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yond measure, I conducted her to a seat. As I was passing out of the room soon after, a new waltz struck up. The dancers went at it again as lively as ever. I turned to see what had become of my partner. She was whirling over the floor with undiminished energy in the arms of a young gentleman in military uniform. He may have been more accustomed to waltzing than I was, but I think any person present—not excepting the young lady herself — would have been willing to admit that his style did not compare with mine in force and individuality. It certainly produced no such effect upon the audience.
I walked back to town a sober and thoughtful man. This dancing business is a very foolish pastime. It may do very well for giddy and thoughtless young persons, but for men of mature years it is the height of folly. I am surprised that they should be led aside from their customary propriety by the fascinations of beauty.
The sun was just setting. Its last rays rested upon the ruined walls of the Observatory. I followed a crowd of citizens who were slowly toiling up the stone steps, and, after a pretty hard climb, was rewarded with a magnificent view of the city and surrounding country. The rocky pinnacle upon which the Observatory stands rises some three hundred feet above the banks of the river, and overlooks a large portion of the valley of the Aurajiki. The winding waters of the river; the green fields; patches of woodland, villas, and gardens; the blue mountains in the distance, and the silent city lying like a mouldering corpse beneath, presented a scene singularly picturesque and impressive. I sat down upon the ruined walls and thought of Abo in its glory—the ancient head-quarters of Christianity in Finland; the last abiding-place of the beautiful Caroline Morsson, the peasant queen of Sweden, wife of Eric XII., who died here, and whose remains lie in the Cathedral—the city of the mighty hosts of warlike Finns who fought under the banner of Charles XII., and made a funeral pyre of their bodies upon the bloody field of Puttara. The present Finns are of this heroic race. Not less brave, yet less fortunate than the Spartans of Thermopylæ, they have lost their country and their freedom, and now groan under the oppression of a despotic government.
While thus musing on the past, a strain of delicious music broke the stillness. I rambled over the granite cliffs in the direction of the sound, and soon came to a grove of trees, with an open space in the middle, occupied by a band of musicians, who were surrounded by a group of citizens, thus pleasantly passing the summer evening. Booths and tents were scattered about in every direction, in which cakes and refreshments were to be had; and gay parties of young people were seated on long planks so arranged as to make a kind of spring seats, upon which they bounced up and down to the time of the music. Children were playing upon the grass, their merry shouts of laughter mingling pleasantly with the national air performed by the band. On the moss-covered rocks sat groups of young ladies, guarded by their amiable mothers or discreet duennas, as the case might be, trying hard not to see any of the young gentlemen who lounged about in the same vicinity; and young gentlemen prowled about puffing cigars as if they didn't care a straw whether the young ladies looked at them or not—both being, of course, according to the established usages of society, natural enemies of each other. For the life of me, I can't tell why it is that young ladies and gentlemen should be thus everlastingly at war. Would it not be better to kiss and make it up, and try, if possible, to get along peaceably through the world ?
But the steamer blows her whistle—the bell rings—I must hurry on board. Good-by, dear Finns, big and little, I like you all. God bless you! Good-by old Abo, with your ancient church, and your moss-grown streets, and deserts of houses—I feel sorry for you, but I can't help it! Good-by, Russia! If I don't call again, attribute it to no want of interest in the great cause of civilization. Just drop me a line and let me know when the serfs are free and a constitutional government is established, and I will strain a point to pay my respects to Alexander II. I rather like the young man, and have an idea that he is capable of noble deeds and heroic sacrifices. But he must abolish his secret police, punish them for whipping women, open universities upon a liberal basis, throw the camarilla and the aristocracy overboard, quit murdering the poor Poles at Warsaw, and do several other things before he can bave my support. Should he accomplish these beneficial reforms, and at any future time think proper to settle in my neighborhood, where the climate is more genial, I shall cheerfully vote for him as mayor of the city of Oakland.
STOCKHOLM THE passage from Abo to Stockholm occupies about eighteen hours, and in fine weather affords a constant succession of agreeable scenes. With the exception of about four hours of open sea in crossing the Gulf of Bothnia, the steamer is constantly surrounded by islands, many of them highly picturesque, and all interesting from their peculiar geological formation. Occasionally the island winds like a snake through a wilderness of naked granite boulders, round and slippery, and barely high enough out of the water to afford a foundation for a few fishermen's huts, which from time to time break the monotony of their solitude. Sometimes the channel opens out into broad lakes, apparently hemmed in on all sides by pine-covered cliffs; then passing between a series of frightful crags, upthrown, as it were, out of the water by some convulsion of nature, the surging waves lash their way through the narrow passages, and threaten each moment to ingulf the frail vessel, or dash it to atoms against the rocks. The greatest danger in making this trip arises from the number of sunken rocks, which often approach to within a few feet of the surface without being visible. The depth is usually marked by poles or buoys, and it often happens that the steamer plies her way for hours between these water-marks, where there is no other indication of danger. The Swedish and Finnish pilots are proverbially among the best in the world. We had an old Finn on board — a shaggy old sea-dog, rough and weather beaten as any of the rocks on his own rock-bound coast, who, I venture to say, never slept a wink during the entire passage, or if he did, it was all the same. He knew every rock, big and little, visible and invisible, that lay on the entire route between Abo and Stockholm, and could see them all with his eyes shut. An uncouth, hardy, honest old monster was this Finn- a Caliban of a fellow, half human, half fish — with a great sou’wester on his head, a rough monkey-jacket buttoned around his body, and a pair of boots on his legs that must have been designed for wading over coral reefs, through seas of swordfish, shovel-nosed sharks, and unicorns. His broad, honest face looked for all the world like a granite boulder covered with barnacles and sea-weed, and ornamented by a bunch of mussels. for a nose, and a pair of shining blue pebbles by way of eyes; and when he spoke, which was not often, his voice sounded like the keel of a fishingsmack grating over a bank of gravel. I strongly suspect his father was a sea-lion and his mother a grampus or scragg whale, and that he was fished up out of the sea when young by some hardy son of Neptune, and subsequently trained up in the ways of humanity on board a fishing-smack, where the food consisted of polypi, lobsters, and black bread. Yet there was something wonderfully genial about this old pilot. He chewed enormous quantities of tobacco, the stains of which around his mouth greatly improved the beauty of his countenance; and when he was not chewing pigtail he was smoking it, which equally contributed to soften the asperities of his features. Having sailed in many seas, be spoke many languages, but none very intelligibly, owing to some radical defect in the muscles of his mouth. As to the channel between Abo and Stockholm, which · lies partly through the Aland Islands and numerous adjacent rocks, above and below water, I believe he had traveled over it so often that he could steer a vessel through it standing backward as readily as box the compass, or shut both his eyes and tell where the deepest water lay by the smell of the air and the taste of his tobacco.
The passage across the Gulf of Bothnia was somewhat rough, and most of the passengers were sea-sick, owing, no doubt, to the short chopping motion which prevails on board of all kinds of sea-going vessels in these inland seas. Having performed various voyages in various parts of the world, I was, of course, exempt from this annoyance; but my digestion had been impaired in Russia by the vast quantity of tea, cucumbers, veal, cabbagesoup, and other horrible mixtures which I had been forced to consume while there, and which now began to tell on my constitution. Notwithstanding repeated doses of cognac, taken from time to time as I walked the decks, the sea began to whirl all round, the clouds overhead to swing about at random through the rigging, and the odor of the machinery to produce the strongest and most disagreeable sensations. I went below to see how things looked there; but, finding the atmosphere dense and the prospect gloomy, returned in great haste and looked over the bulwarks to see how fast we were going through the water. While thus engaged, an amusing thought occurred to me. Suppose the mermaids who lie down in the briny depths form their ideas of the beauty of the human countenance from the casual glimpses thus afforded of our features, would it be possible for the most susceptible of them to fall in love with us? The idea was so droll that I was almost convulsed with laughter; but, not wishing to attract attention by laugh