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took possession of Scandinavia, and drove out the original inhabitants, if they found any, is very possible; but that a region, consisting, for the most part, of unbroken forests, never yet tenanted by any portion of the human race, and over the rest of which a thinly-scattered population bespeaks rather the rise and the infancy of society, than the reliques of a redundant stock, should have originated the irruption of the Goths, is an idea altogether chimerical. The fallacy of this opinion, in support of which all writers refer to Jornandes, is instantly made apparent, by a view of the present state of the countries alluded to, if the testimonies of more authentic history were wanted. But when it has been so clearly stated, in the very earliest account of the irruption made by the Goths, that they proceeded from a country remote from all intercourse with Scandinavia ; when, in the third century, they are represented as being upon the northern embouchure of the Danube', and in the sixth century as coming out of Mæotis into the
(1) In the year 238 A.D., after ravaging Mæsia, and destroying the city of Istropolis, they retired, laden with booty, beyond the DANUBE. Capitolin. in Vit. Maximin. p.171. Baudr. p. 392. See also Zosimus, Hist. Nov. lib. i. cap. 20. p. 33. Cizæ, 1679.
land of the Romans'; to suppose, for a moment, that their armies were derived from countries beyond the Baltic, would be to admit a wilder hypothesis than any thing related of the people of Scandinavia in the ATLANTICA of Olaus Rudbeck. Many ages afterwards, when the inhabitants had become more numerous, and their armies were better disciplined, projects of foreign invasion, and schemes for extending their empire, on the part of the Swedes, under Charles the Twelfth, exposed that monarch to the ridicule of all Europe, and obtained for him the title of Don Quixote of the North. Yet Sweden is one of the countries, which, in the reveries published respecting the Goths, is supposed to have poured forth myriads, that, like locusts, covered the face of the earth with their multitudes, wheresoever they appeared.
In the course of a work so extensive, and perhaps within the compass of a single volume, there may be found instances where the author, without being aware of it, has repeated his
(8) Procopii Goth. Hisl. lib. iv. p. 418. Amst. 1655. MÆOTIDEM, et os ejus quod dixi, ultra ipsum statim littus Gotthi, quos Tetraxitos dictos memoravi, antiquitus obtinebant.”
former observations. These are defects which he confesses he would rather fall into, than omit the notice of things as they occurred during his route. In his descriptions, he has scrupulously endeavoured to present the Reader with the whole of what he saw; not to select according to his own fancy, but to report faithfully every thing as it appeared; because it is often from a statement of the most simple facts, as from a body of evidence, that accurate conclusions are deduced. It is also this kind of evidence which places beyond dispute the autopsy of a traveller; and distinguishes him from the mere writer of Travels, who never himself saw what he relates. "A word or two written upon the spot is worth a cart-load of recollections'." Those who, without any notes of this kind, make up a book of Travels after their return home; attempting, perhaps by the aid of invention, to supply the deficiencies of actual observation; cannot hope to infuse into their writings that valuable qualification which Cowley, by one of the most expressive epithets in our own language, has termed racy; a qualification that may justify the notice even of trivial things; that will enable a traveller,
(1) Gkay's Letlers.
however he may have protracted the publication of his journals, to bid defiance to all chance of being anticipated. Whether this qualification will be found to characterize the narrative of these Travels, cannot be determined by its author: all that he presumes to urge is, the endeavour, on his part, that it might not be wanting
As the names of places in Sweden, and Norway, have not yet been naturalized in the English language, some difficulty has, of course, arisen with respect to their orthography. If we examine these names as they occur in English Authors, we shall find them not only differently written in different publications, but very often by the same author. The frequent use of diphthongs in the Swedish and Danish languages is a principal cause of the embarrassment; the signs for which are sometimes disregarded. Thus we find the names of a University in Finland very generally written Abo, which ought to be Åbo, as it is pronounced Obo. The authorities of Marelius and Hermelin for Sweden, and of Pontoppidan for Norway, have generally been adopted, as standards for this work: but there
is one word which, at first sight, may seem strange to English Readers, and will require explanation : it is the name of the city Tröniem, once the Capital of Norway. This word, if accurately pronounced in our language, would, with us, be Trunyem', which is the real name of
It was the wish of many of its literary inhabitants, that this should be duly stated to the English Nation; with a view, if it be possible, to abolish the nick-names of Dronthiem and Dronton, bestowed upon this city by the Irish; who, from their intercourse with Norway, first gave rise to those appellations. It is not a more low and vulgar barbarism to write Lunnun instead of London, than it is to substitute Dronthiem or Dronlon, in lieu of Tröniem.
A greater degree of uncertainty has prevailed with regard to the names of places in Lapland. Fortunately for this part of the author's work, he found in the most distant province of that
(1) In the “ Deliciæ sive Amænitates Regnorum Daniæ,” published at Leyden, in 1706, where the various false names bestowed upon this city are mentioned, the real name, written in Latin, occurs as nearly as possible according to this pronunciation. Wanting the y, the author has substituted the letters hi, and writes it Trunhiem.