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given to the world in 1795, it occasioned the happiest day of his life when, on the a considerable shaking amongst the dry 24th of July, 1802 the birthday of Queen bones of past systems in Abo as else. Christiana, who had founded the instituwhere. Porthan did not see his way to tion — the king, accompanied by the adopt the new doctrines; but he was not queen, laid the foundation of new uni. opposed to their publication in magisterial versity buildings. and doctoral dissertations, for we find in A new honor was bestowed on Porthan, 1797 a course advertised in the University of which he was the only holder in Finby Docent N. M. Tolpo, on the termi- land, and which perhaps may best be nology of the critical philosophy.
rendered by our own title privy councillor, His relation to the students was one of for which the expenses of his legitimation careful observance as to their progress in were paid by an “invisible hand.” Our their studies, though it was not carried to professor thus grew old in the unceasing any officious or meddlesome interference. fulfilment of his academical duties, and As inspector of the Boreal and east the honor and esteem of his countrymen. Bothnian nations, he spent three or four Twice he was elected rector; in 1786–87, hours a week with them in their literary and again in 1798-99. exercises. Deserving students, he aided As he advanced in age, honors flowed by books lent from his well-chosen library in upon him. In 1787 be was elected a -a much needed help especially to the member of the Swedish academy; in theological student, when we consider the 1795, inember of the Scientific Society in small stock of books then to be found in Upsala ; in 1797, of the Finnislı Economthe academical collection.
ical Society ; in 1799, of the Patriotic SoThe pains that Porthan took may be ciety in Stockholm ; in 1799 he received gauged by the fact, that he sought to ex- from the crown-prince, while visiting Fintend the narrow borizon of the students by land, the order of the North Star, of which a weekly meeting with them on Saturdays, order of knighthood there was only anin which he read and commented on — - to other member in Finland. We have as large an audience as could crowd into spoken of his privy councillorship or mem. the auditorium — the political and other bership of the Royal Chancery. The nanews of the day. His authority was thus tions in the university over which he mightily increased, so that few students presided as inspector, struck a medal in left the university without coming more his honor. As the much-loved academical or less under his influence. To the gen. dignitary had thus honors heaped upon eral public, he became par excellence the him time passed on, and he felt the burden professor, and he was consulted as to the of years. Sickness visited him in 1797 education of young men from all parts and 1799, from which, however, he again of the Grand Duchy. His philosophical recovered. In 1804 he took a chill while lectures were much prized, the more espe- seeking some books in a library, not sufficially as he sought to supplement the ciently heated, for a stranger who was work of the theoretical professor of philos. visiting the town, and this brought someophy, who contented himself with a bare what unexpectedly the end on the 16th of and dry exposition of the Wolffian me- March. chanical system.
How his countrymen lamented him it is Nor did he limit himself to academical needless to say. The best indication of work. The improvement of the text of this was, that long after his death, grey, the Finish Bible and improved arrange haired men were proud to tell that they ments in the hospital of the town — such had been among Porthan's students. things claimed and received his attention. When renowned colleagues were borne to The second name to which we shall call their final resting-place, as Mennander, attention is that of the famous ethologist Archbishop of Upsala, formerly professor and philologer, Mathias Alexander Casin Abo, Porthan's services were in request trén. Born in Tervola, on the upper end * to speak the last words in remembrance, of the Bothnian Gulf, on the banks of the or over his grave. New buildings for the great river Kemi, he first saw the light scantily and poorly, housed institution in under 66° of north latitude, on the verge which his life-work was cast, were for of the Arctic Circle, and grew up familiar many years an aspiration rather than a with the wilder aspects of nature, with hope in the deficiency of means. But which also in the latter part of his days, thanks to some valuable legacies, and the during his lengthened travels in north gradually increasing interest of the public Russia, (Siberia) he spent his life. He both in Sweden and Finland, he reached I was born on the 2nd December, 1813.
The son of a Finnish clergyman, he grew means of support were rather lesseoed up in the wild and hardy life, to which than increased. In these circumstances, boys both from choice and necessity, in her brother, who had left the student's these iphospitable regions are accustomed. life and gone to business, with the result Hunting, the snaring of birds, the catch- of reaching cunsiderable wealth, came to ing of fish in the rivers and arms of the her assistance and saw, — though some.
- such is the life and the training to what hard-handed, the result of his own which the youth in these necessitous re- struggle, – that the sister should not su gions must submit. The means of educa- cumb to the difficulties, which had closed tion in these parts are poor enough. At around ber. Under such circumstances, the time of his birth, there was but one Castrén attended the Finnish university. newspaper published in Finland; and, to It was a rough, uphill fight, this struggle purchase a book, it was necessary to send with angusta paupertas; but, perhaps, it to Abo in west Finland, then the capital weakened Castrén's frame and contributed of the Grand Duchy.
to his early death. While Castrén was yet a child, his We have mentioned an uncle on the father was sent to a parish, much further mother's side, who induced Castrén to north than he had previously been, to make himself master in fourteen days of Rovaniemi, which lay partly within the an important section of botanical science. polar circle. Here the mother, who seems This maternal uncle had been pastor in to have been more deeply interested in Enare and Utsjoki, the northmost Lutheher son's education than the father, was ran coinmunity in Finnish Lappmark. Folable to obtain a tutor for him.
lowing in the steps of Castrén's maternal The son was not the most diligent of grandfather, he had been dubbed doctor of scholars, or perhaps with his strong ten- divinity at a time when this distinction dencies to the education of science, he was only accessible through the king himwas less interested in the Latin grammar, self. He made himself completely master which was then made the chief study of of Lappish, and wrote several treatises in youths seeking a liberal education, than the language, books of devotion, and a he might have been. At the instance of book on rural economy. He was also a his uncle, he studied Hoffberg's botany, competent naturalist, and received many and in the course of fourteen days, so letters from those who desired to know mastered it as to be able to take part in the fauna and flora of these worthern the examination of phanerogama. He regions. Castrén attached himself to had also already begun to observe scien- this gentleman, and emulated his scientific tific facts, such as the action of a stream proficiency. on boats ; and showed much mechanical Another uncle, on the father's side, excleverness with his knife. While thus ercised much influence on the young Casengaged in his earliest studies, the father trén. This gentleman, pastor in Kemi, died.
was also a botanist and inquirer as to sci. The mother, though encumbered with entific questions. He had been a great debts, took upon her, on the promise of deal in correspondence with the aboveaid from her brothers, to meet the claims mentioned uncle, particularly on botanical which were made upon the family. The questions, and had been aroused by the oldest brother, already a student, was al- fame won by the great Linnæus; and lowed by dispensation, though only in his Kemi was a centre, where not a few rare nineteenth year, to take orders, that he or uncommon plants were to be found. might sustain the heavily burdened fam- This gentleman had also obtained the ily. Two younger brothers, Elias and distinction of being named a doctor of Mathias Alexander - our hero then in theology. Through him, the stock of literhis twelfth year
were sent to the gram- ature accessible to our Castrén was greatly mar school in Uleaborg. A fourth brother, increased. With this uncle Castrén was in two years older, went to be a merchant, constant correspondence up to the day of while three younger brothers and a sister his death ; and the careful preservation of remained at home with the mother. Here his letters hows how much was a parallel to the Scottish perseverance teemed by his nephew. In 1841, when and conflict with adversity, which has been Castrén travelled through Lapland, he exemplified in the life of some of our best asked this uncle to defray some small
The struggle grew heavier rather debts which were standing against him in than lighter with time. The mother re- Helsingfors, and this the uncle did with moved to Uleaborg to be able to superin. expressions of thankfulness, that he had tend the education of her family. But her trusted him to do such things. His ex
pression was, “my earnest wish is to ination as candidate of philosophy. He serve my brother with this small sacrifice, had already mastered the classical, and he be convinced of that !”
now turned to the Semitic languages. The grammar school attended by the A curious combination of a spiritual and young Castrén in Uleaborg, had been a intellectual character was then visible in fairly good school. Some changes had the Grand Duchy. Pietism, probably an taken place, not altogether of a favorable importation from Germany, as a manifes. character ; but still a fair education was tation of religion, then spread over the attainable in Latin, Greek (New Testa- land, and made itself felt in the university. ment Greek), mathematics, history, geog- Intellectually, the Hegelian philosophy raphy, logic, dogmatics, German, and had come from the same quarter, and was Russian. The intercourse of the youth finding its representatives both amongst with one another was not highly refined ; teachers and students. The students took but there was purity of morals and the up the matter in their assemblies and were healthy action both of body and mind. partisans with the greatest vigor on the
When he left school to attach himself one side or the other. The section or to the university, the amount his mother nation of students to which Castrén bewas able to give him was five roubles. longed was specially occupied with the This sum was increased by eighteen question; and Castrén took the side of roubles, the gift of Jacob, his maternal the Hegelian philosophy. He was thus uncle. Once he returned to the maternal | led particularly to the study of the said dwelling in the summer of 1830; but the philosophy; and this had a very marked necessity of eking out the scanty sum he influence on his future intellectual develcould scrape together for expenses com- opment. pelled him to labor in the instruction of The next question which came up before pupils from morning till evening. His Castrén – and had a decisive influence on further vacations were otherwise occu- his life — was of another kind. pied, and the much-struggling mother only nected itself with the relation of the saw him twice again, as he journeyed to Swedish people to the Finnish about the Lapland in 1838 and 1841. In 1848. he time of the Swedish conquest in the received, while on his Siberian journey, twelfth and thirteenth centuries. That the tidings of her death. He had reason event was probably preceded and aided by to rejoice in her tender sympathy; and the settlement of Swedish colonists in Finshe lived long enough to see the honor land. For a long time after the conquest, which had already fallen upon her son. however, even up to the Reformation,
It was a critical period in the life of the almost nothing was done to encourage the Finnish university, when Castrén began study of the Finnish language and literato frequent the schools. It had been re- ture; we mean that traditional literature cently removed from Abo to Helsingfors, which is often the true nurse of the national and was scarcely settled in the new quar- genius, and kindles the imagination of a ters. The change of place, commanded people more than aught else, and thus by the new masters of the country, and the forms the national character and nourishes new statutes, which had been issued for the ideals which are native to the national the university, were far from receiving spirit. universal approbation. The new masters A great step in advance had been made were too much inclined to fall back on a at the Reformation. During the prestiff, stupid militarism; and this only ex- Reformation period, Latin of course was cited counter demonstrations on the side the language of divine service. At the of the students. Castrén had his expe. Reformation, the vernacular was adopted riences, disagreeable and otherwise, in in its room. The Bible was translated, as this distracted element; but he avoided it also liturgies and hymn-books, into the to some extent, by taking a situation as Finnish tongue. In 1640, the Finnish tutor in the house of Major Von Wille- university was founded, and the youths, brand. Still, when he returned to the who during the Catholic times had gone university, he could not help being in- in small numbers to Paris, Prague, and volved in a demonstration against a pro- Leipzic, and afterwards to Wittenberg and fessor who made himself conspicuous in Upsala, began now to attend after 1640, his opposition to the liberal spirit which in much greater numbers the national was abroad. The result was, that he was university. But stillit was not compulsory adjudged to lose half a year. Under these that the officials should make themselves circumstances, Castrén occupied the tiine acquainted with the language of the peoby energetically preparing for his exam- ple; the Swedish tongue was the official
language of the Duchy. Still the Swedish | These discoveries of Lönnrot were conquest had rendered the Finnish people epoch-making period in the intellectual great services.
life of the Grand Duchy. New activity Their various tribes had previously was aroused in well-nigh all kinds of re. often been at war with one another; the search, but especially on the ground of Swedish conquest bound them together in native philology. Subsequently to the a common bond of peace. Pressed by removal of the university to Helsingfors, their Slavonic neighbors, portions of the the philosophical or arts faculty had been Karels were swallowed up and lost in the divided into two sections: the historicosurrounding Slavic masses. The Swedish philological and physico-mathematical. law and culture made them a free people, At first, however, these two sections de jure, if not de facto, on an equal footing did so rigorously exclude each other as with their Swedish fellow-subjects. As subsequently has been the case. Students they took part in the great actions of the passed over from the one to the other, or Thirty Years and other wars, their hearts united them in their studies. This was were kindled and their national pride the case with Castrén. His acquaintance aroused by the memories of the fierce with the Semitic languages, his studies in struggles of the past. Hence, when the his native Finnish, from which he transwar of 1809 separated them from Sweden, lated, with no inconsiderable degree of and joined them to the Russian Empire, poetic talent, the songs of the Kalevala it only rendered them more truly Finnish. into Swedish; and even some prolusions “We are not Russians," they said, “We of a more lyrical character were united cannot be Swedes, we must be Finns." with studies in mathematics, physics, Thus there grew up a special interest in chemistry, zoology, and botany. We have all matters and enquiries, connected with already seen how amongst his first studies, the Grand Duchy, and its past; and these certain botanical researches had been were now zealously forwarded by a number made with surprising rapidity. of those who had gathered their stock of His examination as candidate for a culture at the national university.
degree was made in no less than eleven Such were Kalm and Forskohl in natu- subjects, viz., the classical and Oriental ral history, disciples of the great Linnæus. languages, at least so far as regards HeThen, especially distinguished was Por- brew, were united with history, literary than — whose life in outline we have history, and philosophy; while at the given — the first to open the gold mine of same time he offered himself for examinaFinland's history, language, mythology, tion in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and the traditional literature of the people. zoology, and botany. And these were not He was followed by men who were trained all studies of an elementary character; in in his school, William Gabriel Lagus, many cases they had gone upon new and John James Tengstrom, and their succes. original grounds. In the course of the sors, Adolphus Ivar Arvidsson and Ga- year of his candidate's examination, 1836, briel Rein.' The grammar of the Finnish he was promoted to the degree of magister tongue was handled with singular acute-artium. ness by Reinhold Becker; while the first Having taken his degree, Castrén proFinnish lexicon which approached to ceeded to extend his philological knowlcompleteness was published by Renvall. edge by the study of Turkish. This be Zachary Topelius, the father of the dis, did, in relation to his native Finnish, as tinguished poet of our own time, carried belonging to the same family of languages, forward the work of collecting the folk- and with a view to the consideration of poesy; and imitations of these folk-poems the linguistic peculiarities of Finnish, and were, with wondrous success, given to the the mythological conceptions he found in world by Jacob Judén.
the Kalevala. This was largely, a new Such was the state of things in regard study, as to the dialect in which it was to these national researches when Castrén couched, being, preserved in Karelian, entered the Finnish university. Contem- amongst a people which had adopted the porary with him was Elias Lönnrot, of Greek Orthodox faith, and had been conwhom we have yet to speak, who took up siderably influenced by the surrounding the work of completing the collections Slavic tribes. In this dialect, a variety of of the national epos and folk-poesy, and forms and constructions were present, under whose careful and congenial hauds, which are not found in the western Fin. the Kalevala became a whole, as perfect nish. His philological and linguistic of its kind as the Iliad or the Odyssey, studies were also enlarged by the mastery the Nibelungenlied or the poetical Edda. of these kindred languages. The study of comparative philology had not been greatly | less then than they are at present. Besides, encouraged up to this time in the Finnish though Castrén's studies had brought him university; and thus, it may be said to into notice, yet bis field was new. Philolhave been introduced by Castrén, although ogy as a science, more especially as dealnot in the usual way by the coosideration ing with modern languages was scarcely of the related Indo-European family of understood, as it is now. Castrén was languages, but by the comparison of the docent in Finnish and the Old Northern * Mongolian tongues connected with Fin- languages. Now this was regarded then nish. The first fruits of his studies in as a proper study for a learned academy; this direction was the dissertation, “ De but as a university study it was hardly affinitate declinationum in linguâ Fendicâ, recognized. Even in Germany, such Esthonicâ et Lappicâ,” a dissertation, by studies in the modern languages and their the presentation of which he sought to philology were as yet without professorsecure his place as docent in his Alma ships; and in Scandinavia, they have oniy Mater. This dissertation was thoroughly been established within the last ten years. on the path of modern comparative phi- The self-sacrifice which Castrén showed · lology, as their science had been intro- in the pursuit of such studies at such a duced by Rask and Grimm. In this time was great, though not so uncommon inquiry and in a subsequent brochure, he amongst the Finnish youth. also turned his knowledge of Turkish to An occasion rose for Castrén to make a account. In 1838, Castrén made a jour- fresh journey into Lappmark. Lönnrot, ney into Lappmark; and the following the Finnish Homer, of whom we have yet year into Finnish and Russian Karelia, to speak, had completed his studies at the supported by the Finnish Literary Society, university, and had obtained the place of with a view to follow up the course opened provincial medical man, supported by the by Elias Lönnrot, for the collection of State in Kajana, in north-east Finland; Finnish songs and sagas or folk-tales. had obtained, moreover, the means to Before publishing an account of his re. make such a journey, and Castrén was searches, he wrote for the Helsingfors invited to be his fellow-traveller. On the Morgonbladet, of which he was assistant 13th of November, 1841, they passed up editor, several papers on such subjects, as the river Kemi, north of Uleaborg, visited • Some Words on the Kalevala,” and Castrén's birthplace, and on the 30th of “ Finnish Wizard Art,” which have been May, 1842, reached Archangel on the published in his collected papers in Swed. White Sea. ish and German. In 1841, Castrén com. Of this journey into the ancient Karelia pleted his translation, begun two years in 1839, together with that made in 1838 previously, of the Kalevala into Swedish. to Lappmark, Castrén has left a descripHe also lectured on this ancient poem. tion, which is printed in his works under His translation, made in an excellent style, the name of " Northern Travels and Refaithful to the original and clear, contained searches.” To the Finlander these parno less than twelve thousand verses. ratives are full of interest, even from the
There was but little encouragement in fact that two such men as Castrén and the little country of Finland for such work, Lönnrot were thus onjoined. But for and had not the Finnish Literary Society foreign help, however, such studies and contributed one hundred and forty roubles researches could not have been continued. towards the printing, Castrén would have Lönnrot, as doctor in a thinly peopled found great difficulty in giving his work district, had leisure and the means for to the public. There was one elementin such journeys; but it was otherwise with his favor, and that was the rich endow- Castrén. ments possessed by the Finnish univer- Another native of Finland, Sjögren, sity. But the professorships, extraordinary had about this time obtained a place as professorships and docentships are never- historical and philological student of his iheless, in a small country like Finland, mother tongue, and its related dialects in necessarily few; and when once occupied, the Acadeny of Sciences in St. Peters. they remain so for a term of years, if not burg. He had obtained a prize from the for the life of the holder; and at the time French Institute for a treatise on Ossete we are referring to, they were much fewer grammar; and he now generously came in number than at present. For the Finnish tongue there was only a lectorship: fornnordisk, as it has no proper designation for lin
* The English language has no word for the Swedish The value of this was much less than it guistics as distinguished from philology. Old Norse is now; and the means affording aid to refers to Norwegian. Perhaps old Northern" is
the best translation for the Swedish word just given, literary or scientific enterprise were much I equivalent to Gerinan Alt-Nordisch.