Monday, December 29, 2008

We attended divine service in the Lutheran church

On Sunday we attended divine service in the Lutheran church, for this is the prevalent religion here as in Sweden : the officiating minister, previous to his concluding prayer, read out to us with an audible voice a list of the births, deaths, and marriages of the preceding week, as we had observed elsewhere to be the usual custom. His succeeding catalogue somewhat surprised us : he recounted the sales of houses made, or about to be made, and then added the directions of the unclaimed letters now lying at the post-office, with some other notices of a similar description : it is a singular practice, but nevertheless one that is infinitely useful in such a country as Finland ; and I must add in compliment to the piety of the Fins, that certainly no other mode of publication would have given these matters an equal chance of notoriety.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How the Children Played in Winter

When the children saw their fathers and mothers go out of doors, they, too, wanted to go. But they had no warm clothing, so their mothers tried to keep them in doors.

Sometimes Fleetfoot and Flaker teased to go out and play in the snow. And when the days were warm enough, Antler let them go out and play. But on very cold days they had to stay in the cave.

The children had good times in the cave. They played many animal games. They played they were grown men and women, and they made believe do all sorts of work. They peeked out of the cave many times each day. They heard their fathers and mothers talk. And they listened to Greybeard’s stories.

And so the children always knew what the men and women were doing. After a heavy fall of snow, they knew they would trap the animals in the drifts. When a hard crust formed, they knew they would dig pitfalls.

Antler often wished that the children might play out doors every day. Greybeard wanted the boys to learn to make pitfalls and traps. But neither Antler nor Greybeard had thought of making clothing for little children.

Friday, December 12, 2008

THE YOUNG ADVENTURERS, LTD.

"TOMMY, old thing!"

"Tuppence, old bean!"

The two young people greeted each other affectionately, and momentarily blocked the Dover Street Tube exit in doing so. The adjective "old" was misleading. Their united ages would certainly not have totalled forty-five.

"Not seen you for simply centuries," continued the young man.

"Where are you off to? Come and chew a bun with me. We're getting a bit unpopular here--blocking the gangway as it were. Let's get out of it."

The girl assenting, they started walking down Dover Street towards Piccadilly.

"Now then," said Tommy, "where shall we go?"

The very faint anxiety which underlay his tone did not escape the astute ears of Miss Prudence Cowley, known to her intimate friends for some mysterious reason as "Tuppence." She pounced at once.

"Tommy, you're stony!"

"Not a bit of it," declared Tommy unconvincingly. "Rolling in cash."

"You always were a shocking liar," said Tuppence severely, "though you did once persuade Sister Greenbank that the doctor had ordered you beer as a tonic, but forgotten to write it on the
chart. Do you remember?"

Tommy chuckled.

Monday, December 1, 2008

They drink the votki raw, and in large quantities

That this part of Finland was but little cultivated was too evident, from the scanty and bad quality of the subsistence to be met with in all the villages through which we passed, and in which we were rarely able to procure any other species of provisions than the coarsest brown bread, baked as hard as a sailor's biscuit, or burnt rather to a cinder, which in appearance it pretty much resembled. Add to this a little fish, dried or salted, sour cream, and sometimes, though not always, salted butter — and you have the sum total of what may be expected in a Finnish village. Fortunately we had been informed of this scarcity before starting, and had laid in a tolerably good stock of tongues, chickens, and other good things, together with a small supply of eau de vie, which we thought would have been sufficient, with the addition of any other beverage we might chance to meet with ; but in this we were disappointed; we found nothing whatever but the ardent spirit called Votki : so that when our little stock of brandy was exhausted, we had no alternative but to resort to this native liquor, which we had heard much abused and execrated as a most villanous beverage, but which we did not find to deserve such a character. The flavour is more that of whiskey than any other spirit, is exceedingly fiery, but, when mixed with hot water and sugar, is by no means unpleasant.

John Barrow: Excursions in the North of Europe: Through Parts of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway (1835)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Syntyi pitkäaikainen äänettömyys.

»Jokohan lie se Littilän Vatasen musta lehmä poikinut», puhui Liperin Kutsun-kylän Antti Ihalaisen emäntä Anna Liisa ikäänkuin itsekseen, leipiä uuniin pannessaan. Se asia oli hänelle juolahtanut mieleen ihan vain yht'äkkiä.

»Johan se kuuluu poikineen», myönsi Sormusen Miina, joka oli sattunut vieraaksi tulemaan ja hörppi nyt kahvia. Mutta sitten luuli hän Anna Liisan tarkottavan Antti Vatasen lehmää ja kysyi:

»Senkö Jussi Vatasen lehmä?»

»Sen», myönsi Anna Liisa. Miina vahvisti silloin:

»Johan se kuuluu poikineen.»

»Vai jo!»

Anna Liisa puuhaili kotvasen aikaa leipiensä kanssa, ja sitten hän taas kysyi:

»Lehmisvasikankohan tuo teki?»

»Sekö Jussi Vatasen lehmä?»

»Niin.»

»Lehmisvasikanhan se kuuluu tehneen», myönsi Miina.

»Vai lehmis- se teki. Heittiköhän Jussi sen eloon vai tappoiko», tiedusteli Anna Liisa edelleen. Miina hörppäsi kahvia ja selitti:

»Eikö tuo liene tapattanut.»

Friday, November 14, 2008

Directions for making all kinds of candy

MOLASSES TAFFY.—New Orleans Molasses one pint, Sugar one and one-half pounds, Water one-half pint (no doctor). Stir all the time to a good light snap. Lemon flavor. Work as above.

CREAM TAFFY.—Same as above. When to the ball degree have ready half cup cider vinegar, one-fourth pipe Cream Tartar, dissolve in the Vinegar, four ounces Butter. Add, stir, and work as you do the white taffy.

NUT TAFFY.—Use the cream taffy recipe. Just before the candy is done cooking stir in any kind of nut goodies, pour out, and when cool enough not to run, form it into a block, cut or break it with a hammer.

GOOD BROWN BUTTER-SCOTCH.—C Sugar, three pounds; Water, one and one-fourth pint; Cream Tartar, one full pipe dissolved in one cup Cider Vinegar; Molasses, one-half pint; Butter, eight ounces (no flavor). Add all except the Vinegar, Cream Tartar and Butter. Boil to medium ball, then add the Cream Tartar in the Vinegar and Butter. Stir all the time carefully. Boil to light snap finish as before in cheap Butter-Scotch.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The costume of the Finnish peasant

Dr. Clarke describes the costume of the Finnish peasant as very elegant. They wear boots which are water-proof, and which enable them to ford streams or traverse drifted snows without inconvenience ; from their being lined with fur, warmth and comfort are afforded to the feet and legs, and the lower part of the thighs shielded from the driving rain, sleet, and snow; they wear tight breeches, though nearly concealed by their boots, and the flaps of a very long waistcoat, or rather jacket, which is girt round the loins, and fastened behind; the girdle being of a different color from the drapery. Superadded is a coat made of the skin of some animal, which for accommodation in cold weather, is worn with the fur inward; at the extremity of each sleeve is a cuff of fur ; the neck is defended by a collar of the same comfortable article, and that part of the hat or cap which envelops the temples, the upper part, or crown, being of cloth: the hands are immured in leathern gloves, their hair wantons o'er the shoulders in all the negligence of nature, and mustaches are indulged a place on the upper lip.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Humbug

Looked at on one side, the history of humbug is truly humiliating to intellectual pride, yet the long silly story is less absurd during the later ages of history, and grows less and less so in proportion to the spread of real Christianity. This religion promotes good sense, actual knowledge, contentment with what we cannot help, and the exclusive use of intelligent means for increasing human happiness and decreasing human sorrow. And whenever the time shall come when men are kind and just and honest; when they only want what is fair and right, judge only on real and true evidence, and take nothing for granted, then there will be no place left for any humbugs, either harmless or hurtful.

P. T. Barnum: The Humbugs of the World. An Account of Humbugs, Delusions, Impositions, Quackeries, Deceits and Deceivers Generally, in All Ages

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How many and varied were our experiences before we steamed alongside that pier again!


Steaming up the east coast of the Island we breakfasted the next morning in the Arctic Circle, and what a delight it was to be there, the next best thing to being at the North Pole itself, and far more comfortable! We were also now in calm water, so could give vent to our excitement without fear of consequences. We had indeed had a terrible time of it since we left Scotland: even the captain acknowledged that the voyage had been unusually rough.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kuvaus lopulta 13:tta vuosisataa

-- "Sanon kun sanonkin", vastasi Pouttu; "minulla on toinen kronika omassa ja esi-isieni hyvässä muistissa, ja sen mä taidan teille vakuuttaa, että minun muisti-kronikassani on paljoa sujuvampi runon-puku, kuin teidän riimi-kronikassanne. Mutta siitä ei tarvitse meille riitaa tulla, sillä tahdon teille jutella asian paljailla puvuttomilla sanoilla. Satuin sanomaan, että Kyrön kirkko ja Viipurin linna ovat yht'-ikäiset. Olisi pitänyt sanoani, että Kyrön kirkko on vanhempi, ennemmin aloitettu. Mutta valmiiksi se saatiin vasta kymmenen vuotta myöhemmin. Tämä ei tullut siitä, että Ruotsin-valta on suuri ja Kyrön pitäjä vähäinen. Ei vain! Kyrön pitäjä silloin oli kuin valtakunta. Koko eteläinen Pohjanmaa, rannat, saaristot ja sydänmaat, olivat silloin tämän pitäjän alla, ja sen asukkaat olivat kuin ruhtinaita, vallitsivat koko Lapinkansan yli ja kokosivat veron-saaliiksensa oravan- ja näädän-nahkoja summattomat määrät. Silloin tulivat nämä Ruotsin Hurrit rantoihimme ja juuri se sama Torkel Knuutinpoika ne tänne lähetti. Luuletteko tämän asian rauhaksi kääntyneen. Hän, joka ei kärsinyt muka nähdä vääryyttä kellenkään tehtävän, -- eikö hän tässä tehnyt meille vääryyttä? Saatpas nähdä; jos sonta-ryyttärit kerran voiton saavat, he varmaankin tekevät yhtäläisen kiitos-puheen Klaus Fleming'istä". -- --

Näin kulki Pouttulaisen puhe eteenpäin, samalla lailla kuin pilven-hattarat taivaalla, jotka milloin yhtyvät milloin taas hajoovat, mutta kaikki kuitenkin vihdoin kulkevat yhtä suuntaa. Nykyisen ajan seikat sekaantuivat Kyröläisen ajatuksiin ja vetivät hänen kertomuksensa oikealta tieltä, vaikka hän tavan takaa koki palata poikkeemisistansa. Koko yökauden lienee juttunsa kestänyt, jolla aikaa vene hyvällä vauhdilla kulki Riitakarin ohitse ja siitä lounaista suuntaa Kurkun läpi Ruotsinpuoliselle Raumanmerelle.

Sille tielle tahdomme jättää Pentti Poutun; mutta hänen juttunsa tahdon säilyyn ottaa. Jos lukija joskus on lehdessä ollut, lieneepä nähnyt, kuinka toinen kassaralla leikkaa lehtevät oksat maahan, toinen ne kokoilee ja sitoo kerpoihin. Jälkimäinen virka annetaan vaimoväelle ja
lapsille. Niin minäkin tahdon Poutun kertomuksesta ko'ota nuo hajalliset aineet vihkoloihin, enkä vähäksyä tätä alhaista virkaani niin mainion miehen alla.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Finland isn't Russia

"All hands, attend lecture!" shouted the boatswain, as his shrill pipe rang through the ship, and was repeated in the two consorts.

"Lecture!" exclaimed Scott. " That's too bad! What does the professor think we are made of? We have been patient and long-suffering in the matter of lectures, and I didn't suppose we were to be dosed with any more till we got to Russia."

" We are in Russia now," replied Laybold.

"Not much, if my soundings are correct. Finland isn't Russia, any more than the Dominion of Canada is Great Britain. It is subject to Russia, but the people here make their own laws, or at least have a finger in the pie, which they don't under the nose of the Czar. Do you see that big fish, Laybold? "

"What fish?' asked the other.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What stocks to buy

In deciding what stocks to buy, it is well to consider first the classes of stocks, and then what particular stocks you should buy in the classes you select. We would first of all divide all stocks into two classes, those listed on the New York Stock Exchange and those not listed on the New York Stock Exchange. As a rule, it is better to buy stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange, although there are frequent exceptions to this rule.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What was known at the time as "The Styles Case"

The village of Styles St. Mary was situated about two miles from the little station, and Styles Court lay a mile the other side of it. It was a still, warm day in early July. As one looked out over the flat Essex country, lying so green and peaceful under the afternoon sun, it seemed almost impossible to believe that, not so very far away, a great war was running its appointed course. I felt I had suddenly strayed into another world. As we turned in at the lodge gates, John said:

"I'm afraid you'll find it very quiet down here, Hastings."

"My dear fellow, that's just what I want."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mitä mökkilaiset hökkelissänsä lukevat

Luulen melkein, että väki jo työltäkin palasi ; eno kumminkin jo istui koivikossa olut-haarikan ääressä. Mutta kuka vieras istui hänen vieressänsä? Oikein! se ei ollut mikään muu kuin tuo Hemppulan "herasyöninki", jonka monen-mutkaista nimeä en ole koskaan huolinut muistooni panna ja jonka pitäjäläiset tavallisesti kutsuvat paljaastansa Hempuksi.

...

"Sanokootte mitä hyvänsä", jatkoi eno herrojen keskustelemusta, "väli-kirjoja minä pidän alustalaisteni kanssa ja ajan pitkään minä sillä tavoin voitan paljoa enemmän kuin te, joka alinomaa ajatte väkenne mäelle. Silläpä ette saakkaan enää kelvollista väkeä".
"Kireämpiä palkollis-asetuksia! parempia asetuksia la'illisesta suojeluksesta! Minä olen siitä antanut jo mietteeni Huoneen-hallitus-seuralle". "

...

Se la'in-opillinen herra tunsi nähtävästi maan tapoja paremmin kuin sinä, ja nosti säälivällä naurulla olka-pää- tään. ",Tahtoisiko mamseli, että minä lukisin kaikkea mitä mökkilaiset hökkelissänsä lukevat. Olkoon se suotu, että heitä vasten on suomenkielisiäkin kirjoja. Mutta sen kyllä tiedätte, että suomenkieliset kirjat ovat talonpoikaista kirjallisuutta ; se teiltä kaiketi on leikki-puhetta, kun sanotte niitä lukevanne".

Monday, October 6, 2008

Somewhat dirty streets

We landed on a broad wooden pier, and entered the town through a crowd which was composed of all these elements. There was to be a fair on the morrow, and from the northern shore of the lake, as well as the wild inland region towards the Saima, the people had collected for trade, gossip, and festivity. Children in ragged garments of hemp, bleached upon their bodies, impudently begged for pocket-money; women in scarlet kerchiefs curiously scrutinized us; peasants carried bundles of freshly mown grass to the horses which were exposed for sale; ladies with Hungarian hats, crushed their crinolines into queer old cabriolets; gentlemen with business faces and an aspect of wealth smoked paper cigars; and numbers of hucksters offered baskets of biscuit and cakes, of a disagreeable yellow color and great apparent toughness. It was a repetition, with slight variations, of a village fair anywhere else, or an election day in America.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No, jos sinulla on kärsimystä kuunnella

Minun huomioni kiintyi muutamaan ovilautaan, jolle oli maalattu kilvellä ja kypärillä varustettu nuori neito, jonka päällä keijui iso hämmähäkki seikissänsä. Kysymykseeni vastasi seuralaiseni, että löytyi taru miksi tämä taulu oli maalattu, joka aina oli syvästi vaikuttanut häneen; ja salaisella pöyristyksellä asui hän samassa huoneessa, jonne tämä ovi vei, ja jossa nuori Sesilia Boije, taulun alkukuva, muinoin oli asunut. Juuri sentähden oli tässä huoneessa hänestä jotakin viehättävää.

Minä pyysin häntä kertomaan minulle tämän tarun. "Hm," vastasi hän hymyillen, "se on liian pitkä. Se on minua niin miellyttänyt, että minä olen koonnut ja järjestänyt sen vähän, mitä siitä olen saanut tietää, ja pelkäänpä, etten taida sitä sinulle muutamin sanoin kertoa, juuri sen tähden, että minä olen sitä niin paljon mietiskellyt.

"Jota pitempi, sitä parempi," vastasin minä. "Ilta tulee kyllä pitkäksi, jos ei meillä muuta tehtävää ole, kuin turhia juoruella. Astukaamme tämän avoimen akkunan eteen, juuri tässä huoneessa, ja kerro sinä minulle kerrottavasi, siitä saamme hauskuutta kumpikin."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Amusements in Mathematics

Tommy: "How old are you, mamma?"
Mamma: "Let me think, Tommy. Well, our three ages add up to exactly seventy years."
Tommy: "That's a lot, isn't it? And how old are you, papa?"
Papa: "Just six times as old as you, my son."
Tommy: "Shall I ever be half as old as you, papa?"
Papa: "Yes, Tommy; and when that happens our three ages will add up to exactly twice as much as to-day."
Tommy: "And supposing I was born before you, papa; and supposing mamma had forgot all about it, and hadn't been at home when I came; and supposing——"
Mamma: "Supposing, Tommy, we talk about bed. Come along, darling. You'll have a headache."
Now, if Tommy had been some years older he might have calculated the exact ages of his parents from the information they had given him. Can you find out the exact age of mamma?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Överklassens lögner.

Första artikeln: Religionen.

Vad är religion?

Ett på lägre utvecklingsstadier uppkommet behov, som av överklassen begagnats för att hålla underklassen under sig.

Överklassen skrattar hemligt åt religionen, men anser att »män måste ha en religion för folket». En uppriktig ateist har nyligen förklarat att det är synd att göra underklassen olycklig genom att beröva den dess religion.

Religionens djupa betydelse kan man finna därav att ateister uppträtt till nattvardsvidskepelsens försvar. Vidskepelsen är nyttig för överklassen.

August Strindbergs Lilla katekes för Underklassen

Friday, September 19, 2008

Customary for the ladies to dispense with bathing-dresses

I WAS strongly inclined to spend several weeks in Helsingfors. The bathing is delightful, and the manners and customs of the people are primitive and interesting. My adventure on the sea-shore, as I soon discovered, was nothing uncommon. I mentioned the matter to my landlady —a Finnish woman of very sociable manners, who spoke a little English. I asked her if it was customary for the ladies to dispense with bathing-dresses. She said they generally wore something when they bathed in public, but beyond the limits of the regular bath-houses, at the end of the Botanical Gardens, they seldom troubled themselves about matters of that kind; in fact, they preferred going in without any obstruction, because "they could swim so much better."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Puun rungolla istui nuorukainen.

Puun rungolla istui nuorukainen.

Hän oli pitkä ja solakka kuin vastakaatamansa kuuset. Hattunsa keinuili kuusen lehvällä ja takkinsa ja liivinsä riippuivat kuivuneessa oksantyngässä. Valkoisen paidan avatusta aukeamasta paistoi ruskea, voimakas rinta ja kyynärpäihin saakka käärityt hihat paljastivat lujat, päivettyneet käsivarret.

Hän istui hiukan etukumarassa ja katseli oikeata käsivarttaan. Koukisti sitä ja ojensi taasen, tarkastellen kuinka lihakset paisuivat ja jänteet nahkan alla voimakkaasti jännittyivät.

Nuorukainen hymyili.

Hän tarttui vieressään olevan kirveen ponteen. Kohotti sen ilmaan suoralla käsivarrella, piti niin hetkisen ojona ja heilautti lopuksi pari kertaa leikiten ilmassa.

Nuorukainen hymyili uudelleen:

»Viisikolmatta niitä jo tuossa makaa, eikä kirves paina vielä vähääkään!»

Sunday, September 14, 2008

He's looked that way ever since he had his smash-up

I Had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.

If you know Starkfield, Massachusetts, you know the post-office. If you know the post-office you must have seen Ethan Frome drive up to it, drop the reins on his hollow-backed bay and drag himself across the brick pavement to the white colonnade: and you must have asked who he was.

It was there that, several years ago, I saw him for the first time; and the sight pulled me up sharp. Even then he was the most striking figure in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man. It was not so much his great height that marked him, for the "natives" were easily singled out by their lank longitude from the stockier foreign breed: it was the careless powerful look he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step like the jerk of a chain. There was something bleak and unapproachable in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an old man and was surprised to hear that he was not more than fifty-two. I had this from Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage from Bettsbridge to Starkfield in pre-trolley days and knew the chronicle of all the families on his line.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Two young women want washing.

Teeth extracted with great pains.
Babies taken and finished in ten minutes by a country photographer.
Wood and coal split.
Wanted, a female who has a knowledge of fitting boots of a good moral character.
For sale, a handsome piano, the property of a young lady who is leaving Scotland in a walnut case with turned legs.
A large Spanish blue gentleman's cloak lost in the neighborhood of the market.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Not quite so dismal as might be imagined

At twelve o'clock this night we saw the Sun in full beauty. The Horizon being remarkably clear, gave us a most delightful view of that, to us, extraordinary sight. Sir H. G. L. has caused an engraving to be made of this agreeable Scene. The Inhabitants of this climate no doubt reap many advantages from this circumstance during the Summer season ; but, alas ! a long and dreary Winter reverses the scene and involves them in continual darkness. Yet this is not quite so dismal as might be imagined. The aurora borealis appears with peculiar splendor in all northern countries and supplies in some degree the place of the Sun. The stars too in their clear frosty nights shed an agreeable light, and enable them without much impediment to follow many of their ordinary occupations.

Matthew Consett: A Tour Through Sweden, Swedish-Lapland, Finland and Denmark (1789)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty looking cookstove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner, and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar--except a small hole dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole.



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

They hunt the wild animals in various ways

Amusements are not rare among so cheerful a people, though they are not much given to dancing. They have many athletic sports, and the bear dance, from the strength required, may be considered one. It is practised sometimes by the peasants. It is performed on all fours, or the dancer rests on his hands as well as feet, and by leaps and jumps keeps time with the music. It is so fatiguing, that the dancer in a few minutes falls into a violent perspiration. 

inlander

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Give most careful attention to your extremities

We have seen women with such slender ankles and shapely insteps, that white slippers or low shoes might be worn with black or coloured stockings. But it is playing safe to have your stockings match your slippers or shoes.

Buckles and bows on slippers and pumps can destroy the line of a shoe and hence a foot, or continue and accentuate line. There are fashions in buckles and bows, but unless you bend the fashion until it allows nature's work to appear at its best, it will destroy artistic intention.

Some people buy footwear as they buy fruit; they like what they see, so they get it! You know so many women, young and old, who do this, that our advice is, try to recall those who do not. Yes, now you see what we aim at; the women you have in mind always continue the line of their gowns with their feet. You can see with your mind's eye how the slender black satin slippers, one of which always protrudes from the black evening gown, carry to its eloquent finish the line from her head through torso, hip to knee, and knee down through instep to toe,—a line so frequently obstructed by senseless trimmings, lineless hats, and footwear wrong in colour and line.

If your gown is white and your object to create line, can you see how you defeat your purpose by wearing anything but white slippers or shoes?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yellow Finland

Yellow Finland.

This is a beautiful, medium-sized turnip, of a bright yellow throughout, even to the neck; somewhat similar to a firm Yellow Malta, but of finer color. The under part of the bulb is singularly depressed: from this depression issues a small, mousetail-like root. It is somewhat earlier, and also hardier, than the Yellow Malta.

The flesh is tender, close-grained, and of a sweet, sugary flavor; the leaves are small, and few in number; bulb about two inches in thickness by four inches in diameter, weighing eight or ten ounces. An excellent garden variety.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Viinankeiton kiellännästä

...Vielä oli ilmi ilkeyet,
Paljolti tavat pahimmat,
Joita en kaikkia katala,
Ylös ymmärrä sanoa.
Monta se veljestä vetäisi
Varsin vankihuonehesen,
Isät jätti itkemähän
Huti huolessa kovassa;
Mammat maistoivat surua,
Sukulaiset suuret harmit,
Koska talvet taitavasti
Joivat joukoissa isoissa.
Nyt on suonut suuret herrat,
Valtamme vapaasukuiset,
Kultarinnat riemujuhlan
Tänne antoi täysin määrin,
Lahjoitti hyvän lakinsa
Suomalaisillen suvuillen,
Koska kielsi kirjan kautta
Viinankeiton kerrassansa,
Josta kilvoin kiittelemme
Lapsi raukat lauluissamme
Suomen suuren ruhtinoita,
Kultarintoja koreita, ...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mist pools

I leaned back again; and I watched the whole of the light-cone. Snow white wisps would float and whirl through it in graceful curves, stirred into motion by the horses' trot. Or a wreath of it would start to dance, as if gently pulled or plucked at from above; and it would revolve, faster towards the end, and fade again into the shadows behind. I thought of a summer in Norrland, in Sweden, in the stone-and-birch waste which forms the timberline, where I had also encountered the mist pools. And a trip down a stream in the borderland of the Finns came back with great vividness into my mind. That trip had been made in a fog like this; only it had been begun in the early morning, and the whole mass of the mist had been suffused with the whitest of lights. But strange to say, what stood out most strikingly in the fleeting memory of the voyage, was the weird and mocking laughter of the magpies all along the banks. The Finnish woods seemed alive with that mocking laughter, and it truly belongs to the land of the mists. For a moment I thought that something after all was missing here on the prairies. But then I reflected again that this silence of the grave was still more perfect, still more uncanny and ghostly, because it left the imagination entirely free, without limiting it by even as much as a suggestion.

No wonder, I thought, that the Northerners in their land of heath and bog were the poets of elves and goblins and of the fear of ghosts. Shrouds were these fogs, hanging and waving and floating shrouds! Mocking spirits were plucking at them and setting them into their gentle motions. Gleams of light, that dance over the bog, lured you in, and once caught in these veils after veils of mystery, madness would seize you, and you would wildly dash here and there in a vain attempt at regaining your freedom; and when, exhausted at last, you broke down and huddled together on the ground, the werwolf would come, ghostly himself, and huge and airy and weird, his body woven of mist, and in the fog's stately and leisurely way he would kneel down on your chest, slowly crushing you beneath his exceeding weight; and bending and straightening, bending and stretching, slowly--slowly down came his head to your throat; and then he would lie and not stir until morning and suck; and after few or many days people would find you, dead in the woods--a victim of fog and mist...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There is no centre, no emulation, nothing to say,

On entering into Finland, every thing indicates that you have passed into another country, and that you have to do with a very different race from the Sclavonians. The Finns are said to come immediately from the North of Asia ; their language also is said to have no resemblance to the Swedish, which is an intermediate one between the English and the German. The countenances of the Finns, however, are generally perfectly German : their fair hair, and white complexions, bear no resemblance to the vivacity of the Russian countenance; but their manners are also much milder; the common people have a settled probity, the result of protestant instruction, and purity of manners. On Sundays, the young women are seen returning from sermon on horseback, and the young men following them. You will frequently receive hospitality from the pastors of Finland, who regard it as their duty to give a lodging to travellers, and nothing can be more pure or delightful than the reception you meet with in those families ; there are scarcely any noblemens' seats in Finland, so that the pastors are generally the most important personages of the country. In several Finnish songs, the young girls offer to their lovers to sacrifice the residence of the pastor, even if it was offered to them to share. This reminds
me of the expression of a young shepherd, " If I was a king, I would keep my sheep on horseback." The imagination itself scarcely goes beyond what is known.

The aspect of nature is very different in Finland to what it is in Russia; in place of the marshes and plains which surround St. Petersburg, you find rocks, almost mountains, and forests : but after a time, these mountain-, and those forests, composed of the same trees, the fir and the birch, become monotonous. The enormous blocks of granite which are seen scattered through the country, and on the borders of the high roads, give the country an air of vigor ; but there is very little life around these great bones of the earth, and vegetation begins to decrease from the latitude of Finland to the last degree of the animated world. We passed through a forest half consumed by fire; the north winds which add to the force of the flames, render these fires very frequent, both in the towns and in the country. Man has in all ways great difficulty in maintaining the struggle with nature in these frozen climates. You meet with few towns in Finland, and those few are very thinly peopled. There is no centre, no emulation, nothing to say, and very little to do, in a northern Swedish or Russian province, and during eight months of the year, the whole of animated nature is asleep.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Eager patrons of night schools and libraries

Many farms in the Northwest are occupied by Finns, of whom there were in 1910 over two hundred thousand in the United States. They are a Tatar race, with a copious sprinkling of Swedish blood. Illiteracy is rare among them. They are eager patrons of night schools and libraries and have a flourishing college near Duluth. They are eager for citizenship and are independent in politics. The glittering generalities of Marxian socialism seem peculiarly alluring to them; and not a few have joined the I.W.W. Drink has been their curse, but a strong temperance movement has recently made rapid headway among them. They are natural woodmen and wield the axe with the skill of our own frontiersmen. Their peculiar houses, made of neatly squared logs, are features of every Finnish settlement.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Historical tales

Birger Jarl, who became one of the great men of Sweden about 1250, rose to such importance in the early history of that kingdom that one cannot pass him by without saying something about his career. Sweden was then a Christian kingdom and had been for many years, for the religion of Christ had been preached there, as the sagas tell, four centuries earlier. But heathenism prevailed until long afterwards, and it was not until the days of King Stenkil, who came to the throne in 1061, that an earnest effort was made to introduce the Christian worship. Finally paganism completely died out, and when Birger came to the throne Sweden had long been a Christian realm.

But paganism still had a stronghold in Finland, and when Bishop Thomas, a zealous churchman, of English birth, proclaimed that the Christians should have no intercourse with the pagans in Finland or even sell them food, the Finlanders became so incensed that they invaded the Christian country and put the people to death with frightful tortures. Their cruelties created terror everywhere and Bishop Thomas fled to Gothland where, crazed with horror at the result of his proclamation, he soon died.

King Erik was then on the throne of Sweden, but Birger, the son of a great earl of Gothland, became a famous warrior, and as the king had no sons he made Birger a jarl, or earl, and chose him as his heir. One of the exploits by which Birger had won fame was the following. The town of Lübeck, in North Germany, was closely besieged by the king of Denmark, who had cut it off from the sea by stretching strong iron chains across the river Trave, on which the town is situated. He thus hoped to starve the people into surrender, and would have done so had not Birger come to their rescue. He had the keels of some large ships plated with iron, loaded them with provisions, and sailed up the river towards the beleaguered city. Hoisting all sail before a strong wind, he steered squarely on to the great chains, and struck them with so mighty a force that they snapped asunder and the ships reached the town with their supplies, whereupon the Danish king abandoned the siege. This story is of interest, as these are the first iron-plated ships spoken of in history.

By this and other exploits Birger grew in esteem, and when the Finns began their terrible work in the north he and the king summoned the people to arms, and the old warlike spirit, which had long been at rest, was reawakened in the hearts of the Swedes. The Pope at Rome had proclaimed a crusade against the Finns, promising the same privileges to all who took part in it as were enjoyed by those then taking part in the crusades to the Holy Land, and on all sides the people grew eager to engage in this sacred war...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Treat your rooms like "still life"

Before you buy anything, try to imagine how you want each room to look when completed; get the picture well in your mind, as a painter would; think out the main features, for the details all depend upon these and will quickly suggest themselves. This is, in the long run, the quickest and the most economical method of furnishing.

There is a theory that no room can be created all at once, that it must grow gradually. In a sense this is a fact, so far as it refers to the amateur. The professional is always occupied with creating and recreating rooms and can instantly summon to mind complete schemes of decoration. The amateur can also learn to mentally furnish rooms. It is a fascinating pastime when one gets the knack of it.

Beautiful things can be obtained anywhere and for the minimum price, if one has a feeling for line and colour, or for either. If the lover of the beautiful was not born with this art instinct, it may be quickly acquired. A decorator creates or rearranges one room; the owner does the next, alone, or with assistance, and in a season or two has spread his or her own wings and worked out legitimate schemes, teeming with individuality. One observes, is pleased with results and asks oneself why. This is the birth of Good Taste. Next, one experiments, makes mistakes, rights them, masters a period, outgrows or wearies of it, and takes up another.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Most thick-headed beauty (cont)

In the course of the dinner, I told the amtmand, about the character of his office, as we get it in " Afraja"-the cruel and tyrannical amtmand of Tromsöe. He had not seen the novel, though they all knew about Mügge. They laughed at his romance of the oppression of the Finns by the Norwegians; and his sketches of Finnish magicians and maidens. The feeling towards the Finns and Lapps, seemed to be very much like the feeling of an intelligent Western company towards the Indians. The poetry of the race is quite obscured in their debased or drunken habits. The Lapps are simply ignorant, dirty men, who live in a barbarous way among reindeers, or who catch the cod and the ducks which the Norwegians want. Still Mügge is right. They present a fair foil to the Norwegians, such as a dramatist would seize upon-weak, poetic, roving and unsettled, while their masters are strong, practical, steady, and perhaps tyrannical. They have lost, too, their old possessions and habitations before the conquering race of Northmen. Without doubt, they have suffered much injustice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Most thick-headed beauty

"We hauled him up afterwards, and he brought with him a basketful of game; so much, indeed, that Anga did not know how she could preserve and salt it all."

"Anga is, I perceive, the housewife of your worthy friend Wingeborg," said Hannah.

" She is the most charming and most thick-headed beauty, of genuine Finnish stock, that ever wandered about in Finnmark without shirt or stockings, in a blouse of sheep-skin;" said Paul, laughing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Aikain muuttuvaisuudesta

Ajat aina muutteleksen
Sekä vuodet väisteleksen
Niinkuin Salomo sanopi.
Koko luonnon valtakunta
Ain' on muutosten alainen.
Aika asettaa asiat,
Aika laitkin laittelepi,
Aika muuttavi monarkit,
Valtakunnat vaihtelepi.
Aika linnat liittelepi,
Aika vallit vahvistapi ,
Myöskin muuttapi muruiksi.
Aika kaupungit kutopi,
Aika poroks polttelepi.
Aika sytyttää sodatkin,
Aika riidat ratkaisepi.
Aika kansat kasvattapi ,
Aika mullaks muuttelepi.
Aika kaikki kääntelepi,
Kaikki paikat kallellensa,
Mailmanki mahtinensa
Muuttelepi mullinmallin.
Aika muuttanut minunki,
Tieni monenmutkaiseksi,
Kun olen elänyt ennen,
Vaeltanut vaivan kanssa
Ylös ja alas mäkeä.
Aika antoi onnen mulle,
Aika antoi aika käellä,
Aika antoi arvon mulle,
Aika arvoni alensi.
Kyllähän minäi kykenin
Nuotallen nuorempanani,
Vaan nyt vanhana vapisen,
Voimatoinna voivottelen.
Aika kummasti kulupi ,
Aikalaillansa ajelee,
Aika viepi vuodet kaikki,
Aika viikot vierettäpi.
Aika arvon ansaitsepi,
Aika kaikki kirjottapi,
Aika Amenen sanopi.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

By far the best seamen on board the Russian men-of-war

Among the various craft they passed, they were much amused by the little Finnish schooners, which went careering on before the breeze, laden chiefly with firewood, or some other not very valuable cargo, for the Saint Petersburg markets. They were built of fir, with very little paint, very few ropes, and had very white canvas. Altogether they had, as Cousin Giles observed, an exceedingly fresh-water look about them. The Finns who manned them were, however, hardy fellows, and formed by far the best seamen on board the Russian men-of-war.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Such a strange account

ON February the First 1887, the Lady Vain was lost by collision with a derelict when about the latitude 1' S. and longitude 107' W.

On January the Fifth, 1888—that is eleven months and four days after—my uncle, Edward Prendick, a private gentleman, who certainly went aboard the Lady Vain at Callao, and who had been considered drowned, was picked up in latitude 5' 3" S. and longitude 101' W. in a small open boat of which the name was illegible, but which is supposed to have belonged to the missing schooner Ipecacuanha. He gave such a strange account of himself that he was supposed demented. Subsequently he alleged that his mind was a blank from the moment of his escape from the Lady Vain. His case was discussed among psychologists at the time as a curious instance of the lapse of memory consequent upon physical and mental stress. The following narrative was found among his papers by the undersigned, his nephew and heir, but unaccompanied by any definite request for publication.

H. G. Wells: The Island of Doctor Moreau

Saturday, August 9, 2008

English Nursing Sister in Belgium & Russia

The frozen track was so uneven that we rocked from side to side, and were thrown violently about in the car, like little kernels in a very large nut. But it was a wonderful night all the same, the air was thin and intoxicating like champagne, and the stars up in these northern latitudes more dazzlingly brilliant than anything I have seen before. We had to get out at Haparanda and walk over the long bridge which led to Torneo, where the Finnish Custom House was, and where our luggage and passports had to be examined.

We arrived there very cheerful and well pleased with ourselves, to find all our old travelling companions waiting till the Custom House was open; the bishop and his party; the bad-tempered man and his family; a Russian and a Chinese student who were travelling together, and some others. They had been waiting in the cold for hours, and had not had their papers or luggage examined yet, so we had had the best of it after all.

And we scored yet once more, for "St. Raphael," who spoke fluent Finnish, at once secured the only cart to take our things over the ferry to the railway station about half a mile away.

It was borne in upon me during this journey what an immense country Russia is. From Torneo to Petrograd does not look far on the map, but we left Torneo on Wednesday night, and did not arrive in Petrograd till 12.30 A. M. on Saturday, about fifty-two hours' hard travelling to cover this little track—a narrow thread, almost lost the immensity of this great Empire.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Finnish peasant still has faith in incantations and charms

There is nothing strange in the perpetuation of ideas and modes of thought through many thousand years. Their origin is in the very organization of men; for it is through organization that isolated nations manifest a proclivity to certain mental conceptions and even modes of expression. The negro is essentially a Fetish worshiper -a believer in witchcraft and in the efficacy of charms. Such ideas and the modes of expressing them are found wherever that low grade of humanity occurs, occupying a zone across all Africa and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean; nay, even all round the world, if the black populations of America are included; for these in the United States, in the midst of moral, religious, Christian communities, are still full of their African ideas. I believe that if it were possible for a new race of autochthonic negroes to arise, it would inevitably fall into these delusions; as certainly as, if there were new autochthons of the yellow race, they would spontaneously and inevitably invent a monosyllabic language. These are the results of organization. They make their appearance wherever the element of that organization occurs; or, to use a common though perhaps incorrect expression, they descend with the blood. The Finnish peasant still has faith in incantations and charms; he believes that there are witches who can ride on a stick to the moon, and cause her eclipse by their nocturnal invocations; that there are men who can still sell to the sailor a favorable wind, and to the rustic a refreshing shower. It was this element in the blood of Europe that made the barbarian races, after the death of the Latin tongue, such a ready receptacle for all kinds of imposture; that gave faith in relics and force to fetishisms; that turned the minister of the Gospel into a rain-maker and wind-raiser, as if the unchangeable and eternal laws of nature might be suspended or modified at his prayer.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A cry of "there is Åbo, there is Åbo"

Beyond the boat-houses is the custom-house, from whence an officer came on board, and proceeded up the river with us to the town, which, with the cathedral, now presented the appearance of a large and populous city. We soon reached the quay, and very gladly landed in the capital of Swedish Finland.

In our inn yard I beheld the first indication of our being in the neighbourhood of Russia, in a clumsy kibitka, the ordinary carriage of that country, and which was here exposed for sale. It is a small cart, very much resembling a cradle, round at the bottom, about five feet long, and in which two persons can sit or lie, the latter is the usual posture, and who are protected from the weather by a semicircular tilt, open in front, made of broad laths interwoven, and covered with birch or beech bark ; it has no iron in it, but is fastened to the body of the carriage without springs, by wooden pins and ropes : the driver sits upon the front of it, close to the horses' tails. At dinner we had some delicious wild strawberries, the first fruit that we had tasted for the year.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A miscellaneous item

People who think of Finland as a sub-arctic country of bleak and forbidding aspect maybe surprised to hear that several railroads have already made a large part of the region accessible. A new line, 160 miles long, has just been opened to the heart of the country in the midst of great forests and perhaps the most wonderful lake region in the world. Sportsmen are now within less than a day's journey from St. Petersburg of central Finland, where there is the best of hunting and fishing and twenty hours of sunlight every summer day. The most unique of railroads, however, is still the little line in Norway, north of the arctic circle, carrying the product of far northern mines to the sea, and famous as the only railroad that has yet invaded the polar regions.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Enchanted April

It began in a Woman's Club in London on a February afternoon—an uncomfortable club, and a miserable afternoon--when Mrs. Wilkins, who had come down from Hampstead to shop and had lunched at her club, took up The Times from the table in the smoking-room, and running her listless eye down the Agony Column saw this:
To Those Who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine. Small mediaeval Italian
Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be Let furnished for the month of
April. Necessary servants remain. Z, Box 1000, The Times.

That was its conception; yet, as in the case of many another, the conceiver was unaware of it at the moment.

Elizabeth von Arnim: The Enchanted April


Christopher and Columbus
Elizabeth and Her German Garden
The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight
The Solitary Summer

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Katy Did

I was sitting in the meadows one day, not long ago, at a place where there was a small brook. It was a hot day. The sky was very blue, and white clouds, like great swans, went floating over it to and fro. Just opposite me was a clump of green rushes, with dark velvety spikes, and among them one single tall, red cardinal flower, which was bending over the brook as if to see its own beautiful face in the water. But the cardinal did not seem to be vain.

The picture was so pretty that I sat a long time enjoying it. Suddenly, close to me, two small voices began to talk--or to sing, for I couldn't tell exactly which it was. One voice was shrill; the other, which was a little deeper, sounded very positive and cross. They were evidently disputing about something, for they said the same words over and over again. These were the words--"Katy did." "Katy didn't." "She did." "She didn't." "She did." "She didn't." "Did." "Didn't." I think they must have repeated them at least a hundred times.

I got up from my seat to see if I could find the speakers; and sure enough, there on one of the cat-tail bulrushes, I spied two tiny pale-green creatures. Their eyes seemed to be weak, for they both wore black goggles. They had six legs apiece,--two short ones, two not so short, and two very long. These last legs had joints like the springs to buggy-tops; and as I watched, they began walking up the rush, and then I saw that they moved exactly like an old-fashioned gig. In fact, if I hadn't been too big, I _think_ I should have heard them creak as they went along. They didn't say anything so long as I was there, but the moment my back was turned they began to quarrel again, and in the same old words--"Katy did." "Katy didn't." "She did." "She didn't."

As I walked home I fell to thinking about another Katy,--a Katy I once knew, who planned to do a great many wonderful things, and in the end did none of them, but something quite different,--something she didn't like at all at first, but which, on the whole, was a great deal better than any of the doings she had dreamed about. And as I thought, this little story grew in my head, and I resolved to write it down for you. I have done it; and, in memory of my two little friends on the bulrush, I give it their name. Here it is--the story of What Katy Did.

Susan Coolidge: What Katy Did

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

That huge placid-eyed girl with her broken English

Percy is a man of imagination. He can realize that Olga is more than a mere type. He agrees with me that she's a sort of miracle. To Terry she's only a mute and muscular Finnish servant-girl with an arm like a grenadier's. To Percy she is a goddess made manifest, a superhuman body of superhuman vigor and beauty and at the same time a body crowned with majesty and robed in mystery. And I still incline to Percy's opinion. Olga is always wonderful to me. Her lips are such a soft and melting red, the red of perfect animal health. The very milkiness of her skin is[Pg 274] an advertisement of that queenly and all-conquering vitality which lifts her so above the ordinary ruck of humanity. And her great ruminative eyes are as clear and limpid as any woodland pool.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We shall have plenty of fun, in spite of the snow,

I changed horses at several post stations during the day, among them the stations of Korpikyla, Niemis, Ruskola, and Matarengi. I found that the Finnish language was now prevalent, Swedish being only spoken by comparatively few people.

That day was the end of the fine weather. Towards evening the wind was blowing very hard, and it increased in strength every minute until it blew a perfect hurricane. Then what my friends had said to me came to mind. It was indeed a fearful windstorm!

The gale had become such that the horse at times did not seem to have strength enough to pull our sleigh. The snow flew in thick cloudy masses to a great height, curling and recurling upon itself and blinding us. Fortunately our robes were fastened very securely. I wore my hood, and it was so arranged that my eyes were the only part of my face that was not covered. The wind was so powerful that our sleigh was in continual danger of upsetting, and was only saved because it was so low.

I was glad indeed when I reached the hamlet of Matarengi with its red-painted log church, two hundred years old, and separate belfry of the same color.

Paul du Chaillu: The Land of the Long Night (1899)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She was a small creature

Mlle. Fohström effected her American début in a performance of "Lucia" on November 9th. She had been announced for the second night of the season in "Il Trovatore," but was taken ill. She had been little heard of previous to her coming, though diligent observers of musical doings knew that she had sung for several seasons in Europe, and, I believe, South America, and had figured in Colonel Mapleson's spring season in London in 1885. She was a small creature, with features of a markedly Scandinavian type--she was a native of Finland--and had evidently studied the traditions of the Italian operatic stage to as much purpose as was necessary to present, acceptably, the stereotyped round of characters. But her gifts and attainments were not great enough to take her impersonations out of the rut of conventionality, nor to save her singing from the charge of nervelessness and monotony of color. Three seasons later (1888-89) she was a member of the German company at the Metropolitan Opera House, and sang such rôles as Marguerite de Valois ("Les Huguenots"), Mathilde ("William Tell"), Marguerite ("Faust"), Bertha ("Le Prophète"), and Eudora ("La Juive"), giving place at the beginning of February to Mme. Schroeder-Hanfstängl...




Friday, July 25, 2008

Tätä en kerro teille ylvästelläkseni

Mutta suuhun päin sudella hampaat. Ei meistä kumpikaan aikonut nälkään kuolla. Ei kyllä kukaan kirves kädessä synny, mutta eipä synny myöskään moni peukalo keskellä kämmentä. Matti ei ole kellarista kotoisin enkä minä myöskään ole mikään reestä pudonnut ja tielle jätetty.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There are no longer any Swedes at Vyburg

Ten days later, the governor came into Charlie's room.

"An officer has arrived, with an order for your removal," he said. "You are to be taken up again to Notteburg."

"I am very sorry," Charlie said. "I have been very comfortable here. You have been very kind to me, and I feel sure the change will not be for the better. Besides, we are nearly into September now, and in that marshy country round the lake and river, the winter will be even more severe than it is here. The only thing I can think of is that the Swedes at Vyburg may have taken a Russian captain prisoner, and that they are going to exchange us."

The governor shook his head.

"There are no longer any Swedes at Vyburg. All Ingria is in our hands and the Swedes have retired into Finland. It may be that it is the work of your friend. I sent a message to Peter Michaeloff, should he be found in that neighbourhood, by an officer who was going there, telling him that you were here, and that, having met him when a prisoner at Plescow, you relied on his good offices. Should the officer have found him there, and have given him my message, he may probably have begged the field marshal to order you to be taken to the prison there, where he could be near you, and visit you sometimes."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What real cheese is

Emmentaler, Gruyère and Swiss... Besides phonies from Argentina and countries as far off as Finland, we get a flood of imported and domestic Swisses of all sad sorts, with all possible faults—from too many holes, that make a flabby, wobbly cheese, to too few—cracked, dried-up, collapsed or utterly ruined by molding inside. So it will pay you to buy only the kind already marked genuine in Switzerland.

Valio, Finland. One-ounce wedges, six to a box, labeled pasteurized process Swiss cheese, made by the Cooperative Butter Export Association, Helsinki, Finland, to sell to North Americans to help them forget what real cheese is.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"It IS a journey when you carry a nightgown!"

The old stage coach was rumbling along the dusty road that runs from Maplewood to Riverboro. The day was as warm as midsummer, though it was only the middle of May, and Mr. Jeremiah Cobb was favoring the horses as much as possible, yet never losing sight of the fact that he carried the mail. The hills were many, and the reins lay loosely in his hands as he lolled back in his seat and extended one foot and leg luxuriously over the dashboard. His brimmed hat of worn felt was well pulled over his eyes, and he revolved a quid of tobacco in his left cheek.

There was one passenger in the coach,--a small dark-haired person in a glossy buff calico dress. She was so slender and so stiffly starched that she slid from space to space on the leather cushions, though she braced herself against the middle seat with her feet and extended her cotton-gloved hands on each side, in order to maintain some sort of balance. Whenever the wheels sank farther than usual into a rut, or jolted suddenly over a stone, she bounded involuntarily into the air, came down again, pushed back her funny little straw hat, and picked up or settled more firmly a small pink sun shade, which seemed to be her chief responsibility,--unless we except a bead purse, into which she looked whenever the condition of the roads would permit, finding great apparent satisfaction in that its precious contents neither disappeared nor grew less. Mr. Cobb guessed nothing of these harassing details of travel, his business being to carry people to their destinations, not, necessarily, to make them comfortable on the way. Indeed he had forgotten the very existence of this one unnoteworthy little passenger.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Simplified Kalevala

And lastly, there was Father Mikko himself, an old man over sixty, yet strong and hearty, with a long gray beard and gray hair, and eyes that fairly twinkled with good humour. You could hardly see his mouth for his beard and moustache, and certainly his nose was a little too small and turned up at the end to be exactly handsome, and his cheek-bones did stand out a little too high; but yet everybody, young and old, liked him, and his famous stories made him a welcome guest wherever he came.

So Father Mikko lit his queer little pipe, and settled down comfortably with Mimi in his lap, and a glass of beer at his side to refresh himself with when he grew weary of talking. There was only the firelight in the room, and as the flames roared up the chimney they cast a warm, cosy light over the whole room, and made them all feel so comfortable that they thanked God in their hearts in their simple way, because they had so many blessings and comforts when such a storm was raging outside that it shook the house and drifted the snow up higher than the doors and windows.

Then Father Mikko began, and this is the first story that he told them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weird Tales from Northern Seas

In the days of our forefathers, when there was nothing but wretched boats up in Nordland, and folks must needs buy fair winds by the sackful from the Gan-Finn, it was not safe to tack about in the open sea in wintry weather. In those days a fisherman never grew old. It was mostly womenfolk and children, and the lame and halt, who were buried ashore.

Jonas Lie: Weird Tales from Northern Seas (1893)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A number of small barren islands

On the morning of the third day we entered the Gulf of Finland, which is two hundred miles long and very wide. During the day we saw one or two towns on the Finland shore, and a number of small barren islands; also numerous sails, mostly of small craft.

Early the next morning, being the fourth day from Stettin, we landed at Cronstadt, where we were boarded by a whole phalanx of policemen and searchers of luggage, passports, etc. ...

On the right shore of the gulf from Cronstadt we saw the town of Oranienbaum, and a little further on, the gilded towers and park of Peterhoff, which are situated on a slight acclivity; but after they are passed the banks again become low, and present from a distance the only feature of the Finnish shores, interminable flats. At length a golden spot, sparkling in the sunshine, and of dazzling splendor, together with a tall and taper spire, shooting like a needle to the sky, and rising apparently from the water, are seen, and these are the first indications that prove that the great city founded by Peter the Great is near at hand. This golden spot is the gilded dome of the Isak Church, which may, in fair weather, be seen from Cronstadt, a distance of sixteen miles. The spire is that of the Admiralty. Aside from these two objects, the approach to St. Petersburg is anything but prepossessing, being situated on a number of low islands, formed by the winding of the Neva, and built up on the side next to the sea with indifferent-looking houses.

Friday, July 18, 2008

All kinds of marks and signs to be made from morning till night

When Anne Kvæn had no longer leave to go into the blue room to my mother, she silently went through all kinds of performances outside the door. I remember once standing on the stairs, and seeing her bowing and curtseying, wetting her finger every now and then, drawing on the door with it, and muttering, until I fled in terror.

In her incantation formulæ, the word "Jumala" often occurred, the name of the Bjarmers' old god, whose memory, in the far north, is not so completely eradicated as one would think, and who to this day has perhaps some sacrificial stone or other on the wide mountain wastes of Finland. Against Lap witchcraft—and a suspicion of it was fastened on almost every Lap boat that landed at the quay—she also had her charms; she apparently melted down Fin and Christian gods together in her mystical incantations, for the confounding of Lap witchcraft.

In the midst of such mental impressions as these, I grew up.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Finnish Cooperative Societies of Brooklyn.

What is it that makes the Finns so successful at Cooperation? Industry and cleanliness. At any rate those are the striking characteristics of the Finns of Brooklyn.

Up to the present time they have never paid any dividends. It has been explained to them, as their manager says, that if the business is to serve them properly it must grow, and in order to grow it needs all the surplus earnings for expansion. And so, because the members are industrious and far-sighted, they have foregone their dividends. The cleanliness of their stores, too, is an inspiration not only to their membership but to hundreds of others who have visited their plant. This is one of the biggest business assets they possess.

These virtues have enabled the Finnish group in Brooklyn to build cooperatively a three-story modern business block, to run therein a wholesale bakery, a retail bakery, a meat shop and grocery store, a cooperative restaurant and a cooperative pool room, to build adjacent to this two modern cooperative apartment houses and to lay the foundations for a third now under construction. Outside of the housing venture the business done last year was $175,000 and today there are nearly two thousand members.

Although these undertakings are practically a part of the same group there are three separate corporations. The largest of these is the Finnish Cooperative Trading Association, Inc. The restaurant is operated as the Workers' Cooperative Restaurant, Inc., and the housing association as the Finnish Homebuilders' Association, Inc.

The restaurant is the oldest. Seven years ago a group of Finns in this locality boarded together. Their capital was a hundred dollars which some one had loaned to them. They ran their little business on a cooperative basis, paying for the meals and putting back any surplus into a reserve. No one contributed anything, but before long they paid back the one hundred dollars. Early in 1922 they incorporated. They then owned a fine modern restaurant, had done $70,000 worth of business in 1921, and had three thousand dollars in the bank. And no one had ever paid a cent into the business. With all this they sell their food at unusually low prices, well cooked, wholesome, and clean.

In 1917 a larger group determined to have a bakery which came up to their standards. In 1919 they had raised enough money to start construction. Then they faced their first test Their money gave out. Undaunted they organized a money raising "army," as they called it, of thirty or forty men. The money was raised. By the time the new bakery was opened they had fourteen hundred members and had raised $140,000. The total organization expenses for three years came to $400, less than three-tenths of one per cent for promotion expenses.

The new business block was opened in May, 1920. All but the restaurant was under one general manager. He was bonded for $10,000. He had had business experience in running a cooperative bank in Wisconsin. To him was delegated a large degree of freedom, but he was held strictly accountable to the Board of Directors. A thorough and comprehensive system of bookkeeping and accounting was installed. Each separate business, the bakeries, the pool room, the meat shop, was put on a cost accounting basis and the manager knew just which one was making or losing money.

All the branches of the business, however, have made money. Over $12,000 in net earnings, after allowing for interest on the investment, have been made since the business started. Last year the bakery did business to the extent of $135,000, the meat market and grocery $58,000, and the pool room $12,000. Already the business has outgrown its quarters. A new oven has been added to the bakery. The third floor, which was used exclusively as a pool room, has been invaded and the thirteen pool tables rearranged and put closer together so that more room may be had for bakery products. Adjacent land has been purchased so that the building itself may be added to. The membership of the Trading Association alone is eighteen hundred and forty.

The employees of the association work among almost ideal conditions. The twelve bakers are all union men and members of the cooperative association as well. They work seven and one-half hours a day and are paid from forty-five to fifty dollars per week. The light, airy bakery is always kept spotless. Adjacent to it is a commodious room with lockers for each man and two shower baths make it easy to keep clean. Down on the first floor the retail bakery is so immaculately clean that you would be willing to defy anyone to find one speck of dust in the place. Every article of food is under shining glass. The floor is white tiled. But the food is what attracts one. The pies swell out as if about to burst. To look at the bread and rolls makes one hungry and to smell them hungrier still. This, you are told, is because only the purest ingredients are used. Many bakers use powdered eggs for baking, commonly imported from China; this cooperative uses only fresh eggs. They buy a better grade of flour than their competitors do. The same thing is true of the meat shop next door. They do not aim to make money on their meat. Their sole aim is to sell only the best. This policy has been so popular that the quantity sold the first three months of 1922 was almost treble that for the same months in 1921. And the meat store, too, has made substantial net earnings.

The two cooperative apartments which lie adjacent to the business block house thirty-two families. The apartments contain five rooms and bath and are thoroughly modern. They are light and airy with high ceilings and hardwood floors. Needless to say their tenant-owners keep them in the most immaculate condition. Recently a group of business men, several of them builders, went through the buildings and many expressed the wish that they could get similar apartments for three times the money that these cooperators were paying. For the best apartments the rent has recently been raised to $31.50 per month. But out of this amount the tenant-owner is not only paying all upkeep but is paying off the mortgage at the rate of $1,000 per year. Similar apartments in the locality rent from $75 to $80 per month. The tenant-owners, of course, run their apartments on the cooperative plan of one vote per member.

The members of the Finnish Cooperative Societies of Brooklyn are fast becoming independent of the middlemen, for cooperation touches them on many sides. They have learned to serve themselves and they get what they want, honest goods--and clean.

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...