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the trouble of superintending the domestic concerns, the mistresses of families after their marriage, find so much of their time occupied, that they have no leisure to attend to any thing else.
The commerce of the country consists in the exportation of timber, iron, copper, alum, glass, tar, and skins; among the articles imported, are corn from Denmark and the Baltic; cloth, camlets, hardware, lead, and coal from England. The population of Norway at the time of Dr Clarke's visit, amounted to 920,000 inhabitants. The state of the labouring poor was improving; and the lower orders appeared to live as well as those in England, with this difference, that their bread was made of rye instead of wheat. The cattle during the winter are fed chiefly with the leaves and small branches of a species of poplar, gathered at the end of the summer: we may add, that a similar practice prevails in most of the cantons of Switzerland, and in the North of Italy. The peasants and poor of Norway will not eat rabbits, they fancy them too like cats.' p. 26. Every country furnishes instances of the dislike entertained by its inhabitants to particular articles of subsistence, which are held in estimation by other people. The Arabs eat locusts, roasted and boiled, while they are surprised that crabs, oysters, and lobsters should form any part of the food of Europeans. "Who could prevail on an Englishman,' our au
. thor asks, ' to eat a rat or a hedge-hog? Yet these are ac• knowledged to afford a delicious morsel in countries where
the inhabitants are not liable to the same prejudices.' The singular taste of eating rats is incorrectly stated by some writers to have prevailed among the ancient Romans; it was not the rat, but the field-mouse found in chestnut woods; and still eaten by the Italians (who call it ghiro from the Latin glis), that formed a dish at the Roman tables.
The laws respecting marriage had been altered a short time before Dr Clarke's arrival. Every man born of a farmer or la
' bourer was formerly a soldier; those born of sailors, were sailors. The officer of the district took them at any age he pleased. A ter this, the man could not marry without producing a certificate, signed by the minister of the parish, that he had property sufficient to support a wife and family. A peasant, before his name was registered, might marry without a certificate; but he exposed his wife and family to the danger of being starved, if it was afterwards enrolled; and parents would not allow their daughters to marry without some prospect of support. These regulations operated as a strong, preventive check on population, and accounted for the slow increase of the people. They
also explained why the lower classes were in a much better state, than could be expected from the barrenness of the country. The Governor complained to Dr Clarke of the alteration in the law, and of the change which had recently taken place; and said, that the peasants would now marry without any prospect of being able to maintain a family; and the consequence would be, that more would be born than the country could support. We wish that some intelligent traveller would institute inquiries relating to this subject, and ascertain what the result has actually been. There are circumstances in the modes of life, and peculiar situation of Norway, that lead us to believe, the population of the country must increase at a very slow rate. Among these we may mention the great proportion of pasture, in comparison with the soil capable of growing corn, the low state of all the manufacturing establishments, the practice of purchasing large tracts of wood by the merchants, in order to protect the growing timber, which prevents the clearing of the land, and placing more of it under tillage. If, as Professor Malthus asserts, an improved system of husbandry has taken place, and the obstacles in the way of the division of property have been removed, the funds for the maintenance of labour have doubtless been increased, and the resources for supplying a greater population enlarged and extended.
While Dr Clarke was at Christiana, he made a visit to the silver mines of Konsberg, where a mass of native silver was once found, weighing nearly 600 pounds. This, we believe, is the largest specimen known, with the exception of that mentioned by Brogniart, as brought from Schnéeberg in Misnia.
Though the loss sustained by the Danish Government is very considerable, the excavations are continued, in order to give employment to great numbers of inhabitants, who would otherwise be deprived of all support. There are no less than 14,000 families who derive their subsistence, either directly or indirectly, from the works. Dr Clarke was enabled to procure some crystals of native silver ; but he omits to notice the very fine specimen found in these mines, and described by Romé de l'Isle, in which, les.cristaux étoient de la grosseur d'une
aveline, et avoient la forme d'un cube, dont les huit angles so• lides sont tronqués.' Dr Clarke enters into many details respecting the present establishment, the cause of the loss sustained by the Government (arising chiefly from a want of economy, and of vigilance necessary to prevent embezzlement), the various excavations, the geological nature of the mountains, the metallurgical operations, the minerals and substances found there in addition to the native silver. In the public seminary at Konsberg, lectures were given by Professer Ensmark, one of the most scientific mineralogists in Europe. The miners and their children are instructed in the school of the academy, and no payment whatever is required from them. • We felt at this
moment an inward sense of shame for our own country, in • which such studies have met with little encouragement. • could but turn our thoughts homewards, and ask what the « Government of Great Britain had ever done towards the • advancement of mineralogical knowledge. At this moment,
there was not a single professorship of mineralogy in any of • our Universities.' Our author adds, in a note, that this passage is given as it occurs in his Journals; but the censure it conveys is, we are glad to find, to longer applicable to either of the seats of learning in the South. Dr Clarke bimself was appointed to the first Regius Professorship of Mineralogy that was established in the University of Cambridge ; and the able manner in which he discharged the duties of that situation, and the zeal he uniformly displayed in promoting and extending the cultivation of the science by his example and exertions, are well known.
Dr Clarke now left Christiana, and began his journey a second time towards Sweden. The roads were so bad, that he regretted not having waited for the winter season, when the traveller is enabled, by means of sledges, to proceed with expedition and comfort. At half a Danish mile from Magnor, an avenue cut through the Forest, marks the boundary between Norway and Sweden. He was struck by the singular and melancholy appearance of the inhabitants of this district, who were all dressed in black, and by the denuded and wretched aspect of the country. A dearth had prevailed during the preceding winter, greater than the oldest person remembered. The people had saved themselves from starving, by eating bark bread and sorrel, (Rumex acetosa). From Carlstadt, a town carrying on a trade in bar iron and timber, they passed through Moltem, a small village. The church service had just ended; • and a vast throng of the peasants filled the posthouse, impa• tient to get their dram, according to custom, as a morning o whet after prayers. But we saw no symptom of intoxica• tion.' Here the roads were found to be in excellent order, a portion being assigned by measurement to the peculiar care of each peasant, who frequently pointed with pleasure and exultation to the condition of the part superintended by him. Many curious minerals were found in this district, particularly at Brattesors, a mine which Dr Clarke was not able to examine: though a full account of it may be found in
the valuable work of Engeštrom. The uniformity of scenery, and of the appearance of the inhabitants, over a great part of Sweden, is very striking. The dress of the women is every where the same; and the landscape presents an unbounded forest, varied only by patches of cultivated ground, enclosed by fences. At Philipstadt, Dr Clarke observed that most of the houses were covered with masses of iron slag, laid on to keep down the birch bark upon the roof.
He was now in the neighbourhood of the mines of Persberg; one of the principal objects of his journey to this country. The account of his descent is a favourable specimen of Dr Clarke's power of description. The author's visit to these mines was made after he had
personally inspected many of the principal works of the same nature in other countries, and especially in his own. For the last ten years of his life, he had been much in the habit of seeing similar works: it is not therefore owing to any surprise at the novelty of the scene before him, that he has now to mention the astonishment he felt when he arrived at the mouth of one of the great Persberg mines; but he is fully prepared to say of it, and with truth, there is nothing like it in all that he has beheld elsewhere. For grandeur of effect, filling the mind of the spectator with a degree of wonder which amounts to awe, there is no place wliere human labour is exhibited under circumstances more tremendously striking. As we drew near to the wide and open abyss, a vast and sudden prospect of yawning caverns and of prodigious machinery prepared us for the descent. We approached the edge of the dreadful gulf whence the ore is raised, and ventured to look down, standing upon the verge of a sort of platform, constructed over it in such a manner as to command a view into the great opening as far as the eye could penetrate amidst its gloomy depths ; for, to the sight, it is bottoniless. Immense buckets, suspended by rattling chains, were passing up and down; and we could perceive ladders scaling all the inward precipices, upon which the work people, reduced by their distance to pigmies in size, were ascending and descending. Far below the utmost of these figures, a deep and gaping gulf, the mouth of the lowermost pits, was, by its darkness, rendered impervious to the view. From the spot where we stood, down to the place where the buckets are filled, the distance might be about seventy-five fathoms; and as soon as any of these buckets emerged from the gloomy cavity we have mentioned, or until they entered into it in their descent, they were visible; but below this point they were hid in darkness. The clanking of the chains, the groaning of the pumps, the hallooing of the miners, the creaking of the blocks and wheels, the trampling of horses, the beating of the hammers, and the loud and frequent subterraneous thunder from the blasting of the rocks by gunpowder, in the midst of all this scene of excavation and uproar, produced an effect which no stranger çan VOL. XXXIX. NO, 77.
behold unmoved. We descended, with two of the miners and our interpreter, into this abyss. The ladders, instead of being placed like those in our Cornish mines, upon a series of platforms as so many landing-places, are lashed together in one unbroken line, extending many
fathoms; and being warped to suit the inclination or curvature of the sides of the precipices, they are not always perpendicular, but hang over in such a manner, that even if a person held fast by his hands, if his feet should happen to slip, they would fly off from the rock, and leave him suspended over the gulf. Yet such ladders are the only means of access to the works below: and as the labourers are not accustomed to receive strangers, they neither use the precautions, nor offer the assistance, usually afforded in more frequented mines. In the principal țin-mines of Cornwall, the staves of the ladders are alternate bars of wood and iron: here they were of wood only, and in some parts rotten and broken, making us often wish, during our descent, that we had never undertaken an exploit so bazardous. In addition to the danger to be apprehended from the damaged state of the ladders, the staves were covered with ice or mud; and thus rendered so cold and slippery, that we could have no dependence upon our benumbed fingers, if our feet failed us. Then, to complete our apprehensions, as we mentioned this to the miners, they said, “ Have a care! It was just so, talking about the staves, that one of our women fell, about four years ago, as she was descending to her work." “ Fell!” said our Swedish interpreter, ra. ther simply; " and pray what became of her ?” “ Became of her!” continued the foremost of our guides, disengaging one of his hands from the ladder, and slapping it forcibly against his thigh, as if to illustrate the manner of the catastrophe," she became (pankaka) a pancake.
“ As we descended farther from the surface, large masses of ice appeared, covering the sides of the precipices. Ice is raised in the buckets with the ore and rubble of the mine : it has also accumulated in such quantity in some of the lower chambers, that there are places where it is fifteen fathoms thick, and no change of temperature above prevents its increase. This seems to militate against a notion now becoming prevalent, that the temperature of the air in mines increases directly as the depth from the surface, owing to the increasing temperature of the earth under the same circumstances and in the same ratio ; but it is explained by the width of this aperture at the mouth of the mine, which admits a free passage of atmospheric air. In our Cornish mines, ice would not be preserved in a solid state at any considerable depth from the surface.
• After much fatigue, and no small share of apprehension, we at length reached the bottom of the mine. Here we had no sooner arrived, than our conductors, taking each of us by an arm, hurried us along, through regions of “thick-ribbed ice" and darkness, into a vaulted level, through which we were to pass into the principal chamber of the mine. The noise of countless hammers, all in vehe