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• At length, quite spent with toil, we reached the object of our • pursuit, which is a cavity in the middle of the mountain.
Our author having deflected from the main road in WestBothnia, was speedily admonished of his error by his palfrey, which, at almost every step, stumbled on stones, at the hazard of his rider's life; and winded through devious and intricate tracks, which nothing human could have followed.' Animated, however, by the saying of the wise king, that nothing is • impossible under the sun,' away he rushes, upon an unstuffed saddle, regardless of the fury of all the elements ;' of the • depending boughs, loaded with rain drops ;' and aged • pines,' which, overthrown by the wrath of Juno,' lay prostrate in his path. In traversing a glaciere, in Norwegian Lapland, he was often carried off his feet by the impetuosity of the • blast, and rolled a considerable way down the hill.' This once happened in so dangerous a place, that, after rolling • to the distance of a gunshot, I arrived near the brink of a
precipice; and thus my part in the drama had very nearly • come to an end.' Again, as the discharge of a fowlingpiece happened to interrupt our hero's innocent occupation of gathering strawberries, he perceived that the ball had struck a stone very near the spot on which he stood. God be praised,” he exclaimed, that it did not hit me !- The fellow ran away, and • I never saw him after ;-but I immediately returned home.' Soon after, we find him bewildered on the dark mountains, in the midst of a thick fog, which concealed from him the sun and moon, and inspired dreadful apprehensions of being precipitated into some torrent or abyss. Another fog having occasioned uncommon darkness during the night, while he was floating down a river on a raft, his crazy vehicle parted in the middle of the stream; and he narrowly escaped a watery grave.
In the forests of Lulean Lapland, dauger awaited him in a new and still more alarming form, and has given occasion to a more animated description.
• Several days ago the forests had been set on fire by lightning; and the flames raged at this time with great violence, owing to the drought of the season. In many different places, perhaps in nine or ten, that came under my notice, the devastation extended several miles' distance. I traversed a space three quarters of a mile in extent, which was entirely burnt ; so that Flora, instead of appearing in her gay and verdant attire, was in deep sable-a spectacle more abhorrent to my feelings than to see her clad in the white livery of winter; for this, though it destroys the herbage, leaves the roots in safety, which the fire does not. The fire was nearly extinguished in most of the spots we visited, except in ant-hills, and dry trunks of trees. After we had travelled about half a quarter of a mile across
one of these scenes of desolation, the wind began to blow with rather more force than it had done, upon which a sudden noise arose in the half-burnt forest, such as I can only compare to what may be imagined among a large army attacked by an enemy. We knew not whither to turn our steps. The smoke would not suffer us to remain where we were ; nor durst we turn back. It seemed best to hasten forward, in hopes of speedily reaching the outskirts of the , wood; but in this we were disappointed. We ran as fast as we could, in order to avoid being crushed by the falling trees, some of which threatened us every minute. Sometimes the fall of a huge trunk was so sudden, that we stood aghast, not knowing whither to turn to escape destruction ; and throwing ourselves entirely on the protection of Providence. In one instance, a large tree fell exactly between me and my guide, who walked not more than a fathom from me; but, thanks to God! we both escaped in safety. We were not a little rejoiced when this perilous adventure terminated ; for we had felt all the while like a couple of outlaws, in momentary fear of surprize.'
If to this catalogue of miseries and discomforts we add the summer plague of gnats and mosquitoes, and the threatenings of tenesmus from eating curdled milk and cheese, we may be allowed to dismiss the chapter of personal grievances. Whether the pleasures of the journey compensated, in the writer's estimation, his many moments of anxiety and apprehension, we pretend not to determine ; but the extent of his pecuniary remuneration certainly exempts him from all suspicion of a mercenary motive; for the only receipt which he mentions is that of a hundred dollars of copper money, from the chief clergyman at Tornea ; and the whole of his allowance from the Academy of Upsala, is said not to have exceeded ten pounds Sterling! We are tempted, in short, to harbour a lurking suspicion, that, with the exception of the botanical details, which were afterwards expanded and duly methodized in the Flora Lapponica, few portions of the Lichesis afforded the author any very soothing recollections, since he could permit it to remain in its roughi unfinished state during the rest of his life, and since he appears to have executed only one of the three parts of the more condensed narrative which he had destined for the use of his learned employers.
Whatever truth there may be in this surmise, the singular document which suggested it, with all its defects and oddities, is neither devoid of interest, nor barren of instruction ; but it strongly savours of that minute and technical propensity which delights in the discrimination and marshalling of individual objects, and which, though it constituted the most prominent feamires in the scientific character of Linnæus, is certainly to be
reckoned among the lower elements of philosophy. Few and feeble are any attempts at hypothesis or general discussion in the volumes before us. What confidence, for example, can we repose in the speculations of a writer, who gravely entertains a notion, that Adam and Eve were giants, and that mankind, • from one generation to another, owing to poverty and other • canses, have diminished in size,'—who seems surprized, that the upper regions of the atmosphere should be less dense than the lower,-and who insinuates, that polur attraction may twist the fibres of trees?
Akin to such intellectual weakness is credulity, of which also some notable examples occur in the present Journal. Thus, we are told of a woman of Lycksele, whose complaints were supposed to proceed from a brood of frogs in her stomach, from having swallowed the spawn of these animals in water. • thought that she could feel three of them; and that herself, as 6 well as persons who sat near her, could hear them croak. • Her uneasiness was in some degree alleviated by drinking
brandy. Salt had no effect in destroying the frogs. Another • person, who for some years had had the same complaint, took • dozes of Nur voinica, and was cured; but even this powerful • remedy had been tried on this woman in vain. I advised her • to try tar ; but that she had already taken, without success,
having been obliged to throw it up again. On this singular passage the learned and facetious Editor makes the following remark. • Linnæus writes as if he did not absolutely disbelieve
the existence of these frogs, which were as much out of their 6
place as Jonah in the whale's belly.' To complete the absurdity of the poor wowan's case, Linnæus himself, in another part of the work, assures us, that Lapland produces neither serrents nor frogs. Either he or M. Högström, however, must be incorrect with regard to this particular ; for the latter informs us, that the natives name one of their months from the appearance of these animals—which they moreover believe to fall from licaver. Again, we are assured, that some of the Finlanders catch bears, by mixing the fresh dung of these animals with that of their own cows; as the bears are then fain to follow the cows tro:n magical sympathy. The journalist, indeed, does not absolutely assert his belief in this extraordinary species of fascination; but he admits that the effect is certainly not more wonderful • than many sympathics upon record.' In latitude of credence, however, it must be confessed, that he is occasionally surpassed by his precursor, Scheffer. "For when the devil,' says the latter, takes a liking to any person in his infancy, as a fit instrument for his designs, he presently seizes on him by a
• disease, 'in which he haunts them with several apparitions ; < from whence, according to the capacity of his years and un• derstanding, he learns what belongs to the art. Those which
are taken thus a second time, see more visions, and gain great
er knowledge. If they are seized a third time, which is seldom • without great torment, or utmost danger of their life, the devil appears to them in all his shapes, '&c.
In the course of this Lapland tour we meet various derivations of the name of the country, some deducing it from the Latin lippus (blear-eyed); others from the Swedish lappa, to sew or patch, because their garments usually answer to that • description ;' and others from the Finnish lappis exilés, or runaways, presuming on their migration or banishment from Finland ; in support of which the learned Scheffer demonstrates that the language of the two countries is radically the same.
We must be excused, however, from entering farther into those points of learning: and truly, if the origin of the most illustrious nations be involved in hopeless obscurity, it must seem a very idle attempt to ascertain that of the lowest portions of our species, whose lot has been cast on the forlorn corners of the world. The pious Högström, indeed, who expatiates on the marvellous capabilities of the North, and who was probably convinced, by the redoubtable arguments of Olaus Rudbeck, that the garden of Eden was situated in Lapland, by no means participates in our apathy concerning the pedigree of his hyperborean flock. Not satisfied with tracing the language of the Laplanders to that of the ancient Jews, he discovers many striking points of conformity in their character and usages. The Laplanders, he observes, are as much addicted to superstition as the Hebrews were of old: The former are, at this day, what the latter once were, superstitious, haughty, interested, of a dark complexion, and small stature, clad in loose garments, with the neck exposed, wearing girdles for ornament, and decking their apparel with fringes. The Hebrews, moreover; slaughtered animals, and so do the Laplanders :--The latter, like the former, often wash their hands:--The Jews never eat the entrails of animals,-nor do the Laplanders eat the sinews in the haunch of the rein-deer, but reserve them for thread ; their voracity reminds us of the gluttony of the sons of Israel, when they sat by the flesh-pots in Egypt :-In imitation of the Patriarchs, the Laplanders dwell in tents ;-like the Jews, they denote tender: ness by kissing ;-and the burden of their love-ditties recals the song of Deborah.
But to return from these recondite speculations to the volumes VOL. XIX. NO. 3.9
before us, it is impossible not to regret, that, instead of his half shirts and false sleeves, the author had not been furnished with a suitable apparatus of physical instruments, or accompanied by an able observer. The mere itinerary, and the distance of each stage in Swedish miles, are noted in the Brief Narrative; but we look in vain for any map of a country which has been so rarely visited by men of science, or for any
accurate data whereby to estimate the temperature of its climate, or the elevation of its mountains. A portable barometer and thermometer might, at least, have been substituted for the hanger; and occasional references to the indications of these instruments, would have furnished us with more precise meteorological notions than those which we are now left to form from incidental hints dispersed through the work.
Of these last, the amount may be rendered in a few sentences. The Alpine regions, it should seem, are utterly impassable in winter, both on account of extreme cold, and of the absence of all subsistence for men and rein-deer. In some parts of these inhospitable mountains, the water of the lakes was frozen to the depth of a fathom on the 9th of July; and the whole range is liable to the most violent gusts of wind, which overturn men and sledges. There are numerous obstacles to the cultivation of • this Alpine tract. The intense cold of its winters, which ex
ceeds that of any other country. From the snow lying so • long otr the ground, the parts exposed to the north are inca• pable of any culture. Frosts are frequent even in summer.
The days are dark in winter. The weather is always moist. • The soil is of a turfy kind, composed of mosses decayed by • frost, impregnated with standing water. Good black vegeta« ble mould is not to be met with. Lofty trees cannot be raised, • on account of the excessive violence of the wind ;-henee there i is a great scarcity of wood.'
The sagacious Dr Wahlenberg has attempted to characterize the climate of the Lapland Alps, by dividing them into zones, and stating the elevation, physical appearances, and tenperature of each stage of ascent. An extract of his excellent observations is subjoined. The whole paper is exceedingly interesting; but we can afford room only for the first and concluding paragraphs.
“ On approaching the Lapland Alps ( Fjäll), we first arrive at thie line where the Spruce Fir, Pinus Abies, ceases to grow. This tree had previously assumed an unusual appearance; that of a tall slender pole, covered from the ground with short, drooping, dark branches; a gloomy object in these desolate forests! The Rubus arcticus had already, before we arrived at this point, ceased to bring its fruit to