“Don’t always be boasting of that exploit of yours!”

Nature Difficult to Move Networkthanks2023-11-30 19:08:19 58 1582

One of the features of the place--a custom which is of great use to the traveller, and prevails in all Scandinavian towns--is, that the names of the streets are affixed at every corner, so that the passer-by always knows where he is, without the necessity of asking his way.

“Don’t always be boasting of that exploit of yours!”

Open canals run through the town; and on such nights as the almanac announces a full or bright moon the streets are not lighted.

“Don’t always be boasting of that exploit of yours!”

Wooden quays surround the harbour, on which several large warehouses, likewise built of wood, are situated; but, like most of the houses, they are roofed with tiles.

“Don’t always be boasting of that exploit of yours!”

The arrangement and display of the stores are simple, and the wares very beautiful, though not of home manufacture. Very few factories exist here, and every thing has to be imported.

I was much shocked at the raggedly-clad people I met every where in the streets; the young men especially looked very ragged. They rarely begged; but I should not have been pleased to meet them alone in a retired street.

I was fortunate enough to be in Christiania at the time when the Storthing was sitting. This takes place every three years; the sessions commence in January or February, and usually last three months; but so much business had this time accumulated, that the king proposed to extend the length of the session. To this fortunate accident I owed the pleasure of witnessing some of the meetings. The king was expected to close the proceedings in September. { 49}

The hall of meeting is long and large. Four rows of tapestried seats, one rising above the other, run lengthways along the hall, and afford room for eighty legislators. Opposite the benches a table stands on a raised platform, and at this table the president and secretary sit. A gallery, which is open to the public, runs round the upper portion of the hall.

Although I understood but little of the Norwegian language, I attended the meetings daily for an hour. I could at least distinguish whether long or short speeches were made, or whether the orator spoke fluently. Unfortunately, the speakers I heard spoke the few words they mustered courage to deliver so slowly and hesitatingly, that I could not form a very favourable idea of Norwegian eloquence. I was told that the Storthing only contained three or four good speakers, and they did not display their talents during my stay.



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