Monday, December 5, 2016

"What, police, even here in free Finland?"

On Sunday last I went by train to a place called Terioky in Finland, where a meeting was to be held by the Labour Party of the Duma. [...]
After a journey of an hour and a quarter we arrived at Terrioky. The crowd leapt from the train and immediately unfurled red flags and sang the "Marseillaise." The crowd occupied the second line, and a policeman observed that, as another train was coming in and would occupy that line, it would be advisable if they were to move on. "What, police, even here in free Finland?" somebody cried. "The police are elected here by the people," was the pacifying reply, and the crowd moved on, formed into a procession six abreast, and started marching to the gardens where the meeting was to be held, singing the "Marseillaise" and other songs all the way. The dust was so abundant that, after marching with the procession for some time, I took a cab and told the driver to take me to the meeting. We drove off at a brisk speed past innumerable wooden houses, villas, shops (where Finnish knives and English tobacco are sold) into a wood. After we had driven for twenty minutes I asked the driver if we still had far to go. He turned round and, smiling, said in pidgin-Russian (he was a Finn), " Me not know where you want go." Then we turned back, and, after a long search and much questioning of passers-by, found the garden,into which one was admitted by ticket. (Here, again, anyone could get in.) In a large grassy and green garden, shady with many trees, a kind of wooden semicircular proscenium had been erected, and in one part of it was a low and exiguous platform not more spacious than a table. On the proscenium the red flags were hung. In front of the table there were a few benches, but the greater part of the public stood and formed a large crowd. The inhabitants of the villas were here in large numbers; there were not many workmen, but a number of students and various other members of the " Intelligentsia"; young men with undisciplined hair and young ladies in large art nouveau hats and Reform-kleider. M. Zhilkin, the leader of the Labour Party in the Duma, took the chair.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Much stouter and better made

There is like diversity in the Finnish race. The Laplanders are diminutive and deformed; have black hair and a swarthy brown complexion. The Finns, though nearly related to them, are much stouter and better made: they have fair complexions, and very generally red hair.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Come, let us fly to Finland: we can build better nests there.

After hearing this, the Prince wondered how he could get a message carried to Finland. He heard one swallow cry to another: 'Come, let us fly to Finland: we can build better nests there.'

'Stop, kind friends!' cried the Prince. 'Will ye do something for me?' The birds consented, and he said:

'Take a thousand greetings from me to the wizard of Fnland, and ask him how I may restore a maiden who is changed into a flower to her own form.'


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Swedish was now of no use

It was night when they reached Tammerfors, and to Ramsay's great suprise he found that Swedish was now of no use, as all the porters, cab-drivers, and most of the shopkeepers spoke only Finnish. What he thought even more remarkable was that Anders Ramsay did not know even the coins and numerals, and the cap fares had to be settled by holding out a handful of money and leaving it to the cab-driver to choose.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A vocabulary as scanty as that of the most barbarous Africans

The civilization of many African nations is much superior to that of the aborigines of Europe, during the ages which preceeded the conquests made by the Goths and Swedes in the north, and by the Romans in the southern part. The old Finnish inhabitants of Scandinavia had long, as it has been proved by the learned investigations of Rühs, the religion of fetishes, and a vocabulary as scanty as that of the most barbarous Africans. They had lived from ages immemorial without laws, or government, or social union; every individual in all things the supreme arbiter of his own actions; and they displayed as little capability of emerging from the squalid sloth of their rude and merely animal existence. When conquered by a people of Indo-German origin, who brought with them from the East the rudiments of mental culture, the emerged more slowly from their pristine barbarism than many of the native African nations have since done.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No Finn ever gets drunk

"There was a queer chap in the Company then, a Finn. I don't know whether Finns are really Swedes, Russians, Eskimos, or a kind of Red Indian, but they have very fine heads.

"Manly beauty? No, I don't mean that. Great brains and intellect? No, that's not what I mean. When I say fine heads, I mean very strong heads.

"They're rightly called Finns, for fins suggest fishes and they can drink like fishes. In a manner of speaking, you might say that all Finns are teetotallers, inasmuch as no Finn has ever been seen the worse for liquor. No Finn ever gets drunk. He can't.





Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hundreds of fishwives dealing in their finny wares

All along the quay at which we landed I noticed hundreds of fishwives dealing in their finny wares. The fish were as various in size and kind as the women who sold them were in appearance and manner. Most of these humble fish-dealers were of uncertain age, and of very uncertain appearance and cleanliness; but I recall several that were extremely pretty in a wild rustic way that was set off charmingly by their picturesque dresses. I secured a picture of one — the Queen of the Quay — who had dark, laughing eyes, a smile that would have made her fortune on the stage, and a manner full of chic and bonhomie. She wore over her head a handkerchief of soft white material picked out with scarlet spots, and loosely knotted under her chin; beneath a tiny shawl of rich brown, decorated with spangles of gilt, she wore a tight-fitting bodice of tender pink; her skirt was a bright green, trimmed down the side with gold braid and at the bottom encircled with rows of black braid. On her bare feet were wooden clogs, and her bare arms and hands were evidently subjects of personal vanity, as she kept them constantly on the move. She made a pretty contrast to some of her neighbours, and was more constantly surrounded by customers than any of the rest, the members of the sterner sex predominating.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hoary castle of Abo

If anything could express a solid, uncompromising spirit, it is the Slott, or hoary castle of Abo. One is almost struck dumb by the dreary monotony of its two long, parallel, factory-roofed portions, which, adjoining one another, are surmounted at either end by squat towers covered in the manner of cathedrals patiently waiting a spire. The bare white walls have a few square windows high up their sides; and a completely disturbing effect is increased by gaunt, unrelenting extensions at one extremity. This ancient stronghold, being under repair, did not allow of thorough investigation, but disclosed immensely thick walls, winding staircases, and floors supported by worm-eaten oak beams, such as also roof over the usual large hall and many lesser apartments. In a small adjacent building, which dates from the time of Gustavus Vasa, is a highly interesting historical museum. It were ungracious to depreciate what is plain and downright because of inelegance; yet, as I contemplated the main rude specimen of castle construction, I read in it results of Nature's harsh conditions. To any one reflecting on European civilization, a slow and gloomy far-Northern development but throws into relief the early established artistic feeling and joyous impulses of the South. Clearly, in Western countries knowing Latin influences, the harmonious architectural manifestations of feudal virility surpass the crude expression of untutored might in far-off Finland.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eino was a darkly serious young Finn

Jinny introduced her four companions of the arts as they sulkily rose and dusted their knees. They were not too young--twenty-four to thirty--but the placid disregard of them by Grand Republic still kept them youthful and belligerent. They were Lyra Coggs, assistant city librarian, Wilma Gunton, head of the cosmetics department at Tarr's Emporium, Tracy Oleson, secretary to powerful Webb Wargate and a young man who seemed to Cass interesting enough to be looked at with suspicion, Eino Roskinen, aged twenty-four, butter-maker at the Northward Co-operative Dairy but, as Jinny explained, a born theater director. 

Eino was a darkly serious young Finn; he looked at Jinny with what Cass nervously saw to be the greatest fondness and at Cass with the greatest dislike, so that Cass felt like an old windbag, though he had as yet said nothing more than, "Well! Good evening."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Meeting that took place between them in Finland

I had begun to speculate as to whether this might not have influenced the design of the vases just described, when my notice was drawn to a huge gold lock, bearing the cipher of a certain Grand Duke of Holstein. This Grand Duke owed his throne to the Empress Elizabeth; and it is supposed that at a meeting that took place between them in Finland he presented it to her, and that she left it at Novgorod on her way back to the capital. Thus it did not find its place among the other Byzantine treasures of the cathedral till the middle of the eighteenth century.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tale in the Finnish village of Uhtuwa

The Finn ethnologist Castrén obtained the following tale in the Finnish village of Uhtuwa:—

A fight took place between some freebooters and the inhabitants of the village of Alajäwi. The robbers plundered every house, and carried off amongst their captives an old man. As they proceeded with their spoils along the strand of the lake, a lad of twelve years old appeared from among the reeds on the opposite bank, armed with a bow, and amply provided with arrows; he threatened to shoot down the captors unless the old man, his father, were restored to him. The robbers mockingly replied that the aged man would be given to him if he could shoot an apple off his head. The boy accepted the challenge, and on successfully accomplishing it, the surrender of the venerable captive was made.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Manchukuan emperor, two Russian commissars, and the president of Finland

Ward smiled thinly, straightened, and interpreted the Leopard's words with vicious vindictiveness. "The emperor says that he is sparing you now only because of your rank. He likes to collect ex-generals, ex-kings, ex-dukes and ex-admirals of the countries he conquers. He keeps them in small steel cages, where they cannot stand up, but must remain perpetually in a crouching position. He has eleven such cages on board one of the ships in the harbor. In those cages he has a Manchukuan emperor, two Russian commissars, and the president of Finland. He instructs me to tell you that you are to join that noble collection of his. After a while, you will forget all about your pride, and beg for something to eat every day when the keeper comes around with food!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Finnish touba

Between the Lachtkrinsky marsh and the strand he perceived on the edge of the forests which run as far as Sestroriesk a little wooden house whose walls were painted a reddish-brown, and its roof green. It was not the Russian isba, but the Finnish touba. However, a Russian sign announced it to be a restaurant. The young man had to take only a few steps to enter it. He was the only customer there. An old man, with glasses and a long gray beard, evidently the proprietor of the establishment, stood behind the counter, presiding over the zakouskis. Rouletabille chose some little sandwiches which he placed on a plate. He took a bottle of pivo and made the man understand that later, if it were possible, he would like a good hot supper. The other made a sign that he understood and showed him into an adjoining room which was used for diners. Rouletabille was quite ready enough to die in the face of his failures, but he did not wish to perish from hunger.


Monday, April 4, 2016

After a moment he added vaguely, 'Recognize Finland.'

'Why aren't you writing a picture now?' asked the lady. 

 'Well, you see we're on strike,' Pat invented. 'We got a thing called the Screen Playwriters' Guild and we're on strike.' 

 'Oh.' His clients stared with suspicion at this emissary of Stalin in the front seat of their car. 

 'What are you striking for?' asked the man uneasily. 

 Pat's political development was rudimentary. He hesitated. 

 'Oh, better living conditions,' he said finally, 'free pencils and paper, I don't know--it's all in the Wagner Act.' After a moment he added vaguely, 'Recognize Finland.'

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Finnish Opera Furtherance Association

The meeting of the Finnish Opera Furtherance Association at the Hotel Thornleigh was interesting. 

It was more than interesting. 

Mrs. Montgomery Zeiss said that the Finns put it all over the Germans and Italians at giving a real modernistic version of opera. 

Mr. T. Jefferson Dibble said that as his son, Whitney, had been so fortunate as to obtain a rather authoritative knowledge of European music, he (Whitney) would now explain everything to them. 

After a lot of explanation about how artistic opera was, and how unquestionably artistic Zenith was, Whit muttered that he had to beat it. And while T. Jefferson stared at him with a sorrowful face, Whit fled the room.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Once even in the far limits of Finland

I am a man of varied tastes and a score of interests. As an undergraduate I had been filled with the old mania for the complete life. I distinguished myself in the Schools, rowed in my college eight, and reached the distinction of practising for three weeks in the Trials. I had dabbled in a score of learned activities, and when the time came that I won the inevitable St. Chad's fellowship on my chaotic acquirements, and I found myself compelled to select if I would pursue a scholar's life, I had some toil in finding my vocation. In the end I resolved that the ancient life of the North, of the Celts and the Northmen and the unknown Pictish tribes, held for me the chief fascination. I had acquired a smattering of Gaelic, having been brought up as a boy in Lochaber, and now I set myself to increase my store of languages. I mastered Erse and Icelandic, and my first book—a monograph on the probable Celtic elements in the Eddie songs—brought me the praise of scholars and the deputy-professor's chair of Northern Antiquities. So much for Oxford. My vacations had been spent mainly in the North—in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isles, in Scandinavia and Iceland, once even in the far limits of Finland. I was a keen sportsman of a sort, an old-experienced fisher, a fair shot with gun and rifle, and in my hillcraft I might well stand comparison with most men. April has ever seemed to me the finest season of the year even in our cold northern altitudes, and the memory of many bright Aprils had brought me up from the South on the night before to Allerfoot, whence a dogcart had taken me up Glen Aller to the inn at Allermuir; and now the same desire had set me on the heather with my face to the cold brown hills.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The clear-eyed men of the Finnish community

Another hour after that Jolly Roger's pulse beat a little faster as he strained his eyes to see ahead. Somewhere near, within a mile or two, was the first settlement with its sawmill and its bunkhouses, its one store and its few cabins, with flat mountains of sawdust on one side of it, and the evergreen forest creeping up to its doors on the other. Surely they would find life here, where there had been man power to hold fire back from the clearing. And it was here he might find Nada and the Missioner, for more than once Father John had preached to the red-cheeked women and children and the clear-eyed men of the Finnish community that thrived there.




What does Robert think about Finland?

I ask after the evacuees, the puppy, Aunt Blanche, Cook and the garden and tell Robert about Serena, the Canteen, the Blowfields and their cosmopolitan friend—Robert of opinion that he ought to be interned at once—and unresponsive attitude of the Ministry of Information.

What does Robert think about Finland? Envoy now in Moscow. Robert, in reply, tells me what he thinks, not about Finland, but about Stalin. Am interested, but not in any way surprised, having heard it all before a great many times.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snub-nosed Finnish woman

I rang the bell, and the cook at once opened the door to me, and showed me into the room without speaking. All these details are necessary that the reader may understand how the mad adventure, which had so vast an influence on all that followed, was rendered possible. And to begin with, as regards the cook. She was an ill- tempered, snub-nosed Finnish woman, and I believe hated her mistress Tatyana Pavlovna, while the latter, on the contrary, could not bring herself to part with her from a peculiar sort of infatuation, such as old maids sometimes show for damp-nosed pug dogs, or somnolent cats. The Finnish woman was either spiteful and rude or, after a quarrel, would be silent for weeks together to punish her mistress.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Finnish orchid seemed amused

Afterwards, Hayden grumbled to himself. He recalled rumors that Dr. Kivi had no bracing Finnish blood in him at all, but was actually a German named Hans Schmuck. But to Hayden he was formidable. He had seen Kivi beat the local chess champion who, being named Perkins, could not conceivably rival a master who smelled of beer and gherkins. In Denver, Hayden had heard Kivi publicly affirm his faith:

"I am not going to let my clients haf all the pingpong tables and leetle antique furniture they vant, efen if I go broke and take to honest farming." That Augustinian creed had set all the Rocky Mountain architects debating, and enabled Kivi to charge an extra thousand dollars on every house.

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...