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1600, being desirous to know the truth of that country, sent two famous mathematicians, M. Aron. Forsius, a Swedish professour, and Hieronymus Birkholten, a German, with instruments, and all necessaries, to make what discoveries they could of Lapland; who, at their return, did certify, and make it out, that beyond the elevation of the pole 73 degrees, there was no continent towards the north but the great frozen sea; and that the farthest point was Norcum, or Norcap, not far from the castle of Wardhorise.” John Scheffer himself was born at Strasburg, in 1621, and was, by Christina of Sweden, appointed professor of Law and Rhetoric in the University of Upsala. Of his erudite tomes, his Lapponia, which was printed at Frankfort in 1673, is still the most popular. It consists of thirty-five short chapters, which are distributed with little regard to method, and exhibit a greater display of learning than of philosophical discernment. In the arrangement of his materials, he was avowedly assisted by the Chancellor of Sweden; and appears not only to have had access to such manuscript and printed documents as could then be procured, and to have frequently availed himself of oral communications with native Laplanders, but, though the circumstance is noticed only incidentally, and as of no moment, to have actually travelled through part of the country which he describes. In 1681, three rambling young Frenchmen, Corberon, Fercourt, and Regnard the dramatist, undertook a wild expedition to Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. At the suggestion of the King of the last mentioned country, they suddenly resolved to pay their respects to Lapland, and actually penetrated to Tornotresk, a lake forty leagues in length, and the source of the river Tornea. On the summit of an adjacent mountain, they erected a monument of their excursive wanderings, and graced it with the following Latin inscription, for the perusal of the bears and other country gentlemen of Lapland. ‘Gallia nos genuit, vidit nos Africa, Gangem Hausimus, #. oculis lustravimus omnem : Casibus et variis acti terraque marique, Hic tandem stetimus, nobis ubi defuit orbis. DE FERCourt, De CoRBERoN, REGNARD. Anno 1681, die 22 Augusti.’ A lively and entertaining account of this expedition was afterwards published by Regnard; though not, as might be imagined, very remarkable for scientific accuracy. The celebrated Maupertuis, one o the French academicians, who were commissioned to measure a degree of the meridian under the polar circle, has made a well-known report of their scientific operations; but his collateral descriptions and remarks
refer chiefly to the neighbourhood of Tornea. A narrative of the same expedition, by the Abbé Outhier, though it did not appear till 1744, is nevertheless very inferior to that of Maupertuis, both in respect of sprightliness of expression, and correctness of style; yet, as it comprises several additional particulars, it may be regarded as a useful supplement. Nearly about the same period, Pehr. Högström, pastor of Gelliwhare, in the province of Lulea, published his account of Swedish Lapland; a work which abounds in valuable remarks, but in which, also, the prejudices of the Lutheran divine are laughably blended with chimerical projects for the conversion of these hyperborean deserts into fertile pastures and flowery meadows. The more rational and sedate statements of this good and wellmeaning parson, may be profitably perused in conjunction with the agricultural and statistical observations of Ehrenmalm, who visited Asehele Lapland, or, as he terms it, West Nordland, in the summer of 1741, and whose principal defect is an overstrained sentimentality in favour of the savage condition of mankind. Knud Leem, or Leemius, professor of the Lapland language at Drontheim, and who resided ten years in Lapland in the capacity of a Danish missionary, is the author of a treatise which, by the command of Christian VII, was published at Copenhagen in 1767, under the title of ‘De Lapponibus Finmarchia Commentatio;’ and which we regret that we have not been able to procure, since its character for accuracy is understood to stand very high with the literati of the North. From this source, Mr. Joseph Acerbi, a native of Italy, who, in 1798 and 1799, took a cooling jaunt through Sweden, Finland, and Lapland, to the North Cape, is reported to have drawn many of his observations on the .. and customs of the Laplanders. His work, which was published in London, and in the English language, has obviously received embellishments from the hand of its manufacturer; but contains, nevertheless, much authentic and entertaining information, and is suitably illustrated by engravings and a large sheet map, copied from Baron Hermelin's collection. Mr. Consett would scarcely pardon us, perhaps, if we overlooked his seemly quarto. This gentleman accompanied Sir H. G. Liddell, Bart. and Mr. Bowes on a trip to Tornea, occasioned by a wager. The gallant trio, in the course of about fifty days, measured over a space of three thousand seven hundred and eighty-four miles, and returned in the same nimble style, with five rein-deer and two Lapland shepherdesses in their train There are several judicious remarks upon cookery in the course of this volume; but the sum of the author's philosophy is reserved for the conclusion, where he modestly announces this important and consoling truth, that nobody can “describe the comfort arising from a good dinner and a bottle of honest port, so well as he who has been in want of both.”
In regard to the volumes now before us, a very infatuated disciple of the Linnaean school, or a very enduring member of our own fraternity, may perhaps achieve their perusal in their original and disjointed form; but the bulk of our readers, we are persuaded, will thank us for selecting from the motley mass the substance of the more important statements, and distributing it under a few general heads. Before we proceed, however, to the discharge of this part of our duty, it may be proper to advert to some of those circumstances which have a more pointed reference to the journalist himself, and which, from their individuality, if we may be allowed the expression, are calculated to excite a certain degree of interest, independently of the local information which his notices are intended to convey.
From the short abstract inserted in the Appendix, we learn, that Linnaeus had presented to the Royal Academy of Sciences of Upsala, a memorial relative to his projected tour; and that, in consequence of this application, he was conmissioned by that Society to make a progress through Lapland, for the purpose of investigating its natural history. Having procured his instructions and passport, he accordingly sallied forth from Upsala, ‘on the 12th of May, 1732, at eleven o'clock, being at that time within half a day of twenty-five years of age.” The graphic style of his equipment and costume, would make no despicable figure in the writings of Cervantes.
“My clothes consisted of a light coat of Westgothland linseywoolsey cloth without solds, lined with red shalloon, having small cuffs, and collar of shag ; leather breeches; a round wig ; a green leather cap, and a pair of half boots. I carried a small leather bag, half an ell in length, but somewhat less in breadth, furnished on one side with hooks and eyes, so that it could be opened and shut at pleasure. This bag contained one shirt; two pair of false sleeves; two half shirts ; an inkstand, pencase, microscope and spying-glass; a gauze cap to protect me occasionally from the gnats; a comb; my journal, and a parcel of paper stitched together for drying plants, both in folio; my manuscript Ornithology, Flora Uhlandica, and Characteres generici. I wore a hanger at my side, and carried a small fowling-piece, as well as an octangular stick, graduated for the purpose of measuring.”
As our chivalrous naturalist, thus accoutred, traversed, in the short space of five months, a route of six hundred and thirtythree Swedish, or three thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight English miles, through the wilds of the extreme North, we may reasonably suppose, that he would encounter divers mishaps, and cultivate an acquaintance with fatigue and peril. We find him, accordingly, commencing his noviciate, by sliding down a hill of ice, on the seat of honour, and at the risk of meeting with a loose fragment of rock, or a precipice, either of which would have dubbed him with the honours of scientific martyrdom. A repetition of the same critical mode of conveyance, among the Lapland Alps, threatened, as he slid along “with the rapidity of an arrow from a bow,” to entomb him in an avalanche. On another occasion, in defiance of the remonstrances of the soberminded natives, he boldly determined to explore a cavern in the mountain of Skirla. “With much difficulty,’ says he, “I prevailed on two men to show me the way. We climbed the rocks, creeping on our hands and knees, and often slipping back again. We had no sooner advanced a little, than all our labour was lost by a retrograde motion. Sometimes we caught hold of bushes, sometimes of small projecting stones. Had they failed us, which was very likely to have been the case, our lives might have paid for it. I was following one of the men in climbing a steep rock; but seeing the other had better success, I endeavoured to overtake him. I had but just left my former situation, when a large mass of rock broke loose from a spot which my late guide had just passed, and fell exactly where I had been, with such force that it struck fire as it went. If I had not providentially changed my route, nobody would ever have heard of me more. Shortly afterwards, another fragment came tumbling down. I am not sure that the man did not roll it down on purpose. At length, quite spent with toil, we reached the object of our pursuit, which is a cavity in the middle of the mountain.” Our author having deflected from the main road in West Bothnia, was speedily admonished of his error by his palfrey, which, at almost every step, stumbled on stones, at the hazard of his rider's life; and winded through devious and intricate tracks, which “nothing human could have followed.” . Animated, however, by “the saying of the wise king, that nothing is impossible under the sun,” away he rushes, upon an unstuffed saddle, regardless of the fury of ‘all the elements ;’ of the “depending boughs, loaded with rain drops;’ and ‘aged pines,' which, “overthrown by the wrath of Juno, lay prostrate in his path. In traversing a glaciere, in Norwegian Lapland, he was ‘often carried off his feet by the impetuosity of the blast, and rolled a considerable way down the hill.” This once happened in so dangerous a place, that, “after rolling to the distance of a gunshot, I arrived near the brink of a precipice; and thus my part in the drama had very nearly come to an end.” Again, as the discharge of a fowling-piece happened to interrupt our hero's innocent occupation of gathering strawberries, he perceived that the ball had struck a stone very near the spot on which he stood. ‘God be praised,’ he exclaimed, “that it did not hit me—The fellow ran away, and I never saw him after ;-but I immediately returned home.’ Soon after, we find him bewildered on the dark mountains, in the midst of a thick fog, which concealed from him the sun and moon, and inspired dreadful apprehensions of being precipitated into some torrent or abyss. Another fog having occasioned uncommon darkness during the night, while he was floating down a river on a raft, his crazy vehicle parted in the middle of a stream; and he narrowly escaped a watery grave.
In the forests of Lulean Lapland, danger awaited him in a new and still more alarming form, and has given occasion to a more animated description.
“Several days ago the forests had been set on fire by lightning; and the flames raged at this time with great violence, owing to the drought of the season. In many different places, perhaps in nine or ten, that came under my notice, the devastation extended several miles' distance. I traversed a space three-quarters of a mile in extent, which was entirely burnt ; so that Flora, instead of appearing in her gay and verdant attire, was in deep sable—a spectacle more abhorrent to my feelings than to see her clad in the white livery of winter; for this, though it destroys the herbage, leaves the roots in safety, which the fire does not. The fire was nearly extinguished in most of the spots we visited, except in ant-hills, and dry trunks of trees. After we had travelled about half a quarter of a mile across one of these scenes of desolation, the wind began to blow with rather more force than it had done, upon which a sudden noise arose in the halfburnt forest, such as I can only compare to what may be imagined among a large army attacked by an enemy. We knew not whither to turn our steps. The smoke would not suffer us to remain where we were ; nor durst we turn back. It seemed best to hasten forward, in hopes of speedily reaching the outskirts of the wood; but in this we were disappointed. We ran as fast as we could, in order to avoid being crushed by the falling trees, some of which threatened us every minute. Sometimes the fall of a huge trunk was so sudden, that we stood aghast, not knowing whither to turn to escape destruction; and throwing ourselves entirely on the protection of Providence. In one instance, a large tree fell exactly between me and my guide, who walked not more than a fathom from me; but, thanks to God! we both escaped in safety. We were not a little rejoiced when this perilous adventure terminated; for we had felt all the while like a couple of outlaws, in momentary fear of surprize.”
If to this catalogue of miseries and discomforts we add the summer plague of gnats and mosquitoes, and the threatenings of tenesmus from eating curdled milk and cheese, we may be allow