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72

AN INTERESTING PRISONER.

Count Struensee was confined; it is indeed a most dismal hole; it was here that he lightened the weight of his chains and the horrors of imprisonment by his flute, upon which, so little apprehensive was he of his impending fate, that his favourite air was from the Deserteur, beginning with Mourir c'est notre dernier ressort. Upon quitting this melancholy abode we requested the soldier who conducted us to shew us that of his unhappy fellow-sufferer Brandt; he accordingly led us through a gloomy stone passage, and after unlocking and unbarring a massy door conducted us up a winding stone staircase into the cell, where, to my surprise, a sun-beam slanting through a small grated window, presented to us the figure of a man of respectable appearance, and of about the middle

age of life, emaciated by long confinement and bowed down by grief. As we approached him a faint blush partially spread over his sallow cheek, and a tear stood in his eye, which he endeavoured to conceal with his hand, and with a bow of humiliation turned from us to a little bird cage which he was constructing. We apologized for our intrusion, and hastily turning towards the door, we beheld a beautiful boy standing near it, apparently about eight years old; his look at once explained that the prisoner was his father: the face of this little child of sorrow was the most artless and expressive I ever beheld. As we descended he followed, and when at the bottom of the stairs, we asked him why he looked so pale, the little creature replied in French, “Ah, Sir! I look so because I

PALACE OF ROSENBERG.

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“ have just recovered from a fever; I do not always look so : I shall soon be well, but my poor papa never will.” We put money in his hand, and begged him to take it to his father; this he immediately returned saying, “No, sir, indeed I must not, my father will be angry with me.” All our efforts were in vain; it was a scene of affecting mystery. The soldier took up the child and kissed it, and bidding him return to his father, closed the door. He informed us that the prisoner had been convicted of forgery, but stated that there were many strong circumstances in his favour. Oh, how I wished that that merciful prince whose ears are ever more open to the sounds of suffering than of flattery, had heard what we heard ! the looks and language of the little prattler would have pleaded for the wretched prisoner.

The little ancient palace of Rosenberg, said to be built by Inigo Jones, attracted our notice, the gardens belonging to which form the principal town parade of the belles and beaux of Copenhagen. The statues in these gardens are not worthy of notice, although recommended to the notice of travellers by many of the Copenhagers. In the street adjoining are the barracks for the foot guards, and a covered hall for military exercise, of four hundred feet long. This Gothic edifice is principally remarkable for containing the room in which the King holds his annual bed of justice, and for the jewel office: the former is a long low room, the whole length of the build

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CABINET OF JEWELS.

ing; before the throne upon the floor stand three lions of massy silver, in different attitudes as large as life, and excite a fine idea of barbarous grandeur: the walls are surrounded with large pieces of ancient tapestry, somewhat the worse for age, representing the exploits of the most military of the Danish monarchs in their wars with the Swedes. In a little room adjoining the hall are several services of plate, vases, wine-glasses, and goblets, in chrystal, which were presented to Frederic IV. by the Venetian States; the collection is very valuable and tastefully arranged. In another small apartment, we saw the saddle of Christian IV. covered with pearls, said to be worth 30,0001. which he once used upon a magnificent gala day in Copenhagen. In the cabinet of jewels are the coronation chairs, crowns, and various valuable and curious assortments of jewelry; but I was most gratified by a beautiful service of Danish porcelain, which was made in the new manufactory of china, on which was exquisitely painted the Flora Danica, or the indigenous botanical productions of Denmark and Norway. We found it difficult to get a peep at this place, on account, as we were told, of the grand marshal of the court always having the custody of the key. An old officer of the rank of colonel shewed the curiosities, and through the hands of an attendant received a ducat for his trouble.

From the palace I proceeded to the observatory, a noble round tower, one hundred and twenty feet high, in which a spiral road

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of brick nearly winds to the top, so that thus far any one might ascend or descend on horseback with perfect ease and safety : at the top is the observatory of the celebrated Tycho Brahe. The instruments are good and in excellent condition; amongst the telescopes there is one that is twelve Danish feet long, and magnifies eight hundred times, made by Alh of Copenhagen. From this tower a young Dane precipitated himself, a short time before we visited it, and was dashed to pieces: at the school to which he belonged, the master had passed over his merits, as he too rashly thought, to compliment a boy of higher rank, but his inferior in learning. The wounded sensibility of the former drove him to frenzy, and caused the melancholy catastrophe above related. Not far from the observatory is the university library; it contains about four thousand volumes, they are chiefly upon theology and jurisprudence; there are also about two thousand manuscripts, amongst the most rare of the latter is a bible in Runic characters. This library has an annual revenue of eight hundred crowns for the sole purpose of purchasing books, and is open to the public. The school of surgery is a small, neat and handsome modern building : under this roof a singular instance of acute sensibility happened a few years since, which is still much talked of: As Kruger, a celebrated anatomical lecturer, was addressing his pupils, he received a letter announcing the death of a very dear friend at Paris; he was observed to be much agitated, and exclaimed, “ I have received intelligence which I shall never long survive; I cannot recover the

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STRANGE IDEA OF THE ENGLISH LADIES.

shock.” His scholars, who very much loved him, pressed round, and bore him to his home in their arms, where he expired a few hours after. The hospital for secret lying-in, is a handsome edifice: here pregnant women, who have reasons for seeking concealment, are received upon paying a small stipend; they enter at night in masks, and are never seen but by those who are necessary to their comfort, and their names are never required. This is a noble institution, and is said to have produced a very visible diminution in the crime of infanticide.

At the tables-d'hote at Copenhagen, a stranger is at first struck with the appearance of noblemen with stars glittering upon their breast, being seated at the same table with the rest of the company. This seldom occurs but in the summer, when the heads of noble families who pass that season of the year at their chateaus, come occasionally to town, where their houses are generally shut up till the winter.

till the winter. It was at one of these places that I met with an extraordinary instance of the ignorance in which a native of one country may remain of the manners of another. A Danish gentleman, as he was picking his teeth with his fork, a delicate custom very prevalent upon the continent amongst all classes, observed that he had heard the English women were very pretty, but he was confident that he never could love them: upon being pressed for his reason he replied, because he understood they were never seen without a pipe in their mouths! We told him that it was very

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