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Title: Through Scandinavia to Moscow
Author: Edwards, William Seymour
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: THE AUTHOR.]


THROUGH SCANDINAVIA TO MOSCOW

With Many Illustrations and Maps

by

WILLIAM SEYMOUR EDWARDS

Author of "In to the Yukon," etc.



Cincinnati
The Robert Clarke Co.
1906

Copyright 1906, by
William Seymour Edwards



    DEDICATION

    To my life-long chum,
    my father,
    these pages are affectionately dedicated.



FOREWORD


These pages are made up of letters written during a little journey
through Scandinavia and into Russia as far as Moscow, some four years
ago, before the smashing of the Russians by the Japanese. They were
written to my father, and are necessarily intimate letters, in which I
have jotted down what I saw and felt as the moment moved me. The truth
is, I was on my honey-moon trip, and the world sang merrily to
me--even in sombre Russia.

Afterward, some of these letters were published here and there; now
they are put together into this little book. I had my kodak with me
and have thus been able to add to the text some of the scenes my lens
made note of.

It was my endeavor at the time, that the kindly circle who read the
letters should see as I saw, feel as I felt, and apprehend as I
apprehended; that they should share with me the delight of travel
through serene and industrious Denmark, among the grand and stupendous
_fjelds_ and _fjords_ of romantic Norway; should visit with me a
moment the Capital of once militant Sweden, and join me in the
excitement of a plunge into semi-barbarous Russia. The transition from
Scandinavia to Russia was sharp. I went from lands where the modern
spirit finds full expression, as seen in the splendid schools and
libraries of Denmark, in the democratic and Americanized atmosphere of
Norway, in the scientific and mechanical progressiveness of Sweden.
Entering Russia, I found myself amidst social and political
conditions, mediaeval and malevolent. The wanton luxury of the
enormously rich, the pinching poverty of the very poor, the political
and social exaltation of the very few, the ruthless suppression of the
many, here stared me in the face on every hand. The smoldering embers
of discontent, profound discontent, were even then apparent. In the
brief interval which has since elapsed, this smoldering discontent has
become the blazing conflagration of Revolution. Driven against his
will by inexorable fate, the Czar has at first convoked the Imperial
Douma and then, terrified by its growing aggressiveness, has summarily
decreed its death. Panic-struck by the apparition of popular liberty,
which his own act has called forth, he is now in sinister retreat
toward despotic reaction; the consternation of the unwilling
Bureaucracy, day by day increases; terror, abject terror, increasingly
haunts the splendid palaces of the Autocracy; and the inevitable and
irrepressible movement of the Russian people toward liberty and modern
order is begun.

The symptoms of social and political ailment which then discovered
themselves to me are now apparent to all the world. And it is this
verification of the suggestions of these letters which may now,
perhaps, justify their publication.

    WILLIAM SEYMOUR EDWARDS.
    Charleston-Kanawha, West Virginia,
    September 1, 1906.



    CONTENTS


                                                                PAGE

       I. London to Denmark Across the North Sea                   1

      II. Esbjerg--Across Jutland, Funen and Zealand,
          the Little Belt and Big Belt to Copenhagen,
          and Friends Met Along the Way                            7

     III. Copenhagen, a Quaint and Ancient City                   15

      IV. Elsinore and Kronborg--An Evening Dinner
          Party                                                   31

       V. Across the Sund to Sweden and Incidents of
          Travel to Kristiania                                    40

      VI. A Day Upon the Rand Fjord--Along the
          Etna Elv To Frydenlund--Ole Mon Our
          Driver                                                  51

     VII. A Drive Along the Baegna Elv--the Aurdals
          Vand and Many More to Skogstad                          60

    VIII. Over the Height of Land--A Wonderful Ride
          Down the Laera Dal to the Sogne Fjord                   68

      IX. A Day Upon the Sogne Fjord                              75

       X. From Stalheim to Eida--The Waterfall of
          Skjerve Fos--The Mighty Hardanger Fjord                 80

      XI. The Buarbrae and Folgefonden Glaciers--Cataracts
          and Mountain Tarns--Odda to Horre                       89

     XII. Over the Lonely Haukeli Fjeld--Witches and
          Pixies, and Maidens Milking Goats                       96

    XIII. Descending from the Fjelde--The Telemarken
          Fjords--The Arctic Twilight                            106

     XIV. Kristiania to Stockholm--A Wedding Party--Differing
          Norsk and Swede                                        118

      XV. Stockholm the Venice of the North--Life and
          Color of the Swedish Capital--Manners of
          the People and their King                              128

     XVI. How We Entered Russia--The Passport System--Difficult
          to Get Into Russia and More Difficult
          to Get Out                                             136

    XVII. St. Petersburg--The Great Wealth of the Few--The
          Bitter Poverty of the Many--Conditions
          Similar to Those Preceding the French
          Revolution                                             148

    XVIII. En Route to Moscow--Under Military Guard--Suspected
           of Designs on Life of the Czar                        158

      XIX. Our Arrival at Moscow--Splendor and
           Squalor--Enlightenment and Superstition--Russia
           Asiatic Rather Than European                          167

       XX. The Splendid Pageant of the Russian Mass--The
           Separateness of Russian Religious Feeling
           From Modern Thought--Russia Mediaeval and Pagan       180

      XXI. The First Snows--Moscow to Warsaw--Fat
           Farm Lands and Frightful Poverty of the
           Mujiks Who Own them and Till them--I Recover
           My Passport                                           189

     XXII. The Slav and the Jew--The Slav's Envy and
           Jealousy of the Jew                                   201

    XXIII. Across Germany and Holland to England--A
           Hamburg Wein Stube--The "Simple Fisher-Folk"
           of Maarken--Two Gulden at Den Haag                    214

     XXIV. Map of North Europe.
           Map of Scandinavia and Baltic Russia, in profile.



    ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                  OPPOSITE
                                                      PAGE
    The Author                                Frontispiece
    The Naero--Sogne Fjord                               1
    The North Sea                                        3
    The Docks, Esbjerg                                   5
    Our Danish Railway Carriage                          7
    My Instructor in Danish                             10
    Our Danish Friends                                  12
    The Krystal Gade and Round Tower, Copenhagen        14
    The Oestergade                                      16
    The Royal Theatre, Copenhagen                       17
    The Exchange, Copenhagen                            19
    The Gammel Strand                                   23
    Along the Quays, Copenhagen                         26
    An Ancient Moat, Now the Lovely Oersteds Park       30
    A Vista of the Sund                                 32
    Elsinore                                            33
    The Sund from Kronborg's Ramparts                   35
    The Fishing Boats, Elsinore                         37
    A Snap-shot for a Dime, Kronborg                    39
    Kronborg                                            41
    Karl Johans Gade, Kristiania                        42
    Vegetable Market, Kristiania                        44
    Kristiania, A View of the City                      46
    Our Norwegian Train                                 48
    Along the Etna Elv                                  50
    Hailing our Steamer, The Rand Fjord                 51
    The Old Salt                                        53
    Ole Mon                                             55
    Feeding the Ponies, Tomlevolden                     58
    Church of Vestre Slidre                             58
    The Distant Snows                                   60
    The Baegna Elv                                      62
    The Granheims Vand                                  63
    A Herd of Cows, Fosheim                             63
    A Hamlet Beneath the Fjeld                          65
    The Author by the Slidre Vand                       67
    Ricking the Rye                                     67
    The Protected Road                                  69
    Three Thousand Feet of Waterfall                    71
    Our Little Ship, Laerdalsoeren                      74
    The Sogne Fjord--Along the Sogne Fjord              76
    Sudals Gate, on the Sogne Fjord                     78
    The Naerodal                                        80
    Greeting our Boat, Aurland                          83
    The Hardanger Fjord                                 85
    The Soer Fjord--Hardanger                           87
    Commingling Lote and Skars Fos                      90
    The Espelands Fos                                   90
    Glacier of Buarbrae                                 92
    The Gors Vand                                       92
    The Descending Road to Horre                        94
    A Mile Stone                                        97
    Cattle on the Haukeli Fjeld                         97
    The Desolate Haukeli Fjeld                          99
    Norse Maiden Milking Goat (2 illustrations)        103
    Our Hostesses, Haukeli-Saeter                      106
    A Norse Cabin                                      106
    A Goat Herd's Saeter                               110
    Haukeli-Saeter                                     110
    Tending the Herds                                  112
    Drying Out the Oats                                112
    Dalen on the Bandaks Vand                          115
    Norse Women Raking Hay                             117
    Stockholm                                          119
    King's Palace, Stockholm                           122
    Ancient Swedish Fortress                           124
    A Swedish Church                                   124
    A Band of Swedish Horses                           126
    The Shore of Lake Maelaren, Stockholm              129
    Cathedral of Riddarsholm                           131
    Norrbro, Stockholm                                 133
    Facing the Gale                                    140
    The Pier, Helsingfors                              142
    Fishing Boats Along the Quay, Helsingfors          142
    Market Square, Helsingfors                         144
    The Doebln at her Pier, Helsingfors                144
    A Wild Sea--Leaving Helsingfors                    145
    Fishing Boats at Mouth of the Neva                 145
    Entering the Neva                                  149
    Along the Neva                                     149
    Our Droschky, St. Petersburg                       151
    Along the Nevsky-Prospekt                          151
    Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan                     154
    Our Squealing Stallions                            154
    Our Izvostchik                                     156
    Our Landau, St. Petersburg                         160
    A Noble's Troika, St. Petersburg                   161
    The Railway Porters, St. Petersburg                161
    Our Military Guard, Bargaining for Apples          165
    The Holy Savior Gate, Kremlin                      165
    Along the Gostinoi Dvor, Moscow                    167
    Cathedral of the Assumption, Kremlin               167
    The Red Square, Moscow                             170
    Begging Pilgrims, St. Basil                        170
    Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, Moscow         172
    Ancient Pavements, Moscow                          176
    Bread Vendors, Moscow                              176
    The Kremlin beyond the Moskva                      179
    Cathedral of St. Savior                            181
    A Tram-Car, Moscow                                 188
    The Out-of-Works                                   188
    Cemetery, Novo Dievitchy                           190
    Monastery Church, Novo Dievitchy                   190
    Holy Beggar, Novo Dievitchy                        191
    The Kremlin Beneath the Snows                      193
    A Station Stop, En Route to Warsaw                 197
    Catching a Kopeek--A Beggar                        204
    A Cold Day                                         208
    Along the River Moskva, Moscow                     209
    A Russian Jew                                      211
    Jewish Types, taken in Russia                      213
    Jewish Types, taken in America                     213
    A Dainty Nurse-maid, Berlin                        215
    Hamburg Street Traffic                             218
    Our Bill of Fare                                   220
    A Gentleman of Maarken                             222
    A Kinder of Maarken                                222
    Among Vrow and Kinderen, Maarken                   224
    A Load of Hay, Holland                             227
    Along the Zuyder Zee                               227
    The Fish Market, Den Haag                          228
    The Gossips, Den Haag                              228
    A Watery Lane, Den Haag                            229
    Dutch Toilers                                      229
    Map of North Europe.
    Map of Scandinavia and Baltic Russia, in profile.


[Illustration: THE NAERO--SOGNE FJORD, NORWAY.]



Through Scandinavia to Moscow.



I.

London to Denmark Across the North Sea.


    ESBJERG, DENMARK, _August 25, 1902_.

We came down from London to Harwich toward the end of the day. Our
train was a "Special" running to catch the steamer for Denmark. We
were delayed a couple of hours in the dingy, dirty London station by
reason of a great fog which had crept in over Harwich from the North
Sea, and then, the boat had to wait upon the tide.

The instant the train backed in alongside the station platform--only
ten minutes before it would pull out--there was the usual scramble and
grab to seize a seat in the first-carriage-you-can and pandemonium
reigned. H is well trained by this time, however, and I quickly had
her comfortably ensconced in a seat by a window with bags and shawls
pyramided by her side the better to hold a place for me. Meantime, I
hurried to a truck where stood awaiting me a well-tipped porter and
together we safely stowed two "boxes" into a certain particular
"luggage van," the number of which I was careful to note so that I
might be sure quickly to find the "luggage" again, when we should
arrive at Harwich, else a stranger might walk off with it as aptly as
with his own.

Our "carriage" was packed "full-up" with several men and women, who
looked dourly at us and at each other as they sat glumly squeezed
together, elbows in each other's ribs. So forbidding was the prospect
confronting me that I did not presume to attempt a conversation. These
comrades, however, soon dropped out at the way-stations, until only
one lone man was left, when I took heart and made bold to accost him.
I found him very civil and, recognizing me to be a foreign visitor, he
spoke with freedom. One Englishman never forgives another for sitting
beside him, unintroduced, and squeezing him up in a railway carriage;
but he harbors no such grudge against his American cousin, equally the
victim of British methods.

Our _vis-à-vis_ had been a volunteer-trooper in South Africa, and had
just come back to England, after two years' hardship and exposure. He
had given up a good position in order to serve his country, and had
been promised that the place would be kept open for him against his
return. He tells me he now finds a stay-at-home holds his job. He has
"a wife and two little lads to keep," and so far he has had "no luck
in finding work." There are thousands of others in as bad a fix as he,
he says, returned patriots who are starving for lack of work. He
denounced the entire Boer-smashing business most savagely and declared
that as for South Africa, he "would not take the whole of it for a
gift." We hear this sort of talk everywhere among the people we
casually meet. The average Englishman takes small pride in his Army.
"It gives fat jobs to the aristocracy, it is death to us," is what I
have heard a dozen times remarked. Our new acquaintance seemed to feel
the better for having thus spoken out his mind, and when we parted,
wished us a "prosperous voyage."

[Illustration: THE NORTH SEA.]

The ship was in motion within twenty minutes after our train reached
the Harwich pier. To my landsman's thinking the air was yet murky with
the fog. Big sirens were booming all about us. The melancholy clang of
tidal bells sounded in sombre muffled tones from many anchored buoys.
It was a drear, dank night to leave the land. We moved slowly,
sounding our own hoarse whistle all the while. I stood upon the upper
deck peering into the mists till we had come well out to sea. There
were few boats moving, no big ones. Multitudes of small schooners and
sloops rode at anchor, their danger lights faintly gleaming. I
wondered we did not run down and crush them, but the pilot seemed to
apprehend the presence of another boat even before the smallest ray of
light shone through the fog. One or two great ships we came shockingly
close upon. At least, I was jarred more than once when their huge
black hulks and reaching masts suddenly grew up before me out of the
dead white curtain of the mists. The estuary which leads from Harwich
to the sea is long and tortuous. Only a pilot who has been born upon
it, and from boyhood learned its currents and its tides, its shallows
and its shoals, may dare to guide a boat along it, even in broad day.
How much greater the skill and knowledge required thus to steer a ship
through these labyrinthine channels amidst the fogs and blackness of
such a night! The Captain told me he was always uneasy when coming
out, no matter when, and never felt safe until far out upon the sea.
Even in open water he must keep the sharpest kind of a watch lest some
one of the myriad fishing craft which haunt these waters, should lie
athwart the way.

The sea was quiet, rolling with a long slow swell. The rising wind
soughed softly through the rigging when, toward midnight, I at last
turned in.

All day Sunday the North Sea lay smooth and glassy as a pond; no hint
of the turmoil and tempest which so often rage upon its shallow
depths. We did not see many vessels; far to the north I made out the
smoke of a steamer which the captain said was bound for Kristiansand,
in Norway; and south of us were a few sail, which I took to be fishing
luggers from Holland. Nor were there many seabirds flying. The sky
hung low and in the gray air was the feel of a storm in the offing.
Toward dark, about eight o'clock, a misty rain settled down upon us,
and the rising wind began swashing the dripping waters along the
decks. Toward half past nine we descried a dim glimmer in the east,--a
beacon light flickering through the night,--and then another with
different intervals of flash, a mile or two out upon the left, and
then our ears caught the deep bellow of a fog horn across the sea.
We were nearing the west coast of the Province of Jutland, in Denmark.
Our port lay dead ahead between the lights. Another hour of cautious
navigating, for there are many sand bars and shifting shoals along
this coast, and we came steaming slowly, very slowly, among trembling
lights--fishing smacks at anchor with their night signals burning--and
then we crept up to a big black wharf. We were arrived at Esbjerg.

[Illustration: THE DOCKS, ESBJERG.]

The train for Copenhagen (Kjoebenhavn) would leave at midnight, an
eight-hours' ride and no sleeping car attached.

We decided to stay aboard the ship, sleep peacefully in our
wide-berthed stateroom and take a train at eleven o'clock of the
morning, which would give us a daylight ride.

We were entering Denmark by the back door. The sea-loving traveler
generally approaches by one of the ocean liners which sail direct from
New York to Copenhagen; those who find terror in the sea enter by way
of Kiel, and an all-rail ride through Holland and Germany, crossing
the channel to Ostend, Dieppe, or the Hook. Only the few voyage across
the North Sea with its frequent storms--the few who, like ourselves,
are good sailors and do not fear the stress of tide and tempest. We
were now at Esbjerg, and must cross the entire peninsula of Denmark,
its Little Belt, its Big Belt and the large islands of Funen and
Zealand to reach our journey's end.

I am already beginning to pick up the Danish speech, a mixture of
English, German, Dutch and new strange throat gutturals, the latter
difficult for an American larynx to make. And yet so similar is this
mother tongue of Scandinavia to the modern English, that I can often
tell what a Dane is saying by the very similarity of the sounds: "Go
Morn"--(good morning), "Farvel"--(farewell).

Our fellow passengers were mostly Danes. This is their favorite route
for coming home. They are a quiet, rather pensive people. The men,
much of the time, were smoking, and drinking beer and a white brandy.
The women were often sitting in the smoking room with them, enjoying,
I presume, the perfume of tobacco, as every right-minded woman should,
and it may be, also finding solace in the scent of the strong brown
beer, which they are not themselves indisposed to quaff.

The cooking on this Danish boat has been good. We have keenly
appreciated the improvement upon the diet of roast beef, boiled
mutton, boiled ham, boiled potatoes, and boiled peas steeped in mint,
which we have been compelled to exist upon during the past few weeks
in Britain.

[Illustration: OUR DANISH RAILWAY CARRIAGE.]



II.

Esbjerg--Across Jutland, Funen and Zealand, the Little Belt and the
Big Belt to Copenhagen--Friends Met Along the Way.


    HOTEL DAGMAR ("Dahmar"),
    COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, _August 27, 1902_.

Here we are in "Kjoebenhavn," which word you will find it quite
impossible properly to pronounce, however strenuously your tongue may
try.

My letter, beginning in Esbjerg, was broken short by the necessity of
sleep. We wisely remained upon the ship and took full benefit of our
comfortable berths. In the morning we were up betimes, obtained a cup
of coffee and a roll, and then, sending our bags and baggage to the
railway station, set out afoot.

The air was misty, full of a fine drizzling rain. It was regular
Scotch and English weather, but the atmosphere was cooler and not so
heavy as in Britain. The little stone-and-brick-built town is clean
and neat, with its main street well asphalted. It lies on a gentle
slope of hillside which lifts from the water. A giant lighthouse,
rising from the highest point of land, is the first object to meet the
view. Back of this, upon the level summit, lies the best of the town.
The buildings are generally of one and two stories, with steep,
gabled roofs.

H, in her Scottish "bonnet," and I, in my raincoat, were quite
impervious to wetness, and we spent the morning strolling here and
there, stopping to see, among other things, the tubs and tanks of fish
in the market square, where fishwives in big, white caps, stood quite
heedless of the rain. The fish were almost wholly the famous _roed
spoette_ (red spots), one of the flounder family, much resembling the
English sole.

Wanting cigars, I was tempted into a little shop, and found it kept by
an intelligent young Dane, who instantly confessed to me, in good
United States, that he had lived in America and there done well. In
fact, it was plain to see that his heart still beat for the great
Republic. His father had died and he had come back to Denmark to care
for his old mother, and then, he had fallen in love with the blue-eyed
daughter of a citizen of Esbjerg, an only child. So now, with several
little Danes added to his charge, he was fixed fast in Esbjerg. But he
was "always grieving for America," he said. He delighted to see us,
and sent for his young wife, who came smiling in to us with her baby
in her arms. H says he told his wife in Danish, that we were Americans
just like all others she would see, if she should ever reach New York!
So I bought a box of cigars from him, instead of one or two, and found
them good smoking and well worth the very moderate cost.

Crossing the market square to a long, low building, which somehow had
about it that indefinable air suggestive of a breakfast comfortably
cooked, we came to an inn, in the low-ceilinged dining room of which
were little tables set about upon the sanded floor. Two or three men
of the sea were smoking in one corner, a bar and a red-cheeked barmaid
were in another, and two huge, yellow, Great-Dane dogs occupied most
of the remaining space. We chose a table by the window and H ordered
_roed spoette_, rolls and coffee. The fish was delicious, possessing a
harder, sweeter flesh than the English sole; and rolls with salted
butter rejoiced my palate, for I am dreadfully tired of English butter
with no salt; and then we were given big brown pancakes with currant
jelly, all we could eat. It was a breakfast fit for a Viking. The bill
was only three _kroner_ and twenty _oere_, which equals about
eighty-six cents.

At the railway station, a mile from the docks, our tickets, bought in
London, gave us the best on the train, better than similar carriages
in England, for here they are bigger, with larger windows and the cars
are set on trucks.

The journey to Copenhagen was over and through a sandy, flat and
slightly rolling country, more carefully tilled and more generally
cultivated than in England, with more grain, wheat and rye; with more
vegetables, turnips, carrots, cabbage and potatoes. There were cattle,
herds of large red cows, for Denmark is now the dairy of all Europe.
But I saw no steers, nor beef cattle, fattening for the market, and
but few sheep; nor any hogs running afield--the last are probably kept
up. The houses are set singly upon the farms, are surrounded by
outbuildings, and are usually of one story and often big and rambling
with ells and gables, and generally have thatched roofs. The barns are
big and substantial. More people are here upon the land than in
England, and not living in clustered villages, as in France; the
fields are divided usually by hedges. There are sluggish waterways and
canals, and ponds where fish are bred and raised for market; and
almost every hilltop is capped with a Dutch-looking windmill.

The train moved deliberately. It made from twenty to twenty-five miles
an hour, stopping a long time at each station. We hadn't gone far when
a bald-pated, round-headed _Herr_ climbed in and we speedily fell into
talk with him. H speaks Danish enough to get on, and I use my pocket
dictionary, and pick up what I can. His name was Hansen and he "owns"
the "Hotel Kikkenborg," at "Brammige," wherever that may be. He told
us of the country we were passing through and helped me on the Danish
gutturals. You must gurgle the sounds down in your gullet as though
you were quite filled with water, and the more profound the depth from
which the sound comes forth, the more perfect the speech. We lost him
at the first change of cars, when we boarded an immense ferryboat to
cross the strait of water called the Little Belt, which separates
the main land from the large island of Funen, but we found ourselves
again in kindly company, this time, with a gray-bearded man and two
ladies, his wife and daughter. He was "Inspector of Edifices" for the
Government. They had been spending a few weeks on the island of Fanoe
at Nordby, a fashionable seaside resort much patronized by the gentry
of Copenhagen. He talked with me in fluent German, and the ladies
conversed readily in French, while all spoke with H in _Dansk_ and so
we got on, fell fast friends and were introduced to a beau of the
Froeken, a young "Doctor" who had "just taken his degree." We sat
together while crossing the island of Funen and on the ferryboat top
all through the long sail across the Big Belt which divides Funen from
the island of Zealand. Our friends here pointed out to us where it was
that Charles X of Sweden, and his army of foot and horse and guns made
their dare-devil passage on the ice that night in January, 1658,
crossing the Little and Big Belts to Zealand and Copenhagen, forcing
the beaten Danes by the Peace of Roskilde to cede the great Provinces
of Skaania, Halland and Bleking, which made Sweden forever henceforth
a formidable European state,--"God's work," the Swedes declared, for
these salty waters were never before frozen solid enough to bear an
army's weight,--nor have they been since. We parted only at the
journey's end. Our friends were pleasant people of the aristocratic
office-holding class, content to live simply on the modest stipend
the Government may grant, who neither speak nor read English, and who
listened to the tales of bigness in America with doubting wonder. "A
building twenty stories high!" "Impossible!" "Eighty millions of
people!" "Incredible!" "America already holds four hundred thousand
Danes--one-fifth of the Danish race." "Ja! Alas! That is too true!"
"Our young men are never satisfied to come back to stay when once they
have lived in America!" "Our young men don't return, it's hard upon
our girls."

[Illustration: MY INSTRUCTOR IN DANISH.]

Our new found friends, when we lunched upon the big ferryboat,
introduced us to that very Danish dish called _Smoer Broed_, thickly
buttered rye bread overlaid with raw herring or smoked goose breast, a
Viking dainty--a salty appetizer well calculated to make the Norseman
quaff from his flagon with more than usual vim, and to drive an
American in hurried search of plain water! These salty snacks of cold
bread and cold fish are as eagerly devoured and enjoyed by the
Scandinavian as are the peppery, stinging eatables for which every
Mexican palate yearns.

It was dusk when we arrived in the large and commodious Main station
at Copenhagen. The suburbs of the city were hidden from us by the
gathering darkness, and the electric lights were glowing when we left
the train.

We missed General and Mrs. C at the station, so great was the crowd,
but found them when we came to our hotel, the Dagmar, they having
themselves missed us and followed on our track.

[Illustration: OUR DANISH FRIENDS.]

There are many good hotels in Copenhagen and this is among the larger
and more popular stopping places of the Danes themselves. It is built
along the clean Vestre Boulevard, with umbrageous trees in front of
it, and possesses that rare thing, an elevator. In the dining room we
sit at little tables, and find the cooking much superior to what one
generally meets in England. It is more after the French sort, the
Danes priding themselves greatly upon their soups and sauces. In our
rooms, which look out upon the broad, paved boulevard, the furniture
is old style mahogany, very substantial, and in the corner there is
one of those immense porcelain stoves reaching to the ceiling, which
is the general mode of heating large rooms in these Scandinavian
lands.

Copenhagen is a city of four hundred thousand people, one-quarter of
the estimated population of Denmark, and the city is growing steadily
at the expense of the country,--increasing too fast for a land the
population of which is as steadily growing less. English is said to be
the fashionable foreign tongue in court circles, by reason of the
British royal connection; but among the people the German speech is
steadily and stealthily taking a foremost place, and this despite the
fact that the Danes dislike Germany and view the Germans with
well-founded fear. You will talk to a Dane but a few moments before he
is pouring out his heart to you about the atrocious robbery of the
splendid Provinces of Sleswik and Holstein, of which Bismarck
despoiled the little kingdom nearly forty years ago. Almost half of
Denmark was then lopped off at a single blow,--nor England nor Russia
interfering to save the Danes,--and now they are ever in uneasy spirit
lest Germany encroach yet more upon them and ultimately devour them,
land and sea. They feel she is incessantly creeping on to them with
all the cunning of a hungry cat.

[Illustration: THE KRYSTAL GADE AND ROUND TOWER, COPENHAGEN.]



III.

Copenhagen, a Quaint and Ancient City.


    KJOEBENHAVN, DANNMARK,
    (COPENHAGEN, DENMARK), _August 28, 1902_.

The Copenhagener declares that his beloved "Kjoebenhavn" is not really
an ancient city, although he admits it has been in active business
since the middle of the tenth century, nearly one thousand years.

My Danish friends assert that it is my "Yankee eye," which is so new,
and prove the modernity of their town by telling me how many times it
has been bombarded, how often sacked and razed, how frequently burned
up; and yet, despite their facts, I still make bold to say the city
bears the markings of an ancient town.

Long, long ago, even before the time of King Gorm the Old, here were
markets by the water's side, where the fisherman brought his catch,
the peasant fetched his eggs and milk and cheese and what the soil
might yield, where the itinerant merchant came to show and trade his
wares. These handy markets by the sea were at first moved constantly
about; by and by they came to be held, year after year, in the
self-same spot; the temporary clustered settlement became a lasting
town. As the centuries rolled on these market hamlets expanded into a
single commercial rendezvous for all the northern world. Thus
Copenhagen won her name (_Kopman-haven_--merchant port) and grew until
her commerce made her the heir to the trade and traffic of the
Hanseatic League, and she was recognized as supreme mistress of the
commerce of the North by London and Bremen, Brussels and Bordeaux, as
well as by the merchant fleets of Venice and the Levant.

Those were the days when her Kings and hardy seamen would as lief
drink and fight and die as eat and live; their very recklessness made
them masters of the North; they even annexed the mighty Norseman, and
made Norway a Danish Province; they hammered and held in check their
doughty cousins, the Swedes; they brought beneath their sway the
Provinces of Skaania, of Halland and of Bleking, the southern portion
of what is now known as Sweden; they dominated the cities along the
shores of the North and Baltic Seas.

Copenhagen became, in fact as well as in name, the veritable capital
of the North. In politics and in intrigue she played the master hand.
She gathered to herself the arts and the sciences, the fashion and the
elegance, of the North; and to-day, although warlike pride and power
have fallen from her, although trade and commerce have lessened in her
midst, yet the arts and the sciences, the culture and the elegance are
still her own, and the fine old city claims to be as markedly as of
yore the intellectual center of the Scandinavian race.

[Illustration: THE OESTERGADE, COPENHAGEN.]

Copenhagen is a flat-lying city; it has no hills in it, while there
are many canals and watery lanes which wind through it and lead to the
sea, or as the Danes would say the _Sund_ (Sound),--that narrow strait
which links the Baltic to the Kattegat, where Denmark and Sweden
appear once to have split apart.

The buildings are generally of brick, sometimes of stone, never of
wood; they are large and substantial, often four and five stories
high, with gabled roofs, sharp and steep, covered with tiles.

In the older parts of the city, the streets are narrow, and twist and
turn and change their names even more often than the Rues of Paris. In
the newer section, toward the north and northwest, there are long
straight boulevards and straight cross streets, and the inevitable air
of modern monotony.

The feeling and impression which stole over me the first morning I
strolled about the city became almost one of sadness. The wistful,
pensive faces of the people; their unobtrusive politeness; the
inconsequential traffic of drays and carts along the quiet streets;
canals and quays half empty where there should have been big packs of
boats; absence everywhere of bustle and ado,--all these were almost
pathetic. It might have been a Puritan Sabbath, so silent stood the
big stone docks and piers among the lapping waters. There was none of
the ponderous movement of London, none of the liveliness of Paris, nor
the busy-ness of Hamburg, of Bremen, of Amsterdam, of Rotterdam and
Antwerp, although once Copenhagen was peer of any one. The bales of
goods, the tons of merchandise which once filled her lofts and cellars
are no longer there. The commerce which once made the city rich and
gave her power has ebbed away. She is far fallen into commercial and
industrial decay.

The causes which have wrought this collapse of the once great city
are, perhaps, difficult to analyze. At least, those Danes with whom I
have talked upon the matter are not at all agreed. Nor are they united
upon the solution of the problem of restoring the city to the proud
place she once held as metropolis of the northern world.

Some tell me that after the demise of the present King, and the
passing of Sweden's ruler to the Halls of Valhalla, then will it be
possible for the Scandinavian peoples to come together in one
permanent federation, or federal pact, where the Norwegian-Democratic
spirit shall instil new energy into the now moribund political body of
the sister states, and that then Copenhagen will be the natural
capital of this free and potent Scandinavian state, and then will come
to her the splendor and dignity justly her due.

Others declare, and declare with a flash of terror in their eyes, that
the only hope for Copenhagen, the only hope for the pitiful remnant of
the once proud Kingdom of Denmark, is to be wholly devoured by the
Hohenzollern Ogre, to be by him chewed fine, gulped down, digested and
assimilated as part of the flesh and blood of the waxing German
Empire. Then will Copenhagen become the chief seaport of the German
Hinterlands to the south, then will the importance of Bremen and
Hamburg and Kiel be expanded into the new vigor that will have come to
Copenhagen. They point to the inevitableness of this destiny as
evidenced by the subtle, silent, incessant encroachment of the German
tongue among the people of the city as well as throughout the land,
and by the continuous invasion and settlement of the city and country
by men and women of German breed. They say the Imperial monster grips
them in a clutch whence there is no escape.

[Illustration: THE ROYAL THEATRE, COPENHAGEN.]

Whatever the future may have in store for stricken Denmark and
Copenhagen, it is clear enough to the apprehension of the friendly
stranger that the noble city is ailing and benumbed. She stagnates,
and only revolution and rebirth into a greater Scandinavian state, or
Germanic conquest and absorption, will restore her to her former
place. It is natural for an American to hope for Denmark and her
people a rehabilitation through the uplifting influence of a
Scandinavian Republic.

There are fine shops in Copenhagen; behind the unpretentious fronts
along the Oestergade, the Amagertorv, the Vimmelskaft and Nygade and
neighboring streets is stored great wealth of fabrics and of
merchandise. Here we saw the notably handsome pottery and artistic
porcelain ware for which Copenhagen is already famous beyond the sea;
and H and her mother have delightedly bought several charming pieces
of the latter and ordered them sent forward to New York. They have
also quite lost their hearts, and certainly their _kroners_, over the
exquisite gold and silver and enamel work manufactured here, while
they declare the laces and drawn work--particularly what is called
_Hedebo_--excels anything of the kind they have discovered in London.
The Dane is a poet, a dreamer, an artist; he is also a patient
artisan, and what he produces ranks among the world's best work.

Passing along the narrow sidewalks you would never suspect what is
stored behind the plain exteriors, for the Dane has not yet learned
the art of window display, nor has he acquired the skill of so showing
his goods that the buyer is caught at a single glance. If you would
purchase, you must have already determined what you want, and then,
upon asking for it, will be given liberal choice.

The shops are mostly small, each seller dealing in a single ware. Only
one Dane, a wide-awake newcomer from Chicago, has dared to introduce
the complex methods of "department" trade. He has opened an immense
establishment called the Magazin du Nord, where thus far is done a
rushing business. But the conservative merchants of Copenhagen have
not yet become so well assured of the success of this innovation that
they are willing to follow the example set.

[Illustration: THE EXCHANGE, COPENHAGEN.]

In company with the ladies I have been out all the afternoon along
these narrow streets--streets where the narrow sidewalks are
altogether insufficient to accommodate the passing crowds, which
consequently fill up the middle of the way--and we find the _Frus_ and
_Froekens_ of Copenhagen apparently as much devoted to what is called
"shopping" as our own fair dames at home. Buxom and yellow-haired and
rosy-cheeked, they throng the streets each afternoon. They are comely
to look upon, and carry themselves with more graceful carriage than do
the women of England. They walk deliberately, with none of the nervous
scurry of their transatlantic sisters. Indeed, it is hinted to me,
they have not come out so much to buy as to meet some friend or
neighbor, and exchange a bit of news or gossip in one of the numerous
and cozy cafes where is sold _conditterie_:--candies and chocolates
and coffee and little cakes.

Next to _conditterie_, the Copenhagener is fondest of his books and
the town abounds in bookshops, big and little. Every Dane reads and
writes his native tongue, and among the educated, English and French
and German are generally understood. In the book stores I visited I
was always addressed in English, and found French, German and English
and even American books upon the shelves; and more newspapers and
magazines are published in Copenhagen, a Danish friend declares, than
in any other city in Europe of its size. The Danes have, too, a widely
established system of free circulating libraries and book clubs,
which extend throughout the countryside of Zealand and Funen and
Jutland, as well as in the towns, while Copenhagen is supplied also
from the extensive collections of the University and Royal Libraries.

The public schools and the University we did not see, for the season
was the vacation interval, and the teachers, professors and students
were all dispersed. But the schools and University of Copenhagen are
modernly equipped. The Dane is intelligent above all else, and he has
always paid great heed to the adequate education of his race. Indeed,
Copenhagen was the first city in Europe to establish real public
schools, opening them in every parish more than three hundred years
ago.

There are many _Torvs_ about the city, market-places where all sorts
of things have once been sold, but which are now become wide-open
public squares. The old word _Torv_ has already lost its ancient
meaning, even as has the word _Circus_, which in London first sounds
so strange to American ears. But while the Gammelstorv, the Nytorv,
the Kongen's Nytorv and many others are now degenerated into these
mere open breathing spaces between the big buildings of the town,
there are yet _Torvs_ where fish, and flowers, meats and vegetables,
and things else are offered for sale. The most attractive of them all
to me were those where are sold the flowers and the fish.

In the Amagertorv were heaps of pale and puny roses, and diminutive
asters and chrysanthemums, along with splendid pansies--"stepmother
flowers," as the Danes call them--and luxuriant piles of mignonette,
and big baskets of pinks and phloxes; where rosy-cheeked women, in
starched white caps, smilingly urged me to buy, and one _Froeken_ with
a wealth of yellow hair and cobalt-blue eyes, pinned on my coat a
monstrous pansy for _boutonnière_.

[Illustration: THE GAMMEL STRAND, COPENHAGEN.]

Among the fishwives of the Gammel Strand there was always lively stir,
for their _fisk_ must early find a buyer, and by midday they
themselves must be back to their nets and boats. These Danish
fishwives, moreover, have a burden of responsibility quite unknown to
their English, German, Dutch and French sisters. Not merely must they
sell the fish which the men turn over to their keeping, but they must
also preserve it hearty and alive, else the dainty Danish housewife
will not buy. The fish are kept in large tubs and tanks filled with
fresh sea water, where they swim about as keen and lively as they
might do in the sea. The buyer scrutinizes the contents of these tubs
with a fine and practiced eye; she picks out the fish which swims and
splashes to her mind; has it lifted out alive, and carries it home in
a bucket of water which she has brought to the market for that
purpose. A fish which is dead, a fish which has died of strangulation
in the air, is looked upon with horror and rejected as unfit for food
by all right-acting Danish stomachs. No dead fish, preserved from
becoming stale through the use of chemicals, ever enters a Danish
kitchen. Is it any wonder then, that the buxom red-cheeked women and
sturdy men of these seafaring lands prefer a square meal of sweet
fresh fish to any other! Sauntering along the Strand I espied the cod
and mackerel and herring under names I did not know, and everywhere
foremost among them all the now familiar _roed spoette_, the Danish
epicure's delight.

The streets of London are choked with moving vehicles, or those drawn
up in line awaiting fares. In Copenhagen one is struck at once by the
absence of the equipages of the rich, the very limited number of cabs
anywhere about, as well as the small number of heavy drays, even upon
the wholesale business streets. One might almost say that the streets
would seem deserted if it were not for the pigeons and the dogs. There
must be many dove-cotes in Copenhagen and the birds certainly have
hosts of friends. But the dog, the unabashed and capricious dog, is
the real king of Denmark's capital. After seeing him in Holland and in
France, where his dogship is a faithful co-worker with man, toiling
all the long day and longer year to eke out the income of his master,
one almost envies the lot of the dogs of Copenhagen. These beasts
abound throughout the city; neither tag nor muzzle adorns them, nor do
owners seemingly claim them, but from puppyhood to gaunt old age they
lead a boisterous and vagabond life, to the terror of small children
and their nurses, and the well-gowned women who may chance to cross
their trail. Whether they survive through performing the office of
scavenger, as do the dogs of Constantinople, I have never been
informed, but whatever the cause, the curs of Copenhagen take as full
possession of that town as do the tame vultures of Vera Cruz.

We visited, of course, the many objects of interest the tourist is
expected to see; we studied the splendid collection of the
masterpieces of Thorvaldsen, housed in the stately building where also
is set his tomb; we looked at the collection of ethnological relics,
one of the most notable in the world; we lingered in the old castle of
Charlottenborg, and the new art galleries where are gathered many of
the master paintings of which the Danish capital is so proud; we
admired the great round tower, up the spiral causeway of which a
squadron of dragoons may ride to the very top, and Peter the Great
ascended on horseback; we duly marveled at the much bepraised Fredriks
Kirke, a marble edifice, smothered beneath a ponderous and ornate
dome; and H and I spent a delightful hour in the noble Vor Frue Kirke,
where her grandmother was wedded some sixty years ago; the banks and
the Bourse, the imposing new Hotel de Ville--the finest modern
building in Denmark--the Legislative Palace, Christiansborg and
Rosenborg and Amalienborg and Fredriksberg. We saw what of them the
public is allowed to see; we also drove and strolled upon the fine
wide Lange Linie Boulevard along the water side, shaded by ancient and
umbrageous lindens, whence may be viewed the inner and outer harbors
and Free Port and the spacious, new and half empty docks, and much of
the shipping, and where of a pleasant afternoon the fashion and beauty
of the city are wont to ride and drive. We joined in with the
multitude upon the long, straight Fredriksberggade, where the life and
movement of the city may be watched and studied, even as upon New
Orleans' Canal Street and New York's Broadway; and we did all else
that well instructed Americans are taught to do. But after all, these
are the things that Baedeker and the guide books tell about. To me it
is ever of higher interest to learn from the people themselves by word
and touch what my own senses aid me to see and hear, and so it was
only when I met some of my wife's Danish kin, and a broad and burly
Berserker clasped me in his arms and implanted a smacking kiss upon
either cheek, ere I knew him to be of her relations,--that I felt my
acquaintance begun with the most polished and elegant branch of the
Scandinavian race.

Other parts of nights and days we spent with friends in the lovely
Tivoli gardens, where all the Copenhagen world, high and low, rich and
poor alike, are wont to meet in simple and democratic assemblage,
equally bent upon having a good time. "Have you seen Tivoli?" is ever
almost the first question a Copenhagener will put. There we watched
the famous pantomime in the little open booth beneath the stars, a
sort of Punch and Judy show; there we entered the great music hall
where the Royal band plays, and the crowded audiences of music-loving
Danes always applaud; there we drank the Danish beer which is
admitted to be the best on earth--so a Danish neighbor whispered in my
ear. Tivoli is the Copenhagener's elysium. When he is blue he gets
himself to Tivoli; when he feels gay he travels to Tivoli; alone or in
company he goes to Tivoli, and he goes there as often as time will
permit, which is usually every night.

[Illustration: ALONG THE QUAYS, COPENHAGEN.]

A most difficult problem for Copenhagen has been that of draining and
sewering the city. It lies so low, almost at the dead level of the
sea, and the tides of these Baltic waters are so insignificant--ten to
twelve inches only--that for many centuries Copenhagen has been a most
unhealthy city, infected by cesspools, tainted by blind drains, and
defiled by accumulated poisons, until its death rate was higher than
that of any other city in Europe. But at last the problem is solved.
Forced water and giant suction pumps wash and drain out the elaborate
system of pipes, and spill the death-laden wastage at a distant point
into the sea, and with this transformation Copenhagen has become a
measurably healthy city.

Perhaps it is this century-long fight with death, plague and epidemic
knocking continually at her doors, which has endowed Copenhagen with
so many fine hospitals and public charities for the care of the
sick,--few cities in Europe are so elaborately provided. Hand in hand
with the hospitals are also institutions for caring for the destitute
and very poor. Denmark has never followed England's pauper-creating
system, but the beggar on the street is promptly put in jail, while
the deserving poor is given a kindly and helping hand.

One of the most charming spectacles of the city is its extensive
public gardens, where the ancient defenses are converted into parks,
and the moats are transformed into ponds and little lakes where swans
and geese are kept, and boys sail toy boats. The landward side of the
city is thus almost encircled with these pleasure grounds. One morning
we were crossing one of these gardens, the lovely Oersteds Park, when
I caught a pretty picture with my kodak, a little two-years-old tot
learning to make her first courtesy to a little boy of four or five.
She dropped and ducked and bent her little body with all the grace of
a Duchess of the Court.

Denmark is about the size of three-fifths of West Virginia, comprises
fifteen thousand square miles and contains less than two millions of
people,--about sixteen hundred thousand. She possesses no deposits of
coal or iron, no forests of valuable timber; she has few manufactures.
Her people are farmers making a pinched living off the land,
raising lean crops and selling butter and cheese, or they are
crowded--one-fourth of them,--into the city of Copenhagen, or they are
gaining a hardy livelihood upon the sea. And yet this diminutive
kingdom puts up $275,000 a year for the keeping of the King, and also
provides him and his family, tax free, with palaces and castles, and
estates whereon to fish and hunt and play.

[Illustration: AN ANCIENT MOAT, NOW THE LOVELY OERSTEDS PARK.]

To an American mind it is amazing that a competent people will accept
and suffer burdens such as these.

In the great state of New York, with its seven millions of people,
with wealth of coal and iron, with immense primeval forests, with
cities whose commerce expands with a swiftness almost incredible, the
Governor is paid $15,000 a year, and allowed a single mansion wherein
to dwell. Massachusetts, Vermont and Michigan, and many other
commonwealths, pay their Governors but $1,000 per year, without a
mansion for their residence.

The mighty Republic of the United States itself, with a continent for
domain, and eighty millions of people, pays its President $50,000 per
year, and gives him the use of the White House for his home.

Therefore, do you wonder, as I stroll about this fine old city, and
look into the unhopeful, wistful faces of its plainly clad, not
over-rich nor over-busy people, that I begin to comprehend why
Copenhagen holds the highest record for suicides of any city in the
world, and why so many of her vigorous, and alert and capable, young
men continually forsake their native land for the greater
opportunities and freer political and industrial atmosphere of the
United States?

The Dane always gets on if you give him half a chance. He is called
the "Frenchman of the North." Graceful and supple in his manners, with
a mouthful of courtesies of speech, he is naturally a social
diplomat. The blunt Norwegian calls him a fop. The martial Swede
sneers at his want of fight. But the Dane has always held his own, and
as a financier, a diplomat and man-of-the-world able to make the best
out of the situation he may be in, he still gives proof of possessing
his full share of the Scandinavian brain.

[Illustration: A VISTA OF THE SUND.]



IV.

Elsinore and Kronborg--An Evening Dinner Party.


    HELSINOERE, DANNMARK, _August 29, 1902_.

We left Copenhagen Friday evening, about four o'clock, from the
Nordbane station. We were in plenty of time. Nobody hurries in
Denmark. The train of carriages, with their side doors wide open,
stood on the track ready to start. Prospective passengers and their
friends moved about chatting, or saying good-bye. It was a local train
to Elsinore, where it would connect with the ferry across the _Sund_
to Helsingborg and there with the through express to Stockholm and
Kristiania, a night's ride. We would go to Elsinore, and there spend
the night, and go on by daylight in the morning.

A good many acquaintances had come down to see us off, just for the
sake of friendliness. I had kissed all the rosy-cheeked _Froekens_ and
been kissed by the _Frus_, having dexterously escaped the embraces of
the men, when there loomed large before me an immense Dane, near six
feet high and proportionate in girth, brown-bearded and blue-eyed,
holding an enormous bouquet in either hand, an American flag waving
from the midst of each. He made straight for me, folded me up among
the flowers and kissed me joyfully on either cheek, and all before I
really knew just what had taken place; then he doffed his hat, and
bowing profoundly, presented first to me and then to H one of the
bouquets with which he was loaded. And these bouquets were tied up
with great white ribbons! Of course, we were evidently but newly wed.
We suddenly became of interest to the entire company. Nor was there
escape, for General C is well known and popular in Copenhagen. Others
now came up and were introduced, and H and I held a _levée_ right then
and there, and of kisses and embraces I made no count.

The ride was along the _Sund_, that lovely stretch of salt water, only
a few miles wide, which joins the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic. It is
more like the Hudson River below West Point than anything I know,
except that the shores are low and more generally wooded to the
water's edge. Or, perhaps I should say that it is another and narrower
Long Island Sound, as you see it a few miles out from Jamaica Bay. The
busy waters were alive with a multitudinous traffic from Russia and
Germany and Sweden and Denmark itself, and the fishing vessels that
abound along these coasts. Here and there villas and fine country
houses peeped out among the trees. The _Sund_ is the joy of the Dane.
He loves it, and the stranger who looks upon it does not forget it.
One then understands why the Danish poets have sung so loudly of it.

[Illustration: ELSINORE.]

Our way lay through much cultivated land, market gardens sending their
produce to Copenhagen, dairy farms where is made some of that famous
Danish butter every Londoner prefers to buy, and which is sold all
around the world. Here and there we passed a little town, always with
its sharp-steepled Lutheran church and dominie's snug manse along its
side. The church, the Lutheran church in Denmark, is no trifling
power. It is as bigoted and well entrenched as is the Roman hierarchy
in Mexico and Spain. We should have liked to be wedded in the Vor Frue
Kirke, where the dear old grandmother had been married. But it is a
Lutheran church, and we were Dissenters, and without the pale. Nor
could we present the necessary proof. We had no papers to show we had
been duly born. Nor had we legal documents to prove that our parents
were our very own. Nor could we show papers in proof that we had been
christened and were legally entitled to our names, nor that we had
been regularly confirmed. Without these documents, sealed and
authenticated by the state, and in our case also by the United States,
no Lutheran pastor would have dared to try and make us one. So we ran
the gauntlet of less stringent English law, in itself quite bad
enough, and lost the experience of the quaint Danish ceremonial in the
noble church.

At the fine big Government station in Helsinoere (Elsinore)--for the
Government owns and runs the railroads in Denmark, just as it does in
Germany and much of France--we were met by an aunt and uncle and
cousin of H's. They were a charming old couple, and the son was a
young naval engineer (shipbuilder), working in the ship yard at
Helsinoere. All have lived in America and speak our tongue. We were to
dine with them and spend the evening, when General and Mrs. C would go
home on the last train at 10 P. M. I left the ladies together, while D
and I strolled over to the ancient, yet formidable, fortress of
Kronborg, which for centuries has commanded the gateway to the Baltic.
Built of Norwegian granite, when erected it was believed to be
impregnable. Its casemates, lofty walls, turrets and towers frowned
threateningly across the three-mile strait to Helsingborg in Sweden,
and no boat sailed past except it first paid the dues. To-day, these
walls of rock, these ramparts in the air, no longer terrify the
mariner. _Sund_ taxes are no longer levied! The ancient fortress does
little else than fire an occasional salute. But the Danes still love
and honor it, and a few soldiers are stationed in it, a solitary
guard.

A vista of the _Sund_ I tried to kodak from the top of the great
tower, and I bribed a soldier for a dime to let me take his manly
form, although a camera is forbidden within the precincts of this
place of war.

But Kronborg is famous for other things than mere Danish tolls and
wars. Kronborg it is, where Hamlet's shade still nightly wanders along
the desolate ramparts. There it is that the Danish prince beheld his
father's ghost. There he kept watch at night with Horatio and
Marcellus. And close by in the park of Marienlyst Castle is Hamlet's
grave. We did not see it, but many pilgrims do.

[Illustration: THE SUND FROM KRONBORG'S RAMPARTS.]

Then we descended into the deep dungeons, or part of them, and a
pretty, rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed Danish lass told us tales of Holger
Danske, who lives down in the deepest pits, whose long white beard is
fast grown to the table before which he sits, and who is to come forth
some day and by his might restore to the Danish race its former great
position on the earth; and she told us also of the human tragedies
which have in past ages been enacted in these keeps. She spoke in
soft, lisping, musical Danish, the only sweet Danish I have heard; for
the Copenhagen speech is jerky, the consonants are chopped short, and
the vowels are deep gurgled in the throat, difficult for foreign ears
to comprehend.

After seeing the fortress, we visited an ancient monastery, suppressed
when the Roman church was driven from these northern Lutheran lands,
and now become an Old Ladies' Home--shocking transformation in the
contemplation of those monkish shades which may yet roam the forsaken
cloisters!--of which institution the old uncle is now Superintendent
with Government pension for life!

And then we came to the cozy home where the ladies were already met.
We entered a narrow doorway, a sort of interior storm door, and turned
to the right into a comfortable sitting room, beyond which was the
dining room, with the table set. The aunt is a gentle, round-faced,
rosy-cheeked little woman, in a white lace cap and the prettiest of
manners. With her was an old spinster friend, _Froeken_----, a slim,
wizen-faced dame of sixty, in brown stuff dress, with tight sleeves
and close fitting waist, and old lace at the throat, fastened by a big
mediaeval-looking gold brooch, and with a gold chain about her neck.
She possessed very small, bright black eyes, and lips that stuck
straight out. She courtesied,--dropped down straight about ten inches
and came up quick, a sort of bob--smiled, and said in Danish, "she was
rejoiced to meet H's '_Mand_.'" All were very friendly, and H to have
caught a _Mand_, sure enough, was treated with distinction.

The table was set for eight; there was beer in glass decanters, cold
fried fish, cold smoked goose breast, cold smoked salmon (raw), cold
sardines, cold calveshead jelly, cold beef loaf, cold bread, black
bread, rye bread, cold rolls (hard and shiny with caraway seeds in
them), gooseberry jelly, spiced currants, and also tea, this latter
piping hot. At each place was set a pile of salted butter (at least a
pound) on a little dish. I sat next "_Tante_," with _Froeken_--across
the table from me, her black eyes boring me through with steady gleam.
You take your fish up by the tail and eat him as you would a piece of
bread. "Butter him thick, yes, thick," "_Tante_" said to me. I laid on
about half an inch, she did, they all did. It was delicious butter and
that fish went down wonderfully slick. The goose breast was good, but
I discerned it to have been a gander. The raw herring I did not
find so attractive as the goose. There were also several sorts of
cheese, of which every one ate much. You put a heavy layer of butter
on your bread, then a layer of thin cut cheese, then a layer of
herring or sardine or salmon, and eat it fast. There was no hot food,
there never is. The rule is to stow away cold fish, butter and cheese,
and wash it down with the strong brown beer. The sweets are then taken
to top off with. Pickles and preserves together--just like the
Germans. (I have not yet run into the sour foods in which the German
stomach delights.) Having begun with a mild cheese, you gradually
ascend to the strongest with the final sweets. H says the meal was
only "supper," not dinner, but I confess I am so mixed on these
Scandinavian meals, that I cannot yet tell the difference. At
breakfast, the Danes take only a cup of coffee and a roll, the Spanish
_Desayuno_; not even an egg, nor English jam. About one or two o'clock
in the day, they dine, having soups, meats (roast or boiled), fish
(fresh and salt), vegetables and beer. At night, it is about as I have
told you, and they often dare to add a little more cold fish and
cheese before they finally retire. The soups at dinner are very good;
and the meats are better cooked than at a British table, on which,
after a while, all meats begin to taste alike, and you grow tired to
death of the eternal boiled potatoes, and boiled peas steeped in mint.
I have had very nice cauliflower at Danish tables, and the lettuce of
their salads is delicate and crisp, while the coffee of the Danes,
like that of the Dutch, is better than you will find in either
England, Germany or France; it seems to be the real thing, with
neither chicory nor hidden beans. The Danes are skilful cooks,
although their palates seem to be fondest of cold victuals and raw
smoked fish.

[Illustration: FISHING BOATS, ELSINORE.]

We stayed the night in a comfortable inn, close by the water side, an
ancient ale house where sailors used to congregate in the halcyon days
when all passing ships must lay-to at Helsinoere to pay the tolls then
levied by the King, hard by where now the fishing boats tie up. There
were many of these and one in particular was continually surrounded by
an excited crowd. It had just arrived loaded down to the decks with a
catch of herring. The fishermen had had the luck to run into one of
those rare and extraordinary schools of herring which are sometimes
chased into the protecting waters of the Sound by a whale or other
voracious enemy outside. The nets had been let quickly down and
millions of fish as quickly drawn up. The boat had been filled to
sinking, and word flagged to brothers of the craft to hasten up and
partake of the abounding catch. Twenty thousand dollars' worth of
herring had been caught within a few hours by the fishermen of
Helsinoere alone, to say nothing of what were taken by the crews of
other fishing boats along the coast. The entire population of the
little town is now busy cleaning and salting fish, fish that will feed
them well and keep them easy in stomach until the winter shall be
past and the spring be come again. Women were selling fish along the
streets, boys were peddling fish, how many for a cent I do not know,
and men were giving fish, gratis, to whosoever would carry them away.
These extraordinary catches do not often happen. No such luck had
befallen Helsinoere for many a day. It may be years before it again
occurs. The fisherman of these northern waters sails forth upon his
cruise each day inflamed with very much the same spirit of adventurous
quest as in America are we who, living upon the land, drill wells for
oil or dig for gold.

Helsinoere is rich to-night, and the herring is her king.

[Illustration: A SNAP SHOT FOR A DIME, KRONBORG.]



V.

Across the Sund to Sweden and Incidents of Travel to Kristiania.


    KRISTIANIA, MISSION HOTEL,
    PILESTRADIET 27 (ALFHEIM), _August 31, 1902_.

_Hilsen Fra Kristiania!_

Our ancient tavern, the Sleibot, in Elsinore, cared for us most
comfortably. We were given a large room looking out over the waters of
the _Sund_, with wide small-paned casemented windows, and a great
porcelain stove and giant wooden bedstead. For breakfast we had fresh
herring, the fish which will now form the chief diet of Helsinoere for
many a month, and more of the good Danish coffee. The bill for lodging
and breakfast was seven _kroner_ (about $1.90) for us two.

The dear old couple were on hand to see us off, and waved _farvel_ as
we boarded the immense ferryboat which takes on, if needful, an entire
train, but usually only the baggage cars, for through travel to
Swedish and Norwegian points. The boats are long and wide and strong,
and smash their way through the floes of drifting ice the winter
through, for this outlet of the Baltic is rarely frozen solid for any
length of time. The four-miles passage is made in twenty minutes,
and after we got under way, it was not long before even massive
Kronborg faded upon the view, and we were making fast to the pier at
Helsingborg, in Sweden.

[Illustration: KRONBORG.]

In England, owing to the smallness of the tunnels and the present cost
of enlarging them, the railway management is compelled to keep to the
ancient diminutive style of carriage first introduced sixty years ago.
But here, in these northern lands, where railway building is of more
recent date, although the gauge is the same as in Britain, the
carriages are half as large again, and are many of them almost as long
as our American cars, so that the riding in them is much easier than
there. And in Norway I have already seen cars which, except for being
shorter, were exactly like our own.

We traveled first along the sea, then through a flat country. There
were scores of sails upon the Kattegat, a multitude of ships and
barques and brigs, schooners and sloops, and small fishing smacks, and
larger fishing luggers going far out upon the North Sea. There were
also many black hulks in tow of big tugs carrying coal to the Baltic
cities, and steamers bound for English and German ports and even for
America. The waters were alive with the busy traffic.

We passed wide meadows and much grass land. Cows were feeding upon
these fields, red cows mostly, with herders to watch over them. The
cows were tethered each to a separate iron pin sunk in the ground,
all in a single row; and thus they eat their way across an entire
meadow,--an animated mowing machine. Now and then we returned to the
shore of the sea, passing some fishing village nestled along the
rocks, or we rolled through forests of small birches, pines and
spruce.

In the same compartment with ourselves sat a couple of young Germans.
They were much interested in each other. I noticed that the lady's
rings were most of them shining new, and one, a large plain gold ring,
was in look particularly recent and refulgent. H came to the same
conclusion also at about the very same moment. The two were surely a
bridal pair. And they talked German, and looked out across us through
the wide windows as though we were never there. So I spoke to my wife
in good United States, and we agreed that these two were newly wed.
And then the bride's noble face and fine brown eyes appealed to me,
and I declared her to be the loveliest woman I had yet seen this side
the sea. The while she and her _Mann_ still conversed in low, soft
German. But it now seemed to me that they looked out across us with a
kindlier feeling in their eyes and, in a surreptitious way, the German
beauty was peeping at the fine large diamond on H's left hand (the
wedding ring she had already succeeded in making look dull and old).
At Goteborg (Gothenburg) our train drew up for half an hour's wait.
Here that portion of it going to Stockholm would be cut loose from
our own, and another engine would take us to the north. Along with
most of the other passengers the young German and I also got out,
leaving the two ladies in the car. At the counter of the big lunch
room I watched the ever hungry Norsemen stowing away cold fish and
cheese, and was in somewhat of a dilemma what to take, when the German
husband of the lovely bride came up to me in a most friendly way, and
suggested that I would enjoy a certain sort of fish and thin brown
cake, which seemed to be one of the popular objects of attack by the
voracious multitude. And he spoke to me in perfect English of the
educated sort. He had evidently quite understood my flattering
comments upon his bride, and was now my fast friend. I did not show
surprise, but took his hint, and afterward we strolled up and down the
platform, munching our snack, while he told me that he was a
"barrister from Cologne." "Yes, on his wedding trip." He had "learned
English in the German schools," he said, and had "never been in
England or America." His wife, he admitted, "could not speak English,"
but "could read it and understand it when others talked!" He told me
of the German courts, and of his long years of study before he was
admitted to the bar. When they left us a few miles further on, for
their way lay up through the lakes and forests of Sweden, we parted as
old friends, and they promised to visit us if ever they should come
across the sea; our unsuspecting admiration had won their hearts!

[Illustration: KARL JOHANS GADE, KRISTIANIA.]

About 4 P. M., we dined at the small station of Ed, our first example
of Swedish railway dinner-serving on an elaborate scale. The train was
a long one. There were many passengers. The fish and cheese consumed
at Gothenburg was long since shaken down. We were genuinely hungry.
But when the train came to a stop there was no rush to the restaurant,
nor attempt of every man to get ahead of the one in front of him. The
passengers took their leisure to get out, and walked deliberately
toward the big eating room. The food was set upon a long central
table. There were hot soups, hot boiled fowl, hot meats, an abundance
of victuals, cold and salt. There were piles of plates, of napkins and
of knives and forks. Everyone helped himself, and ate standing or
carried his food to a little table and sat at ease. This latter plan
we followed. Rule: Eat all you will, drink as much beer as you desire,
take your own time, the train will wait, and when you are quite
satisfied pay a single _kroner_ (twenty-seven cents). There is no
watching to see how much you may consume. You eat your fill, you pay
the modest charge, you go your deliberate way. However slow you may be
the train will wait!

We now traversed a barren country of marshy flats; with skimp timber,
chiefly small birch and spruce. Toward dusk it was raining hard. The
long twilight had fairly begun when we crossed the Swedish border and
a few miles beyond stopped at Fredrikshald, where is a famous fortress
against the Swedes, besieging which, King Charles XII was killed.
Here a customs' officer walked rapidly through the car, asked a few
questions and passed us on. Our trunks had been marked "through" from
Helsinoere, so we had no care for them until we should arrive in
Kristiania. But that there should be still maintained a customs' line
between the sister kingdoms of Norway and Sweden, which are ruled by a
common King, may perhaps surprise the stranger unacquainted with the
peculiar and somewhat strained relations ever existing between these
kindred peoples.

[Illustration: VEGETABLE MARKET, KRISTIANIA.]

For many hundreds of years (since 1380) Norway had been a province of
Denmark. Her language and that of the Dane had grown to be almost the
same, the same when written and printed, and differing only when
pronounced. But in 1814, the selfish powers of the Holy Alliance
handed over Norway to the Swedish crown as punishment to Denmark for
being Napoleon's friend, and threatened to enforce their arbitrary act
by war. So Norway yielded to brute force, and accepted the sovereignty
of Napoleon's treacherous Marshal Bernadotte, the Swedish King, but
she yielded nothing more, and to this day has preserved and yet
jealously maintains her own independent Parliament, her own postal
system, her own separate currency and her Custom Houses along the
Swedish line. And you never hear a Norwegian speak of any other than
of the "King of Sweden." "He is not our King," they say, "we have
none." "We are ruled by the King of Sweden, but Norway has no King."
Cunning Russia, it is said, cleverly spends many _rubles_ in order
that this independent spirit shall be kept awake, and the war force of
Sweden thereby be so much weakened. Russia might even to this day be
able to nourish into war this ancient feud between the kindred breeds,
if it were not that in her greed of power she has shown the cloven
foot. The horror of her monstrous tyranny in Finland already finds
echo among the Norwegian mountains. "We are getting together," a
Norwegian said to me. "We have got to get together, however jealous we
may be of one another. We must, or else the Russian bear will hug us
to our death, even as now he is cracking the ribs of helpless
Finland." And when I suggested that little Denmark should be taken
within the pale, and a common Scandinavian Republic be revived in more
than ancient force to face the world, he declared that already a
movement toward this end was set afoot, and only needed a favorable
opportunity to become a living fact.

At 11 P. M. we arrived at Kristiania in a pouring rain, and at General
C's recommendation, came to this curious and comfortable hotel. Like
many other hotels in Norway, it is kept by women, and seems to be much
patronized by substantial Norwegians of the nicer sort. It is on the
top floor of a tall building, and you pass up and down in a rapid
modern elevator. It is kept as clean as a pin, and the beds we sleep
in are the softest, freshest in mattress and linen we have seen this
side the sea. We have also passed beyond the latitude of blankets
and are come to the zone of eider down. Coverlets, light, buoyant, and
delightfully warm now keep us from the cold, and in our narrow
bedsteads we sleep the slumber of contented innocence. We have a large
well-furnished chamber, all for two _kroner_ per day (fifty-four
cents). When we entered the long, light breakfast hall this morning,
we saw a single table running the length of the room, a white cloth
upon it, and ranged up and down, a multitude of cheeses big and
little, cow cheese and goat cheese, and many sorts of cold meat, beef
and pork and mutton, and cold fish and salt fish. And there were piles
of cold sliced bread and English "biscuits" (crackers). The coffee, or
milk if you wish it, is brought in, and in our case so are fresh
soft-boiled eggs. A group of evidently English folk near us had a
special pot of Dundee marmalade. The Norwegians take simply their
coffee or milk, with cheese and cold fish and the cold bread. Our
breakfast cost us twenty cents apiece.

[Illustration: KRISTIANIA, A VIEW OF THE CITY.]

To-day the city is washed delightfully clean, the heavy rain of the
night having cleared streets and atmosphere of every particle of dust
and grime. We have driven all about in an open victoria. It is a
splendid town, containing some two hundred thousand inhabitants. It
lies chiefly upon a sloping hillside with a deep harbor at its feet.
Like Copenhagen, it is the capital of its country, and the seat of the
Norwegian Government, of the Supreme Law Courts, and of the Storthing
or National Congress or Parliament. At the end of the wide Karl
Johans Gade stands the "Palace of the Swedish King," a sombre edifice,
now rarely occupied. Kristiania is also the literary and art center of
the Norse people. Here Ibsen lives, here Bjoernstjoerne Bjoernsen
would live, if Swedish intolerance did not drive him into France. The
types of men and women we see upon the streets are the finest we have
met since coming over sea. Tall and well-built, light-haired and
blue-eyed, the men carry themselves with great dignity. The women are,
many of them, tall, their backs straight, not the curved English spine
and stooping shoulders. All have good chins, alert and initiative. The
Norwegians are the pick of the Scandinavian peoples. They are the sons
and daughters of the old Viking breeds which led the race. They are
to-day giving our northwestern states a population able, fearless and
progressive, no finer immigration coming to our shores. Senators and
Governors of their stock are already making distinguished mark in
American affairs.

It was not long before we perceived that in Kristiania, as in
Copenhagen, we were also very close to the great Republic; except
that, perhaps, here we discovered a keener sympathy with American
feeling, a closer touch with the American spirit.

Those Norwegians whom we have met speak good United States, not modern
English. You hear none of the English sing-song flutter of the voice,
none of its suppression of the full-sounded consonant, but the
even, clear, precise accent and intonation of the well-taught
American mouth. And our friends tell us that it is much easier for
them to learn to speak the American tongue than to master the often
extraordinary inflexion of spoken English as pronounced in Britain. I
am gaining a great respect for these Scandinavian and Norwegian
peoples. They are among the finest of the races of the European world.

[Illustration: OUR NORWEGIAN TRAIN.]

We have driven not merely through the beautiful city and its parks,
and beheld the wide view to be had from the tower at its highest
point, but we have also visited the ancient Viking ship, many years
ago discovered and dug out of the sands along the sea, a measured
model of which was so boldly sailed across the Atlantic, and floated
on Lake Michigan, at Chicago, in 1892.

At this time, however, we are but birds of passage in Kristiania. We
may not linger to become more intimately acquainted with the noble
town; we are arranging for a ten days' journey by boat and carriage
through the _fjords_ and mountain valleys, and region of the mighty
snow-fields and glaciers of western Norway. We must now go on, and
postpone any intimate knowledge of the city until another day.

H is quite ready for this trip. She wears a corduroy shirt waist of
deep purple shade, and has brought with her one of those short,
simply-cut walking-skirts, of heavy cloth. A natty toque sets off her
head. She is fitly clad. And my eyes are not the only ones that note
this fact, as I observed to-day when, to avoid a shower, we sought
shelter under the pillared portico of the Storthing's fine edifice in
the central square. As we stood there, waiting for the rain to cease,
I noticed a small, fair-haired, quietly-dressed woman intently staring
at the skirt. Each hem and tuck and fold and crease and gore she
studied with the steadfast eye of the connoisseur. And so absorbed did
she become that she grew quite oblivious of our knowledge of her
interest. Around and around she circled, until at last we left her
still taking mental notes. Some other woman in Kristiania, we are
quite sure, will soon be wearing a duplicate of this well made costume
from New York.

[Illustration: ALONG THE ETNA ELV.]

[Illustration: HAILING OUR STEAMER, THE RAND FJORD.]



VI.

A Day Upon the Rand Fjord and Along the Etna Elv--To Frydenlund--Ole
Mon Our Driver.


    FRYDENLUND, NORGE, _September 1, 1902_.

We left Kristiania about seven o'clock this morning and drove six
kilometers to Grefsen, a suburb where the new railway comes in, which
will ultimately connect the capital with Bergen on the west coast.
Grefsen is up on the hills back of the city. The cars of the train we
traveled in were long like our own and also set on trucks, the
compartments being commodious, like the one we rode in from
Helsingborg.

We traversed a country of spruce forests, rapid streams, small lakes
and green valleys; with red-roofed farmsteads, cattle, sheep and
horses in the meadows, and yellowing fields of oats and rye, just now
being reaped; where men were driving the machines and women raking the
fallen grain, all a beautiful, fertile, well-populated land with big
men, big women, rosy and well set up, usually yellow-haired and
blue-eyed.

About ten o'clock we arrived at Roikenvik, on the Rand Fjord, a sheet
of dark blue water about two miles wide and thirty or forty long, with
high, fir-clad mountains on either hand; with green slopes dotted
with farm buildings, and occasional hamlets where stopped our tiny
steamboat, the Oscar II. This _fjord_ is more beautiful than a
Scottish _loch_, for here the mountains are heavily timbered with fir
to their very summits, while the hills of Scotland are bare and bleak.

We sat contentedly upon the upper deck inhaling the keen, fresh air,
watching the picturesque panorama and noting the passengers crowded
upon the forward deck below. They were chiefly farmers getting on and
off, intelligent, self-respecting, well-appearing men, and full of
good humor. One old gentleman with snowy whiskers, who resembled an
ancient mariner, which I verily believe he was, seemed to hold the
center of attention and many and loud were the shouts which his quaint
jests brought forth. He evidently delivered a lecture upon my big
American valise, pointing to it and explaining its excellent make, and
his remarks were apparently to the credit of the owner, and of America
whence it came.

Just before the bell summoned us to dinner in the after cabin, I
noticed a skiff rowing toward us, one of the three men in it waving
his hat eagerly to our Captain, who immediately stopped the boat until
they drew beside us, when two of them, clean-cut, rosy-faced, young
six-footers, came up, hand over hand, on a rope which was lowered to
them. They were born sailors, like all Norwegians. I snapped my kodak
as their skiff drew near us, and the first news the Captain gave
them was to apprise them of that fact. They appeared to be greatly
flattered by the attention. They laughed and bowed and looked at me as
much as to say, "How much we should like a copy of the photograph, if
we knew enough English to ask for it," but they were too diffident to
make the suggestion through their Captain friend.

[Illustration: THE OLD SALT.]

With the Captain himself, I became well acquainted; an alert man of
affairs, who had knocked about the world on Norwegian ships and
visited the greater ports of the United States. He gave me an
interesting account of Norse feeling at the time of the outbreak of
the Spanish war, saying to me, "I am from Bergen. I am a sailor like
the rest of our people, and with about a thousand more of my fellow
countrymen I went over at that time to New York. I was boatswain on
the warship--and I served through the Spanish war. When we heard that
there was likely to be trouble and got a hint that you wanted seamen,
I gathered the men together and we went over and enlisted and others
followed. Yes, there were several thousands of us, altogether, on your
American warships, ready to give up our lives for the great Republic.
Next to Norway, your great, free country, where already live half of
the Norwegian race, lies closest to our hearts. We were ready to give
up our lives for the stars and stripes. When the war was over most of
us came back again. In the summer time I am captain of this boat, in
the winter seasons I go out upon the sea. If America ever needs us
again we are ready to help her. We Norwegians will fight for America
whenever she calls."

Then he spoke of Norway and the growing irritation of the Norwegian
people against the assumptions of Sweden. "It is true that the Swedes
are our kin, but we have never liked them. The Norwegians are
democrats. We have manhood suffrage, and each man is equal before the
law. In Sweden, there is a nobility who are privileged, and while the
Swedish people submit to the aristocrats running the Government over
there, we Norwegians will never permit them to run us. If it were not
for fear of Russia, we would fall apart, but the Russian bear is
hungry. If he dared he would eat us up. If it were not for England he
would devour Sweden now, and then there would be no hope for Norway.
The Russian Czar wants our harbors, our great _fjords_, as havens for
his fleets, and he would like to fill his ships with Norwegian seamen.
So we fret and growl at Sweden, but we can't afford really to have
trouble with her any more than she can afford to fall out with us. We
must stand together if we are to maintain our national independence,
but nevertheless, we are full of fear for the future. I am
apprehensive that the bear will some day satisfy his hunger. France
will hold down Germany, who just now claims to be our friend also.
England will be bought off by Russian promises in some other quarter
of the world, and then, we shall be at the mercy of the Czar. God help
us when that day comes! Those of us who can will fly to America, all
except those who die upon these mountains. The Russians may finally
take Norway, but it will then be a devastated and depeopled land.
America is our foster mother. Our young men go to her. We are always
ready to fight for her!"

[Illustration: OLE MON.]

As I looked into his strong blue eyes, which gazed straight at me, I
felt that the man meant everything he said, and was expressing not
alone his personal sentiment, but also the feeling of the sturdy,
seafaring people of whom he was so fit a type, and I wondered what the
Spaniard would have thought if he had known when he sent his fleets
across the sea--fleets deserted by the Scotch engineers who, in times
of peace, had kept their engines clean--that the United States could
call at need, not merely upon its own immense population, but might
equally rely upon the greatest seafaring folk of all the world to fill
her fighting ships.

After three and a half hours' sail--about thirty miles--we came to the
end of the _fjord_ at Odnaes, where was awaiting us a true Norwegian
carriage, a sort of _landau_ or _trille_ with two bob-maned Norwegian
ponies, in curious harness with collar and hames thrusting high above
the neck. We had dined on the boat; we had only a valise, a hand-bag
and our sea-rugs. We were soon in the carriage and began our first
day's drive, a journey of fifty-four kilometers (thirty-two miles),
before night.

Our driver was presented to us as "Ole Mon;" and the English-speaking
owner of the carriage informed us that Ole ("Olie") Mon spoke
fluently our tongue. He was a sturdily built, rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed
man some forty years of age with a gray moustache and smooth,
weather-beaten face. He drove these tourists' carriages in summer, he
said; in the winter he took to the sea. We soon discovered his English
to be limited to a few simple phrases, while when he ran to the end of
his vocabulary he never hesitated to put in a fit Norwegian word. He
was proud of his acquaintance with the foreign tongue, and delighted
to exercise his knowledge of it. His chief concern in life was to take
care of the ponies. He continually talked to them as though they were
his boys, and at any excuse for a stop, always had nosebags filled
with oat meal ready to slip on and give them a lunch. The ponies are
not over eight or ten hands high, but are powerfully muscled, and they
are as sleek and tame as kittens. We believe that we have a treasure
in Ole Mon, and I expect to learn much from him about the country we
traverse, for he is glib to talk.

The road was superb, the scenery magnificent. We followed a deep
fertile valley, along a roaring river, the Etna Elv--recent rains
having filled the streams brim full--with high fir-clad mountains
rising sheer on either hand. We climbed gradually for quite twenty
miles, meeting and passing many curious two-wheeled carts, drawn by a
single horse, called _stolkjaerres_, in which the driver sits behind
the passenger, and about four o'clock we halted at Tomlevolden, a
rambling farmstead where Ole Mon put the nosebags on the ponies and
we rested until the bags were emptied.

Here, we visited a dairy cow barn,--a large airy building finished in
planed lumber, with long rows of stalls where the cows face each
other, standing on raised floors and with a wide middle aisle where
the feeders pass down between. So scrupulously clean was it that each
day it must be washed out and scrubbed. In one end stood a big stone
furnace, a sort of oven, to keep the cattle warm through the dark cold
winter time, and fresh spring water was piped to a little trough set
at each stall.

Some years ago, having spent the night at a West Virginia mountain
farm, in middle winter, I looked out of the window in the morning and
beheld the family cow with about a foot of snow piled on her back and
belly-deep in an icy drift. I remarked, "It has snowed some in the
night." Mine host replied that "he reckoned it had." And then talking
of the snow, I told him that I had seen snow eight feet deep way up in
Canada. He looked at me incredulously and inquired, "Say, what mought
the cows do in such snow as that." Would that I might show him and his
like this Norwegian cow barn!

Then we went on till 7 P. M., when we reached the famous Sanatorium of
Tonsaasen, almost at the summit of the long grade, a spacious wooden
hotel overlooking a profound _dal_, down which plunges a cascade.

The hotel is kept by a big, bustling woman who speaks perfect cockney
English, and who tells us she has "lived in Lonnon, although a native
Norwegian." She wears a large white apron and a white lace cap, and
she has received H in most motherly fashion. Indeed, our coming has
greatly piqued her curiosity. She has asked us many questions and has
taken H aside and inquired confidentially whether I am not a deserting
soldier, and whether she is not eloping with me! She is evidently
alert for military scandal, and was sorely disappointed and half
incredulous when H declared that she and I were really man and wife.
The truth is, Norway is become the retreat for so many runaway
couples, recreant husbands and truant wives, that the good people of
these caravansaries are quite ready to add you to the list of shady
episodes. Even when I boldly wrote several postal cards to America and
handed them to mine hostess to mail, I felt sure that after she had
carefully read them she would scarcely yet believe our tale.

Here we were given a bounteous supper of eggs, coffee, milk, cream,
chicken, hare, trout, five sorts of cheese, and big hot rolls, and all
for thirty-five cents each. The ponies were also fed again, and at
eight o'clock we moved on twelve miles further, crossing the divide
and rolling down into the valley of the Baegna Elv in the long
twilight, and then brilliant starlight, coming at last to a typical
Norwegian inn, at Frydenlund, not far from the lovely Aurdals Vand.
This is the main road in winter between Bergen and Kristiania, and is
then more traveled by sleighs and sledges than even now by carriages.
All along the way there are frequent inns and post-houses.
To-morrow we start at eight o'clock, and go on sixty-one miles more.

[Illustration: FEEDING THE PONIES, TOMLEVOLDEN.]

[Illustration: CHURCH OF VESTRE SLIDRE.]

Our inn is a roomy farmhouse where "entertainment is kept," even as it
used to be along the stage-traversed turnpikes of old Virginia, and
adjoining it are extensive barns and stables. There seemed to be many
travelers staying the night. We are really at an important point, for
here two state highways separate, the one over which we have come
leading to Odnaes, and the other diverging southward toward Lake
Spirillen and the country known as the Valders, continuing on straight
through to Kristiania. The house is painted white, and has about it an
air quite like a farmstead in New England or New York. We were
expected when we arrived. Word of our coming had been telephoned from
Tonsaasen, and also from Kristiania. A large bedroom on the second
story is given us. The floor is painted yellow and strips of rag
carpet are laid beside the narrow bedsteads, where we sleep under
eider down. I am writing by the light of a home-made candle. It is
late, the silence of the night is unbroken save by the ticking of the
tall clock on the staircase landing outside my door, and the
occasional neighing of a horse or lowing of a cow. It is the silence
of the contented country-side.



VII.

A Drive Along the Baegna Elv--the Aurdals Vand and Many More to
Skogstad.


    SKOGSTAD, NORWAY, _September 2, 1902_.

Here we are eighty-four kilometers (sixty-one miles) from Frydenlund,
where we spent last night. All day we have sat in an easy carriage,
inhaled the glorious buoyant air, and driven over a superb macadamized
road. We have skirted the shores of five lakes or _vands_--called
_fjords_,--amidst towering snow-marked mountains, passing beneath
cliffs rising sheer above us for thousands of feet, the highway
sometimes a mere gallery cut into the solid rock, and we are now
wondering how we were ever such simple things as to waste our time in
tame England, or even linger among what now seem so commonplace,
Scottish _lochs_ and _tarns_. We have traversed the shores of the
Aurdal, the Stranda, the Granheim, the Slidre and the Vangsmjoesen
Fjords, each and all pools of the foaming river Baegna; and have
looked across their limpid waters, their clustered islets, their
shimmering surfaces reflecting field and forest and _fjeld_, and even
portraying as in a mirror the snow-fields of mountain heights so far
distant as to be indistinguishable to the naked eye, distant yet two
full days' journey to the west. We have been continually excited
and astonished as each succeeding vista of vale and lake and mountain
has burst upon us.

[Illustration: THE DISTANT SNOWS.]

As we advanced further and further along the wide white military road,
the valley of the Baegna Elv grew narrower and deeper, and the
contrasts of verdant meadow and dark mountain increased in sharpness.
The lower slopes are as green and well watered as those of
Switzerland, and are dotted with farmsteads where the thrifty Norse
farmer dwells upon his own land, independent, self-respecting,
recognizing no lord but God--for the title of the "Swedish King"
weighs but little here. Everywhere have I remarked a trim neatness,
exceeding, if it were possible, even that of Holland. Upon the meadows
were cattle, mostly red. The fields were ripe with rye and oats and
barley where men and women were garnering the crops. The lands were
cleared far up the mountain sides to where the forests of dark green
fir stretched further up, until beyond the timber-line bare black rock
masses played hide and seek among the clouds.

Back and beyond this splendid panorama of vale and lake and
cloud-wrapped summit, far beyond it, binding the horizon on the west,
there grew upon our vision all the afternoon enormous heights of stern
and austere mountains, lifting themselves into the very zenith, their
slopes gleaming with white bands of snow, their topmost clefts nursing
glittering icepacks and glaciers. Ole Mon has constantly pointed
toward them saying "Yotunheim!" "Yotunheim!" and we have known them to
be the gigantic ice-bound highlands of the celebrated Jotunheim Alps,
the loftiest snow mountains of Norway.

We left the inn at Frydenlund after a breakfast of brook trout, fried
to a turn, and all we could eat of them, delicious milk like that from
our blue grass counties of Greenbrier and Monroe, in West Virginia,
and coffee made as only an Americanized Norwegian may know how.

Along the way we have met children evidently going to and returning
from their schools, and it has been charming to see how the little
boys pull off their caps, and the little girls drop down in a
courtesy. The little caps always come off the yellow heads with
sweeping bow, and the duck of the little girls is always accompanied
by a smile of greeting. I regret that in America we have lost these
pretty customs which were once taught as good manners by our
forebears.

We have passed this morning a frowning stone jail, the prison of this
province, and Ole Mon tells us that it is quite empty and has had no
tenant for some two years; surely, convincing testimony of the innate
honesty of these sturdy folk.

We have also to-day met many young men, tall and stalwart, clad in the
dark blue uniform of the Norwegian National Guard. This is the season
when the annual drills are going on, just at the end of the
harvest time. Norway, like the rest of Europe, has adopted universal
military training for her men. They are taught the art of war and how
to shoot. It is calculated that in eight or ten years more every
Norwegian of voting age will have had the necessary military training
and will have become a part of the effective national defense. "We
will never have trouble with Sweden," they say, "the Swedes and
ourselves only show our teeth." "It is Russia, hungry Russia, that we
fear. We will learn to march and shoot and dig entrenchments so that
we may defend ourselves against the aggression of the Slav. Upon the
sea, we are the masters. We learn in your navy how to handle modern
warships and shoot the giant guns. Upon these mountains, we hope, ere
another decade has elapsed, also to be safe against the encroachment
of that 'Great White peril.'"

[Illustration: THE BAEGNA ELV.]

[Illustration: A HERD OF COWS, FOSHEIM.]

[Illustration: THE GRANHEIMS VAND.]

We stopped for our first pony-feed at Fagernaes, where a road turns
off to Lake Bygdin and its _Elv_, where the English go to fish; halted
a half hour at Fosheim, where is a fine hotel, and then, passing the
ancient stone church of Vestre Slidre, drove on to Loeken, where a
reindeer-steak-and-salmon-trout-dinner awaited us. The inn, situated
on a rocky point overlooking the picturesque Slidre Vand, was
quakerly-clean, as all of these places are. The neatly dressed young
woman who waited on us had lived two years in Dakota, and in Spokane,
and spoke perfect United States. She had an uncle and a brother still
there, and hoped to go back herself when the old folks had passed
away. At Oeilo, fifteen kilometers further on, we also drew rein--each
time we stop the ponies have the nosebags of oat meal--and then we
paused again at Grindaheim at the Vang Hotel, close to the shores of
the Vangsmjoesen Vand. Here the mistress of the inn had lived in
Minnesota, and talked with us like one of our own countrywomen. She
had come home on a little visit, she said. A stalwart Norseman had
lost his heart and won her hand, and saved-up dollars--but yet her
spirit longed for free America. Her boys would go there as soon as
they were big enough to hustle for themselves.

In the dining room of the comfortable house was gathered a collection
of stuffed and mounted birds of the surrounding countryside. There
were several ptarmigan and one fine capercailzie, the cousin to the
black cock, and the biggest thing of the pheasant-kind that flies in
Northern Europe.

Our Minnesotan hostess pressed us to stay and tarry a few
days, setting before us a big pitcher of milk and little
caraway-seed-flavored tea cakes, all for the price of _Te Oere_, two
and a half cents. We would like to have lingered here, for the house
is nestled in one of the wildest and loveliest of dales. To the north,
a mile across the vand, tower the black precipitous heights of the
giant Skodshorn (5,310 feet) upon whose cloud-capped peaks, Ole Mon
tells us, the ghosts of the ancient Scalds and Vikings meet in
berserker combat with Thor and Odin, and whence, sometimes, when
the air is still and there are no storms about, the clangs and clashes
of their battle conflicts resound with thunder roars, waking the
echoes in all the valleys round. Then the black mountain sides breathe
forth gigantic jets of steamlike cloud, while it is at such times also
that the _Trolls_ and Gnomes creep forth from the shadows of the rocks
to do honor to the warring giants. When questioned closely, he
admitted he had never witnessed one of these combats, but declared
that when a boy he had heard the roar on the summit of the mountain
and had seen the white clouds shoot up, which is always the sign of
victory for the gods. Our hostess also asserted that she had once
heard the mountain roar, but admitted she had not seen the shooting
clouds. Some scientists try to explain the mountain's action according
to natural laws, but so great is my faith in Ole Mon that I dare not
dispute his word. Back of the little inn also rise the lofty masses of
the Grinde Fjeld (5,620 feet) upon whose moorland summits it is, the
capercailzie fly and the herds of reindeer range, whence came the
juicy steaks we ate to-day at Loeken and have had to-night for supper.

[Illustration: A HAMLET BENEATH THE FJELD.]

All along the Baegna valley, including the fertile basins wherein
nestle the many _vands_ or lesser _fjords_, there were men and women
in the fields mowing the short grass and ripening grain. But neither
the grasses, nor the rye and oats and barley had reached maturity. Nor
do they ever fully ripen in these cold latitudes. They must be cut
green, and then the feeble sunshine must be made the most of. Long
ricks, made of sticks and saplings, or poles barred with cross-pieces
set on at intervals are built extending through the fields, and on
these the grass and grain are carefully spread out, hung on a handful
at a time, so that each blade and straw may catch the sun, and dry
out, a tedious, laborious work on which the women were more generally
employed. The men bring up back-loads newly cut by scythe and sickle,
and throw them down before the women, who then carefully hang each
handful on the ricks. What must a Norwegian feel, trained to such
painstaking toil as this, when he at first sets foot upon the
boundless wheat lands of Minnesota and the prairie West. No wonder he
returns to his native homestead only to make a hasty visit, never to
remain. In Switzerland, I also saw the grass cut when scarcely half
ripe and but a few inches high, when it is stored in handy little log
cribs where in the course of time it slowly dries out, but here every
blade must be hung up in the sun and air if it shall turn to hay. When
the hay and grain is fully dried, it is taken down and done up into
loosely bound sheaves, or carried in bulk to the large, roomy barns.
The grain is generally thrashed out with flails, I am told, although a
few American machines are now being introduced.

The wire fence is not yet come into Norway, although timber is remote
and costly, and the people are hard put to it for fencing material. I
noticed that they generally depend upon slim poles and small
saplings loosely strung together, for English hedges cannot be grown
in these chilly northlands.

[Illustration: RICKING THE RYE.]

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR BY THE SLIDRE VAND.]

And now we are at Skogstad, above the Vangsmjoesen Vand and lesser
Strande Vand, with two or more _vands_ to see to-morrow before we
cross the height of land and come down to Laerdalsoeren, on the Sogne
Fjord which holds the waters of the sea, sixty-five miles further on.
The _vands_ to-day have been like giant steps, each emptying into the
one below by the roaring river, mounting up, each smaller than the one
below and more pent in by towering mountain masses.

H is now tucked in between mattress and coverlet of eider down--we are
beyond the latitude of blankets--in a narrow bed, and I am about to
get into another on the other side of the room, on which I now sit
writing to you by the light of a sperm candle, while the murmur of a
thousand cascades tinkles in my ears.



VIII.

Over the Height of Land--A Wonderful Ride Down the Laera Dal to the
Sogne Fjord.


    LAERDALSOEREN, NORGE, _September 3, 1902_.

We left Skogstad early and began to climb a long ascent, a dozen miles
of grade, still following the valley of the Baegna Elv foaming and
tossing by our side. The two days so far had been clear and cloudless,
but now the air was full of a fine mist, and we probably ascended a
thousand feet before the curtain lifted and a panorama of snow-capped
mountains, profound valleys, and sheer precipices burst upon us.

A thousand rills and rivulets and brawling brooks streaked the green
slopes with threads and lines of white; mosses and lichens softened
the black rock-masses; blooming heather, and a plant with fine red and
yellow leaf gave color to the heights between the sombre greenness of
the fir forests below and the whiteness of the snow-fields above. I
have never before seen such stupendous precipices, such tremendous
heights; neither Switzerland nor Mexico, Alps nor Cordilleras lift
themselves in so precipitous ascent.

After a two hours' climb, all the way listening to the roar of the
_Elv_ choking the gorge a thousand feet below our way, we met its
waters issuing quietly from yet another lake, the little Utro Vand,
surrounded by snow-crowned summits, the snow-fields creeping almost to
the water's edge, also passing on our right, the road which leads to
the Tyin Vand and the ice-crowned summits of the Jotunheim. Here was a
large and comfortable inn, Nystuen by name, and Ole Mon gave the
ponies their first morning's feed, adding an armful of mountain hay to
the oatmeal diet. Half an hour's rest is the usual limit, and the
ponies seem to know their business and eat their fare on time. In
Mexico, horses are fed grain but once in twenty-four hours, and that
at midnight, so that all hearty food will be digested before the early
morning start. Here a horse is kept full all the time to do his best;
difference of climate and latitude, I suppose.

[Illustration: THE PROTECTED ROAD.]

Just beyond the Nystuen Vand, we crossed the height of land between
the waters of east and west Norway, and now the streams were running
the other way. We were up 3,294 feet, and the summits round about
us--rising yet two and three thousand feet higher--were deeply
snow-marked--great patches and fields of snow. Then we came to another
succession of four more _vands_, like steps, each bigger than the one
above it, and a roaring river that proportionately grew in size. The
road became steeper and we fairly scampered down to a fine inn,
painted red with curiously-carven Norse ornamentation on the gables,
called Maristuen. Here we had fresh salmon, and more good coffee. For
breakfast we were given trout and eggs, now salmon and a delicious
custard for dessert. At table we met a Mr. C and wife, of Chicago,
going over our trail, and we may meet them again in Stockholm. They
are anxious to go on to Russia after seeing Stockholm, and have urged
us to go along also. Across the table from us sat a dear old
white-haired grandmother from Bergen with a blue-eyed, flaxen-haired
granddaughter--a Viking Juno. They are driving across to Odnaes in
their own carriage, a curious, old-fashioned _trille_, low and
comfortable with a mighty top. The old lady is stacked up between
pillows of eider down, and the blue-eyed granddaughter is full of
tender care. We spake not to them nor they to us, but we smiled at one
another and that made us friends. They both waved _farvel_ as they
drove away.

And then, about two o'clock, we went on again for forty miles down to
the level of Laerdalsoeren and the sea, on the Sogne Fjord, where now
we are. We were to descend some 3,000 feet, and here began one of the
most exciting experiences of my life. The mountains kept their
heights; we alone came lower, all down a single _dal_. Most of the
road was hewn out of the side of precipices--a gallery; great stones
were set endwise about two feet apart on the outer edge, and sometimes
bound together by an iron rail; a slope down which we rolled at a
flying trot, coasted down--the roaring, foaming river below, far
below. Close to us were falls and cascades and cataracts, and the
stupendous mountains, the snow-capped rock-masses lifting straight
up thousands of feet. H grew so excited, exclaiming over the mighty
vistas of rock and water and distant valley, that I had fairly to hold
her in; and ever we rolled down and down and down, spanking along with
never a pause for nearly thirty miles, the spinning wheels never once
catching the ponies' flying heels. Great driving that of Ole Mon,
great speeding that of the sturdy ponies; marvelous macadamized
roadway, smooth as New York's Fifth Avenue! Water bursts, misty
cascades, descending hundreds of feet, sprayed us, splashed us, dashed
us, as we went on and on and on, only the gigantic precipices growing
higher and higher and higher, and the ever-present snowy summits more
and more supreme above us.

[Illustration: THREE THOUSAND FEET OF WATERFALL.]

Then we swept out into a green valley, hemmed in on either hand by
sombre precipices rising straight up for three and four and five
thousand feet, and hove to at the farmstead of Kvamme for the ponies
to be fed once more before their last descent. A mile or two further
on the precipices choke together forming a deep gorge, called the
Vindhelle, where it looks as though the mountains had been cracked
apart.

The Norwegian farmer, like the Swiss, not only makes his living from
the warm bottom-lands, which he cultivates, but also from the colder
uplands to which his goats and cattle are driven in the early summer,
and where the surplus grasses are painstakingly gathered with the
sickle. We were driving quietly along when my attention was attracted
to a couple of women standing with pitchforks in their hands near a
cock of hay. The hay was fresh mown, but I could see no hay-fields
round about. They were looking intently at the distant summit of the
precipice towering above them. My eye followed theirs. I could barely
make out a group of men shoving a mass of something over the edge, and
then I beheld the curious sight of a haymow flying through the air.
Nearer it came, and nearer until it landed at the women's feet. I then
made out a wire line connecting a windlass set in the ground near
where the women stood and reaching up to the precipice's verge, whence
came the hay. The hay was wound about this line. In this manner is the
hay crop of these distant uplands safely delivered at the little
_gaard_ or farmstead in the valley's lap. From these mountain
altitudes the milk and cheese and butter which the goats and cows
afford are also sometimes lowered by this telegraph. In Switzerland, I
have seen communications of this sort for shorter distances, but never
before beheld a stack of hay flying through the air for half a mile.

This Laera River with its _dal_ (dale, valley), is famous for its
trout and salmon. We passed several men and boys trying their luck,
one, an Englishman, up to his waist in the ice-cold tide. We have now
put up at a snug hotel, quite modern; English is spoken here. And--but
I forgot; when we stopped to feed the ponies, right between the two
descents, we made solemn friendship with the old Norseman who here
keeps the roadhouse; his daughter "had been in Chicago," she spoke
perfect United States, and took us to see, hard by, the most ancient
church in Norway, the church of Borgund, eight hundred to one thousand
years old. It is very quaint, with strange Norse carving and Runic
inscriptions. I gave our pretty guide a _kroner_ for her pains. On
returning to the house, she handed it to the old man, who took out a
big leathern wallet and put the coin away. We had meant it all for
her, and by reason of her knowing Chicago had made the fee quite
double size.

To-morrow we sail for six hours out upon the Sogne Fjord to Gutvangen,
then drive by carriage to Eida, on the Hardanger Fjord, all yet among
these stupendous mountains.

I was sitting in the little front room of the inn waiting for supper,
when our driver, Ole Mon, came in to settle our account, for his trip
was at an end. After I had paid him and added a few _oeres_ and a
_kroner_ for _trinkgeld_, at the liberality of which he seemed to be
much gratified, he produced from the inner pocket of his coat a
goodly-sized blank book, which he handed to me, and begged that I
would set down therein a recommendation of his qualities as a driver
and a guide. In the book were already a number of brief statements in
French and German and Norwegian, by different travelers, declaring him
to be a "safe and reliable man," who had "brought them to their
journey's end without mishap." I took the book and wrote down some
hurried lines. When I had finished, he gazed upon the foreign writing
and then disappeared with the book into the kitchen to consult the
cook, who had lived in Minneapolis. He presently reappeared, his eyes
big with wonder and a manner of profound deference. He now advised me
that he would deem it a great honor to be permitted to drive us free
of charge, next morning, from the hotel to the steamer, a couple of
miles distant. He further said, that he had decided to take the sea
trip to Gutvangen on our ship and would there secure for us the best
carriage and driver of the place. He evidently regarded me as some
famous bard, to whom it would be difficult to do sufficient honor. The
lines were these:

    Aye! Ole Mon, you are a dandy whip,
      You are a corker and a daisy guide.
    You talk our tongue and rarely make a slip,
      You've taken us a stunner of a ride.
    And when from Norge's _fjelds_ and _fjords_ we sail,
      And in America tell of what we've seen,
    Our friends will stand astonished at the tale,
      And next year bid you take them where we've been.

[Ilustration: OUR LITTLE SHIP, LAERDALSOEREN.]



IX.

A Day Upon the Sogne Fjord.


    STALHEIM HOTEL, NORWAY, _September 4, 1902_.

To-day we have spent mostly on the water. We left Laerdalsoeren--the
mouth of the valley of the river Laera--by ship, a tiny ship,
deep-hulled and built to brave the fiercest gales, a boat of eighty to
one hundred tons. Casting off from the little pier at eight o'clock,
we were upon the waters of the majestic Sogne Fjord until after 3 P. M.
This great _fjord_ is the first body of water that I have seen
which to my mind is really a _fjord_, the others along the shores of
which we have journeyed for the past three days, including the last
and least, the Smidal and the Bruce _Fjords_, were only mountain
tarns, what in Norse speech is termed a "_Vand_." While I had read
much of _fjords_, never till to-day have I comprehended their
marvelous grandeur, the overwhelming magnitude of the earth's
convulsions which eons ago cracked open their tremendous depths and
heights. Although their bottoms lie deeper than the bottom of the sea,
(4,000 feet deep in some places), so the Captain tells me, yet up out
of these profound waters rise the gigantic mountains (_fjeld_) five
and six thousand feet into the blue sky, straight up as it were, with
hundreds of cascades and foaming waterfalls, sometimes the tempestuous
tides of veritable rivers, leaping down the black rocks and splashing
into space, and everywhere above them all are the snow-fields, the
eternal snow-fields.

Sometimes when the precipices are sheltered and sun-warmed, their
surface is green with mosses and banded with yellow gorse, and with
white and pink and purple heather, and barred with scarlet and gray
lichens. The waters were so deep, the precipices so sheer that often
our ship sailed not more than twenty or thirty feet distant from them;
the misty spray of the streams dissolving into impalpable dust
hundreds of feet above us, dampening us like rain, or windblown,
flying away in clouds of vaporous smoke.

Here and there along the more open parts of the _fjord_ were bits of
green slope with snug farmsteads, a fishing boat swinging to a tiny
pier or tied to the very house itself. Sometimes, perched on a rocky
shelf, grass-grown and high-up a thousand feet, we would discern a
clinging cabin, and once we espied a grazing cow that seemed to be
hanging in mid air. No patch of land lay anywhere about that was not
dwelt upon, tilled or grazed by some man or beast. The climate of
western Norway is mild and humid, tempered as it is by the Gulf
Stream. These coasts have always been well peopled, sea and soil
yielding abundant living to the hardy Norsk. The _fjords_ are the
public highways and upon their icefree waters vigorous little
steamships ply back and forth busied with incessant traffic through
all the year. Our course led us up many winding arms and watery lanes
to cozy hamlets nestled at the mouth of some verdant _dal_, where we
would lie-to a few minutes to put off and take on passengers and
freight. We also carried the mails. At each stopping-place the ship's
mate would hand out the bags to the waiting official, often an old
man, more generally a rosy-cheeked young woman, and carefully take a
written memorandum of receipt, when bag and maiden and many of the
waiting crowd would disappear. Once or twice the bags were loaded upon
one of the curious two-wheeled carts called _stolkjaerres_ driven by a
husky boy, when cart and horse and boy at once set off at lively
gallop. In winter time sledges and men on _skjis_ replace the handy
_stolkjaerre_, and thus all through the year are the mails efficiently
distributed. The captain tells me that a great proportion of the
letters received and sent are from and to America, where so many of
Norway's most energetic and capable young men are growing rich, and
that a large proportion of these letters received are registered, and
contain cash or money orders remitted to the families at home. What
wonder is it that these thousand white-winged missives, which
continually cross the sea, have made and are now making the ancient
Kingdom almost a Democratic state! At one of these hamlets, Aurland by
name, I caught with my camera a pretty Norwegian lass in full native
costume, such as has been worn from time immemorial by the women of
the Sogne Fjord,--a charming picture.

[Illustration: THE SOGNE FJORD.]

[Illustration: ALONG THE SOGNE FJORD.]

Toward three o'clock we sailed up a shadowy canyon, the Naeroe Fjord,
under mighty overhanging precipices, arriving at Gudvangen, our
voyage's end. Here carriages awaited us and here Ole Mon, who has
sailed with us throughout the day, after having driven us down to the
boat himself and refused all pay, handed us over to the driver of the
best _vogn_ (wagon) of the lot, with evidently very particular
instructions as to our welfare. In fact, H tells me, Ole Mon has spent
the day with his book of recommendation open in his hand, calling the
world's attention to my glowing rhymes, and pointing me out with an
air of profound deference as an illustrious, although to him unknown,
bard. We bid him _farvel_, with real sorrow, and regretted that he
might not have driven us to the very end.

We now went on ten kilometers through a narrow clove, between enormous
heights, passing the Jordalsnut, towering above us, straight up more
than three thousand feet, and straining our necks to peer up at the
foaming torrent of the Kilefos leaping two thousand feet seemingly at
a single bound, and almost wetting us with its flying spray. At one
place the road is diverted, and the immense mountain is scarred from
the very edge of the snows by the marring rifts of a recent avalanche,
which, our driver says, was the most tremendous fall of snow and ice
these parts have ever known. At last we began a steep zigzag ascent,
so sharp that even H relieved the ponies of her weight. We were an
hour in climbing the twelve hundred feet; and found ourselves on a
wide bench overlooking the wild and lovely Naeroedal up which we had
come. The sun was behind us, the half shadows of approaching twilight
were creeping out from each dell and crevice. Upon our left, the gray
peak of the Jordalsnut yet caught the sunshine, as also did the
snow-fields of the Kaldafjeld, almost as lofty upon our right. The
Naeroedal was filling with the mysterious haziness of the northern
eventime. Behind us, commanding this exquisite vista, we found a
monstrous and uncouth edifice, a German enterprise, the Stalheim
Hotel, thrust out upon a rocky platform between two rivers plunging
down on either side. Here we have been given a modern bedroom, fitted
with American-looking oak furniture, have enjoyed a well-cooked German
supper, sat by a blazing wood fire, and shall soon turn off the
electric lights and turn in, to repose on a wire mattress, and be
lulled to sleep by the musical roar of the two great waterfalls.

[Illustration: SUDALS GATE ON THE SOGNE FJORD.]



X.

From Stalheim to Eida--The Waterfall of Skjerve Fos--The Mighty
Hardanger Fjord.


    ODDA, NORWAY, _September 5, 1902_.

We left Stalheim by _Skyd_ (carriage), at nine o'clock. The drive was
up a desolate valley, through a scattering woodland of small firs and
birches, close by the side of a foaming creek, the Naerodals Elv,
hundreds of becks and brooklets bounding down the mountain sides to
right and left.

After an hour's climb, we reached a flattened summit where lay a
little lake, the Opheims Vand, two or three miles long and wide,
encircled with snow-fields. Here and there we passed a scattered
farmstead--_gaard_--for every bit of land yielding any grass is here
in the possession of an immemorial owner. The _vand_ is a famed trout
pool, and as we wound along its shores we passed any number of men and
boys trying their luck. It was raining steadily, a cold fine downpour,
and all the male population seemed to have taken to the rod.

At the lake's far end we passed a small hotel, built in Norse style
with carved and ornamented gables and painted a light green. Here in
the season the English come to fish.

[Illustration: THE NAERO DAL.]

Leaving the _vand_, we began a long descent, and for twelve miles
rolled down at a spanking pace, the brook by our side steadily growing
until it at last became a huge and violent torrent, a furious river,
the Tvinde Elv. In the fourteen miles we had descended--coasted--two
thousand five hundred (2,500) feet, and now were come to the little
town of Voss or Vossvangen, which lies on the banks of the Vangs Vand,
a body of blue water five or six miles long and two miles wide,
surrounded by one of the most fertile, well-cultivated valleys of
Norway.

Vossvangen is a town of importance, and is the terminus of the railway
with which the Norwegian government is connecting Bergen and
Kristiania. The easiest parts of this national railway, those between
Bergen and Vossvangen, and between Kristiania and Roikenvik--over
which we came--are already constructed and running trains, but it is
estimated that it will be twenty years before the connecting link is
finally completed, for it is almost a continuous tunnel--a magnificent
piece of railroad-making when it is done.

Vossvangen is also the birthplace of one of Minnesota's most
illustrious sons, United States Senator Knute Nelson. It is upon these
mountains that he tended the goats and cows when a barefooted urchin,
and I do not doubt that he has surreptitiously pulled many a fine
trout and salmon out of the lovely lake. The people of Vossvangen
accept his honors as partly their own, and my Norwegian host gazed at
me most complacently when I told him that American Senators held in
their hands more power and were bigger men than any Swedish King.
Norwegians are justly proud of their eminent sons who, in the great
Republic over the sea, are so splendidly demonstrating the capability
of the Norse race.

We put up at a modern-looking inn, called Fleischer's Hotel, a
favorite rendezvous for the English, despite its German-sounding name.
Here we rested a couple of hours, and were given a well-served dinner
with tender mutton and baked potatoes, big and mealy, which we ate
with a little salt and abundance of delicious cream. Our hearts were
here stirred with sympathy for a most unhappy-looking American girl
who had evidently married a foreign husband. He was a surly,
ugly-mannered man, with low brows and tangled black hair. She, poor
thing, was the picture of despair, her fate being that all too common
one of the American woman who, foolishly dazzled with a titled lover,
too late finds him to be a titled brute.

We were to continue to Eida on the Hardanger Fjord, in the same
carriage in which we set out. The ponies were well rested, and we got
away a little after two o'clock. Ascending the well-tilled valley of
the Rundals Elv by easy grades over a fine hard road, we crossed a
marshy divide and then descended to the Hardanger Fjord. After passing
the divide and coming down a few miles, we suddenly found ourselves
on the rim of a vast amphitheatre into the center of which plunged a
mighty waterfall, the Skjervefos, much resembling that of the
Kaaterskill Falls, in the Catskill mountains of New York, only ten
times as big. A roaring river here jumps sheer a thousand feet, and
then again five hundred more. Yet we did not know of it until we were
right on to it and into it. The falls making two great leaps, the road
crosses the wild white waters between them on a wooden bridge. Over
this we drove through soaking clouds of spray.

[Illustration: GREETING OUR BOAT, AURLAND.]

When in London we had no thought of Norway. Not until we heard from
General and Mrs. C of the delights of this journey did we make up our
minds to take it. We were then in Copenhagen, and neither in that town
nor in Kristiania have we been able to get hold of an English-worded
guide book. We are trusting to our driver's knowledge, and to our own
eyes and wits. And so it is, that we came right upon one of the most
splendid waterfalls in all Norway, and never knew aught of it until
chasm and flood opened at our feet. Perhaps it is better so. We have
no expectations, our eyes are perpetually strained for the next turn
in the road, our ears are alert for the thundering of cascades, our
minds are open for astonishment and delight.

While it is a substantial modern bridge that now takes you safely over
the stream which spins and spumes between the upper and the nether
falls, yet our driver tells us, that in the ancient days when men and
beasts must ford or swim to get across, this was dreaded as a most
dangerous place. Few dared to ford,--most made a long detour. No
matter how quiet or how low the waters might appear, there were yet
dangers which men could not see, for water-demons hid in the black
eddies and skulked in the foam. They lurked in silence until the
traveler was midway the stream when they would boldly seize him by the
feet, and draw him down, and ride his body exultingly through the
plunging cataract below, nor did they fear also to drown what rescuer
might venture in to save his friend. When now the moon is low and the
night is still, may frequently be heard commingling with the leaping
waters' roar, 'tis said, the death wails of the lost souls of those
whom the demons thus have drowned and delivered for torment to the
cruel master-demon, Niki.

Below the giant Skjervefos we rolled alongside its Elv until we came
out upon the margin of another exquisite tarn, the Gravens Vand,
where, just as along the Vangsmjoesen Vand, the roadway is, much of
it, hewn out in galleries at the base of overhanging cliffs. Nor is
there room for carriages to pass. There are turnouts, here and there,
and you pull a rope and ring a bell which warns ahead that you are
coming. In some places the roadway was shored up with timbers above
the profound black waters. We passed from the _vand_ through a rocky
glen down which the foaming waters hurried to the sea. We followed the
stream and suddenly came out into vast breadth and distance. We were
at Eida on an arm of the mighty Hardanger Fjord, the biggest earth
crack in Norway.

[Illustration: THE HARDANGER FJORD.]

A fresh, keen wind blew up from the ocean. A wooden pier jutted out
into the deep water, where, tied to it, were several fishing smacks. A
small, black-hulled steamer was there taking on freight, but it was
not our boat. The sky was overcast. The long twilight was coming to an
end. It would soon be dark. Across the _fjord_, giant black-faced
precipices lifted up into the clouds and snows. Down the _fjord_ misty
headlands loomed against the dusk. The black waters were foam capped.
There was a dull moan to the wind in the offing; it was a night for a
storm at sea. It now grew dark. A few fitful stars shone here and
there. The wind was rising. A bright light suddenly appeared toward
the west. Our boat had come round the headland, and was soon at the
pier. It was much like the little ship in which we sailed upon the
Sogne Fjord. These _fjords_ are alive with multitudes of just such
boats, deep-set, sturdy craft, built to brave all weathers and all
seas. Our course lay down the Graven Fjord, through the Uten Fjord,
and then up the long, narrow Soer Fjord--arms of the Hardanger--to the
hamlet of Odda, where we would again take a carriage and cross the
snow-fields of the giant Haukeli mountains of the Western Alps.

Watching the sullen waters, profound and mysterious, as they churned
into a white wake behind our little craft, I could scarcely credit it
that I was upon the Hardanger Fjord, the greatest and most intricate
of the sheltered harbors which for centuries have made the coasts of
Norway the fisherman's haven, the pirate's home. Upon these waters the
ancient Viking learned his amphibious trade. Hid in the coves which
nestle everywhere along the bases of the precipices the Viking mothers
hatched and reared their broods of sea-urchins, who romped with the
seals and chased the mermaids and frolicked with the storms. Where I
now sailed had met together again and again those fleets of war-boats,
the like of which we saw the other day in Kristiania, and which went
out to plunder and ravage hamlet and town and city along all the ocean
coasts, even passing through the Gates of Hercules, and visiting Latin
and Greek and African province with devastation and death.
"Sea-wolves," Tacitus called them, and such they were. Here gathered
the hardy war-men who went out and conquered Gaul, and founded Norse
rule in Normanwise where now is Normandy. Hence sailed forth the
warships which harried the British Isles, and left Norse speech strong
to this day on Scottish tongue and in Northumbrian mouth. Here, also,
fitted out the ships, some of the crews of which it may have been who
left their marks upon the New Jersey shores in Vineland, and who may
even have been the sires of that strange blue-eyed, light-haired,
unconquered race I saw two years ago in Yucatan, who have held the
Spaniards these four centuries in check. I gazed upon the black waters
of mighty Hardanger, and saw the fleets returning with their spoil,
and heard the shouts of vengeance wreaked and victory won, which have
so often echoed among these mountains. I was looking upon the
breeding, homing waters of the greatest sea-race the world has known,
and every lapping wavelet became instinct with the mystery of the
cruel, splendid past.

[Illustration: THE SOER FJORD, HARDANGER.]

The churning of the propeller blades now ceased. I felt a jarring of
the boat. We were come to Odda and the voyage's end.

It was ten o'clock when we made our port. A black night it had been,
pitch dark, with a fierce wind and ill-tempered sea. The profound
waters respond with sullen restlessness to the stress of outer
tempest. Only a Norseman born and bred to these tortuous channels
could have safely navigated them on such a night, and I noticed that
our engines did not once slacken speed throughout the voyage!

Upon arriving at our hotel we found we were expected. A comfortable
room was in readiness, and a carriage engaged for the following day
and early breakfast arranged. All this had been done through telephone
by our Tourists' Agency (the Bennetts) in Kristiania. And so have we
found it everywhere along our route. All Norway, every post office and
nearly every farm, and especially all hotels and inns, are connected
by a telephone system owned and run by the Government. Anybody in
Norway can call up and talk to anybody else. We have experienced the
full benefit of this efficiency.

Our entire trip has been arranged by telephone from Kristiania. We are
always expected. A delicious meal, ordered from Kristiania, is always
ready for us, and every landlord knows to the minute just when we will
arrive, for news of us has been 'phoned ahead from the last station we
have passed.

This hamlet of Odda is an important point. Here converge the two great
trade and tourist routes of Western Norway. The one, the Telemarken
route, crossing the Haukeli Fjeld of the Western Alps to Dalen, and
thence by the Telemarken lakes and locks to Skien, and by rail to
Kristiania; the other diverging at Horre, passing down the valley of
the Roldals Vand to Sand and thence to Staavanger by the sea, whence
ships cross to Hamburg and Bremen and the North Sea ports, and to Hull
and Harwich in Britain--favorite routes by which the Germans and
British enter Norway.



XI.

The Buarbrae and Folgefonden Glaciers--Cataracts and Mountain
Tarns--Odda to Horre.


    HORRE, HOTEL BREIFOND, _September 6, 1902_.

To-day we have driven thirty miles from Odda, all of it up hill,
except the last six miles. We started about nine o'clock with two
horses, an easy carriage, and a driver whom I have had to resign to
H's more promising Danish, for he is elderly and very weak in the
foreign tongue. From the first we began to climb. The driver in Norway
always walks up the hills, and the male traveler also walks, while the
female traveler is expected to walk, if she be able. The Norse ponies
take their time, although at the end of the day they have traveled
many miles and are seemingly little tired.

By the side of the smooth road rushed a river, the Aabo Elv, a mass of
foam and spray which sometimes flew over us. A couple of miles farther
on we came to a little dark-blue lake, the Sandven Vand, surrounded by
lofty mountains, on the far side of which, almost jutting into it,
pressed down the glacier of Buarbrae, descending from the snow-fields
of the Folgefonden, a single expanse of ice and snow some forty miles
long and ten to twenty wide, the greatest accumulation of snow and ice
in western Norway. Over the precipices hemming in the _vand_ dashed
scores of cataracts and cascades, often leaping two and three thousand
feet in sudden plunge. H says nobody can ever show her a waterfall
again, nor talk about English _Waters_ or Scottish _Lochs_.

Passing the lake, we continued to ascend, the road entering a deep and
sombre gorge, which suddenly widened out into a sunlit vale, the air
being filled with mists and rainbows. We were nearing the Lotefos and
the Skarsfos, two of Norway's most celebrated cataracts. Two rivers
begin falling almost a mile apart, approaching as they fall, until
they unite in a final leap of nearly fifteen hundred feet, a splendid
spectacle, while right opposite to them tumbles the Espelandsfos,
falling from similar heights. The spray and mist of the three
commingle in a common cloud, and the highway passes through the
eternal shower bath. As you look up you can see the entire mass of the
waters from their first spring into space throughout their tumultuous,
furious descent, until they eddy at your feet. Nature is so lavish
here with her gigantic earth and water masses that one is perpetually
awe-struck.

One incident has occurred today, which I presume I may take as a high
compliment to my native tongue. One of two young Frenchmen, whose
carriage has traveled near our own, while walking ahead of his
vehicle, found the ponies disposed to walk him down. Twice this
happened. Then he waxed wroth. He suspected the tow-headed Norse
driver of not being really asleep, but of trying to even up the
ancient national grudge against his own dear France. He flew into a
Gallic passion. He stopped short. He halted the team. He awoke the
driver. He shouted in broken English, "You drive me down! You drive me
down! You vone scoundrel! I say vone damn to you, I say vone damn, I
say vone damn!"--shaking his fist in the astonished face of the
sleepy-head. After that the Norseman kept awake and the French
gentleman walked safely in the middle of the road. He evidently felt
that to swear in French would be quite lost upon the son of the
Vikings. English alone would do the job.

[Illustration: THE ESPELANDS FOS.]

[Illustration: COMMINGLING LOTE FOS AND SKARS FOS.]

We climbed for many miles a deep glen called the Seljestad Juvet; and
dined long past the hour of noon at a wayside inn, the Seljestad
Hotel. The hotel was kept by women. "Our men," they said, "are
gathering hay at the _Saeter_ (mountain farm) far up on the mountain
highlands. They are gone for a month, and will not return until the
crop is all got in." We paid our modest reckoning to a delicate,
fair-haired, blue-eyed little woman, with quiet, graceful manners,
well bred and courteous in bearing. She is the bookkeeper and business
manager of the inn, "so long as the summer season lasts," she said.
And then she sails to England in one of her father's ships, and there
becomes a governess in an English family until another summer holiday
shall come around. She had never been to America. "Some day,"
her skipper sire had "promised to take her to New York," when
they would "run over for a day" to Minneapolis to see an aunt and
cousins who were prospering, as do all Norwegians in America's
opportunity-affording air. And "Americans, she always liked to meet,"
she said, "for unlike the English, they met you so frankly and did not
condescend." She showed H all through the neat and tidy kitchen, while
a big black nanny goat stood in the doorway and watched them both.

All the afternoon we kept on climbing by the winding roadway, passing
a black-watered, snow-fed tarn, the Gors Vand, and over the
Gorssvingane pass above the snow line, where snow-fields stretched
below us, around us, above us. From the summit of 3,392 feet above
Odda and the sea, we had a superb view of all the vast Folgefond
ice-field behind us, and before us two others, the Breifond and the
Haukeli Fjeld, as vast, while 2,000 feet right down beneath us lay a
deep blue lake, the Roldals Vand.

The road now wound ten kilometers (six and one-third miles) down into
the deep valley by many successive loops, twelve of them, one-half a
mile to the loop--a feat of fine engineering, for this is a military
road. We came down on a full trot all the way, even as Ole Mon came
down the Laera Dal, until we reined in at a picturesque inn at the
vale of Horre, overlooking the valley of Roldal and its _vand_. Now we
are in a cozy hostelry, the Hotel Breifond, with a room looking out
over the exquisite deep-blue lake, encompassed by green mountains and
snow-covered summits.

[Illustration: THE GORS VAND.]

[Illustration: GLACIER OF BUARBRAE.]

Our hotel is kept by two sweet-faced elderly women, serene and
rosy-cheeked, dressed in black with immaculate white caps; one is the
widow of a daring seaman who years ago went down with his ship in a
winter gale. He was the captain and would not leave his post, though
many of the crew deserted and were saved. The other is her spinster
sister, whose betrothed lover likewise was lost at sea. In the summer
time they here harbor many anglers, who come to fish the waters of the
Roldals Vand and adjacent streams, which like most Norwegian lakes and
rivers are rented out by the local provincial or district governments.
The visitors who come here are chiefly English, the ladies tell us,
and great is their distress and often violent their objurgation at the
absence of any darkness when they may sleep. They cannot adjust
themselves to the nightless days. They are inexpressibly shocked when
they find themselves playing a game of golf or tennis at midnight, or
forgetful of the flight of time in the excitement of a salmon chase,
pausing to eat a midday snack at 2 A. M.

Our beds are the softest we have yet slept in, for both mattress and
coverlet are of eider down. The two ladies have been delighted to talk
with H in the native tongue, and have told her of their nephews and
cousins who are getting rich owning fine wheat farms in the Red River
of the North. "Come back to us in June," they say. "Our wild flowers
are then in bloom, and the hungry trout and salmon will then rise to
any fly!" And H and I resolve that in June we surely will return.

I saw one or two small pale butterflies to-day, and one gray moth at
the snow edge, where we crossed the divide; the only ones I yet have
seen. The birds, in this northland, of course, are all new to me; the
crows are gray, with black wings, heads and tails; a magpie with white
shoulders and white on head, and long, blue-black tail, is very tame;
while a bird I take to be a jay is numerous, with black body, white
shoulders and wing tips, and tail feathers edged with white. I have
seen some gray swallows which are now gathering in flocks preparatory
to going south, and several sparrows much like our field sparrows; and
sandpipers and upland plover, very small. The gray crows have a coarse
croak like a raven, "Krakers" they are called. In England we saw and
heard our only lark the day we drove from Ventnor to Cowes, on the
Isle of Wight, but I heard no other song birds in England, only once,
near Oxford, when I caught a note like our song sparrow's, while crows
and rooks swarmed everywhere from Southampton to Inverness. In Denmark
there are many storks, and I there saw the nest of one, a gigantic
mass of sticks and mud, built on the ridge of a barn, but I noticed
few other birds, except the gulls and terns along the sea. At Vang,
the other day, I saw, as I wrote you, the ptarmigan, and the
capercailzie stuffed and mounted by a Norwegian living there; they
are found on the mountains thereabouts; and a passenger, day before
yesterday, on the Sogne-fjord-boat, had in his hand half a dozen
ptarmigan, with their plumage already turning toward the winter's
white.

[Illustration: THE DESCENDING ROAD TO HORRE.]



XII.

Over the Lonely Haukeli Fjeld--Witches and Pixies, and Maidens Milking
Goats.


    HOTEL HAUKELID, _September 17, 1902_.

This morning we left Hotel Breifond about eight o'clock and although
we started alone, three other carriages soon caught up with us, and we
set off together, ours being the first in the line. As it is the
etiquette of the drivers never to pass each other, we have kept this
order all the day. Next behind us was a Dane with his Norwegian wife,
from Bergen, to whom H talked in their own tongue. Next to them were
the two young Frenchmen with whom I have managed to converse, and
behind these rode a German and his _frau_, who were most icy until
they learned we were not English but Americans, whereupon they grew
friendly indeed. We have got well acquainted while walking together up
the long mountain slopes.

Yesterday we crossed the divide at a maximum elevation of 3,392 feet,
and were above the snow line; to-day we again traversed the
snow-fields at a yet higher altitude, passing under one snow mass by a
tunnel, where H took a snap-shot of me standing in the snow, and
reached the maximum altitude of 3,500 feet.

[Illustration: A MILE STONE.]

[Illustration: CATTLE ON THE HAUKELI FJELD.]

From the emerald valley of the Roldals Vand we crept up a long ascent
for twenty miles, and I walked the whole of it. We followed the
foaming Vasdals Elv to its source, until all trees were below us, and
only short grasses, mosses and lichens grew amid the masses of drear,
black rock, and wide fields and patches of snow. This was the most
desolate region I have ever yet beheld or set foot upon; no life of
any sort; "_aucuns animaux, aucuns oiseaux; seulement les roches, le
silence et le froid_," as one of the young Frenchmen exclaimed! There
was not even a gnat or a butterfly. The primordial adamant rock
presented as sharp and unworn edges to the blows of the icy torrents
as when God first made it. The sun was warm and all the streams brim
full, swollen from the melting snows. High on the height of land we
found two silent lakes, the Ulivaa Vand and the Staa Vand. No life
stirred about them, although our driver asserted they were "alive with
fish."

On these silent heights with their mosses and lichens, goats and
reindeer thrive, and the latter range throughout the year.

We dined near the summit at a neat log inn called Haukeli-Saeter upon
a soup, boiled salmon, reindeer steak and vegetables,--all good. Here
our Germans clamored for _sauerkraut_ and _bier_, and were much
perturbed at receiving instead schooners of sweet milk and
caraway-seeded tea-cakes. The inn is built in typical Norse style,
with sharp and elaborately carved gables, and is kept open chiefly for
the benefit of tourist travel.

Our driver is a quaint and lackadaisical old Norsk, who speaks a
drawling, ancient Roldal _patois_. The first day we could not do much
with him, although H tried her best Danish. But to-day he is beginning
to thaw out and has at last become really garrulous. He is full of
peasant superstition and folk lore which he implicitly believes. These
Haukeli Fjelde will never be inhabited by man, he says, for they are
already the home of the giant and dangerous _Trolls_, mysterious and
mighty spirits who are inimical to man. They dwell on the barest and
bleakest and most desolate mountain tops, where they devour young kids
and reindeer fawns and, occasionally, even dare to kidnap a child, and
are always on the watch to steal a buxom lass. It is useless to chase
or follow them, they are never to be caught, and while they may show
themselves at times if they shall choose, yet they are invisible to
most human eyes. He has never seen a _Troll_, he says, but once he
knew an old man who had been scared by one which tried to catch him
when a boy.

There are also witches upon the Haukeli mountain tops, the old man
says. He is sure he has heard them hurtling through the air,
sometimes, when driving alone in the dusk of midsummer nights,
crossing the desolate heights of the Haukeli Fjeld. I asked him if
they still rode on broomsticks as they used to do in Germany, but he
declared that they were more bloodthirsty than that, for they always
carried ancient Viking broadswords, which they had picked up after
some of the big fights which take place before breakfast in Valhalla
every morning among the Vikings. Every summer some few witches are
sure to be seen or at any rate heard, by some lonely peasant caught by
fatigue on a twilight mountain top. There is one more beautiful than
all the rest, he says. He calls her "Hulda," and says she is a great
hand to seduce and beguile young men. She can fix herself up to appear
very beautiful, and to look upon her is to fall fast in love with her.
Then she taps a rock with a long staff she carries and lo! it opens
and there within are splendid chambers, a fairy palace, with all the
allurements of golden furnishings and sumptuous hangings and a table
groaning under the weight of delicious things to eat. If, dazzled by
this glimpse of paradise, the youth once enters and is taken in her
arms and kissed by her, then it is all up with him. He never escapes,
but after she has toyed with him to her heart's content in idle
dalliance, and grown tired of him, then are his blackened bones cast
forth upon some barren mountain top, perhaps to be found long years
afterward by wandering goatherd or venturesome hunter. Between these
_Trolls_ and the witches, H has acquired a most wholesome fear of the
Haukeli Fjeld, and she vows she would never drive over it alone.

[Illustration: THE DESOLATE HAUKELI FJELD.]

Also, the old man has at first hinted at and then confided to us that
the _Trolls_ and witches are not indeed the so serious menace they
might seem, for they are really afraid of man and keep generally well
out of his way; but that the real vexation of life comes from the
little pixies and sprites, who love to live handily about your house,
and who are always making trouble, either out of a spirit of pure
mischief, or else by reason of jealousy or pique. They are "very
touchy," he says, and you never know when or how you may offend them.
But if you do, then woe betide you. They will steal the feed out of
your horse's trough, or from his very nosebag right before your eyes,
and so deft are they at their tricks that you can never catch them.
You only discover that your horse gets thinner and thinner until he
finally dies, while if they shall be pleased with what you have done
or said you will find the horses always sleek and fat and able to do
two days' work in one. I asked him how he stood in with the pixies
just now, for I thought his team looked rather poor, but he said that
was by reason of the hard summer's work, the pixies having done him no
ill for several years. They also delight to milk the goats and cows
upon the sly, he said, and will steal the cheese set out to dry, and
often play such havoc with household supplies as to drive the peasants
to despair. For this reason it is, that many good farmers set out
little bowls of milk and bits of cheese in some silent meadow or
mountain dell, where the pixies may eat quite undisturbed.

As if to emphasize the old man's words, we just then passed the hut of
a woman goatherd almost upon the summit of the vast lonely Haukeli
Fjeld and there, set upon a little shelf, high up near the moss-grown
roof, were a small milk-bowl and a bit of brown cheese, an offering to
the elves and pixies of that place.

The information I here give you may be wrong in minor detail, for we
could not always perfectly interpret the quaint and ancient dialect in
which the facts were told, but H says she could make out the most of
what the old man said; for after all Danish and Norse speech are very
nearly the same.

We were now well over the height of land and were coasting down toward
prospective supper. The barren waste of black and gray rocks, across
which we had traveled, began to give place to greener slopes; the
mosses had returned; the grass was peeping up again. Swinging around a
well-graded curve, we dropped into a little valley. The evening sun
was behind us, the slanting rays tipped peak and snowy crest with
reddish gold, but the vale below was wrapped in soft shadow. On the
left, stood a moss-roofed cabin, near where ran the road; on the
right, across a boisterous brook, we saw a group of Norse maidens,
clad in blue-and-red peasant costume, surrounded by a herd of goats.
The goats were apparently in great excitement. Each young woman was
following a goat and that particular goat walked with demure and
expectant gait. One old gray goat moved with particularly stately
step, while the lady by his side held in her hand a small wooden
bucket. I presumed that, of course, she proposed to give that goat his
evening meal. Imagine my astonishment when, before the goat really was
aware, she collared it, swung her leg over it and holding it fast
between her thighs, facing its rear, began energetically milking, not
it, or him, but her! The goat had disappeared, only a tail and a head
discovered themselves beyond the lady's skirts, and the evening
shadows gathered about that maid and goat,--that goat held tight as
though in iron vise. The day was too nearly done for my kodak to
avail, so I have tried to sketch the episode, and so also has one of
our French companions--and I send you the pictures. If the old poet
had only seen the tableau of goat and maid he never could have written
the following lines which long ago my memory clipped from the Yale
_News_:

    "The milkmaid pensively milked the goat,
      When, sighing, she paused to mutter,
    I wish you brute, you'd turn to milk,
      And the animal turned to butt her!"

We have driven some eighty kilometers to-day and have been in the
fresh mountain air, open air, for eleven hours. H is growing plump,
and her cheeks have caught the Norse red. The keen air makes our blood
tingle in spite of the cold, for it is cold. On these summits ice
forms the moment the sun is hid. We are in full winter clothing, and
wrap our heavy sea rugs about us as we sit in the carriage. In a
fortnight the snows will cover the passes and tourist travel will
cease till another year.

[Illustration: NORSE MAIDEN MILKING GOAT.]

During the last two days we have frequently met men bearing on their
backs and dragging on sledges piles of birch branches, the twig ends
with the leaves yet on, and we have noticed here and there, entire
birch-growing hillsides where the saplings had all been trimmed, the
tender twigs sheared off and frequently the lopped-off branches
stacked up in bundles stuck in a handy tree-crotch. This is the winter
fodder for the goats, and the birch twig is as important for them as
is the hay for the cattle. Just as in Switzerland, large flocks of
goats are pastured throughout the summer upon the higher mountain
slopes and ridges, and much cheese is manufactured from their milk. Of
sheep we have seen few, although I understand a good many are raised
for the local demand for wool. Like Scotland, Norway is hereabouts too
cold and harsh for sheep to do their best.

Nor have we noticed many fowls, turkeys or geese or ducks about the
farmsteads,--only a few chickens here and there. This also is too cold
a climate, with too rigorous and lengthy winters for poultry to be
profitable. Nor have we had chicken set before us but the once when we
supped with the inquisitive dame of Tonsaasen. Trout and reindeer
steak as well as eggs we have often had, and once roast ptarmigan.

Neither in Britain, nor in France, nor in Germany have I ever seen a
wooden house; all buildings there are of stone or brick; but here the
buildings throughout the countryside are all of wood; hewn logs most
frequently, not uncommonly of sawed lumber, these latter quite often
painted white and red, reminding one of tidy New England. The roofs
are steep to shed the snows or, otherwise, quite flat and covered with
a layer of birch bark and then tight-growing sods and mosses, which
covering the snow may melt upon but through which it will never soak.

To-day being Sunday, we have met many churchgoers upon the road, and
have passed two churches where the Lutheran service was being held.
During our drive we have constantly noted the number of these Lutheran
churches, as well as the snug-built, substantial schoolhouses. Piety
and intelligence deeply mark the lives of these Norse people. Just as
in Denmark, so here also is the Lutheran church recognized and
supported by the state, and its pastors constitute a formidable and
influential body, guiding the thought of the Norwegian people.
Apparently the schools here are as universal and as well attended as
our own. Every Norwegian child, who is of school age, is compelled by
law to go to school. Nowhere outside of my own country have I seen so
many schoolhouses dotting the countryside. In England there are no
common schools and no schoolhouses. In France the schoolhouses are
hidden among the buildings of the clustered villages. In Switzerland,
perhaps, the schoolhouse is as much in evidence as here, but in
neither Germany nor Holland, although their universities lead the
world, is there revealed the teaching of the common people as is done
by the many schoolhouses of this northern land.

Now we are housed in a commodious and quite modern inn, and have had a
delicious trout supper, all our four carriage-loads of travelers
sitting at one long table, where H and I have been the stars--for we
only and alone can talk equally to the Dane and his Norwegian wife, to
the young Frenchmen, and to the German pair; while through us only can
they exchange ideas, for we alone can talk to each in his own native
tongue. "Ah! these Americans!" "You talk all the languages!" "How wide
you see!" "While we, we do not see beyond the boundaries of France."
"We speak too seldom a foreign tongue." "You are bigger-minded than
are we!" So exclaimed one of our French friends.



XIII.

Descending from the Fjelde--The Telemarken Fjords--The Arctic
Twilight.


    DALEN, _September 8, 1902, 7 P. M._

Our series of great rides on land and water is at an end. For eight
days we have been inhaling the crisp, buoyant, ozone-laden atmosphere,
viewing the majestic scenery, watching the sturdy, strong-faced men
and women, the rosy, yellow-haired children; and now it is over. H and
I agree that in our lives we will never again experience a more
delightful outing--our sure-enough honeymoon.

This morning we left the Hotel Haukelid with only sixty kilometers for
the day, and most of it down hill; since noon yesterday we have been
coming down. Just a little snow was now to be seen far away upon
distant summits, while forests of birches, interspersed with aspens,
covered the nearer slopes. Our road led us along the borders of
several exquisite lakes, the little Voxli Vand and then the greater
Grungadals Vand, about a mile wide and ten or twelve miles long;
frowning precipices and cloud-wrapped heights encircled us on every
hand, their rocks now largely greened over with mosses, and
birches--only a few firs--growing wherever trees might thrust their
roots. Then we drove through a narrow clove, along a frothing torrent,
and came to another _vand_ equally shut in, but not so long nor so
wide,--a greener, warmer valley, Boertedals Vand in the Boerte Dal.
Here we dined at Hotel Boerte, rested till 3 P. M., and then got away
for one of the finest thirty kilometers of the trip. If we only had
had Ole Mon to drive us, how perfect would have been the day! I
imagined we had already come down enough to be at the bottom, but we
were yet to descend a mighty canyon with the road blasted out of the
precipice's side, and walled in with rock posts and iron defenders,
much like the Laera Dal, while far beneath us wound a silver thread,
the almost imperceptible roar of whose waters floated up a tremulous
murmur. We came down at a rattling trot, every moment unfolding new
vistas of vale and precipice and mountain. After two hours of this
fearful, yet joyous, coasting we crossed a wide-spanning iron bridge
and swept out into the charming vale of Dalen, at the head of the
Bandaks Vand, where now we are. The mountains are here clothed in
heavy forests of birch and much deciduous timber, only a little of the
fir; I can scarcely realize that yesterday we were up amongst the
mosses, the lichens and the snows. As we descended we kept taking off
our wraps; our rugs were folded up; H took off her golf cape, then her
jacket; she wanted to ride with bared head, so soft and warm had grown
the air.

[Illustration: A NORSE CABIN.]

[Illustration: OUR HOSTESSES, HAUKELI SAETER.]

KRISTIANIA, NORWAY, _September 10, 1902_.

Yesterday, we left Dalen at the head of navigation on the Bandaks
Vand, boarded a taut little steamboat about 150 feet long, built for
deep water, and traveled sixty-five kilometers through a succession of
_vands_ and _fjords_--the Telemarken Fjords--canals and locks--twenty
locks in all--to Skien (called "Sheen"), where we took the railway for
Kristiania, arriving at midnight.

The lakes were long, narrow and mostly shut in by heavily-timbered
mountains, which as always, lifted up to enormous heights, green vales
and valleys opening in between, where were picturesque hamlets and
neat, thrifty-looking farmsteads.

Nothing here impresses me more than the great patience and tireless
energy of the "Norsks," as they call themselves. The magnificent
roads, superior to those of England, equal, almost equal to those of
France; the canals, blasted for miles through solid granite; the
railways, which are as good as our own; the little boats so perfectly
appointed. The Norwegians impress you as being born seamen; they know
how to build and how to sail a boat, and you feel it.

Standing upon the forward deck, watching the changing panorama of
vale and lake and mountain, I became so absorbed in the enchanting
pictures that it was some moments before I noticed a slit-eyed,
high-cheek-boned, black-straight-haired, short, pudgy youth or
man--hard to tell which--a sure-enough Lap if ever there was one, who
was making vain efforts to hold conversation with me. He spoke slowly
and with some hesitation in perfect Cockney English. I at once gave
him my ear, and asked him where he had learned to speak so well. "Hi
ave been a cook in Lonnon," he said. "Hi ave been hassistant cook in a
Hinglish otel, you know. Hi am just now leaving the otel at Dalen,
where Hi ave been hassistant cook this summer, you know." Whereupon he
told me of his experiences in London. How he landed there from a
Norwegian ship, friendless and unknown, and made his way by his
aptitude in wiping dishes! And some day he "oped" to go to "Hamerica"
and there own a kitchen all for himself. "Ow strange it must be for an
Hamerican to see real mountains," he exclaimed, and I discovered that
the only America he knew about was the prairie land of the flat west.

Upon my asking whether he was not a Laplander, he resented the
suggestion with great vehemence, declaring himself to be a Viking
pure, and he begged me to let him know if I should learn of any good
openings for dish-wipers in America, especially if it would lead to
the dignity of cook. His manner was frank and simple, wholly free from
self-consciousness, except as he took great pride in being able to
speak the English tongue. In Norway there are no classes and all men
stand equal before the law. It is as respectable there to work as it
is in America, and similarly men meet you as your natural equals.
There is none of that offensive subserviency which so jars upon one
in most of the monarchy and aristocracy bestridden lands.

The volume of water which flows from these lakes and through these
deep canals is immense and we have sometimes swept along the narrower
channels at really an exciting pace. We had just passed through the
beautiful Flaa Vand and descended the deep full-flowing river, the
Eids Elv, with its many locks, to the greater Nordsjoe Vand, when we
drew up beside a little pier. There were many people upon it.
Evidently, there was here gathered an unusual crowd, and down the
hillside leading toward us came yet others. The whole community had
turned out. Two tall, rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed, fair-haired young men
were the center of the throng; about them the others pressed. They
were neatly dressed, fine-looking fellows, and the men and women were
kissing them good-bye. They were going to America, perhaps never to
return. The mother, a gentle-faced, white-haired old lady, wept on the
necks of each of them, and the white-haired father kissed them upon
either cheek, and then everybody rushed in to shake their hands. They
were going to America where so many of Norway's most ambitious and
able sons had gone before. The whole countryside would watch their
career and wait for news of their success! Two iron-bound chests were
dragged on to the boat. The young men stepped alertly aboard, their
faces flushed with the excitement of the farewells and the
anticipations of the land across the sea. As I watched them and their
family and friends waving their adieus I could not but ponder upon
this instinct of the old-world races, my own among the rest, to go out
and seize life's prizes even across the widest waters. The
leave-taking I was now beholding must be not unlike that of the men
and women who in the days of Pilgrim and Puritan and Cavalier left
little England to found a community where freedom and opportunity are
still the loadstones which attract the energy and youth of all the
world.

[Illustration: HAUKELI SAETER.]

[Illustration: A GOAT HERD'S SAETER, HAUKELI FJELD.]

In traveling through Norway, I have been greatly surprised to see so
many newly-built farmhouses, barns and farm buildings, new fences and
modern gates. Everywhere the old and tumbled-down is being replaced by
the substantial and modern. I have seen nothing like this anywhere in
Europe; nowhere so general a replacing of the old with the new. Many
of the new farmhouses are not merely substantial, but are
architecturally attractive. There must be abundant money coming from
somewhere to pay the cost of this universal rebuilding. I have asked
about it more than once and every time I receive the same reply. "The
sons have gone to America, they are in Chicago, in Minnesota, in
Dakota. They have grown rich. They are sending back the money. They
want the old places made as trim and spick as though they were in
America." "Put everything in good repair," they say, "never mind the
cost." And then, every few years they return with the American
grandchildren to see the beloved old folks. More and more of these
American-Norwegians are coming every year to holiday in the
fatherland. Many now regularly sojourn throughout the summer. A few, a
very few, remain to end their days on the loved home-soil.

I also learn that it is to supply the demand of this increasing travel
from America to Norway that the Scandinavian-American line have
recently put on the large ocean steamers now sailing direct from New
York to Kristiansand, with accommodations equal to anything which has
hitherto entered the ports of Germany and England and France.

The other day at Loeken, we were waited on at table by a fine-looking
young woman who spoke perfect United States. She had an air about her
of comfortable independence. The house, the farm buildings, everything
about the place was new and neat. While we were talking with her, she
told us that she had a brother and an uncle in the far west, one at
Spokane, who was rich. She was living with him when word came that the
old father had passed away. She was needed at home to care for the
mother and the younger children, so she returned; and the brother sent
back the money to have the old place put in perfect repair.

This intimate connection between our thriving west and Norwegian home
life, largely explains, I think, that independent American spirit
which now so prominently marks Norway, and the growth and assertion of
which is driving her by natural momentum away from the hectoring ties
of franchise-constricted, aristocratic Sweden, pushing her toward
her inevitable destiny--to become a Republic.

[Illustration: DRYING OUT THE OATS.]

[Illustration: TENDING THE HERDS.]

The immigration from Norway to the United States has taken from her
nearly one-half the population, a much larger percentage than has yet
come forth from Sweden. Although even there, so great is now the
exodus, that the Swedish Ministry is alarmed; there is also uneasiness
in Norway. Recently, laws have been enacted prohibiting the steamship
agents from spreading among the people the glowing accounts of
America, by means of which so many steerage tickets are sold, but all
the same, the propaganda is persistently carried on. At Skogstad, the
other day, I fell in with an alert-looking, quiet-mannered man, who,
after he learned I was an American, confided to me that he himself was
from Minnesota. He had been born in Norway, but went to America when a
boy. He was now back in Norway representing large farming interests in
the Northwest, and his business was to recruit farm hands for the
western wheat fields. He said he had penetrated during the past three
years into every nook and cranny of Norway, everywhere finding out
what vigorous and sturdy young men would like to go to America, and
then arranging with them to pay their passage, and supply sufficient
funds to enable them to pass the immigration inspectors, and providing
also their railroad transportation to the west. "They are a splendid
and hard working lot of men," he said. "We want all of them we can
get. And most of them do well when they reach America; many of them
become rich men." He was traveling in the disguise of an itinerant
doctor selling herbs and roots.

Crossing the mountain this side of Boerte, where the road wound up
through the fir forest to avoid an immense cliff which jutted into the
lake, I stopped and dug up a little seedling fir, surely a real Norway
spruce. I took it up with care and have now brought it to Kristiania
and to-day am sending it to America by mail wrapped in damp mosses,
and trust that it will reach Kanawha with life enough to live and
thrive in its West Virginia home. Along the roadside, not far from
where I found the seedling, were lying a fine pair of _skjis_, just as
the wearer laid them aside, only to be worn when winter shall return.
The Norwegian does not need to lock his door!

Upon the mossy, marshy, moorland summits and divides which we have
traversed, I have noticed widespread beds of peat. In some places
these are extensively worked, large areas being uncovered and the
squares of peat piled up to dry. The existence of this fuel has proved
a godsend to Norway, for the forests are often distant and year by
year the woodlands diminish. Although there are some inferior coal
beds in southern Sweden, there are none in Norway, and for fuel her
peat beds and her forests are her sole domestic supply. And yet,
despite this lack of fuel, it seems to me that Norway is dowered with
enormous stores of power. She possesses water power without stint.
King Winter surely cannot freeze up all the streams. Will not the
day yet come when the harnessed water powers of Norway may run the
turbines which will supply the world?

[Illustration: DALEN ON THE BANDAKS VAND.]

It is yet early September; the belated summer of this far northern
land, to our strange eyes, is just begun. The meadows are green; the
fields of grain are scarcely yellowed; in the markets of Kristiania we
see daily exposed for sale fresh-ripened strawberries; in our
Virginian latitude it would be the season of the month of May. Yet we
see big stacks of firewood piled near each farmhouse door; we see the
cabin newly banked with earth against the frost; at blacksmith's shop
we see men hammering on well-used sled; alongside the road, awaiting
the winter's need, lies an upturned snowplow newly ironed; everywhere
men are making ready for the cold. In a fortnight the highway across
the Haukeli Fjeld will be blocked with new-fallen snow. In a month the
jingling bells of sleighs and sledges will sound along the now verdant
valley of the Baegna Elv.

A year ago, when traveling in Mexico, in southern Michoacan, the
tropical precipitancy of the night was sure to take me unawares. I was
never quite prepared for the sharp transition from day to night. The
hot red sun rested a moment above the towering Cordillera, then it
dipped behind, and the cold white stars instantly shone forth. Here in
Norway my senses are equally surprised. It is already September and
yet "early candle light," means near ten o'clock. The day dies slowly.
The contours of vale and mountain almost imperceptibly fade upon the
eye. A violet blueness softens form and hue. Little by little the
violet changes into gray, and then the grayness pervades the air as
though the shadow of some phantom raven's wing overspread the world.

At nine o'clock, at half past nine, at ten o'clock, the goats and
cattle are awake--we have made long day-drives by reason of the limits
to our time--I wonder if they ever sleep. The sparrows and gray-coated
crows fly soberly across our way; a magpie softly flutters to the
road. I hear no bird-songs, only faint twitters, no chirping crickets,
no piping frogs and newts, none of the evening sounds of my Virginian
countryside. A hush creeps over _dal_ and _fjeld_ and _fjord_, even as
do the mysterious violet and gray shadows. We ourselves are drowsed. I
do not speak to H nor she to me. To the ponies Ole Mon has ceased to
talk. The world is stilled. We draw long breaths, inhale the delicious
air, lean back against the cushions of our seat, and daydream amidst
this hush of man and thing. The old Norse driver of the Roldal
cautions H to watch. "This is the hour," he says, "when the elves and
pixies stir abroad. Count the fifth meadow from where you stand and
there they are always sure to be." Thus have we driven through the
twilight, the mysterious, lingering twilight of this far and almost
Arctic North.

This is the last letter you will receive from Norway and I am sure
that you will agree with me, after reading what I have sent you,
that nowhere in all the world may one have a more delightful outing.

[Illustration: NORSE WOMEN RAKING HAY.]

As to expenses, I figure it up that the total cost for both of us is a
little less than five dollars per day, which includes our carriage,
our driver, our eating, our sleeping and the liberal fees which, like
good Americans, we have everywhere bestowed. Here in Norway the _oere_
(two and one-half cents) is as big as the quarter, and the _kroner_
(twenty-seven cents) as big as the dollar.

How long the _oere_ will loom so large I dare not say, for the
American invasion is begun, and I fear the _kroner_ will soon be no
bigger than the dime.



XIV.

Kristiania to Stockholm--A Wedding Party--Differing Norsk and Swede.


    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, _September 12, 1902_.

We came over here night before last from Kristiania, by the night
train; by _sovevogn_ (sleep-wagon), the first I have tried in Europe.
We traveled first-class and had a compartment to ourselves. About
9 P. M. a porter came in at a way-station, put all our bags out in the
corridor, pulled out the round cushions at the back of the seats and
put them into the overhead racks; he then pulled out a linen cover
with which he overlaid the long seat, and unholed small, wee pillows
from a cavity at the end of each seat; the beds were made! Later,
another man informed me that we could have sheets at one _kroner_
(twenty-seven cents) each; but these we declined. Fortunately, we had
with us our heavy sea rugs. I put H into my long gray overcoat, did
her up in the blanket and rug, and tucked her big golf cape over her.
Then I put on my blanket smoking jacket, my slippers and cap, rolled
up in a blanket and rug, and so we slept comfortably on our narrow
seat-beds. There was no heat in the car, and only one toilet room for
both sexes! The night was cold and it was with difficulty we
managed to keep warm. Such is the modern European method of running a
sleeping car.

[Illustration: STOCKHOLM.]

The train we traveled in was crowded. In our car every compartment was
filled. There were two groups of travelers who interested us. The
first was a party of Americans, a petite elderly woman, keen, lively,
very much mistress of herself, evidently accustomed to command, and
with her two pretty black-eyed American girls, "pert," "sassy," and
used to receiving the homage of man! In their company were half a
dozen tall, blond-bearded, blue-eyed Viking youths, entirely willing
to be commanded and to render homage. They were all in uniform, a dark
blue cloth with red facings and a very little gold braid. The blue
eyes shot tender glances, we thought, the black ones defending against
Cupid's darts with great vivacity. Each young man presented an
enormous bouquet to the elderly woman, and one gave her a basket of
fruit--the girls got nothing, only the blue-eye-flashes. And how
eagerly the young men promised to call on the elderly woman, if ever
they should be so fortunate as to visit New York! And all the while
the two American belles laughed and smiled and smote yet deeper
through the dark blue uniforms. The departing train almost carried
away with us one fair-haired giant. All the military caps came off
with sweeping bows, while two handkerchiefs fluttered from the
windows.

The other group took us by storm and also captured the train. Before
we knew it, there was a surging crowd outside the car and the roar of
many Viking throats. And then into the compartment next to ours rushed
a pack of ladies, one of them all in white, with a sweet face half hid
in a pink satin bonnet. A little man with waxed moustache, curly black
hair, wearing a stovepipe hat, and clad in evening dress, followed
close behind. The women admitted him, as though by right, but no other
man was let inside. It was a wedding party. A wedding in high life. He
was a Professor at Upsala. She was one of Kristiania's fairest
daughters. They had been married in the Fru Kirke in the afternoon.
She had had a big reception at her home. The friends and guests were
now come down to the train to see them off. She was large and fair and
rosy, yet in her early twenties. He was small and weazen, shriveled
and swarthy. They called him "Herr Doctor," evidently recognizing his
eminent standing. Flowers and rice and a white satin slipper were
thrown into the window. There was tremendous hugging and kissing of
the bride by all the women,--I could not see that here the men had any
show,--and pandemonium still prevailed upon the station platform when
the train pulled out. Later in the night I was awakened by shouts and
then most glorious singing. I sat up with a start, the melody pulsing
through my brain. The Student Corps from the University of Upsala had
come down to the junction where the newly-wedded pair would change
cars, to welcome their Professor and his bride. They were singing a
mighty welcome. And it was such full-toned, full-voiced, perfect and
practiced singing by the hundreds of young men who seemed to be on
hand! I fell asleep as our train went on, the splendid harmony of the
well-trained voices filling me with dreams of realms not far away from
Paradise.

Next morning I was about dressed, and H was adjusting her skirt, when
the doors, which I thought securely locked, flew open and a burly
red-faced uniformed official thrust himself in. He came to take away
the pillow cases! He did not seem to think he in any way intruded;
privacy is not much respected this side the sea.

Our toilets were scarcely made when the train came to a stop in the
station at Stockholm. Indeed H was not yet quite ready, when another
official in uniform again burst open the door and began grabbing our
effects. To his astonishment he was forthwith ejected and the door
shut in his face. When we were finally dressed I went out and found
him waiting for us on the station platform. He was a licensed porter.

We were first obliged to fetch all our belongings to the Custom House,
where important-looking officials, in gray uniforms trimmed with red,
asked perfunctory questions and hurriedly passed us through--an
exercise of Swedish authority which seemed quite unnecessary since we
came direct from Norway under the same King. This done, our porter
then gathered up our bags and rugs, put them into a little
two-wheeled push cart and started out across the square. Here again I
came near meeting the fate of the tenderfoot. We did not know the
location of the Hotel Continental; I stepped up to a cabby and told
him we wanted to be taken to that hotel. A man in uniform gave me a
brass check with "No. 5" marked on it, pointing to a cab standing in a
long row which also bore a No. 5. I handed the brass check to No. 5
cabby, and was putting in my bag when our porter pointed to the
farther side of the square. There was our hostelry, not three hundred
feet away! I took out my bag from the carriage, in spite of protest,
and walked to the hotel. The driver claimed a fare of half a _kroner_
and raised a mighty clamor, but I vowed I would not give him an
_oere_. Thus you must have your eyes about you when you come to a city
you do not know.

The Continental is a fine hotel. The rooms are supplied with electric
lights and with telephones (good ones, not the imperfect London
system). We have a large front room, facing the Vasa Gatan, with
dressing room and ante-room, handsomely furnished, and as clean as
anything can be. We are fain to be content with the fourth story,
although we asked for the tenth, and a new modern elevator takes us up
and also down; all this costs only six _kroner_ a day ($1.62) for the
two of us. Our breakfasts are served in our room, two eggs each, a pot
of coffee, boiled milk and cream, a basket of rolls, fresh radishes,
cold tongue, cold veal, smoked goose breast, anchovies, cold smoked
salmon, cheese, each in a neat little dish by itself, and a big
round flat slab of slightly salted butter; all for one and a half
_kroner_ each, three _kroner_ for us two (eighty-one cents). You
receive much for your money here in Scandinavia.

[Illustration: KING'S PALACE, STOCKHOLM.]

The spirit of Stockholm, although intensely Scandinavian, is yet
widely different from that of either Copenhagen or Kristiania. It is a
difference, not so much to the eye, as to the feeling.

The city presents the same substantial and solid types of buildings,
there are the same high walls of stone and dark red brick, and
sharp-gabled roofs covered with heavy tiles, the same square towers,
the same spindly leanness to the steepled churches, and in the older
sections the narrow streets are paved from wall to wall with the same
big squares of granite. The people are mostly blue-eyed and
fair-haired like their kindred Danes and Norsks. But here the likeness
ends and you feel it the instant you pass out upon the street. I
missed at once that certain self-containment, based upon
unostentatious self-respect, which marks the Norsk, where no man knows
a lord but God, and manhood suffrage everywhere prevails. I missed
that composure of manner and self-assurance to the step, which lets
men look you calmly in the eye without offense, that spirit, which
takes for granted the perfect equality of man and man. I instantly
felt myself among men of another temper. The alert, frank,
self-respecting manner of the Norsk is lacking in the Swede. I found
myself again among a "lower class," who have no votes, and treat you
with sullen servility, and also among men with the swashbuckling
manners of military caste. Stockholm is full of young officers in
natty uniforms, who strut along the streets aping the braggart
insolence one meets among the soldier-bestridden Germans. The peasant
and townsman must also here step aside to let these Yunker soldiery
pass on. Militarism hangs heavy over Stockholm, where the scions of an
impecunious aristocracy think to find in dashing uniform and truculent
German manner a restoration of the noble military traditions of the
past.

The Norwegian looks out upon the Twentieth Century and finds his
inspiration in the example of free America and the universal equality
of man. The Swede looks ever backward to the glorious days of Gustavus
Vasa, Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII, and sighs for a return of the
good old times when the half of Europe trembled before Sweden's
military might. The lofty mountains and profound valleys, the savage
mystery of fathomless _fjords_, the wondrous immensity of the unknown
and illimitable sea, which fired the brain and pricked the energy of
the Norseman, and made him poet, pirate, explorer and conqueror
through a dozen successive centuries, were all unknown to the
practical-minded Swede. His monotonous forests, his sandy levels and
shallow gulfs, his pond-like and insignificant Baltic Sea, stirred no
fibre of his imagination; nor when he crossed those narrow waters
and set foot upon the flat and barren shores of Germanic and Slavic
Europe, was there anything in their sombre forests and limitless
plains and desolate marshes to arouse within him the fire of his soul.
War with the flaxen-haired savages, who swarmed upon these lands like
myriad wolves, was his only exercise. He sailed up the Gulf of Bothnia
till he entered the Arctic wastes where dwelt the Laps; he followed
the shores of the Gulf of Finland, and explored the river Neva and
Lake Ladoga and connecting streams, and even crossed to the waters of
the mighty Volga, and entered Asia by the Caspian Sea; he ascended the
lesser Russian rivers, and pitched fortified camps along their banks,
founding Revel and Riga and Novogorod, whence the Swedish Ruriks gave
to the Muskovites their earliest Czars. He ruled Finland and Esthonia
and Livonia and Courland, and even begat Sigismund, the Polish King.
For centuries he warred with and ruled these Slavic tribes until at
last, driven back to his narrow peninsula, the mainland knew him only
as defeated and expelled. A practical, unimaginative fighting man was
the Swede. He loved war for war's own sake, and when he had no longer
reason to war for conquest or defense, he clung to pike and sword as
permanent substitute for plow and seine, and hired himself to
bickering Slav and German and grew famous as a "Mercenary," who
spilled his blood for pay and the plunder of his master's foes. Thus
have the cousin peoples swung wide apart. The one, free and
open-minded; the other, still dazed by the faded glories of a long
dead past, turns ever a wistful eye toward the military tyrannies of
Czar and Kaiser, and finds in the inequalities of landed noble and
landless yokel, in official and military caste and enthralled
peasantry, the realization of his Fifteenth Century ideal.

[Illustration: A SWEDISH CHURCH.]

[Illustration: ANCIENT SWEDISH FORTRESS.]

Thus, as I have wended my way along the Vasa and Freds Gatans and
neighboring streets, toward the fine Gustaf Adolf Torg, the chief
public square, mixing among the jostling crowds, have I felt keenly
the variant atmospheres of these Norse and Swedish lands, differences
which finding their roots in the historical development of the kindred
peoples make their present union beneath a single flag and King both
artificial and constrained.

While on the surface and to the feeling there is apparently wide
divergence in political sentiment between the Norwegian and Swedish
peoples, yet there is in reality a closer and closer approachment
between them. The democratic notions prevailing in Norway already stir
the pulse of the Swedish peasantry and working classes--the classes
which in Sweden have no votes. Already has the demand for universal
suffrage been raised in Sweden, and sentiment inimical to aristocracy,
yunkerdom and privilege, grows continually more aggressive. An
intelligent and aristocratic Swede with whom I have discussed this
question to-day, admits this rising tide of democracy, and admits,
also, though ruefully, that not until universal suffrage shall become
established in Sweden will it be possible to come to that
understanding with the Norwegian people on which may be founded a
lasting and united Scandinavian State. Thus in Sweden itself, I hear
uttered sentiments very nearly akin to those which caught my ear when
in Copenhagen: the possibility, nay, probability, of a common
Scandinavian Union, when the peoples of Denmark and Norway and Sweden
shall federate, and the obsolete system of kingship and privilege
shall be set aside.

[Illustration: A BAND OF SWEDISH HORSES.]



XV.

Stockholm the Venice of the North--Life and Color of the Swedish
Capital--Manners of the People and their King.


    STOCKHOLM,  _September 13, 1902_.

While wandering about the city I have not taken a guide. A guide or a
courier is to me always a very last resort, but I have followed the
movement of the crowd, and enjoyed the being lost in it, immersed in
it, becoming one with it, while yet so separate. I could not read the
signs, nor understand the speech. I could only see. My vision became
my one guiding sense. My eyes became abnormally alert. Color and form
and action,--I caught them all. And what I saw, my mind held fast.
Thus I wandered on through many quaint and ancient _Gatans_ (streets)
past _Plats_ and _Torgs_ (open squares), and over _Bros_ (bridges),
and yet I felt secure and well assured that, returning, I should find
my way safely back. I knew each corner of a street, each square, each
unusual sign, each building of strange design, even as at home I have
often wandered alone among the wild mountains and forests with nothing
for a guide but my eyes, the sun, and my knowledge of moss and tree.
Thus has my early training always served me well in foreign lands
and cities, where speech was strange, and I myself unknowing and
unknown.

[Illustration: THE SHORE OF LAKE MAELAREN, STOCKHOLM.]

My first quest was a bookstore, a map, and an English or French or
German-worded guide book, which would tell me of what I saw. By great
good luck, I happened immediately upon the object of my search. I saw
a window holding maps. I entered a small shop, and found it the
"Bureau" of the "National Tourists' Union," with German spoken
perfectly. This bureau is maintained by the enterprising citizens of
Stockholm, and for most moderate cost gives information to tourists,
and publishes a series of fine maps, showing every road and lake and
mountain and town and inn in Sweden. I bought a set of the maps and
one in particular of the city. Thus fortified I was now perfectly
equipped.

Our few days' sojourn in Stockholm has taught me to like the Swede,
although he is quite lacking in the hearty frankness of the Norsk.
Stockholm has always been a spot where men have congregated, and has
been a city known as such these last eight centuries, ever since
Birger Jarl made it the seat of his pirate power. It holds the passage
between the lakes Maelaren, which stretch far inland and now form the
eastern section of the great Gotta system of canals reaching across
Sweden to the Kattegat and Atlantic Ocean, and the deeply indented
waters of the Baltic Sea, thus being a natural place of rendezvous and
commerce; it was a place easy of access before men had roads and
mostly traveled by boats. Here the Kings of Sweden have always set
their capital, and the history of Stockholm is the history of the
Swede himself.

In past ages, disorders and massacres and open murders have drenched
with blood her streets and her great public squares, and Stockholm's
dungeons have their tales of horror and wickedness to tell. She was
cruel and turbulent when Sweden herself was harsh and savage, she is
now equally serene and contented under the liberal rule of enlightened
King Oscar II, and is become one of the best-ordered and most
beautiful cities of the world. By reason of the many islands within
her limits, she is called the "Venice of the North," and by reason of
her cleanliness, the substantial character of her modern buildings,
and the efficiency of her municipal government she is termed the
"Edinburgh of the Baltic." Stockholm is more scientifically advanced,
and more modernly wide-awake than are the German and English cities of
to-day. She has a fine and bountiful water supply, an elaborate and
efficient telephone system, and is probably more thoroughly and
effectively illuminated by electricity than any city in Europe. The
older quarters of the city are well paved and scrupulously clean; in
the newer sections are blocks of stately buildings of modern design,
and wide boulevards and avenues paved with asphalt and squares of
stone. Her public buildings, her numerous _Plats_ and _Torgs_ and
lovely parks are all exquisitely kept.

We spent one delightful morning crossing the wide stone bridge of
Norrbro, and viewing the Royal Palace, the State Apartments, and
Royal Library, and the fine old church of Riddarsholm, which is the
Westminster Abbey of Sweden, her Pantheon, where lie entombed the
bones of Gustavus Adolphus and the ashes of Charles XII, and members
of the House of Vasa, along with other illustrious Swedes. The old
church is of red brick, topped by a curious wrought-iron steeple, and
is the shrine to which come all patriotic Swedes, there to contemplate
the departed glories of their fatherland.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL OF RIDDARSHOLM.]

Of an afternoon, we visited the famous Djurgaard (deer park) and then
went on to the park called Skansen, where are gathered a most
interesting collection illustrative of the ancient Swedish way of
living, as well as examples of the ancient industries, exemplified by
charming lively peasant girls clad in their divers Provincial
costumes. We then also climbed the tower set upon the hill, whence
spread out before us a superb vista of the city and its many islands
and surrounding waters, and wide-sweeping woods and forests. We also
crossed among the islands upon dapper electric launches which ferry
between, and then came back to dine in a fashionable restaurant under
the Grand Hotel near the quay, where were small tables, and where sat
men in dress coats and handsome women in evening dress--generally
high-necked--and we were given fresh strawberries--this September
13th--and savory mutton chops and fresh-grown peas, and fruits and
ices.

The streets at all hours of the day and evening were astir and gay.
The many officers in blue and gray uniforms, patterned after the
German styles, the Dalecarlian girls in their picturesque bright
barred aprons and braided hair, carrying packages and bundles--the
messenger boys of the North--the blue-eyed and yellow-haired men and
women neatly and soberly clad, and the absence of all beggars--we did
not come across a single one,--the multitude of boats, great and
small, constantly moving rapidly up and down and across the many lanes
of water, all these gave animation to the city.

The streets of Stockholm are filled with women, more like the German
towns, while, just as there, scores of sturdy men stand idly around
decked out in soldier's uniform. Rosy-cheeked young women wait upon
you in the restaurants; women armed with big brooms sweep at the
crossings; women come in from the country driving carts loaded with
produce of the farm; and women also largely "man" the small boats that
ply along the waters between the islands. Woman is here as greatly in
evidence as she is in Boston, but of a huskier, heartier type.

Visiting the markets, I found a great profusion of strawberries,
whortleberries, blueberries and others I did not know, and withal,
most of the vegetables my Kanawha garden would yield in June. These
fruits of tree and soil are brought into the city by chunky native
horses hitched to little two-wheeled carts, which horses, when they
reach their destination, are securely halted by a strap or line
passed around their two fore fetlocks, tying the feet tight together,
a treatment an American horse would scarcely endure.

[Illustration: NORRBRO, STOCKHOLM.]

Another day H and I wandered across the Norrbro and beyond the Palace
and down near the Storkyrko Brink, and discovered a curious little
coffeehouse, tucked away up a flight of creaking stairs, in an ancient
building which seemed to be a counting-house below and offices above.
Here were set against the walls little mahogany tables holding three
and four, where plates were laid without a cloth, and ale and beer
were served in tall pewter mugs. We called for the foaming brown brew
and asked for _roed spoette_, our old Danish joy, and lunched
delightfully. The room was filled with big, burly, red-cheeked men,
merchants and sea captains, H thought, from what bits of conversation
she could pick up. A most substantial company they were, who evidently
came here to strike weighty bargains as well as to eat and drink and
smoke. We were doubtless lunching in a well-known and most ancient
rendezvous, much like the historic grill room I discovered in London,
called "Toms," where Dickens' and Mr. Pickwick's chairs are shown to
the visitor, and the waiter will inform you on just what sort of
kidney broil and roasted sausage each made his daily meal.

Stockholm divides with Copenhagen the honors of being the metropolis
of the Scandinavian world, boldly asserting her superiority over
Kristiania, for she is the larger city. She is easily first in Sweden
in all save scholarship and learning--in that, Upsala, the Cornell
and Harvard of the North, holds unrivaled lead.

The fine stores and shops, along such streets as the Dronning Gatan
and Regerings Gatan and adjacent thoroughfares, H declares quite equal
to those of Copenhagen; while in an ancient and narrow alleyway she
discovered a perfect mint of embroideries and linens, articles of
feminine apparel which rejoice her heart.

On our last evening we attended the Royal Opera, occupying a box quite
to ourselves, where we heard good singing and well-rendered music by
the Royal Band, beheld a fashionably-dressed and intelligent-looking
audience, and were stared at by old King Oscar who sat rigid in his
box, and glared at us with a mighty black opera-glass until he had
studied each feature of the stranger guests, and by his persistence
thereby directed upon us the curiosity of every other pair of opera
glasses in the house. The example of the King was quite in accordance
with Continental custom, where the glare of opera-glasses is
astonishingly bold. Nor does the impudent stare stop at that, but in
Stockholm, just as in Paris and Berlin, between the acts very many of
the men rise up, put on their hats, turn their backs to the stage, and
deliberately focus their glasses upon the faces of every attractive
woman in the theater, no matter how near she may be, nor how annoying
this treatment may appear; and often two or three young men will then
compare notes, and unite in a common stare, bold and insolent. To
avoid this unpleasant ordeal, ladies very generally rise from their
seats, leave the theater and promenade in the foyers until the curtain
rises and the impudent glasses are put down.

We have secured tickets and berths for the voyage to St. Petersburg
across the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. We sail to-night, and are
to arrive on Tuesday morning, a voyage of three nights and two days, a
distance of six hundred miles.

We have now visited the three capitals of Scandinavia, Copenhagen,
Kristiania and Stockholm, and have spent a month among these kindred
peoples.

While I had learned in America to esteem the vigor, the intelligence
and the worth of our Scandinavian immigration, no finer race
contributing to the citizenship of the Republic, yet it has been only
when I have met the Dane and Norsk and Swede upon their native soil,
and beheld their noble cities, so alert and clean and modern, and
traversed their hills and valleys, and climbed their mountain heights
and floated upon their _fjords_, that I have learned fitly to admire
and appreciate the grandeur and greatness of Scandinavia.



XVI.

How We Entered Russia--The Passport System--Difficult to Get Into
Russia and More Difficult to Get Out.


    ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, _September 16, 1902_.

It is not easy to get into Russia; it is yet more difficult to get
out.

Before leaving the United States, I had taken due precautions and
secured a passport from the State Department, signed by Secretary Hay,
with the Great Seal of the United States upon it. In that passport I
was described. I had also provided myself with a special letter from
the State Department, in which all consuls and officials of the United
States in foreign lands had been bidden to pay particular heed to my
welfare, for I was vouched for as a worthy and respected citizen of
the Republic.

I presumed that, armed with these credentials, I should find all doors
and gateways open to my passage. I assumed that the autocracy of the
Russian Empire would be delighted to welcome a citizen of the great
Republic, so well accredited. Imagine my surprise, when I presented
myself at the ticket office of the Russian steamship line, by which we
would travel to St. Petersburg, and was refused a ticket because I
did not then have my passport in hand, so that the ticket-seller might
duly scrutinize it! An hour later, when I again presented myself with
the passport and laid down the coin, I was a second time refused. The
passport had not been certified by the American Minister in Stockholm,
our port of departure, nor had it been _viséed_ by the Russian Consul
General of the port.

I immediately drove to the American Ministry, a mile away, where the
Swedish clerk endorsed my passport as being genuine, and gave me a
note to the Russian official. A drive of another mile brought me to a
tall stone building, above the door of which reposed the Imperial
Eagle. Ascending two flights of stairs, I was shown into a small
ante-room, and, after waiting some time, was ushered into a large,
well-lighted chamber, where a big, round-headed, bearded man, in
Russian uniform, sat at a long table. He was writing. He did not deign
to look up. After standing some moments before this important
personage, I called his attention in my best French, to the fact that
I was there. Still he made no reply, but kept on writing. I noticed
that he was nearly to the bottom of the page; when he had finished it,
he looked up and inquired in German what I wanted. I replied in German
that I called upon him to have my passport _viséed_, and handed him
the document and the note. He read the latter and looked at the
former, but the description of my person was in English and he was
evidently stumped. He gazed at me and the paper, took up a metal
stamp, pressed it on an ink pad, made on the passport the imprint of
some Russian characters, signed his name to them, and advised me that
I was his debtor to the extent of twenty _kroners_ (about five
dollars). He then turned again to his writing.

I had thus spent three hours in driving about the city, visiting these
officials, and now hurried to the steamship office, where on
presenting my passport duly _viséed_, I at last obtained the tickets.
Upon boarding the ship, at a later hour, we were notified to call at
the Captain's office and surrender our passports, which were then once
more verified, along with our tickets, before we cast off from the
pier.

We left Stockholm about eight o'clock in the evening. We were a party
of four,--H and myself, and the two delightful friends whom we met
that day at Maristuen, at the head of the Laera Dal, in Norway. The
suggestions then first made had ripened into a definite plan, and we
agreed to join forces for our journey through Russia. Our friends were
Mr. and Mrs. Condit, of Chicago, and we found their ready western wit
and genial fellowship on more than one occasion of most signal aid.

We crossed the Baltic Sea in the night, and touched at the Russian
port of Hangoe, in Finland, early Sunday morning. Here I noticed a
messenger in uniform leave the ship bearing a long iron box heavily
padlocked, and was informed that this box contained the passports of
the passengers, which he was to take to St. Petersburg by a special
Imperial train that would put him there in twenty-three hours, when
the passports would be immediately filed with the police department,
verified, recorded and given to certain other officials who would meet
our ship on its arrival at the mouth of the river Neva on Tuesday
morning, and who would examine and scrutinize us and then return them
to us. If in the meantime, we should happen to change our minds and
want to remain a few days in Finland, say at Helsingfors, we would be
liable to arrest for not having our passports now gone to St.
Petersburg. We might not change our minds or alter our itinerary. It
was now St. Petersburg or jail.

The twilight was just fading into night when we cast off from the pier
and slowly made our way among the islands. The sail down the narrow
channel to the sea was in the light of the full moon. The myriad
electric lights of the city were blazing behind us. We passed the
black hulls of many vessels anchored in the harbor, and in turn were
passed by scores of little boats, with a big light on the foremast,
which were scurrying about carrying passengers between the islands.
Along the wooded shores were villas and country-seats, and ever and
anon, there seemed to be open clearings and farms, and then we came
into the blackness of wide waters. We were out upon the Baltic Sea.

In the morning we were among more islands; the Aaland Archipelago; we
had had only two hours of the open sea. The sun was behind a mass of
scudding clouds, gray and threatening; and great banks of blacker
clouds were rolling up from the south. A gale was blowing--a furious
gale--which drove the waters and whirling foam wherever open space
allowed. The wind was bitterly cold, and grew ever colder, while
higher and higher rose the tempest. We were in great danger, although
at the time I did not know it.

The steering of the Swedish pilots was skillful, and the little ship
obeyed the helm perfectly, swinging round sharp points, and traversing
narrow channels where, even in quiet waters, it is dangerous to
navigate.

About noon we slipped in between two rocky islets, scarcely a
cable-tow's length apart, rising only a few feet above the level of
the sea, and turning sharp to port came into the rock-bound harbor of
Hangoe, a town of Finland, whence the railway goes on to Helsingfors
and St. Petersburg.

The gale now grew into a tornado with deluges of rain, a storm so
fierce that, until it should subside, the Captain refused to leave the
protection of the port.

Thus we lay-to at Hangoe until the dawn of the following day, when we
cast off from the long pier and plunged once more among the islands of
the Archipelago. Hundreds of islands there were, barren and
uninhabited, the big ones covered with dwarf birches, a few stunted
pines and firs, the lesser islets thick with tangled grasses, or more
often bare of all except lichens and gray moss, the vegetation of a
desolate, wintry latitude.

[Illustration: FACING THE GALE.]

The wind was now somewhat abated, but not so the sea. It was angry,
stirred to its depths. It was a bad day for a landsman,--a bad day
even for an old salt. Two stalwart seamen stood ever at the wheel in
addition to the pilot and our Captain, and it took all their combined
strength and skill to save us from certain wreck. The conflicting
currents churned and swirled with maelstrom violence, while we crept
steadily on among the shoals and sunken bars and hidden reefs.

It was long past noon when we swung round a bold rocky point, and saw
before us Finland's capital, Helsingfors. The city surrounds the
harbor much like a crescent. On either horn, granite promontories jut
out into the sea, where are fortifications, one of them the formidable
fortress of Sveaborg, where we could see brown-coated Cossacks
gathered in large numbers watching our entrance to the port. A great
garrison there seemed to be, and everywhere floated the Russian
flag,--parallel stripes of white, blue and red. Russian troops not
merely man all these fortifications, but there are also soldiers
within the city itself, and more are quartered in every village of
consequence in Finland. The ancient Senate and House of Chevaliers are
no longer permitted to enact the laws. A Russian Governor-General
issues his Ukases, which the Russian bayonets are here savagely to
enforce. All this you already know, but it comes vividly upon one when
you see the Cossack, clad in his long kaftan-like military coat,
everywhere about you visible evidence of how harshly Finland has been
stripped of her rights and liberties.

Helsingfors astonished us. Lying upon a rising slope, it presents an
imposing outline from the sea. It is a city of ninety-six thousand
people. We were not prepared for so large and substantial a city. It
has well-kept parks, well-paved streets, frequently asphalted as in
Stockholm, and blocks of big granite buildings five and six stories
high; the city is clean, and the streets are alive with well-dressed,
rosy-cheeked, vigorous people. Everywhere there are electric tram-cars
and electric lights, and on the broad thoroughfares are large and
handsome shops. It is evident that in the Finnish hinterlands there is
an extensive and well-to-do population.

Our ship was to lie at her pier for several hours, and the passengers
were told that they might safely visit the town; if arrested for not
having passports, we might refer to the Captain of the ship. So we
wandered up along the quays, following a wide boulevard. Everywhere on
the sidewalks and driving through the streets were Russian officials
in their long gray coats and flat black caps; there were also many
soldiers upon the streets.

Finland was once a province of Sweden, and the Teutonic Swedish
language is yet that of the educated classes, who are chiefly of
Swedish descent. In the country, however, and among the working
classes, there remains the original population of primitive Finnish
race, "The old Finns," cousins to the Hungarians, and these have a
Turanian language of their own. They have accepted for centuries the
Swedish rule and fraternized with the Swedish leaders, but have held
to their ancient tongue. Now is also the Slavonic Russian speech, by
Ukase, commanded to be the language of the schools, of the courts and
of the government. Thus the Finlander must be acquainted with three
fundamentally different tongues, and all of the streets of Helsingfors
are named in the three languages on the same placard. The Russian name
is in Greek text, then in Latin text the Swedish name, and under that
the native Finnish name; thus there is much babel of tongues in
Helsingfors, while all the Finlanders bitterly resent the brutal
attempt to substitute the Russian for their own.

[Illustration: FISHING BOATS ALONG THE QUAY, HELSINGFORS.]

[Illustration: THE PIER, HELSINGFORS.]

Finland has, also, heretofore been privileged to coin her own
money,--but now the Russian _ruble_ is supreme. We had boarded a
tram-car, as modern and comfortable as those of New York, and were
whirling along the boulevard, when we tendered the conductor our fare
in Russian coin (we had provided ourselves with "_kopeeks_" and
_rubles_ before leaving Stockholm), but he declined to take the money.
He was about to stop the car and put us off, when a courtly-mannered
Finn, addressing the passengers as well as the conductor, explained
that, under the present laws, Russian money must be taken when
tendered, and that we were entitled to ride,--so H tells me, who
understood his speech, so much is it like the Danish. But the
conductor, patriot that he was, refused to touch the _ruble_ I
offered him, preferring to let us ride without making charge. If I had
been able to do so, I would have explained to our fellow-passengers
that I intended no insult, and would thus probably have restored
myself to their confidence. As it was they glowered at me as a friend
of hated Russia.

We visited the splendid Parliament buildings, where the Finnish Senate
and House of Chevaliers have been wont to meet,--now closed forever by
the Ukase of the Czar. I understand, also, that the Finnish judges
have recently been deposed from the courts, and Russians appointed in
their stead; and we were told by a friendly Finn that so completely
are the people terrorized, that no patriot dare give open evidence of
opposition to the Russian rule. One may only detect it by the sullen,
disquieted faces of the people one meets upon the streets. In the dour
glances cast at the Russian officials I saw everywhere expression of
hatred and revenge.[1]

[Footnote 1: The reverses of the Japanese War, the assassination of
Governor Bobrikoff and threat of revolution have at last frightened
the Russian Autocracy into partially restoring to Finland her pillaged
liberties.]

It was middle afternoon when we set sail again. No other vessel dared
leave the port, but our Captain, being anxious to reach St.
Petersburg, decided to venture on the voyage. As soon as we emerged
from the protecting barriers of the islands at the harbor's mouth, we
came into open waters. A furious sea was running and the ship rolled
heavily. She plunged and reared and pitched, until most of the
passengers were driven to their staterooms,--indeed, so mad was now
the sea that we were told there would be no more hot coffee and hot
steak, since the cooks in the kitchen could not keep their legs, nor
could dishes be set upon the tipping tables. Those who were able to
eat might get a snack from the steward, who would hand it out--cold
fish and cheese at that. The boat rolled until her gunwales were
awash, and frequently the roaring waters swept across the decks.
Although it was a wild and dangerous night, yet the clouds were
parting and the stars were out. No grander panorama of the sea have I
looked upon than these mighty foam-capped billows--greater even than
our ship,--between which we hid, and on the summits of which we
climbed,--the angry, pitch-black waters, the star-lit firmament, and
the serene moon shining with fullest splendor.

[Illustration: THE DOEBLN AT HER PIER, HELSINGFORS.]

[Illustration: MARKET SQUARE, HELSINGFORS.]

At dawn on Tuesday morning, we passed the great naval fortification of
Kronstadt, and three hours later, after threading our way among
fishing boats, were entering the canal which leads from the gulf of
Finland to the river Neva and the city of St. Petersburg.

South and east of us, behind low shores, the land stretched away green
and flat as far as the eye could see, an apparently indefinitely
extending plain. Only the glint of a gilded oriental dome, the bulbous
cupola of a Russian village church, lightened here and there the green
monotony. Then far to the east we saw not one but many domes
glittering and flashing in the light of the lifting sun--the gilded
towers of the cathedrals and churches of the city of St.
Petersburg--then we saw a tangle of tall chimneys, then ships and
barks and schooners and enormous barges from Lake Ladoga, and immense
docks on either side. We were upon the river Neva. We were come to the
city of "Petersborg," the splendid capital of the Russian Czars.

Just as we were entering the canal, a steam-tug came up alongside us
and a company of government officials in long gray coats climbed on
board. They were the customs inspectors and officers of the police
department. The two chief officials seated themselves at a long table.
An officer of the ship directed the passengers to form in a queue, and
one by one we appeared before the official examiner, while the Captain
called off our names, reading the list from a little book. When my
name was announced a clerk handed one of the officials a passport. It
was numbered--my name was upon it--it had been received in St.
Petersburg from the messenger who left Hangoe Sunday morning;--it had
been filed with the police department; it had been _viséed_; it had
been translated into Russian, and the official now read over the
description to his assistants;--I was scrutinized,--the passport was
found correct--the officials so endorsed it and handed it to me. The
passenger immediately behind me, seemingly, did not correspond with
his passport, and was directed to stand to one side. There were a
number of these, who were to have a difficult time with the
authorities. Our baggage was also examined, but not closely. With the
Russian official the main thing is the passport, not the baggage.

[Illustration: A WILD SEA--LEAVING HELSINGFORS.]

[Illustration: FISHING BOATS, MOUTH OF RIVER NEVA.]

We were now arrived at the pier and were ready to go ashore. Two
sailors carried our small steamer trunk upon the wharf, and we were in
St. Petersburg. Instantly we were surrounded by a howling mob of
bearded, blond-headed, dressing-gown-coated men, clamoring for our
fares. They were _izvostchiks_ in their native _kaftans_. I beckoned
to one of them, and pointed to our trunk. He lifted it to his shoulder
and led us to his _droschky_,--a diminutive open vehicle, much like a
small sledge on wheels. We entered it and in a moment were galloping
through the streets of the city, the driver constantly shouting to his
horse and yelling to all foot-farers to get out of the way. I gave him
the name of our destination, Hotel de l'Europe. He seemed to
comprehend my meaning, and never drew rein until we stopped before the
imposing entrance of that hostelry.

We were in Russia. We had run the gauntlet of the border,--our
passports had been sufficient, and we were at last safely within the
dominions of the Czar. Would it be as difficult to get out?



XVII.

St. Petersburg--The Great Wealth of the Few--The Bitter Poverty of the
Many--Conditions Similar to Those Preceding the French Revolution.[2]

[Footnote 2: These letters were written in the early autumn of the
year, 1902, and present a glimpse of Russia as it then appeared.]


    GRAND HOTEL DE L'EUROPE,
    ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA,
    _September 18 (N. S.), 1902_.

So much has been jammed into the last two days that my pen is like to
burst. Splendor and squalor, the glitter of twentieth century
civilization, the sombre shadow of barbarism, are here entwined in
inextricable comminglement. The city is filled with stately buildings
of gigantic and imposing dimensions; with wide, straight boulevards
and streets. The sidewalks and _droschkies_ are gay with the dashing
and gaudy uniforms of innumerable soldiery, and the fine dresses of
elegant women. Yet many of these great buildings are in ill repair,
and what you at first imagine to be magnificent stone, reveals itself
to be a stucco of rotting wood and crumbling plaster; the broad
thoroughfares are abominably paved, and pitifully cared for by abject
wretches wielding dilapidated birch-stick brooms.

[Illustration: ENTERING THE NEVA.]

[Illustration: ALONG THE NEVA.]

The superb horses--stallions, all of them--whirl past, driven
by _izvostchiks_ in dirty, truncated plug-hats and blue
dressing-gown-like _kaftans_, whose sodden faces tell of _vodka_ and
hopeless haplessness. Beggars swarm (frightful creatures), and the
faces of the officers, fine big men in striking uniforms, are
dissipated, hard and cruel.

We are in a huge hotel. Big men in uniform open the door; big men in
livery fill the halls; the rooms are big, ours is immense, with double
windows, It is steam-heated, and also has hearth fires of burning
wood. The building is warmed all through, even the halls. There are
French waiters in the big dining-rooms; there is delicious food and
delightful coffee, whose aroma is very perfume of the Orient; the
beefsteaks are juicy, thick and tender. We have had no such meals
since leaving America. On each story there is an elaborate bar for
serving _vodka_ (a fierce white whisky distilled from wheat) and
drinks to the guests of that particular floor, and a single bath room,
and a single diminutive toilet for both sexes' common use.

The moment we set foot within the doorway of the hotel, up stepped an
official, in blue and gold, and demanded our passports, and we were
requested also to sign a paper like the one enclosed, viz.:


    NOTICE TO THE POLICE.

    Family and Christian               WHERE IS YOUR PASSPORT?
      Name:                            Signature:
    Profession:                        Please order your passport
    Age:                                 two days before leaving
    Confession:                          Russia.
    Arrived from ..........


This to be at once filed with the police department, and the passport
not to be given back until we should notify the same big
official,--whose duty it was to stay right there and watch all guests
of that hotel, and who must be notified twenty-four hours before we
leave the city,--when he will return the passport two hours before the
said time set, and give it to me only upon my paying him the
government fee of ten _rubles_ (five dollars) in good yellow gold.[3]
And right outside the door of our apartments, seated at a little
table, are two officials, pen and paper in hand, who set down the hour
and the minute of the day we enter and come out. They were there when
we went to breakfast; they, or others as fox-jowled and lynx-eyed,
were also there when we returned from the theater late at night, and
they are there all through the day. Our Swedish guide, who does the
duties of courier and shows us about the great city, is also
registered at the police department, and he has to hand in every night
a written report of what he has done with us all through the day,
where we have gone, what we have seen, and we suspect even what we may
have said. On the streets, big sword-begirded policemen stand at the
intersections of the ways, pull out a little book from their pockets
and make note of our passing that particular spot at that certain
hour; at night these reports also are handed in to the central police
office to be checked up against the statements of the guide and the
spies at the hotel.

[Footnote 3: I have subsequently learned that the legal fee is about
three _rubles_ ($1.50), the charge of ten _rubles_ being impudent
graft.]

[Illustration: ALONG THE NEVSKY-PROSPEKT.]

[Illustration: OUR DROSCHKY, ST. PETERSBURG.]

We are in the capital city of the mighty Russian Empire; in the
capital created by Peter the Great amidst and upon the marshy delta of
the river Neva; a city of more than a million inhabitants; a city
spread out over vast distances; a city whose disproportionately wide
streets and boulevards are paved with wood, wood that is rotting all
the while, leaving big holes into which a horse, a team, may plunge
and disappear, because only wood will float upon the marshy mire of
the mucky islets, and stone and brick will eventually sink from sight;
a city whose top-heavy palaces and public edifices are so
treacherously set upon the sands that they must constantly undergo
costly repairs; a city builded upon foundations so unstable that the
springtime floods of the river Neva ever threaten permanently to wipe
out its very existence; a city where the palaces of the always
widening circle of the Imperial princes of the blood, and of the upper
nobility, and of the great bureaucratic chiefs, are builded with an
arrogance of dimension, an elaborateness of design, a lavishness of
cost that beats anything an American billionaire has ever tried to do,
or dreamed of doing in San Francisco or New York; and yet a city
abounding in the mean, small, log and wooden cabins of the very poor;
a city where penury and poverty and dire pinch protrude their squalid
presence in continual tragic protest against the flaunted and wanton
riot of unmeasured wealth, possessed by the very few.

This morning as I walked upon the Nevsky Prospekt, the Broadway of the
Imperial capital, and watched the movement of mankind along the way,
and beheld the extraordinary contrasts between those who walked and
those who rode; as I saw the burly policeman arrest the shabby
foot-farer for nearly being run down, while he let the haughty grandee
drive freely on; as I beheld poverty and wealth in such flagrant
contrast, and realized that a standing army is kept ever armed and
girt to protect and uphold the privilege and security of the rich; as
I beheld the surly, sour, sombre faces of those who wore no gaudy
covering of broadcloth and gold lace, my fancy harked back to the
time, somewhat more than a century ago, when the King and Nobles of
France drove through the Rues of Paris in all their glittering
splendor, trampling down in their pride of power the pedestrian who
failed to escape from their sudden approach. How secure they felt in
their arrogant enjoyment of prerogative and rank! How contemptuously
they disdained the humble claims of the glitter-proletarian, of the
peasant on the land! Louis XIV had cried "_L'etat c'est moi._" Was
that not enough! And yet, I had stood in the Place de la Concorde,
almost on the very spot where, inspired by the hatred of the
Sansculottes, Mademoiselle La Guillotine had bit off the dull head of
Louis XVI, and cut through the fair throat of Marie Antoinette.

It may be possible for Russia and her governing men, her Bureaucratic
Autocracy, yet a little while to postpone the fateful hour. By means
of foreign wars it may be possible to play the old game of diverting
the public mind from its own bitter ills; by promises of fair and
liberal dealing it may be possible to calm the public mind--cajole it
until the promises are duly broken, as is invariably the case.
Whatever fair-speaking and fat-feeding officialdom may to the contrary
assert, the impression I gain amidst all this splendor and pomp and
glare of supreme, concentered power of the few is that, beneath this
opulent exterior, deep down in the hearts and even below the conscious
working of their minds, there to-day abides among the masses of the
Russian people--who after all hold in their hands the final power--a
profound and monstrous discontent: a discontent so deep-rooted and so
intense that when the inevitable hour strikes, as strike it must, the
world will then behold in Russia a saturnalia of blood and tears, a
squaring of ten centuries' accounts, more fraught with human anguish
and human joy than ever dreamed a Marat and a Robespierre, more
direful and more glad than yet mankind have known.

We drove about the city like grandees. Our _landau_ was just such as
Russian nobles like best to use; our splendid pair of sorrel stallions
pranced upon their heels and neighed and ran just as all nobles'
horses should; and our well-distended driver, of enormous and
deftly-padded girth, sat belted with a big embroidered band, and
guided the horses he never dreamed to hold, and helloed loudly to
those who did not fly out of the way, just as would any driver of the
Blood! We almost ran over some slow-moving man or woman, foot-weary
wretch, at every crossing of a street!

Many palaces and public buildings we visited--enormous edifices, all
of them, with innumerable and extensive halls and immense chambers
finished in gold and alabaster and gaudy hues, with countless servants
and lackeys in livery and lace, gold lace, to care for them, and watch
over them, and fatten upon a government graft or easy-gotten fee.
Suites of enormous apartments they were, which are never used and
never are likely to be used.

The paintings of the great masters collected in the galleries of the
Hermitage and Winter Palaces, accumulated by the Czars, are among the
most renowned in Europe. The reception halls and audience chambers and
ballrooms and dining halls of these palaces are designed and intended
to dazzle and impress whosoever are given the chance of beholding
them. At the same time, the library and study of the late Czar,
Alexander III, is a small and plainly furnished room, with the
atmosphere and markings of a man of simple tastes, who laboriously
worked, worked as no other official of the Bureaucracy in Russia
pretends to work.

[Illustration: OUR SQUEALING STALLIONS.]

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF KAZAN.]

We traversed the suites of apartments used by the Imperial family,
when sojourning in St. Petersburg during those portions of the winter
season when the court there gathers, and we noted the outer guardrooms
where night and day stand the faithful watchers with sleepless vigil,
and we realized, perhaps for the first time, that this man, so steeped
in power, is after all but a prisoner of the system which locks him in
and binds him fast and robs him of that independence of action which
you and I enjoy. He is become but a creature of the great machine that
governs, a slave of the system which Peter the Great set up for the
furtherance of his Imperial will, a system of government which has so
developed and spread out that to-day the Czar of all the Russias is
merely the puppet of its will, the tool of the greedy, grasping,
intriguing, governing Bureaucracy.

On approaching the city, our straining eyes first caught sight of the
gilded, glittering domes and spires of the great cathedrals and
churches with which it is so abundantly supplied. The domes of St.
Isaac, of our Lady of Kazan, of Alexander Nevsky, and the spires of
St. Peter and St. Paul, each and all told us that whatever else we
might discover, we were yet entering a city and a land where the
people counted not the cost of the splendid housing of their faith.
And so we have found it. The wealth of gold and of silver, of precious
stones and of priceless stuffs with which these churches are adorned
and crammed, excels anything of which the western brain has ever
dreamed. Each great church is famed and honored for its particular
beneficence, its peculiar holiness, and to each one comes in
procession perpetual an innumerable throng to pray and worship and to
receive the blessings flowing from that especial fane. Even in the
ancient log cabin, said to be the actual house erected by Peter
himself, is established a shrine, where priests continuously intone
the beautiful service of the Russian church and where thousands of
devoted worshipers swarm in and out all the day long, and the night as
well, praying to Imperial Peter's now sainted ghost.

In the noble chamber of the golden-spired cathedral of St. Peter and
St. Paul lie the white marble tombs of the Romanoffs, where is also
kept up throughout the day and night yet another sumptuous service for
the repose of the souls of the illustrious dead. In the great
monastery of Alexander Nevsky is each day maintained a simple and
splendid choral service which multitudes attend, and where the
melancholy Gregorian chanting and intoning of the black-robed
long-bearded monks reveal new organ stops in the human voice.

Naturally, an American has great sympathy for the Russian people
who have so little, while he has so much. In America we send our girls
and boys to school as a matter of course. Here in the ornate center of
autocracy, I have seen no building that I recognized as a common
school, nor in Russia is there such a system, as we know it.

[Illustration: OUR IZVOSTCHIK.]

To the western mind three things stand out above all else in Russia:

(1) The concentrated wealth and privilege of the few--the big grafters
who have seized it all.

(2) The opulence and extraordinary power of that ecclesiastical
organization, the "Holy Orthodox Church" itself an engine of the
autocratic rule,--used to cover atrocious authority with gilded
cassock and priestly cope.

(3) The profound poverty and hopeless subserviency of the Russian
people--those who are robbed and ruined by the grafters and hoodooed
by the Church.



XVIII.

En Route to Moscow--Under Military Guard--Suspected of Designs on Life
of the Czar.


    MOSCOW, RUSSIA, _September 19, 1902, 10 P. M._

We took the Imperial Mail train as determined. Foreign travelers
generally journey by the night express, which arrives at Moscow only
an hour behind the Imperial Mail, but it leaves St. Petersburg at so
late an hour that there is little chance to see the country traversed.
We made up our minds to take the more democratic train, which goes in
the middle afternoon and stops at all way-stations. This would give us
an opportunity to see more of the people as well as a longer season of
daylight to watch the passing panorama of the land. We knew no reason
why we should not take the train of our choice. It was true that our
guide urged us to go by the night express. It was also true, when I
presented my passport to the ticket agent at the railway station, the
day before, and requested tickets, that he advised us to make the
journey by the night express, nor would he at first agree to sell us
tickets by the Imperial Mail, but told us to come back again two hours
later, when he would let us know whether there were any berths
unsold in the train's through sleeper. It was also true that when we
returned, he again advised us to take the night express. But our minds
were made up, and we at last secured the tickets we wanted, and became
entitled to an entire stateroom upon a designated car.

[Illustration: OUR LANDAU, ST. PETERSBURG.]

When we left the Hotel de l'Europe, the government official to whom I
had returned my passport, after having bought my tickets, emerged from
his office, received graciously his ten _rubles_, and again handed me
the document; the sundry flunkies in liveries and spies in uniforms
obsequiously bowed us out of the establishment, and our very competent
guide immediately packed us into several _droschkies_ and galloped us
along the Nevsky Prospekt to the huge government station of the
railway running to Moscow. The instant our _izvostchiks_ brought their
horses to a stop, we were surrounded by a swarm of porters clad in
white tunic aprons and flat caps, who seized our bags, and preceded us
through the large waiting room to the gates admitting to the train
platform. Here our tickets were scrutinized, and a group of uniformed
officials, who seemed to be awaiting us, informed us that the car in
which our stateroom had been sold being already filled, another
stateroom in another car was placed at our disposal. They then led the
way to the front of the long train, and showed us into a large
combined sleeper-and-chair car immediately back of the engine. Several
soldiers were standing guard near by. We were evidently expected and
were especially provided for. We almost had the car to ourselves. The
only other passengers were a Russian officer and his orderly. We were
at the head of a train made up mostly of mail cars locked and sealed,
having at the rear several passenger coaches. But we were separated
from all these latter, and we seemed to be objects of unusual
interest. Many strange faces flattened against our windows, peering in
at us, and the orderly locked up with us never took his eyes away from
us. This did not annoy me, however, for I presumed he was admiring the
beauty of our American women.

The train was a long one,--and such huge cars. The Russian gauge is
five feet, the cars are long, and half as big and wide again as are
the American cars, and are heated by steam, having double windows
prepared against the cold. We had secured a whole compartment in which
the two seats, facing each other, pull out and the backs lift up,
making four berths, two lower, two upper, placed cross-wise. You pay
one _ruble_ (fifty cents) for blankets, sheets and towels. We put H
and Mrs. C in the lower berths. Mr. C and I took the uppers. The car
had only two more staterooms, one on each side of our own, and then a
large drawing-room with reclining chairs. The stateroom ahead of us
was occupied by the officer; his orderly slept on a chair in the
salon. In the stateroom behind us were two railway guards. After we
entered the car, the door was closed and locked by an official who
stood on the outside. The officer and his orderly were locked in
with us. Our trunk was checked through to Moscow by the guide, very
much as we would have done it at home. He gave me the check, and I
paid him his last _pourboire_ before we entered. This was the only
daily local train going southeastward, and whoever would leave St.
Petersburg for the way stations must travel by it.

[Illustration: A NOBLE'S TROIKA.]

[Illustration: THE RAILWAY PORTERS, ST. PETERSBURG.]

Our first impression, after leaving the city, was that of the flatness
and the vacantness of the land; the landscape was marked here and
there with insignificant timber, birches, firs and wide reaches of
tangled grasses, and seemed uninhabited. There were no sheep, no hogs,
no goats. Occasionally we saw herds of cattle and some horses, but
very little tillage anywhere. The few houses, mostly low built, were
of small-sized logs, or slabs. Towns and villages were few and far
apart. In the towns were rambling wooden buildings, all just alike; in
the villages were log and wooden cabins, scattered along a single wide
street, and these streets were deep mud and mire from door to door.
Here and there was a wooden church painted green, with onion-shaped
steeple gilded or painted white, but there were no schoolhouses
anywhere. At all the railroad stations were many soldiers, and
dull-looking, shock-headed peasants, men clad in sheepskin overcoats
with the wool inside, and women in short skirts wearing men's boots,
or with their legs wrapped in dirty cotton cloth tied on with strings,
their feet bound up in twisted straw. It was a desolate, monotonous,
dreary, sombre land. We saw no smiling faces anywhere, but always
were the corners of the mouth drawn down. Now and then we passed a
large town, with a commodious, well-built station of brick and stone.
Here and there we saw huge factories and mills, all belonging to the
government of the Czar.

We stopped at Lubin for supper. The guard unlocked our car, opened the
door and pointed to the station, where we found a monster eatingroom
with huge lunch counters on either side and long rows of tables down
the middle. Everybody was standing up; there were no seats anywhere.
Hot soft drinks were served at the side counters and smoking coffee
and tall glasses of hot, clear tea. The Russian swallows only hot
drinks and eats only hot foods. On the center tables, set above spirit
lamps, were hot dishes with big metal covers. There were glasses of
hot drink for a few _kopeeks_, which the Russian pours down all at
once. Taking a plate from a pile standing ready, you help yourself to
what victuals you choose. There were hot doughnuts with hashed meat
inside, hot apple dumplings, hot juicy steaks, hot stews, hot fish;
all _H-O-T_. When you have eaten your fill, you pay your bill at a
counter near the entrance, according to your own reckoning. The
Russian is honest in little things, and nobody doubts your word or
questions the correctness of your payment. The eatingroom was full of
big, tall, robust, fair-haired, blue-eyed men and a few women. The
Russian is big himself, he likes big things, he thinks on big lines,
he sees with wide vision, too wide almost to be practical. Hanging
around the station were groups of unkempt, dirty peasants. We see such
groups of gaping peasants at every station, always a hopeless look of
"don't care" in their eyes.

The train ran smoothly and we slept well. All Russian cars are set on
trucks, American fashion, and there is no jarring and bouncing as in
England's truckless carriages. We traveled over an almost straight
roadway, traversing the Valdai hills, the brooks and rivulets of
which, uniting, give rise to the mighty Volga, and crossing the river
passed through the city of Tver during the night. It was just daylight
when I awoke. I at once arose, and then waked Mr. C and afterward we
aroused the ladies. A different military officer and a different
orderly were now traveling in our car. The officer seemed to have kept
vigil in the compartment ahead of our own. When I came out of the
stateroom, he was standing smoking a cigarette in the aisle just
outside our door. When I went to the toilet-room he followed me and
then returned to the door of our stateroom. He watched us all, even
standing guard at the door of the toilet-room when occupied by the
ladies. We were evidently in his charge. Later, I made acquaintance
with him, accosting him in German, to which he readily replied. He was
a medium-sized, wiry man with dark hair and eyes, close-cropped beard
and long moustaches. He was a "lieutenant-colonel of infantry," he
said.

The night before, as we rode along, we noticed many soldiers gathered
everywhere at the stations. Now there were none, but instead there was
a soldier pacing up and down each side of the track, a soldier every
sixteen seconds! His gun was on his shoulder. He wore a long brown
overcoat reaching to his heels, and a vizored brown cap. At all the
bridges there were several soldiers, at each culvert two. After a few
miles of soldiers, I commented on this, to me, extraordinary
spectacle, and asked the colonel what it meant. "Do you not know," he
said, "the Czar is coming in half an hour? He is returning from the
autumn manoeuvers in the south!" Presently, we drew in on a siding. I
wanted to go out with my kodak and take a snapshot. He said, "_Es ist
verboten_ (It is forbidden). You cannot go out." He then asked to see
my kodak, which he examined with the greatest care, taking it quite
apart. He then handed it back to me saying, apologetically, "Bombs
have been carried in kodak cases, you know." Soon we heard the roar of
an approaching train. The ladies pressed to the windows. The uniformed
attendant stepped up and pulled down the shades right in their faces.
I demurred to this and appealed to the colonel, who then directed the
guard to raise the curtains, seeming to censure him in Russian. The
ladies might look. A train of dark purple cars richly gilded flashed
by. Was it the Czar? No! Only the Court. Another train just like the
first would follow in half an hour and the Czar would be on that. But
none of the public might know on which train he would ride. The
colonel turned to me and said, "You kill Presidents in America. We
would protect our Czars here! We also have Anarchists."

[Illustration: THE HOLY SAVIOR GATE. KREMLIN.]

[Illustration: OUR MILITARY GUARD BARGAINING FOR APPLES.]

I could not forbear remarking upon the excessive number of men in
uniforms, soldiers apparently, I met everywhere in Russia, as well as
the great expanse of vacant land, saying to him, "You have too many
soldiers in Russia. You should have fewer men in the army and more men
out on the land tilling the soil and supporting themselves. It is
unfair to those who work to be compelled to feed so many idle mouths."
He answered me frankly. He said, "It is necessary to have these
soldiers. The peasants are ignorant. We take their young men and make
soldiers and good citizens out of them. The army is a school of
instruction; it is there the peasant learns to be loyal and to shoot."
And then he said with emphasis, "Ah! In America you don't need to
learn to shoot, you are like the Boers, you all know how to shoot,"
which view of American dexterity, I, of course, readily acceded to.
And when I asked him why it was there were no schools or schoolhouses
in all this journey, he replied that it was useless to build schools
for the peasant, for he did not wish to learn. He had no desire to
improve. "You in America," he said, "are every year receiving the
energetic young men of all Europe. You are constantly recruiting with
the vigor and energy of the world. You can afford to have schools.
Your people want schools, but the Russian people want no schools. They
will not learn, they will not change, and no young men ever come to
Russia. We receive no help from the outside. Nobody comes here.
Nobody. Nobody (_Niemand, Niemand_). We have always the peasant,
always the peasant (_Immer der Bauer_)." And then he asked me about
President Roosevelt, and inquired whether he would succeed himself for
a second term, remarking that "Mr. Roosevelt was greatly admired by
the Russian army." "The Russian army sees in your President Roosevelt
a great man," he said, then added, "in France the Jews and financiers
set up a President, but in America you choose a man who is a man." We
became very good friends, and he accepted from me an American cigar,
one of a few I had brought along and saved for an emergency. At
subsequent stations he allowed me to get out in his company, and even
let me take his picture along with some of the other officers who
stood about. The Czar had passed. The weight of responsibility was off
his shoulders, he had discovered no evidence of our being
conspirators. He now treated us as friends. He even directed the car
attendant to clean from the windows their accumulated dust.

During all the early hours of the morning we came through the same
flat, desolate, uninhabited country. It was a landscape of profound
monotony, with the dark green of the firs, the frosted yellow of the
birches, the withering browns of the tangled grasses, the black and
sodden soil. Even the crows were dressed in melancholy gray.

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF THE ASSUMPTION, KREMLIN.]

[Illustration: ALONG THE GOSTINOI DVOR, MOSCOW.]



XIX.

Our Arrival at Moscow--Splendor and Squalor--Enlightenment and
Superstition--Russia Asiatic Rather Than European.


    MOSCOW, RUSSIA, _September 20, 1902_.

It was toward ten o'clock when we drew near the suburbs of Moscow, a
city of more than a million inhabitants. We saw straggling wooden
houses, mostly unpainted, rarely ever more than one story high, and
unpaved streets filled with country wagons, not the great two-wheeled
carts of France, but long, low, four-wheeled wagons with horses
pulling singly, or hitched three and four abreast; and I noted that
the thills and traces of these wagons were fastened to the projecting
axles of the fore wheels, the pull being thus directly on the axle, so
as to lift the wheel out of the ever present mud holes. So universal
has become this method of hitching up a wagon that I observed it even
used on the vehicles in the cities where the streets are paved. Men in
high boots and sheepskin coats and felt caps were walking beside the
wagons, cracking long whips. The roads appeared to be frightful
sloughs of bottomless mire.

Our train drew into a long, low, brick station, the Nicholas Depot.
The door of the car was unlocked, porters came in and seized our
bags, and we followed them. Our military escort did not even deign to
say good-bye. He was writing up his note book and seemingly
preoccupied. The instant we emerged from the station portal we were
surrounded by a mob of roaring_izvostchiks_; a pandemonium. We picked
out two of the cleaner-looking _droschkies_; the porters who had taken
our checks came with the trunks on their shoulders, and we started off
for our hotel. Although a dozen _izvostchiks_ will wrangle and war for
your custom, until you fear for your very life, yet the instant you
pick your man, the others retire and peace reigns. There is no attempt
to make you change your mind.

The sky was overcast, drops of rain were falling, and there had been
more rain earlier in the day. The cobble-paved streets were thickly
overlaid with mud. Surely, they had never been cleaned in a century!
Moscow is a city of low, one and two story buildings, generally of
stone or stucco, but there are many of wood. It is a city full of reek
and accumulated filth, and is apparently without sewers, or with
sewers badly laid and long ago choked up. It is a city of narrow
streets with many turns, and narrow sidewalks or none at all. It is an
old city, the ways and alleys and streets of which have grown up as
they would. The people we met were ill-clad, unwashed, unkempt,
wild-eyed, shock-polled, dull-faced. They were a meaner multitude of
men and women than I had ever before set eyes upon.

"Hotel Berlin" we said to our _izvostchiks_. The word "Berlin" they
seemed to comprehend, and they brought us safely to our destination.
It is a comfortable inn, on the Rojdestvensky way, kept by a Jew, and
recommended to us by the Swiss Concierge of the St. Petersburg hotel.
"It is the hotel where the drummers go," he said. We had learned long
ago that "where the drummers go," is where the best table will be
found, for the world over, the drummer loves a knowing cook. So we
went to the Hotel Berlin. We were there received by a little
weazen-faced, black-eyed, dried-up man, who spoke in voluble German
and broken English. "The police had notified him that we would come!"
he said. He told us that "He had once lived in London!"--and declared
that his rooms were exactly what we wanted, and his table "the best in
Moscow." He also confided to us that he was "fortunate in having at
hand, immediately at hand, and now at our service, the most skilled
and intelligent guide in Moscow, who would be delighted to serve us,
who was altogether at our disposal and whose charge would be 'only ten
_rubles_ a day,' and the guide 'talked English.'" We thanked our host,
took the rooms and accepted the guide. We have now been in Moscow
several days, and the guide has been faithful. He vows he has been
twice in Chicago. He says he is from Hungary and he talks excellent
German, but Mr. C, who himself hails from Chicago, is quite unable to
comprehend the English of his speech. Only my knowledge of German has
saved the guide his _rubles_. Moreover, his remembrance of Chicago is
indistinct, as well as of New York. Indeed, his knowledge of America
we are fain to believe is altogether hearsay. The nighest he has been
to Chicago, we surmise, was when a few years ago he "bought Astrakhan
lamb skins at Nijni Novo Gorod for Marshall Field & Company," whose
agent we believe he may really then have been. He is now married to a
Russian, and it is many years since he has been back to Hungary, nor
does he have much occasion to talk German or English, except when he
is acting as guide to Americans. Mr. C now and then forgets and
attempts to use American speech in conversation with him, when there
is entanglement. I am appealed to in German, the difficulty is cleared
up, and so we get on.

To-day, we have taken a _landau_ and have driven all about the city.
Just how shall I describe this strange commingling of past and
present; of sumptuous splendor and squalor profounder than any seen in
St. Petersburg; of modern intelligence and mediaeval superstition;
this city which contains a Gostinnoi Dvor, a magnificent building of
white stone, extending over many blocks, a bazaar of six thousand
shops, with a single steel and glass vaulted roof covering the entire
immense series of structures as well as all included streets; this
city of beautiful stores, displaying the costliest products of London,
of Paris and New York; which is lit with electric lights equal to
Berlin, and provided with a telephone service superior to that of
London; this city where right alongside this modern bazaar, the
handiwork of Chicago builders, stand the towers and ramparts of the
ancient Kremlin; a city where at every corner of every street, swarm
bowing multitudes worshiping before the innumerable Eikons.

[Illustration: BEGGING PILGRIMS, ST. BASIL.]

[Illustration: THE RED SQUARE, MOSCOW.]

A strange and curious sight it is to see a street packed with people
all bowing to a little picture stuck up in the wall. The Eikon to the
Russian is even more important than the Czar. He wears a miniature
Eikon hung about his neck as a sort of amulet. He puts an Eikon in his
house, in his shop, along his streets, and builds cathedrals and
lavishes fortunes to house and adorn them. Indeed, Russia might be
fitly termed the land of the Eikon, for there, as nowhere else in all
the world, has a simple picture been exalted to become an object of
worship. The Greek church allows no images. One of the serious causes
of the great schism with Rome in the eleventh and twelfth centuries
was the strict interpretation by the Eastern Church of the injunction
of the II Commandment, "Thou shalt make no graven images," wherefore
they declared the Roman practice rank idolatry, but to the sacred
pictures they gave their sanction. These Eikons are mostly painted in
the monasteries by monks of recognized holy lives. They are paintings
of the Christ, or of a Saint, sometimes the Virgin Mary and the Christ
Child together, and are often so overlaid with gold and jewels--tens
of thousands of dollars worth of jewels--that only the eyes and the
face may be seen, the draperies of the person being scrupulously
imitated and concealed by the overlaid plates of gold.

This afternoon we saw a big, black, hearse-like carriage drawn by six
black horses, harnessed three abreast, accompanied by priests, to
which all the people took off their hats and bowed and crossed
themselves as it passed along. It was an Eikon being carried to the
death-bed of some penitent, who would be permitted to kiss it before
death. Sometimes these Eikons work miracles and the dying sinner
begins to recover so soon as it enters the room. All Russians keep
Eikons in their homes, and generally have one in every room, before
which a little candle is kept perpetually burning. And when a Russian
enters a house, he at once goes to the family Eikon and bows and
crosses himself before he greets his host. To ignore the Eikon would
be an unpardonable offense. In St. Petersburg we procured a copy of
the famous Eikon which reposes in the little chapel of the house of
Peter the Great, the portrait of St. Alexander Nevsky, which Peter
always carried with him into battle, and to the power of which he
attributed the victory of Pultova. The beautiful cathedral dedicated
to "Our Lady of Kazan," upon the Nevsky Prospekt, in St. Petersburg,
was erected in honor of victories brought to Russian arms by the
miraculous influence of her Eikon. The Russian lives in an atmosphere
of Eikons, and it takes a quick eye and an agile hand to doff your
hat and properly bow, as the Russian always does, whenever you pass by
one.

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF ST. BASIL THE BLESSED, MOSCOW.]

In this city of contrasts, in sight of the modern Gostinnoi Dvor, I
must take off my hat in going through a "Holy Gate," and every man,
woman and child I here meet are crossing themselves and bowing as they
pass along! In Mexico you do not feel so surprised at the superstition
of the Indian! But these are white men with blue eyes and yellow hair!
This is a city which contains so splendid an edifice as the monster
cathedral of Saint Savior, a pile of wonderful beauty, built of white
granite, and domed with five gigantic onion-shaped, cross-topped
cupolas, all sheathed in plates of solid gold; it is a city which
contains four hundred and fifty churches, five hundred chapels, and
convents and monasteries, how many I dare not say, all of them
begolded and bejeweled inside and out with barbaric emblazonry. And
yet it is a city, the streets of which are as ill-paved and as
stinking as were London's five hundred years ago; a city where trade
and enterprise are throttled by arbitrary and excessive taxation,
while the common people have no schools, even as they have no votes.

We had just left the Imperial palace of the Kremlin, the most gorgeous
edifice my eyes have ever looked upon, where I had beheld such
chambers of gold and precious jewels and priceless tapestry, as one
only reads about in the Tales of the Arabian Nights; where the vast
Hall of St. George in the Czar's new palace is plated with gold from
floor to ceiling, and the ceiling is altogether of gold; where is gold
along the walls, panels of alabaster showing in between, ivory finish
and gold, gold and lapis lazuli, gold and emerald malachite, gold in
leaf, gold in heavy plate--gold everywhere. We were but the moment
come out from this stupendous display of riches. We had just passed
through the Holy Savior Gate. Our senses were still dazzled with this
excess of reckless magnificence, when we found ourselves upon the Red
Square--"Red" because of the human blood spilled there in the
countless massacres of Moscow's citizens by past Czars,--amidst the
swarming throngs of the abjectly poor; men and women, pinched-faced
and hollow-eyed; men and women who toil with patient, dull, dumb
hopelessness, and who are thankful to eat black bread through all
their lives, who are become mere human brutes! We saw many groups of
these, gnawing chunks of the black bread for their dinner with all the
zest of famished wolves, while they bowed and crossed themselves
incessantly, thanking God that they were indeed alive!

The wanton luxury of the rich, the pinching poverty of the poor, so
widespread, so universal in Russia, appal and shock me upon every
hand. What are the political and social conditions which let these
things be possible is the query which constantly hammers on my brain!
Until to-day, I have never understood the light and shadow of Roman
history, nor what manner of men made up the hosts and hordes of Alaric
and of Attila. Here, you see the whole story right upon these
streets.

We have not only visited the Kremlin, its cathedrals and its palaces,
its museums and its buildings of note, but we have also stood before
and gazed upon that wonder of all churches, the cathedral of St.
Basil, the weird and gorgeous creation of Vassili Blagenoi, and
lasting monument to the artistic sense of that monster-tyrant, Ivan
the IV, called the "Terrible."

In the cathedral of the Archangel Michael, within the sacred precincts
of the Kremlin, lie now their coffins side by side, costly coverings
of gold-bespangled velvet enshrouding each; a strange example of the
equality of death. The story runs: so delighted was Ivan with the
extraordinary and curious beauty of Vassili's creation, that he gave a
sumptuous banquet in his honor within the Imperial palace and there,
lavishly bepraising him before the assembled company, declared that it
were impossible for human mind to create another building so wonderful
in all the world. Whereupon turning to Vassili, he inquired of the
flattered and delighted architect whether this declaration were not
the truth. The gratified creator of the wonderful cathedral is said to
have replied, "Ah, Sire, give me the money and I will build you
another a thousand times more beautiful than the poor work I have
already done." Hearing this, the Terrible Ivan turned to his headsman
who stood ever handy at his elbow, and ordered Vassili's eyes to be
immediately burnt out with red-hot irons, in order, as he declared,
that there should never be again created so splendid an edifice; then,
Vassili dying as a result of the operation, Ivan ordered a magnificent
funeral and directed that the body be laid within the consecrated
chamber of the cathedral, among the princes of the blood, where even
to-day it yet remains.

Our Hungarian guide vowed that this tale was the literal truth,
pointing to the coffin which lay at our feet, among the relics of the
house of Rurik, as evidence incontrovertible. Nor did we presume to
doubt this instance of Ivan's cruelty, so thick spotted are the pages
of history with a thousand other instances of his devilish acts.

Ivan loved the sight and smell of blood. As a boy he delighted to
torture domestic animals, and to ride down old women when he caught
them on the streets. As a man, he had the Archbishop of Novogorod sewn
up in the skins of wild beasts and thrown to savage dogs; frequently
he dispatched his enemies with his own sword, and he publicly murdered
his eldest son, the Czarevitch. No malevolent scheme of the human mind
was too cruel for his enjoyment. By him entire cities were devoted to
destruction on the most trifling pretext. For one instance, the
inhabitants of the commercial towns of Novogorod (sixty thousand in
Novogorod alone) and of Tver and of Klin were massacred in cold blood
under his personal supervision. He was more cruel than Nero or
Caligula, and compared with the appalling atrocities of his reign,
Louis XI and Ferdinand VII were gentle kings.

[Illustration: ANCIENT PAVEMENTS, MOSCOW.]

[Illustration: BREAD VENDORS, MOSCOW.]

His presumption was equal to his cruelty, and he did not hesitate to
send his Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth to offer her the privilege of
becoming his eighth bride. History knows no such other monster as Ivan
the Terrible, who was undoubtedly mad; and yet he built beautiful
churches and palaces, and did more to encourage art and culture within
the confines of the empire than any other of the Russian Czars.

We have also driven about the city and viewed the public buildings,
the shops and the markets, and this afternoon have come out across the
river Moskva, and climbed the hills of Vorobievy Gory, the "Sparrow
Hills,"--from the heights of which Napoleon, on that memorable
fourteenth day of September, 1812, fresh from the victory of Borodino,
first viewed the city. In superb panorama, Holy Moscow lay stretched
before us, its towers, its spires, its red and green and blue and
yellow walls and roofs, its golden domes, presenting a most sumptuous
harmony of color to the delighted eye.

While St. Petersburg is the political capital, yet Moscow is the real
center of Russia. Here is the focus of Russia's industrial,
commercial, financial and religious life. Her "Chinese Bank" cashes
notes on Kashgar and Pekin, and sells bills of exchange upon their
banks in return. The street-life of this most Russian city, the coming
and going of its people, the commingling of these divers tribes and
races, strikingly illustrates the heterogeneous character of the
cumbrous empire. Here pass me by the blue-eyed, tow-polled _mujiks_
from the provinces; here I meet, face to face, the swarthy skins which
tell of Tiflis and of Teheran; here I touch elbows with kaftan-gowned
traders from Merv and Samarkand, and silk-clad Chinese merchants from
the distant East.

As I stroll along the Nickols-Skaia, the Iliinka-Skaia, or the
Rojdestvensky Boulevard, and catch the glances of these faces which
stare upon me with constant grave suspicion, doubtful, perchance,
whether I am a foreign spy in bureaucratic employ, or a stranger
friendly to the held-down people, I am musing upon the curious
interweaving of science and superstition, of modern and mediaeval
custom, which I here behold, and I ponder how work the hearts and
minds behind these masks which alone I see. Profound suspicion and
discontent is the impression I receive. Nowhere do I note a single
instance of that joyous hopefulness which marks men's faces in
America. The eye which here looks into mine has about it a gaze not
frank and sunny, but furtive and melancholy as that of a chained-up
wolf. Gradually I am beginning to comprehend that the men I look upon,
although clothed in the veneer of twentieth century civilization, are
nevertheless in mind and heart barbarians,--barbarians chafing beneath
the bitter burden of the hateful auto-bureaucratic rule; they are
Asiatic rather than European; even in discontent they lack the
open-mindedness of the West; they belong to the mysterious and
inscrutable peoples of the East. Napoleon's saying, "Scratch a Russian
and you will find a Tartar," now comes to me with redoubled force.

[Illustration: THE KREMLIN BEYOND THE MOSKVA.]

Despite the French telephones and the Chicago-built Bazaar, despite
the splendid churches and the gorgeous Kremlin, I perceive that these
Russians are yet the same as when Byzantium sent St. Cyril and his
monks to Christianize their savage ancestors thirteen centuries ago.



XX.

The Splendid Pageant of the Russian Mass--The Separateness of Russian
Religious Feeling From Modern Thought--Russia Mediaeval and Pagan.


    MOSCOW, RUSSIA, _September 21, 1902_.

We have just been leaning over a guard rail of burnished brass,
peering down into the half twilight gloom, beholding ten thousand
Russian men and women bending their swaying bodies, as a wheat field
bends before the wind, crossing themselves in feverish fervor, even
bowing the forehead to the marble floor and kissing it rapturously in
the solemn celebration of the mass.

We drove in a _landau_,--all four of us and our Hungarian
guide,--through the narrow, crowded streets. "Drove," I say! Rather I
should say whirled, behind two mighty black Arab stallions, which no
man might hold, but only guide, and we never slackened our pace until
we dashed up to the great white granite stairway of the vast cathedral
of Saint Savior. Our Russian driver yelled, men and vehicles fled from
our path, and yet we ran over no one, we killed no one! Our furious
horses stopped short on their haunches. Two Russian soldiers now
held them by their heads. We drove like nobles. We must be grandees!

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF ST. SAVIOR, MOSCOW.]

The cathedral of Saint Savior has been nearly a century in building.
Founded in commemoration of the defeat of Napoleon in 1812, it has
been slowly raised by means of the multitudinous contributions of the
Russian people. It is a square cross in outline, as lofty as the
capitol at Washington, and surmounted by five oriental domes, the
central one bigger than the other four, all topped with Greek crosses,
and all covered with plates of solid gold, the burnished glittering
splendor of which dazzle the eyes long miles away. Within, the
interior is tiled with rare marbles of divers colors, while the walls
are decorated with priceless paintings by the most illustrious Russian
artists of the century, done by them at the command of the Czar, with
pillars of malachite and lapis lazuli, green and blue, standing
between the splendid pictures. There are altars of solid silver
covered with rare embroideries of gold and emblazoned with precious
stones. Close by each altar rests an Eikon.

A soldier in gold lace uniform opened our carriage door. He led us up
the long flight of white steps--white in the golden sunlight--and
pushed his way and ours through the bowing, crossing, sweating,
stinking (the Russian really never takes a bath) thousands, who, like
ourselves, sought to enter the precincts of the most magnificent
cathedral of "Holy Russia." We jostled against rich merchants and
their wives clad in splendid furs and silks and adorned with many
jewels; against military officers in long gray coats, high boots and
caps of astrakhan wool or fur; and peasants, in sheepskin coats,
belted at the waist, their legs wrapped in cotton cloth tied with
leathern thongs, their feet bound up in straw. These farmers from the
country are too poor to afford the luxury of socks and shoes. Through
all these the soldier with our _pourboire_ in his hand, forced his
way--not always gently--and led us up a winding flight of one hundred
steps to the series of galleries which run round the immense interior.
Here he again forced back the press of people until we might lean over
the great brass rail and gaze down below! And what a spectacle! There,
were ten thousand, twenty thousand,--I dare not say how many, men and
women; all standing; all bowing; all devoutly responding to the
intoning of the priests! Three hundred men and boys clad in red and
purple and golden vestments were chanting the melancholy music of the
Russian Church! No organ is there allowed, no musical instrument, no
instrument save that which God has made, the human throat! Then, from
the Holy of Holies, the innermost sanctuary, comes out the Archbishop
of all the Russias, the Metropolitan of "Holy Moscow," clad in
vestments of gold and of silver, intoning the mystery of the mass!
Other priests stand close behind him, swinging censers of incense, and
also chanting in melancholy mournful harmony with the mighty melody of
the choir. Never have my senses apprehended such opulent, refulgent
splendor, such a pageant of gold and of purple, of jewels and of fine
linen, such clouds of incense, such glorious, mighty music from the
human throat! Such fervor, such frenzy, such exaltation as I now
beheld in the swaying, worshiping multitude! I was beholding the
fervant, fanatical, hysterical religious feeling of the Russian
people, a people mediaeval in their blind superstition, mediaeval in
their per-fervid ardor for their church!

What I am writing of can only be impressions, and yet perhaps the
impressions which I receive in my brief sojourn within the Russian
Empire may more vividly portray that subtle, almost indefinable,
atmosphere which broods over Russia and marks it from all the world,
than I might be able to do if I remained so long within her confines
that I should lose the power.

I have now sojourned in Russia barely seven days, yet I feel as though
I had spent a lifetime in another world than that of America. I hear
no sound which is familiar. I cannot even count in Russian. I see no
street signs which my eyes have before beheld; even the alphabet,
though Greek, is yet enigmatically Russianized. Nor do I find that
English or Danish, French or German is of much avail. In the largest
news emporium or bookstore, in St. Petersburg, upon the Nevsky
Prospekt, the other day, where twenty or thirty clerks were serving
the public, there was no one of them who spoke or even understood
either French, or German, much less English. In the chief bookstore
in Moscow, where a large trade is carried on, nothing is spoken but
Russian. After much search I did find one small bookshop where a clerk
spoke passable French, and another where the Jewish proprietor
understood German. And while it is true that the high Russian officer
who escorted us from St. Petersburg spoke fluently in German and in
French, and while it may also be true that among the bureaucracy, and
perhaps nobility, French is still generally understood, yet it is
equally true that the present tendency in Russia is to Russify
language as well as things, and that foreign tongues are less spoken
and less known to-day than they were thirty or forty years ago. The
Russian is absorbed in himself, he knows little of the outside world
and he cares less. The news of Europe and of America and of all the
earth only comes to him in expurgated driblets through the sieve of
the Censor. The saying that "there are three continents," the
"continent of Europe," the "continent of Russia" and the "continent of
Asia," is no mere jest. One feels it here to be a verity. One feels
that Russia, despite her pretensions to the contrary, is mediaeval,
that she is mentally and morally aloof from all the progress of the
present century, from all the thought of modern peoples, and utterly
remote from all touch with the progressive nations of to-day.

In Scandinavia, the world is abreast of the times, its peoples are
advanced and alert, but the instant you cross the dead-line and enter
Russia, you feel that the world has taken a back-set of five hundred
years, that Russian life is so far behind all modern movement that it
never can catch up.

Even the bigness of St. Petersburg carries with it an impracticability
that is itself mediaeval. St. Petersburg did not grow up because there
was need of a city on that spot. It was created as the deliberate act
of a despot. Peter the Great feared to live longer in Moscow. He had
murdered and tortured too many of its worthy citizens. He had, for one
job, hung eight thousand patriots in the Red Square; he had thrown ten
thousand more into dungeons, there to rot. Daring no longer to live in
Moscow, he founded the new capital, "Petersburg," on the banks of the
Neva, which should become a seaport, be protected from his own
subjects by the ships he himself would build, and house his government
as safe from domestic as from foreign foes. He laid out the city with
streets so wide that it has never been possible to pave them well. He
provided public buildings so huge that it has never been possible to
secure a foundation upon the Neva's miry delta solid enough safely to
hold them up. He drove the nobility into this quagmire city, and drew
the bureaucracy up to its unstable ground. To-day, St. Petersburg is a
city of a million and a half of inhabitants, but if the Russian Czars
should choose to reconstitute Moscow their permanent capital, St.
Petersburg would again become a wilderness, a waste of marshy
islands, desolate and bare. It is the hot-house plant of autocracy.
There is no natural reason for it to exist.

Everywhere in Russia one feels the certain so childish straining after
effect which is mediaeval and barbaric. In the palace of the Kremlin
lies the disabled and gigantic cannon which Catherine II commanded to
be cast, and which has never fired a shot for the reason that it was
so big they could never find a gunner to serve and handle it. Close
beside it lies the enormous bell, the "Czar Kolokol"--King of
Bells--cast by command of a Czar, so huge that it could never be
lifted up into a belfry and which, falling to the ground from a
temporary scaffold, cracked itself by sheer weight. It lies there a
fit commentary on overleaping ambition. The cars and locomotives of
the railways are uncouth from their very size. Russia is like a big,
loose-jointed, over-grown boy, a boy so constituted that he may never
become a veritable man.

The government arsenals and machine shops in Moscow are run by German
and English bosses. The Russian makes big plans, but he does not
possess the power himself to carry them to successful issue. The great
empire is so spread out that pieces of it are even now ready to break
off. An intelligent Swede with whom I voyaged from Stockholm, then
living in St. Petersburg, declared the day not far distant when not
only Finland, but the German provinces of Esthonia and Livonia and
Courland along the Baltic, as well as Poland, must inevitably crack
off. And he declared that from mere internal cumbersomeness the
Russian Empire must soon dissolve. It may be so. And one is here
impressed with the fact that Russia now chiefly holds together by
reason of the military might of her autocracy, whose strength and
permanence under serious defeat may vanish in a night.

Another thing I have become cognizant of is the fact that everywhere
the men who do not wear a uniform hate the men who do. The cleavage
parting the upper and the lower levels of Russian life is immense.
Apparently there is no sympathy between them. The _mujik_ upon the
street scowls at the uniformed official who drives by in his dashing
equipage. He looks with surly countenance upon the grandee who nearly
runs him down. He hates the men who so mercilessly wield authority and
power, and who order the Cossack to ride him down and knout and saber
him into terrified submission.

One morning we passed through a great square in Moscow containing
nothing but men--wild-eyed, long-haired, long-bearded men; men in
rags, most of them, and all of them compelled to come there and wait
to be hired to work. To that square must all working men go who seek
work. The city feeds them while they wait, a single small piece of
black bread each day. Some never leave that square, but wait there
their lifetime through. They gazed upon our handsome landau with
hungry and wolfish eyes. How glad would they have been to tear us into
pieces and divide what little spoil they might obtain! I never before
beheld so frightful, unkempt a company of hopeless, hapless, hungry
human slaves as these Russian workingmen who waited for a job.

[Illustration: A MOSCOW TRAM CAR.]

[Illustration: THE OUT-OF-WORKS.]



XXI.

The First Snows--Moscow to Warsaw--Fat Farm Lands and Frightful
Poverty of the Mujiks Who Own them and Till them--I Recover My
Passport.


    HOTEL SAVOY, FRIEDICHS STRASSE,

    BERLIN, GERMANY, _September 23, 1902_.

"_Hoch der Kaiser, Hoch der Kaiser! Gott sei Dank! Ich bin in
Deutschland angekommen!_" have my brain and blood and bones been
crying out all the last fifty miles, since we safely crossed the
Russian border. Until the moment when the last Russian official waked
me up, held a light in my face, and, staring at me, compared my visage
with what the passport said it ought to be, and handed me back that
document to be mine forever, to be framed and hung up in my Kanawha
home, and preserved for my children and children's children as
evidence that I came safe out of Russia; not till that midnight hour
did I realize that I belonged to the common Teutonic brotherhood of
men, and that Puritan-descended American though I were, I and my
German neighbor were yet really kin! But at that moment when we
crossed the German boundary, I knew it and felt it in every fibre and
tingling nerve. I was a Teuton, I was a German, I was come again among
my blood kindred. "_Hoch der Kaiser_," "_Selig sei Deutschland!_" I
had come out of mediaevalism, from the shadows of barbarism, I was
emerged into the light of the twentieth century's sun!

We left Moscow late Sunday afternoon, in a blinding snow storm, the
first of the year.

In the morning, after attending mass in the cathedral of Saint Savior,
we drove about the city enjoying the cloudless blue sky, the pellucid
sunshine. We visited the Gentile and Jewish markets, and watched the
pressing concourse of eager traders bartering and chaffering their
goods and wares; we passed along the high frowning walls of the
debtors' prison, where any man who has incurred a debt of five hundred
_rubles_ ($250) may be incarcerated by the creditor, and kept shut up
as long as the said creditor puts up for him the very modest sum of
about four cents a day for bread. When the creditor quits paying for
his debtor's keep, the debtor comes out, but not till then. The fare
at that price is not luxurious, and after a few weeks or months of the
meagre diet, the debtor joyfully promises anything to escape and,
sometimes, persuades his family or friends to compound with the
creditor and get him out. But some there are who spend a lifetime
within those walls. And our Orthodox driver declared that a Jew liked
nothing better than to thrust and hold a hapless Gentile debtor behind
those gates.

[Illustration: MONASTERY CHURCH, NOVO DIEVITCHY.]

[Illustration: CEMETERY NOVO DIEVITCHY.]

[Illustration: HOLY BEGGAR, NOVO DIEVITCHY.]

The day was lovely and the air had almost the balminess of spring. Men
and women and children were going about in summer garments, no
overcoats or wraps, and it might as well have been May or June. At the
same time, we noticed that the windows of our rooms in the hotel were
double-sashed and tight-corked with cotton, and I also observed that
similar double windows were fast set on public buildings and
dwelling-houses past which we drove. But otherwise, as we looked into
the soft blue sky there was no hint of approaching frosts.

It was near noon when we drove out to see the famous convent of Novo
Dievitchy, and we spent a delightful hour in viewing its towered
church, its cloisters, its nuns' cells and children's quarters, and
the curious cemetery where are entombed many of Moscow's most
illustrious dead, tombs which are set above the ground amidst choice
shrubbery and blooming plants. We had just come out, through the old
arched gateway, and had encountered a band of holy beggars who
absorbed our attention and our _kopeeks_. I had put the ladies into
the _landau_, while the driver with great difficulty held back his
restive, squealing stallions. My hand was on the carriage door, when I
felt something soft and cold upon it. I looked up and behold! the air
was full of big flakes of descending snow. The horizon to the north
and east was black, the blue sky had grown a leaden gray. Winter had
come to Moscow and to us as silently and as suddenly as it once came
to Napoleon and his thinclad army, near a century ago. There was no
wind; the noises of the city were suddenly hushed; a great silence now
brooded over Moscow. The air was thick with big, fluffy, fluttering
particles of whiteness which stuck to everything they touched, and
never melted when they ceased to fall. We could not see across the
road, even the horses were half hid. Our driver gave full rein to the
impatient team and we flew homeward, but the snow kept coming down
just the same. It never melted anywhere. It grew into piles and mounds
and soft feathery masses. It wholly concealed the scarred and rutted
unevennesses of the road, it clung to twig and tree and fence, to
gable, to window-ledge and lintel. King Winter had breakfasted in
Archangel and, speeding across flat and unbarriered Russia, now dined
in Moscow and would there permanently remain. And as suddenly all
Moscow now bloomed forth into sheepskin overcoats and elaborate furs
and winter wraps. The citizens must have had them hanging behind the
door upon a handy peg, ready for just such a sudden coming of the
snows. By afternoon, sleighs and sledges jingled along the ways and
boulevards, and stinking, filthy-streeted Moscow was transformed into
a city immaculate and pure. And the snow kept ever falling, falling,
falling, steadily, softly, persistently, without let or stop.

It was toward two o'clock that we took our final excursion out beyond
the borders of the city to the summer palace of the Czars, the
favorite Chateau Petrovsky, where prior to the coronation every
Czar goes to repose and meditate and prepare himself with fasting and
prayer for the ordeal of the tedious ceremonial in the Cathedral of
the Assumption within the Kremlin.

[Illustration: THE KREMLIN BENEATH THE SNOWS.]

The Chateau is a large and rambling building of wood and brick, with
extensive suites of big, bare rooms. Behind it there lies a garden,
laid out as though it were in France, with many graveled walks, and
beds of flowers and edges of close-clipped box. Here the Czarina loves
to wander, and here she passes many a quiet hour when escaped from the
pomp and pressure of life in the Kremlin's gaudy palace. Here one bed
of roses was pointed out to us as her especial joy. The old French
gardener looked pathetic as he stood beside it and watched the big
white flakes alighting upon each leaf and petal. "The snows are come,"
he said, "the garden dies, there will be no flowers more till another
year!" And then, as if to save his cherished pets, he hastily gathered
the finest of the blooms and presented them to H and begged her to
accept and keep them, saying, "The snows are come, the Czarina, the
Empress, will not now object; to-morrow these will surely all be
dead."

In the morning of the day before, we were told that, "To-morrow, or
next day, or in a week, or a fortnight, will come the snows, we do not
know how soon. But when they come, then we know that winter is begun,
the long seven months of winter which will not leave us till May or
June. It is then you should come to see us. Then are these ill-paved
and reeking streets white and hard and clean; the summer's dusts and
heats are then forgot, and we quicken with the invigoration of the
cold; then does the city gladden with the gay life of those returned
from the summer's toil upon the wide estates, or from foreign lands,
for winter is the season when all Russians best love to be at home."

We settled our hotel bills only after much argument with our host. We
would not pay for candles we had not burned; our room was lighted with
electric lights. We would not pay for steaks we had not eaten, nor
chickens yet alive, nor for sweets we never tasted. No! For these and
the like of these we flatly refused to pay. "De Vaiter's meeshtakes,
Mein Herr, sie shall kom oudt." One hundred _rubles_ for three days!
Moscow was as costly as London!

Through the falling snows, thick falling snows, we drove to the
Smolensk railway station, whence start the trains going west, for
Moscow has not yet arrived at the convenience of a union depot.
Although all railroads are owned and run by the government, yet each
train starts from that side of the city nearest to the direction it
will travel. We entered a long, low brick and wooden building, and
passing through a wide dark waiting room, came out upon a wooden
platform and were beside our train. We were ready to go. We had our
tickets and our passports. Three days before, almost as soon as we
arrived, we gave the forty-eight hours' notice of our intention to
leave Russia, and the twenty-four hours' notice that we should also
leave Moscow. We were permitted to take our passports to the main
ticket office up within the city, the Kitai Gorod, and presenting
them, secured the tickets. We then returned the passports to the
police department to be given back to us just before we left, by the
big uniformed official at our hotel. But he did not return them until
we first bestowed upon him another ten _rubles_, as we had done when
leaving St. Petersburg! Now we were once more to surrender our
passports to a new uniformed government official, the train conductor,
who would also examine them, _visé_ them, and hand them to another
when we came to Warsaw, to be yet again scrutinized and stamped and
only returned to us when we at last crossed the German border. Nor
even then until we should be finally inspected and compared by yet
other officials so as to make dead certain that we were indeed the
very self same travelers who now declared they wanted to get out of
Russia.

The train was a long one. It was the through express carrying the
Imperial Mails to Vienna, Berlin and Paris. It would pass Smolensk,
Minsk, "Brzesc" (Brest) and Warsaw. It was one of the important trains
of the empire. There were many passengers, and we were able to secure
only a single stateroom with two berths in the first-class car for the
ladies, while Mr. C and I obtained two berths in the second class car
adjoining. We might sit together during the day, but for the night we
would be in different coaches. The berths in our sleeper were provided
each with a mattress, and an extra _ruble_ gave us a pair of blankets,
a sheet and a pillow. The cars were warm and double-windowed against
the cold.

We went about twenty miles an hour over a straight-tracked road, and
our sleep was undisturbed. When I awoke in the morning and made my way
toward the toilet, though early, I yet found a queue of men and women
ahead of me, and had to fall in line and take my turn. A big bearded
Jew was just coming out of the little toilet room and a slim young
woman was just going in, a young woman comely and with hair tangled
and fallen down. This was bad enough, but between the tangled hair and
myself stood another dame with locks quite as disheveled and unkempt.
But I dared not quit my place, since an increasing number of men and
women pressed uneasily behind me. My only chance was to stick it out
until those coiffures should be restored to immaculate condition for
the day. Within the toilet there was no soap, nor towel, nor comb, nor
brush, nor else but ice-cold water, and a wide open channel down into
the bitter stinging air. But I had now journeyed somewhat in Russia
and had come fitly prepared.

All night we had rolled through a dead flat country, passing Smolensk,
a large city of fifty thousand inhabitants, and all day we continued
to traverse the same wide levels. The sky was blue, the air was
cold and keen, there was a slight drifting of snow across the
illimitable fields. Peasants in belted sheepskin overcoats, which came
down to the heels, were plowing in the fields, each behind a single
horse, and women on their knees were planting, or digging out potatoes
and turnips and beets. Women were also hoeing everywhere, working like
the men--mostly in short skirts, kerchiefs about the head, legs
swathed in cotton cloth wrapped around and tied on with strings, feet
like the men's, wrapped up in plaited straw. The houses were miserable
wooden huts of only one story and with chimneys made of sticks and mud
and built on the inside to save heat, and meaner than any cabins of
the most "ornery" mountaineers of eastern Kentucky and Tennessee.
There were no windows in the hovels, no openings but one single door.
For the men and women who tilled the land, it was poverty, bitter
poverty everywhere. Yet we were traversing some of the finest,
richest, most productive farming lands of Russia; lands on which great
and abundant crops are raised, or ought to be raised, and where these
men and women ought to be living in ease and comfort by their toil,
for these lands are largely owned by those who till and cultivate
them, the "free and emancipated" peasantry of Russia! But the great
crops are of little avail to the helpless peasant. His industry brings
him no cessation of grinding toil. He barely lives, often he starves,
sometimes he dies, dies of starvation right on this rich, fat land he
himself owns. The government of the Czar knows just what each acre of
his land will yield, and knowing this, it takes from the peasant in
taxes the product of his sweat and toil, leaving him barely enough to
live. There are no schools to teach the peasant. The high Russian
officer, the lieutenant colonel who guarded us from St. Petersburg to
Moscow, said, "The peasant wants no schools." Thus, he never learns
his rights, the rights God wills to him. He keeps on toiling year in
and year out, and the government of the Czar squeezes from him his
tears, his blood, his _kopeeks_, his life! And these men I saw were
white men and owned the land, fat, fertile land, rejoicing ever in
abundant crops!

[Illustration: A STATION STOP, EN ROUTE TO WARSAW.]

A century ago, even thus were also the peasants of France ground down
and pillaged by the King, the nobility, the government of the state.
As I traveled through the fruitful valley of the Loire two years ago,
crossing central France, and beheld the smiling fields and
well-planted meadows and perpetual cultivation of every foot of soil,
until the whole land bloomed and bore crops like one mighty garden, I
could not help wondering, as I looked upon the smiling countenance of
the terrain, and upon the contented faces of the sturdy and thrifty
peasantry who owned and tilled it, whether this present fecundity and
agricultural wealthiness of rural France, does not, after all, repay
the world and even France herself, for the terrors and the tears, the
blood and the obliteration of the _l'ancien régime_, whose
expungement by the Revolution alone made possible to-day a
regenerated and rejoicing France.

We have passed through Minsk, the ancient capital of Lithuania, a city
of more than one hundred thousand inhabitants of whom more than half
are Jews, and through Brzesc (pronounced "Brest"), another city as big
as Smolensk and renowned as a fortress, taken and retaken, lost and
relost, through all the weary centuries of Polish-Muskovite wars. We
have crossed the river Bug ("Boog") on a fine steel bridge, and
entering pillaged Poland, are now arrived within the borders of her
great capital, Warsaw ("Barcoba," "Varsova"), where we change to a
train of German cars, of the narrower German gauge, and go on to
Berlin.

Just after leaving Minsk, I fell into conversation with a most
intelligent young Jew from Warsaw, who, among other things, spoke of
Russia and her ways, saying that, strange as it may seem, the people
of Poland prefer her harsh rule to the fairer dealing of the Germans,
for the reason that Pole and Russ both talk a Slavic tongue, and race
affinity constitutes a bond. Yet said he at the same time, all Poles
dream of the day when a Polish King shall again fill a Polish throne,
and the glories of their Fatherland shall be restored.

We reached Warsaw only two hours late and pulled into the large stone
station close alongside the Berlin train. The porter grabs our bags.
Our small steamer trunk is shown to hold no _vodka_, nor contraband
effects. "_Nach Berlin_," I shout, and we are transferred to a clean,
comfortable German car. _Gott sei Dank!_ we feel a thousand times. We
are almost free, almost escaped, almost beyond the Russian pale. For a
fortnight, we have been under constant, conscious, persistent
surveillance. Our guides have been in the employ of the police;
strange men have followed us about upon the streets, have sat beside
us in hotels, have scrutinized us with cold eyes upon the trains. We
have been under the direct guard of armed soldiers, who have stood
outside our stateroom door and slept beside us all the night. We have
never, since entering Russia, been free from the weasel-wit and
ferret-eye of incessant espionage!

And the dirt! Dirty cars! Dirty hotels! Dirty carriages! Dirty
streets! Dirty churches! Dirty palaces! Dirty men! Dirty women! Such
is Russia, a land where the world knows not water, except to skate
upon when turned to ice.

Now we are in a German car, immaculately clean! Clean, almost, as it
would be in Norway! We are in the modern world again. I feel great
pressure in my heart to "_Hoch der Kaiser_", and this despite the fact
that, like every right-minded American, I am bred to abhor the
assumptions of Hohenzollern Kaisership even as strenuously as Romanoff
Autocracy. Yes! I feel great impulse to _Hoch der Kaiser_ and to cheer
for Germany and my German kin.



XXII.

The Slav and the Jew--The Slav's Envy and Jealousy of the Jew.


Now that I have had a glimpse of Russia, you ask me, "Why is the Slav
always so eager to do to death the Jew?" Wherefore this hatred which
so constantly flames out in grievous pillage and wanton murder and
blood-thirsty massacre of the children of Israel?

You say to me that in America for two centuries we have had the Jew;
that we now have millions of Jews, and that they are patriotic and
loyal citizens of the Republic; that Jews sit in our highest courts
and render able and fair decisions, enter the senate of the United
States and sit in congress, are sent to West Point and Annapolis and
prove themselves devoted and efficient officers of the army and navy,
are lawyers and doctors and distinguished members of the learned
professions; that they display intelligence, industry and thrift, and
are among the foremost citizens of the Republic, and that many of
these Jews, or their fathers and mothers, have come direct from
Russia. And you ask me "Why is it then that within the dominion of the
Czar the Slav makes such constant war upon the Jew?"

If I were briefly to sum up my impressions of the real cause of the
Slav's hatred of the Jew, I should say, JEALOUSY and ENVY, and then
ask you to remember that the Slav is yet at heart a semi-Asiatic and a
barbarian.

When journeying from St. Petersburg to Moscow the Russian
lieutenant-colonel said to me: "In America you select real men for
Presidents of whom Roosevelt is the finest type, but in France the
JEWS and financiers set up their tool for President." In a nut shell
this high Russian officer expressed the feeling of his own race toward
the Jew. The Jew is a Jew and the Jew is a financier. The Russians are
jealous of his acquired wealth and of his ability to gather it and
they hate him.

A few days later, traveling from Moscow to Warsaw, we found ourselves
sitting in a dining car with an elaborate bill of fare before us and
yet we were like to starve right then and there. The menu was printed
in Russian; the attendants and waiters talked nothing but Russian. We
knew no Russian and spoke in English, in German, in French, in Danish
without avail. The servants just stood there shaking their heads and
saying, "_Nyett, Nyett_." ("No, No.") We were famishing but could
order no food. Just then a tall woman of courtly manner, elegantly
gowned, came toward us from another table and said in perfect English
that she had long lived in London, though now she resided in Russia,
and then, giving our orders to the waiters, she saved us from
impending famine. She afterward told me that her passport had lapsed,
and that the Russian Government now refused to let her leave Russia
because she was a Jewess, while at the same time, they forbade her to
remain longer in Moscow, she having recently become a widow, and under
the harsh laws of Russia thereby lost her right of domicile within the
city. She hoped to escape to America by bribing the officials at the
border.

At Vilna, I fell into acquaintance with a young Pole from Warsaw, who
spoke seven languages and among them German and English fluently,
although he had never been outside the dominions of the Czar. He was a
strict Jew, and he expressed great surprise when I assured him that in
America a Jew is treated just the same as a Christian. He said he had
heard that to be indeed really the fact, and he expressed the
intention of some day coming to America to see for himself. He seemed
both perplexed and gratified when he found that I showed him the same
consideration I did my Gentile acquaintances.

In Moscow we drove past the imposing front of the great Jewish
Synagogue. The doors were barred. The structure was falling into
decay. I learned that it had been closed for nigh twenty years by
order of the Imperial Governor of Moscow, Prince Vladimir, uncle of
the Czar; nor might any Synagogue now be opened in Moscow; nor might
any Jew now worship in any edifice; nor might any outside Jew now come
and live in Moscow; nor might any Jew living in Moscow come back if
he had once left the limits of the city; nor might he own any land in
the city, nor practice a profession; nor might he marry a Christian,
nor might a Christian marry him. The Jews were also subjected to extra
and particular special taxes, arbitrarily levied and collected by the
autocratic government. The Jew, right here in "Holy Moscow," soul and
heart-center of the vast Russian Empire, was pillaged under the
autocratic rule of the Czar, persecuted under the hand of the Holy
Orthodox Church, plagued and preyed upon by a perpetually jealous and
malevolent populace.

The Russian army officer sneering at Monsieur Loubet, President of
France, whom he called the "tool of Jews and Financiers;" the courtly
Jewish lady; the intelligent Jewish merchant of Warsaw, who was so
much astonished that I should show him the courtesy of an equal, the
lowly _izvostchik_ driving me in his _droschky_ and pointing out the
closed and moldering Synagogue; each and all discovered in their
divers ways the attitude of the Slav toward the Jew; and the officer
revealed in his criticism of the ruler of Russia's ally, the Republic
of France, the real underlying secret cause of the Russian's animosity
and hatred of the Jew. That cause of hatred is the Jew's ability to
prosper without and in spite of the fostering care of the autocracy.

The Jew was a cultivated citizen-of-the-world when the Slavic
ancestors of the Russian were unlettered nomads roving the illimitable
wastes of Scythia. In the temples and libraries of ancient Egypt
the Jew acquired the culture and the learning of the Pharaohs; amidst
the palaces and hanging-gardens of Imperial Babylon and Nineveh the
Jew learned the arts and the sciences of the Assyrian and Persian;
Plato and Aristotle and the Greek philosophers recognized in the Jew a
spiritual culture of exalted type, and granted him to possess a
learning as encompassing as their own; the Roman, practical, and
master of the then known world, paid homage to the cultivated
intelligence of the Jew.

[Illustration: CATCHING A KOPEEK--A BEGGAR.]

The monotonous plains of Russia were yet filled with nomadic hordes of
pagan barbarians when Cordova was a paved city, its streets
illuminated by night, its libraries and its University the center of
the most advanced learning of the age; when the gigantic and splendid
cathedrals of England and France were everywhere raising their mighty
walls and spires for the perpetual glory of God and the inspiration of
mankind; when the fleets of Lisbon and Genoa were discovering the
farthest and most distant splendors of the Orient and Occident; when
Venice was mistress of Byzantium and Florence patron of Rome; when
Hebrew savants, under the benign influence of Saracen rule, were among
the most learned and renowned leaders of Moslem science; when the
Israelites of Italy and France were intermarried among the proudest of
the nobility and were even counselors of Kings; when Hebrew learning
and Hebrew wealth gave added momentum to the impulse of the
Renaissance. While during the centuries of the world's reawakening,
even as during the preceding centuries of the Crusades, just as
throughout the long duration of the dominion of Rome and of the
Eastern Empire, the Jew was ever recognized for his learning, culture
and wealth.

When St. Cyril and his Byzantine monks, in the seventh century, gave
Greek Christianity to the Russian Pagan, the Russian yet remained
content with outward forms and ceremonies. He continued pagan at heart
and persevered in worshiping the ancient ghosts and spirits, even as
in many parts of Russia he does to-day. He put on a Christian coat,
but he kept his pagan hide; and the Russian Orthodox Christian has
always remained a semi-pagan.

The great mass of the Russian people were serfs sold with the land up
to 1860, when Alexander II gave them nominal freedom, but a freedom
without lands and without schools; a so-called freedom which has left
the individual peasant, the _mujik_, as landless, as bitterly poor, as
benightedly ignorant to-day as he was a thousand years ago; nor does
the autocratic-bureaucracy of the Czar give him hope of a better day.
I journeyed through some of the richest farming lands in Russia, and
the farmers, the _mujiks_, whom I saw tilling the soil, plowing and
digging in the fields, were so poor that their feet were wrapped in
plaited straw, too impoverished to afford the luxury of a leathern
boot! The government absorbs all the profits of the crops in payment
for these lands and in taxes, as return for having made the _mujiks_
nominal owners of the soil and emancipating them from serfdom.

On the other hand, the nobles are forbidden by caste spirit and
tradition to enter into any career except the service of the state.
The younger nobles and ruling breeds among the Russian people are all
sucked into the employ of the state by the maelstrom of bureaucracy.
The youths of the nobility and gentry, and the more or less educated
classes, must enter the navy, the army, and the service of the state.
A government job for life is their only hope. They are not permitted
to make money for themselves independently; they can only make money
for the government of the Czar and for themselves through "Graft."

The government wishes to do everything in Russia. It deliberately
invades the spheres of private enterprise; it deliberately seeks all
the profit; it deliberately destroys the ambition and the power of the
person; it deliberately annihilates and stifles individual initiative.
In Russia, the government runs all the railroads, most of the mines,
many of the iron mills. It raises cotton; it raises wheat; it farms
and it manufactures. It buys and sells. It runs all the telegraphs and
telephones and express business. It opens all private letters and
reads all the printed books and newspapers. It permits no letter to go
through the mails, nor book nor newspaper to be read, which it deems
to express sentiments inimical to the supremacy of the autocracy. I
was threatened with imprisonment in Russia for snapping a kodak
without government permit. I was under police and military supervision
and escort all the time I traveled in Russia, even short as it was.
Nor did I dare to send a letter to America from Russia, but wrote my
thoughts with locked doors, and mailed my writings only when safe
beyond the eye of the Russian government spy.

Thus we find that, on the one hand, the peasantry are crushed, thrust
down and pitilessly held in ignorance and superstition and bitter
poverty; on the other hand, all the best ability and brains of the
governing classes are commandeered into the army, or navy, or
life-long government service, and with meager salaries and small pay.
The big grafts, the soft snaps, the juicy chances must all belong to
the government and flow into the coffers of the Czar to keep fat and
easy the Imperial family and the swarms of parasitic tid-bit hunters
who leech them.

But even in autocratic Russia, the grasping clutch of autocracy cannot
hold up all the avenues of commerce, however far-reaching its embrace
may be. Hence, in those lines of enterprise, not absorbed and
appropriated by the government, there is left open a clear path to
whosoever may have the acumen to seize the opportunity. Here is the
chance of the Jew. Endowed with a keen and subtle intellect, educated
by his own masters often to the highest training of the intelligence
and disciplined by the hardships of persecution, he is at once an
overmatch for the ignorant, brutal, poverty-haunted _mujik_, and fully
the equal of the best breeds of governing Slavs. Those intellects
which are the equals of his own are not in competition with him. The
ablest of the Slavs are earning a small salary in the army, in the
navy, or as government officials; making what they can for themselves
by more or less open graft, it is true, but without the incentive of
other personal gain. So the Jew gets on in Russia. This progress is in
spite of the jealousy and the hatred and the pillaging hand of the
envious Slav.

[Illustration: A COLD DAY.]

[Illustration: ALONG THE RIVER MOSKVA, MOSCOW.]

There is, here and there, considerable wealth among many of the Jews
in Russia. This is not true of all the Jews. Most of the Jews are
poor, frightfully poor, made and kept so by the laws; but there is
wealth among some of the Jews. The few wealthy Jews do not always keep
these riches within the dominions of the Czar. The Russians complain
that the rich Jews, while making their money in Russia, yet lay it up
in the banks of Berlin, of Vienna, of Paris and particularly of
London. When a Russian Governor wishes to squeeze a little extra
pocket money out of the Jews of his district, his city, his province,
he cannot always lay hands on their money hoards. Sometimes, then, he
lets the street urchins plague them a little; the squeezed and squalid
peasant is allowed to vent his envy of their wealth, even to knocking
a Jew down; now and then, these meanly-minded boys, these
pinch-bellied peasants get out of hand and, stung by their blood
lust, too hastily massacre more Jews than the Governor intended. This
is about the size of the job that Governor Von Raaben found to his
credit in Kischineff. The poor Jews suffered for the prosperity of
their rich brethren. The embittered and down-crushed _mujik_, galled
and soured by reason of his own hapless and seemingly hopeless
condition, vented his spleen at the first handy object, and the Jew
was handier, though not more hated, than the uniformed official of the
governing autocracy.

The Russian, as an individual, is of a kindly nature. He is good to
his wife, good to his children, good to his beasts. He has none of the
Roman-Spanish pitilessness to dumb creatures. But the Russian, after
all, is an Asiatic. The old saying, "Scratch a Russian and you'll find
a Tartar," is as true to-day as when the Cossacks of Catherine II
impaled and crucified men and women and children of the fleeing Mongol
horde, when these simply sought to migrate beyond the hectoring reach
of Russian rule.

No bloodier chapter mars the annals of history than that of the
Russian slaughter of nigh the entire Tekke Turkoman race in her
warfare of 1881 on the shores of the Caspian, at Geok Tepe, when seven
thousand women and children were stricken down in cold blood as they
fled from Kuropatkin's ruthless Cossacks.

Nor is the world done shuddering yet at the atrocious barbarities
under General Gribski, Governor of Blagoveschensk, who commanded
the deliberate drowning of the Chinese inhabitants of that city but a
few years ago, in 1898, and in a season of prevailing peace, drove
them before the knouts and bayonets of his Cossacks into the hopeless
waters of the river Amoor by unnumbered thousands, old men and women
and little children, so that for many weeks, nay months, the great
river was so choked with the swollen bodies of the dead that
navigation was at a standstill.

[Illustration: A RUSSIAN JEW.]

No Roman sack and pillage of a conquered city, not even the taking and
wreck of Jerusalem by Titus and his legions, equals in horror and cold
blood these late Russian slaughters; not even the fire and sword of
Attila and his avenging Huns wrought such woe and terror as have been
wrought in these recent years by the servants of the Czar; nor are the
tormented souls of Alva and his Spanish veterans more deeply marked
with blood-soaked scars than is the Russian autocracy of to-day; nor
mediaeval, nor modern times, nor pagan, nor Moslem warfare, have known
so monstrous a series of godless massacres of helpless humankind as
those now standing to the credit of the Russian autocracy during the
last twenty-five years.

The crime of Kischineff is no more heinous than have been the
slaughters of Geok Tepe, Blagoveschensk and a thousand lesser human
killings, nor more heart-sickening than were those awful visitations
of Slavic blood-lust upon creatures defenseless, helpless, abjectly
terror-struck. It is only that it was committed in a season of
profound peace, against a peaceful people, and at a time when all the
world had the leisure to hear the dying wails of the hapless women and
helpless children raped and ravished and torn asunder in the open day.

Notwithstanding these crimes which mar the pages of recent Russian
history, none would be more astonished than the Russian himself, if he
were made aware of the world-wide condemnation these crimes provoke.
He would protest against so harsh an estimate of Russian conquest; at
most, when confronted with the facts, he would shrug his shoulders and
urge that the responsibility lies not upon Holy Russia, but upon those
who oppose her destiny to conquer and absorb. The thoughtful Russian
will declare that after all it is no more than the inevitable struggle
of the survival of the fittest, and demonstrate that there are no
feuds of race, other than the universal hatred of the Jew, within the
dominions of the Czar.

From the Russian viewpoint these arguments are not unreasonable; the
vast military establishment upon which rests the autocracy,
necessitates foreign wars with weaker peoples, if for no other reason
than to keep a busied soldiery from thinking too much upon grievances
at home; through commercial expansion in Asia, won by bayonet and
sword, the autocracy has sought to secure compensation for the
suppression of commercial opportunity at home!

The problems of Russia are, after all, economic rather than racial,
and it is up to Russia to solve these in accordance with the
lessons and example of the enlightened nations of the west; let the
nobility and educated classes, who are now sucked into and absorbed by
the bureaucracy, take full part in the commercial and industrial life
of the empire and receive full reward for the exercise of their
energy, intelligence and skill; let them lift from the _mujik_ the
crushing weight of the Imperial taxes, divide with him the almost
illimitable acreage of the Imperial domain; and leave to him his fair
share of the earnings won by his sweat and toil, and there will be no
more Geok Tepes, Blagoveschensks, nor Kischineffs, nor will there be
longer hatred of the Jew.

[Illustration: TAKEN IN RUSSIA--TAKEN IN AMERICA. JEWISH TYPES.]



XXIII.

Across Germany and Holland to England--A Hamburg Wein Stube, the
"Simple Fisher-Folk" of Maarken--Two Gulden at Den Haag.


    LONDON, ENGLAND,
    HOTEL RUSSELL, _September 27, 1902_

Crossing the Russian border in the night, we arrived at Berlin almost
before the dawn; the city lies only three hours (by train) beyond the
Russian line.

The station we entered was spacious and clean, in sharp contrast to
the dirty stations of Russia; we were evidently come into a land
blessed with a civilization of higher type. Leaving the car, we were
instantly beset by a regiment of smartly uniformed porters--old
soldiers all of them--and were piloted by one tall veteran to a
waiting _fiacre_, which soon carried us to the Hotel Savoy. It was
early, not yet five o'clock, but the streets were already alive with
an orderly and animated throng, who appeared to be workmen largely,
carpenters, masons and day-laborers, each clad in his distinctive
laborer's garb. They were on their way to work, for the working
day is long in Germany, ten and twelve hours, and the workingman
is up betimes. We passed over asphalted streets where men in
military-looking uniforms, with hose in hand, were washing down their
surfaces, while others with big coarse brooms were sweeping them
clean. Berlin is a clean city, clean and neat as the proverbial German
in America is known to be. Alighting from our carriage, I was greeted
in my own tongue, by the friendly mannered concierge, who instantly
marked me for an American, and gave us comfortable quarters such as
American dollars usually secure.

[Illustration: A DAINTY NURSE MAID, BERLIN.]

H and I were now alone, our companions, Mr. and Mrs. C having left us
at Warsaw, where they would spend a week or two and learn something of
Poland. Perhaps I might tell you right here, that the next morning, as
we were leaving the hotel, I felt a hand upon my shoulder and, turning
round, faced the two Chicago travelers just then arrived. They had cut
short their stay in Warsaw, for the only American-speaking guide in
that city was away on a vacation, and German and French to them were
as impossible as Polish. They confessed, also, that they had sorely
missed their American fellow-travelers, and had hurried after us,
hoping they might induce us to sojourn a little while in their good
company.

We spent our single day without trying to see museums and picture
galleries, but taking a guide and a carriage, drove about the city and
viewed its avenues and parks, its markets and busy thoroughfares, and
noble public buildings, to catch what glimpse we might of the waxing
Capital of the German Empire. The first impression Berlin makes upon
the stranger, especially the stranger new-come from Russia, is that of
its cleanliness and orderliness; and, I think, I here also felt the
sympathy of blood-kinship with the well set-up and neatly clad men and
women, whose faces might have been those of my fellow countrymen of
St. Louis, Cincinnati or New York. Berlin, to-day, fitly typifies
modern Germany and the modern German spirit. We drove everywhere over
smooth streets, kept scrupulously clean. On either hand stretched
miles of new and handsome buildings, modern in architecture and modern
in construction, while the signs I saw were in Latin Text, instead of
the Gothic, a striking evidence of German progression.

When we came to the lovely Unter Den Linden, we left the carriage and
wandered beneath its umbrageous trees and enjoyed, as every one must,
the beauty of its vistas of greensward and carefully tended flowers.
The German loves his flowers almost as devotedly as does his English
cousin. We strolled also along the famous Thier Garten, which would be
a magnificent boulevard in any city; and which the German Kaiser has
sought to ornament with innumerable ponderous groups of sculpture,
preserving for the astonished world the commonplace memories of paltry
ancestors. How much better would it have been to have adorned this
stately thoroughfare with statues of illustrious Germans, whose great
deeds and works have contributed to the world's enlightenment and the
Fatherland's renown! To a Democrat, bred to contemn the empty glitter
and pretense of inherited privilege, it almost stirs one's anger to
see so splendid a public highway as the Thier Garten thus arrogantly
defaced.

In this Capital of an Empire, whose foundation is set on bayonets and
swords and the "biggest guns," where militarism runs riot, there is no
surprise in finding the streets filled with soldiers and officers, and
to meet frequently a marching company, nor does it astonish one to see
here the extreme development of the spirit of military caste. Here,
the civilian, man as well as woman--no matter how well clad he or she
may be--must turn aside for strutting officer and also, as for that,
for the common soldier, and all traffic must hold back to let a
company of soldiery pass by, even though they are out only on errand
of trivial exercise. Here in Germany, perhaps as nowhere else, have
the clever supporters of Royal and Imperial pretension worked the army
racket to the limit, through creating a perpetual scare that greedy
neighbors will devour the Fatherland. The citizen of Berlin is never
allowed to forget that little more than a century ago, Cossack hordes
pastured their ponies in the parks and gardens of the German capital;
and can gallop there again from their Polish camps in a single day.
The army has been built up on the pretense that it is necessary for
national defense, and thus the Kaiser, who is permitted to occupy the
position of army chief, holds at his command these enormous military
forces, while he uses them the rather to exalt his own prerogative
and subvert the people's inborn rights of individual sovereignty,
which is the highest gift of God to man.

The splendid building of the Reichstag, where the Socialist party of
Germany, to-day, makes its almost vain attempt toward securing to the
people a freer exercise of man's natural rights, is thus menaced by
the colossal military group which stands before it, as though to teach
the lesson that the sword still rules the Fatherland.

In the evening, our guide, who had privately confessed to me that
within the year he would travel to New York there to become manager of
a great hotel, led us to one of the more notable Bier Garten, where we
saw a most German vaudeville, the feats of whose performers were
greeted with vociferous _hochs_, and where we listened to a splendid
band, and where H had her first sight of ponderous Germans absorbing
beer, with which spectacle she was much impressed.

Wednesday, we were early astir, driving to the Hamburgischer Bahnhoff,
where we took the fast nine o'clock express for Hamburg, and flew
along over a well-ballasted road-bed through a dead-flat country, in
what the Germans proudly call their "fastest" train. The panorama was
one of market gardens and intensely cultivated land. It was a
monotonous prospect, where the alikeness of the vistas was emphasized
by the sentinel stiffness of the ever recurring rows of
Lombardy-poplars. As in Russia, men and women were everywhere
working in the fields and gardens, but unlike Russia, they were well
clad and well fed, and bore an air of thrifty contentment. There was
no dilapidation anywhere. We saw no longer the tumbled-down shacks of
the _mujik_, but everywhere substantial, neat homesteads of brick and
stone.

[Illustration: HAMBURG STREET TRAFFIC.]

Ours was a through train connecting with the Hamburg-American Line of
steamers for New York, and with the through railway express traffic
for France and Belgium, via Cologne. The passengers were chiefly of
the well-to-do commercial classes, or those substantial travelers who
would hasten quickly between Germany and France. None the less, at the
few stations where we halted, did the entire company instantly burst
forth, hastening to the long counters, where they convulsively
swallowed foaming schooners of beer and eagerly devoured sundry
dainties, such as rye bread spread with goose grease and over-laid
with _kraut_ or _wurst_, and varnished _pretzels_ salted to the limit.
Even the babies were held at the open windows and foaming mugs of beer
poured into them by their fond parents. The passion of the German for
his _bier_ equals the Russian's thirst for _vodka_.

We reached Hamburg a little after half past one, when, taking a
_fiacre_, we immediately drove to Cook's Tourists' Agency, where I
booked to London, via Amsterdam, The Hague, the Hook of Holland, and
Harwich. Then, for an hour, we strolled about the city.

Hamburg possesses fine retail shops and abounds in restaurants,
Bier-Keller and Wein-Stuben, establishments devoted to the solace of
the inner man.

Stricken with hunger-pangs, and not knowing just where to go, I
accosted a tall and prosperous-looking burger, telling him we were
Americans in search of food. Lifting his hat, he "begged to be allowed
to guide us to the finest Wein Stube" in the town, whither his own
steps were at that moment bent. He led the way to a quiet side street,
where, descending a flight of stone steps, he introduced us to the
portly master of the _stube_. We entered a succession of large
cellars, paneled and ceiled in oak and floored with patterned tiles,
where small round-topped wooden tables were set about. We were
conducted to a cozy corner, and Rhine wine, cheese, sausage and fresh
rye bread were set before us, as well as mustard and sour pickles and
pats of sweet unsalted butter, and to this was added a palatable stew.

The room was filled with men--big, well-fed, well-clothed men,
apparently merchants, ship-masters and men of affairs. They fell-to
upon their flagons of _wein_, their _wurst_ and _kraut_, their
_braten_ and _fisch_ with serious and deliberate devotion. It was that
time of day when, in America, the prospering businessman eats lightly,
smokes sparingly and touches liquor not at all, holding his intellect
alert and whetted to its keenest edge. We watched with wonder these
men of Hamburg, while they poured down quart after quart of wine, the
air growing thick with the fumes of strong tobacco. This capacity
of Hans to eat heavily and mightily liquor-up and yet transact
affairs, bespeaks a hardness of head and toughness of stomach which
ranks him neck and neck alongside his cousin Bull as co-champion of
the bibulating, gastronomizing world.

[Illustration: OUR BILL OF FARE.]

Although H was the only woman in the _stube_, being recognized as
Americans, we were treated by the company with greatest courtesy and
that invariable friendliness with which, in Germany, my countrymen are
everywhere received.

Upon departing, Mein Host presented me with an attractive little
ash-tray to add to my collection of souvenirs and, with much ceremony,
bestowed also upon mine _frau_ an illuminated catalogue of his store
of wines.

Later, we entered a comfortable _landau_ and for several hours were
driven about the city. Hamburg has always been an important city and
one where great volume of business has been transacted. In the Middle
Ages it was a member of the Hanseatic League; in after days it was a
Free City and, even at this time, its citizens view its absorption
within the German Empire not altogether with satisfaction. It bears
the marks of great antiquity. Quaint and picturesque are the lofty
mediaeval buildings which lean over its canals, where men and women
push, with long poles, blunt-ended canal boats and clumsy-looking, but
storm-proof, sloops and luggers, among perpetual cries and clamors;
where sturdy black tug boats incessantly shove their way; and where
is a jam and jostle of inland water-life not unlike that seen in
Holland. Many narrow streets cross these canals on high-built bridges,
bearing a continuous and deliberately-moving traffic.

Hamburg also possesses noble boulevards, long and straight and wide,
and well-shaded with umbrageous lindens, where, set back behind high
walls and strong-barred gates, are miles of sumptuous mansions, in
which her merchant princes maintain their households in unostentatious
luxury. The wealth of the merchants of Hamburg is said to exceed that
of the aristocratic office-holding classes of Berlin.

There are also spacious docks in Hamburg, convenient and modernly
equipped, where, year by year, gathers an increasing shipping to fetch
and carry the rapidly developing foreign commerce of the German
Empire. The wealth and energy of the German Hinterlands pours itself
eagerly into Hamburg's lap and the ancient mediaeval city now finds
itself, unlike somnolent Copenhagen, at the very forefront of Europe's
activity. Hamburg is, commercially, more alive and active than Berlin,
and as a port receives more shipping than London. Hamburg is almost as
wide awake as is New York.

After our drive, we came to the Hotel Europaer, where we dined and
rested, and then departed a little before midnight for Amsterdam.
Although this is the regular passenger service to Holland, there was
no through sleeper, and we were compelled to change at Oestenburg,
where we caught the night express from Cologne. Then in a comfortable
"_schlafwagen_," wrapped in our sea-rugs, we slept soundly the balance
of the night.

[Illustration: A KINDER OF MAARKEN.]

[Illustration: A GENTLEMAN OF MAARKEN.]

We arrived at Amsterdam near eight o'clock and found our way to the
Hotel Victoria, near the station, where I enjoyed such delicious
coffee two years ago, and there we breakfasted: coffee,--a great pot
of fragrant Java,--abundant milk, sweet and delicious,--rolls and big
fresh eggs, and a fish which much resembled the Danish _roed spoette_
and English sole. It was a delightful breakfast, such as one is always
sure to have in Holland.

Two years ago, I devoted my time to viewing the city, so now we
resolved to see somewhat of the country beyond the limits of the town.
Thus it happened that we boarded a taut little boat in the midmorning
and all day long steamed through canals, with many locks, passing
above picturesque farmsteads and villages, down upon which we looked
from the higher level of the diked-up waters, and floated at last upon
the Zuyder Zee. We later visited the Island of Maarken with its
fisher-folk in quaint and ancient costume. Once "simple peasants," but
now, alas! ruined by the staring, money-shedding tourist. We had
scarcely set foot upon the Island, when we were stormed by a horde of
men and women, boys and girls, each demanding "mooney," and imploring
us to snap the kodak at them for the cash; begging us also to visit
their particular homes, where we would be allowed to look inside the
door, and perhaps inspect the house, for more Dutch _cents_ and even
_gulden_. So persistent were these "simple fisher-folk" that I almost
fell into dire mishap. H suggested she should take my photograph,
whereupon I arranged myself before the camera, when, just as the kodak
clicked, a _vrow_ and several _kinderen_ rushed up and took position
by my side, thus necessarily appearing in the picture, as you will
see. The lady backed by her brood thereupon demanded, "Mooney, mooney,
mooney." Naturally, I refused to pay for what had been given without
request. The little company immediately raised a loud lament, at sound
of which an immense and bow-legged fisherman appeared upon the scene,
lifting a great oar and threatening my annihilation, unless money were
put up. However, I was firm and fearless, and finally convinced him
that I had not requested the family to stand before the lens, while I
showed him I had already added half a _gulden_ to his chest for
inspection of the home. Comprehending this at last, his anger then
turned upon his spouse, and he sulkily drove her and the _kinderen_
within their door, using language that sounded much like the English
damn.

Leaving the Island, we came home across the Zee and passed through
the huge new locks of the River Amstel, the "_Dam_" of which,
keeping out the waters of the Zuyder Zee, gives to the city its
name,--_Amstel-dam_.

[Illustration: AMONG VROW AND KINDEREN, MAARKEN.]

The little boat we sailed upon was chiefly filled with Holland folk,
for we were behind the tourist season. They were a quiet,
undemonstrative company and, on the deck, sat about in little groups
and were served with Schiedam _schnapps_ in small glasses by
white-aproned waiters and smoked long, light-colored Sumatra cigars.
The proverbial Hollander, fat and chunky with an enormous pipe, is now
a mere tradition. The Dutchman of to-day, like his English cousin, is
long and lean, and might almost be taken for a New England Yankee.

An hour by rail brought us to "Den Haag." We passed among broad
meadows, marked by wide black ditches from which gigantic pumps
incessantly suck out the seeping waters and pour them into the sea.
These meadows were once the bottom of the ocean, the soil being
composed of the rich alluvial silt which the continental rivers have
for centuries discharged. Indeed, Holland may be said to consist of
the submerged deltas of the rivers Scheldt and Rhine, which the
indefatigable industry of man has rescued from the sea. These lands
are of inexhaustible fertility and upon them, everywhere, we saw
grazing herds of black-and-white Holstein cows, whence come the butter
and cheese for which Holland is famous, and the delicious milk which
is so abundantly offered us at every meal. The roadbed ran high above
the meadows, down upon which we looked. Here and there we espied a
cluster of neat farm buildings, reminding me much of the Dutch
homesteads along the Hudson River valley, and stretching from Albany
along the Mohawk, in New York,--with this difference, however, that
here, each house and barn and garden lay surrounded with its own
diminutive canal, where were little foot-bridges and skiffs fastened
near the kitchen door, even a large canal boat being often moored
against a barn, the better to float away the loaded hay. The Dutchman
finds life intolerable unless he has his own canal right at his
threshold.

Farther along, the landscape was marked with innumerable windmills
turning their ponderous arms slowly to the breeze which crept in from
the sea; we counted I do not know how many, there seemed never to be
an end. The people we saw were stout and rosy-cheeked, and moved with
less alertness than do the Norwegians, nor did they have about them
that air of busy-ness which the modern German begins to show. The
impression made by the Hollander is that of sureness and deliberation.
The cocky strut of the Frenchman, who moves ever as though on
dress-parade, is entirely wanting to the Hollander, whose demure
exterior gives no hint of the wealth, the talent, the high importance
hid within.

The journey from Amsterdam to The Hague takes scarcely an hour, and
before we knew it we drew in to the large station of the Dutch
capital. The soldierly-clad porters are not here as numerous as in
Germany, nor did those who served us move with so self-conscious
and self-important a gait. Men in quiet, dark-blue uniforms quickly
put our baggage into an open _fiacre_ and we drove to the hotel of the
"Twe Stadten," a comfortable inn facing a large well-shaded "_park_."
We were given a commodious chamber looking out upon a pretty garden
and dined, at a later hour, in the long, low-ceilinged dining room.
The guests were few, only one other party beside ourselves dining thus
late. They were two tall and white-haired dames, gowned in black silk
with much old lace round about the throat, and with them a petite and
pretty Señorita, who spoke in Spanish and insisted upon puffing
cigarettes. She led the way from the dining room smoking jauntily, the
two chaperones following respectfully behind.

[Illustration: ALONG THE ZUYDER ZEE.]

[Illustration: A LOAD OF HAY, HOLLAND.]

[Illustration: DUTCH TOILERS.]

[Illustration: A WATERY LANE, DEN HAAG.]

In the morning we spent delightful hours in the national picture
galleries looking at the priceless collections of the Rembrandts and
Rubens, which the Dutch government has here assembled; in the
afternoon we strolled about the clean, quiet city, beneath the
over-spreading elms; and then we supped at Scheveningen, where we saw
the sea again and the last of the season's fashionable folk.

A moment before leaving our hotel to take the train, which would carry
us to The Hook, I had my last adventure among the canny Dutch. Upon
the table in our chamber lay an attractive little ash-receiver, which
any smoker must needs long to own. Quite naturally, it became
entangled with our sundry purchases and scattered belongings and with
them was inadvertently put away. Just as we were quitting the
apartment, the head waiter of the inn, in whose charge we seemed to
be, burst in upon us with wild anxiety in his eye and explained in
broken English, that he instantly observed, upon scrutinizing the
chamber, that a most valuable piece of Delft ware had mysteriously
disappeared. Perhaps we had broken it? At any rate, it was gone and he
would be held responsible for its loss. Two _gulden_ would barely
replace it! "What should he do?" Naturally, I explained that my wife
by mistake had probably packed it up, and begged him to advise the
office that, upon settling my bill, it would give me pleasure to
deposit two _gulden_ against the loss. At a later time, when
exhibiting this relic to wiser eyes, I was forced to recognize that
the little ash-receiver was merely common ware, of value perhaps ten
Dutch _cents_! So much for the knowing Dutchman who traps the traveler
in search of souvenirs!

Two hours after leaving The Hague we were upon the ship which would
carry us to England. By early morning we were again at Harwich, and we
arrived in London by mid-afternoon. Our only fellow passenger upon the
train was a tall, dark, silent man, who carried with him an enormous
overcoat of fur. We thought him a Russian, and wondered if he also had
come directly from the Empire of the Czar.

We are now returned to London, whence we departed five weeks ago. We
have crossed the North Sea, and journeyed through Denmark, and
Norway, and Sweden, and visited their capitals. We have voyaged
across the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland; we have caught a
passing glimpse of Helsingfors, and looked upon St. Petersburg and
Moscow, and traveled many hundred _versts_ through the Empire of the
Czar. We have sped through Germany and felt at home in the noble
cities of Berlin and Hamburg. We have tarried in Amsterdam and Den
Haag, where we felt the strangely familiar atmosphere of Dutch New
York. We have looked upon many peoples of the Teutonic races and, when
among them, have felt that subtle throb of kinship, which common blood
and common origin awake; we have also plunged a moment within the
mediaeval and yet semi-barbarous dominions of the Slav and found
ourselves upon the threshold of mysterious Asia.

[Illustration: THE GOSSIPS, DEN HAAG.]

[Illustration: THE FISH MARKET, DEN HAAG.]

We have everywhere been thankful in our hearts that we were born and
bred beneath the Stars and Stripes in the great Republic of the West,
where hope and opportunity are not merely our own, but are also the
loadstars which beckon thither the youth and vigor of these older
peoples of the World.



    INDEX


    Aabo Elv, 89
    Alexander Nevsky Monastery, 156
    Amagertorv, The, 22
    American Belles and Viking Beaux, 119
    American Dollars and Norse Farms, 111
    American Emigration from Norway, 113
    American Influence on Norway, 48
    American Navy, Norse Sailors in, 53
    American Spirit, 112
    Amsterdam, 223
    Arctic Twilight, The, 115
    Ash Receiver, Incident of, 227
    Aurdals Vand, The, 60

    Baegna Elv, 60
    Baltic Sea, Crossing the, 138
    Baltic Sea, A Storm on,140
    Bandaks Vand, 108
    Belts, Big and Little, 11
    Berlin, City of, 216
    Berlin, Hotel at Moscow, 169
    Bier Garten, Berlin, 218
    Blagoveschensk, 211
    Boerte Dal, 107
    Borgund, Ancient Church of, 72
    Breifond, Hotel, 93
    Bruce Fjord, 75
    Brute, A Titled, 82
    Brzesc (Brest), 199
    Buarbrae Glacier, The, 89
    Bug River, 199

    Caste, Influence in Russia, 207
    Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, 175
    Cathedral St. Basil the Blessed, 175
    Cathedral St. Savior, 173
    Churches and Schools in Norway, 104
    Churches, St. Petersburg, 155
    Climate of Western Coast Norway, 76
    Coasting Down the Laera Dal, 71
    Condit, Mr. and Mrs., 138
    Copenhagen, 13
    Cossack Hordes, 217
    Cruelty of Ivan the Terrible, 176
    Cruelty of Peter the Great, 187
    Cruelty of Past Czars, 174
    Cruelty of Modern Russia, 210

    Dalen, 106
    Danish Friends, Our, 11
    Democratic Trend in Sweden, 126
    Denmark, A Small Country, 28
    Dinner Party, An Evening, 36
    Dining Service at Ed., 44
    Discontent of Russian Masses, 153
    Dogs of Copenhagen, 24
    Dutch, Impressions of the, 226

    Eida, 84
    Eids Elv, 110
    Eikon, The, 171
    Elsinore, 33
    Esbjerg, 9
    Etna Elv, Along the, 56

    Fagernaes, 63
    Farming in Norway, 71
    Fat Farm Lands of Russia, 197
    Finland, 142
    Finland, The Gulf of, 145
    Flaa Vand, 110
    Fleischer's Hotel, 82
    Fog, The, leaving Harwich, 3
    Folgefonden, Ice Field, 89
    Fosheim, 63
    France and the Jews, 202
    France, Modern France, Contrasted with Russia, 198
    French Fellow-travelers, Our, 90-97
    Frydenlund, Night at, 58-60

    Gammel Strand, The, Fish-market, 23
    Geok Tepe, 210
    German Bride, The Lovely, 43
    German Fellow-travelers clamor for Bier, Our, 97
    German Car, In a, 200
    German Ogre Hungry for Denmark, 19
    Germany, We Enter, 214
    Germany, Journey to Hamburg, 218
    Gors Vand, 92
    Government Monopoly in Russia, 207
    Graft, Mulcted for Passports, 150-159-195
    Granheims Vand, 62
    Gravens Vand, 84
    Gribski, General, 210
    Grungedals Vand, 106
    Gudvangen, 78
    Gulden at Den Haag, Two, 228

    Hague, The, 228
    Hamburg, 220
    Hamlet's Ghost and Grave, 35
    Hangoe, We Make Port, 140
    Hardanger Fjord, The, 85
    Harvesting in Norway, 65
    Harwich, Departure from, 1-3
    Harwich, Return to, 228
    Haukeli Fjeld, The, 97
    Haukeli Fjeld, Descending from the, 107
    Haymow Flying Through the Air, 71
    Height of Land, Crossing above Nystuen, 69
    Helsingborg, 41
    Helsingfors, 143
    Herring Catch at Elsinore, 38
    Hoch der Kaiser, 189
    Holger Danske, Legend of, 35
    Holland, Passing Through, 225
    Hollander of Today, The, 225
    Hook of Holland, The, 227
    Hotel Berlin, Moscow, 169
    Hotel Breifond, Horre, 92
    Hotel Continental, Stockholm, 122
    Hotel Dagmar, Copenhagen, 13
    Hotel de'l Europe, St. Petersburg, 149
    Hotel Fleischer's, Voss, Norway, 82
    Hotel Haukelid, Norway, 97
    Hotel Kristiania Missions, 46
    Hotel Savoy, Berlin, 214
    Hotel Sleibot, Elsinore, 38
    Hotel Stalheim, Norway, 75
    Hotel Twee Stadten, The Hague, 227
    Hotel Victoria, Amsterdam, 223

    Imperial Apartments, St. Petersburg, 155
    Imperial Mail Train, Russia, 158
    Ivan the Terrible, 176
    Izvostchiks, 147-149-168

    Jew, Cultivated Citizen of the World, 204
    Jews' Opportunity, The, 206
    Jewess, Russian, 202
    Jewish Synagogue, Moscow, 203
    Jotunheim, 61
    Jutland, to Funen and Zealand, 13
    Juno, A Viking, 70

    Kilefos, 78
    King Oscar II, an Incident, 134
    Kischineff, Massacres of, 210
    Kremlin, The, 173
    Kristiania, 46
    Kristiania to Stockholm, 49
    Kronborg, 34
    Kronstadt, Fortress of, 145

    Laera River, The, 72
    Laerdalsoeren, 70
    Lap Dish-wiper, A, 109
    Life and Color of Swedish Capital, 129-132
    Loeken Upon the Slidre Vand, 63
    London, Departure, 1
    London, Return to, 228
    Lotefos and Skarsfos, 90
    Lubin, The Eating Room at, 162

    Maarken, Island of, 223
    Maarken, In a Tight Place, 224
    Maidens Milking Goats, 101
    Maristuen, 69
    Militarism, in Germany, 217
    Military Guard, 160-163
    Minsk, 199
    Moscow, En Route to, 158-161
    Moscow, Arrive at, 167
    Moscow, 168
    Moscow, Our Guide in, 169
    Moscow, Street Life, 178
    Moscow, We Leave, 195
    Mujiks, Frightful Poverty of the, 197-208
    Mujiks, Hatred of Bureaucrats, 187

    Naeroe Fjord, 78
    Nelson, U. S. Senator, 81
    Neva, Entering the River, 146
    Nordsjoe Vand, 110
    North Sea, Crossing the, 3
    Norwegian Bride, A, 119
    Notes and Comments on Norse Life, 103
    Notice to Police, 150
    Novo Dievitchy, Monastery, 191
    Novogorod, 125

    Odda, The Voyage to, 87
    Odda to Horre, 91
    Odnaes, 55
    Ole Mon, Our Driver, 56
    Ole Mon, I Fall into Rhyme, 74
    Opheims Vand, 80

    Pageant of Russian Mass, 182
    Palaces of St. Petersburg, 154
    Passport System of Russia, 136-146
    Peat Beds in Norway, 114
    Peter the Great, 185
    Petrovsky, Chateau, 193
    Pixies and Sprites, 100
    Poland and the Poles, 199
    Police at St. Petersburg, 149
    Problems of Russia Economic, 212

    Raaben, General von, 210
    Railroads--Danish, 10-31
      English, 1
      German, 218
      Norwegian, 41-81
      Russian, 160-163-195
      Swedish, 118
    Rand Fjord, Upon the, 55
    Recruiting Farm Hands for America, 113
    Red Square, Moscow, 174
    Religious Feeling in Russia, 180
    Rembrandt, 227
    Revolution in Russia Inevitable, 199
    Roldals Vand, 92
    Roosevelt, Russians Admire, 166
    Rubens, 227
    Rundals Elv, 82
    Rurik, House of, 125-176
    Russians Barbarians, 179
    Russian Dirt, 200
    Russia, How We Entered, 136
    Russia, Mediaeval and Pagan, 185

    Sandven Vand, 89
    Scandinavian State, United, 19-127
    Scheveningen, 227
    Schools, in Norway, 104
    Schools, Lack of, in Russia, 156-165
    Seljestad Hotel, Our Hostess, 91
    Seljestad Juvet, 91
    Serfs, in Russia, 206
    Ships, on North Sea, 3
    Ships, on Gulf of Finland, 138
    Skansen Park, 131
    Skien, 108
    Skjervefos, The Roaring, 83
    Skodshorn, The Legend of the, 65
    Skogstad, The Night at, 67
    Sleeping Car, Swedish, 118
    Slidre Vand, 63
    Smidal Fjord, 75
    Smolensk, 195
    Snow, The First, 191
    Snows, Distant, 60
    Sogne Fjord, On the, 75
    South African Trooper, Incident, 2
    Sparrow Hills, 177
    Staa Vand, 97
    Staavanger, 88
    Stalheim to Vossvangen, 81
    Stars, We are the, 105
    Stockholm, 129
    Stockholm and the Swede, 123
    Stockholm, The Hotel at, 122
    Stockholm, Life and Color of, 128
    St. Peter and St. Paul, Church of, 156
    St. Petersburg, 148
    Stranda Vand, The, 60
    Summary of Impressions, 229
    Sund, The, 32
    Sund, The, Crossing to Sweden, 41
    Swede and Norsk, Differentiation of, 124
    Swedish Coffee House, A, 133
    Swedish Sleeping Car, A, 118

    Telemarken Fjords, The, 108-110
    Teutonic Kinship, 189
    Thier Garten, Berlin, 216
    Three Continents, 184
    Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, 26
    Tomlevolden, 56
    Tonsaasen, Sanitorium of, 57
    Trolls and Pixies, 65
    Trolls and Witches, 98
    Tver, City of, 163
    Tvinde Elv, 81
    Twilight, the Arctic, 115

    Ulivaa Vand, 97
    Utro Vand, 69

    Vangs Vand, 81
    Vangsmjoesen Vand, 60
    Valdai Hills, 163
    Volga River, 125-163
    Voss or Vossvangen, 81
    Voxli Vand, 106

    Warships, Incident of American, 53
    Wealth of Churches, St. Petersburg, 156-157
    Wealth of Few, Poverty of Many, Russia, 148-152-157
    Wealth of Few, Russia, 209
    Wedding Party, A, 120
    Wein Stube, Hamburg, 220
    Western Alps of Norway, 88
    Winter, Preparation for, 115
    Workingmen's Square, 187

    Zuyder Zee, 223


[Illustration: MAP OF NORTH EUROPE.]

[Illustration: MAP OF SCANDINAVIA AND BALTIC RUSSIA, IN PROFILE.]





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