September 24, 2016

“The Fenni live in a state of amazing savageness and squalid poverty. They are destitute of arms, horses and settled abodes: their food is herbs; their cloathing, skins; their bed, the ground. Their only dependence is on their arrows, which, for want of iron, are headed with bone; and the chace is the support of the women as well as the men, who wander with them in the pursuit, and demand a share of the prey. Nor do they provide any other shelter for their infants from the wild beasts and storms, than a covering of branches twisted together. This is the resort of youth; this is the receptacle of old age.” ~ Tacitus, Germania. Translation by J. Aiken.

“Not such the sons of Lapland; wisely they \ despise the insensate barbarous trade of war; \ they ask no more than simple Nature gives, \ they love their mountains and enjoy their storms. \ No false desires, no pride-crated wants, \ disturb the peaceful current of their time, \ and through the restless ever-tortured maze \ of pleasure or ambition bid it rage.” ~ “Winter”, Thomson.

“The vicissitudes of sovereignty, the change of masters, affect this race of man as little as they affect the wolves, whose troops occupy their magnificent pine-tree forests, or the seals that play about the borders of the Bothnian Sea.” ~ J. Bowring.

“Yet even in these remote and inclement kingdoms, are the seeds of knowledge scattered; and if the mind receives no pleasure from the reflection of their past greatness or refinement, yet may it be enlarged and improved from the consideration of their present comparative power and importance in the scale of Europe.” ~ N. W. Wraxall

“Whenever the Finns were mentioned in conversation, the inhabitants shake their heads, ascribing to them , or to their influence, all deeds of anger, lust, violence, and drunkenness.” ~ Edward Daniel Clarke

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