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child is so gentle and easy to manage. It is comfortable no doubt, but where is the promise of mature power? You must graft responsibility and active generosity. You cannot change her sweet nature, and would not if you could, but think of the many ways in which it can be enriched."
One object then in training children should be to better fit them for life. One great recourse of safety will be to early place at their command good reading, good books. From this companionship will come good thoughts, which must give good character.
Pruning and grafting! Pruning and grafting! Mine, you say, are only theories. My theories, then, I leave with you.
RURAL OBSERVATIONS IN NORWAY, SWEDEN AND RUSSIA.
BY MRS. ELLEN M. HEALEY, GREENWICH, OHIO.
[Read at the Farmers' Institute held at Greenwich, Huron County, January
20 and 21, 1905.]
I shall try in this paper to tell without referring to history some things as I saw them. The first month of our journey was spent mostly on the water, on no less than ten steamers. After landing in Liverpool we went to Newcastle, England, by way of York and Durham, stopping and visiting the points of interest in these two cathedral towns. We sailed from Newcastle for Bergen, Norway. All expected to be seasick from the reports received of the North Sea, but it was smooth this time.
Our first sight of Norway was of the barren hills of the west coast; as we came nearer and entered the fjords we could see green slopes, snow capped mountains, rapid streams falling in cascades down the mountains from the melting snow. Even this did not prepare us for the natural beauty around Bergen, one of the oldest and most picturesque towns in Norway. It has seventy-two thousand six hundred inhabitants. Many of the buildings have red tiled roofs. The older houses are timber built and usually painted white; the queer and gay costumes, lighthearted and happy people made the streets a highly colored picture. The general appearance of the town was modern, wide streets at right angles, designed chiefly to prevent the spreading of fire. The old Hanseatic quarters were full of interest, and the odors would make a good housekeeper sick. The fish market in Bergen is the largest in Norway, the fish and the costumes of the market men and women made it worth many visits.
Every one was out to enjoy the evening's daylight till 11:00 o'clock p. m. Bands of musicians played every night till midnight, regardless of weather conditions. Bergen has the record of “rain every day." The rain fall there annually is seventy-two inches.
One day we took a trip by steam cars and a long walk. We saw some of the sod roofed houses.
In little patches (you could not call them gardens), they were raising Norway spruce and pine trees, from the seeds, to ship. The trees were not over two inches high.
It was here that I first saw the typical Norway haying. The whole family go to the field with scythes, rakes and poles, the latter to make a pole fence on which to cure the hay. The poles are placed on stakes and are about ten inches apart, As soon as the grass is cut it is strung on these poles, When finished it is five or six feet high and looks like a grass wall Some
cannot afford poles; they make a fiber rope, stringing it between the stakes and using it in the same way as the poles. The poles are carefully cared for from year to year.
From Bergen we went north, mostly among the islands and fjords, making many stops. We saw many humble homes in sheltered places under the hills and mountains; their little fields, not as large as a good-sized church room, made us wonder what they lived on. We saw some fine estates that had had good care for ages; they had numerous buildings, stone spring houses, wharves and warehouses. The fields showed by their color the grains, grass and clover.
I never such large full heads of red clover as I saw in Norway. With a glass we could see the stock grazing and nearly always a woman dressed in black going to or from the spring. She would carry two pails suspended from a yoke on her shoulders. North of the Artic Circle, most of the mountains are picturesque, pointed in shape, often rising immediately from the sea. So far as not covered with snow they are clothed with a green moss. There is no lack of barren rocks. The growth of trees in these northern regions is scanty. There is an abundance of fresh vegetation, owing to the dampness of the summers and the mildness of the winters. Sheep and other animals can remain in the open air all the year round. Churches on the various islands seem to be guides as lighthouses are on our shores.
Tromso is a town of seven thousand, about two hundred and twenty-five miles south of the North Cape. The trees here are mountain ash, wild cherry and birch, which attain a surprising size. Leaves on the same kind of trees here are much larger than farther south. Here we saw, for the first time on this trip Laplanders (after visiting the town and the most northerly museum in the world). We were interested in watching a flirtation between two Lapps. There is a Lapp encampment near Tromso. They own a herd of two thousand or three thousand reindeers, which graze on the hills, and are caught by a lasso thrown over their horns. The reindeers are milked but twice a week, the rich and rather gamy milk, one of the Lapp's chief articles of diet, is diluted with water before using. The milk is strong and thick as if it had been beaten up with eggs.
Through the long day of months the street lamp posts in Tromso are taken down and stored, as they are targets for stones which all small boys like to throw. Since they have an electric plant the long night of months is made into regular day and night of twenty-four hours.
Steaming away on our journey north we passed by the entrance to Altenfjord, which locality is remarkable for its rich vegetation. It is the most northern point on the globe where agriculture is carried on; beautiful foliage trees, and wild strawberries are found here, potatoes flourish too. Altenfjord is where the plot of “Thelma” is laid. At Hammerfest, the most northerly town in the world, vegetation is so scanty that a patch of grass, which might be covered with an ordinary sized newspaper, would be hailed as a meadow. In the windows of homes and shops geraniums, pinks, and roses were in bloom, the latter as beautiful as any I ever saw-not many on the small bush-and we stopped to admire the flowers, and a native woman in the home cut off a beautiful white rose and brought it out, giving it to one in our party. Still seventy-eight miles further on, at the North Cape, many flowers grow. I had a pretty bouquet picked at the North Cape. The charms of the midnight sun as seen from the North Cape have been described in graphic language by authors, poets and orators, but to see it as we did last July makes the description very tame.
We returned eighteen hundred miles south by different fjords and making other stops. You may judge after four weeks on the water we looked forward with delight to starting on nearly a week's drive, on government roads, diagonally across Norway with ponies and stolkjarres, the native cart for two passengers, the driver sitting behind driving, generally with small rope lines. Rope and string form a large part of some of the harnesses. A typical Norway pony is between a cream and sorrel in color, the mane is cut short; in the center it is about five inches long tapering to one and one-half inches at the head and body making a crescent brush, also it makes the arch to the neck seem higher; they have kind faces; are gentle and sure footed; they are treated kindly, not even a harsh word spoken to them. In going up grades the drivers walked. To stop the ponies the driver makes a noise that sounds something like bur-r-r-r-r. .
The houses are mostly of hewn logs, with mitered corners, the cracks filled with mud and moss, roofs are, first, birch bark, then turf from five to seven inches thick, from which grow daisies, johnny-jump-ups, clover, grass and sometimes a tree. There was almost always water dripping between the turf and bark.
We ascended over three thousand feet one forenoon and in the mountains saw another feature in haying. Small plateaus well up on the mountains would have grass growing on them. To get the hay down the rough mountain side they had trollies, as they are called, to their barns in the valley. They bundle the hay from these plateaus and attach the bundles to a pulley on the wire, or trolley, and it goes down to the barns. It was a common sight to see these bundles going through the air from different heights to different barns. Another set of trollies from the storing barns down to the warehouses on the wharves deliver the hay ready to ship. This was the system used in all the mountains. I did not see a large meadow in Norway, only here a patch and there a patch.
Just at the edge of the perpetual snows, grows a small plant called "multiberry'; the leaves are between our strawberries and raspberries; the flowers are white, not in clusters. Our driver picked some berries for us, and we found them something like a white raspberry with larger seeds. When in Christiana I had them quite often with sweet cream. All through Norway, yes, and into Russia, berries were served in large soup plates with thick sweet cream from large pitchers, like water pitchers.
The flora of these regions is beautiful and contrasted prettily with the snow; violets are a much darker blue, and forget-me-nots larger than with us.
Through the snowy section at each side of the way, were poles much higher than our telephone poles, to mark the way when the heavy winter snows come.
After we passed over the top of the mountain the descent was full of interest. The road followed the Otto river from its head; the changes are very marked; there are trees all knotted and twisted by the heavy winds, some trees with no limbs at all on the windside. High in the hills and mountains are many "satero" (pastures) where stock are sent for the summer. The cows in Norway are small but can climb the mountain side as well as goats. The vegetation here is so good that they prefer to feed even at the risk of losing some of the stock by rolling stones or avalanches overtaking them. Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs all graze together on the mountain sides. The pigs have long tails curling along their backs and their ears look like large curled wigs.
We often came to places by the stream where there were from seventyfive to one hundred milk cans, such as are used here in shipping milk, also many pails, sometimes a cream house, and sometimes the cans would be by the rocks in the running water; it was all very clean and the tin shone in the sunlight, but never a person about, only sometimes someone watching the herds.
On the east side of the mountains there is less rain and the farms have to be irrigated. Wooden troughs were laid in the fields, the head water coming from the melting snows or a spring. They have a wooden spade, we will call it, the spade part about six inches wide and from eighteen to twenty-four inches long, and with a scoop and swinging motion they take the water from the trough and throw it, first on one side of the trough and then on the other. The strip covered was about thirty feet, the troughs being moved on until all the field is given a shower. The same places are used for the troughs each time.
The families for generations have their buildings all together, the oldest son staying with the father, other houses are added from time to time till the farm houses and buildings look like villages.
Fences are made of limbs or small trees, not over five inches in diameter. Some are made from smaller limbs from two to three inches in diameter, woven together with still smaller limbs. We found the inhabitants very hospitable and civil, with good education and large experiences which were interesting to hear.
Norway has twenty-five thousand seven hundred and fifty English square miles of forests, chiefly pines. The wood is valuable, owing to the closeness of the rings which marks the annual growth. "Next to the pine are the oak, birch, elm and beech. Other trees occur but not in forests. Apple, plum and cherries, currants, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries and bilberries grow in Norway. Wheat, rye, barley and oats are the grains. The cultivated land in Norway occupies only ten hundred and seventy-four English square miles, A kind of sorrel is largely cultivated as a substitute for corn; it is kept in a frozen condition in winter and boiled down to a pulp for use, being frequently mixed with flour and made into "flat brod.” In the southern part of the country the "flat brod” is usually made of wheat or barley flour mixed with mashed potatoes.
Soon after entering Sweden we went through a fine valley. The farms and country looked very different from any we had seen. My first impression was that the stock was highly educated, as the fields of grain, clover, etc., were not separated from the pastures. There were no fences. The cows were lying down, all the same distance apart and just the same distance from the grain field. A man had entered the field with horses and a tank wagon with a trough across the back end; he drove along and stopped by the first cow; as he drove on the second cow arose and was ready for her morning drink as soon as the wagon reached her, and so on, no time being lost. A few days later, by nearer observation I learned that all stock was staked with ropes or chains and could go no further, then I comprehended that the stock had not been so highly educated, but whatever education they had was a case of compulsory education.
From the canal we could see many beautiful farms. Every farm and small place has its peat field. We saw it in a few blocks, in large piles, and in ship loads being put into the drying house to be made ready for fuel, for large shops building machinery and engines.
For rest, pleasure and interest I would suggest the Gotha canal trip across Sweden to Stockholm.
From Stockohlm we went across the Baltic Sea, up the Gulf of Finland to St. Petersburg, in Russia.
Soon after we were located in St. Petersburg, three of us (all women) went out alone to see what we could find of interest. The first to attract attention was the cab, or drosky, a kind of diminutive victoria, hung very
low, by far the easiest to ride in of any vehicle we found on the trip. The shafts are held together by a heavy wooden arch passing over the horse's head. The driver wears a sort of dark blue dressing gown with a bright belt; his hat recalls the old-fashioned beaver. The cab horses are usually sturdy little creatures of the Finnish breed, while horses driven in private carriages are Bessarabian, large magnificent animals. It is a fine sight to see them racing along with their dashing gait, their long tails floating in the wind. The cabmen drive without whips, using the ends of the reins instead, which are finished with a tassel of ribbons. In driving single or double they have two reins to each horse.
The variety of costumes seen on the street surpassed anything we had seen in coloring and number. The women are very small. We went to Nevski Prospect, one of the finest streets in the world, where the street life of the city is better seen than anywhere else. It is very wide and extends in a straight line for three miles. We were impressed with the number of men and boys on the street among the pedestrians. Girls are seldom seen on the streets and women never, unless they have something to do.
We were busy watching the driving, looking in shop windows, etc. We ventured shopping to the extent of a few postal cards, some Russian candy and some strawberries. We crossed the Nevski, which we deemed quite a feat. The government looks out for and protects the driver, but pedestrians must look out for themselves and if hurt or even killed they are fined heavily. The horses are driven violently and they turn to the left instead of to the right in meeting which made it all the more confusing for us.
We went into a park, enjoyed the berries and the sight of the people, crossed the street again and back to the hotel safely.
All houses here are built with double windows. Some houses are large, you may imagine, as one hundred and twenty servants are not thought superfluous.
From St. Petersburg we went by the express train to Moscow. The country was different and was merged in a vast prairie ere we reached Moscow. Moscow is the city of interest. Our time was well used here. The driving was not as pleasant, for many of the streets were cobble stones, making it rough and noisy. I will only tell of one building in this vast city of interest, that is the riding school of Moscow. It is celebrated as being the “largest room in the world whose roof is unsupported by pillars or props.” It is said that “two regiments of cavalry can go through their drills, maneuvers and evolutions at the same time in this room." All we saw of the war was at Cronstadt. The Baltic fleet lay in the harbor manned and ready to start for the seat of war at any moment, troops were mobilizing in St. Petersburg and leaving every midnight.
From Moscow to Warsaw was nearly nine hundred miles through an agricultural country, with villages built to lodge the farm laborers, and with forests that cover more land than is contained in the cultivated area. We had not seen such vast fields of grain and stubble (it was late in the harvest season). The Holland windmill is used to aid in irrigation. We passed through the best part of agricultural Poland and saw peasants at work in the field. The number of women at work seemed large. While the peasants' houses are as small as those in Russia, here there is more cheerfulness, the gay colors and variety of the Polish peasant women's costumes adds to this. Coming direct from Russia we were impressed by the fine looking Polish people. Warsaw is the great industrial heart of Poland. By reason of their greater intelligence the Polish factory workers can outstrip those of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Poland is one of the fairest provinces of the empire, and in