Friday, October 28, 2011

We came to Abo, on the coast of Finland

Imagine it! We land under cover of the night; three men of heathenish aspect drive three horses with shaggy manes, lengthy tails, and vixenish steps, having over their several backs a sort of yoke turned wrong side up, which increases their dangerous appearance, and attached to three little, light, rickety contrivances called droskeys. Seven expectant individuals dispose themselves variously in these villainous vehicles, in momentary danger of capsizing. The paragon of captains utters an authoritative sentence in the unclassic Finnish tongue; when, presto! we are off, at furious speed, with frightful clatter, over the stony street. Our wiry, fiery, little steeds stay not for break, stop not for stone, but rush us through the Abo streets in a manner calculated to make one sick with jolting, insane with fear, or gleeful to excess, according to his humor. Ours was the last, and the glimmering gas-lights cast the shadows of a mad-cap company as we raced up the steep streets, past the low, yellow, plastered houses standing in unvarying lines on either side, and onward to the ball.

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