Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

СНАР. .

IX.

was perhaps manufactured in Mount Caucasus, where the natives siill sell such articles of their manufacture to the Russians. It is a shirt of twisted mail, fitting close to the body, through which no common weapon could penetrate. We found the weight of it by no means insupportable for men of much less prowess than was the hero to whom it belonged. Upon a table in the room were laid several books illustrating the history of Gustavus Vasa and of the province of Dalecarlia. This chamber was ornamented with portraits, very indifferently executed, of the Kings and Queens of Sweden since the time of Gustavus Vasa. There was also an immense genealogical-tree, exhibiting their pedigree. In the same room were figures, as large as life, representing the Dalecarlians according to their antient mode of dress, with high-crowned hats, white woollen clothes, and trowsers tied above the knee; bearing in their hands cross-bows, and having each a knife and a grease-pot suspended from a belt. These, they said, were the images of the very peasants who assisted Gustavus Vasa in making his escape. They were represented with long beards, and reminded us of some of the natives of the Swedish Alps which we had seen in the province of Herjeādalen. Here there is also an effigy of Gustavus Vasa himself, placed

[ocr errors]

IX.

to Fahlun.

beneath a canopy; and also of his page or esquire, in complete armour. The bed and the canopy terminate upwards in a point, upon which is placed a coronet. The complete preservation of this building will shew to what a length of time the wooden houses of Sweden may be made to last, if they be kept dry and in good repair.

From Stora Ornås to Fahlun, the roads, at this Approach season of the year (November), are not good; owing, as we supposed, to the very considerable traffic which is carried on, in consequence of the mines, and the heavy burdens made to pass and repass. Upon our right appeared beautiful views of the Lake Runn. Just before we arrived at Fahlun, we had a prospect of the town, with all the buildings, machinery, and other works belonging to its antient mine; but in the midst of such columns of smoke, and fumes of sulphur, that it seemed as if the great bed of the Solfaterra, near Naples, had taken flight and settled in Sweden. As we descended towards the town, the houses appeared like so many tarred boxes, in the midst of a bleak and barren soil. We passed under the enormous moving levers which are employed in working the pumps. The wheels giving motion to these levers are kept in covered buildings: they are moved by over-shot falls of

CHAP.

IX.

External aspect of its CopperMine,

water, brought from the Lake Runn. The road leading into the town passes close to the edge of the stupendous crater which is now the mouth of its famous copper-mine. We shall say much more of it in the next chapter. Considered only as to its external aspect, it is one of the most surprising artificial excavations which exist in the world. Knowing of no other work of a similar nature with which to compare it, we shall call in the aid of the pencil to supply the deficiencies of verbal description : but the ingenious artist who has afforded to us the means of doing this, is himself unequal to the task of representing a scene of so much fearful grandeur. All the magnitude of this amazing result of þuman labour loses much of its effect by that minuteness of detail which is necessary to a faithful representation of the machinery belonging to the mine. While we are forced to acknowledge this striking defect in the best drawing we could procure of the Fahlun mine, we are consoled with the reflection, that even this will be deemed by our Readers much better than if no representation whatever were given of a work so renowned, and a scene so remarkable.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Antiquity of the Fahlun Mine- Assessor Gahn-Copper

ore-Decent into the mine-ConflagrationMethod of excavating the ore-Manner in which it is found deposited— Accident which caused the present Crater-Tradition of the miners— Appearance of the descentNames of the different openingsIncrease of temperature in the lower chambersView of the bed of fire-Councilchamber-Subterraneous stablesStalactites of greenvitriol-Pumps-Mode of dividing the pre-Value of

the

CHAP.

X.

the Shares-Bergsmen-Valuation of the Lots-Produce of the WorksPresent state of the Fahlun Mine -Works above ground Vitriol manufactory- Remarkable form of precipitated copper Process for concentrating the lye-Subsequent crystallization of the salt-Town of Fahlun-Wood impregnated with copper -Punishment of Riding the great horse—Public buildings-Geological features of Dalecarlia-SäterMines in its neighbourhoodHedmora-Curious floating-bridge-Nuptial festivitiesAnnual return of Dalecarlian Peasants-Avestad— Character of the Swedish PeasantsBroddebo — Custom in passing a Robber's grave-Sala-Mines of Salberg-Nature of the oreDecent into the Salberg-MineralsTown of Sala. The Mine of Fahlun," we are universally told, “ was worked before the Christian æra :" but who can pretend to determine any thing of Swedish history before the time of our Saviour ? Much of the confusion which bewilders every research into the earliest Scandinavian annals has been caused by those writers who have ·laboured to establish a potion that this country was the original habitation of the Goths; whereas there is great reason to believe, that, in the beginning of our æra, the colony of the Goths, from whom the Swedes are descended, had not yet penetrated so far towards the north of Europe. Of all the ridiculous fables ever imposed upon a credulous world, that which would make of

Antiquity
of the
Fahlun
Mine.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »