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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 uniopposed to their publication in magisterial versity buildings. and doctoral dissertations, for we find in 1797 a course advertised in the University by Docent N. M. Tolpo, on the terminology of the critical philosophy.
His relation to the students was one of careful observance as to their progress in their studies, though it was not carried to any officious or meddlesome interference. As inspector of the Boreal and east Bothnian nations, he spent three or four hours a week with them in their literary exercises. Deserving students, he aided by books lent from his well-chosen library a much needed help especially to the theological student, when we consider the small stock of books then to be found in the academical collection.
The pains that Porthan took may be gauged by the fact, that he sought to extend the narrow horizon of the students by a weekly meeting with them on Saturdays, in which he read and commented on - to as large an audience as could crowd into the auditorium - the political and other news of the day. His authority was thus mightily increased, so that few students left the university without coming more or less under his influence. To the general public, he became par excellence the professor, and he was consulted as to the education of young men from all parts of the Grand Duchy. His philosophical lectures were much prized, the more especially as he sought to supplement the work of the theoretical professor of philosophy, who contented himself with a bare and dry exposition of the Wolffian mechanical system.
A new honor was bestowed on Porthan, of which he was the only holder in Finland, and which perhaps may best be rendered by our own title privy councillor, for which the expenses of his legitimation were paid by an "invisible hand." Our professor thus grew old in the unceasing fulfilment of his academical duties, and the honor and esteem of his countrymen. Twice he was elected rector; in 1786–87, and again in 1798-99.
As he advanced in age, honors flowed in upon him. In 1787 he was elected a member of the Swedish academy; in 1795, member of the Scientific Society in Upsala; in 1797, of the Finnish Econom. ical Society; in 1799, of the Patriotic Society in Stockholm; in 1799 he received from the crown-prince, while visiting Finland, the order of the North Star, of which order of knighthood there was only another member in Finland. We have spoken of his privy councillorship or mem. bership of the Royal Chancery. The nations in the university over which he presided as inspector, struck a medal in his honor. As the much-loved academical dignitary had thus honors heaped upon him time passed on, and he felt the burden of years. Sickness visited him in 1797 and 1799, from which, however, he again recovered. In 1804 he took a chill while seeking some books in a library, not sufficiently heated, for a stranger who was visiting the town, and this brought somewhat unexpectedly the end on the 16th of March.
How his countrymen lamented him it is needless to say. The best indication of this was, that long after his death, greyhaired men were proud to tell that they had been among Porthan's students.
Nor did he limit himself to academical work. The improvement of the text of the Finish Bible and improved arrange ments in the hospital of the town-such 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 Časin 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 scantily and poorly housed institution in which his life-work was cast, were for many years an aspiration rather than a hope in the deficiency of means. But thanks to some valuable legacies, and the gradually increasing interest of the public Both in Sweden and Finland, he reached
great river Kemi, he first saw the light under 66° of north latitude, on the verge of the Arctic Circle, and grew up familiar with the wilder aspects of nature, with which also in the latter part of his days, during his lengthened travels in north Russia, (Siberia) he spent his life. He was born on the 2nd December, 1813.
The son of a Finnish clergyman, he grew | means of support were rather lessened 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 inhospitable regions are accustomed. Hunting, the snaring of birds, the catching of fish in the rivers and arms of the - such is the life and the training to which the youth in these necessitous regions must submit. The means of education in these parts are poor enough. At the time of his birth, there was but one newspaper published in Finland; and, to purchase a book, it was necessary to send to Abo in west Finland, then the capital of the Grand Duchy.
While Castrén was yet a child, his father was sent to a parish, much further north than he had previously been, to Rovaniemi, which lay partly within the polar circle. Here the mother, who seems to have been more deeply interested in her son's education than the father, was able to obtain a tutor for him.
The son was not the most diligent of scholars, or perhaps with his strong tendencies to the education of science, he was less interested in the Latin grammar, which was then made the chief study of youths seeking a liberal education, than he might have been. At the instance of his uncle, he studied Hoffberg's botany, and in the course of fourteen days, so mastered it as to be able to take part in the examination of phanerogama. He had also already begun to observe scientific facts, such as the action of a stream on boats; and showed much mechanical cleverness with his knife. While thus engaged in his earliest studies, the father died.
The mother, though encumbered with debts, took upon her, on the promise of aid from her brothers, to meet the claims which were made upon the family. The oldest brother, already a student, was allowed by dispensation, though only in his nineteenth year, to take orders, that he might sustain the heavily burdened family. Two younger brothers, Elias and Mathias Alexander our hero then in his twelfth yearwere sent to the grammar school in Uleaborg. A fourth brother, two years older, went to be a merchant, while three younger brothers and a sister remained at home with the mother. Here was a parallel to the Scottish perseverance and conflict with adversity, which has been exemplified in the life of some of our best men. The struggle grew heavier rather than lighter with time. The mother removed to Uleaborg to be able to superintend the education of her family. But her
life and gone to business, with the result of reaching considerable wealth, came to her assistance and saw, though some what hard-handed, the result of his own struggle, that the sister should not suc cumb to the difficulties, which had closed around her. Under such circumstances, Castrén attended the Finnish university. It was a rough, uphill fight, this struggle with angusta paupertas; but, perhaps, it weakened Castrén's frame and contributed to his early death.
We have mentioned an uncle on the mother's side, who induced Castrén to make himself master in fourteen days of an important section of botanical science. This maternal uncle had been pastor in Enare and Utsjoki, the northmost Lutheran community in Finnish Lappmark. Following in the steps of Castrén's maternal grandfather, he had been dubbed doctor of divinity at a time when this distinction was only accessible through the king himself. He made himself completely master of Lappish, and wrote several treatises in the language, books of devotion, and a book on rural economy. He was also a competent naturalist, and received many letters from those who desired to know the fauna and flora of these northern regions. Castrén attached himself to this gentleman, and emulated his scientific proficiency.
Another uncle, on the father's side, exercised much influence on the young Castrén. This gentleman, pastor in Kemi, was also a botanist and inquirer as to scientific questions. He had been a great deal in correspondence with the abovementioned uncle, particularly on botanical questions, and had been aroused by the fame won by the great Linnæus; and Kemi was a centre, where not a few rare or uncommon plants were to be found. This gentleman had also obtained the distinction of being named a doctor of theology. Through him, the stock of literature accessible to our Castrén was greatly increased. With this uncle Castrén was in constant correspondence up to the day of his death; and the careful preservation of his letters shows how much he was esteemed by his nephew. In 1841, when Castrén travelled through Lapland, he asked this uncle to defray some small debts which were standing against him in Helsingfors, and this the uncle did with expressions of thankfulness, that he had trusted him to do such things. His ex
pression was, "my earnest wish is to serve my brother with this small sacrifice, be convinced of that!"
ination as candidate of philosophy. He had already mastered the classical, and he now turned to the Semitic languages.
A curious combination of a spiritual and intellectual character was then visible in the Grand Duchy. Pietism, probably an importation from Germany, as a manifes tation of religion, then spread over the
The grammar school attended by the young Castrén in Uleaborg, had been a fairly good school. Some changes had taken place, not altogether of a favorable character; but still a fair education was attainable in Latin, Greek (New Testa-land, and made itself felt in the university. ment Greek), mathematics, history, geography, logic, dogmatics, German, and Russian. The intercourse of the youth with one another was not highly refined; but there was purity of morals and the healthy action both of body and mind.
Intellectually, the Hegelian philosophy had come from the same quarter, and was finding its representatives both amongst teachers and students. The students took up the matter in their assemblies and were 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 pupils from morning till evening. His further vacations were otherwise occupied, and the much-struggling mother only saw him twice again, as he journeyed to Lapland in 1838 and 1841. In 1848 he received, while on his Siberian journey, the tidings of her death. He had reason to rejoice in her tender sympathy; and she lived long enough to see the honor which had already fallen upon her son.
The next question which came up before Castrén and had a decisive influence on his life- was of another kind. It connected itself with the relation of the Swedish people to the Finnish about the time of the Swedish conquest in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. That event was probably preceded and aided by the settlement of Swedish colonists in Finland. For a long time after the conquest, however, even up to the Reformation, almost nothing was done to encourage the study of the Finnish language and litera
which is often the true nurse of the national genius, and kindles the imagination of a people more than aught else, and thus forms the national character and nourishes the ideals which are native to the national spirit.
It was a critical period in the life of the Finnish university, when Castrén began to frequent the schools. It had been re-ture; we mean that traditional literature cently removed from Abo to Helsingfors, and was scarcely settled in the new quarters. The change of place, commanded by the new masters of the country, and the new statutes, which had been issued for the university, were far from receiving universal approbation. The new masters were too much inclined to fall back on a stiff, stupid militarism; and this only excited counter demonstrations on the side of the students. Castrén had his experiences, disagreeable and otherwise, in this distracted element; but he avoided it to some extent, by taking a situation as tutor in the house of Major Von Willebrand. Still, when he returned to the university, he could not help being involved in a demonstration against a professor who made himself conspicuous in his opposition to the liberal spirit which was abroad. The result was, that he was adjudged to lose half a year. Under these circumstances, Castrén occupied the time by energetically preparing for his exam
A great step in advance had been made at the Reformation. During the preReformation period, Latin of course was the language of divine service. At the Reformation, the vernacular was adopted in its room. The Bible was translated, as also liturgies and hymn-books, into the Finnish tongue. In 1640, the Finnish university was founded, and the youths, who during the Catholic times had gone in small numbers to Paris, Prague, and Leipzic, and afterwards to Wittenberg and Upsala, began now to attend after 1640, in much greater numbers the national university. But still it was not compulsory that the officials should make themselves acquainted with the language of the people; 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 was aroused in well-nigh all kinds of research, but especially on the ground of native philology. Subsequently to the removal of the university to Helsingfors, the philosophical or arts faculty had been divided into two sections: the historicophilological and physico-mathematical.
Their various tribes had previously often been at war with one another; the Swedish conquest bound them together in a common bond of peace. Pressed by their Slavonic neighbors, portions of the Karels were swallowed up and lost in the surrounding Slavic masses. The Swedish law and culture made them a free people, de jure, if not de facto, on an equal footing with their Swedish fellow-subjects. As they took part in the great actions of the Thirty Years' and other wars, their hearts were kindled and their national pride aroused by the memories of the fierce struggles of the past. Hence, when the war of 1809 separated them from Sweden, and joined them to the Russian Empire, it only rendered them more truly Finnish. "We are not Russians," they said, "we cannot be Swedes, we must be Finns." Thus there grew up a special interest in all matters and enquiries, connected with the Grand Duchy, and its past; and these were now zealously forwarded by a number of those who had gathered their stock of culture at the national university.
Such were Kalm and Forskohl in natural history, disciples of the great Linnæus. Then, especially distinguished was Porthan whose life in outline we have given the first to open the gold mine of Finland's history, language, mythology, and the traditional literature of the people. He was followed by men who were trained in his school, William Gabriel Lagus, John James Tengstrom, and their successors, Adolphus Ivar Arvidsson and Gabriel Rein. The grammar of the Finnish tongue was handled with singular acuteness by Reinhold Becker; while the first Finnish lexicon which approached to completeness was published by Renvall. Zachary Topelius, the father of the distinguished poet of our own time, carried forward the work of collecting the folkpoesy; and imitations of these folk-poems were, with wondrous success, given to the world by Jacob Judén.
Such was the state of things in regard to these national researches when Castrén entered the Finnish university. Contemporary with him was Elias Lönnrot, of whom we have yet to speak, who took up the work of completing the collections of the national epos and folk-poesy, and under whose careful and congenial hands, the Kalevala became a whole, as perfect of its kind as the Iliad or the Odyssey, the Nibelungenlied or the poetical Edda.
At first, however, these two sections did so rigorously exclude each other as subsequently has been the case. Students passed over from the one to the other, or united them in their studies. This was the case with Castrén. His acquaintance with the Semitic languages, his studies in his native Finnish, from which he translated, with no inconsiderable degree of poetic talent, the songs of the Kalevala into Swedish; and even some prolusions of a more lyrical character were united with studies in mathematics, physics, chemistry, zoology, and botany. We have already seen how amongst his first studies, certain botanical researches had been made with surprising rapidity.
His examination as candidate for a degree was made in no less than eleven subjects, viz., the classical and Oriental languages, at least so far as regards Hebrew, were united with history, literary history, and philosophy; while at the same time he offered himself for examination in mathematics, physics, chemistry, zoology, and botany. And these were not all studies of an elementary character; in many cases they had gone upon new and original grounds. In the course of the year of his candidate's examination, 1836, he was promoted to the degree of magister artium.
Having taken his degree, Castrén proceeded to extend his philological knowledge by the study of Turkish. This he did, in relation to his native Finnish, as belonging to the same family of languages, and with a view to the consideration of the linguistic peculiarities of Finnish, and the mythological conceptions he found in the Kalevala. This was largely, a new study, as to the dialect in which it was couched, being preserved in Karelian, amongst a people which had adopted the Greek Orthodox faith, and had been considerably influenced by the surrounding Slavic tribes. In this dialect, a variety of forms and constructions were present, which are not found in the western Finnish. His philological and linguistic studies were also enlarged by the mastery of these kindred languages. The study of
less then than they are at present. Besides, though Castrén's studies had brought him into notice, yet his field was new. Philology as a science, more especially as dealing with modern languages was scarcely understood, as it is now. Castrén was docent in Finnish and the Old Northern * languages. Now this was regarded then as a proper study for a learned academy; but as a university study it was hardly recognized. Even in Germany, such studies in the modern languages and their philology were as yet without professorships; and in Scandinavia, they have only been established within the last ten years. The self-sacrifice which Castrén showed in the pursuit of such studies at such a time was great, though not so uncommon amongst the Finnish youth.
comparative philology had not been greatly encouraged up to this time in the Finnish university; and thus, it may be said to have been introduced by Castrén, although not in the usual way by the consideration of the related Indo-European family of languages, but by the comparison of the Mongolian tongues connected with Finaish. The first fruits of his studies in this direction was the dissertation, "De affinitate declinationum in linguâ Fennicâ, Esthonicâ et Lappicâ," a dissertation, by the presentation of which he sought to secure his place as docent in his Alma Mater. This dissertation was thoroughly on the path of modern comparative philology, as their science had been introduced by Rask and Grimm. In this inquiry and in a subsequent brochure, he also turned his knowledge of Turkish to account. In 1838, Castrén made a journey into Lappmark; and the following year into Finnish and Russian Karelia, to speak, had completed his studies at the supported by the Finnish Literary Society, with a view to follow up the course opened by Elias Lönnrot, for the collection of Finnish songs and sagas or folk-tales. Before publishing an account of his researches, he wrote for the Helsingfors Morgonbladet, of which he was assistant editor, several papers on such subjects, as Some Words on the Kalevala," and "Finnish Wizard Art," which have been published in his collected papers in Swedish and German. In 1841, Castrén completed his translation, begun two years previously, of the Kalevala into Swedish. He also lectured on this ancient poem. His translation, made in an excellent style, faithful to the original and clear, contained no less than twelve thousand verses.
There was but little encouragement in the little country of Finland for such work, and had not the Finnish Literary Society contributed one hundred and forty roubles towards the printing, Castrén would have found great difficulty in giving his work to the public. There was one element in his favor, and that was the rich endowments possessed by the Finnish university. But the professorships, extraordinary professorships and docentships are nevertheless, in a small country like Finland, necessarily few; and when once occupied, they remain so for a term of years, if not for the life of the holder; and at the time we are referring to, they were much fewer in number than at present. For the Finnish tongue there was only a lectorship. The value of this was much less than it is now; and the means affording aid to literary or scientific enterprise were much
An occasion rose for Castrén to make a fresh journey into Lappmark. Lönnrot, the Finnish Homer, of whom we have yet
university, and had obtained the place of provincial medical man, supported by the State in Kajana, in north-east Finland; had obtained, moreover, the means to make such a journey, and Castrén was invited to be his fellow-traveller. On the 13th of November, 1841, they passed up the river Kemi, north of Uleaborg, visited Castrén's birthplace, and on the 30th of May, 1842, reached Archangel on the White Sea.
Of this journey into the ancient Karelia in 1839, together with that made in 1838 to Lappmark, Castrén has left a description, which is printed in his works under the name of "Northern Travels and Researches." To the Finlander these narratives are full of interest, even from the fact that two such men as Castrén and Lönnrot were thus conjoined. But for foreign help, however, such studies and researches could not have been continued.
Lönnrot, as doctor in a thinly peopled district, had leisure and the means for such journeys; but it was otherwise with Castrén.
Another native of Finland, Sjögren, had about this time obtained a place as historical and philological student of his mother tongue, and its related dialects in the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. He had obtained a prize from the French Institute for a treatise on Ossete grammar; and he now generously came
The English language has no word for the Swedish fornnordisk, as it has no proper designation for linguistics as distinguished from philology. Old Norse refers to Norwegian. Perhaps "Old Northern" is the best translation for the Swedish word just given, equivalent to German All-Nordisch.