Monday, July 2, 2012

The posting arrangements in Finland are very simple

Our harness, which thus far had lain stowed in the bottom of the carriage, was brought into requisition at the first post house in Finland; where we found three or four pairs of horses awaiting us. The posting arrangements in Finland are very simple, and as far as the traveller is concerned, very excellent; but I suppose they bear hard on the farmer in time of harvest, at least they would be very annoying to him if there were much travelling on the road. The plan is that every morning at six o'clock a certain number of proprietors or occupiers of land within the district, shall bring each his quota of horses to the nearest post-house, and leave them there, unless previously hired, until six o'clock in the evening, when they are taken home and a fresh supply is brought for the night. Those who are first on the list have the privilege of getting the first job that offers, unless the traveller objects to their horses, which he has a right to do, and to choose any others that suit him better; but this of course no good natured person would do, except under very particular circumstances; nor is there often occasion for it, for the horses are generally good. The mode of arranging the reins is very awkward for those who are unaccustomed to it, the rein of each horse being quite distinct from that of the other; but by means of a little cutting and splicing we easily brought them into the English form and then we got on very well.

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