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N E I G H B O U RS.
A Story of Every-day Life.
BY FREDERIKA BREMER.
TRANSLATED FROM THE SWEDISE,
BY MARY HOW IT T.
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, 89 CLIFF-ST.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUTDATIONS. BY THE TRANSLATOR. 1917
Of 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 cxists 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.
own ideas, and, as I glanced at ħi..., 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 own roof, at my own writing-table, and sitting by husband's Christian name, so much the better!" 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 about Bear, because the name suits him so well ? boxes or packages; he took my hand and led ine
Here, then, I am, sitting by the window; the up the steps, along the entrance hall, and drew sun is setting; 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. my cows_stand on the green shore quite sleek Only see," thought I,“ how is it possible for and reflective, thinking certainly upon nothing. me to dance in this costume ?" How handsome they are ! Now comes the maid. Oh, if I could only have gone in somewhere, with her milk-pail; how rich and good is coun- just to wipe the dust from my face and iny bontry milk! Bui what, in fact, is not good in the net, where, at the very least, I could just have country? Air and rain, food and feeling, heaven seen myself in a looking-glass! But impossible! and earth, all is fresh and animated.
Bear led me by the arm, insisting that I looked But now I must conduct you into my dwelling most charmingly, and beseeching me to make a -no, I will begin yet farther off. There, on that I 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 account, 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 the 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 wbite buildings gleam out with friend- the saine moment we'two stood in the hall, when ly aspects among the trees. Here and there, from my terror was considerably abated by finding that the wood-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 been mistaken for volcanoes, but ihey were only leaped about lustily with one another, and who peaceful svedjen.* Truly it was beautiful, and I were so occupied with their dancing as scarcely was charmed; I bent myself forward, and was to perceive us. Lars Anders led me to the upthinking on a certain happy, natural family in per end of the roo.n, where I saw, sitting upou a Paradise, one Adam and Eve, when suddenly the high seat, a very tall and strong-built gentlewomBear laid his great paws upon me, and held me an, who was playing with reinarkable servour so tight; that I was nearly giving up the ghost, upon a violin, and bealing tiine to her music with while he kissed me, and besought me to find pleas- great power. Upon her head was a tall and extraure in what was here. I was the least in the world ordinary cap, which 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, after all, I can find no better name
Here, then, in this valley lay my stationary for it. This was the Generalin (wife of the Genhome, here lived my new family, here lay Rosen- eral) Mansfield, stepınother of my husband, Ma vik, here should I and my husband live together. chère mère, of whom 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 remote. All was to me same time, a happy and open countenance. ! like a dream, out of which I was suddenly awoke trembled a little, inade a deep courtesy, and kissed by his saying, with a peculiar accent, “ Here her hand; in return, she kissed my forehead, and, lives Ma chère mère;" and at the same moment for a moment, loked on me so keenly as come the 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 his reply.
And now came his turn; he kissed her band inost This was to mé 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 aninother, of whom I stood in great awe, from welcome, my dear friends; it is very handsome of ine 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 beiter, if I could have made * Svedjen, svedjor, svedja, the burning of turt in the fields, preparations; but, at all events, this I know, that
a welcome is the best dish. I hope, my friends, which, in many parts of Sweden, is used for dressing the
will remain over the evening with me.'