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    Ch. 11 - Diurgaerden

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    Chapter 11
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    Diurgaerden is a large piece of land made into a garden by our Lord
    himself. Come with us over there. We are still in the city, but before
    the palace lie the broad hewn stone stairs, leading down to the water,
    where the Dalkulls--i.e., the Dalecarlian women--stand and ring with
    metal bells. On board! here are boats enough to choose amongst, all
    with wheels, which the Dalkulls turn. In coarse white linen, red
    stockings, with green heels, and singularly thick-soled shoes, with
    the upper-leather right up the shin-bone, stands the Dalkull; she has
    ornamented the boat, that now shoots away, with green branches. Houses
    and streets rise and unfold themselves; churches and gardens start
    forth; they stand on Södermalm high above the tops of the ships'
    masts. The scenery reminds one of the Bhosphorus and Pera; the motley
    dress of the Dalkulls is quite Oriental--and listen! the wind bears
    melancholy Skalmeie tones out to us. Two poor Dalecarlians are playing
    music on the quay; they are the same drawn-out, melancholy tones that
    are played by the Bulgarian musicians in the streets of Pera. We stept
    out, and are in the Diurgarden.

    What a crowd of equipages pass in rows through the broad avenue! and
    what a throng of well-dressed pedestrians of all classes! One thinks
    of the garden of the Villa Borghese, when, at the time of the wine
    feast, the Roman people and strangers take the air there. We are in
    the Borghese garden; we are by the Bosphorus, and yet far in the
    North. The pine-tree rises large and free; the birch droops its
    branches, as the weeping willow alone has power to do--and what
    magnificently grand oaks! The pine-trees themselves are mighty trees,
    beautiful to the painter's eye; splendid green grass plains lie
    stretched before us, and the fiord rolls its green, deep waters close
    past, as if it were a river. Large ships with swelling sails, the one
    high above the other, steamers and boats, come and go in varied

    Come! let us up to Byström's villa; it lies on the stony cliff up
    there, where the large oak-trees stand in their stubborn grandeur: we
    see from here the whole tripartite city, Södermalm, Nordmalm and the
    island with that huge palace. It is delightful, the building here on
    this rock, and the building stands, and that almost entirely of
    marble, a "Casa santa d'Italia," as if borne through the air here in
    the North. The walls within are painted in the Pompeian style, but
    heavy: there is nothing genial. Round about stand large marble figures
    by Byström, which have not, however, the soul of antiquity. Madonna is
    encumbered by her heavy marble drapery, the girl with the
    flower-garland is an ugly young thing, and on seeing Hero with the
    weeping Cupid, one thinks of a _pose_ arranged by a ballet-master.

    Let us, however, see what is pretty. The little Cupid-seller is
    pretty, and the stone is made as flexible as life in the waists of the
    bathing-women. One of them, as she steps out, feels the water with her
    feet, and we feel, with her, a sensation that the water is cold. The
    coolness of the marble-hall realizes this feeling. Let us go out into
    the sunshine, and up to the neighbouring cliff, which rises above the
    mansions and houses. Here the wild roses shoot forth from the crevices
    in the rock; the sunbeams fall prettily between the splendid pines and
    the graceful birches, upon the high grass before the colossal bronze
    bust of Bellmann. This place was the favourite one of that
    Scandinavian improvisatore. Here he lay in the grass, composed and
    sang his anacreontic songs, and here, in the summer-time, his annual
    festival is held. We will raise his altar here in the red evening
    sunlight. It is a flaming bowl, raised high on the jolly tun, and it
    is wreathed with roses. Morits tries his hunting-horn, that which was
    Oberon's horn in the inn-parlour, and everything danced, from Ulla to
    "Mutter paa Toppen:"[M] they stamped with their feet and clapped their
    hands, and clinked the pewter lid of the ale-tankard; "hej kara Sjæl!
    fukta din aske!" (Hey! dear soul! moisten your clay).

    [Footnote M: The landlady of an alehouse.]

    A Teniers' picture became animated, and still lives in song. Morits
    blows the horn on Bellmann's place around the flowing bowl, and whole
    crowds dance in a circle, young and old; the carriages too, horses and
    waggons, filled bottles and clattering tankards: the Bellmann
    dithyrambic clangs melodiously; humour and low life, sadness--and
    amongst others, about

    "----hur ögat gret
    Ved de Cypresser, som ströddes."[N]

    [Footnote N: How the eyes wept by the cypresses that were strewn

    Painter, seize thy brush and palette and paint the Maenade--but not
    her who treads the winebag, whilst her hair flutters in the wind, and
    she sings ecstatic songs. No, but the Maenade that ascends from
    Bellmann's steaming bowl is the Punch's Anadyomene--she, with the high
    heels to the red shoes, with rosettes on her gown and with fluttering
    veil and mantilla--fluttering, far too fluttering! She plucks the rose
    of poetry from her breast and sets it in the ale-can's spout; clinks
    with the lid, sings about the clang of the hunting horn, about
    breeches and old shoes and all manner of stuff. Yet we are sensible
    that he is a true poet; we see two human eyes shining, that announce
    to us the human heart's sadness and hope.
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