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Norwegian Life by Clough, Ethlyn T.

Norwegian Life by Clough, Ethlyn T.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Norwegian Life, by Ethlyn T. Clough

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: Norwegian Life
Author: Ethlyn T. Clough
Release Date: December 30, 2003 [EBook #10543]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK NORWEGIAN LIFE ***

Produced by Kevin Handy, Dave Maddock,Josephine Paolucci and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team.
Norwegian Life
AN ACCOUNT OF PAST AND CONTEMPORARY CONDITIONS AND PROGRESS IN NORWAY

AND SWEDEN
Edited and Arranged by
ETHLYN T. CLOUGH

PREFACE

An excursion into Norwegian life has for the student all the charm of
the traveler's real journey through the pleasant valleys of the Norse
lands. Much of this charm is explained by the tenacity of the people
to the homely virtues of honesty and thrift, to their customs which
testify to their home-loving character, and to their quaint costumes.
It is a genuine delight to study and visit these lands, because they
are the least, perhaps in Europe, affected by the leveling hand of
cosmopolitan ideas. Go where you will,--to England, about Germany,
down into Italy,--everywhere, the same monotonous sameness is growing
more oppressive every year. But in Norway and Sweden there is still an
originality, a type, if you please, that has resisted the growth of
an artificial life, and gives to students a charm which is even more
alluring than modern cities with their treasures and associations.

The student takes up Norwegian life as one of the subjects which has
been comparatively little explored, and is, therefore replete with
freshness and delight. This little book can not by any means more
than lift the curtain to view the fields of historical and literary
interest and the wondrous life lived in the deep fiords of Viking
land. But its brief pages will have, at least, the merit of giving
information on a subject about which only too little has been written.
Taken in all, there are scarcely half a dozen recent books circulating
in American literary channels on these interesting lands, and for one
reason or another, most of these are unsuited for club people. There
is an urgent call for a comprehensive book which will waste no time
in non-essentials,--a book that can be read in a few sittings and yet
will give a glimpse over this quaint and wondrously interesting corner
of Europe. This book has been prepared, as have all the predecessors
in this series, by the help of many who have written most delightfully
of striking things in Norwegian life. One has specialized in one
thing, while another has been allured by another subject. Accordingly,
"Norwegian Life" is the product of many, each inspired with feeling
and admiration for the one or two subjects on which he has written
better than on any others. Liberty has been taken to make a few
verbal changes in order to give to the story the unity and smoothness
desired, and a key-letter at the end of each chapter refers the reader
to a page at the close where due credits are given.

J.M. HALL.
CONTENTS

CHAPTER I PREHISTORIC AND EARLY HISTORIC TIMES
CHAPTER II NORWAY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
CHAPTER III SWEDEN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
CHAPTER IV THE RELIGION OF THE NORTHMEN
CHAPTER V THE LITERATURE OF NORWAY
CHAPTER VI THE LITERATURE OF SWEDEN
CHAPTER VII GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN
CHAPTER VIII THE ARMY AND NAVY
CHAPTER IX PUBLIC EDUCATION
CHAPTER X HAAKON VII, NEW KING OF NORWAY
CHAPTER XI THE ROYAL FAMILY OF SWEDEN
CHAPTER XII CHARITABLE AND BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS
CHAPTER XIII MATERIAL CONDITIONS

CHAPTER XIV HIGHWAYS, RAILWAYS, AND WATERWAYS
CHAPTER XV THE PEOPLE: THEIR MANNERS AND CUSTOMS
CHAPTER XVI HEALTH, EXERCISE, AND AMUSEMENTS
CHAPTER XVII THE NEWSPAPERS OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN
CHAPTER XVIII NORWEGIAN FOLK SONGS
CHAPTER XIX WOMEN OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN

NORWEGIAN LIFE
CHAPTER I
PREHISTORIC AND EARLY HISTORIC TIMES

A glance at the map will show that the Scandinavian Peninsula, that
immense stretch of land running from the Arctic Ocean to the North
Sea, and from the Baltic to the Atlantic, covering an area of nearly
three hundred thousand square miles, is, next to Russia, the largest
territorial division of Europe. Surrounded by sea on all sides but
one, which gives it an unparalleled seaboard of over two thousand
miles, it hangs on the continent by its frontier line with Russia in
Lapland. Down the middle of this seabound continent, dividing it into
two nearly equal parts, runs a chain of mountains not inappropriately
called K len, or Keel. The name suggests the image which the aspect of

\ufffd

the land calls to mind, that of a huge ship floating keel upwards on
the face of the ocean. This keel forms the frontier line between the
kingdoms of Norway and Sweden: Sweden to the east, sloping gently from
the hills to the Baltic, Norway to the west, running more abruptly
down from their watershed to the Atlantic.

Norway (in the old Norse language _Noregr_, or _Nord-vegr, i.e_., the
North Way), according to archaeological explorations, appears to have
been inhabited long before historical time. The antiquarians maintain
that three populations have inhabited the North: a Mongolian race and
a Celtic race, types of which are to be found in the Finns and the
Laplanders in the far North, and, finally, a Caucasian race, which
immigrated from the South and drove out the Celtic and Laplandic
races, and from which the present inhabitants are descended. The
Norwegians, or Northmen (Norsemen), belong to a North-Germanic branch
of the Indo-European race; their nearest kindred are the Swedes, the
Danes, and the Goths. The original home of the race is supposed to
have been the mountain region of Balkh, in Western Asia, whence from
time to time families and tribes migrated in different directions. It
is not known when the ancestors of the Scandinavian peoples left
the original home in Asia; but it is probable that their earliest
settlements in Norway were made in the second century before the

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