Imatges de pÓgina

waves, is also to be found entire. The common buckie, or white large whelk, is also abundant. All the shells I could find are common, and to be met with on the shores of the fiord at the present day; and many of them retain their original colour : the muscle its blue, the razor-fish its brown, and the scallop the pink hue, which some of the fresh shells have. From the entire state of the large scallop and large smooth cockle or clam shells, I conclude that this has been the native bed on which they grew. Through the parish of Skey, this ancient sea-shore may be traced by a similar deposit of shells. At Hegle Bridge, about six miles inland from the shore at Levanger, I found, in the course of the summer, the shells of the cockle, muscle, and whelk; and about twenty miles nearer Dronthiem, in the steep hill side between the station-house of Fordal and that of Forbord, the cockle and clam make their appearance at about the same elevation above the sea. The large peninsula near the mouth of the Dronthiem fiord, called Oreland, is also stated by Von Buch to be covered, under a layer of moss, with a stratum of sea-shells. From these indications we may conclude that a shore, in a direction nearly parallel to that of the present one of the Dronthiem Gulf, and on a level, at least sixty feet higher, has existed at a recent geological period. The sea has left the land, or the land the sea, so recently that shells, in their native bed, retaining in part their natural hue and enamel, are not covered with any thickness of decayed vegetable


soil. The historical period of known points upon the line of the present shore, is better ascertained than in most localities in early modern history. Steenkjær, Mære, the site of the principal temple of Odin at the introduction of Christianity, and the city of Dronthiem, are known points, which existed on their present sites between eight hundred and a thousand years ago, as they are frequently mentioned in the historical Saga of Haarfagre and his successors. But the most ancient of them, as well as the highest above the present sea level, is Mære, which stands on a small eminence or hillock, near to the present shore of the fiord, in Sparboe ; and although there are no remains of the temple, there is no doubt whatever of the identity of the spot, and it may be assumed to have been above water for at least a thousand years; yet it must have been several fathoms below it at the time these muscle, and cockle, and scallop shells, which still retain traces of their natural colours, were inhabited by living animals on this ancient shore. Man cannot build such

permanent dwellings as these animals. As the Dronthiem fiord may be considered, with reference to the peninsula, as the reverse side to the Bothnian Gulf, and it is no improbable conjecture that the two may have joined, the ancient level of the sea on this side is very interesting. The retiring of the sea or the raising of the land of the peninsula could be ascertained with more precision, if it can be ascertained at all, on this coast, on which there are no local accumulations of mud or river deposits, by which

the land gains at one place and loses at another, than in the Baltic or the Bothnian Gulf. The imperishable primitive rock and the water allow of no third agent, such as the river accumulations on flat coasts, to confuse the observations. It is evident that a sea-shore has been where these beds of shells now rest upon the land, at least sixty feet above the present shore. It is evident, also, that a thousand years have made little, if


alteration upon the relative position of known points to the present sea level. The assumption of the Swedish philosophers, that the change of level in the Gulf of Finland is at the rate of about four and a half feet in the century, must be somehow erroneous, if applied to the retiring of the sea; because in that case the sea, a thousand years ago, would have stood forty-five feet higher than at present, and many points, as those above mentioned, known by historical record to have then occupied their present positions, would have been under water. If applied to the rising of the land above the sea, the observation may be correct; because this may be local, and not equally on both sides, and in all parts of the peninsula. The land next the Gulf of Bothnia may be rising at the rate of four and a half feet, in a century, and that on this side not so much in a thousand years.

My landlord has a very extensive estate in the Fjelde, extending at least forty miles along the Swedish frontier, and comprehending valleys filled with valuable timber. I was glad of an opportunity of accompanying him on an excursion to


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some distant parts of it. We drove up the valley of Helgodal, which is a continuation of Værdal under a different name, but on a higher level. The main branch of the same river which runs through Værdal waters this valley, and falls from it by a noble cascade, called Herfoss, upwards of sixty feet high, into the lower valley. This arrangement of valley above valley is common in Norway, and occasions singular appearances. About half a mile higher up in Værdal than my gaard, a very large stream seems to issue from the very summit of the hills which bound the valley on one side, and descends a mighty torrent, never frozen in consequence of its magnitude, and turning twelve or fourteen corn mills perched on the declivity. On ascending to the summit of the hills from which it seems to issue, one finds a quiet sluggish river, winding through a flat upper terrace, at least two hundred feet above the valley, into which it precipitates itself, and being in fact the outlet of a lake upon this higher level, which is about seven miles in length. It would be an upper valley, if a slight obstruction to the issue of its waters by this channel were removed. It is of more value as it is, affording, in winter and summer, the means of grinding the corn of a large district, and supporting by this branch of industry the little village of Ullevil. It is the finest range of perpetual water-power I ever saw.

What would it not be worth in some parts of England for turning machinery? The length of this upper valley of Helgodal is about

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twenty-five miles; and on the north it is occupied by farms, on which the crops are as good and as far advanced as in our lower valley. The opposite side, being in the shade of the steep grounds behind, is a mass of forest, with only one or two farms. In these narrow valleys, where the sun is low in winter and spring, the sunny side is of great importance. Opposite to where I live, there is a little farm, which does not see the sun for fifteen weeks in the year.

About twenty miles up the valley of Helgodal, a fine stream joins it from the north-east, forming a very picturesque waterfall. It is called the Shjækker; and trout of eighteen pounds weight are sometimes taken at its foot. The angler could not find in Norway so good a situation as the head of Værdal valley; the streams and lakes within reach are so numerous, of a size to be within command of the rod, and free from the obstructions of sunk trees or weeds, or marshy borders. We followed the south branch of the river, and, as far as cultivation extends, found a good road, with bridges over every side stream. The last farm, Brataasen, is situated on a steep immense bank of gravel and loose earth, the deposit, I conceive, of a lake which has filled Helgodal, and made an issue for itself at the great waterfall of Herfoss, where it has left similar steep mounds and accumulations, all of which rest immediately upon the primary schist of the Fjelde. We left our carioles at this farm, and with a guide took to the Fjelde, leading our horses, as riding

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