Thence, through the great white corridor whose windows all face sunwards, Nehemoth, in his palanquin, passes on to the Audience Chamber of Embassies from the North, which is all decked with Northern wares. 'All about it are ornaments of amber from the North and carven chalices of the dark brown Northern crystal, and on its floors lie furs from Baltic shores.
Had not his heart and soul been fully absorbed by the flood of pure and noble tones which so unexpectedly streamed toward him, his eves would have been at least briefly attracted by the dish which Count Krockow more than once presented, for it contained an oyster ragout which a mounted messenger had brought that noon from the Baltic Sea to the city on the Danube.
One of his designs originated in the impression which Norman genius made upon him. It was to transform this race, the tyrants of the Baltic and the English seas, the dominators of the Mediterranean and the Aegean, into omnipresent emissaries and soldiers of the theocratic State whose centre was Rome.
But, only a couple of years ago, when I was starting for the Baltic, and in high favour with the ministry, those miserable time-servers in there gave a public dinner in my honour in that very club; and now, by George! because things did not go all right, and I wasn't able to smash-up the Russian fleet as everybody expected I would do, and so I would have done, too, by George! if I'd been allowed my own way, the mean-spirited parasites almost cut me to a man to a man, by George!"
"The Biarmians," he says, "told him many stories both about their own land and about the countries which were around them, but he knew not what was true, because he did not see it himself." Wulfstan was perhaps a Jutlander, and his voyage was confined to the Baltic.
The same evening we were taking our last look at the Baltic, sailing past warships and groups of idle yachts battened down for their winter's sleep; while the noble shores of the fiord, with its villas embowered in copper foliage, grew dark and dim above us.
Night came down, and the devils who, according to the Esthonian fishermen, live in the bottom of the Baltic, got their shoulders under the stern of the ship and tried to stand her on her head. They whipped up white combers that sprang on her flanks and tried to crush her, and the wind played a devil's lament in her rigging.
It was not till 1710 that the conquest of Courland, with the remainder of Livonia, including the important harbors of Riga and Revel, gave to Russia that free navigation of the Baltic Sea which Peter had longed for as the greatest benefit which he could confer upon his country.
"You may come to England within a few years, perhaps a few months." "It is possible. If I come out in the ship next spring, we shall sail up the Baltic, and make our first port at Christiansand, in Norway." "I am afraid you don't wish to meet me again." "I would cross the ocean for that alone," protested the gallant young captain. "If you wished to meet me, I think you would find a way."
The country had lost its independence; and the Tartar sway, rude, vacillating and awfully cruel, extended from remote China to the shores of the Baltic. The Roman, Grecian and Russian empires thus crumbling, the world was threatened with an universal inundation of barbarism.