Thursday, March 29, 2012

Simply a drunken Petersburg Finn

But this was too much for Katerina Ivanovna, and she at once declared, so that all could hear, that Amalia Ivanovna probably never had a father, but was simply a drunken Petersburg Finn, and had certainly once been a cook and probably something worse. Amalia Ivanovna turned as red as a lobster and squealed that perhaps Katerina Ivanovna never had a father, "but she had a Vater aus Berlin and that he wore a long coat and always said poof-poof-poof!"

Katerina Ivanovna observed contemptuously that all knew what her family was and that on that very certificate of honour it was stated in print that her father was a colonel, while Amalia Ivanovna's father--if she really had one--was probably some Finnish milkman, but that probably she never had a father at all, since it was still uncertain whether her name was Amalia Ivanovna or Amalia Ludwigovna.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Have had several very interesting conversations with a Finlander

June 14th. Yesterday the above mentioned young man was examined before the Church and received into fellowship. Had a very good Sabbath to my own soul, praise the Lord. Last week I met with a Captain on board of one of the coasting vessels, who appeared much interested in conversing with me on religious subjects. He said he loved to read and listen to the word of God, but that he felt that after all, all was not right with him. I had great liberty in directing him to Christ who said " come unto me all ye that labor;" and spent the time of two hours with him very pleasantly,which we concluded by both of us kneeling down on the cabin floor, imploring the spirit of truth, to lead us into his own saving truth. The Finlander I spoke of above I have found this week more humble and anxious. Have a good hope of him.

Sailor's magazine, September 1852. Naval journal, Volume 25

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Finlanders had tried variety of applications to no purpose

Nothing exemplifies this truth more than the history of a minute insect, or rather worm, of which we hive, in this dissertation, the first proper intelligence ; it is very curious, and worthy of notice. In Finland, Bothnia, and the northern provinces of Sweden, it was not unfrequently that people were seized with a pungent pain, confined to a point, in the hand, or other exposed part of the body, which presently increased to a most excruciating degree, and hath sometimes been suddenly fatal. This disorder was more particularly observed in Finland, especially about boggy and marshy places, and always in autumn. At length it was discovered, that this pain instantly succeeded somewhat that dropped out of the air, and in a moment penetrated and buried itself in the flesh. The Finlanders had tried variety of applications to no purpose, until at length a poultice of curds, or cheese, was found the most effectual in easing the pain ; and the event confirmed, that the insect was allured by this application to leave the flesh; as on its removal, this worm, no longer than the sixth of an inch, was found in it, and thus the cause of this painful disease explained.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I turned over the Finlander

I uttered an exclamation of joy and surprise, which, however, no sooner escaped me than a second rush separated us again. Maddened and desperate, I threw off the market-woman, turned over the Finlander, kicked down the droschki-driver; and upsetting the whole posse, with the little chambermaid to boot, I most strenuously endeavoured to free myself from their fangs, and to dash forward and regain hold of Liesli; but all in vain. They clung to me like bees; and instead of herself, I succeeded only in gaining—her shawl. I called out her name; but my voice was completely lost amongst the multitude, and the charming apparition had vanished from my sight. My way was, in fact, so completely obstructed by the crowds of Calmucks, Wogulians, Barabinzelians, Tunguselians, Tschetschewzelians, &c. &c, that nothing further could be heard or seen of her; and I thanked Heaven that I had been happy enough even to catch the shawl.

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...