« PreviousContinue »
Of Sweden Proper, the following are the subdivisions :
East Gothland, Dalia,
Thorne Lapmark, Pithia Lapmark,
Of Finland, the following are the subdivisions :
East Bothnia, Nyland,
AND PRODUCTIONS. Sly from winter; and vegetation is more speedy than in southern climates ; for the sun is here fo hot as sometimes to set forests on fire. Stoves and warm furs mitigate the cold of winter, which is so intense, that the noses and extremities of the in habitants are sometimes mortified ; and in such cases, the beft remedy that has been discovered, is rubbing the affected part with snow. The Swedes, since the days of Charles XII, have been at incredible pains to correct the native barrenness of their country, by erecting colleges of agriculture, and in some places with great fuccess. The foil is much
the same with that of Denmark, and some parts of Norway, generally very bad, but in some vallies surprifingly fertile. The Swedes, till of late years, had not industry fufficient to remedy the one, nor improve the other. The peasants now follow the agriculture of France and England; and some late accounts fay that they raise almost as much grain as main. tains the natives. Gothland produces wheat, rye, barley, oats, peas, and beans ; and in case of deficiency, the people are supplied from Livonia and the Baltic provinces. In summer the fields are verdant and covered with flowers, and produce strawberries, raspberries, currants, and other small fruits. The common people know, as yet, little of the cultivation of apricots, peaches, nectarines, pine-apples, and the like high-flavoured fruits ; bue melons are brought to great perfection in dry seasons.
MINERALS AND METALS.] Sweden produces crystals, amethyfts, topazes, porphyry, lapis-lazuli, agate, cornelian, marble, and other foffils. The chief wealth of Sweden, however, arises from her mines of filver, copper, lead, and iron. The last-mentioned metal employs no fewer tban 450 forges, hammering-mills, and smelting-houses. À kind of a gold mine has likewise been discovered in Sweden, but so inconsiderable, that, from the year 1741 to 1747, it produced only 2,389 gold ducats, each valued at gs. 4d. sterling. The first gallery of one silver mine is 100 fathoms below the surface of the earth; the roof is supported by prodi.. gious oaken beams; and from thence the miners descend about 40 fa. thoms to the lowest vein. This mine is faid to produce 20,000 crowns a year. The product of the copper-mines is uncertain; but the whole is loaded with vast taxes and reductions to the government, which has no other resources for the exigencies of the state. These subterraneous mansions are aftonishingly spacious, and at the same time commodious for their inhabitants, lo that they seem to form a hidden world. The water-falls in Sweden afford excellent conveniency for turning mills for forges; and for some years the exports of Sweden for iron brought in 300,000l. fterling. It is supposed that they conftituted two-thirds of the national revenue. It must, however, be observed, that the exactions of the Swedish government, the importation of American bar-iron into Europe, and some other causes, have greatly diminished this manufacture. ANTIQUITIES AND CURIOSITIES,
A few leagues from GottenNATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL.
burgh there is a hideous precipice, down which a dreadful cataraất of water rushes with such impes tuofity from the height, into so deep a bed of water, that large masts, and other bodies of timber, precipitated down it, disappear for near an hour before they are recovered: the bottom of this bed has never been found, though sounded by lines of several hundred fathoms. A remarkable flimy lake, which finges, things put into it, has been found in the southern parts of Gothland : and several parts of Sweden contain a fione
, which being of a yellow colour, intermixed with several streaks of white, as if composed of gold and filver, affords fulphur, vitriol, alum, and minium. In the university of Upsal is preserved the famous Codex Argenteus , a manufcript, with silver letters, of a Gothic
translation of the Golpels
, by Ulphilas, a bishop of the Goths in Mafia, who lived about 1300 years ago. It is very ancient and very imperfect, but equally cute rious and valuable, because it contains all that remains of the ancient Gothic language, the
venerable parent of the Runic, the old Teutonic, and the Anglo-Saxon; and, consequently, of the modern English, German, Danish, Swedish,
and Icelandic languages, Stas.] Their leas are the Baltic, and the gulfs of Bothnia and Fia
land, which are arms of the Baltic; and on the west of Sweden are the Categate sea, and the Sound, a strait about four miles over, which divides Sweden from Denmark,
Thele seas have no tides, and are frozen up usually four months in the year; nor are they so salt as the ocean ; never mixing with it, because a current sets always out of the Baltic Sea into the ocean.
QUADRUPEDS, BIRDS, AND Fishes.] These differ little from those already described in Norway and Denmark. The Swedish horses are more serviceable in war than the German. The Swedish hawks, when carried to France, have been known to revisit their native country, as appears from one that was killed in Finland, with an inscription on a small gold plate, fignifying that he belonged to the French king. The fishes found in the rivers and lakes of Sweden are the same with those in other northern countries, and taken in such quantities, that several forts of them, pikes in particular, are falted and pickled for exportation. The train-oil of the feals taken in the gulf of Finland, is a confiderable article of exportation,
INHABITANTS, MANNERS, AND CUSTOMS.] The character of the Swedes has differed greatly in different ages; nor is it very uniform, At present their peasants seem to be a heavy plodding race of men, strong and hardy, but without any other ambition than that of subfift. ing themselves and their families as well as they can : the mercantile clalies are much of the same cast; but great application and perfeverance is discovered among them all. It seems difficult, however, to conceive that the modern Swedes are descendants of those, who, under Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII. carried terror in their names through distant countries, and shook the foundations of the greatest empires. The intrigues of their senators drew them to take part in the war, called the seven-years' war, against Prussia;
yet their behaviour was spiritless, and their courage contemptible. The principal nobility and gentry of Sweden are naturally brave, polite, and hospitable ; they have high and warm notions of honour, and are jealous of their national interelts. The dress, exercises, and diversions of the common people, are almost the same with those of Denmark : the better fort are infatuated with French modes and fashions. The women go to the plough, thresh out the corn, row upon the water, serve the bricklayers, carry burdens, and do all the common drudgeries in- husbandry.
Religion.) Christianity was introduced here in the 9th century, Their religion is Lutheran, which was propagated amongst them by Guftavus Vala, about the year 1523. The Swedes are surprisingly
, uniform and unremitting in religious matters; and had such an aversion to popery, that castration was the fate of every Roman-catholic priett discovered in their country. The archbishop of Upsal has a revenue of about 4Col. a year, and has under him 13 fuffragans, besides superintendents, with moderate ftipends. No clergyman has the least direction in the affairs of state ; but their morals and the sanctity of their lives endear them to much to the people, that the government would repent making them its enemies. Their churches are neat, and often ornamented. A body of ecclefiaftical laws and canons direct their religious economy. A conversion to popery, or a long continuance under excommunication, which cannot pass without the king's permillion, is punilhed by imprisonment and exile.
LANGUAGE, LEARNING, AND LEARNED Mex.] The Swedish language is a dialect of the Teutonic, and resembles that of Denmark. The Swedish nobility and gentry are, in general, more conversant in polite literature than those of many other more flourishing states. They have of kate exhibited fome noble fpecimens of their munificence for the improvement of literature ; witness their sending, at the expence of private persons, that excellent and candid natural philofopher Haffelquilt into the eastern countries for discoveries, where he died. This noble fpirit is eminently encouraged by the royal family, and her Swedish majesty purchased, at no inconfiderable expence for that country, all Hafelquift's collection of curiofities. That able civilian, statesman, and historian, Puffendorff, was a native of Sweden ; and so was the late cele. brated Linnæus, who contributed fo eminently to the improvement of several branches of natural knowledge, particularly botany. The par. fion of the famous queen Christina for literature is well known; and fhe may be accounted a genius in many branches of science. Even in the midst of the late distractions of Sweden, the fine arts, particularly drawing, sculpture, and architecture, were encouraged and protected. Agricultural learning, both in theory and practice, is now carried to a considerable height in that kingdom ; and the charaéter given by some writers, that the Swedes are a dull heavy people, fitted only for bodily Jabour, is in a great measure owing to their having no opportunity of cxerting their talents.
UNIVERSITIES.) The principal is that of Upsal, inftituted near 400 years ago, and patronited by succeslive monarchs, particularly by the great Gustavus Adolphus, and his danghter queen Christina. There are near 1500 ftudents in this university ; but for the most part they are extremely indigent, and lodge, five or fix together, in very poor hovels. The profeflors in different branches of literature are about twenty-two; of whom the principal are those of divinity, eloquence, botany, anatomy, chemistry, natural philosophy, astronomy, and agriculture. Their falaries are from 701. to 1001. per ammm. This university, juftly called, by Stillingfieet, “ that great and hitherto unrivalled school of na“tural hiftory," is certainly the firft seminary of the North for academical education, and has produced, from the time of its inttitution, perfons eminent in every branch of science. The learned publications which have lately been given to the world by its members, sufficiently prove the flourishing state of literature in these parts; and the theses, composed by the students on the admitsion to their degrees, would form a very interesting collection. Many of these tracts, upon various subjects of polite literature, antiquities, languages, &c. evince the erudition and laste of the respective authors. Among the works of this fort, which have widely diffused the fame of this learned society throughout Europe, are the Amanitates Academicæ, or a collection of Theres upon Natural Hiftory, held under the celebrated Linnæus, and chiefly selected by that master,
There is another university at Abo in Finland, but not so well endowerl, cor lo flourishing ; and there was a third at Lunden, in Schonen, which is now fallen into decay. Every diocese is provided with a free-school, in which boys are qualified for the university* MANUPACTURES, TRADE, como? The Swedish commonalty sub
MERCE, AND CHIEF TOWN6. S lift by agriculture, mining, grazing, hunting, and fishing. Their materials for traffic are the bulky and useful commodities of masts, beams, deal-boards, and other forts of timber for shipping; tar, pitch, bark of trees, pot-ath, wooden utensils
. An acalemy of arts and sciences was fome years since established at Stockholm, and is Dow in a fivurishing condition. They have published feveral volumes of Memgirs, which have been well received by the public.
hides, flax, hemp, peltry, furs, copper, lead, iron, cordage, and fift. Even the manufacturing of iron was introduced into Sweden so late as the 16th century; for till that time they sold their own crude ore to the Hanse towns, and bought it back again manufactured into utensils: About the middle of the 17th century, by the assistance of the Dutch and Flemings, they set up some manufactories of glass, starch, tin, woollens, filk, soap, leather-dresling, and saw-mills. Bookselling was at that time a trade unknown in Sweden. They have fince had sugar-baking, tobacco-plantations, and manufactures of sail-cloth, cotton, fuftian, and other stuffs ; of linen, alum, and brimstone; paper-mills, and gunpowder-mills. Vast quantities of copper, brass, steel, and iron, are now wrought in Sweden. "They have also founderies for cannon, forges for fire-arms and anchors; armouries, wire and Aatting-mills ; mills also for fulling, and for boring and stamping; and of late they have built many ships for sale.
Certain towns in Sweden, 24 in number, are called staple-towns, where the merchants are allowed to import and export commodities in their own ships.
Those towns which have no foreign commerce, though lying near the sea, are called land-towns. A third kind are termed mine-towns, as belonging to the mine districts. The Swedes, about the year 1752, had greatly increased their exports, and diminished their imports, most part of which arrive, or are sent off, in Swedish ships; the Swedes having now a kind of navigation act, like that of the English. These promising appearances were, however, frustrated by the improper management and jealoufies of the Swedish government.
Stockholm is a staple-town, and the capital of the kingdom: it stands about 760 miles North-east of London, upon seven small rocky islands, besides two peninsulas, and is built upon piles. It strongly impresses a stranger with its fingular and romantic scenery. A variety of contrafted and enchanting views are formed by numberless rocks of granite, rising boldly from the surface of the water, partly bare and craggy, partly dotted with houses, or feathered with wood. The harbour, which is spacious and convenient, though difficult of access, is an inlet of the Baltic: the water is clear as crystal, and of such depth that ships of the largest burthen can approach the quay, which is of confiderable breadth, and lined with spacious buildings and warehouses. At the extremity of the harbour several streets rise one above another, in the form of an 'amphitheatre; and the palace, a magnificent building, crowns the fummit. Towards the sea, about two or three miles from the town, the harbour is contracted into a narrow strait, and, winding among high rocks, disappears from the fight; the prospect is terminated by diftant hills, overspread with forests. It is far beyond the power of words, or of the pencil, to delineate these singular views. The central island, from which the city derives its name, and the Ritterholm, are the handsomest parts of the town.
Excepting in the suburbs, where the houses are of wood, painted red, the generality of the buildings are of stone, or brick stuccoed white.
The royal palace, which stands in the centre of Stockholm, and upon the highett spot of ground, was begun by Charles XI. It is a large quadrangular stone edifice, and the tyle of architecture is both elegant and magnificent *
The number of housekeepers who pay taxes are 60,000. This city is furnished with all the exterior marks of magnificence, and erections for manufactures and commerce that are common to other great European
. Coxe, vol. ii. p. 327, 328.