Saturday, July 30, 2011

När jag kommer i tjenst till Helsingfors

Klockan åtta på morgonen kom en af pigorna in och frågade om de ej ville ha kaffe. Fem sömniga röster mumlade ett belåtet ja, den sjette svarade med en långt utdragen snarkning, som kunde tydas hur man ville.

— Låt oss få sex koppar kaffe, — bad Bella, som fortfarande agerade tolk.

Pigan nickade. Hon stod och betraktade deras upphängda klädningar med mycket intresse.

— Hvarifrån ha ni fått så vackra spetsar? — sade hon och petade om ryscherna kring hals och ärmar.

— Från Helsingfors, derifrån vi äro hemma, — svarade Bella.

— Jaså. När jag kommer i tjenst till Helsingfors, skall jag också köpa mig lika vackra spetsar, — sade flickan med ett längtansfullt tonfall i rösten, i det hon gick att hemta kaffet.

— Seså, nu ha vi gjort flickan fåfäng, — sade Lilli, i det hon eftertänksamt drog strumporna på sig. — Jag skall gifva henne en af mina ryscher till tack för nattqvarteret.

Toini Mathilda Topelius: I Utvecklingstid

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I remember the regiment of Finland cuirassiers

"I crave your pardon, sir," said Dalgetty, "such is not the rule of our foreign service in respect I remember the regiment of Finland cuirassiers reprimanded, and their kettle-drums taken from them, by the immortal Gustavus, because they had assumed the permission to march without their corslets, and to leave them with the baggage. Neither did they strike kettle-drums again at the head of that famous regiment until they behaved themselves so notably at the field of Leipsic; a lesson whilk is not to be forgotten, any more than that exclamation of the immortal Gustavus, 'Now shall I know if my officers love me, by their putting on their armour; since, if my officers are slain, who shall lead my soldiers into victory?' Nevertheless, friend Ranald, this is without prejudice to my being rid of these somewhat heavy boots, providing I can obtain any other succedaneum; for I presume not to say that my bare soles are fortified so as to endure the flints and thorns, as seems to be the case with your followers."

Sir Walter Scott: A Legend of Montrose

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nos pilotes nous conduisirent d'Echero au rocher de Singelshar

Nos pilotes nous conduisirent d'Echero au rocher de Singelshar; cette île, d'un aspect effrayant, présente une nature morte, un lac entouré de roches nues et à pic, dont les teintes grisâtres se reflètent dans l'eau glacée. La neige qui remplit les crevasses et les inégalités semble s'y être arrêtée pour faire mieux ressortir, par sa blancheur, l'obscurité de cette atmosphère brumeuse. Des monceaux de glace, brisés par la force des courans, et amoncelés en différens endroits, présentent l'image du chaos, et jettent dans l'âme une sorte de découragement, et de profonde tristesse. Aucune végétation, aucun vestige d'hommes; seulement, çà et là, un peu de mousse et de verdure.

Ce sont de ces images dont la plume est inhabile à peindre l'impression produite sur nos sens.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Prevent travellers from Finland from entering the Russian dominions

Stockholm, August 5 [1774]. The extraordinary hot weather and drought, that has lasted during the whole summer in Finland, has caused a sickness among the people, and an epidemical distemper among the horned cattle in that province, for which reason a party of Russian troops are posted upon the confines of the empire, to prevent travellers from Finland from entering the Russian dominions without performing a quarantine of five days. And we hear that the king, on account of the sickness, has postponed his intended journey to that quarter till the spring.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Then they saw the old Finlander raise his gun to his eye

A Swedish youth was betrothed to a Finnish girl; but returning home, he forgot to fetch his bride. Being some time after visited by a Laplander skilled in witchcraft, he asked news of his betrothed. "You may see her yourself," answered the sorcerer, and, having filled a pail with water, and made many incantations, he bade him approach.—Then the young man beheld the cottage of his betrothed. His heart beat high on seeing her come forth pale, her eyes swollen with weeping; behind her came her father, fierce-looking, with a gun in his hand. The father, on his side, produced a pail of water, and looked into it. After a while he shook his head and cocked the gun, while his daughter wrung her hands. "Now," said the Laplander, "he'll shoot you if you don't forestall him. Take aim quickly with your gun!" Then they saw the old Finlander raise his gun to his eye. "Make haste," cried the Laplander, "or you're a dead man—fire!'' The young Swede obeyed, and the old Finlander fell lifeless. Conscience led the faithless lover back to his betrothed,—then he learned that her father had died of apoplexy the same day the Laplander had performed his witchcraft.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Any soldiers coming back from Finland?

(She sets milk, &c. on a table—Charles throws himself into a chair, and flings his knapsack behind her.)

Charles. —'Tis a choice thing to rest oneself;—I say, mistress, you must know I, and some more of us peasants, have come a many, many leagues, since break of day.

Cath. Indeed, you may well be tired— and where do you come from ?—Did you meet, on your road, any soldiers coming back from Finland?

Charles (eats and speaks) Not the soldiers themselves, I can't say as I did; but we are them that are bringing home the knapsacks of the poor fellows, that have lost their lives in the wars in Finland.

Catherine, (during this speech of Charles's, leans on the back of a chairaside) Now I shall know my fate.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

He was much disappointed in entering Tornea

Next morning on landing at Pakkila, he mounted a small car, and was driven with furious rapidity by a young Finlander, along an excellent road, and through a rich and populous country. He met crowds of people returning home from church, dressed in their best attire; youths and maidens hurrying gaily along; while the elderly persons, clad in a long dark mantle, girt with a yellow sash, and having a small black cap on their head, marched with stately gravity. But he was much disappointed in entering Tornea, which, though built after an uniform plan, consists mostly of detached cottages, and contains only 630 inhabitants. The streets are very broad, and, not being paved, they are grown over with grass, on which the cows regularly pasture. The inhabitants, a mixture of Finns and Swedes, have the character of being idle, and extremely given to drunkenness. Yet the adjacent country, chiefly through the industry of the Finnish settlers, is rapidly improving; and the population of the province of Lapmark appears to have advanced much faster than that of any other part of Europe. In the year 1751, this, according to Baron Hermelin, was 27,000; in 1772, it had increased to 31,000; but in 1801, it amounted to 52,000.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Humbel, the ruler of Finland

The news that Swipdager, at the instigation of Ingo, was preparing to invade Denmark, first aroused him from the melancholy into which he had fallen. He gathered all his brave warriors together, and was preparing to march against the enemy, when a Finlander came to him with the news that Humbel, the ruler of Finland, had a wonderfully beautiful daughter, whom he kept in confinement, because it had been prophesied that her marriage would cause some great misfortune to fall upon him.

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...