Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Norwegian Plough. a, b, Regulator. c, d, Frame, with which the ploughman removes obstructions. f, Sole, of woon, with iron straps on the under side.

y, Coulter.

h, Monld-board, longer than ours, and well shaped.

depth of earth stirred by the plough and benefited by the manure bestowed upon a field, and not to leave it to the judgment of the ploughman, or the will of his horses. In the beam of the Norwegian plough, before the coulter, there is a wooden plug or wedge, which first touches the ground; and as this regulator is set high or low, the coulter behind it can take more or less depth. There are two stilts to this plough, the one before the other. They are joined by a rail, and the ploughman walks not behind, but by the side of his plough, and holding by this rail turns over as with a lever

[ocr errors]

the stones, sods, or earth, that obstruct the machine.

The whole of the field is ploughed quite flat, not gathered into rigs, which is an error, as the surface water, not finding an issue, sours the land, and retards the seed bed. A still greater disadvantage is, that the plough, not being a turn-wrest one, returns empty to the place it set out from, to begin each new furrow. The ploughman does not make a fresh one in coming back, but trails the empty plough on its side to the head of the field. He requires, consequently, just double the time to plough an acre that we take. In a country where time is so much wanted in spring to get the seed into the ground, where little ploughing can be done in autumn and none in winter, the loss by this absurd practice is incalculable. The farmers

. thus incur the expense of keeping a greater number of horses and servants than otherwise would be required. They use only two horses in the plough, without a driver, and are anxious to save time and labour; yet this wasteful custom holds its ground by the side of farmers who have adopted our mode, from seeing Scotch ploughmen at work, and thus with the same implements and horses go over double the space that their neighbours do in the same time. Such is the power of custom even among peasantry not averse to improvement. The ease of the horses, of which they have a sovereign care, is the impediment to its adoption. They

, think it must be too much for them to work forwards, and return also, without rest.

September 28.-Sunday. Gigot sleeves, rumps, and ringlets! Where does the empire of fashion end ? Not on the borders of Lapland.

29.-Winter has surprised me. There was a sharp frost last night. The flies and the swallows are gone; and with them the prudent traveller should depart. I am not sorry, however, that winter has caught me in this part of Norway. I may contrive to pass it here, collecting, as I advance in the use of the language, interesting information among a people living in social arrangements so different from ours. I have as yet seen but little of their real domestic condition, only the outside, I may say, of the country. The passing traveller is really very like the swallow, skimming over the land by day, roosting under the roofs by night, and returning home very little the wiser for his flight.

I may easily run back to Dronthiem and winter very comfortably. There is a good library, and the inn or house at which I lodged is comfortable; but I should there see nothing of the real state of the Norwegian people. A third-rate commercial town is the same sort of thing all the world over; clubs, and card parties, and perhaps, although, as I have no letters of introduction, perhaps not, two or three great feasts in the course of the winter ; and then their blue and white cathedral staring you in the face in every street. A winter in Dronthiem does not please my fancy, like a winter here among these udallers, these children of partition.

CHAPTER III.

BRUSVED GAARD.-POLITE MANNERS OF THE LOWER CLASSES.

BREED OF CATTLE. BIBLE SOCIETY. POTATO BRANDY. EARTHQUAKES IN NORWAY NORWEGIAN CONSTITUTION. STORTHING.-QUALIFICATIONS.- ELECTION MEN-REPRESENTATION. THE POWER OF THE LEGISLATIVE. ATTEMPTS TO ALTER THE CONSTITUTION DEFEATED-AMALGAMATION WITH SWEDEN NOT DESIRABLE,VETO OF THE EXECUTIVE SUSPENSIVE ONLY.CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES GENERALLY DIFFUSED. THE PRESS-NEWSPAPERS. -INFLUENCE.-FREE IN NORWAY.

NOT IN SWEDEN.

Brusved Gaard.I have lodged myself for the winter with a small proprietor, near the little town of Levanger. My landlord holds the office of lensman, of which the functions are, I understand, the collection of taxes, the execution of writs and orders of the executive authorities, and of all public business within the parish. The foged is the superior executive officer, and has several of these parishes in his district, and above him is the amtman, the highest officer of a district, which consists of several fodgeries. The judicial functions are distinct from the executive, and administered by judges called Sorenskrivers, who hold courts monthly in each parish. The court-room of this parish is in my landlord's house, so that I could not be in a better situation for seeing the business and mode of living of the country and the people : I live with the family; and the traveller would be very fastidious who did not find himself very comfortable with them. I have only to regret the want of sufficient acquaintance with the language to converse with the many intelligent persons whom I meet.

It is easy to gather the bundle of words in a foreign language that are necessary to procure what you want for yourself and your horse; but a very different affair to converse with and understand educated men, especially on subjects like the peculiar institutions of a country and a state of society so different from those we are accustomed to. We have to acquire the ideas correctly, as well as the words.

Being stationary now for some time, I shall have little to enter in this journal but detached reflections.

I like the politeness of people towards each other in this country; the pulling off hats or caps when they meet either strangers or friends. The custom is universal : common labourers, fishermen, private soldiers salute each other with a bow, and do not merely touch the hat, but take it off. This is carefully taught to the children, and even the school-boys bow to each other in the streets; such a custom is not to be laughed at, it has a humanising effect. The exterior form of good-will, although but a form, introduces a pause before any expression of ill-will or passion can be indulged. He who has made a bow and received a similar salute is not so likely to launch out into a burst of abuse or violence, even against one who has offended him, as if the previous delay had not inter

a

« AnteriorContinua »