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N E I G H BO U R S.
A Story of Every-day Life.
BY FREDERIKA BREMER.
TRANSLATED FROM THE SWEDISE,
BY MARY HOW IT T.
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, 8% CLIFF-ST.
BY THE TRANSLATOR.
Or the rich treasure of intellect and liter- since the death of her parents she has reature in Sweden, little or nothing is known sided alternately in Stockholm, and with a in England. To give a specimen of what female friend in the South of Sweden. She exists there, even in the department of liv- has consequently seen much of the society ing story and scenes of society, I have and scenery of her native land, and no one selected this work of Frederika Bremer, can sketch these with more graphic truth which is one of a series of four: “The and vivacity. Since the writings of their Neighbours," "The House," "The Presi- great poet Tegnér, no productions have dent's Daughters,” and “ Nina.” “ The created such a sensation in Sweden; and Neighbours" has not been first chosen on abroad they have flown far and wide ; have the principle of presenting the best first, in been read with avidity in various parts of order to excite expectation, but as believ- the Continent, and in Germany alone three ing it a fair and average example. Some editions have appeared in rapid succession. of the others possess, unquestionably, a I take this opportunity to announce, that stronger interest in the narrative, and, per- if my own countrymen, and especially haps, more masterly exposition of charac- countrywomen, give this work an equal ter. They are, in my opinion, most admi. welcome, the others are ready for publicarable in their lessons of social wisdom; in tion, and will be issued as speedily as may their life of relation; in their playful hu- be required. In any case, I shall be gratemour; and in all those qualities which can ful to the author for the perusal of them, make writing acceptable to the fireside cir- for they have certainly both highly amused cle of the good and refined. Frederika Bre- me and done my heart good. mer is, indeed, the Miss Austen of Sweden.
M. H Her father was an eminent merchant, and Heidelberg, September, 1842.
THE NEIGHBOUR S.
own ideas, and, as I glanced at him, I saw that
it was no time for opposition. PRANZISKA WERNER TO MARIA B
It was Sunday, and, as the carriage drew up, Rosenvik, 1st June, 18, I heard the sound of a violin. Here I am now, my dear Maria, under my “ Aha!” said Lars Anders, for such is my •wn rool, at my own writing-table, and sitting by husband's Christian name, “so much the belter ! my own Bear. And who is Bear? you ask; who he leaped heavily from the carriage, and helped should it be but my own husband, whom I call me oui also. There was no time to think awout Bear, because ihe name suits him so well? boxes or packages; he wok my hand and led me
Here, then, I am, sitting by the window; the up the steps, along the entrance hall, and drew sun is seuing; two'swans swim in the lake, and me towards the door, whence proceeded the make furrows in its clear mirror; three cows, sounds of music and dancing. ny cows—stand on the green shore quite sleek Only see,” thought I,“ how is it possible for and redective, thinking certainly upon nothing me to dance in this costume ?" Hoy bandsome they are! Now comes the maid Oh, if I could only have gone in somewhere, Vi ber milk-pail; how rich and good is coun- just to wipe the dust from my face and my bonty milk! Bui what, in fact, is not good in the net, where, at the very leasi
, I could jusi have country? Air and rain, food and feeling, heaven seen myself in a looking-glass! But iinpossible! and earth, all is fresh and animated.
Bear led me by the arın, insisting that I looked But now I must conduct you into my dwelling most charmingly, and beseeching me to make a -Do, I will begin yet farther off. There, on that looking glass of his eyes. I was obliged to be so Hill, in Smaland, several miles off, whence I first very uncourteous as to reply that they were quite looked into the valley where Rosenvik lies, be too small for that purpose; on which accouni, hold a dust-covered carriage, within which sits he declared they were only the brighter, and then the Bear and his little wife. That little wife looks opened the door of tne ballroom. forth with curiosity, for before her lies a valley “Now,” exclaimed I, in a kind of lively debeautiful in the light of evening. Green woods spair, “if you take me to a ball, you Bear, I'll stretch out below, and surround crystal lakes; make you dance with me.” corn-fields in silken waves encircle gray mount “With a world of pleasure !" cried he; and in ains, and white buildings gleam out with friend- the saine moment we iwo stood in the hall, when ly aspects among the trees. Here and there, from my terror was considerably abated by finding that the wool-covered heights, pillars of sinoke ascend the great room contained merely a number of to the clear evening heaven; they might have cleanly-dressed servants, men and women, who bren mistaken for volcanoes, but they were only leaped about lustily with one another, and who peaceful scedjen. Truly it was beautiful, and I were so occupied with their dancing as scarcely was charined; I bent myself forward, and was lo perceive us. Lars Anders led me to the upthinkiog on a certain happy, natural family in per end of the roo.n, where I saw, sitting upon a Paradise, one Adam and Eve, when suddenly the nigh seat, a very tall and strong built gentlewom. Bear laid his great paws upon me, and held me an, who was playing with remarkable lervoar so tight, that I was nearly giving up the ghost, upon a violin, and beating tine to her music with wbile he kissed me, and besought me to find pleas- great power. Upon her head was a tall and extraare in what was here. I was the least in the world ordinary cap, wnich I may as well call a helmet, angry, but, as I knew the heart-impulse of this because this idea came into my head at the first embrace, I made myself tolerably contented. glance, and, atier all, I can find no better naine
Here, then, in this valley lay my stationary tur it. This was the Generalin (wife of the Genhome, here lived my new family, here lay Rosen-eral) Mansfield, stepmother of my husband, Ma · vik, bere should I and my husband live together. chere mere, of who n I had heard so much. We descended the hill, and the carriage rolled She turned instantly her large dark brown eyes rapidly along the level road, while, as we advan- upon us, ceased playing, laid down her violin, ced, he told whose property was this and whose and arose with a proud bearing, but with, at the Was that, whether near or remole. All was to me same tiine, a happy and open countenance. I like a dream, out of which I was suddenly awoke treinbled a liule, inade a deep courtesy, and kissed by bis saying, with a peculiar accent, “ Here her hand; in return, she kissed my forehead, and, hives Ma cuire mère ;” and at the same moment for a moment, lo sked on me so keenly as comthe carriage drove into a courtyard, and drew up pelled me to cast down my eyes; whereupon she at the door of a large, handsome stone house. kissed me most cordially on mouth and forehead,
" What, must we alight here?" I asked. and embraced me as warmly as her stepson. “Yes, my love," was bis reply.
And now came his turn; he kissed her hand inost This was to me by no means an agreeable sur- reverentially, but she presented her cheek; they prise; I would much rather have gone on to my regarded each other with the most friendly exown house; much rather have made some prep-pression of countenance, she saying, in a loud, aration for this first meeting with my husband's inanly voice, the moment afterward, “ You are stepnother, of whom I stood in great awe, from welcome, my dear friends; it is very handsome of the anecdotes I had heard of her, and the respect you to come here to me before you have been to which her stepson had for her. This visit seemed your own house; I thank you for it. I might, it is to me quite mal-a-propos; but my husband had his true, have received you better, il' I could have made
Svedjen, svedjor, svedja, the burning of tort in the fields, preparations; but, at all events, this I know, that hon bich, in many parts of Sweden, is used fur dressing the lea welcome is the best dish. I hope, my friends,
that you will remain over the evening with me.
My husband excused us, saying that we wish- , new-married couple whom you see before you, ed to reach home soon; that I was fatigued with and wish, not only for them, but for those who the journey; but that we could not pass Carls- come after them, that they may forever have fors without paying our respects to Ma chère mère. place in the garden of the Lord !"
“Nay, good, good !” said she, apparently sat “ Skal! Skal!" resounded on all sides. Lars isfied, " we will soon have more talk within; but Anders and I drank, and then went round and first I must speak a few words with these people shook hands with so many people that my head here. Listen, good friends !" and Ma chère mère was quite dizzy. struck the back of the violin with the bow, till a All this over, we prepared for our departure, general silence prevailed through the hall. “My and then came Ma chère mère to me on the steps children,” continued she, in a solemn tone, "1 with a packet, or, rather, a bundle, in her hand, have something to say to you—the hangman! saying, in the most friendly manner, “Take wilt thou not be quiet there below- I have to tell these veal cutlets with you, children, for breakyou, that my beloved son, Lars Anders Werner, fast to-morrow morning. In a while you will takes home his wife, ihis Franziska Buren, whom fatten and eat your own veal; but, daughter-inyou see standing by his side. Marriages are de- law, don't forget one thing, let me have my naptermined in heaven, my children, and we will kin back again! Nay, you shall not carry it, now pray Heaven to bless its work in the per- dear child, you have quite enough to do with sons of this couple. This evening we will drink your bag (pirat) and your cloak. Lars Anders together a skal* to their well-being. So now you must carry the veal cutlets;" and then, as if he can dance, my children. Olof, come here and were a little boy still, she gave him the bundle, play thy very best."
and showed him how he must carry it: all which While a murmur of exultation and good wish he did as she bade him, and still her last words es ran through the assembly, Ma chère mère took were," Don't forget, now, that I have my napkin me by the hand and led me, together with my back!" husband, into another room, into which she or I glanced, full of amazement, at my husband, dered punch and glasses to be brought; then pla- but he only smiled, and helped me into the carcing both her elbows firmly upon the table, and riage. After all, I was quite satisfied to have supporting her chin on her closed fists, she look- made the acquaintance of Ma chère mère in so ed at me with a gaze which was rather dark than impromptu a manner; for I felt that, if it had friendly. Lars Anders, who saw that this review been more solemn and premeditated, her bearing was rather embarrassing to me, began to speak and her scrutiny would, perhaps, have had more of the harvest, and other country affairs; Ma effect upon me. chère mère, however, sighed several times so deep As to the veal cutlets, I could not but rejoice ly, that her sighs rather resembled groans; and over them, for I could not tell in what stále I then, as it were, constraining herself, answered might find the provision-room at Rosenvik. to his observations.
Right glad, also, was I to arrive “at home,” The punch came, and then, filling the glass, and to see a maid-servant and a ready-prepared she said, with earnestness in tone and counte- bed, for we had travelled that day ten miles nance, " Son, and son's wife, your health!" (Swedish), and I was greatly fatigued. I had
After this she became more friendly., and said, slept a little on the quarter-of-a-mile way, bein a jesting tone, which, by-the-by, suited her tween Carlsfors and Rosenvik, and the twilight extremely well, “Lars Anders, I suppose we had come on so rapidly that, as about eleven must not say, “You have bought the calf in the o'clock at night we arrived at home, I was unsack.' Your wife does not look amiss, and she able to see what my Eden resembled. The 'has a pair of eyes fit to buy fish with.' She is house seemed, however, to me somewhat gray, little, very little, one must confess, but 'little and small in comparison of the one we had just and bold often push the great ones aside.'” left; but that was of no consequence, Lars An
I laughed, Ma chère mère did the same, and I ders was so cordially kind, and I was so corbegan to talk and act quite at my ease. We dially sleepy. But, all at once, I was wide talked for some time very merrily together, and awake, for, as I entered, it seemed to me like a I related several little travelling adventures, fairy tale.' I stepped into a handsome, wellwhich appeared to amuse her. `In an hour's lighted room, in the middle of which stood a time we rose to take our leave, and Ma chère nicely-arranged tea-table, glittering with silver mère said, with a most friendly smile, “ However and china, while beside the tea-table stood the agreeable it is to me to see you, I will not detain very neatest of maid-servants, in that pretty holyyou this evening. I can very well understand day dress which is peculiar to the peasant girls how the 'at home' draws you. Remain at home of this country. over to-morrow if you will, but the day after I uttered an exclamation of delight, and all come and eat your dinner with me; for the rest, sleep at once was gone. In a quarter of an hour you very well know that you will at all times be I was quite ready, and sat down as hostess at welcome. Now fill your glasses, and come and the tea-table, admiring the beautiful table-cloth, drink with the people. Trouble man may keep the teacups, the teapot, the teaspoons, upon to himself, but pleasure he must enjoy in com- which were engraved our joint initials, and pany."
served tea to my husband, who seemed happy We followed Ma chire mère, who had gone as to his heart's core. herald, into the dancing-room; they were all And thus the morning and the evening were standing, as we entered, with filled glasses, and the first day. she spoke something after this manner: "One The next morning, as I opened my eyes, I must never triumph before one is over the brook, saw that iny Adam was directing his eyes, with but if people sail'in the ship of matrimony with an expression of great devotion, towards the winprudence, and in the fear of God, there is a prov. dow, where a ray of sunshine streamed in through erb which says 'well begun is half won;' and a hole in the blue-striped window-curtains, while, therefore, my friends, we will drink a skal to the at the same time, the mewing of a cat might be * Dricka skol, to drink a health.