Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

our housekeepers’ shelves better than half of our jams and preserves, are all excellent things, which cooking cannot spoil to the most dainty traveller. There is, doubtless, a scarcity of many articles very important to comfort and cleanliness. Pottery ware, plates, dishes, bowls, are coarse, and not in the abundance we are accustomed to. Knives, forks, spoons, are also on the minimum side of the account as to comfort and nicety. If we will not buy their timber, how can these people buy our pottery and hardware ? If the traveller judges fairly, and considers what he actually finds, and the cost and difficulty of bringing together these household articles in a small Norwegian household, he will find much to admire. The sense of comfort, cleanliness, and order in domestic concerns, appears to me more generally developed among the working class in this country than in Scotland. The wooden floors and side walls, the abundance of glass windows in the meanest habitations, and the outside storerooms and accommodations distinct from the dwelling apartments, keep the inmates, especially the females, and their habits of living, in a much more cleanly and orderly state than it is possible for those of the same class in Scotland to enjoy, with their earthen floors, and roofs, and side walls, their single pane of glass window, and their single room for all ages and sexes, to cook, and eat, and sleep in, and to hold all the clothes and stores of the family.

Sokness, Aug. 23.— I started early this morning from Sundset. A Norwegian gentleman and his

daughter are travelling like me with their own horse, and in stopping to bait I have formed a little acquaintance with him. He is a northern proprietor, returning from Copenhagen. Proprietor, I find, is a sort of conventional title, like esquire with us, given to landholders who possess estates larger than they themselves farm. The smaller landholders, who work upon their own little estates, are called bonder. This gentleman and his daughter are like our own country gentry in remote parts of Scotland, very kind and obliging, and with the manners and appearance of genteel people.

From Sundset to Bierkragen, there is more forest than I have yet seen in Norway Distant farms look like holes cut out of the green mass of woods. The trees also appear larger, and the soil much better than on the other side of the Dovre Fjeld. The oats, bear, and potatoes are beautiful. Rye, and a sort of red bearded-wheat, are luxuriant; but they are not in general cultivation. Hemp and flax grow on every farm, and every house has a little patch in hops for family use. appear very plentiful, and the plants healthy; but the mode of cultivation is different from ours. The plants are not set in separate hills, but close together, so as to smother all vegetation below them.

Sæberg, Aug. 24.-I made only three Norwegian miles to-day, being unwilling to arrive late in the evening at Dronthiem, where I understand there

The hops are no regular inns. My travelling acquaintances went on, having friends there.

In building houses in Norway, timber is used of a size far exceeding the dimensions we generally suppose its trees to attain. There is a log in this old house which is three feet on each square side ; and retains that size for at least 25 feet in length. In all the houses, especially those of

old date, the logs are as large as the Memel or American timber usually brought to England. I understand that the impediments in the rivers prevent the floating down of such lengths of great timber to the coast. The vessels, also, are too small for such pieces which it is customary to use in building. For these reasons the timber on this side of the Dovre Fjeld, is in general cut into short deals for exportation. Wood of considerable size grows as far north as the valley of the Namsen, the largest of the Norwegian rivers, about 120 English miles from Dronthiem : it grows in sheltered situations in Nordland and Finmark, as far north as Alten Fiord, but of diminutive size, and in such limited quantity that it is thought necessary to preserve it for the use of the inhabitants, and its exportation is prohibited. Trees in Nunmedal, or the valley of the Namsen river, are large enough to furnish building material to the country to the north, and masts or spars of a foot and a half of girth at the end of sixty feet of length.

very

CHAPTER II.

DRONTHIEM.-INN.-CATHEDRAL.-TOWN.-SHIPPING.LIBRARY.

-SAXON AND NORMAN ARCHES.—GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE STORDAL.COLONEL GEORGE SINCLAIR,SROCKING STONES. LEVANGER.-DRONTHIEM FIORD AND BOTHNIAN GULPH.-NORWEGIAN FARM.-HOPS. STIKKLESTAD-DATE OF THE BATTLE CORRECTED BY AN ECLIPSEVÆRDAL.-PEASANTS, CROSS ROADS.-SNAASEN VAND.-STEENKJÆR.-SCOTCH FARMERS.NORWEGIAN FARMS. -VALUE, SIZE, TAXES, HARVEST WORK, PLOUGHING.–GIGOT SLEEVES.- MY WINTER QUARTERS.

where to go

Dronthiem, Aug. 25._I arrived here this morning at ten o'clock. The custom-house officer, sitting at the gate to take town dues, probably thought from my portmanteau that I had merchandise to pay for. He willingly accompanied me to the best lodging house, to examine my luggage, and I readily gave him a small fee, as it is awkward to enter a town without knowing

I have got into a comfortable house, kept by a cheerful old lady, who speaks a little English. It is not exactly an inn; there is no sign-post; it is not open at every hour for every body, and the family expect more consideration than in a place where the traveller, at least the English traveller, is every thing, and the family nothing. In considerable towns, I understand, such as Dronthiem and Bergen, there are no regular inns, but plenty of these boarding houses, which are, in fact, as comfortable, and in which

the traveller is served as well as he could be in any inn the place could support.

After an excellent breakfast, I went to see the far-famed cathedral. It does not impress the traveller who has seen others either with its magnitude or its beauty. It has nothing picturesque, whether viewed near or at a distance, and it has attracted little notice from the English or other foreign travellers. It is, however, a very remarkable and interesting structure.

There are parts unquestionably as old as the year 1033. Few, if any of the churches in England which are considered to be of Saxon architecture, are known as belonging to that period, being about the time of Canute the Great, and any which, from the style of architecture, are considered to be older than the Norman Conquest, are objects of great interest; and the style of arches and ornaments has given rise to many curious speculations. This cathedral would, therefore, deserve the careful examination of those conversant with the subject. There are parts of the fabric which have evidently been rebuilt at various periods, as the structure has frequently suffered from fire, and the old finely cut stones have in many places been built into the present walls without any distinct reason ; in some places forming arches, and in others pillars supporting nothing, but merely put in, because they were considered ornamental. The barbarous taste of those who at present have charge of this curious building is much less excusable. Workmen are actually employed in painting over the whole of

« AnteriorContinua »