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and two servants. This appears at first sight to be an imposition on the part of the peasants; but we found, by experience, that it was a necessary precaution. The distance across is forty-three English miles, thirty of which you travel on the ice without touching on land. This passage over the frozen sea is, doubtless, the most singular and striking spectacle that a traveller from the south can behold. I laid my account with having a journey more dull and unvaried than surprising or dangerous. I expected to travel forty-three miles without sight of land over a vast and uniform plain, and that every successive mile would be in exact unison and monotonous correspondence with those I had already travelled; but my astonishment was greatly increased in proportion as we advanced from our starting-post. The sea, at first smooth and even, became more and more rugged and unequal. It assumed as we proceeded, an undulating appearance, resembling the waves by which it had been agitated. At length we met with masses of ice heaped one upon the other, and some of them seeming as if they were suspended in the air, while others were raised in the form of pyramids. On the whole they exhibited a picture of the wildest and most savage confusion, that surprized the eye by the novelty of its appearance. It was an immense chaos of icy ruins, presented to view under every possible form, and embellished by superb stalactites of a blue green
Amidst this chaos, it was not without difficulty and trouble that our horses and sledges were able to find and pursue their way. It was necessary to make frequent windings, and sometimes to return in a contrary direction, following that of a frozen wave, in order to avoid a collection of icy mountains that lay before us. In spite of all our expedients for discovering the evenest paths, our sledges were every moment overturned to the right or the
left, and frequently the legs of one or other of the company, raised perpendicular in the air, served as a signal for the whole caraven to halt. The inconvenience and danger of our journey were still farther increased by the following circumstance. Our horses were made wild and furious, both by the sight and the smell of our great pelices, manufactured of the skins of the Russian wolves or bears. When any of the sledges was overturned, the horses belonging to it, or to that next to it, frighted at the sight of what they supposed to be a wolf or bear rolling on the ice, would set off at full gallop to the great terror of both passengers and driver. The peasant, apprehensive of losing his horse in the midst of this desert, kept firm hold of the bridle, and suffered his horse to drag his body through masses of ice, of which sharp points threatened to cut him in pieces. The animal, at last wearied out by the constancy of the man, and disheartened by the obstacles continually opposed to his flight, would stop; then we were enabled again to get into our sledges, but not till the driver had blindfolded the animal's eyes: but one time, one of the wildest and most spirited of all the horses in our train, having taken fright, completely made his escape. The peasant who conducted him, unable any longer to endure the pain and fatigue of being dragged through the ice, let go his hold of the bridle. The horse relieved from this weight, and feeling himself at perfect liberty, redoubled his speed, and surmounted every impediment. The sledge, which he made to dance in the air, by alarming his fears, added new wings to his flight. When he had fled to a considerable distance from us, he appeared from time to time as a dark spot which continued to diminish in the air, and at last totally vanished from our sight. Then it was that we recognized the prudence of having in our party some spare horses, and we were fully sensible of the danger that must attend a journey across
the gulf of Bothnia without such a precaution. The peasant, who was the owner of the fugitive, taking one of the sledges, went in search of him, trying to find him again by following the traces of his flight. As for ourselves we made the best of our way to the isles of Aland, keeping as nearly as we could in the middle of the same plain, still being repeatedly overturned, and always in danger of loosing one or other of our horses, which would have occasioned a very serious embarrassment. During the whole of this journey we did not meet with, on the ice, so much as one man, beast, bird, or any living creature. Those vast solitudes present a desert abandoned as it were by nature. The dead silence that reigns is interrupted only by the whistling of the winds against the prominent points of ice, and sometimes by the loud crackings occasioned by their being irresistibly torn from this frozen expanse; pieces thus forcibly broken off are frequently blown to a considerable distance. Through the rents produced by these ruptures, you may see below the watery abyss; and it is sometimes necessary to lay planks across them, by way of bridges, for the sledges to pass over.
The only animals that inhabit those deserts, and find them an agreeable abode, are sea-calves or seals. In the cavities of the ice they deposit the fruits of their love, and teach their young ones, betimes, to brave all the rigours of the rudest season. Their mothers lay them down all naked as they are brought forth, on the ice; and their fathers take care to have an open hole in the ice near them, for a speedy communication with the water. Into these they plunge with their young the moment they see a hunter ap proach; or at other times they descend into them spontaneously in search of fishes for sustenance to themselves and their offspring. The manner in which the male seals make those holes in the ice is astonishing: neither their teeth nor their paws have any share in this opera
VOL. I....NO. VI.
tion; but it is performed solely by their breath. They are often hunted by the peasants of the isles. When the islanders discover one of those animals, they take post with guns and staves, at some distance from him, behind a mass of ice, and wait till the seal comes up from the water for the purpose of taking in his quantum of air. It sometimes happens, when the frost is extremely keen, that the hole is frozen up almost immediately after the seal makes his appearance in the atmosphere; in which case the peasants fall on him with their sticks, before he has time with his breath to make a new aperture. In such extremities the animal displays an incredible degree of courage. With his formidable teeth he bites the club with which he is assaulted, and even attempts to attack the persons who strike him; but the utmost efforts and resistance of these creatures are not much dreaded, on account of the slowness of their motions, and the inaptitude of their members to a solid element.
After considerable fatigue, and many adventures, having refreshed our horses about half way on the high sea, we at length touched at the small island of Signilskar. This island presents to the view, neither wood nor lawn, and is inhabited only by some peasants, and the officer of the telegraph which is stationed here for keeping up a correspondence with that of Grislehamn. It is one of those little islands scattered in this part of the gulf, which collectively bear the name of Aland. The distance from Grisehlama to Signilskar, in a strat line, is five Swedish miles, which are nearly equal to thirty-five English; but the turnings we were obliged to make, in order to find out the most practicable places, could not be less than ten English miles more. All this while we were kept in anxious suspense concerning the fate of our fugitive horse, and entertained the most uneasy apprehensions that he was either lost in the immensity of the icy desert, or buried perhaps in
the watery abyss. We were preparing to continue our journey through the isles on the ice, and had already put new horses to our sledge, when we spied, with inexpressible pleasure, the two sledges returning with the fugitive. The animal was in the most deplorable condition imaginable; his body was covered all over with sweat and foam, and was enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Still we did not dare to come near him; the excessive fatigue of his violent course had not abated his ferocity; he was as much alarmed at the sight of our pelices as before; he snorted, bounded, and beat the snow and ice with his feet; nor could the utmost exertions of the peasants to hold him fast have prevented him from once more making his escape, if we had not retired to some distance, and removed the sight and the scent of our pelices. From Signilskar we pursued our journey through the whole of the isles of Aland. In different parts of Aland you meet with post-houses, that is to say with places where you may get horses. You travel partly by land and partly over the ice of the sea. The distance between some of these islands amounts to no less than eight or ten miles. On the sea, the natives have used the precaution of fixing branches of trees, or putting small pines along the whole route, for the guidance of travellers in the night-time, or directing them how to find out the right way after falls of snow.
MESMERISM....FROM THE SAME.
THE Baron Silfverkielm was a very amiable man, who had past a great part of his life near the person of King Gustavus, had travelled, and seen much of the world. He was an excellent mechanic, amused himself with chemistry,possessed an admiral English electrical machine, made experiments, and was fond of reading and the study of belles-lettres. He was a man of no ceremo
ny, and (which will not be believed by every one) a most famous magnetiser, and one of the greatest proficients among the disciples of Mesmer. I have seen the baron give proofs of his skill in animal magnetism, which, I confess, shook my incredulity a little, both in respect to the efficacy of his principles, and the existence of the magnetic fluid, or whatever else it may be called, which is supposed to operate upon individuals. The effect it produces cannot easily be attributed to ordinary causes, nor supported by reasons derived from the known laws of nature. Although he was unable to affect me with his magnetical powers, yet he wrought upon persons whose probity and good faith I am not at liberty in any degree to question. He repeated to me experiments he had made in different places, on different individuals, and in different circumstances; and I find myself satisfied as to the existence of some natural cause or principle which has hitherto remained unknown: it is wrapt up in obscurity, and is as yet inexplicable to the understanding. I am very far from attempting, after the baron's example, to account for it; though I think that a solution of this problem may be reserved for a period of higher improvement in the knowledge of nature, the study of which has been so successfully pursued, and so rapidly advanced, in the course of the present century. I saw my fellowtraveller, as incredulous as myself, fall into a profound sleep by the mere motion of the magnetiser's fingers; I heard him speak in his sleep, and reply to whatever questions I proposed to him; I saw him again wake by the simple motion of the magnetiser's fingers, while I was unable to rouse him from his somnolency, though I brought fire close to his hand, an experiment to which he was as insensible as a dead body. He awoke, after sleeping from five to six hours, remembering nothing of what he had said, denying obstinately that he had been asleep, and yielding with difficulty at last to
the authority of his watch, and the testimony of all those who had witnessed the circumstance. I might mention a number of facts relative to this subject, by which I should be able to prove, that in these trials there could be neither connivance nor imposture, nor previous arrangement; but this doctrine still lies too much under suspicion for me to dwell any longer upon it. I shall only add, that two English travellers, better informed, and, if possible, greater infidels than myself respecting mesmerism, happening to pass by Uleabourg at the same time, stopped a day, that they might observe some of the magnetical performances. From previous concert one of them was to assume the appearance of being affected; but at the moment when the magnetiser should seem confident that his art had taken effect, he who was to feign himself asleep, at a sign given him by the other, was to awake in surprise, and thus disappoint the credulity of the operator and his audience. The experiments accordingly began: one of them was unsusceptible of the magnetic impres sion, the other was actually affected, and his companion might make what signs he pleased; he was deaf, incapable of understanding any thing, and in such a languid and lethargic state, that every act of volition was entirely suspended. The two gentlemen will probably give some account of their travels, and possibly confirm the truth of my relation of these almost incredible experi
It is to be regretted, that the mesmerians in general have their minds so heated by the extraordinary, I had almost said supernatural, aspect of those phenomena, that they suffer themselves to be so hurried away by the imagination, as to mount the skies in order to find the physical cause of those effects among the clouds, instead of consulting and investigating nature in the practice of frequent experiments, and with that sobriety of mind which ought to be the faithful guide of philosophy in all
her inquiries into the causes of things. The imagination, fascinated and enslaved by the charm of something preternatural, tries, while bewildered with confused conceptions, to divine the meaning, the purpose, and the end of objects; and while it rambles about in the obscure and boundless regions of conjecture, the true spirit of inquiry loses the thread of its observations and of its analysis, and, bounding from one imperfect impression to another, is incapable of stopping to observe, compare, and judge: this was the infirmity of the good baron. He fancied to himself, that the soul of the person asleep was transported to regions of which the human mind in conjunction with the body, can form no idea. He went into particulars still more ridiculous, and asserted, for instance, that there all the souls were dressed in white, and that they enjoyed in that scene of delights such agreeable sensations as surpass all conception. He believed, that in that state of sleep they foresaw future events; and that their souls being exalted to a higher sphere of perception, they could see many things that are invisible to the material organs of our imperfect vision. Instead of interrogating the sleeper as to the nature of his feelings during his torper; instead of trying to sound the condition of his physical faculties, or questioning him as to intelligible objects, his queries were always concerning the white robes, the paradise, and those elysian fields where, according to his theory, the souls are in the fruition of every species of pleasure, are perfectly at ease and clothed in their robe de chambre. He was desirous to receive intelligence from his ancestors, his ' great grandfather, or his late father; and they very kindly in general, sent him their compliments by the mouths of those couriers in white jackets.
From the manner in which I have stated my remarks, the reader will be able to judge of the light in which I viewed this subject. Having succeeded in our researches concerning
the electrical fluid, and what is called galvanism, I think it not impossible but we may discover some other fluid or material substance, which shall have its particular laws, relations and affinities. I am of opinion, that in animal magnetism we meet with appearances which cannot be traced to the imagination as their cause, nor indeed to any cause known or stated by the enemies of this doctrine. The French academicians themselves, in their report on animal magnetism, shew, perhaps, that they bestowed upon it neither the time nor the candour and impartiality which a subject so difficult, and so much entangled in the grossest prejudices, had a right to obtain from them. Upon the whole, I conclude that we are still entirely in the dark as to this unknown cause, which, though we cannot as yet assign to it any name or determinate qualification, is not on that account less possible.
BEAR-HUNTING IN FINLAND.
THE favourite weapon of the Finlander in hunting the bear, is an iron lance fixed at the end of a pole. At about the distance of a foot from the point of the lance is fixed a crossbar, which prevents the instrument from penetrating too far into the body of the bear, or passing through both sides. When the Finlander has discovered where the bear has taken up his winter quarters, he goes to the place and makes a noise at the entrance of his den, by which he endeavours to irritate and provoke him to quit his strong hold. The bear hesitates and seems unwilling to come out; but continuing to be molested by the hunter, and perhaps by the barking of his dog, he at length gets up and rushes in fury from his cavern. The moment he sees the peasant, he rears himself upon his two hind legs ready to tear him to pieces. The Findlander instantly puts himself in the attitude of defence; that is to say, he brings
back the iron lance close to his breast concealing from the bear the length of the pole, in order that he may not have time to be upon his guard, and consequently to parry with his paws the mortal blow which the hunter means to aim at his vitals. The Findlander then advances boldly towards the bear, nor does he strike the blow till they are so near each other, that the animal stretches out his paws to tear his antagonist limb from limb. At that instant the peasant pierces his heart with the lance, which, but for the cross-bar, would come out at his shoulder; nor could he otherwise prevent the bear from falling upon him, an accident which might be highly dangerous. By means of the cross-bar the animal is kept upright, and ultimately thrown upon his back; but what may seem to some very extraordinary, is, the bear, feeling himself wounded, instead of attempting with his paws to pull out the lance, holds it fast, and presses it more deeply into the wound. When the bear, after rolling upon the snow, ceases from the last struggles of death, the Findlander lays hold of him, and calls for the assistance of his friends, who drag the carcase to his hut; and this triumph terminates in a sort of festival, where the poet assists, and sings the exploits of the hunter,
BATHING IN FINLAND.
ALMOST all the Finnish peasants have a small house built on purpose for a bath: it consists of only one small chamber, in the innermost part of which are placed a number of stones, which are heated by fire till they become red. On these stones, thus heated, water is thrown, untill the company within be involved in a thick cloud of vapour. In this innermost part, the chamber is formed into two stories for the accommodation of a greater number of persons within that small compass; and it being the nature of heat and vapour to ascend, the second