Imatges de pàgina

Passenger, tho' they see him coming. The Natives are very dex. trous at Skating ; and, when the Rivers and Dykes are frozen up, both Men and Women skate from Place to Place, upon their Business: It is incredible how swift some of them move in their Skates ; no running Horse, it is said, can keep Pace with them. When the Snow is upon the Ground, and frozen over, young Gentlemen and Ladies appear abroad in the moft magnificent Sledges ; each Sledge is drawn by a Horse, decked with rich and glittering Harness; in these they run Races upon the frozen Snow: Great Numbers of these being seen in the Streets together, especially at Amsterdam, make a very beautiful Shew.

THERE are a great Number of INands on the Coaft of Nera

way, and others belonging to that Kingdom, at a Distance from it; the most considerable of which is Iceland, the Northern Part of which lies under the Arctic Circle. Its Mountains are always covered with Snow.

CLIMATE.] The North Part of Denmark is Denmark. said to be very cold, and not very wholsome, espe

cially near Copenhagen, which is supposed to proceed from its low Situation and frequent Fogs. There is scarce any Medium between extreme Cold and Heat; for the Spring and Autumn are of a very short Duration, and the Productions of the Earth are accordingly very speedy in their Growth. The Air, in the Southern Part, in general, is allowed to be good, and the Country pleasant enough. Denmark produces good Corn, and several Parts abound in Cattle, Hogs, and Horses. The longest Day, in the Northmoft Part, is about 18 Hours, and, in the Southmost about 17: Therefore this Country lies

in the both, 11th and 12th Northern Climates, Norway and

The Air of Norway and Lapland is fo extremely Lapland.

cold, efpecially towards the North, that it is but thinly inhabited. The Face of the Country is very much incumbered with Mountains, and formidable Rocks, which produce scarce any Food for Man or Beast, and are almost continually covered with Snow.

GOVERNMENT.] Tho' the King of Denmark is an absoJute Prince, he is pleased, however, to act by Laws and Rules of his own and his Ancestors framing, which he takes the Liberty of repealing and altering, as he thinks fit.

Revenues.] The whole Revenues of the King of Denmark amount to about 500,ccol. Sterling upon the best Cal

culations ;


culations; which, in that part of the World, will go near as far as three times that Sum with us, considering the Cheapness of Provifions and Labour in these Countries.

RELIGION.] Lutheranism is the established Religion in Denmark, and no other Denomination of Christians are tolerated. The established Religion in Norway is the fame as in Denmark, only that, on the Borders in Norway. of Lapland, they differ but very little from mere Heathens. The Inhabitants of Iceland, who own In Iceland, Allegiance to the Danish Crown, are generally the fame in Religion with the Danes; but the uncivilized Natives, who commonly abscond in Dens and Caves, still adhere to their ancient Idolatry. Also in Wardhuys, or Norwegian Lapland, the Natives are generally In Lapland. Pagans ftill, tho' they are usually denominated Christians ; and, by the Innocence of their Lives, perhaps deserve to be ranked in the first Class, but seem to have very confused Notions of its Doctrines.

CUSTOMS.] The Danes in their Funerals are exceeding magnificent; and it is not uncommon of the Danes, to deposit a Corpse in a Vault, in or near the Church, many Months together, in order to make Preparations to folemnize the Burial with the greater Pomp. The poor People, indeed, are buried with less Ceremony; but even they are attended to their Graves by a Set of Mourners, hired by every Parish for that Purpose. Holidays are observed as strictly as Sundays; and, in the time of Divine Service, the Gates of Copenhagen are fhut. It is customary with the Danes to be contracted several Months and Years, and live in the most intimate Familiarity, before the Marriage is folemnized at Church, but then these Contracts are very solemn, before Friends. A Laplander, when he intends to marry, looks

Of the Lapout for a Maid well stock’d with Rain-deer ; for landers, it is the Custom in Lapland, for Parents to give their Children, as soon as they are born, fome Rain-deer, which, for ever after, with all their Increase, belong to the Children. The more Rain-deer a Maid has, the sooner the may expect a Husband; for Laplanders do not regard Beauty, or such Qualifications as are valuable to others. It is natural for such as live in barren Countries, to be most solicitous for their Subsistence, which because the Rain-deer chiefly afford them, they look upon them as their greatest Riches, which may best secure them against Wants. The poorer Sort are content to marry a Man's Daughter, who lives in a convenient Place for Hunting and Fishing. After a Laplander has pitched upon one he intends to marry, he, in company with two or three Friends, undertakes a Journey to her father. Being come to the Hut, they are all invited in, except the Suitor, who stays for some time without, and palles away his Time in some trifling Employment or other, perhaps in cleaving of Wood, till at last he also is invited in; for, without an express Invitation, it is looked upon as a great Piece of Rudeness for him to come in. After they have fortified themselves with a Dram, the Spokesman begins to declare bis. Suit, defiring the Maid's Father to bestow his Daughter in Marriage upon the young Man; and, if the Father confents, that the young Man may pay his Respects to the Virgin, he goes directly out of the Hut to his Sledge, and puts on his best Apparel ; after which they falute with a Kiss, and not only press their Lips, but likewise their Noses together, otherwise it would not pass for a true Salute. After this, he makes her a Present of a Rain-deer's Tongue, and the like, which she refuses to accept in the Presence of others; but, being secretly called afide, without the Hut, if she accepts of the Present, the Suitor begs the Favour of her to let him deep near her in the Hut, which if she grants, the Marriage is as good as concluded; but if she refuses, she throws the Presents at his Feet.

The Laplanders make use of Bows, in Hunting, of about three Yards long, two Inches broad, and one thick, made of two Pieces of Wood join'd within one another; and within the Piece of Birch, they put a Slip of Pine-wood, which, by reafon of its resinous Substance, is flexible, and consequently the most proper for drawing together, and sending forth the Arrows. They make use allo of Skates in Hunting, one of which exceeds the Length of the Person that wears it by one Foot, and the other is one Foot Morter, both turn'd upwards before, and somewhat broader than the Soles of the Feet: They fasten these Skates to their Feet with a With, run thro' on both sides, but not thro' the Bottom, which would hinder their fliding, or wear foon out by continual using; this comes directly over the Midst of the Feet; and one half of the Skate is before, and the other behind. They use a Staff in fliding, at the End of which is a round Piece of Wood, which is to force themselves over the frozen Snow. Those that are Maiters of Skating are scarce ever tired, tho' they travel never sa far: They will pursue the Chace over the slippery frozen Snow with that incredible Swiftness, that they outrun the wild Rainseer and Wolves; and, by various twisting of their Bodies, and Windings and Turnings in their way, they ascend the


highest Mountains, and likewise descend from the Top of these steep Mountains down to the Bottom, without any Danger of Falling. This seems next to an Impossibility; but I find it alerted by Rheen, and quoted by Schefer. The Laplanders travel in Síedges during the Winter Season; he who fits in it governs the Rain-deer with a single Halter, which does not pass through the Mouth, but is only fastened to the Head and Horns; this he holds in his Right-hand, with a Stick at the End, and throws it sometimes on the Right, and sometimes on the Leftside of the Rain-deer, which turns to that Side where the Rope or Halter twitches. The Sledge, being of a femicircular Figure at the Bottom, is continually inclining to one Side or other, so that it wants a constant Balance, which must be done partly by the Body, and partly by the Help of the Hand of him who sits in it, for fear it should overthrow in the swift Course.


HE Air of this Country is very cold; but, if

not too near Lakes or Marshes, so pure and wholsome to breathe in, that many of the Inhabitants live to a great Age. During the Winter, which in moft Parts continues seven Months, and towards the North, the whole Country is covered with Snow a Yard or two thick, and the Lakes, Seas, and Rivers are all frozen up. The Air in the Northern Parts is so exceeding sharp, it is said, that Water sprinkled with one's Hand, will freeze before it comes to the Ground; and it is no uncommon thing, to find People who have lost their Noses or Fingers by the extreme Cold, but the Snow is no sooner melted, than we fee; on a sudden, Part of the Earth covered with green Herbs and Flowers. The Soil is not very fertile in Corn; but that Disadvantage is recompensed with pretty good Pasturage.

Government.] This Kingdon is very ancient, and was formerly elective; but after various Turns of Fortune, became hereditary under the Reign of Guftavus I. But it appears at present, that the Swedish Nobility and Gentry have of late not only fully recovered their ancient Liberties, but the States have invested themselves with sovereign Power, and made their King entirely dependent on them; and Sweden may now be look'd upon rather as an Aristocracy than a Monarchy. Where a Gentleman or Nobleman commits a capital Crime, he is thot to Death. By the Laws of Sweden, the Father's Eftate, whether hereditary or acquir’d, is divided among his Children,

every 3

every Son having an equal Share in it, and a Daughter half as much as a Son.

REVENUES.] The public Revenues of Sweden arise, either out of the demesne Lands of the Crown, or from the Customs, the Coin, Copper and Silver Mines, Tythes, Poll-money, Fines, Ataip'd Paper, and other Duties on Proceedings at Law; all which are computed to amount to a Million Sterling, whereof the Customs produce about a Fourth-part, and the Demeine Lands a Third.

Religion.] The English affume the Honour of planting the Gospel among the Swedes, in the Beginning of the ninth Century. The Reformation was begun in Sweden in the Reign of Gustavus Erickson, at the Beginning of the sixteenth Century, who promoted it, as well upon politic as religious Views. The Clergy, in general, were his Enemies, and exceeding rich, which were two very strong Inducements to seize their Lands, and unite them to the Crown; and this he complish'd in his Reign, leaving the Clergy but a slender Maintenance. Lutheranism prevails

here ; nor will they fuffer any other Denomination of Christians, whether Natives of Foreigners.

Customs.] People of Condition of either Sex, are seldom married before Thirty, because their Parents, perhaps, cannot afford to make Settlements suitable to their Quality in this poor Country, where they live, notwithstanding, to the Height of their Income. Among the common People, it seems, the Wife hath much the worst of it, being put to all the Drudgeries both within and without Doors, and looks upon herself to be rather in the Condition of a Servant, than a Companion to her Husband; and consequently there is very little Wrangling and Difputing between them.

Of MOSCOVY, or RUSSIA in Europe. Climate.] THE Air of this Country must be very diffe

rent, it being of a vast Extent: Towards the North, (as in Swedish Lapland, and the Northern Part of Sweden) the Air is fo exceeding sharp, that the Natives sometimes lose their Noses or Fingers; however, in many of the Northern Parts, it is so whollome to breathe in, that the Inhabitants live to a very great Age. The moft Northern Provinces are very barren, producing very few of the Necessaries of Life. During the Winter, which'in most of the Southern Provinces continues seven Months, and towards the Northern nine, the whole Country is covered with Snow; which supplies


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