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surging of the waters, the whirling clouds of spray, and gorgeous prismatic colors that flashed through them, created an impression that the whole was some wild, mad freak of the elements, gotten up to furnish the traveler with a startling idea of the wonders and beauties of Norwegian scenery.
A NORWEGIAN HORSE-JOCKEY. LATE one evening I arrived at a lonely little station by the wayside, not far beyond the valley of the Drivsdal. I was cold and hungry, and well disposed to enjoy whatever good cheer the honest people who kept the inn might have in store for me. The house and outbuildings were such as belong to an ordinary farming establishment, and did not promise much in the way of entertainment. Upon entering the rustic doorway I was kindly greeted by the host—a simple, good-natured looking man-who, as usual, showed me into the best room. Now I am not aware of any thing in my appearance that entitles me to this distinction, but it has generally been my fate, in this sort of travel, to be set apart and isolated from the common herd in the fancy room of the establishment, which I have always found to be correspondingly the coldest and most uncomfortable. It is a great annoyance in Norway to be treated as a gentleman. The commonest lout can enjoy the cozy glow and social gossip of the kitchen or ordinary sitting-room, but the traveler whom these good people would honor must sit shivering and alone in some great barn of a room because it contains a sofa, a bureau, a looking-glass, a few mantle-piece ornaments, and an occasional picture of the king or some member of the royal family. I have walked up and down these dismal chambers for hours at a time, staring at the daubs on the walls, and picking up little odds and ends of ornaments, and gazing vacantly at them, till I felt a numbness steal all over me, accompanied by a vague presentiment that I was imprisoned for life. The progress of time is a matter of no importance in Norway. To an American, accustomed to see every thing done with energy and promptness, it is absolutely astounding—the indifference of these people to the waste of hours. They seem to be forever asleep, or doing something that bears no possible reference to their ostensible business. If you are hungry and want something to eat in a few minutes, the probability is you will be left alone in the fine room for several hours, at the expiration of which you discover that the innkeeper is out in the stable feeding his horses, his wife in the back yard looking after the chickens, and his children sitting at a table in the kitchen devouring a dish of porridge. Upon expressing your astonishment that nothing is ready, the good man of the house says “Ja! it will be ready directly, min Herr !” and if you are lucky it comes in another hour-a cup of coffee and some bread perhaps, which you could just as well have had in ten minutes. Patience may be a virtue in other countries, but it is an absolute necessity in Norway. I believe, after the few weeks' experience I had on the road to Trondhjem, I could without difficulty sit upon a monument and smile at grief.
Perceiving through the cracks of the door that there was a good fire in the kitchen, and hearing the cheerful voices of the man and his wife, varied by the merry whistle of my skydskaar), I made bold to go in and ask leave to stand by the fire. The good people seemed a little astonished at first that a person of quality like myself should prefer the kitchen to the fine room with the sofa and bureau, the mantle-piece ornaments and pictures of the royal family; but, by dint of good-humored gossip about the horses, and an extravagant compliment thrown in about the beauty of the landlady's children—for which I hope to be pardoned-I secured a comfortable seat by the fire, and was soon quite at home. The great open fireplace, the blazing pine logs, the well-smoked hobs, the simmering pots and steaming kettles, had something indescribably cheerful about them; and lighting my pipe, I puffed away cozily during the pauses in the conversation, having a delightful consciousness that nature had peculiarly adapted me for the vulgar enjoyments of life, and that every thing approaching the refinements of civilization was a great bore. It was doubtless this taint of the savage in my disposition that made me look with such horror upon neat rooms and civilized furniture, and fall back with such zest upon the primitive comforts of savage life. When I told the people of the house that I was all the way from California—that I had come expressly to see their country—there was no end to the interest and excitement. “Dear me!" they cried, “and you have traveled a long way! You must be very tired! And you must be very rich to travel so far! Ah Gott, how wonderful!” “Did you come all the way in a cariole ?” inquired the simple-minded host. “No; I came part of the way by sea, in a great ship.” “How wonderful !” “And what sort of horses had they in California ?” I told some tough stories about the mustang horses, in which the landlord was profoundly interested, for I soon discovered that horses were his great hobby. Whatever we talked of, he invariably came back to horseflesh. His head was overrunning with horses. I praised his cariole horses, and he was enchanted. He gave me the pedigree of every horse in his stable, scarcely a word of which I understood, and then wound up by telling me he was considered the best judge of horses in all Norway. I did not think there was much in his appearance indicative of the shrewd horse-jockey, but was soon convinced of his shrewdness, for he informed me confidentially he had drawn the great prize at the last annual horse-fair at Christiania, and if I didn't believe it he would show it to me! I tried to make him understand that I had no doubt at all what he said was strictly true; but, not satisfied at this expression of faith in his word, he went to a big wooden chest in the corner and took out a bag of money, which he placed upon the middle of the table with a proud smile of triumph. “That,” said he, “is the prize! A hundred and fifty silver dollars—sil
ver, mind you—all siLVER!" But perhaps I didn't be lieve it was a prize? Well, he would convince me of that. So he left the bag of money on the table and went
into a back room to get the certificate of the society, in which it was all duly written out, with his name in large letters, the paper being neatly framed in a carved frame,