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SCRAPS FROM SCANDINAVIA.
A VISIT TO THE LAPS.
WHEN in Saltdalen we learnt that there had been an encampment of "Laps' there a fortnight previously. But as their reindeer do not thrive in the neighbourhood of the sea, their stay was very short. Our plans did not admit of our crossing the country to Lapland, at this point, or even penetrating to the loftier mountains in Nordland, so that we did not encounter any of this interesting race in their more ordinary haunts. There are, however, farther south, in the mountain-ridge which forms the back-bone of the peninsula, scattered parties of Laps. Some of these we resolved, in our southward journey, to visit. The interest attaching to this peculiar people may warrant us in giving a somewhat circumstantial account of this expedition.
The old town of Roeraas, long celebrated for its copper mines, lies two days' journey to the south-east of Trondhjem. Having reached this point we found ourselves within easy reach of the Swedish frontier. Here we gained what information we could as to the places in the neighbourhood where companies of Laps held their present encampments. Their roving habits make it at times no easy matter to find them, even when they are known to be not far off. We ascertained that there were three or four points, within a day's journey, where Lappish encampments had been recently seen, and were supposed still to remain. Some of these were on the Norwegian, and some on the Swedish slopes of the mountains. We resolved to visit one of these within the Swedish territory, in a mountain solitude called Malmagslige. Roeraas was the only place where we were subjected to serious annoyance, from exorbitant exactions-the peasant-proprietors of the horses being remarkable exceptions to the spirit of moderation and equity by which their countrymen are generally characterized. All preliminaries were, however, concluded at length, and on the 27th of July, at seven o'clock in the
morning, we found ourselves rattling through the streets of Roeraas, amid a crowd of gazers. Our party received a pleasant accession in some young Oxonians, consisted of ten individuals, besides our guides. We were conveyed in two large carriages (large for that country), and two carrioles. The carrioles are after the fashion of comfortable arm-chairs, slung on a pair of wheels, and accommodate only one. They are admirably fitted for the hilly roads of the country, and travelling in them affords a good deal of the excitement and exhilaration, without the fatigue, of riding. Our course was one of gradual ascent, through a wild hilly country, and along the banks of a series of mountain-lakes; the wooding being spare and gradually diminishing as we ascended. After a pleasant drive of some twenty miles, we reached a scattered village at the world's end, called Brecken, where we were overtaken by a heavy thunder-storm, a thing of unfrequent occurrence in these latitudes. We found shelter in a small farm-house, picturesquely situated on the banks of a rapid stream; from which, when the storm was over, some of our party supplied us with a dish of beautiful trout, the larder of the farm furnishing milk, potatoes, and "flad-broed," a kind of wafer-thin cake, made of barley and oatmeal, which is the ordinary, and, in most places, the only form of bread throughout the country. The farmer's wife had been sick, but was convalescent, a fortunate circumstance, as medical aid is not to be had nearer than Roeraus. She seemed glad of a few kindly words spoken to her about the land where the inhabitants shall no more say, "I am sick."
Thus far we had come by a new road, which is being constructed between Roeraas and Sweden. It is completed only as far as Brecken. Here, therefore, we left our carriages, and, the storm being over, set forth, some on foot, and
others on horseback, having brought saddles with us for the purpose, under the direction of our intelligent guide, Erasmus. A wild and scrambling track conducted us through low forest and brushwood, now by swampy flat, and now by rocky elevation, to the frontier. It is marked only by a line cut out in the slender birch-wood. The scene was wild and striking, but the Fjelds on either side of us were not seen to advantage, as we ourselves viewed them from an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet. Following the course of a mountain-torrent, we at length reached the solitary house called Malmag's-gaard, which serves as a restingplace for the traveller. It stands on the margin of a wide and lonely lake. Here all doubt as to our success in finding the Laps was banished, for on entering the court we saw a little old man standing, whose features, stature, and clothing, left no room for doubt as to his being one of this singular race. He was, in fact, from the neighbouring encampment, to which he willingly undertook to guide us. At the same time Cnut (Canute), a boy belonging to the house, of ten or eleven years old, volunteered to accompany us. He was a beautiful boy, the very picture of a mountaineer-with his leathern jacket, his long leathern boots, and his picturesque red cap. The elasticity of his step, the brightness of his eye, the quick intelligence of his remarks, the acuteness of his observation, made this bright little Cnut a very singular contrast to the flat-faced, dull-eyed old Lap, Johan, by whose side he tripped along. Leaving our horses at Malmag, we traversed the marshy hill-side, which the lake drains, passing the wild saeter or summer farm-station of Malmagslige; and after a stiff walk through the low and spiry forest of gnarled buck-wood, we found ourselves upon a rather more open slope of the mountain, which stretched down to the lake below us, and upwards to a great height above us. This was the spot we were in quest of. It was evening when we reached it--the time when the rein-deer are gathered in from their mountain pastures to be
The herd belonging to this company amounted to about 300. The Laps do not much like being asked the number of their herd-which is pretty much equivalent to being asked how rich they are. A circular space, of perhaps forty or fifty yards in diameter, was paled in
with a rude fence of birch. In this the greater part of the herd were confined, while soine, not yet secured, were seen gracefully bounding down the mountainside. Entering the enclosure, the scene was picturesque and animated in the extreme. The beautiful animals, of all ages, from the sturdy old buck with his towering antlers and haughty bearing, to the frolicsome kid of a few months or weeks, were moving gracefully about within the narrow limits of their present confinement. One could never weary of admiring the symmetry of their forms, and the grace of their movements. Some fifteen or sixteen Laps were busily employed amongst them; and as we looked at the men and the beasts which the enclosure contained, it did strike us as curious that men so low in the scale of humanity as the Laps should be the sole and exclusive masters of so noble a race of animals as those now before us. Here and there a man was seen going about with a light rope, which he threw round the neck of the deer which was to be milked, and with great dexterity and speed passed it round the face of the animal, so as to extemporize a perfect hälter. This he fastened to one of the slim birch stems which abounded within as without the enclosure, and one of the women came and milked the animal. The quantity of milk is not great, the whole herd barely yielding enough to fill two copper vessels of very moderate dimensions. In being put into these it is strained through grass-roots, as poured from the wooden vessels in which it is first received. If, however, the quantity is not great, the quality makes ample amends. It is delicious, being as thick and rich as the best cream, as we found when courteously invited to partake. During the process of milking, the young animals were muzzled.
(To be concluded in next number.)
MARION HARVEY was a servant-girl in Borrowstounness. Her father, who lived in that village, appears to have been a man of piety, and had sworn the National Covenant and Solemn League. It may, therefore, be presumed that she had received a religious education. But it was not till she had passed her fourteenth or fifteenth year that her attention was turned, in good earnest, to Divine and eternal
things. Previous to that period, thoughtless about God and her own spiritual interests, she had conducted herself like thoughtless young people; yea, she tells us that, in the fourteenth or fifteenth year of her age, she was a blasphemer and Sabbath-breaker." About this time, however, a decided change took place upon her character. Attracted by curiosity, or following the crowd, she began to attend Meetings for the preaching of the Gospel in the fields, which had become very frequent in the part of the country where she lived, as well as extremely popular-thousands flocking to hear the persecuted ministers. These conventicles, as they were nick-named, though denounced by the Government, and prohibited, under the penalty of death to the minister, and severe penaltics to the hearers, were accompanied with signal tokens of the Divine approbation; and among the many thousands who, by their instrumentality, were brought to the saving knowledge of Christ, was the subject of this notice. The change produced upon her character soon became apparent in her life. She left off hearing the curates, whose ministry she had formerly attended without scruple; she venerated the name of God, which she had formerly blasphemed; she sanctified the Sabbath, which she had formerly desecrated; and she delighted in reading the Bible, which she had formerly neglected and undervalued. Among the ministers whom she heard at these field Meetings were, Mr. John Welsh, Mr. Archibald Riddell, Mr. Donald Cargill, and Mr. Richard Cameron. In her examination before the Privy Council, she expresses how much spiritual profit she had derived from the sermons of these worthy men; and in her dying testimony she says, "I bless the Lord that ever I heard Mr. Cargill, that faithful servant of Jesus Christ: I bless the Lord that ever I heard Mr. Richard Cameron; my soul has been refreshed with the hearing of him, particularly at a communion in Carrick, on these words, in Psalm lxxxv. 8: 'The Lord will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints but let them not turn again to folly.' The two last of these ministers separated from the rest of the Presbyterian ministers, forming a party by themselves, and to this party Marion Harvey was a zealous adherent.
Like many others in those unhappy times, she fell into the hands of the Government, through the malignity and avarice of a base informer. One of this class, named James Henderson, who lived in North Queensferry, and who was habit and repute in such infamous transactions, had informed against her, for which he received a sum of money; and when going out of Edinburgh, to hear a sermon to be preached in the fields by one
"Who grounded you in these principles ?” "Christ, by his Word."
"Did not ministers ground you in these ?" "When the ministers preached the Word, the Spirit of God backed and confirmed it to me."
"Did you ever see Mr. John Welsh?" "Yes; my soul hath been refreshed by hearing him."
"Have you ever heard Mr. Archibald Riddell ?"
"Yes; and I bless the Lord that ever I heard him."
"Do you approve of the killing the lord St. Andrew's?"
"In so far as the Lord raised up instruments to execute his just judgments upon him, I have nothing to say against it; for he was a perjured wretch, and a betrayer of the Kirk of Scotland."
"What age are you of?"
I cannot tell."
They said among themselves, that she would be about twenty years of age, and began to regret her case, and said to her, "Will you cast away [your] self so?"
"I love my life as well as any of you do, but will not redeem it upon sinful terms; for Christ says, 'He that seeks to save his life shall lose it.'"
For the opinions expressed in these answers, the Government were resolved to take the life of this inoffensive girl. But as the confession of her holding such opinions could only become judicial, and be used in judgment against her, when made before the Lords of Justiciary, she was next, in conformity with the usual practice, brought before them on the 6th of Dec., 1680, to undergo a similar examination. On her being brought before them, and
examined, the answers she gave were substantially the same as those she had given when examined before the Privy Council; and on the sole ground of this confession, an indictment was drawn up against her, and she was brought to trial on the 17th of January, 1681.
Her indictment having been read, she was asked if she pleaded guilty to the charges it contained, to which she answered in the affirmative. They next successively read the Sanquhar Declaration, and the Queensferry Paper, asking her at the close of the reading of each paper, if she owned it: to which she answered that she did. She then protested before the Court, that they had nothing to say against her as to matter of fact, but only that she owned Christ and his truth; to which they made no reply, but called the jury, who showed considerable reluctance to appear. She offered no objections to any of the jury, but on their taking their places, she addressed them in these words: "Now beware what you are doing, for they have nothing to say against me, but only for owning Jesus Christ and his persecuted truths; for you will get my blood upon your heads." The Court then proceeded with the evidence against her. But the only proof which the prosecutor, his Majesty's advocate, could adduce, was her own confession before the Lords of Justiciary.
The Lords delayed the pronouncing of her sentence upon her till Friday at twelve o'clock, being the 21st of the current month. On the minute of delay being read, she said, "I charge you before the tribunal of God, as ye shall answer there! for ye have nothing to say against me but for my owning the persecuted Gospel."
On the 21st, she was again brought before the Court to receive her sentence, which was, that she "be taken to the Grassmarket of Edinburgh upon Wednesday next, the 26th instant, betwixt two and four o'clock in the afternoon, and there to be hanged on a gibbet till she be dead, and all her lands, heritage, goods, and gear whatsomever, to be escheat and inbrought to our sovereign Lord's use, which was pronounced for doom."
Tolbooth of Edinburgh, the Woman House on the east side of the prison, January 21st, 1681," she begins as follows:-" Christian Friends and Acquaintances,-I being to lay down my life on Wednesday next, January 26, I thought fit to let it be known to the world wherefore I lay down my life; and to let it be seen that I die not as a fool, or an evil-doer, or as a busy-body in other men's matters. No; it is for adhering to the truths of Jesus Christ, and avowing him to be King in Zion, and Head of his Church; and the testimony against the ungodly laws of men, and their robbing Christ of his rights, and usurping his prerogative Royal, which I durst not but testify against."
On the day of her execution, Marion not only retained her composure, but experienced the utmost joy in the anticipation of future felicity. When coming out of the Tolbooth door to go to the council-house, whence she was to be conducted to the place of execution, she said, to some friends attending her, in a tone of heavenly joy and ecstasy, at once surprising and delightful to them, "Behold, I hear my Beloved saying unto me, Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." In the council house, a base and heartless attempt was made, by Bishop Paterson, to disturb her tranquillity, and the tranquillity of her fellow sufferer in the same cause, Isabel Alison. This man, who had an active hand in bringing them to the scaffold, and who, with a meanness and wanton cruelty worthy of a persecutor, had brought a curate with him to the council house, for the express purpose of annoying them, said to Marion Harvey, " Marion, you said you would never hear a curate, now you shall be forced to hear one:" upon which he called on the curate to pray. This cruel insult, offered to them when placed in circumstances calculated to excite the deepest commiseration, was met by the sufferers with becoming spirit. They made no reply to the bishop, but as soon as the curate began to pray, Marion said to her fellowmartyr, "Come, Isabel, let us sing the 23d Psalm," which they accordingly didMarion repeating the Psalm line by line without the book-which drowned the curate's voice, and confounded both him and the bishop. When they were brought to the scaffold, a second attempt was made to harass their feelings and disturb their
During the whole of the proceedings now detailed, Marion betrayed no symptoms of wavering, hesitation, or timidity; and now when her days on earth were numbered when she had only five brief days to live-composure in their last moments, by one she maintained to the last her Christian fortitude. The testimony of her conscience that she had done nothing worthy of death, and that she was in reality doomed to die on the scaffold for her adherence to the truths of Christ, was to her a source of great satisfaction. In her dying testimony which she left behind her, dated "from the
of the Prelatic curates of the city, who came to pray with the five women condemned to be executed at the same time for childmurder. This man, who appears to have had neither correct views of religion, nor humane feelings, flattered these five murderers with the hope of heaven, though they had given no evidence of repentance, while
he vehemently railed on our two martyrs, and remorselessly told them that they were on the road to damnation. But they remained unmoved; "the peace of God that passeth all understanding, kept their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." On the scaffold, Marion sung the 84th Psalm, and read a chapter of Malachi; after which she shortly addressed the vast crowd of spectators. "I am come here to-day," she said, "for avowing Christ to be head of his Church, and King in Zion. O seek Him, sirs! seek Him, and ye shall find Him; I sought Him, and found Him; I held Him, and would not let Him go." Then she briefly narrated the manner in which she was apprehended, and the leading questions put to her by the Privy Council, with the answers she returned. "They asked me if I adhered to the papers gotten at the Ferry? I said I did own them, and all the rest of Christ's truths. If I would have denied any of them, my life was in my offer; but I durst not do it, no, not for my soul. Ere I wanted an hour of his presence, I had rather die ten deaths. I durst not speak against Him, lest I should have sinned against God. I adhere to the Bible, and Confession of Faith, Catechisms, and Covenants, which are according to the Bible." But in her dying speech, she chiefly spoke of God's love to her, and in commendation of free grace. "Much of the Lord's presence," said she, "have I enjoyed in prison; and now I bless the Lord the snare is broken, and we are escaped." When she came to the foot of the ladder, she engaged in prayer; and, on going up the ladder, she exclaimed, "O my fair one, my lovely one, come away;" and sitting down upon it, she said, "I am not come here for murder, for they have no matter of fact to charge me with, but only my judgment. I am about twenty years of age; at fourteen or fifteen I was a hearer of the curates, and indulged; and while I was a hearer of these, I was a blasphemer and Sabbathbreaker, and a chapter of the Bible was a burden to me; but since I heard this persecuted Gospel, I durst not blaspheme nor break the Sabbath, and the Bible became my delight." These were her last words. -Ladies of the Covenant.
SABBATH READING FOR THE POOR. THE following paper-which was read at a Meeting of the Sabbath-school teachers in the London Presbytery, held on the 9th December last-needs no introduction; it speaks for itself. It shows the value of a good suggestion; and also, how very much it is possible to do for
our poorer brethren, by a little prayerful exertion, and prudent painstaking. We do not insert it here for the purpose of blazoning forth these deeds of mercy, but solely for the purpose of inducing others to go and do likewise. But let the worker speak for herself:"During the Meeting of Presbyterian Sabbath-school teachers, Hotel, in April, 1852, remarks were at Radley's made by some of the speakers on the great importance of seeking, not only the spiritual welfare of the children committed to their care, but also that of their parents.
"These remarks led a teacher, who was present, to think, what can I do for the parents connected with our Sabbathschool? And the following plan for promoting their moral and spiritual interests was decided upon-and tried.
"To endeavour to introduce religious magazines into the different families, with a view to provide suitable Sabbath reading, and to supersede, or at least provide the form of newspapers and other publicaan antidote against, the trash which, in tions, it is well known is largely read by our poor people.
"To exercise a wholesome moral in
fluence over those visited, to induce absentees to attend the house of God; to supply Bibles where they were needed; and, above all, to seize opportunities for personal conversation with mothers, regarding the state of their souls before God, were important parts of the design.
"Trusting in the promise, Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established,' the attempt was made; and though it is felt that if more time had been bestowed, greater faith and courage exercised, and more earnest prayer accompanied the effort, larger results would have been attained; yet the blessing of God has rested on the means, and, in several instances, the ends sought have been effected.
"The Magazines circulated are, the 'Treasury,' 'Tract Magazine,' 'Mother's Friend,' and Child's Companion.' The have little time, and sometimes little will pages are always cut open, for the poor for any trouble; and some striking paper on the truths of Christianity is inserted.
"With the assistance of two or three kind friends the following number of magazines has been carried to, and purchased by, our mothers. From April, 1852, to the present date,-2,407, for a