Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The first intention was to replace the destroyed boats, nets, &c.

F. Uhden remarked to us that the printing of 100,000 copies, by the Bible Society, of the New Testament and the Psalms, in their own language, had made a deep impression on the Finnish people ; but after the ravages committed on the property of unarmed and unoffending fishermen and peasants, during the war, the cry was, ' Can these be the English — our friends ? ' — to which he sometimes replied, ' The English who send you the Bible are not the same persons as the English who carry on the war.'

On their return to England the two gentlemen immediately set on foot a subscription by which nearly £9,000 was raised. The first intention was to replace, as far as the money would go, the destroyed boats, nets, &c. But the failure of the crops in Finland that autumn, and the severity of the succeeding winter, rendered it necessary to expend the greater part in food. This was done, and corn, meal, potatoes, with some clothes, fishing-nets, &c, were purchased and were distributed through resident merchants and the Lutheran clergy. This work of true Christian charity produced the happiest effects. " On behalf of all the suffering poor," wrote one correspondent, " who have received food and clothes out of the £50, I beg to return you their most heartfelt thanks ; ' God bless the English gentlemen ! ' has already been uttered by many lips." "We wish," said another, "to express the joy which this subscription has excited, both amongst us and amongst all our friends who have already been informed of it, not only on account of the relief afforded, but also for the sympathy shown for our country." E. Julin, of Abo, says : " I am sure the feeling of good-will of the Finnish nation towards England and Englishmen, which certainly became weakened during the war, is now regained." Two gentlemen of Birmingham, one of them Joseph Sturge's nephew, who visited, in 1857, the places to which help had been sent, reported to the same effect. " Those feelings," they say, " of hostility and bitterness towards England which were caused by the wanton and unjustifiable destruction of private property by our cruisers during the war, are now being effectually removed by the knowledge that the friendly hand of England has been spontaneously and generously extended towards them, at a time when Finland was suffering from famine and its attendant evils.

Charles Tylor: The Faggot. 1876

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Geography of the North owes much to the researches of Professor Parrot

The Geography of the North owes much to the researches of Professor Parrot, well known for his ascent of Mount Ararat, who made a journey in the course of last summer to North Cape, at the expense of the University of Dorpat, for the purpose of making astronomical and magnetical observations, and of noting the oscillations of the pendulum. He left Dorpat, and travelling through Russian Finland by Wyborg, Kuopio, and Uleaborg. reached Torneo. In that remote little town, at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, he was surprised to find a comfortable inn, and markets well supplied with the produce of the South. He proceeded on his route by an interesting navigation of 380 miles up the rivers Tornea and Muonio, sometimes between hills well peopled and cultivated, but more frequently through thick woods. The rivers, in some places, opened into lakes, in others they fell in bold cascades. At length he reached the sources of the Muonio, about 1400 feet above the sea, and close to the borders of the three kingdoms, Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Leaving his boat on the shores of the lake, and placing his instruments and baggage on the shoulders of eight sturdy Finlanders, M. Parrot crossed on foot the Scandinavian ridge, through the most diversified scenery imaginable ; patches of snow lying in the clefts of the rocks, while at their feet was a most luxuriant herbage, with berries of many kinds, and the full bloom of a short but vigorous summer. The little lakes and cascades were without number. He had not advanced far through this wild scenery before he descried the waters of Lyngenfiord, an inlet which runs a long way into the land.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Guided to his home by the light of a conflagration

At Uitzoki the party found the pastoral residence occupied by one of those men who sacrifice on the shrine of Christian duty, not merely the comforts of civilized life, but talents and acquirements of a high order. On accepting his charge he had performed the journey from Tornea in the depth of winter, accompanied by a young wife and a female relation of the latter, fifteen years of age. He had found the parsonage vacated by his predecessor a wretched edifice, distant some fifteen miles from the nearest Lap habitation. After establishing himself and his family in this, he had returned from a pastoral excursion, guided to his home by the light of a conflagration from which its inmates had escaped with difficulty, but with a total loss of everything they possessed. A wretched hut, built for the temporary shelter of the Laps who resorted thither for divine service, afforded the family a shelter for the winter. He had since contrived to build himself another dwelling, in which our party found him, after five years' residence, the father of a family, and the chief of a happy household. The latter was destined to be diminished by the visit of our travellers. The susceptible Durmann fell a victim to the attractions and accomplishments, musical especially, of the young lady, and he left Uitzoki, in company with our author, for Enare, a betrothed man. Their journey was hurried, for Mr. D. was engaged to perform service at the church of Enare, and love had delayed his departure to the last moment. The second of their three days' journey was one of eight Swedish, or nearly sixty English, miles, performed in wet clothes, and almost without rest or sustenance, for sixteen consecutive hours.

Essays on history, biography, geography, engineering &c. contributed to the 'Quarterly Review' by the late Earl of Ellesmere. 1858

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The nobility of Finland also unfortunately prove an exception to this rule

If we except the inhabitants of a few Finnish villages within the government of St. Petersburg, which, having fallen within the pale of the Russian empire at a very early period, were reduced to servage, it is surprising how little the constant contact with Russia and Russians has altered the Finnish character, even in those free villages which are situated in the vicinity of the metropolis, and which draw their subsistence from it, by sending thither their fish and dairy produce. The nobility of Finland also unfortunately prove an exception to this rule. Selected for offices of trust by the Russian government, with the double view of gaining them over to its interests, and securing the services of public servants whose probity rendered them valuable in the vast sink of the Russian administration, so far from operating favourably on its corruption, they have become themselves perverted and corrupted.

For many years past, a considerable contraband trade with St. Petersburg has been carried on by the Finns, all foreign articles being only subject to a nominal duty in Finland, and to a very heavy one in passing the Border of Russia Proper. It is principally carried on in sledges across the Gulf of Finland, and the small and active horses bred in the country, which are harnessed to them by the smugglers, are very fast trotters, and are sometimes purchased at high prices for this purpose.


Saturday, December 7, 2019

As I advanced I found every thing getting more and more Russian

The first night I slept at Bjorsby, which is nothing but a miserable post-house, and early in the morning set off for Helsingfors, a tolerable sea-port town, defended by the fortress of Sveaborg, said to be the strongest in Finland. As dining and sleeping comprised the whole of my operations there, I can only say that I performed them both very commodiously, particularly the former with the assistance of partridges and a cock of the woods, of which there are a prodigious number. On the twenty-sixth I arrived at Louisa, which, as well as I remember, Coxe represents to be a neat town ; on this subject I can only say that his ideas of neatness by no means coincide with mine. The following day I crossed the frontier into Russian Finland, when my baggage was searched at both extremities of a bridge, which divides the territories of the King of Sweden from those of the Emperor ; and after having obtained an order for horses from the officer stationed on the frontier, I found myself in the evening at Frederickshams. As this country formerly belonged to the Swedes, the inhabitants preserve their own customs and religion ; but as I advanced I found every thing getting more and more Russian ; the churches began to be ornamented with gilt domes, and the number of persons wearing beards, continued to increase.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

In the Month of September 1741, she pierced her Navel with an Awl

When I wrote this, I had not seen a remarkable Case published in the Philosophical Transactions of September, of a Woman, from whom a Fœtus was extracted, that had been lodged thirteen Years in the Fallopian Tubes, sent from Riga by Dr. James Mounsey, Physician to the Czarina's Army together with the Bones of the said Fœtus, as a Present to the Royal Society of London. The Woman, as we are told in that ingenious Treatise, was a Soldier's Wife of Abo in Finland, of a middle Stature, who, being pregnant for the third Time in the Year 1730, was afflicted with violent Pains and Twistings of the Bowels, &c. and continued sickly for ten Years afterwards. In the Month of September 1741, she pierced her Navel with an Awl, out of which ran a yellow-coloured Water, &c, In the Month of June two small Bones came out, &c. and in October 1742, she was taken in Hand by Dr. Mounsey, and Mr. Geitle, Surgeon, who thurst a grooved Probe into the Fistula, and made an Incision with a Bistory, upwards and obliquely, from the Linea alba, into the Cavity of the Abdomen ; but the Woman being unruly (as well she might) and the Operation not going on according to the Doctor's liking, he proceeded no further till the next Day, &c. At the next Operation the Incision was carried downwards ; but Care taken not to make the external Wound larger than needful, lest the Omentum and Guts should fall out, &c. In short, the Fœtus was at length extracted Piece-meal at several difficult Operations. Now comparing all these Circumstances together, it seems reasonable to believe that this Fruit never was in the Cavity of the Womb, but that the impregnated Ovum was stopt in its Passage through one of the Fallopian Tubes, where it grew and was detained so many Years. Nothing therefore can be concluded from hence against the Cause I have assigned of my Maid's Pregnancy (as a certain learned Gentleman of the Royal Society, who communicated this Story to me, seemed to imagine) for the Cases are very different ; and the uncommon delay of this Finland Woman's Delivery was owing to the præternatural Situation of the Fœtus.

A letter humbly addressed to the Royal Society. Fugitive pieces on various subjects. By several authors. Vol I. 1771

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The other Finn was at the wheel at the time

The ship was loaded so deeply and was leaking so much, and moreover had such wretched pumps, that many misgivings were expressed as to her ever crossing the Atlantic safely. The superstitious among the crew were still more disaffected when two Finnish sailors came on board, for a Finn is believed to have dealings with the evil one, and to be a dangerous shipmate. We sailed for Boston one September morning, and beat down the Gulf of Finland. The crew that were shipped at New Diep were to get fifteen dollars a month, but wages were higher in Cronstadt, and the two Finnish sailors had shipped for twenty dollars. They had signed articles to that effect, drawn up by the American Consul. This grieved the captain's economic soul, and the day after we sailed, he called one of the Finns into the cabin and summoned me for a witness. He told the man that if he didn't prove to be a first-class, able seaman, he should cut his wages down to ten dollars a month ; but, if he would sign the articles that the rest of the crew were on, and accept fifteen dollars, he would say nothing about his seamanship. The man was confident of his ability, and had every appearance of a thorough seaman. He understood English imperfectly, and was somewhat bewildered by this proposition, but he realized it was a scheme to defraud him of five dollars a month, and he respectfully declined to sign the new articles, saying, he had signed once before the consul and that was his bargain. After a little useless argument, the captain rose and shut the cabin door ; then he caught the man by the neck with his left hand, and gave him a blow with his right fist that knocked him down. He jumped on his chest two or three times with his whole weight ; and then kneeling on top of him pounded his face severely. The man cried out for mercy and promised to sign. He was then helped to the table and wrote his name on the fifteen dollar articles. The other Finn was at the wheel at the time, and whether he heard anything of what was going on or not, he seemed to lose his head just then, and ran the ship off her course. The mate, perceiving it, struck him and put another man in his place. He was just coming forward as the captain and his shipmate stepped out of the cabin. The bruised face of his comrade startled him, and when the captain told him to go into the cabin he refused, supposing he was going to be beaten for his bad steering. The captain, without further words, seized a belaying pin from the rail and hit him a powerful blow on the head, which cut a deep gash on the side of his forehead, and in a moment his face was one mass of blood. The steward and myself carried him into the cabin, by his head and heels, and seating him on a stool in a state-room, bound up his broken head with strips of sail cloth in lieu of rags. The captain brought a pen to him and told him to write his name on the old articles.
" What ish dis ? " he asked.
"Do as you're told, " said the captain, and the man signed.
The captain then put a pair of handcuffs on the man's wrists, though he was as quiet as possible, and he was left to meditate on the privileges of sailing under that symbol of freedom and justice, the American flag. 

Robert C. Adams: On board the "Rocket". 1879