Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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 and friendly answer. With man it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the barren plains of inhospitable Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide spread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so; and to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and so kind a manner, that, if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and, if hungry, ate the coarse morsel, with a double relish.

Jared Sparks: The Life of John Ledyard, the American Traveller; comprising selections from his journals and correspondence

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Gooseberries with ruddy tints in barren districts of Finland

Some of the northern and cold countries of Europe, as Sweden and Norway, produce a great quantity of large and beautiful berries. "I have seen," says St. Pierre, "a display of cherries and gooseberries with ruddy tints in barren districts of Finland, and on soils where, as on the tops of the alpine mountains, rocks appeared to form the only surface." The same countries produce the juniper and the cloudberry (a fruit in colour and size resembling the mulberry), while the woods are thick with raspberry-bushes.