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Strife and Peace   By: (1801-1865)

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First Page:

Fredrika Bremer's Works.

STRIFE AND PEACE.

Translated by Mary Howitt.

London: Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden. 1853.

CONTENTS

OLD NORWAY HEIMDAL. THE POULTRY. THE WATER OF STRIFE. FIRST STRIFE. MRS. ASTRID. THE BREWHOUSE. THE GARRET. THE DAIRY. EVENING HOURS. CHRISTMAS. QUIET WEEKS. A MAY DAY. SPRING FEELINGS. MAN AND WIFE. A FRESH STRIFE. ALETTE. AN EVENING IN THE SITTING ROOM. RETREATING AND ADVANCING. A GLANCE INTO NORDLAND. THE RETURN. THE HALLING. AASGAARDSREIJA. THE MOUNTAIN JOURNEY. THE AWAKENING. THE LAST STRIFE. AN AFTER WORD.

STRIFE AND PEACE.

OLD NORWAY.

Still the old tempests rage around the mountains, And ocean's billows as of old appear; The roaring wood and the resounding fountains Time has not silenced in his long career, For Nature is the same as ever.

MUNCH.

The shadow of God wanders through Nature.

LINNÆUS.

Before yet a song of joy or of mourning had gone forth from the valleys of Norway before yet a smoke wreath had ascended from its huts before an axe had felled a tree of its woods before yet king Nor burst forth from Jotunhem to seek his lost sister, and passing through the land gave to it his name; nay, before yet there was a Norwegian, stood the high Dovre mountains with snowy summits before the face of the Creator.

Westward stretches itself out the gigantic mountain chain as far as Romsdahlshorn, whose foot is bathed by the Atlantic ocean. Southward it forms under various names (Langfjeld, Sognefjeld, Filefjeld, Hardangerfjeld, and so forth), that stupendous mountainous district which in a stretch of a hundred and fifty geographical miles comprehends all that nature possesses of magnificent, fruitful, lovely, and charming. Here stands yet, as in the first days of the world, in Upper Tellemark, the Fjellstuga, or rock house, built by an invisible hand, and whose icy walls and towers that hand alone can overthrow: here still, as in the morning of time, meet together at Midsummer, upon the snowy foreheads of the ancient mountains, the rose tint of morning and the rose tint of evening for a brotherly kiss; still roar as then the mountain torrents which hurl themselves into the abyss; still reflect the ice mirrors of the glaciers the same objects now delighting, now awakening horror; and still to day, even as then, are there Alpine tracts which the foot of man never ascended: valleys of wood, "lonesome cells of nature," upon which only the eagle and the Midsummer sun have looked down. Here is the old, ever young, Norway; here the eye of the beholder is astonished, but his heart expands itself; he forgets his own suffering, his own joy, forgets all that is trivial, whilst with a holy awe he has a feeling that "the shadow of God wanders through nature."

In the heart of Norway lies this country. Is the soul wearied with the tumults of the world or fatigued with the trifles of poor every day life is it depressed by the confined atmosphere of the room, with the dust of books, the dust of company, or any other kind of dust (there are in the world so many kinds, and they all cover the soul with a great dust mantle); or is she torn by deep consuming passions, then fly, fly towards the still heart of Norway, listen there to the fresh mighty throbbing of the heart of nature; alone with the quiet, calm, and yet so eloquent, objects of nature, and there wilt thou gain strength and life! There falls no dust. Fresh and clear stand the thoughts of life there, as in the days of their creation. "Wilt thou behold the great and the majestic? Behold the Gausta, which raises its colossal knees six thousand feet above the surface of the earth; behold the wild giant forms of Hurrungen, Fannarauken, Mugnafjeld; behold the Rjukan (the rushing), the Vöring, and Vedal rivers foaming and thundering over the mountains and plunging down in the abysses! And wilt though delight thyself in the charming, the beautiful? They exist among these fruitful scenes in peaceful solitude... Continue reading book >>




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