,"
replied Christopher, and lighting his pipe, which lay on the
window, told Ivar to be in haste, and asked his coat from his
wife. But Ivar was not so easily silenced, and as his white pony
had to go at any rate, he was inwardly rejoiced that the skjut
had been announced in the night; he would now be allowed to
ride out in the dark night, through the still darker forest, and
hear the storm howl around him, like the roaring of a cataract;
this was his joy, and without being able to explain the reason,
his breast always heaved higher. Amid the warring of the ele-
ments, he felt as though nothing was wanting but wings to ele-
vate himself like the wild eagle into the wide air.
Dear father, if you wish to confer a favour on me, let me
drive," said Ivar, entreatingly.
"Let him have his way; he is a clever boy," said Mother
Ingierd, stepping between them. He is also right, when he
wishes you to spare your swollen foot, which needs the bed far
more than it does the cart."
Well, he may go, then," replied his father, laying aside his
pipe, and went into the stable, while Ivar was dressing himself.
Now his mother brought the warm woollen stockings and the
stout boots, took the overcoat from the wall, and when Ivar, who
had stood near the hearth, had washed himself and in all haste
had put on his Sunday jacket, to protect himself from the storm,
this jacket being only used for the skjut-drive and for the church,
his mother tied a large woollen comforter round his neck, and
urgently exhorted him to drive carefully, that the white pony
might not catch the cough again.
"There, one can hear easily that you have never driven a
courier, Mother Ingierd," replied the wagon-master, with im-
portance; "such people, you may depend upon it, care not a
straw for the cough of a horse. They keep on, slashing and
cursing the poor animal, that they may go as fast as possible.
Yes, yes, it is as I tell you. By my soul I have often seen it,
and the white pony, poor creature, will soon perceive that this
is altogether another commission than to trudge slowly before
the cart when you drive to church, Mother Ingierd."
I am not aware, Swen, that you ever saw me drive to church;
I walk there every Sunday," replied Mother Ingierd, with a
Certainly, I believe it; but when you had house and land I
have seen it. And at that time no body could have blamed you
for doing so; but since you have lost that, and nothing remains
to you but your forest cot, you do not wish to have the people
talk about you. You have always been a clever woman, Mother
Ingierd, and just as much honoured by all as before."
Bad crops and wicked people were the cause of our misfor-
tune; but we are content with our lot, and feel assured that
everything the Lord wills for us, will serve for our good. But
you, wagon-master Swen, need not be so vain-glorious as to
remind us of such matters; for it is not good to glory in the
misfortunes of others."
I have not done so either; I merely spoke of the pony, and
in that way by accident I hit upon it. You must not take it
so, for I certainly had no evil intention," said the wagon-master,
almost begging her pardon.
"So much the better for you, but what you have said con-
cerning the pony troubles me. May God preserve the poor
animal, for it is the only thing left to us of our former wealth."
"Do not trouble yourself about that," said Ivar, consolingly.
"Courier or not, I hope he will drive like a man; besides, you
know that I understand driving, and how to deal with noble-
men. Depend upon it, everything will go right."
Now Father Christopher was to be heard driving the pony
and cart before the door. At the familiar neigh of the white
pony, Ivar plucked his mother's sleeves, and drew her aside.
Give me a cake or two, mother, if you can; I must give the
pony a little something to-night."
Mother Ingierd hastily reached her hand above, and took from
the barely provided pole which was suspended beneath the
ceiling, a cake of bread.* I can not well spare any more, dear
Ivar; but hurry now, and put the bread in your jacket-pocket,
that your father may not see it; for you know he does not like
Flat black loaves of bread, with a hole in the centre, by which to sus-
pend them. They are baked in large quantities, and kept for a long time.
This bread is very common in Sweden.-TRANs.
THE SKJUTS-BOY. 9
that we should divide our hard-earned bread with the poor
Make haste! make haste, Ivar !" cried the impatient wagon-
master. "I have already waited nearly a half hour for you,"
with these words, he nodded farewell, and departed.
As soon as Ivar had taken leave of his parents, he mounted
the cart, and at the edge of the forest overtook the wagon-master,
who requested him to let him ride also. But Ivar refused his
Thank you, that will not do, I must spare my poor pony.
But at any rate I do not want to be better off than you are,"
said he, springing from the cart, and walking beside it, at a slow
pace, until they arrived in the neighbourhood of a tavern, where
the noise of a carriage, which could be heard at a short distance,
incited them to greater speed.
As soon as Ivar had reached the court-yard, a cart came
rumbling in from the other side, and a harsh, commanding voice
"Is the horse ready?"
An affirmative answer was given, and an officer, who seemed
to be a very young man, stepped forth from the cart, and
advanced to Ivar.
With a hearty curse he pointed to the horse, and said, "Is
that the pony which is to take me t6 the next station "
Yes, certainly, that is the one. He has often trod the way,"
answered Ivar, politely, lifting his cap.
Keep your mouth shut, you lout !" the gentleman rudely
"Landlord wagon-master where are the rascals I"
"Here! here!" With these words, the landlord and the
wagon-master advanced hurriedly, but with the utmost timidity,
which is the natural consequence of daily ill-treatment, or even
whippings, which they were in the custom of receiving.
"Listen, fellow." With these words the officer folded his
arms over his breast, with an expression of high dignity, and,
like a judge who wishes to force a poor criminal into confession,
looked at the poor landlord: "How do you dare have such a
horse hitched on for my use? Dost thou not know that I might
have thrashed thee for this presumption, and hast thou never
heard what a severe punishment awaits the landlord by whose
negligence a courier, bearing important despatches, is hindered "
The landlord's sad face exhibited everything else than the wish
THE SKJUTS-BOY. 11
to retain the gentleman any longer. He ventured, however, to
suggest that all other skjut horses were on the road, and aside
from this one, none other could be obtained.
Foolish excuse," replied the officer, impatiently. "Give me
one of your own horses."
Yes, I should like to do so, sir; but there are none of them
at home. Swen, here, the wagon-master, knows that they are
all out on the skjut--the large, and the small black horse-and
the cream, poor fellow, has trod a stone into his hoof, so that he
What do I care for your horses, great and small, or cream-
whether the animals are able to walk or run. D-n it, peasant
lout off! get me another horse, in a moment, or--" With
these words the officer uplifted his sword, and made a movement
as if to make the landlord's back acquainted with its flat
"The Lord's best blessings upon your grace !" exclaimed the
frightened landlord, if your grace should kill me, I am unable
to get another horse within an hour and a half. But I assure
you, by everything that is holy, that Christopher's pony is certain
to take you to Stabbelshede."
Well, it must be done upon your responsibility. If anything
happens, you will have to answer for it," replied the officer,
threateningly, and sprang into the cart. "Stop Halloo!
What's the name of this nest ? Uggleborg, or-- "
"Swarteborg, your grace."
Swarteborg t a well-chosen name. How far is it to the next
Only five quarter miles," replied the landlord, bowing deeply,
visibly pleased that the storm had passed over.
"But if the scarecrow does not go fast enough, and I be
detained beyond my appointment, thou mayst depend upon it,
that I will remember thee. And now drive on, rascal, and do not
spare the whip, if thou thyself want to be spared." The last
words were addressed to Ivar, who was not in the least abashed
by them, but mounted into the car in an indifferent manner, and
applied a light switch over the haggard loins of his white pony.
"Do you call this driving, fellow ?" asked the officer, after a
few moments, giving his neighbour a rough poke in the ribs.
We are going up a steep hill," replied Ivar, with renewed
composure, which in contrast with such a fire-eater as the courier
seemed to be, almost appeared like audacity. The officer, how-
ever, did not mind the boy's speech, but remained silent until
when, about balf-a-mile from Swarteborg, the white pony having
exerted himself astonishingly at the accustomed treatment of his
young owner, signified by a loud wheezing his resolution not to
go any further. The scarecrow is altogether fagged out," said
the officer, thinking fit to accompany his opinion with a volley
of curses at landlord, horse, and driver.
Ivar kept silence, not, however, from fear, but because he was
convinced that an answer would avail him nothing.
Dost thou not hear me, rascal I or art thou a rogue? Dost
thou not see that the horse will break down ?"
"By no means," replied Ivar, endeavouring to soothe his
violent neighbour; but if he does not do so before we reach the
end of our journey," added he, in a low voice, "the gentleman
must treat him more humanely."
"What, boy, wilt thou prescribe to me how I shall drive?
Give me the reins, thou rascal."
And Ivar, unable to retain his right, was forced to submit,
with bleeding heart and burning cheeks, while the officer lashed
his pony continually, and kept him on a gallop. The emaciated
animal wheezed and snorted, and made more than one fruitless
endeavour to stand still, in spite of the whip.
Every sigh of the poor pony, who had been dear to Ivar's
heart ever since he was able to reach up to him and pat his
shaggy sides, cut like a dagger through the boy's heart. His
heart was almost swollen within him, with bitter hatred against
THE SKJUTS-BOY. 13
the cruel man, whose tyrannical power was law here, and whom
to defy was folly. When they had arrived within half a mile of
their journey's end, the pony's strength gave out. He sank down
on his fore-legs. Neither the whip of the officer, nor Ivar's per-
suasive and familiar voice, were of any avail in arousing him from
his position, although his twitching skin under the cruel lashes
of the whip, proved conclusively that the pain would have forced
him to proceed if possible. Under these circumstances, the
officer's rage became complete frenzy; and after he had fruitlessly
spent his strength upon the animal, and wasted his breath in
cursing the storm, which was continually blowing dirt and sand
into his eyes, he spoke to Ivar in a tone which did not augur
that he expected much good to arise from the question.
"What is your name, canaille ? For this drive I will make
My name is Ivar Borgenstierna," replied the boy, his voice
trembling with violent excitement. He would willingly have
suffered hunger for days, could he only have been safe home with
his pony; and as little as it was his custom to give way to his
feelings in tears at other times, he could not prevent two hot
drops from running down his cheeks, when he saw his beloved
comrade lying on the ground, vainly striving to gather his ex-
hausted strength, and endeavouring to raise himself under the
weight of the cart.
What is your name, canaille ? I again ask," said the officer,
in a surprised tone.
I have told you I call myself Ivar Borgenstierna."
Borgenstierna ? Thou art a nobleman, thou rascal, and art
thou not ashamed to soil thy escutcheon by such a vagrant life
and to suffer yourself to be used as a peasant lout, and be abused
on the high road as a cart-driver? Upon my honour, such a
thing never before happened to me. Is there a drop of blood
which does not rise against such low, menial drudgery ? if there
is, I will try and awake it." With these words, the violent man
struck the boy with the flat of his hand severely on his cheek,
soon following the blow with two cruel lashes with the whip.
Ivar's veins became swollen with hitherto unknown passion,
which now violently burned within him. The strokes he had
received gave him far less pain, than the shame at being treated
in this manner wounded his pride, which had hitherto slumbered
concealed in his bosom, but which was now awakened into power-
ful vitality. This feeling, however, was now a dark enigma to
him, and it was reserved for time to disclose it more fully.
Has the gentleman a right to strike me I" replied Ivar, with
suppressed anger, "because my father's ancestor, who served
under King Charles the Twelfth, and was as distinguished as
yourself; and because, in spite of his pride, was stricken with
poverty, so that one of his sons was glad to marry a peasant's
daughter at Swarteborg, and became a peasant himself? Is it
my fault, because my father's ancestor was a noble ? and dare
you therefore scold me, a nobleman "
Scold 1" repeated the other, with a sneer; dost thou not
comprehend what thou hast lost, slave ?"
I am neither a slave nor a nobleman," replied Ivar, with
increasing bitterness; my father is a free peasant, and I shall be
one also; and to judge by what I have just seen, it is better to
be an honest peasant than a noble persecutor of both man and
"I Do not anger me more, rascal, that I may not give you more
plagues to taste than thou hast, until now, experienced," replied
the officer, flourishing his sword over Ivar. None the less thou
art a blot of shame on the class from which thou hast degene-
rated, because thy ancestors did not give up the nobility which
they had forfeited by their degradation."
Well, if I am going to be a nobleman at last," replied Ivar,
whose courage increased in proportion as the anger of the other
arose, then I will be your equal, and have the right of testing
my fist on you, as you did on me."
THE SEKUTS-BOT. 15
Art thou mad I wouldst thou like to go to a lunatic asylum ?"
was the contemptuous reply of the officer, who now turned his
entire attention toward the horse. By the united exertions of
both, they finally succeeded in raising the animal, which moved
off three or four paces, and again fell upon its knees on the
ground. Aside from this difficulty, the road was so very bad, in
consequence of rain of several days' duration, that it would have
been a hard task, even for a more powerful horse than the pony,
to make five quarters of a mile without becoming fatigued. The
officer, Ivar, and his pony as well, were at length released by a
fortunate accident. The noise of a distant carriage was heard
approaching from the other side of the forest, and soon afterward
an empty wagon, drawn by two powerful horses, arrived at the
scene of the accident. The officer immediately called on the
new comer, and commanded him to unharness one of his horses,
without any hesitation, and fasten him to t4e cart. A peasant's
objection does not amount to much during a war, as is well
known, and for this reason the other immediately obeyed the
officer's command in silence. As soon as everything was pre-
pared, the officer mounted the cart, and a second time cried out
Hear thee, lout, if thy pony should ever regain his feet, thou
canst obtain thy cart at the next tavern, and mayst be thankful
to God and my forbearance if I do not enter my complaint in
the service-book at the next station."
With these words, he lashed his new horse, and Ivar's cart
soon disappeared, with his tormentor.
THUs our hero now remained, on a dark night, upon the open
high road, with his worn-out companion, a good mile distant
from his house. Still were his glowing cheeks burning with the
buffets he had received, and the scene through which he had just-
passed drove all other thoughts from his mind, that some time
passed by before Ivar felt that the pony was rubbing his head
against his shoulder, as if he meant to remind him that he had
an older and better friend than his new and rough acquaintance.
"You are right, my poor pony," said Ivar, intuitively under-
standing the pony's mute appeal. I would be a fool indeed if
I should cause you to suffer by the ignominious treatment which
the wicked nobleman has inflicted upon us both. Console your-
self, dear pony; here is something for you." With these words,
Ivar took the cake from his pocket, and allowed his favourite to
eat, bite by bite from his hand, afterward conducted him to a
small brooklet in the vicinity, and saw with pleasure how greatly
the refreshing element seemed to revive the weary animal.
After he had bestowed, for half an hour longer, all the assist-
ance which the time and place allowed, Ivar grasped the bridle,
and walking beside the animal they both proceeded on their way
home at a slow pace, while the boy with his old friend carried
on the conversation.
SNow, pony, we have passed through quite a task to-day.
Don't you think that many more such drives would displease
you ? It would me, too. You would soon be gone. But what
do you think my father will say, because we come home so slowly
and have left our cart behind ? Yes, yes; at first he will scold
a little, but as soon as he knows what has happened, I'll bet you
he will say, 'That was right, my dear Ivar; thou hast acted like
a brave boy. Thou hast also done well, not to follow behind the
cart; I can bring it home when I go there next week with Nil-
persson's team, and it did the pony no harm that he walked
home free and without the skjut.' Yes, thus will my father say;
but what consolation I shall find from my mother. I am sure she
would lose an eye to comfort me ; but of the buffet she need not
hear a word, for if she did she would not let me go again. Is it
not your opinion also, dear pony, that we had better keep silent
concerning it 7"
Ever and anon the pony would manifest his assent by a slight
neigh. Thus they continued their way for some time in silence,
but soon Ivar again halted, and with strained attention listened
to the storm, which was rushing howlingly through a dried heap
of dry rustling branches, to which heap every traveller added
willingly his share, as, according to tradition, the body of a mur-
dered man was buried under it. With a slight thrill of terror
Ivar approached the heap, and speaking in reference to the
strange story of the murder, said, When this happened there
were certainly different times than to-night. If I had returned
the officer's blow," said he, thinking of his own affairs, "God
only knows how it would have fared with me. It was certainly
ruffianly treatment, and I here vow"-with these words Ivar
placed his hand on the dry rustling branches--" I will never,
never become a nobleman, and should I ever happen to meet him
again, when I become a man, he shall make good these blows to
me, for I shall never forget them. Not that I have not often
received blows before, but he struck me, because I bore a noble
name, and because I dare do menial service with my father's
pony. He believes, I think, that it would be better that I
should starve, because my father's ancestor was a nobleman, than
to earn my bread as a peasant by honest labour."
The bitter and insulting injustice of the officer's treatment
was what particularly rankled in Ivar's frank and honest heart.
Of his future life generally, he had not, of course, any clear idea
as yet, neither how he was to live, or what he was going to do;
but a fresh train of ideas had arisen in his innermost soul, and it
appeared to him that this night had opened a new epoch in his
It was not until, by accident, that his hand touched the pony,
trembling with cold, that he awoke from his meditations. He
threw a branch upon the heap, and, slowly advancing, muttered,
For that which I have vowed here, by word and thought, Ivar
always keeps his word, says my mother."
It was about four o'clock in the morning when the boy, after
a five-hours' wandering, arrived with his fatigued companion at
the stable which belonged to his father's cottage. After he had
conducted his horse into the stable, he threw over him his large
woollen blanket, cleared from the manger the pieces of cut-straw,
and after having given the horse a bundle of fresh hay, he
ascended into the hay loft to repose himself for a few hours.
There was no light in the house, and for this reason he did
not enter it, that he might not disturb his mother; he would
also be nearer his horse, and would willingly miss the warm
hearth-fire to be near at hand should the pony require his care.
Exhausted with the fatigues of a day's labour in the forest
and a night on the road, Ivar soon fell into profound slumber,
dreaming now of his trusty pony, now of the coarse-mannered
courier, against whom he now used his fists right heartily; and
at a peculiarly well-directed blow, he broke forth in a joyful cry,
and in the midst of his great triumph, the deceitful vision
vanished. Ivar awoke, rubbed his eyes with the skirts of his
coat, and discovered that it only had been a dream. His bed in
the hay-loft, in the meantime, reminded him of his pony, and at
the first thought of his favourite he sprang to his feet, and
hastily descended to repair his involuntary neglect. But think
of the mute, deep sorrow of the boy, when he found his beloved,
his faithful, dear companion, lying on the ground, near the
manger, unable to return, even with one sound, Ivar's endearing
words. Ivar shook his mane, and, in plaintive tones, called him
by his familiar name. All for naught-the pony was dead!
"It is over with thee; and with thee my joy is gone also!"
said Ivar, sadly, seating himself on the floor, and suffering his
head to sink and rest on the pony; and tears of more bitterness
streamed down on his dead friend than are often wasted on many
a splendid funeral. Ivar's sorrow was simple and artless, like
himself; but it was, nevertheless, deeply felt within the inner-
most mine of his heart, and flickered there like a miner's lamp,
at the light of which many precious metals are glistening. Sadly
and silently he remained in this position, until his father, who
had long before arisen, and looked forth from the window to
watch the approach of the wagon, entered the stable, and here
found, to his no small astonishment and grief, his poor Ivar sunk
down beside the body of his dead friend.
What is the matter with you, for heaven's sake ? I think
the horse is dead Arise, Ivar, and relate, has the rascal driven
the animal to death T"
"Yes, he has killed him, with his driving and whipping,"
replied Ivar; and arose with an expression of rekindling anger for
the ignominy which he was forced to suffer from the officer; and
the memory of the death of the pony, his best friend, of which the
officer had been the cause, was recalled to his mind with vivid-
ness. But, believe me, father, you would not have fared better
even if you had been present yourself. You cannot think how
hastily he drove; and if you will promise not to say anything
else to my mother, you shall have the whole story."
And now Ivar reported his whole nightly adventure: he re-
membered every word that the officer had spoken, and even
every stroke that his poor white pony had received; but when
he commenced talking about himself, and was about relating to
20 THE SKJUTS-BOY.
his father how he had received lashes of the whip, and buffets
from the officer, his voice trembled so greatly, that his words were
difficult to be understood; for the sight of the pony, who laid
there motionless and stiff, and the thought that the only means
of his father's livelihood had gone to the grave, seized hold of
Ivar's soul, mingled with natural thought concerning his own
When his story, to which his father had listened attentively,
had come to an end, his father said, You have spoken and acted
as a man should;" but Ivar's heart was joyless at the praise
bestowed upon him, for his pony was dead, and his father was
poorer than ever.
I shall bury him deeply in the forest, close to the old oak-tree,"
said he, after a pause; "and often, when I am weary of my
work, I shall sit down on the mound, and will talk with the dead,
as I have been wont to do. He will neigh no more; but I shall
imagine that I hear his dear neigh replying to my words !"
His father shook his head mournfully; he understood well
the feelings of his dear son.
"Will you help me bear him off? But I think it will be best
that I should go in advance, and dig a grave for him."
"Well, do so, Ivar; but in the meantime, go in the house
and get something to eat; to-night I will talk to Olaves, that
"For what purpose, father?" interrupted Ivar, and a cold
shudder passed over him. "I hope you will not. No you will
not be so cruel to the poor pony, who has served you so faith-
We are poor people," said Christopher, with the immovable-
ness of a wild savage; it must be."
I have never felt before how bad it was to be poor," replied
Ivar, sadly, suffering his tears to fall upon the body of his dead
pony. During the first few days, after this sad event, the lonely
inhabitants of the forest-cot walked around singly, in a melan-
choly state of mind. Although Christopher read each evening
in his large hymn book, or in his Bible, or Mother Ingierd sung,
with a clear voice:
"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord !"
their hearts were, nevertheless, deeply grieved; and Ivar remained
longer than usual in the forest, often not returning until late at
night; for he sat, and gave free vent to his sad thoughts, upon
his pony's grave.
What have you on your mind I" said Father Christopher, one
morning, when Ivar took his axe and was about to depart. It
seems as though something else than grief at the death of the
pony was weighing on your mind."
"I cannot tear the poor animal from my thoughts, for a
better friend I shall never have again: he was much more dear
to me than you think," replied Ivar, with a slight degree of
violence. "But," he added, hesitatingly, "there are other
thoughts also that overcome me when I am sitting alone out
there in the woods, the like of which I have never had before."
"I should think so; but what is it that troubles you 7"
"Has it never struck your mind, father, that we are noble-
men, and, at the same time, peasants ?"
"No; God be praised, such thoughts have not, as yet, entered
my head," replied Father Christopher, in a tone which proved
clearly that he was in earnest. It is a long time since we were
people of high rank. Are your thoughts longing for that, Ivar ?"
A deeper glow than was usual suffused Ivar's countenance, as
he slowly and modestly answered, Take it as you choose, a
nobleman I never wish to become: this I say frankly; but I
feel the desire to leave the plough."
"What dost thou wish to become ? a soldier, perhaps! Art
thou desirous for more lashes still 7" inquired his father, moodily,
for he believed that his son felt an inclination to become a
"More lashes 1" cried Ivar, and a shudder passed through his
form, as though he saw a viper, of whose approach he was afraid.
"I certainly do not long for more lashes. Why do you ask me I"
"Because when I was young like you, I had the same folly in
my brain, and thought that the plough was far more difficult to
handle than the musket. But I paid dearly for my foolishness.
I left the farm, which I had inherited from my father, to my
brother-in-law, and entered the service. In the beginning, every
thing went right. New brooms sweep clean, as the old adage
says. It is so with everything. In the commencement all was
joy and mirth. But patience; as soon as one becomes warm in
his fine clothing he will soon have other thoughts. For a trivial
offence, I drew the ill-will of an officer upon me, and he well
remembered it. I at one time committed an unimportant mis-
take during drill, and the Satan, who was the commandant of a
company, ordered that I should receive fifty lashes in presence
of the entire company. I was proud also, you may believe, and
for that reason felt the bodily pain much less than the shame I
was forced to undergo. But that was not enough-I received,
into the bargain, a disgraceful discharge, and when I returned
home, and found the girl whom I long had loved, she turned her
face from me, and said that she would never marry such a wicked
wretch as I."
Here Christopher stopped. It could be perceived by his
words that the remembrance of those times still affected him
violently, and some time elapsed before he was enabled to con-
tinue, in a firmer tone, I did not wish to communicate these
facts to you at an earlier hour, but it would be a sin to be silent
longer, for it appears that it is your desire to bear a musket, and
wear a uniform. But you shall hear further, as my sad expe-
rience had not ended. No, at my return, I found my farm
entirely ruined by my brother-in-law's mismanagement, and not
a sheaf in the barn. I was forced to throw myself into debt to
be enabled to cultivate it again, and as the Lord punished me
for my foolish wish to gain glory in foreign countries-which,
however, I never achieved-first by bad crops, and then by one
distemper after another my cattle died, I was, therefore,
unable to pay my debts, and after I had worked for nought
eleven years, I saw my property transferred into the hands of
another, for the debts had overpowered me, and I was no longer
able to help myself, although both your mother and myself, for
I was married in the meantime, worked like slaves."
When Christopher stopped speaking, Ivar advanced toward
him, his whole countenance evincing the utmost interest in the
words he had just heard. Father," said he, solemnly, "I un-
derstand you. I shall not deny that I have occasionally had an
idea of becoming a soldier, when I should be enabled to rise in
life as well as many another. But here is my hand, I shall
never think of it any more. You have both suffered grief
enough in your life, than that I should give you cause for sorrow.
But one thing you ought not refuse me. I should like to go
into the city, and see the fine sights. While one is out in the
free air, wandering through fields and forests, he finds plenty of
time for meditation, and I shall certainly find out something for
Well thought and well spoken, my son," replied Christopher,
joyfully. "I was thinking myself that I should take such a
walk to sell the skin of the poor pony. Our whole hope of sup-
port is now resting on the sale of that."
Father !" exclaimed Ivar, in a supplicating tone, could you
not spare me that grief I"
"Then I shall be forced to go myself, with my swollen foot,
and at the same time lose three days of labour. Do you desire
that, Ivar I"
We are poor people," replied Ivar, in a low voice, and are
therefore obliged to torture our own hearts. I will take the
And sell it for as much as you can."
I will do my best, but now I must hurry and bring in some
fuel for mother, that she will not have to go after it while I am
After Ivar had gone into the forest, Mother Ingierd returned
home with a small pot of milk, for which she had exchanged at
a neighbour's with some spun flax, and was informed of Irar's
intended journey. The following morning, after she had placed
in his pocket his scant supply of food for his journey, which con-
sisted of three cakes, one herring, and a piece of dried mutton,
Ivar left his paternal home, accompanied with the blessings of
his parents, and bearing the remains of his faithful pony, rolled
up in the form of a knapsack, on his back, and took the road for
Until the last glimpse of his grey jacket had disappeared into
the forest, Mother Ingierd looked with tender eyes after the
Come in, mother," cried Christopher from within. "Has
not the boy been away from home more than once before ?"
The Lord bless him; although he has an odd mind, I have
never seen in him from his earliest youth, anything but joy,"
said Mother Ingierd, with a pious sigh, and returning to the
house sat down to her distaff in silence.
THE JOURNEY.-A LITTLE ADVENTURE.
ON a bright sunny day in October, Ivar began his wanderings,
and towards noon had arrived at the spot where the heights of
Quistrum slope down gradually into the bewitching valley, which,
divided by a river, offers to the eye a rich, varied, and gay pic-
ture of one of the most magnificent works of nature. Ivar
descended, and at each step his bosom swelled with glowing
feelings, which he could scarcely describe himself. It was the
sight of the magnificent works of the Creator, which had such an
effect upon the yet unpolished mind of the boy. This could be
perceived by the eagerness with which his drinking eye rested
upon every object.
Arriving at the bridge which spanned the river, he rested
a moment, leaning over the railing so that he might better
watch the tall birchen trees, which were mirrored on the surface
of the quiet water near the shore, while in the centre of the
stream the water rushed with foaming violence; and when he
upraised his eyes, he suffered them to glide along the shadowy
mountain tops, which, like protecting bulwarks, were towering
beside the meandering road, which in itsturn, added gaiety to the
picture, by the continual walking and driving of men and horses.
To the left of the side by which Ivar came, the excellent and
cleanly tavern of Quistrum stood, and still stands, the often much
longed-for place of repose for the weary traveller. To that place
Ivar looked with wistful eye, after he had gazed sufficiently at
the beautiful scenery with which he was surrounded, which,
the more he gazed upon it, seemed to gain new beauties.
This must be a comfortable place to live," thought Ivar; and
stepping to the left, he passed through the court-yard and
entered the kitchen. Here, however, he stayed his progress,
mute with astonishment, for a scene here presented itself, that
made a deep impression on his already excited imagination, and
which, even after the most manifold adventures of many future
years, never vanished from his memory.
Near the hearth stood a slender woman, with a child in her
arms, and stirred the contents of a milk-pot with a spoon. On
her small hand, the skin of which seemed to Ivar to be whiter
even than the silver foam of the river, glittered precious rings,
the bright many-coloured gems of which reflected the light of the
crackling fire with redoubled splendour. When the fire streamed
up, it threw its reddish glare upon a pale countenance, that was
overshadowed by a pale blueness beneath her mild-appearing
eyes. The stranger was clothed in a black velvet dress, the
shape of which appeared even to Ivar, who was but little
acquainted with the fashion of ladies' clothing, to be a pattern
made in foreign taste. Its cape was bordered with a silver-grey
fringe, and fastened in front with a golden clasp, from which a
golden chain was suspended, which the child held in his little
hand, and mechanically played with it. The other extremity of
the chain was attached to her girdle by a large hook, and re-
tained the watch in its position. But what lent a peculiar charm
to the whole scene, in Ivar's eyes, was a little shaggy yellow
dog that was lying at the lady's feet, playing with the fringe of
her velvet dress.
Our hero could not decide whether the lady was beautiful or
not, although he looked long and earnestly at her pale face,
which seemed wet with tears. But this much he knew certainly,
and felt in his innermost heart, that, although she was entirely
unknown to him, he would have risked his life to render her a
service. For in her deep eyes there was something that exerted
a much more powerful influence over him than a black stormy
night, the delight of his heart.
Of the child, that was scarcely a year and a half old, he saw
nothing but the little white neck, over which its silken curls
were falling from under the blue silk bonnet. The charming
picture, however, soon vanished, as the child was crying with
pain, and when its mother turned round to unlock the door, the
face of the infant became visible, and Ivar observed that the
cause of its complaint was an inflamed and swollen eye, from
which the protecting bandage had partly fallen.
Do you not recover your vision, Ivar ?" said a young, red-
cheeked servant-girl to him, who was tinkling gaily a mortar and
pestle, and teased Ivar, because he was still looking at the door
through which the strange lady had disappeared with her child.
Ah yes-I should have said good-day. How do you do,
Liesgreta ? Your house is as full of travellers as ever I before
Yes, and we are not sorry for it. But how are all the folks
at Swarteborg ? They say here, that next Sunday the banns of
Britte and Skagn, John and Gertrude, will be proclaimed. Do
you know anything about it 7"
But who was the lady that was standing near the fire here ?
Do you know her I"
"Alas! that is a German lady, who is travelling after an
officer, who is said to have married her in foreign countries. She
is now desirous of searching for him in Norway. But I think
she has been deceived, as many others have been before her.
Yes, yes, our people could not stay always in that country."
"The poor, poor woman!" said Ivar, with unmistakable
emotion. "I am very sorry about her."
"I would not say so myself," said Liesgreta, throwing back
her little head. What have the nasty German girls to do with
our soldiers anyhow? It serves them right if they have been
fooled. Why did they seduce our boys as if there were not
enough young ladies, mademoiselles, maidens, and lasses in
Sweden. Yes, God be praised, we are still as pretty as others,
and I would not advise Nicholas Kron, my lover, to meddle
with those pale-nosed Germans, who may have cast sheep's-eyeq
at him." With these words Greta pounded the pestle in the
mortar with such force that the cinnamon flew in every
Have you not yet spoken to Nicholas since he has returned?"
"No; don't you know that they had to march all together, to
Norway; but now we shall have peace, as I have been informed
to a certainty by a courier officer who passed through here a few
days ago, and then it will become otherwise with Nicholas, that
I will promise. If I marry him next spring, as we agreed last
spring, and he is not obliged to the wars again, he must leave
off gazing at other women. But do you not wish to eat some-
thing ? Our lady has gone to the city, and for that reason I
have the keys to-day."
Ivar accepted her invitation, advanced to the kitchen-table,
and took hold of what Liesgreta's hospitality had placed before
him. He had not so much of an appetite as he thought he had
during his walk from the bridge to the house, for it was utterly
impossible for him to cease thinking of the strange lady, and the
child with the swollen eyebrow and black bandage: even the
little dog he could not forget. He would have worked, God
knows how much, to have owned such a treasure. In the mean-
time Ivar was obliged, after a short consultation with Liesgreta,
to continue his journey. When he arrived in the neighbourhood
of Uddevalla it was quite dark; but, without searching for a
tavern, he went, without delay, to the house of the tanner, Brun,
which was located at the other extremity of the town.
Ivar was fortunate enough to find the tanner at home, and
after he had waited a short time, he was admitted into the room,
where Master Brun was in the custom of smoking his evening
Not without a slightly-beating heart, our hero undertook to
open the first business with which he had ever been intrusted,
but everything he saw upon his entrance filled him with courage
and confidence, as it was almost impossible for him to be other-
wise, as he was by nature a courageous youth.
In the corner of a massive brown-covered sofa, sat Master
Brun, with a pipe in his mouth, taking now and then a draught
from a pewter mug filled with beer, that stood on a table by his
Directly opposite him stood a large bedstead, with yellow
checkered curtains, from the interior of which was suspended a
strong rope striped with red and yellow, with a huge tassel
attached, for the better convenience of those who occupied it, to
raise themselves. The wall near the bed was ornamented with
a blue velvet cushion, upon which hung Master Brun's great
silver watch, with a huge chain ornamented with enormous seals.
and on both sides, conspicuously placed, hung two silhouettes of
himself and wife, cut out in prepared black silk, and pasted on
sheepskin, which might have been white in former times. On
the top of the high bed, richly filled with feathers, a fat grey
cat was lying, stretched out on the green camelet quilt, in harm-
less slumber, and on the other side Mrs. Brun's half-finished
stocking of the same colour as the cat. If one will imagine, in
addition to the above, a cupboard, through the half-open door of
which, a row of shining silver spoons, and a mass of linen were
visible, little tables placed in each corner, with china of all colours
arranged upon them, and besides these, a shelf in one corner,
whose mysterious curtain of grey canvas gave reason for the
supposition that it was a hidden sanctuary, then one will have
the complete room before him.
There were, in fact, neither new nor peculiarly neat things in
the above room. But everything looked so homely and comfort-
able, that it is difficult to describe them by words, and this
comfort was still heightened by a bright, crackling fire, which
illumined objects animate and inanimate with its cheering rays.
The whole belonged, as a matter of course, to Master Brun him-
self, who did not cut a poor figure, in his brown, every-day
jacket, his red cap, cocked on one ear, and looking very gay and
friendly. That he was a very kind and cheerful man one could
easily perceive in the tone with which he addressed Ivar, as he
fixed his little twinkling grey eyes upon him.
"What is your desire, my boy I"
I came only to inquire whether the gentleman will buy a
Ahem! I am not just now in want of one; I am sufficiently
supplied with them. It depends, merely, however, on how much
the price is."
Alas! should I ask as much for my white pony's hide as it
is dear to me, it might come very high; but I will take what-
ever I can get for it."
As to that, you are perfectly right, because it makes no
difference to me whether it is the hide of a white or a black
Yes, yes, that may be so, but I certainly shall have something
for it, I loved the pony so dearly, and if father had not wanted
the money so bad, I would have worked myself to death to
prevent the pony's hide from being taken off."
"Well, that is noble of you that you are so careful of your
father's interest. You say you are very poor ?"
"Oh, yes, very poor," replied Ivar, with a half suppressed
Listen, step closer to me, my son," said the tanner now, in a
still milder tone, which seemed to indicate that a new light had
flashed through his beer-laden head, step nearer-where have
you come from T"
"From the forest of Swarteborg."
"And your name ?"
Ah! I know,-I know you now; first nobleman, afterward
peasant, and lastly cottager. You have the appearance, how-
ever, that you are a noble and clever boy; perhaps I can do
something for you, if you are willing to learn the trade of a
tanner. I am just in want of an honest, faithful boy, because
the boy that I have had until now has served his time, and
become a journeyman. Several others have already called upon
me, but I have not found any yet that I liked."
Ivar was astonished at this proposal, but said he would reflect
concerning the matter.
"Yes, do so; but have you a resting-place for to-night T" in-
quired the tanner.
I have no acquaintances upon whom I can call, but I shall
endeavour to find some place."
That is not necessary; you may remain here with us; step
into the work-room, and tell the boys to prepare a place for you,
and as to your supper, that shall not be forgotten." Heartily
grateful for the unexpected luck which had happened to him, Ivar
went to the designated place, and found his companions there
such gay and clever boys, that he would have considered himself
happy to remain all his life with them; and aside from that, he
might calculate upon good board, and upon a small but
nevertheless to him valuable salary, by which he could support
his parents, after his term of apprenticeship had expired. His
heart beat more joyously, and the thought of the majestic storms
in the dark forest of Swarteborg retreated more and more into
the background, especially as his faithful friend and comrade was
no longer living, and with him all hope of earnings by skjut, and
upon hand-money had vanished. In short, after he had weighed
the matter in his mind over and over, the scales fell decidedly in
favour of the tanner, and when Ivar was asked in the morning
for his decision, he asked for eight days' grace, to talk the matter
over with his parents, and to have his clothes put in proper
Master Brun thought that the boy's desire was a proper
one, and willingly consented to it, as he had taken a fancy to
him. He paid him for his hide, and promised him that for the
future, Ivar should be satisfied, if he would only conduct himself
With a lighter heart and gayer feelings than he had had for a
long time, Ivar left Uddevalla in the afternoon; but as he had
an acquaintance in Herrstod he remained there over night, and
did not arrive at Quistrum until the next morning, between
nine and ten o'clock. During the last quarter of an hour, the
thought of the strange lady, her child, and her little long-haired
yellow dog, came into his mind.
"I should like to know where they are now," he thought, and
almost jumped with joy, when, upon his entrance into the court-
yard of the tavern at Quistrum, he saw her before him, as she was
just about ascending into a cart with her child, which cart did
not seem fit to accommodate such a tender lady. But when a
little boy, to all appearance, not over seven or eight years old,
stepped up to take the reins from the hands of the wagon-master,
Ivar had the pleasure of hearing her sweet voice, as she inquired
in broken, but easily to be understood Swedish, whether a more
reliable driver could be obtained. "Pshaw! with that boy
you will have no trouble; he has driven a great deal," replied the
wagon-master, with an arrogance which he thought he had a
right to use against every unattended female.
"0 God!" sighed the lady, and wrapped the cloak around the
crying infant. "What shall I do? Have compassion, and let
some one else drive. I dare not trust myself and child with
such an inexperienced boy."
The wagon-master laughed, in that stupid and rough manner
which is often the case with people of his class in society, put
his slouched cap over his ear, and said, that she might as well
submit, as it could not be otherwise at any rate.
"Where are you going ?" inquired Ivar, advancing nearer the
"To Swarteborg," replied the boy, endeavouring to incase his
big hands in his gloves, to enable him to grasp the reins more
firmly. At this moment Ivar advanced modestly, but with the
assurance of a man who is about offering consolation, to the
strange lady, and said, more devoutly than he had ever before
done to any person, "I am going to Swarteborg; it is my home;
if you will permit me to drive you, I am good for any accident
that might happen, which depends upon the driver."
"Accept my thanks, noble boy, I will remunerate your kind-
ness as much as I am able," said she, with friendly emotion, and
the look with which she accompanied the words was more
valuable to Ivar than all.
Ivar advised the lady to walk up the hill on foot; and with
the child in her arms, preceded by her dog, she began the diffi-
cult ascent. But before she had half completed the distance,
she felt that her powers would not uphold her farther. As soon
as Ivar saw this, he bade the boy to lead the horse up the hill,
and offered to carry the child. Without objection the lady con-
fided the little innocent to his care. While he pressed the child
tenderly to his bosom, all kind of singular thoughts arose within
him. It appeared to him something so consoling, so secretly
sweet, to have such an innocent being under his protection, he
could not refrain from pressing his lips on the child's white
cheeks, yet there could not be found in the whole world two
beings so utterly dissimilar as the white pony and the little
angel he bore in his arms. Nevertheless his present feelings
were much similar to those which he had formerly entertained
for his favourite.
Ivar's heart was actually made for love. He felt the want of
taking care of some one. It was for these reasons that he was
now so happy, and wished that his way to Swarteborg was twice
as long as it really was.
When he had reached the summit of the hill, the lady entered
the cart, took her child in her arms, wrapped the cloak carefully
around it, and closed her eyes, either for protection from the
wind, which drove up dense clouds of dust, or to suppress her
As the cart was too small for all of them, the skjuts-boy was
prevailed upon, for a small sum of money, to walk, and Ivar
conducted the carriage. That he might not crowd the tender
lady, he squeezed himself as closely as possible to the side of the
cart, and as soon as everything was arranged, and the dog stowed
away under Ivar's feet, they continued their journey.
During the whole ride, the lady did not speak, except once,
when Ivar praised the beautiful dog, she said that it had been
offered for sale, by some one who was in great want, and was
obliged to sell it.
"Alas! that was too bad," said Ivar, and felt the utmost com-
passion for the one, although unknown to him, who had shared
the same fate with him. He thought of his pony, and kept a
continued silence, yet could not refrain from bending down occa-
sionally and patting the little dog.
When the cart stopped at the dirty and disgusting-looking
tavern at Swarteborg, a visible tremor affected the young lady.
Her look met Ivar's eyes, with that same unspeakable expres-
sion of gratitude that she had given him when he offered his
"Are you now obliged to leave me?" said she, sorrowfully.
Ivar was transported with inward joy at the kind words, and
when he heard that it was the landlord's turn to furnish the horses,
he offered to drive instead of the servant. He would only run
home quickly, and inform his parents, and return in a moment.
"Do not stay away too long," said the stranger, entreatingly,
and with a look of disgust entered the smoky and dirty room.
Ivar almost flew over the well-known forest path, hardly
taking time to bestow a friendly look upon his pony's grave.
He did not remain longer in the house than was necessary to
hand over the money which he had received for the hide, and to
give a short account of the success of his mission. Brun's pro-
position he submitted to the consideration of his parents during
his absence, and entreated them not to be uneasy even should he
be absent a little longer, for it would be a never-to-be-forgiven
sin if he should desert the lady, and it might be possible that
she would ask him to go farther with her than Rabbalshede.
And it happened so, at every new change of the horses, the
strange lady fixed her uneasy eye with an entreating expression
upon him, so that he had not the heart to say no, when she
asked him if he would not have the kindness to accompany her
The nearer they approached the Norwegian frontier, the
higher rose the soft flame upon her cheeks, and so much brighter
shone the glance of her eye.
At Hodel, Ivar was about taking leave of her, but with a few
words, she persuaded him to accompany her to Svinesund, and
thus Ivar accompanied her faithfully to the Norwegian frontier,
where she hoped to find the end of her wearisome journey. But
now they had to take leave of each other, for if Ivar remained
longer absent, he lost his place in Mr. Brun's tannery. Aside
from this, it was only a few miles to Friedrikshall-and, in
consequence of the convention of Moss, that fortress was now in
the hands of the Swedes, and the lady hoped, at least, if she did
not meet her husband, she would find some one who would give
her certain information of him.
"But how shall I reward you for your trouble?" said the
lady, with emotion, when they took leave of each other.
"I have accompanied you for my own pleasure only, not for
money," said Ivar, and the tone in which he spoke left no room
for one to mistake his opinion.
"What! you will not accept any pay?" said she, mournfully,
and the tears stole through her long eyelashes. "How shall I
reward you, then, for what you have done "
"You do not owe me the least," answered Ivar; "I followed
you of my own free accord; but if you-" he here abruptly
ceased, and blushed deeply.
"If I what? Speak it out, if you wish anything."
"Yes, I have one wish, but---"
"Well, say it," said she, impatiently.
"I should like to have that pretty little dog, I have taken
such a fancy for him."
"Very well, I like him also, although I have not owned him
long; but you deserve that I should give you something that I
also value. Take him, and sometimes remember the stranger
to whom you have rendered so great a service."
With a shout of joy, Ivar accepted the kind gift, and when
he offered his hand in farewell to the lady, she reached the child
to him, and let fall from her tiny hand a knit purse, containing
several pieces of gold, into Ivar's hand, and said: "This is given
from my daughter, for the purpose of supporting her companion,
Diana, whom she now presents to you."
A natural tender feeling caused Ivar to accept the gift which
was thus presented him. With deep sadness, but nevertheless
with a sense of pride, that he had acted more nobly to the lady
than the courier had acted toward him, with a hesitating step
he left those whom he had protected. Long after he arrived at
the Swedish side, he directed his eyes once more towards Norway,
and prayed silently for the deeply-grieved woman.
At last he took his travelling companion, Diana, under his
arm, and continued his way toward his home.
GREAT CONFUSION CREATED BY MRS. BRUN'S CAT.
ON the evening of the fourth day of his journey, Ivar stepped
through the door of his paternal home, and the many questions
which were asked him, seemed as though they would have no
end. But Ivar was weary, and begged them to allow him to
sleep first. His mother prepared a bed of straw, and covered it
with a coarse but warm blanket, obtained a new pillow case,
and satisfied with these preparations, Ivar laid himself down,
and was soon sound asleep, dreaming of the beautiful pale lady,
and her child with its bandaged eye. As he saw them now in
his dreams, so he saw them after a lapse of many years, and little
Diana remained a pledge to him, that accompanied him every-
where. It was a chain of connexion which served to prove to
him that his memory had not been a dream.
After Ivar had related the particulars of his journey to the
Norwegian frontier, and had patiently suffered his mother's
reproaches, that he had brought along with him another hungry
mouth to fill, the most important subject, the proposal of Master
Brun, was discussed.
"What is your opinion, Ivar 7" said his father, who sat on the
table, twirling his thumbs. "What do you think? you shall
not be forced to do it; but I think it as good as anything
If you do go, you can come over and see us on Sundays, and
other holidays," said his mother, drawing her chair nearer to his
father, so as to participate in this important conversation, and in
her husband's authority.
Ivar, who had been sitting on the hearth stone, playing with
his Diana, had remained silent until now. He was desirous of
knowing what his parents would say concerning the proposition.
But when he heard that they were in favour of it, he broke the
silence, and walking toward the table, he extended his hand to
his father, saying-
Strike hands I shall become a tanner. If I do not return
on the eighth day you need not expect me at all."
Christopher and his wife were not prepared for such a quick
decision, and therefore now made, as all other people do, the
most foolish objections. But Ivar was not willing to take back
his words, and therefore refuted all their objections with, It is
now decided, I shall become a tanner."
And by this resolution he steadfastly remained. Previous to
his leaving his home, he divided the contents of his purse with
his parents. One half, which he had retained as his part, he
determined to apply to the purpose of buying himself a new
jacket as soon as he arrived at the city, so as to be enabled to
commence his new condition in life with becoming dignity. His
parents accompanied him quite a distance through the forest,
and for eight days after his departure, Mother Ingierd's eyes
remained red and swollen by her excessive weeping.
If we should follow our hero's life, pace by pace, through his
entire apprenticeship at Mr. Brun's, it would not be very
interesting; but we cannot forego saying that Ivar gradually
acquired a taste for reading, by means of which his mind,
naturally powerful, assumed a firmer and more decided ten-
dency. All his leisure hours he employed in reading books,
whenever he could obtain them; but with the exception of a
Bible, a biblical history and a short extract from Swedish
history were all the literary treasures he possessed, for neither the
journeymen nor the other two apprentices were inclined to spend
their time in such a seemingly unprofitable and tedious manner.
But when the master found his apprentice every Sunday
afternoon with a book in his hand, instead of roving through
the streets, as his fellows did, his sentiments turned still more
strongly in Ivar's favour, especially as he always attended to his
day's labour with peculiar diligence and activity. To reward'
him properly, and to encourage him to still greater diligence, his
master took him one pleasant Sabbath afternoon into his room,
led him to the before-mentioned concealed shelf, and withdrew
the curtain with as much haste as the surgeon at Rosenberg
used, when he brought to the traveller Bystroem's sleeping Juno.
And lo! before Ivar's enraptured gaze a field of unbounded
joy was opened. Two long rows of books, yellow with age,
sometimes a hal; and sometimes the third only of a volume,
and occasionally a whole one; fragments from all the book-
auctions that Mr. Brun had attended for the last twenty years.
"That is my library," said honest Brun, joyfully. I have
never allowed either my journeymen or apprentices to look upon
them; but you, Ivar, are a promising and clever boy, diligent
and active in your business, as in your conduct also, and for
these reasons I shall honour you, so that you will remember
your master all the days of your life."
I shall certainly do so," said Ivar, his eyes glistening with
pleasure, as he stood enchained by rapture to the spot, as his
master drew one volume after another from the library, and
gave him his choice. Not to occupy too much time in selecting,
he took, in God's name, the first that came to his hand, and left
all to fortune, until the treasure he had chosen would become
exhausted. Master Brun was glad he did so, as he was not able
to advise Ivar in the choice of the books, and being convinced
that they were all of equal value.
The first great catch was "Peter Wilkins, or the Flying
People," bound together with Gulliver's Travels," both forming
a volume the size of a prayer-book. Ivar conveyed the treasure
to his room, and from that hour, after he had opened the sturdy
leather cover, there was displayed to his astonished senses suck
THE SKJUTS BOY.
a new and miraculous world, that his brain was completely
bewildered by the mass of strange adventures. Day and night,
during his work in the shop, and when in his silent bed, he
dreamed of nothing but giants, dwarfs, flying men and women,
and bewitched princesses. He became a perfect wandering
edition of the "Arabian Nights," and at length gave way so
much to these unwonted enjoyments, that his dearest recollec-
tions, the journey with the German lady and her baby, and even
the remembrance of the old pony, were gradually driven from
Under such circumstances, Ivar was very happy in the
position of a tanner's apprentice, and the only disagreeable thing
that clouded his stay in Master Brun's house was the continual
fights between Mrs. Brun's cat and Ivar's favourite and con-
stant companion, the golden-haired Diana.
Mrs. Brun was a very good-natured, honest old woman, but
she had transferred all that tenderness to her cat which she
would have probably bestowed on her own children, if she had
had any. For this reason she would never allow the horrible
dog to put even his nose within the door, for as soon as this
happened, the cat, disturbed from her slumber, sprang from the
bed, tearing down with her Mrs. Brun's stocking and ball of
yarn, with which the cat and Diana used to tangle themselves
into the utmost confusion, and when Mrs. Brun heard the well-
known spitting and howling, she would jump into the room
where they were, and knitting-needles flew around briskly, and
the yarn was broken to pieces; she usually ran after her un-
completed stocking, and generally found it torn open down to
And was she not right ? and did not Diana come devoutly to
her call, holding the tangled yarn in her mouth, and attempt to
sneak off through the open door, when she knew certainly that
a storm was brewing? But Mrs. Brun was too quick for Diana,
and always shut the door before the dog could escape, and she
was forced to suffer many a buffet and threat, for having induced
the cat into such mischievous pranks. The cat was then obliged
to seek safety under the stove; but this did not terminate the
matter. Master Brun was called upon, and seriously admonished
to give Ivar a severe lecture, the rogue, for it was a pure scandal
to conduct himself thus.
Well, what is the matter now 1" inquired the tanner, with
the utmost composure.
What is the matter ? How dare you ask such a question ?
You see on the floor there the cause; but if you do not wish to
hear or see anything, you may know that that wretch of a dog
is seducing my cat, who never before cut such indecent capers
with stocking-yarn and knitting-needles. Look here-is that
nothing ? and to stop this, I have to walk here from the kitchen,
and let my bacon burn-is that nothing ? But if you do not
wish to inform the boy yourself, that he must either drown his
dog, or must take him from the house, with himself also, I shall
throw the wretch into the water myself, if he does not do so."
"You will not do it, my child," replied the tanner, quietly.
"Diana is Ivar's favourite, and Ivar is a good boy. He cannot
help it, that the dog and cat cannot agree; all you must do, is to
keep the door shut."
But Mrs. Brun was not satisfied with this, by no means. As
soon as her husband had walked out after his noon's nap, she
stepped without hesitation to the tannery, and lectured Ivar so
impressively, that he became very sad, and, looking at his Diana,
he said, Before I shall drown you, I would rather pack up my
bundle, and go myself. As dear as the library is to me, you are
much dearer. There is nobody in the whole world that I love
so much as I do you."
Mrs. Brun's threats, however, were not carried into force,
although she repeated them daily, for in spite of her loquacious-
ness and high-sounding ways, she, nevertheless, held her husband
in the greatest respect, and was very careful not to make him
angry in earnest. Master Brun was a plain sensible man in his
daily life, but if he once became angry, it would not do to joke
Mrs. Brun's constant scolding and grumbling, however, caused
Ivar to resolve that as soon as he had completed his apprentice-
ship he would seek a place in another tannery. He esteemed
his old master very highly, and the treasure behind the grey
curtain no less; but there was something else, which was of still
greater value to him--peace, within and without. It can
hardly be imagined how much Mrs. Brun's constant scolding
pained him. He was a gay, clever boy, and did not care for
reproach more than was necessary, but there are characters which
can never endure such shrews, while others bear with them as
with their daily bread. Ivar longed, with all his heart, for a
place where there was no cat, or a scolding woman to be found.
In the meantime his intellectual developments, as well as his
desire for information, had taken a better direction after his con-
firmation, which took place in his sixteenth year. During this
time, he had entered into a closer acquaintance with one of his
schoolmates, who was soon to be promoted from the lower school
into the college. This young man often lent Ivar some of his
books, who, amid the throng of better ideas he received from
them, cast out the mass of the confused ideas which were the
consequence of his former readings. With as much zeal as he
had devoured the myths of the traditional world, he now studied
history and geography, and even scribbled with chalk rough
maps on a piece of leather, by the aid of which he made
journeys, in his chamber, through foreign countries.
Assisted by the first friend whom he had gained, he advanced
at a rapid pace. The young and fashionable Leopold Wirtn,
himself a stranger in the place, where he had been sent by his
guardian at the death of his parents, attached himself with
warm interest and real friendship to Ivar, who, on his part,
hung with infinite tenderness on him to whom he owed so much.
An equally sad fate rendered their connexion still closer.
After three years had passed, Ivar lost both his parents; and
as he now stood alone in the wide world, with his warm heart,
that had so often appeared to him like an enigma, he sometimes
felt a voidness and a longing, which neither Diana's friendly
caresses could dispel, nor could be decreased by the most assiduous
application to his books. But when he visited his friend, and,
after his day's labour had closed, took a walk with him out upon
the forest-covered mountains of Gustavsburg, he began to feel
better, for Leopold stood as isolated in the world as himself, and
in spite of the difference in their temperaments and degrees of
education, they understood each other well.
They soon, however, became more equal, for Ivar's good head
and natural pride would not suffer him to remain long behind
his friend. Concerning the mark of true politeness, the modesty
of Borgenstierna, as he was now called, taught him the path as
well as Leopold's more careful education.
Thus Ivar's apprenticeship gradually passed away. Leopold
had long since left Uddevalla, and entered the gymnasium at
Gothenborg, and often wrote to his friend from there, whose
highest joy was to hear from the absent one.
But it was not yet time to take a new and firm resolution for
his future life, and although Master Brun endeavoured to
persuade him, in all possible ways, to remain with him as a
journeyman tanner, and even gave hope that he would accept
him, at some future time, as his partner, Ivar's long-entertained
dislike to the domestic quarrels strengthened him in the convic-
tion that a longer stay would not be beneficial to his gloomy
and mournful disposition.
He therefore communicated to his master his unalterable pur-
pose of commencing the usual time of travelling, and after that
to settle down in another place. Mrs. Brun's virulent disposi-
tion had caused him to dislike Uddevalla, of which city, however,
he did not know much more than his master's place of business,
and the road to Gustavsburg.
"The boy will be an irretrievable loss to me," said Master
Brun to his wife; and at this moment unluckily caught the cat's
tail between the door, and gave it a terrible squeeze.
"Are you mad?" cried his wife, jumping up as though she
was crazy; "must you squeeze my unfortunate cat to death
because the boy is trampling his own fortunes under his feet ?"
"It was the cat's own fault," replied Brun, angrily; and did
not cease to use threatening gestures at his wife, neither did he
loose the unfortunate member from its painful position, until he
thought that their united cries would deafen him.
A few weeks after this little conjugal dispute, Ivar took his
knapsack upon his back, and placed the certificate of good con-
duct in his pocket, and left the house of his late master. He had
just arrived at the age of twenty-one, and might justly be con-
sidered a handsome, well-formed young man. Without giving a
more minute history of our hero's outward appearance, and his
wanderings, we will conclude this section of his life, not to see
him again until many years have elapsed.
THE TRAVELLERS ON THE STEAMER.
IT was on a beautiful July afternoon, in the year 1833, that
the steamer Thor lay near the shore of Soederkoeping,* to take
on fuel. While a part of the passengers were promenading on
the beautiful piazza which was placed around the large assembly-
room, a party of three persons were to be seen, followed by two
porters, approaching the boat. A tall well-formed man, in a
blue undress uniform, led the van. He wore a large moustache,
which, with his erect and firm walk, would cause one to recognize
an old military man in him. He was followed over the gang-
plank by a lady, whose appearance furnished evidence that the
summer of her life had not entirely vanished. The last person
was a young lady, of about eighteen or nineteen years, of rather
small, but neat form, and pleasing exterior. In her every motion
the lively fire of youth was displayed.
With a proud and aristocratic mien, our acquaintance (we
mean the gentleman) overlooked the almost empty quarter-deck,
saluted the captain with a slight bow and a few words, and after-
ward called to a chattering female servant.
"Show us the state-room which has been ordered by the
Lieutenant-colonel and Chamberlain de Dressen and family."
There it is," said Miss Christine. When the gentlefolks had
entered the dressing-room, and unlocked the door of Number 2,
" Pshaw! I do not wish to have that room," grumbled the
colonel; "we shall be roasted there! Tell the captain I must
have another state-room."
* A bathing place in the southern part of Sweden.
* THE SKJUTS-BOY.
There are no more vacant, except one, and that has already
been spoken for by another gentleman," replied Christine.
"Never mind, go; there must be a change made." With
these words, the colonel gestured to her that she should go, and
then threw himself upon a sofa, and, without troubling himself
how the ladies should arrange their matters, he threw his hat,
gloves, pipe, and carpet-bag upon the table.
"We shall have close quarters here," said the elder lady, the
wife of the lieutenant-colonel; and gave her daughter, Amelia,
who had just put her little head through the door, a signal to
arrange her things on the left-hand side of the state-room.
"One must know how to accustom themselves to a small
room; I have been obliged to do so for the last twenty years,"
replied the colonel.
At that moment the servant-girl returned with the answer
from the captain, that it was impossible to have another room.
"That would be a pretty story, indeed, if I should not be
allowed to make a change! Go, once more, and tell the captain
that he may have the kindness to come here for a moment.
Tell him that the Lieutenant-colonel and Chamberlain de Dressen
wishes to see him."
After the girl had closed the door, which she did with a
dubious, almost pointed smile, Madame de Dressen turned toward
her husband, and ventured timidly to observe, that the captain
would probably not heed the request, but would expect that the
passenger would come to him.
"I expect, nevertheless, that he will do so." With these
words, the lieutenant-colonel stopped further conversation, and
gazed eagerly at the door.
Suddenly, Christine again entered, saying-" The captain
sends his compliments to the lieutenant-colonel, and says, if he
wishes to speak to him, he may be found on the after-deck."
A lengthened Indeed," lingered on the lips of the haughty
man. If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mo-
hammed will be obliged to go to the mountain," he added, con-
temptuously, rising and ascending the staircase, with becoming
The captain was standing on the wheel-house, with a telescope
applied to his eye, looking at another steamer.
"Hear ye!" commenced the lieutenant-colonel, in a loud
voice, that the captain, who feigned that he was not aware of
his presence, might render to him due deference. "Hear ye,
captain: you must know that I must have another state-room
for myself and family; the one that has been shown me is placed
too near the engine; we shall be completely roasted !"
"That would not be pleasant, certainly," said the captain
without removing the telescope from his eye.
Not very pleasant d-d unpleasant !" replied the lieutenant-
colonel, in great wrath. "But I should think it was the duty
of a captain of a steamer to respond to the wishes of his pas-
sengers with politeness !"
"Yes, certainly, as long as they are moderate."
"Now, if you admit that, procure another state-room for me;
for you certainly cannot find anything more reasonable than
my unwillingness to become an inmate of the leaden chambers
There are no other state-rooms to be had; the rest are all
occupied," replied the captain, shortly.
"I have been told, notwithstanding, that there is one yet
"But will be taken by a person who has ordered Number 6."
"But listen! Can there not one be found among the pas-
sengers to whom the heat would be less troublesome than to
me? You will certainly be so gallant; and consider that--"
"I beg your pardon 1" interrupted the captain; "I can con-
sider nothing but my orders, and that is the same to all. As
soon as a state room is engaged by its number, it is handed over
if it is not yet occupied. The lieutenant-colonel was not pleased
to order a distinct number, and for that reason. Excuse me!
but my time will not permit me to delay longer."
With these words, the captain descended the stairs, with the
bearing of a man who knows the meaning of the four words,
"Here I am master!" The lieutenant.colonel walked back to
his room, trembling with rage and excitement, and found his
wife and daughter had, in the meantime, endeavoured to
arrange the state-room as comfortably as possible.
Without speaking, the lieutenant-colonel flung himself on a
sofa, and with the flat of his hand rubbed his knitted brow until
it became as red as the cherries which Amelia extended to him
in a neat little basket, with the innocent words-
"Will you not refresh yourself, papa? they are so juicy!"
"To refresh me! why?"
"It is so warm," replied Amelia; and, taking the finest
cherries, made them into a little bunch, to show how truly she
"Thank you, my child," said the lieutenant-colonel, taking a
couple of them; but did so more to comply with the will of his
lovely daughter, than because he was very fond of them. Then,
moving Amelia a little to one side, he turned toward his wife.
That bear has not a spark of good-breeding in him; I shall be
obliged now to take a berth in the saloon."
"Here it will certainly be too close for us," replied his wife;
and in her tone there lay-still more than in her words-
applause for her husband's determination.
"Yes, convenience is near your heart; but what my purse
will say to it is quite another thing: but about that you care
"You do me injustice! Only recollect how much I was
against this journey to the bathing-place."
"This only shows your dulness. Whoever wants to fish, does
not remain at home and angle in the goose-pond, if he is not a
"Don't say so!" whispered Amelia, entreatingly, and looking
toward the door. "I thought that somebody was listening out-
side." Hardly had she uttered these words, when they heard
a loud noise, which neared them more and more-state-room
doors were suddenly opened, and then flapped back again, and
on the quarter-deck it became more lively. Every thing signi-
fied that the passengers had arrived, and that the Thor was
about continuing its voyage.
"Keep quiet down here!" said the lieutenant-colonel, arising.
"I shall walk up-stairs, and see what kind of folks there are
above, and whether I can find society fit for us among them.
Do not make your toilet until I bring you news."
The lieutenant-colonel walked off, carefully locking the door
behind him. With the exclamation, "Yes, yes; all right!"
Amelia placed her hat on her trunk, laid her fingers over her
lips, nodded to her mother, and suddenly moved the table, laying
papa's things one side, so as to make room for her mirror.
"How warm it is in here, dear mother!--my curls are entirely
loosened; I must do them up a little. Whoever there may be
up there, I must, at any-rate, look a little Christian-like."
Yes, arrange your locks, dear child. Papa does not call that
But dear mamma, I must also put on a new cape-the one
I have on is not clean."
Wait until to-morrow; for you will be obliged to open the
chest, which will cause everything to appear in confusion when
"Yes, yes, I will have to wait until to-morrow; but then I
will dress most magnificently. I shall put on the new veil, and
hang over my shoulders the green mantilla. Lord, how kind it
was of papa, that he took a state-room in the saloon. I could
almost have cried out with joy when he said so."
"Dear Amelia, you were before afraid that sode one on the
outside would hear what papa said," interrupted her mother,
bestowing a slightly reproachful look at the child of her
"Pardon me, kind mother." With these words she laid
aside her comb, and bending down to her mother's hand, kissed
it heartily, and, with a roguish smile, whispered: "He is often
odd and excited, is he not ? but I have learned to know his
ways so well, that he scarcely ever gets angry with me."
"You learn in time, to 'conceal with smiling lips your pain.
I have already studied him for years-but you are happy that
nature has granted you a light and gay heart, which does not
trouble itself much about such things. If this was not the case,
I would be obliged to bear still more sorrow; for then you would
feel such unpleasant domestic affairs more deeply, and to your
own harm, while they now vanish into the air before your gay
and almost childish disposition."
"No, mamma, do not believe that I am so insensible toward
them; but I have found out how to work myself, if I can use
such an expression, into papa's eccentricities. And I have found
out particularly, that he especially dislikes tears. For these
reasons I never show a wet eye in his presence, even if I am
obliged to hear ever so much that grieves me. When I am
alone, I am often scarcely able to repress my tears."
And should Amelia keep them concealed from me ?" inquired
her mother, patting her daughter's chin.
Has not my mother enough already to bear herself with her
tears ?" With these words Amelia looked into her mother's face
with an indescribable expression of tenderness, but soon walked
up to the mirror, as though it was wrong to give way to such
sad thoughts, and began, not without a small touch of vanity, to
arrange her beautiful hair, and place her curls in order.
Madame de Dressen arose also, and with her accustomed love of
order, examined her apparel, and arranged the furniture, that
the state-room might not look like a pawnbroker's shop, while
her eyes ever and anon reposed with the utmost pleasure upon
the innocent, youthful face of her daughter.
More beautiful eyebrows than Amelia's could not easily be
found-auburn, like her hair, soft as silk, and finely penciled,
they arched themselves in beautiful bows over her eyelashes,
which, when somewhat downcast, allowed one to guess of that
soft and speaking expression, that belonged to the bright stars
which they concealed. But it is a pity that soft skin, beautiful
eyebrows, and speaking eyes do not alone constitute everything.
They are merely single parts, that are not able of themselves to
unite the whole in harmonious beauty; and to be faithful to truth
we must confess, that we cannot assume the responsibility of
calling our heroine really beautiful. Perfect beauty with the
female sex is rarely to be met with: for was not her nose too
small, and far from being of the Grecian or Roman mould ? Was
not her forehead too low, and her chin not sufficiently rounded I
and the mouth ?-yes, that might do; and her lips also were
pretty red, but certainly too thin; and her teeth ? one certainly
could have seen others of a more ivory white, and to pearls they
could not be compared. Aside from this, Amelia was of a small
figure: for the rest, fine and neat in all her motions, and, in spite
of form, which could justly be called voluptuous, still she lacked
that perfection and majesty in her whole bearing which are
more frequently found in more stately figures. But as far as
grace, life, and soul in all her movements were concerned, Amelia
did not lack. And, finally, if one looked into her gray, bright
eyes, one was uncertain whether it was a warm, deep feeling
which was glowing within them, or whether artless naivete
smiled forth from them. In short, her eyes changed their ex-
pression so rapidly, that before one could fully understand one
expression, they assumed quickly another, which misled the
ungrateful endeavour of unriddling them.
While Amelia was busy in curling and arranging her looks,
the lieutenant-colonel walked to and fro on the upper-deck, with
a cigar in his mouth. Sometimes, especially at every turn, he
gave a searching glance upon those who were seated upon
the green benches, at the same time assuming an air of indif-
ference. But he was obliged to give up the hope of finding a
decent person among the passengers. This was the case, at least,
with the groups which met his eye. Here, for instance, were a
couple of fat gentlemen deeply incased in great frieze coats,
earnestly engaged in conversing concerning the prices of grain.
There, a young man was to be seen who, with great care of his
comfort, occupied an entire bench, so as to be able to read with
ease, comfortably stretched out under a huge umbrella, which
completely protected him from the flies, the rays of the sun, and
the wind. A little on one side stood a card-table, the occupants of
which were deeply engaged in their game, seeming to be anxious
to make up the time they had lost, when they took a stroll on
shore. Near the staircase stood a tall, yellow-visaged, haggard
man, dressed in a faded brown overcoat, and wearing green
spectacles. He fixed his natural eyes straight before him upon
the floor, at times looking up, scratching his head, and was also
so polite as to spit overboard, so as not to soil the clean deck,
or the ladies' slippers. The owners of those slippers, three in
number, were clothed in Scottish plaid-cloaks, hoods made of
grey stuff, and seemed, on account of the continued moving of
their parasols, to be the perpetual motion. Nothing further was
there to be seen on the quarter-deck. After walking a few
rounds on the deck, the lieutenant-colonel had come to the con-
clusion that it was not worth the trouble to form the acquaint-
ance of any of the assemblage.
He gravely descended into the saloon, to look over the list of
passengers, and for the purpose of ordering a place for himself on
But it seemed as though no star was to shine for him that
day. Except the hammocks there was no vacant place to be
found; and to fill up the glass of his misfortune, there stood on
the passenger-list many people of distinction, who thought, how-
ever, too much of their rank to expose themselves to the scorching
THE SKJUTS-BOY. 53
rays of the sun above. There was Count B- Baron H--,
Private-secretary U---, Councillor X-- and several others
of like note.
Heaven knows what these people would think, if they should
see the Lieutenant-colonel Chamberlain de Dressen lying in a
hammock, surrounded with students, merchants' clerks, and all
other kinds of low people.
"No, that would be impossible," muttered the lieutenant-
colonel between his teeth. Necessity knows no law. I shall
be obliged, at any rate, to roost down there, for one must suffer
something for the purpose of sustaining his name, rank, and
dignity. I might, perhaps, have lain on a sofa, but in a hammock
-no, that will not do; that is a perfect impossibility."
SOMETHING ABOUT THE CAUSE OF THIS JOURNEY.
"WELL, there is papa again," said Amelia. "Let us see what
news he brings from the deck."
That was, as we already know, not very consoling, and the
pretty eyes assumed a decided peevish expression when she
was informed that the hopes of a visit to the saloon had vanished,
which at the same time deprived the ladies of the prospect of a
more comfortable existence.
The lieutenant-colonel was ill-humoured, and sat down on the
sofa grumbling again.
"Is it not shocking that we are obliged to sit here in this
miserable close room, during such a beautiful afternoon ?" said
Amelia. "As often as we pass through a lock, it seems as
though we were in a dark prison; and I shall become sick
indeed, if I cannot walk on deck, and enjoy the fresh air and
the beautiful scenery."
Towards evening," replied her father, "when the sun does
not shine so hot, the more aristocratic portion of the passengers
will walk on deck. Up to that time, it would be scarcely
decent for my lady-wife and my daughter to appear above."
But, dear father, we are not so very aristocratic, and if those
who are so in reality knew how tight it was with us at home,
they would not wonder that we do not appear quite equal in
rank to those who are the reverse."
"Do not trouble yourself about things you do not under-
stand." replied the lieutenant-colonel, sharply. "I have often
told you before, that it is not otherwise in the world, than that
a person is considered to be what he appears; and, although we
are not so very rich, I shall, nevertheless, think so much of the
honour of my name and rank, that I shall never suffer you to
conduct yourself as a peasant girl who does not understand good
"Ay! papa, you need not fear that I will not conduct myself
properly. At Aunt Sederfeld's and Uncle Udter's, they carry
on their affairs in a very aristocratic manner, and you have,
yourself, told me that I conducted myself well."
"Yes, Aunt Sederfield's and Uncle Udter's-Yes, I believe
so. They know there who we are. Aside from that, the
society that is met there is not very numerous or select, in
comparison to that which one meets at a bathing-place. At a
strange place, and among strangers, people should know how
to make something of themselves. One ought not to forget who
he is, and conduct himself accordingly."
"But it is certainly hard," replied Amelia, with a smile which
was not altogether free from bitterness, "for one who, only for
the sake of appearing aristocratic, has to submit to the pain of
sweating all day on the steamboat, as though he were in a steam-
In this world, my child, one has often to submit to many
inconveniences," replied the lieutenant-colonel, in the tone of a
man who is accustomed to make his experience in life, and
wisdom, weigh down the objections of others, and who wishes
to show, at the same time, that the world, rank, and name are
worth more to him than anything else, and such was also the
case with the lieutenant-colonel.
After this gentleman of honour had spent the most part of
his life in seeking after advancement and titles, he had, never-
theless, been forced at length to retreat from the great scene of
his action, with the commission of lieutenant-colonel, and the
patent of chamberlain in his pocket, and retire into the country.
But there was something else connected with the subject, and
that was, he was obliged to live as retired as possible, for his
materiel was not great. But as commissions of discharge cannot
be eaten, the lieutenant-colonel was obliged to cultivate his little
estate himself, that he might earn bread for himself and family.
And as he had bestowed upon these long-sought-for titles so
much time and trouble, he thought that he must transfer them
to his domestic affairs; and he was especially occupied with the
question, how he could marry his daughter happily, that is to
say, according to the rank of her husband.
For the purpose of fostering these plans, and principally that
Amelia might improve in the customs of the nobility-which
she could not possibly learn in any other path than in the
higher circles-the lieutenant-colonel had already made, for
several summers, journeys to friends and relatives, on whose
estates, aside from obtaining a living gratuitously, one had also
the opportunity of becoming acquainted with many people of
rank and fortune. At all these places the lieutenant-colonel
was usually a welcome guest, for toward people who ranked
above him, Mr. de Dressen was politeness itself, the most genteel
and entertaining companion in the world, and a man of as fine a
tone as could be found anywhere. Even toward his wife and
daughter his conduct was so exquisitely polite, that it would be
impossible to find it in a higher degree. Nay! it even was so
great, that it excited the utmost astonishment, and not rarely
envy in ladies who enjoyed a much less degree of attention from
The Lieutenant-colonel de Dressen's wife was a lady of such
fine education, and so much dignity in her conduct, that she
enjoyed in this respect her husband's full satisfaction, who did
not hesitate, as opportunities were offered, to make a display
with her. But in her whole conduct was a reservedness, a kind
of assumed gentleness, which indicated that she was accustomed
to suppress her feelings and thoughts, although a natural plain-
ness of manner was extended, like a fine veil, over all her actions,
by which those signs of character appeared less prominent. In
short, Madame de Dressen was considered, wherever she ap-
peared, as an agreeable, lovely lady, although, as stated before,
her conduct was not altogether free from dissimulation; but the
world always judges from appearances, although not often without
Madame de Dressen had a heart which had beaten, in former
times, as well as any one; but during her long season of marriage
it had accustomed itself to reservedness, until it had finally frozen,
within the never perfectly-melting ice of her cold domestic
In the commencement of the summer of 1833, the Lieutenant-
colonel de Dressen had seen fit to borrow a sum of money upon
his small estate in Tunefors, in Sudermanland. As the father
of a daughter, nineteen years of age, he considered it his duty to
take further and more decisive steps than he had hitherto done.
At Tunefors there could be no expectation of guests; for means
were lacking to keep an open table so as to entertain strangers
in an appropriate manner. There, neighbours were common,
low people, with whom a family connexion could not be enter-
tained. Aside from that, the short journey, which had been
commenced earlier than usual this time, had not met with the
slightest success. Everything coincided to spur on the lieutenant-
colonel to a decided resolution, and after considerable reflection,
his choice finally fell on a bathing-place.
Dear wife," said he one day, "your health has not been very
good for some time past. It strikes me that you should make
use of mineral waters. I have consulted with my physician, and
obtained the necessary money. We must travel."
Highly surprised at the great politeness of her husband-for
they were alone-and the tone in which he spoke left no doubt
but that he was in earnest, she remained almost petrified. It is
true that she had suffered a lingering sickness, several years
before, which had rendered her cheeks pale, and gnawed at her
heart-strings; but now her health was entirely restored, and she
could not understand why he wished her to use the water at so
late a season.
Dear husband," replied she, "you know that I am now, God
be praised, healthy as a fish in the water, and do not require, at
all, that for my sake you should incur a heavy expense."
No, dear Sophia, you have never become perfectly well since
that severe sickness," replied the lieutenant-colonel, exasperated,
and if one neglects an old evil it is very probable it will return
again. Make your calculations, therefore, how much money you
require to prepare your and Amelia's wardrobe, in such a manner
as our rank requires."
If the journey must be made at all hazards," replied Madame
de Dressen, submissively, for she was accustomed to give way
before all his whims, "we do not need, at least, much expense
for dresses. I think we might live in a retired manner, and
keep away from all expensive amusements."
But the hangman take you, for your stupidity, that is what
we must, and will do," shouted the lieutenant-colonel, violently;
" are you so totally dumb, that you do not wish to understand
that people belonging to the higher circles are obliged to treat
their domestic affairs with'a certain degree of elegance? There
are things which of themselves are very plain and natural, but
notwithstanding cannot always be called by their right names,
or else the affair would appear in an equivocal light ? As soon
as circumstances of this kind occur, an appropriate and plausible
pretext must be found. Do you understand me now ?"
Madame de Dressen's countenance became overspread with a
deep flush, and she replied, with a painful feeling of shame-
I understand, but I hope that Amelia's ear will be spared
from hearing what you intend for her."
How can you entertain such foolish ideas, dear Sophia? Am
I such a stupid fellow, that you imagine that I should make my
child acquainted with my God-forsaken and critical position;
for the rest, I would have believed it should have become my
wife to pay due regard to her husband's confidence, even if that
which I communicated to her did not coincide with her own
Madame de Dressen did not reply to this, but sat down to the
table, took out paper and pencil, and began to calculate, so that
she had concluded in a short time, and was able to present to her
husband, a statement which, although made out with the utmost
economy, did, nevertheless, amount to no inconsiderable sum.
"Well, that is orderly; that is the way I like it," said the
lieutenant-colonel. Married people must understand each
other without much chatter and circumflexions, and you see
now, that according to this method everything is arranged much
better and far easier. Let me see what you have on your paper.
What the devil do you mean ? Are you mad? Three hundred
and twenty-five rix-dollars! May the hangman take me, I have
only seven hundred dollars for the whole journey myself. No,
if such is the case, we cannot think of the journey."
But for an enlargement of our wardrobe altogether, this sum
is not too large, indeed," said Madame de Dressen, assuringly.
But let me see what you are about, we must endeavour to refit
the old garments as well as we can."
You shall have two hundred dollars,"-with these words he
laid the money upon the table, recommending her to counsel her
eyes and her reason concerning the outlay of the money, and
especially to consult Amelia's opinion in the choice of the
Eight days after this consultation a tearing, a sewing, and
dyeing of clothes, took place from morning until night, and at
all these important affairs of state Amelia's trusty friend, the
daughter of a neighboring pastor, of whom we shall speak more
hereafter, assisted both by her counsel and her hands. We have
further to chronicle how Madame de Dressen, inspired with a
certain pardonable vanity, managed to save so much by the
closest economy in butter, milk, and eggs, that she was able to
60 THE SKJUTS-BOY.
buy a new cloak for Amelia. Knowing which, the lieutenant-
colonel praised in earnest the domestic talents of his wife; he,
of course, had not fared the worse by it. Madame de Dressen
blushed deeply at his praise, and, as she had done for a long time
before, contented herself with the servant's fare, namely, mush,
a herring, or a bowl of milk, of which simple food Amelia also
In this manner the family had fortunately arrived on board of
the Thor, for the purpose of sailing to Wenersburg, where they
intended to hire a conveyance for their further journey, under
the appropriate pretext, that one is always exposed to many
inconveniences on the steamer, when he travels in his own con-
veyance. Whither that journey was tending, and how long it
was to last, was not yet determined upon. The choice was equally
balanced between Gustavsborg and Stroemstad. They were pre-
viously to inform themselves on this point, as to which was the
most frequented, and at the same time the cheapest.
THE CONFESSIONAL CHAIR AT THE CLOISTER OF WRETA.
"ARE we not going up soon, papa V" inquired Amelia, who
was looking, with longing eyes, through the window at the shore,
as it glided past.
I think it is time now," said her father, who had taken a
little nap. After he had yawned, and stretched himself several
times, and Amelia had brushed his coat, he ascended the stair-
way to resume his examination of the passengers on the deck.
After the lapse of a few moments, he announced to the ladies
that they should come up.
Well, God be praised, I am finally released from this irksome
confinement," exclaimed Amelia, gaily, and arranged, as well as
she was able, her shawl before the small mirror; then putting on
her bonnet, threw over it her new veil, which she had taken from
her trunk during her father's nap, and with her parasol in one
hand, and a book in the other (for her father had expressly
recommended her doing do), she mincingly ascended the stairway
after her mother, where they were received by the lieutenant-
colonel with the gallantry of a polite man of the world, who
conducted them to the after part of the deck, where two ladies
from the capital were seated.
After the chevalier had entertained the ladies for a short time
by naming the places which they were passing, he walked to the
other side of the deck, for the purpose of entering into conversa-
tion with a gentleman, whose name had particularly attracted his
attention when he had looked over the list of passengers. His
endeavours were completely successful, the four gentlemen, who
had passed the middle age, met the lieutenant-colonel with the
same politeness. The latter, on his part, was not particularly
edified with the rather slothful conversation of these gentlemen;
but to one who had once moved in the haute volie, it is an easy
thing to keep the wheel of conversation moving, even should it
turn ever so heavily.
After their arrival at Berg, the attention of the society was
drawn to three new passengers who came on board. They were
conducted by a gentleman, whose mere outward appearance was
calculated to inspire interest. His companions were a pale and
sickly looking little boy of about five or six years, and a small
dog, who continually kept a watchful eye upon his youthful
The stranger appeared to be quite a distance beyond those
bounds which separate the dreams of youth from the experience
of the more mature man. He was apparently about thirty, or
perhaps more. His brow was not unwrinkled, and a mournful
expression, combined with a look of resignation, lay upon his
countenance, and caused the sharp points of the same to stand
out more prominent. What added still more to his melancholy
expression were his jet black eyes, and his piercing glance, to-
gether with his long black hair, which, separated in the centre in
front, falling down on both sides of his head, fluttered like a pair
of mourning badges over his robust shoulders. The dress of the
man, as well as that of the boy, was black, and gave room to the
conclusion that they were probably mourning for a dear relative.
That is certainly an Italian," whispered a group of chattering
friends. One can perceive it, by the colour of his skin and his
black whiskers." This presumption, however, was contradicted
by another, who was of opinion that his eyes lacked that vivid
fire, or that bright sparkle which distinguishes the inhabitants
of the South.
During all this time the stranger remained leaning against one
of the wheelhouses. He had taken his boy in his arms, to point
out some object to him, and the dog sat faithfully by their side,
THE SK UTS-BOY.
upon his haunches, busily engaged in scratching his ear. This
group appeared to create much interest among the rest of the
passengers. The traveller, however, soon disappeared, with his
companions, down the staircase into the cabin.
'u;her conversation concerning the stranger was terminated
by the arrival of the captain, who inquired of the gentlefolks, if
they would not visit the cloister of Wreta, while the ship was
passing through the locks, as there was plenty of time to spare.
The proposal was almost universally accepted, and after one or
two of the most timid passengers had properly satisfied them-
selves that the excursion could be made while the Thor was
making its slothful trip through the locks, all feet were put in
motion, and the path to the landing was crowded with fluttering
neckerchiefs, and waving veils. Lieutenant-colonel de Dressen,
and the four other notables composed one party by themselves,
and were among the first at the landing-place. The old gen-
tlemen are not peculiarly entertaining," thought Amelia, and
suffered her gaze to fall, with much more enjoyment, on the
beauties of nature, with which the environs of Ostgoetha canal
The assembly now marched in various groups up the green
hill, that rose slightly above the banks of the river. They
passed the powerful lock gates, which, like Cyclops of the lower
world, creakingly extended their black arms to receive the
approaching boat. From the red-coloured building on the sum-
mit of the mountain, the eye enjoyed a splendid view, either by
directing the gaze backward over the level silent plain, or look-
ing along the smiling borders of the canal. Mutely enraptured
at the extreme beauty of the surrounding scenery, one or two of
the passengers remained rapt in meditation; while the majority
of the assemblage continued their way through the waving fields
of corn, which surrounded the ancient church.
Amelia experienced a depression of spirits when she left God's
beautiful creation, and entered into the high arched and gloomy
church, and beheld before her the antiquated ornaments and
holy pictures, suffused with the magic dimness of the twilight.
She thought that she heard deep sighs coming forth from the
graves, over the tablets of which she was walking. But soon
her young senses were fascinated with the most lively interest,
upon the conversation of the old sexton, who was relating all
kinds of queer stories concerning the history of the inmates of
Bones fallen to dust, silence, oblivion, and decayed greatness
repose in these still beds; and perhaps many a heart, which has
battled out the terrible strife of human passions, has now found
here its peaceful resting-place.
Among all the things which Amelia saw, she was most attracted
by the cell of a monk; she could not rid herself of the thought
that this little narrow and gloomy room, its small round window
blinds, gilded by the rays of the setting sun, had perhaps been
the witness, in former times, of the many yearly contentions of
a slowly fading heart. What an isolated life, and self-denial! It
appeared to her active powers of imagination that some one was
moving in the dark corner where the confessional chair was
standing; and she imagined a monk in it, and a person kneeling
before him for the purpose of confessing.
The assemblage passed on; Amelia wrapped in her dreams
followed them, no other object having the power to blot out the
impression which this cell had made upon her; and when the
rest of the company had walked through the extensive aisles,
and finally stood before the altar to hear the sexton relate
another of his remarkable stories, Amelia walked back to con.
template the cell more minutely.
But when she entered the cell, she almost sank to the ground
in astonishment and fright, for did she not behold the phantom
of her excited fancy before her in reality 1 No, it was no decep-
tion, caused by the rays of the setting sun, which shone upon
the misty outlines in the dark corner, dimly and doubtfully. A
pale yellow face, with a hood almost drawn down to its eyes,
looked forth from the confessional chair; and did not two large
black eyes stare at her ? and did not sounds linger through the
pale lips, although fright prevented her distinctly hearing the
words I Shivering with an icy coldness, Amelia supported her-
self against one of the door-posts, and if she had not been exempt
from all new fashioned nervous weaknesses, which cause young
girls to faint, and have the hysterics if only a bat passes, or
anything as little dangerous, she could not be blamed for doing
the like, for the monk gradually grew higher and higher,
until at last, in Amelia's imagination, he became of gigantic
But now suddenly the phantom, which had deceived the eyes
of our heroine, vanished. She now distinctly recognized the
passenger who had last appeared on the steamer, and the de-
ceiving hood which before had appeared so natural, was nothing
else than the stranger's long black hair, that as he sat there,
bending forward, had covered his countenance almost like a net,
so that she could not have taken it for anything else, at a dis-
tance, especially as it was so dark.
If I have been so unfortunate as to frighten you, I beg your
pardon, a thousand times," said the stranger, who now stepped
into the light.
"No, it was not you that frightened me, it was my own
excited fancy," said the maiden, stepping back, as she added as
a passing remark, I did not know that you were one of the
Well, I have just followed them," he replied, taking leave of
her with a passing bow, and stepped into the aisle.
He looks like a shadow flitting about among the graves,"
said Amelia to herself. In fact, there was something in the
stranger which, in this place, with its dubious light, gave him a
ghastly and strange appearance.
Where have you been so long? Why do you walk alone ?"
inquired her mother, who had missed her, and had gone to seek
for her, and bring her back to the rest of the party.
Alas, mother, I have behaved like a downright goose," said
Amelia, taking her mother's arm: Did you see the gentleman
clothed in a black dress, who came on board this afternoon I"
Yes, I saw him just now, bowing over the railing which is
around the old kings' vaults. He seems to be melancholy, but is
nevertheless of an interesting appearance."
Certainly melancholy, and awfully gloomy, dear mamma, I
must confess. But he was certainly not interesting a short time
ago, when he took it into his head to crouch into a confessional
box, where he almost frightened me to death, for I thought one
of the old monks had risen from his grave, to hear the confes-
sion of a poor sinner in his last moments."
"' How can you be so childish I" said her mother, laughing.
You might easily have thought it was one of the passengers,
who wished to examine the interior of one of the confessional
boxes. I should like to know where he left his boy in the
Ah, he is certainly asleep somewhere," said Amelia, turning
around to look again at the once-imagined monk.
As soon as the party had returned to the Thor, Amelia
hastened down the staircase to sew on her shoe-string, which had
been loosened on her way home. As she was about opening the
cabin door, to obtain needle and thread, her attention was
attracted by a sound, which resembled the suppressed weeping
of a sleeping child.
Alas! that is certainly the little boy," thought Amelia, and
without reflection she opened the door through which the low
There indeed lay the new comer, with a flushed and feverish
countenance, seeming to contend with an evil dream. He lay
in a state between sleep and wakefulness, and alternately exclaim-
ing Papa! papa! Diana I Diana !" and uneasily rolled to and
THE SKJXTS-BOY. 67
fro. The dog sat in a listening position by the boy's feet, and
his whole conduct showed he was uneasy concerning his favourite.
When Amelia entered and approached the bedside, the dog
looked so wise and knowing, that she could not do otherwise
than reward him, by kindly stroking his back. After that, she
sat down on the edge of the sofa, and taking the boy's arm,
began to lull him into slumber.
I have had such a bad dream, papa," said the boy, and as he
believed himself secure in his father's arms, he went to sleep again.
Amelia remained awhile, to lull him into deeper sleep, com-
pletely occupied with the pleasing aspect of the boy's features,
which had resumed in his sleep a bloom that at other times was
not there. His hair was of a jet black, divided on his forehead,
and falling in natural ringlets over his white neck, the same as
You sweet little boy !" whispered Amelia, and bended over
him to take her leave with a kiss, but it was not an easy matter
for her to go; the little fellow had grasped with his hand the
ribbon of Amelia's bonnet so strongly, that it was only after
several endeavours that she was enabled to loosen his little
fingers. Finally she was able to rise, and turned to go back to
her own state-room, when all at once her eye met the stranger,
who stood on the threshold, suffering his looks to rest with the
utmost gratitude upon her. Deeply blushing, Amelia arose.
I heard the little one cry," said she, as if to excuse herself,
and went toward the door.
And you were so kind toward the stranger He said no
more, but his eyes evinced a deeper emotion than she had thought
any eyes could express. When Amelia returned to her father's
state-room, she found her mother engaged in preparing some
Where have you put the cake, my child !" said Madame de
Dressen, busily searching for it.
The cake !" replied Amelia, growing pale with fright, at the
thought that she might have left the basket at home. Is it
not here I" With these words she began to seek anxiously for
it in all corners.
No, I do not find it, although I have searched everywhere
for it. Come up stairs, my child, and talk to the first mate. He
received the things which were taken to the baggage-room, and
it may have been left there."
0! yes, that will probably be the case." Thus saying,
Amelia hastened up to the deck, accosted the first mate, and was
about going down with him, when two sunburnt children from
the shore offered her some elegant bouquets of flowers, entreat-
ing her to buy some.
Amelia loved flowers, almost to a passion; but unfortunately
she had not a farthing in her pocket. She stretched forth her
hand for one of the bouquets, and searched with anxious eyes
for her father, who not seldom-and especially in the presence of
strangers-bestowed such little attentions upon her, which of
course were not thought of when they were at home. Unfor-
tunately her father was not above, and with blushing cheeks,
and not without a mournful look at the flowers, as well as the
children who sold them, Amelia returned the bouquet. She
stammered a bashful Thank you, my child, I do not want any,"
and hastened with her mother down stairs.
The basket of cakes was soon found, but did not console her
mind, from thinking that some of the passengers had not seen
her anxiety to own the flowers.
At length the hour of retirement arrived. Madame de
Dressen and Amelia threw themselves into one corner of the
sofa. On the other the lieutenant-colonel stretched himself out,
full-length, as comfortably as possible. After they had yawned,
stretched themselves, and complained of the heat, they became
silent. When Amelia's regular breathing betokened that she
was asleep, the lieutenant-colonel tapped his wife's shoulder
with his lead pencil.
Are you yet awake, Sophia ?"
Yes, my dear; the flies and the heat- "
Yes, the hangman take them !" interrupted the lieutenant-
colonel. But what do you think of our journey-of the
people, I mean ?"
"What can I say about it, after such a short time ? You
seem to be much pleased with the gentlemen you have presented
Pleased! the hangman take it. They are four old worn-out
fellows, who only come out to warm themselves! Annoying
people, upon whom I am lavishing my conversation with perfect
"Why do you not spare yourself this disagreeable matter V"
"Because they belong to noble families; and, nevertheless,
aside from their tedious awkwardness, are desirable company.
You ought to become accustomed to such society at last, and
should not forget, that one is often obliged to injure his own
feelings, to cut a figure in the world."
"You have already done much for your system," replied his
wife, with a slight sneer, which could not be seen on account of
the reigning darkness.
"Yes; I flatter myself to have never missed an occasion,"
said the lieutenant-colonel, with a self-laudatory tone. "But
you may depend upon it, dear Sophia, that without this my
talent, we should long ago have sunk to the lower class of
nobility. Instead of that, we have thus far kept upon the sur-
face. But to return to the commencement of our conversation
-Have you observed the black-haired stranger, whom nobody
knows. The fellow does not look very bad, and knows how to
behave, as though he had something to support him. He has
such a noble bearing, that there must be noble blood flowing in
his veins. He is certainly a nobleman; but the only thing that
I am surprised at is, that he has no servant with him."
You have none either, my dear."
Of course I have not; but I have my wife and my daughter
with me, while he is dragging along a child with him which
requires nursing. He is assuredly a widower."
He looks so. Have you not heard what his name is--or is
his name not on the passenger-list ?"
Unfortunately I have not had, as yet, a chance to look at it;
but to-morrow I will examine the matter thoroughly. We
must find out whether he is a man of rank, for that is a prin-
cipal condition that he can be allowed to remain in our company
during the trip."
Alas! I wish to-morrow had already come," sighed the good
woman, fanning herself with her neckerchief.
This cooling off is very pleasant," said the lieutenant-colonel;
"I shall now try to sleep: you may fan me until you see that I
have fallen asleep, for these flies and gnats-the beasts, almost
Without making a reply, his wife arose, and while her
thoughts were afar, her hand, like a machine, moved the hand-
kerchief up and down, until the loud snoring of the lieutenant-
colonel announced that her lord and husband had fallen asleep.
After that Madame de Dressen squeezed herself into her corner
of the sofa, to reflect undisturbedly whether she had not met the
features of the stranger before.
THE LIEUTENANT-COLONEL TAKES HIS MEASURES.
ON the following morning about six o'clock, the chambermaid
entered, bringing in the coffee which had been ordered. She
brought at the same time a glass filled with the most beautiful
flowers. A joyful Ah !" slipped from Amelia's lips, and she
hurriedly threw her hair braids over her comb, grasped the vessel
with both hands, and inhaled their fresh odour into her little
nostrils. Are t Aese flowers also fol. ls I" inquired the lieutenant-
colonel, and yawningly extended his hand toward the coffee cup.
They are for the young lady," replied the girl, the gentleman
in number six sends his compliments, and says they are sent by
"Chivalry has not yet gone to the grave in Sweden," declaimed
the lieutenant-colonel solemnly, at the same time with the
greatest appetite helping himself to all the cakes which had been
brought for the ladies. When the chambermaid had gone, Mrs.
de Dressen took from her little bag some home-made cake, which
After a short time the lieutenant-colonel, carefully shaved and
well-dressed, went upon deck. He pretended to walk up for the
purpose of enjoying the beautiful morning. But the truth was,
he was desirous of an opportunity of finding out something con-
cerning the gentleman in number six, and therefore took his way
directly to the saloon, where he was so fortunate as to find the
passenger-list, upon which, at the very end, was placed the
Borgenstierna, simply -" muttered the lieutenant-colonel
between his teeth. "No title-ahem! what kind of man can
that be 1 even his name is so little known, that I hardly know
whether his name is entered into the matricle of nobility, and
even if that were the case, he at least does not enjoy much dis-
tinction at present. But where the devil have I heard that
name before ? It is in my head-but it is hardly possible. I
have never known any body with that name."
Oppressed with these thoughts, the lieutenant-colonel went
to consult his wife's memory. But Amelia's voice, "Q, God,
there comes father again-shall we not have a moment to our-
selves to put the state-room in order 9" caused him to go back,
and wait for the ladies on deck. There sat the man without
"title," on a sofa in the corner. On one side his son, and upon
the other his dog, upon his lap lay a book.
"Well, that is excellent-just as though it had been ordered,"
thought the lieutenant-colonel, and approached him with a polite
good-morning. "It seems to me that we may be sure of a fine
It looks so," replied the stranger, in whom our reader has
undoubtedly recognized our old acquaintance the skjuts-boy of
Swarteborg, of whose adventures during the interval we will
speak at a more appropriate season. We will confine ourself
for the present to the fact, that he returned the salute of the
lieutenant-colonel politely, and that he did not appear to wish the
further continuance of the conversation.
But our lieutenant-colonel was of another opinion. He seated
himself upon the sofa, and endeavoured to play with the boy.
The latter, however, did not appear much inclined to reciprocate
these familiarities, but clung close to his father's side.
I should think it would be a source of trouble to have such
a tender travelling companion with you. He is undoubtedly
your son "
"So he is."
He is probably not more than four years old ?"
He has passed his fifth already."
"Indeed! one would not think so; the little fellow looks
"Unfortunately, he is so."
"You are, no doubt, making a journey to a bathing-place ?"
"Yes, I intend to make the trial, with the hope that it will
be good for him."
"Ah sea-bathing is very healthy. I am also, with my family,
on my way toward one of those salutary institutions, which offer
so many advantages-I mean concerning health. My lady wife,
unfortunately, sometimes suffers hysterics, and although they are
not so violent now, we will not, nevertheless, neglect this ex-
cellent remedy for her perfect restoration. You probably go
Here the lieutenant-colonel paused, in hopes to attain his
object, which was, of being informed of the place to which the
gentleman was going.
"I have not yet made up my mind. I first expect, on the
way, a letter from a physician."
"That is about the same case with us, we have not made a
choice either. But I beg your pardon. I have made use of a
liberty, which certainly one ought not to assume, unless on a
journey, that is, to enter into a conversation, without an intro-
duction. Allow me to supply this neglect. My name is de
Dressen, Lieutenant-colonel and Chamberlain. And I have the
honour of speaking to Mr. -- "
"My name is Borgenstierna."
"It gives me much joy of becoming acquainted with Mr. -
Mr.-I have not the pleasure of being informed of your title."
"I have none."
After this declaration a slight pause was made; but with one
of his customary fine turns, the lieutenant-colonel understood
how to renew the thread of the conversation, and with peculiar
smartness, to turn it upon literature. A nobleman without a
title-ahem!-one ought at least find out to what political
colour my neighbour belonged," thought he.
Borgenstierna's answers were brief, but quite open and frank.
"Aha !" thought the lieutenant-colonel, "he belongs to the
heroes of liberty, probably there still remains in him some of the
old leaven which he has not digested since he was a student.
That is a pity-great pity-but if he has money, and perceives
the necessity of procuring a title for himself, then -"
At that moment the ladies came up, and the lieutenant-colonel
profited by the opportunity to introduce them to Mr. Borgen-
stierna. The latter saluted them in a cold and dignified manner;
but as soon as Amelia patted the boy on his cheek and said,
" Thank you for the beautiful flowers, my little Alfred," then the
stiff expression which had lain upon his countenance during the
whole conversation vanished, and a ray of joy glittered in his
eyes, as he replied, in a voice moved with emotion,
"Alfred cannot express his thanks, as he should do, for he
knows not, that he has the happiness of possessing another pro-
tector, besides his father, and old Diana."
Amelia turned round to her parents, and told them frankly
the import of these words. She had heard the boy weeping in
his sleep, and had entered the apartment to quiet him.
He usually sleeps very quietly and soundly during the first
hours," said Borgenstierna, "but the uneasiness which came
over me, even after my short absence, made me think that he
might be awake, and that was also the cause why I returned so
The arrival of the remainder of the company gave the lieu-
tenant-colonel an opportunity to apply his time in a proper
manner also, and he began to show his social powers with them,
but Madame de Dressen took her seat beside Borgenstierna,
and kindly patted Diana's old wrinkled head.
"I am very fond of dogs," said she; "I once owned one,
although it was long ago, who resembled this one both in name
and colour. I made a gift, out of gratitude, of him, and since
that time have not been able to obtain one similar to him."
At these words the eyes of the good lady reposed upon Bor-
genstierna. He had turned aside to chatter with his child; but
when his looks met those of Madame de Dressen, the eyes of
both became resplendent with the liveliest expressions of their
innermost feelings. Their lips were silent, and Madame de
Dressen was a little confused; but all kinds of thoughts were
busy in her heart, and from that moment, she felt an inte-
rest for the stranger and his child, which seemed to increase in
tenderness the longer they remained together.
In the afternoon Matala was visited, and during this walk
Amelia became so familiar with the little Alfred, that he would
not leave her, and called her his little "Ammy."
Of course Bladen's grave was also visited, and the lieutenant-
colonel, who never let an opportunity slip of displaying his im-
portance, gave an extended story of the merits of this nobleman.
Fortunately this theme at that time was not worn out, as it is
now; for these reasons the lieutenant-colonel had the pleasant
satisfaction of perceiving that the majority of the passengers
listened to him with the closest attention.
But Alfred troubles you too much; you are too kind to him,
my young lady," said Borgenstierna, and was about calling the
0 no, he is so good, let him; I like children so much," re-
plied Amelia, allowing the boy to play with the chain, which
she had received from her mother on the day of her confirma-
tion, and therefore esteemed it more than all the rest of her
They sat down together on the green sward. Alfred would
not leave Amelia's lap at all, and when his father was about dis-
engaging his little hands from the chain, the little fellow clung
to it tighter. Suddenly a link was broken, and Amelia looked
rather distressed at the accident.
Borgenstierna blushed, whether from anger, or from another
cause, we do not know. He hastily picked up the chain, and
"I hope you will be so kind, young lady, as to allow me to
restore the damage which Alfred has done, at Wenersborg?"
do not know whether I can do so," for she did not hardly
know how to conduct herself under present circumstances. I
would part with that chain very unwillingly, for I have worn it
for the last three years constantly. It was formerly the property
of my mother, who brought it with her from Germany; and when
I was as young as Alfred, and even still younger, I was accus-
tomed to play with it."
"I know can imagine it -" interrupted Borgenstierna.
"The jewels of the mother willingly become the playthings of
her favourite. Were you born in Germany, my lady?"
Born, yes; but came to Sweden when very young indeed-
Ah! there comes my mother, I shall ask her what I dare and
Borgenstierna prevented Amelia's intentions, and appealed
himself to Madame de Dressen, whose decision terminated, to
his great joy, as he wished it.
Heated and weary from the heat of the day, and the long
walks they had taken, the passengers retired to their state-rooms
for the rest of the day; and only in the evening, when there
was a cool breeze, which paid so much regard to the ladies that
it did not injure them at all, the party again assembled on deck.
Soon they arrived in the neighbourhood of the magnificent
castle of Wadstena ; Borgenstierna adjusted his telescope to the
proper focus for Amelia's eye, so that the latter was able to dis-
tinguish its noble architectural beauties, as well as those of a
neighboring monastery, very distinctly.
Ah! how beautiful the old castle is, even now," said Amelia,
in raptures; "yet it must be in great decay. Is it true, that it
is now used as a magazine for grain ?"
"It is so, indeed," replied Borgenstierna. "In its saloons,
where once Gustavus the First celebrated his nuptials with
Catherine Stenbork, are now stored the abundance of Ostgoth-
land's rich harvest."
"Yes, those ancient walls have seen and heard many things,"
interrupted the lieutenant-colonel, who could not omit mingling
with everything. And among them Count Johannes of Osfries-
land's well-known adventure with the Princess Cecilia, is, per-
haps, not one of the least piquant of these recollections." But
suddenly it struck his mind that such kind of conversation was
not altogether fit for his daughter, and he added, "0, my
daughter, Castle Wadstena is a remarkable one, an exceedingly
remarkable one. It was here that Charles the Twelfth, after his
return from Turkey, first met his sister, Ulrica Eleonora."
Amelia thought that was not a very remarkable event; but
she was aware that her father's store of recollections was ex-
hausted, and therefore made no other questions, as one would
undoubtedly throw him into confusion.
We do not intend to follow the progress of the steamer step by
step; but shall only mention that they enjoyed the beauties of West
Gothland, and after they had looked in astonishment at the blue
outlines of the Kinnekulle, the celebrated giant crown of Sweden,
which in spite of its great distance was to be seen distinctly, and
after they had slightly become acquainted with sea-sickness upon
the deceitful waves of Lake Warner, they at length happily
arrived at Wenersborg, where De Dressen intended to remain a
day with his family.
On the morning of their arrival, Borgenstierna called at their
residence. The lieutenant-colonel was already in activity, run-
ning through the city to obtain a conveyance. The ladies were,
As soon as little Alfred had presented the chain, according to
his father's instructions, and had begged Miss "Ammy's" pardon,
he climbed up to the side of his friend, threw his arms around
her neck, and said, sobbingly, "Farewell, my dear Ammy, I must
leave you now."
"He's right," said Borgenstierna; "the carriage waits for us."
"Whither does your journey tend?" inquired Madame de
Dressen, while Amelia was playing with the boy.
"At first to Uddevalla; but whether I shall stay there, or
travel further, depends upon a letter which I expect from a
physician, whose advice concerning Alfred's health I could not
obtain before I left home, as I started in such a hurry."
Madame de Dressen could not, with politeness, ask any further
questions, although she would have liked to have made several
other inquiries. Borgenstierna took advantage of the pause thus
caused, and taking his son by the hand, although the latter left
very reluctantly his pleasant occupation with Amelia's cheek, he
had nevertheless to comply with his father's request at last, and
they both left together, after making a few common-place re-
marks concerning their travelling companions, and Borgenstierna
had requested the ladies to present his compliments to the lieu-
tenant-colonel, leaving the ladies in a position in which they did
not feel desirous of continuing the conversation.
At length Amelia, who could not understand why they were
so still, broke the silence, and inquired-
"What are you thinking about, dear mother ?"
"I do not know, myself," answered her mother; "perhaps
about the new acquaintance."
He has something so peculiar and reserved in his manner
which I do not exactly like," observed Amelia.
Sorrow and grief always cause reservedness," replied Madame
de Dressen. No one need wonder at that."
At this moment Lieutenant-colonel de Dressen returned, and
reported that for twenty rix-dollars he had hired a conveyance
for Stroemstad, which was to take them there at a certain
"To Stroemstad?" said his wife. "Why make a journey of
twelve or thirteen miles, when you might have done it in three?
I thought we were to go to Gustavsborg."
"Yes, dear wife; but you believe too much which you ought
not to believe until I have told you my opinion about it. In short,
we shall go to Stroemstad; that place is for the present the most
fashionable. It was only last night that three carriages went
there, all filled with people of ton."
Well, I should think there would be no want of such people
at Gustavsborg, and for that reason I thought-"
Hear, dear Sophia, and spare me your opinions; we shall go
to Stroemstad, at all events. Have you not yet seen anything
of Borgenstierna ?"
He has just been here, and taken his leave," said Amelia;
" and presented his compliments to you."
What! taken leave! he must have been in a hurry. Where
is he going?"
"He did not say where."
"Ahem! I almost think that I should have made him a visit
in return. It is true he has no title, and I do not know even
who he is; but we are here in a public-house, where such conde-
scension does not amount to much, with a man of my rank-"
"Yes, my dear," interrupted his wife, "I believe that he was
a nobleman as well as you."
A nobleman 1" replied the lieutenant-colonel, with a contemp-
tuous smile. "Yes, inasmuch as he bears the name of one who
has something noble in him; and may be so, in fact. But where
is his family? where are his connexions? Nobody knows them.
Where are his estates? No one knows where they are-at least,
I do not. In short, we would not have been able to cultivate
his acquaintance at the bath any longer, unless he should come
out by the side of his friends, whose intercourse with him would
guarantee him; and if he should prove himself a wealthy man,
with whom a name would be of no account, if it only sounds
80 THE SKJUTS-BOY.
Madame de Dressen blushed, as she often did. At that mo-
ment, Amelia, who stood leaning through the window which
overlooked the courtyard, cried out, Yes, it is too late now;
he is just getting into the carriage with Alfred."
Well, then, he may go to the d-1!" exclaimed the lieutenant-
colonel, throwing a peevish look at the handsome little travelling-
THE HEIGHTS OF SWARTEBORG.-ARRIVAL AT STROEMSTAD.
AT the hotel in Uddevalla, De Dressen inquired whether a
traveller, accompanied by a boy, stayed there over night, or
whether he was there yet. But nobody pretended to have seen
anything of such a person.
"If I only knew what direction he was gone," said the
lieutenant-colonel to himself; but was soon interrupted by a
waiter, who inquired with great humbleness, "Whether his grace
did not wish his horses ordered for the whole distance. This
might be easily done, as a carriage was just departing, if his
grace would only write a post-ticket, and give it to the servant
who was travelling with the carriage."
This proposition obtained great praise from the lieutenant-
colonel. He knew that it would cost him a little money for the
servants, but it gave him a certain kind of authority, if he tra-
velled with horses ordered in advance; and nothing was to be
neglected which might foster his great ambition. He therefore
wrote a post-ticket in large, distinct letters: Two horses for the
Lieutenant-colonel and Chamberlain de Dressen, Mpp /" But at
none of the foolish things which he had committed in his life was
he so angry as at this; for he was detained upon the heights of
Swarteborg by the insignificant circumstance, that the splendid
carriage which he had obtained for twenty dollars, rix-money,
suddenly lost one of its fore-wheels, and upset the whole family,
to their amazement and great anger, upon the high road, by
which occurrence they might have easily broken both their bones
and necks into the bargain.
Fortunately, the summerset was not very severe; so that they
escaped with a few knocks, and black and blue spots. The
lieutenant-colonel had hardly gathered himself up, when he un-
loaded himself of a whole litany of the choicest expressions
against the cursed Swarteborg and its confounded jolting roads,
poor horses, and loutish skjuts-boys, such as was never heard
before by human ear.
I have been in this dog's nest before But here the lieu-
tenant-colonel suddenly stopped: all at once his mind was struck
about the night he had before spent in the forests of Swarteborg.
The skjuts-boy-his name-the lashes-the buffets-everything
came clear to him; but immediately he soothed his mind by the
powerful assurance, by which he strove to persuade himself, A
thousand devils catch me! it is not possible that the skjuts-boy
should become such a fine fellow! It was certainly his name,
but that may be owned by many." And it became plain that
his new acquaintance did not belong to those who are picked up
on the high-road; and, in the main, it was very ridiculous to
retain even for a moment such a foolish idea. Nevertheless, he
was rather fearful, although why he could scarcely explain to
himself, of obtaining information on this point from the driver,
although the latter could have given him correct information, as
he was from the same village as the boy with the confounded
name. The lieutenant-colonel, therefore, thought it better to let
the matter remain in obscurity; and then, after all, it was only
a hasty piece of folly, he thought to himself.
The consequence of this unhappy accident was that, for the
first thing, the wagon must be repaired, for which purpose aid
must be obtained to take it back to the tavern. This had already
made quite a hole in his pocket; but, heaven! what a second
mishap, when he remembered that his evil star had caused him
to order the horses in advance! He would certainly not arrive
at Swarteborg before dark, and would have to pay then for four
horses, instead of two, on account of the long delay.
That was, indeed, a hard trial for a man of such a violent
temper and so ill-filled purse as the lieutenant-colonel.
Yes, it is twful to fare so badly with a hired conveyance
and to be cheated out of twenty rix-dollars, into the bargain."
Madame de Dressen did not appear to be much troubled, but
was, nevertheless, angry. It seemed to her as though this
journey, unnecessary of itself, began with too much mischief that
it should come to a good end. Amelia did not know whether to
laugh or to weep; for, as many obstacles as she saw in her way,
it was impossible to look at the wry faces and the ridiculous
anger of her father without feeling inclined to laugh.
The driver had already been sent to obtain help, when, all at
once, to the unspeakable joy of the travellers, another carriage
appeared on the road. "God be thanked!" exclaimed the lieu-
tenant-colonel, joyfully; "now I shall be enabled, at least, to give
counter-orders, and discharge the horses which I have ordered;
so that I shall get off at a cheaper rate, anyhow." His joy,
however, became still greater, when the carriage approached, and
a familiar voice shouted, Stop!" to the driver.
"Your very obedient servant, Mr. Borgenstierna! What a
good fortune that we meet you here in our sad state; we are in
a fine fix!"
The lieutenant-colonel was so polite, that he extended his
hand to Borgenstierna in the most unconcerned manner. The
latter descended from his carriage immediately, inquired in
the most friendly way about their position, and offered his
The lieutenant-colonel's first prayer was that, as Mr. Borgen-
stierna had probably not ordered horses in advance, he would do
him the favour, and use his own, which he now, unfortunately,
could not use himself.
Borgenstierna had also ordered his horses in advance, but was
immediately ready to assume the duty of discharging the horses
for the lieutenant-colonel.
Well, you are going to Stroemstad, I see," said De Dressen,
after the most important matters had been attended to.
o 2 A
"Yes, I follow my physician's advice. He recommends
Stroemstad as the most beneficial bathing-place for my son.
But where is the boy? Ah! he has already renewed his ac-
quaintance with your lady daughter. Oh! how happy he will
be to continue it in Stroemstad!".
"Oh, certainly, with much pleasure to myself also," replied
Amelia; but her father, who did not know whether this could
be done, until he had seen Borgenstierna in certain circles,
replied, as if accidentally, and as though he had not overheard
the last words:
We have not heard of you in Uddevalla, in spite of our
most urgent inquiries."
"I only remained at Uddevalla a short time; rested for some
time at Quistrum on account of Alfred's health; and, a few
hours ago, caused a post-ticket to be sent from there in advance.
But I see people coming to your assistance, and hope that the
accident will soon be remedied."
Borgenstierna now took leave of them, after the lieutenant-
colonel had commissioned him, if time would permit, to order a
couple of neat rooms for him at Stroemstad.
Borgenstierna promised, of course, to attend to everything in
the best manner. Alfred cried, because Amelia would not go
along with him; but was soon quieted, however, by the promise
that he should soon see her again. "I do not see how I could
have remained so composed," thought Borgenstierna, "but my
blood, nevertheless, boiled in my veins, the same as it did the
night he struck me. The fool is still as high-strung as he was
at that time. I recognized him in a moment. The anger to
renew an acquaintance with the skjuts-boy, I shall have to spare
him until a more favourable and appropriate time. If that
once comes, then shall his cursed pride of nobility receive a
"Ammy will soon come after us, wont she?" cried Alfred,
endeavouring to look around after her.
This name called up in Borgenstierna's breast a more friendly
feeling, but he did not forget the lieutenant-coloneL
When the family De Dressen arrived at Stroemstad on the
following forenoon, they found that Borgenstierna had taken
care to find suitable rooms for them, but had not engaged them
for certain; for, on account of their nearness to the bathing-
rooms, the price was rather high. The lieutenant-colonel con-
sulted with his wife concerning them, who did not find them
very pleasant, having first received from him a concealed wink.
They appeared to be damp, and not altogether to their taste, as
was almost always the case with all rooms of a very high price; and
for these reasons our guest hired a room on the other side of the
bridge, where lodgings were cheaper, and where, aside from that,
according to the pretension of the lieutenant-colonel, the sea air
blew fresher and not so sharp; which would be much better for
the state of his wife's health.
"The first thing we now have to do," said he, after the
family had taken possession of their new lodging, and he had
sat himself down to the table, counting over the expense he had
been to heretofore, as well as the present state of his purse-
"the first, as I have said, is-330-that one-340-should have
inscribed himself in the-350-soir6e-list-388 rix-dollars, 35
shillings; that was a cursed dear trip; the journey here has
already cost us 111 rix-dollars and 36 shillings. If we add to
that the journey home and the voiteur, not much will remain to
live here in the bathing-place and create a noise; but, I hope to
God, that in a future course of affairs, something will occur to
fill up the vacancy, which has been caused by our debut. I shall
have to be on the look-out. I am now going to the assembly
house, and will insert my name in the list, and be informed
whether the bathing party dines at table d'hote, or whether the
single families are to be served in their own rooms."
Both will be rather dear," observed his wife. "Can't we
have our own mess "
"By no means. Our own mess! Do you believe that people
of fashion should trouble themselves thus 1 No, I say, that will
"But the waiter told me, when I inquired for the table
prices, that it was very dear at the hotel; and, therefore, people
of the highest rank kept their own kitchen."
"Oh that changes the question; if that is the fashion, then
I have no objection. Fashion must not be thrown aside alto-
gether; by it I can save at least one rix-dollar Banco, perhaps
two rix-dollars rix-money, which would be very agreeable to my
When the lieutenant-colonel entered the assembly saloon, half
an hour afterward, his first look fell upon Borgenstierna, who
was walking up and down the room, arm-in-arm with a gentle-
man, not only of prepossessing, but even fine appearance.
Mr. De Dressen was too cautious, however, to manifest his
acquaintance with Borgenstierna before he had obtained for
himself what is called firm footing in society, or had become
convinced that the gentleman with whom the other was con-
versing in such a familiar manner, was, at least, a man of some
distinction. He changed his mind, however, when an old
officer, whom he heard styled as Baron Lindenskoeld, approached
the two gentlemen in a familiar manner.
I shall have to leave you now," said the gentleman, and left
Borgenstierna's arm. "When shall I meet you at home,
This evening, if convenient," replied the other; and, with a
hearty shake of the hand, the friends separated. It was nearly
noon, and the society in the assembly-rooms had mostly dis-
appeared. The lieutenant-colonel had no further fear that he
would expose himself; and therefore walked up to Borgenstierna,
who sat near the window with Baron Lindenskoeld, and thanked
him for the trouble he had had in obtaining for him rooms, which
he had not, however, found entirely as he wished them. In the
meantime, the baron took his leave; and the lieutenant-colonel
inquired of our hero, where he had taken up his residence.
"My residence is here on the market," replied Borgenstierna,
"in the house directly opposite."
"A residence-ahem!" thought De Dressen; that is some-
thing. He has also connexions of distinction, I see; perhaps
rich also. Yes, yes; a single man would not under other cir-
cumstances take a whole suite of rooms." Speaking loudly and
politely: "In that case we are not quite neighbours; but I hope
Mr. Borgenstierna will not find the walk over the bridge any
farther than the distance to the market will be for me I"
Borgenstierna bowed, and the lieutenant-colonel took the op-
portunity to inquire who the gentleman was that had before
spoken to him.
"The youngest is my old friend Assessor Wir6n, and the
name of the oldest is Baron Lindenskoeld, the companion of my
Ah! indeed; but now, be so kind as not to forget us also. I
must now go and look around in the restaurants. How is your
little boy ?"
Not very well; the journey has fatigued him. We have not
yet tried the bath."
"Send him to Amelia-she loves the boy very much; and he
seems to like to be with her, also. Please, do so-without any
ceremony. Are we not old acquaintances?"
"The lieutenant-colonel is too kind," replied Borgenstierna,
with a slight smile; and, bowing, left the lieutenant-colonel to
prosecute his discoveries alone.
REVIEW OF IVAR'S FATE.
WHILE we, until now, have been on a kind of strange footing,
so to speak, with our hero, we have altogether omitted to call
him by his old name, Ivar; and have adhered to his noble name
Borgenstierna only. But as we now represent him in his old
form, and return to his former adventures, we again lay claim to
our old familiarity. An extended narration of his adventures,
from the time he left Master Brun's house, would be of no great
interest, however, and would also be perfectly superfluous for the
continuance of our story. We, therefore, consider it more to
the purpose to conduct our readers to the cabinet where Ivar
and Wir6n made their first familiar interview, and where we
shall receive all necessary explanations.
The room was very elegant. Through the curtained windows
broke a smooth, dim light, which grew lighter by times, when a
slight draft of air lifted the curtains, and played with a fresh
breath around the two friends, who were sitting together on the
sofa, looking alternately at little Alfred, who was slumbering in
two arm-chairs placed together, beneath which Diana was lying
I cannot yet recover from my joyful surprise," said Wir6n,
shaking Ivar's hand heartily. It was, indeed, as though I was
dreaming when I met you in the street this morning."
I felt so, also," replied Borgenstierna, "but it was a happy
dream, which will certainly help in filling up the dreamy solitude
which has been with me almost during my whole life, and which
began so early that it is almost as old as myself."