Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

on the ground behind the fire, opposite the door, or an one or two racks suspended from the roof, on which are also the cheese-vessels, and a few other culinary articles. Such is the residence which the people of the northern Alps occupy during the summer months. Those who inhabit the woody district, lower down, have fixed residences, but of so slender and fragile a texture, that it is really wonderful that human beings, sensible of the impression of heat and cold, can withstand the rigour of a polar winter with so slight a defence against the storms and piercing cold of such an atmosphere.

666 This Kodda, or hut, is formed of double timbers, lying one upon another, and has mostly six sides, rarely but four. It is supported within by four indining posts, as thick as one's arm, crossing each other in pairs at the top, upon which is laid a transverse beam, four ells in length. On each side, lower down, is another cross piece of wood, serving to hang pipes on. The walls are formed of beams of a similar thickness, but differing in length, leaving a hole at the top to serve as a chimney, and a door at the side. These are covered with a layer of bark, either of spruce, fir, or birch, and over that is another layer of wood like the first. In the centre the fire is made on the ground, and the inhabitants lie round it. In the middle of the chimney hangs a pole, on which the pot is suspended over the fire. The height of the hut is three ells, its greatest breadth at the base two fathoms.

66 Their huts are so low that it is impossible for any one to stand upright in them; and the whole defence against the inclemency of the weather is a single coat of birch bark, not the eighth of an inch thick. The Laplander is a carnivorous animal, and is

6

AND OF THE REIN-DEER.

155

said to consume ten times more filesh than a Swedish peasant; a family of four persons devour a deer in a week: they eat the glutton, squirrel, bear, martin, beaver; and, in short, every living creature they can catch, except wolves and foxes.

“The extreme difficulty and danger of travelling in the interior of Lapland is the cause of its being so little known to foreigners. The people are hospitable and kind to strangers when they arrive amongst them, and give the little they possess with pleasure ; but many have never seen a human face but those of their own country. When the great LINNÆUS, almost dead with fatigue and hunger, had travelled a consider. able distance through the swamps and bogs, above his knees in water, his guide, who had left him, returned, accompanied by a person of whom he gives the following account.

"Her stature was very diminutive;--her face of the darkest brown from the effects of smoke;--hereyes dark and sparkling ;-her eyebrows black ;--her pitchy. coloured hair hung loose about her head, and on it she wore a flat red cap. She had a grey petticoat; and her neck resembled the skin of a frog. Round her waist she wore a girdle, and on her feet a pair of half boots. Her first aspect really struck me with dread ; but though a fury in appearance, she addressed me, with mingled pity and reserve, in the following terms:

“O thou poor man! what hard destiny can have brought thee hither, to a place never visited by any one before? This is the first time I ever beheld a stranger. Thou miserable creature! how didst thou come, and whither wilt thou go? Dost thou not perceive what houses and habitations we have, and with bow much difficulty we go to church ?'

“The people now in London are exhibited in the

full winter costume of their own country, with their summer and winter residences, and the principal objects of their household furniture.

“ Since their arrival in England, they have behaved with the strictest propriety; they are elevated and delighted beyond measure with the kindness they have experienced from the public, and will probably return the richest people in the country. They déposit their little accumulations in the Savings Bank every week, and are constant in their attendance to the duties of their religion at the Swedish Lutheran Chapel.

"Nothing, perhaps, in the growth of animated nature is more extraordinary than the sudden reproduction of the immense antlers of the rein-deer: the deer in London are at this time shedding them ; in a few weeks they will begin to shoot again, when só astonishingly rapid is the operation, that in a few days they attain their full size, covered with short hair, which remains on them till autumn, when it comes off by the bursting of the skin that surrounds the horn, which then appears smooth and polished.

“Plenty of the lichen rongeferinus, or rein-deer moss from Bagshot Heath, on which the animals feed, is in the room; the deer receive it with the greatest avidity, from the hands of the visitors, in preference to every other food. It is now known that most of the high tracts of uncultivated heath-land in the United Kingdom produce it in abundance, and it is hoped that those hitherto un productive wastes (for no other animal will eat of this moss) will shortly supply our table with the finest venison and most exquisite chines at a very moderate rate; it having been ascertained that the climate that produces in luxuriance the lichen rongeferinus is congenial to the propagation of the rein deer.!?

HISTORY OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH.

(Continued from page 119.) ALTHOUGH the servants of JEHOVAH have in all ages been distinguished by a faith which looks beyond the revolutions of this state of change and trial to a more permanent and blissful kingdom, yet, sensibly alive to every virtuous and exalted feeling, they have been the warmest lovers of their country, and the noblest benefactors of mankind.

The Prophet JEREMIAH was a patriot of this description. To God and to his country he dedicated all his services, and, for the glory of the one, and the advantage of the other, was content to suffer every species of afflietion, expecting no reward but from the gracious retributions of the world to come. Sorrow and disappointment were indeed the close companions of his labours. He saw the Majesty of Heaven dishonoured daily by an infatuated people, who, though debased by their iniquities, were yet his brethren, and therefore objects of solicitude and love. He wept in secret for their sins, endeavoured by affectionate and earnest exhortations to reclaim them, and deprecated, by profound humiliation, those judgments which, he saw, were likely soon to overtake them for their crimes. To console him under his affliction, and to mitigate his grief for the calamities occasioned by the late invasion, as well as at the prospect of still greater evils, he was favoured with a vision, which assured him, that the issue of the present awful dispensations should be not merely the destruction of the wicked, but the reformation of the remnant of the people, who, after being humbled in the land of their captivity, should come again to Zion, and Vol. VI.

P

be restored to all their privileges as the people of the LORD. Thus were the horrors of the tempest softened by the mild irradiations of the Bow of Promise ; and hope assuaged those sorrows which faith and patience were commanded for a season to sustain.

But JEREMIAH was not only sent to warn and to reprove the house of Israel; he was also authorized to speak to the surrounding nations, and, in JEHOVAH'S name, to threaten them with fearful judgments for their heinous crimes.. Soon after the retreat of the invading armies from Judea, a commission of this mature was entrusted to him. Those neighbouring states, who so willingly assisted to avenge the quarrel of the King of Babylon, no sooner saw the land relieved from its oppressors, and restored to quietness under the reign of ZEDEKIAH, than they assailed the pride and avarice of that weak and fickle Prince, by tempting him to violate his promise, and renounce allegiance to the Conqueror. By an expressive sign, the Prophet was commanded to intimate, not only to the King of Judah, but also to those other nations, that their existence and prosperity depended on fidelity to their engagements, and that rebellion would be ruinous and fatal to them all. To notify that this subjection was to continue for a season, he was commanded to make yokes and bonds; to send them, with the message of JEHOVAH, to the various nations who were restless under the control of Babylon; and also, for the admonition of his people, to wear them constantly himself. Thus was the sovereignty of God proclaimed among the Gentiles, and the revolt which had been meditated was for a time delayed.

While thus appearing with the marks of bondage ių the presence of the King of Judah, the venerable

« AnteriorContinuar »