« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
" Of the gold 2,300,000 is from America, and about 200,000 from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Of the silver, seven millions are the produce of America, and the remainder of the other quarters of the world.
“ The pound troy of standard silver consists of eleven ounces two pennyweights pure silver, and eighteen pennyweights of copper, and it is coined into sixty-six shillings.
« In the time of Herodotus and Plato, that is, about 450, and 400 years before the Christian era, the relative value of gold and silver in Persia and Greece was as 13 and 12 to 1; and in Rome, about 189 years B.C. it was as low as 10 to 1; and when Cæsar returned loaded with the spoils of Gaul, such was the abundance of gold that it became as low as 731 to 1."
From Kongsberg our travellers proceeded to Christiansand, where they embarked for Copenhagen.
DENMARK AND SWEDEN.
COPENHAGEN makes a magnificent appearance from the sea; it was originally founded by some fishermen, about the middle of the twelfth century. It is a fortified town, and during the late war was bombarded by the English. Some of the apartments in the palace are grand, but our travellers were more interested in their visit to Elsineur, in the neighbourhood of which is shown the very spot where Hamlet's father was said to have been poisoned.
The Danes were formerly brave even to erceness; but long oppression and tyranny have completely altered the national character. The feudal system continues still in force in many parts, particularly in Holstein and Sleswick, where the noble landholder has the power of life and death over his vassals. “ What encouragement has a farmer in this part of Den.
mark,” said Dr. Walker, as they returned from an evening walk, “ to cultivate his land and exert his skill ? As soon as he has brought his little farm to perfection, and the crops excel those of his neighbour, he is removed to a more barren spot, there again to toil and labour, with the gloomy prospect of being again displaced, when by his industry the barren wilderness begins to smile, and blossom as the rose.
“In many places, however, the nobles have emancipated their peasants, and a few miles from Copenhagen a plain and simple monument has been erected by the peasants of the late Count Bernstoff in gratitude for their liberation.”
“ You will not make any great stay in Denmark, I suppose,” replied his pupil.
DR. WALKER.-. No, I shall not; indeed I think we will immediately quit this feudal territory and return to Copenhagen,” from whence on their road to the quay, they met a funeral procession, the coffin, which was covered with the pall, was placed upon a bier, surmounted by a canopy, which was drawn by a pair of horses only; and this consti. tuted the whole parade of the interment of one of the principal inhabitants of Copenhagen.
GENERAL VIEW OF DENMARK.
" DENMARK has received Pomerania from Sweden, in lieu of Norway: the inhabitants are estimated at 103,345; those of Iceland at 53,000, of Greenland at 7,000, of the Ferro isles at 5,000,” said Edward.
“ Of its principal towns next to Copenhagen, Altona, Kiel, Albourg, and Elsineur, stand conspicuous.
“ Altona, is a few miles west of Hamburg, it was in 1713, almost. reduced to ashes by the Swedes, though it is now a very commercial town.
• Kiel has a harbour for ships of the largest size, the canal has so much augmented the trade of this place, that it is now one of the most commercial ports in Holstein.
“ Albourg contains a palace, an exchange, and other public buildings; has a safe and deep harbour; it trades in herrings and grain, and manufactures excellent guns, sad. dles, and gloves.
“ Elsineur we have seen, is on the west of the Sound, which is here about two miles and a half over. Vessels passing through the Sound pay a toll to the King of Denmark, which, with those of the two Belts, produce about 100,0001. annually. Here are many foreign merchants, and also consuls of the principal nations that trade to the Baltic.
“ The foreign possessions of Denmark consist of Iceland, part of East Greenland, Ferro Isles, Delmanhorst and Pomerania, in Germany; Tranquebar on the Coromandel coast, in the south east of Hindoustan; and Christianburg Fort, in Upper Guinea. And its islands at home are, Lessoe, east of Aalbourg ; Anholt, east of Wiburg ; Samsoe, east of Aarhus; Sylt, west of Sleswick; Heligoland, west of Holstein."
DR. WALKER.-“ Vastly well, indeed, Edward, I think if I recollect right, we discussed the properties of the ocean on our voyage from Iceland. There is a remarkable difference between the waters of the ocean, and the Baltic.
“ The water of the ocean contains about the thirtieth part of its weight of salt; the water of the Baltic holds only from the 200dth to the 100dth part, consequently the water of the Baltic ought to stand 1.40th part higher from the bottom of the sea than the water of the ocean, in order to maintain its hydrostatic equilibrium. It is observed on the Baltic shores, that the water subsides, and that its surface is lower in all parts than it formerly was. I am not wise enough to account for this circumstance, but may it not be in consequence of the Baltic becoming salter, and thus approximating to the specific gravity and height of the ocean?
“ The Baltic sea has no tides, and it is usually frozen over four months in the year."
VOYAGE TO SWEDEN.
As the weather was very calm, our travellers were enabled to take a view of the coast, and at Christiansand, the cap
tain put them on shore for two or three hours. Here they viewed the cloth and silk stuff manufactories. The inhabitants of this town export great quantities of alum, pitch, and tar, A brisk wind springing up unexpectedly, the captain sent the boat for his passengers, and they quickly re-embarked.
“ That,” said the master, as they passed a small sea port, 6 is Calmor."
“ Calmor,” exclaimed Edward, “ Is that the Calmor so celebrated for the convention that goes by that name, where Margaret of Sweden united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.”
“ The very same,” replied his tutor, “ but it contains nothing worthy of notice at present, we shall not land at it."
“ There is a gold mine at Adelfons," said the master of the vessel, “ in the province of Smaland, and Calmor is in Smaland too, but to be sure it is not very productive. But our copper, iron, and silver mines are very rich."
DR. WALKER." Yes, so I understand. We intend visiting the iron and copper mines."
“, Our iron,” said the captain, “ is much valued by the English I know, there is none makes better steel. The mine at Dannemone is a wonderful sight I think, I suppose you know it is a mountain of iron in the middle of a sandy plain."
Dr. WALKER.-" Yes, I understand as much. You come, perhaps, from that part of the country.”
MASTER.- - No Sir, I don't, I come from Gottenburg, where I suppose you have been, as you are travelling to see sights."
DR. WALKER.-“We had no time to stop at Gottenburg, but you allude to the celebrated precipice near that town, down which rolls a tremendous cataract, into a deep bed of water, so profound, that huge masts and other bodies disappear for the space of half an hour, and others an hour, before they are recovered; the bottom of this bed has, I understand, never been fathomed.”
MASTER.-" Never, Sir, although sounded by lines of several hundred feet. Perhaps you never heard too of the slimy lake in Gothland, which singes every thing which is thrown into it. That is a great curiosity I think."
DR. WALKER. No, I never did hear of that lake; but as you appear to have taken a great deal of notice of
say as I
the curiosities that have fallen in your way, and as we are travelling for amusement and information, perhaps you can point out certain spots where we are likely to be gratified on both these points." MASTER. Why, no Sir, I can't
can, but thesc two things were in my native province, and were therefore, familiar to me. You intend going to Fahlun, you say, that's a spot that is every Swede's country, because in its mine Gustavus Vasa was hidden."
Dr. Walker.-" True, and you are right; Dalecarlia is a spot that should be dear to every Swede. But I see we are drawing very near the capital, and a beautiful looking city it is. It reminds me of Venice in one respect. That of its being built on small Islands, but the scenery round it is far more grand and beautiful.”
EDWARD." What a very singular effect those rocks of granite have which rise perpendicularly from the sea, partly bare and cragged, and partly dotted with houses, or feathered by woods. And look, Sir, at that amphitheatre at the extremity of the harbour, where several streets rise one above the other, and which are crowned by the palace as I suppose. Scarce any thing can be imagined more lovely
. and agreeable than the appearance of the river upon which Stockholin stands; it is divided into a number of branches, the sides of which are covered with public buildings, and elegant houses. In some places, where the breadth is very considerable, its stream is perfectly tranquil and slow; in others where the channel is narrow, it rushes through with the impetuosity of a torrent. So many small islands are formed by it below the town, that almost every magazine of naval and military stores, possesses a detached one, and there is a wild and romantic cast through the whole land. scape, which is not unpleasing to the spectator, and which characterises the northern views. The quay is not long but of a prodigious breadth, and there are ten fathoms water close to the shore.”
Not only the master, but many of the sailors appeared pleased with the pleasure expressed by Dr. Walker and his pupil upon approaching the capital of Sweden. As it was late when our travellers landed, they retired quietly to their inn, where they were soon joined by Colin.
" Well, Colin,” said the Doctor, “ how do ye like Stockholm?"