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scene. Rock-bound islands, upon which the surf breaks with an unceasing moan; points and promontories covered with dark forests; a rugged coast, dimly looming through the mist; innumerable sea-gulls whirling and screaming over the dizzy pinnacles, are its principal features. While I was seated on a bank of moss near the Observatory, enjoying the beauties of the scene, strains of music were wafted up on the breeze from the shady recesses of the Botanical Gardens, toward which I saw that the citizens were wending their way. It was Sunday, which here as well as in Germany is a day of recreation. I took a by-path and speedily joined the crowd. The people of every degree are well dressed and respectable, and I was somewhat surprised to find so much politeness, cultivation, and intelligence in such an out-ofthe-way part of the world. The music was excellent, and the display of style and fashion in the gardens was quite equal to any thing I had seen in my European travels. From what little I saw of the Finns, I was greatly prepossessed in their favor. They seem to me to be a primitive, substantial, and reliable race, strong in their affections, kind and hospitable toward strangers, amiable and inoffensive, yet brave and patriotic-hating the Russians with a cordiality truly refreshing. I formed a casual acquaintance with several of them during my rambles about the Garden. No sooner did they discern my nationality than they gave me to understand that their Constitution had been violated, their liberties trampled under foot, their rights disregarded, and their patience under all these injuries misconstrued. “We only await an opportunity,” they said, “to prove to the world that we are still a free-born people. The time is not distant. In the heart of every Finn burns the spirit of a freeman and a patriot! We are not a race doomed to slavery. You who are an American can understand us! We only want a chance to cast off the chains of despotism which now oppress us. It is coming: we are overpowered now, but not conquered! We hate the Russians! No true Finn can ever amalgamate with such a race!”
This was the strain in which I was constantly addressed. Notwithstanding the electoral privileges guaranteed to the Finns under their Constitution, and the fact that many of the municipal offices are filled by themselves, there is no more community of interest between them and their rulers than between the Italians and the Austrians. Their hatred of the government and of all its concomitants is implacable. It seemed a luxury to some of these poor people to find a sympathizing listener. I met many intelligent Finns, both in Helsingfors and Abo, who spoke good English, and never conversed with one for five minutes without hearing the same strong expressions of dislike to the present condition of affairs, and sanguine hopes for the future. There is only hope for them, that I can see—that the emancipation of the serfs may lead to the establishment of a more liberal system of government throughout the Russian dominions. All hopes based upon isolated revolutions are futile.
A BATHİNG SCENE. I DEVOTED the afternoon to a stroll on the sea-shore, which presents many interesting features in the neighborhood of Helsingfors. A considerable portion of the town, as already stated, is built upon immense boulders of solid rock, and some of the streets are entirely impracticable for wheeled vehicles, owing to the rugged masses of stone with which Nature has thought proper to pave them. Indeed, it is no easy task for a pedestrian to make his way through the suburbs, over the tremendous slippery boulders that lie scattered over the earth in every direction, the trail being in some instances higher than the houses. I can not conceive how people can travel over such streets in wet weather; it seems a task only fit for goats under favorable circumstances; but the Finns are an ingenious people, and probably ride on the backs of the goats when walking is impracticable. Passing the straggling lines of fishermen's huts forming the outskirts of the town, I rambled over two or three miles of rocky fields till I found myself on the shores of the gulf, at a point sufficiently lonesome and desolate to be a thousand miles from any inhabited portion of the globe. Taking possession of a natural chair, worn in the rocks by the rains of many centuries, I seated myself upon its mossy cushion, and, baring my head to the pleasant seabreeze, quietly enjoyed the scene. Perhaps this very seat was the throne of an old viking! Here were sea-shells, and glittering pebbles, and tufts of moss for his crown; and here were sea-gulls to make music for him, and the spray from the wild waves to keep him cool; and a thousand rock-bound islands, lying outspread to the north, with grottoes in them for his ships; and piles upon piles of rocky palaces all around, covered with golden roofs of moss; and every thing, in short, that could make glad the heart of a grim old viking residing on the edge of the arctic circle. And if this summer scene, with its blue sea, and wood-capped islands, and warm sun, and balmy breeze, could not make glad his heart, it would not be difficult to imagine what changes winter could bring over it, and how the old viking, sitting on his throne by the sea-shore, could enjoy the dead and icy waste before him; and how the winter drifts would whistle through his hair; and how cheery the jagged rocks would look peeping up out of the snow-drifts; and how balmy would be the night-air at sixty degrees below freezing-point; and how the old viking would shake his beard with laughter as he warmed his hands in a midday sun, only ten feet above the horizon, and make the icicles rattle on his chin; and sit thus laughing and blowing his fingers, and rattling his icy beard, and saying to himself, “What a blessing to be a Finlander! How horribly the natives of Spain and Italy must suffer from bad climate! What a pity it is Finland is not large enough to accommodate the whole human race.” With such thoughts as these I amused myself for some time, soothed and charmed by the pleasant sea-breeze and the music of the waves upon the rocks. The air was deliciously pure, and the odor of the sea-weeds had something in it so healthful and inspiring that I was insensibly carried back to by-gone days. How short a time it seemed since I was a wanderer upon the rock-bound shores of Juan Fernandez, yet how many strange scenes I had passed through since then-how much of the world I had seen, with its toils, and troubles, and vicissitudes! Here I was now, after years of travel in every clime, among the various nations of the earth, sitting solitary and alone upon an isolated rock on the shores of Finland! Whither was I going? What was the object ? Where was the result ? When was it to end? Years were creeping over me; I was no longer in the heyday of youth, yet the vague aspirations of boyhood still clung to methe insatiable craving to see more and more of the world V -the undefined hope that I would yet live to be cast away upon a desolate island, and become a worthy disciple of the immortal Robinson Crusoe! Ah me! What a lonesome feeling it is to be a visionary, enthusiastic boy all one's life, in this practical world of dollars and cents, where other boys are men, and men forget that they ever were young! But this, you say, is all sentimental nonsense. Of course it is. I admit the full folly of such thoughts. It would be a pitiable spectacle indeed to see every body inspired by the vagabond spirit of Robinson Crusoe. No doubt, if you were sitting upon a rock on the Gulf of Finland, my respected Californian friend, you would be hammering off the croppings and trying to discover the indications. You consider that the true philosophy of life—to dig, and delve, and burrow in the ground, and get gold and silver out of it, and suffer rheumatism in your bones and cramps in your
stomach, and wear out your life in a practical way, while we visionaries are dreaming sentimental nonsense! But, after all, does the one pay any better than the other in the long run? Will gold or silver make you see farther into a millstone, or give you a better appetite, or put youth and health into your veins, or cause you to sleep more soundly of nights, or prolong your life to an indefinite period beyond the span allotted to the average of mankind ? Will you never be convinced of the truth of these inspired words, which can not be repeated too often: As you brought nothing into the world, so you can take nothing out of it?
Come, then, let us be young again, and dash into the blue waters of Finland, and buffet the sparkling brine as it seethes and boils over the rocks! Away with your gold and your silver, and your toils and cares, and let us play Robinson Crusoe and Friday here in this solitary little glen, where “our right there is none to dispute”— unless it may be the Czar of Russia. Off with your shirt, your boots, your drawers, your all, and be for once a genuine savage-be my man Friday, and I'll teach you how to enjoy life. Ye gods! doesn't it feel fine—that plunge in the foaming brine! Why, you look like a boiled lobster already; the glow of health is all over you; your eyes sparkle, your skin glistens; you shoot out the salt sea-spray from your nostrils in a manner that would surprise any porpoise; you whoop and you yell like a young devil let loose! Never in the world would I take you to be a hard, money-making, lucre-loving man! Why, my dear Friday, you are a perfect jewel of a savage! I didn't know it was you, and doubt if you knew it yourself! Isn't it glorious ? I feel a thousand years younger! Don't you hear me singing,
“Oh, poor Robinson Crusoe !
Tinky ting tang, tinky ting tang,
Oh, poor Robinson Crusoe !" But the water is rather fresh-considering how much salt there is in it. We had better take a race over the