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'Round the yule-log: Christmas in Norway   By: (1812-1885)

'Round the yule-log: Christmas in Norway by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen

First Page:

Transcriber's note: This book contains illustrations, several of which are printed in mid paragraph, either on a separate page or alongside the text itself. To avoid disrupting the flow of the text, the markers for these illustrations have been moved to paragraph breaks. The original illustrations have no captions, but descriptions have been added to them for the enhancement of this text version. The one instance of the OE ligature in the book has been replaced by OE. Punctuation surrounding reported speech has been regularised, all other punctuation and spelling has been left as in the original text.

[Frontispiece: Picture of a troll pulling girl by the arm]

[Illustration: Picture of a laughing troll]

'Round the Yule Log

Christmas in Norway

BY

P. CHR. ASBJÖRNSEN

TRANSLATED BY

H. L. BROEKSTAD.

BOSTON

DANA ESTES AND CO.

PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1895,

BY ESTES AND LAURIAT

All rights reserved

Colonial Press

Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.

Boston, Mass., U. S. A.

'ROUND THE YULE LOG.

The wind was whistling through the old lime and maple trees opposite my windows, the snow was sweeping down the street, and the sky was black as a December sky can possibly be here in Christiania. I was in just as black a mood. It was Christmas Eve, the first I was to spend away from the cosey fireside of my home. I had lately received my officer's commission, and had hoped that I should have gladdened my aged parents with my presence during the holidays, and had also hoped that I should be able to show myself in all my glory and splendour to the ladies of our parish. But a fever had brought me to the hospital, which I had left only a week before, and now I found myself in the much extolled state of convalescence. I had written home for a horse and sledge and my father's fur coat, but my letter could scarcely reach our valley before the day after Christmas, and the horse could not be in town before New Year's Eve.

My comrades had all left town, and I knew no family with whom I could make myself at home during the holidays. The two old maids I lodged with were certainly very kind and friendly people, and they had taken great care of me in the commencement of my illness, but the peculiar ways and habits of these ladies were too much of the old school to prove attractive to the fancies of youth. Their thoughts dwelt mostly on the past; and when they, as often might occur, related to me some stories of the town, its people and its customs, these stories reminded me, not only by their contents, but also by the simple, unaffected way in which they were rendered, of a past age.

[Illustration: Picture of two old maids]

The antiquated appearance of these ladies was also in the strictest harmony with the house in which they lived. It was one of those old houses in Custom House Street, with deep windows, long dark passages and staircases, gloomy rooms and garrets, where one could not help thinking of ghosts and brownies; in short, just such a house, and perhaps it was the very one, which Mauritz Hansen has described in his story, "The Old Dame with the Hood." Their circle of acquaintances was very limited; besides a married sister and her children, no other visitors came there but a couple of tiresome old ladies... Continue reading book >>




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