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Thursday broke without a cloud. The wind breathed softly over the mountains from the West. We had no object to detain us longer, for the present, in Norway, and so the cutter was got under weigh. The wind gradually increased, and, at eight o’clock, we passed the Oxoe Light, at the eastern extremity of the Fiord.

The pilot, unaccustomed to the speed of an English yacht, was much alarmed about the safety of his boat towing at the cutter’s stern; for, now and then, the antiquated pram would dip its nose so deeply into the water, being drawn swiftly through it, as to threaten instant submersion; and his attention divided between the tiller of a vessel, which flew up in the wind’s eye with the slightest negligence, and his anxiety for the well-being of his own boat, the countenance of the Norse tar was a book on whose leaves the student might have seen how truly “the ridiculous and sublime” can be united.

“Now then, my man,” said D; “mind your helm, or you’ll have her up in the wind in a minute.”

“Ja; but luke at moin praam moin Got!”

“Curse your pram, she won’t hurt; haul her on board,” said Dto some of the sailors.

“Nej, nej,” exclaimed the Norwegian; “zare luke zare! Moin Got! luke at moin praam!”

“Her timbers are good, ain’t they? If they’re good, and will hold together, this lop wont hurt her,” observed D.

“Ja, goot; but ze vater ville come into moin praam. Moin Got!”

The fellow was glad to take his dollars and his leave, and, as soon as he did so, we shaped our course for the Skaw Point, the most northerly headland of Denmark. The wind now blew strongly from W.S.W., and the Iris tore furiously along, revelling with her favourite breeze, three points on the quarter; and, bounding from wave to wave, she seemed to dally with their soft white crests, which curved half playfully, half reluctantly, as her proud bows met and kissed them lightly, then threw them, hissing, in her wake.

At noon, the latitude observed, was 57.54; and at five o’clock we made the Skaw through the crevices of a fog.

We had run nearly one hundred miles in nine hours, and the reader may easily understand the alarm of the pilot for the safety of his boat. At six o’clock, the fog cleared away, and we discerned with our glasses five vessels which had run ashore during the thickness of the weather. These mishaps frequently occur along this part of the Danish shore, for it is very low, and invariably shrouded in mist.

We did not lack society; as hundreds of vessels of all shapes and sizes, from the lumbering Dutchman to the trim American, were scattered over the surface of the water. We amused ourselves by signalling, first to one ship, and, then, to the other brig, and so on, in rotation, from schooner to smack; and, thus occupied, the afternoon wagged on.

Jacko was convicted of a few misdemeanours to-day, and the principal witness against him was his particular friend, Alfred, the boy. Jacko was seen to descend into the cabin, and, entering my berth, to take thence my best London-made and only remaining tooth-brush; and, after polishing his own diminutive teeth, and committing other pranks with it, such as the scrubbing of the deck, and currying of Sailor’s back, left it to batten on the fish-bones in the said Sailor’s hutch; and was, moreover, seen by the aforesaid complainant to remove R’s small ivory box of cold cream from the dressing-case, and, ascending the deck, not as human creatures do by the companion-stairs, but along the companion-banisters, carrying the purloined article in his tail, to anoint, in the first instance, his own pugged nose; and, in the second instance, to transfer the obligation to Sailor’s (always Sailor!) shaggy ears and shaggier coat; and then, that his guilt might be concealed, till the day of judgment for ring-tailed monkeys should come, the little box itself was sent overboard through one of the scuppers. Jacko was found guilty of these two charges by the steward and helmsman, (whose pipe Jacko had also committed to the waters of the Scaggerack,) and ordered to the mast-head; and there he remained for three hours sitting close to the jaws of the gaff, and chattering, without cessation, his annoyances to the gaff halliard blocks.

At midnight, the Trindelen light-ship bore west, distance six or seven miles. Although Cronenborg Castle had been in sight all day, we did not anchor off the town of Elsineur (the wind being so light) until six o’clock on Friday evening. Immediately on our arrival, a boat was sent ashore to deliver the vessel’s papers; for, though the ancient privileges of Cronenborg are not held with such paramount sovereignty as they used to be of yore, some form, and merely form, is, however, observed. For instance in passing the castle, the ensign of the country to which the vessel belongs must be hoisted at the peak, or at the fore, according to the character of the vessel; and, should this regulation be encroached upon, a gun from the citadel is immediately fired, and is followed by others until the flag is hoisted, and continues to be fired until the flag is seen at its proper place; and, when the commotion is at an end, an artillery officer, or his deputy, boards the refractory vessel and demands payment, (every gun, fired, at so much) for the powder expended in bringing the crew to their senses. Many droll scenes occur between the Castle and the Dutch merchant-vessels going up the Baltic; for the Dutchmen, either from their unwieldiness, or from the confused cargo they carry, cannot always be made, on the instant, to conform to some of these regulations; and the artillerymen, being desirous of profiting by the apparent negligence, knowing well the cause, open an unremitting cannonade on the passive Hollanders, and, in the course of a few minutes, will run up a tolerably long bill.

The night was most beautiful, and the sea calm as death. The fine old Castle of Cronenborg, casting a dark shadow over the water even to the vessel’s side, made me dream of days and legends gone by as I remained silently gazing on its elegant tower. My mind, filled with melancholy fancies, flew to centuries long past, when the philosophic Hamlet mused, perhaps, on calm evenings like this, pacing to and fro the very ramparts I was looking on, or sought, on that night of “a nipping and an eager air,” the coming of him whose

“Form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones, Would make them capable.”

Those old walls, too, are full of poor, Struensee’s fate, he, whose great soul, sundering aristocratic power, first gave liberty to Denmark, and added to her natural blessings the moral beauty of our own dear England. And how does history speak?

On the 16th of June, 1772, a masked ball was given at the Court of Denmark, surpassing the imaginary brilliancy of an Oriental tale. A thousand tapers threw their splendour over a scene already glittering with the beauty, youth, and power of Copenhagen. The mean and daily feelings which give impulse to the actions of political men, seemed absorbed in the joyousness of the moment; and the gravest senators might have been seen on this night, unravelling the mazes of the dance, with the speed and light-heartedness of the youngest girl. The king himself, throwing aside the apathetic reserve of his state, danced a country-dance with the queen; and, at its conclusion, he having retired to play at quadrille with General Gahler and Counsellor Struensee, the youthful queen gave her hand to Count Struensee during the remainder of the evening. At one end of the room, apart from all, and apparently lost in their own thoughts, stood the Dowager-queen, and her son, Prince Frederick. While his royal mother shone with the dazzling brightness of numberless precious stones attired in all the outward pomp of her high position, the Prince was habited in the splendid uniform of a Danish regiment of horse; and the most honourable Order of the Elephant, surmounted with a castle, set in diamonds, and suspended to a sky-blue watered ribbon, passed over his right shoulder; a white ribbon from which depended a small cross of diamonds, and an embroidered star on the breast of his coat denoted him to be also a Knight of the most ancient Order of Daneburg.

Keeping their eyes intently fixed on the beautiful Caroline-Matilda, as she moved through the dance with Count Struensee, they would occasionally, in whispers, make an observation to each other, but in tones so low, that their nearest attendants could not catch its purport. The young Queen, fatigued at last, retired at two o’clock from the ball-room, followed by Struensee and Count Brandt. About four the same morning, Prince Frederick got up and dressed himself, and went with his mother to the King’s bed-chamber, accompanied by General Eichstedt and Count Rantzan. As soon as they had reached the lobby of the royal chamber, the page was roused, and ordered to awake the King; and, in the midst of the surprise and alarm that this unexpected intrusion excited, they informed him, that his Queen and the two Struensees were at that instant busy in drawing up an act of renunciation of the crown, which they would immediately afterwards compel him to sign; and, that the only means he could use to prevent so imminent a danger, was to validate by his signature those orders, without loss of time, which they had brought with them, for arresting the Queen and her accomplices. The King hesitated for some time, and, it is said, was not easily prevailed upon to sign these orders; but at length complied, though with reluctance and expressions of great grief. Count Rantzan and three officers were dispatched, at that untimely hour, to the Queen’s apartment, and immediately arrested her. She was hurried into one of the King’s carriages, and conveyed at once to the Castle of Cronenborg, where she remained until May, when the King of England sent a small squadron of ships to carry her to Germany. The City of Zell was appointed her place of residence, where she died of a malignant fever on the 10th of May, 1775, at the early age of twenty-three. Some most unjust charges, in connection with the Queen, Caroline-Matilda, were brought against Struensee, and, on the 28th April, 1772, he was, together with his old friend, Count Brandt, beheaded, his right hand being previously cut off.

Caroline-Matilda was the sister of George III.; and her infant son, the late King of Denmark, Christian VIII., was at this period taken from his mother, though only five years of age; and this separation from her little son, on whom she doted, hastened to an untimely grave this innocent and unfortunate queen.

The Danish traditions say that for many ages the clang of arms, and groans of human beings, as if in torture, were occasionally heard in the dismal vaults beneath the Castle of Cronenborg. No human creature knew the cause of these strange noises, and desirous, as all people were, to learn the mystery, there was not in all the land of Denmark a man bold enough to descend into the vaults. The sentinels, as they kept watch by night, would be driven by superstitious terror from their posts, nor could they be induced to resume their duty. On stormy nights, when the rain descended, and thunder and lightning disturbed the face of nature, these unearthly sounds would begin, at first by low moans, to join the universal din; then, increasing loud and more loud, add horror to the raging elements. At last, a poor serf, who had forfeited his life, was told that all the errors of his youth should be regarded no more, and his crimes be forgiven, if he would descend and bring intelligence to his countrymen of what he saw and found in these vaults. Oppressed by the ignominy of his fate, he went down, and following, carefully, to an immense depth, the winding of a stone staircase, came to an iron door, which opened, as if by a spring, when he knocked. He entered, and found himself on the brink of a deep vault. In the centre of the ceiling hung a lamp, which was nearly burnt out, and, by its flickering light, he saw, below, a huge stone table, round which many warriors, clad in armour, sate, resting, as if in slumber, their heads on their arms, which they laid crossways. He who reclined at the farthest end of the table a man of great stature then rose up. It was Holger, the Dane. When he raised his head from his arms, the foundations of the vault shook, and the stone table burst instantly in twain, for his beard had grown through it. He beckoned the slave to approach; and, when he had come near, said,

“Give me thy hand!”

The slave, alarmed, durst not give him the hand he had required, but, taking up an iron bar from the ground, put it forth; and Holger, grasping it, indented it with his fingers. This friendly response (for Holger perceived not the difference between flesh and iron,) to the feelings of Holger made a deep impression on his heart, unaccustomed though it had been for centuries to the sympathy of his kind, and smiling, he muttered to the trembling slave,

“It is well! I am glad that there are yet men in Denmark.”

The serf returned to earth as soon as permission was obtained, and, relating the story exactly as I have repeated it, received his freedom and a pension from the king.

The Castle of Cronenborg was commenced by Frederick II. in 1574, and finished by Christian IV.

The boat returned at eight o’clock, and brought off some bread; but it was so hard and heavy, we could not touch it, though some Danes, who had accompanied our men from the shore, assured us it was the best bread baked in Elsineur, and eaten by the native nobility. It was darker in colour than the brown bread in England; and so acid, that the sailors, who were cormorants at food, and ostriches in digestion, declined the loaf as a gift. Sailor ate it, and had the cholic for three weeks.

Earlier than the sun I arose on Saturday morning. From the spot where the yacht lay at anchor, the town of Elsineur had an imposing appearance; and, besides the number of fishing-vessels which kept popping out of the harbour, one by one, round the pier-head, at this early time, amidst the shouts and merry laughter of their crews, betokening the light hearts with which they went forth to their daily labour, the wind-mills on the tops of the neighbouring hills, outvying each other in velocity, showed that the inhabitants entertained, at least, habits of industry, and were not, perhaps, unacquainted with the advantages of traffic. But, since we did not land to-day, I will revert to this celebrated little town on our return from Copenhagen, when, I hope, to make myself more familiar with it.