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Lachesis Lapponica A Tour in Lapland   By: (1707-1778)

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Transcriber's Notes

In this Plain Text version symbols from ASCII and Latin 1 character sets are used, with the following substitutions for different typefaces and special characters:

Italic typeface is represented by surrounding underscores . Small caps typeface is represented by UPPER CASE. Superscript characters are indicated by a preceding carat (^).

[beta], [gamma], [lambda], [kappa] represent single greek characters. [OE] and [oe] represent oe ligatures (upper and lower case). [)a] represents a breve over an "a".

Archaic or inconsistent spellings, hyphenation and punctuation are retained as printed except where typographical errors have been corrected, as listed at the end of the book.

Note that the style of capitalised species names are retained as they appear in the original.

Lachesis Lapponica ,

OR A

TOUR IN LAPLAND,

NOW FIRST PUBLISHED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT JOURNAL OF THE CELEBRATED

LINNÆUS;

BY

JAMES EDWARD SMITH, M.D. F.R.S. ETC. PRESIDENT OF THE LINNÆAN SOCIETY.

IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL. II.

"Ulterius nihil est, nisi non habitabile frigus." OVID.

LONDON : PRINTED FOR WHITE AND COCHRANE, HORACE'S HEAD, FLEET STREET, BY RICHARD TAYLOR AND CO., SHOE LANE.

1811.

JOURNEY TO LAPLAND.

In the latter part of this day, July 15th , I set out on my return from the low grounds of Norway. The heat was very powerful as we began to ascend the mountains. When we reached what had seemed to us from below the summit of a hill, we saw just as lofty an eminence before us, and this was the case nine or ten successive times. I had no idea of such mountains before. The elevation of this hill cannot be taken by any geometrical instrument, as the summit is not visible, even at some miles distance. I believe its height must exceed a Swedish mile, but to climb it was worse than going two miles any other way. Had we not frequently met with such abundance of water, we should have been overcome with fatigue. In this ascent I found the little Astragalus ( alpinus ) with a white flower, and the Little Gentian ( Gentiana nivalis ).

Our clothes, which were wet quite through with perspiration, in consequence of the heat we had encountered in the beginning of our journey, were now frozen stiff upon our backs by the cold. We determined to seek for a Laplander's hut. In order to get at one, we were obliged to descend so steep a hill, that, being unable to walk down it, I lay down on my back and slid along, with the rapidity of an arrow from a bow. I avoided with difficulty the large snow torrents that every now and then came in my way, and which were sometimes within an ell of me.

On reaching this hut, I noticed some of the reindeer whose horns were not above half an inch long, the Brom fly ( Oestrus Tarandi ) having bitten them while quite tender; for these insects are, in the Norwegian alps, worse than the gnats of Swedish Lapland.

I here obtained a curious piece of information respecting the mode of castrating the reindeer. When the animal is two years and a half old, its owner, about a fortnight before Michaelmas, getting a person to assist him by holding it fast by the horns, places himself betwixt its hind legs. He then applies his teeth to the scrotum , so as to bruise its contents, but not so as to break the skin, for in that case the reindeer would die. He afterwards bruises the part still more effectually between his fingers. The same operation is performed on both sides, if the reindeer remains quiet long enough for the purpose at one time... Continue reading book >>




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