Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Most thick-headed beauty (cont)

In the course of the dinner, I told the amtmand, about the character of his office, as we get it in " Afraja"-the cruel and tyrannical amtmand of Tromsöe. He had not seen the novel, though they all knew about Mügge. They laughed at his romance of the oppression of the Finns by the Norwegians; and his sketches of Finnish magicians and maidens. The feeling towards the Finns and Lapps, seemed to be very much like the feeling of an intelligent Western company towards the Indians. The poetry of the race is quite obscured in their debased or drunken habits. The Lapps are simply ignorant, dirty men, who live in a barbarous way among reindeers, or who catch the cod and the ducks which the Norwegians want. Still Mügge is right. They present a fair foil to the Norwegians, such as a dramatist would seize upon-weak, poetic, roving and unsettled, while their masters are strong, practical, steady, and perhaps tyrannical. They have lost, too, their old possessions and habitations before the conquering race of Northmen. Without doubt, they have suffered much injustice.

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