Thursday, April 19, 2012

He was a remarkable little man, but so swift of foot that no horse could overtake him.

There was a man from the Uplands called Fin the Little, and some said of him that he was of Finnish race. He was a remarkable little man, but so swift of foot that no horse could overtake him. He was a particularly well-excercised runner with snow-shoes, and shooter with the bow. He had long been in the service of King Hrorek, and often employed in errands of trust. He knew the roads in all the Upland hills, and was well known to all the great people. Now when King Hrorek was set under guards on the journey Fin would often slip in among the men of the guard, and followed, in general, with the lads and serving-men; but as often as he could he waited upon Hrorek, and entered into conversation with him. The king, however, only spoke a word or two with him at a time, to prevent suspicion. In spring, when they came a little way beyond Viken, Fin disappeared from the army for some days, but came back, and stayed with them a while. This happened often, without anyone observing it particularly; for there were many such hangers-on with the army.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Finlanders were formerly in the practice of rolling themselves in the snow

The Finlanders make use almost entirely of vapour baths dry and moist. In the first or dry sudatory, the thermometer of Fahrenheit is from 140° to 167° (40° to 60" of Reaumur)—in the second, or moist sudatory, the heat does not exceed 122° of Fahrenheit (40° Reaumur.) The vapour in this last is pungent, and offends the eyes—flame is extinguished, and animals suffer very much, and even perish in it—men become vertiginous, and almost in a state of stupor—their animal heat augments one or two degrees, and the pulse in an adult gives 115, and even 125 beats in a minute—and is, in a child of ten years old, increased to 160—infants when in it appear almost dead, and yet there are some exposed twice a day to such a punishment. This is perhaps the reason why there are so many deaths in early life in Finland.

These baths commonly produce a febrile action, easily recognised by the redness of the skin, heat, and burning thirst, extreme debility, difficult respiration, stupor in some, and obstinate wakefulness in others. The perspiration being thus augmented, all the other secretions are diminished, especially milk and urine. The senses become deadened, and the flesh is in general more flabby than common. In this state of things, perspiration after a while ceases, nor could it be renewed if the heat were augmented to 144° of Fahrenheit.

The dry bath, from 140« to 144° of Fahrenheit, is more supportable than a moist vapour bath of 117° to 122° of Fahrenheit. The Finlanders were formerly in the practice of rolling themselves in the snow, but at present the custom is almost universally abandoned. In Carelia, Tevastia, Savolax, it is customary to bathe every day—in Nieland less frequently.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finland. You can't go any further than that, can you?

"Well, I have heard a great deal about you!" cried the young girl, with a pretty little stare of contradiction. "I think you know a great friend of mine, Miss Ella Maclane, of Baltimore. She 's travelling in Europe now." Longueville's memory did not instantly respond to this signal, but he expressed that rapturous assent which the occasion demanded, and even risked the observation that the young lady from Baltimore was very pretty. "She 's far too lovely," his companion went on. "I have often heard her speak of you. I think you know her sister rather better than you know her. She has not been out very long. She is just as interesting as she can be. Her hair comes down to her feet. She 's travelling in Norway. She has been everywhere you can think of, and she 's going to finish off with Finland. You can't go any further than that, can you? That 's one comfort; she will have to turn round and come back. I want her dreadfully to come to Baden-Baden."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sometimes making love to a Finland or a Russian girl

"Sometimes you would have found me in a Finland hut, conversing by means of an interpreter with the family; sometimes making love to a Finland or a Russian girl, which needed no interpreter. One day I got half seas over with a Russian, the next day with a Cossac; nothing can be done with the Scythians without the help of brandy.

"Whenever any traveller arrived at the post-house, I placed myself by his side; and having an interpreter at hand, I enquired of him whatever related to his journey, or to his country. I did not satisfy myself with this; I took my pencil and delineated his figure, physiognomy, and dress.

"You would have seen me sometimes sitting bv the highway; before me passed a variety of nations: sometimes walking with a band of gypsies; at other times journeying with a Russian boor upon a cart; sometimes examining into the houshold œconomy of a Finland matron; or seated with them at a feast upon their saint's day. Not a wedding, nor a christening, nor a burial occurred, that I did not attend as punctually as a clerk of the parish."

Letters from Scandinavia... (1796) P. 387. as quoted in
The British critic, Volume 7

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The local Modernist and Functionalist and general Impossiblist

It was painful that while Jesse regarded him as an anarchist, the local Modernist and Functionalist and general Impossiblist, Mr. Kivi from Finland--DOCTOR Kivi--considered Hayden "a nize fella personal, but yoost anudder old-fashion architectural tailor, giffing the dumb bourgeois whateffer kind suitings dey tink dey vant."

"I need, in fact, a year off," reflected Hayden, "and I'm going to take that year off, and find out whether I can do anything more amusing than being batted over the net by Jesse and batted back by Kivi. I think that I would like to be a self-respecting human being, and even learn to read!"

Monday, April 2, 2012

Finland is an exceedingly poor country

LinkFinland is an exceedingly poor country, chequered with lakes and inland waters; the soil is either sandy, or covered with broken rocks of red granite in those parts which are not wholly stony. The barrenness of the ground seems to have discouraged the agriculturist, and the sterility of his fields, joined to their negligent cultivation, is everywhere apparent in the slovenly tillage and the miserable crops of rye. A few districts of bog land which admit of draining, and which have found cultivators with sufficient capital and enterprise to undertake it in the village clergymen, form occasional exceptions to this uninviting picture. Some parts of the country are covered with large forests of the white and red fir. It is traversed in every direction by streams and rivers, on many of which the timber exported is floated down to the sea, but which form cascades and waterfalls amongst the rocks, and are thus rendered unnavigable. The falls of Imatra are, perhaps, the finest in Europe, and, if the mass of water poured down is less than at those of the Trollhatten, in Sweden, they are far more beautiful than the latter.

Charles Frederick Henningsen: Revelations of Russia in 1846, Volume 2