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CHAP. judice and imagination : in point of real science,
Åbo is as much superior to Upsala, as the latter is before the University of Lund. But if this declaration were made among the Swedes of the metropolis, it would give rise to considerable opposition and warmth of debate ; because in Stockholm, the same notions are entertained with regard to the Finland University, that Englishmen entertain respecting the Universities of Dublin and Edinburgh, when compared with Cambridge and Oxford: they will not suffer them to be weighed together in the same scale. Travellers, however, viewing with impartial eyes their comparative merits, soon learn to disregard local prejudices. Judging of the tree by its fruits, they will render to merit the just tribute which is due to merit: and in so doing, it must be confessed that, at this time, Åbo had the superiority. At Upsala, science was made a matter of conversation ; at Åbo, it was a subject of real and industrious research : but Upsala possessed the means of giving notoriety and celebrity to any the most trivial contribution which it made to the interests of science; whereas the faciliti of common communication with the literary world were wholly denied to Åbo. The former, it is true, boasted the names of Thunberg', and (1) Author of Travels in Japan, &c. &c.; successor of Linnaus.
of the two brothers Afzelius”; to which has since been added that of an illustrious chemist, in Berzelius: but Åbo was at this time honoured by its historian Porthan, by its poet Frantzën, by its chemist Gadolin, and by its botanist Hellenius ; men who in any University would have made a distinguished figure, and would have been regarded among its brightest ornaments. The different state of public morals, too, was strikingly conspicuous in the two Universities of Upsala and Åbo. In Upsala, drunkenness and riot pervaded her streets; and licentiousness and Jacobinism had found their way into her cellars, which were nightly the resort, and indeed the only public place of meeting, for her students. In Åbo, although a town of greater magnitude, containing a more numerous population, peace and decent order everywhere prevailed. We saw no symptoms of that looseness of discipline and contempt of decorum which are so common in Upsala. Among its inhabitants, a milder disposition seemed to prevail ; chiefly, perhaps, owing to the absence of those French principles, which had been disseminated with fatal success, to poison and debase the
(2) John Afzelius, Professor of Chemistry; and bis brother, Adam Afzelius, celebrated for his foreign travels, and talents in Natural History, especially in Botany.
CHAP minds both of Students and Professors in Upsala,
as among persons of all ages in Stockholm. In Åbo, the older Swedish manners and customs were prevalent, not having been yet liable to such mischievous innovations : a love of truth, and a sincere ardour in the pursuit of science, seemed to be the natural growth of the place, where the force of good example was added to precept. Upsala, among the youth of the country, might be deemed, as doubtless it was, the most fashionable seminary of education ; but a parent, who had the opportunities of information and choice respecting both, would not long hesitate in which to place his son. Not, however, that there is any thing of austerity in the manners of the inhabitants. The principal of them are merchants, living in a very elegant style. One of them, to whom we were introduced, a Mr. Bremer, had travelled over Europe, and visited our own country. This gentleman possessed an excellent library; and had, moreover, a small but good collection of pictures and engravings. While, in the depth of their severe winter, the novel sight was presented to English travellers, of sledges attended by whole tribes of the wildest Finlanders from the interior of the country, now flocking into Abo, and passing and repassing amidst houses and public buildings
half buried in snow, we had invitations to balls CHAP. and routs, in which a very striking contrast was exhibited to such features of savage life. Judging from the appearance exhibited in the public streets, we might have imagined ourselves in some town of North America; but in the evening, visiting their musical societies, of which they have two regularly established in this city, or joining in their dancing parties, we were rather reminded of what we had seen in the capital.
Concourse of the Natives from the neighbouring Districts,
Manners of the Finns—their motives in visiting Åbotheir dress-marvellous expedition which they undertake -anecdote of one of them-Streets of Åbo-Booksellers -Price of articles-Language and People of FinlandFinnish Poetry-Merchants of Åbo-Maritime Commerce of Sweden and Norway-Singular customsCourts of Judicature-Distant excursions of the Trading Finlanders—Foundation of the University-Number of its Students and Professors—Importance of a travellingcarriage-State of the accommodations for Travellers, Cursory reflections previously to the departure for Russia.