Thursday, June 30, 2011

Old Finland, with its glorious recollections

The major was an old Finlander, and loved his country with all the impetuosity and enthusiasm of an ardent temper. Old Finland, with its glorious recollections, that land, intersected by thousands of rivulets and torrents, situated beyond the Baltic, whose sons (the major was one of these) did not cease to hope and to struggle until after a bloody though fruitless battle,—that land was the old man's idol, the only object to which he clung with heart and soul, and from this country he had been compelled to become a voluntary exile. After its lost idol his soul wept and fretted, and his unavailing sorrow frequently vented itself in spleen against his neighbours, for grief often makes us unjust.

The aristocrat and the pauper, from the Swedish of Uncle Adam (Dr. Carl Anton Wetterbergh)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Account of a Borsten or the Bristles, very common among Children in Finland

THE Distemper, of which I propose to give a brief Account; is very common to new-born Infants in Finland, and vulgarly called lie Borsten, or the Bristles, from a supposition that a pregnant Woman touching a Hog or eating too much Pork, the Infant contracts the Borste: But as a Fright is always a a Fright, this absurdity we dismiss without any further animadversion.

I am very far from denying the influence of the Imagination on the Foetus; all I insist on is that the Borste is not in all Children owing to their Mothers having run against a Hog, but proceeds from a Cause little thought of, and which after a description of the Disease itself I shall explain. The Borste is a cutaneous Distemper in Children, their Skin appearing full of minute Excrescences like Bristles or Worms, some quite transparent, others blackish at the Tip, some straight, others crooked, whereby the Children are in extreme Pain, without any Sleep, and perpetually trembling and moaning.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Finns of Finland

The last subject referred to by the lecturer was the Finns of Finland, whose study reveals the fact that they embrace two ethnic types, one of which, the _Tavastlanda_, belongs without doubt to the great Finnish family, spread over Asia as well as in Europe, and a second, the Karelien, whose representatives possessed the poetic instinct, which causes M. Quatrefages to ally them with the Aryan race, "to whom we owe all our epics, from the Ramayana, Iliad, and Eneas to the poems of to-day."

Friday, June 17, 2011

To Abo, where he was to have a conference with the Emperor Alexander

The defeat of Oudinot at Polotzk, the junction of Begration and Barclay de Tolly with the grand Russian army under Kutusoff, and the battle of Borodino, gave a favourable turn to affairs, but not such as to dispel every apprehension, and it was determined by the Emperor Alexander to send the whole Russian fleet to winter in England. Admiral Crown was expected from Archangel with eight sail of the line, and Admiral Tait with ten, and six frigates from Cronstadt. The former having sailed from Wingo before this had been determined on, it became necessary for Sir James to delay his return. The Aquilon, which had been sent through the Belt to meet Lord Cathcart at Daleroe, and convey his lordship to Abo, where he was to have a conference with the Emperor Alexander, met with some damage and returned to Wingo.

Mr. James Saumarez, eldest son of the Admiral, who had accompanied his lordship, made a tour and visited the Swedish, Finland, and Russian capitals; he returned on board the Victory on the 9th of October, when the afflicting intelligence arrived of the sudden death of his sister, the eldest daughter of the Admiral, whose loss was deeply regretted by all who knew her excellent disposition. The shock, as may be imagined, was deeply felt by Sir James; but it will be seen by the following correspondence that his mind was supported under this severe trial, and much as his presence was required at home he regarded his duty to his country to be paramount to every other consideration, and unflinchingly remained at his post. His son (the present Lord de Saumarez) who had just finished his education for the Established Church, was indeed a great comfort to his suffering parent.

Frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland

 I never addressed myself, in the language of decency and friendship, to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent an...