THE KATTEGAT AND ISE FIORD
AT three o'clock the next morning I was awakened by that deafening jumble of noises which is produced when a small vessel is tumbling about at anchor in a seaway — the groaning of timber, the rattling of the contents of lockers, the clashing together of the various articles hanging from the forecastle roof, the creaking of the main-boom, the straining of the chain, and manifold other scrapings and gruntings and thumpings which perplex the listener to account for. I got on deck, and found that it was still dark, but that the first signs of daybreak were appearing in the east. It was not the sort of morning to cheer up a man who had just turned out of his comfortable bunk. The wind was gusty and bitterly cold, the sky was stormy-looking, and the bleak expanse of dark, rough sea before me had an uninviting aspect; so I felt that I should have been better pleased had I wakened up and found myself in some snug harbour instead of at this exposed anchorage.
The wind had not only veered to the north-west in the night, but had even gone a point or so to the northward of that, so that we were now on a lee-shore. Under these circumstances it would not do to remain where we were any longer. I roused the peacefully sleeping Wright, and we got under way at once We had a long day before us, and I thought we should be able to reach Elsinore, which was sixty-five miles away, before night.
We had first to sail in a north-easterly direction so as to weather the extremity of the promontory of Siaellands Odde, after doubling which we would have a fair wind all the way to the Sound. Siaellands Odde is one of the worst dangers to navigation on this coast. It is a remarkably shaped neck of land, twelve miles long, and generally under two miles in breadth, and from its point there extends for another sixteen miles out to sea a narrow strip of rocky reefs, dry in patches, but for the most part covered with water, on which many an unfortunate vessel has been lost. There are several navigable passages across this reef; one, with five feet of water in it, is close under the cape; but the pilot-book told me that there were no leading marks for it, and that "the only directions that can be given will apply also to the other channels, viz., that the agitation of the water is less in them than on the reefs." Seeing that the weather was thick, that a nasty sea was running, and that I had no good chart of this portion of the coast, I prudently decided to avoid these somewhat dangerous short cuts, and sail through the broad ship-channel between the Yder Reef and the Hastens Ground.
We were thirteen miles from the entrance to this channel, and could just fetch it, close hauled on the port tack. We were a long while getting there, and at times it seemed as if we should not be able to weather the Yder Reef; for a high, steep sea was running, and the Falcon, as asual, when turning to windward under such circumstances, jumped about a good deal, but made very little headway, and sagged to leeward in a disheartening fashion. At last we approached the reef, which certainly presented a terrible appearance; the seas were breaking on it with a great roar, and the shallow water beyond was whirling and foaming like the surface of a boiling cauldron. The rocks seemed to be all covered, except in one place where a small black patch was occasionally visible in the midst of the raging waters. On this dry patch stood a large beacon, or, rather, a refuge, called the Ronnen, a squat tower, painted with red-and-white horizontal bands, in which, the pilot-book informed me, provisions are stored, so that if a vessel be wrecked on the reef, and the crew succeed in reaching this refuge, they can support life until succour can be sent to them from the mainland.
Two miles outside the Ronnen is the beacon which marks the extremity of the Yder Reef. This we doubled at seven o'clock, then, slacking off our sheets, we ran before the wind, with far easier motion and much greater speed than before, across the broad bay which extends from Siaellands Odde to the entrance of the Sound.
The north-west wind was kind to us this day; it blew freshly, and was anything but warm, but it was not the blustering bully we had hitherto known. This was well for us, as the sea soon becomes dangerously rough on the open Kattegat, and even now that only a steady breeze was blowing, high, wall-like masses of water rolled down upon us in so threatening a manner that we had to acknowledge that we would have preferred less to more wind.
At midday the sky suddenly cleared, and the wind fell. At one o'clock it was almost calm, and our mainsail began to flap about, despite Wright's persistent whistling for a breeze, so, as Elsinore was still many leagues away, and there seemed to be but a small chance of reaching it before nightfall, I altered my plans. We were now in the middle of the bay, and about five miles from the nearest land — the high capes that border the entrance to Ise Fiord. To the north of us, far away on the sea-horizon, rose a tower, the lighthouse on the little island of Hesselo, a remote spot, which, I understand, is inhabited by one man and multitudes of seals and rabbits. I decided to make for Ise Fiord, which abounds with harbours and safe anchorages; so, bearing away, we steered towards Spotsbierg Point. We did not reach it for three hours, so light was the wind, and we should not have got there then had not a squall opportunely come down on us while we were yet a mile away.
This inlet, which is the most extensive fiord in Siaelland, is well worthy of a visit. At its entrance it is only two miles wide; but within it expands into a great sheet of water, upwards of ten miles in breadth, having several long, winding tributary fiords connected with it, amongst others, Roeskilde Fiord, a beautiful gulf, twenty miles in length, at whose farther end stands the very ancient royal city of the same name. A whole summer's holiday might be well spent in cruising among the islands and inlets of Ise Fiord. It ought, indeed, to be the paradise of small-boat sailors, yet I did not see a single pleasure craft upon its waters. It is a great pity that this inland sea, with its clear water, wooded shores, and all, cannot be transported bodily to the mouth of the Thames. The Cockneys would appreciate it, and know how to use it, and possibly to misuse it too.
As I entered the fiord I perceived a group of red-roofed cottages on the east shore of the Narrows, and a small artificial harbour of rough stones, inside which two or three fishing-boats were lying. My chart ignored the existence of village or harbour, but, as this looked a snug little place, I sailed in and made fast to the quay. The harbour was a queerly constructed one. From the shore a rough jetty of timbers, filled in with great stones, extended across the shallows for about thirty yards, and then divided into two branches, which enclosed the tiny port, leaving a very narrow passage to the sea. A Y with its two arms bent round until their ends nearly met would serve as a plan of this primitive harbour. The village consisted of one store and about two score of fishermen's huts, not forming a street, but scattered over the shore, as if they had been thrown there haphazard. On the beach a number of fishing-boats were drawn up, and behind all rose breezy downs, on which cattle and sheep were grazing.
I went up to the store, and there found several fishermen and pilots, whom I saluted in English. They looked at me with some surprise, for, not having seen the yacht, they naturally wondered from whence I had turned up; but I very soon satisfied their curiosity, as not only the store-keeper but several of the other men spoke English well. An Englishman can never find any difficulty in making himself understood in the very smallest of Baltic fishing-harbours. As usual, all these honest hardy fellows were my friends at once, anxious to offer information, and be of any possible service. The store-keeper was — again as usual — a retired sea-captain, who now supplied the fishermen with every thing they could possibly require, from aquavit to fishing nets; at his place they could purchase their simple provisions — stock-fish, salt pork, onions, and coffee — their clothes and furniture, even their coffins; he was the universal provider of the place, the local Whiteley.
He offered to accompany me for a walk, and show me all that was to be seen in Hundested, as this out of-the-way little settlement is called. First we crossed the downs — wondrously green and bright, with a profusion of thyme and harebells, as are all the downs in this fresh moist climate of Denmark — to the lighthouse on Spotsbierg Head. Here I was surrounded by a vast panorama, which included all the various features of Danish scenery. The waves were dashing on the base of the cliff on which we stood, and to the north stretched the boundless sea, with nothing to break its sameness but the small island of Hesselo. To the west the rugged bays and capes of the coast of Siaelland were visible as far as the entrance to the Great Belt. To the south lay the smooth blue waters of Ise Fiord, with its many islets and beech-crowned hills. And to the east the eye roamed over an immense tract of undulating country, having pastures and scattered villages, but consisting, for the most part, of wild and sombre forest-land, with here and there the gleaming waters of a lake or tarn; beyond the hills that formed the limit of this region the entrance to the Sound was faintly visible, and the lofty black promontory of Kullen, on the Swedish coast, rose from the sea like an island.
My friend, the store-keeper, was a very well-informed man, and was well up in the history of the neighbourhood. I noticed the remains of old earthworks on the downs near the lighthouse; these, he told me, had been thrown up by the Danes when they were at war with the English in1801. He was the chief man at Hundested, and, in addition to keeping the store, was a timber-merchant and owner of many fishing-boats He had the interests of his native village very much at heart, and expressed great dissatisfaction at the way in which the little settlement had been treated by the Government. It seems that the following system prevails on the Danish coasts. If a sufficiently large community of fishermen represent to the Government that an harbour is necessary for their boats, an inspector is sent down to examine the proposed locality, and, if his report is satisfactory, the Government advances the necessary funds for the construction of the work; the fishermen give their labour, and afterwards repay the loan with interest by the levy of a harbour due — the Falcon was taxed sixpence for the use of this harbour. Now the energetic store-keeper, who was harbourmaster as well as everything else in the place, had himself initiated the idea of Hundested Haven, and had drawn up a plan, which he showed me, representing what he considered his pet project should be like.
But the Government sent down its own harbour constructor, an unpractical official who had theories of his own, and who, despite the protestations of the fishermen, set them at work to carry out his plans, which resulted in the eccentric Y-shaped haven I have described. As was foretold by the sailors themselves, this has proved to be almost useless, and is gradually becoming entirely so. Its mouth faces the sea instead of opening out on the southern side towards the fiord, as it should do; hence it becomes impossible to get out when a strong wind is blowing from the Kattegat, as the waves would dash a vessel on the rocks before she could clear the entrance. Now, as it is only in rough weather that the fishermen can successfully carry on their occupation, they are liable to be detained in this unscientifically-devised harbour at the very time when they ought to be at sea. And, more than this, a gale has, on more than one occasion, completely filled the harbour with sand and weeds, so that the whole of the population, includlng the women and children, have had to turn out, and dig for days with great labour to free the imprisoned boats on which their daily bread depends. Again, even at its best, the harbour will not admit craft of more than four feet draught. Thus, in consequence of a government official's obstinacy, the unfortunate fishermen have saddled themselves with a heavy debt which they can never pay off; for now most of the skippers prefer remaining at anchor outside to entering such a rat-trap of a port, and consequently but few dues are collected.
I had noticed on entering the haven that the water instead of being beautifully clear, as it is elsewhere in the Baltic, was of a thick white colour, as if quantities of chalk had been stirred up with it. The squall that was then blowing had, for the time, removed another unpleasant peculiarity of the haven, which, now that the wind had dropped, began to assert itself very strongly. This was a horrible stench, the like of which I have never experienced elsewhere, though I have been in many malodorous ports.
"Yes, we shall have cholera or the plague here some day, I expect," said the store-keeper when I remarked on it, "but it is nothing to-day; you should be here in really hot weather; then the stink is intolerable, and can be distinguished for a mile all round the harbour. Before that stupid harbour was built we had none of this. Then Hundested was becoming quite a little watering-place; Copenhagen people used to come here on account of the good bathing and the pure air. Few come here now; but to-day there is not much smell."
Hearing this, I tried to form an idea of what it would be like when there was "much smell," but gave up the attempt in disgust. Exceedingly disagreeable as this odour is, I doubt whether it is prejudicial to health. It is put down to the masses of sea-weed that accumulate between the jetties. The Baltic water, probably in consequence of the small percentage of salt contained in it — one-seventh that of the ocean — seems to promote a vegetable decomposition differing from that which occurs in other seas, and it is certainly more offensive to the senses. The exhalation of this white water produced a remarkable effect; in the course of a few hours it turned all the grey paint inside our bulwarks and the white paint in our cabin dark brown. We found it not at all easy to wash off this stain, and, judging from its smell and colour, I think that the rotten weeds of Hundested throw off fumes of some sulphurous gas. It is quite possible that these stinking white waters, far from being unhealthy, possess valuable remedial properties, and that the much-reviled Government harbour designer has unconsciously proved a benefactor to the people of this hamlet, who should forthwith sell their fishing-boats, roof over their haven, advertise well, and all make their fortunes as the proprietors of the all-curing Hundested Medicinal Baths. Here, too, is a chance for some of our own company promoters. The inhabitants themselves do not belie the advantages of the scheme by their appearance; they are as robust, healthy-looking, clean-skinned a race as can be found in Europe.
Not only was my friend displeased with the Government on account of the unsatisfactory haven, but he sorely complained that Hundested, unlike other settlements of its size, did not possess a public school, and that very few of the fishermen could read or write — a rare exception to the rule among this well-educated people. He said that in consequence of this ignorance the poor mariners when they entered a Swedish port to sell their fish were unable to reckon up their accounts, and were, therefore, woefully cheated by the Swedes. The Swedes, by the way, are not much liked by the lower classes in Denmark; they are accused of being cunning and dishonest. On the other hand, the Danes get along very well with the Norwegians, who speak their own language.
The store-keeper, who was evidently very anxious to forward the prosperity of unhappy Hundested, told me that he intended to go to Copenhagen himself in the autumn, interview the Minister of Home Affairs, and lay before him the grievances of the little community.
Hundested is one of the most important stations of the herring fishery on this coast. I was told that two weeks later hundreds of boats would be lying off here, and that a busy market would be held in the village attended by many wholesale fish-dealers from Copenhagen. Many of these fishing-boats were drawn up on the shingle beach above the haven, and were now being fitted out for the coming season. Each boat carries three hands, who, as a rule, own her between them. Three brothers, who owned one of the largest of the fleet, a craft of whose good qualities they were very proud, took me over her, and explained to me all the details of the fishing as it is carried on in these seas. Like most of the other boats, she had been built in Sweden, where labour and timber are much cheaper than in Denmark. She was not much bigger than the Falcon, was strongly built of oak, sloop rigged, sharp sterned, like a whale-boat, with great sheer, a deep false keel, and stern and bow raking so much that her length on deck was nearly double that of the keel. She had no bulwarks, but there was a small cockpit aft for the man steering, and another forward for the hand working the net or lines — not a luxurious berth, this last, on a wild winter's night when the craft is running her nose into the icy waves. The rest of the vessel was occupied by the fish-well.
"And have you no cabin to sleep in?" I asked.
"We have not," was the reply of one of these hardy Norsemen; "you see we are young men yet, and can put up with the wet and cold; we can't afford to hamper up the boat with cabins."
A few years since none of these boats were provided with cabins, but most of the new ones have very confined sleeping-quarters, mere lockers, opening into the cockpit. When it is remembered that these fishermen remain at sea for many days, even sailing as far as the island of Anholt in mid-winter, it will be understood that the islanders of Siaelland are by no means a degenerate race.
These craft, small as they are, can put up with a great deal of rough weather, though they are occasionally turned over by the dangerous breaking seas of the Kattegat. They can be readily beached; and, indeed, it often happens that when a fleet of them is overtaken by a sudden gale on an unprotected part of the coast they are run ashore, and the ballast — big stones from the beach — is thrown overboard, while the crews help each other to drag boat after boat out of the reach of the waves.
The solder having melted, the framework of our riding-light had tumbled to pieces; so I inquired of the store-keeper if there was a blacksmith in the place who could put it to rights for me. He said that there was no blacksmith, but that he knew of a man who might be able to do what I required. He then introduced me to a strange being who was a veritable Jack-of-all-trades, and, poor fellow, certainly master of none. This was the one pauper of Hundested, the village idiot, a harmless, hideously deformed, and crippled imbecile, arrayed in the filthiest of rags. His whole possession in the world besides his rags, and it is doubtful whether he could show a title to that, was a rough stone hut, open to all the winds of heaven, and destitute of furniture of any sort. He lived on charity, but would work when it pleased him. If one supplied him with tools and materials he would sometimes condescend to mend a pair of boots, undertake a bit of carpentering, repair fishing-nets, and, in short, do any odd job after a somewhat clumsy fashion. With some difficulty I persuaded him to try his hand at soldering, and purchased for him at the store the articles he asked for — a few dumps of coal, some wood, and a pennyworth of petroleum; he said he would beg or steal the other requisites. When he had completed his work he came into the store, and, to the amusement of the assembled sailors, held tightly to the lamp with both hands, and refused to even lay it down on the counter until he had received the stipulated payment. The poor idiot evidently entertained a profound mistrust of foreigners, which he did not attempt to conceal. When I handed him the money he seemed greatly surprised, and skipped about the floor with gestures and inarticulate cries of exceeding joy.
"What's the matter with you?" asked the storekeeper.
"The matter?" exclaimed the poor fellow, with an air of dignified pride, "I know now that you foolish people are all wrong in calling me an idiot. Because this man is a stranger I have charged him three times too much, and he paid it! The Englishman is more idiot than I am, being taken in so easily. Me an idiot, indeed! Why, even our clever host here only charged him the right price for the beer he is drinking. Oh, you idiots, you idiots!" and, shrieking with delight, he danced out of the store. I believe that one could find a moral somewhere in this story.
I think that our dinners must have been somewhat indigestible, for both Wright and I dreamt terrible dreams this night. I awakened several times with a start, under the impression that I had fallen asleep at the tiller, and had allowed the yacht to drive among the breakers on a shoal. The sounds around us were well calculated to suggest such a nightmare; for a fresh wind was blowing from the sea, and only the narrow jetty was between us and the waves, which dashed on the stones with a great roar, and occasionally washed our decks. Wright dreamt that he was in a house on fire, or in the infernal regions, or in some other burning place; and, no doubt, this train of ideas could be put down to the heavy sulphurous fumes that had crept into our cabin from the water outside.
On the next morning, August the 4th, a light wind was blowing from the east, and a pilot, who had just come in, told us that a strong northerly current was running out of the Sound, so that it was very doubtful whether we would be able to reach Elsinore that day. I was not at all loth to postpone my voyage, so as to have a day's exploration of the fiord in the dinghy; but there was something else to be considered. I had received no letters from home since I had left Kiel, and I knew that important correspondence was awaiting ine at Copenhagen, which I was anxious to get without delay. Then I examined the chart, and found that the town of Frederikssund on Roeskilde Fiord was connected with Copenhagen by a railway twenty miles in length. This decided me; I would combine business with pleasure, sail to Frederikssund in the dinghy, and thence take train to the capital and fetch my letters.
I had a voyage of sixteen miles before me. I started at seven o'clock, pulled up the coast, passed the little fishing-haven of Lyeness lying at the foot of a steep cliff, and then, leaving the Great Bredning, entered the narrower waters of Roeskilde Fiord. This fiord was much like the others I had visited, now narrowing, now broadening' and always bordered by charmingly green hills; but this was the loneliest inlet I had yet seen on the coast; very few habitations were visible on the shore, and I perceived no signs of agriculture. The water was, as a rule, very shallow — so that I had to follow the channel even with the dinghy — and was overgrown with an extraordinary quantity of weed, which, in places, was beginning to assume rich autumnal tints. The whole of one small bay was of a deep crimson colour from this cause, and the vivid green pasture behind it and the bright blue sky above formed a treble band of such dazzling hues as are only seen in the brief northern summer.
After I had rowed eight miles in the hot sun, a northerly wind began to blow right down the fiord, and I was able to ship the oars and sail the rest of the way. At last I came to a point where the convergence of two promontories leaves but a very narrow passage for the waters of the fiord, and here there is a bridge of boats from one shore to the other. I passed under the bridge, and there before me, on the left bank of the fiord, which had again suddenly expanded into a broad lake, stood the little town of Frederikssund.
And now I had to discover where I could leave the dinghy while I went to Copenhagen, for even Danish boys cannot be trusted not to meddle with an unguarded boat. Danish boys, by the way, are infinitely less naughty than Dutch; but, being somewhat less overworked at school, are more mischievous than German lads. As I approached the bank I saw half a dozen urchins eyeing me with an interest that betokened danger. Then, to my great relief, I perceived that there was a vessel in the harbour — a good-sized schooner that lay along the quay, discharging coal. In her I recognized my natural protector; the skipper of a collier would be certain to speak English; I would enter into a defensive alliance with him. and all would be well. So I made fast to the quay, and called on the captain, who did speak English and had just arrived from Charleston in the Firth of Forth, having been eleven days on the voyage. He gladly consented to take charge of the dinghy during my absence; so I brought her round, and secured her to the other side of his vessel, where the boys could not get at her without swimming, and he promised me that if they tried this his crew would pelt them with the British coals he had on board.
My mind being thus set at ease I walked up the chief street, rather a smart one for a town of only 1,300 inhabitants, and lunched at a comfortable hostelry called the "Ise Fiord Hotel." There is something very homely and pleasant about the Danish inns They are like what tradition tells us the English inns were in the good old days, when there was plenty of solid comfort; when the guests were jovial beings who supped heartily and feared not dyspepsia; and the host was a host indeed, and became one's friend before one had been half an hour under his roof; but the Danish inns have the further advantage of being scrupulously clean, which I rather doubt anything was in the England of those same good old days. The host here could not speak English, but his father-in-law was — even yet another of them — an old sea-captain who spoke our language well. He was a jolly old gentleman who had been in the China trade; he seemed very interested in our cruise, so much so that he sent his little grandson to fetch the editor of the local paper who forthwith came with note-book and pencil, and proceeded to cross-examine me at length — the captain acting as interpreter — while he jotted down my history, which, he told me, would appear as an article in the next day's edition.
As there was no train to Copenhagen for some hours I crossed the pontoon bridge, and visited Jaegerspriis, an old royal palace and park which belonged to the Crown of Denmark nearly six hundred years ago, and where many interesting statues and other curiosities are to be seen; but what pleased me most was the wood to the north of the park, which I had noticed while sailing down the fiord, whose waters it borders for some distance. The glades in this wood are singularly beautiful, there are spots where one could imagine oneself to be in one of those primeval forests, long since destroyed, which once covered all these northern lands The oaks here are the largest in the country, and the King's oak — I quote from Murray — is the largest in all Denmark, it is now reduced to a hollow trunk with green branches issuing from the inside as well as from the outside. Its circumference is forty-two feet.
I then returned to the railway-station of Frederikssund, and took my place in a third-class compartment with a family of handsome peasants, who, to judge from their anxiety and utter helplessness, had never travelled by train before. They all began to address me together in eager voices; they were, no doubt, asking me whether they were in the right carriage, when they would reach their destination, and the many other questions with which the inexperienced are wont to worry their travelling companions; and when I informed them in English that I was a foreigner, and did not understand what they were talking about, they became suddenly silent, and sat eyeing me with open-mouthed consternation, as if I had been some strange and dangerous beast; and the little children, who, displeased with their unfamiliar surroundings, had been ready to weep on the slightest provocation, now broke out into a chorus of vigorous bo-hoo-ing, and would not be comforted. The whole party looked upon me with profound suspicion; and when one of the stalwart sons had filled his pipe, and could find no match to light it with, he would not ask me for one and when I handed him a box he hesitated to take it unti1 his little wife, relenting towards me, nudged him, and whispered to him to remember his manners. This made matters worse, for the young man now seemed to wax jealous, and frowned and glared savagely at me with his big blue eyes for the rest of the journey.
It would be difficult to find anywhere in Europe a jollier lot of people to travel among than the seafaring population of Denmark — the honest, open-hearted hospitable, and intelligent herring-fishers of the coast villages. But from what I saw and heard of them I doubt whether the peasant proprietors are quite so agreeable a race. In character they much resemble the same class in some parts of Normandy; they have all the solid and unornamental virtues; they are thrifty, very shrewd at a bargain, suspicious of foreigners. These small freeholders form the strongest party in the country, and hold exceedingly democratic and radical opinions — an anomaly for a class which represents the landed interests — whereas the townspeople and fishing population are, for the most part, what we should call Conservatives. The farmers are all for the doing away with army, navy, and even the Crown, so that the taxation may be lightened. There may be reason in some of their complaints against the present system of things, but their policy seems to be "Cut down the taxation which affects us at whatever cost to the rest of the community." They are apparently blind to all other considerations but the saving of a penny here or a penny there, and I understand that but too many of these selfish and short-sighted boors would welcome Anarchy or Socialism if they could be thereby relieved of some petty rate. But it is not only in Denmark that men grudge the penn'orth of tar necessary to keep the ship of State sweet and taut.
At last I was landed in Copenhagen, and on leaving the station found myself among broad bright boulevards, so that I could have imagined myself in Paris were it not for a glimpse of the port with its forest of masts. But Copenhagen, notwithstanding its animated aspect, imposing squares, and fine streets, is, as I very soon discovered, not a small Paris by any means, very happily for itself, no doubt. For its size, it is, I imagine, the soberest, quietest, most early-to-go-to-bed, in short, the most respectable city in Europe. The casual stranger would call it distinctly dull.
I found that the Consulate was closed, so I could not get my letters until the next morning, and I had to find a lodging for the night. I avoided the swell hotels, among other reasons because I had no luggage with me, and wandered about in search of a more modest establishment. I soon came upon what I required in the "Amelia Gade," close to the custom-house, a little inn frequented by skippers, and kept by — I need scarcely say it — one of the great legion of English-speaking ex-sea-captains.
I took a stroll in the evening, and retired early to bed, my mind filled with a profound astonishment that a city of 240,000 inhabitants should be so entirely free from any signs of dissipation. As a rule, the first impressions of a lonely traveller who finds himself in a strange town at night depend very much on café chantants and such-like places of frivolous amusement which, perhaps, he does not visit once in a twelvemonth when at home. And yet, I believe, there are some travellers who, having finished their dinner at the hotel, do not, like ordinary mortals, say to the waiter, "What's going on here to-night? Which is the best music-hall ?" but pass the evening reading up their guide-books, and reserve all their energies for the visiting of museums, picture-galleries, churches, and other sights of an improving description; unfortunately I had not been educated up to this. Later on, when I saw more of Copenhagen, I somewhat modified my views; for has not this city its Tivoli and its Opera-House, famous for its beautiful ballets? Still the amusements of Tivoli are rather childish, and it cannot be denied that this capital seems very dull to the trivial tourist.
But when one really knows Copenhagen, has friends in it, and mingles in its charmingly unaffected and bright society, it soon becomes to him one of the pleasantest of European cities. I saw something of this real and inner life — and hope to see more of it — with the result that, if I were told that I must leave London and take up my residence in some other large town, I am not sure that I should not select the fair capital of Denmark.