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in rfcinarjj to Pfe 


Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street. 


THE success of my former Work, entitled " Field Sports 
of the North of Europe," the reception of which was equally 
flattering in this country as well as abroad where it was 
translated into more than one language has induced me 
again to appear before the Public.* And though I have 

* In Sweden, where immediately after its appearance my first work was 
translated, and went through two editions, the following notice appeared 
in the " Aftonblad," the leading paper of that country the "Times," in 
short, of Scandinavia : " The seldomer it happens that unprejudiced foreigners 
have written on our native country, the more welcome ought their works 
to be. Anidt, Catteau, Colville, and many others, have described Sweden ; 
and they have often come near the truth. But the larger portion of their 
materials have been collected in the boudoir, &c. ; and the maps of the 
country have rather attracted their attention than the Natural History of 
Sweden, its inhabitants, and their customs. Lloyd has with his own eyes 
seen and judged. His free roving life has placed him in better situations, 
in those districts through which he has wandered, to study nature and 


but little in the shape of personal adventure to relate, 
as the title of the book would imply, it is still to be 
hoped that the reader the sportsman and the naturalist 
at least will find matter of sufficient interest to enable 
him to while away a passing hour. 

Mine is a simple story, and told in simple language 
necessarily so indeed, from total incapacity of perpetrating 
anything like fine writing. But even if gifted with the 
pen of a Macaulay, I would still confine myself as much 
as possible to " facts and anecdotes," which, as a valued 
friend truly observed, " are the things wanted, and not 
eloquence or sentiment." 

The Chasse of the bear the king of Scandinavian 
wild beasts forms, as will be seen, a prominent feature 
in these volumes. Though so much has been said of 
this animal in my former Work, I trust that the new 
matter will not be deemed altogether devoid of interest. 

Considerable mention is made of the wolf, the lynx, 
the glutton, the fox, the elk, the rein-deer, and other 

mankind than other individuals. One must not believe, nevertheless, that 
his work is only interesting to the lovers of the 'chase, for from a great portion 
of what he says of the inhabitants of this country, many interesting and 
previously unknown details can probably be gathered. With a similar interest 
one follows him from the savage beasts which prowl through our forests, to 
social life, as well in the circles of the great, as in those of the humbler 
classes. Throughout he shows the same open-heartedness ; and unlike 
Acerbi, who met with whales in the Malar Lake, he only speaks of what 
he has himself seen and experienced, or of what he has received from the 
best authorities/' 


animals of chase, found in the northern forests ; and of 
that curious little animal, the lemming, the periodical 
migrations of which have excited so much curiosity and 

The birds which came under my personal observation, are 
likewise treated of, as well as all those pertaining to Sweden 
and Norway : the reader is therefore presented with a 
complete, though necessarily succinct account of the Scan- 
dinavian Ornithology. 

A pretty full account is given of the fresh-water fishes. 
Several of these which are unknown to us in England will 
be found drawn from life by a celebrated artist, which 
portraits to Ichthyologists may be of some value. 

In one chapter devoted exclusively to the natural history 
of the salmon, the reader will find some curious speculations 
which may tend to clear up several debateable matters which, 
for a long period, have puzzled the brains of naturalists ; 
and in another chapter the lover of the angle will find 
information which may be of service to him, should he 
direct his course to Northern Europe. 

The reader is also made acquainted with many of the 
devices resorted to in Scandinavia for entrapping as well 
birds and beasts, as the finny tribe ; the nature of which, 
by the aid of the accompanying diagrams, will be readily 
understood. Some of the devices are curious and ingenious 
enough, and for the most part, I believe, quite unknown in 

One chapter is devoted to the Asiatic Cholera, the dire 


disease with which it has pleased Providence to afflict this 
country at the present time. The subject may not be 
considered germain to this work; but I have thought it 
right to introduce it, as well because some useful information 
may be gathered from it, as to show the imminent danger 
to which a town is exposed as was the case with Gothen- 
burg when timely preparations are not made to meet the 
fearful enemy. 

Other chapters record the more striking events in the 
early life of the great Gustavus Vasa. The subject-matter 
has been partly gleaned from traditions picked up during 
my wanderings in the Dalecarlian forests the scene of 
many of his most perilous adventures. I venture to hope 
that these chapters will repay the trouble of perusal. 

In composing these volumes I have drawn largely from 
the writings of Swedish naturalists and others ; more 
especially from the Tidskrift for Jag are och Naturf or share, 
or the Sportsman's and Naturalist's Journal, a publication to 
which some of the first people in Sweden, as well in regard 
to talents, as station, were contributors under their own 

At times the obligation is duly acknowledged, but not 
always so ; as well for the reason that constant references 
spoil the thread of the story, as that my own observations 
are so frequently mixed up with matter thus derived, that 
quotation would be difficult if not impossible. 

In conclusion. It was my intention to have introduced 
into these pages many of the superstitious and legendary 


stories of which I have treasured up vast numbers, but as the 
collection has become very considerable, I have thought it 
best to embody them, together with other matter in con- 
nexion with it, in a separate work ; which may not im- 
probably be hereafter submitted to the public. 


DECEMBER 22, 1853. 


tap . . . . . At the Commencement. 

'Twixt Life and Death Sketched by CAPT. THOS. WINGATE . To face Title. 

Falls of Trollhattan . 224 

\e Namsen . ME. OXENDEN HAMMOND . 243 

The Triumphant Return M. VON DABDEL . . 281 

Turning him out . CAPT. THOS. WINGATE . 370 

He's coming, Sir! . 418 

The above Illustrations have been drawn on stone by EDM. WALKER, 
and lithographed by DAY and Co. 




1. The Domare-Ring. Sketched by Col. EHRENGRANAT, drawn on 

wood by ALEX. FUSSELL, and engraved by MASON JACKSON 

2. The Pike-Perch . 27 

3. Cyprinus Ballerus . . .51 

4. Cyprinus Wimba . 53 

5. Thelde . . . .55 

6. Cyprinus Aspius. . 59 

7. The Lobule Roach . . .63 

8. Cyprinus G-rislagine . 65 

9. The Observatory . . .- 99 \. 

10. Process of Spawning . 98 

11. In and Out of Season . . 101 

12. The Charge . . . . 103 

13. After the Battle . . . 

14. The Wenerns-Lax . . 113 

15. The Silfver-Lax . . .116 

16. The Coregonus Oxyrhinchus . . 129 

17. The Lof-Sik . . .131 

18. The Helge- and the Martensnms-Sik . 133 

19. Coregonus Albula . . .135 

20. The Burbot 139 


Drawn from life on wood 
by ALEX. FUSSELL, and 
engraved by MASON 

Sketched by MR. ALEX. 
KEILLER, drawn on wood 
by ALEX. FUSSELL, and 
engraved by MASON 

Drawn from life on wood 
by ALEX. FUSSELL, and 
engraved by MASON 

C N T E N T S 











THE ASP . . . . . . 4360 

VOL. I. /> 









MARYON WILSON ..... 110 126 

















GALL . .... 250271 




YOUNG CUBS . . 283 288 

CHAPTEE; xvii. 


b 2 







TRAGICAL EVENT ..... 334 352 







A GOOD DAY'S WORK ..... 372 380 









THE FACULTY . . . . . 42 446 


ONSLAUGHTS ..... 447473 



APPENDIX . . 507 

.\'ni Wl"' tf Tht. Qurr/i 




WHEN I last took leave of my readers, at the close of 
the second volume of my former work on Scandinavia, 
published in 1831, I was hutted at Lap-Cottage, in the 
wilds of Wermeland. Subsequently, I pitched my tent near 
the small town of Wenersborg, situated on the southern 
extremity of the great Lake Wenern ; and it is from the 
period of my abode at this spot that I now resume the 
narrative of my residence in Scandinavia. 

Ronnum was the name of my dwelling, or rather of 
the estate on which it was situated. The proprietor 
farmed the land himself; but having another residence at 
some distance, he let the house to me. It was immediately 

VOL. I. B 


on the high road leading from Gothenburg to Wenersborg, 
and at about three miles from the latter town. It was 
very beautifully situated. In front, the country was pic- 
turesque, whilst at some three hundred to four hundred 
paces in the rear flowed the River Gotha, here a wide 
stream, of which the house commanded a splendid view. 
The property was well wooded, and many fine oaks adorned 
the park-like grounds that surrounded the house. Take 
Ronnum altogether, there are not many more beautiful spots 
in the midland or southern parts of Sweden. 

The house contained fourteen or fifteen rooms, and might 
therefore be almost called a mansion. A tolerably large 
garden, and some considerable fishing rights, were attached 
to it ; and for the whole, independently of taxes, &c., 
which only amounted to a few shillings, I paid little more 
than ten pounds annually ! This will give an idea of the 
very economical terms on which, as often happens when the 
proprietor of the estate is non-resident, one may rent an 
unfurnished house in the rural districts of Sweden. 

But furniture in that country provided a man, as with 
myself, be satisfied with that of a homely kind is not a 
very expensive affair. It was not so to me at least; for 
on taking possession, I supplied myself with everything 
requisite at a most reasonable outlay. Chairs, for instance, 
cost me about three shillings the dozen ; large folding 
dining-tables, at three to four shillings each ; a chest of 
drawers about the same sum, and everything else in pro- 
portion. But though well enough made, they were of simple 
deal, and purchased besides in Gothenburg, where such 
articles, manufactured by the neighbouring peasantry at their 
leisure hours, are much cheaper than in the rural districts. 


Cooking utensils and crockery were nearly as cheap, as well 
as fire-wood. 

And Ronnum had the farther advantage of being so 
near to Wenersborg, then considered one of the cheapest 
market-towns in that part of Sweden, as to give me the 
opportunity of supplying the larder expeditiously, as well as 

As it may be of interest to some, I insert below the prices 
of a few of the common necessaries of life. But it must 
be remembered, that in seasons of scarcity, the prices of 
some of the articles enumerated, such as grain, &c., vary 
often from fifty to one hundred per cent. These prices also 
apply to twelve or fifteen years ago; for since that time, 
owing to various circumstances, the cost of provisions has 
considerably advanced in the town in question : A score of 
eggs, 4d. to 6d. ; a pound of beef or mutton, 2d. ; a pound 
of cheese, 2d. ; a pound of butter, 4d. ; a gallon of milk, 
2d. ; a sack (four bushels) of potatoes, Is. 6d. ; a sack of 
oats, 35. ; a sack of barley, 6s. to 7s. ; a sack of wheat, 
12s. to 14s. 

There were several pretty places belonging to the gentry 
in my vicinity. Amongst the rest, Gaddaback, or the pike 
brook, where afterwards I lived myself. For the most part, 
the residences were delightfully situated on the banks of 
the Gotha. 

Thus I had no want of neighbourhood, and all evinced 
towards me, as a stranger, the utmost courtesy and good-will, 
which made my residence in that part of the country very 
agreeable. Hospitality and a hearty welcome, as regards 
the rural districts at least, may be said to be amongst the 
characteristics of the Swedes. 

B 2 


And happily a very friendly feeling appeared to exist 
amongst the neighbouring gentry, so that society was not, 
as is too often the case elsewhere, divided into sets ; but we 
all met together on the most cordial and friendly footing. 
The intercourse between the several families was pretty 
frequent. Dinners were given occasionally, but small evening 
parties were of every-day occurrence. 

These social meetings were almost invariably enlivened 
with music, in which the Swedes are generally proficients, and 
to which they are devotedly attached. They are justly 
proud of their great musical genius, Jenny Lind, whose 
extraordinary vocal powers have been, and still are, the theme 
of admiration in Europe as well as America. 

And our little parties not unfrequently finished with a 
dance, of which, as well as of music, they are equally fond. 
The Swedish ladies are very admirable dancers, and the 
gentlemen also ; but according to our English notions, 
exhibit rather too much action. 

But cards were the prevailing attraction of the evening 
with the elder portion of the company at least, few of whom 
could resist the pleasure of taking a part. Whist, Boston, 
L'Hombre, Vira the last peculiar to Sweden, and said to be 
the most intricate of all games were those most in vogue. 
But Kille, or Camphio, Gropois the latter resembling the 
French game, La Bouillote and Faro, were not unfrequently 

Speaking generally, card-playing is a perfect passion with 
a Swede, and if he be an idle man, the pack is seldom out 
of his hand, morning, noon, or night. To myself, who 
never shared in that amusement, this card-playing was an 
excessive bore. 


During the continuance of these little parties, fruits, 
confectionary, &c., as well as refreshments of various kinds, 
were always served in abundance, and the evening usually 
concluded with a petit souper. 

Their great dinner parties, as indeed is commonly the 
case everywhere, and in all countries, were somewhat heavy 
affairs ; for the eternal courses of roast and boiled French 
cookery not being much in vogue often lasted for near 
three weary hours ; and I, who am contented with a single 
joint, wished myself anywhere else than in the banquet ting- 

A custom is prevalent in most parts of Scandinavia, it 
may be proper to remark, that before the announcement of 
dinner, the guests partake of a cold collation, to give, as it is 
emphatically called, a stimulant to the appetite. A small 
table is laid out in an adjoining room, furnished with various 
liquors, and a variety of good things, such as caviare, smoked 
salmon, anchovies, butter, cheese, &c. 

At table a fair proportion of wine is drunk, though 
seldom more than a glass or two after the meal is over, 
for the gentlemen always retired to the drawing-room along 
with the ladies; and coffee was commonly served up soon 

The upper classes in Sweden are very moderate in their 
potations, rarely drinking to excess. In point of fact, and to 
their honour be it spoken, I do not believe that, during my 
long residence in that country, I saw half-a-dozen individuals, 
in what we should call the rank of gentlemen, in a state of 
inebriety. What a contrast this to the scenes which were 
once too frequently witnessed in England ! 

These social parties were the more agreeable and the 


remark applies to society in general in Sweden not only 
from the good feeling, but from the very good manners that 
universally prevail. The Swedes, like the people of other 
countries, have their faults ; but this I can say conscientiously, 
that I do not believe there is a more innately courteous and 
polite people on earth; and furthermore, that a man must 
bring it on himself, if an offensive observation be made 
to him, or in his hearing, when in company. Even when in 
a somewhat inferior station in life, the easy, good, and un- 
embarrassed manner of the Swede, so greatly superior to that 
of the same class in England, has often struck me forcibly. 
But this matter is easy of explanation, for in Sweden the 
aristocrat does not consider himself degraded by mixing 
in society with people much beneath him in station a 
feeling so contrary to that prevailing in England, where it 
is somewhat questionable whether the tradesman has an 
opportunity even once in his life of sitting side by side with 
the great man ; and the Swede is, in consequence, not only 
enabled to rub off the rust of his position, but to acquire a 
certain degree of polish. 

As with us, the Swedish ladies are passionately fond of 
flowers, and their boudoirs and drawing-rooms are almost 
universally decorated with various exotics. A pretty parterre 
is always to be seen near the house ; but the variety of flowers 
is* not so great, nor do they all possess the same exquisite 
scent as in England. Some violets, for instance, though in 
outward appearance nearly the same, are totally void of per- 
fume. In the early part of the spring, after the inodorous 
but beautiful snowdrop has drooped its head, several of the 
forest-flowers amongst the rest the primrose, the white and 
blue anemone, and the lily of the valley emblem of the 


purity of the fair owners beautify their gardens ; and as the 
season advances, the rose, the jasmine, the carnation, the 
honeysuckle, and the sweet-scented briar, shed their delicious 
fragrance around. 

The dahlia, which on my first residing at Ronnum, was 
hardly known in that part of the country, is now become 
common everywhere. Thanks to the kindness of some of 
my English friends, I had a splendid collection of these 
beautiful flowers when residing at Gaddaback, which were 
the admiration of every one. But after a time, the climate 
caused me to tire of horticultural pursuits, for one Mid- 
summer's Eve there came so severe a frost as to destroy the 
greater part of the dahlias ; and on the 7th of September of 
the same year, a second frost, that totally cut up the few I had 
been fortunate enough to save. This, it is true, was an un- 
usual season. 

But though the Swedish ladies are thus fond of flowers, it 
is seldom anything in the shape of a greenhouse, in the more 
northern districts at least, is to be met with. This struck me 
as somewhat singular; for in a country like Sweden, which 
for one-half of the year is fast bound in the iron chains 
of winter, in which time little besides a sea of snow meets the 
sight in every direction, one would have naturally supposed 
that few who could afford it would be without a conservatory, 
to delight the eye and the senses amid the general desolation 
of the scene. 

It is not a little remarkable that one of the coldest 
countries in Europe should have been the cradle of the great 
Linnaeus, the father of systematic botany. 

The Swedish gentry, speaking generally, are not much 
given to out-door amusements, and seldom engage in more 


than very moderate exercise. Nutting expeditions, pic-nics, 
&c., are less frequent than with us in England, which is the 
more surprising, as from the summer being so short, it might 
naturally be expected that they would make the most of the 
fine weather. The winter is their grand social season, at 
which time they usually have feasts, balls, &c., to satiety, 
and, out of doors, provided the weather be favourable, sledge 
parties are the order of the day. 

The peasantry in my vicinity were generally in comfortable 
circumstances. Those that farmed their own ground, as was 
the case with very many, were well off; and even the 
Torpare, the class who hold small homesteads under others, 
had little to complain of. They had substantial dwellings, 
and, so far as fell under my observation, sufficient and whole- 
some provisions. The mere day-labourer, or he whose bread 
altogether depends on the wages he may earn, is almost 
unknown in the rural districts of Sweden ; for almost every 
one, even the very poorest, has a small holding, either 
rented, or of his own, which, in part at least, serves to 
support him. 

Wages with me, taking winter and summer together, it 
may be proper to remark, did not exceed sixpence to eight- 
pence the day ; and I am inclined to believe that, as respects 
the rural districts, this may be assumed as the average of 
wages throughout Sweden. In towns more especially if 
a man is expert in the use of the axe, can carpenter a 
little, in short, he may probably earn double that sum. 

Serious crimes were rather uncommon in my neighbour- 
hood, but petty thefts were not very rare. I speak not, 
however, from personal experience, never having suffered 
beyond a very trifling extent. That there should be rather 


more than an average of worthless characters in my neigh- 
bourhood, as compared with the country in general, was 
little to be wondered at, for Ronnum was not only situated 
close to a navigable river, always the haunt of disreputable 
characters, but near to Wenersborg, which in the old Nor- 
wegian wars had been a garrison town, and the population 
in consequence somewhat demoralized. 

Drunkenness, the besetting fault of the lower classes in 
Sweden, as the passion for cards is of the higher, was unfor- 
tunately very prevalent amongst my poorer neighbours, and 
the cause probably of a large portion of the crime that did 



THERE were many legendary stories, superstitions, &c., 
connected with the country about Ronnum. Amongst the 
rest, relating to the very picturesque hills of Hunneberg and 
Halleberg, which were immediately in front of, and at less 
than a mile's distance from the house, and were remarkable 
for their geological structure. As a specimen of these 
legends, I give the following : . 

In olden times thus runs the story there was a nation 
in the interior of the present Russian empire, called the Huna 
folk, or the Huna people, who were very powerful, and 
so numerous, that the word Huna is at the present day 
used to express anything infinite in number or abundance, 
as for example, " Huna-hop, Huna-har," that is, an incalcu- 
lable crowd or army. 

These people at length invaded Sweden, for which aggres- 
sion two reasons are assigned : the one, that the Gotar, or 
Goths, as the Swedes were then called, had repeatedly assisted 


their enemies : the other, a family feud (the particulars of 
which it would be tedious to mention) for King Humle, who 
ruled the Huns, was grandfather to Angantyr, King of the 

Be the cause of the quarrel what it might, King Humle 
landed in Sweden, with so immense a host every male in 
his dominions, from twelve years old and upwards, capable of 
bearing arms, having been pressed into the service that the 
like had never been seen before. This invasion excited so 
universal a terror in the minds of the people that from thence 
arose the adage : " Der var Hun Dan," which signifies some- 
thing terrible or awful. 

Laudur, who, owing to the advanced age of King Humle, 
had the command of the Huns, and who was King Angan- 
tyr's brother, was first opposed by Hervor, their own sister. 
This princess, who was renowned over the whole North for 
her great deeds in the tented field, possessed a strong castle 
near the spot where the landing was effected, and where, in 
anticipation of the threatened attack, a large force under her 
command was then assembled. Musing one morning in her 
bower, which overlooked the forest Morkved, the heroine 
observed above the tops of the trees, so dense a cloud of dust 
in the plain beyond, as almost to obscure the sun itself, 
and from the glittering of arms and panoply, occasionally 
perceptible, she soon made out that the dreaded invaders 
were at hand. Despatching Ormer, her foster-father, to bid 
Laudur battle in front of the southern portal of the castle, 
the maiden forthwith donned her armour and sallied forth at 
the head of her men to meet the enemy. 

The engagement was long and bloody. " Ormer," so the 
saga relates, " slew so many that it was hard to count them." 


The host of the Huns was, however, so great, that the Goths 
at length began to give way. On seeing the slaughter of her 
people, the heroic Hervor, grasping her sword with both 
hands, and rushing into the thickest of the fight, cut down 
all opposed to her. When at length she had approached 
to within hearing of her brother Laudur, she challenged him 
to single combat ; but he, declining the invitation, replied : 
" I came not here thirsting after thy blood, my sister." 
Thus frustrated in her vengeance, she plunged with re- 
doubled fury into the densest ranks of the invaders, and 
at length, covered with wounds, fell lifeless from her 

The death of the princess was the signal for the dispersion 
of her men, for on witnessing her sad fate, they broke and 
fled in every direction. 

Laudur mourned greatly over the heroine ; and when the 
battle, which he had now completely gained, was over, he 
gave her remains honourable sepulture. 

Ormer, together with all who had escaped, fled from the 
ensanguined field, and riding night and day, he presented 
himself before King Angantyr, and chaunted thus : 

" From the South am I come 
To bring thee tidings ; 
In flames is all the country, 
And the heath of Morkved ; 
And all Gota land is dyed 
With the blood of thy faithful men." 

And afterwards he added : 

" But the maiden I saw, 
The daughter of Heydrick, 
Thy sister, 


Sink to the earth ; 

The Huns slaughtered 

Her and many of thy heroes." 

And furthermore : 

" Far gayer to battle 
She went than to the dance, 
Far gayer to the battle-field 
Than to the banquet 
Or bridal feast." 

When King Angantyr heard the sad intelligence, he in his 
overwhelming grief plucked out his beard, and for a while 
remained silent ; but at length he exclaimed : " Unbrotherlike 
wast thou treated, my never-to-be-forgotten sister." And 
then looking around him in his hall, and seeing but few of 
his warriors present, he thus in anger " qvad " or sung : 

" Many were we 
When mead we quaffed, 
Now are we few 
When numbers are needed. 

" None do I see, 
Among my champions, 
Though I would offer 
Golden treasures 

" To him that will ride forth, 
And bear the shield 
To the Hunnish armies 
With the message of war." 

This appeal was thus responded to by Gissor, then an old 
man, but who in his day had been a famous warrior, and 
who was then residing at the court of King Angantyr : 


" Guerdon I ask not, 
I seek not thy red gold : 
Yet will I ride forth 
And bear the shield 
To the host of the Huns, 
And dare them to battle." 

It was an ancient custom for the invader, when he 
appeared in an enemy's country, to leave to the king of 
that country the right of naming the " valplats," or battle- 
ground ; and until the combat was decided, to refrain from 
ravaging the land. 

In accordance with this usage, Gissor, after having put on 
his most sumptuous armour, and mounted his horse, inquired 
therefore of Angantyr : 

" Where shall we mark out 
The battle-field ?" 

To which appeal the King rejoined : 

" At Dunaheden, and around 
The far-spread Josen Mountain 
Battle shall wait them, 
Where oft-times valiant 
Champions were warring, 
Reaping the glorious 
Harvest of fame/' 

Gissor now rode forth to the Hunnish army, but ap- 
proached not nearer than to be enabled to hold converse with 
its commander. In a loud voice he then " qvad :" 

" Your squadrons stand confounded, 
Your chieftains are trembling, 
Crest-fallen is your monarch, 
And Odin has forsaken you. 


' I challenge you to battle 
On Duuahedeii, 
In the valleys 
Round Joseu Mountain. 

" There may Odin 
Doom all your horses 
And all your arrows 
To mingle and hurtle 
As I have spoken." 

When Laudur heard Gissor's words, he exclaimed in 
wrath : " Die shalt thou, Gissor, Angantyr's man, sent 
forth from Arnheim." 

Then said King Hurnle : " We must not spill the blood 
of an Arnheimer who journeys alone." 

" I fear neither the Huns nor their bows of horn," 
retorted Gissor in defiance : and putting spurs to his charger, 
he hastened back to King Angantyr. 

The monarch, on his arrival, questioned him as to his 
mission to the King of the Huns ? 

" I challenged him," replied Gissor, " and appointed 
Dunaheden as the battle-ground." 

Angantyr farther inquired the number of the Hunnish 

" Vast is their number," answered Gissor. " Sixty and 
three are their fylkingar. For every fy Iking, five thousand ; 
in every thousand, thirteen hundred ; in every hundred, four 
times forty armed men." 

When Angantyr had satisfied himself as to the state of 
the Hunnish host, he despatched messengers in all directions, 
and summoned every one capable of bearing arms to take 
part in the coming fight. And when his preparations were 

VOL. i. B 3 


completed, he proceeded to Dunaheden, where he found the 
Huns already awaiting him ; and although his own people 
were very numerous, the enemy outnumbered him twofold. 

The battle commenced on the following morning, and 
lasted throughout the whole day. But on the approach of 
evening, both parties returned to their respective encamp- 

Thus the fight continued for the space of eight days ; many 
of the leaders were wounded, but no one knew the number of 
the slain. Meanwhile, men crowded from all parts to the 
standard of King Angantyr, so that although his losses were 
great, he had not fewer people than at the beginning. 

The combat now raged fiercer than ever. The attacks of 
the Huns became more desperate ; for they saw that unless 
they dishonoured themselves by suing for peace, their lives 
depended on their gaining the victory. 

As the day closed, the Goths in their turn became the 
assailants, and the enemy began to waver and fall back. 
When this was observed by King Angantyr, he advanced 
from within his fortress of shields (Skoldborg) at the head of 
his men, with Tirfing, the enchanted sword, in his hand, and 
slew both men and horses. 

The warriors who formed King Humle's Skoldborg then 
fell back, and the brothers exchanged blows with each other. 
King Humle and Laudur fell, and the ranks of the Huns 
broke and fled ; and the Goths slaughtered so many that the 
rivers were choked up with bodies, and overflowed their 
banks, and the valleys were filled with horses, blood, and 
dead men. 

The combat ended, Angantyr strode over the field of battle, 
when, finding Laudur amongst the slain, he chaunted thus : 


" Did 1 not offer 
To share with thee, brother, 
Gold, lands and people, 
As thou desiredst ? 

" Now hast thou nought 
As guerdon of battle, 
Neither the red gold 
Nor the wide lands. 

" Cursed be my fate 
That I, my brother, 
Have been thy slayer. 
Oh, hard was the doom 
Of the pitiless Nornas." 

After the battle of Dunaheden, thirty thousand of the fugi- 
tive Huns took refuge in the Hill of Huna (Hunneberg), hence 
its name, and they fortified themselves there. Afterwards, 
for a long time, they kept the surrounding country in a state 
of great disquiet by their predatory excursions. But wearied 
out at length, the peasants rose as one man, and armed only 
with clubs (whence the combat was called the " Klubb-fejd," 
or the battle of clubs), they succeeded in driving the invaders 
out of their strongholds. 

After this defeat the Huns dispersed, and spread them- 
selves over the whole country, where they settled quietly 
down, and in time were merged among the rest of the in- 
habitants. To this day indeed, the names of many places in 
Sweden bear testimony to their presence. 

Halleberg, the other hill in question, which is only sepa- 
rated from Hunneberg by a narrow valley, is said to have 
derived its name from Hallo, a renowned chieftain of the 
Huns, who after the " Klubb-fejd," retreated to Billings- 
berg, where he built and fortified a town, the remains of 

VOL. I. C 



which are still visible ; where for a long time he bravely 
defended himself. 

Independently of the above legend, and the great natural 
beauty of the pass, between Hunneberg and Halleberg, these 
hills are remarkable in more respects than one. 



At the foot of Halleberg, for instance, is pointed out a 
so-called Domare-Ring, a circle of large stones, placed 


upright on the green sward, where, in former times, judg- 
ment was administered. 

And immediately beyond the Domare-Ring, is a mural 
precipice of from two to three hundred feet in height, called 
the " Atte-Stupa,"* from the summit of which, according to 
tradition, the infirm, the " utlefvade," or those who had out- 
lived their powers, and those who were weary of life, were 
accustomed in crowds, and after feasting and drinking, to 
cast themselves headlong ; for, according to the creed of their 
great hero and lawgiver Odin, by thus committing suicide, 
they qualified themselves to enter into the joys of Val- 
halla ! 

And at the foot of Halleberg, moreover, though at some 
distance from the Domare-Ring, a spring is pointed out, 
which in bygone days was looked upon as holy, and by the 
peasants, is still supposed to retain its pristine virtues ; as an 
evidence of which, hundreds of people, even in my time, 
flocked to it every Midsummer Eve, to quaff of its healing 

According to the belief of the superstitious, ancient as well 
as modern, giants have at all times existed in Scandinavia ; 
and many stories are recorded of their exploits. But, inde- 
pendently of fabulous beings, it would really seem by the 
accompanying document, the truth of which can hardly be 
called in question, that veritable giants perfect Goliahs in 
their way were at times to be found in the peninsula. 

" When, in the year 1763," so runs the document, "the 
ground was dug for the enlargement of Nas Church, (within 
eight or nine miles of Ronnum,) which is situated on a large 

* The accompanying sketch, kindly depicted for me by my friend, Colonel 
Ehrengranat, represents the Domare-Ring and the Atte-Stupa. 

c 2 


and high * attebacke,' or ancient burial-mound, the bones of 
an extraordinary man were found. The skull was a foot in 
breadth, and between the eyes was a space of eight inches. 
The teeth, which were still fast in the jaw, were as large as 
those of a horse. The ribs were of double the usual size, 
and the shin bones thirty-six inches in length ; all which we 
the undersigned, as well as many others, saw with our own 
eyes. And to the full truth of this statement we certify, as 
desired, in the presence of the subscribing witnesses." 

The signatures of the churchwarden and others, attested 
by the clergyman of the parish, follow ; and the document, 
which is still preserved in the archives of the Church of Nas, 
goes on to state that, " the skeleton was again interred under 
a flat stone in front of, and on that side of the door of the 
vestry facing the pulpit, and at the very spot where the 
excavation was made." 




THERE was very good fishing at Ronnum ; but before 
speaking of my performances with the rod, &c., it may 
be as well to say something of the fish inhabiting the 
Wenern, the River Gotha, and other neighbouring waters 
as also to give a slight account of such other fresh-water 
fishes as are included in the Scandinavian Fauna. Of the 
fish found on the adjacent sea-coast, I shall have occasion to 
speak hereafter. 

The illustrations of fishes which follow, are from spe- 
cimens, many of large size, brought by myself in spirits 
of wine from the various localities referred to. They were 
drawn by Mr. Alexander Fussell, so well known as a 
first-rate zoological draughtsman, and engraved on wood 
by Mr. Mason Jackson, second to no one in his pro- 


For the information of the ichthyologist, it may he proper 
to mention that the following are the chief works treating of 
the fishes of Sweden and Norway, viz. : Artedi's " Ichthyolo- 
gia," Lugd. Batav. 1738; Pontoppidan's "Natural History of 
Norway," (Engl. Transl. London, 1755); Linnaeus' " Fauna 
Suecica," 2nd Ed. 1761; Retzius' " Fauna Suecica," 1800; 
Nilsson's " Prodromus Ichthyologies Scandinavicse," a concise 
treatise published in 1832; "Fiskarne i Morko Skargard," 
1835, by Ekstrom, and subsequently translated into German, 
under the title of " Die Fische in den Scheeren von Morko ;" 
" Skandinaviens Fiskar," an incomplete though admirable 
work, jointly edited by Professor Sundevall, M. Ekstrom, and 
the late lamented Professor B. Fries, and most beautifully illus- 
trated by that highly-talented artist, M. von Wright; and 
" Danmark's Fiske," by M. Kroyer, also a very superior work, 
though not yet quite completed. 

From several of the works enumerated being rather out 
of date, and the extreme conciseness or incompleteness of 
the rest, one is unable to obtain full and correct informa- 
tion regarding ichthyological subjects. I am happy to state, 
however, that Professor Nilsson promises us shortly a 
full account of the Scandinavian fishes (a portion of the 
work, indeed, has already appeared) which will in a degree 
make good the deficiencies that myself and others at 
present labour under. 

The Common Perch (Abborre, Sw. ; Perca flwviatilis, 
Linn.) was abundant with us, as well in the Gotha, as in the 
Wenern. This fish is widely distributed over Scandinavia, 
being found in most of the lakes and rivers from the 
extreme south of the peninsula to Lapland ; indeed, from 
its larger size in the far north, it is believed to thrive 


better there than elsewhere. It is also found in the 
Skargard (as the belt of islands fringing the Scandinavian 
shores is called), off the eastern coast, where the water, how- 
ever, is only brackish ; but more generally near to the 
mouth of some lake or river, and seldom or never regularly 
out to sea. 

The President M. af Robson speaks of a sub-species of 
perch, found in the Lake Tisaren, in the province of Nerike, 
which goes by the name of Skallingar. " Nothing is known," 
that gentleman tells us, " regarding their propagation, neither 
is milt or roe ever found in them. They resemble in appear- 
ance the common perch, but are more slender in form ; 
in proportion to the body, the head is larger than that, of the 
perch. The back is black, the upper part of the body, 
on the contrary, lighter or of paler colour than the perch. 
For the most part they are found singly, or in small com- 
panies, never assembling in large shoals. They are scarce, 
and seldom exceed half-a-pound in weight." 

The so-called Rud-Abborre (the same spoken of by 
Linnaeus as found in a pond near Upsala, a fish which, 
from its crooked and elevated back, was at one time 
imagined to be a hybrid, between the Crucian and the 
Perch) is believed by Nilsson to be a variety of the latter ; 
and by Ekstrom its malformation is ascribed solely to local 

The flesh of the perch is in Sweden, as in England, held 
in high estimation, more especially that of such as are cap- 
tured in salt water. It is believed, moreover, to have this pecu- 
liarity, so uncommon with the finny tribe, that one may eat of 
it daily for a long time without being surfeited. Its flavour, 
however, depends much on the water from which the fish is 


taken. Those from shallow lakes, with grassy bottoms, are 
smaller, leaner, and have less flavour than such as are bred 
in large lakes, where the water is clear and deep, and where 
there is a current, with a stony bottom. If the fish be 
kept for a short time it loses its flavour, for which reason 
it is commonly dressed as soon as may be after it is caught ; 
and to make assurance doubly sure on this point, there are 
those barbarous enough to pop the poor fellow, living as he 
is, bodily into the boiling water ! 

But it is not alone for the table that the perch is valued in 
Sweden (such, at least, was the case until very recently), for a 
very strong glue is made out of its skin. This, when dried, 
is steeped in cold water, and after the scales have been 
scraped off, it is placed within a bullock's bladder, which is 
tied so securely at the mouth that no water can penetrate. 
This bladder is then placed in a cauldron, and boiled until 
the skin is dissolved. The scales are also at times made 
use of in the mounting of rings, and other ornaments. It is 
not many years since, indeed, that they were used in em- 
broideries on ribbons, reticules, &c. 

In my vicinity, the spawning season with the perch was 
from about the middle of April to the end of May, or it 
might be that it extended into the earlier days of June. Its 
commencement and termination was greatly influenced, how- 
ever, by the state of the spring. The perch pass the winter 
in the deeps ; but at the breaking up of the frost, they, 
in large shoals, make for the strand; for such spots, more 
especially, in which the water is pretty deep, the bottom stony 
or sandy, and overgrown with the common reed (Arundo 
Phragmites, Linn.), or where it is strewn with boughs of 
trees, &c. But if such localities are not to be met with, the 


"lek"* is carried on amongst clusters of rushes (Scirpus, 
Linn.), and river horse-tail (Equisetum fluviatile, Linn.) 

The spawning process with the perch, is said to be some- 
what peculiar. Unlike the ova of other fish, which, simply 
enveloped in a mass of gelatine, readily separate as soon 
as deposited by the female, those of the perch are en- 
closed in a net-like membrane that keeps them attached 

The fish, to get rid of the ova (so goes the story), rubs her 
belly against a sharp stone, or a stick, until the membrane in 
question becomes attached to it, when, wriggling her body, 
she makes a quick forward movement, and thus, piece by 
piece, draws out the string of eggs, in appearance not unlike 
that of the toad, and which is often from five to six feet in 
length. Some, indeed, go so far as to aver, that to facilitate 
this operation, she introduces the point of a reed into the vent, 
to which the gelatine becomes fastened, and as a consequence 
when she moves forward, the string follows in her wake. 

The perch is very prolific. According to Bloch, two 
hundred and eighty-one thousand eggs have been found in 
an individual of only half-a-pound in weight ; but by some 
this is considered an exaggeration. The fish itself, never- 
theless, is not proportionately numerous. Several reasons 
are assigned for this. First, that there are many more males 
than females, which is said to be a well-ascertained fact. 
Secondly, that owing to the roe adhering together, it is 
more easily consumed by fish of prey and water-fowl ; and 

* This word (meaning literally sport or play) is applied as well to the 
particular spot where birds or fishes congregate for the purpose of pairing 
or spawning, as to the act itself of their so congregating for that special 


lastly, that from the eggs being strung together, they are 
more liable to be cast ashore by storms, where they soon 

The perch is of slow growth. Kroyer says, that at the 
commencement of the first winter, the young fish are only an 
inch in length ; in the third year, about six inches, and the 
weight three ounces ; and in the sixth, their length sixteen 
inches, and weight one pound and a half. Swedish and 
Danish naturalists seem to be of opinion, that it is not until 
its third year that this fish is capable of procreation. 

With us at Ronnum, the perch did not attain to any 
considerable size. I myself never killed one of more than 
three pounds weight, nor did I ever hear, from an authentic 
source at least, of any perch much exceeding five pounds. 
The monster head two spans in length spoken of by 
Scheifer, as preserved in the Church of Lulea, in Lapland, 
and assumed to be that of a perch, Swedish naturalists of 
the present day regard as that of some other fish ; and, more- 
over, not a Sebastes, as Cuvier seems to have imagined. 

The perch is captured in Sweden by a variety of devices, 
but in summer chiefly, perhaps, with hook and line. In my 
neighbourhood, more especially in the Wenern, great things 
are at times done by this method. " About midsummer," 
so writes a friend, resident on the northern shores of the lake, 
" a couple of men may, in the course of three or four hours, 
capture fifteen to eighteen lispund that is, from three 
hundred to three hundred and sixty pounds." 

At this season, perch may frequently be seen in large 
shoals near to the surface, and continually leaping out of 
the water in pursuit of small fry, insects, &c. During 
the chase, it often lashes the water with its tail, thereby 



creating a particular sound, which the fisherman imitates hy 
snapping his finger in the water, in order, as he imagines, to 
attract the shoals to him. 


Perca Lmioperca, Linn., " Retz., Faun. Suec.," p. 366. 

... " Nilsson, Prod.," p. 82. 

... " Krb'yer, Fishes of Denmark," vol. I. p. 32. 

... " Ekstrom, Morko," p. 94. 

The Pike-perch (Gos, Sw. ; Lucioperca Sandra, Cuv.), 
apparently so named in reference at once to its appearance 
and its hahits, was abundant in my vicinity, or rather in 
the Wenern, for though we occasionally fell in with it during 
our fishing excursions in the Gotha, it was rare. It is 
pretty common in most of the large lakes in the more mid- 
land and southern provinces of Sweden ; and at times a 
variety of the species is found in the eastern Skargard, as 
well as in sundry of the hays and inlets of the Baltic. 
Singularly enough, it seems a mooted point amongst Swedish 
and Danish naturalists, whether this fish be an inhabitant of 
the Norwegian lakes or not. 


As regards the waters of the interior at least, the 
learned in Sweden and Denmark only admit of a single 
species of pike-perch ; but the fishermen in my neigh- 
bourhood spoke (erroneously, no doubt) of a second. That 
which spawned first, and which they described as the 
larger and darker in colour of the two, they called the 
Is , or Ice-G6s, and the other the Abborre , or Perch- 

The pike-perch's movements in -the water are described as 
heavy and ungainly, and his disposition dull and inert. 
Hence the saying : " Dum som en gos," that is, stupid as 
a pike -perch. 

"This fish," so we are told by Ekstrom, "prefers deep, 
clear, and pure water, where the bottom is of stones or sand. 
On clayey bottoms, where the water is easily rendered turbid, 
he is never, so far as my experience extends, to be found ; 
and if found at all in such localities, it is only very rarely, and 
then by accident." Kroyer says also : " The gos delights 
in deep water, with sandy or stony bottoms. Under other 
circumstances it would seem scarcely to thrive moderately 
well, or even to exist at all." But in this matter these great 
authorities are somewhat in error, for gos abounded in an 
immense inlet of the Wenern, in my neighbourhood, where 
the water is not only comparatively shallow, but almost 
invariably so excessively turbid, that it was a miracle to me 
how the fish could manage to see the bait. 

Though I myself cannot remember ever hearing the cha- 
racter of a wanderer attributed to the pike-perch, Boie would 
make him out to be somewhat discursive. " In the lakes of 
Holstein, the fishermen," he tells us, " have noted a periodical 
increase and decrease in their numbers. For several successive 


seasons they are abundant, and then for years together they 
become very scarce, or almost altogether disappear." 

The pike-perch feeds chiefly on small fish, more especially 
Nors, or the fry of the smelt. It is said indeed, by some, 
that he only inhabits waters where that fish is found. He 
also feeds on small fluviatile and marine animals, and when 
pressed by hunger so we are told by Kroyer and Ekstrom 
on vegetable substances. The pike, the perch, and other fish 
of prey, prefer greatly living or fresh baits ; but the gos, on 
the contrary, is believed to have a special liking to such as 
are dead and tainted. In some places, indeed, the fisher- 
men are accustomed to expose the small fish intended as bait 
for some hours to the rays of the sun, that they may thereby 
acquire an odour, prior to placing them on the hook. 

By all accounts this fish is not tenacious of life. The 
fishermen in my neighbourhood asserted, indeed, that the 
so-called Is-Gos, dies as soon as taken out of the water, 
oft-times even as soon as hooked, or enveloped in the folds 
of the net, a fact which by some was attributed to their 
excessive fatness ; and this story is in a degree corroborated 
by Swedish and Danish naturalists. Kroyer tells us, for 
example, "That the gos is not hard-lived indeed that its 
life is extinct soon after it leaves its native element;" and 
Ekstrom, "that when he finds himself a prisoner, and 
has made one or more efforts to escape, he resigns him- 
self quietly to his fate, and one finds him floating belly 
upwards on the surface; as soon as he is captured he 
discharges the air from the swim-bladder, which occasions 
a noise resembling eructation. He commonly dies at the 
same instant. The fishermen are therefore accustomed, 
as soon as he is hauled into the boat, to pierce the tail 


near the caudal fin, that the blood may run freely, and the 
flesh in consequence be whiter and more palatable." 

And when speaking of removing the gos from one country 
or locality to another, Ekstrom farther says : "By reason of 
his dying immediately after being taken out of the water, it is 
difficult to transport him, if of any size ; and it is equally so 
to transplant him by means of the roe, which can with diffi- 
culty be procured in the deep water where he spawns ; and 
taking it from the spawning female, although mixed with 
the milt of the male, which experiment I myself have tried 
on several occasions, very rarely succeeds. In the sump, 
or fish-box, he only lives a day or two." Kroyer, when 
alluding to this subject, testifies to a similar effect, and 
mentions " a dealer in fish, who at different times attempted 
to convey the gos alive from Prussia to Copenhagen, but who 
always failed in the attempt." 

Though the pike-perch is represented as so short-lived 
when taken out of the water, I do not think he dies quite so 
quickly as is commonly believed. I judge so from what has 
come under my personal notice, for those at whose cap- 
ture I have assisted, have on the average lived an hour or 
more at the bottom of the boat, in which at the time 
there was little or no water. Neither do I imagine the 
difficulty of obtaining mature eggs would be so great as 
described by Ekstrom ; and I therefore hope the experiment 
will be tried in England, and that at no distant day the gos 
will be included in the British Fauna. 

The flesh of this fish is white, firm, and very palatable. 
It is eaten dried, salted, or fresh. If the latter, it should be 
dressed (boiled, never fried) as soon as may be after it is 
caught, otherwise it soon becomes insipid. Though so 


delicious a fish, it is said, nevertheless, that if partaken of 
daily, one soon tires of it. In some parts of the country the 
fat is used by the peasants as an embrocation for the cure of 
rheumatism, sprains, &c. 

In the Wenern, the spawning season of the gos is April 
and May. Swedish and Danish naturalists tell us, however, 
that the process goes on up to the middle of June, and they 
attribute its long continuance to the circumstance of these 
fish only spawning in the night. Furthermore, that at this 
time, the fish leave the deeps and approach the shoals, where 
the female deposits her roe amongst stones, weeds, &c., " but 
never," they say (though this seems to me very doubtful), " in 
less than from sixteen to twenty feet of water." The eggs, 
which are light in colour, and very small in comparison with 
the size of the fish, are exceedingly numerous. Bloch, in a 
female of three pounds weight, found no less than three 
hundred and eighty thousand six hundred and forty. 

The fry are of rapid growth. Ekstrom speaks of an indi- 
vidual of seven to eight inches in length, kept in a small piece 
of water, that he imagined to be about a year old, and which 
in the course of three years weighed from five to six pounds. 

The gos attains to a large size in the Scandinavian waters. 
It has, to my knowledge, been occasionally killed in the 
Wenern exceeding twenty pounds weight ; and we read of 
one taken in the Lake of Karsholm, in Scania, which weighed 
twenty-seven pounds. But monsters such as these are 
exceptions to the rule, the more usual weight of the adult 
fish being only about ten or twelve pounds. 

The gos is captured in Sweden by devices of various 
kinds. Near Ronnum great numbers were taken by nets, 
night lines, &c. At the neighbouring estate of Frugard, 


situated on an inlet of the Wenern, as much as sixty 
lispund, or ahout twelve hundred pounds, have heen caught 
of a morning during the spawning season ; and in the course 
of the whole season, five hundred lispund, or ten thousand 
pounds. As a consequence of this abundance, the town of 
Wenersborg was amply supplied with this fish. They were 
brought in cart-loads, and usually sold at one shilling the 
lispund, or about a halfpenny of our money per pound. 

The Common Ruffe, or Pope (Gers. Sw. ; Acerina vul- 
garis, Cuv.), was abundant with us as well as over nearly 
the whole of Scandinavia. It is said to be more plentiful, 
however, in the northern and central portions of the peninsula, 
than in the more southern. It is also found in the eastern 
Skargard, but, so far as I am aware, not in the western. 

This fish, according to the Swedish naturalists, prefers 
slow running streams that are clear, and with bottoms of 
clay or sand; for though met with in such as have muddy 
bottoms, he does not seem to thrive. In the spring he seeks 
the shallows, but towards autumn falls back into the deeps, 
where he passes the winter. He keeps near the bottom, and 
is seldom seen even in mid-water. He is solitary in his 
habits; the greater part of the year he passes alone, and 
it is only during the spawning season that he is seen 
in shoals. In disposition he is apparently sluggish, and 
seems rather to wait for his prey than to seek it. When 
he does move from his station, it is not by a continuous 
progressive motion, but by short and rapid shoots. It is 
not incapability, however, that causes this seeming apathy ; 
for when alarmed, his movements in the water are so quick 
as to have given rise to the saying, " qvick som en gers," 
that is, agile as a ruffe. 


He is in the highest degree voracious, and devours indif- 
ferently small fishes, insects, worms, and soft-hodied animals 
that are found attached to grass, stones, or other substances 
lying in the water. He seldom if ever attempts to capture 
anything that is at large, and in rapid motion. From this 
cause, when he sees the worm or other bait appended to the 
angler's hook stationary, he, without nibbling, as fishermen 
would say, pounces upon it at once, and this more especially 
if it be lying at the bottom. 

The ruffe is commonly in good condition, and the circum- 
stance of his body being covered with a slimy matter, which 
exudes from the oval depressions about the head and the 
lateral line, makes him appear fat. If to this be added, that 
so soon as taken out of the water, he spreads his fins, opens 
his gills, and as it were, inflates his body " Han brostar 
sig," as they say in Sweden ; that is, he swells in the 
manner of a turkey-cock one can well understand his 
nickname of " skatt-bonde," a term which is applied to a 
peasant who, from holding his land under the Crown on 
specially easy tenure, is, as compared with others of his 
station, unusually well off. 

Owing to the slimy matter spoken of, this fish very often 
goes also by a designation which there is some difficulty in 
naming to ears polite, to wit, " Snor-gers," Snor implying 
the mucous excretion from the nasal organ. 

The ruffe is very tenacious of life. It is said of him that, 
as with some of the Cyprini, he can be kept alive a long 
time if frozen as soon as captured, and afterwards thawed in 
cold water. 

Though the flesh of this fish is firm, white, palatable, and 
easy of digestion, it is but little in request with the upper 

VOL. I. D 


classes in Sweden. But the peasants in some parts of the 
country value it highly, and call it " kungamat," or food for 
a king. 

A great prejudice is entertained by the fishermen against 
the ruffe, in consequence of its being supposed not only 
to drive away other fish, but to devour their roe. The 
first charge is most likely altogether groundless, originating 
probably in the circumstance that when, owing to storms or 
bad weather, other fish retire from the strand to the deeps, 
the solitary ruffe remains, and becomes the only prize of the 
fisherman ; but the second charge, though not fully proved, 
may possibly be true. 

The ruffe spawns in April or May. The lek is carried 
on in moderately deep water, where the bottom consists of 
sand or clay, and is overgrown with rushes. Amongst these 
the female deposits her eggs, which are minute, yellowish in 
colour, and very numerous. Bloch counted no less than 
seventy-five thousand in one fish. 

The ruffe is generally considered slow of growth. It 
never attains to any considerable size. One Swedish natu- 
ralist tells us, it has been met with as large as an ordinary 
perch; but this I take to be a mistake, for six to eight 
inches is their more usual length, which is seldom or never 

Owing to its tenacity of life, the ruffe is highly valued by 
the fishermen as bait ; such, at least, was the case in my 
neighbourhood. From want of better, indeed, I have occa- 
sionally had recourse to it when " spinning " for trout or 
salmon, and have found it killing, especially after having 
rendered it more inviting by cutting off the spiny fins. 

The Miller's Thumb, River Bullhead, &c. (Simpa, Sw. ; 


Coitus Gobio, Linn.), was very common with us as well 
in the Gotha as the Wenern, and indeed in nearly all the 
rivers and lakes throughout Scandinavia. It is also found 
in the eastern Skargard, but not to my knowledge in the 

This fish does not go in shoals, but alone. Its .chief 
resorts are under stones (hence its Swedish designations 
" sten-simpa," stone-bullhead ; " sten-sugare," stone-sucker, 
&c.), where it lies in ambush for its prey, consisting of 
worms, larvae of insects, Crustacea and small fry. Its flesh 
is white and well-flavoured, but from its small size, it is not 
much sought after. 

With us, the miller's thumb was said to spawn in 
April and May ; Ekstrom, however, imagines not until 
June. But of its proceedings at the lek, little seems 
to be known. Formerly it was believed that this fish 
lived in monogamy, that the female deposited her roe in 
holes formed by herself, and that afterwards, in the manner 
of birds, she sat upon them until they were hatched. It was 
even asserted that the female would furiously attack anything 
that attempted to disturb her nest; as also that the male 
often acted the maternal part; but this fable is now pretty 
well exploded. 

The miller's thumb is the smallest of the Scandinavian 
Cotti ; and though it occasionally attains to five or six inches, 
its more usual length is from three to four. In appearance 
the sexes differ but little. 

According to Swedish naturalists, the Coitus poecilopus, 
Heck, is also an inhabitant of the eastern Skargard, but as 
far as my knowledge extends, is neither found on the western 
coast, nor in the waters of the interior. 

D 2 


Of the other three marine species of the genus Coitus, of 
which more hereafter, when referring to the west coast of 
Sweden, it may be important here to mention, that the 
Coitus quadricornis, Linn., is a constant resident in the 
Lake Wettern, in the central part of Sweden, a fact but 
little . known to naturalists generally. 

The Rough-tailed, or Three-spined Stickleback (Hundstagg, 
Stor-Spigg, Sw. ; Gasterosteus aculeatus, Linn.), was com- 
mon in my vicinity ; as also throughout Scandinavia, from 
the extreme south of Sweden, to far beyond the Polar 
Circle; and this as well in the waters of the interior, as 
on the eastern and western coasts of the peninsula. It is 
frequently met with, indeed, in such small, isolated places, 
that the double wonder is, in what manner it became an 
inhabitant there, and how it can continue to exist. 

The three -spined stickleback prefers moderately rapid 
waters, and in the summer resorts much to the shallows, 
more especially to such as are exposed to the rays of the sun. 
Towards autumn, on the contrary, it retires farther from the 
shore, and in the winter retreats to the deeps ; such, at least, 
is the presumption, for when captured at that season in 
the fishermen's nets, it is usually in large numbers together. 
It is seldom seen singly, but almost always in larger or 
smaller shoals. It feeds on insects, worms, larvse, small 
Crustacea, and the minute fry of other fish ; and although 
of so diminutive a size, is one of the most voracious of 
the finny tribe. 

Perhaps the most remarkable circumstance in reference 
to this species of stickleback, is the extraordinary changes ob- 
servable in its colours. In the winter, the upper part of the 
head and the back is blue, and the body pure silvery-white. In 


the summer, on the contrary, the upper part of the head, 
and the whole of the back, down to the lateral line, is dark 
grey. During the spawning season the variations in its 
hues are wonderful. The hack then becomes brownish, 
the cross-bars darker, and the silvery-white sides acquire 
a strong argento-cupreous tint, implying a colour produced 
by the mixture of silver and copper. This is more especially 
the case with the females. The males are marked with a 
red spot under the chin, at the point where the gill mem- 
branes meet, and which extends rapidly, so that the redness 
commonly occupies the whole of the under surface of the 
body, from the point of the lower jaw to the vent. In 
different individuals, however, the redness in question occu- 
pies more or less space. With some it reaches above the 
lateral line ; whilst others again are altogether red, with the 
exception of the upper part of the back, which is reddish- 
brown, and the upper surface of the head, which is at all 
times of a strong verditer colour. The irides are of a 
beautiful green. 

The spawning season with us is about the month of 
July; even as early as May, however, the males as well as 
the females begin to change their hues a sure sign of 
its near approach; in point of fact, it actually commences 
as soon as the transformation in colour is fully effected. 
The lek itself is commonly held in some grassy spot near 
to the strand, and myriads assemble to take their part 
in it. 

A somewhat marvellous account is given by Swedish and 
Danish naturalists as to the way in which the reproductive 
processes are carried on. The males and the females sepa- 
rate. The males, which would seem to be much fewer 


in number than the females, choose each for himself a 
certain spot, where he reigns paramount. Here, with fibres 
of grass and weeds, he constructs a tunnel-shaped nest, 
leaving only an opening in the roof, for the admission of 
himself and the females ; and to give this his seraglio 
the greater stability, he strews the floor with grains of 
sand, which he often brings from a distance in his mouth ; 
and in order that the fibres composing the upper part of 
the nest, may adhere the better together, he deposits secre- 
tions from his own body. 

Desperate jealousies exist among the males ; and in the 
guarding of these, their domestic sanctuaries, it requires but 
the very slightest provocation on the part of one to set up 
the back of his neighbour, and to bring on a regular combat. 
On these occasions the belligerents dash at each other with 
the rapidity of an arrow, making the while, with their sharp 
lateral spines, a ferocious side-attack, which not unfrequently 
proves fatal, after which, and with similar speed, they retreat 
again to their own little fortress. 

Whilst the males are thus engaged in these knightly 
exercises, the females, in larger or smaller numbers, make 
excursions round and about the battle-field. One leads 
the shoal ; she swims hastily forward, suddenly halts, and 
places herself in a perpendicular position, with her head 
downwards. The others having followed, collect about her, 
and station themselves, closely packed, in a similar attitude. 
When thus singularly congregated, she suddenly thrashes 
the water, as fishermen say, with her tail a signal, it 
would seem, for departure for in the twinkling of an eye 
the whole company disperse; and this is repeated many 


During the temporary cessation of the combats spoken 
of, the male joins company with the females, when, as is 
usual with suitors, he assumes his gayest colours, which, 
in brilliancy and variety, equal those of the rainbow; and 
either by force or persuasion he gets one or other of them 
into his nest, through the aperture in question, where 
she deposits her eggs, and then forces her passage out 
again, but in an opposite direction to that by which she 
entered. Immediately after her departure, the male him- 
self takes her place in the nest, for the purpose, it is 
to be presumed, of fructifying the eggs, and then goes 
wooing again, when the same process is repeated. 

The number of eggs thus deposited in one nest is very 
great ; and after the spawning season is over, the male 
stations himself perpendicularly over the entrance of the 
nest, and guards the eggs until they are hatched. For 
twenty days subsequent to the birth of the fry, he tends 
them as affectionately as a hen does her chickens, and it 
is only by degrees he allows them to leave the nest, where 
he brings them food. 

The lek usually lasts from four to six days, but its 
duration is in some degree dependent on the state of the 
weather. Most fishes during the spawning season lay aside 
their natural shyness, and are consequently easy of capture ; 
but the contrary is the case with the three-spined stickleback, 
which at that period is more than usually vigilant. When the 
lek is over, its brilliant colours gradually vanish, and it then 
assumes its ordinary appearance, and disposition. 

From its abundance everywhere, during certain seasons, 
one might be led to imagine the female to be very prolific. 
But this is by no means the case, for she has not in both 


ovaria more than from one hundred and ten to one hundred 
and fifty eggs, which are large in proportion to the size 
of the fish ; and as from the limited number of the males 
there is reason to believe that only a certain number of these 
are impregnated, her fecundity cannot be great. The growth 
of the fry is rapid ; but northern naturalists doubt the truth 
of the story as to the fish living for only three years. In 
the interior waters of Scandinavia, it seldom exceeds three 
inches in length, but on the coast it is often met with an 
inch longer. 

The Ten-spined Stickleback (Smd-Spigg, Sw. ; G. pun- 
gitius, Linn.), as with the three-spiried, was very common 
in the vicinity of Ronnum ; as also in almost every lake and 
river from the far north to the very south of Sweden. It 
is plentiful, moreover, in the eastern Skargard, but so far as 
I am aware is not found in the western. 

The habits of the G. pungitius, which is said to be of a 
lethargic disposition, its manner of feeding, &c., much re- 
semble those of the G. aculeatus. Like that fish, it is 
fond of society, and is usually found in large shoals. At 
certain seasons of the year, indeed, the two species are 
frequently met with together. 

Though the remarkable variation in colour observable in 
the three-spined stickleback during the spawning season, 
has not been noticed at that period in the ten-spined, 
the tints of the latter, nevertheless, differ very materially 
in summer and winter. During the winter the upper 
part of the head and back are blueish-brown, the sides 
silvery- white, with fine dark spots ; whilst in the summer, 
on the contrary, the head and the whole of the upper part 
of the body are olive-green, the under part lighter green, 


with an argento-cupreous tint, which under the chin and 
at the base of the pectoral fins becomes more ruddy. 

The spawning season, which is somewhat earlier than with 
the three-spined, is about the end of June. Males and 
females then congregate in great numbers, and advance as 
high up as possible on the strand. The eggs, which are of 
an orange colour, and large in proportion to the size of the 
fish, are deposited among grass. The three-spined stickle- 
back is excessively shy, as was said, at the period in ques- 
tion ; but the contrary is the case as regards the ten-spined, 
for so long as the lek continues, they are not in any way 
timid, and will, indeed, allow themselves to be taken by 
the hand. 

As with the G. aculeatus, the growth of the G. pungitius 
is believed to be very rapid ; it rarely, however, exceeds two 
and a half inches in length, and is, in fact, the smallest fish 
that inhabits the Scandinavian waters. 

The stickleback is never, I believe, eaten in Sweden. The 
scattered individuals which almost at all times are caught 
in nets with other fish, are cast aside as offal to feed the 
pigs, &c. When, however, during certain seasons it is taken 
in very great numbers, it is boiled down for the oil. A 
tunna, or some four bushels of recently caught fish, will 
produce between two and three gallons of oil, which is 
commonly used for lamps. The refuse at the bottom of the 
pan in which the fish are boiled, form so very rich a 
manure, that two tunnor of it mixed with a sufficient 
quantity of water, is considered equal to ten tunnor of that 
in ordinary use. 

The method adopted for the capture of both species of the 
stickleback is very simple. The fishing season commences in 


the early part of November, and continues until the ice 
begins to form. At nightfall, and when the spot where the 
fish are congregated has been ascertained, which of a calm 
evening at sunset is known by the surface of the water being 
ruffled as if from rain, two fishermen repair to the spot in a 
boat, at one end of which is a Bloss, or torch of wood; 
and whilst one man keeps the boat stationary, by means of an 
oar or a pole driven into the ground, the other scoops up the 
fish with a hoop-net, and at times in such abundance, that 
several boat-loads may be obtained in the course of a single 

In addition to the two mentioned species of Gasterosteus, 
Swedish naturalists speak of more than one form of the three- 
spined stickleback, but these they consider as mere varieties ; 
whereas English ichthyologists deem them to be distinct 

The Four-spined Stickleback (G. spinulosus, Jenn. and 
Yarr.) is also believed to inhabit the Scandinavian waters. 



THE Crucian, or Prussian Carp (Cyprinus Carassius, 
Linn.), was common in the ponds, in my vicinity, as also 
by all accounts in the Wenern, &c. ; but there it never 
came under my observation. With the exception of the far 
north, this fish is said to be found almost everywhere in 
the interior waters of Scandinavia, as also in parts of the 
eastern Skargard. 

A difference of opinion would seem to exist amongst 
northern naturalists respecting this fish; some contending 
that there are two species namely, the C. Carassius, Linn., 
Sjo-Ruda, or lake-crucian, Sw. ; and the C. Gibelio of 
Bloch ; Damm-Ruda, or pond-crucian, Sw. ; whilst others 
again, and amongst the rest Ekstrom, are of opinion that 
they are one and the same ; and that the difference observable 
in size and colour is solely owing to locality ; and from 
their synonyms, habits, &c., nearly agreeing, this view of 
the matter would appear to be the proper one. 


The crucian, in parts of Sweden is looked upon rather as 
a dainty, but its good repute is partly owing to the rich sauces 
with which it is mostly served up. It is said to disagree 
with some people. Ekstrom makes mention of an indi- 
vidual whose head, after partaking of it, always became 
swollen. In other respects, however, the man continued in 
health, and after a day the swelling went down. 

Ekstrom says the crucian is the most tenacious of life of 
all the carp family. " One summer morning at five o'clock," 
so he tells us, "a fish was taken out of the Sump, or fish- 
box, where it had been confined for several days, and was 
carried up to the parsonage, where it was placed on a 
table, and a description and a portrait of it were taken. 
About six in the evening, and after the fish had been fully 
thirteen hours out of the water, it was cut in two across the 
middle. The heart, liver, &c., were taken out, drawings 
made of the sections, and all the appearances were noted 
down. When all this was done, and the divided portions 
were about to be taken away, parts about the head still 
moved, the gills opened and shut, the mouth gaped and 
closed. I allowed the pieces to remain on the table, that I 
might ascertain how long any signs of life would continue ; 
and it was not until nine o'clock that these evidences of vitality 
ceased. The fish had therefore lived out of the water for 
sixteen hours, the last three when mutilated as described." 

With us the crucian spawned about June. It is a prolific 
fish. The young are said to grow slowly, but to be soon 
capable of procreation. 

The Tench (Lindare ; Sutare, Sw. ; 0. Tinea, Linn.) 
was said to be an inhabitant of some of the lakes in my 
vicinity, as also of the Wenern, but it never came under 


my actual observation. It is pretty common in the south- 
ern and more midland portion of Scandinavia, but its limits 
to the northward do not appear to be very well ascertained. 
It is found likewise in parts of the eastern Skargard. 

Owing to its dark and greasy appearance, it has several 
nicknames, as for instance, " Skomakare," or shoemaker, 
&c. Formerly, when the belief was general that he had 
power to cure diseases both in men and animals, he was 
called the " fishes' doctor," a designation that he still retains 
amongst the peasantry in some places. 

In Sweden the spawning season with this fish is about 
June. It is very prolific. Bloch found two hundred and 
ninety-seven thousand eggs in a female weighing only three- 
quarters of a pound. 

The tench would not appear to attain to any considerable 
size in Scandinavia. Ekstrom tells us the largest he ever 
saw did not exceed nineteen inches in length; and Kroyer 
says that he has not met with it of greater weight than four 
or five pounds. 

The Yellow Bream (Braxen, Sw. ; C. Brama, Linn.) was 
abundant with us, as well in the Wenern as the Goth a. 
We saw but little of it in the river, however, in conse- 
quence, of its keeping to the still deep pools, to which we 
had not often occasion to resort. This fish is found in 
almost all the larger of the Scandinavian waters, from Scania 
to near the Polar Circle, but most plentifully in the more 
central and southern parts of the peninsula. It is also an 
inhabitant of the eastern Skargard ; but those in salt water 
are neither so large nor so fat as those in fresh water. 

The yellow bream, as with several others of the Cyprini, 
undergo great changes of colour and form, determined by 


the season of the year, the nature of the water, &c. The 
variation is at times so great as to cause some ichthyologists 
to doubt whether they are separate species or not. The 
younger ones are always less deep in colour in proportion to 
the length of the body than the older ones, and have a more 
slender shape ; and at this age, therefore, the fishermen 
frequently confound them with others of the bream tribe. 

The favourite summer haunts of the yellow bream are 
clear and moderately deep water, with a grassy bottom, espe- 
cially where the Isoetes lacustris, Linn., grows, which he 
roots up with his snout, as a swine does ; which grass-like 
plant, when seen floating on the surface, gives information 
of the track he has pursued, and of his then whereabouts. 
Hence braxen-gras, or bream-grass, is the name by which the 
plant in question commonly goes in Sweden. But as the 
season advances this fish retires to the deeps, where he 
selects for himself quarters for the winter, and here, closely 
packed together, he remains during that inclement season. 
Such places, generally known to the fishermen, are called 
braxen-stdnd, or bream-stands. 

The yellow bream is a cautious, cunning, and extremely 
shy fish. He is seldom met with alone, but almost invariably 
in smaller or larger shoals. Loud noises, such as thunder, 
the ringing of bells,* shots, and the like, always send him to 
the bottom, from whence, after such an alarm, he does not 
return for several days. 

He is very tenacious of life, and if packed in wet grass 
can be transported a great distance. 

* In certain parishes in Westergothland that border on the "Wenern, the 
church bells, for this reason, are not allowed to be rung during the spawning 


We in England set little value on the bream, considering 
the flesh as " bony and insipid ;" but the Northmen say we 
are somewhat wrong in this matter, for though they admit 
the bony part of the allegation, they aver that the flesh 
is exceedingly palatable when the fish is of a good size. 
They acknowledge, however, that the fat with which it 
abounds, and on which its flavour mainly depends, renders 
it rather indigestible. It is eaten fresh, salted, and smoked ; 
with the wealthier classes it is commonly brought to table 
inlagd, that is cold, and in its own gelatine, and served 
up with vinegar, pepper, &c., when to my taste it is no 
despicable dish. The head and tongue, when thus prepared, 
are in especial esteem. 

In my vicinity the spawning season with the yellow bream 
is about the end of May or beginning of June ; and as it 
occurs just at the time that the juniper and the bird-cherry- 
tree blossom, the fisherman regulates his movements ac- 
cordingly. The resorts of the fish at this period are muddy- 
bottomed strands, overgrown with grass. When such 
places are not to be met with in lakes, they are sought 
for in larger rivers; and in this case they always select 
some grassy bend or cove, at the side of the stream. The 
first shoal that arrives at the spawning-ground, which is 
never changed, but year after year is the same, consists 
altogether of males. Afterwards the females join company, 
when the lek commences. 

The spawning, which would seem to go on more especially 
during the silence of the night, is attended with considerable 
noise, caused by the fish, who move to and fro in close 
phalanx, constantly thrashing the surface of the water with 
their tails. The female, deposits the roe on rushes, &c., 


which she ruhs herself, In faeililale (heir dcpnsilion. 
The period <>f Ihc Irk is more <>r less n-LMilaled hy the 
s!;i!e nf MIC \\r;ilher, ii ually cnnliiimii" IK, in llnve In four 
dayi, When (he older lish h:i\e rdired frnin the spawnin^;- 
</rnuild, the ynuil'-er lake Iheir places. 

The yellnvv hreain is very prolific : in a lish of ci-hl 
pounds wci</hl, nne hundred and Ihirly - M \ en MioiiMind en-^s 
h;i\e hern Iniind. They lire hiilehed in ;ihmil ihree weeks, 
.mil Ihe li\ ;nr :,;n<| f.i vrow (|(lirkly. 

Swedisli nahiritlisls lell us (he hi'eani allains ;i weight, 
of eleven pninuls. I never heard of larger in Ihe Wenern ; 
hul Ihr ( 'hamherlain, (1. A. Sehinilei l\\ , informs me lhal 
in Ihe Lake Kinmaren, in ( ) .-.! i ;.! hland, he has seen hream 
ea|tlnrrd \\i iyliin^' ei^hleen pounds, and so e\en din<dy fa!, 
i In rrnder it, needful, hefore preparing; ihem for Ihe lahle, 
In place Ihem in a N//W/J, or I'r.h ho\, for Ihree or four weeks, 
lhal Ihey irmy 1)(S so to lay, \\<aled do\\n. And I am Ihe 
less inclined to <JII<;|IMII Ihe former pail of this slalemenl, 
hecanse i(. was cnrrohoi'aled h\ Ihe Coiml ('orlils UecklViis, 
one of lh< |;ii!'r.^,| laiulrd proprietors in S\\eden, \\llo assni'ed 
me, when on a visit to him in Scania, (hat he had 
Weighed and ealen of our of lifleeii pounds, and knew of 
anolhri caphucd in his nei^hhourhond lhal weii'hed eighteen 
pnnnds. r.ii.mi nl l\\'l\r In thirteen pounds, Ihr (' 
(old me, were not at all uncommon in lhal part of the 

The (|uaiilil\ of hream (hat are taken in certain pail <>l 
Sweden h\ one jlrv'nr or another, and this as well during 
\\inler as summer, is very considerahle. In the \ear ISIS !>, 
a neiuhhour of mine eaptmed l\\o hundred lispund, or 
four !hoii:,;md pounds weight, nf that lish in the \\enern, 

I XTK VOKP1N \K\ i X1M I I |) 

hut this is nothing compared xxilh what has been done 

As lor instance, at the celebrated bream-stand, called 
11dk-r<irpc1* in the Hallbosjon, a lake in Sndermanland, and 
at about txxelxe Knirlish miles from the to\\n of Xxkopint^ 
r Fho oxc.hisivo rii;-ht of fishing this ptrtioullt stand is v\sltMl 
in \\\c gov( % rnor of tl\o |m>vin<v, of \vhoso salary, indeed, 
tin's privilege forms a |>art. f Fhe ri^ht, lum'\er, is seldom 
exereised mon^ than >nee \\ithin tlh \ear, and that in 
Ivhrnan or March . and tYom its heinij; li)>k 4 d upon as 
a kind of m'/, thousands oi % th inhahitants of the 
rounding eonnlr\ llock to tlu^ spot, \m \\w appointed day. 
The tish arc 4 taken in a drMj^-net. of immense si/.e, \vliieh 
is dra\\n under the ire in mneh the same manner as 
'.ihed in my former \vork. From th(* length of tiini^, 
ho\\e>cr. that the operation lasts, only a sin is made 

in the eonrse of the day; hnt this east is very remune- 
rative, producing OQ the IWtgQ from ten thousand to forl\ 
thousand pounds \veiivhl of bream and other tish ! An 
\> ttitneM M IU1 tne, uul.vj. that in iSKi r 1S-17, h<> 
himself \\ : presrnt \\ \\c\\ no less tlian thirtx thousand pounds 
ill NM-IV thus raptured. A sort of fair is held on the 
iee itself, \\here the tish are disposed of in lots to the. best 
bidders, on \\hieh occasion, as ma\ \\cll be supposed, the 
usual of ?///7f rum duJn do not tail to be 


In eonncrlion with this suhje. I. a s.unexxhat curious cuvnui 
stan.. \\.i- iclated !o me bx M. Schnuteiloxx : " AllhoUjrh," 

(Mtyywl, with the definite tfticlc) nnpli.".. .->, \\i-ll \\ p:\iii.Mil:i 

\\licrc one .lr:>\\^ (lie IK I. || :i!'.. :i < ;i'.l .M .li :m;'.lil .>(' the IK I 
X (M I I 


said that gentleman, " the bream is very abundant in the 
districts bordering upon the Harad of Ydre in Ostergoth- 
land, where in former times that fish was also numerous, not 
one is now to be found. Their absence is looked upon by 
the peasants as a judgment for the misdeeds of a former 
clergyman of theirs, who having on one occasion lost his 
net, proclaimed from the pulpit that it was stolen, thereby 
bringing scandal on his congregation. The missing net, 
however, was afterwards found filled with decomposed bream 
in another part of the water, where it had been carried by a 
heavy storm which arose during their lek." 

The White Bream, or Breamflat (Bjorkna, Sw. ; C. Blicca, 
Bloch), was common with us, and also in almost all the lakes 
and rivers in the more central and southern parts of Sweden, 
but with its limits to the northward Swedish naturalists seem 
unacquainted. It is an inhabitant likewise of the eastern 

From its likeness to the young of the yellow bream, 
it is frequently mistaken for that fish. It feeds on 
grass, worms, insects, and their larvae, and is said to be 
the most ravenous of the bream tribe. From its gluttonous 
propensities, indeed, it has acquired amongst fishermen the 
nickname of the atare, or (great) eater. To the angler he 
is a great annoyance ; for though he makes his approaches 
to the hook with more avidity than most fish, he generally 
contrives to nibble away the bait, and consequently escapes 

Though so voracious, it is always lean, from which cause, 
coupled with being small and bony, it is but little sought 
after, and is seldom eaten, excepting when no other fish are 



With us, the white bream spawned shortly after the 
yellow bream. If the weather is fine, the lek lasts about 
three days that is, each lek, for there are said to be 
two or more, though with intervals between them. The 
older fish spawn first, and shortly afterwards the younger. 
During the continuance of the lek, the fish with their 
tails lash the surface of the water, where at other times 
they seldom or never appear. Although usually shy, 
and easily alarmed by noises of any kind, yet at this 
period they become tame and fearless, and may readily 
be captured. 

It is a very prolific fish. Bloch counted in an individual 
of four ounces in weight, one hundred and eight thousand 
eggs. The white bream seldom attains to more than a 
pound, and generally not to much more than half that 


Cyprinm Ballerus, "Retz. Faun. Suec.," p. 361. 

"Nilss. Prod.," p. 30. 

" Scand. Fishes," p. 112, pi. 26. 
Abramis ... " Kroyer," p. 411. 

E 2 


The C. Ballerus, Linn. (Flira, Sw.), was very common 
in my vicinity. It is found also in all the more midland 
portions of Sweden ; but owing to its being often confounded 
with others of the bream tribe, its geographical limits do not 
seem to be very well ascertained. 

This beautiful fish is remarkable from its tail being greatly 
cloven, whence with us it was called the Idng-stjert, or 
long-tail ; as likewise from its scales being very much smaller 
as compared with other species of bream, those of the lateral 
line amounting to about seventy in number. 

Its habits seem greatly to resemble those of the yellow 
bream. It feeds on grass, insects and worms. During the 
summer months it generally lives almost alone, but towards 
winter it congregates in large numbers, and retires to the 
deeps, where, like the yellow bream, it has its particular stand 
or station. 

This fish is not in repute for the table, the flesh being 
soft, white, bony and flavourless. It is fattest and best in 
the early part of the spring. 

In our vicinity the C. Ballerus spawned in April or 
beginning of May, and before the yellow bream. The spot 
selected for the lek is a shallow, with a grassy bottom ; 
frequently indeed he resorts to over-flooded pastures. The 
lek lasts from one to three days, and during its continuance 
this fish, like the yellow bream, is very shy. Bloch found in 
an individual of a pound in weight, sixty-seven thousand five 
hundred eggs. Little seems to be known as to the period 
that elapses before the eggs are hatched, the growth of the 
fry, &c. 

The C. Ballerus does not attain to any great size. 
According to Swedish naturalists it is from six to eight 


inches in length ; but I have seen individuals, and have 
some in my own possession, considerably larger. 


Ci/prinm Wimba, " Retz. Faun. Suec.," p. 359. 

"Nilss. Prod./' p. 31. 

" Ekstrom, Morko.," p. 49. 

Abramis ... " Kroyer," p. 400. 

The C. Wimba, Linn. (Wimma, Sw.), was common with 
us, both in the Gotha and the Wenern ; as also, according 
to Swedish naturalists, in the midland and more southern 
portion of the Scandinavian peninsula ; but of its limits to 
the northward they appear to be much in doubt. It is 
plentiful in the eastern Skargard. Ekstrom says, indeed, 
its proper home is salt water. 

The Cyprinus Wimba much resembles in appearance the 
young of some species of Coregoni, but is readily distin- 
guishable from them by its having no second dorsal fin. 

It is reputed to be of a cunning and sly disposition, and 
in consequence is seldom taken in great numbers, excepting at 
the lek. It dies very soon after being taken out of the water. 

According to Ekstrom, this fish feeds chiefly on Crustacea, 


insects and worms, more especially on a species of small 
snail (Nerita), and but very rarely on grass. 

It is not in much culinary repute, and if served up at the 
tables of the higher classes, it is only after more than ordinary 

In our vicinity the C. Wimba spawned about the end of 
May. The female deposits her roe amongst stones, against 
which she rubs herself, to facilitate their exit. She is very 
prolific, three hundred thousand eggs having been found 
in one individual. From what Artedi says, there is ground 
for believing that during the spawning season, the males, 
as with several others of the Cyprini, are covered with horny 
excrescences. Swedish naturalists seem not informed as to 
the time that elapses before the eggs are hatched, the growth 
of the fry, &c. 

With us the C. Wimba seldom exceeded one quarter, or at 
the most, half-a-pound in weight; but Kroyer whether right 
or wrong, I know not speaks of this fish attaining to upwards 
of a foot in length, and as weighing from one to near two 

We had another bream, called by the fishermen Sjo-Ruda, 
or Lake-Crucian, but of what species I cannot exactly make 
out. Mr. Yarrell, to whom I submitted several specimens 
brought from the Wenern, is inclined to think it the C. 
Buggenhayii, of Bloch. 

In appearance this fish is not unlike the Red-eye (C. 
erythrophthalmus, Linn.), but is easily distinguished, from 
its being thinner, having smaller scales, and its fins being 
less red. 

The fishermen aver that it has a separate lek, which takes 
place after those of the yellow and white bream are over. 

THE IDE. 55 

It never attains to any considerable size, seldom, I believe, to 
a pound in weight. Those that came under my own obser- 
vation were not much more than half that weight. 

With the exception of the C. Farenus, of Linnaeus and 
Nilsson which fish, at the present day, is believed to be 
no other than the young of the yellow bream and the 
several species enumerated, there is no other of the Bream 
tribe, I believe, considered by northern naturalists as belong- 
ing to the Swedish Fauna. 


Cyprinus Idus, "Retz. Faun. Suec.," p. 358. 

"Nilss. Prod.," p. 27. 

"Ekstrom," p. 5. 

... " Scand. Fishes," p. 59, p. 11. 
juciscus ... " Kroyer," vol. in. p. 447. 

The Ide (Id, Sjo-Karp, Sw. ; C. Idus, Linn.) This fish, 
which though included by Yarrell and other authorities in 
our Fauna, is hardly known in England, was very plen- 
tiful indeed with us in the Gotha and the Wenern, 
as also throughout Scandinavia generally ; and there are 
few of the waters of any magnitude, from Scania to 

56 THE IDE. 

Lapland, of which it is not an inhabitant. It is found 
likewise in the eastern Skargard; but I have my doubts 
whether it attains to so large a size in salt as in fresh 

During the summer months the favourite resorts of the 
adult ide are deep pools with stony bottoms, where, upon 
fine and calm evenings, one may see them swimming near 
the surface. The young, on the contrary, resort more gene- 
rally at this season to grassy shallows. 

The ide lives chiefly on aquatic plants, insects, and their 
larvae; but it feeds at times on small fish, as is evidenced 
by their frequently taking the bait, when one is spinning, 
to which fact I myself can testify. 

As with others of the Oyprini, this fish is tenacious of 
life, and will exist long after removal from its native element. 
In the Sump, or fish-box, it will live for a length of time, 
more especially if the same be placed in clear and slowly 
running water. 

The ide not unfrequently finds a place at the table of 
the higher classes, and when properly prepared makes 
a very palatable dish. As with the bream, it is eaten 
fresh and salted, smoked and inlagd, that is, served up 
cold, as mentioned, in its own gelatine, with vinegar, 
pepper, &c. 

In my vicinity the spawning season of the. ide was 
usually about the end of April or beginning of May, the 
precise time depending, in degree at least, on the breaking 
up of the ice. The lek is commonly held in grassy shallows, 
in the bend of a river or brook ; or it may be in a flooded 
morass, to which access is at times only obtainable by means 
of a very confined passage. In these their journeys from the 

THE IDE. 57 

deeps, where they have passed the winter, the ide displays 
much intelligence as well as strength, arid well knows how 
to avoid the devices contrived hy the fisherman for his 

Like the salmon, he will leap over stones, trees, and 
lesser falls; and when the water is so low as to bar his 
farther progress, he will throw himself on his side, and in 
this position force himself forward. When he meets with 
such impediments, he usually remains stationary for a 
time, as if to consult within himself as to the best 
course to be pursued. In the meanwhile he is joined by 
several of his comrades, and when one of the number 
has taken courage, and made a start, the rest on the 
instant follow in his wake. In this manner the fish work 
their way up the stream, until a suitable spot for their 
purpose is reached. 

The first shoal for on these occasions they are con- 
gregated in vast numbers that starts for the spawning- 
ground consists wholly of males. Some few days 
subsequently, though commonly not until the weather 
is rnild and clear, the females join company, when the 
lek commences. During its continuance the fish are 
packed closely together, and lash the surface with their 
tails, whence arises a peculiar kind of noise. This, how- 
ever, is not continuous, but quick and short, and is renewed 
at intervals. 

The lek usually lasts for three consecutive days and nights ; 
that is, unless a cold north wind, rain, or storm occurs, in 
which case matters are postponed until the weather becomes 
more propitious. In the month of April, Bloch found in an 
individual of three pounds weight sixty-seven thousand six 

58 THE IDE. 

hundred small yellow eggs of the size of poppy-seeds. When 
the lek is over, both the sexes, in company, return the way 
they came. 

The roe is deposited amongst grass, sticks, &c., and from 
fourteen to thirty days afterwards, the time varying according 
to the temperature, &c., the fry make their appearance. 
Provided the water does not recede, they remain on or 
about the spawning-ground until the end of August, by 
which time they are about two inches in length, when 
they descend the stream in innumerable shoals for deeper 
water. Afterwards they appear to separate, and live more 

The ide is said to be of rapid growth, and, according to 
Gmelin and Lacepede, able to propagate at the age of three 

Swedish naturalists tell us that the ide never exceeds five 
to six pounds in weight ; but this is somewhat under the 
mark, for in my own immediate neighbourhood they have 
occasionally been taken of seven pounds; and a friend of 
mine, resident on the Wenern, assures me they have with 
him attained to eight and even ten pounds weight. 

The ide is captured in a variety of ways : by the rod 
and line, nets, and sundry devices, of which mention will 
be made hereafter, chiefly, however, whilst spawning. Once, 
to my shame, I took part in a chasse when the fish were 
thus employed. It was in the night-time, and by torch- 
light. Having first ascertained the whereabouts of the 
lek, we drew a net across the stream somewhat below them, 
and then attacking the fish from above with spears, &c., 
we drove them towards the toils. As it was we killed a 
good many one hundred and ten, I believe but had our 



arrangements been good, which was far from tne case, the 
slaughter would have been much greater, and very few would 
have escaped us. 


Cyprinus Aspius, " Retz. Faun. Suec.," p. 359. 

"NUss. Prod.," p. 28. 

Aspius rapax, " Agass. Kroyer," p. 500. 

The Asp (Asp, Sw. ; C. Aspius, Linn.), which is altogether 
unknown to us in England, was common both in the Gotha 
and the Wenern, as also in all the midland and more 
northern parts of Scandinavia. Lsestadius describes it as 
plentiful in Lapland ; but from the period at which he 
states it to spawn, I strongly suspect he has confounded it 
with one or other of the Coregoni. What its limits may 
be to the southward, I know not. 

It is a leather-mouthed fish, the scales large, colour 
whitish, and in shape as well as in some of its habits it is 
not altogether dissimilar to the salmon tribe. 

The most remarkable feature about the asp is the greater 
elongation of the lower jaw, which, as depicted in the portrait, 
extends considerably beyond the upper. 

60 THE ASP. 

The asp inhabits both still and running water ; the latter, 
it would appear, in preference. It feeds not only on worms, 
mollusca, &c., but on small fish. It is the most voracious 
of the carp tribe, and is said not unfrequently to chase other 
fish with such eagerness as to drive its victim as well as 
itself ashore. When spinning for trout, &c., we not 
seldom met with it in strong rapids, where it would 
seize the bait with avidity. It does not survive long after 
being taken out of the water. 

As with most others of the Cyprini, it is not in much 
request in Sweden for the table. 

In our part of the Wenern, the asp spawned in April or 
beginning of May. There was a celebrated lek not very 
far from Ronnum, at which about one hundred and fifty 
lispund, or three thousand pounds weight of this fish 
were taken annually. Of its habits at this period I am 
in ignorance, as also as to the length of time that elapses 
before the eggs are hatched, and equally so as to the growth 
of the fry. 

It was curious that no person on the Wenern or the 
Gotha could point out to me the young of the asp. And 
this was the more singular, as owing to the remarkable 
elongation of the lower jaw (possibly, however, not very 
observable when young), one would naturally have supposed 
it was readily distinguishable from other fish. 

The asp grows to a large size. We ourselves never cap- 
tured one exceeding twelve to thirteen pounds ; but a friend 
resident on the northern shores of the Wenern assures me 
that with him it attains to eighteen pounds in weight. 



THE Roach (Mort, Sw. ; C. Rutilus, Linn.) was plentiful 
with us, as also in almost all the waters of Scandinavia, 
from Scania to Lapland. It is said, indeed, to be found 
in lakes and tarns situated high amongst the very fjalls of 
that desolate region. It is also plentiful in the eastern 
Skargard, a fact which militates somewhat against the 
recorded opinion of English naturalists, that " it cannot 
exist in salt water." 

The male is readily distinguishable from the female, not 
only by the form of the body, which is not so deep in pro- 
portion, but by the number of fin-rays. The male has 
always twelve in the dorsal fin, whereas the female, for the 
most part, if not always, has thirteen. 


The red irides of this fish have given rise in Sweden to 
the saying : " Rodogd som en mort ;" that is, red-eyed as 
a roach. 

It feeds on grass, aquatic plants, insects, worms, &c. 

The roach is not in great repute for the table. Much, 
depends, however, on the water from whence it comes. 
If from such as is clear, the flesh is white and whole- 
some; but if, on the contrary, from turbid water, it has, 
after boiling, a reddish appearance, and a disagreeable 

With us the roach spawned about the end of May or 
beginning of June. The males were the first to arrive on 
the spawning-ground, where, some fourteen days afterwards, 
they were joined by the females. At this time the fish 
are closely packed together, and from lashing the water 
with their tails, a sort of whizzing noise is created. This, 
however, is not constant, but ceases, and is renewed at 

The continuance of the lek is in a measure dependent on 
the state of the weather, but usually it lasts from three to 
nine days. The female deposits her roe amongst grass, 
or sticks, against the latter of which she rubs herself, to 
expedite its removal. She is very prolific. Bloch found 
about eighty-five thousand eggs in one, although the 
ovaries weighed less than an ounce. The eggs are vivified 
at from ten to fourteen days. The fry grow rapidly, and 
at the end of three years are said to be about six inches 

In Scandinavia the roach does not attain to any con- 
siderable size. I do not remember hearing of this fish 


exceeding a pound and a half, which is about the maximum 
weight specified by Swedish naturalists. 


Cyprinus Dobula, "Linn, and Retzius, Fauna Suecica," 1761 and 1800. 

" Bloc h," part i, pi. 5. 

Nilss. Prod," p. 26. 

Leuciscus ... " Kroyer," vol. in. p. 463. 

Swedish naturalists of the present day, it should be 
remarked, would seem to negative the existence of the 
C. Dobula in Scandinavia as a distinct species. Ekstrom 
considers it identical with the Chub (C. Cephalus, Linn.), 
with which it must be admitted its characteristics in the 
main agree ; and Nilsson, when speaking of it in his " Pro- 
dromus," designates it the Dick-kopp, signifying thick-head, 
the name by which the chub is known near Gothenburg. 
Kroyer also doubts its existence as a separate species in the 

The fin-ray formula exhibits the distinctions observed 
between the Dobule Roach and the Chub : 

D. P. V. A. 

Dobula ... 10 16 10 11 ; scales on the lateral line 45. 
English chub . 9 15 8 9 ; scales, &c. } 45. 


The dobule roach, or what Mr. Yarrell, who examined 
several specimens brought from the Wenern, and myself 
considered to be such, was common as well in that lake as 
the Gotha. 

Of its habits little or nothing seemed to be known in my 
vicinity, and this from the resemblance it bears to the common 
roach, with which indeed the fishermen, until the difference 
was pointed out to them by me, always appeared to identify it. 
As a consequence, it had no specific name with us ; but in 
the Falkenberg River, which is upwards of one hundred miles 
to the southward of the Wenern, it is called the Har-nacke, 
or something similar. 

In my neighbourhood I only remember seeing it captured 
in nets, or on night-lines laid out for pike, perch, &c., to 
which an odd one was at times found appended. But in the 
Falkenberg River, where ide are also plentiful, it is commonly 
taken with the fly. 

The weight of the dobule roach, according to the fisher- 
men, as well in the Wenern as in the Falkenberg River, 
seldom exceeded two pounds ; but generally it was not more 
than half that weight. 

The Chub (Farna, Sw. ; 0. Cephalus, Linn.) was, accord- 
ing to Swedish naturalists, an inhabitant of the Gotha, 
where, as said, it goes by the name of Dick-kopp. Un- 
fortunately, however, I was unable to procure a specimen 
of this fish, before leaving Sweden, to compare with the 
C. Dobula (or what I presume to be such), with the 
characters of which, as before observed, it in the main 
agrees. By the description of the fishermen, however, there 
is little doubt it did exist with us. 

It was not until of late years that the C. Cephalus was 


included amongst the Scandinavian fishes ; and Swedish 
naturalists up to this time imagine it to be confined to 
certain waters. 

It is said to spawn about the end of June ; but nothing 
seems known of its proceedings at the lek, or of the growth 
of the fry. 

Ekstrom has seen a specimen twenty-two inches in length, 
and says the greater portion of the fish at the lek weigh from 
seven to eight pounds ; but if the fishermen in my vicinity 
have not confounded this fish with some other, it attains to a 
much larger size in the Wenern. 


Cyprinns Grlslagine, " Artedi," 

" Nilsson, Prod." p. 27. 

" Scand. Fishes/' p. 69, pi. II. 

Leuciscus ... "Kroyer," vol. in. p. 472. 


This fish, which with us was called the Ardrag, or the 
Stafliny, but by Swedish naturalists the Stamm, was very 
common in my vicinity, as well as in all the more northern 
portion of Scandinavia, even to high up in Lapland. But 

VOL. I. F 


with its limits to the southward I am unacquainted. It is 
also an inhabitant of the eastern Skargard. 

Though following Swedish naturalists, in their designation 
of this fish, it is no other, I imagine, than our common 
Dace (C. Leuciscus, Linn.). Ekstrom, indeed, decidedly 
leans to that opinion ; and English Ichthyologists, to whom 
I submitted several very fine specimens from the Wenern, 
entertain no doubt as to this being the case. 

The following are the fin-ray formulae of the Swedish and 
English fishes, in question, taken from specimens, and they 
show the close anatomical concordance. 

D P. V. A. 

Ardrag ... 9 16 9 10 ; scales on the lateral line 49 to 52 ; 

above the line 8, below the line 3. 
English dace .9 16 9 10 ; scales 49 ; above 8, below 3. 

This fish, be it C. Grislagine or C. Leuciscus, is found 
as well in lakes as in rivers. In the latter it keeps much 
in the current ; and the fishermen in my neighbourhood 
described it as shy and quick in its movements, in avoiding 
the net. 

The flesh is white, tolerably free from bone, and palatable ; 
but owing to the generally small size of the fish, it is not 
much sought after. 

The spawning season with the C. Grislagine was with us 
at the end of April or beginning of May, in short, pretty 
soon after the ice broke up. 

This fish never attains to any considerable size; six to 
eight inches being its usual length, and only in one instance 
have I heard of its weighing a pound. 

The peasants in my neighbourhood captured at times great 


numbers with the fly, but mostly with bait, of which the best 
was said to be a grasshopper. 

The Rudd, or Red-eye (Sarf, Sw. ; C. erythrophthalmus, 
Linn.), was common with us, and in Scandinavia generally, 
as high up at least as the Calix River, which empties itself 
into the Gulf of Bothnia; but its limits to the northward 
do not appear to be very well ascertained. It also inhabits 
the eastern Skargard. 

Tn England one of the names of this fish is derived from 
the colour of its eyes ; but in parts of Scandinavia they call 
it the red-fin, as also the red-roach, in consequence of the 
redness of its fins. But it is only the old males that exhibit 
great brilliancy of colour. In fact, it is not until the young 
have attained to the age of a year that their fins are even 
tipped with red, and it is three years before they in all 
respects resemble their parents. 

The rudd, as has been observed, much resembles in appear- 
ance the so-called sjo-ruda ; but it is readily distinguished 
from that fish by the deeper red of its fins, by being thicker, 
and from having larger scales. 

The favourite resorts of the rudd are turbid waters. In 
spring and summer it frequents grassy shallows, but on the 
approach of winter it retires to the deeps. It is an inac- 
tive fish, and often remains for a long while in the same 
spot. Except during very warm and clear summer days, 
it seldom comes to the surface, but for the most part remains 
near the bottom, embedded as it were in grass and mud. 
Though readily alarmed, it does not retire far, but quickly 
hides itself amongst weeds, from which it is no easy matter 
to dislodge it. It is social in its habits, and seldom found 
alone, so that when separated from its congeners, it joins 

F 2 



shoals of other species, and this is more especially the case 
during the spawning season. Hence the saying : " Sarfven 
i hvar lek," that is, " the rudd in every lek." From its asso- 
ciating thus with other fish, as well as for the reason that 
no considerable number of them ever spawn together, it 
has been inferred that the rudd has not a special lek of its 
own, which notion, however, is altogether unfounded. 

The spawning season with the rudd is at the end of May, 
or beginning of June. The lek, which is carried on in some 
weedy shallow, is attended with a kind of sucking sound, 
arising from the fish pointing their snouts upwards, and 
emitting air bubbles, which burst as soon as they reach 
the surface. The female deposits her roe amongst river 
horse-tail (Equisetum fluviatile, Linn.) She is prolific, up- 
wards of one hundred thousand eggs having been found 
in an individual. These, however, do not come from her 
all at one time, but by degrees. The eggs are vivified in 
from eight to ten days. The fry are of slow growth, and 
it is not until the second year that they are believed to be 
capable of propagating their species. 

The rudd does not attain to any great size. Kroyer 
speaks of fish of near a foot in length, and a pound in 
weight, but such I should imagine are rare. 

The Bleak (Ldja, Sw. ; C. Alburnus, Linn.) abounded 
with us, and this is the case throughout the greater part 
of Scandinavia, as high up as the sixty-sixth degree of north 
latitude ; that is, within the Swedish territories, for it is said 
but with what truth I know not that it does not inhabit 
Norway. It is also plentiful in the eastern Skargard. 

The bleak prefers clear, and more especially running water, 
with a stony or sandy bottom. Jt is seldom met with in 


small forest lakes or tarns, where the strand is grassy and 
the bottom of clay. 

From the comparatively small size of this fish, it is not 
much sought after for the table ; but when fried, it is, as 
I myself can testify, no despicable dish. 

In France, the so-called " Essence de FOrient," with which 
glass imitation pearls are coloured, is concocted out of the 
scales of this fish. 

In my vicinity the bleak spawned in June and July. A 
shallow with a stony or sandy bottom, or, in preference, 
among fallen boughs, is usually selected. Here the fish 
collect in such dense shoals, as to form dark masses in 
the water. During the continuance of the lek, the entire 
shoal at intervals leap simultaneously into the air, and 
in their descent lash the surface with their tails, which 
occasions a noise exactly resembling that of tearing 
asunder a piece of fine cloth. It frequently happens that 
many of the fish when thus disporting themselves, fall upon 
dry land, where they become the prey of birds and vermin. 

The bleak is said to have three several leks, though with 
longer or shorter intervals between them, according to the 
state of the weather. The old fish always lek first, and 
the youngest and smallest of all the last. The eggs are 
deposited amongst stones, boughs, &c. The fry are soon 
hatched, and grow quickly. The bleak never attains to more 
than seven or eight inches in length. 

The Minnow (Hund-gadda ; Elriza, Sw. ; C. Phoxinus, 
Linn.) was abundant with us, as also, I believe, throughout 

It spawned in the end of June or in July. The lek usually 
lasts from two to three days. The head of the male at this 


time is covered with small tubercles. It is said to be a very 
prolific fish. 

Nilsson includes the C. Aphya, Linn., in the Scandinavian 
Fauna, as a distinct species ; but Kroyer is of opinion that it 
is identical with the C. Phoxinus, Linn. All the specimens 
brought home by me from Sweden, were pronounced by 
English Ichthyologists to be the latter. 

Besides the several species of Cyprini mentioned, Swedish 
naturalists include three others of that genus, in the Scandi- 
navian Fauna, viz. : 

The Common Carp (C. Carpio, Linn.) is confined almost 
altogether to the more southern portion of Sweden. But 
it is not indigenous to the country, though the period of its 
introduction is unknown. In Denmark, according to Kroyer, 
this is believed to have taken place about the year 1 5 60. 

This fish is very tenacious of life. It is exceedingly pro- 
lific. Bloch counted in an individual of nine pounds weight, 
six hundred thousand eggs, and Schneider in one of ten 
pounds, seven hundred thousand eggs. It is said to attain 
to a length of four feet, and a weight of forty pounds. 

The C. cultratus, Linn., which properly belongs to the 
more southern and eastern part of Europe, is also included 
in the Scandinavian Fauna, but it is only a very rare visitant 
to the waters of the peninsula. 

This fish, Bloch tells us, differs from other fresh-water 
fish, as well in internal as external structure. The back 
is straight, the belly slender and edged as it were, for which 
reason it in Sweden goes by the name of the Sktir-knif, 
or chopping-knife ; in Austria Sichel, scythe; in Hungary 
Sceblar, sabre ; . and in Prussia and Pomerania, owing to its 
leanness, that of Ziege, or the goat. 


From being full of bones, and from its meagreness, the 
C. cultratus is not in request for the table. 

It is said to spawn in May and June, and to deposit its roe 
amongst aquatic plants near to the shore. It is prolific. 
Bloch has counted in a fish of a pound and a quarter, the 
ovaries of which weighed two ounces and a half, one hundred 
and five thousand seven hundred and forty eggs. 

Northern naturalists do not inform us of the size to which 
it attains. Bloch merely states that the one from which 
his drawing* was taken measured one foot and a half in 
length, and weighed one pound and a half. 

The Gudgeon (Slatting ; Sandkrypare, fyc., Sw. ; C. 
Gobio, Linn.). This well-known fish is pretty nearly con- 
fined, I believe, to the province of Scania, where it is said 
to spawn in May and June. 

The Spined Loche, or Groundling (Gadd-Syl, Pigg-Syl, 
Sw. ; literally goad , or spined awl ; Cobitis T&nia, Linn.), 
was found, though sparingly, in my vicinity ; but in parts 
of the Wenern it is, I am told, very plentiful. According 
to Swedish naturalists, it inhabits the southern and more 
midland provinces of Scandinavia, but of its limits to the 
northward little seems to be known. 

This fish, as the name would denote, is armed with a 
forked and movable spine, situated behind the nostrils, 
and below each eye, which at the approach of danger it 
directs horizontally. Hence, it is somewhat of an annoyance 
to the fisherman, whose feet, when pursuing his avocation 
barefooted in the summer, it not unfrequently wounds. 

The spined loche prefers running water, where the bottom 
consists of sand or stones, beneath which last it delights 
* Page 204, Plate 371. 


to hide. This fish is tenacious of life, and like others of 
the genus, may be kept for a length of time in a tub or 
glass, provided the water be regularly changed. Valen- 
ciennes, who has observed this fish in confinement, says 
it is accustomed so to conceal itself in the sand, that only 
the point of the snout, the eyes, and a small portion of 
the forehead are visible. If touched, it retires from view 
for a time, but soon reappears at the same spot. Should 
it, however, be touched several times, it moves off altogether, 
and when it shows itself again, it is at some distance from 
the former place. Unlike the C. fossilis, it does not remain 
long in any one spot. Bloch mentions that it moves its lips 
like a rabbit. 

It is reputed to be a voracious fish, feeding on worms, 
the roe of fish, small fry, and other minute aquatic animals. 

Its flesh is said to be lean and tough, and it is seldom 
used for food. 

According to Kroyer, the spined loche spawns in April 
and May, and the lek is held in the deeps. 

Valenciennes tells us the largest he met with was four 
inches in length ; but Bloch's drawing, on the contrary, 
would make it out to be five inches, or upwards. The 
specimen in my own possession is less than four inches. 

Swedish naturalists include the Colitis Barbatula, Linn., 
amongst the Scandinavian fishes ; but the information they 
give us is very vague : they merely say it is found in stony 
rivers, and is very scarce. According to Linnaeus, this 
fish was introduced from Germany into the Lake Malaren, 
by King Frederick I. of Sweden. 

The Colitis fossilis, Linn., would not appear to in- 
habit the peninsula; for though Kroyer includes it in 


the Danish Fauna, no mention of it is made by Swedish 

The Pike (Gtidda, Sw. ; Esox Lucius, Linn.) was abundant 
with us as well in the Gotha as the Wenern. It is common 
also throughout nearly the whole of Scandinavia from Scania 
to Lapland. We read, indeed, of its being found in the 
lakes and tarns of that wild country beyond the limits of 
arboreal vegetation, or at least of the birch-tree. It is like- 
wise plentiful in the eastern Skargard. But that salt-water 
is not its proper element, may be inferred from the fact that 
these fish diminish both in size and number, in proportion as 
they approach the open sea, where they are no longer to be 

In my vicinity, the spawning season of the pike was in April 
and May. The lek is usually held in shallow water, with a 
weedy and muddy bottom, or it may be in a flooded meadow. 
It lasts for a considerable time, from the circumstance of 
there being two to three separate leks. Contrary to the usual 
habit of fishes, the young pike always lek first, then the 
middle-aged, and lastly, the older and larger fish. 

There is a tradition among fishermen in the midland 
provinces of Sweden, which has been handed down from 
time immemorial, and which is still believed, that on St. 
Gregory's Day, the 12th of March, the pike first turns his 
head towards the shore, and that on St. Gertrude's Day, the 
1 7th of the same month, he leaves the deeps where he has 
passed the winter, and makes his approach towards the land. 
The first lek takes place before the ice is fully gone, and the 
fish engaged in it are in consequence called Gertrude , or Ice- 
pike. When this first lek is over, by which time the ice has 
disappeared, the second lek begins ; and as it occurs just at 


the time that frogs (Rana temporaria, Linn., called hy the 
country people Glossor,) are pairing, the fish taking part in 
it are designated Gloss , or frog-pike. The third and last 
portion, or those which appear on the spawning-ground 
after all the others have moved off, and when the trees are 
in leaf, or partially so, bear the appellation of Blomster , or 

The proceedings of this fish at the lek are by all accounts 
somewhat curious. The female (always larger than the male) 
first makes her appearance, and is followed by two to three, 
and occasionally by four males. She takes to such very 
shallow water, that when calm, a ripple caused by her move- 
ment may be observed on the surface. Sometimes indeed 
her back-fin, or tail, is seen above it. As soon as she becomes 
stationary, the males approach and surround her, one on 
each side ; and if there are more than two in company, one 
stations himself under her tail, and the other above her 
back. These rub themselves against the body of the female, 
who in the meantime remains passive, only moving her fins. 
After a while she makes a plunge, separates herself from the 
males, and shoots forward to another spot, where the same 
proceeding is re-enacted. During this time she deposits 
amongst the grass her yellowish and somewhat large roe, 
which is impregnated by the milt of the males. From a 
pike of six pounds weight, one hundred and thirty-six 
thousand eggs have been taken, which number, however, on 
the average does not exceed that of other fishes. The eggs 
are hatched after a period of from twenty-five to thirty days, 
and the growth of the fry is rapid. 

Pike of a very considerable size were very often met with 
in my vicinity. The largest caught by myself, however, did 


not exceed seventeen pounds in weight ; but more than one 
fish of twenty-five pounds weight was captured by my people. 
During my stay in Sweden, I never heard of any weighing- 
more than fifty pounds, and these were caught in the 
Wenern, a fact which, considering the great size of some of 
the lakes, and knowing that heavier fish have been met with 
in Britain, surprised me. That monsters, however, do exist 
in the Scandinavian waters, I have no doubt. A fisherman 
at Frugard assured me, for instance, that in 1848 he had a 
pike on his night-line, which certainly was four feet in 
length, and could not have weighed less than eighty pounds. 
Five several times he had the fish up to the gunwale of the 
punt, but owing to the line getting entangled, it at length 
broke its hold and escaped. Another peasant affirmed to me 
that, when on one occasion he was spearing fish by torch- 
light, he fell in with so immense a pike, resembling, as he 
said, the trunk of a tree, that he was actually afraid to 
attack it. Though there may be exaggeration, there is pro- 
bably much truth in these and similar relations, of which 
hundreds are in circulation. 

A notion prevails in Sweden, as observed in the " Northern 
Sports," that at certain times the pike, from the peculiar state 
of its gums, is incapable of feeding in its usual mode, if even 
at all. Since that work appeared, M. Ekstrom has favoured 
us with some remarks on the subject, the substance of which 
may not be without interest to the naturalist. 

Fishermen, in general, he tells us, believe that the pike at 
certain periods is altogether disinclined att taga svalg, that 
is, to gorge the bait ; and that at others, on the contrary, 
he is more than usually voracious. These periods occur 
regularly, so that an observant person is thus enabled to 


foretell when the fish is, as the saying goes, i taget, or in 
taking humour. But the periods in question are not sup- 
posed to occur at the same time every year ; and it is said to 
have been noticed that they are dependent on the termi- 
nation of the spawning season ; for in the particular change 
of the moon, whether new or full, in which this ceases, in 
that same change the pike will not taga svalg, or gorge 
the bait. To this rule, however, the Rot-mdnad * nearly 
answering in point of time to our "dog-days" is an 
exception, for he is then at all times i taget. The cause 
of these periodical fits of abstinence in the pike are ascribed 
to the circumstance of its gums then becoming so swollen, 
that the teeth hardly protrude beyond them, and conse- 
quently the tenderness of his mouth places bounds to . his 
usual rapacity. 

Another singularity in this fish is, according to Ekstrom, 
that even when he has swallowed his prey, he, by the simple 
construction of his stomach, can disgorge it at pleasure, a 
fact with which every one may not be acquainted. 

That the pike is a very voracious fish every one knows, 
but that he should carry his gluttonous propensities to the 
extent described by my friend, M. Wsern, is perhaps new 
to readers in general. 

" I have kept pike and trout," that gentleman tells us, 
" in a pond that was supplied with running water. The 
pike for the most part remained stationary, but the trout, on 
the contrary, were in constant motion. On a particular 
occasion, I saw a pike of from seven to eight pounds weight 

* Literally the month of decay or rottenness ; so-called, probably, in conse- 
quence of the intense heat producing epidemics, destroying provisions, &c. 


make a dash at a trout of fully equal size to itself, and seize 
it across the body with his sharp teeth. The combat was 
lively. The assailed trout made desperate though ineffectual 
efforts to get rid of its ravenous enemy. After the lapse of 
a couple of hours, the trout became altogether exhausted, on 
which the pike, beginning with the head, commenced gorging 
his prey. The meal lasted three whole days, or rather, it was 
not until the expiration of that time, that the pike had suc- 
ceeded in swallowing the whole body. The process of digestion 
must have continued very much longer, as for a week after- 
wards the fish had a very swollen appearance, and was hardly 
able to move from the spot even when poked with a stick." 

Baron C. J. Cederstrom was also eye-witness to extraordi- 
nary voracity in the pike. After relating the results of some 
experiments made with the young of more than one species of 
fish, he says : 

" On the 1 2th of June, after the larger portion of the fry 
were preserved in spirits, there remained four young pike 
namely, two of about twenty, and two of some twenty-six milli- 
metres in length. That I might be the better enabled the next 
day to witness the amusing spectacle afforded by their gluttony, 
they were left without food, and a covering was, as usual, 
placed for the night over the vessel in which they were kept. 
At five o'clock on the following morning, when I removed 
the covering, they were all there ; but one quarter of an hour 
afterwards, when I again inspected their place of confine- 
ment, one of the larger of them had swallowed its somewhat 
smaller comrade, or rather, it had partially gorged it ; for the 
half of the body, which moved for a second or two, still 
protruded beyond the jaws of the assailant, who was shape- 
less, and obliquely distended. In the highest degree 


astonished at what had happened, which previously I had 
considered impossible, I remained perfectly quiet for a time, 
and in the course of a few minutes saw the manner in which 
the remaining two cautiously watched each other, and waited 
for an opportunity of making an onset. The larger pre- 
sently made a charge at the smaller one, which the latter 
avoided by its dexterity, and then only retired for a short 
distance. A second attempt, however, made shortly after- 
wards, succeeded perfectly well. The two victors, who had 
preyed on their brethren, then paraded separately about the 
vessel, gorged to bursting with their copious meal. In the 
course of a couple of hours the exposed tails of their swal- 
lowed companions had disappeared." 

The Sea-eagle and the Osprey, as said in my former 
work, not unfrequently pounce down upon a fish when 
basking near the surface of the water; if too heavy for 
them to bear aloft, it not unfrequently happens that, unable 
to extricate their claws, they are carried under water and 

The Rev. M. Moller, rector of the parish of Mellby, in 
Westgothland, informed me that, one misty morning, when 
he was engaged in taking up a night-line, he heard at a little 
distance a very great disturbance in the water; on rowing 
to the spot, he found to his surprise that it arose from a 
combat between an eagle and an immense pike, for the bird, 
which had made a stoop on to the fish, was neither able to 
disengage its talons, nor to bear the fish aloft. The clergy- 
man had no gun unfortunately, but seizing hold of a stout 
stake, he was about to deal a death-blow to the belligerents, 
when by a desperate effort, the pike not only managed to 
clear himself from the hook to which he was attached, but 


to dive to the bottom, bearing his feathered antagonist on his 
back, and neither the one nor the other of them were ever 
more seen by the reverend gentleman. 

Magnus, the Trollhattan fisherman, was a witness, he him- 
self assured me, to a similar scene. 

An Osprey had pounced upon an enormous pike, which 
from its great weight it was unable to bear aloft, and from 
which it was unable to extricate its talons. At times both 
the fish and the bird struggled together on the surface ; 
whilst at others the pike fairly carried the osprey under 
water, the bird, on its reappearance, uttering the most 
plaintive cries. Being in a boat, and provided with a fish- 
spear, he lost no time in giving chase, in the hope of cap- 
turing one or both ; but before reaching the spot the pike, 
to his great disappointment, so completely gained the upper 
hand, as to carry the osprey with him bodily under water. 

On the occasion of these conflicts, it however at times 
happens that the strength of the belligerents is so equally 
matched, that neither party can claim the victory, and the 
battle ends by the death of both. 

" An inlet, called Morviken, of Norra Dalsjon, in the pro- 
vince of Helsingland," so we lately read in the public journals, 
" was recently the theatre of the following occurrence : 

" The most powerful plunderer of the air, the eagle, pounced 
upon the most powerful plunderer of the water, the pike. 
The former, however, had so badly calculated his strength, 
that the attempt was a failure. The fish was stronger 
than the bird, so that the latter was near being drawn 
under water, and of becoming himself a poor prisoner in 
the liquid kingdom of the fishes. He was neither able to 
fly away with the heavy pike, nor to release himself, his 


talons being too deeply embedded in the body of his intended 
prey. Giving utterance to the most dismal cries, king 
eagle floated with outspread wings on the surface, a pitiable 
living wreck. Nevertheless, no one of his subjects in the 
air came to his assistance. A man, however, standing on 
the shore, who had witnessed the scene, hurriedly launched 
his skiff, rowed to the place of conflict and with determined 
will and strength of arm plunged his fish-spear into the 
eagle's breast, thus capturing both him and his intended 

" The eagle, nailed up in front of a stable-door, near to 
Morvik foundry, is still to be seen; but the pike, which 
weighed fifteen pounds, supplied a good meal to the family 
of the bold fisherman, instead of being borne off to the eyrie 
of the royal bird." 

It was farther stated, in my former work, as not of unfre- 
quent occurrence for the pike to be found, not only dead, 
but living, with the skeleton of the eagle or the osprey still 
attached to its back. This story has not, I fear, found much 
credence in England ; so at least it is to be inferred from the 
notes of admiration attached to it when quoted by the late 
talented author of " Wild Sports of the West," a work which, 
to my regret, has only very recently come under my notice. 
That it is a true tale, however, I myself doubt not, and 
I subjoin statements furnished to me by friends and others, 
which will go far, I imagine, to set all doubt upon the point 
at rest. 

"The strength he possesses," says M. Ekstrom, when 
speaking of the pike, " is not inconsiderable. On the back 
of one of these fish, not exceeding twenty pounds in weight, 
I myself have found the skeleton of an osprey (Falco Haliffi- 


tus, Linn.), which he had drawn under the water and suffo- 

The Rev. M. M oiler, informed me, moreover, that he 
himself, on one occasion, had taken a moderately large pike, 
with the skeleton of a kite, or large hawk, still attached 
to it. 

"Again, in the lake Wettern in Eastgothland, as also 
in that of Ringsjon in Scania," so said Dr. Willman, " pike 
have heen caught with the skeleton of an eagle on their 
backs. The one taken in the Wettern had for a number 
of years exhibited the skeleton above the surface of the 
water; and the fishermen, who believed it to be the har- 
binger of misfortune, always, when aware of it, made for 
the shore as quickly as possible. The flesh having rotted 
away from the bones, the skeleton had assumed a greenish 
hue, probably in consequence of some algae, or the like, 
with which it was overgrown, causing it at a distance to 
resemble a bush." 

" My brother, Captain Axel Westfeldt, Lieutenant J. 
Lekander, and the fisherman Modin," writes a friend, on 
whose word I place every reliance, " were one day fishing 
with Ldng-ref, that is a line of great length, with several 
hundred hooks attached of which more presently in a 
large lake in Fryksdal, in Wermeland. When they had 
proceeded a considerable distance from the land, Modin 
suddenly pulled the boat right round, and in evident alarm 
commenced rowing with all his might towards the shore. 
One of the party asked the man what he meant by this 
strange conduct ? * The Sjo-troll, or water-sprite, is here 
again,' replied he, at the same time pointing with his 
finger far to seaward. Every one in the boat then saw 

VOL. ]. G 


in the distance something greatly resembling the horns of 
an elk, or a rein-deer, progressing rapidly on the surface 
of the water. ' Row towards it,' exclaimed Lekander ; * the 
deuce take me if I don't give the Sjo-troll a shot ; I am not 
afraid of it. 5 It was with great difficulty, however, that 
Modin could be prevailed upon once more to alter the course 
of the boat, and to make for the apparition. But at length 
the man's fears were partially allayed, and the chase 
commenced in good earnest. When they had neared 
the object sufficiently, Lekander, who was standing, gun 
in hand, in the bow of the boat, fired, and fortunately 
with deadly effect. On taking possession of the prize, 
it was found to be a huge pike, to whose back the 
skeleton of an eagle was attached. This fish, or rather 
the bones of the bird, had been seen by numbers for several 
years together, and universally went under the above desig- 
nation of Sjo-troll." 

The Sly Silurus (Ma/, Sw. ; Silurus Glanis, Linn.), one 
of the largest of fresh-water fishes, though not to my 
knowledge found in the Wenern, is pretty common in 
several of the lakes in the midland and more southern 
parts of the Scandinavian peninsula. Formerly it existed 
also in one or more of the Danish lakes, where it is sup- 
posed to have been introduced by the monks, but where 
it is now believed to be extinct. It is common in several 
European countries, and though properly a fresh-water 
fish, has been captured at times in brackish, if not in salt 

Through the indefatigable exertions of Mr. George D. 
Berney, of Morton, Norfolk, the silurus was last year 
introduced into England, and consequently is now included 


in our Fauna ; therefore a passing notice of this fish may 
not be unacceptable. 

The Silurus,* which is not altogether dissimilar in appear- 
ance to the burbot, is said to be slow in his movements, and 
inert in disposition. For the most part he lurks in holes, or 
under fallen timber, &c., at the bottom ; and would rather 
seem to lie in ambush for his prey, than to seek it. " The 
structure of his body is such," Bloch tells us, " that other 
fishes approach him without being aware of his presence. 
He is of a dull colour, and has no brilliant scales to betray 
him, from which cause he is hardly to be distinguished from 
the mud itself." 

During tempests and thunder-storms, the silurus evinces 
great inquietude, and quits the deeps. It is said, indeed, 
that it is only on such occasions the larger individuals are 
captured. According to Holm, who flourished about the 
year 1777, he keeps to the deeps until April, when he 
approaches the shoals, and in the beginning of August retires 
again to his usual haunts. " During warm summer-days," 
Holm farther tells us, " this fish is often seen near to the 
surface, particularly during drizzling rain. If the sun be 
powerful, he is said to conceal himself, more especially his head, 
under aquatic plants, or amongst reeds, rushes, &c., and at such 
times to be more than usually sluggish (the female more 
so than the male), so that he can then be readily captured. 
The silurus is rarely found alone ; but more than three or 
four, and those of about the same size, are nevertheless 
seldom seen together ; and when thus congregated, they seek 
their prey in company." 

The long barbules with which the mouth of this fish is 

* "Bloch," p. 194, pi. 34, 

G 2 


provided, are in perpetual motion, and although they can be 
directed at pleasure on either side, or downwards, are gene- 
rally inclined backwards. Kroyer imagines " these barbules, 
which are provided with a large nerve, serve the fish as 
organs of touch when searching for worms and other food 
in the mud at the bottom, and perhaps also to give him 
intimation of the approach of his prey." But Bloch, on 
the contrary, tells us, " that in his opinion they are for 
the purpose of attracting other fishes ; for when he plays 
them about, the fish take them for blades of grass, and 
when his dupes approach within reach, he pounces on 

The silurus is a very voracious fish, and not only devours 
other fishes, even those the best armed (as for instance, 
the pike and the perch), but aquatic birds. He feeds 
also on carrion, as is proved by his taking the hook 
when baited with tainted fish or meat ; and (though 
perhaps unjustly) is charged with attacking the human 
species. Aldrovand speaks of a silurus near to Presburg, 
that devoured a child who was bathing, and says that the 
fish was captured shortly afterwards, when the remains 
were found in his stomach. The more probable solution 
of the story, however, is, that the poor child was first 
drowned, and that the silurus subsequently preyed upon 
its body. 

Opinions seem divided as to the value of the silurus as 
food. Pontoppidan calls it a Herre Fisk, which may be 
rendered : " a fish fit for a gentleman ;" and Holm remarks, 
" that in consequence of its scarcity, it is reserved exclusively 
for the royal table." But, he adds, that " the flesh, in the 
opinion of himself and some others, is not very palatable ; as 


also, that in consequence of its oily nature it cannot be consi- 
dered as wholesome or digestible." The flesh is white, soft 
and luscious, and although very inferior to it, more resembles 
that of the eel than any other fish. In some places the fat is 
used instead of lard. Isinglass is prepared from its swim- 

The silurus, as is the case with other fish that live at the 
bottom, is very tenacious of life, and will survive long after 
being taken out of the water if placed in wet grass. 

It spawns about midsummer, amongst reeds, &c. Bloch 
tells us he has found seventeen thousand three hundred small 
greenish-coloured eggs in a fish of three pounds weight, and 
that the fry appear even as early as from the sixth to the 
ninth day. The young are of slow growth. The old story 
of the male guarding the female, and the young afterwards, 
seems now exploded. 

The silurus attains to eight feet or upwards in length. 
Richter speaks of one captured near to Limritz, in Pome- 
rania, which had a mouth so large, that it could easily have 
taken in a child of six to seven years old ; and that he him- 
self has seen one lying on a charette, or kind of cart, that 
was longer than the vehicle itself! According to Kramer, 
they are found in the Danube, weighing more than three 
hundred pounds, with a girth that two men cannot span. 
Bloch tells us, indeed, that in 1761, an individual was taken 
at Writzen, on the Oder, of which the salted flesh alone 
filled two barrels and a half, each barrel ordinarily weighing 
three hundred pounds ; so that this fish, sinking the head, 
entrails and fins, must therefore have weighed seven hundred 
and fifty pounds ! 

The strength of the silurus, which lies chiefly in its tail, 


is so great, that a blow of it has been known to upset a 
small fishing-boat. 

This fish is believed to attain to one hundred years 
or upwards. Its enormous size, and slow growth, make 
this very probable, but certain proofs of the fact are 

The young silurus takes the hook freely when baited with 
insects, &c., and when in confinement, may be fed either on 
fish or vegetable matter. 

The Salmon (Lax, Sw. ; Salmo Salar, Linn.) was 
abundant in the Gotha during the season, but not higher 
up than the deep pools immediately below the magnificent 
falls of Trollhattan (unless, indeed, a chance one made 
its way through the twelve or fourteen sluices at that 
place, a thing little likely to happen), their great height 
opposing an insurmountable barrier to its farther pro- 
gress. The salmon is also very common in all the Scandi- 
navian rivers from Scania to Lapland, as well in those 
falling into the Baltic as in those which discharge themselves 
into the North Sea and Cattegat. The fish found in the 
streams flowing to the westward, however, according to 
Swedish naturalists, are the fatter of the two, which if 
really the case, is properly attributable to the superior salt- 
ness of the water. 

The salmon is readily attracted by bright objects, and 
hence the adoption of the torch during the night-time, to 
beguile him to his destruction. The Norwegian fishermen, 
taking a hint from this known fact, therefore suspend sheets, 
or whitewash the rocks in the vicinity of the nets, or 
instead of rocks erect white boards, called Laxe-blikke 
(freely translated, salmon attractors), thereby to represent 


the foam of the cataract of which they presume him to be 
in search. 

In the same ratio as white attracts the salmon, red, on 
the contrary, according to Pontoppidan, is the object of 
his greatest antipathy ; so that in parts of Norway the 
fisherman never ventures to follow his vocation, attired 
either in jacket or cap of that colour. The learned Bishop 
makes mention, moreover, of an individual who was so 
deeply impressed with the truth of this assumption, as to 
remove the red tiles from the roof of his house, and to 
substitute others in their place, of a more sombre hue ! 

The salmon is believed to be afraid of shadows ; even 
that of a bird on the wing will send him from the surface. 
When swimming along the coast of Norway, if he should 
come to a spot where a lofty mountain casts its shadow over 
the water, he retreats, we are told, with precipitation ; while, 
on the contrary, he seeks places where light is spread over 
the sea, whether coming through the outlet of a fjord, 
or an opening in the mountain range : facts of which the 
fisherman does not fail to take advantage, when placing 
out his nets. 

The speed of the salmon is very considerable. " During 
the continuance of the westerly or north-westerly storm that 
drives him into the Randers-fjord " (which lies nearly east 
and west) so we are told by Faith, who for fourteen years 
was the proprietor of Frysenvold's salmon fishery, situated on 
one of its tributaries " he, keeping to the deeps, goes vigor- 
ously forward, and it takes scarcely four hours for him to 
make his way from the sea to a certain fishery, a distance 
of six Danish, or twenty-eight English miles. The speed 
of the fish is, however, greatly regulated by the wind ; 


for if soon after his entrance into the fjord, or the river, as 
the case may be, the wind suddenly changes to the east or 
south, he greatly slackens his pace, or remains altogether 

" One may predict by the salmon twenty-four hours pre- 
viously," Faith goes on to say, " if a storm from the west 
or north-west is at hand, for in that case its upward progress 
is very rapid." 

" It is deemed a condition for the ascension of this fish up 
the fjords and rivers," he tells us, moreover, and the remark 
applies to Jutland generally, " that the wind should blow 
off the land : whence such a wind is in some places called a 
Laxe-vind, or salmon-wind." 

" The salmon," Faith further informs us, when speak- 
ing of Rander's-fjord, and his remarks are curious, " shows 
himself only during certain hours of the day at the fishery 
namely, in the morning from five to six, again from 
eight to nine, and from eleven to twelve; in the after- 
noon from five to six and from eight to nine ; at night 
from eleven to twelve, and from one to two. Between 
the hours specified he is captured either within or near 
to the fishery. During the intervening period he with- 
out doubt lies still, or seeks for a passage elsewhere. He 
dreads a thunder-storm, and should one arise during the 
periods of his ordinary coming, he does not show himself 
at all. Should several salmon be seen for some days 
together outside of the fishery, without its being practicable 
to capture them, and that other salmon should arrive in 
the interim, these different groups do not associate until 
after the lapse of a day. If one be taken, it is evident 
the rest look out anxiously for their missing companion ; 


and should several be captured, the restlessness of the 
remainder is on the increase. If only a single one remains, 
he rushes to and fro with anxious rapidity, until he himself 
becomes a prisoner." 

With us in the Gotha, the salmon spawned at the end 
of October or beginning of November; for when captured 
with the rod in the early part of the former month and 
I never fished later the roe appeared mature, and the 
milt of the male was fluid. Nilsson, in corroboration, 
also names October; but according to Danish authorities, 
the lek of this fish in Jutland occurs at a much later period, 
even so late as the month of February, or beginning of 

The Scandinavian salmon attains to a large size, but I 
never heard of any captured in the peninsula at all com- 
parable to Mr. Grove's famous fish, which he himself told 
me weighed eighty-three pounds.* With us in the Gotha 
it was said to be sometimes taken of from fifty to sixty 
pounds in weight ; and this I can well believe, from the 
monsters more resembling porpoises than anything else 
that I myself have occasionally seen in the pools below 
Trollhattan. Nilsson speaks of seventy pounds (Swedish 
weight, be it remembered, which is six per cent less than 
the English) as the maximum of this fish; but I doubt if 
the capture of so large a one is on record. 

Before concluding my observations on the salmon, it may 
be proper to remark, that when in the " Northern Sports " 
I spoke of the S. Salar as an inhabitant of the Wenern and 

* For the information of M. Kroyer, no other than avoirdupois weight is 
used for common purposes in England. Troy weight is confined to chemistry, 
gems, and the precious metals. 


its tributaries, I was decidedly in error ; for to say nothing of 
the all but impossibility of that fish getting up the Falls of 
Trollhattan, I have since ascertained that the fish in the lake 
of the genus Salmo are no other than huge trout. 

I was partly led into the mistake by the Swedish naturalists 
telling us, that the S. Solar constantly inhabits some of the 
larger of the Scandinavian lakes ; partly also from every one 
calling it the Lax, or salmon ; and from not having suffi- 
ciently examined the specimens that came in my way 
none of which indeed were anything like full-grown, and 
of course had not the same marked characters as the adult. 
The law, moreover, classed the fish in question as Lax, or 
salmon, in contradistinction to the Lax-Oring or trout, 
people being permitted to kill the latter at all seasons, 
whereas the former, at a particular time of the year, is pro- 
tected by law. 



THE natural history of the Salmon tribe having of late 
years excited much interest in England, I cannot do better 
than to devote a chapter to some remarks, the result of an 
attentive study of their habits for several consecutive years, 
recorded by my gifted friend and countryman, Mr. Alexander 
Keiller ; observations which, I doubt not, will be interesting 
even to the unscientific and general reader. They were made 
by that gentleman during a long residence on the Save, a 
tributary of the Gotha, and at a distance of from fifteen to 
twenty miles from the sea, and he saw everything to peculiar 
advantage the Save at Jonserud, where the observations 
were made, being invariably clear. That river, which is of 
a moderate breadth, has its rise far up the country ; during 
its course it passes through a chain of large lakes, the last 
of which, the Aspen, is immediately above the mansion, and 



all matter, therefore, brought down from the interior, is 
deposited in that extensive sheet of water. 


Mr. Keiller's observations are the more worthy of notice, 
as for the better elucidation of the subject, he caused a small 
moveable observatory, as depicted above, to be erected over 
the stream, where he spent many hours daily, watching 
the movements of the salmon. 

I give the substance of my friend's words from verbal 
communications made to me at various times; and I also 
subjoin some valuable drawings made by himself, which 
tend greatly to explain his facts as well as his theories. 


Salmon, he says, are pretty abundant in the Save. The 
fishery produced, including grilse, about three thousand 
pounds weight annually. Many fish were taken in weirs, 
others in nets, or by the rod. The larger salmon always 
appear first in the spring ; as the summer advances, the 
fish are much smaller; but in the autumn heavy fish 
again show themselves. These are not fresh run, however ; 
at least they are somewhat discoloured, from which it is to 
be inferred they have been lying either in brackish water, or 
in the deep pools below. 

The common trout is exceedingly scarce in the Save, that 
is, at Jonserud ; but at some distance higher up the stream 
it is abundant. 

During the autumn there are numbers of the sea- trout, 
and some of considerable size. These fish, as well as the 
common trout, spawn in the Save about a month earlier than 
the salmon, and carry on proceedings in a precisely similar 
manner to that fish. Both, however, have deposited their 
ova prior to the salmon commencing operations, thus show- 
ing a wonderful economy of nature ; for otherwise the milt, 
both of the sea and of the comm6n trout, would generally 
impregnate the ova of the salmon, and numberless hybrids 
would be the result. 

The fry both of sea-trout and salmon are, in the Save, at 
Jonserud, indiscriminately designated For ell, answering, it 
is to be presumed, to the so-called Parr. Both kinds, no 
doubt, go to the sea about the same period. 

Salmon commence spawning in the Save the first days in 
November, and continue throughout the month. The female 
deposits her eggs in comparatively still, shoal water, from 
six to eighteen inches in depth, immediately above a rapid. 


She selects such a situation for the following reasons : 
Comparatively still water in preference to a current, because 
otherwise the exertion of retaining her position, and spawn- 
ing combined, would be too much for her powers ; a shallow, 
instead of a pool, that she may be secure from the sea-trout 
and other fish, which, if in deep water, would congregate 
about her to prey upon her eggs ; and lastly, that her ova, 
on dispersion, may be carried by the gentle stream to a 
secure resting-place amongst the stones below. 

It is commonly supposed that, in conjunction with the 
male, the female salmon scrapes a hole, or furrow, in the bed 
of the river, in which to deposit her eggs, and that after- 
wards, and as a protection from their numerous enemies, they 
cover them over with gravel ; but such is not the fact, at 
least in the Save. The male has nothing to do with this 
part of the work ; and the ova, instead of being dropped into 
a cavity, are deposited on a comparatively smooth surface. 

Whilst in the act of spawning, the female retains her 
natural position. Her belly is near to the ground ; at times, 
indeed, probably to rest herself, actually touching it. The 
process of dropping her eggs appears to be slow. When a 
few are collected, she turns on her side, waves the flat of her 
tail gently downwards to the roe, but lifts it up again with 
great force, by which such a vacuum is caused, as not only 
to raise the eggs from the ground, and thus to distribute 
them in the stream, but to throw up a mass of dirt and 
stones, the latter not unfrequently of very considerable 

As the mere distribution of the ova would require only a 
slight wave of the tail, it appears that the violent lunge is 
for the express purpose of disturbing and muddying the 


water, thereby to conceal the eggs, in degree at least, from 
their numerous enemies lying in wait helow. 

When spawning has once commenced, it seems that the 
male can no longer retain his milt, nor the female her roe, 
the emission continuing under all circumstances. This has 
been often noticed, even long after death. 

The female salmon leaves the spawning-bed many times 
during the day, and makes little excursions about the river, 
generally into the dead water above. At times these trips 
are somewhat extended say to a distance of some seventy 
or eighty paces. " But," said Mr. Keiller, " as from my 
elevated position I could watch all her movements, I feel 
perfectly confident that, during her absence from the 
spawning-bed, she never in any way comes in contact with 
the male fish. I am at a loss to understand the cause of 
these trips. At times, I have thought it is for the purpose 
of resting herself after the fatigue or exhaustion of spawning ; 
at others, I have imagined it to be a special provision of 
nature ; for if her original position were a bad one, and she 
were to remain stationary, all her roe would be destroyed ; 
whereas, by occasionally moving, as she does, about the 
stream, and dropping her eggs as she goes, some of them, at 
least, are pretty certain to find shelter." 

The specific gravity of the roe is but little greater than 
water; when once therefore in motion, unless intercepted, 
it will float a considerable distance down the stream. A 
large portion of the eggs are of course devoured; but the 
remainder find their way into crannies, and under stones 
inaccessible to an enemy. 

From the slow manner in which the salmon spawns, it 
might be thought on the first view of the subject that a 


large portion of the eggs in the body of the fish were in an 
immature state; but such is not the fact. To prove this, 
Mr. Keiller once took the roe in a mass from the belly of a 
salmon recently captured, divided it transversely into three 
equal parts, and applied to each the needful quantity of milt. 
In due time the several portions produced fry, though it 
is true that the portion taken from the upper part of the 
belly where the eggs were of a somewhat less size, was less 
productive than the other two. 

So far as Mr. Keiller's observations extended, the salmon 
never spawns on the bare rock, or amongst very large stones, 
for the reason, that in such situations she would be unable to 
raise the needful turbidity to conceal her progeny. 

At the tail of a spawning-ground, the work of a single 
salmon or at all events never occupied by more than one at 
a time there is, towards the close of the season, an immense 
accumulation of gravel, stones, &c. occasionally, indeed, a 
good English cart-load. What with ice and floods, however, 
not only is this heap in great part carried away, but the very 
cavity from whence it came, often of great extent, is so 
filled up, that by the succeeding summer the bed of the river 
has assumed nearly its usual appearance. 

" What may be the case in the earlier part of the season, 
when the fish are in the pools or in deep water, I could 
not affirm," said my informant ; " but after the female com- 
mences spawning, I have never, but on one occasion, seen 
the male in actual company with her. His station at that 
time is at six or seven feet distance, directly in her wake, 
and just beyond the heap of stones spoken of. And the 
only apparent part he takes in the generative process, is 
by the deposition of his milt, which of course becomes 


mixed with the ova of the female, as the stream drifts them 
past him. 

" The exception noticed occurred thus : the female was 
lying on the spawning-ground, when suddenly the male, 
which had previously been at some little distance, swam up, 
and laid himself immediately alongside of her. Although 
their proceedings were most carefully watched, nothing that 
could be construed into sexual intercourse took place between 
them ; nor did either fish in any way alter its swimming 
position; but a vibration or champing of the jaws of the 
male was distinctly remarked whilst he was by her side. 
This the observer was enabled to distinguish, in consequence 
of the dark colour of the fish contrasting with the lighter 
colour of its mouth when opened. The vibration continued 
for a second or two, when the male left ihe female and 
retired below." 

It has been shown that whilst the female is spawning, the 
male is stationed some few feet in her rear. Again, at a 
respectful distance behind him say twelve or fifteen feet, but 
still in a direct line with the female a lot of trout, sea-trout, 
and other fish, are always posted, in readiness to pounce 
on the eggs, when the female starts them adrift with her 
tail. On the appearance of the several clouds of dirt, it is 
amusing to see them all scurrying into the thick of it, and 
following the ova down the stream. 

It has never been observed that the female has a liking for 
one male more than another ; but it has been repeatedly noticed 
that some one male in particular occupies the same spot. 

At some little distance to the right and left of this male, 
two or three other males are usually to be seen, and much 
of his time is occupied in keeping these interlopers at a 

VOL. i. H 



distance. His charges against them are most vigorous and 
determined, and so frequent that he is seldom stationary for 
a minute together. This almost incessant motion of the male 
seems a special provision of nature; for were he to remain 
still, only that portion of the ova which passes over him would 
be impregnated, whereas by moving so much about, his milt 
becomes distributed, in a manner, over the whole stream. 



The above illustration represents three pair of salmon in 
the spawning season. It must be borne in mind, however, 
that though three pair are depicted in their spawning-beds, 
it is only to save other illustrations ; for it seldom happens 
that more than one pair of fish, as regards the Save at least, 
occupy the breadth of the stream. 

The pair to the left the female passive, the male casting 
a jealous glance at an interloper. Second pair in the centre 
the female on her side, in the act of distributing her ova, 
the male passive, and the fry revelling in the passing cloud. 
Third pair to the right the female passive, the male seizing 
a poacher on his manor, in which interval it will be observed 
an intruder takes advantage of the liege lord's absence, and is 
about assuming his place. The zig-zag lines represent the 
manner in which the milt of the male salmon, according 
to his peregrinations, becomes distributed over the whole 

As is well known, the jaws of the male salmon during the 
breeding season are much elongated by the growth of a car- 
tilaginous projection from the extremity of each. That on 
the lower turns upwards, and when the jaws are closed occu- 
pies a deep cavity or socket between the intermaxillary bones 
of the upper jaw. 

The anatomical construction of these extraordinary elonga- 
tions is curious. The lateral longitudinal surface of the hook 
on the lower jaw is greater than that in front, thereby giving 
it more strength, and at the same time offering less obstruc- 
tion to the flow of the water into the gills or lungs, during 
respiration. And from the hook inclining backwards at the 
top, it beautifully facilitates this end. 

The upper snout is hollow or vaulted. This cavity would 

H 2 


also cause hindrance to the free flow of water to the lungs, 
were it not for a web, forming a sort of hanging ceiling, 
attached in front and at the sides to the jaw, but open in 
a parabolic form behind. This vault is so large in a twenty- 
pound fish, that between it and the hanging ceiling the 
finger may be inserted from behind, nearly up to the second 

After the termination of the spawning season the protube- 
rances on both jaws are gradually absorbed, and the head of 
the fish resumes its ordinary shape. 

On the first appearance of the male salmon in the Save in 
spring, he is entirely without the excrescence spoken of, or at 
all events has only the very germs of it ; and throughout the 
summer its growth is slow, but it increases more rapidly 
towards the spawning season, at which period it has attained 
its full development. 

No elongation whatever takes place on the jaws of the 
female salmon. They remain in the same state all the year 

It is the commonly received notion that the hook on the 
lower jaw of the male salmon is for the purpose of enabling 
him to assist the female in forming a hole in the bed 
of the river, for the deposit of her roe. But such Mr. 
Keiller convinced himself is not the object for which it is 
designed. In his opinion, it is intended to prevent the 
males, which in the spawning season are most pugnacious, 
from killing each other ; for when the jaws of even a 
twenty-five-pound fish are distended to the utmost, the hook 
is so much in the way that the opening in front of the 
mouth will admit little more than the breadth of a finger, 
and consequently he cannot grasp the body of an anta- 



gonist. Indeed, were he enabled to do so, he would soon 
destroy him. 


This drawing represents the heads of three male salmon. 
No. 1 , a fish when in high season ; No. 2, when out of 


season, with the elongation of jaw, and the mouth closed ; 
No. 3, also out of season, and with the elongation, hut with 
the mouth opened to its full extent. No. 1 is an imaginary 
portrait, but supposed to answer in regard to size to what 
Nos. 2 and 3 would have been when in condition. Nos. 
2 and 3 are actual portraits of the same fish, which weighed 
twenty-five pounds four ounces, and was caught on the 
14th of September. The elongation on the jaws of Nos. 
2 and 3 may be judged of from the nostrils, which as well in 
the minimum as the maximum state are accurately marked 
in the drawing. 

In the breeding season the contests between the males are 
incessant and desperate. Mr. Keiller repeatedly noticed an 
immense salmon charge another with such thorough good- 
will, as to throw him fairly out of the water. As it is, 
their battles are bloody enough ; not only are fish observed 
to be gashed in every direction probably by their side 
teeth, for those in front, or on the tongue, cannot be 
brought properly into play, owing to the hook but with 
large pieces of flesh and skin actually hanging down their 
sides. At the close of the season all the males are 
covered with scars. Unless one has seen the fish at this 
time, it is difficult to conceive his mutilated condition ; and 
it appears certain, that were it not for the hook not more 
than a single male salmon would leave a spawning-ground 

But it is the males alone who, at the termination of 
the spawning season, are thus seamed with scars : 
another evidence, were such wanting, that the injuries 
have arisen from combats between themselves; for were 
the wounds inflicted by Otters, as many imagine, the 



females would be equal sufferers with the males, which is 
not the case. 



The first sketch represents a male salmon charging a 
rival ; the second, a male, covered with honourable scars, 
after the wars are over. 


To say nothing of the injuries salmon inflict on each other 
with their teeth, were it not for the cartilaginous elongation 
on the upper jaw, which forms a kind of pad in front of 
the brain, the concussion on the occasion of the desperate 
charges spoken of would be so great as to stun the assailant. 
When the fish makes his onset his jaws are usually closed, 
and the hook on the lower jaw is embedded in the upper, 
thus affording the latter support, and still further lessening, 
as applies to himself, the effects of the concussion. 

" Nature," says my friend, in conclusion, " only works by 
fixed laws. To have given the male salmon a share of human 
intellect was not in accordance with her plans. She resorted 
to simpler means, and instilled envy and jealousy instead of 
reflection and reasoning power, which at all events would 
not have given the stimulus to exertion that the minor 
attribute confers. In order, however, to moderate the 
effects of these ferocious passions, this proboscis was be- 
stowed, which thus prevents the male from inflicting mortal 
injury either on his rival or on himself." 

So much for my philosophic friend, the results of whose 
experiments and observations are certainly very curious, and 
every naturalist will feel much indebted to him for paying 
such close attention to a subject so very interesting. Never- 
theless, one cannot always coincide with his conclusions 
because he does not seem fully to make out his case. 

He sets completely at nought the notion, with regard to 
the salmon, of intercourse between the sexes ; and from the 
facts he adduces, I feel partly inclined to agree with him. 
But then he admits that the female occasionally leaves the 
spawning-ground, and makes little excursions about the 
river, at which time it seems quite possible she may have 


proved unfaithful. He says, it is true, that from his observa- 
tory he could distinctly watch all her movements in the 
interval, and that she never came in contact with any male. 
But with the best of eyes, and though the position of the 
observer may have been ever so favourable, any one might be 
deceived at sixty or eighty paces distance, more particularly 
when looking at an object pretty deep perhaps in the water. 

He suggests two causes for her taking these trips : first, 
that she may drop her ova here, there, and everywhere in 
the river as a provision against casualties ; secondly, the 
requirement of rest from her labours. But these suggestions 
are unsupported by any kind of proof. In answer to the 
first, I say, why should not Nature have prevented her 
from taking up a bad position in the first instance ? To the 
second, is it not quite as reasonable to suppose that her 
excursions are made in search of food, or that if she were 
exhausted with spawning, and required rest, she would lie 

Neither does it appear to me that my friend's theory as to 
the male salmon stationing himself a little in the rear of the 
female, for the purpose of impregnating her eggs as they 
drift past him, quite holds good ; for, by his own account, the 
male is himself often absent from his post in chase of rivals, 
during which time, so far as the ova from his particular 
female are concerned, his milt is altogether wasted. When, 
on the contrary, she in her turn is on the move, her ova 
have little chance of impregnation, at least from him. 

But under any circumstances, and in spite of her lunges, a 
large portion of the ova must of necessity be deposited 
amongst the stones and gravel immediately behind the 
spawning-bed, and prior to reaching the male, so that, 


according to my friend's theory, even if the marital male 
be at hand, that portion, at all events, will not he benefited 
by him. 

Then again, he assumes that though the lunge of the 
female's tail when on the spawning-bed is partly to lift her 
ova from the bottom of the river, and to distribute them in 
the stream, it is principally to raise a cloud of dirt, thereby 
to blind the small fish lying in wait for them below. Is it 
not just as possible, on the contrary, that the violent motion 
of the tail may rather be to facilitate the exit of the roe from 
her own body the throes of parturition, in short? And 
as to the cloud he speaks of, can it really be dense enough to 
conceal the eggs ? If the bottom of the Save was muddy, 
I could conceive this to be possible; but where only sand 
and gravel exist, as is the case in that river, I should say 
decidedly not. 

In another place, my friend assumes that the female never 
spawns on a rocky bed, because she could not there raise 
up the needful "cloud" to hide her ova whilst they were 
progressing down the stream. To my mind, the more 
probable reason for her avoiding rocks is that, in so exposed 
a situation, her eggs would not find the needful shelter from 
their enemies. Neither would they be secure from floods, 
which on ground divested of gravel and small stones would 
inevitably sweep them bodily away. 

But in spite of my friend's philosophy, what pleases me 
most of all, is the very ingenious reason he assigns for the 
male salmon being provided in the spawning season with 
this elongation of the jaws namely, that he may neither 
injure his adversary, nor hurt himself in his hostile charges. 
If such really be the case, Nature, it must be admitted, 


has been more bountiful to the genus Salmo, than to most 
of her other creatures ; for we know of few animals besides 
(and many in the breeding season are equally pugnacious 
with the salmon) that are especially equipped at that period 
with foils of any kind to curb their combative propensities, 
or who, when deprived of the free use of their teeth, have 
their head so defended, as to enable them to perform to 
perfection and with impunity to themselves, the part of a 

Mr. Keiller affirms, it will be noticed, that the hook on 
the jaws of a twenty-five-pounds male salmon, in the breed- 
ing season, prevents him from grasping, in front at least, 
a substance of more than an inch in thickness. He may 
be right ; but having repeatedly killed salmon in September 
and October, in Sweden, with baits of so large a size as to 
have required more than that space for their mere admittance 
into his mouth, I should imagine my friend has somewhat 
underrated the expansion of their jaws at that period. 

In conclusion, " It is very difficult to divine," as the late 
Mr. Scrope truly says, when speaking of the subject in 
question, " what may be the use of this very ugly excre- 
scence." But if Mr. Keiller should have hit the nail on the 
head and there are high authorities who say he has done 
so the knotty point which has for ages puzzled the natu- 
ralists, is finally set at rest. 

Twelve or fourteen years ago, it may be proper to add, my 
friend made many discoveries regarding the artificial impregna- 
tion of roe, which I was then desirous of publishing. But as 
he from time to time put off furnishing me with the needful 
details and drawings, I have been forestalled by others, and it 
is now too late to submit them to the public. It is, however, 


very satisfactory to find that the results of his experiments 
have been corroborated to the letter by Mr. Scrope, Mr. Shaw, 
Mr. Young, and other naturalists. 

His theory also regarding the young fry, their slow 
growth, the period when they go to the sea, &c., mainly 
agrees with theirs. " They do not leave the eggs," he 
says, " until April. They remain in the Save during that 
summer and the following winter, at the expiration of which 
they are from two to three inches long. The second summer 
they also stop in the river, during which they double their 
size that is, they attain to five or six inches in length. 
Whether they go to sea in the autumn, or not until the 
following spring, is not positively determined ; but it is 
rather believed they depart before the setting in of the 
winter, for the reason, that in February and March great 
numbers of fish resembling salmon in miniature, and of 
a pound or so in weight, are caught in the brackish water 
at the confluence of the Gotha with the sea, which are 
supposed to be the fry that left us about three months 
before. The third autumn they revisit the rapids of the 
Save, in the shape of grilse, of several pounds in weight." 

Mr. Keiller's conclusions as to the slow growth of the fry 
are drawn from the following facts. In July that is, some 
two months after the eggs are hatched there are always 
two distinct families of the salmon fry in the Save: the 
one about two inches in length, but too small to take either 
the natural or artificial fly ; the other family averaging from 
four to five inches in length, which take both baits with 
avidity. There is no intermediate family. The two-inch 
family can therefore be no other than those recently hatched ; 
the five-inch family the breed of the preceding season. 


" In corroboration," says my authority, " I once had occa- 
sion to dam up a small portion of a branch of the Save, at 
Jonserud, the upper end so effectually as altogether to debar 
communication with the river above ; that is as regarded fish, 
for the water found access to the pond amongst the stones of 
which the dam was composed. At the other end indeed 
there was so very small an outlet that it was hardly possible, 
much less probable, for even fry to ascend or descend. 
These dams were constructed after the salmon had spawned 
in the autumn, and the space enclosed being full of their 
roe, the pool, during the succeeding summer, swarmed with 
fry. Beyond, however, observing that they were of a very 
diminutive size, and too small to take fly or bait of any 
kind in short, that they were of the first family I paid 
but little attention to them. But the second summer the 
pool was full of fish of five or six inches in length, and 
of that size only; and as they were very eatable fellows, I 
captured numbers of them. They in every respect resem- 
bled the second family common to the Save, but they were 
a trifle fuller and larger, which I attributed to more sunshine 
and less snow-water in short, to a greater degree of warmth. 
The second winter was unfortunately a severe one, and they 
all died." 



To proceed with the enumeration of the fishes in my 

The Salmon Trout (Oring, Sw. ; Salmo Trutta, Linn.) 
was common with us in the autumn ; but as with the S. 
Salar, was probably only found below the Falls of Troll- 
hattan. This fish in the season is also common in most of 
the Scandinavian rivers, whether flowing into the Baltic or 
the North Sea. According to Nilsson, it is an inhabitant of 
the lakes of the interior ; of such, it is to be presumed he 
means, as have no accessible communication with the ocean. 
Kroyer informs us it is common in the fjords and rivers of 
Jutland, though less so than others of the Salmo tribe. 

Swedish naturalists give us no information as to the period 
at which the salmon trout spawns ; Kroyer imagines in June 


and July ; but in this matter I consider he is mistaken, 
not being aware of any species of the genus Salmo 
spawning until towards the end of the year none cer- 
tainly in my neighbourhood, or on the western coast 
of Sweden. Bloch, who I doubt not is right, assigns 
October and November as the months in which this fish 
has its lek. 

The salmon trout attains to a considerable size in the 
northern waters; Kroyer says to twenty pounds. Faber 
gives twenty-eight inches as its maximum length. 

The flesh of this fish, which is red, is in high repute for 
the table, next perhaps to that of the salmon. Many, indeed, 
give it the preference, as being more easy of digestion. 

The Grey Trout ; Sea Trout ; Bull Trout (bring, Sw. ; 
$. Eriox, Linn.), was common with us in the autumn ; 
but unless identical with the great trout of the Wenern, it 
was only found, as with the salmon and salmon trout, below 
the Falls of Trollhattan. Owing to the confusion arising 
from local names, it is. difficult to define the geographical 
limits of this fish ; but it seems common during the season, 
as well in the rivers that flow into the Cattegat, as into the 
Baltic, and in those streams that empty themselves into the 
North Sea. 

The salmon trout, as also the salmon, when making their 
way up a fjord or river, are said to hold to the middle of 
the stream, and to the deepest water ; but the grey trout, 
on the contrary, is believed to take advantage of slacker 
water. It is also recorded of this species that they proceed 
into much shallower water than the salmon trout or the 
salmon ; to such shoals, in fact, as render it difficult for 
the fishermen, in their flat-bottomed punts, to get up to 


them. Hence the established fisheries that are most suc- 
cessful with salmon, are not equally fortunate with the grey 
trout, and vice versd. 

The grey trout is very tenacious of life, and exists for 
some time after being taken out of its native element. 
During the winter, we are told, it may be kept for months 
in a Sump, or fish-box ; and the fish-dealers believe it can 
live equally well in fresh as in salt water. It is, moreover, 
said of this trout, that when put into spirits of wine, it lives 
longer than most other fish. 

There is an old saying amongst the Danish fishermen, 
that when the grey trout first enters the fjord from the 
sea, it is sluggish, and its powers of vision dull. Certain 
it is, that, as with us in England, it remains for some 
days in brackish water, before continuing its journey up 
the river. 

The grey trout is reported to be very voracious. Kroyer 
says he has sometimes found shrimps, more than one species 
of Goby, and other small fish in its stomach ; as also that in 
want of other sustenance the males at times feed on the roe 
of the female. 

The flesh of this fish is held to be very inferior to that of 
either the salmon or the salmon trout. When fattest, it is of 
a pale pink colour; but as the fish falls off in condition, 
it becomes yellowish-white. Although much less palatable 
than the salmon, it is nevertheless, as Kroyer tells us, 
equally dear or dearer in Copenhagen; but that is because 
this fish can be obtained alive, whereas the salmon is only 
to be had dead. 

The grey trout with us spawned towards the end of 
October, or beginning of November. Swedish naturalists 


are silent on the subject, but Kroyer assigns November, 
December, and January as the period of the lek. 

This fish attains to a large size in the northern waters. 
Faith affirms that in Jutland it has been captured of thirty 
pounds weight. 


This drawing was taken from a male fish in high con- 
dition, weighing upwards of thirty pounds, and measuring 
forty-two inches in length. The tail, it will be remarked, 
is nearly square, a characteristic, however, less observable 
in the younger fish than in those of mature age. 

The male and female adults always differ somewhat in 
appearance, and in the spawning season considerably. At 
that time, indeed, the male, as with the male S. Solar, 
becomes so changed in form and colour, as to be hardly 
recognizable. The cartilaginous substance on his snout, in 
like manner with the S. Salar, then becomes greatly deve- 
loped, and though the " ugly excrescence " only continues 
for a time, yet it has conferred on the male Wenerns-Lax 
(as also, I believe, on the male S. Salar) the appellation of 
Krok, or Hook, by which name (and by that alone, Lax 

VOL. i. i 


being dropped altogether) he was known with us all the 
year round* 

Very considerable resemblance existing between this huge 
trout for though called Lax, or salmon, he is no other, 
as we have said, than a trout and the S. Eriox, or 
grey trout of authors, it becomes a subject for the consi- 
deration of Ichthyologists, whether it may not be identical 
with the migratory species last named, though slightly 
altered by long permanent residence in the fresh water to 
which it is thus restricted. The probability of the two 
being identical, is increased by the fact that the smelt, 
which, in England, is considered of marine origin, is, as will 
presently be shown, very numerous in the Wenern and 
other Scandinavian lakes, to which access cannot be obtained 
from the sea. In all its characters the Wenerns-Lax answers 
to the 8. lacustris of authors (S. ferox, Jardine) ; but if the 
question as to its identity with the S. Eriox be decided in 
the affirmative, the S. lacustris has probably no existence 
as a species ; and rather than class the Wenerns-Lax by that 
name, I prefer retaining it under that by which it is known 
with us. 

The Wenerns-Lax was very common in my vicinity, 
as also, I imagine, in most of the great waters throughout 
Scandinavia. From what Lsestadius says, I infer it to be 
an inhabitant of the Lapland lakes ; for when speaking 
of trout, he tells us they attain to twenty pounds weight 
and upwards, and that one species is called the Grd- 

* May not this circumstance have partly given rise to the notion entertained 
by some Ichthyologists on the continent of Europe, that the salmon with the 
hook is considered by them as a distinct species, and called Le Becard and 
S. hamatus ? 


Lax, or grey trout, grey being the predominant colour of 

Many of these fish remained in the Gotha all the year 
round, but by far the greater portion, when the spring was 
pretty well advanced, left us for the Wenern, where they 
passed the summer ; and it was not until the fall of the 
year that they again revisited our rapids, for the purpose 
of spawning. 

The Wenerns-Lax is held in estimation as food ; but the 
flesh, even when in high condition, is much less firm than 
that of the S. Salar, and it also differs materially in colour, 
being rather of an orange-yellow, than red. 

The spawning season with this fish was the end of 
October or November ; but long prior to this period 
generally in the month of August they fell down 
from the lake into the upper part of the river. The 
first batch consisted for the most part of males; and 
it was not until some little time afterwards that any 
considerable number of the females joined company. 
When the lek was over, the fish either headed back 
into the Wenern, or retired to the deep pools in the 
Gotha, where they remained during the winter, to recruit 
their strength. 

The young of the Wenerns-Lax, as indeed those of every 
species of the genus Salmo, went with us by the general 
name of Oring. 

This fish attains to a great size, especially the males, 
which on the average are nearly a third larger than the 
females. I have not unfrequently captured males of thirty 
pounds weight and upwards, whereas the females seldom 
exceeded twenty pounds. I cannot remember our taking 

i 2 


more than one female exceeding twenty-four pounds, and 
she was considered a monster in her way. 


This drawing was taken from an individual in high con- 
dition, weighing twelve pounds. 

The Silfver-Lax (Silver- Salmon), also presumed to be 
a trout, is distinguished from the Wenerns-Lax by several 
marked features. The greater portion of its body is of a 
much more silvery white, and hence its Swedish name. It 
is a more elegant and salmon-shaped fish, has a more 
forked tail, and is much smaller just before the caudal fin ; 
the gape is smaller, the posterior end of the upper maxil- 
lary bones is in a vertical line immediately under the pupil 
of the eye, and the body is marked with cruciform black 

I am not sure that this fish has been described by natu- 
ralists, but if so it must have been done somewhat in- 

May not the Silfver-Lax, which differs as much as night 
from day from any other fresh-water trout I have seen, be 
identical with the S. Trutta of Linnaeus, which it much 


resembles, though somewhat altered by long permanent 
residence in fresh water, to which it is confined ? 

Until, therefore, Ichthyologists determine to what species 
this fish really does belong, I think it best to retain the 
name by which it was known in the Gotha and the Wenern. 

The Silfver-Lax was not uncommon with us at certain 
seasons of the year, in the Gotha at least. Owing to this 
species not being very well identified, it is impossible 
to define its geographical limits. From Lsestadius speaking 
of a blank , or shining-lax, however, I am inclined to believe 
it to be an inhabitant of Lapland, and if so, it is probably 
pretty generally distributed throughout Scandinavia 

The Silfver-Lax is a splendid fish in appearance, and 
excellent for the table ; and though of a lighter colour, it 
is held in nearly equal estimation with the salmon. 

It is to be presumed that this fish spawned about the 
same period as others of the genus Salmo ; but though an 
old servant of mine asserted that he had on two or three 
occasions in the spring of the year almost the only season, 
indeed, of our capturing it found incipient roe of the size of 
a pin's head in the female, I myself never saw this fish 
either preparatory to, or during the spawning season. What 
became of it at that time was always a mystery to us ; but 
the presumption is, it either held its lek in the deeps, or 
(which is less probable) that it crossed the Wenern, and 
ascended some of its tributaries. 

It was always in the highest possible condition, even 
in the early part of the spring, at which time the adult 
Wenerns-Lax having only partially recovered from the effects 
of spawning, are often not only somewhat meagre, but infested 
with parasitical animalcules. 


The usual weight of the Silfver-Lax was from seven to 
nine pounds. I have, however, killed this fish of four- 
teen pounds weight, which is the largest I have ever heard 
of, but not of less than from three to four pounds weight. 

We never took many of these fish : four or five was 
my best day's sport. When hooked, it shows much play, 
and plays, moreover, so differently from other species 
of Salmo jagging the line, as it were that without 
actually seeing it, I knew almost to a certainty what fish 
was on the hook. 

The Common Trout (Oring, Sw. ; S. Fario, Linn.) was 
found in my vicinity; as also, by all accounts, in almost 
every lake and river from Scania to Lapland. But as 
Ekstrom does not enumerate it amongst the fishes of 
the eastern Skargard, it is not, I apprehend, even a casual 
visitor to salt or rather brackish water. 

According to Nilsson, there are two species of the com- 
mon trout in Scandinavia namely : 

1 . The S. Fario, Linn. ; (Bdckro ; Stenbit ; Stqnoring, 
Sw. ; so called from its chiefly inhabiting stony brooks), 
which the Professor describes as from six to eight inches 
in length, and as never being found in the alpine 

2. And the S. punctatus, Cuv. (Fjalloret ; Fjdlloring, 
Norw.), which he states to be twelve inches in length, and 
as being confined chiefly to the rivers and lakes of the Fjalls. 

The common trout attains to a considerable size in 
the peninsula; for, if I mistake not the fish, I myself 
have killed it of eleven pounds weight not, it is true, in 
the vicinity of Ronnum, but in a tributary of the Clara in 


In addition to the several species of the genus Salmo 
enumerated, Nilsson includes the 8. Ocla, Nilss., and the 
8. Truttula, Nilss., in the Scandinavian Fauna. But unless 
one or other of these fish be identical with the 8. Eriox 
of Linnaeus, I am not aware of their having come under 
my observation. 

The 8. Ocla, the Professor tells us, is found in the 
river Dal, and perhaps in other rivers. It arrives from 
the Baltic about the summer solstice that is, somewhat 
later than the 8. 8alar, and spawns at the same time as 
that fish. Its flesh is white ; length, hardly two feet, and 
it seldom exceeds four to five pounds in weight. 

The 8. Truttula, Nilss., according to the Professor, ascends 
from the sea to rivers and lakes. Length, from twelve to six- 
teen inches ; the flesh pale, scarcely reddish ; has examined 
specimens from Gothenburg and the lake Wettern. 

The Charr (Roding, Sw.), though not found in the 
Wenern or the Goth a, inhabits several of the waters of 
the peninsula. 

Although some of the best European authorities admit, 
I believe, of only one species of Charr, Nilsson includes 
no less than six species in his Prodromus. 

1. The 8almo alpinus, Linn.,* which, as the name would 
denote, is confined, I believe, to the more alpine regions of 
the peninsula. Leestadius, when speaking of this fish, says : 

" The under part of the belly is red ; the back, dark 
green ; the sides, which are sprinkled with small round spots, 
intermediate between red and green. It is the handsomest 
fish in our waters. It would seem properly to belong to the 
fjall lakes, of which, with the exception of a single species 
of trout, called in Lappish Tabmo'k, it is the only inha- 
* "Bloch,"pl. 104. 


bitant ; and even if found in certain lakes in the wooded 
district below, it is beyond doubt only in such as are sup- 
plied with water from the fjall lakes. It even dwells in lakes 
situated at so great an altitude as, at all seasons, to be sheeted 
with ice. It leks in September on stony ground, and is then 
taken in large numbers, as well in the flew as the drag-net. 
During the spawning season it changes colour greatly, the 
usual light red under the belly then becoming dark red. 
Though a small fish, weighing only from one to two pounds, 
the ova forming the hard roe, nevertheless, are as large as 
those of the trout, which attains to a very considerable size. 
Its flesh is red and delicious." 

" Though not usually varying much in size," Lsestadius 
goes on to say, " there are giants amongst this species. 
Fjellstrom, some years ago, captured on a Ldng-ref one that 
weighed fifteen pounds." 

2. The S. Salvelinus, Linn.,* is only found, according to 
Nilsson, in the lakes Wettern, Sommen, and a few other 
lakes in the province of Smaland. The flesh is brown-red, 
fat and palatable. It spawns in October, in about six feet 
of water, and attains to twelve or fifteen pounds in weight. 

3. The S. pallidus, Nilss. So far as is ascertained, 
found only in the Lake Wettern. The sides marked with 
brownish-red spots ; the flesh white, lean, and considered of 
little value. According to the fishermen, this fish spawns 
in the month of October, in from thirty to forty fathoms 
of water, and never attains to more than eight to nine 
pounds in weight. 

4. The S. ventricosus, Nilss. (Gautesfisk, Norw.) As 
far as is known, only found in the lake Sigdal in Norway, 
where it is said to live in very deep water. Distinguished 

* "BlocV'pl. 99. 


from all other species of Salmo by inflated belly, short, 
white, obtuse snout and small eyes. Length, twelve inches 
and upwards. Is captured in the winter time on hooks. 

5. The S. carbonarius, Nilss. (Kullmund, Norw.) is 
found in several of the lakes in the wooded regions of 
western Norway ; lives like the S. ventricosus, in the 
depths, and never voluntarily ascends to the surface, not 
even in the spawning season. In colour this fish very much 
resembles the S. ventricosus, but differs in the shape of the 
body, which is not inflated, &c. The flesh is white, soft, 
and little valued. Is captured during the summer on hooks 
baited with living frogs. 

6. The S. rutilus, Nilss., is found also in western Norway, 
but distinct from the species named. Length, twelve inches. 

But the charr, whether a single species or several, is, 
I apprehend, more generally distributed throughout Scan- 
dinavia than Swedish naturalists seem to imagine. In the 
lake Ullen, in Wermeland, near to which I at one time 
resided, it was abundant ; and this being the case, it is 
probably found in many other districts. As with us in 
England, however, the charr is doubtlessly a very local 
fish. Laestadius tells us, indeed, " that although plentiful in 
Horn-Afvan " (an extensive lake in Pitea Lapmark) , " and 
this even at its eastern extremity, it is not found, never- 
theless, in Kakel " (either forming a part of the same lake, 
or immediately contiguous to it), " and never descends the 
stream to Udjaur." 

The Smelt (Slom ; Nors, Sw. ; Osmerus Eperlanus, 
Flem.) was very plentiful in my vicinity, as well in the Gotha 
as the Wenern. It is said not to be found in Scania ; but 
in most of the larger lakes and rivers of the more midland 


parts of Scandinavia it is very common. Its limits to the 
northward seem not very well ascertained, but I myself have 
seen it in abundance in the lake Rada, in Wermeland, 
situated in the 60 of latitude. This fish, according to 
Ekstrom, is found in the eastern Skargard, and I almost 
imagine in parts of the western also ; for although not 
included in the reverend gentleman's catalogue of the fishes 
of the Cattegat (1850), yet, from its being frequently cap- 
tured by the Gothenburg fishermen, the inference is, that 
it came from brackish, if not from salt water. Kroyer 
speaks of it as common in the interior of Jutland ; also 
in the fjords and on the coast. 

Swedish naturalists are of opinion there is only one species 
of smelt in Scandinavia namely, the C. Eperlanus of Flem. 
They consider it identical with the C. Eperlanus marinus of 
Bloch,* and that the only difference between the two is in 
regard to size. There were persons in my vicinity, how- 
ever, who averred that there are two distinct species at the 
least in the Wenern, and draw their conclusions not only 
from those fish spawning at different times, but from the 
great disparity in the size of the fish taking part in the 
several leks. 

Be this as it may, the larger kinds, commonly from six to 
eight inches in length, which keep in separate shoals by 
themselves, go by the name of Slom ; and the smaller, from 
two to four inches in length, which also keep in separate 
shoals, by that of Nors.^ At times, however, it happens 
that a scattered Slom is found amongst the latter, in which 

* PI. 28, fig. 1. 

f In consequence of its transparency, and of its bluish-white colour, this fish 
was with us called the IMaor blue Nors; as also the Bla-nal, or blue-needle, 
on account, no doubt, of its very slender form. 


case he, in some parts of Sweden, is called Nors-Kung, or 

The smelt is said to be of a dull disposition, and slow 
in its movements ; and to prefer large lakes with sandy 
bottoms. For the greater part of the year this fish confines 
itself to the deeps, and it is only during the spawning season, 
which occurs in the spring, that it approaches the strand. 
It is seldom found singly, but almost wholly in large shoals. 

The Scandinavian smelt has the same cucumber-like smell 
as ours ; the larger kind, or Slom, in a less degree than the 
smaller, or Nors. We in England have no dislike to 
this peculiar odour, but the Northmen in general speak 
of it as the reverse of fragrant. Some, indeed, imagine 
the fish is thereby rendered unwholesome as food ; and in 
places, the fishermen go so far as to assert, that it drives 
away other fish from the fishing-grounds. Faith tells us, 
moreover, that in still water, the odour is so penetrating, that 
whatever is dipped in the water where this fish resorts in 
great numbers, becomes impregnated. 

The smelt is very voracious, feeding chiefly on insects, 
worms, and the roe of other fish ; also, it is believed, on 
smaller fishes. 

In Sweden the smelt is not held in general estimation for 
the table. Some, indeed, pronounce it insipid, and allege 
that it has a disagreeable flavour. But its ill repute is 
probably owing to the antipathy people in general entertain 
to its odour. In the localities where it is captured in large 
quantities, it is dried in the sun, or salted down, and in 
this state forms an important article of food for the poorer 

But though people may not agree as to the eatable 


qualities of the smelt, there is no difference of opinion as to 
the young of that fish, the so-called Nors, being the best of 
baits to beguile other fish ; and as a consequence, it is much 
sought by fishermen. 

In my vicinity the smelt spawned very early in the spring, 
occasionally before the ice broke up. The lek was held in 
pretty deep water, at times near to the mouth of streams 
tributary to the Wenern, at others in the bays and inlets of 
the lake itself. According to Ekstrom, " the lek is confined 
almost entirely to the night-time. At dawn of day the fish 
retire, and do not return to the spawning-ground until the 
approach of evening." " Other fishes," he goes on to say, 
" prefer fine weather for the lek, but the smelt the very 
contrary. Hence a snow-storm, accompanied by wind, occur- 
ring during the spawning season, is called a Nors-il that 
is, a smelt-gust or blast. The lek lasts from eight to 
fourteen days. Should it begin very early in the spring, it 
continues longer than if at a later period, and vice versd. 
The female is very prolific, and the fry are said to grow 

The smelt attains to a considerable size in the Wenern. 
Those that came under my own observation were not larger 
than are usually seen in England ; but a friend resident near 
the northern shores of that lake, assures me that it is there 
occasionally captured of nearly a pound in weight. The 
average of the larger kind in his vicinity, when congregated 
at the lek, he describes as half-a-pound each. 

The smelt is taken in large quantities in certain parts 
of Sweden ; mostly during the spawning season, and with 
the drag-net, which with us in the Wenern was not unfre- 
quently brought into play, even before the ice broke up. 


In some places the net in question is only used during 
the night-time ; and from the fisherman being aware that the 
smelt, like the Salmo tribe is generally attracted by any 
bright object, he makes large fires on the adjacent shores, the 
better to lure the fish from the deeps to within the sweep of 
the net. 

During the summer time, when the smelt holds to pretty 
deep water, it is in some places captured by means of a net 
called Sank-nat, or sink-net. This is circular in form, and 
suspended from an iron ring of some six feet in diameter, 
kept horizontal by a four-slip bridle. To the upper part of 
this bridle is attached a stout line, or if the water be not too 
deep, a pole of eighteen to twenty feet in length, whereby to 
raise or depress the n6t. But this device, also frequently 
adopted in Scandinavia for the capture of other fish, is not 
very productive, and is seldom resorted to, except for the 
purpose of procuring bait. 

In England the smelt visits our rivers only during its 
spawning season; and until naturalists here had seen the 
specimens that I brought from the Wenern, which they 
pronounce to be identical in every respect with our own, 
they seemed little inclined to believe it equally an inhabitant 
of fresh as of salt water. But this fact being now proved, it 
would be easy to introduce the smelt into our ponds and 
lakes; and an admirable substitute it would prove for the 
dace, roach, &c., with which at present they are for the most 
part filled. 

Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, and according to Yarrell, 
Colonel Meynell, in Yorkshire, have indeed not only made 
the attempt, but up to the present time the experiment 
has perfectly succeeded. In reply to inquiries on the 


subject, the Baronet under date of February 21, 1853, writes 
me as follows : 

"The short history of the smelt is this. In March, 1847, 
I sent a boat round to Rochester, and there I bought- two 
hundred full-grown smelts^ of which upwards of seventy died 
on their voyage round to Charlton. I sent one hundred 
by the Brighton Railroad to Hay ward's Heath, and thence by 
a cart to Searles. Six were put into the pond at Searles, 
and the remaining ninety-four reached Pilt-Down Pond 
safely. The pond at Searles is now full of large smelts, 
numbers have been taken out of it, and I eat of them 
when down there only last month, at which time they 
were full of roe. And what are supposed to be smelts, 
have been seen by my gamekeeper m Pilt-Down Pond in 
shoals ; but I have not yet drawn a net through that pond 
which, as you know, is large and deep fine enough to take 
anything so small as a smelt." 





THE Grayling (Harr, Sw. ; Thymallus vulgaris, Cuv.) 
was neither an inhabitant of the Gotha nor the Wenern ; 
but it abounded in the Clara, and other northern tributaries 
of that lake. Never having met with or heard of this fish in 
the midland or southern parts of Sweden, I am much in- 
clined to believe it is confined to the more northern portion of 
Scandinavia say from the 59 or 60 of north latitude, 
upwards. As, however, not only English but Danish natu-' 
ralists describe it as a very local fish (Kroyer tells us it 
is only found in a few lakes in Jutland), it is possible I 
may be mistaken in the matter. What its limits to the 
northward may be, I know not ; but as I myself have 
captured it in abundance high up in Lapland say in about 
the 69 latitude I apprehend it is to be found nearly as far 
as the North Cape itself. 


The grayling would seem to be a very hardy fish. 
Lsestadius tells us, that next to the pike, it makes the 
nearest approaches to the Lapland Fjall lakes, only inha- 
bited, according to him, by the Charr and a single species of 
trout, called in Lappish the Tabmok. 

Bloch tells us, that one very curious circumstance re- 
specting this fish, is the remarkable odour emitted from its 
body. ^Elien has compared it with the scent of thyme, and 
Ambroise with that of honey. Pennant denies the existence of 
this odour. The statement, however, does not appear to be 
without foundation, for the fish devours insects which possess 
a strong odour, and which may communicate it ; as for 
instance, the Gyrinus natator, Linn., which, according to 
Raesel, has so strong an odour, that when several of these 
insects are collected together, one may scent them at a dis- 
tance of five to six hundred paces. For as these insects are 
not always to be found, or at least not in so great numbers, 
one may consider the smell of the grayling as a varying 
quality that sometimes exists, and at other times disappears. 

As with us, the grayling is held in high estimation for the 
table. It is said to be preferable in October and November. 
The flesh is white, and is looked upon as so easy of diges- 
tion, that it is prescribed for the sick. 

In Scandinavia the grayling spawns in May, or the begin- 
ning of June, the time varying somewhat according to lati- 
tude and locality. " The lek is carried on," Laestadius tells 
us, " in the current, and in preference in shallow water ; and 
though the fish are then congregated in large shoals, male 
and female would seem to keep together in pairs. During 
the spawning season the fish varies considerably in appear- 
ance, its usual white colour under the belly becoming red." 


The grayling attains to a considerable size in Scandinavia. 
I myself have never killed it exceeding three pounds 
in weight, though on one occasion I hooked, and all but 
landed, a very much larger fish. Mr. Richard Dann, 
however, assures me he has repeatedly taken grayling 
in the northern rivers of fully five pounds in weight. 
Kroyer also speaks of grayling of four pounds and 

Of the Coregoni we had several species in my vicinity. 
But English naturalists assure me that, singularly enough, 
not one of the specimens brought over by me is identical 
with those found in this country. 


Saltno oxyrhinchus . . " Linn." 

... Thymallus latus, " Block," pi. 26. 
Coregomis oxyrhinchus, " Nilss. Prod.," p. 14. 

"Ekstrom," p. 198. 

" Kroyer," vol. in. p. 76. 

Bloch is quoted, it will be observed, amongst the syno- 
nyms ; for though the portrait of his Thymallus latus is 

VOL. I. K 


not particularly well executed, there cannot, to my mind, 
be much doubt as to its identity with the true Coregonus 

The accompanying drawing was taken from a fine speci- 
men captured last autumn in the Wenern, of from three 
to four pounds in weight. 

The distinguishing characteristics of this species are the 
remarkable elongation of the upper jaw, the peculiar form of 
the mouth, the small eye, and the high shoulder. 

The 0. oxyrhinchus, Linn., called in Sweden, from its 
long snout, somewhat resembling the beak of a bird, the 
Ndbb or Beaked- Sik, was very common with us, and 
throughout the midland and more northern portions of 
Scandinavia. According to Zetterstedt and von Wright, 
indeed, it is found high up in Lapland. But it is not 
confined to the lakes and rivers of the interior alone, for 
it inhabits equally the North Sea and the Baltic, and thrives 
fully as well in salt water as in fresh. 

In the Wenern, this fish spawns about the end of October 
or the beginning of November, the time being somewhat 
regulated by the state of the weather. 

Nilsson tells us the C. oxyrhinchus attains to a length of 
from twelve to eighteen inches ; Kroyer eighteen to twenty 
inches, and to a weight of two pounds ; whilst Bloch makes 
its weight four pounds and a half. But in the Wenern, this 
fish is taken of a still more considerable size, individuals 
of seven or eight pounds being not at all uncommon. The 
Kallandso fishermen, who are high authorities in such matters 
for in the course of their vocation they roam over a con- 
siderable portion of the Wenern assure me, indeed, that 
they have captured individuals weighing eleven pounds. 



Lsestadius, when speaking of the Sik (and from his descrip- 
tion of the fish there is reason to believe he means the 
C. oxyrhinchus), tells us, moreover, that in certain of the 
waters in his vicinity, it has been met with of from eight 
to twelve pounds in weight ; and that in one instance, a 
perfect monster, weighing nineteen pounds, w r as made 
prize of ! " This fish was captured," such are the reverend 
gentleman's words, " in the deepest hole of the lake 
Vanka. It was deformed in shape, the head not much 
irger than that of a five-pound fish, the back crooked, 
ind the belly protruding, so that the fish was quite oval 
in form." 


This drawing was also taken from a fine specimen, weigh- 
ing nearly three pounds ; and as it in the main agrees with 
the Sahno Mar<ena, of Bloch, plate 27, the two arc pro- 

K 2 


bably identical ; but until Ichthyologists have decided the 
point, I think it better to retain the name by which it 
was known with us. 

Kroyer, in his u Fishes of Denmark," it may be proper 
here to remark, assumes the Salmo Marina of Bloch and 
the S. Lavaretus of Linnaeus, to be identical, and classes 
both under the head of Coreyonus Lavaretus. But this is 
not all, for he places (as it would appear) a copy of Bloch's 
figure of the S. Martena, at the head of the chapter, after- 
wards including both names in his synonyms at page 57. 
When therefore he speaks -of the C. Lavaretus, there is 
reason to believe that some of the habits of the S. Mar&na, 
Bloch, may be included. 

The leading characteristics of the Lof , or Leaf-Sik, are 
that the length of the head as compared with the length of 
the whole fish, from the nose to the end of the fleshy portion 
of the tail, is as one to four and a half; that the length of the 
head is equal to the depth of the side of the body between the 
dorsal and ventral fins ; that the orbit of the eye is so large, 
as to equal one-fourth of the whole length of the head ; that 
the lateral portion of the intermaxillary bone is long, being 
equal to twice the breadth of the nose in front ; and that the 
snout is deep. 

The Lof-Sik was abundant in my vicinity, as well in the 
Gotha as the Wenern. 

This fish spawned about the middle of October, that is 
some ten days or a fortnight earlier than the C. oxyrhin- 

It attained to a large size in the Wenern, individuals 
of six or seven pounds being frequently met with. The 
Kallandso fishermen assured me, indeed, that as with the 



nabb-sik, they have taken specimens of upwards of ten 
pounds in weight. 


The above representation was from a fish of nearly equal 
size to that from which the preceding drawing was taken ; 
ind as it corresponds in great measure with Bloch's Salmo 
Wartmannijf as referred to by Nilsson the same in all 
>robability as the Salmo Lavaretus of Linnaeus it seems 
)retty clear that it is the true C. Lavaretus of authors, 
nevertheless there may be doubts on this point, I prefer, 
with the lof-sik, to call it by the name it was known by 
in my vicinity. 

* The fishermen in my neighbourhood assert that the Helge-Sik and 
ic Martensmess-Sik are distinct species, and having considerable faith in 
sir accuracy, I am not at all prepared to gainsay their statement. But 
Mr. Yarrell, to whom I submitted several specimens as it was believed 
eacli kind could not discover any characteristic difference between them, 
have thought it best, though with some misgivings, to consider them as 
f Plate 105. 


The marked features of this fish are as follows. The 
length of the head as compared with the whole length of 
the fish, from the nose to the end of the fleshy portion 
of the tail, is one to six ; the length of the head considerably 
less than the depth of the side of the body ; the intermaxillary 
bones short, the posterior edge not reaching in a vertical 
line to the anterior edge of the orbit of the eye; the eye 
small ; the snout less deep than that of the supposed Salmo 
Mareena in specimens of equal length. 

The Helge-sik which for brevity's sake I shall in future 
call it like the lof-sik, was very common with us. With 
both species this is, I believe, the case throughout all the 
more midland and northern parts of Scandinavia. But 
from the contradictory accounts given of the sik tribe, 
it is difficult to define their geographical limits. Both the 
helge- and the lof-sik, as respects the peninsula, would 
seem to be pretty much confined to fresh water. This is 
to be inferred at least from Ekstrom neither including 
them amongst the fishes of the eastern Skargard, nor 
amongst those inhabiting the waters of the western 
coast. Kroyer, indeed, tells .us that his C. Lavaretus 
(identical no doubt with the lof-, or the helge-sik), 
cannot exist in salt water. But Faith, on the contrary, 
will have it that this fish is found in abundance in Randers- 
fjord. When great authorities differ, it is difficult to deter- 
mine who is in the right ; but to my notion the scale turns 
in favour of Faith, who, as a practical man, ought surely to 
know of what he is speaking. 

With us the helge-sik spawned a fortnight or so later than 
the lof-sik, that is, about the middle of November; and 
again (supposing the fishermen in error as to the existence 



of the second species) in the end of that month or the begin- 
ning of Decemher. 

This fish has not attributed to it as large a size as either 
the niihb-sik, or the lof-sik ; but fishermen have nevertheless 
told me they have taken specimens weighing several pounds. 

Independently of the three larger species of sik mentioned, 
Nilsson speaks of two others as belonging to the Scandinavian 
Fauna, namely: 

The one which he imagines to be identical with the 
Coregonus Clupeoides, of Pallas, is, he tells us, an inhabitant 
of the lake Wettern, and attains to twelve inches in length. 

The other, answering, according to his conception, to the 
Coregonus Fera of naturalists, he describes as confined to 
the Ringsjon in Scania, and as ten inches in length. 

Of the smaller species of Coregoni we had : 


Salmo Albula . . Linn., " Retzius, Faun. Suec./' p. 349. 
Coregonus Albula ... " Nilss. Prod.," p. 17. 

... " Ekstrom, Morko," p. 203. 

... " Kroyer," vol. in. p. 93. 

The above drawing was taken from a full-grown fish, 
captured during the past autumn in the Wenern. 

This species is immediately distinguished from the larger 


Coregoni mentioned, by its having the lower jaw longer 
than the upper, and from never exceeding seven to eight 
inches in length. 

The Cor eg onus Albula, Linn., called with us the Sik- 
Ib'ja, or Sik-bleak, from its partial resemblance to the true 
bleak, as also the Sil, was common both in the Gotha and 
the Wenern, and I believe in most of the lakes and rivers 
throughout Scandinavia. It is an inhabitant, likewise, of 
the eastern Skargard, but not I believe of the western. 

The Coregonus Albula, in appearance, greatly resembles 
the Vendace, described by Sir William Jardine as an inha- 
bitant of Lochmaben in Scotland, and its habits are similar. 
It keeps in large shoals ; it never attains to any considerable 
size ; would never, as far as our experience went, take a bait ; 
and it was only once now and then when near to the surface, 
that we could lure it with a small artificial fly. It is, in fact, 
but rarely captured, excepting in nets ; and is so delicate as 
to die almost as soon as out of the water; even if trans- 
ferred at once to the Sump, or fish-box, which with me was 
capacious, and placed in the stream itself, it lived but a very 
short time. 

With us, this fish spawned towards the end of October or 
in the beginning of November. The young were called 
Sil-Guppor, in contradistinction to Sik-Guppor, the young 
of the Sik. 

Swedish naturalists speak of a second species of the 
smaller Coregoni, which from being found in the lake 
Animmen in Dalsland, they designate as the Anims- 
Wimma the Salmo Wimba of Linnaeus, which is described 
as differing from the C. Albula in having the adipose fin 
slightly serrated. 


But as the lake in question is almost immediately conti- 
guous to, and connected with the Wenern, it seems pro- 
hable that if distinct from the C. Albula it is likewise an 
inhabitant of that lake. 

The fishermen in my vicinity, indeed, made mention of a 
second species of the smaller Sik, which, from being remark- 
ably high-shouldered, they called the Krok-back, or crooked- 
back. It spawned, according to their account, about ten 
days after the C. Albula, from which it was readily distin- 
guished by its back being greener, and from the jaws being 
nearly equal in length. 

It is very possible, therefore, that if the Salmo Wimba of 
Linn, exists as a species, it may be identical with the fisher- 
men's crooked-back, of which unfortunately it was out of 
my power to procure specimens before leaving Sweden. 

The habits of the several species of Sik mentioned; of the 
larger kinds at least, would appear to be much alike. They 
keep for the most part to the deep, and only approach the 
shore in spring and autumn : at the former season, when 
following the smelt, or other fish to the spawning-ground for 
the purpose of feeding on their roe ; at the latter, when 
about to spawn themselves. The sik is a very active 
fish. Faith says: "When the net has neared the strand, 
and it finds itself within the toils, it often leaps far on 
to the dry land." It is not tenacious of life, dying soon 
after being taken out of the water. The least blow on the 
head kills it. It is reputed to be a very cunning fish, so 
much so, as to be wary and difficult of capture, except in the 
spawning season. Hence the saying applied in parts of 
Sweden to sly people; "listig som en sik;" that is, cunning 
as a sik. One or more of the genus Coregonus is said not 


to be altogether without that peculiar odour which distin- 
guishes the smelt. 

The sik has the character of being very voracious. Its 
food consists of smaller fishes, aquatic insects, especially the 
larvae of spring flies, mollusca, thin-skinned Crustacea, and 
the roe of other fish. It is said, indeed, not to spare its 
own roe. 

In my neighbourhood, and in other parts of Sweden, the 
sik is in high request for the table, nearly as much so as the 
salmon tribe. The flesh is white and well flavoured, more 
especially when captured in the autumn, at which time they 
are usually fattest. The sik is eaten either fresh or salted ; 
in the latter case without farther preparation. In some 
places it is smoked, which process is believed to enhance its 
flavour. In Lapland, it constitutes a considerable portion of 
the food of the inhabitants during the long winter. 

In the Wenern the several species of Sik spawned, as 
mentioned, between the middle of October and the early part 
of December, and usually on sand banks or stony ground. 
Little seems to be known as to the proceedings of this fish 
during the lek. It is said, however, that the female rubs 
herself against stones, and thus facilitates the passage of the 
roe. The lek is believed to last about a fortnight. 

In my vicinity, the several kinds of Sik mentioned were 
captured in large quantities, but chiefly during the spawn- 
ing season ; for at other times, as said, the fish confines 
itself principally to the deeps. Ekstrom also speaks of 
the abundance of this fish (C. oxyrhinchus) taken in the 
eastern Skargard. And Faith tells us, that whilst residing 
at Frysenvold, the captures (consisting of Kroyer's C. 
Lavaretus) amounted to twenty thousand four hundred and 


twenty-eight ; one particular season to no less than six 
thousand ; but he does not specify their weight. The sik 
is for the most part captured in nets ; occasionally it is 
taken on night-lines, &c , but it seldom, I believe, touches 
the bait of the angler. In no single instance did we catch 
this fish when spinning for trout. 


Gadus Lota, Linn., " Retzius, Faun. Suec.," p. 322. 

"Nilss. Prod.," p. 47- 

"Ekstrom,"p. 235. 

Lota Molva, Cuv., "Kroyer," vol. n, p. 153. 

The Burbot (Lake, Sw. ; Lota vulgaris, Cuv.) is very 
abundant both in the Wenern and the Gotha. It is also 
found throughout nearly the whole of Scandinavia, from 
Scania northward to far beyond the Polar Circle. According 
to Kroyer, indeed, it is met with in the mountain lakes close 
to Alten, which is near to the North Cape itself. Of parts 
of the eastern Skargard, where the water is less salt, it is like- 
wise an inhabitant. In Denmark it is scarce. Kroyer makes 
mention of a burbot exhibited for money in Copenhagen 
no later than 1838. The advertisement ran thus: " By the 
royal permission is now to be seen a living and rare fish, 
called in Sweden, Lake," &c. According to the Swedish 


naturalists, it is the only one of the Gadus family that 
lives in fresh water. There are few fish that have bodies so 
flexible, or whose movements are so serpentine or eel-like. 

Though the burbot is found in lakes and rivers with 
clayey bottoms, it seems to prefer those that are stony. It is 
a somewhat solitary fish, and excepting during the spawning 
season, does not congregate in shoals. It is never seen near 
the surface, and except at the setting in of the winter, 
when it approaches the strand, always keeps to and swims 
near the bottom, (hence its Lappish name Njaka, or the 
creeper), where it hides itself amongst stones, sunken trees, &c., 
in readiness to pounce on its prey. Though apparently slow 
in its motions, it can, at will, swim with considerable quick- 
ness, as is evidenced by its capability of seizing other fish. 
Its habits appear to be roaming. M. Gobel speaks of an indi- 
vidual in the Wenern having travelled some fourteen English 
miles in the course of a single night, a fact attested by its 
retaining, when taken, the hook it had previously carried off. 

The burbot is a great glutton, devouring almost everything 
that comes in his way, whether living or in a state of decom- 
position. But for the most part he seems to subsist on small 
fish, insects, &c. He is said to visit the spawning-grounds of 
other fish, to feed on their roe ; occasionally, however, he 
makes a meal of larger fish. 

" A burbot of twenty-three inches in length that I opened 
in the month of December," writes M. Ekstrom, " was 
found to have gorged a pike twelve inches long. The head 
of the latter, which lay bent at the bottom of the greatly 
distended stomach of its devourer was, with the exception of 
the teeth, nearly dissolved, whilst the tail, which was much 
torn, stuck out from between its jaws. It seems almost 


incredible that the pike, before its suffocation, had not 
ruptured the stomach of its assailant/' 

The burbot is very tenacious of life, and lives very long 
after being taken out of the water, and that without the skin 
drying up, which seemingly depends on the abundance of his 
slimy secretions. Fishermen, to kill him, are accustomed to 
sever the Gdl-nas, or the flap of the gill. This is done in 
consequence of the popular notion that he would otherwise 
devour his own liver, which in Sweden is looked upon as the 
most dainty part of the fish. 

None of the Scandinavian fishes are held in higher esti- 
mation for the table. But perhaps it is to the savoury 
sauces with which it is usually served up, that its great 
reputation is mainly attributable. The flesh is white, firm, 
and boneless, and the liver is considered an especial luxury. 
The old story as to the roe being unwholesome, is at the 
present day looked upon as a fable, and vast quantities are 
now annually consumed in Sweden. Very good caviare is 
also prepared from it. 

But it is not for the table alone that this fish is valuable. 
Certain portions of its body, as with the Ostiacks, are used 
by the common people for medicinal purposes. The oil, 
which flows spontaneously from the liver, is converted into 
eye-salve ; and the ccecal intestines are dried and pulverised, 
a tea-spoonful of which is taken at intervals as a preventive 
for the ague. The skin, again, when recently taken off, is 
wrapped round fractured glass vessels, to which, when dry, 
it firmly adheres, and renders them water-tight. When well 
rubbed with fat or oil, it is partially transparent, and in some 
countries is used in lieu of window-glass. Of the swim- 
bladder, or sound, isinglass is made. 


With us the burbot spawned about Christmas, or a little 
later. Swedish naturalists assign the month of March as the 
spawning season in the Wenern, but in this there must be 
some mistake. The place where the lek is held, called Lak-ds, 
or burbot-bank, has usually a sandy bottom. From the 
small size and great number of the eggs, the fecundity of this 
fish would appear to be considerable. It is on record, that 
one hundred and seventy-eight thousand eggs have been found 
in the body of one female. The young are said to appear 
within a few weeks of the deposit of the roe, and to be in 
their third year capable of procreation. 

The burbot attains to a very considerable size in Scan- 
dinavia. Swedish and Danish naturalists assume eleven 
pounds as its maximum weight. Pallas affirms that it grows 
to the length of two feet. In the Wenern, as also in the 
large lakes in Wermeland, it is, to my knowledge occasionally 
taken of twenty pounds weight. The Kallandso fishermen 
assure me, indeed and I am inclined to believe their state- 
ment that though they themselves never captured a burbot 
much exceeding twenty pounds, they on a particular occa- 
sion saw one in the Lidkoping market that weighed thirty 
pounds. It was so large and so forbidding in appearance, 
they said, that no person would buy it. 

The devices adopted in Sweden for the capture of the 
burbot are very numerous, but in general very simple in 
their nature, as the fish is by no means cunning. 

Of the various contrivances more will be said here- 
after ; but one, called att dofva, or to stun the fish, 
may be mentioned here. The operation is effected in this 
manner : 

At the commencement of the winter, and a little prior 

THE EEL. 143 

to the spawning season, the burhot frequently seeks the 
shallows. When, therefore, the water becomes slightly frozen 
over, the fisherman, armed only with an axe, proceeds slowly 
and cautiously along the newly-formed covering ; and as soon 
as he observes the fish lying beneath, he strikes the thin ice 
immediately above its head a heavy blow with the back part 
of the axe, which has the effect of stupifying it for a time, 
when he draws it out through an aperture cut in the ice. 

The Eel (Al, Sw ) is common both in the Gotha and 
the Wenern. Singularly enough, however, this fish was 
unknown in my neighbourhood until about fifty years 
ago, owing, as supposed, to the Falls of Trollhattan im- 
peding their progress from the sea. But when sluices 
were formed at that place, and a traversable communi- 
cation opened, the eels immediately appeared in the waters 
above. An old and experienced fisherman, residing on 
the banks of the Wenern, assured me, indeed, that it was 
during his own childhood that the advent of the fish first 
took place. With the exception of the far north, the 
eel is common, I believe, throughout the Scandinavian 

Swedish and Danish naturalists seem not quite agreed 
as to the number of species of this fish that exist in 
Scandinavia. Nilsson speaks of two fresh-water eels, and 
Kroyer of an equal number or more, but as yet he has 
not concluded the subject. In my neighbourhood there 
were certainly two species ; the one was called by the 
fishermen the Elf-Al, or river-eel, which had a broad 
nose and prominent teeth, and answered probably to the 


Anguilla latirostriSj Yarr. ; and the Nabb-Al, or sharp-nosed 
eel, whose teeth were less prominent, which was most likely 


the A. acutirostris of Yarrell. Unfortunately, however, 
I did not bring specimens to England, for their proper 

The eel feeds chiefly during the night. In the day-time 
he lies embedded in the mud, where he forms for himself 
a lair, from which there are several outlets. The whole 
winter, from the end of November to the beginning of 
April, they hibernate in the mud, not unfrequently, it is 
said, at a depth of three feet, and apparently in groups. 
I judge so, from seeing fishermen, after discovering their 
whereabouts, impale them one after the other with a long 
and slender spear, called Al-gel, almost as fast as the 
weapon can be got to the bottom. 

Naturalists do not agree as to some of the habits of the 
eel. Ekstrom's remarks on this subject, are deserving of 

"It has been the belief," he tells us, " that during the 
spring, when its wanderings commence, it betakes itself 
to rivers and streams, the course of which it follows to 
the sea. But this is a palpable mistake. It is true that 
the eel, at that season, seeks rivers, but arrived there it 
goes just as often against as with the current. That the 
eel should only follow the stream is probably affirmed, 
because in all large eel-fisheries, the opening of the trap 
faces the stream, by which the fish allows itself to be 
borne forward in the same manner as the bream, by 
storms. In this vicinity the eel is often captured in traps, 
whose openings are placed with the current. I believe 
that the eel seeks rivers early in the spring, because after 
its long winter sleep, it there finds a greater abundance 
of food; and that as the spawning season approaches, it 


allows itself to be carried by the stream to the lake, where 
the lek is held." 

The eel is afraid of noises. Of thunder he has great 
dread, and during its continuance is always in motion. 
Should a thunder-storm arise in the daytime, he at once 
leaves his place of concealment, as is manifest from his being 
frequently taken in nets at such times. 

This fish is also afraid of ^bright objects, which it carefully 
avoids when such come in its way. Fishermen aver, indeed, 
that if a birch pole, stripped of its bark, is sunk to the 
bottom of the stream, no eel will venture to pass over it. 

It may not be generally known that the eel can move as 
rapidly backwards as forwards. Hence when entrapped, if he 
can once get his tail through the interstices of his prison, he 
usually manages to set himself free. 

The eel, as is well known, is very tenacious of life. In 
parts of Sweden the fisherman, to prevent its getting out 
of the boat, after wrapping the skirt of his coat, or what not, 
around the fish, grasps it near the head, and bites it across 
the neck, so that the spine is crushed, and death ensues. 

Formerly all sorts of tales were told as to the propagation 
of eels. As for instance, that they were bred from manure, 
from the bodies of decomposed animals, from placing toge- 
ther two tufts of grass wet with dew 7 ; as also, that they 
could be produced at pleasure by merely casting small pieces 
of eel-skin into still water, &c. Even to this day, the com- 
mon people in some parts of Sweden, firmly believe that 
all the eels in any one lake are born of a common mother, 
and that such a general parent is found in every lake inha- 
bited by this fish. 

For a long time it was a disputed point as to whether the 

VOL. i. L 


young eel did not come into the world alive ; and it has been 
only very recently admitted, I believe, that the eel breeds in 
the same manner as other true bony fishes. 

Ekstrom has some pertinent remarks on the propagation 
of the eel, the result, he tells us, of attentive and long- 
continued observation; but it is probable that when he 
wrote, he had not seen all that has been published on the 
subject by the naturalists and - comparative anatomists of 
continental Europe. 

"About the middle of June," he says, "when the days 
are calm and warm, the eel congregates in shallows with 
clayey or soft sandy bottoms, abounding with the common 
reed (Arundo Phragmites, Linn.) Afterwards it ascends 
somewhat from the bottom to about mid-water, where it 
entwines itself in a spiral form around a reed, and moving 
its body in a peculiar manner, causes the reed to swing to 
and fro like a pendulum. The opening of the vent in eels 
captured at this time is much swollen, and a dark yellow 
fluid, resembling oil, issues therefrom. If the fish be cut 
open, the sexual organ is found partly filled with this fluid. 
That this is a real spermatic fluid I infer, as well from its 
never being found in eels captured during the winter or 
spring ; as from the fact that it is first observable on the 
approach of the spawning season, as a thin whitish fluid, but 
obtains consistency, and the oil-like appearance spoken of, 
when the lek actually takes place characteristics which 
disappear altogether when this is over. I have never found 
roe in the body of the eel, but I nevertheless believe that it 
is through the deposit of eggs that the fish propagates its 
species ; for when spermatic fluid is evidently found, one 
may with full certainty conclude that, although the females 


of this species are in inverse ratio with those of some other 
kinds of fish, and consequently less commonly seen than the 
males, eggs are also to be found. 

" I have frequently seen eels with so-called young ones 
in the cavity of the abdomen, and at times near to the 
vent itself; but on close inspection, they have all proved 
to be intestinal worms (Echinorhyncus tereticollis, Rud.), 
by which this fish is much troubled." 

From personal experience, I can say nothing as to the 
period when the eel spawns. One fisherman in my neigh- 
bourhood imagined it to be about the dog-days, which nearly 
agrees with Ekstrom's supposition ; but in general these men 
rofessed total ignorance of the subject. 

The eel attained to a considerable size with us : in the 
Wenern, certainly to ten or eleven pounds. My own fisher- 
man assured me, that his father captured an individual 
weighing fourteen pounds ; and mentioned, moreover, that 
to his knowledge an eel, taken in a lake in Dalsland, was 
some years since brought into the town of Wenersborg for 
sale, that weighed no less than eighteen pounds. 

The River Lamprey (Nejnoga, Sw. ; implying nine eyes ; 
Petromyzon fluviatilis, Linn.) was common in my vicinity; 
as also, I believe, in the more middle and northern parts 
of Scandinavia. 

The Sea Lamprey (Hafs-Nejnoga, Sw. ; P. marinus, Linn.) 
was found occasionally in the Gotha, not exactly in my 
vicinity, however, but below the cataracts of Lilla Edet, 
situated at about twenty miles to the southward of Ron- 
num, and forty from the sea. 

Swedish naturalists also include Planer's Lamprey (P. 
*laneri, Bloch) in the Scandinavian Fauna, and say it is 

L 2 


found in almost all rivers, whether large or small, in the 
more southern portion of the peninsula. 

They likewise include the Pride, or Sandpride (Lindl, 
Sw. ; P. branchialis, Linn.) in their Fauna, but they give 
us no information as to the whereabouts of this fish, farther 
than saying it is met with in rivers and streams, and that it 
spawns in April and May. 

The Cray-Fish (Krafta, Sw. ; Astacus fluviatilis, Fabr.), 
which though belonging to crustaceee, may without much im- 
propriety find a place here, was pretty plentiful with us, though 
more so in the neighbouring brooks than in the Gotha or 
Wenern. It is also common in most parts of Scandinavia. 

Formerly, however, when the eel, its reputed enemy, was 
unknown in my part of Sweden, the cray-fish is represented 
as having been much more abundant than at present ; and 
that since the opening of the sluices at Trollhattan, and the 
consequent invasion of the eel, the numbers of the cray-fish 
have very sensibly diminished. 

It is said of the cray-fish, that started adrift anywhere on 
dry land, instinct at once points out to it the direction of its 
native element, towards which it at once makes its way, as if 
steering by compass. 

It is also said of the cray-fish, that if placed in ponds, &c., 
to which they are inimical, they will presently disappear alto- 
gether, when the inference is, that they are either dead, or 
have made good their escape ; but that if a careful search be 
made, they will be found to have taken refuge in the top 
of some tree or other in the vicinity ! The story seems 
marvellous ; but I have heard veracious people tell it, and 
if I mistake not, that they themselves were eye-witnesses 
to the fact. 


In the interior of Sweden, where access to fish is not 
always easy, much store is set by the cray-fish, and it fre- 
quently constitutes a principal dish at the feast. 

Various devices are adopted to effect its capture ; but it is 
often taken with rod and line, in which sport the fair sex 
occasionally take part ; and I have known ladies, young as 
well as old, recount with much glee their exploits in this 

It is a pity that more frequent attempts are not made to 
introduce into England fish that are foreign to our Fauna. 
That there are no insurmountable obstacles in the way, is 
evinced by the decided success achieved by the late Earl of 
Derby. Under date of the 24th of February, 1848, his 
Lordship wrote me from Knowsley Park as follows : 

" You ask me if I take as much interest in the finny tribe 
as in the feathered race. I cannot say as much ; but I have 
lately succeeded in introducing into our water here several of 
the fish from other parts of the island. I have brought Trout 
from Islay in Scotland, Gwyniad from Wales, and Charr 
from Westmoreland, and have even brought as many as over 
four hundred, without losing more than the odd surplus .... 
I have had some thoughts of sending my fisherman over into 
Germany for the purpose of trying to obtain, and to convey 
over the Channel some of their most esteemed fish, such as 
the golden or Prussian Carp, the Pike-perch, and two or 
three others. Are there any in your vicinity that would be 
desirable and worthy of being transported, not to New 
South Wales, but to Old England ? If my man could meet 
with anything like the success he has hitherto had in this 
way, in Great Britain, I should have no fears about being 
ablf in a short time to establish them here." 


In reference to the science of natural history, it will be 
long, I fear, before so distinguished a patron and benefactor 
will be found as the late Earl of Derby a nobleman who 
was all kindness to myself, as to every one else with 
whom he had intercourse. His menagerie, aviary, and 
museum at Knowsley, were truly worthy of an English 
nobleman, equalling, indeed, if not excelling many royal 
collections. The living animals amounted to one thousand 
six hundred and seventeen in number, and the space appro- 
priated to their accommodation, extended over upwards of 
one hundred acres. By his munificent exertions, we have 
been made acquainted with many new animals from distant 
lands, and at boundless cost to himself. He effected addi- 
tions to our Fauna, from which England will be lastingly 
benefited. Few men, indeed, in the comparatively private 
walks of life, have ever rendered their country greater services 
than did the late Earl of Derby. 



THE fishing in my neighbourhood was very good ; better 
could hardly be found anywhere, not exactly on account 
of the actual quantity of fish to be taken in a day, but 
because fish of some kind or other were to be killed with 
the rod during the greater part of the year. Even in the 
depth of winter, provided the weather was mild, which 
happened at times for several consecutive days, sport with 
the rod was obtainable. On one occasion during the Christ- 
mas holidays, indeed, I brought home a heavy basket of fish 
taken in the deep pools near to the house. 

The fishing rights attaching to Ronnum were considerable ; 
and through the kindness of several of the neighbouring 
proprietors, who made over to me their privileges, and by 



purchasing those of others, I, after a time, got a large portion 
of the waters thereabouts into my own hands ; as prior to 
my settling in that part of the country, however, people had 
been accustomed to do much as they liked, the enforce- 
ment of these rights subjected me to considerable trouble and 
expense, and what was infinitely worse, brought on me, on 
the part of many, no little ill-will. 


For several miles below Ronnum, the Gotha was some- 
what sluggish ; but from opposite to the house up to the 
Wenern, a distance of from two to three miles, the stream 
presented a succession of rapids and pools, in appearance 
the finest imaginable for angling. Some idea of the nature 
of the water and the scenery in my vicinity may be formed 
from the above sketch, kindly drawn for me on the spot by 


Mr. W. Collett, representing Ny-Bro, or the New Bridge, 
spanning the Gotha at no great distance from Ronnum, and 
on the high road leading to Wenersborg. 

Though some trout and it was to this fish my attention 
was chiefly confined remained in the Gotha all the year 
round, by far the larger portion left us in the early part of 
the summer, and ascended the stream to the Wenern, where 
they passed that season ; and it was not, as I have said, until 
the autumn, that they returned to us. 

As respected trout, therefore, we had two seasons the 
spring and the autumn. The months of June and July, 
which in other rivers are usually the best months for 
angling, were to us almost a blank; for though we could 
always kill fish, a heavy basket was not at that time to 
be calculated on. 

The fishing at Ronnum had also this singularity, that in 
the spring months good sport was generally obtainable in 
the rapids about the house; whereas in those near to the 
Wenern, it was then hardly possible to kill a good-sized fish. 
But in the autumn, on the contrary, by far the larger portion 
of the fish were congregated in the upper rapids, while in the 
lower it was a rare event to take a large trout. 

Our spring fish were far from being in such good con- 
dition as those taken in the early part of the autumn ; partly 
because they had not fully recovered from spawning, and 
partly, it is to be supposed, because they had been on short 
commons during the winter. Those caught in the early part 
of the fall were, on the contrary, excessively fat, and were 
heavier by several pounds. In the spring we seldom killed 
trout much exceeding twenty pounds weight, but in the 
autumn a twenty-four or twenty-five pounder was an almost 


every-day occurrence ; and we often took them still heavier. 
I myself, indeed, captured with the rod alone several of at 
least thirty pounds each. 

It was remarkable that though during spring and autumn 
we took great numbers of small as well as heavy trout, few were 
met with of an intermediate size. This was more especially 
the case during the autumn. Our trout at that time weighed 
either from one to three pounds, or from ten to thirty pounds. 
I, therefore, came to the conclusion, that a large portion of 
those bred with us in the Gotha, either remained in the 
Wenern until well grown, or that they proceeded up its 
tributary streams in the north ; and this idea was strength- 
ened by the fact that ten to twenty thousand trout (called 
Lax, or salmon), are annually captured at a fishery on the 
Clara River, in Wermeland, averaging about six to seven 
pounds each the sized fish of which we saw so few in 
the Gotha. 

It was observable that the larger and the smaller trout 
associated very little. Unless we more especially sought 
out the lesser in the shallower rapids, we might often, when 
trying for the larger fish, work for a whole day without 
taking a single one. 

The fly succeeded well with the smaller trout, but not 
so well with the larger ; partly, no doubt, owing to the depth 
at which the latter usually lie preventing them from seeing 
it ; but as they took bait pretty freely, I, of course, gave the 
preference to spinning. Bait had besides this advantage, 
that, independently of trout, one was pretty sure to make a 
basket, with pike or other fish, which would not have been 
the case with the fly. 

In some few of the pools and rapids about Ronnum, one 


could fish from the shore; but generally speaking, owing 
to the nature of the ground, and the great breadth of 
the river, it was only with the assistance of a boat that 
much execution was to be done ; and as there was more 
than one insurmountable rapid on the river, I usually had 
a boat stationed at the head of each, so that by changing 
from one boat to the other, I could, in the course of the 
morning fish to advantage the greater part of the river ; 
and the ground and the scenery being thus diversified, 
tended greatly to enhance the amusement. 

In calm weather I rarely had more than one boatman; 
but when blowing hard, especially if the wind was down 
stream, a second was generally required, as well in order 
that the boat might be under better control, as that in 
the event of hooking a heavy fish, and his taking up 
stream, we might be able to keep our proper place, not 
always practicable with a single pair of oars. 

When one of the large trout was fairly hooked, he was 
usually landed in the course of ten minutes or a quarter 
of an hour. But this was greatly attributable to the advan- 
tage a boat gave us, and to the river, in some parts, being 
studded with islets or rocks, which afforded us ready means 
of landing ourselves, and gaffing him. 

If, however, he was hooked foul, as not unfrequently 
happened, the chase might be long and arduous. I re- 
member, in one instance, getting hold of a big fellow by 
the dorsal fin, in a rapid immediately near to the Wenern 
itself; but in spite of every effort on my part to stop him, he 
brought us more than a mile down the river. During the 
descent we landed on four or five different islets, in the hope 
of bringing him up ; but so soon as sufficiently near to sight 


us, he was off again in double-quick time, and we had only 
to follow in his wake as before. At last, however, he was 
all but beaten; but just as we were thinking of securing 
the prize, the hook lost its hold, and to our greater chagrin 
he sailed away uninjured ! 

But although the large trout, unless hooked foul, were 
commonly killed pretty readily, they occasionally gave us 
much occupation before we could call them our own ; and 
this more especially early in the autumn, when the fish were 
in the highest possible condition. 

One fine evening in the middle of September, for instance, 
just as the sun was sinking below the horizon, and the clock 
in Wenersborg striking seven, I hooked from the boat a huge 
trout. I was fishing with single gut, my usual practice 
when the water was clear. With such fine tackle I could not, 
therefore, pull quite so hard at the fish as I otherwise should 
have done. Nevertheless, as night was fast approaching, I gave 
butt, as fishermen say, even to the endangering of my line. 
All would not do, however ; for although he allowed himself 
to be led from islet to islet, and from one landing-place to 
another, I could never get him sufficiently near for the gaff to 
be used effectively. At length it became quite dark, and my 
people thinking the case desperate, advised breaking the line, 
and letting him off ; but being resolved to see the affair out, 
even if obliged to remain on the river the whole night, 1 
sent for a lantern, which enabled us in some degree to 
discern what we were doing. The fish, however, still stuck 
to the bottom of the stream, which thereabouts was very 
deep, and twice he got foul amongst the weeds; but by 
rowing round him, we were in both instances fortunate 
enough to extricate the line; and at length, after he had 


been hooked exactly three hours, we had the fish a nohle 
male Krok, weighing twenty-six pounds high and dry on 
the strand. Had he fought for only a very few minutes 
longer, however, he must inevitably have escaped ; for of ten 
hooks, only one the lip-hook remained, and even the lash- 
ing of this was partially torn away by the teeth of the fish. 

Many people make quite a merit of killing a trout of a 
few pounds in weight with single gut ; but by tolerable 
management, and with the aid of a boat and a skilful 
rower, single gut will hold a fish of almost any size. We 
frequently used nothing else, and caught great numbers of 
trout equally large as the one just spoken of. It is true 
that occasionally single gut has broken with me, and so 
has the best twisted gut; but in almost every instance 
this has arisen either from a flaw in the gut itself, its 
coming in contact with a stone or other impediment at the 
bottom, or that the gut has been frayed by the teeth of 
the fish. If the rod has proper play, and the fisherman 
does his part, almost any sort of tackle is strong enough 
to hold a fish of the largest size. When spinning in deep 
rapids, one runs the greatest risk; for being unable to 
see the curl of the fish as he takes the bait, it not unfre- 
quently happens that in the twinkling of an eye the line 
is going off the reel at railroad pace, when if not upon 
one's guard, or if the line becomes entangled, all is of course 
irretrievably lost. 

A singular incident once occurred to me whilst fishing 
in the pools close to Ronnum. Observing at a little 
distance several large trout, plunging on the surface in 
pursuit of a shoal of young smelts, we rowed to the 
spot; when, casting the bait amongst them, one of the 


number immediately seized it with avidity ; but owing to 
a flaw in my casting-line, which was of the best twisted 
gut, it parted at the upper lead in striking the fish, and he 
went off, as I supposed, uninjured. I was, of course, much 
annoyed at the mishap; but there was no help for it: 
so causing the people to put me on shore, that I might 
repair the tackle, I directed them in the interim to proceed 
two or three hundred paces farther down the stream to 
the boat-house, for other baits, those which we had 
brought with us being exhausted. They did so ; and re- 
turning in about a quarter of an hour afterwards, jokingly 
asked if I should like to see the hook recently carried 
off so unceremoniously by the trout. I smiled, con- 
ceiving the thing an impossibility ; but they produced, not 
only the hook, but the fish itself a fine fellow of about 
sixteen pounds. It appeared that in rowing down stream, 
and when in very deep water, they saw him, evidently 
much distressed, and with his belly uppermost, plunging 
on the surface, when, having a large landing-net, they at 
once rowed to the spot, and placing it under him, lifted 
him on board. 

I could never quite comprehend this matter, for the fish 
was fairly hooked in the mouth, and the weight of the leads 
was trivial ; but I suppose the disabled state he was found in 
must have been caused either by the hook piercing both jaws, 
or that the casting-line had twisted about his gills, and thus 
prevented him from respiring freely 

A similar circumstance, but not attended with equally 
fortunate results, occurred to me at an after period, when 
fishing in the great pool immediately below Ny-Bro ; for 
though the fish, shortly after breaking the line, was seen in 


an eddy in the like helpless state as the one spoken of, there 
were no appliances at hand to secure him, and he therefore 
got off. This, however, was not so remarkable a case as 
the one mentioned, for I had played the fish for a consi- 
derable time before he escaped, and that in very broken 
water ; and in addition to the leads, hooks, &c., he carried 
away a large portion of the line itself, which must of neces- 
sity have tended greatly to encumber his movements. 

At times I had great sport with the huge trout. In- 
dependently of other fish, I on two or three occasions 
captured seven, and on several occasions six of these fish 
within the day ; weighing one with another sixteen to 
eighteen pounds. 

One particular season I took twenty in the course of four 
consecutive days (and what is singular, no others in that 
time, to my knowledge, touched the bait) that weighed 
together four hundred and fifty-two pounds, which is upwards 
of twenty-two pounds each on the average. Their large size 
was accounted for from their being not only in high condi- 
tion, but all males, which, as said, are considerably larger 
than the females. 

The fish last mentioned were taken in the upper rapids, 
where the heavy trout chiefly congregated during the autumn ; 
and this being the case, I was, therefore, accustomed at that 
season to make Kallshaga situated on the left bank of the 
Gotha, above a mile from Ronnum my chief fishing station 
in the fall of the year. 

A friend resided here ; but the house, or rather cottage, is 
so embosomed amongst trees, as to be but little perceptible 
either from the river, to which it is immediately contiguous, 
or from the high road leading from Ronnum to Wenersborg, 



that passes at no great distance in its front ; and as the 
distance from home was considerable, myself and friends 
were accustomed, when fishing at Kallshaga, to take 
provisions along with us, and to enjoy our humble meal 
beneath the shelter of an umbrageous oak, of which there 
were several in the park-like, though exceedingly limited 


The annexed drawing, kindly made for me by Sir Thomas 
Maryon Wilson, gives a good idea of the spot, the nature 
of the rapids, and the manner in which we were accustomed 
to fish. 

The Pike fishing at Ronnum was good, especially during 
the first few years of my residence there, and I occasionally 
captured a good many ; but in general they were somewhat 


small. The largest I myself ever took did not weigh above 
seventeen pounds, but my people captured two or three of 
twenty-five pounds. 

We also killed some Ide an odd one occasionally when 
spinning for trout or pike, but chiefly with the fly. 

This fish does not rise to the fly in the same free manner 
as the trout or the grayling, but sucks it, as it were, into 
his mouth. This being the case, when angling expressly for 
the ide, we moved the fly always a rather large one very 
slowly ; and the better to conceal the hook, as well as to 
tempt the fish, we usually affixed to the point of the hook 
a maggot, or what was preferable, a large grasshopper, or 
black beetle, divested of its wings. The fly, however, could 
not be used to advantage excepting when the weather 
was fine, warm, and calm, as at such times the ide is to 
be seen in shoals near to the surface ; for if, on the 
contrary, the weather is cold and boisterous, these fish 
always remain in deep water, and, as a consequence, it 
is next to an impossibility to induce them to take the 


When fishing from a boat for the ide, as was our custom, 
the boat's head was always kept up stream ; and whilst the 
fisherman who stood in the stern sheets, cast the fly to 
the right and left, the boat was allowed to drop slowly and 
quietly with the current, so as not in any manner to disturb 
the water below. 

Considering this kind of fishing rather tame, I rarely 
engaged in it, but occasionally allowed my man to amuse 
himself, and who thus did considerable execution. At 
times, indeed, he would take twelve or fifteen ide in the 
course of a few hours, 

VOL. i. M 


One season in particular we captured one hundred and 
fifty of these fish, the average weight of which was near three 
pounds each ; and had we devoted ourselves to the sport, we 
might probably have trebled that number. 

Perch were tolerably plentiful in my immediate neighbour- 
hood. When spinning for trout or pike, I occasionally caught 
one ; but I never regularly angled for those fish. My people, 
however, not unfrequently killed a good dish. But the perch 
fishing in the Wenern was by all accounts much better than 
in the Gotha. An experienced fisherman, a friend of mine, 
living near to the northern shores of that lake, states that on 
some occasions, especially about Midsummer, two persons, 
fishing from a boat, may take with the rod alone, in the 
course of three or four hours, fifteen to eighteen lispund 
that is, from three hundred to three hundred and sixty 
pounds weight of those fish. 

When perch rove about in shoals near the surface, in 
pursuit of small fish, as is the case in the height of summer, 
the most execution is to be done ; for by backing the boat 
warily and slowly (with muffled oars all the better) in the 
wake of the shoal, it is the fisherman's own fault if he cannot 
make a good basket. 

In one instance, and this was immediately near to the 
house, my man, who at the time was fishing for ide, observ- 
ing a shoal of perch thus roving about, captured ten or 
eleven pounds weight of perch, in about half-an-hour, with 
no other bait than a large blue fly. 

The heaviest perch that we ever killed at Ronnum did not 
weigh more than three pounds; but it was said that some 
were to be found weighing five pounds each. 

A skilful boatman was very necessary when fishing among 


the rapids of the Gotha, as in such situations the slightest 
mismanagement might have jeopardized us. Though on 
several occasions nearly meeting with an accident, we always 
escaped. Once, indeed, owing to the inadvertence of the 
man, we were within an ace of being carried under Ny-Bro, 
the hridge depicted a page or two back, in which case, from 
the force of the current, and the terrible eddies in the pool 
below, the chances would have been much against us. 

Though not very frequently, accidents did occur once now 
and then, and in my time several individuals were drowned ; 
amongst others, two poor young women in the service of a 
family resident near the banks of the river. It was in the 
middle of summer, and they had gone, as was their custom, 
to bathe in a shallow hard by the house, when by some 
mischance they were swept away by the current. A boy, 
tending cattle in the neighbouring pasture, hearing their 
cries, hastened to the spot, but one of them had then sunk 
altogether, and the other, supported apparently by her clothes, 
was floating down the rapid ; but there being no assistance 
at hand, she also was presently engulphed. One of the poor 
creatures could swim a little, and it was believed that in her 
endeavours to save her companion, she herself lost her life. 
I was not far distant at the time, and as soon as intel- 
ligence of what had happened reached me, hastened to the 
spot; but though we searched the river and its banks far 
and near, nothing was to be seen of these unhappy young 
women ; and it was not until some days afterwards that 
their bodies were found in a pool below. 

To give a better idea of the fishing at Ronnum, I subjoin 
a list of my individual performances with the rod during one 
particular season. Two or three other seasons, however, 

M 2 



were almost equally good ; but this list is independent of 
fish taken by friends or by my fisherman, the weight of 
which was about as great. It is farther to be observed, that 
following the custom of the country, we classed the smaller 
trout, or those weighing a pound or two, as Oring, or trout, 
and the larger, or those of from eight to ten pounds or 
upwards, as Lax, or salmon ; as also, that the weights were 
Swedish, which are about six per cent less than ours. 


120 heavy Trout (Lax) . 

75 smaller Trout (Oring) 

15 Perch . . . 

364 Pike . ,., '. ./< . 

1 Pike-perch -'..'.- . 

5 Ide 










But as respects fishing, it is not likely Ronnum will ever 
again see those palmy days, for the waters thereabouts are 
now either open to every one, or insufficiently protected ; 
and what is worse, where there was formerly a single fisher- 
man, there are now multitudes. 



BESIDES the rod, we occasionally had recourse to other ex- 
pedients to beguile the finny tribe. In Scandinavia the devices 
for this purpose are very numerous; which is little to be 
wondered at for, as in other pastoral countries, studded 
with innumerable waters,* the inhabitants are, in degree at 
least, dependant on fishing for support ; necessity, as a con- 
sequence, has proved the mother of invention. Very many 
of the expedients in question are probably known to us, but 
some may be new, or brought into play differently ; and at 
the risk, therefore, of tiring the patience of the reader, I 
venture to enumerate such as came more or less under my 
own observation. 

* M. af Forsell in his " Statistik ofver Sverige" informs us, that about a 
tenth of the area of the Scandinavian Peninsula consists of lakes and rivers ! 



Nets of various kinds were in general use in my vicinity. 
We had, for instance, the Land-not, or drag-net ; often also 
called the Vada, from vada, to wade, for the reason that, 
being seldom used, excepting in comparative shallows, the 
fishermen, to work it properly, are obliged to stand, or 
wade in the water. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 


The Swedish drag-net, in form and construction, is nearly 
a counterpart to ours ; but it differs from it in this particular, 
that the extremity of either arm or wing is provided with a 
so-called Rack (Fig. 1) ; as also that, instead of corks, 
the Flarn-telna, as the cork-line is called, is provided with 
Flarn (Fig. 1, A A A) that is, oval pieces of wood pre- 
viously charred, to render them more buoyant, about five 
inches in length, four in breadth, and half an inch in 
thickness ; and the Sten-telna, or lead-line, is provided 
with round and smooth stones (B B), or it may be with 
the horns of goats, or small cattle, instead of leads. 

THE BAGE. 167 

The hauling-lines, which, should the strand be shallow, are 
at times one hundred fathoms or more in length, are either 
of hemp or of tog that is, the smaller roots of the spruce- 
pine split into fibres or of bast, which is the bark of cer- 
tain trees,* prepared in a peculiar manner ; but the latter is 
preferred as being more manageable and less liable to rot. 

When the hauling-lines are of great length, and to faci- 
litate their transit from place to place which is of constant 
occurrence, as the net converges towards the shore the fisher- 
man is provided with a Edge, or bow (Fig. 2), that is placed 
at his feet, and on which he coils the line as it is hauled in. 

The drag-net in general use with us, though there were 
others of much larger dimensions, was some thirty fathoms 
in length, and from eight to ten feet in depth. Two men 
could handle such a net with facility. Moving from place to 
place on the shore, or from islet to islet, I have seen the 
same individuals make twenty to thirty casts at the least in 
the course of a long summer day ; and it was no un- 
common thing for them to half fill their boats. No later, 
indeed, than the past autumn, I myself saw two boats, with 
two men each, return home one evening with upwards of 
one thousand pounds weight of pike, perch, bream, &c., that 
they had thus captured during the day. But though this 
was great work, I have known the fishermen to be much 
more successful. 

* Of the linden-tree in preference ; it is prepared in the following manner : 
In the month of June, when the bark separates most readily, as long slips as 
possible are peeled off either from the stem itself, or from large branches. 
These slips are immersed in water ; and stones, blocks of wood, or other 
weights placed above to retain them at the bottom. Here they remain for 
about three weeks, until the outer bark separates from the inner, when the 
latter may be taken up, dried and prepared. 



The use of the drag-net is not confined to the summer 
alone ; for even in the depth of winter, when the ice is of 
great thickness, it is hrought into play, as was said when 
speaking of the yellow bream, with very considerable effect. 


Though the drag-net may usually be managed by two to 
three men, it is at times of such enormous dimensions, 
especially in the Skargard, as to require the aid of more. 
In some places, therefore, to save manual labour, recourse is 
had to the Not-Vind, or net windlass, as depicted above. 


Then we had the Lagg-nat, or stationary net (with us 
called the Stand-garri), which answers to our flew. As 
with the latter, it was provided with Grimma, or walling 
(often on both sides), the purpose of which is, that 
when the fish strikes the net, and carries that portion with 
which it comes in contact into the walling, it may then 
be embedded in a sort of purse, whence retreat is next to 

The Lagg-nat is used as well during the winter as the 
summer, and at the former season by something like the 
same process as the drag-net. 

And as fish usually follow the direction of the shore, it 
ought not to be placed, so Swedish fishermen tell us, parallel 
with, but at right angles thereto. 

The dimensions of the Lagg-nat, and the size of its meshes, 
vary according to the kind of fish which it is intended to 
capture. That in use with us for salmon and trout, was 
about sixty feet in length, and its depth twelve feet. The 
upper telna was provided with ten to twelve of the flarn, 
or floats spoken of, and the lower line (placed exactly oppo- 
site to the flarn),. with pungar, or purses, formed of the 
bark of the birch-tree, and filled with pebbles. The flarn 
had only sufficient buoyancy, however, to keep the net 
properly distended, but not to lift it from the bottom, close 
to which it was always kept, and frequently at a depth of 
several fathoms from the surface of the water. 

The Skott-nat, likewise a flew in its way, was also provided 
with walling ; but it differs from the Lagg-nat in this respect, 
that whereas in the latter, the fish capture themselves, 
they on the contrary are driven, per force, into the Skott- 


The Skott-nat is made of very fine twine, and the 
weights and floats are of the lightest descriptions. The size 
of the meshes is adapted to the kind of fish for which it is 
used. The length is commonly from fifty to sixty feet, and 
the depth from four to six feet ; that is, if intended for a 
single hand, but if for two hands, it is of more considerable 

The Skott-nat is seldom used, excepting on fine and 
calm summer days, when the finny tribe seek the shallows. 
It is then cast out in silence immediately near to reeds, 
bordering the shores of a lake or river, or it may be among 
them ; and when the net is fixed, the fisherman commences 
splashing and disturbing the surrounding water, thereby to 
drive the fish into the toils. 


For this purpose he makes use of a Puls. This consists 
of a slender pole, fourteen to sixteen feet in length, the 
upper end of which is flattened and pointed, to render 
its insertion in the bottom easier, when used to fix 
the boat. The other extremity has a clump of wood, 
conical in shape, and hollow inside which being driven 
downwards into the water, creates by its size, and 
the air contained in it, the greater commotion and 

The address with which those conversant with the Skott- 



nat manage it, has often excited my admiration, and 
under favourable circumstances it proves a very successful 


We had likewise a net called Dref-Garn, or driving-net, 
which was used for the capture of more than one kind 

That intended for salmon, or heavy trout, is composed of 
pretty stout twine, its length being about forty feet, and its 
depth in the centre (both ends being drawn up to form 


purses or bags to stop the fish) about twelve feet ; the 
meshes are about four inches square. Nine to ten small 
egg-shaped pieces of wood, usually turned for the purpose, 
are strung at equal distances apart, on the upper telna, 
instead of corks or flarn ; and the like number of small 
circular pieces of iron, in lieu of leads, on the lower 
telna; and as the floats and the weights are made fast, 
and as in the intermediate spaces there is abundance 
of loose meshes, the fish let him strike the net where he 
may enters a sort of bag, and is pretty sure to be at 
once enveloped in its folds. 

A perfectly smooth and circular stone (Fig. 2), which 
with propriety may be called the feeling-stone, forms a 
leading feature of the Dref-Garn. It is about six inches 
in diameter, by three or four in thickness, and revolves 
on an iron axle, passed through the centre, thus forming 
the base of a stirrup as it were. 

This revolving stone is attached to the loop B, at the 
lower extremity of the side line c, where it forms an angle 
with the bottom line D. To the upper part of the side line 
c again, is affixed, by the loop E, the hand-line F, which is 
stout, and of considerable length. To the outer extremity 
of the upper line o, and at the angle formed by its junction 
with the side line H is attached, by means of the loop i, 
the Dubb-linie, or line j, which is of the thickness of 
pack-thread, or somewhat stouter. And fastened at the 
end of this again is the Dubb itself K, consisting of a 
piece of deal, or other light wood, of the size and shape of 
a very small sugar-loaf. 

Two men are required to work the Dref-Garn one to ma- 
nage the boat, the other (whose station is in the stern-sheets) 


the net ; and to insure success, both should well understand 
their business. When such part of the river is reached as is 
favourable for the purpose, the Dubb K is thrown to some 
little distance into the water, and whilst the boat is pulled 
across the stream, and directly from the Dubb, the net is paid 
away as fast as possible, and the feeling-stone gradually 
lowered to the bottom. The hand-line is kept well in hand, 
and shortened or lengthened according to the depth of water. 
This in our part of the Gotha was very unequal ; for in some 
of the casts, of which there were upwards of twenty, we had 
only a fathom or two, whilst in others, on the contrary, as 
much as six or eight fathoms, or even more. And as the 
feeling-stone revolves on its axis like a wheel, it keeps pace 
with the net itself, as, impelled by the current, it sweeps 
along the bottom of the river. By directing the move- 
ments of the boat, in accordance with the Dubb, which, 
from being blacked by fire or paint, is perceptible on the 
water, even in the darkest nights, one is always enabled to 
keep the net in its proper position. 

On the instant of the fish coming in contact with the 
net, the man holding the hand-line sings out vtind ! or turn ; 
which order his comrade promptly obeys, and bringing the 
boat's head about in a half-circle down stream, the fish 
is partially surrounded. In the meantime the fisherman 
hauls up the net as rapidly as possible, and as soon as 
the fish comes to the surface, it is either at once lifted on 
board ; or should he be very heavy, and apparently not very 
securely entangled in the net, the man secures him with an 
implement called a Kaks ? Fig. 3 always at hand, which is 
plunged into the body of the fish. 

Unless the water be discoloured, the Dref-Garn cannot be 


used to advantage in the day-time. Dark nights are the 
best for the purpose, as the fish are then unable to perceive 
it ; and when they feel the pressure of its folds, instead of 
retracing their course they rush bodily into it. 

If the current be pretty strong, and the bottom of the 
river at all even, I know few things of the kind more 
amusing or exciting than this method of fishing. But if, 
on the contrary, the current is sluggish, and the bottom foul 
or ragged, and the net constantly getting fast (the labour 
of disengaging it being often enormous), it is far from the 
most agreeable of occupations ; more especially should the 
night be cold and wet, for what with the rain from above 
and the dripping of the net upon one's clothes, a man's 
plight, at such times, is anything but enviable. 

In my neighbourhood little comparatively was to be done 
with the Dref-Garn. We now and then, it is true, killed six 
or seven huge trout of a night ; but this was the exception, 
not the rule, for two or three was considered fair work, 
and on the average we certainly did not much exceed that 
number. At Lilla Edet, however, distant about twenty 
miles from Ronnum, salmon are captured in great quantities 
by its means. 

Though the water in some places was favourable enough 
for the Casting-net, which with us in England is in such 
common use, strange to say, with the exception of my 
own, I never saw or heard of it in Sweden. 

Contrivances called Mjdrdar some of them nets in their 
way are also in general use throughout Sweden. These 
devices are of very ancient origin, mention being made of 
them in the " Upland Laws," which date back eight to nine 
hundred years. 


Of the Mjardar there are several kinds namely : 


As the name implies, this Mjarde is formed of osiers. To 
detail the way in which it is put together would be not only 
tedious, but perhaps needless, the above drawing explaining 
everything. Suffice it therefore to say, that it is circular in form, 
and from three and a half to four feet in length, and that the 
diameter of the Ingang, or entrance, is about fifteen inches. 

As the name would denote, this contrivance is principally 


intended to capture eels. It is, however, a less common kind 
of Mjarde, and the use of it for the most part confined 
to the Skargard. 

The Al-Kupa is in general formed of osiers, though at 
times of slips of the Scotch fir. Its construction is in 
degree the same as that of the Vide-Mjarde ; but it 
differs from it in shape, as well from being triangular 
(that one surface may lie close to the bottom), as that 
at the lesser end, there is a small aperture, whereby 
to abstract the captured fish, which opening, when 
the Kupa is brought into use, is stopped up with a 
plug. It is besides somewhat larger, being frequently 
upwards of four feet in length, and so capacious that 
either side of the triangle in front measures about eighteen 
inches. The Ingang is also much longer than in the 

The Al-Kupa should be very closely and securely bound 
together, for the reason that if there be a sufficient opening 
for the eel to insert his tail, he generally manages to worm 
himself out ; it has, therefore, the appearance of a plaited 

In some instances the Al-Kupa is provided with arms or 
wings, composed of netting, which are of some little length 
and of an equal height with itself; these are placed either 
at right angles, or obliquely forward, the better to lead the 
fish into the toils. 

Then again there is the Garn-Mjarde, which although 
used in much the same manner and for similar purposes 
as the Vide-Mjarde, differs therefrom both in respect to 
the material twine of which it is for the most part 
composed, as in shape and construction. 


There are several kinds of Garn-Mjiirdar namely : 


This, which is the most common of all, is thus con- 
structed. Three stout hoops, of from five to six feet in 
circumference, connected together by four straight hazel 
or other sticks placed transversely form the Stomme, or 
frame-work; netting of proportionate dimensions is drawn 
)ver it, and after being properly stretched, is secured over 
both sticks and hoops. It has two Ingangar, or entrances, 
one at each end. But care must be taken that they are 
of sufficient length to extend some inches beyond each 
other; for if too short, and placed opposite, and kept in 
position by thread or fine twine, as is often the case, one 
may be pretty sure that half of the fish that enter by the one 
Ingang, will make their exit by the other. 

The Gillring, or setting of the Ingang, is a matter of 
much importance. By most people two threads are consi- 
dered preferable to four. But these should be so placed 
as to act as a spring, and in consequence afford an easy 

VOL. i. N 


passage to the fish when pushing ahead, but fall back 
again into their position, as soon as the fish has entered 
the toils. 


But perhaps the best plan to gillra the Mjarde, is after 
attaching several threads to the Ingang, to secure them as 
depicted above, at one and the same point. These threads, 
which are kept equally stretched, do not prevent the fish 
from forcing its way between them whilst entering the 
Mjarde, but render it next to impossible, when once within, 
to find the way out again. 




Is so called from the hoops of the frame-work forming 
only the half of a circle. This Mjarde is constructed in the 
same way as that last mentioned, and has also two Ingangar, 
which are gillrade in like manner. It is chiefly used for fish 
that swim near the bottom, as from the flat side being always 
placed on the ground, they have greater facility in effecting 
an entrance. 


This Mjarde, as its designation signifies, is always sunk to 
the bottom by means of stones. Its form is conical, and it 
has only one Ingang, which is gillrad in the way spoken 
of. It is less in size than either of the two last named, 
frequently indeed only two feet, and seldom more than three 
feet in length. 



The Ryssja, also a sort of Mjarde, is thus constructed : 
The netting is drawn over three to five stout hoops, the 

N 2 



number depending on the intended length of the net. The 
foremost and largest of the hoops, which, however, only 
forms the half of a circle, is connected at its ends by a piece 
of stout twine. The other hoops, which gradually diminish 
in size, are entire circles. The space between them dimin- 
ishes by degrees from the first to the second, for example, 
it is about three feet ; whereas, between the fourth and fifth it 
is only one foot. The extremity of the Ryssja, called the 
Stjert t or tail, is drawn together by a piece of string, in the 
manner of a purse. 

The Ryssja is provided with two Ingangar, the one within 
the other, which are nearly alike in form, and are gillrade in 
like manner as the other Mjardar. 

Arms or wings are generally attached to the Ryssja, 
the number depending on the locality. At times it has only 
a single arm, in which case it is placed in a line with the 
net. At others, more especially when intended to block 
up the course of a stream, it has two, which diverge at 
right angles, or rather obliquely forward. Not unfrequently, 
indeed, the Ryssja has a third arm. The object of this, 
the central one, which is considerably longer than the others, 
is, that when the fish follow it to the Ingang, and would 
turn aside, they fall in with one or other of the side-arms, 
and are thereby conducted into the net. The length as 
well as the depth of the arms is proportionate to that of 
the water. That they may always be on the stretch, they 
are provided with several Spjalar, or slips of wood, some two 
feet in length, inserted crosswise between the telnar ; and the 
arms are kept in position either by means of stakes, or by 
the Spjalar, the ends of which extend several inches beyond 
the netting, for that special purpose. 


When the Ryssja is used, the tail-stake is first passed 
through its smaller extremity, and being stuck into the 
ground, the net is then drawn out into its proper form. 
Care must be taken that it be well stretched, as otherwise 
the Ingangar have neither their right shape nor their proper 
position. The line connecting the ends of the foremost hoop, 
as well as the arms of the Ryssja, must lie closely and 
evenly at the bottom. But with the arms this is sometimes 
a matter of difficulty, and the fishermen therefore, instead 
of stakes or of Spjalar, make use of forked sticks, which 
answer the double purpose of pinning down the lower 
telna, and of supporting the upper one. 

The ground where the Ryssja is set should be tolerably 
even, and the water of sufficient depth to cover at least one- 
half of the Ingang. But it must not be too deep, for should 
it reach to about two-thirds the height of the Ryssja, and 
should the latter be of considerable length, and not properly 
stretched, it is very apt to rise from the bottom. Two 
stakes placed crosswise over it, however, effectually prevent 
this inconvenience. 

When the Ryssja is fixed in running water, the Ingang 
always lies down stream. In still water it commonly faces 
the shore. In the latter case, the single arm, or the central 
one, if there are three (the other two standing obliquely), is 
made to extend to the very strand. This precaution is quite 
necessary, for during the spawning season pike approach as 
near to the land as possible ; frequently, indeed, they swim 
in such shallow water, that although keeping close to the 
bottom, a part of their body is visible above the surface ; and 
as at the spring season, the water may rise considerably during 
a single night, the fish, unless this precaution is taken, may 



without difficulty find a passage between the end of the arm 
and the shore. 

Should the arm not be of sufficient length to reach the 
land, a sort of fence, called a Ris-hage, formed of Gran- 
ris that is, the smaller boughs of the spruce-pine is carried 
out from the shore ; at times, indeed, these Ris-hagar alto- 
gether supersede the use of arms. 

During the spawning season, fish pike more especially 
frequently resort to overflowed meadows or other extended 
shallows. As in this case it would be impossible to take 
them in a single Ryssja, several of these contrivances are 
united. The inner net is placed all but on dry land, whilst 
the outer one is nearly under water, and in consequence 
it is next to impossible for fish to find their way between 


The several kinds of Mjardar spoken of are chiefly 
used in the spring of the year, when various species of fish 
resort, for the purpose of spawning, to shoals, or streamlets 
tributary to lakes and rivers ; and it was as well for the 


purpose of intercepting these passages, as for the greater 
facility of placing out and attending to the Mjardar, 
that the Verke, which is of very ancient origin, was 

It is thus constructed : two long and stout poles of 
juniper or ash in preference, as less liable to rot after 
being pointed at the lower end, are driven into the bottom 
at nine to ten inches apart ; and in a line with these, 
though at intervals of about four feet, a second and a 
third pair. Parallel with this row of poles, but leaving a 
sufficient space, called Bds, for the reception of the Mjardar, 
two or more similar rows of poles are formed. Gran-ris 
is now placed lengthwise between the several pairs of 
double poles, to the height of about two feet. Afterwards a 
Hank* is passed over each pair of poles to keep them in 
their proper position ; then another layer of Gran-ris ; and so 
on until the Balk, or wall, has reached above the surface of 
the water. 

The Mjardar, when placed within the Bas, face inwardly, 
and as a consequence their respective Ingangar are opposite 
to each other. They are strung on smooth upright stakes, 
placed at some little distance within the Bas ; and fre- 
quently, when the water is pretty deep, three or more are 
fixed above each other, so that when the first lies at the 
bottom, the second is in mid-water, and the third near 
the surface. After this arrangement is made, the Mjardar 
are carefully covered over with Gran-ris, for the pur- 

* Hank, in the Swedish language, signifies a circular band, whether con- 
sisting of a wisp of straw, of a sapling, or what not, the ends of which are 


pose of keeping the interior of the Verke as dark as 

Should the fisherman not possess the requisite number 
of Mjardar to fill up the several Bas, he ought at the 
commencement to place those that he has at different 
depths : one, for example, at the bottom ; a second near 
to the surface, and so on. By the adoption of this plan he 
will soon ascertain where most captures are to be made ; 
and this point ascertained, he will place his Mjardar 

When the Mjardar are vittjade, or examined, and the 
water is so deep that they cannot be reached by the hand, 
they are brought to the surface by the assistance of a gaff, 
or hooked-stick. 

The device called Ldng-ref was in much request in my 
vicinity. As the name denotes, it consists of a long line, 
to which at stated intervals the Tafsar, or snoods, as 
English fishermen call them (short pieces of string fastened 
to the hooks), are appended by a slip-knot. Two persons- 
women as well as men frequently officiating are required 
for this kind of fishing, the one to manage the boat, the 
other the line. 

The Lang-ref is of two kinds : one is called the Botten- 
ref y or bottom-line, because of its always lying at the bottom ; 
the other, the Flott-ref, or floating-line. 

The Botten-ref is in more general use of the two, a 
greater variety as well as quantity of fish being captured 
near to the bottom than at the surface. The number of 
hooks depends in some measure on the extent of the water. 
Less than from one to two hundred are seldom used, but five 
to six hundred are much more common ; and when two or 


three Lang-refvar are joined together, as is often the case, 
they will extend in a straight or an undulating line, as the 
case mav be, a distance of twelve or fourteen miles ! 

FIG. 1. FIG. 2. 



If the water be not too deep, an upright stake is placed 
at either end of the Botten-ref, as well to keep it in its place 
as to show its whereabouts. But should the depth be too 
great for stakes, heavy stones are substituted ; and the spot 
is marked by a buoy, called Vette, of which the form, as 
seen in Figs. 1 and 2, varies somewhat. 

I have not myself assisted in laying out the Botten-ref, 
but I have lent a hand in taking one up ; and although 
it was blowing hard at the time, which was much against us, 
and that some six hundred Tafsar had to be detached from 
the line, and carefully placed aside in readiness for future 
use, and the captured fish unhooked, yet the whole operation 
did not occupy more than from two to three hours. In 
point of fact, the man, whose office it was to hank in the 
line, which was placed in coils within a large and open 
circular basket between his feet, managed fully to keep pace 



with the boat, though she was at the time making good way 
through the water. The address he displayed, indeed, was 
to myself, who am little conversant with this kind of fishing, 
a subject of admiration. 

. 1. 

FIG. 2. 


Some fishermen, it should be observed, when taking 
up the Lang-ref, instead of placing the Tafsar in hanks 
of fifty or one hundred, on the boat's gunwale as usual, 
stow them away systematically in a Ref-lada, as depicted in 
Fig. 1 ; and by the adoption of this plan it is next to impos- 
sible for them to become entangled. At other times the 
fisherman, when he wishes to transport the Tafsar, ready 
baited, to a distance, makes use of a box of a somewhat 
different construction (Fig. 2). 

Laying out the Botten-ref, is even still more quickly per- 
formed than taking it up ; and adepts have assured me they 
can readily accomplish this task even when, with a stiff 
breeze, the boat is under sail and going before the wind. 
But then, be it remembered, the hooks are previously baited, 



so that the Tafsar have only to be attached to the line as it 
is paid off. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 


As it not unfrequently happens that the Vettar, which 
mark the position of the Lang-ref, get loose, and are carried 
away, or that the line separates by fouling, the fisherman, 
for its recovery, makes use either of a small iron Dragg 
(Fig. 1) ; or of a Kraka (Fig. 2), consisting of the lower 
portion of a young bushy tree ; this being weighted with 
stones (as seen in the sketch), detains it at the bottom. 

The Flott-ref, or floating-line, contrary to the last men- 
tioned, always swims (by means of Flarn placed at four- 
teen or fifteen fathoms apart), at or very near to the surface ; 
and to prevent its being carried away by vessels sailing 
over it, or by storms, it is moored to heavy stones, with 
buoys attached at intervals. It is commonly set over 
night, or early in the morning, and though seldom taken 



up in less than twenty- four hours, it is usual to examine it 
cursorily more than once in the interim. This is effected by 
lifting the Flarn with the oar, or what not, in regular suc- 
cession, when it is quickly ascertained if captures are made. 

Though several kinds of fish, more especially pike in the 
spring, are frequently taken by the Flott-ref, it is chiefly 
intended in the Wenern, at least for huge trout, to which 
it proves very destructive. A friend of mine, residing on 
the northern shores of that lake, captured in this way, in 
less than a day and a half, no fewer than forty-four trout, 
weighing one with another eight to nine pounds each ; and 
this independently of other kinds of fish, such as pike, perch, 
ide, asp, &c. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 




When the fisherman is taking up the Lang-ref, and 
that the fish on the hooks are too heavy to be lifted out 
of the water by the line itself, he gets them on board 
by the aid of the Kltipp, or gaff (Fig. 1), or by that 
of the Vittje-hqf (Fig. 2), which is neither more nor less 
than a landing-net. 


The baits used for the Lang-ref are generally small fish, 
and in preference such as are alive. They are attached to 
the hook in various ways, which, without particular descrip- 
tion, will be readily understood by the accompanying draw- 
ings, A, B, c. 

Trimmers, or night-lines, were also much used in my 
vicinity for the capture of pike, &c. ; and although differing 
somewhat in their nature, they were all in principle the 
same. But trimmers, similar to those we have in England, 
and which we are accustomed to start adrift in lakes, to 
be wafted to the opposite shore "Soldiers," as the late 



Colonel Thornton, of sporting celebrity, used to call them- 
never came under my observation in Sweden. 


We had, for instance, the Stdnd-kroJc. This consists 
of a long and supple hazel, or other rod, somewhat stiff 
at the top. The lower end of this rod being pointed, is 
fixed in the ground slantingly near reeds, and must be 
of sufficient length to reach three or four feet above 
the surface of the water. The line, usually five to six 
fathoms in length, is attached to a Edge * (Fig. 1 ) or to 

* A piece of hazel, or other pliant wood, of about the thickness of one's 
finger, and some eight to nine inches in length, the extremities of which, 
when green, are bound together with string in the form of a horse-shoe ; and 
this form it retains when thoroughly dried. 


a Klyka* (Fig. 2), and as it is only very slightly secured 
by means of a notch, it, at the least tug of the fish, escapes 
from confinement, and in the manner of a reel, the line runs 
off with facility. 

When the Bage is used, the line is simply wound round 
its exterior ; but with the Klyka the method is different ; 
for after the line has been reeled on the fingers, the hank 
thus formed is introduced between the fork, where it is 
secured by a few turns of the line. 

In some cases the fisherman does not trouble himself with 
either Bage or Klyka, but leaves the line altogether at large 
in the water. That the small fish used as bait may not lie 
at the bottom, however, where it is less likely to be taken by 
pike, &c., he inserts a pin in its back, and by means of a 
thread, suspends it in a horizontal position, as seen in Fig. 3, 
at some four to five feet below the surface of the water. 

The Klump-krok (Fig. 4) is only resorted to when the 
water is too deep, or the bottom too hard, for the Stand -krok 
to be used to advantage. As the name implies, it consists 
of a bar of wood three to four feet in length, on either end of 
which a notch is cut. To one of these notches the line 
itself is fastened, and to the other the line of the mooring- 
stone. Both Bage and Klyka are used indifferently with 
this device, but the Bage is considered preferable, because 
should it come on to blow, the line, owing to the undu- 
lating motion of the water, is apt to fall from between the 
forks of the Klyka. 

The Pdl-krok (Fig. 5) consists also of a piece of 

* The forked branch of the juniper or other trees, of the like substance as 
the Bage, and some three to four inches in length. 


wood as thick as the thicker end of a stout stake, three or 
four feet in length. But there is this material difference 
between this device and the last mentioned, that whereas the 
Klump-krok always lies horizontally on the water, one-third 
of the Pal-krok (owing to the line connecting it with the 
mooring-stone being shortened) stands at an angle of about 
forty-five degrees above the surface ; as also that the 
mooring-line and the fishing-line are both fastened to one 
and the same end of the stake. The bait in preference 
a living one and likewise the line, which is of considerable 
length, is cast to some distance from the spot, and allowed to 
sink to the bottom. 

Living baits are considered almost indispensable for trim- 
mers; but when these are not procurable, and that dead 
baits are had recourse to, the fishermen, to keep them in a 
horizontal position, suspend them with the aid of a pin and 
a fine thread from the line above, so that the line, the fish, 
and the thread (Fig. 6) form a triangle. 



THE rod and line were constantly used by almost every 
peasant in my neighbourhood, and one might say through- 
out Scandinavia generally. 

The Spo, or rod, is usually a very primitive affair, 
consisting either of a slip of red deal duly fashioned, 
and with a flexible top ; or of a long, slender, and tapering 
young tree -juniper or mountain-ash being preferred, which, 
from the magical properties these trees are supposed to 
possess, will, it is imagined, insure success to their owner. 

Rods go under various denominations in Sweden, as for 
instance, the Flug-spo, or fly-rod; the Flott-spo, or float- 
rod; the Sank-spo, or that for fishing at the bottom, but 
without a float; the Rull-spo, or reel-rod (but this was 
not included in the list until subsequent to the introduction 

VOL. i. o 



by myself of the art of spinning) ; and the Slant-spo, of 
which more presently. 




The Met-trad, a rod in its way, is also in pretty 
general use in Sweden, especially in the winter time ; 
and when length of line is matter of necessity, and 
length of rod indifferent, it answers the purpose intended 
perfectly well. 

Provided it be of proper growth, it is of no conse- 
quence whether the Met-trad be formed out of a branch 
of a tree, or of the stem itself; nor is the kind of tree of 
moment. The length of this rod is somewhat less than 
two feet. The after part, which is straight and round, con- 
stitutes the handle ; whilst the foremost, or bow-shaped 
portion, forms the rod as it were. In the fore part of the 
handle, but at a little distance apart, and diverging some- 
what from each other, are two pins of three or four inches in 
length, inserted into holes made for the purpose ; and at the 
extreme end of the bow is a deep Skdra, or notch. The 
line, usually twelve to fifteen fathoms in length, is reeled 
around the two pins in the handle ; or it may be, when time 
presses, between the aftermost of the pins and the notch. 
When not in use, the hook attached to the line is secured in 



a small aperture near to the notch, or in the upper part 
of the handle. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 


When spinning for large trout in the waters ahout 
Ronnum, we of course always made use of the rod. In 
parts of the Wenern, however, where people, following my 
example, have of late years taken to spinning, and by that 
means annually capture great quantities of trout, they have 

o 2 


discontinued the use of the rod altogether, and adopted a 
plan of their own, called Sviflande that is, fishing with the 
swivel, which hy all accounts answers admirably. 

Their system which will be readily understood by refe- 
rence to the accompanying drawing cannot be adopted 
except in a boat. If the fisherman be alone, as is often 
the case, only two Svifvel-Vindar that is, reels in their 
way, which serve as substitutes for rods can be brought 
into use; but if there be two men, the number may be 

Fig. 1 represents the boat, twenty-nine feet in length; 
A A, the foremost pair of oars, which work on iron pins 
or rullocks ; B B, the two foremost Svifvel-Vindar ; c c, 
the Giller-spon, sticks of some four feet in length, inserted 
at an angle of about forty-five degrees, in the same thwart as 
the Svifvel-Vindar, and a little beyond them, which serve 
as well to Gillra the lines, as to keep them outside of those 
astern; D D, the aftermost pair of oars; EE, the aftermost 
Svifvel-Vindar; and FF, the Giller-pinnar, which, so far 
as the Gillring of the lines is concerned, do the same duty 
as the Giller-spon. 

Fig. 2 represents the boat's gunwale in profile, showing the 
Giller-pinne F, together with the manner in which the line is 
Gillrad in connection with the Svifvel-Vind B. 

The line, consisting of twine or horse-hair, seldom ex- 
ceeds twenty- five to thirty fathoms in length ; but unless 
a fish be hooked, not much more than one-third is ever out 
at a time. It is leaded according to the season, and the 
depth of the water : in the height of summer, when fish 
swim nearer the surface, the lightest; and in the autumn, 
when on the contrary fish keep more to the deeps, the 


heaviest. At all times, however, the several lines are un- 
equally leaded, that the baits may swim at different depths. 
When a trout or other fish seizes the bait, and the line, 
released from the Giller-spo, or the Giller-pinne, as the case 
may be, runs off, the oars are at once dropped, and the 
boat as a consequence comes to a stand-still ; and after the 
undisturbed lines have been hastily taken in, the captive is 
hauled on board. 

One might suppose that on a fish seizing the bait, he 
would at once, if unchecked, run to the length of the line, 
and being then suddenly brought up, would break his hold 
and make his escape. But this, by all accounts, is very 
rarely the case ; for he seldom goes off with more than six 
to eight fathoms of the line, when finding himself un- 
molested, he remains quiet until the fisherman is ready to 
take him in hand. 

Good sport is occasionally to be had by this method of 
fishing. A friend assures me that on one particular occa- 
sion, he himself in little more than a day killed in this way, 
independently of other fish, fifteen huge trout, averaging from 
seven to eight pounds each. 

The fishing-line that intended for the rod, at least 
was always made of horse-hair, preference being given to 
that of a white colour. 

The reel, excepting for the purpose of spinning, was 
seldom used in my vicinity, and as a consequence, when a 
heavy fish was hooked, however expert the fisherman might 
be and many were really adepts in the gentle art it gene- 
rally managed to carry away everything. 

The common fish-hook was the same as those used 
in England ; many, indeed, were of British, or German 



manufacture. But hooks were not unfrequently seen 
of a very primitive description ; not, it is true, formed of 
stone, as the learned tell us was the case with the ancient 
Scandinavians, but hammered out of brass or iron-wire. In 
Lapland, to this day indeed, the fish-hook is occasionally 
carved out of bone, or out of a forked piece of wood- 
more especially juniper, preferred as well for its toughness 
as for the charm it is supposed to bear. 



Certain of the Swedish hooks, however, though applicable 
to the same purpose as in England, differ somewhat in 
form from ours. 

As for instance, the Slant-krok, answering to our 
gorge-hook; and from its body being square instead 
of circular, it has the consequent advantage of not turn- 
ing round when introduced into the bait. Of the three 
kinds of Slant-krok in use in Sweden, as above de- 


picted, No. 1 has the preference ; No. 2 is the next in 
favour ; and No. 3 the least so. When No. 1 is used, the 
point of the single hook with which it is armed, is turned 
towards the head of the bait. If No. 2, the larger of the 
two hooks, also points to the head, and the smaller to the 
under jaw. But if No. 3, which is provided with two 
equally large hooks, they lie one on either side of the mouth. 
It might he supposed that the Slant- krok provided with most 
hooks would prove the deadliest ; but if the pike has fairly 
gorged the bait, a single hook is amply sufficient, and less 
likely to get foul, more especially if, as is the ease with 
No. 3, the hooks are barbed. 

The baiting-needle (Fig. 4) is a very simple contrivance. 
It consists of a needle-like piece of stick, pointed at one end, 
and with a slit in the other ; but I doubt if Crooked Lane 
can turn out anything more efficacious. The representations 
show one needle threaded, the other empty. 

Though intended for the same purpose as the gorge-hook, 
the Slant-krok is used differently ; for instead of trolling the 
bait that is, either allowing it to follow in the wake of 
the boat, or casting it to a distance, and then hanking in the 
line it is simply raised and depressed in the water, or in 
likely-looking holes among the weeds. 

This being the case, the Slant-Spo, as the rod used for 
the purpose is called, is necessarily of considerable length 
say twenty to twenty-four feet ; but to render it the more 
manageable, it is formed of the lightest material, and more- 
over frequently weighted at the butt. The extreme point of 
the rod is provided with a short pin, over which a small 
ring, fastened to the line, is suspended at ten to twelve 
feet from the bait. When, therefore, the pike seizes the bait, 



the point of the rod is depressed and drawn backwards, by 
which the ring slips at once off the pin, and the line, which 
is placed in coils at the fisherman's feet, is in consequence 
set at liberty ; and after sufficient time has elapsed to enable 
the pike to gorge the bait (the rod being laid aside alto- 
gether), he is hauled in by the line alone, hand-over-hand, as 
sailors would say. 

Two men are needful for this mode of fishing one to 
manage the punt, which is always backed, that the fish may 
not be disturbed ; the other, who stands in the stern-sheets, 
the rod : and if both are adepts, great sport is at times to 
be had. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 


The Spring-krok, or snap-hook, as the accompanying 
figures show, differs in shape but little from ours. It is 
used in the same manner as the Slant-krok, but it is in much 
less favour, owing to the hooks, from the least entanglement 
in the weeds, being so constantly drawn out of their sheath. 

THE DRAG. 201 

Although many pike are taken with the Slant- and the 
Spring-krok, infinitely more are captured with the common 
rod and line, the latter being provided with a large cork-float. 
The bait in this case, always a living one, is affixed to the 
hook by the fleshy part of the back. In still water the bait 
must necessarily be in degree stationary ; but in rivers the 
fisherman allows the boat to drop stern foremost down the 
stream keeping her the while as near to the reeds, and as 
distant from the float as he can the chances being thereby 
greatly increased of the bait being seen and seized by the 

FIG. 1. 


The Drag (Fig. 1 ) was also greatly in use in my neigh- 
bourhood, more especially for the capture of pike. 

This device is a rough imitation of a fish, its usual length 
being about four inches, and its breadth about an inch. 
The one side is concave, and the other convex ; and it 
is somewhat curved, that it may spin the better in the 
water. It is sometimes made of ivory, or even, of silver, 
but much more generally of polished iron or copper. A 
piece of stout wire, three to four inches long, is inserted 
through the upper part, or supposed head of the fish, and 


therefore answers the double purpose of swivel and gimp. 
The hook itself is affixed to the lower extremity, or supposed 
tail; and just above it is a small piece of red cloth, as 
well for the purpose of partially concealing the hook as of 
attracting the fish. 

As pike more especially prey on white fish, such as bleak, 
or dace, a silver-coloured Drag is considered best; but for 
certain waters, preference is given to imitations made of 
copper or brass, especially if gilt, as is sometimes the case. 
There is, however, much fancy in this matter. Some even 
go so far as to plate one side, and gild the other. But 
every one agrees in its being needful that the drag should 
at all times be kept clean and bright. 

The line, which is usually of plaited horse-hair, and from 
twenty to thirty fathoms in length and well leaded at 
intervals, is wound round a Le/care, or reel, as depicted 
in Fig. 2. 

The Drag is always trailed in the wake of a boat. If 
there are two men, the one holds the line, and the other plies 
the oars ; but should the fisherman be alone, as is generally 
the case, he usually holds the line between his teeth. When 
the pike seizes the Drag, it is needful to check it sharply, 
that the hook may take sure hold ; also to keep the fish well 
in hand, as otherwise the hook is apt to fall out of its mouth. 
Occasionally two of these devices are used at the same time ; 
but in this case one line should be considerably shorter 
than the other, in order that should the foremost Drag 
have the effect of attracting the pike from the strand, 
the second, by coming across his nose, will present a temp- 
tation that he cannot well resist. 

Though the Drag is specially intended for pike, other 



fish are sometimes captured by it. In one instance, to 
my knowledge, a salmon weighing nearly forty pounds, 
was taken with this contrivance. 


The Ljuster, or fish-spear, is thought to be the most 
ancient fishing device adopted in Scandinavia. The javelin, 
the arrow, and the harpoon were the weapons used by the 
Aborigines against the inhabitants of the flood and the field. 
At the present day, indeed, the savages on the banks of the 
Orinoco, who for the greater part of the year live on fish, 
transfix them with shafts. The Ljuster is no other than the 
harpoon of by-gone days, though in order that its aim might 
be the more sure, the number of the points was increased 
to three, this particular number possibly being looked upon 
as holy, and in consequence lucky. As time advanced, and 
people from desuetude became less proficient with the javelin, 
it was needful to improve the devices then in use, as a 
set-off to want of skill, and the weapon in question obtained 



therefore a breadth, that without too great unskilfulncss, it 
must necessarily hit the mark. 

Though in principle the same, the form of the Ljuster, 
as seen in the accompanying sketch, varies considerably. 
They bear, moreover, the names of the fish for whose 
destruction they are specially intended. Fig. 1, which is the 
largest, is called, for instance, the Pike , or Salmon Ljuster ; 
Figs. 2 and 3, the Eel Ljuster ; Fig. 4, the Simp , or Coitus 

These fish-spears are used both by day and night, but 
chiefly during the night-time. 

Eldstodjning that is, spearing fish by the aid of fire- 
was very much practised in my neighbourhood, especially 
in the spring : the spawning season with various species 
of fish. This is also a very ancient method of fishing, and 
which, at the least expense of manual labour and tackle, 
enables people during the hours of darkness to take such 
natives of the flood as then approach the shoals. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 




The Bloss, or torch, used on these occasions, consists of 
chips of wood, in preference hewn from the dried stump of 
the Scotch fir, and of such trees as abound with Kada, or 
resin. These chips are placed in a Brand-jern, a sort of 
cradle, of which there are two kinds, as depicted in Figs. 1 
and 2, that, by means of a handle, is affixed to the stern, or 
to the gunwale of the punt. The handle is usually about three 
feet in length ; but some fishermen, in order that their eyes 
may not be dazzled by the glare, prefer it of fully their own 


The fisherman is generally quite alone, and after kindling 
the Bloss, and stationing himself in the after part of 
the punt, he with the shaft of the Ljuster slowly and 



cautiously propels her, stern foremost, along the shore of 
the lake or river, peering all the while on every side in 
the surrounding water ; and so soon as he espies a fish, and 
has approached sufficiently near, he reverses his spear, and 
with deadly aim plunges the weapon into its body. 

If there are two men, the occupation of one should be 
confined to tending the Brand-jern, and seeing that the fire 
burns clearly and steadily ; for when this duty devolves on 
the spearsman himself, he, after replenishing the fuel, is 
often so blinded by the light, as to be unable for some 
time properly to discern objects in the water. The second 
man is not even allowed to propel the punt, as the spears- 
man alone can best judge of the direction to be given to it. 

From the Bloss being principally used in the spawning 
season, it proves most destructive in every way to the fish. 
It is prohibited by law ; but this ordinance, in most parts of 
the country, seems very little attended to. 

When the weather was favourable, many parties might be 
seen thus occupied on the river, near to Ronnum ; and if the 
night was dark, the various bright lights illuminating the 
water formed a brilliant spectacle. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 


The Sump, or fish-box, in use in Sweden varies greatly 
in its character and form. 


There is, for instance, the Stand-sump, which, as the 
name implies, is always stationary. It is square, and com- 
posed of rough boards, nailed transversely to stout uprights 
at the corners. The lowermost ends of these uprights 
extend twelve to eighteen inches beyond the Sump itself, 
and serve as feet for it to rest upon. It is needful thus 
to raise it from the ground, especially in running water, 
as the mud and slime would otherwise find its way into the 
interior, and thus foul the water to the injury of the fish. 
The top is boarded over, with the exception of an opening 
for the introduction of a hand-net. Pretty large holes are 
bored, about six inches apart, as well in the bottom as the 
sides; and should the Sump be intended for small as well 
as large fish, as is often the case, these holes are guarded by 
pieces of stout wire, placed crosswise over them. 

The Sump in question is placed between four stout up- 
right posts fixed in the ground, the space between being just 
sufficient for its reception. It is suspended by hooks and 
chains, that it may be raised or lowered, as the water rises 
or falls a necessary precaution ; for should the lid lie 
beneath the surface, the fish, from the want of atmospheric 
air, are suffocated. The Sump ought to be placed in 
running water ; for should there be no current, that portion 
of the water enclosed within it would, from the presence 
of a multitude of fish, soon become unfit for respiration. 
If running water is not to be had, the Sump must be 
placed where the bottom consists of sand or stone. In 
shallow water, with a grassy, muddy, or clayey bottom, no 
fish, unless perhaps the Crucian, the Tench, or the Eel, can 

Another kind common in Sweden is the Slap-sump 


(Fig. 1), thus designated, because it is often taken in slap, 
or tow. In my neighbourhood, however, it was only 
used for the preservation of bait. It is generally small 
and triangular, and its sides and bottom are pierced with 
numerous holes. At the upper end, or that forming the 
base of the triangle, is a small opening, closed by a lid, 
and at the other end a ring, to which is fastened the towing- 
rope, or the line by which it is anchored. 

A second kind of Slap-sump (Fig. 2), whose use is 
confined pretty much to the coast, is formed of a block 
of fir or spruce-pine, from four to five feet long, which, 
after having been properly trimmed and rounded at the 
ends, is split into two. Both halves are then scooped 
out in the manner of a dough-trough, and a square hole 
cut in one side, of sufficient size to admit the hand. After- 
wards they are carefully put together again and secured, first 
with wooden pins, and then with an iron hoop at either end. 
Pretty large holes are bored in every direction, and across 
each of these again is a wire, to prevent the escape of smaller 
fish. Like the Sump last spoken of, it has a ring at one 
end for the reception of the towing-rope. 

Another sort of Sump, used chiefly in the Skargard, is 
called the Segel-Sump, which consists of a larger or smaller 
boat. The more common kind are twelve to sixteen feet 
in the keel. About one-third of the after part of the boat 
partitioned off, and numerous holes being bored in the 
sides of the compartment, a well is thus formed. But in 
the transport of fish, one must be careful, it is said, not to 
put to sea in stormy weather, even should the wind be 
favourable ; for if the boat's progress through the water be 
too rapid, the fish die. 



Winter fishing, though not so much practised in the 
vicinity of Ronnum, is greatly followed up in many 
parts of Sweden, especially in the early part of the 
frost, when the ice is not of too great thickness, and 
towards the spring, when the temperature hecomes some- 
what milder. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 

FIG. 3. 


Besides the fisherman's usual paraphernalia, he, at this 
inclement season, is provided with additional implements, 
to enable him to carry on operations advantageously ; as 
for instance, the Is-bill, or ice-axe, so to say, (Fig. 1), the 
lower portion of which is formed of iron, weighing from 

VOL. i. p 


seven to eight pounds, with which he makes apertures in 
the ice; and the Met-skofvel, or fishing-shovel (varying 
somewhat in shape, as seen in Figs. 2 and 3), which is 
used for the purpose of keeping these apertures clear of ice 
and snow. 

Independently of nets, the fisherman, at this time of 
the year, resorts to several devices not used in the 

FIG. 1. FIG. 2. FIG. 3. FIG. 4. 


Amongst others, to the Angel-krok* so called from its 
angular form, or properly from its being of the shape of 
Fig. 1, the most ancient of the three. It is manu- 
factured out of a piece of brass or iron wire, of several 
inches in length, hammered flat, that it may the better 
retain its shape. The form is however of no great con- 
sequence, provided that the lower portion of the hook, 
forming the base of the triangle, hangs horizontally in the 

The Angel-krok, which is more especially intended for 
pike, and which, from its considerable size indeed, is little 

* Angle is spelt Angel in Swedish. 

ITS USE. 211 

likely to capture any other fish, is brought into play in the 
following manner : 

A number of circular holes, called Fa/car, of half-a-foot 
or so in diameter, are cut in the ice with the Is-bill, near 
to the edge of reeds, skirting the shores of a lake or river ; 
and immediately alongside each of these again, other small 
apertures, wherein to affix the Kil (Fig. 4). These are small 
wedge-shaped pieces of wood, in the upper end of which is 
a hole or socket, to admit of the Spo, or rod, consisting of 
willow, hazel, or other pliant shoot, from two to two and 
a half feet in length. 

The hook is inserted in the fleshy part of the back of the 
bait generally a living roach, or the like and the point 
brought out near to the back of the head, so that while in 
the water it retains its natural position, and the barbs of 
the hooks point backwards. After the depth has been 
ascertained, it is sunk to about mid-water ; the line, which 
is usually from five to six fathoms in length, is suspended 
from the top of the rod (which is inclined towards the Vak) 
by a small loop, or slip-knot, in such manner, that when 
tugged at by the pike, it at once escapes, and runs off 
freely. The portion of line remaining, is placed in coils 
on the ice, by the side of the Vak ; or to prevent its 
freezing, as it is apt to do in severe weather, on a sort of 

All being duly arranged, the fisherman stations himself, 
as near the centre as may be, amid the several ice-holes ; and 
when the pike seizes the bait, of which he is quickly aware 
by the motion of the rod, he, without much manoeuvring, 
hauls it on to the ice. 

Fifteen to twenty Angel-krokar so say those who are in 

p 2 



the habit of using this device are fully as many as one man 
can well manage. 

PIG. 1. 




The Blank-krok, or shining-hook an artificial fish, in 
short is another device much used in winter. 

The body part is composed of pewter, or pewter and 
tin mixed. One side is flat and the other round. Some- 
times it is armed with two hooks, a larger and a small one 
(Fig. 1), sometimes with a single hook (Fig. 2). Its dimen- 
sions, as well as the size of the hook, vary according to the 
kind of fish for whose capture it is intended. The hooks 
are unbarbed. At the upper part of the Blank-krok is a 
small hole to admit the line, which is secured by a knot; 
whilst to the lower is attached a small piece of red cloth, 
as well to represent the tail of a fish, as partially to conceal 
the hook. And this piece of finery tends greatly, it is said, to 
lure the fish. I have heard people aver, indeed, that if deprived 
of the gay appendage, they will hardly look at this device. 


Prior to the Blank-krok being used, several circular holes 
are made in the ice, through which it is lowered to near the 
bottom ; where, by a jerking kind of motion, it is moved up 
and down, so as to give it as natural an appearance as may be. 

The Met-trad is substituted for the rod, and this in the 
winter is usually the case, whether the bait be real or arti- 
ficial. When the fish bites, the angler, without touching the 
line in any way, hanks it, so to say, between the Met-trad, 
which he holds in his right hand, and the Met-skofvel, which 
he has in his left, so that in the course of a few seconds the 
captive is secured. From the hooks being unbarbed, to 
slacken the line in the least, would in all probability lose the 
fish. As soon as it is on the ice, a mere shake of the line 
suffices to disengage the hook, which done, the Blank-krok 
is forthwith lowered to the bottom again ; and it may be that 
in less than a minute another prisoner is made. 

As fish, especially perch, for which the smaller Blank-krok 
is principally intended, are very stationary in the winter 
the fisherman is, at times, obliged to cut many apertures 
before he discovers the haunt of the fish ; but this point once 
ascertained, he is usually well rewarded for his trouble. 

A southerly wind, accompanied with sleet, is, I am told, 
the best weather in which to bring this and similar devices 
into use, and if all goes well, great things may be done. A 
friend assured me, that under favourable circumstances, 
he has himself, in the course of a few hours, captured by 
this method from eighty to one hundred pounds weight of 
perch, pike, &c. 

The Lak-Skifva is another form of Blank-krok, and, as the 
name denotes, chiefly intended for the capture of the Lake, 
or Burbot ; but it is seldom used, excepting during the 



spawning season, which occurs in the depth of winter, and 
then in the night-time. 

Never having seen this device, I cannot accurately describe 
it ; but I understand that the body consists of a piece of 
bright pewter, or tin, fashioned somewhat in the form of a 
fish, and that it is armed with sundry hooks. 


Then again there is the Sot-krok,* which, like the last- 
mentioned contrivance, is chiefly used for the burbot. The 

* Pronounced somewhat in that manner, at least. 


body part of it, instead of pewter, consists of a piece of 
unpolished iron, about five inches in length, by one in 
breadth, and one-eighth of an inch in thickness. The 
lower extremity of the iron is armed with four or five hooks, 
which branch out horizontally to a distance of about three 
inches, whilst at its upper end, which is rounded, and to which 
the line is attached, is a small feather-spring to retain the bait. 

The Sot-krok is introduced into the water through a Vak 
made for the purpose. The bait consists either of a strip 
of the immature milt of the burbot, usually enveloped in a 
piece of fine gauze for its better protection, or of a young 
smelt, or other bright-coloured fish. If of a strip of milt, it 
is affixed by one end ; and if of a fish, by the tail ; and as the 
Sot-krok, by lifting it up and down in the water, is kept in 
constant motion, the bait, from being loose, is perpetually 
swaying to and fro, and thus presents a very attractive lure. 

Under favourable circumstances, one's sport with the con- 
trivance in question is at times enormous. The friend just 
mentioned, informs me that on the 5th of January, 1839, he 
himself in about an hour and a half that is, between seven 
and nine o'clock in the evening captured one hundred and 
sixty pounds weight of burbot by this device. And he 
stated, moreover, that on one occasion, his fisherman was 
still more successful, having in the course of a long winter's 
night, taken by the same method no less than three hun- 
dred and forty pounds weight of burbot. 

It might be supposed that the fisherman would have 
difficulty in procuring baits in the winter; but this is not 
always the case, for if the Sump be exhausted, he has only 
to ground-bait a Vak the one day, which has the effect of col- 
lecting the small fish together, and on the following day he may 
generally take any moderate number with the hook and line. 



As this is, however, a less certain resource, many in the 
autumn preserve in spirits or strong brine the needful supply 
of baits for the winter : an expedient that answers perfectly 
well; for these pickled baits prove nearly as killing as if 
fresh, and what is more remarkable, even when attached to 
night-lines. A friend, resident near to the Wenern, indeed, 
actually imported a keg of small salted herrings from the 
neighbouring coast ; and he assures me that he found them 
succeed just as well as any other bait. 


To conclude. In the winter, and in lieu of the large 
Korg, or basket, containing the needful implements for 


carrying on operations, and the captured fish, that the fisher- 
man would otherwise be obliged to bear on his shoulder, he 
is provided in parts of Sweden with a Met-slade, or fishing- 
sledge, as depicted above. 

The body of this box-like vehicle, constructed of thin 
boards, is about three feet in length, and of breadth propor- 
tionate. The fishing tackle, &c., is stowed away within this 
box ; but the Is-bill, being of too great length, is slung as 
depicted, alongside. 

On uneven ground, or where the ice is covered with 
newly-fallen snow, the fisherman draws the Met-slade by 
means of a line fastened either to his middle, or placed over 
his shoulders ; but if the ice is glansk, or slippery, he seats 
himself on the vehicle, and with an iron-pointed staff in 
each hand, impels it forwards, the rapidity of his progress 
depending on his own address and strength of arm. 



To relieve the monotony of always fishing at home, I 
at times made excursions to Trollhattan, mentioned in my 
former work, which was about seven or eight miles distant. 
To say nothing of the chances of sport, the magnificence of 
the falls and the surrounding scenery, which one could never 
tire with looking on, were of themselves inducements enough 
for the trip. 

The very name of Trollhattan has, moreover, its own 
romance; for by the ancient Northmen it was assigned as 
the abode of the descendants of the Troll and the Alfvor, 
beings much more wicked than other men. 

The traditions connected with Trollhattan are innu- 

Here, on the Klipp-holmar, champions in heathen 


times were wont to decide their quarrels by single combat. 
The famous Starkotter, renowned over the whole North 
for his feats in arms, dwelt in the vicinity, and fell in love 
with the beauteous Ogn Alfafoster. The maiden, however, 
preferred Hergrimer, and Starkotter therefore challenged 
him to mortal combat. They fought by the side of the 
Fall, and Hergrimer was killed; but Ogn rushed forward, 
seized the bloody . sword of her betrothed, and exclaiming : 
" Though thou hast slain my beloved, thine will I never be !" 
plunged it into her own breast. 

On the western side of the Falls, again, is pointed out the 
Skraddare-Klint that is, the Tailor's Cliff or rather the 
spot where the beetling rock once stood, for in 1755 this 
mass fell into the raging torrent beneath. 

" In a profound cavern near to this cliff," so goes the 
legend, " dwelt in olden times a band of robbers, who 
during one of their predatory excursions, made prisoner an 
unfortunate tailor ; but being at the moment in merciful 
mood, they promised him life on the very singular condition 
that, w 7 hilst sitting on the outermost point of the cliff, and 
with his feet hanging over the very Fall itself, he should sew 
a complete suit of clothes. The poor tailor accepted the 
proffered terms, and so nearly completed the habiliments, 
that only the trdckel-trdd, or basting-thread, with which they 
were first tacked together, required to be withdrawn. Up 
to this time he had refrained from looking downwards ; but 
now, and whilst in the act of pulling out the loose stitches, 
curiosity got the better of his prudence, and casting his eyes 
on to the surging waters beneath, his brain reeled, and 
quitting his hold, he was instantly precipitated into the 
horrible abyss ! 


" For a long time this retreat of the robbers," says the 
legend, " remained undiscovered ; but at length a maiden, 
whom they had seized during a foray, and detained in 
captivity, betrayed them; for one day, daring the absence 
of the band, she purposely lighted a fire at the cave's mouth, 
the smoke of which having been seen, search was made, the 
outlaws taken prisoners, and soon afterwards they expiated 
their crimes on the gallows." 

Of late years additional locks, parallel with the old ones, 
have been constructed at Trollhattan, which afford great 
facility to the shipping; for vessels can now ascend and 
descend at one and the same time, which was not practicable 
formerly. These sluices were constructed under the super- 
intendence of Colonel Ericsson, brother to Captain Ericsson, 
the inventor of the " Caloric Ship," and redound much to 
the credit of that able engineer. 

For the information of merchants and yachtsmen, I may 
mention that the new sluices, which are ten in number, are 
in length, exclusive of the troskel (the platform, it is to be 
presumed, over which the gates swing), one hundred and ten 
feet ; including the troskel, one hundred and twenty feet ; 
their breadth, though nominally only nine and a half feet, 
is ten feet, all Swedish measurement that is, six per cent 
less than the English. 

A slight cast-iron bridge, solely, however, for the use of foot 
passengers, now also spans the loftiest of the Falls by com- 
putation about forty feet in height. The outer extremity of 
the bridge rests on Topp-0n t or the upper islet, situated in 
the very centre of the boiling torrent ; and though when one 
passes across the apparently fragile structure, the vibration is 
considerable, it is believed to be perfectly secure. 


From the islet in question, which is studded with some 
half-score pines shooting from the crevices of the rocks, the 
picture is very beautiful ; hut to be properly appreciated 
must be seen ; for, as with other of the stupendous works of 
Nature, the reality defies description. 

When the royal family of Sweden visit Trollhattan, as 
they not unfrequently do, a sort of cock-boat, with the 
figure of a man in the stern-sheets, is, in honour of the 
occasion, sent down the Fall. But the effect is rather ludi- 
crous than sublime, which would not be the case if a vessel 
of any magnitude were precipitated into the abyss beneath. 

At Trollhattan there is tolerable fishing both above and 
below the Falls. As far as the sport is concerned, the best 
perhaps is above, for there not only trout, but pike, &c., are 
taken, which is not often the case below. 

Near to Stallbacka, about two miles above the Falls, there 
are some very good rapids, where a dish of trout more 
especially in the spring of the year, before the fish are on the 
move for the Wenern is almost always obtainable; and 
owing to the water not being generally deep, one succeeds 
nearly as well with the fly as by spinning. One day, in the 
middle of April, I here killed six trout, weighing together 
about sixty pounds, all, with a single exception, of the species 
called Silfver-Lax. 

Though we occasionally took that beautiful fish in the 
waters about Ronnum, it was to the rapids 'in question that 
he seemed chiefly to confine himself, which circumstance, 
coupled with the vicinity of these rapids to the Falls, almost 
inclined me at one time to think that the Silfver-Lax might 
be a visitor from salt water. 

From the Stallbacka Rapids downwards, there is no very 


good fishing, the water in general being too deep, not only 
for fly, but for bait. On one occasion, however, a little above 
Trollhattan, I killed a trout weighing seventeen pounds. 

With the exception of smaller fish in the eddies near to the 
shore, nothing is to be done immediately above the great falls. 
It is rather nervous work indeed, fishing here, for the stream 
resembles a mill-race, and the slightest inadvertence might 
cause serious consequences. When trying my fortune I had 
always a pair of sculls, which rendered the chance of an 
accident much less likely. 

Sven, one of my followers, on these occasions greatly 
distinguished himself here. A woman, crossing the river 
in a punt a little above the Falls, let one of the oars slip 
from out her hand, when the craft being rendered unman- 
ageable, certain destruction stared her in the face. Her 
shrieks having, however, attracted the attention of Sven, who 
was standing on the adjoining shore, he, without a moment's 
hesitation, and at the imminent peril of his life, pushed off 
in a skiff to her rescue, and was happily in time to save 
the poor creature from the horrible fate which threatened 

This fine fellow who, for his gallant conduct on the 
occasion in question, received a mark of public approbation 
died quietly in his bed at an advanced age. 

Not so, however, Magnus, another of my Trollhattan com- 
rades, and a thirsty soul ; for one fine night, when descending 
the river alone from Stallbacka, he managed, as it was 
believed, to drop asleep, when his boat getting into the 
force of the current, was quickly carried over the Falls ; and 
though surmised, it was not until his body, mashed to 
pulp, was found some days afterwards in one of the pools 


below, that the fate of the poor man was certainly ascer- 

Though better sport is probably attainable above the Falls, 
still, from the magnificence of the scenery, the vast and pro- 
found pools below were my favourite haunts. 

In former times the sport was really superior here, and 
many a good basket of fish have I made ; but of late years 
it has greatly fallen off. One reason for the diminution of 
the fish is, that the disciples of Isaak Walton have increased 
ten- fold; another, that in former times only the fly and 
the worm were used, whereas, at the present day, every 
one has taken to spinning, which, from the nature and 
depth of the water, proves much more destructive to the 

As salmon do not make their appearance at Trollhattan 
until after Midsummer, the only fish to be caught in the 
early part of the season in the lower pools, are trout. 
These consist almost exclusively of the Wenerns-Lax, the 
species so common with us above the Falls. The Silfver-lax 
was here very rare indeed. 

The trout below the Falls were not to be compared in size 
with those above. I have heard of a sixteen-pounder being 
speared under the saw-mills ; but I myself never killed one 
of more than twelve pounds in weight, and that was con- 
sidered an unusually heavy fish. In general, indeed, they 
are here very much smaller; attributable, probably, to the 
Falls confining them to situations where they are exposed to 
constant persecution, and as a consequence no time allowed 
them to arrive at maturity. 

Though in the pools in question the trout are not remark- 
able for size, salmon are very large there. I myself never 


killed one exceeding twenty-five pounds, but I have hooked 
much heavier fish. 

But salmon fishing at Trollhattan, even when the season 
is at its height, is very poor. One is just as likely, indeed, 
to return home empty-handed, as to kill even a single fish. 
This is attributable to the paucity of their numbers, the great 
depth of their runs, and the almost impossibility of obtaining 
access to the best casts. And even should one succeed in 
getting hold of a heavy fish, the nature of the water and the 
banks of the river are such, that the chances are about equal 
as to his capture or escape. 

One autumnal evening, for instance, I hooked a salmon 
near to the fishery, in the lowermost pool on the eastern side 
of the river. As long as he remained in comparatively 
smooth water, I did pretty much what I pleased with him ; 
but at length, either his own will, or the current, carried him 
into the roaring torrent below the cataract itself, down which 
he was hurried at a racing pace. Presently, however, the 
eddy swept him back into the pool, of which he made nearly 
the circuit. By this time he had carried off very consider- 
ably more than one hundred yards of line; and as the stream 
now brought him towards me, I Was obliged to take the line in 
by hand, instead of reeling it as usual, that I might retain proper 
command over him. As the fish, on this his return voyage, 
swept past the rock, my attendant, who was on the watch 
with a very long gaff, not only adroitly succeeded in plunging 
the weapon into his body, but threw him high and dry upon 
the rocks. Unfortunately, however, these were steep as well 
as slippery, and before the man could possibly secure the fish 
apparently a twenty-pounder he floundered back into his 
native element. 



The hook, however, still retained its hold, and the salmon 
subsequently made two more circuits of the same pool, but 
never again approached the shore near enough to give us 
a second chance. Finally, he took up his position under 
the cascade itself, and within a few paces of where we 
stood; but my patience being by this time somewhat 
exhausted, and as night had closed in upon us, I directed 
my attendant to cast heavy stones into the water, round 
and about the spot where we supposed the fish to be lying. 
This at length had the effect of startirig him off ; but 
instead of descending the torrent as before, he dashed 
directly across it, when the line snapped like a piece of 
thread ; indeed a cable, in such a situation, could hardly 
have held him. 

Had success crowned our efforts, trivial evils would not 
have been regarded ; but what with loss of tackle, hands 
bleeding in several places from the friction of the line, rod 
so strained as to be irretrievably spoiled, it can readily be 
imagined that my reflections on the way homewards were 
anything but agreeable. 

When fishing at Trollhattan with a long day before me, it 
was my custom, after crossing the river above the saw- 
mills, to follow the several pools downwards, to the still 
water below. Here 1 recrossed the river, and facing home- 
wards, tried on the way all the likely pools. Thus I had 
abundant occupation for a whole day; and by going over 
so much fresh ground, was pretty sure to make up a basket 
before night. 

Though there may not be much hazard in thus following, 
in all their meanderings, the broken and jagged banks of the 
river, yet it cannot be denied, that when a heavy fish is 

VOL. I. Q 


hooked, and one is necessitated to follow where he leads, be 
the rocks as steep and slippery as they may, and the pace 
a sharp one, one risks falling into the torrent, whence extri- 
cation is hardly to be hoped. 

When on these fishing excursions to Trollhattan, I occa- 
sionally borrowed a boat in the still water below the pools, 
and dropped down the river to Akerstrom, a distance of 
a mile or more, where there is a very fine rapid, as also a 
sluice to facilitate the passage of ships. 

This rapid, in the season, is never without salmon, and 
those of the largest size fish of forty to fifty pounds, being 
by no means uncommon. It is asserted, indeed, that at 
times they are taken still heavier. 

Spinning succeeds tolerably well here ; but from the depth 
and rapidity of the stream, nothing is, I imagine, to be done 
with the fly. I, at least, could never succeed in raising 
a fish by that means, and I have tried flies of all sizes 
and colours. 

Though salmon may occasionally be taken below the rapid 
in question, the only really good place for the rod is in the 
smooth water immediately above, where with a long and 
heavily-leaded line, one crosses the stream backwards and 
forwards in the manner of trolling. When the fish strikes, 
one should keep directly above him, and endeavour, if 
possible, to draw him up the ' river ; for though one may 
with perfect safety follow him down the rapid in appear- 
ance quite sufficiently formidable, by the bye yet what 
with the line necessarily slackening during the descent, the 
chances are equal as to his capture or escape. One should 
also be careful to have him well in hand, for if there be too 
much line out, and that he suddenly crosses the stream 


to the right or left, the pressure of the current on the curve 
of the line is such as leads one to suppose he is on the way 
down the rapid. This happened to me on one occasion ; but 
when I reached the back water below, conceiving all the time 
the fish was in company, I found, to my mortification, I had 
left him behind me; and as to ascend the rapid again, ex- 
cepting by the neighbouring sluice, was an impossibility, 
the line, as may be supposed, quickly separated. 

I have not fished often at Akerstrom, and never had 
much sport, my largest salmon not exceeding twenty-five 
pounds. But other fishermen have been much more fortu- 
nate, as well in respect to numbers, as to the size of the 
fish. Last summer a peasant took a salmon by spinning, 
that weighed, it was said, thirty-eight pounds. 

Twelve or fourteen miles lower down the Gotha, at the 
hamlet of Lilla Edet, are other rapids, or rather cascades, 
where salmon in the season are very plentiful. But owing 
to the nature of the water, and to the Dref-garn being 
constantly at work during the day as well as the night, 
I do not imagine much is to be done either with fly or 

Three or four years ago a curious circumstance occurred 
at Lilla Edet. A man was rowing quietly across the stream , 
when of a sudden an immense salmon, that had been 
disporting himself in the air, fell headlong into the boat, 
where he was quickly secured. The prize was valuable, for 
the fish which afterwards found its way to Gothenburg 
weighed no less than forty pounds. 

Q 2 



SALMON abound in all the Scandinavian rivers, from the 
extreme south of Sweden to the North Cape; and should 
a man gain access to streams of note, he may meet with 
amusement to satiety. 

" Sometimes," writes Sir Hyde Parker, " I have had so 
much sport with salmon, as to occasion indifference whether 
I fished any more for a week. This I do not hold to be 
good. To enjoy sport thoroughly, a man should earn it, 
as you do your bears. But at the present day, it is not 
altogether an easy matter to command a first-rate stream. 
In Norway " and he might have included Sweden " every 
man is now a fisherman, and many of the waters are hired, 
so that it is difficult to get a cast to yourself; and I 
consider the game nearly up, at least for an old one like 
myself, and not worth going the distance. There are few 


flogging rivers, all dragging, which levels all, and skill avails 

From actual experience, however, I myself cannot say 
much as to the properties of the Scandinavian rivers, in 
respect to salmon fishing. It is true that on first pitching 
my tent in the peninsula, I wetted a line in several, as 
well in Sweden and Norway, as in Lapland. But the season 
not being sufficiently advanced, my sport was nil; and at 
an after period, having fair fishing at home, it neither 
suited my pocket nor my convenience to take extended 
journeys. For the information of the disciples of Isaac 
Walton, I will, however, jot down the little I know of 
the northern rivers. And to make the subject the clearer, 
I will take them in something like regular order, commencing 
with those on the eastern coast. 

Here the rivers are exceedingly numerous, more especially 
towards the north. One of the most striking features of this 
part of the country indeed, is the number of streams that, 
descending from the alpine barrier separating Norway from 
Sweden, flow into the Gulf of Bothnia. In journeying 
from Stockholm to Tornea, a distance of from six to seven 
hundred miles, I counted; if I mistake not, considerably 
upwards of one hundred ; many of them, such as the Dal, 
the Umea, the Pitea, the Calix, the Ljusna, the Tornea, 
&c., of great magnitude; and some, moreover, navigable 
to a considerable distance into the interior. This deluge 
of waters, considering that the country whence they take 
their rise is of no great extent, always greatly puzzled 

But though the rivers in question are thus numerous, and 
in most instances abound with salmon, a notion prevails, 


that from some cause or other, the fish frequenting them 
will take neither fly nor worm. 

" As to the Bothnian Gulf side of the country " such 

are the words of Mr. C (a good authority on fishing 

matters), in a note to me, dated the 29th of September, 
1851 " I was last year one of five rods, who tried many 
rivers between Stockholm and Tornea ; amongst the rest, 
the Elf-Karleby and the Ljusna both magnificent rivers, and 
finer than any I have seen in Norway but not one of 
us killed a fish. My brother tried trolling, but with no 
better success. Large trout and charr took salmon-flies 

In a subsequent letter, Mr. C says : " We met two 

more Bothnian martyrs Messrs. Stanley and S , at 

Trollhattan. They, like us, did not see a fish. They 

mentioned another man H , of the Scots Greys who 

made a failure like the rest of us." 

" I have tried most of the rivers in the Gulf of Bothnia," 
writes Mr. Richard Dann, also a very good authority, " and 
have killed a few salmon ; but as far up the rivers as they 
could make their way for falls. My belief is that although 
one may occasionally hook a fish, there is no salmon fishing 
in these rivers." 

Several of my other friends testify to the same effect ; 
amongst the rest, Mr. Oscar Dickson, who has resided 
for several years near to the Njurunda, one of the most 
magnificent of the Bothnian rivers, and who has fished 
the greater part of them. 

If the salmon in the Bothnian rivers will not generally 
take fly and from what has been stated, such would really 
seem to be the case it is a very curious fact, and one well 


deserving the attention of the naturalist. The only at- 
tempted solution of the mystery that I ever heard is, that 
the fish in the rivers in question may not be the genuine 
Salmo Salar, but a huge trout, greatly resembling it in 

The salmon in the Bothnian rivers run large. " Those 

in the Ljusna," writes Mr. C , " must average some 

thirty pounds. Many were killed in nets whilst I was 
there ; the smallest of them that I saw, weighed eighteen 
pounds, and a forty-pounder was a common fish." " More 
are caught," says Mr. Dann, in corroboration, " above fifteen 
pounds than under." 

The eatable qualities of the Bothnian salmon would 
appear to be somewhat inferior. "Their flesh is coarse," 
Mr. Dann goes on to say, " and not nearly so well- 
flavoured as in the rivers running into the North Sea and 

From what has been said, it would appear questionable, 
whether sport be obtainable with the rod in the Bothnian 
rivers. But should the salmon fisher direct his steps to the 
opposite side of the peninsula, he cannot fail of finding 

Starting from the Sound, the first river of any magnitude 
that one meets with is the Ronne, near to the town of 
Engelholm ; but never having heard of any person killing 
more than a few fish in the stream, I am inclined to believe 
there is not much to be done there with the fly. 

The Laga, flowing past the small town of Laholm, is the 
next river in succession. It abounds with salmon ; and as 
for some three or four miles from the sea upwards, there are 
neither weirs nor other obstructions to impede their progress, 

232 THE LAG A. 

and splendid rapids in the intermediate space, a better 
stream for the rod can hardly be found. 

On one occasion I tried my fortune in the Laga, but partly 
owing to the season not being sufficiently advanced, and partly 
to want of skill, I returned home empty-handed. I, however, 
saw two noble salmon captured by the peasants, of whom 
there must then have been about twenty occupied in fishing. 

So beautiful a line as some of these men threw, I had 
never before witnessed in my life. It was asserted there 
were individuals who could cast the fly one hundred feet ! 
The distance was at all events very great, and nearly as far 
again as a Crooked Lane-rod enabled me or my man who 
was a very fair fisherman to cast mine. I must say I 
never felt so small in my life, as when exhibiting in the 
presence of these boors. 

The rod used by them which was of extraordinary length, 
say from twenty to twenty-four feet, and consisted of an 
aspen pole, topped with a sprig of juniper, or other pliant 
wood beat mine hollow in another respect ; for being solid, 
it served the purpose of a staff when wading, as was the 
practice, owing to the river in places being broad. 

At the time of my visit to the Laga, that river was open 
to every one, and vast numbers of salmon five to six 
hundred according to report were killed there annually 
with the rod alone. The proprietors of the several fisheries 
situated on the stream, not admiring this wholesale de- 
struction, protested against the use of the rod ; and by a 
legal enactment it was for several years strictly forbidden 
to every one, not excepting the owners of the water. But 
this prohibition was rescinded last autumn, so that the rod is 
again permitted as before. 


The Laga is not a very early river. I was given to 
understand indeed by Mr. Westberg, who rents a fishery 
there, that good sport is seldom obtainable until after Mid- 

We have then the Nissa, a rather large river, flowing 
past the town of Halmstad. But as salmon weirs span its 
whole breadth near to the sea, the fish are debarred access 
to the rapids above ; and therefore little or nothing is to be 
done with the rod. 

The Nissa is a rather early river, and the salmon run 
tolerably large. Numbers are smoked and sent to Gothen- 
burg and other towns, where they are in much request. 

The Atra, at Falkenberg, the next river of conse- 
quence, is of great celebrity amongst fishermen, salmon 
being not only numerous therein, but rising very freely to 
the fly. 

The great drawback in this river is that the rapids are of 
limited extent, so that unless the fish are on the run from 
the sea, which during droughts is not a? ways the case, the 
fishing is soon exhausted. 

A young friend and myself, for instance, visited the 
Atra some years ago. Between a late breakfast and an 
early dinner, we caught seventeen salmon, or grilse, weighing 
together near one hundred pounds ; but in the afternoon of 
the same day, instead of something like doubling that 
number, as we had anticipated, only a single fish was killed. 
Indeed, during our stay at Falkenberg, which was not 
protracted, the sport fell off from day to day. 

The Atra, which is at present rented, is an early river; 
and fishing is, at times, to be had there even in April, 
during which month, and that of May, one meets with the 


largest fish. Towards autumn, few others besides grilse are 
to he killed. 

The Viska is the next river. But here, as at Halmstad, 
there are weirs below all the rapids, so that though one may 
perchance kill a salmon, anything worthy to be called sport 
is not to be anticipated so long, at least, as the weirs 
remain uninjured for as with other rivers, these are not 
unfrequently carried away by floods, or are wilfully destroyed, 
in which case one may meet with good fishing in the upper 
part of the stream. 

The Viska, like the Atra, is an early river, and the fish 
are pretty large. 

We have then the Save, a stream of no great magnitude, 
flowing into the Gotha, a mile or two above the town of 

Some years ago there was good fishing in the Save. One 
day, with the aid of the proprietor of the fishery, who 
occasionally took a cast with my rod, I killed six salmon, 
weighing one with another, sixteen to seventeen pounds, 
beside losing two equally large. 

But a weir now crosses the stream below the rapids, so 
that only a stray fish can pass, and little or nothing is there- 
fore to be done with the rod. 

The river (whose name I forget) at Qvistrum, a hamlet 
situated a few miles to the northward of the town of 
Uddevalla, is the next in order. 

As far as appearances go, this is as nice a stream for 
fishing as one would. wish to see; for within the space of 
three to four miles from the sea upwards, there are half- 
a-score or more of fine pools and rapids well calculated for 
the fly. But nets, unfortunately, arc constantly at work, and 


one has therefore little chance of much sport. On the two 
or three occasions of my visiting this river, indeed, I hardly 
killed a fish. 

Crossing the Norwegian frontier, we come to the Glom- 
men, a noble river emptying itself into the Christiania 
fjord, near to the town of Fredrikstad. 

Salmon are, I doubt not, abundant in this river; but as 
I never heard of any one meeting with much success, I 
conclude the localities must be unfavourable for fishing. 
Independently of other considerations, the quantity of 
timber usually seen floating on the surface, in the earlier 
part of the season at least an evil, as concerns the angler, 
common to many of the northern rivers must be a great 
obstacle to sport. 

The next river of moment is the Drams, flowing past the 
well-known town of Drammen, which, like the Glommen, 
empties itself into the Christiania fjord. 

Salmon are plentiful in this river, and numbers are 
captured at an established fishery near to the hamlet of 
Hogsund, situated at twelve to fifteen miles from the sea, 
where a somewhat precipitous fall impedes the farther pro- 
gress of the fish. But as with the Glommen, the localities 
are not very favourable, and I never heard of much being 
done there with the rod. 

Once when on a journey, I stopped at Hogsund for a 
couple of hours ; but though I tried the pools below the 
falls with moderately good flies, and there was abund- 
ance of fish at the time, I had not a single rise. It 
was, however, somewhat early in the season, and the freshes 
not altogether run off, which might partly account for my ill 


We have next the Laugen, at Laurvig, a considerable 
stream, and, by all accounts, a first-rate one for the rod. 

" We made an excursion, some days since, to a fall four 
Norwegian miles up the river," so wrote Sir Hyde Parker to 
me under date of the 3rd of August, 1838, " when in three 
days, Colonel Eyres and myself killed one hundred and eleven 
fish some of them thirty-five, and one forty pounds. But 
the half of them were brown, and must have been of the 
tribe which passed up in June. Mr. Proby went afterwards, 
and in one day killed fourteen, and was then stopped by rain, 
and consequently thick water." 

Other friends of mine have also had good sport in this 
river. " We are now under weigh for Russia," writes 
Captain Petre to me under date of the 29th of July, 
" having been staying a fortnight at the falls of the Laugen, 
and have killed ninety-seven salmon the eight largest, from 
nineteen to twenty pounds ; the remainder, thirteen, nine, 
eight, down to four ; and we should have killed a good many 

more, but unfortunately B was confined with a bad knee 

the last six days, and is still completely disabled. I caught 
the last few days twelve, eleven, and nine salmon a day." 

The Laugen is an early river, as regards the lower portion 
of it at least ; for at the rapids spoken of by Sir Hyde 
Parker, which are at some distance in the interior, the fish 
do not appear until the season is somewhat advanced. 

A considerable portion, if not the whole, of the fishable 
parts of the Laugen are now, I believe, rented. 

The Nid, on which the town of Arendal is situated, is 
the next river of consequence ; but never having heard of 
any one being very successful here, I doubt its being a good 
fishing river. 


We have then the Torresdal and the Topdal, foiling into 
the sea near to Christiansand, both of which are in repute 
amongst salmon fishers. 

" The Torresdal," writes Mr. Henry Newland under date 
of November, 1839, " is not much smaller than the Gotha, 
very bright and very rapid, but not a first-rate river for the 
fisherman ; for from the great falls to the sea it presents one 
unvarying descent without pools and rapids, a strong and 
steady stream setting regularly down it. There are three or 
four flats, where fish rise in from eight, or more, to six feet 
of water ; and near the falls there is a good deal of likely- 
looking water, and a few roughs. There are few places 
where you can fish without a boat, but the falls are so 
perpendicular, that the fish cannot get above them. It is a 
late river, and contains a good many fish, but they are small. 
Large flies of dull colour and little tinsel." 

" The Topdal is a much smaller river than the Torresdal, 
dark and still. -Fish are to be caught at the mouth, and 
at the falls three miles up, but nowhere else. This stream 
does not require a boat, and has but little fishing-ground, but 
there are more fish in it than in the other river. (Silk flies 
on C C hooks, or even smaller; bright colours). These fish 
are very poor eating, whereas the Torresdal fish are the best 
I have met with. It is an earlier river than the Torresdal, 
and not so much affected by floods ; but dry weather injures 
it much." 

The Mandal, which discharges itself into the Cattegat, or 
rather into the Sleeve, at about thirty miles to the south- 
west of Christiansand, is also in much repute for the rod. 
Mr. Newland, when speaking of it, says : 

" It is an earlier river, and I suspect better than those at 


Christiansand, but we were too late on it. It is larger than 
the Topdal, and smaller than the Torresdal, and contains 
five good stations, but they are a good way apart from the 
first to the last, five Norwegian miles. The water is slightly 
tinged. I did not catch enough fish on it to tell to a 
certainty the flies, but I should say fur bodies, mixed wings, 
and B or B B hooks. Many parts of this river may be 
fished without a boat. 

There are two more rivers in this vicinity, but they are 
of little use except during a wet summer. 

" Speaking generally of this part of Norway," Mr. New- 
land farther remarks, " I should not come here again. The 
fish run small; the largest we caught was under thirteen 

Others of my friends, however, look upon the rivers in 
question in a much more favourable light. Sir Hyde Parker 
has, indeed, met with very considerable success in more than 
one of them. 

And I have heard of a countryman, Mr. L , having 

done wonders hereabouts. Report says he one forenoon 
took thirty-five salmon with the fly ; and that had he not 
broken his arm or collar-bone by a fall, he would certainly 
have landed fifty at the least by the evening. But whether 
this success was achieved in the Mandal, or in the rivers 
near to Christiania, I am in ignorance. 

Of the rivers hence to Stavanger, I know nothing farther 
than that Mr. Francis Cholmeley, in a letter dated the 1st 
of July, 1835, says: "From Mandal to this place the 
whole country is full of fine streams, abounding with trout, 
and a good many of them with salmon." 

I am also much in the dark as to the rivers on the western 

THE GULA. 239 

coast of Norway, up at least to the 62 or 63 of latitude. 
But as I never heard of any one having heen very successful 
hereabouts, I am inclined to believe they are not generally 
favourable for salmon fishing. 

If this is really the fact, may it not be in consequence 
of their descending, in many instances, directly from glaciers, 
or from mountains covered with perpetual snow; or that 
from the land rising so precipitously from the sea, their 
course is too rapid to afford a fair field for the rod ? Such 
at least appeared to me to be the case with the streams 
near to Ej-fjord in the Bergen district, which I once visited, 
though not on a fishing excursion. 

Beyond the latitude mentioned, however, the fisherman 
will meet with rivers that can hardly fail to reward his 

After crossing the Dovre-fjeld, the first of any great note 
that he meets with is the Gula, which falls into the Dron- 
theim fjord. 

This is a considerable river, and in high reputation with 
salmon fishers. Several of my friends have done much 
execution there ; amongst others, Captain Greene, of the 
Royal Navy. He favoured me with an account of his 
performances, but unfortunately the memorandum is lost. 
Mr. Fosbrooke has also been very successful in the Gula. 
I am unacquainted with his performances during other 
seasons, but in that of 1843 he killed, he told me, 
seventy-nine salmon, the largest of which weighed twenty- 
eight pounds, 

The Gula was formerly an open river, but at present, like 
many other Norwegian rivers, it is rented, and, as I under- 
stand, for a series of years. 


We have then the Nid, which also empties itself into the 
Drontheim fjord. 

This fine river is of great celebrity, and much execution 
has at times been done in it by our countrymen. 

" Mr. Overston, the owner of the fishery," says Mr. 
Charles Royd Smith, " took in our absence eleven good 
salmon in three hours with the fly, which was great 

The Honourable Richard Hutchinson, a first-rate fisher- 
man, and amongst the most successful who have visited 
Scandinavia, also testifies to the abundance of the fish in 
the Nid. " One day," so he writes, " Mr. Overston and 
I killed from the same boat either nineteen or twenty fish, 
nine of which fell to my share. One weighed thirty- eight 
pounds, a second nearly equalled him, and none of the rest 
were under twelve pounds. I need not say all these were 
taken with the fly." 

The next river of any consequence is the Steenkjrer, 
situated at about two days' journey to the north of Dron- 

Though, owing to the rapids being somewhat limited, 
and to sunken and floating timber, this river is spoken of 
rather disparagingly by some, yet there are those of our 
countrymen who have here enjoyed good sport. 

If report speaks truly, Mr. Buckle, in 1847, captured in 
about a month eighty salmon, averaging fourteen pounds 
each ; and Messrs. Rogers and Hunt, during the same or 
following year, took no less than two hundred and six fish, 
in the course of twenty-six days. 

I am told that there is a small pool immediately under 
the Falls at Steenkjoer, where the miller, in 1849, killed 


with the fly one hundred and fifty salmon in the course of a 
month ! 

Up to a late period the Steenkjcer was an open river, or 
at least permission to fish was readily obtainable from the 
proprietor ; but it is now said to be rented, and for a term 
of years. 

About one hundred miles beyond the Steenkjoer, is the 
Namsen, by all accounts about the first river in Scandinavia 
for salmon fishing, as well in regard to the abundance as 
to the size of the fish. And as the rapids and roughs, with 
intermediate pools, extend for miles together, there is, of 
course, room for several rods. 

" The largest salmon I have caught was in the Namsen," 
says Sir Hyde Parker. " He weighed sixty pounds, being 
exactly four feet long, and was the largest fish of any kind 
I ever caught; indeed, I have never seen one caught of 
greater weight. I caught nine others that day one of 
forty, one thirty, one eighteen, one fifteen, the rest from eight 
pounds downwards." 

" We remained on the Namsen about a fortnight," writes 
Mr. Dann, " and killed ninety-five salmon ; but the weather 
was so bad that several days we were unable to fish. The 
largest, of which I was the fortunate captor, weighed 
forty-five pounds. He broke the third joint of my rod at 
the first dash, and I was an hour and three-quarters in 
killing him with the remaining joints. Cholmeley caught 
the second best, weighing thirty-five pounds. Between that 
weight and twenty-five pounds we killed thirty fish. The 
first day we caught twelve, Cholmeley and I, Hutchinson not 
fishing. It really is the best river I have ever seen; such 
monster salmon are found in no other." 

VOL. i. R 


" I never remember having had a blank day on the Nam- 
sen," says Mr. Hutchinson. " In this river the salmon run 
to an enormous size. One of my friends (alluding to Mr. 
Dann) killed a splendid fish of forty-five pounds. I weighed 
it myself. I one day rose from forty- seven to fifty salmon, I 
forget the exact number ; of these I hooked nineteen, and 
killed nine. The largest was thirty-seven pounds, then came 
one of twenty-seven pounds, and none were under fourteen 
pounds, with the exception of one of four pounds. Unfor- 
tunately, I fished that day with a hook of, I think, very bad 
shape ; but for this, I am confident my day's sport would 
have been unequalled." 

" In reference to our conversation last night," writes Mr. 

C , under date the 29th of September, 1851, "I find 

by my fishing-book, that in 1842 I killed in the Namsen 
three hundred and twenty-three fish, weighing three thou- 
sand eight hundred and forty pounds, and was obliged to 
leave the water for want of tackle. I was on the river from 
the 15th of June to the 8th of August. Of the above fish 
eight were over thirty pounds, and three of the eight above 
forty pounds. I lost one monster, such as I shall probably 
never see again." 

" Mr. Owen," my friend went on to state in his note, 
" fished in the Namsen the same year, and killed a great many 
salmon one in particular, that weighed a good fifty pounds ; 
but before this point could be ascertained, it was needful 
to cut the fish in two, and then to weigh the halves 

The present Sir Charles Blois has probably been more 
successful than any one else in the Namsen. In 1843 he 
killed, as he himself told me, three hundred and sixty-eight 


salmon, weighing together five thousand two hundred and 
fifty-two pounds, which on the average would he some fifteen 
pounds each. 

Owing to there heing but few casts from the banks, the 
Namsen can only be fished to advantage out of a boat 
by trolling as it were, which some consider rather tame 

People visiting this river must be well equipped. " The 
Namsen," writes a friend, " requires different flies and tackle 
to any other river; and any one coming out with English 
ideas will be woefully disappointed. The salmon will break 
all ordinary tackle, running out frequently one hundred and 
fifty yards of line." 

The fishing-rights of the whole or the best portions of 
the Namsen, are now in the hands of our own countrymen. 

The accompanying illustration, beautifully representing the 
Namsen, the boats in use in that part of the country, and 
the manner of fishing as also the magnificent mountain- 
scenery in the background, is from the pencil of Mr. Oxendon 
Hammond, and was executed for his friend Mr. Edward 
Brettle, through whose kindness it is allowed to appear 
in this work. 

Beyond the Namsen, and between it and the Alten, in- 
numerable rivers empty themselves into the North Sea, all 
or most of which abound with salmon ; and though many 
have doubtless been visited by yachtsmen and others, I 
myself am in much ignorance as to their fishing capabilities ; 
with the exception of the Mons and the Malanger, near 

Tromsoe, which Mr. C , who was fishing there last 

summer, describes in glowing colours as " quite good 
enough," to quote his own words, " for any one who has 

R 2 


not been spoiled by the Namsen." But the great drawback 
to these rivers is, that from being situated near to ice-peaked 
mountains, " they are not fishable," according to that gentle- 
man, " before the 20th of July, and are probably still better 
in August." 

The Alten, situated in latitude 70, and not far from the 
North Cape itself, has deservedly gained much celebrity 
amongst fishermen. 

Sir Hyde Parker was, I believe, the first of our country- 
men who visited this fine river for the express purpose of 
salmon fishing; and he was well rewarded for his pains, 
" having had," he wrote me, " great sport." This was in 
1836, if I remember rightly. 

Subsequently the Alten has been visited by several of 
our countrymen, amongst the rest by Mr. Edward Brettle, 
who met with most extraordinary success. In fifteen days, 
or parts of days, between the 4th of July and the 12th of 
August, he captured one hundred and ninety-four salmon, 
weighing two thousand seven hundred and fifty-two pounds, 
or on the average some fourteen pounds each. His greatest 
day was thirty-three fish, weighing together five hundred 
and eighteen pounds. 

In a memorandum of his performances in the Alten, with 
which Mr. Brettle favoured me, were noted down numbers of 
salmon of twenty pounds and upwards, five upwards of thirty 
pounds, and one of forty pounds ! 

At some sixty to eighty miles, in a direct line, to the east- 
ward of the Alten, though very considerably more if one 
follows the sinuosities of the coast, is another large river, 
called the Tana, which, by all accounts, abounds with salmon, 
and those of a very large size. A friend, indeed, wrote me 


recently, that he was going to that river this summer, chiefly 
because he had heard of a salmon having been captured there 
of such enormous dimensions, that when cut up it alone filled 
a barrel ! 

But though several of our countrymen have visited this 
river on which there are three or more established fisheries 
during the past few years, I have not heard of their 
meeting with any extraordinary sport, a circumstance attri- 
butable, I believe, to freshes, &c. 

The Tana, according to M. Malm, the able Conservator 
to the Gothenburg Museum, to whom I am indebted for 
much valuable information, offers a fine field for the angler. 
It is little likely he would meet with greater obstacles than 
a few sovereigns would remove ; and if not elsewhere, he 
would be sure to find comfortable quarters at the Parsonage 
of Utsjoki, situated on one of its tributaries. 

Beyond the Tana again, is the Patsjoki, another fine river, 
that has its source in the great lake Enare, in Russian 
Lapland ; and still farther to the eastward is a smaller river, 
called the Peise, both of which disgorge themselves into the 
Icy Sea. 

These rivers so I am told by M. Malm, who resided for 
some time in this part of Lapland abound with salmon ; and 
being, I believe, untried, are well deserving the notice of 
the adventurous sportsman. But as, independently of the 
distance, they are within the Russian territories (no great 
recommendation), few perhaps will think it worth while to 
take so long a journey. 

Trout are also plentiful in almost all the Scandinavian 
rivers, from Scania to Lapland ; but less so probably in the 
larger rivers than in their tributaries, or in smaller streams. 


A man, indeed, cannot well go wrong in the peninsula, for 
let him fish where he will, he is pretty sure to meet with 

On the small river at Qvistrum, recently spoken of, for 
instance, two friends and myself once killed, in the course of 
a few hours, upwards of two hundred trout. They were 
small, it is true, hut must have weighed together, never- 
theless, between twenty and 'thirty pounds. 

Others have had even better sport in this stream. " From 
about three in the afternoon until between seven and eight 
in the evening," writes Mr. Edward W. Foster, " I took six 
dozen and five trout a few of them a pound in weight, 
some three-quarters, and many half-a-pound. This was quite 
upon a par with some of the best fly-fishing days of Loch 
Awe in Scotland." And he adds : " I had a long bout of it 
on Monday over a good deal of the same water, and caught 
between seven and eight dozen of trout some few of even 
better size than those of the preceding evening." 

There are hundreds of other rivers throughout Scandi- 
navia that would, no doubt, afford equal or superior sport. 
Near to the sources of several that fall into the Cattegat, 
I have heard of great things being done. 

But although almost every stream in Scandinavia affords 
trout, and beyond the 59 or 60 of latitude, grayling also, 
still, the farther the fisherman proceeds to the north, the 
more amusement he will meet with. Fish are not only more 
plentiful in the remote rivers, but from being little perse- 
cuted, they are less shy. But little skill, moreover, is 
required here, for let the fly be black, blue, or yellow, or of 
the colours of the rainbow, trout, as well as grayling, seem 
to take it with the like avidity. 


" Of grayling and small trout," says Mr. Hutchinson, 
when speaking of the rivers flowing into the Bothnian Gulf, 
" there is the greatest abundance. I remember having 
killed seven dozen and a half in about three hours, under the 
falls at Lyksele in Lapland. I do not think there are any 
large trout in this river, at least I never killed nor saw 

them." " On the road from Sundsvall to Norway, I 

had frequent opportunities of fishing the streams tributary 
to the large Swedish rivers. There are grayling and trout 
in all of them, and he must be a bad fisherman who cannot 
soon fill his basket. I and my two fellow-travellers killed 
one evening twenty dozen ; of course they were small, but 
we took several of between two and three pounds." 

Mr. Richard Dann speaks of trout and grayling, more 
especially the latter, being most abundant in the northern 
rivers, and tells me he has often captured seventy to eighty 
in the course of a few hours. 

I myself can bear testimony to the abundance of both 
trout and grayling in the northern rivers, as well from expe- 
rience in the upper portion of the Clara, near to the lake 
Fcemund, as in Lapland. 

One day, for instance, when fishing in a tributary of the 
river Kemi, situated in about the 69 of latitude, I took 
fifty brace and a half of these fish with the fly. Nearly the 
whole were of a good size, and their weight together must 
very considerably have exceeded a hundred pounds. The 
fish were quite a load, in fact, for my two men, who conveyed 
them from the boat to our bivouac, which was at some little 

The charr, as well as the trout and the grayling, in some 
places also afford the northern fishermen admirable sport. 


The notion commonly entertained in England as to the 
charr not taking the fly, is altogether erroneous ; for no fish 
rises to it with more avidity. 

Mr. Charles Engstrom, our Consul at Gothenburg, men- 
tioned to me, indeed, that in a small stream connecting two 
mountain lakes near to Hammerfest, he captured in the course 
of a forenoon from seven to eight dozen of charr of full 
herring-size. They seemed not at all particular, he said, as 
to the kind of fly, but took the one as well as the other. 
Mr. Engstrom was accompanied by three friends, all of 
whom were about as fortunate as himself. 

When speaking of his performances on the occasion in 
question, Mr. Engstrom mentioned a somewhat singular 
circumstance namely, that though numbers of charr were 
shortly after noon seen disporting themselves on the surface 
of the water, the fish all at once ceased rising to the fly ; 
and during the remainder of the day the party did not 
succeed in killing even a single one. The result was pre- 
cisely the same on the succeeding day, when he and his 
friends again fished the same stream a heavy basket in 
the morning, but not a fish subsequently. 

" In many of the lakes and streams in the higher range of 
mountains towards Norwegian Finnmark," writes Mr. Dann, 
" charr are very abundant. The largest I killed weighed 
between four and five pounds. Above the falls, near to 
the source of the great Tornea river, I caught enormous 
quantities ; but it was not everywhere they would rise to 
the fly." 

"Of all fish, perhaps," Mr. Dann goes on to say, "a 
charr in season dressed directly it comes out of the water is 
the most delicious. Those with the crimson and orange 


spots are the best. Many run of pale yellow with orange 

In conclusion : a knowledge of the waters, which experience 
and practice alone can give, is needful to ensure success in 
the northern rivers ; otherwise days are lost in fishing places 
where no fish are to be found. Early in the season the 
deep pools below the falls and rapids are the best. As the 
summer advances, the fish get strength and take to the 
strongest streams ; and as the autumn comes on, the heaviest 
fish lie just above the largest falls and rapids. It requires 
some nerve as well as skill to fish in these places. Two 
men, with a pair of sculls each, are requisite ; and great 
care must be taken not to get drawn too near the falls, as in 
that case nothing can save one. 



THERE were a few bears in the country about Ronnum 
an occasional straggler, indeed, within five to six miles of 
the house. 

" The bear," says M. Falk and I quote his words, as 
showing the spirit of the true sportsman " is a majestic 
animal. He instils fear and respect as well into mankind as 
the brute creation. People may say what they please about 
his rapacity, and the ravages he commits ; but I for my part 
never wish to see him disappear altogether from amongst our 
beasts of chase. As a hunter, I chime in with the words 
of King Frederick I. of Sweden, to the famous Schonberg, 
that * he should so limit the number of his Skalls as not to 
root him out/ 


" Every one who has had much experience in bear-hunting, 
and who has got over the emotion, the hurried pulsation that 
the sight of these imposing beasts is sure to produce, will 
agree with me, that though it is desirable their numbers 
should be kept within due bounds, the species, even had 
one the means, ought not to be exterminated. 

"All true sportsmen must find enjoyment in a pursuit 
not altogether free from danger, where courage and 
address qualities not equally called forth in the chase 
of other beasts common to Scandinavia are specially 

" If any kind of hunting tends to harden the body, 
strengthen the mind, and enable us to meet the dangers that 
may cross our path in life, it is that of the bear; and the 
man who calmly enters into combat with this king of the 
forest, will not in all probability tremble at the sight of the 
enemy's ranks." 

But prior to speaking of the chase of the bear, which 
holds the same rank amongst the Scandinavian beasts of 
prey, as the elk among deer, it may be desirable to devote a 
chapter to his natural history, and the methods adopted for 
his capture, &c., subjects well-nigh exhausted, however, in 
the " Northern Sports." 

When that work was written, it was the opinion of 
Nilsson and others, that there were two kinds of bears in 
Scandinavia namely, the larger kind, Ursus Arctos major, 
Nilss. (Slag-Bjorn, or bear of prey, Sw.), which lives indis- 
criminately on vegetable or animal substances ; and the 
smaller, Ursus Arctos minor, Nilss. (Myr-Bjorn, or ant- 
bear, Sw.), that subsists entirely upon ants or vegetable 
matter. It seems to be now pretty generally understood, 

252 COLOUR. 

however, that only one kind of bear, the Ursus Arctos, 
Linn., exists in the northern peninsula ; and that the diffe- 
rences are solely attributable to locality, age, or other causes. 

On the same authority it was farther stated, that black 
bears were now and then found in Scandinavia, not as a 
species, but that very old bears occasionally attained to that 
colour. This I apprehend to be incorrect. It is singular, 
nevertheless, how much bears vary in colour, especially the 
cubs, and this often in the same litter ; amongst which, 
indeed, it is not unusual to find one of the number brown, 
a second with a white ring about its neck, whilst the third 
may perhaps be as grey as a badger. 

But whether there be one or two kinds of bear, or 
whether occasionally black or not, their habits as beasts of 
chase are the same ; and I shall not therefore enter into the 
discussion, but leave the learned in these matters to settle 
the points in question amongst themselves. 

Formerly, when Scandinavia was more thinly populated 
than, at present, and when the whole face of the country was 
covered with dense forests, the bear was to be met with 
everywhere ; but at the present day, owing to so much ground 
having been brought into cultivation, he is nearly altogether 
confined to the more northern parts of the peninsula say 
from about the 58 of north latitude, to the immediate 
vicinity of the North Cape itself. And though, from the 
constant attacks of man, and the inroads made in the forests, 
bears are not so plentiful as formerly, yet within the limits 
of the vast range of country mentioned, they are still pretty 

The bear, however, like man, would seem to degenerate in 
the higher latitudes ; for, by all accounts, the Lapland bear 


is much inferior in size to the denizen of the Wermeland and 
Dalecarlian forests. 

More fabulous stories probably exist regarding the bear, 
than any other animal. 

Bishop Pontoppidan informs us, for instance, that "the 
female carries her young but a month ; and that, like the 
dog kind, which also hastes for the birth, she brings forth 
two or three in number, blind and naked, and small as mice, 
each in form like a mere lump ; which the mother continually 
licks, till it expands or unfolds itself, according to the proverb: 
Lambendo sicut ursa catulos. Then they say she holds 
them in her paws to her breast, to warm them, according 
to the manner of birds, which Ol. Magnus has also observed ; 
but some are of opinion it is to give them suck, as their paps 
stand pretty high on the fore part of their body." 

Even Nilsson tells us, that if a man goes boldly up to an 
infuriated bear, the beast, for the most part, contents himself 
with tearing up, with his powerful paws, moss, stubbs, blocks 
of wood, &c., which he casts around him on every side ; and 
moreover affirms by implication at least that there is such 
commanding power in the human gaze, that if a man looks 
a bear full in the face, the beast becomes cowed and slinks 
away. It may be so ; but I am much inclined to believe that 
were the professor to try the experiment, he would soon wish 
himself safe at home ! 

It is a common belief in Lapland, and other parts of 
Scandinavia, that the bear is possessed of the strength of 
twelve men, and that there is no end to his sagacity. 

The trappers in some places, indeed, aver that in spite of 
their precautions to conceal the gin, they frequently find it 
not only spiling, but stumps, roots, &c., sticking between 



the closed teeth; that at first they supposed this to be the 
act of mischievous people, but they have now come to the 
conclusion that the bear himself is the perpetrator of the 
mischief. Besides, that when the traps are thus sprung, 
the ground in the vicinity is much torn up by the beast, and 
the surrounding trees deeply scored by his teeth and claws ; 
whence they infer he clearly understands that the device is 
directed against himself, and that being highly incensed, he 
takes the above curious method of revenging himself. 


Another alleged proof of the bear's sagacity is, that when 
he has seized a horse, and the terrified prey in his agony drags 
his foe after him, the bear, in order to stop the headlong 


speed of the affrighted horse, retains his hold with one paw, 
while with the other he firmly grasps the first tree they pass 
(as illustrated in the accompanying sketch) ; when, owing to 
the enormous strength of his enemy, the poor horse is at 
once brought up and at his mercy. It sometimes happens, 
however, that if the tree or hush grasped is only slightly 
embedded in the soil, it is torn up by the roots ; when, 
for a second or two at least, the horse, the bear, and the tree 
may be seen careering together through the forest ! 

Though in general horses, when attacked by the bear, 
make no resistance, but trust to their heels for safety, some 
are found who will stand gallantly on the defensive, and not 
unfrequently beat off the assailant. 

This was the case with a certain mare in Wermeland, 
which was known to have come off victorious in numerous 
conflicts. But this animal exhibited extraordinary courage, 
as well as wonderful sagacity ; for instinct telling her that 
her own soft heels would have but little effect on Bruin's 
iron carcase, she would not, after passing the winter in the 
stable, betake herself to the woods in the spring, until duly 
provided with shoes. But when the blacksmith had per- 
formed his part, feeling she was then prepared to meet the 
enemy on equal terms, she would trot off gaily to the depths 
of the forest. 

I have also read of a mare at Wuollerim, in Jockmock's 
Lappmark, that was celebrated for thus combating wild 
beasts. For the mere fun of the thing, indeed, she herself 
would at times become the assailant. On one occasion she 
slaughtered three wolves, which were prowling in company 
on a newly-frozen lake. 

Though I have never seen the horse in conflict with the 


bear or the wolf, I can well understand that he at times proves a 
formidable antagonist ; for, independently of his heels (which 
with management may perhaps be avoided), his fore legs are 
most destructive weapons. About two years ago a horse 
thus attacked a valuable pointer of mine a manoeuvre pos- 
sibly learnt in his combats with wolves in the most savage 
manner. No dancing-master could have brought his legs 
into play with more agility; and it* was only by a miracle 
that the poor dog escaped destruction. 

In parts of Scandinavia the curious notion prevails, that 
though bears, if unmolested, generally flee at the sight of 
man, they will always attack pregnant women, " whose con- 
dition," Bishop Pontoppidan tells us, " they know by scent 
or by instinct ; and with all their might will strive to get the 
foetus, which to them is a delicious morsel, if it happens 
to be a male. A certain clergyman, that related this to 
me, would not believe it himself, till he saw an experiment 
with a young and tame bear, which he had chained in his 
yard, and which until then had not been guilty of any mis- 
chief; but one time leading a woman with child almost up 
to him, he began to make an uncommon noise he roared 
and tore about him so, that they were obliged to shoot him 
instantly. A clergyman's wife also, in Sogne-fjord, related 
to me the danger that her husband found her in, being 
also big with child. Returning home on a summer's even- 
ing, he saw a bear trying, and taking all the pains he could, 
to break open the door of his wife's bed-chamber, where 
she was lying in the greatest anguish, hearing the bear 
roaring and jumping up at the windows, which fortunately 
were too high from the ground for him. From this, it is to 
be observed, that if one of those shepherdesses, or Giate-Tous, 


who remain a whole summer in the country in their Sater- 
huty loses her virtue and becomes pregnant, she then en- 
dangers her life, as well as that of her child." 

Another singular notion also prevalent in parts of Scandi- 
navia is, that when the bear has received his death-wound, 
he, rather than fall into the hands of his pursuers, will 
commit self-destruction ! If this strange idea was confined 
to the lower orders, it might hardly deserve even a passing 
notice; but as there are those of the better classes who 
entertain the crotchet, and amongst the rest M. Harald 
Vergeland, I will quote his views on the subject, as his 
reasoning is somewhat curious. 

"That the bear when mortally wounded makes for the 
vandy or lake, and there disappears," says that gentleman, 
" has long been a general belief among the common people 
in Norway. But so far as I am aware, no certain evidence 
of the fact could for a long time be obtained ; neither could 
people explain how the beast had the power to prevent his 
dead carcase from rising, at least for a shorter time, to the 
surface, which never happened ; and the mystery could not, 
therefore, be properly cleared up. Recently, however, we 
have not only had convincing proof that the popular belief is 
founded in truth; but the manner in which the body has 
been kept under the water, has been very satisfactorily ex- 
plained. The discovery took place in this wise : 

" Whilst the Vada, or drag-net, was being used in a forest- 
lake, situated between Eidsvold and the neighbouring parish 
of Uurdal, in the near vicinity of which, from olden times to 
the present, there have been several places where it has been 
customary to shoot bears from the Gall (of which presently) ; 
a sunken log was drawn up from the bottom, with the skulls 

VOL. i. s 


of three, if not four, bears firmly attached to it, the fangs 
being deeply imbedded in the wood itself. 

" It is not for a moment to be thought of, that these skulls 
could have been fastened to the tree by the hands of man ; 
and it is not therefore beyond the comprehension of human 
reason to suppose that the beasts, in their death-struggles, 
had thus attached themselves to the solid body, to prevent 
falling into the hands of their pursuers. That none of the 
other bones were found adhering to the skulls can be easily 
explained, by the influence that water, and other causes, 
might, in the course of very many years, have had on the 

" In connection with this subject, and in corroboration of 
what has been stated, I may farther add, that a man now 
living, and a good bear-hunter, had the misfortune some 
years ago, to lose a severely-wounded bear in the above 
manner, in the lake in question. After the beast was fired 
at, and as was evident, from several circumstances, had 
received his death- wound, his bloody track was observed to 
lie across the black morass, in the immediate vicinity of the 
vand ; and as there was no return track, the only con- 
clusion that could possibly be come to was, that he had 
thrown himself into the water. 

" The circumstance of three to four bears having attached 
themselves to this particular log, would seem to have arisen 
from more than mere accident. It is not improbable, if one 
is permitted to make a surmise, that the several beasts 
having crept unsuccessfully for some time under the water, 
in order to get hold of a solid body, had all, by a strange 
coincidence, found their way to the same tree. 

" That bears in the agonies of death," M. Vergeland goes 


on to say, " should evade their assailants in the manner 
mentioned, is not more remarkable than other peculiarities 
observable with those animals ; and to look at the matter in 
this point of view, it contains no impossibility. We have 
besides, pretty certain evidence that several other beasts are 
endowed with the same instinct. Of the fox, we know, 
that after being mortally wounded, or about to die from 
other causes, he always attempts to crawl to his den, or to 
the water, there to terminate his existence. It is also confi- 
dently asserted, that the otter when wounded in the water, 
immediately dives to the bottom, and never comes up again ; 
whereas, on the contrary, when killed outright, he, at least 
for a short time, floats upon the surface. And the like is 
the case with some of the duck tribe, especially the Mergus 
Merganser, for so soon as that bird is deadly wounded, it 
fastens itself to the grass at the bottom. Speaking gene- 
rally, it is therefore only reasonable to infer that it lies in 
the nature of all wild animals, when about to expire 
whether from violence, or in the common course of nature 
to seek, as far as may be, the most retired place, thereby 
to prevent their bodies from being afterwards discovered ; 
were the case otherwise, they would be met with more 
frequently than they are which, in fact, happens very 
rarely. How often, for instance, has the house-sparrow, 
that has died from natural causes, been found? Seldom 
or never !" 

That a bear when wounded will frequently, as stated by 
M. Vergeland, take to the water, and that no track leading 
therefrom can at times be found, is perfectly true; but 
do people properly examine the opposite shore? This is 
very much to be doubted. On one occasion I was myself 

s 2 


puzzled to know what had become of a bear under these 
circumstances. The case was this : 

A Shall* on a considerable scale took place under my 
guidance, at some distance from Ronnum. The Hall 
was posted across a narrow strip of land, between two 
extensive lakes; and as the breadth of the lakes near 
to the pass in question was not considerable, boats were 
placed at intervals on the water, to prevent the quarry from 
escaping us by swimming. Owing to unforeseen delays, it 
was all but dark before the Dref reached the spot where 
the Skall was to terminate, by which time the boat-parties, 
fancying the hunt at an end, had, contrary to express orders, 
retired from their several stations. The consequence was, 
that on our arrival at the margin of the lake, a badly- 
wounded bear, that had for some time been retreating 
before us, plunged headlong into the water, and though 
twelve or fourteen random shots were fired at him in the 
gloom, he, to our great mortification, effected his escape. 

Though on the following morning I narrowly searched the 
opposite shore of the lake, which was somewhat rocky and 
hard, no track was to be found of the lost bear ; and had I 
not afterwards waded along the banks of the lake, and 

* This word has various significations. In the sense used by me, it implies 
a number of people acting in concert, and engaged in the chase of wild 
animals. There are two kinds of Skall the Dref -Skall, and the Kn'dpt-SkalL 
In the former, the Hall, or stationary division, is placed in position at a 
particular point in the forest ; whilst the Dref, or driving division, which at 
the commencement may be at many miles distance, beats the country towards 
it ; or it may be, that where the object is merely to scare wild beasts, or to 
rouse them from their lairs, there is no Hall at all. The Knapt-Skall implies, 
on the contrary, that before a single person is allowed to advance, a line of 
circumvallatiou is formed around the part of the forest intended to be hunted. 


examined the mud at the bottom, where I at length dis- 
cerned his footsteps, I also might have come to the conclu- 
sion that he was still in the water. 

That death should overtake a wounded bear, when he thus 
plunges into a lake or river, and is making for the opposite 
shore, and that he should afterwards sink to the bottom, is 
very possible; and it is certainly within the bounds of 
credence, though not of probability, that when decomposition 
subsequently takes place, the carcase may be so entangled 
amongst roots, &c., at the bottom, that it cannot rise again 
to the surface ; but farther than this my credulity certainly 
does not extend. 

When naturalists and others indulge in idle fancies, the 
common people, to my knowledge, often take pleasure in 
gulling them. I doubt not, indeed, that the story palmed 
on M. Vergeland, as to the skulls of the bears being found 
attached by the fangs to a log at the bottom of a lake, was 
a pure and gratuitous invention. 

Bears in a state of nature hibernate, as is known ; and so 
will bears when in confinement, if left entirely to themselves. 
To this fact I can personally testify. 

Observing at the setting in of the winter, that two young 
bears in my possession were losing their appetite, and 
evincing symptoms of drowsiness, I caused the door of the 
building in which they were confined to be nailed up, and 
boards to be affixed to the bars in front, so that they might 
remain in comparative darkness, and thus left them alto- 
gether to themselves. Two or three days afterwards I peeped 
through a crevice, and found them in a most comfortable 
nap, in which state they continued for many weeks. During 
the whole of that time they, to my certain knowledge, eat 

262 THE TAPP. 

nothing whatever ; of which fact I was doubly assured, owing 
to the snow lying thick on the ground the whole winter, 
which would of course have told tales had any one gone near 
to them. 

Much was said in the " Northern Sports " of the Tapp, 
or plug, found in the winter time at the outer extremity 
of the bear's rectum. This, according to the Scandinavian 
Chasseurs, is the material cause of his total abstinence at 
that season from all kinds of food. They assert, that so 
long as it remains, he never shows the slightest inclination 
to eat ; whereas, if so hard hunted as to void it, his appe- 
tite immediately returns, and he becomes as voracious as 
ever. English naturalists rather laugh at all this, and say 
that the Tapp is only faeces, but I for my part cannot help 
believing there is much truth in the story. 

Be the Tapp what it may, however, the bear, according 
to Pallas, who obtained his information from the Russian 
hunters, has much difficulty in parting with it in the spring. 
" Its ejection," he says " causes the beast so much pain, 
that during the process, he embraces a tree, deeply scoring 
it in the while with his fangs and claws, and absolutely 
shrieks with agony." And though I have never heard the 
like story during my wanderings in the Scandinavian forests, 
I am much inclined to believe in its truth ; for in the spring 
time one frequently sees a solitary tree at no great distance 
from the lair, recently left by the beast, marked in the way 
described, a circumstance for which no one could account. 

The female bear evinces much affection for her young, 
and in the summer time, at least, guards them most tenderly. 
When accompanied by her cubs, she at that season is a 
rather formidable animal. She then not unfrequently attacks 


people, or makes most serious demonstrations of her readi- 
ness to do so. 

One of my Wermeland comrades named Graberg, a tall 
powerful man, was a few years ago thus beset by a she-bear, 
and though the beast did not actually assault him, her atti- 
tude was so threatening, that he durst neither advance nor 
retreat, and for several hours was kept pinned to the same 
spot ; but he shall tell his own story. 

"On the morning of the 12th of May, 1845," so he 
wrote me, " I was in the forest between Munkforss and the 
lake Skiirgen, for the purpose of shooting hares. One of the 
dogs began to bay in a sharp quick manner as if at people 
or cattle. I ran in haste towards the spot, supposing it to 
be a poacher visiting my Tjader-lek (the spot where the 
Capercali carry on their amours in the spring), which was 
situated on the western side of a pretty high eminence thickly 
covered both with brushwood and timber trees. On reaching 
the summit of the hill, I heard an extraordinary cry over- 
head, and on looking up, observed two young bears squatted 
amongst the upper branches of a lofty spruce-pine, but I was 
ignorant of the presence of the mother. I had no balls, but 
immediately fired both barrels loaded with shot, though 
without bringing them down. I commenced reloading with 
all possible rapidity, but had only put in the powder, when I 
saw the old bear rushing towards me at the top of her speed. 
When, however, she had approached to within about twelve 
feet of the spot where I stood, she, with her forepaws placed 
on a great fir log, suddenly halted, and set up an awful 
roaring. In fear and trembling I continued recharging my 
gun, during which time she slowly retreated out of view ; but 
three or four minutes afterwards I again observed her as she 


was standing quite still in a thick brake at about twenty 
paces distance. Her left side was towards me, and taking 
aim behind her shoulder, I forthwith discharged one barrel, 
on which she uttered a terrible growl, and wheeling about, 
started off at full gallop up the side of a little hill hard by. 
T now supposed that I was quit of her altogether, but she 
quickly returned once more, with the like speed, to the tree 
in which her young were perched. This she ascended for 
a little distance, but presently came down again, and back- 
wards, as is customary with those beasts. Subsequently 
she posted herself at the root of the tree ; but I dared not 
go nearer to her, neither did she venture to pay me any 
farther visit. Thus, for a long time, we stood gazing at 
each other. In the interim, in hopes of causing her to 
move off, I sounded my Jagt-horn, or hunting-bugle, with 
all my might, but without the desired effect ; and as she 
would not stir from the spot, I was therefore at length 
necessitated to beat a retreat, leaving her and her cubs in 
possession of the field." 

"In the spring of 1832," so we are told by M. Falk, 
" two young boys fell in with a she-bear, followed by her 
cubs, near to the lake Knon in the parish of Eksharad, in 
Wermeland. She drove the lads upon an udde, or pro- 
montory, stretching a considerable distance into the lake, 
and on to a large fragment of rock lying in the water beyond, 
where she held them besieged, from seven in the morning 
until noon ! All this time she kept pacing to and fro 
at the extreme point of the headland, making the forest, at 
intervals, resound with her roarings, which, indeed, were 
heard more than a mile off; and it was not until twelve 
o'clock that she retreated. When the boys were assured that 


she had taken herself off, they left their place of refuge, and 
hasted towards a Sater, or shealing, in the vicinity. On the 
way, however, they fell in with one of her cubs, which by 
some accident had separated from its dam, and being alarmed 
at their sudden approach, ascended a tree for safety. The 
youngest of the lads, aged only thirteen years, who was 
armed with a small rifle, at once fired, and brought the cub 
to the ground. The skin is now in rny possession." 

"On the 1st of August, 1829," we farther read, "the 
peasant Per Ersson, in the parish of Gagnef, in Dalecarlia, 
set off for the forest to bring home his horse, which was 
pastured there. But he had not gone more than three miles 
from the village, when he was met by a she-bear, followed by 
two cubs. The man was terribly scared, and commenced 
climbing a tree for safety. But the beast seeing what he 
was about, rushed to the spot, and before he had ascended 
more than a few feet, seized him by the foot, which she bit 
very severely. What with pain and fright, the poor fellow 
lost all self-command, as well as his hold of the branches, 
and tumbled headlong to the ground. His rapid descent had 
the effect of turning the tables, for the bear, in her turn, now 
took the alarm, and scurried off as fast as her legs would 
carry her. After a while, having partially recovered himself, 
the man hobbled away from the spot as well as he could, and 
before his strength became quite exhausted, succeeded in 
reaching a neighbouring cottage, whence he was conveyed in 
a cart to his home ; but his wounds, which were very severe, 
confined him to bed for a long time afterwards." 

Though the female bear thus gallantly guards her young 
in the summer time, she does not seem equally prepared to 
risk life for their sakes in the winter ; though this perhaps 


may be accounted for by her faculties being in a degree 
bewildered by her long nap. It is true, that when roused 
from her lair in the winter, she appears reluctant to leave 
her progeny behind her, especially when they are very young. 
But she very rarely, I suspect, makes an effort to defend 
them, either whilst in the lair itself, or subsequently when on 
foot. If when in company with her cubs, she herself be 
wounded, she will often, like other bears, attack a man, but 
generally speaking, not otherwise. Out of the many she- 
bears with cubs that I myself have fallen in with in the 
winter time, and for the most part when I was alone, or 
nearly so, they have never, in a single instance, shown fight 
for the sake of their young. 

Bears are not difficult to tame. At different times I have 
had several in my possession, which were tolerably tractable. 
If kept in proper order, which a stick, well applied, greatly 
facilitates, they show much more docility than one would 
expect from their savage nature. I have seen a well-grown 
lad bestride one of mine, and the beast go off with him 
at a gallop. On one occasion I retained two bears, male 
and female, until the beginning of their fifth year, and even 
then not unfrequently allowed the beasts to run at large ; but 
only when I was present, as from their size and strength they 
were somewhat dangerous. If at liberty, their gambols were 
very amusing, especially in the summer time, when they 
quickly found their way into the apple and other garden 
trees, where they feasted with delight on the fruit. 

If properly fed, bears in confinement grow much more 
rapidly than when in a state of nature ; such at least has 
been the experience of myself and others. Hence probably 
the enormous bulk of the noble brown bear, which was 


reared from a cub, now in the Zoological Gardens, Regent's 
Park, and which I take to be by far the finest example 
of the species ever seen in this country. With me their 
food consisted chiefly of oatmeal, with perhaps a dash of 
milk, but they would eat almost anything ; and singularly 
enough, would greedily devour large quantities of duckweed 
(Lemna). Of fish they were particularly fond, as also of 
flesh. One winter, indeed, the large bears mentioned, 
devoured the carcases of not a few horses. 

But though tame bears serve chiefly to amuse, it is on 
record that they at times answer useful purposes. 

" One evening," such was the substance of a relation that 
two or three years ago went the rounds of the Finnish news- 
papers, and which there is reason to believe was in the main 
authentic, " a bear leader presented himself at the house of a 
widow well to do in the world, in the more southern part of 
Finland, and requested quarters for himself and his protege 
for the night. His petition was granted, and after both had duly 
refreshed themselves, the man, as well as the beast, lay down 
to rest. About midnight, however, the widow was awakened 
from her slumbers by a strange noise in a distant chamber, 
which she soon ascertained to proceed from two burglars who 
had forced an entrance, and who were busily occupied in 
rifling the place of the more valuable of its contents. She 
was terribly alarmed, and forthwith ran to the room occupied 
by the bear leader to solicit counsel and assistance. " That 
matter can soon be set to rights," replied he, " provided you 
supply me with a pint of brandy." This request was soon 
complied with; and as soon as the man was possessed of 
the liquor, he gave it the bear, who was not altogether 
unaccustomed to similar strengthening draughts. Shortly 


afterwards, when the alcohol had taken effect, his owner 
introduced the beast into the chamber where the thieves were 
carrying on their depredations, and with whose persons the bear 
quickly made very disagreeable acquaintance ; for in spite of 
their cries and lamentations, he so maltreated the fellows 
with his paws (his jaws being muzzled), that had not his 
master come to the rescue, their lives would probably have 
paid the forfeit. As it was, they were so severely handled, 
that it was with the greatest possible difficulty they were 
able, by permission of the widow, who thought them already 
sufficiently punished, to leave the house." 

Bears are captured in Scandinavia by means of various 
devices, chiefly perhaps by the common steel-trap. This 
is of great size and strength, and the jaws garnished with 
fearful teeth. The engine is most generally set in the 
spring, when the beast, half-famished with his long winter- 
fast, is roaming the forest in search of food. Carrion is 
then left exposed in his haunts at times within a stoutly- 
constructed fence, forming the two sides of a triangle, and 
roofed over, so that he can only obtain access to it from the 
third side which is open. A dead horse is the most common 
lure. After the trap has been well rubbed over with gum, 
or with sprigs of the spruce-pine, to take away all taint of 
the hand, it is placed in a cavity in the ground, between 
the fore and hind legs of the dead carcase ; and as near to 
the belly as may be, that being the part of the body usually 
attacked in the first instance by wild beasts ; afterwards it 
is covered over with moss, grass, &c., but care must be taken 
so to disturb the vegetation around the spot, that the whole 
may have a uniform appearance. 

These traps, however, as mentioned in my former work, 

SNARES. 269 

are never fastened to the spot ; if such be the case, and the 
bear is caught by the leg, he frequently bites, or tears off the 
imprisoned limb. The Wermelanders and Dalecarlians and 
the like is, I believe, the case in other parts of Scandinavia 
fasten the chain, attached to the trap, to a small log, and as 
this follows the beast in his movements, he is thus prevented 
from exerting to the utmost his more than Herculean 
strength. It is said, that to get rid of this log, the bear 
resorts to numerous expedients ; amongst others, he buries 
it, and then by making a sudden and desperate plunge, en- 
deavours to relieve himself from the incumbrance. Like the 
fox, the rat, and other animals, he at times leaves one of his 
paws behind in the trap ; but in spite of being thus muti- 
lated, he frequently continues to exist for years and years 

In Lapland, the bear, as will hereafter be shown, is occa- 
sionally taken in snares; but I never heard of this device 
being adopted in any part of the country where I have 
sojourned. It is, however, said that a bear was noosed in 
a singular manner in the parish of Orsa in Dalecarlia, in 
the year 1828. The story runs thus: "One fine winter's 
morning a peasant and his daughter started with a horse 
and sledge for the forest, to fetch home some hay, stacked 
on a distant morass. On the way, the man bethought 
himself of an old Bjorn-Ide, or bear's-den, which, as it lay 
not far from their track, he determined on visiting. Con- 
trary to his expectations, he found it tenanted ; and though 
unarmed, he determined on attempting the capture of the 
occupant. For this purpose, he hastened back to the sledge, 
whence he took a strong rope, composed of goat's hair; and 
forming a noose at the one end, he threw the other over 



the bough of a neighbouring tree. The daughter was 
directed to hold by this end of the halter, whilst he himself, 
with a stout stake, roused Bruin ; and when the beast rushed 
forth and got his head in the noose, the girl at once tightened 
the rope, and with the assistance of her father, who soon 
came to her aid, the bear was presently suspended high in 
air and throttled." 


Bears, as mentioned in my former work, are in the summer 
time frequently shot from a Gall. This, as depicted above, 


consists of a sort of stand, erected at a height of from twenty 
to thirty feet from the ground, between two umbrageous pines, 
growing very near each other. It is formed for the most 
part of interwoven boughs ; and as well for the purpose of 
screening it from sight, as to prevent one's tumbling out, 
it is provided in front with a kind of breastwork. At times 
the Gall is erected near to the carcase of some animal, con- 
veyed to the forest for that purpose; but most frequently 
near to the remains of a horse or cow, recently slaughtered 
by the beast himself, to which, after he has digested his 
first meal, he is pretty sure to return. 

There is something very interesting in being perched on a 
Gall, as I myself can testify, having, years ago, passed five 
consecutive nights alone in one. 

To quote my own words, " the gloomy solitude of the 
forest in the night season ; the melancholy hootings of the 
great horned owl, heard ever and anon in the distance; 
the slaughtered cow lying in a small glade before me, 
mangled in a dreadful manner by the fangs of the beast ; 
and to crown the whole, the momentary expectation of 
the rugged monster making his appearance, tend to keep 
up the excitement." 



THERE were a few bears, as said, in the vicinity of 
Ronnum, but they were almost altogether confined to the 
forest lying between the lake Wenern, and the North Sea. 
Wolves were rather numerous; and lynxes by no means 

The destruction caused by wild beasts was considerable 
by the wolf and the lynx in particular; not, however, as 
respected mankind for Scandinavian wild beasts, unless 
attacked, seldom molest people but amongst domestic 
animals. In the district of Dalsland alone, which extends 
from Wenersborg to the confines of Wermeland which 
may be about fifty miles in length, by twenty or so in 
breadth it appeared by official returns, that one particular 
year not fewer than one thousand six hundred and three 


head of cattle, sheep, &c., had been destroyed by the noxious 
animals in question. But it must be remembered that this 
district, from the density of the forest, and the broken nature 
of the ground, is quite a nursery for vermin of all kinds. 

In other parts of Sweden the ravages of wild beasts seem 
to be equally great. A committee appointed by the Govern- 
ment in 1828, to devise the best system of mitigating or 
getting rid of the evil, reported and the number of casual- 
ties is probably greatly underrated that " in the seventeen 
provinces, whence the returns had been received, there had 
been destroyed by beasts of prey during the preceding year 
(1827) four hundred and sixty-five horses and colts, three 
thousand one hundred and eight horned cattle, nineteen 
thousand one hundred and four sheep and goats, and two 
thousand five hundred and four pigs.'* It was furthermore 
calculated, that " in the seven remaining provinces, the loss 
had been one hundred and eighty-nine horses, one thousand 
two hundred and eighty- one oxen, cows, and heifers, seven 
thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight sheep and goats, and 
one thousand and twenty-nine pigs, making a sum total of 
thirty-five thousand five hundred and forty-eight head ; 
which, estimating a horse, colt, ox, cow, or heifer, at the 
low value of forty rix-dollars; a sheep or a goat at two rix- 
dollars ; and a pig at five rix-dollars banco, would give a sum 
total of at least one hundred and eighty-five thousand five 
hundred and forty-nine rix-dollars banco," or some fifteen 
thousand pounds of our money no inconsiderable sum for a 
poor country like Sweden. 

" And this loss," the report goes on to state, " should be 
looked upon as doubly severe, because it falls on the poorest 
of the inhabitants ; instances, indeed, not being rare, of 

VOL. I. T 

274 SKALLS. 

families who have lived in respectability and comfort, having 
in a short time been reduced by this lands-pldga literally 
land-plague, or scourge to distress and misery." 

In districts subject to be thus ravaged by wild beasts, 
Skalls are not of infrequent occurrence. To many persons, 
these great hunts may seem to bear somewhat hard upon 
the peasantry and others; but until some better plan be 
adopted to rid the country of destructive animals, Skalls are 
perhaps a necessary evil. The principle on which they are 
got up is at all events equitable ; for the law only compels 
individuals who themselves possess cattle, and who of course 
have an interest in their preservation, to turn out when occa- 
sion requires. 

In several instances, when Skalls occurred in the province 
where I resided, they were placed by the authorities under 
my orders. 

This was the case during the autumn of 1836, when we 
had three or four in Dalsland, the district recently named. 
The present Marquis of Downshire, then on a visit with me, 
took part in these hunts ; and Jan Finne, of whom honour- 
able mention was made in my former work, was sent for ex- 
pressly from Wermeland to aid us. The Messrs. Uggla of 
Svaneholm by whom, as well as M. Waern of Baldersnas, a 
distinguished member of the Swedish Diet, we were hospit- 
ably entertained during their continuance also lent us their 
personal assistance on more than one occasion. 

Though, owing to the precipitous hills and deep ravines 
with which Dalsland abounds, the country, in one sense, is 
unfavourable for Skalls; yet, as a set-off, there are several 
forest-tracts, partially surrounded by extensive lakes, which 
offer positions admirably suited to the purpose; for here 


comparatively few men suffice to guard the passes by which 
wild beasts, when pressed, would probably attempt to escape ; 
and the greater portion of the men may, in consequence, be 
embodied in the driving division, which thus becomes more 
than usually effective. 

At the Skalls in question, as well as others under my 
guidance, we had a small band, consisting of a drum or 
two, and the same number of bugles. This band was sta- 
tioned in the centre of the driving division, which, as chief 
in command, was my post. The music tended not only to 
animate us all, but assisted the people in keeping the line, 
which was occasionally five to six miles or more in length ; 
for knowing the band to be in the centre, the wings accele- 
rated or retarded their movements accordingly. 

But the policy of introducing music at these great hunts, 
was questioned by many by M. Falk amongst the rest it 
being considered as apt to overscare wild beasts, and thus 
cause them to break through all obstructions. 

Right or wrong, however, the drum occasionally did good 
service. Once, for instance, the bear came suddenly on 
the drummer, and would probably have made his escape, 
had not the man had the presence of mind instantly to 
commence tattooing, on which the beast headed about 
again, and was off the way he came, as if the fiend was 
behind him ! 

Two or three of our Skalls were on a large scale, five to 
six hundred men taking part in them, and what with the 
band, our guns, and other weapons, we resembled in degree 
a warlike array. The weather was fine, and the pea'sants 
generally behaved well. With such means and appliances, 
and embracing, as the hunts did, a wide field, we ought to 

T 2 


have done much execution ; but from natural obstacles, 
and the want of an efficient staff, our success was incon- 
siderable for though we killed some wild beasts, they 
were much fewer in number than we had every right to 

At one of the Skalls a she-bear, together with two large 
cubs, broke through the Cordon, and made their escape. 
As, however, there was then a sprinkling of snow on the 
ground, it being the month of November, we were fortunately 
enabled to ring* the beasts ; but as on the succeeding day it 
rained heavily, and the snow nearly disappeared, we could not 
consequently tell with certainty whether they were within the 
circle or not. 

Under these circumstances it would not have been expe- 
dient to call out the people for another Government Skall ; 

* The act of ascertaining where a bear has taken up his quarters in the 
winter time. This, to quote my own words, is performed in the following 
manner : When there is snow upon the ground, and the track of the animal 
(resembling, in more respects than one, that of a human being) is discovered, 
a person follows it until there is reason to believe that the bear may have 
taken up his abode in the vicinity. This is indicated by his proceeding very 
slowly, and in a crooked direction, or rather by his doubling in the same 
manner as a hare ; for as long as he goes in a straight line he has no intention 
of lying down. The man now leaves the track, and commences making an 
extended circle round the suspected part of the forest. Should he succeed in 
completing this without again meeting with the track, he of course knows to a 
certainty the bear is within it. But if, on the contrary, he finds the animal 
has proceeded beyond his intended circle, he commences another ; and thus he 
continues until he succeeds in accomplishing his object. The size of a Ring 
depends altogether upon circumstances the season of the year, the state of 
the snow, the locality, &c. ; and in consequence, though some may not 
exceed" a mile or two in circumference, others again are six or eight, or 
even more. To ring a bear properly requires great experience ; and during 
the operation, if so it may be termed, the greatest silence and caution are 


and as no time was to be lost, it was therefore deemed 
best to beat up for volunteers. 

The following day happening to be Sunday, notification 
after Divine Service, was given in the usual way from the 
pulpit, in the several neighbouring churches, that a Skall 
was to take place on the morrow, and requesting the 
peasants to aid us in destroying the bears ; and as an induce- 
ment they were promised not only refreshments when the 
Chasse was over, but a ball and supper for themselves and 
families in the evening. 

At ten on the following morning, the appointed hour, we 
proceeded to the rendezvous a road-side pot-house, nick- 
named Pung-Vrangaren, implying that purses were here 
turned inside-out : by no means an inappropriate designa- 
tion, considering the scenes of gambling and drinking 
that, according to report, frequently took place beneath 
its roof. 

But on our arrival, we were much disappointed at finding 
that our alluring promises had only brought together about 
one hundred and twenty men ; and as that number was 
considered inadequate, it became a question whether the 
Skall should not be postponed until a future day. As, how- 
ever, nearly all the people were armed in one way or other, 
and a considerable portion say a fifth with guns, it was at 
length decided that operations should commence forthwith. 

At Skalls it is usual to station the larger portion of the 
individuals armed with guns at the Hall, that being the 
point wild beasts commonly make for in the first instance. 
But having observed that if foiled here, their future efforts 
are more usually directed towards the Dref, I have always 
thought it best to distribute the guns pretty equally through- 


out the whole line ; and this was the arrangement in the 
present instance. 

After the people had been drawn up in two lines, and their 
hats numbered with chalk in the usual manner, and every- 
thing was in readiness, we marched off in silence to the scene 
of action, which was not far distant. 

The Ring was fortunately of rather confined extent ; and 
though our numbers were few, yet as the forest was open 
in places, and required in consequence the fewer men, we 
were enabled to encompass it in a pretty effectual manner. 
The Dref was in this instance entrusted to the management 
of Jan Finne, whilst I myself, together with several super- 
numeraries, took post in the centre of the Hall, where there 
was a dense brake, which required to be specially well guarded. 
The gentlemen of our party stationed themselves for the 
most part to the right and left of me. 

Every one being at his post, Jan Finne discharged his 
gun, the signal for the men of his division to advance. We 
at the Hall were now all attention, and looking out with 
intense anxiety for the bears, which were momentarily ex- 
pected to make their appearance. Such was the profound 
silence where I stood, that a pin might almost have been 
heard to drop on the ground. 

But some little time elapsed before any one was aware of 
the bears. At length, loud and continued shouting to the 
left told us they had been seen by some of the party ; but no 
shots were fired, and presently all was still again. On a 
sudden, however, I perceived the three beasts rushing through 
the brake directly towards me. They were not more than about 
forty paces distant ; and had I waited a little, as I ought 
to have done, they doubtless would have approached much 

A BAD SHOT. 279 

nearer ; but instead of so doing, I at once let fly right and 
left, though, to my shame, with no apparent effect; for 
wheeling about on the instant, they were off again as if 
nothing had happened. Those standing near to me did not 
fire, because, as they said, their view of the animals was too 

The beasts now dashed along the line to the left, and for 
a minute or two the firing was heavy ; but shortly all was 
quiet again, from which circumstance we were led to infer 
that they had either been killed, or had given us the slip 

But in this matter we were mistaken, for several dropping 
shots immediately opposite, gave us to understand that one 
or more of the bears were attempting to break through the 
driving division. 

By this time I was reloaded, and on the look-out. My 
patience was not long put to the test, however, for shortly 
afterwards I got a glimpse of one of the young bears as he 
was rapidly approaching our position, and was in the very 
act of shooting, when a ball from the rifle of a friend near 
me stretched the animal lifeless on the ground. 

No hard firing took place subsequently, but shots were 
still occasionally heard at various parts of the Ring. Soon 
again I saw the outline of the large bear as she was crashing 
through the brake, and had just time to fire one barrel before 
she was lost to view ; but though the ball did not bring her 
down, yet from the reel she gave, it evidently took effect. 

A few seconds afterwards we heard several shots to the 
right, the direction taken by the beast, and at the same time 
the people thereabouts shouted lustily as if for aid. 

Apprehensive of an accident, and without having had time 


to reload, I ran to the spot, and found the uproar to have 
arisen from the old bear having attacked a peasant named 
Sven Andersson. Though only armed with a stout stake, 
this man, aided by two or three others, had gallantly opposed 
the beast's attempts to break through the Cordon, and 
though he himself was capsized, and a good deal maltreated, 
he succeeded in driving the beast back again into the Ring. 

Fortunately the poor fellow was but slightly hurt, attri- 
butable probably to the bear being herself severely wounded 
when she charged. Unluckily, however, all his injuries were 
in the after part of his person, so that many a laugh was 
subsequently raised at his expense. But Sven stoutly denied 
that he had bolted, which, indeed, was not likely for had he 
run, there is little doubt, from the disabled state of the bear, 
that he might readily have got out of the way. 

Finding that no serious harm was done, and leaving a 
person in charge of the Hall, I now made the best of my 
way along the line to Jan Finne, to ascertain how matters 
stood with his division. From him I learnt the disagreeable 
intelligence that the remaining young bear, in spite of every 
effort to turn him, had broken the Cordon, and made his 
escape ; though not unhurt, as was evident from the blood 
observable on the few patches of snow still remaining on the 

This was far from the worst part of the business ; for 
whilst the bear was in the very act of breaking the line, one 
of the peasants most incautiously fired, when instead of the 
ball taking effect on the beast's carcase, it lodged in the 
thigh of one of his companions. 

The poor man, however, was apparently not very seriously 
hurt, and, in spite of the wound, managed, with assistance, 


to hobble to a neighbouring cottage, whence he was subse- 
quently conveyed home in a cart.* 

As a partial set-off to these disasters, I learnt that the old 
bear had a minute or two before been seen within the Ring, 
which was joyful news, as from not having heard either 
shouts or shots for some little time, I greatly feared she 
might also have escaped us. 

To ensure as far as possible her destruction, the circle 
(with the exception of the people at the centre of the Hall), 
was now gradually contracted, until the opposing lines were 
in as near proximity as prudence would permit. But still 
the bear did not show herself, which was perhaps well, for 
had she danced about the Ring, as in the first instance, and 
there had been much firing, accidents from stray bullets 
might easily have occurred. 

At length, however, a peasant viewed the beast in a thicket, 
rocking to and fro in a dying state, when pointing her out 
to Jan Finne, he immediately shot her through the head. 

During this little Skall, eighty to ninety shots must have 
been fired, and the greater portion within the first few 
minutes. This sharp practice, coupled with the shouts of 
the people, and the frequent transitory views one or other of 
us had of the bears, rendered it as animated and interesting 
an affair of the kind as it has fallen to my lot to witness. 

The bears were now borne to a glade in the forest, that the 
peasants might gratify their curiosity. The mother was large 
and fat, and the cub seemingly three years old. Afterwards 
they were slung on poles, supported by several men, and with 

* Though invalided for a considerable time afterwards, yet by the skilful 
treatment of a medical gentleman, who by our desire attended upon him 
constantly from the evening of the accident, he eventually recovered. 


the band playing some exhilarating tune or other, we marched 
down from the forest to the road, which was hard by. 

The country was undulating and picturesque, and the 
weather fine for the season of the year, so that the scene, 
beautifully depicted by my friend M. von Dardel, aide-de- 
camp to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Sweden, 
was very gay and striking. 

After reaching the road, and whilst the people were 
regaling themselves, a few of us started with a brace of good 
dogs that had previously been in couplings, in search of the 
wounded bear; but from the want of snow we were quite 
unable to track him any distance, and after a time, therefore, 
the search was given up as fruitless, and we made the best of 
our way home. 

In the evening, the promised ball took place. It was 
given at the expense of Lord Downshire, whose manly 
person, shown to great advantage at the Skalls from his 
being armed to the teeth, coupled with his courteous de- 
meanour and liberality towards the peasants, made him a 
great favourite with them. As is usual in Sweden amongst 
the lower classes, a kind of waltz was the order of the 
night. To quote the words of my ancient friend : " there 
was great guzzling and great rattling of cups and platters." 
The heels of many spun round in the mazy dance, and the 
heads of not a few, from the potent effects of finkel, as the 
common brandy of the country distilled from potatoes is 
usually called. Had a stranger heard the men relate their 
exploits, he would have supposed each had bagged a bear at 
the least to his own gun ! The festivities were kept up to a 
late hour, or rather early hour. " We won't go home till 
morning," says the old song ; and so said the boors. 




BUT though the wounded bear spoken of in the last 
chapter, as well as other bears, had for the time escaped 
us, it was our full purpose to retrieve them if possible. 

As, however, nothing could be done with the beasts in the 
then state of the snow, and as there seemed no immediate 
prospect of more falling, Lord Downshire, after resting for a 
day or two at Ronnum, departed for England, taking with 
him as a souvenir several of our hard-earned trophies, and 
amongst the rest the skin of a bear killed by himself. Jan 
Finne also left me his little farm, situated in the depths 
of the Wermeland forests, requiring his personal superin- 

But it was not until the commencement of the new year 
that a particle of snow fell, and then in such small quantities 


as only to cover the ground to the depth of a few inches. 
The day following I proceeded to the hamlet of Radane, 
situated at about twenty miles to the north-west of Weners- 
borg, in search of the lost bears ; but though I searched the 
forest far and wide, with about twenty men, for three days, 
all our endeavours to get the beasts on foot were unavailing ; 
not a track or other indication of them was to be seen 

On the fourth day, however, when we were beginning to 
despair, the dogs fortunately roused a large bear, one of 
those that had escaped us at the Skalls, as was known by 
its bed being of recent construction. The beast went off 
at speed, and chase was immediately given ; but from the 
very difficult nature of the ground we were very soon 
distanced, and after a short run, farther pursuit was given 
up for the time. Coupling up the dogs, we set about 
ringing the beast, which operation was partly accomplished, 
as the evening closed in, when we returned to our quarters at 

The following morning, accompanied by an intelligent 
guide, I started off with the intention of completing the Ring ; 
but some snow having fallen during the night, it was only in 
places that the track of the bear was visible, and in conse- 
quence we were soon at fault. But shortly afterwards a 
peasant, whom we accidentally met, gave us the agreeable 
intelligence that an hour before he had seen the fresh track 
of the beast, which it appeared had been on foot subsequent 
to the recent snow-storm. 

On reaching the spot indicated, we, in the usual manner, 
set about ringing the bear; but had not been so occupied 
more than an hour, when on reaching the brow of a some- 


what abrupt declivity, I got a glimpse of the beast, who had 
been disturbed by our too near approach, as he was stealing 
away amongst the trees in the hollow below. I had just time 
to take a snap-shot with the one barrel ; but as he did not 
flinch in any way, it was to be inferred the ball went wide 
of the mark. 

Somewhat later in the day, we succeeded in ringing the 
bear ; but considering that from the then state of the snow, 
there was little chance of killing him with the dogs alone, we 
thought it best to leave him undisturbed for the present, and 
to get up a Skall for his destruction. 

With this object in view, I at once posted off some ten to 
twelve miles, to the nearest of the authorities, who, on seeing 
the credentials with which the Governor of the province, 
M. Sandelhielm had provided me, at once ordered out 
upwards of three hundred men for the succeeding day. 

But though the Ring was comparatively small, the people 
sufficiently numerous to encompass it properly, and the 
arrangements good in every way, the Skall proved a failure ; 
for almost immediately after its commencement, and without 
a single shot being fired, the beast, which had been alarmed 
at our proceedings, left his lair, and coming upon the people 
unexpectedly, dashed through the line and made his escape. 

More snow fell during the succeeding night, and knowing 
the tracks of the bear, which we had been unable to ring on 
the previous afternoon, would now be in a great measure 
obliterated, I started with a friend at a pretty early hour on 
the following morning, for the purpose, if possible, of again 
rousing him a needful step, before it would be practicable 
to encircle him with any certainty. 

We had been thus occupied for two or three hours, at times 


following his Spar, or track, and at others completely at fault. 
At length, however, and when on the slope of a steep hill, 
where there was reason to suppose he had harboured, the 
dogs were distinctly heard to challenge at some distance 
above us. Leaving my companion, I hastened to the spot, 
and found, as I had suspected, that they had fallen in with 
the bear of which we were in search. The beast was lying in 
a small and deeply- wooded ravine, and its attention so much 
taken up with the dogs, which were baying around its lair, 
that it did not observe me until within a few paces, when 
just as it was about retreating, I put a bullet through its 

It proved a female; and in the temporary bed she had 
formed, we found, to our surprise, three cubs, born apparently 
the previous night. During the chase of the few preceding 
days, we had thought it singular that when roused, this 
bear had never gone any considerable distance; but this 
sudden increase of her family explained the matter. 

Aided by a peasant, who happened to be near the spot, we 
dragged the beast a few paces to the brow of a pretty lofty 
and abrupt declivity, when, giving her a lift with my foot, 
she rolled over and over down the slope, on to the frozen 
surface of the lake beneath. It was injudiciously done, 
however; for though time and labour were saved, the 
carcase, viewed as food, must, from its weight and the 
velocity of its descent, have suffered no little injury. 

Later in the day, the old bear was conveyed in a sledge to 
Radane ; but the cubs I at once took with me to Ronnum, 
where, by means of a quill, they were nourished with milk, 
&c. ; but though they lived for some days, they at length all 
pined away and died. 


Subsequently, we succeeded in rousing the wounded bear ; 
but as the ground was then only very partially covered with 
snow, it was thought more advisable to have a Skall, than to 
attempt his destruction single-handed. 

Having ringed the beast, this therefore took place a few 
days afterwards ; but as on that occasion nothing particular 
occurred, suffice it to say, that everything went well, and 
that we duly bagged the beast. That it was the same that 
escaped from us in the early part of the winter was evident ; 
for at the time of his death, a wound, still green, was 
visible in his neck. 

A few days afterwards 1 proceeded with the dogs to 
Nattjebacka, a hamlet situated seven to eight miles to the 
south-west of Radane, in which vicinity, report said, one or 
more bears harboured. 

Five or six peasants having volunteered to assist in the 
search, we, on the following day, beat the forest far and 
wide, though without seeing any indications of the animals. 
But the succeeding morning fortune befriended us, for we 
fell in with a large she-bear, which I at once shot through 
the head. She also had three cubs, but unfortunately only a 
few days old, at which period they are most difficult to rear ; 
and though they were straightway conveyed home, where 
every possible care was taken of them, they all, like those 
captured at Radane, quickly perished. 

Though the Skalls spoken of were, from various causes, 
far less successful than might have been anticipated, it will 
be seen that when alone, I had no great cause to complain of 
bad luck. 

These great hunts are all very well in their way ; but their 
results are too uncertain. It often happens, indeed, that the 


slightest hitch, even the misconduct of a single individual, 
may mar the best-arranged plan, and cause a total failure. 
When a man, on the contrary, takes the field alone, as it 
were, and is altogether dependent on himself, to say nothing 
of all his energies being thus brought fairly into play, which 
goes far to insure success, his plans, such as they are, are 
pretty sure to be properly carried out. For this reason I 
have always considered the Chasse of the bear, single-handed, 
as infinitely preferable to, and far more exciting, than mob- 
bing the beast. 

And after all, I am not sure that the single-handed system 
is not almost as efficacious as Skalls. Under certain circum- 
stances, and at certain seasons of the year, the latter may be 
very needful ; but in the winter time, when for months toge- 
ther the ground is covered with snow, the bear rarely escapes 
if a man knows what he is about : such, at least, has been 
my experience ; and excepting in a single instance, when the 
beast gave me the slip,. I have always managed to compass 
his death by one means or another that is, up to the end of 
March ; for when one gets into April, in which month the 
bear of himself leaves his winter quarters, the Chasse then 
becomes somewhat uncertain. 




WE know that the lion and the lamb will ultimately lie 
down together ; but if the following story be true and from 
the authentic source whence it comes to us, it can hardly be 
doubted the same good fellowship must already exist at 
times between the bear and little children. 

" During the summer time" such is the substance of a 
published letter, dated Trysil, in Osterdalen, Norway, the 19th 
of October, 1850 "the peasants hereabouts as well on the 
Norwegian as the Swedish frontier are accustomed to 
pasture their cattle at Saterna, or Shealings, far distant from 
their homes; and for this purpose a part, and sometimes 
the whole, of the family often migrate to these temporary 
habitations. During the past autumn, two full-grown 
women with four children, of whom the eldest was ten 
years old, and the youngest about two, from Hagnasen, 
in the parish of Serna, were thus domiciled. 

VOL. i. u 


" It was the duty of one of the women to tend the cattle 
in the forest, whilst the other occupied herself with house- 
hold matters, and in looking after the children. It so 
happened, however, on the 23rd of last September, that 
whilst one of the women, as usual, watched the cattle, the 
other absented herself for a short time on a visit to a neigh- 
bour, leaving the children altogether to themselves. She 
had not been long away, before they perceived two large 
brown animals, which they took to be cows, on the outside 
of the fence, bordering the patch of pasture-ground conti- 
guous to the hut. All children are curious, and indifferent 
to danger; without consideration, therefore, they climbed 
over the fence, and made up to the creatures. When the 
animals became aware of the near approach of the children, 
the larger of the two compelled the smaller to lie down at 
the foot of a tall pine, and then couched by its side, as 
if to protect it from harm. Whereupon, the least of the 
children that of two years of age without hesitation, 
toddled directly up to the animals, and laid itself down 
likewise, with its head resting on the belly of the larger 
one, humming at the same time some nursery-song, as if 
reposing on its mother's lap ! The other children remained 
the while quiet spectators of the scene. When, however, 
the eldest had reflected a little, and had come to the con- 
clusion that it was not a cow, but a bear as was the fact 
the child was thus toying with, she became sorely affrighted. 

" Meanwhile the infant, who could not remain long in the 
same position, presently rose from its hairy couch, gathered 
some blue berries growing hard by, and gave them to its 
bed-fellow, the bear, who immediately eat them out of the 
babe's hand ! The child next plucked a sprig from a 


neighbouring bush, and offered it to the beast, which bit 
it in two, allowing the child to retain the one half! 

"The woman who had the care of the children, on 
returning to the Shealing, saw with her own eyes the bears 
as they were retreating into the forest ; and when informed 
of the danger to which her charge had been exposed, she was 
horrified beyond expression.'' 

From the force of example, and from the hardy life they 
lead, mere children in the northern forests often display a 
hardihood and presence of mind little to be expected at their 
tender years. 

" Two boys, cousins, one of ten, the other twelve years 
of age," so we read in a Swedish journal, of the 13th of 
November, 1851, "were, on the 1st of last October, tending 
their parents' cows and sheep, on the outskirts of the forest, 
in the parish of Evje and Robygdelag, in Norway. Towards 
evening a she-bear, followed by two cubs, suddenly rushed 
towards the herd. ' The bear is here !' exclaimed the elder 
of the lads to the younger, who was at some little distance, 
'pass opp ! pass opp /' that is, look out! look out! At 
this time the beast was in the act of chasing one of the 
sheep ; and though the boy was only provided with a stick, 
he instantly ran to the rescue, and held up his frail weapon 
in a menacing way towards the bear. But the odds were 
too unequal ; for on his near approach, she rose on her hind 
legs, and laid the gallant little fellow prostrate. 

" The younger boy, on hearing the cries of the elder, made 
forthwith to the spot, where he found the bear lying over 
his cousin, and not only distinctly heard a craunching sort 
of noise, but saw the fangs of the beast in contact with his 
head. In that part of the country, even the smallest lad 

u 2 


wears a knife suspended by a belt about the waist. Such 
was the case with our little hero, who forthwith attempted 
to draw the weapon; but owing to rain that had fallen in 
the morning, the wooden handle of the knife stuck fast 
in the scabbard, and his efforts to disengage it proved 
unsuccessful. Nothing daunted, however, and armed only 
with his stick, he went straight up to the bear, and com- 
menced belabouring her hind-quarters. Thus unceremo- 
niously attacked, the beast, uttering a deep growl, sprung 
to her feet, and strange to say, moved sullenly off, without 
offering him any kind of molestation. 

" As soon as she had left her victim, and whilst making 
a second dash at the identical sheep previously chased (which, 
owing to the rest of the flock having run off in an opposite 
direction, stood stock still, as if bewildered), the little fellow 
drew his knife the attempt in this instance having proved 
successful and brandishing the shining blade, he with 
menacing gestures thus addressed the bear : 'Be off with 
you ! make yourself scarce, or you shall see how I will serve 
you !' A form of words, coupled with a display of bright 
steel, of which that beast, according to the superstitious 
notions of the peasantry, is mortally afraid. 

" The wounded boy having by this time risen to his feet, pre- 
sently joined his comrade; and whilst the two little fellows thus 
battled with the bear, the hunted sheep, benefiting by the oppor- 
tune diversion in its favour, succeeded in effecting its escape. 

" The bears now retreated, when the lads hastened home 
with the cattle, leaving the beasts no other trophy than the 
cap of the elder, that they had carried off; and which, riven 
nearly in pieces, was afterwards found at some distance from 
the scene of conflict. 

DARING. 293 

" The clothes of the wounded boy were torn to rags, and 
he himself sorely bitten, as well in both shoulders, as in the 
thigh near to the hip, where he received a long and deep 
wound, as also in the head, in which were several holes and 
gashes ; but he is, nevertheless, now so far recovered as to 
herd cattle as before. 

" ' What would you have done had the bear carried off 
your cousin ?' was the question put to the younger lad 
after the occurrence. * Then I myself should never have 
returned home,' was his reply ; ' we should have shared 
alike.' " 

Instances of great daring on the part of men when in 
conflict with the bear, are also on record. 

" Observing a Laplander with only one eye," said Mr. 
Dann, " I inquired how he had lost it. I was told in reply he 
had discovered that a bear had made its winter domicile in 
the cleft of a rock of some depth, but the entrance to which 
was so confined, that it was impossible to penetrate into it, 
excepting by crawling on one's hands and knees. Nothing 
daunted, however, this brave fellow, pushing his pea-rifle 
before him, and followed by a comrade bearing a light, 
crept into the hole, at the extremity of which he perceived 
the bear. The Lapp took deliberate aim and fired, but only 
wounded him. The beast instantly rushed forwards ; but 
so small was the hole, that finding he could not pass the 
man, he began clawing his head and face. Thus beset, 
the poor fellow, whilst protecting himself as well as he was 
able with his pels* drew his knife, and with repeated stabs 

* A loose coat, or rather a sort of cloak, made of, or lined with furs of any 
kind. In Lapland it more generally consists of the dressed skins of the young 


in the body, at length succeeded in despatching his assailant. 
He lost, however, one eye in the conflict." 

Nor are instances wanting wherein considerable presence 
of mind has been displayed by individuals, when assaulted 
by the bear. 

During the summer of 1851, so we are told, the bears 
committed great ravages in the vicinity of Vserran, in the 
bishopric of Drontheim in Norway. In the early part of 
September, one of these beasts attacked, unawares, a herd of 
cattle, of which it killed an ox, and maimed several of the 
cows ; and in consequence, gillrade gevar that is, fire-arms 
arranged in the manner of a spring-gun were forthwith 
set in the forest near to the slaughtered animal. 

On the following morning six men proceeded to the 
spot to ascertain the fate of the depredator. Five of the 
number were armed with guns, but the sixth, a small pro- 
prietor, named Peter Vennes, was only provided with an axe. 
This man, from some cause or other, separated from his 
companions ; and when in a densely thick brake, came 
suddenly upon the bear, which rushed upon him before he 
had time to defend himself, otherwise than by thrusting the 
handle of his axe between the open jaws of his assailant. 
The bear bit this in two ; but the man, who had the 
presence of mind to seize hold of his distended tongue, 
managed to keep him at arm's-length until such time as his 
own strength was exhausted ; when the enraged beast, fasten- 
ing his fangs in one of the poor fellow's hands, lacerated it 
most cruelly. At length, however, one of the man's compa- 
nions reached the scene of action, and gave fire, which caused 
the bear to retreat ; though this was not until, in addition to 
other injuries, he had torn open the thigh of his victim. 



But the bear was not yet vanquished. Several other shots 
were subsequently directed at him, and it was not until the 
following day that he was found dead, with a bullet lodged in 
his breast. 

The wounded man recovered, but it was thought he would 
be a cripple ever afterwards. 


Though the actual loss of life from bears in Scandinavia 
is inconsiderable, instances of people being mauled by those 
beasts are of every-day occurrence. The proportion of the 


killed to the wounded, is, in fact, very much less than 
the returns show after a general action. And what is 
singular, this rule would seem to hold good even with the 
lord of the desert ; for African travellers tell me, that the 
lion maltreats infinitely more people than he actually slays. 

Amongst several of my acquaintance who suffered from 
the ferocity of bears, was the late M. Ullgren, inspector 
of the iron-works at Rammen, in Wermeland. He was 
wounded by a large she-bear, of which I myself, after shooting 
two of her supposed progeny, had been in search only a 
week or two previously. But he shall tell his own story. 

" The hunt commenced about two miles to the south of 
a lake called Lof-sjon. The first day I had sixteen men, as 
also a Rygg-varn that is, an individual on whom reliance 
could be placed to guard my person. In several instances I 
was within a few paces of the bear, but owing to the 
denseness of the cover was unable to fire. 

" On the following morning our party was increased to 
twenty-five, but several small boys were included in the 
number. I now performed, so to say, a sort of miracle, 
having made so small a Ring around the bear, that even our 
little force was sufficient to encompass him ; but the small- 
ness of the circle had this disadvantage, that from not being 
more than one hundred to one hundred and fifty paces in 
diameter, we were in consequence exposed to great danger, 
for every bullet whistled about our ears. 

" Near to the centre of the Ring was a close brake, wherein 
the bear took refuge. I was there myself more than once 
for the purpose of dislodging him ; and several random shots 
were also fired into it with the like object : but still he would 
not leave his retreat. After a while, however, he was seen, 


arid shot at by two brother sportsmen, whose balls, taking 
effect alongside of each other, broke one of his fore-legs near 
to the shoulder ; subsequently another man fired at him, but 

" Everything remained quiet for a long time. I then 
proceeded to the spot where the bear had been last seen, and 
followed his track with the object of again rousing him. 
The cover was very close, and there was much snow in the 
trees, so that I could not see more than a few feet ahead. 
I advanced with great caution about forty feet into the Ring, 
when from a very dense thicket, at not more than two feet 
distance, Nalle* suddenly rushed upon me. His rage was 
excessive, and growl most awful. Owing to his near proxi- 
mity when he charged, I had no time to fire. 

" He first gave me a blow on the chest, which knocked me 
backwards into the snow ; when seeing that his intention was 
to seize my head, or the upper part of my body, I thrust the 
barrel of my gun, whilst in the act of falling, into his open 
mouth. This he pressed upon to such a degree, that it went 
down his gullet nearly up to the lock, and the barrel was 
in consequence much injured by his teeth. With my whole 
force I now kicked the brute so hard on the head as to 
cause him to disgorge the barrel, and to move off to a little 

" But it was only for a few moments, for he rushed 
on me a second time with even more fury than before. 
He laid hold of my unfortunate legs with his fangs, and 
raising himself on his hind feet, thereby reversing my 
natural position, he shook me with such vengeance, that my 
person resembled the clapper of a church-bell when taking 
* The nickname for a bear, as with us Reynard is for a fox. 


part in the performance of a triple bob major; and as a 
consequence, the contents of my kit, consisting of a brandy- 
bottle, bread, a sausage, &c., were scattered here and there in 
the forest, 

"Though the ringing to which the beast subjected me 
was carried to a most inconvenient extent, I nevertheless 
retained sufficient presence of mind, suspended by the heels 
as I was, to give him several severe blows on the head 
with my gun, which at length caused him to loose his hold 
and to retreat. 

" Whilst thus suffering tribulation, I shouted lustily for 
help ; but owing to the horrible roarings of the bear, the 
people did not hear my cries ; nor was a comrade, though 
only at some twenty paces distance when I was first assailed, 
able, from the thickness of the cover, to reach the scene of 
action prior to the departure of the beast. 

" After leaving me, the bear sprang to the opposite side 
of the Ring, where three shots in the body terminated his 

" It proved a female, and amongst the largest of the 
species. Five or six years previously she had been caught in 
a steel-trap, but contrived to escape with the loss of a paw, 
which was subsequently brought to me. It was singular 
enough that, after so long a period, the bear and the ampu- 
tated member should join company again. 

" The beast was very fat, and said to be delicious eating. 
For my part, however, though she had been so very loving 
towards me, and made so free with my flesh, I had no incli- 
nation to try the flavour of hers." 

M. Ullgren gradually recovered. Some laughed at the 
adventure, for the reason, that he who had been subjected 


to such scurvy treatment, was the son of a Klockare that 
is, the clerk of the parish, on whom the duty partly devolves 
(in the rural districts at least) of ringing the church bells. 
But the hero of the tale, with a woeful countenance, rejoined 
that, " though to ring was well enough in its way to be 
' wrung ' was not only most unorthodox, but very particularly 

Though the peasants in the northern forests often display 
much gallantry when attacking the bear, yet owing to inex- 
perience and mismanagement, the beast frequently makes 
much havoc amongst them. This was the case at a Chasse 
that took place some years ago, near to Loos, in the parish 
of Farila, and the province of Helsingland. 

The individuals engaged in the hunt in question so goes 
the story were Olof Munter, his brother Lars Olsson, Eric 
Thomasson, and Matts Persson. The bear had been ringed 
early in the autumn, and on the 17th of December the 
parties named proceeded to the forest to compass his death. 
All had rifles, and two of them were provided with axes in 
addition. They were accompanied by two dogs, though both 
totally untrained to bear-hunting. 

By break of day the men had already been an hour on 
foot ; but as they were still about two miles from the Ring, 
and as there was much snow in the trees, every one carried 
his gun in a foderal, or case. Whilst thus traversing the 
forest, and not dreaming of danger, one of the party, 
Thomasson, bethought himself of reconnoitring an old 
Bjorn-Ide that he was acquainted with, which lay very 
nearly in their route. It was situated under the root of a 
large pine that had been prostrated by the wind ; but as the 
dogs had already run along the trunk of the tree, and even 


sprung over the very mouth of the den itself without show- 
ing symptoms of finding anything ; and as besides, the den 
had been unoccupied during the three preceding winters, the 
hunters never conceiving it possible that it was tenanted, 
they were incautious enough to go close up to it without first 
taking the precaution of divesting the guns of their cases, or 
even of priming them. 

Whilst, however, Thomasson was peering under the root, 
and probably from his long Skidor* causing the bear dis- 

* A kind of snow-skate, the nature of which will be readily understood by 
reference to the several illustrations in this work descriptive of bear shooting 
in the winter time. In "Wermeland and Dalecarlia, the Skida for the left foot 
is usually from nine to eleven, or even twelve feet in length ; whilst that for 
the right seldom exceeds six to seven. This inequality of length is to enable 
a person to wheel about, in a manner difficult to describe in writing, with 
greater facility ; as well as that, when in broken or bad ground, he may lean 
the whole of his weight, if necessary, upon the shorter Skida, which is 
constructed of stouter materials. The usual breadth of the Skidor in the 
provinces named, is between two and three inches. In parts of Lapland, 
Finland, and Norway, those that I have seen are much broader, and also of 
equal length, which seldom exceeds six or seven feet. The foremost ends of 
all Skidor are cons'derably turned up, to enable a person to avoid any little 
impediment with which he may happen to come in contact. They are fastened 
to the foot with withes, or with leathern straps, in so simple a manner, that a 
minute or less will suffice either to put them on or take them off. A pair may 
weigh from ten to fifteen pounds. The weight, however, is of the less conse- 
quence, as it rarely happens that one is necessitated to carry them. In very 
mountainous districts, the under part of the Skidor of the shorter one, at 
least is often covered, either wholly, or in part, with seal or other skin ; this 
in a great degree prevents a person from retrograding when ascending a steep 
acclivity. Unless the snow is in an unfavourable state, they are never lifted 
from the ground ; the motion is of a gliding nature, and, excepting as regards 
rapidity, something similar to that of the skate in common use in England. 
In some instances, a person carries a single stick in his hand ; in others, one 
in each hand. These serve to impel him forward, and also to retard his 
progress (which he effects by pressing the stick upon the snow) when too 
rapidly descending a hill. 


turbance, Nalle suddenly rushed forth, and upsetting the 
astounded man, though fortunately without injuring him in 
any way, made off as fast as his legs would carry him. By 
the time, however, that he had gone about one hundred and 
fifty paces, Munter, who had the command of the hunt, 
having put his gun in order, fired ; and as was afterwards 
ascertained, actually emasculated the beast. Stung by the 
wound probably, the bear halted for a moment, which gave 
Persson the opportunity of saluting his hind-quarters with a 
second bullet, on which he continued his retreat, and was 
soon lost to sight. 

Munter remained on the spot to load, but the other men 
pursued the bear. The snow, which was deep, would 
support the Skidor but not the beast; and as Olsson was 
the best runner, he soon left his comrades far behind. 
After proceeding a few hundred yards, however, and whilst 
following the bloody Spar of the bear, the latter suddenly 
and most unexpectedly rushed upon him. The beast had 
made a sudden double, parallel with his first track, and 
had crouched in a thicket, in ambush, as it would seem, 
for his pursuer. The onset was so sudden, that the man 
had no time to fire; but he drove his gun crosswise into 
the distended jaws of the brute, which bit the stock through 
near to the lock, and then cast the barrel high up into the 
air; and as Olsson had now no other weapon wherewith 
to defend himself, the bear seized him with both paws, and 
throwing him backwards on to the snow, inflicted many and 
deep wounds on his head and face. Then turning the poor 
fellow partially round, and placing his own ear to that of his 
victim, he listened, for the purpose of ascertaining if there 
was any life remaining. But when he remarked that the 


man still breathed, he seized hold of his left side, and lifting 
him from the ground, cast him to and fro, and shook him 
with so much violence that his very bowels protruded through 
the wound. Afterwards he repeated the same manoeuvre 
with his right side, and also inflicted several deep wounds 
on his elbow and thigh. As may be supposed, Olsson was 
now more dead than alive, and in reality had long before lost 
his senses. 

Whilst this tragedy was enacting, the comrades of 
the poor sufferer stood at a distance of about forty feet, 
altogether immovable, and as if riveted to the spot. This 
inactivity may be partly ascribed to the belief generally 
entertained by the peasants, that if one fires at such a 
time, the bear, unless killed outright, is sure to make an 
immediate end of his victim. But it is probable also 
that fear, on this occasion, had something to do in the 

Munter, however, who had now reached the scene of 
action, hesitated not a moment on going to the rescue of 
his brother; but before he had proceeded about thirty feet 
the bear dropped the wounded man, and resting his fore 
paws on the poor fellow's body, undauntedly looked his 
new antagonist in the face. Munter, deterred by the cries 
of the others from firing, was now induced to lay aside his 
rifle, and grasping his axe in its stead, he gallantly advanced 
to the attack. But when he had approached to within four 
or five feet of the bear, the latter left his victim, and quietly 
retreated farther into the forest. 

Thomasson, who was behind a bush, now fired, and sent 
a ball after him, which, however, went wide of the mark. 
Nalle, on receiving this fresh salute, hastily wheeled about, 


and with a terrible growl, rushed at his assailants. Munter 
was the nearest to him, and was in the act of retracing his 
steps, for the purpose of recovering his gun ; but being 
encumbered with Skidor, and unable to get out of the way 
quick enough, the beast was in a few seconds up with him, 
and cast him headlong to the ground. As, however, he 
lay with his face deeply buried in the snow, and had besides 
the presence of mind to hold his breath, he, though severely 
wounded, escaped somewhat better than his unfortunate 

After a time the bear, of his own accord, left Munter, 
and went back to the spot which was at a very short 
distance where he had so cruelly maltreated Olsson. But 
the man, in the interim, had so far recovered himself as 
to be enabled to crawl under a neighbouring bush, which hid 
him from sight, and he therefore escaped a second visitation. 
The beast, however, paced round and about the bloody arena 
where the combat had taken place for some little time ; 
but not finding his expected victim, he at length took him- 
self quietly off. And there was no obstacle in his way, the 
two men with whole skins having no inclination farther to 
molest him. 

For this day the hunt was therefore at an end ; but on 
the following morning, the 19th, Thomasson and Persson, 
together with four others, renewed it. But on this occasion, 
however, more precautions were used; for the men now 
kept close together, so as to be enabled to assist one another 
in case of need. 

As the track of the bear leading from the late scene of 
conflict was marked with much blood, more especially in 
such places as he had rested on, the men soon expected 


to find his corpse. But they had not proceeded more 
than half a mile when, to their astonishment and dismay, 
the beast suddenly rushed from out of a thick brake, and 
charged them and this with such rapidity, that it was not 
until he was on the very point of seizing one of the party, that 
Olof Ersson, a youth of eighteen, who had never before seen 
a bear, was enabled to send a ball into his eye. The hurt, 
nevertheless, did not prevent the beast from casting Persson 
to the ground, and wounding him in the head and in the right 
arm. And it might have fared still worse for the poor man, 
had not Ersson come to the rescue ; who, throwing aside the 
discharged gun, with his axe dealt the bear so desperate 
a blow on the head (so severe a one, indeed, that Persson, 
whose skull he was gnawing, fancied he felt the fangs of the 
beast to loosen) as to prostrate him on the body of his 
victim. The bear, however, made an effort to rise, but at 
the same moment two bullets, fired by others of the party, 
pierced him to the heart. 

It was an old male ; in colour, black-grey, with the points 
of the hair lighter. The skin, although shrivelled when 
brought to the market at Gefle, measured upwards of eight 
feet in length. 

All the wounded men finally recovered ; but the hurts of 
more than one were of so serious a nature, that they would 
probably suffer from them as long as they lived. 



ON more than one occasion, whilst sojourning at Ronnum, 
as well as subsequently, I paid flying visits to my Wermeland 
friends ; amongst the rest to M. Falk, who, though advanced 
in life, is still in the enjoyment of excellent health, and as 
renowned as ever for his Skalls. But as bears are now 
somewhat scarce in his district, he has not of late years 
been nearly so fortunate as in bygone days. 

I subjoin an account of several of M. Falk's earlier and 
more remarkable Skalls. Slight mention, it is true, was 
made of more than one of these great hunts in my former 
work; but as the present details, penned by M. Falk him- 
self, are not only fuller, but contain much new matter, I 
doubt not they will prove acceptable to the reader. In 
the Skalls spoken of, it may be proper to remark, great 
numbers of men were generally engaged, in some instances 
probably a thousand or more. 

VOL. i. x 



" Winter Bear Skall, near to the lake Stora Ullen, in the 
parish of Rada, 15th of March, 1815. 

" The Cordon having been formed, the Dref was ordered to 
advance ; but it had not proceeded far before a Jdgare (Chas- 
seur) belonging to that division came directly upon the bear, 
who, whilst leaving his den, growled fearfully his usual 
token when bent on mischief. To avoid being bitten, the 
man instantly cast himself backwards into the snow. So 
soon as the enemy had passed him, however, he got on 
to his legs again, and fired, the bullet passing obliquely 
through the body of the beast. At first there was a 
great flow of blood from the wound, but this, after a time, 
ceased in degree. 

" When the Skall had progressed somewhat, and the bear 
was again roused, he, without its being possible to stop him, 
rushed at another Jagare, by whom he was also wounded ; 
not sufficiently, however, to prevent him from springing 
on to a boulder, or fragment of rock, where his assailant, 
after firing, had taken refuge. Seizing hold of him with 
his paws, he cast him down from thence, and buried him 
in the deep snow beneath ; but happily, although the beast 
tore away the collar of the man's upper coat, he in no wise 
injured his person. 

" The bear now charged a pikeman, overthrew him, bit a 
large piece out of his thigh, and tore off the lower part of his 
nose, so that it hung over his mouth ; afterwards he broke 
through the Ring. 

" A Jagare, near at hand, by taking a short cut, succeeded 
in coming up with the beast, whom he would probably have 
killed had not his gun unfortunately missed fire. The bear 
now rose on his hind legs, and with his fore paws embraced 


the shoulders of his new antagonist ; whilst the man, on his 
part, seized the heast by the ears, and the shaggy portion of 
his hide thereabouts. The bear, greatly weakened by loss of 
blood, and his opponent a man of uncommon strength, whilst 
thus grappling with each other, twice fell to the ground 
together, and again resumed an upright position, without 
either letting go his hold of his adversary. During the 
fearful struggle, both arms of the man were severely bitten 
above the wrist. At first, the bear was only enabled to 
reach the upper part of the man's body with his claws ; 
>ut now that the poor fellow was greatly exhausted, and 
10 longer able to keep him at a distance, the jaws of the 
beast all but embraced his throat. At this critical moment 
I luckily reached the spot, and quickly put an end to the very 
unequal combat. 

" Both of the wounded men were subsequently conveyed 
to Risater ; and though the cure was slow, they eventually 
recovered. To this day, however, the nose of the one is 
deeply scarred, and the arms of the other have never re- 
gained their proper strength." 

" Winter Bear Skall, near to Mukelstorp, in the parish of 
Sunne, the 15th of April, 1817. 

Four bears a female with three yearling cubs were 
listurbed from their winter quarters and ringed. When the 
season is far advanced, these beasts seldom remain stationary 
each of their new lairs for more than a few hours together ; 
ind I therefore considered myself lucky in encircling them on 
the day mentioned. Fine weather and yodt Skar-fore* 

* Skare signifies a crust on the surface of the snow ; godt Skar-fore, that 
the crust is sufficiently hard frozen to support man or beast, 

x 2 


greatly facilitated my operations. About eleven o'clock A.M., 
by which time the Dref had advanced very considerably, and 
whilst standing at the foot of a declivity, all the four bears 
came directly towards me. The two foremost I had the good 
fortune to kill with my two rifles. The other two imme- 
diately wheeled about, and made for the opposite side of the 
Ring, where they were received with a lively Jagare-eld 
meaning a running fire extending along the whole line, and 
soon also met their doom. Within a quarter of an hour of 
the first shot, all the four bears were placed in a heap. At 
the toasts, drunk commemorative of our success, the bloody 
pile served instead of tables and chairs, for the more distin- 
guished of the individuals present." 

" Great Summer Skall, near to the lake Knon, in the 
parish of Eksharad, 1 6th of June, 1818. 

" The considerable ravages committed by wild beasts in 
this district, rendered a summer Skall necessary, and one 
accordingly took place. But when the circle was contracted 
to within the smallest possible compass consistent with the 
safety of the men, without a bear showing himself, I 
almost came to the conclusion there were none within 
the Ring, and was therefore about dismissing the people to 
their homes. Whilst this point was under discussion, how- 
ever, two of those beasts both of very large size suddenly 
rushed upon us. One of them I was so lucky as to 
shoot myself. The other bear headed about and dashed at 
the opposite line, where he was immediately received with a 
very heavy fire, and badly wounded : to that degree, indeed, 
that a Jagare was enabled to follow him along the line so 
very closely, that the muzzle of his gun, which he made 


various ineffectual attempts to discharge, all but touched the 
breech of the beast. Nalle, becoming at length enraged, 
turned on his assailant, whom he seized by the calf of the 
leg, and threw to the ground, and then laid himself at 
length, and with all his weight, on the body of his victim. 
The man now used every effort to draw his knife, that he 
might cut the throat of the beast; but from the weapon 
being deposited in his undermost pocket, he found this to 
be impracticable. The poor fellow was therefore necessitated 
to wait patiently until assistance arrived, when the death 
)f the bear relieved him from his disagreeable and heavy 
>urthen. Happily, beyond the wound in his leg, and the 
effects of the squeeze to which he had been subjected, the 
escaped farther injury." 

" Great Summer Skall near to Gillermyren, in the parish 
of Rada, and Elfdahls Harad. 

" The Skall-plats, or area embraced by the hunt, was 
some fourteen miles in length ; its breadth, where the hunt 
commenced, nearly seven miles; and about two where it 

" It was near sunset before the Dref had neared its desti- 
nation ; when, at one and the same time, six large bears 
came strackande, or driving, some following tKe long, 
narrow morass, and others the side of it. Five of the beasts 
were shot within an hour. The sixth, which was badly 
wounded, and when it was dusk, rushed at a pikeman, 
who received him on the point of his weapon ; but the 
shaft of the spear breaking, the beast seized hold of the 
poor fellow's head with his claws, and tore off the skin and 
hair from the nape of the neck to the forehead, so that 


the scalp hung over his face. After the performance of this 
feat, the bear broke through the Cordon, and was not killed 
until the following day. The wounded man was conveyed to 
Risater, where his scalp was replaced, and sewed on again ; 
he recovered, but was bald ever afterwards." 

" Great Summer Skall, near to the lake Lilla Ullen, 
in the parish of Rada, and Elfdahls Harad, 28th of 
August, 1819. 

" The Skall-plats was ten miles in length ; the breadth 
at the commencement of the hunt, seven miles ; and at the 
termination, nearly one mile. 

" A heavy and continued rain so impeded the movements 
of the people, that at dusk the Skall was only so far 
advanced, that the bears and wolves within the Cordon began 
to show themselves. Seeing the impossibility of bringing it 
to a conclusion that day, I came to the determination of 
compressing the circle as much as possible, so that we might 
with the greater certainty keep guard during the night over 
the imprisoned beasts. Whilst this operation was going on, 
and when it was half dark, and the greater portion of the guns 
useless from wet, we killed one large bear and three wolves. 

" After the Skall had come to a halt, a sort of barricade, 
consisting principally of large fir-trees felled lengthwise, and 
afterwards kindled, was formed all around the enclosure. 
Whilst the one- half of the people kept watch, the other half 
were permitted to sleep. Patrols, moreover, constantly went 
their rounds in different directions, letting their presence be 
known by their challenges. 

" During the first part of the night the imprisoned beasts 
were in incessant motion. The bears in particular came, in 


several instances, so near the fires, that lighted brands were 
cast at them hy the people ; one, indeed, carried away some 
live coals in his shaggy hide ! 

" But towards morning all was still. At day-light, we 
found that in the darkness of the preceding evening the circle 
had been so much contracted, that the people could not fire 
with safety, and in consequence I now caused them to fall 
back considerably ; but in spite of the noise caused by this 
operation, the imprisoned beasts did not show themselves. 

" Fully convinced, however, that they had not escaped us 
during the night, I now led a small party of men to a dense 
brake within the Ring where I had reason to believe they 
might yet skulk for the purpose of forcing them on the 
line. So soon as this movement took place, two large bears, 
four wolves, and three lynxes, as likewise a multitude of 
hares, that had here had their Syskon-sang,* then appeared ; 
and as the guns had been put in order during the night, they 
were received with a very heavy fire from all sides. I myself 
shot the largest bear, and afterwards two lynxes and three 
wolves. Within half an hour all the beasts were killed. 
Including those shot the preceding evening, the returns con- 
sisted of three capital bears, seven wolves, and three lynxes." 

" Summer Skall, near to Ullen, in the parish of Rada, 
and Elfdahls Hiirad, 16th of September, 1823. 

* Syskon (for which there is no equivalent in English) means brothers and 
sisters collectively. Syskon-s'dng implies a temporary bed of straw, or what 
not, on the floor of an apartment or out-building, occupied by the sexes 
indiscriminately. Dming my wanderings in the northern forests, it often 
happened that several of us, strangers to each other, when taking shelter 
under a friendly roof, and when proper accommodation was wanting, thus 
l>ii, r irnl loo-el her. 


" Before the Skall was brought so near to a conclusion, 
that the bears could with any certainty be kept within the 
lines, an enormously large bear attempted to break through 
the Dref. After he had received several balls, one of which 
carried away his two lowermost fangs, together with part of 
the jaw-bone itself, and another that passed through the 
upper part of his thigh, he rushed with an unwonted degree 
of fury on the people ; and notwithstanding their very 
gallant opposition, he attacked one man after the other, so 
that, almost at the same time, he wounded no less than six 
individuals two of the number so badly, indeed, that they 
had to be borne from the field. He then broke through the 
line, and for the time escaped. 

" A young Jagare observing this, and by taking a more 
direct course than the bear > succeeded in intercepting him ; 
but in attempting to fire, his gun would not go off, on which 
the beast forthwith charged and laid him prostrate ; and 
whilst with his fore paws, placed over the poor fellow's 
shoulders, he pressed him to the earth, he not only scalped 
the half of his head, but inflicted no less than thirty-seven 
wounds on his body. Had the man been lying on his 
back instead of his face, and that the lower fangs of the 
bear had not been previously shot away, he must inevitably 
have been killed. Although there were many spectators to 
the tragedy, there was no one present who had the means of 
rendering assistance. So soon as the man remained perfectly 
motionless, however, the bear left him of his own accord, and 

" An unusual murmur, indicative of distress, coupled with 
cries and lamentations, caused me to hurry to the spot. My 
first care was to have the sufferers (after that their wounds 


had been bound up) conveyed home ; my second, to fill up 
a gap in the Dref, of at least four hundred feet in length, 
caused by the fright the recent catastrophe had occasioned. 
A halt was now ordered, it being believed that a bear was 
still within the Cordon. 

" As there was every reason to suppose that the bear 
which had escaped from us was badly wounded, I now went 
in immediate pursuit of him. After breaking through the 
line, and proceeding some little distance, the beast had, it 
appeared, doubled back upon the pathway I was pursuing, so 
that I had not proceeded far when we fortunately met face to 
face. A deep growl was the first intimation I had of his 
presence. So soon as I caught sight of the bear I dashed at 
him. At our best pace we attacked each other : on my 
part, with no other fear than that if I missed him, he might, 
whilst I was reloading, either attack me, or escape altogether 
out of my sight; for I saw from the first, that owing to 
the wound in his thigh, I could run the faster of the two. 
At length, however, and when about twenty feet off, I 
got a good shot at the beast, when I put a bullet right 
through his heart. This was at so great distance from the 
Skall, that only those men nearest to the spot, heard the 
report of my gun. 

" Another large bear, though of a more pacific disposition, 
was, as I had supposed, still within the Cordon. But this 
beast was not killed until the circle was contracted to the 
utmost, and even then I could with difficulty drive him to 
within reach of the guns. 

" The first bear was unusually large the largest, indeed, 
that I ever saw. Six men, with a stout pole inserted length- 
wise between his shackled legs, and four others with poles 


placed crosswise, could with difficulty carry him a short 
distance. I have shot many bears which weighed about 
thirty lispund* (near six hundred English pounds) ; but all 
these were much smaller, so that I cannot calculate the 
weight of this bear at less than forty lispund (near eight 
hundred pounds)." 

M. Falk winds up this account of his performances, dated 
some years back, by saying : " I have have had a great 
number of, more or less, successful Skalls. In many of 
them, three or four bears have been killed. But unless 
some extraordinary incident occurs, it does not appear to me 
worth while describing how these beasts simply die; and I 
therefore do not enter into farther particulars. Large and 
small together, I have killed in Skalls eighty-six bears !" 

* In the above calculation, I assume Victualie weight, which, in Sweden, is 
used for all general purposes, to be that meant by M. Talk; but I have 
nevertheless my suspicions, that he refers to Bergs weight, which is about 
eleven per cent less. 



MENTION was made in my former work of several of the 
great Skalls that took place in the time of Frederick I. of 
Sweden, under the command of Hof-Jagmastare* Andreas 
Schonberg, a man far-famed in his day as the slayer of wild 
beasts. I now subjoin an account (penned by Schonberg 
himself, and annexed in the shape of notes to the plans of 
each) of the remainder of those he organized for the amuse- 
ment of that monarch. The winter Skalls, it should be 
remarked, were in general round or oval ; whilst those that 
took place in the summer were, for the most part, some- 
what in the shape of a sugar-loaf. 

No. 1 . " The first Skall that the King honoured me with 

* This title may be rendered Hunting-master to the Court. 


his commands to organize," says Schonberg, " was towards 
the end of July, 1720, near to Buskara, in the parish of 
Nora, and province of Westmanland. Each wing was three 
thousand one hundred and fifty paces in length ; breadth at 
the commencement, two thousand one hundred paces. 

" His Majesty, accompanied by his Serene Highness 
Prince William of Hesse, was then on his way to Gefle, to 
inspect the Finnish army which was assembled there ; and 
as the Prince was desirous of hastening back to Germany, 
I was graciously ordered, against their return, to look for 
a suitable locality for a small Skall that would be concluded 
in a single day ; and this even should there be only a single 
bear within it, so that the Prince, who had never seen that 
beast in a hunt, might have the opportunity of shooting one. 

" As I knew, that during the whole of the past spring a 
capital bear had had his haunts thereabouts, I immediately 
caused the needful preparations to be made for the Skall. 
But that the beast might not be disturbed, I directed that, 
instead of cutting Skall-gator (paths or rides, as we would 
say) through the forest, to direct the movements of the 
people, the trees should be simply scored with the axe ; and 
even this operation was not performed until all the men and 
the Jagt-tyg * were in their proper places. 

* Nets, and so called Lappar. The latter consist of pieces of coarse 
canvas of about three feet in length, and of breadth proportionate, on which 
Saracens' heads and other ugly devices are painted in very vivid colours. 
These Lappar are suspended, at short intervals, to a line of great length, 
which is supported by upright forked stakes at a few feet from the ground ; 
and when fluttering in the wind, are not only enough to turn back wild beasts, 
but to scare the fiend himself. At times the Jagt-tyg is of great length : in 
one instance in the present chapter, we read of its circumventing a wood six 
thousand two hundred and seventy-four paces in circumference. 


" The royal party having arrived, the Dref moved forward, 
and when the people had advanced half-way, the bear showed 
himself three to four times near to the King's Skitirm, or 
screen.* But his Majesty always allowed the beast to pass 
unmolested, that the Prince might have the pleasure of 
shooting him. At length he came near to his Serene Highness, 
who fired, but only wounded him. The bear, on receiving 
the ball, immediately rushed towards the Jagt-tyg opposite, 
threw down two men, one of whom he wounded in the 
leg, and the other in the knee, and breaking through the 
line, made his escape. The dogs were sent in pursuit, but 
could never overtake him. 

" His Majesty afterwards shot a lynx and four foxes, as 
also a number of birds and hares; and his Serene Highness the 
Prince, six foxes, together with abundance of smaller game." 

No. 2. " Bear Skall, 22nd of September, 1720, in the 
forest of Forssby, and parish of Skultuna, Westmanland. 
One wing was six thousand one hundred and forty-nine 
paces in length, the other eight thousand six hundred and 
sixty-eight paces. 

" I had the honour to conduct this Skall to his Majesty's 
high gratification. On this occasion the King, with his own 
high hand, shot a large she-bear, and wounded a smaller 
one, which was afterwards killed by the gentlemen present. 
A moderately large bear was besides wounded, and then 
worried to death by his Majesty's dogs. A wolf and five 
foxes, together with a tolerably large number of hares and 
birds, were also killed. All the foreign ministers and other 
foreigners of distinction, were present at this Skall." 

* A kind of hut, composed chiefly or wholly of boughs, erected just within 
the Skull-plats, for the accommodation and protection of the King and others. 


No. 3. "Elk Skall, 24th of September, 1720, near 
to the post-house of Nyqvarn, on the borders of Westman- 
land and Upland. The Jagt-tyg surrounded the whole 
of the small Skogs-backe, or wooded eminence, on the 
Upland side, embracing an extent of six thousand two 
hundred and seventy-four paces. 

" When the bear Skall in the parish of Skultuna was 
over, I received gracious orders from the King, to ascertain 
if any elks were to be found, not far distant from the road, 
between Westeras and Ekholmsund, so that his Majesty, 
on returning from the former place a couple of days after- 
wards, might have the pleasure of shooting them. I was 
so fortunate on the following day as to meet with five 
of those animals, that frequented the above-named little 
wood ; and the whole of them, after the King's gracious 
arrival at the Skall which did not take place until the 
afternoon were, within an hour, killed by his Majesty's own 
high hand." 

No. 4. "Bear Skall, 7th of December, 1720, near to 
By, in the parish of Harbo, Westmanland. Circumference 
of the Skall-plats, about three thousand four hundred and 
fifty-two paces. 

" On the 27th of November, a peasant from the village of 
Marstalla, reported to me that on the 24th of the same 
month, he had ringed in his allotment of the forest, a she- 
bear and her four yearling cubs, which during the previous 
night had crossed his grounds; but that as immediately 
afterwards there came on a severe snow-storm, which oblite- 
rated their tracks, he was not altogether certain that they 
were still within the circle. For this reason, and prior to 
sending in my humble report, I deemed it desirable to get 


the bears on foot again, by means of a Dref-Skall, and to 
ring them afresh. 

; 'This took place on the 29th of November, the men 
engaged in it being from the nearest villages in the 
parish. But when the people had gone over the Ring 
made by the said peasant, and no bear was found, every 
one present was of opinion that the beasts had left it during 
the recent snow-storm, and gone elsewhere. The peasant 
himself, however, thought differently ; and said that if the 
people would wait awhile near to the village, he would with 
all haste run back to the forest, and examine a particular 
stone under which, on former occasions, bears had had their 
winter quarters. 

" His request was granted ; and in half-an-hour he returned 
and reported that his supposition had proved correct ; for that 
all the beasts, with the exception of the mother, were actually 
lying beneath the stone in question. She, it appeared, on 
his peering under it, sprung out on the instant ; and though 
without injuring him in any manner, in passing, knocked 
him heels over head, and gone her way. 

" The other peasants would not credit this intelligence, and 
several of them hastened to the spot indicated to see for 
themselves ; when they presently found that their companion 
had told the truth. It appeared by the tracks in the snow, 
moreover, that during the Skall two of the men had actually 
passed over the very stone (which was flat, and but little 
elevated above the ground) under which the bears were then 
lying, and that all the five had nevertheless remained per- 
fectly still. Three of the cubs were immediately killed by 
the people, but the fourth was brought back by them alive 
to the village. 



"A Skytt (implying a Jagare, or Chasseur) was forth- 
with ordered to follow on the Spar, and to ring the large 
bear. For six days, however, she incessantly traversed the 
forest far and wide, her peregrinations extending over several 
different parishes, without her showing any intention of again 
betaking herself to rest. But at length she returned to the 
very part of the forest where she had left her young ones 
not to the same stone, it is true, but she made for herself a 
lair above ground at some distance therefrom, where she 
remained quiet until the King's arrival. 

" As his Majesty was graciously pleased to select for him- 
self another place at the Skall than that originally designed 
for him, and where he indeed stationed himself in the 
first instance, it so happened that Hof-Jagmastare Count 
Spens, who remained at the spot vacated by the King, 
was first aware of the bear, and wounded her. His Majesty 
now ordered that all the dogs should be slipped, and the 
beast worried. This was done, and when they at length 
held her fast, the King proceeded to the spot, and with 
his own high hand pierced her to the heart with a bear- 

No. 5. "Bear Skall, 8th of December, 1720, in the 
forest of Ljusbeck, and parish of Nora, Westmanland. Cir- 
cumference of the Ring, two thousand five hundred and 
seventy-six paces. 

" At this little winter Skall, his Majesty shot with his 
own high hand, a somewhat angry and malicious bear." 

No. 6. "Bear Skall, 9th of December, 1720, in the 
forest of Norra Ashbo, near to Dunsjon, in the above parish. 
Circumference of the Ring, one thousand nine hundred and 
ninety-four paces. 


" At this small winter Skall, which was organized by me 
for his Majesty, a large she-bear, and a somewhat smaller 
she-bear, were shot by the King's own high hand. His 
Majesty also wounded a male bear, which was afterwards 
worried to death by the dogs. 

" All these three bears lay in an Ihdligt Stengrope that is, 
in a deep cavity, amongst a mass of fragments of rocks ; for 
which reason they were, in the first instance, passed alto- 
gether by the driving division of the Skall. As, however, 
the peasant, when ringing the beasts, noticed the direction 
they had taken, and knew where they were, it was graciously 
ordered, that either by blank shots, or otherwise, they should 
be driven out from their place of concealment. But as firing 
had not the desired effect, one of the attendants, provided 
with a stake, resolved on creeping into the hole and dis- 
lodging them; and when the beasts became aware of his 
presence, they all three, in forcing their way out of the hole, 
sprang over his body, though without doing him the slightest 

No. 7. "Bear Skall, 10th of December, 1720, in the 
forest of Norsjo, and parish of Lofsta, Westmanland. 

"At this Skall, arranged by me for the King, a capital 
bear was shot by his Majesty ; the beast was dead within 
eighteen minutes from its commencement." 

No. 8. "Elk Skall, 30th of December, 1721, in the 
forest of Budkarby, and parish of Nora. Circumference of 
the Ring, six thousand eight hundred and ninety-two paces. 

" On the 26th of December, by means of an express from 
the royal court, I received gracious orders to ascertain, either 
in the parishes of Wahla, or Harbo, or in that of Nora, 
where some elks were to be found ; the King, then on his 

VOL. i. Y 


way to Dalecarlia, being desirous of shooting some before 
the termination of the year. On the 28th I therefore pro- 
ceeded to Upsala, there humbly to wait on his Majesty, and 
to report that four male elks were already ringed ; and in 
consequence I received orders to arrange the Skall for the 
30th. On that day all the animals were killed by the King, 
who afterwards prosecuted his journey." 

[Nos. 9, 10, and 11. These Skalls, which are not 
of any particular interest, are made mention of in the 
" Northern Sports."] 

No. 12. "Elk Skall, 14th of August, 1724, in the forest 
of Fasenbo, and parish of Lofsta. The Skall-plats an 
elongated triangle ; the wings three thousand three hundred 
paces; with an extensive Sido (or lateral) Dref. 

"At this Skall, which I had the honour to organize for 
his Majesty, two elks, three wolves, together with several 
hares and birds, were shot." 

No. 13. "Bear Skall, in the forest of Opsala, and 
parish of Berg, Westmanland. The Skall-plats also an 
elongated triangle. 

" At this Skall, which was less than two miles in length, 
a tolerably large bear was shot by his Majesty." 

No. 14. "Bear Skall, 26th of August, 1724, in the 
forest of Ostersura, and parish of Sura, Westmanland. 

"At this Skall, which was little more than two miles in 
length, two large bears, and a very large male elk, were shot 
by his Majesty's own high hand." 

No. 15. "Elk and Bear Skall, 18th of September, 1724, 
in the forest of Hanberga, and parish of Skultuna, West- 
manland. The Skall-plats triangular in form, the wings 
three thousand paces in length. 



" At this Skall, which I had the honour to organize, his 
Majesty himself shot two elks, one wolf, and one lynx. 
There was also a capital large hear enclosed, which three 
several times was driven forward to the King's screen; hut 
his Majesty would not fire, preferring rather the pleasure 
of worrying the beast with the dogs. These were, there- 
fore, all let loose upon the bear ; but he nevertheless 
heat them off, and rushing through the Jagt-tyg, escaped 


Much mention, it will be observed, is made by Schonberg, 
of dogs at these great hunts. If the accompanying spirited 

Y 2 


sketch, copied by a friend, from a picture at the Royal 
Palace of Drottningholm, represents those used by King 
Frederick, they must have been large and powerful animals ; 
and with a full-grown bear courage and strength, as we 
have seen and shall see presently, are much needed. In 
point of fact, I do not believe a score dogs, however big, 
would stand the shadow of a chance with such a beast as that 
at present in the Zoological Gardens, in the Regent's Park. 

No. 16. "Elk Skall, 6th of September, 1727, in the 
forest of Botbo, and parish of Moklinta. The Skall-plats an 
irregular triangle, the wings five hundred and five* paces in 
length ; with an extensive Sido-Dref from the parish of Nora. 

" At this Skall, which I had the honour to arrange for his 
Majesty, fifteen elks were killed, the greater part by the King 
himself. Three or four bears had also been seen the day 
before within the Skall-plats ; but during the preceding 
night (as I myself ascertained when going my rounds), some 
mischievous person had purposely thrown down a portion of 
the Jagt-tyg, thereby causing a large opening, by which the 
beasts had made their escape. It was great good fortune, 
therefore, that the elks remained, and that his Majesty had 
the gratification of shooting them. But the individual 
who committed this infamous deed, was acquainted, it would 
seem, with the nature of the animals, and well -knew that 
bears, when they are driven and afterwards confined, are 
constantly in motion, and endeavouring to find an opening 
whereby to escape ; whereas elks, on the contrary, will, if 
undisturbed, remain stationary, at one and the same spot 
during the darkest hours of the night." 

No. 17. "Elk Skall, 13th of September, 1727, in the 
* It would almost seem as if a figure were omitted. 


Prestskoy (the clergyman's forest allotment), and parish of 
Lofsta. The Skall-plats nearly triangular in form, and each 
wing about five thousand four hundred and twenty paces in 

" At this Skall, which I had the honour to arrange for his 
Majesty, two elks were killed." 

No. 18. " Elk Skall, in the forest of Ramsta, and parish 
of Kumla, Westmanland. The wings three thousand seven 
hundred and sixty-four paces in length. 

" At this Skall, arranged by me, two elks were also shot. 
Bears had besides been recently seen in this forest, and done 
mischief; but when the Skall took place, an opening was 
left in the driving division of near a mile in extent, which 
circumstance was in all humility forthwith reported." 

No. 19. " Wolf Skall, 23rd of September, 1727, near to 
Kungsor, in Westmanland. The wings three thousand five 
hundred and fifty paces in length. 

" On this occasion his Majesty shot three wolves." 

No. 20. "Wolf Skall, 25th of September, 1727, in the 
Prestskog, of Munketorp, Westmanland. The wings three 
thousand two hundred and fifty paces in length. 

" At this Skall three wolves and four foxes were killed." 

No. 21. "Bear Skall, 25th of January, 1728, in the 
forest of Nasbo, and parish of Wittinge, Westmanland. 
Circumference of the Ring, two thousand four hundred and 
seventy-two paces. 

"At this little winter Skall, which I had the honour to 
conduct for his Majesty, four bears were ringed, three of 
which were shot, and the fourth ordered to be taken living, 
which was accomplished." 

No. 22. " Bear Skall in the forest of Lanna, and parish 


of Huddunge, Westmanland. Circumference of the Ring, 
two thousand six hundred and ninety-two paces. 

"At this Skall, which I had the honour to arrange for 
the King, and within half-an-hour from its commencement, a 
capital bear was shot by his Majesty." 

No. 23. "Bear Skall, 27th of January, 1728, in the 
forest of Rodje, and parish of Huddunge. 

"This Skall I had also the honour to conduct for the 
King. A middle-sized bear lay ringed, not far from a 
lake; and as his Majesty was graciously pleased to allow 
the beast to be worried by the dogs, I therefore took up the 
Jagt-tyg by the side of the lake ; and after having been 
wounded he was driven towards the water, but he had not 
proceeded far before the dogs killed him." 

No. 24. "Bear Skall, 3rd of February, 1728, in the 
forest of Budkarby, and parish of Nora, Westmanland. Cir- 
cumference of the Ring, two thousand three hundred and 
six paces. 

"This Skall I had also the honour to arrange for the 
King; but when it was about to take place, the Major- 
General Ditfort, from Cassel, was sent by his Majesty to 
shoot the three bears that were ringed. The largest of 
them was killed by him; the other two were taken living, 
and conveyed to Tierp, to which place the King had in 
the meantime proceeded." 

No. 25. "Elk Skall, 6th of February, 1728, near to 
Tierp. Circumference of the Ring, seven thousand two 
hundred and fifty-six paces. 

"When I arrived at Tierp, with the two young bears, 
which had been taken living at the last Skalls in West- 
manland, his Majesty graciously ordered me to ascertain 


where some elks harboured, that he might have the pleasure 
of shooting them before returning to Stockholm. On the 
night of the 3rd of February, therefore, I set off, and on 
the 4th was so fortunate as to meet with a herd of nine 
of those animals, not far from Marsjon, in the parish of 
Tierp, which were ringed at once. A humble report of 
this circumstance was made on the morning of the 5th, 
on which day the people were ordered out, and on the 
following day I had the honour to organize the Skall for 
his Majesty. And as amongst these nine elks there were 
eight capital males, it pleased his Majesty to shoot six of 
them himself; and two others, by permission, were killed 
by Lieutenant- General Bounebourg, from Cassel, who accom- 
panied the King to see our Swedish way of hunting. The 
ninth elk, which was a young female, was shot by Major- 
General Ditfort, from Cassel. When the hunt was over, 
it pleased his Majesty, with many gracious words, to express 
the very great gratification that the several Skalls organized 
by me during his journey, had afforded him." 

No. 26. " Elk Skall, 17th of September, 1828, in the 
forest of Harberga, and parish of Skultuna. Each wing was 
two thousand four hundred paces in length. 

" On the King's journey from Westeras to Stromsholm on 
the 16th of September, I received gracious orders to arrange 
for the following day a little Skall, at which one or two elks 
might be shot by his Majesty. This was accordingly done, 
when three of those animals, all males, were killed by him." 

No. 27. "Bear Skall, 31st of January, 1729, in the 
forest of Hars, and parish of Wahla. Circumference of the 
Ring, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-five paces. 

"Having, in the beginning of the year 1729, received a 


gracious order by means of Dref-Skalls to get bears on 
foot, as well here as in the province of Gestrikland, and after- 
wards to ring and watch the beasts until his Majesty came 
and shot them, I immediately set out for that purpose, and 
caused such Skalls to be arranged ; and in divers places and 
districts succeeded in rousing fourteen bears. 

"The Skalls commenced on the above-named day in his 
gracious Majesty's high presence, here in Wahla, where five 
bears were ringed in three several parts of the forest ; and 
the first was shot by him early in the morning within the 
space of an hour." 

No. 28. " Bear Skall same day, in the same tract of 
forest. Circumference of the Ring, two thousand two 
hundred and thirty-six paces. 

" There lay a capital bear here ; but as this beast, when 
the hunt was about half driven, ran on the people, and 
severely wounded four or five men, the King ordered that all 
the dogs, in number about sixty, should be let loose upon 
the beast, which was accordingly done, when he at once 
killed six or seven of them ;* but he was afterwards mastered 
by the rest, so that I was enabled to give him a couple of 
thrusts through the body with my hanger, which, together 
with his life, put an end to his fury and ferocity." 

No. 29. " Bear Skall, same day, in the same line of 
forest. Circumference of the Ring, two thousand and twenty- 
five paces. 

" After that his Majesty had been graciously present at 
the two above-mentioned Skalls, which had afforded him 

* Mention was made of this Skall in my former work; but I have intro- 
duced it here, to show the treatment high-couraged dogs are likely to meet 
with from the bear. 


high gratification, he proceeded to Hedsunda Parsonage. But 
to amuse his Serene Highness Prince George from Hesse, his 
Majesty's highly-to-be-beloved brother, who accompanied him 
on this journey, he graciously ordered that the third Skall, 
in the same forest, where three bears were still ringed, should 
take place. But the above-named Prince, who was no lover 
of the chase, did not come when the hunt was ready to 
begin, but gave permission to the gentlemen of his suite, in 
his stead, to shoot the three bears, which was accordingly 

No. 30. "Bear Skall, 3rd of February, 1729, in the 
forest of Asbyggeby, and parish of Wahlbo. Circumference 
of the Ring, two thousand six hundred and forty-six paces. 

" At this Skall, which I had the honour to organize, a 
capital large bear was shot by the King, who, the same day, 
continued his journey to the parish of Ofvansjo." 

No. 31. "Bear Skall, 4th of February, 1729, in the 
forest of Kungsgard, and parish of Ofvansjo, Gestrikland. 
The circumference of the Ring, two thousand nine hundred 
and two paces. 

" This Skall I had the honour to conduct for his Majesty, 
on which occasion a middle-sized bear, after being wounded 
by their Excellencies the Privy Councillors, Counts Ture 
Bielke and Gustavus Bonde, was worried to death by his 
Majesty's dogs." 

No. 32. "Bear Skall, 5th of February, 1729, in the 
forest of Ulfsbo, and parish of Eastern Fernebo. Circum- 
ference of the Ring, two thousand one hundred and sixty-six 

" At this Skall, which I had the honour to arrange for 
his Majesty, he shot a moderately large she-bear, and also 


commanded that the other bear, which was within the same 
Ring, should, if possible, be captured living, and be conveyed 
to him at Eastern Fernebo Parsonage, which order, with 
much difficulty, was carreid into effect." 

No. 33. "Bear Skall, February, 1729, in the Bishops- 
boskog (the bishop's forest allotment for the pasturage of 
cattle), in the parish of Nora. Circumference of the Ring, 
three thousand and two paces." 

" This Skall I had the honour to arrange for the King, 
on which occasion his Majesty with his own high hand shot 
the bear which was there ringed." 

No. 34. "Lynx Skall, 9th of February, 1729, in the 
parish of Norrby. Circumference of the Ring, three thou- 
sand and sixty-four paces. 

" After his Majesty's arrival at the town of Sala, the 
Jagare who, at the Skall at Nora, had been ordered to 
ascertain if some lynxes were to be found, and could be 
ringed in the vicinity of Sahlberg, came with the report that 
he, in the parish of Norrby, had on that very morning 
encircled three of these animals. I was therefore graciously 
ordered to arrange a hunt for that same day, which also took 
place, and by sunset in the evening all the beasts were shot 
by the King." 

No. 35. "Bear SkaU, 12th of February, 1729, in 
the forest of Eastern Sura, Westmanland. Circumference 
of the Ring, two thousand one hundred and fourteen 

" When the lynx Skall was terminated in the parish of 
Norrby, I received a gracious order to organize a bear Skall 
on the above-named day, in readiness for his royal Majesty ; 
but when all things were in order, an express arrived 


with intelligence that the King had set off on his return to 
Stockholm, giving directions, however, that the Colonel 
Donep, from Cassel, should shoot the ringed bears a 
female and her three young ones which happened in this 
wise : that after the above-named Colonel had killed the 
mother, all the three cubs were taken living, and sent with 
him to Stockholm ; and thus this Skall ended well and 
fortunately this time." 

Nos. 36 and 37 " Bear Skalls on the 2nd and 4th 
of April ; the one took place in the forest of Aby, and parish 
of Sala ; and the other in the forest of Fornby, and parish of 
Moklinta. Circumference of the first Ring, one thousand 
nine hundred and ninety-six paces ; and of the latter, three 
thousand and sixteen paces. 

" As a peasant, in the parish of Sala, on the 4th day of 
Christmas, met with a Bjorn-Ide, and the beast sprung 
up and went his way, of which circumstance I was duly 
informed, I immediately directed a Jagare to ring the 
beast for his Majesty's pleasure ; and I was the more induced 
to do so, as another peasant, in the parish of Moklinta, had 
just before encircled a she-bear with her two young ones. 
On being advertised of what had occurred, the King sent me 
word, that at a future time he would come and shoot the 
bears himself, and directed that, in the meanwhile, the Rings 
should be well looked after. But as his Majesty was unable 
from circumstances to leave Stockholm, I received orders to 
arrange the Skalls for the beginning of April, when some 
gentlemen from Cassel would by permission, in his stead, 
kill the beasts. And on the above-mentioned days namely, 
the 2nd and 4th of April all the four bears were shot 


No. 38. "Bear Skall, 16th of February, 1732, in the 
forest of Svina, and parish of Harbo. Circumference of the 
Ring, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two paces. 

" After the Skall was organized, his Majesty, owing to 
the extreme severity of the weather, did not venture to be 
present in person, but deputed several gentlemen in his 
place, who shot the three bears that were ringed in the 
above-named forest." 

No. 39. The next Skall got up by Schonberg for 
King Frederick, took place on the 20th of July, 1732; but 
mention having been made of it in my former work, the 
details would here be somewhat out of place; suffice it to 
say, it was on a very grand scale, and lasted two days, and 
that the returns were four bears, two wolves, nine male elks, 
and fifteen female elks, besides a large number of hares and 
other smaller kinds of game. 

No. 40. "Bear Skall, 1 3th of February, 1735, in the 
forest of Nordankil, and parish of Moklinta. Circum- 
ference of the Ring, two thousand two hundred and thirty- 
six paces. 

" It was the original intention of his gracious Majesty him- 
self to have shot the bear ringed in the above-mentioned 
wood, but he afterwards willed that the Imperial Ambassador, 
M. Herberstein, should, in his stead, have that pleasure ; and 
when the Skall took place, that gentleman was accordingly 
present. As the night previously, however, a lynx had 
entered the Ring, and was the first beast that presented 
itself, M. Herberstein at once killed it. On hearing the shot, 
the bear, which at this time was not far distant, turned 
back on the Dref, and was there wounded by the German 
Jagare, Kiifeldt, and afterwards worried to death by his 


Majesty's dogs, so that the Ambassador did not see the 
beast alive." 

No. 4 1 . The last great hunt mentioned likewise in my 
former work that Schonberg organized for the King, com- 
menced on the 1st of September, 1737. It lasted four days, 
and was on a very grand scale. The one wing was twenty- 
seven thousand six hundred and ninety paces in length ; the 
other, twenty-four thousand six hundred and seventy-five 
paces ; and the base nine thousand three hundred. The 
returns were in degree commensurate with the scale of 
operations, for six large bears, three wolves, three lynxes, 
one fox, and twelve elks were shot, besides abundance of 
hares and birds. 



MY friend, M. Falk, as said, still survives; and so do 
Elg and Jan Finne, others of my old forest comrades. But 
Svensson, my faithful follower in many a severe bear hunt, 
is gone to his long home, having perished unhappily by my 
own hand. Though allusion to the sad occurrence is most 
painful, still to prevent misrepresentation, and for the sake of 
those who come after me, I deem it best to tell the tragic 

The poor fellow had ringed a large bear in a very wild 
forest tract, lying between the rivers Dal and Clara, in the 
Tio-Mil-Skog, or Ten (Sw.) Miles' Forest so called, I 
believe, owing to its extending something like that distance 
without a break of any kind but he and two others had 
previously followed the Spar of the beast for twenty to 
thirty miles as the crow flies, before they could accomplish 
their object. 


Svensson soon afterwards came to Brunberget, where 
I was then sojourning, in the Wermeland Finn-Skogar* 
(of which the Tio-Mil-Skog forms a portion), and offered 
me the Ring for a certain pecuniary consideration, con- 
tingent, of course, on the bear lying within it. I accepted 
his proposal, and with Elg in company, started on Skidor 
for the scene of action. But as we took a somewhat cir- 
cuitous route to search for another bear, of which we had 
intelligence, in the vicinity of Dyngsjon, it was not until 
the evening of the fourth day that we reached Ytter-Malung 
in Western Dalecarlia, near to which the Ring in question 
was situated ; and here, after making preparations for the 
morrow, we passed the night. 

Long before dawn of the next day, January 15th, 1835 
a day that I shall painfully remember to the last moment of 
my existence we started for the Ring, which was at seven 
to eight miles distance. Our party consisted of myself, Elg, 
Svensson, and the soldier Atter, who had assisted in ringing 
the bear. We had a sledge, of the sort used by the peasants 
for the conveyance of fuel, hay, &c., as well that we might 
benefit by an occasional ride, as with the view of bringing 
home the bear, which in imagination was already in our 

* During the reign of Charles IX. of Sweden now about two hundred and 
fifty years ago considerable numbers of Finns, encouraged by certain privi- 
leges and immunities offered them by that monarch, migrated from their 
native country, and settled in the more uninhabited parts of Wermeland and 
Dalecarlia. Hence the designation of Finn-Skogar, or Finn-forests. The 
descendants of these people still retain in degree not only the features, 
but the customs of their ancestors ; and some few of the older people, 
indeed, still speak the Finnish language. As Chasseurs, and as regards a 
knowledge of all forest craft, these Finnar, as they are to this day called, 
are far superior to their neighbours located in the valleys of the Clara and 
the Dal. 


possession. The vehicle, however, served a widely different 

As the snow was pretty deep and loose, the track bad, 
and the ground in general rising, our progress was slow, so 
that it was full daylight before we reached a Ho-Hdssja (a 
diminutive sort of hay-stack), situated at the foot of a little 
eminence in the immediate vicinity of the Ring, from which 
indeed it was only separated by a morass of no considerable 
extent. Under the shelter of this H6-Hassja we seated 
ourselves, and took some refreshment, which was needed, the 
walk having sharpened our appetites. 

Whilst thus agreeably occupied, Svensson pointed out the 
Ring, which lay to the westward of us, and the greater part 
of which was then visible. It was of no great size, but 
embraced within its circuit a pretty considerable and deeply 
wooded knoll. " On that eminence," said he, "*and at about 
the middle of it, the bear lies ; if not there, he is not within 
the Ring." 

When our frugal repast was ended, Elg, the soldier Atter, 
and I started for the Ring, leaving Svensson at the Ho- 
Hassja. Before parting, I strictly enjoined Svensson to 
remain at this spot until he heard a shot, or that we shouted, 
in which case he was forthwith to join us, as also to let 
loose the dog under his charge ; and that this object might 
be effected the more readily, we gave him a knife to sever 
the cord by which the animal was bound. Elg and myself 
were armed with guns, but the soldier carried only an axe. 

From the distance the bear had gone before Svensson 
succeeded in ringing him, it was to be presumed he was 
unusally shy, and therefore not readily approachable; still, 
as he had not been disturbed for some weeks, and the snow 


was loose a favourable circumstance, as our movements 
could therefore be conducted more silently we thought it 
best, in the first instance, to attempt stealing upon him 
whilst in his lair; and to give us the better chance, we 
left our Skidor at the Ho-Hassja ; for when the ground is 
broken, and the cover thick and tangled, one can move 
about with much more facility on foot, than if encumbered 
with those implements. On this occasion, owing to the 
unusual mildness of the temperature, Skidor could not, 
indeed, have been used to advantage. 

According to the testimony of the men at the subsequent 
trial, it must have been about ten o'clock when we reached 
the Ring. The weather was very thick and hazy, and sleet 
was falling, so that objects were not very clearly observable 
at any considerable distance. It was one of those melan- 
choly days so depressive to the spirits, common with us 
in England in the winter time, but rare in more northern 
climes at that season of the year. 

On this, as on similar occasions, when attempting to steal 
on a bear, Elg kept closely at my heels, for the purpose of 
handing me his rifle, if needed ; and Atter, the soldier, 
followed in his footsteps. We adopted this plan in pre- 
ference to walking abreast, as well because in the event 
of our falling in with the bear it gave me, individually, a 
better chance of getting a shot, as that the odds would have 
been more against him ; for, instead of a single barrel, to 
which, had Elg been alone, the beast would have been exposed, 
he was now pretty sure of getting the contents of my two 
barrels, and not improbably of a third. 

In this order we moved slowly and cautiously forward, 
peering under every boulder, and threading the most tangled 

VOL. i. z 


brakes as it was in such places the bear was most likely 
to harbour. We were somewhat inconvenienced by the 
sleet, and the continual dripping of water from the trees 
and bushes ; especially as respected the guns, which, in 
order that they might be in readiness for immediate use, 
were divested of their customary leathern cases, and the 
locks of which we were therefore obliged to cover with the 
skirts of our coats. For a time nothing was to be seen ; 
but at length a cavity in the face of the knoll in question 
attracted our attention. It was evidently the work of a 
bear, and we were at first in hopes that it was tenanted ; but 
this, on closer inspection, proved not to be the case. 

The beast thus burrowing was, however, a good augury. 
The Finnish Chasseurs, indeed, when late in the autumn they 
fall in with a burrow of recent origin, look upon it as a 
pretty sure sign that the bear means to take up his winter 
quarters in the vicinity of the spot. Thinking, therefore, 
our bear might not be far away, we persevered in the 
search ; and, as likely spots to shelter him met our eye, 
we kept zig-zagging about the same knoll. At first we 
took a southerly course, but after a time wheeled about 
again ; and though keeping rather lower down the emi- 
nence, we, in degree, retraced our footsteps. 

Whilst cautiously looking around us, our expectations of 
seeing the bear constantly on the stretch, and my gun at 
the time being on the full-cock, I suddenly caught an 
indistinct glimpse of a large dark object amongst the trees 
on the rising ground above us. It was at a distance, as it 
seemed to me through the sleet and mist, of a good gun- 
shot; and though stationary, so to say, it moved. Not 
doubting that it was the bear, I, in almost the twinkling 


of an eye, raised and discharged my gun, when the object at 
which I aimed at once sunk to the ground. Though Elg 
and the soldier were standing immediately behind me, 
neither of them saw it. But this was not to be wondered 
at, as, owing to the denseness of the cover, it was only 
from time to time that even a transient view could be 
obtained of anything in the distance. 

Almost at the instant of firing, and at the very spot 
to which my aim was directed, the dog became visible, and 
began to bark loudly ; on seeing which I cried out in great 
alarm : " Elg ! is it possible ? can I have shot my dog ?" 
But observing by the way in which the animal pulled at 
his tether, that he was uninjured, and recollecting that he 
was with Svensson, the truth flashed at once across my 
mind, and I exclaimed: "It is Svensson and not the dog 
that is killed !" And such was the dreadful fact ! On pro- 
ceeding to the spot, there lay the poor fellow stretched at 
his length, and stone dead ! It was a piteous sight to look 
on : a grey-headed old man he was then in his sixty- 
fifth year thus weltering in his own blood; and to me a 
doubly heart-rending spectacle, as it was my own hand 
that had sped the fatal bullet. We were all horror-stricken. 
For my part, what with reflecting on myself for having 
been the cause of the calamity, and grief for the loss of 
an old and tried comrade, my feelings are not to be conveyed 
by words. 

Indeed we were utterly confounded, as well as horrified; 
for after the very strict injunctions given to the poor man, it 
was quite incomprehensible to us how an old and experienced 
Chasseur, like him, could have ventured to leave his post. 
But, no doubt, he did so under the idea that we had searched 

z 2 


the knoll where he met his fate, and had subsequently gone 
elsewhere, and therefore considered there was no risk in 
following on our track. 

Though it was the veriest snap-shot, rny aim was 
unfortunately too true. One of the bullets there being 
two in either barrel had penetrated poor Svensson's head, 
just below the ear ; the other had taken effect in the upper 
part of the left shoulder, and passed out beneath the right 
arm, which it had shattered in its progress. Death must, 
therefore, have been instantaneous; which circumstance, 
poor as was the solace, was some little alleviation to 
my mind. 

When the old man received his death-wounds, he was 
engaged, as appeared by the marks at the stump of a tree, 
in lighting a fire. Had he been in an upright position, I 
should, no doubt, have looked twice before drawing the 
trigger: but whilst collecting sticks for fuel, his body was 
bent double, which made him more resemble a bear; and 
his stooping position, therefore, in all probability, caused his 
untimely and melancholy end. 

How far the poor fellow was from me, is hard to say 
to my notions, certainly not more than from sixty to 
seventy yards. This is, I think, borne out by the fact, 
that the balls mere running ones, and without leather, 
or covering of any kind around them took effect, as shown, 
within a very few inches of each other, which could hardly 
have been the case had the distance been much greater. 
Elg as will be seen by the depositions subsequently taken 
coincided with me in opinion in this matter; and in the 
first instance, so did the soldier; though he subsequently 
made out the distance to be very much greater. 


Poor Svensson fell at about one hundred and fifty 
paces from the Ho-Hassja, where, at the moment the deadly 
shot was fired, we firmly believed him still to be, and 
at some fifty paces to the left of us, instead of one 
hundred or more to the right, as he would have been, had 
he remained stationary. 

When we had somewhat recovered from the first shock of 
this dreadful accident, we bore our poor old companion to 
the sledge an operation which was attended with some 
difficulty, as the ground in places was rugged and broken ; 
and having laid the corpse in the vehicle, and covered it 
with a cloak, we slowly and sorrowfully wended our way 
back to Ytter-Malung, the hamlet from which we had 
started in the morning ; but how different were our feelings 
and reflections ! Then we were all life and animation, but 
now a band of mourners. Dissolution is at all times awful ; 
but when the grim tyrant comes upon us altogether un- 
expectedly, it is doubly so. Truly was it written, "In the 
midst of life we are in death." Such an end too for a 
man who, though desperately wounded in two instances, 
had escaped with life in innumerable conflicts with bears ; 
to be mistaken for a wild beast, and deliberately shot down 
as such by a companion ! Had he been killed by a bear, 
I should have looked on the event with comparative com- 
posure, for, according to the old proverb, he who plays 
with edged tools must expect to cut his fingers; but as 
it was, the calamity presented not a single point of solace 
or mitigation. 

On reaching Ytter-Malung, where the dead body was 
deposited, the soldier Atter was dispatched in a sledge to 
the authorities, to inform them of what had happened ; 


whilst Elg and myself proceeded to Ofver-Malung, where 
M. Godenius, the rector of the parish, gave me a most 
kind reception, and to the best of his power comforted me 
under my heavy affliction. 

A day or two afterwards there was a formal investigation 
of the affair, and the needful depositions were taken. The 
body of Svensson was also subjected to a post-mortem exami- 
nation, as is usual in such cases. 

On the 20th of February the trial took place before 
the Harads-Ratt, a Provincial Court, so to say. My own 
account of the catastrophe, in substance what I have stated, 
was given viva voce. Elg and the soldier handed to the Court 
their written depositions, of which a copy is annexed. 

" We, the undersigned, accompanied the Englishman, Mr. 
Lloyd, on the 15th instant, between Tyngberget and Nasan, 
in the parish of Malung, to search for a bear which was 
there ringed; and we had in our company for the same 
purpose Jan Svensson, of Roskknolen, in the same parish. 
When we came to a Ho-Hassja, situated at the foot 
of a Berg as (or lesser hill), which was only separated 
from the Ring by a small morass, Mr. Lloyd directed 
Svensson to remain there with the dog, whilst we and the 
Englishman should go into the Ring, to see if there was 
any bear; and Svensson was expressly ordered by Mr. 
Lloyd to remain on the spot until he heard shouts or a 
shot, in which case he was instantly to release the dog. 
When we came a little distance within the Ring, we found 
where the bear had been burrowing; and after searching 
thereabouts for a time, we made a little circuit, and then 
returned to nearly the same spot. Mr. Lloyd now caught 
sight of something black amongst the bushes, on the hill- 


side above us, at a distance of forty to fifty paces, which, 
as we supposed, he took to be the bear, and at which he 
discharged his gun. At the same moment, and in the 
direction he had fired, Mr. Lloyd's dog appeared ; on which 
he said : * Elg ! surely I have not shot my dog !' And 
afterwards, when he saw the dog unhurt, and as he knew 
to a certainty that the dog and Svensson were together, he 
exclaimed : ' I fear I have shot Svensson !' On this we 
hastened up the hill, and found Svensson lying shot and 
dead. This was within the Ring, and one hundred 
and forty- five paces from the place where he had been 
ordered to remain. Svensson had stood in a stooping 
osture, engaged in lighting a fire, as was apparent by the 
s on the ground. When Mr. Lloyd fired the shot, 
Svensson was about fifty paces to the left of us, instead 
of one hundred paces to the right, as he would have been 
had he remained at the H6-Hassja, where we had parted 
from him a quarter of an hour before, and where we to a 
certainty believed him still to be. The Ring was in the 
wildest part of the forest, and six to seven miles from the 
nearest habitation, No mere mortal could therefore by 
possibility have imagined, or could have had a presentiment, 
that any human being, excepting ourselves, could have been 
found in so remote a place." 

Subsequent to the above depositions being read, both 
men were interrogated by the Court. Elg did not vary in 
any material degree in his evidence ; but he went into more 
details as to our proceedings whilst in the Ring, &c. Neither 
did Atter vary in his testimony, excepting as to the distance 
Svensson was from me when the fatal shot was fired ; 


which, instead of forty or fifty paces, as he and Elg had 
deposed to, he now asserted to be one hundred and fifty 
paces; and this was, he said, from actual measurement, he 
having been over the ground for the express purpose, only 
a day or two before the trial. As he admitted, however, 
that the ground was very undulating, and strewed with 
boulders, and that his steps were very short, it was thought 
he might be somewhat mistaken in the matter. At least, 
so I judged, from the Court not seeming to lay much stress 
on the discrepancy in his testimony. 

On the trial, M. Falk most kindly lent me his counte- 
nance and support; and his evidence, which though not 
given on oath, was allowed to be embodied in the pro- 
ceedings, had without doubt great weight in the decision 
of the Court. His testimony, which I give verbatim, was as 
follows : 

" What I, after reading the evidence of Henrik Elg and 
the soldier Atter ; what I, by word of mouth have learnt 
from those who were present at Svensson's death, whose 
relations of the accident most fully agree in all particulars ; as 
also, from what I, from my many years experience in bear 
hunting, can clearly and truly judge of the matter is this, 
that Svensson, by disobeying the commands of his superior, 
Mr. Lloyd, which were that he should stand still at a spe- 
cified spot, and there await a signal or orders, for his farther 
proceedings, has been the occasion of his own death. To 
me, or to any one else, the like could easily have happened, 
and would have happened to me, had I been in Mr. Lloyd's 
place. I consider Svensson to have been equally blame- 
able in this matter, as he who without permission goes 


within the Skall-plats, and is accidentally killed, for which 
no one would be responsible. I have during twenty-five 
years known Svensson, and looked upon him and that 
with good reason as a skilful bear hunter. What, there- 
fore, could have induced him to act contrary to a direct 
command, and to commit so great an imprudence, is to me 
incomprehensible. That Mr. Lloyd, who always had very 
great confidence in his old and well-tried forest friend, never 
could have supposed, or even have thought it possible, that 
Svensson was gone into the Ring, and especially to that 
part of it where he himself had said the bear must be, is 
clear and manifest as it also is, that Mr. Lloyd never 
could have supposed it possible to meet a human being in 
a wilderness, a (Swedish) mile from a dwelling; and con- 
sequently could not but take a dark, stooping, and moving 
object for the bear, which was said to be lying there. These 
my opinions and convictions T will strengthen with my oath 
when required." 

Subjoined is the decision of the Harads-Ratt, dated 18th 
of March, 1835, respecting this unhappy affair. 

" Whereas, from what the witnesses Elg and Atter have 
jointly deposed to on oath, it appears that they, in company 
with Lloyd and Svensson, proceeded on the 15th of last 
January, in the forenoon, to a part of the forest situated 
between Tyngberget and Nasan, in the parish of Malung, 
to shoot a ringed bear ; that Svensson was stationed by 
Lloyd at some little distance to the east of the Ring, where 
he was strictly ordered to remain until he heard shouts or 
a shot, when he was to slip Lloyd's dog, which he had with 
him in couplings. Lloyd, Elg, and Atter then entered the 


Ring on its eastern side, and proceeded to a knoll (As), where 
Svensson had previously said the bear must lie, if he was 
within the circle. But when they found a place where 
the beast had burrowed, and that he was gone elsewhere, 
they proceeded to the more southern part of the Ring. 
Subsequently they diverged a little to the eastward, and then 
returned north again. Shortly afterwards, and about ten or 
fifteen minutes from the time they first entered the Ring, 
Lloyd pointed his gun toward the aforesaid knoll, which lay in 
a north-westerly direction, and fired, though without Elg or 
Atter owing to the thickness of the intervening wood 
being able to discern the object at which he aimed. But 
subsequently they ascertained that Svensson was hit by the 
shot, and killed; and that at a distance of one hundred 
and forty-five paces from the spot where he had been 
stationed at the commencement of the hunt, and where 
he had been expressly ordered to remain. For this reason, 
and because at the time it was not to be imagined that any 
person could be on the aforesaid knoll, much less Svensson, 
after he himself had said that the bear must be lying 
there, if he was within the Ring; and as, besides, the spot 
where the occurrence took place was within a district where 
shooting was allowed, the Harads-Ratt considers that 
Svensson was killed by accident, on the part of Lloyd, 
and that the case must therefore come under Chap. 29, 
2, of the Criminal Code (Missgernings Balkeri), which 
enacts, &c., &c." 

Though subjected to a trifling fine, in the shape of a 
deodand, the effect of this judgment was a full and honour- 
able acquittal. 

But unfortunately the matter did not rest here. In all 


criminal cases as also in civil cases, if the parties be 
dissatisfied and appeal the decision of the Harads- 
Riitt goes up to the Hof-Ratt, a Superior Court, for 
confirmation or reversal, as the case may be. In my 
instance unhappily it was reversed, and for the reasons 

After recapitulating the proceedings before the Harads- 
Ratt, the Hof-Ratt thus expresses itself : " From this it 
clearly appears, and that upon sufficient grounds, that Lloyd 
did not shoot Svensson with intent and design ; as also that 
Lloyd had no reason to suppose Svensson, prior to the signal 
agreed upon, would have left his appointed station at the 
outside of the Ring, much less that he should have proceeded 
to the very spot within the Ring pointed out by him as that 
where he believed the bear to lie ; or that there could be any 
human being besides himself (Lloyd) and companions in the 
wild and distant forest where the hunt took place. As Lloyd, 
nevertheless, admits that he could not clearly distinguish the 
object at which he fired, and as the proceedings before the 
Harads-Ratt do not show whether the colour of the clothes 
worn on the occasion by Svensson, or his position at the 
moment of the shot at a distance of fifty paces, more or 
less, likened a bear, his case cannot be applicable to Chap. 
29, 2, of the Criminal Code (M. B.), to which he 
has been made amenable by the Harads-Ratt, for that has 
only reference to casual accidents, such as shooting at an 
animal, and some one being killed in consequence, or that a 
ball rebounds, and a death ensues ; for Lloyd, on the contrary, 
aimed at the very object that was struck by the ball, and 
thus, through carelessness, was the cause of Svensson's death. 
The Hof-Ratt therefore reverses the decision of the Harads- 


Ratt, and agreeably to Chap. 28, 1, of the Criminal 
Code (M. B.), condemns Lloyd to the penalty of half 
mans-bot* &c." 

This decision not only entailed on me a considerable 
pecuniary fine, but subjected me to do penance in the 
church. On the ground, however, of my professing another 
religion than the Lutheran, the Court exempted me from the 

Feeling myself perfectly blameless in the unfortunate 
matter, and that the judgment of the Hof-Ratt was inequit- 
able, I therefore appealed to the King in Council a course 
likewise open to every one in either criminal or civil cases 
praying for a reversal of what I with reason considered a 
hard sentence. I was partly induced to take this step owing 
to the urgent entreaties of friends, one of whom, shortly 
after the accident, wrote me as follows : 

" I have been excessively grieved by the calamity which 
has befallen you, and all our countrymen to whom I have 
spoken on the subject, sympathise with you most feelingly 
on the unfortunate occasion. That we are all perfectly 
convinced that you are quite blameless, it is almost super- 
fluous to mention ; but I earnestly entreat you, nevertheless, 
not to slacken in your endeavours to make your innocence as 
clear as noon-day ; for it is a sad censorious country we live 

* This penalty, which literally rendered means penance for half a man, and 
which, in degree at least, answers to our deodand, carries with it a pecuniary 
fine of, I believe, about 4 sterling. It is inflicted in such cases of homicide 
in which the Court, as in my instance, acquits the prisoner of design, but 
deems him to have been guilty of carelessness. 

The penalty of hel mans-bot or penance for a whole man is inflicted in 
more culpable cases of homicide, and, as the words would imply, carries with 
it a double fine. 


in, and we all have our enemies, you amongst the rest for no 
other reason perhaps, than that you are a better shot than all 
other sportsmen. I again entreat you to leave no exertion 
unspared to come with an unsullied reputation out of this 
painful situation." 

The substance of my memorial to the King was as 
follows : 

" To the King, &c., 

" With the greatest astonishment and regret I have just 
learnt that the Hof-Ratt has reversed the decision of the 
Harads-Ratt, on the ground that, owing to carelessness, I 
caused the death of Jan Svensson of Roskknolen, on the 
15th of January of this year, and that it has condemned 
rne, agreeably to Chap. 28, $ 1, of the Criminal Code (M. B.), 
to half mans-bot exempting me, however, from doing 
penance in the church in consequence of my professing 
another religion. 

" Not having made myself amenable to this degrading 
punishment, the consciousness of my perfect innocence in 
the matter necessitates me humbly to submit my case to 
the decision of your Majesty, trusting that you will be pleased 
to annul the sentence of the Hof-Ratt, and thus restore me 
my good name. 

"Although the Hof-Ratt, as well as the Harads-Ratt, 
considered it fully proved that it was entirely without intent 
or design on my part that Svensson was killed, the Hof- 
Riitt has nevertheless drawn its special attention as well to 
the circumstance of my not clearly distinguishing, before 
firing, what the object aimed at actually was, as that the 
proceedings before the Harads-Ratt did not make it appear 


whether Svensson, in regard to the colour of his clothes, 
and the position of his body at the moment of the shot, 
more or less likened the beast for which the hunt was got 

" In respect to the first point my shooting at an undefined 
object I trust that your Majesty will be satisfied that, under 
the circumstances, I was not to blame ; for catching sight of 
a dark mass just where Svensson had said the bear ought to 
be, and knowing that my companions Atter and Elg were in 
safety, and presuming Svensson to be where I had posted 
him, which was in an altogether different direction, I could 
not well do otherwise than fire. 

" And in regard to the second point the colour of 
Svensson's dress, and his attitude when killed if your 
Majesty is not satisfied with my assurance as to his wearing 
on the unfortunate occasion a dark, nearly black, coat, and 
that his body was bent and in motion, whereby at a long 
distance he altogether resembled a bear, I beseech that the 
witnesses, Elg and Atter, may be re-examined as to these 

" That the Hof-Ratt, under the unfortunate and afflictive 
circumstances, should be of opinion that the case is only 
referable to Chap. 28, 1, of the Criminal Code (M. B.), 
is to me, and with reason, quite surprising. It has been 
proved beyond dispute before the Harads-Ratt, by M. Falk 
and the other witnesses, that the forest where the acci- 
dent happened, and which is commonly called Tio-Mil Skog, 
is a wilderness in every sense of the word, for miles 
together without an inhabitant, where, excepting on very 
extraordinary occasions, people are never to be found. 
But on this point the Hof-Ratt, I humbly submit, has not laid 


that stress of which it is surely deserving, and I therefore 
trust that the only penalty to which I can be subjected for 
the casual accident which has happened, will be that already 
adjudged by the Harads-Ratt, agreeably to Chap. 29, 2, of 
the Criminal Code (M. B.), as the cases therein stated are 
quite analogous to mine namely, ' a man firing a gun in a 
place where shooting is lawful, and where it is not supposed 
people are to be found.' 

" Whoever has taken part in bear hunting will willingly 
coincide in the views of M. Falk, which are grounded on 
many years' experience namely, that when in attacking a 
bear, even should only a glimpse of the beast be visible, not 
a moment is left for consideration; as also that to avoid 
unnecessarily risking life, the greatest attention to orders, 
the most rigid discipline and rapid decision in action, are 
of the first moment to the parties engaged. With these 
impressions, and fully convinced that on the occasion in 
question, my old and faithful comrade, Svensson, would be 
obedient to my instructions, I directed him, as shown by 
the witnesses, to remain at a particular spot outside of the 
Ring until farther orders. Knowing where he was, had I 
from carelessness shot him at his post, I should naturally 
have subjected myself to the most severe punishment. But 
as when I fired my gun, it was in an opposite direction to 
where I had left him a little before, and just at the spot he 
himself had pointed out as the most probable for the bear to 
be lying, and this with the full impression that the object 
aimed at was the animal of which we were in search, it 
seems to me that the decision of the Hof-Ratt in the matter 
exceeds the bounds of moderation, and is in direct opposition 
to the annexed judgment passed on Zacharias Jonsson, the 


8th of October, 1757, who was indicted for having caused a 
man's death in a manner somewhat similar to myself." 

In due time came his Majesty's decision. It was short, 
but to the purpose ; for after recapitulating the proceedings 
of the lower courts, it reversed the judgment of the Hof- 
Ratt, and confirmed that of the Harads-Ratt, which, as 
observed, was in point of fact an acquittal, and exempted 
me from all blame in this most melancholy affair. 

Whilst this unhappy business was pending, a kindly 
feeling prevailed generally towards me amongst the Swedes. 
The peasants in Dalecarlia, where the catastrophe occurred, 
viewed the matter in its true light as one of those accidents 
to which people engaged in so hazardous a pursuit as bear 
hunting are constantly exposed; and so far from showing 
ill-will, evinced towards me, as well during the trial as 
afterwards, the greatest cordiality. 

And our countrymen resident in Sweden sympathised with 
me most kindly on the melancholy occasion. The present 
Lord Bloomfield, our then charge d'affaires, amongst others, 
wrote me a very kind note from Stockholm; and in a 
second note, written subsequently to the decision of the 
King, he says : " I congratulate you on the issue of your 
trial, which is in every way as satisfactory as one could 
have expected. The same feeling on the subject continues 
here, and people will be glad to learn that you are so 
completely exculpated." 



DURING my several trips to Wermeland, I was in at the 
death of a good many bears : a portion were killed in Skalls, 
but for the most part I shot them when, so to say, alone. 
At times I was pretty successful that is, for Scandinavia, 
where, however, there is not one bear, so I take it, to fifty in 
the back woods of America. 

The winter of 1838-9 was one of my best seasons. In 
the early part of it, and by the aid of a Knapt-Skall, I had 
killed two bears (roused by myself) within a few 7 miles of 
Ronnum ; but not being able to get others on foot, and as 
the winter was wearing away, it then being the middle of 
February, I proceeded with a brace of tolerable dogs into 
Wermeland, in the hopes that fortune might there prove 
more propitious. 

On reaching that province, however, I could gain no 

VOL. I. A A 



certain intelligence of bears, and I therefore began to think my 
journey might prove a fruitless one. But as Elg, with 
whom I took up my abode at Brunberget, informed me that 
one of those beasts had during the past summer committed 
ravages thereabouts, and as it was generally believed he had 
his quarters hard by, we determined on using our best 
endeavours to rouse him from his lair. 


The better to effect this object we beat up for volunteers, 
promising a trifling gratuity in the event of success to those 


taking part in the Chasse. But under any circumstances the 
peasants were ready to aid us, as well for the reason that the 
hear in question was an inconvenient neighbour, as that they 
owed him a special grudge, he having, during the preceding 
summer, severely maltreated a poor young woman as 
somewhat humorously depicted by M. von Dardel who, in 
her courageous endeavours to protect some cattle under her 
charge, had indeed nearly fallen a victim to the beast's 

On the appointed day we mustered at an early hour in 
the morning ; and though only twelve in number, the 
men were for the most part Finnar, and from their local 
knowledge, &c., twice as valuable therefore as inexperienced 
hands. Every one was provided with a sufficiency of pro- 
visions to pass a couple of nights in the forest, as likewise 
with Skidor, which indeed were indispensable : the snow 
being deep and loose, we should otherwise have sunk to the 
knee, or beyond it, at every step. 

The bear was supposed to be couched in the face of a lofty 
hill called the Fjall, so designated probably from its summit 
being divested, or nearly so, of wood of any kind a rather 
unusual circumstance in this part of Sweden ; whence it is 
a sort of landmark for all the surrounding country. 

On reaching the ground we formed line, and beat the 
forest before us in the usual manner. But that day all our 
efforts to find the beast proved fruitless. 

At dusk, therefore, we prepared a bivouac in the manner 
mentioned in my former work. The weather was fine, and 
not too cold ; and having a magnificent watch-fire, as also an 
abundance of good things on which to regale ourselves, we 
were enabled to pass the night with tolerable comfort. 

A A 2 


On the succeeding morning the search was resumed, 
though with no better success ; but in the afternoon, having 
in the interim gone over much ground, and when in a 
manner retracing our steps, we came upon the Spar of a large 
bear of that no doubt of which we were in search. But 
the tracks were not very recent, from which we inferred, as 
was the fact, that owing to the noise made by ourselves 
either at the bivouac, or whilst traversing the forest during 
the preceding day, the beast had taken alarm and quitted 
his den. 

Desirous of ascertaining from whence he came, we in all 
silence followed his Bak-spar literally his back-track ; but 
had not proceeded very far, when all at once the beast bolted 
from beneath the root of a prostrate pine, and as it proved, 
from the very lair that he had occupied in the first instance. 
This surprised us greatly ; for after a bear an old one at 
least has been once disturbed, he very rarely returns to 
his original bed. It appeared that, after turning out, he had 
made a little detour through the forest, when finding all safe, 
he had once more gone back to his old quarters, "where, had 
he remained, it is probable he would have escaped us 

The dogs, which, whilst we were following the Spar, had been 
coupled, were now slipped, and chase was given. But owing 
to the denseness of the cover, the broken and precipitous 
nature of the ground, and the looseness of the snow, we 
could not come up with the beast. So after the chase had 
continued for an hour or more, and the shades of evening 
had set in, we gave it up, and retraced our steps to Brun- 

At an early hour on the following morning, however, Elg 


and myself, with the dogs in company, renewed the pursuit 
of the bear; and now that a long day was before us, we 
anticipated an easy victory. But we were quite out in our 
reckoning ; for though we chased the beast for many hours, 
and over a great tract of country, we were never enabled to 
come up with him ; we only viewed him, indeed, in two 
instances, and then in the distance. 

On the Fjall the snow lay deep, and could we have kept 
the bear there, his career would probably soon have been 
ended; but finding himself hard pressed, he fell down to 
the lower grounds, where there was comparatively little snow, 
and then we were quickly distanced. 

Towards evening, seeing that the bear, which had then 
crossed the river Halga, to the westward of Brunberget, 
had the decided advantage of us, we gave up the chase as 
hopeless ; and wearied and dispirited, slowly wended our way 

In the course of the two following days Elg, however, 
succeeded in ringing the bear, though at a distance of ten 
to twelve miles from the spot where he had been originally 
started. But owing to bad weather, and to the very devious 
course the beast had taken, this had been of very difficult 

Here we allowed him to remain undisturbed for several 
days, during which time a good deal of snow fell; when, 
thinking there was a probability of success, another attack 
was determined upon. 

The Finnish hamlet of Nasberget being much nearer to 
the bear than Brunberget, we proceeded there over night, 
and at an early hour on the following morning started for 
the Ring, then at only three to four miles' distance. 


Though the bear's Spar was partially obliterated by the 
recent snow-storm, still with care and attention it was to be 
made out ; and as we thought there was a probability of our 
being enabled to steal upon him whilst in his lair, we made 
the attempt on foot; but though every precaution was 
adopted, he bolted, unseen by us, before we could reach his 

Resuming the Ski dor, of which we had divested ourselves 
on entering the Ring, that our movements might be carried 
on the more silently, we forthwith gave chase. But the 
snow, which in many places must have been near three 
feet deep, was, from its looseness, in a very unfavourable 
state for Skidor, and we had therefore literally to plough our 
way through it. The dogs were still worse off than our- 
selves; for instead of being in advance, as they ought to 
have been, they were usually in our wake, and oftentimes, 
too, at a most respectable distance. Had the bear, 
nevertheless, held anything like a straight course, and 
to the more open parts of the forest, we should pro- 
bably soon have closed with him; but on the contrary, 
and as if aware of the advantage it gave him over us, he 
pursued a most devious course, and kept to the closest 

More than an hour elapsed, therefore, before we viewed the 
beast, which was in a rather open part of the forest, and at 
a distance of eighty to ninety paces. Halting on the instant, 
and slipping my gun out of its case, I immediately fired 
both barrels at his hind-quarters the only part exposed 
and apparently with some effect, as for a few seconds he 
floundered greatly in the snow; though it is very possible 
his undulatory motions arose rather from panic than from 


wounds. Be that as it may, he continued to retreat, and 
was quickly lost to view amongst the trees. 

When reloaded, the chase was renewed with fresh vigour, 
and shortly afterwards we again sighted the bear, looking as 
he always does when wading through deep snow, and when 
seen from behind, much like a huge ambulatory feather- 
bed. This time we were close upon the beast, and I forth- 
with saluted him, not only with my own two barrels, but 
with Elg's rifle, which he handed to me the instant that 
my gun was discharged. On receiving my fire, which, 
from the short distance, ought to have been deadly, he 
turned with a savage growl, and would doubtless have 
charged, had not wounds, fatigue, and the depth of the 
snow paralyzed his movements. Fortunately for us, per- 
haps, he was satisfied with making this demonstration, 
and before we were reloaded, had again plunged into the 

From this time forward the bear confined himself, if 
possible, to still more untraversable ground, and to denser 
cover than before, so that our progress was somewhat slow. 
Nevertheless, had the dogs been able to close with the beast 
(in which case their challenges would have enabled us to 
make many a short cut), we should probably have soon 
been up with him ; but the depth and looseness of the snow 
impeded their movements even more than those of the bear, 
so that they were commonly far in the rear, and consequently 
utterly useless to us. 

At length, however, we came up with him in a thicket ; 
and when at some thirty paces' distance, and crossing us, a 
bullet that I put through his heart brought him stone-dead 
to the ground. 



Our prize proved a large male. Being desirous of having 
him conveyed whole from the forest and this was then an 
impossibility we therefore, after distending his limbs, and 
covering the carcase over with Gran-ris, left him where 
he fell ; when, well satisfied with the result of the Chasse, 
we slowly bent our steps homewards. 


Two days subsequently, the beast, by the aid of a sledge, 
was conveyed to Brunberget; and the weather having been 
severe in the interim, he was then frozen into a solid mass. 
In this state I caused him to be placed on his hind legs, 
with a stick in front, to prevent his toppling over; in 


which posture standing, as he did, upwards of seven feet* 
in height he presented, as seen in the above sketch, a most 
formidable appearance. 

Being unable to obtain intelligence of other bears, Elg 
and myself amused ourselves during the succeeding few days 
in the pursuit of feathered game such as the Capercali, the 
Black Cock, and the Ripa (a species of grouse), all of which 
were to be found hereabouts ; but from the state of the snow, 
our success was not very great. 

We also picked up a Hare or two, of which there were a 
good many. We were accustomed to ring them in the first 
instance, and then to follow on their Spar, and shoot them 
either on their seats, or subsequently when on foot. After a 
recent fall of snow it is specially easy to ring a hare, as well 
for the reason that he then seldom goes any distance from 
his form, as that all his old tracks, which are numerous, and 
apt to bewilder, are obliterated. This kind of sport, with a 
rifle at least, is not uninteresting. 

In these our rambles, we occasionally saw the tracks both 
of the Lynx and the Glutton ; but from my dogs not being 
trained to those beasts, which is very needful to insure success, 
we did not think it worth while to pursue them. 

At length we heard that in the early part of the winter a 
large bear had been on foot at some sixty miles to the north- 
east, and a good deal hunted, as well as somewhat wounded ; 
but that owing to a heavy fall of snow, his tracks were 

* To some the height specified may seem exaggeration ; but out of curiosity 
I recently, with the assistance of the keepers, took the dimensions of the large 
brown bear now in the Zoological Gardens, which were as follows : height of 
shoulder, stick measurement, three feet eleven inches ; height when upright, 
from heel to crown, seven feet five inches; and height, when standing on 
tip-toe, to point of nose, eight feet eleven inches. 


obliterated, and farther pursuit in consequence discontinued. 
Rumour said, however, that in the opinion of the men 
engaged in the hunt, the beast might, with good dogs, 
still be recovered ; for though not actually ringed, a strong 
suspicion was entertained as to his whereabouts. Under 
these circumstances, we determined on trying our fortune. 

Leaving my pony and sledge, which I had brought all the 
way from Wenersborg (a distance of upwards of two hundred 
miles), at Brunberget, Elg and I, with the dogs, started 
one morning on Skidor for Ofver-Malung, in Western 
Dalecarlia. Our joint baggage, consisting only of absolute 
necessaries, was packed in a small kit,* which Elg bore on 
his shoulders. 

Our route lay through the Tio-Mil-Skog, of which 
mention was recently made : as wild a tract of country 
as is to be met with in Scandinavia though from being 
undulated and studded with fine lakes, by no means 
deficient in the picturesque. Neither man nor habitation 
was to be seen, and a gloomy silence reigned around. 
Owing to the distance from navigable rivers, the wood- 
man's axe seldom resounds in these solitudes. Not an 
inconsiderable portion of the trees, indeed, were in a state of 
partial decay, and their naked stems and branches gave the 
forest a very desolate and primeval appearance. 

Though nearer thirty than twenty miles to Malung, yet 
from the snow being in pretty good order, we accomplished 

* That of our noble soldiers, even when in light marching order, weighs, I 
believe, forty or fifty pounds. In the northern forests I never yet saw the 
man, however powerful he might be, that could perform his duty properly if 
his kit weighed even twenty pounds. But it is to be hoped this most crying 
evil will shortly be remedied, in part at least. 


the distance long before the close of the day. From this place 
we proceeded by the way of Oje, remarkable for its splendid 

lake, studded with innumerable and beautiful islands, to 

glass works, situated at the southern extremity of the 
Wenjan, one of the largest sheets of water in this part of 
Sweden ; and from hence to the hamlet of Gafunda, five or 
six miles beyond 

Here we met the men who had chased the bear, in search 
of which we had come so far, and from them obtained 
the needful information as to his supposed locale. They 
told us, moreover, that two Chasseurs one of them at least 
of some celebrity from the more northern parts of Western 
Dalecarlia, had been attracted by rumours like to those that 
had reached us ; but that after devoting several days to the 
search, they had given it up in disgust, and gone elsewhere. 
This did not tend to brighten the prospect ; but as we had 
dogs, with which these men were unprovided, our resolve 
remained unchanged. 

Elg and I therefore proceeded to an uninhabited S healing 
situated in the wilds of the forest a few miles to the east- 
ward of Gafunda, and near to the spot indicated by the men, 
where, that our search might be more complete, we purposed 
remaining a few days. Previous to starting, however, we 
sent forward a few of the simple necessaries of life such as 
bread, potatoes, &c. ; for beyond pots and pans, nothing at 
this season of the year was to be found in the hut. But 
though our stock of provisions was scanty in quantity, and 
plain in quality, we anticipated that, as on previous occa- 
sions, our guns would occasionally " re-inforce the larder." 

We made the Shoaling in question our head-quarters for 
several days, during which we beat not only the suspected 


ground, but much of the surrounding forest. For a time, 
however, our search proved unsuccessful, for we neither 
found the hear, nor saw any marks leading us to suppose he 
might be lying in the vicinity ; but this was the less to be 
wondered at, for ths snow was in many places full four feet 
deep, and the trees besides smothered with it. 

At length one morning, when several miles to the east- 
ward of the Shealing, and whilst traversing an exceedingly 
desolate part of the forest, Elg suddenly halted and drew 
my attention to a pine growing on a little knoll hard by, 
the stem of which was scored in every direction. These 
scores proved, on closer inspection, to be the handiwork of 
a bear ; and as they did not date longer back than the past 
autumn, we inferred that the beast was not far distant. 

Near to the foot of this tree was a small aperture in 
the snow, but so blocked up as hardly to be perceptible 
at a little distance. Having enlarged this aperture with 
our Skidor sticks, we quickly became convinced a bear was 
the excavator ; but as on probing it to the bottom (and it 
was deep), nothing stirred, we were sceptical as to its being 
tenanted. On this point, however, our doubts were pre- 
sently removed, for the dogs, which had been ranging at a 
distance, coming up, commenced baying furiously, 

We immediately prepared for action. Both Elg and I 
laid aside our Skidor, when stationing myself in the rear of 
the aperture, armed not only with my own gun but Elg's, 
I directed the man to procure a long stake, with which to 
stir up the bear from his passing sound repose. But the 
beast having ensconced himself in an inner chamber, of 
which, in the first instance, we were not aware, Elg's efforts 
to dislodge him (standing as he did, for his personal security, 


somewhat in the rear of the hole) were in the first instance 
altogether ineffectual. Neither did the bear, by growl, or 
other angry demonstration, intimate his presence. 

Becoming somewhat tired of this child's play, Elg at 
length advanced to the front of the hole, apparently in 
considerable ire (so at least it was to be inferred from his 
ejaculation, " Tjugu Tusen Djeflar !" which literally inter- 
preted, means twenty thousand devils), when directing the 
stake slantingly, so as to reach the aforesaid chamber, out 
immediately rushed not only one bear, but three the 
mother, and her two well-grown cubs and that, moreover, 
like so many projectiles from Perkins's steam- gun. I fired 
on the instant, and the old bear fell dead. One of the 
cubs went off unscathed, the other badly wounded. 

Reloading and resuming our Skidor, we gave chase to 
the wounded cub, with which, from its being hard pressed 
by the dogs, we soon came up, when a bullet quickly put a 
period to its miseries. 

But the other cub gave us somewhat more trouble ; for it 
being mid-day, and the temperature somewhat mild, the 
snow became kram* and fastened to the Skidor, so that our 
progress was greatly retarded. A shot, however, fired some- 
what at random, taking effect in its leg, at length partially 
disabled the beast. On attempting to reload, ammunition 
was wanting, my spare powder-horn having been left with 
the kit, which, to facilitate his movements, Elg had left on 
the knoll. Had it been a large bear of which we were in 
chase, here was a predicament to be placed in ! But in 
this instance the loss of my powder-horn was attended 

* Kram (probably from the word krama, to squeeze) signifies that the snow 
is no longer in a grainy state, but has become adhesive squeezable into a snow- 
ball, for instance. 


with no inconvenience ; for failing a better weapon, I ran in 
upon the beast, and destroyed it with my Skidor-stick. 

We now retraced our steps to the knoll, Elg bearing on 
his shoulder the last trophy; and being provided with 
knives, set to work in skinning and quartering the bears. 
When this operation was accomplished, a sort of stand was 
erected between two trees, some feet from the ground, 
on which the skins and severed limbs of the beasts were 
deposited, and afterwards covered over with Gran-ris, as a 
protection from falling weather. 

Whilst thus occupied, we were unexpectedly joined by 
the Dalecarlian Chasseurs recently spoken of. Like us, they 
were on the prowl; and having fallen in with our tracks, 
and hearing the shots in the distance, wished to see what 
we were about, and perchance to share in the spoil. 

These men stood in the relative position of father and 
son. The father was an old soldier, glorying in the name 
of Sjunger, or the vocalist or such rather was his military 
cognomen ;* but being somewhat advanced in years, on him 
devolved the single duty of carrying the " prog " no light 
task either, when one considers the enormous appetite 
usually possessed by brother Nimrods. 

Eric, the son, was the mighty hunter. On his shoulder 
hung the fatal rifle. It was a most formidable-looking 

* Few of the Swedish peasants have surnames, and in consequence their 
children simply take their father's Christian name in addition to their own : 
for example, if the father's name be Sven Larsson, his sons', in consequence, 
would be Jan- or Nils Svens-son ; and his daughters', Maria or Eliza Svens- 
daughter. The confusion that this system creates woidd be endless, were it 
not that in all matters of business, the residence of the party is usually 
attached to his name. In the army, and to prevent the confusion that would 
otherwise arise, the common soldiers therefore are designated by fictitious 
(generally monosyllabic) names; as, for instance, names of birds, beasts, 
trees, &c. 


weapon, weighing certainly thirteen or fourteen pounds. 
To believe the owner, Captain Warner's " long range " was 
nothing to it. With bears, Eric had come but little in 
contact; but his exploits with elks, of which he narrated 
many, were much talked of in that part of the country. 

A short time prior to our meeting, these men had fallen 
in with the somewhat stale tracks of what they at first con- 
sidered to be two elks the mother and fawn. These tracks 
they pursued for a time ; but remarking at length that that 
of the supposed fawn seldom followed in the dam's, but kept 
parallel with it, they were induced to examine the tracks 
more closely, when they ascertained that it was a wolf, and not 
its own young, that had kept company with the poor elk. 
Farther pursuit now seemed useless, it being easy to divine 
the fate of the deer. Thinking it better to come in for the 
jackal's share than none at all, our friends, however, per- 
severed; and though after reaching the carcase they found, 
as anticipated, much of the flesh devoured by the wolf, still 
venison enough remained (of some of which indeed Elg 
and I also partook) to compensate them for their toil. 

Poor Eric ! The very same winter that I myself, as will 
presently be related, was mauled by a bear, he also was 
severely wounded by one of those beasts. In the northern 
forests, when the winter quarters of a bear are ascertained, 
and that he is about to be attacked, it is often customary 
to have a sledge at hand, in order to bring home his carcase. 
Eric and his comrades, of whom, on this occasion, he had 
several, being all confidence, this was the arrangement in the 
present instance. And it was well timed, for the vehicle 
served to convey from the forest the bear and his antagonist 
side by side : the bear dead, and poor Eric nearly so ! And 
though the man eventually recovered, he was disabled for 

368 THE THAW. 

a long time afterwards, and to this day suffers, I am told, 
from his wounds. 

To return. As it suited the views of our new friends, as 
well as our own, we agreed to join company. So after we 
had all feasted on the more delicate parts of the bears, we 
started off again in search of fresh adventures. 

We with reason anticipated sport, for elks and bears were 
probably as plentiful hereabouts as in any part of Scandi- 
navia. Very unfortunately for us, however, a regular thaw 
set in on the succeeding day, and the snow, in consequence, 
became in a miserable state for the Skidor. Owing chiefly 
to this circumstance, the Chasse proved a total failure ; so 
after wandering over a large tract of desolate forest, between 
the great lakes Siljan and Wenjan, in which while we saw 
neither human being, nor other habitations than untenanted 
Shealings,and undergoing some hardship from fatigue, bivouac- 
ing under the bare heavens, and scanty fare, we faced home- 
wards the Dalecarlians for Gafunda, where they had taken 
up their temporary abode, and Elg and myself for our Shealing. 

And we were glad to get back to it ; for although we 
fared somewhat roughly here, our beds consisting merely 
of hay, still, as we were protected from the falling weather, 
to so much of which we had recently been exposed, we found 
ourselves, comparatively speaking, in clover. We were now 
well off also for provisions, our larder being amply provided 
with game of several kinds. 

Though our efforts to recover the lost bear had hitherto 
proved unsuccessful, and though we entertained the faintest 
possible hopes of getting him on foot, we nevertheless deter- 
mined, prior to departing from the hut, to give the suspected 
part of the forest another trial. 

On the following morning, therefore, the search was 


renewed. Near to the spot where the beast had last been 
seen, was a so-called Vind-fiille, or wind-fall that is, the 
ground for a considerable space was thickly strewn with the 
trunks as well as the branches of innumerable pines, that 
had been prostrated by storms, or other causes. In some 
places the trees -were piled one on another to a considerable 
height, which, coupled with the broken nature of the ground, 
rendered it at times difficult to proceed on Skidor ; it 
would have been impracticable indeed, if the snow, which 
was here some four feet in depth, had not greatly tended 
to level the surface. 

This Vind-falle and the like are very common through- 
out the northern forests had been previously searched 
(though it is true, somewhat cursorily), not only by Eric 
and his father, but by ourselves. Nevertheless, we still 
thought it worth another trial ; and we had not been long 
here, when one of the dogs, raising his head into the air, 
commenced baying deeply, and in a tone clearly evidencing 
that he had winded some noxious beast or other. At first 
the dog was at fault as to whence the taint proceeded ; but 
in a short time he made out the den of the bear the very 
beast of which we had so long been in search which was 
situated beneath a mass of prostrate trees. 

Calling to Elg, who at the time was at some distance 
on the hill-side above me, to come to my aid, I stationed 
myself immediately over the den. But though the dogs 
for by this time the two had joined company kept chal- 
lenging furiously at its entrance, the bear would not quit 
his retreat. Finding this to be the case, I directed Elg to 
hand me his gun, and, as on a recent occasion, to turn out 
the beast with a stake. 

VOL. I. B B 


This object was very quickly effected ; for Bruin no sooner 
felt the pole at his posteriors, to which, through a chink 
amongst the logs, Elg had applied it with considerable 
unction, than out he bolted in double-quick time, and, to 
judge from appearances, in anything but an amiable mood. 
An instant afterwards being then at only a few paces' 
distance I fired both barrels, and severely wounded him 
in the neck and body. On receiving the bullets, he looked 
much inclined to charge ; but the depth of the snow, and 
the attack of the dogs, which kept baying immediately 
about his hind-quarters, probably deterred him ; and it was 
perhaps well that he did not, for stuck as my Skidor were 
amongst the logs, retreat was utterly impracticable. 

The scene at this time was a rather striking one. It is 
pretty faithfully depicted in the accompanying illustration, 
from the pencil of Captain Thomas Wingate, late of the 
Queen's Royals, to whom I am also indebted for several 
other beautiful drawings in this work. 

Dropping the discharged gun into the snow, and catching 
up Elg's rifle, which was lying in readiness at my feet, 1 
attempted to fire ; but though the cap duly exploded, the 
piece would not go off; neither did three or four other 
caps, placed on the nipple in rapid succession, succeed 
better. But at length the bear, which in the meanwhile had 
been gradually retreating, was lost to view amongst the 

To put the guns to rights was a work of time. My 
own was smothered with snow; and Elg's rifle, on exami- 
nation, was found never to have been loaded an omission 
on his part for which it was difficult to account and it 
was one besides that might have cost us dear ; for after my 



piece was discharged, we were without weapon of any sort or 

Both guns being at length in order, we went in pursuit of 
the bear; but the chase lasted a very short time, for what 
with loss of blood, and parrying the attacks of the dogs, his 
progress was slow, and we were soon enabled to approach 
within short range, when a bullet from my gun brought him 
lifeless to the ground. 

Leaving Elg to skin the beast, which proved a male, and 
much wasted from the wounds he had received in the early 
part of the winter, I started on Skidor to procure a sledge 
on which to convey our hard-earned prize, as also the little 
baggage left at the Shealing, to Gafunda. 

At this hamlet we remained two or three days, during 
which time the bears left en cache were brought from the 
forest, and their skins, by means of good fires, partially 

Afterwards Elg and I departed for our respective homes ; 
and we had persevered quite long enough, for we were now 
pretty far in April, and the winter fairly at an end ; the 
country, besides, from the sudden breaking up of the frost, 
and the consequent rapid dissolution of the snow, was 
partially inundated with water, from which cause travelling 
was not only exceedingly inconvenient, but in a degree 

B B 2 



PROVIDED the snow be in good order, great things may be 
accomplished with Skidor ; and even when the snow is in a 
wretched state for those implements, I have at times been 
rather fortunate. 

On one occasion, when returning from a successful Skall 
in the Wermeland Finn-forests that portion of them lying to 
the westward of the river Clara I learnt that some of our 
men had, in their way homewards, roused a she-bear and two 
large cubs. Several of the party being armed with guns, 
they fired at the beasts whilst retreating, and killed one 
of the cubs outright ; but the old bear and the other cub 
succeeded in making their escape, though, as it was thought, 
not altogether unscathed. 

I sent for the men engaged in this Chasse, and for a 
trifling consideration purchased their rights in the beasts. 


The law in Sweden, it is true, does not give the title, yet 
custom fully recognises a bear to be the property of the man 
who first starts, or rather rings him, even should the beast 
in his wanderings traverse the half of the province. 

There not being at this time more than a foot of snow 
upon the ground, and as in consequence it would have been 
idle attempting to run the bears down on Skidor, I deemed 
it best to wait awhile before attacking them, in the hope of 
a fresh fall of snow. 

Directing Elg, therefore, to look after the beasts, I myself 
proceeded to Malung in Dalecarlia, in search of another bear, 
of which I had obtained some intelligence; and some ten 
days afterwards he rejoined me, and reported that he had 
succeeded in ringing both of our bears, though at six or 
seven miles apart. 

In the course of the next few days a good deal of snow 
fell, and as no time was now to be lost, we set off on our 
return to Wermeland. At Forss, the first post-station 
beyond Malung, we diverged from the main road, and by 
the Vinter-Vcig, or winter-route which, as the name would 
imply, is only traversable at that season we crossed the 
densely-wooded range of hills lying between the rivers Dal 
and Clara. But though we started pretty early in the day, 
and the distance was less than thirty miles, yet, from the 
snow being in an unfavourable state for sledging, it was 
several hours after dark before we fell down on the Clara. 
This was near to the post-house of Persby ; and from 
thence, taking a southerly course, we proceeded to the hamlet 
of Amneryd, near to which the larger of the bears was 
ringed, and which we made our quarters for the night. 

We had intended attacking the beasts on the following 


morning, and for that purpose started at an early hour ; but 
we had not gone far before the snow, from the mildness of 
the temperature, became kram, and adhered in masses to our 
Skidor ; and what was nearly as great an inconvenience, the 
water dripped from the trees and bushes to that degree, as 
almost to liken a shower-bath. Under these discouraging 
circumstances, it was thought best to postpone the Chasse 
until a more favourable opportunity ; and we therefore headed 
back to our temporary home, where we amused ourselves for 
the rest of the day as best we might. 

Our detention within doors was luckily short ; for during 
the succeeding night it froze sufficiently hard to prevent 
the snow from fastening to the Skidor, so that at the 
first break of day we were again off for the forest. To 
relieve Elg's shoulders, we, on this occasion, were accom- 
panied by a peasant, who, together with our kit, containing 
a goodly supply of provisions, &c., bore an axe a need- 
ful adjunct, as it was more than probable we should 
be necessitated to bivouac for one or more nights in the 

This man was equipped with Skarbdgar, a very miserable 
substitute for Skidor. As said in " Northern Sports," they 
consist of frames of wicker-work, of a roundish or rather 
oval shape, about eighteen inches in length, and twelve in 
breadth ; but to say nothing of their insufficiently an- 
swering the required purpose, they, owing to their very 
imperfect construction, are continually liable to get out of 
order. But Skarbagar are possessed of this advantage, that 
they are easily made and easily repaired. Horses even are, 
at times, provided with Skarbagar. These consist of cir- 
cular iron rings, of about ten or twelve inches in diameter, 


across which are several transverse bars of the same metal. 
They are fastened to the fetlock-joint with leathern thongs. 
Thus equipped, those animals necessarily straggle a little in 
their gait ; but they are then enabled to traverse the forest 
in all directions. 

The snow was now near three feet- in depth ; but as much 
of it had only recently fallen, it was loose, and in a rather 
indifferent state for the Skidor, which at every step sunk 
many inches below the surface. Our pace, as a consequence, 
was rather slow, though somewhat faster than that of the 
peasant, of whom we presently lost sight. The ground, 
moreover, was for the most part rising, and the forest thick 
and tangled, so that although the bear was lying at not 
more than six to seven miles from our quarters, it must 
have been upwards of two hours before we reached the Ring. 

This embraced an extensive and very dense brake. As 
the beast had been so recently disturbed, there was little 
probability, even were we to attempt it, of being able to .steal 
upon her in such close cover, and it was thought best, there- 
fore, to start her at once, and take the chance of running 
her down. The dogs were accordingly uncoupled, when, 
winding her in the distance, they dashed into the thicket, 
and in a very few minutes, as they let us know by their 
challenges, she was on foot and away. 

Fortunately the course of the bear was somewhat tor- 
tuous ; so that, directed by the dogs, we were enabled to 
make sundry short cuts, and thereby gained on her rapidly. 
In a short time, indeed, we viewed her in the distance, 
and a few minutes afterwards had approached to within 
easy range, when my first barrel brought her to the ground, 
and the second terminated her existence. 


Hitherto the snow had not fastened to our Skidor ; but 
now that the day wore on, and the temperature became much 
milder, it began to adhere to these implements. It there- 
fore became a question if we should not leave the other bear 
undisturbed until a more fitting occasion. Under the cir- 
cumstances, it would perhaps have been the wiser plan ; but 
as success had hitherto crowned our efforts, and the dogs 
were in good heart, we determined, at all hazards, to give 
him a gallop. 

After unavailingly waiting an hour or so for our atten- 
dant, of whom, unfortunately, we saw no more that day 
in which while the bear was covered over with Gran-ris as 
protection from vermin and falling weather we started off for 
the Ring, which was at a distance of six to seven miles. But 
owing to the heavy state of the snow, and the broken nature 
of the country, it was long past noon before we reached it. 

The dogs were now slipped, and, as on the previous 
occasion, only a very short time elapsed before the bear was 
on foot, and they in full pursuit. Soon after leaving his bed 
I saw the beast in the distance, but the view being transitory, 
and the gun in its case, I was unable to fire. 

From its lesser size, this beast did not sink nearly so deep 
in the snow as the old one, and he had in consequence 
greatly the advantage over Elg and myself, who had literally 
to plough our way through the snow. As a set-off, how- 
ever, the dogs enabled us to make many a short cut, so that 
for a time we kept a tolerably good place ; but at length, and 
probably as well from exhaustion, as that we gave them no 
aid, the dogs fell back to us, and thenceforward rendered us 
but little assistance. 

As our hopes of fairly running down the beast were now 


at an end, we adopted a plan that on previous occasions had 
stood us in good stead. This was for Elg and the dogs to 
follow on the Spar of the bear, whilst I, guided by the man's 
shouts and the baying of the dogs, was to endeavour to meet 
the beast. But after the lapse of an hour or more, finding the 
manoeuvre did not succeed, we changed places ; for Elg being 
the faster runner of the two on Skidor, as well as more 
experienced in forest-craft than myself, it was thought 
he would have the greater chance of cutting in upon the 

Though considering it all but a forlorn hope, I in my 
turn now became the pursuer, and for a considerable time 
followed the Spar at my best pace, which, to tell the truth, 
was a most sorry one. At length, however, and as I began 
to despair, I came to a small opening in the forest, when the 
dogs, which by this time were thoroughly beaten, and at 
heel, suddenly rushed past me, and challenged loudly in a 
close thicket immediately ahead. Peering amongst the trees, 
and at a distance of about fifty paces, I indistinctly discerned 
a black object, which I suspected might be the bear, and 
at which I forthwith discharged one of my barrels. I was 
right in my conjecture, as a loud growl from the beast clearly 
evinced. The bullet had told, it subsequently appeared, 
in his hind-quarters, a part of his body of which Bruin is 
more specially careful ; as with us bipeds, indeed, he would 
seem to look upon it as the seat of honour, and any 
injury to it always excites his utmost ire. This was the 
case in the present instance; for almost in the twink- 
ling of an eye out he came full tilt into the little opening 
spoken of, where I was still standing. At first I thought 
the charge was intended for myself, and reserved my 



second barrel accordingly; but I presently saw it was 
aimed at the poor dogs, who, with their tails between their 
legs, and with the bear close at their heels, scurried past me 
at some ten paces' distance. 


It was an exciting scene, and is faithfully represented in 
the above illustration, for which, together with several other 
spirited drawings introduced in this work, I am indebted to 
Mr. Edmund Walker, one of our most gifted artists. 

As the bear passed me I fired, and though he did not fall 
at the instant, it was pretty evident, from his pace slackening 


into a trot, and from the stream of blood that marked his 
progress, that he was mortally wounded. Such indeed was 
the fact ; for after proceeding two to three hundred paces, 
he came to a stand still on a little morass. Here Elg, 
who was not very far distant when I fired, and who was 
directed to the spot hy the dogs which, from being 
the pursued, had now become the pursuers found him 
rocking to and fro in a dying state, and shot him through 
the head. 

As the shades of evening had now set in, and we were 
somewhat exhausted from severe toil, and as besides the dis- 
tance to the nearest house was very considerable, it is likely 
we should have bivouaced in the forest had our attendant 
been at hand with the eatables and the axe. But having 
nothing excepting bear's flesh on which to regale, and unable 
with knives alone to get up a sufficiently good fire to 
protect us from cold throughout a long winter's night, it 
was thought best to face at once for the nearest hamlet on 
the river Clara. 

After placing the bear just shot en cache, we therefore 
set forward ; and now that frost had again set in, and the 
snow in consequence was in a more favourable state for the 
Skidor, our pace was a pretty fair one. 

Whilst wending our way homewards, I might well have 
exclaimed with the poet : " The beauty of the moonlit 
scene with its broad lights and shadows, and the solemn 
effects of silence and solitude, and night, in these in- 
terminable forests, made me halt in my advance, and 
gaze up into the depths, and feel the mightiness of the 



If our bodies were exhausted from the severe labour we 
had undergone, our spirits were sufficiently elevated ; not, it 
is true, with wine, or rather finkel, of which the dilatory 
movements of our attendant had deprived us, but with the 
reflection that a good day's work had been accomplished ; 
and though the way was long,- yet as we put the best foot 
forward, we succeeded in reaching quarters three or four 
hours after sunset. 



ALTHOUGH bears, as shown in the last chapter, are at 
times to be shot with facility ; at others, owing to the state 
of the weather and the snow, the difficulty of killing them 
is very considerable. 

Once though this was not until the winter was pretty far 
advanced being unable to hear of any ringed bear in Werme- 
land or Dalecarlia, Elg and I determined, if practicable, on 
rousing one ourselves. We selected for the scene of opera- 
tions the tract of forest to the southward of Risater that 
bounded on the east by the lakes Rada-, Lid-, and Gras-sjon, 
and on the west by the river Clara, where several of those 
beasts were believed to harbour. They had of recent years, 
indeed, committed considerable ravages thereabouts ; and no 
later than the past summer M. Falk had got up a Skall on a 
very large scale for their destruction ; but this, owing to 


falling weather, and the consequent impossibility of keeping 
the people in proper order, proved a total failure. 

In the first instance we took up our quarters at an unin- 
habited cottage, or rather hut, situated at the northern 
extremity of a fine lake, called the Skargan, and at three to 
four miles to the eastward of Munkforss on the Clara. This 
hut had been erected by a former owner of the property for 
fishing purposes, to which, as was evidenced by the nets and 
angling implements hanging around the walls of the single 
apartment, it was still used in the summer season ; and as 
there was a fire-place, and fuel in abundance, we made our- 
selves exceedingly comfortable. 

In this quiet and secluded retreat, which was far away 
from the haunts of men, we remained for several days and 
in that while diligently searched the forest far and near. The 
first two days we were quite alone ; but on each of the other 
days we were aided by twenty to thirty men, kindly placed at 
my disposal by M. Falk. 

But all our endeavours to get a bear on foot were unavail- 
ing. This was partly attributable to the depth and looseness 
of the snow ; for though Elg and myself, who were on 
Skidor, managed well enough, the people, some of whom 
were not even provided with Skarbagar, got on very badly, 
and consequently not half the ground was traversed, as other- 
wise would have been the case. 

Tiring of ill success, we resolved on shifting quarters. 
Despatching the baggage in a sledge, therefore, to the 
hamlet of Hallsby, situated a few miles to the southward 
of Munkforss, where some fifty men had been ordered by 
M. Falk to meet us on the following morning that we might 
search another line of country, Elg and I, with the dogs, 


struck across the forest for the place of rendezvous, distant, 
as the crow flies, some seven or eight miles. 

I for my part was much fatigued and no wonder, 
as in order to keep the peasants in line, I had been 
necessitated, during the few preceding days, to work some- 
thing like double tides, and our progress in consequence was 
somewhat slow. We, however, had all our eyes about us, 
and carefully searched every suspicious place met with on the 
way. At times we traversed the hill-sides, and at others 
plunged into deep ravines, where the ground was strewed 
with innumerable boulders, under which it often happens 
that the bear makes his winter bed. 

Some snow had recently fallen, and the trees were mantled 
in white, which is not always the case towards the approach 
of spring. The appearance of the Scandinavian wilds when 
in that state is so beautifully and faithfully described by the 
talented and lamented Inglis, that I cannot refrain from 
quoting his words : 

" Enter a forest when the sun breaks from the mists of a 
morning upon the snows of the past night. Beautiful as is 
a forest in the spring, when the trees unfold their virgin 
blossoms beautiful as it is in summer, when the wandering 
sunbeams, falling through the foliage, chequer the mossy 
carpet beneath beautiful as it is in the autumn, when the 
painted leaves hang frail it is more beautiful still when the 
tall pines, and gnarled oaks, stand in the deep silence of a 
winter noon, their long arms and fantastic branches heaped 
with the feathered burthen, ' that has never caught one stain 
of earth.' Then, too, the grey rocks, picturesque even in 
their nakedness, assume a thousand forms more curious still 
when dashed with the recent offering." 


But until the afternoon, we saw nothing of bears, or of 
their handiworks ; then we noticed the stems of more 
than one large pine to be deeply scored by the claws of 
those beasts; and as the scores varied greatly in size, we 
were led to infer they had been made by a female and 
her cubs. The marks in question were of somewhat recent 
date of the preceding autumn apparently and we there- 
fore judged the bears were not very far away. A good 
look-out was kept accordingly ; but though all the thickets 
in the vicinity were very carefully explored, we saw nothing 
of the beasts. 

At length we met with some very suspicious tracks in the 
snow, but so old, that it was hard to say whether they were 
those of man or bear. At all times there is considerable 
resemblance between the two, and more especially when 
they are stale. It appearing strange, however, that people 
should have been in the part of the forest we were then 
traversing known to us to be little or not at all frequented 
in the winter time we determined on following the tracks 
for a while. 

But this was no easy matter, for where the snow had 
drifted they were entirely obliterated; and at times, there- 
fore, we were altogether at fault. No one indeed but an 
experienced Chasseur, like Elg, could have made them out 
at all. So long as the tracks led through the more open 
parts of the forest, as in the first instance, no decided con- 
clusion could be come to; but when they wound amongst 
tangled brakes, as was the case subsequently, where a 
human being, excepting on all fours, could hardly have 
penetrated, it was evident we were on the right trail. 
A month or five weeks previously some heavy rain had 


fallen, and the probability therefore is that water had found 
its way into the den of the bear, and caused him, as fre- 
quently happens under the like circumstances, to quit it, 
and go in search of another and drier bed. 

Shortly afterwards we came to a dense brake; and here, 
whilst peering among the underwood for a hare, started 
by the dogs a minute previously, my eye rested on a dark 
mass in the snow, which I presently made out to be the 
bear. Had my gun been in readiness execution might 
probably have been done; but very unfortunately it was 
not only in its case, but slung over my shoulder, so that 
a few seconds necessarily elapsed before it was ready for 
use. In the meanwhile the beasts for it was a family 
party, consisting of a female, with two large cubs had 
moved off, so that I was only enabled to take the merest 
snap shot at the hind-quarters of the rearmost, as they were 
retreating amongst the trees. Elg was at the time abreast of 
me, and at not more than thirty to forty paces from the 
bears ; but though I hallooed to him the instant they were 
on foot, yet, owing to the closeness of the trees, which were 
loaded with snow, they were not seen by him. 

Congratulating each other on our good fortune, and anti- 
cipating an easy victory, we immediately started in pursuit, 
but from the heavy state of the snow, at no very rapid pace ; 
and the chase had not been of long continuance, when coming 
to an opening in the forest, which the bears had just crossed, 
we viewed them as they were again about to plunge into 
thick cover. Halting and slipping the guns out of their 
cases, both of us immediately fired, though ineffectually, I 
believe ; and if so, the marvel was not great, for the distance 

VOL. i. c c 


was considerable, and the beasts in great measure concealed 
by the underwood. 

After reloading, and whilst replacing the gun in its case, 
the hammer, through haste and inadvertence, was lifted, and 
the piece exploded. There was no danger to Elg and the 
dogs, who were in another direction; but my own person 
escaped narrowly, for the gun being pointed downwards, 
the ball carried away a portion of the left Skida, within 
an inch of my foot ! Had the foot been perforated, or a 
toe lopped off, it would have been inconvenient, for night 
was fast approaching, and we were far from home. 

As it was, the matter was bad enough ; for the explosion 
having blown away the upper end of the gun-case, the locks 
and the barrels were sure, in consequence, to be shortly filled 
with snow; and had it not therefore been for the greater 
convenience of carriage, the gun would have been just as well 
or better without its covering. Though anticipating it would 
soon prove useless, we nevertheless pushed forward ; for even 
were it to fail, I had Elg's rifle on which to fall back. 

If the bears had now kept to an open part of the forest, or 
to a tolerably level country, we should soon have been up 
with them; but they held, on the contrary, to precipitous 
and broken ground, and to the most tangled brakes, so that 
our progress was necessarily very slow. Some time therefore 
elapsed before they were again seen ; and the view was then 
so transitory, and the distance so great, that it was thought 
best to reserve our fire. 

At length, from sheer exhaustion, I was brought regularly 
to a stand-still; not so much, however, from the fatigue of 
the present run, which had been comparatively short, as from 


the labour undergone during the few preceding days. But 
not liking to throw away a chance, Elg was directed to take 
the lead, and continue the pursuit at his best pace, whilst I 
followed at my leisure. 

Not long after our separation, I was rejoiced to hear a shot 
in advance, and the dogs giving tongue loudly, whence I knew 
he had come up with the bears, and, as I trusted, had given 
a good account of one or other of them. I therefore made 
the most speed possible, in the hope of rendering him 
assistance. Soon, however, it was all but dark, and the 
icks, as well of Elg as the bears, undiscernible ; and as the 
logs no longer challenged as heretofore, I was consequently 
just as likely to take the wrong as the right direction. This 
?ing the case, I deemed it best to halt and to fire a shot as 
signal that I was out of my latitude. But all endeavours 
discharge my gun were unavailing. It had recently been 
converted by a bungler from a flint to a detonator, and the 
)lugs so badly fitted to the breech, that the powder found 
rent at the junction, and as a matter of course, the snow, 
lelted by the heat of my person, had gained admittance 
ito the chambers. I was soon, however, relieved from my 
disagreeable position, by hearing the shouts of Elg in the 
distance, and in the course of a few minutes again joined 
company with him. 

He, it appeared, had been in considerable jeopardy. 
Sighting the bears in a small opening in the forest, at forty 
fifty paces' distance, he attempted to shoot the old one, 
mt very unfortunately his rifle missed fire. On hearing the 
explosion of the cap, the beast headed about in a rage, 
and charged to within three or four paces of him ; but 
happily she did not proceed to extremities, for daunted by 

c c 2 


the bold front assumed by Elg, who brandished the Skidor- 
stick his only weapon in her face, and the spirited attacks 
of the dogs, she thought better of the matter, and presently 
beat a retreat. Had it so happened that the man had 
actually fired, and only wounded her, it is probable, from the 
determination she displayed on the somewhat slight provo- 
cation received, he would hardly have escaped a broken head. 
Whilst in this very disagreeable position, Elg, as he told me, 
was momentarily expecting assistance from me ; and it cer- 
tainly was not from the want of inclination that I was not 
by his side in the emergency. 

The shot I had heard was fired by Elg, almost immediately 
after he had been attacked by the old bear, at one of the cubs 
which he described as being nearly of the size of its dam 
whilst they were all retreating in company ; but the distance, 
he said, was so considerable, that he doubted if his bullet 
took effect. * 

It was now night, and consultation was held as to what 
was to be done. To bivouac in the forest would have been 
unpleasant ; for we had no axe, and without one it would 
have been impossible to prepare a proper watch-fire. To 
proceed to Hallsby, the hamlet spoken of as the rendezvous 
for the following morning, was the only other course open 
to us ; but from thence we were seven or eight miles distant, 
and for the great part of the way we had to traverse a track- 
less and tangled forest. Nevertheless, as the minor evil, we 
decided on its adoption. 

After taking a dram which, let teetotalers say what they 
will, was, in our wearied and dispirited condition, most 
beneficial we started forward. But considerable difficulty 
was experienced in groping our way amongst the prostrate 


trees and boulders, with which the ground in places was 
thickly strewed. The moon, however, which was at the 
full, and shining brilliantly, was of essential service in illu- 
mining our path ; without its aid, indeed, it would hardly 
have been possible for us to have reached the shelter of a roof 
before the morning broke. 

" Something approaching to the appearance presented by a 
northern climate in summer," to quote Mr. Inglis again, 
"may be witnessed in other countries; but the splendours 
of a winter scene belong only to the higher latitudes. For 
when night comes and whoever saw the glories of night 
save in a northern clime! out burst the stars, countless 
and burning, studding the deep-blue sky. Perhaps the 
borealis, with its pale-yeUow light, streams over half a 
hemisphere ; or perhaps the winter moon, full and high, 
looks down from the brow of night, spangling with ten 
million stars the beauteous net-work thrown over the lower 

The weather was severe ; the quicksilver, as ascertained by 
a thermometer always carried in my kit, some 15 below 
zero of Fahrenheit that is, there were near 50 of cold; 
and it was felt the more, as during the chase we had been 
excessively heated. What with perspiration, and the melting 
of the snow consequent on the heat of our bodies, we were 
both wet to the skin. Provided as I was with a flannel- 
shirt and a moderately warm jacket, I suffered no serious 
inconvenience. But it was not so with my faithful comrade, 
who, from being somewhat thinly clad, and from wearing a 
linen-shirt next the skin, suffered much from the cold, and 
trembled like an aspen leaf. And no wonder; for be it 
remembered, that from the severity of the frost our coats, 


when unbuttoned, almost instantly became as stiff as coats of 
mail; and our large dragoon-like gloves, also wet through 
and through, if withdrawn from the hand a minute or two, 
as hard as iron gauntlets. 

Bitterly the poor fellow complained more so than I 
remember either before or since ; but the evil was unavoid- 
able, for to prevent breaking the Skidor we were necessitated 
to proceed at a snail's pace. Had that misfortune happened, 
it would have put us to some inconvenience, for the snow 
being two feet or more in depth, it would not have been 
possible, to finish the journey on foot, and we must, in 
consequence, have passed the night in the forest as best 
we could. 

At length a beaten track, leading to the Clara, was gained, 
when all difficulties ceased. As the ground henceforward 
was falling, we were enabled greatly to increase our speed, 
and the blood was soon brought into proper circulation ; 
but it was past midnight, nevertheless, before we reached 
the village that was to afford us temporary shelter. 

On the morrow, at five o'clock, we were again on foot, 
and not very greatly refreshed either ; for what with satis- 
fying the cravings of hunger, drying clothes, and putting 
the guns in order on the preceding night, it was near two 
o'clock before we turned into bed, and consequently we had 
only enjoyed two to three hours' repose. 

Had we now acted according to rule, we should either have 
gone in pursuit of, or have ringed, the bears started on the 
preceding afternoon. But the peasants being assembled, 
agreeably to the orders of M. Falk, we were obliged to 
leave the beasts to themselves for the present. 

The men were therefore marched some five to six miles 


to the eastward, to a deep and thickly-wooded glen, called 
Djup-dalen, or the deep dale, where it was supposed a bear 
harboured ; and after forming line in the usual manner, we 
beat the country before us. 

The Skall had hardly commenced, when it was re- 
ported to me that the people had fallen in with the tracks 
of a bear. As, however, we were then in nearly the same 
line of country as that traversed on the preceding day, 
it was at first imagined they might be those of the beasts 
we then chased. But this was not the fact ; for on 
examination they proved to be those of another and larger 
bear, which Elg and I, when on our way homewards the 
preceding night, had, though unknown to us, roused from 
his slumbers. It appeared by the marks of our Skidor, that 
we had passed within three or four hundred paces of his bed, 
which he had no doubt deserted in consequence of hearing 
the dogs giving tongue, as we remembered them to have 
done, at some birds they had flushed from the ground. 

Directions having been given to the people, as to the 
course they were to take whilst searching for a fresh bear, 
Elg and I forthwith went* in pursuit of the beast whose 
tracks we had just fallen in with. 

These we leisurely followed a considerable distance, and 
until such time as the dogs again roused the bear, when we 
put our best foot foremost. The chase had not been of long 
continuance, when, on coining to a rather open part of the 
forest, we viewed the beast a noble-looking fellow at about 
one hundred and fifty paces' distance. In imagination, indeed, 
we called him our own ; but there " is many a slip betwixt 
the cup and the lip." From sinking deep in the snow at 
every step, his progress was slow, as was ours also ; so that, 


although we exerted ourselves to the utmost, he had again 
plunged into thick cover before we had approached suffi- 
ciently near to make it an object to fire. 

The beast was apparently distressed, and had he held to 
the more open part of the forest, and that the dogs had 
constantly kept with him, the chase would soon have been 
ended ; but as, on the contrary, he doubled to and fro in the 
thickest brakes, and as the dogs were not always in their 
place, we were unable to come to close quarters. This being 
the case, Elg and I, in the hope of intercepting him, 
separated and took different courses; and the plan so far 
succeeded, that both of us subsequently got transient views 
of the beast Elg, indeed, fired at and wounded him, as 
was shown by a few drops of blood visible on the snow. 
But the ball having taken effect in his hind-quarters, the 
wound did not seem materially to retard his progress. 

At times together, and at others separated, Elg and I 
for several hours thus dodged the bear; but all our en- 
deavours to close with him proved ineffectual. Finding, 
at length, he was gaining upon us (a beaten path that he 
had for a time pursued having given him the advantage), 
and as evening was now approaching, we deemed it best 
to discontinue the pursuit, and to turn our steps home- 
wards, where, wearied and dispirited, we arrived long after 

The following day turned out very wet and stormy, and 
as nothing could then be done with the bears, I left Elg 
to look after them, and returned to Brunnsholm, then my 
temporary quarters, which was distant nearly twenty miles. 

Two days subsequently word was brought me, that 
Elg had succeeded in ringing all the four beasts the 


larger one in the same line of country where he had been 
roused in the first instance ; the others at some distance to the 
eastward, and near to a lake called Kalf-sjon. The thaw, which 
was accompanied by much rain, still continuing, however, I 
remained for a while at home, until such time, indeed, 
as the heavens promised a change for the better, when I 
proceeded to Hallsby. 

Here Elg and I passed the night, and on the following 
morning set off at an early hour to attack the large bear. At 
starting there was a degree or so of cold, but by the time we 
reached the Ring, which was of unusually great extent, the 
temperature had turned so much milder, that the snow 
became kram. Rather than attempt to run the beast 
down, as was our first intention, but which was now next to 
an impossibility, we thought it best to essay stealing upon 
him whilst in his lair. 

For this purpose with the guns in readiness for imme- 
diate use, and with the dogs in couplings we followed his 
tracks in deep silence. But our progress was slow, as well 
from the denseness of the cover, as that the beast, before 
lying down, had made very many doubles. In some instances, 
moreover, he had followed his old tracks (which intersected 
the Ring), so that we were not unfrequently somewhat at 
fault. The afternoon was therefore well advanced before we 
reached his bed, which was in a very dense thicket ; but we 
were somewhat too late, for before our arrival he had taken 
the alarm and moved off. 

The bear being on foot, and it being quite certain that, 
whether chased or left alone, he would not halt again in a 
hurry, we uncoupled the dogs, who, now that they had rested 
for some days, were themselves again, and dashed merrily away 


in pursuit. Seeing from the first, however, that owing to 
the very unfavourable state of the snow, there was no chance 
of overtaking the bear, Elg was directed to follow in his 
track, whilst I, guided by the challenges of the dogs, endea- 
voured to cut in upon him ; and the plan in part succeeded, 
for on one occasion I viewed the beast as he was ascending 
the face of a rather precipitous hill, and sent a ball after 
him ; but as the distance was great, and as he neither 
flinched nor slackened his pace, the presumption is that it 
went wide of the mark. 

The day was now drawing to a close, and seeing the 
uselessness of farther pursuit, we directed our steps to a 
neighbouring cottage ; and as we here found wherewithal 
to satisfy the cravings of hunger, and a truss of straw on 
which to stretch our wearied limbs, we passed the night in 
tolerable comfort. 

We were in hopes that during the night the weather 
would have changed for the better ; but the reverse was the 
case, for the following morning was ushered in with a storm 
of wind and rain. As nothing therefore could be done that 
day, Elg was instructed to ring the bear chased the preceding 
afternoon, whilst I struck across the forest on Skidor to 
Ostanas, the residence of the Chamberlain, M. Croneborg, a 
distance of three or four miles, where I was most kindly 
received and entertained. 

In the evening Elg rejoined me, and reported that he had 
succeeded in ringing the beast at some five or six miles to 
the north-eastward, and at no very great distance from the 
other three bears ; but the weather continuing unfavourable 
during the following day, we kept the house, where a good 
library and the amenities of civilized life, if they did not 


compensate for extreme ill-luck, enabled me, at all events, to 
pass the time very pleasantly. 

On the succeeding morning, however, there was a degree 
or two of cold, and knowing that the Skidor could now he 
used to some advantage, we therefore started off in a sledge 
at the first break of day. 

As during the last Chasse we had seen the impossibility 
of circumventing the bear by stealth, it was determined that 
on this occasion we should attempt to run him fairly down. 
Soon after reaching the Ring, therefore, the dogs were 
uncoupled, and presently opened in grand chorus. 

The beast was started near to the foot of a rather preci- 
pitous and closely wooded hill ; and as he at first faced up the 
acclivity, Elg and 1 for a time lost ground; but when he 
arrived near to the summit of the hill, where the surface was 
more level, we, in our turn, gained on him apace. For a 
while he threaded the one dense brake after the other, where 
the difficulty of following him was considerable. At length, 
however, he made somewhat down the declivity, with the 
dogs in full cry at his heels, for a sort of vista leading to 
the valley below. The ground being now greatly in our 
favour, we were not slow in following, so that by the time 
the beast emerged from the thicket into the opening, we 
were not at more than thirty to forty paces' distance. As 
Elg, who was just in advance of me, had his gun in per- 
fect readiness, whilst mine on the contrary was only partially 
uncased, I directed him to fire, which he attempted, though 
unsuccessfully. On hearing the click of the lock, the 
beast, who was previously in the act of retreating, wheeled 
about, but whether with the intention of charging, as 
Elg supposed, or not, is hard to say. By this time, 


however, my gun was in order, and as he faced me, I fired, 
when he instantly fell. 

This bear, a male, was subsequently sent by M. Falk to 
the National Museum at Stockholm, where, to this day, I 
am told, he cuts a most respectable figure. 

It was our intention to attack the other bears on the 
following morning, but this purpose was frustrated by a 
renewal of the thaw that had so long marred our operations. 
So enduring a one I never remember in the northern 
forests, where the frost usually lasts from about the begin- 
ning of November to the first or second week in April, and 
is rarely interrupted by more than a very few consecutive 
days of open weather. For two other days, indeed, owing to 
continued rain, we were necessitated to remain idle ; but the 
wind, which for some time past had been from the south- 
ward, now veered to the opposite point of the compass, and 
the frost set in again with some severity. 

At an early hour of the succeeding morning, therefore, we 
started for the Ring, which was only three to four miles from 
Ostanas. But a great alteration had taken place in the state 
of the snow. Previously, from the mildness of the tempera- 
ture, and the quantity of rain that had fallen, it had 
not only sunk a foot or more, but was in quite a slushy 
state; now, on the contrary, its surface was so hard frozen 
as to support man as well as beast. Though in beautiful 
order for our Skidor, there was little chance therefore of 
fairly running down the bears. It was worth a trial, how- 
ever ; for as the old saw has it, " nothing venture, nothing 

But as the beasts had been undisturbed for some time, it 
was thought not improbable we might be enabled to steal 


upon them whilst in their lair ; and prior to starting them, 
it was determined to make the attempt. On reaching the 
Ring, which was situated on the face of a hill overlooking 
Kalf-sjon, we, therefore, with due precaution, followed on 
their tracks, which, although some three weeks old, were still 
quite visible. As the bears had taken a very tortuous course, 
however, a good deal of time was lost before reaching their 
bed (an excavation in an immense ant-hill) ; but this, to 
our great chagrin, was found untenanted the beasts, as we 
had reason to believe, having bolted a minute or two pre- 

The dogs were now uncoupled, and the chase commenced. 
But soon afterwards, and whilst in the act of descending an 
abrupt declivity, one of my Skidor, coming in contact with 
some hard substance, snapped short in two ! An accident, 
by the bye, always more likely to happen when the surface of 
the snow is frozen, than if it be in a loose state. 

Luckily, I had a spare Skida at a cottage hard by ; 
so calling the dogs to heel, and directing Elg to wait my 
return, I hasted for it. An hour or more, however, must 
have elapsed before I rejoined him, during which while the 
bears had, no doubt, made good use of their legs ; but there 
was no help for this, and so we at once renewed the chase. 

At first and from having to contend with rising ground, 
and somewhat close cover our progress was rather slow ; 
but when the summit of the hill was gained, and the forest 
became more open, we pushed rapidly ahead. In some places, 
however, the tracks of the bears were nearly imperceptible, and 
had it not been for a sprinkling of snow which had fallen 
during the past night, would have been wholly so. The 
beasts, as we saw by their tracks, generally proceeded in a 


gallop. Had they doubled at all, nevertheless, it is very 
possible that, with the assistance of the dogs, a good account 
might have been given of them ; but unfortunately their 
course was nearly as straight as the crow flies ; and as we 
were not enabled to turn them in a single instance, it was 
considered best, after the lapse of about three hours, to 
desist for that day from all farther pursuit. 

Somewhat tired and dejected, we therefore faced for 
home. On our way and in the wilds of the forest we 
came to a cottage, where I left Elg to pass the night, with 
directions to ring the beasts on the following day, and after- 
wards to rejoin me at Ostanas, to which place I myself 
forthwith proceeded. 

But it was not until the third day that my man made his 
appearance. He reported having ringed the beasts far away 
to the south-eastward, at a distance of fifteen to eighteen 
miles from their last lair, and upwards of twenty from that 
occupied by them in the first instance ; also, that he had 
had great difficulty in accomplishing the task, from the 
Spar being imperceptible in many places. 

As in the then state of the snow any farther attempt to 
run down the bears on Skidor was pretty sure to prove a 
failure, and as besides rousing them again would be attended 
with great risk for unless killed, and that snow was to 
fall, (whereby the tracks would be obliterated), they might 
escape us altogether it was determined that a Skall 
should be got up for their destruction. I therefore posted 
off to the authorities of the district, who, on seeing my 
credentials furnished by M. Falk, immediately placed be- 
tween three and four hundred men at my disposal. 

Elg and I now proceeded to Lindforss, near to which 



place the Ring was situated. Here are considerable iron- 
works, the proprietor of which, M. Geijer, kindly received 
and hospitably entertained us. And as two or three days 
must necessarily elapse before the Skall, we employed our- 
selves in the interim, as well in reconnoitring as reducing 
the size of the Ring which in the first instance must have 
been five to six miles in circumference as in searching the 
neighbouring forest for another bear, supposed to be lying 
thereabouts; but though we beat much ground, our efforts 
to get the beast on foot proved unavailing. 


On the appointed day the Skall (of the nature of which 
the above sketch will give some idea) took place. The Ring 


was circular in form, and embraced nearly the whole face 
of a well-wooded hill, at the foot of which, and partially 
surrounding it, was an extensive and open morass. Here, 
within easy gun-shot of the cover, the centre of the 
Hall was posted; that of the Dref, on the contrary, was 
drawn up on the crest of the hill itself. After that the 
Cordon was completed, E]g and I, who were on Skidor, 
employed ourselves in correcting irregularities in the line, 
drafting men from places where they were superfluous, 
strengthening weak points, &c. And we had ample occu- 
pation ; for the people thereabouts not being much ac- 
customed to Skalls, there was no one to render us 

Whilst thus engaged at the Hall, the Dref my proper 
station owing to some misconception, made a forward 
movement. This was contrary to positive orders, the people 
having been directed to remain stationary until my return. 
Soon afterwards a few straggling shots were heard, which, 
together with the shouts of the people, plainly indicated that 
the bears were on foot. Leaving Elg, who happened to be near 
me, in command of the Hall, I hastened to the Dref to stop 
its farther advance. But by the time I reached this division, 
the mischief anticipated had, in part at least, already occurred ; 
for owing to the hurried and disorderly advance of the men, 
a gap had been left in the line, of which the cubs had taken 
advantage, and made their escape ; not altogether unhurt, 
however, as was apparent by some blood to be seen on the 
snow. But the old bear, I was glad to find, was still within 
the circle. 

A halt was now ordered, during which the gap in question 
was filled up, and the line dressed afresh. When everything 


was duly arranged, we again moved forward, though this 
time very slowly, and in compact order. For a while we saw 
nothing of the remaining beast, and I therefore began to 
think she also might have given us the slip ; but on the Dref 
arriving near to the foot of the hill, where there was an 
almost impervious brake, outside of which the Hall was 
stationed, she became visible at several points, and was 
assailed with shots from all sides. From the closeness of 
the underwood, however, and the want of skill in the marks- 
men, she still kept her legs. Fearing that if the circle 
were more contracted than at present, casualties, through 
stray bullets, might occur a general halt was ordered. As 
yet I myself had seen nothing of the bear, attributable 
probably to my attention having been much occupied in keep- 
ing order amongst the people. Being desirous of a shot, as 
also of putting an end to the fusillade, from which I dreaded 
mischief, I proceeded alone some forty to fifty paces into the 
thicket to that part of it for which, judging by the shots, 
the beast was making and I chose my ground well, for a 
minute afterwards she advanced directly towards the spot 
where I was ambushed. Allowing her to approach to within 
ten to twelve paces, I fired, when she immediately fell ; but 
life was, nevertheless, not extinct, for she again rose upon 
her legs, and staggered a pace or two forward, when closing 
with her, I, with my remaining barrel, shot her through the 

When the Skall was over, Elg started to ring the cubs, 
which, after breaking the line, had taken different directions ; 
but subsequently, as seen by their tracks, had joined com- 
pany. Owing, however, to their tracks not being visible 
everywhere, and to the forest thereabouts being much inter- 

VOL. I. D D 


sected by beaten paths, where they were altogether undis- 
cernible, the task was a most difficult one ; and it was not 
until after the lapse of a couple of days that it was accom- 
plished. Even then Elg was necessitated to take in so great 
an extent of country that the Ring was not less than eight 
or nine miles in circumference. 

From the then state of the snow, it would hardly have been 
possible to kill the bears otherwise than by means of a Skall ; 
and as properly to encompass so enormous a Ring as the 
present, required a larger force than I could get together, I 
drove in my sledge to Risater, a distance of about forty 
miles, and obtained from M. Falk a warrant to call out the 
requisite number of men. 

On the very day of my return to Lindforss, however, 
we had a fall of snow ; before making use of my creden- 
tials, therefore, we deemed it best to start the bears, and 
to ring them afresh ; for the more the circle was diminished 
in size, the fewer people would be required to circumvent 
it. On the following morning Elg and I set out for that 
purpose, and after the lapse of several hours succeeded in 
rousing the beasts. Some six inches of newly-fallen snow 
now covered the frozen crust, which enabled us to follow their 
tracks with every facility; and had the weather been cold, 
they might very probably have been run down ; but as, 
owing to the mildness of the temperature, the snow so 
fastened to our Skidor that we could only proceed at a foot's 
pace, it was thought best to leave them unmolested. 

On the next day Elg ringed the bears, and in the 
same line of country in which the old one had met her 
doom. And as the present Ring was of small extent, and 
time pressed, it was agreed that instead of a government 


Skall, as projected, we should beat up for volunteers. For 
this purpose M. Geijer kindly lent his assistance, and notices 
were sent to all the hamlets round about. 

At an early hour on the appointed day, which was in the 
early part of April, we had the gratification to see nearly 
three hundred men assembled at Lindforss ; but it unfortu- 
nately rained, and in consequence we all had dismal fore- 
bodings. There was no help for it, however; so after the 
usual forms had been gone through, the people were marched 
off to the Ring, which might be at four to five miles' distance. 
But just before the Skall was Kndpt (that is, the lines 
united), the bears took the alarm, and made their escape 
through the opening. 

We were sadly annoyed, and no wonder, for the proba- 
bilities were twenty to one against the beasts being killed 
that day, or even at all, now that the winter was so very 
far advanced. It was determined, however, not to throw 
away a chance ; and Elg, accompanied by two peasants well 
acquainted with the locality, was therefore directed to use 
his best endeavours to ring them once more. 

In the meanwhile I marched off the men to a cottage 
hard by such of them as remained, at least, for many had 
now left us, and returned to their homes in readiness to act 
in the event of Elg's succeeding in his object, of which I 
entertained but faint hopes. 

But my predictions proved incorrect, for some three hours 
afterwards a messenger arrived with the glad tidings that the 
bears were again encircled, and at no very great distance from 
the house. In the course of a few minutes afterwards the 
people were in a degree organized, and at the pas de charge 
we made for the Ring, which must have been near three miles 

D D 2 


in circumference. By stationing the men at considerable 
intervals apart, our small party was, nevertheless, sufficient 
to complete the Cordon. 

For a while after the Skall commenced nothing was to 
be seen of the bears. But at length a straggling shot at 
different points of the line told that they were on foot. 
More than once, indeed, I obtained a glimpse of them in the 
distance, but they were so shrouded by trees that I did not 
care to fire. Presently, however, the shouts of the people 
and the heavy firing to the right of me, clearly indicated 
something was coming, and in a few seconds one of the bears 
galloped past us at the top of his speed. I, as well as several 
others, fired, and the beast staggered ; but the bullet that 
terminated his career was from the rifle of a friend standing 
at forty or fifty paces to the left of me. 

Of the remaining bear, we of the driving division saw no 
more ; but to judge by the firing at the Hall, he was making 
strenuous efforts to escape in that direction. Soon, however, 
all was still, and shortly afterwards it was reported to me 
that he also was killed. 

A. few rrares still remained within the Cordon, which, it 
being contrary to rule to shoot, were knocked on the head. 
The Skall then terminated, and at a quite sufficiently late 
hour ; for as the last shot was fired the sun was just sinking 
below the horizon. 

Three cheers were now given to commemorate our 
success; and after thanking the peasants for their friendly 
aid, we separated, mutually satisfied, it is to be hoped, with 
each other, and departed for our respective homes. 

Thus ended a Chasse, which, from first to last, occupied 
us from four to five weeks, in which time much ground was 



gone over, and much hardship and fatigue endured. From 
want of incident, it is perhaps unworthy of record, much less 
of the story being told at length; but I have purposely 
entered into details, the better to exemplify some of the 
many obstacles and inconveniences with which a man has 
to contend, whilst prosecuting his sport in the wilds of 



BEARS, as said, are very scarce in Scandinavia. Unless 
ringed, or that a good guess can be made as to their 
locale, a man may often search the northern forests for days, 
or even weeks together, without getting one on foot. It 
does happen, nevertheless, that even under unfavourable 
circumstances, and without proper appliances, he at once 
stumbles on the beast. 

Towards the close of the winter 1846-7, I proceeded into 
the Wermeland Finn-forests in the hope of enjoying a hunt. 
But as on my arrival at Brunberget, I could not learn that 
any bears were ringed thereabouts, it became needful to look 
for one myself. I would gladly have engaged Elg and 
others to assist in the search ; but from being occupied 
either in hewing timber, or in transporting the same to the 
Clara and other rivers, it was not possible to prevail on any 

THE SNOW. 407 

one to leave his home. Nor did I succeed much better at 
the Finnish hamlet of Ofverberget in Dalecarlia, distant six 
or seven miles from Brunberget, where I proceeded on the 
following morning for only a single peasant would consent 
to follow me. At that time, indeed, men in the Finn- 
forests were hardly to be had for love or money. 

Though thus miserably appointed, yet as it was then the 
very end of February, and consequently no time to be lost, I 
and Nils that being the name of my new comrade started 
at once for the wild range of forest to the northward of the 
magnificent lake Qvinn, where rumour said a large bear had 
harboured for several past winters. The man bore on his 
shoulders a kit containing a sufficient supply of provisions 
for a couple of days, as also an axe, but he was without a 
gun or other weapon. 

Owing to the delay occasioned by making the needful 
preparations, it was past noon before we reached the ground, 
when the search at once commenced. Ever} 7 spot likely 
to shelter the bear was carefully reconnoitred ; the huge 
boulders with which the ground was in some places strewed, 
were peered under, and the denser brakes threaded ; but the 
snow, which was some three feet in depth, was loose, and 
in an exceedingly unfavourable state, as well for the Skidor 
as for the dogs, who sunk to the middle at every step ; and 
our movements, in consequence, were anything but rapid. 

In Lapland and other more open countries, the snow 
from the wind having freer access to it whilst falling, and 
thereby causing it to pack soon obtains considerable con- 
sistency. But in deeply wooded districts, like Wermeland 
and Dalecarlia, it often remains in quite a loose state 
throughout the winter. This is the great drawback to bear 


hunting. If the snow is in good order, few things are more 
pleasurable than roaming the northern forests on Skidor : 
the mountain and the valley, the river and the lake, are then 
traversed with rapidity and ease ; but should the snow, on 
the contrary, be in bad order, it becomes in that case a toil 
rather than an amusement ; for one's pace is that of a snail, 
and nothing but the excitement of the chase would ever 
induce a man to submit to the slavery and fatigue he must 
necessarily undergo. 

To give us a better chance of getting the bear on foot, 
many shots were fired in the course of the afternoon ; so 
that if he happened to be lying in the vicinity, he might take 
the alarm and leave his bed. But all our endeavours to 
rouse the beast proved fruitless, and at dusk, therefore, we 
halted to prepare quarters for the night. 

A well wooded and sheltered spot was selected for that 
purpose, and a suitable pine soon felled ; but as we had only 
a single axe, some time elapsed before the fire was kindled, 
and the bivouac in order. Ample justice was then done to 
the contents of the kit, after which we resigned ourselves to 

On the following morning, at a pretty early hour, the 
search was resumed. As on the preceding day, the peasant 
and myself formed line, so to say, and beat the forest before 
us ; and as then, it once more rung with our shouts and the 
report of my gun, which I repeatedly discharged ; the dogs 
also occasionally opened upon birds, which added to the 
clamour. Thus we proceeded for three or four hours, but 
still no bear was forthcoming. 

At length, however, the dogs challenged at some little 
distance ahead, and in a manner clearly indicating they had 


fallen in with the bear, and that he was in full retreat. At 
this time I was on the hill-side above, and had, therefore, 
greatly the " vantage-ground ;" so losing not a second, I 
pushed on at the top of my speed, and fortunately suc- 
ceeded in cutting in upon the beast. This was in a very 
dense brake ; and though he was not more than ten or 
twelve paces distant, yet owing to the thickness of the cover, 
and the incessant attacks of the dogs, which were close at 
his heels, he seemed not aware of my presence. Vividly 
remembering the severe mauling I had received from a bear 
only two years before, I was not at the moment without 
misgivings as to my personal safety ; and no marvel, as 
were my aim to be erring, the prospect was far from 
agreeable; for stuck as my Skidor were amongst the trees, 
retreat was impossible ; and from my companion, who 
was at some distance in the rear, and who was only armed 
with an axe, aid was not to be expected. As my gun was 
in perfect readiness for whilst making for the spot, I had 
cast aside the cover I at once fired, and as luck would have 
it, the bear rolled over and over. Though prostrate, how- 
ever, life was not extinct, and fearing that in his death- 
struggles, which were violent, he might destroy the dogs 
who had gallantly fastened on his shaggy hide, I ran close in 
upon the beast, and shot him through the head. 

Our capture proved an old and tolerably large male ; and 
as it was not practicable to transport him at this time from 
the forest, we left him where he fell, first taking the precau- 
tion of covering him with Gran-ris, as some protection from 
the weather and beasts of prey. 

This operation completed, we started in search of another 
bear, believed to be couched in a lofty hill at some little 


distance ; but though we beat the forest far and wide for tin- 
rest of the day, our efforts to start him were unsuccessful ; and 
at dusk, therefore, we faced for Ofverberget ; but being sadly 
wearied, we did not reach it until an hour or two after dark. 

" Fear," they say, " scares people at times out of their 
propriety." Be that as it may, an over-excited imagination 
not unfrequently conjures up images that have no existence 
excepting in a man's own brains. Of this fact, when bear 
shooting, I have myself seen more than one ludicrous 

During the earlier part of the winter of 1848-9, some 
peasants in the parish of Ny in Wermeland, whilst engaged 
in elk hunting, accidentally roused a large bear from his 
den. Subsequently he was exposed to much persecution ; 
for not only was a Skall on a pretty considerable scale got 
up for his destruction, but he was chased on two or three 
occasions by Finns and others on Skidor. And though he 
had run the gauntlet thus often, and though badly wounded, 
he managed to elude his pursuers. 

In the northern forests, when the bear is started, arid 
travels far and wide, and that it is not convenient for people 
to follow him in all his wanderings, it frequently happens 
that, by purchase or otherwise, he changes owners more than 
once. This had been the case in the present instance; and 
when I arrived in Wermeland in the beginning of February, 
1849, some peasants at the Finnish hamlet of Lofskogsasen 
claimed the beast as their property. To this place, which 
lay at twelve to fourteen miles to the north-west of Brun- 
berget, Elg and I forthwith proceeded on Skidor ; and after 
some little bargaining, and the payment of some rix-dollars, 
the right and title to the bear became vested in me. 


To buy the bear was one thing, but to bag him another ; 
and this, for more reasons than one, was by far the most 
difficult part of the affair. The snow in the first place was 
loose, and in no very favourable state for Skidor ; it besides 
lay very unequally for owing to heavy rains in the early 
part of the winter, there was comparatively little on the 
lower grounds where the thaw had taken greater effect; 
whereas on the higher grounds it was three feet or more 
in depth. Of this circumstance the bear, who is a tolerable 
good judge of such like matters, was nearly certain, when 
,once started, to take advantage, in which case it would have 
been no easy matter to come to close quarters with him. 
And then again, he had already been so persecuted that he 
was pretty sure to keep a good look-out, so that the chances 
of being able to steal upon him whilst in his lair were 
very slight. 

Thinking the latter plan the most feasible, we determined 
on its adoption. On the following morning therefore, at an 
early hour, Elg and I started for the Ring, which was at 
some six to seven miles to the north-east of Lofskogsasen, 
and at about twenty from the beast's original bed. We were 
accompanied by a peasant named Jan one of the indi- 
viduals who had taken part in the several C basses spoken 
of who bore a well-filled kit, as also an axe, the length of 
our stay in the forest being very uncertain. 

Some half-a-dozen winters before, this man, in company 
with three others, set out from home in search of a bear, 
and at length came upon one of those beasts, who had taken 
up his abode under a huge boulder. All the men were armed 
with rifles ; but most unhappily, whilst they were congre- 
gated about the mouth of the den, and in the act of 


shooting the bear, the gun of one of the party went off 
accidentally, and the ball passing through the head of a 
comrade, killed him on the spot ! 

Similar occurrences are not unfrequent in the northern 
forests; and one cannot wonder at it, after seeing the very 
wretched guns generally used by the peasantry. The locks 
are at times so defective, that it is only by retaining the 
hammer in its proper position with the hand, whilst the 
aim is taking, that the gun can be fired. During a three 
days' excursion in the forest, indeed, only two years ago, the 
guns of both my men sportsmen in their way were,, 
owing to some defect or other in the lock, rendered utterly 
useless before our return home. To say nothing of accidents 
amongst themselves, it is mainly owing to this state of 
things that the northern Chasseurs are so frequently mal- 
treated by bears. 

To proceed. On reaching the ground, and after posting 
our guide. Elg and I entered the Ring. Fortunately it 
blew desperately hard, and that even in the forest, where 
one seldom feels much of the wind. This was greatly in 
our favour, as what with the rustling and crashing of the 
trees, as the gale surged through them, the bear was little 
likely to be aware of our presence, until such time as we 
were close upon him. The wind being from the southward, 
we took the precaution of commencing operations at the 
northern extremity of the Ring. 

Had there been only a little snow on the ground, we 
should from choice have proceeded on foot; but the snow 
being rather deep, we were necessitated to retain our Skidor, 
which, in thick cover and broken ground, are always in- 
convenient, and hamper one's movements greatly. Previously 


to entering the Ring, both Elg and I had divested the guns 
of their cases, and we were therefore quite prepared for 
immediate action. In profound silence we commenced the 
search, and threaded all the denser and more likely thickets ; 
as also carefully examined every boulder, and the roots of 
such prostrate pines as came in our way. But though we 
were thus occupied for an hour or more, we neither came 
across the bear himself, nor did we see any marks indicative 
of his presence. 

All in a moment, however, w r hen at about fifteen paces to 
the left of me, Elg whom I had directed to fire in the event 
of his falling in with the beast discharged his gun, and 
shouted loudly at the same time : " The bear ! the bear !" 
But though I strained my eyes to the utmost, nothing 
was to be seen in the thicket but a scathed and blackened 
stump at some thirty to thirty-five paces in advance of 
where I stood, and towards w r hich, fancying the beast might 
be lying at its roots, I made up in double-quick time. 
But on reaching the spot, neither the bear nor his bed 
were visible ; and I presently found, to my great amusement, 
that, whether owing to his sight being dimmed by age, 
or to a fertile imagination, Elg had mistaken the aforesaid 
stump for Bruin, and lodged a bullet in its very centre. 
This discovery afforded us both much merriment, and I 
for my part hardly desisted from laughing for the next 

The report of Elg's gun under ordinary circumstances 
even had the distance been considerable would in all pro- 
bability have alarmed the bear, and caused him to bolt forth- 
with. But as we were still somewhat in the northern part 
of the Ring, and as it was blowing a half-hurricane from the 


southward, we entertained great hopes he might be in 
ignorance of the " untoward event." After a while there- 
fore, and that our mirth had subsided, the search was 

And we had not been thus occupied a very long time 
when, at some thirty paces to the right of me, a dark 
object, evidently possessed of vitality, attracted my attention. 
At this I forthwith let fly, and clearly with effect ; for the 
object aimed at, whatever it might be, sunk at once into 
the snow. For an instant a qualm came over me : a sort 
of doubt arising in my mind whether it was the head of a 
man or that of a bear at which I had fired. A nervous 
feeling of this kind, indeed, has never entirely left me since 
the dreadful catastrophe of which mention was recently made. 
But my apprehensions were presently allayed ; for in a few 
seconds the bear, evidently desperately wounded, rose bodily 
in view and retreated from his couch. I now discharged 
my second barrel ; but from the closeness of the brake, and 
an imperfect view, without bringing him to the ground. A 
third shot, however, fired by me with Elg's rifle for the 
man who previously had been at some paces to the left of 
me, had now come up and placed the piece in my hand 
put an end to his existence. But the two last balls were 
almost needless ; for though my first was the meerest snap- 
shot, the bullet was so well directed as to enter the skull all 
but between the eyes ; and if instead of passing somewhat 
downwards, as was the case, it had entered the brain, it would 
of course have killed him on the spot as it was, it caused 
so great an effusion of blood as must have destroyed life 
in a very short time. 

The bear a large male fell dead within ten paces of his 


lair ; but instead of being reduced to a shadow, as, from 
having been so much hunted in the early part of the winter, 
we expected, he proved excessively fat ; and his reputed 
wounds were found to consist of a mere scratch on the nose, 
the scar of which was then hardly perceptible. 

All this seemed passing strange, and in spite of our 
guide's assurance to the contrary, Elg and I had very strong 
misgivings that we had fallen in with the wrong bear ; and 
it was not until a fortnight afterwards, when we took the 
trouble to search the Ring for the second time and for that 
purpose proceeded on Skidor all the way from Brunberget, a 
distance of some twenty miles that we gave up, in a degree 
at least, the notion. 

The mystery was cleared up in the spring, when the 
wounded bear was found dead at six or seven miles from the 
Ring, made by the peasants previous to that of which I was 
the purchaser. It appeared that whilst beating this Ring the 
men had not only started the wounded bear but a fresh one 
the beast killed by us but that in the ardour of the 
chase they had overlooked the track of the wounded bear, 
which had taken an opposite direction. After all, therefore, 
Elg and I were right in our conjecture. And if we had 
only had the wit to have reflected somewhat more on the 
subject, we should in all probability have bagged two bears 
instead of one. 

The bear, as mentioned in my former work, frequently 
selects for his winter quarters the cleft of a rock ; and it is 
on record that, owing to water dripping from above, such a 
mass of ice has accumulated at the mouth of his cavern as 
to block it up entirely, and thereby retain him a prisoner until 
the spring. 


It happens also, when the cleft of a rock constitutes his den, 
that the bear, so to say, incarcerates himself; for the moss, 
which he sometimes places in quantities at the very entrance, 
forms, when congealed, a barrier through which he cannot 
readily force his way. Though it is probable the moss thus 
drawn together by the bear, is only intended to serve as a tem- 
porary bed, preparatory to retiring to his regular dormitory, 
it is the general notion that he deposits it there to make his 
quarters more snug during the winter months ; as also that 
the custom is confined to females with cubs, or rather to 
such as are about to have an addition to their families. 

Two days subsequent to the Chasse last spoken of, Elg 
and I, not gaining intelligence of other bears, started on 
Skidor with the dogs for a wild range of country to the 
eastward of Lofskogsasen, in search of one of those beasts, 
which was believed to harbour thereabouts. We were ac- 
companied by two peasants, who as we anticipated passing 
more than one night in the forest carried, together with an 
axe, an ample supply of provisions. 

The first day our search proved unsuccessful ; but on the 
morning of the second, and when beating a rather thinly 
wooded knoll, the dogs opened in a way that convinced me they 
had fallen in with a bear, or other noxious animal. I hastened 
to the spot where the dogs were challenging, but could see 
nothing; neither did they seem to be sensible whence the 
taint they had caught proceeded. Presently, however, I noticed 
a chink, as it were amongst the rocks, but on looking down 
found it apparently untenanted. From its very confined 
dimensions, indeed, it seemed hardly capable of containing 
any bulky animal. In this cavity, or rather in an interior 
chamber, which I had not previously observed, the bear, as 


shown by the dogs, that now came up, was nevertheless 
snugly ensconced ; and cuhs also, as we knew by their very 
audible cries. 

When in the early part of the autumn the bear took 
possession of this den, the entrance to it was no doubt not 
only easy of access, but quite visible. What with a barricade 
of moss, similar to that recently spoken of, and some three 
feet of snow, which then covered the ground, it was now 
hardly perceptible; and had it not been for the dogs, and 
for some marks made by the beast in the surrounding 
trees, we might have passed the spot fifty times over with- 
out noticing it. 

In the then state of the aperture, it was quite impossible 
for the bear to leave the den. Taking off our Skidor, there- 
fore, we proceeded to unearth her. But this was no easy 
matter, and only to be effected by hewing away, with 
the axe, the embankment in front. Whilst the men were 
thus occupied, and to guard against the possibility of her 
making a sudden rush, two stout stakes were driven cross- 
wise in front of the orifice; though this precaution was 
perhaps needless, as she made no effort to escape. 

It must have taken an hour or more, nevertheless, before 
a passage sufficiently large to admitTof the egress of the bear 
was cleared. When this was accomplished, the peasants were 
ordered to the rear that they might be out of harm's way, 
and Elg directed to withdraw the cross stakes, and after- 
wards to stir up the beast with a long pole, previously pre- 
pared for the purpose. 

In the meanwhile I stationed myself immediately above, and 
within a few paces of the den, armed not only with my own 
gun, but with Elg's, which was lying in readiness at my feet ; 

VOL. i. E E 


and I had not long to wait for the instant the pole touched 
the beast, and before Elg's exclamation " She's coming, 
Sir !" was well out of his mouth, she, with the rapidity of 
thought, stood all but bolt upright before me ; her jaws were 
distended, and her eyes, which seemed to protrude out of 
their sockets, shot forth fury and revenge. Had it not been 
for the embankment, she would at once have made her exit ; 
but this being only partially removed, she could not clear the 
impediment at a single bound ; and she had no opportunity 
of making a second, for at the instant of her appearance a 
bullet through the back of the head caused her to sink life- 
less to the ground. 

The old bear was left en cache; but the cubs, three in 
number, were at once conveyed to Lofskogsasen ; and though 
at the time of their capture they were only a few days old, 
we were enabled, by extreme care, to rear two of them. One 
is now in the possession of Sir Henry Hunloke, at Winger- 
worth Hall, in Derbyshire ; and owing to good feeding he 
has grown enormously. With the exception of the bear at 
the Zoological Gardens, indeed, I much doubt there being a 
larger in England ; and what is remarkable, he is as tame as 
ever. On a recent visit to the Baronet, I placed my hand in 
the beast's mouth, whicfr he slobbered over as affectionately 
as in olden times. 



THOUGH during my sojourn in Scandinavia I was in at 
the death or capture of one hundred and two bears, the 
larger portion of which were bagged when I was alone, so 
to say ; and though often in considerable jeopardy, I was 
never wounded by those beasts excepting on a single occa- 
sion. The circumstances under which the accident occurred 
were as follows : 

On Saturday the 29th of March, 1844, in company with 
Elg and two others, I was in search, in the more northern 
parts of the Wermeland Finn-forests, of a large bear that 
had for several preceding years committed much havoc 
amongst the horses and cattle. He was not actually ringed ; 
but his track having been seen very late in the autumn, we 
had reason to believe he was lying thereabouts. The snow 
was fully two feet in depth ; but owing to the Dags-meja* 

* Tliis word is a corruption of Dags-midja, literally the middle of the day. 

E E 2 


that is, the effect of the noon-day's sun upon snow or ice in 
the spring it was mashy, so to say, and consequently not 
only the Skidor, but the dogs sunk nearly to the ground. 

Our little party was drawn up at a distance of from one 
hundred to one hundred and fifty paces apart, on the face 
of a rather lofty and deeply-wooded hill. My station was 
near to the centre of the line ; and as we were beating the 
forest before us, one of the dogs opened at some fifty paces 
in advance, in a manner that assured me it was the bear 
he had faEen in with. From the advanced period of the 
season, and the very unfavourable state of the snow, I feared 
that if the beast was once fairly on foot we might have 
very "great difficulty in killing him. In all silence I there- 
fore pushed forward as fast as I could, in the hope of 
getting a shot prior to his leaving the lair ; and when near 
to it, I took off my Skidor, as well because some fallen trees 
obstructed the way, as that my movements might be more 

The bear was lying near to the summit of a little knoll, 
and at the outer edge of a thick brake ; but on the side 
I approached him there was a small opening in the forest, 
so that my view was nearly unobstructed. Owing, however, 
to his being couched beneath a sort of bower, consisting of 
several of the adjacent young pines, which he had broken or 
torn down with his teeth and claws a form of lair, by 
the bye, such as I never saw before or since I was not 
aware of the beast until within some eight to ten paces of 
his bed, and then little more than his head, which was 
obliquely towards me, was visible; and though the dog 
stood baying immediately near to him, and though fully 
awake, as I saw by the rolling of his eye, he had not, 


as yet, at all changed his position ; but, from the ac- 
tion of his head, he was evidently on the point of moving 

Being perfectly prepared, and my gun on the full-cock, I, 
as soon as I caught sight of the beast, levelled at the centre 
of his skull; but some boughs intervening, which it was 
to be feared might intercept the ball, caused me to desist 
from firing. The next instant, however, I took rather a 
snap-shot at the outer side of his head, beyond the boughs 
in question. But the momentary delay caused by shifting 
my aim was very unfortunate; for in the interim he had 
seen me, and as I pulled the trigger he was in the very 
act of bolting from his couch ; and my aim in consequence 
was very uncertain. Indeed, I am inclined to believe I 
missed him altogether. 

Be that as it may, on the discharge of my gun the 
beast at once rushed towards me. I had still left my second 
barrel, with which I ought, no doubt, to have destroyed 
him ; but owing to his undulatory motion I could not, 
though I attempted more than once, catch a satisfactory 
sight; and it was not until he was within three or four 
paces that I fired, and then somewhat at random. Though 
my ball in this or the former instance (for in the one or 
the other, as subsequently ascertained, it went wide of the 
mark) wounded him very desperately, it having entered 
his neck near the shoulder, and passed into his body; 
yet it was not sufficient, unfortunately, to stop his course, 
for in a second or two he was upon me not on his 
hind legs (the way in which it is commonly supposed the 
bear makes his attacks), but on all-fours, like a dog; and 
in spite of a slight blow that I gave him on the head 


perfectly retained my senses the whole time, my feelings, 
whilst in this horrible situation, are beyond the power of 
description. But at length the incessant attacks of my gal- 
lant little dog drew the beast's attention from me, and I had 
the satisfaction to see him retreat, though at a very slow 
pace, into the adjoining thicket, where he was at once lost 
to view. 

Immediately after he left me I arose, and applied snow 
by the handful to my head, to stanch the blood which was 
flowing from it in streams. I lost a very large quantity, 
and the bear not a little, so that the snow all around the 
scene of conflict was literally deluged with gore. 

From the wretched state of the snow and the distance, 
my comrades did not join me until a minute or two after 
my antagonist had retreated, and when I was on my legs 
bathing my wounds. Elg, whom I had called twice by 
name at the instant the bear was about to close with me, had 
no idea I was in jeopardy, but merely that I required his aid 
in killing the beast. Under any circumstances, it would have 
been impossible for him to have rescued me ; for at the time of 
the mishap he was considerably below on the hill-side, which 
was precipitous ; and a dense brake, moreover, intervened. 
When therefore he came to the spot, and saw the blood on 
the snow, he, without noticing the state I was in, looked 
about him and inquired for the carcase of the bear ; and 
was taken a good deal aback when he found that in this 
instance it was the beast, and not myself, that had proved 
the victor. 

At first, from the pain of my wounds, and the weakness 
consequent on loss of blood, which ran from my head so as 
almost to blind me, I thought myself much more hurt than 

HE DIES. 425 

I was in reality and disabled for that day at least ; so that 
on my comrades coming up, I forthwith directed Elg to 
put an end to the wounded bear, whose tracks were deeply 
marked with blood, which he effected in about ten minutes, 
and within two to three hundred paces of the spot where 
the encounter between us had taken place; and a very 
few minutes afterwards, having in the interval greatly 
recovered myself, and put my gun which in the melee 
had been buried in the snow in order, I rejoined him on 
my Skidor. 

Our prize,* a male, was emaciated, from age as we 
imagined, and his fangs either broken or greatly blunted. 
To the latter circumstance my preservation, under God, was 
probably attributable ; for had his fangs entered my person 
in every place where they left indentations, I must have been 
literally torn to pieces. 

As it was, I escaped wonderfully. My body, to be sure, 
was covered with severe contusions for the skin being 
only slightly raised, wounds they could hardly be called ; 
two or three days subsequently, indeed, the whole of my 
left hip and the adjacent parts were perfectly black. My 
right hand and wrist were a good deal hurt ; for at the 
commencement of the affair how, I know not I got my 
hand into the mouth, and even partially down the very throat 
of the beast, where it seemed as if embedded in slaver. 
My skull, for a considerable extent, was laid bare in two 
places : one wound, by the doctor's account on the follow- 
ing day, being eight, the other nine inches in length though 
parts of both were, of course j superficial ; but from my hair 

* Now in the British Museum, to which institution it was presented by the 
Earl of Selkirk. 


perfectly retained my senses the whole time, my feelings, 
whilst in this horrible situation, are beyond the power of 
description. But at length the incessant attacks of my gal- 
lant little dog drew the beast's attention from me, and I had 
the satisfaction to see him retreat, though at a very slow 
pace, into the adjoining thicket, where he was at once lost 
to view. 

Immediately after he left me I arose, and applied snow 
by the handful to my head, to stanch the blood which was 
flowing from it in streams. I lost a very large quantity, 
and the bear not a little, so that the snow all around the 
scene of conflict was literally deluged with gore. 

From the wretched state of the snow and the distance, 
my comrades did not join me until a minute or two after 
my antagonist had retreated, and when I was on my legs 
bathing my wounds. Elg, whom I had called twice by 
name at the instant the bear was about to close with me, had 
no idea I was in jeopardy, but merely that I required his aid 
in killing the beast. Under any circumstances, it would have 
been impossible for him to have rescued me ; for at the time of 
the mishap he was considerably below on the hill-side, which 
was precipitous ; and a dense brake, moreover, intervened. 
When therefore he came to the spot, and saw the blood on 
the snow, he, without noticing the state I was in, looked 
about him and inquired for the carcase of the bear ; and 
was taken a good deal aback when he found that in this 
instance it was the beast, and not myself, that had proved 
the victor. 

At first, from the pain of my wounds, and the weakness 
consequent on loss of blood, which ran from my head so as 
almost to blind me, I thought myself much more hurt than 

HE DIES. 425 

I was in reality and disabled for that day at least ; so that 
on my comrades coming up, I forthwith directed Elg to 
put an end to the wounded bear, whose tracks were deeply 
marked with blood, which he effected in about ten minutes, 
and within two to three hundred paces of the spot where 
the encounter between us had taken place; and a very 
few minutes afterwards, having in the interval greatly 
recovered myself, and put my gun which in the melee 
had been buried in the snow in order, I rejoined him on 
my Skidor. 

Our prize,* a male, was emaciated, from age as we 
imagined, and his fangs either broken or greatly blunted. 
To the latter circumstance my preservation, under God, was 
probably attributable ; for had his fangs entered my person 
in every place where they left indentations, I must have been 
literally torn to pieces. 

As it was, I escaped wonderfully. My body, to be sure, 
was covered with severe contusions for the skin being 
only slightly raised, wounds they could hardly be called ; 
two or three days subsequently, indeed, the whole of my 
left hip and the adjacent parts were perfectly black. My 
right hand and wrist were a good deal hurt ; for at the 
commencement of the affair how, I know not I got my 
hand into the mouth, and even partially down the very throat 
of the beast, where it seemed as if embedded in slaver. 
My skull, for a considerable extent, was laid bare in two 
places : one wound, by the doctor's account on the follow- 
ing day, being eight, the other nine inches in length though 
parts of both were, of course, superficial ; but from my hair 

* Now in the British Museum, to which institution it was presented by the 
Earl of Selkirk. 


being cut very short, and the fangs of the beast thus readily 
passing through it, I escaped being scalped, as would in- 
evitably have happened, had it been worn long after the 
fashion of the Swedish peasantry. 

Happily, however, I was so little disabled by the injuries 
inflicted on my person by the bear, that I contrived to make 
my way the same evening to my quarters, a distance of 
seven or eight miles, and with the exception of the last two, 
when I obtained a horse, either on Skidor or on foot. But 
for a long time subsequently I suffered much from my 
wounds, and weakness arising from loss of blood; not 
sufficiently so, however, as to prevent me though it was 
certainly a great effort from taking the field again four 
days afterwards. 



LATE in the summer of 1834, during my residence at 
Ronnum, reports were abroad that the Asiatic cholera, after 
committing terrible destruction in various parts of Europe, 
had at length reached Gothenburg ; and these rumours 
proved but too true, for in a short time the disease 
raged with fearful virulence in that devoted town. 

Some days subsequently it made its appearance in Weners- 
borg, where also it committed much havoc, especially amongst 
the lower classes ; for out of a population of about two 
thousand, near two hundred perished. 

Within a week afterwards the pestilence broke out in the 
cottages about Ronnum. Many individuals were seized, 
nearly the half of whom were carried off; sickness and 
death, indeed, were rife within a few paces of my own door ; 
one family, consisting of five individuals, perished altogether ; 


and my near neighbour at Onaforss, M. Norstrom, lost, I 
believe, eleven of his people out of less than fifty. 

Whilst the epidemic was raging the peasantry showed 
much apathy, and pursued their usual avocations as if care- 
less of what might happen. But this indifference to peril 
arose in great degree from a religious feeling, or rather, 
perhaps, from their inclining to predestination. 

Nearly in front of, and within gunshot of my residence, 
where four roads met, stood a cottage, which during the 
prevalence of the cholera was converted into a Dod-hus, or 
receptacle for the dead. One Sunday several corpses were 
lying on the ground floor of the building, waiting interment. 
A number of people returning from church were desirous of 
seeing the bodies ; but not being permitted to enter the 
house, or to get a good peep through the windows, about 
which they congregated, they actually smashed several panes 
of glass, that they might obtain a better sight. Though 
remonstrated with, and warned of the danger of thus coming 
so immediately in contact with the dead, their only reply was : 
" Om det ar Guds vilja att m skole do, sa do vi " that is, 
" If it is the will of God we should die, we die !" 

Though surrounded by the sick and the dead, I and mine 
escaped. As regarded the servants, this was less surprising ; 
for knowing the feelings entertained by their class, and that 
they were consequently just as likely to court danger as to 
shun it, they were strictly confined to the house and garden, 
and not allowed to communicate with any one. But even 
when the malady was at its worst, I myself went about much 
as usual ; often, indeed, when fishing or shooting, up to the 
middle in water : conduct, which, being contrary to all rule, 
would be considered by medical men as tempting Providence. 


I maintain, however, that during pestilence, a man risks less 
by following his every-day avocations than by moping within 
doors, where, from his thoughts constantly dwelling on melan- 
choly themes, mind as well as body becomes enervated, and as a 
consequence, he is just in a state to be susceptible of disease. 
Though the cholera happily passed me by, I was once, for 
a moment, in no little fright. In the dead of the night I 
was suddenly roused from a sound slumber by a rumbling sort 
of noise, betokening that commotion was going on in the 
interior, of either man or beast ; and as no one slept in that 
part of the house but myself, half- asleep as I was, I fancied 
that it proceeded from my own stomach, and was a prelude 
to the cholera. When thoroughly awake, however, and con- 
vinced that I myself was no party to the strange turmoil, 
which still continued, I set about exploring the room, when 
the mystery was soon cleared up ; the author of the alarm 
turning out to be a huge tom-cat, that had snugly ensconced 
himself under my bed, after feasting on green gooseberries 
or some other indigestible matter. 

On another occasion I felt great apprehensions for the 
boy, my attendant. We were duck-shooting, and both very 
wet, when all at once the poor fellow complained of violent 
internal pains, and sunk helplessly to the bottom of the punt, 
where he lay in great agony. Naturally enough I imagined he 
was seized with the cholera ; still, hoping it might be a simple 
stomach complaint brought on by exposure to wet and cold, I 
raised him on his legs again, when we pulled for the shore as 
quickly as possible. Here a good half-handful of pepper-corns 
were procured, which after being roughly pounded between 
two stones, he gulped down in a joram of brandy (the 
panacea in Sweden for all disorders) and then started in a 


cart for home, distant from twelve to fourteen miles. The 
effect of this elixir was magical: by the time we reached 
Ronnum, all symptoms of cholera or other intestinal commo- 
tion had entirely disappeared, and the boy was as well as ever. 

In Wenersborg, and the adjacent districts, the usual 
remedies for the cholera were emetics, copious bleeding, and 
sudorifics of various kinds. Though amply provided with 
medicines, recommended by the faculty, for the use of my 
people, I for my own part, agreeably to a recipe obtained I 
know not where had determined on the first symptoms of 
the malady, to take twenty grains of calomel, combined with 
an equal quantity of jalap ; and in consequence I was never 
without two or three of these gigantic boluses in my pocket ! 

I possessed a little fishery, as said, at Kallshaga. But as 
at this period I had other matter to attend to, my rod was 
generally handed over to the fisherman, who came home 
one day in considerable trepidation, stating he had been so 
annoyed by the Dod-stank, or death-stink, as he expressed 
it, perceivable on the water, that nothing should induce him 
to go there again. Nor were the poor fellow's fears altogether 
imaginary ; for the weather being very close and sultry, and 
the burial-ground at Wenersborg perhaps not more than a 
mile or so distant, it is quite possible the breeze wafted the 
horrible effluvia thither from the new-made graves, the 
rather, as the coffins in many instances were only slightly 
covered with soil. 

As, however, the fishery was of some moment to me, I 
was obliged, from that time forward, to use the rod myself; 
and though I cannot positively corroborate the man's state- 
ment, I must admit, that early in the morning, or late in the 
evening, when the mist was hanging over the river, I have 


occasionally perceived what I fancied was the odour of the 

In my neighbourhood opinions were much divided as to 
whether the cholera be infectious or not. I myself am a 
decided contagionist, my conclusions being drawn from the 
following, as well as other similar facts, which on this 
occasion and at an after-period, came more or less under my 
own personal observation. 

Wenerns-Nas, or the Peninsula of the Wenern, situated at 
some few miles from Ronnum, contains several hundreds of 
inhabitants, and is connected with the mainland by a narrow 
isthmus. Here, at the breaking out of the cholera, a strict 
Cordon was established by the residents ; and though very 
many individuals died immediately beyond the line, and in 
the adjacent parts, only two perished on the peninsula 
itself ! Both of these cases occurred a very little within the 
line, and in each instance previous contact with the sick or 
dead beyond it, was distinctly traceable. 

There were several determined drunkards near me, who 
caused every one much annoyance. As when the cholera 
broke out, however, it was an understood thing, that intem- 
perance was nearly certain death, we naturally expected that 
those who chanced to survive, would no longer be troubled 
with these our toping neighbours. But this was a grievous 
mistake ; for, though very many sober people were swept 
away, nearly every sot escaped. 

How this could have happened, I am at a loss to conceive, 
unless it be, that men whose cares are " morning, noon, and 
night drowned in the bowl,* 7 have no time for apprehension ; 
for fear, it is said and I fully believe it kills nearly as 
many as the cholera itself. 


The mortality from cholera in Gothenburg was probably, 
in proportion to the population (some twenty thousand), fully 
as great as in any other place in Europe. 

Although France, Germany, and even Russia, had suffered 
fearfully in turn from the fell disease, still the inhabitants of 
Gothenburg, relying on the healthy state of the country, and 
the efficacy of their strict quarantine laws, which three years 
previously were believed to have saved Sweden from the 
pestilence, indulged in the hope of being altogether exempted. 
But these pleasing expectations were fearfully disappointed ! 

The summer of 1834, when the contagion broke out, was 
remarkable for its great heat. During the month of July 
the thermometer ranged between 80 and 90 of Fahrenheit, 
and no rain had fallen for a long time ; and it was remark- 
able, that the leaves of the trees in the vicinity of the town 
turned yellow, and dropped as if the autumn had been far 
advanced : a sign that there was something in the atmosphere 
that suited neither vegetable nor animal life. 

As is usually the case in hot summers in Sweden, much 
diarrhoea prevailed ; and as this disorder is frequently accom- 
panied with cramp and great prostration of strength, it was 
at first considered the patients might be labouring under 
an aggravated form of common cholera. But the number 
of seizures, and the rapid transition to a state of collapse, 
together with other unmistakable symptoms, at length con- 
vinced the faculty, who at first were divided in opinion, of 
the true nature of the disease. This was towards the end 
of July. 

The town being totally unprepared for the dire visitor, 
consternation, when the truth came out, was universal ; not a 
few, indeed, of the leading inhabitants, whose duty it was to 


have stood in the front of the battle, became so terror- 
stricken the " quicksilver," as a friend quaintly expressed 
it, "having fallen below their knees" as fairly to "turn 
tail " and run away ! Still there were very many amongst 
the better classes who behaved nobly on the emergency, 
and encouraged their fellow-citizens to exertion for the 
general good. Unfortunately, however, General Count Rosen, 
the Governor, a man of great decision of character, was 
absent at the time on official duty, so that there was no one 
on the spot properly to direct their praiseworthy efforts. 

In the meantime the pest spread with fearful violence; 
and nothing having been previously arranged, the hurried 
preparations made on the spur of the moment were totally 
inadequate. Though several hospitals were subsequently 
established, the infirmary in the first instance was, I believe, 
the only public building for the reception of the sick; and 
this, as may be supposed, was soon filled to overflowing. It 
is said, indeed, that at the first breaking out of the cholera, 
hundreds of sick, for the want of accommodation within 
doors, were deposited in the lobbies and outbuildings. 

The infirmary at this period was, in truth, a horrible 
abode : death and despair were depicted on the countenances 
of the poor inmates, and their cries and moans were distinctly 
to be heard in all the surrounding houses. 

" The outer entrance to this establishment," so writes a 
friend, who in company with an acquaintance of his visited it 
within little more than a week after the outbreak of the 
pestilence, " was blocked up, partly by Sjuk-Mrare (those 
whose special duty it was to convey the sick to the hospitals), 
who were occupied either in bringing in poor creatures, there 
to find their graves, or in setting forth in search of fresh 

VOL. I. F F 


victims ; and partly also by people who, with tears and 
lamentations, were imploring that a litter might be provided 
for a parent, a child or a relation, as the case might be. But 
the number of applicants and the confusion were such, that 
few were fortunate enough to obtain the object of their 
wishes. All the wards were indeed so overcrowded already, 
that it was not until death had done its work, that space 
could be found for new inmates. 

" Having forced our way through these miserable and 
bewailing people into the spacious court in front of the 
infirmary, we found it filled with trusses of straw and rolls 
of coarse canvas, of which materials a number of women 
were occupied in forming pallets for the sick. Hence we 
proceeded into the principal apartment of the building itself, 
which was filled with cholera patients, numbering from 
seventy to eighty. Many were dead, and others in a dying 
state. The former, as soon as life was extinct, were borne 
to another chamber, to leave room for other victims. 

" I had then an opportunity of closely observing the 
many and various symptoms which this disease assumes. 
Some patients evinced severe pain ; others were lying as in a 
quiet sleep or trance, without showing signs of consciousness. 
On the countenances of many death was pictured with a 
dark blue hue and brustna or glassy eyes ; but even amongst 
these some were very quiet, whilst others, on the contrary, 
exhibited great restlessness. I particularly recollect a black- 
smith, a stout powerful man, whose chest heaved and 
laboured terribly, and who, to judge by appearances, was on 
the very verge of dissolution ; but this poor fellow eventuaUy 
recovered. Another patient laboured under delirium, and 
was so violent that two nurses were unable to keep him in 

FLIES. 435 

his bed. Confusion seemed to prevail everywhere ; and as 
the attendants were fully occupied in bearing out the dead, 
or in bringing in fresh patients, hardly a minute of their 
time could be devoted to the proper attendance on the sick. 

" The windows of the chamber wherein the dead were 
deposited, which faced the street, stood constantly open for the 
sake of ventilation. Myriads of flies, with which the air was 
filled, after feasting on the dead bodies, spread themselves 
throughout the town. And had not the faculty pronounced 
the disease non-infectious, its dessemination might have been 
apprehended from this cause alone. 

" The windows of the sick-ward also remained always 
open, that the poor patients might benefit by fresh air ; and 
the passers-by could distinctly hear the voice of the clergy- 
man whilst engaged in administering the Holy Sacrament 
to the sick and dying ; which circumstance was believed to 
increase in no immaterial degree the fears of the already 
dispirited people. 

" For several days, indeed, whilst the cholera was at its 
height, the churches in the town were always open, that the 
passers-by might, if they wished, receive the Communion. 
It was in the nineteenth century, that people thus sought in 
the hour of distress and danger, to make terms, so to say, 
with the Almighty, for the remission of their sins, and the 
inheritance of eternal life. Had this crisis happened in the 
fifteenth century, he who held in his hand St. Peter's keys 
would have been enabled to gather a rich harvest by the sale 
of indulgences." 

The common people, left thus in great degree to them- 
selves, perished without medical advice ; which, indeed, was 
nearly unattainable, from the doctors being few in number, 

F F 2 


and occupied both night and day at the hospital, or in 
attendance on their own private patients. Harassed inces- 
santly, and deprived of their natural rest, the medical men 
looked like spectres ; and though they all exposed themselves 
personally in every quarter, and with the most perfect devo- 
tedness, yet their exertions were necessarily confined to 
comparatively few out of the thousands who at the time 
required their assistance. 

The more the plague spread, the more fierce and un- 
manageable it became. Infected persons were generally 
carried off in six to eight hours, and the deaths in this small 
population amounted at one time to about three hundred a 
day ! " The progress of the disease was so rapid, and the 
necessity of prompt interment so great," writes another 
friend, " that a young relative, for whom I was guardian, 
sickened, died, and was buried even before I could hear of 
her seizure, although I was in town daily." 

The usual symptoms of the cholera were livid countenance, 
contraction of features, sunken eyes, cramp of the stomach 
and legs, vomiting and diarrhoea. In the hospitals, the first 
thing done with the patient when in this state, after putting 
him into bed, and administering the needful medicines, was 
to have his limbs constantly rubbed or shampooed, by one 
or more persons, until the cramps diminished and profuse 
perspiration ensued; when this was the case, the disease 
usually abated, the eyes resumed their natural appearance, 
and the skin its proper colour. In spite of every care and 
attention however, fully half of the sick perished. This, 
indeed, seems to have been the case in all places.* 

* Farther particulars respecting the symptoms and treatment of the cholera 
will be found in the Appendix. 


According to the Rev. Rhodin, Rector of the parish of 
Ermelanda, a very remarkable cure was effected by elec- 
tricity. " An individual of the name of Sven Nilsson," so 
he tells us, " was suffering from a severe attack of cholera. 
A thunderstorm having occurred, and the electric fluid having 
entered the chamber in which he lay, and killed his two 
daughters, he was instantly restored to health." 

From the great mortality, coffins could not be procured in 
sufficient numbers. Large and deep trenches were therefore 
made, to which the bodies were conveyed during the night, 
and buried with quicklime. At first the ordinary forms in 
the burial of the dead were duly observed ; but, as the 
disease spread, these were so far dispensed with as that only 
once in twenty-four hours the funeral service was read over 
all the corpses at one time. 

At the Gothenburg Cemetery, and everywhere in cold 
countries, is a building (dead-house) where during severe 
weather, when the ground cannot be conveniently opened 
and frequently, indeed, on ordinary occasions the dead are 
deposited prior to burial. Soon after the breaking out of 
the cholera this building was crammed full of coffins which, 
owing to the numerous interments constantly going on, could 
not be removed for several days. When the doors were at 
length opened, the scene was too horrible for description. 
The effluvium was dreadful, and from the extreme heat of the 
weather, decomposition had taken place to such an extent, 
that the shoes of the individuals employed in removing the 
coffins were partially immersed in the putrid matter that 
had exuded from the bodies. 

It is to be feared that whilst the disorder was at its height, 
individuals were not unfrequently interred alive. Dreadful 


stories (for the truth of which I vouch not) are told to this 
effect. Amongst the rest, that of a poor fellow, who, on 
resuscitation, found himself staggering about in his winding- 
sheet, in a dank, dark, and loathsome cellar, where along 
with several dead bodies, he had been stowed away, pre- 
paratory to interment ! 

In the public hospitals every precaution was taken to guard 
against this evil. " When persons were supposed to be dead," 
to quote the words of my friend Major Barck, of the Swedish 
service, who had more than one of the cholera hospitals under 
his special superintendence, and whose fearless exertions are 
deserving of all praise, " they were covered with a sheet, or 
otherwise, that their disfigured countenances might not terrify 
the sick in the adjoining pallets. In this state they remained 
three or four hours, when, by means of a blow-pipe, fire was 
applied to the pit of the stomach, to ascertain if, possibly, 
vitality remained ; and it was not until the medical attendant 
was perfectly satisfied on this point, that the bodies were 
allowed to be removed elsewhere." 

But in spite of every care, singular escapes occurred even 
in these establishments. " On one occasion," said Major 
Barck, " a blacksmith named Hellstenius, was believed to 
be dead, and his face veiled in the way described. 
After the man had lain in this state for several hours, it 
happened that the doctor, when attending to a patient in an 
adjoining bed, noticed that the covering over Hellstenius's 
countenance was partially removed. He went up to the 
supposed corpse, and fancied he perceived a slight twitch 
in the eyelids. A jug of water was standing near, the 
contents of which the doctor, raising his hand as high as 
possible, poured in a continuous stream on to the pit of 


the stomach. He thought the man again moved, and to 
make sure on this point, recourse was had to the blow- 
pipe. On the application of this very severe test, Hellstenius 
gave unequivocal signs of life. Shampooing and other 
remedies were now immediately resorted to, and in a short 
time he came to his perfect senses." 

" I arrived at the hospital/' the Major continued, " shortly 
after this remarkable resuscitation, and stood at the foot of 
the bed gazing at Hellstenius; on which the poor fellow, 
fixing his eyes full upon me, exclaimed with a loud voice : 
' God bless the doctor, who stands there ; without his 
assistance I should now be lying in the dead-house 
amongst corpses !' ' It is gratifying to add, that this man 
eventually left the hospital restored to health, and that 
within the last few years he was alive and well. 

The state of Gothenburg at this period was very deplo- 
rable. " I should have executed your commission," writes 
an acquaintance, " but could not do so, for the pestilence that 
now rages. Two individuals have been victims in my house, 
and two others are lying at death's door. The town and 
suburbs present a dreadful scene. People die like flies. 
Wailing only is heard, and nothing is seen throughout the 
livelong day but the sick borne on litters to the hospitals, 
and the dead to their last home. The rumbling of the 
hearses under my window, is almost the only sign of life in 
the town." 

" To send you a supply of medicines from this place," 
writes a countryman, holding an official appointment, 
"is quite out of the question. After about fourteen thou- 
sand deaths, and God knows how many cases, you may 
conceive the supplies of doctors' stuff are exhausted. It 


was difficult to keep alive at one time. The air was tainted 
by the sick and the unburied dead. Fear, bad ventila- 
tion, and incautious contact with the dead, must have 
concurred in rendering whole families victims. In a great 
many instances corpses have lain in private houses from 
twenty to thirty hours. Such, unhappily, was at first the 
case in the hospitals." 

" Coffins were at a premium, when the cholera was 
at its height," said my informant. " We hailed their 
arrival, and they were paraded through the town in hun- 
dreds. The want of them was so great, that the town 
carpenters could not furnish an adequate supply; and 
recourse was had to the Commandant at Elfsborg, who 
employed the convicts in constructing numbers out of 
rough unplaned boards. They were sent up in boat-loads, 
and deposited on the quay opposite to my window. At 
first they were taken away as fast as landed, but finally 
they accumulated as the disorder decreased. And I used 
to remark that I never anticipated pleasure from having 
a pile of coffins in prospect ; but in this case it was no 
small satisfaction, being the best proof of the abatement 
of the cholera. 

" At the first appearance of the disorder, it was much 
more malignant than towards its close; almost every one 
who was then attacked perished. And it was not unusual 
to order both coffin and hearse as soon as the disease 
appeared. This occurred in a house of mine, where one of 
the maids was taken ill, upon which a coffin was imme- 
diately brought home, and the hearse ordered for the 
evening. At nightfall the undertakers came to carry away 
the corpse, went straight into the room, where, still in the 


full possession of her senses, the poor girl was lying, and 
to her great horror told their melancholy errand. In spite 
of her protestations that she was not dead, the fellows, 
however, were hardly to be prevailed upon to leave the house 
empty-handed ! This young woman subsequently recovered ; 
but when she saw the coffin intended for her, which was 
still remaining in the yard, she expressed great indignation 
at its unblacked and uncoffin-like appearance, and at its 
very confined dimensions. * It was so short/ as she ex- 
pressed it, ' that unless her legs had been first cut off, she 
could not have been laid in it in a decent manner.' ' 

But the poor girl was not worse fitted in this respect 
than many others. During the prevalence of the disease, 
indeed, I heard of the end of a coffin being knocked 
out, the better to accommodate the long legs of a shoe- 
maker's apprentice, who was carried, booted as he died, to 
the grave. 

The conduct of such of the higher classes as remained 
during the cholera, is described to me as having been 
exemplary. " Many spent their time in prayer and medi- 
tation, preparing their minds to submit with resignation 
to the will of God. Owing probably to greater attention to 
diet, and to the ventilation of their houses, as also to better 
medical advice, few suffered in proportion to their poorer 

The behaviour of the lower classes was also much lauded 
by the same authority, even under the extreme of suffering. 
" They gave way to no excesses : inordinate drinking, to 
which in common times they are much addicted, was laid 
aside ; there was no riot, no despair ; and the poor man was 
found administering to the wants of his fellow-creatures with 


patience and assiduity : a trait in the character of the 
people, which redounds highly to their honour." 

Scenes of a revolting nature were, however, by no means 
uncommon at this period, more especially among the Sjuk- 
barare. But as no inducement, either pecuniary or other, 
could prevail on decent people to undertake the degrading 
and perilous office, it was as a consequence filled by the 
very dregs of society. 

These fellows, who were almost always inebriated, were not 
only frequently to be seen staggering from side to side under 
their pitiable burthens, and stopping at public-houses to 
get ardent spirits; but when resting on the way, they would 
seat themselves on the litter by the side of the poor patients, 
and troll forth songs of their own composition, the substance 
of which was the cholera and its unhappy victims ! 

The conduct of the drivers of the dead-carts, and of the 
gravediggers, was almost equally disgusting. The former 
were seen nearly insensible from drink, lying at their length 
on the very coffins, and leaving the horses to find their way 
to the burial-ground how they could ; and the gravediggers, 
from the like cause, staggering to that degree as to be 
hardly capable of holding the spade. 

As well whilst the cholera was raging in Gothenburg, as 
since, it was a greatly mooted question whether the disease 
be infectious or not. 

"Where so much is to be said on both sides," such 
were the words of a correspondent, " it is difficult 
to form a decided opinion. There are certainly instances, 
such as that mentioned by you at Ronnum, where one 
has reason to believe a Cordon has kept out the conta- 
gion, but I dare say there are more of its having over- 


leaped all barriers. The probability is, that some persons 
are susceptible of the disease, and others not so ; and that 
the former may escape if they keep within a well-guarded 
Cordon, whilst the latter are safe even in the midst of the 
pestilence. But how account for a particular spot being 
entirely exempt ? And that was the case with the district 
situated between Majorna and Gamla Warfvet (the Gothen- 
burg Wapping), both of which suffered dreadfully, more 
especially as the district in question was inhabited principally 
by the lower classes, and those of the most depraved habits, 
and yet not one was carried off." 

Though people might differ in opinion as to the infectious 
nature of cholera, every one seemed agreed that fear, anger, 
excitement of any kind, sudden surprise, &c., predisposed to 
the disease. 

" A much respected gentleman, and a member of the 
Sanitary Committee," Major Barck stated to me, " called one 
day on an acquaintance, where he was very abruptly told, that 
one of his most intimate friends and comrades an officer 
belonging to the garrison, who was previously in perfect 
health had a few hours before died of the cholera. The 
intelligence had such an effect upon the poor man, that he 
was instantly seized with shivering his face became fearfully 
discoloured, and on the succeeding day he followed his friend 
to the grave." And the Major added, that " similar instances 
were frequent in families of respectability." 

All had likewise the full impression that in the same 
ratio that fear, &c., predisposed to the cholera, so did 
coolness and self-possession act as a preservative against 

Few, for instance, of the paid attendants volunteers, so to 


say at the town hospital, in which category are included 
the nurses, the laundresses, and even the wretched Sjuk- 
barare, were infected. And the like was the case in the 
military hospitals, where the duty of attending on the sick 
was voluntarily performed by men from the ranks ; whereas 
previously, when the task had been compulsory on the 
soldiers, almost every man perished !" 

Again "I and eleven others," writes a friend, "spon- 
taneously undertook the management of a soup-kitchen. We 
were, of course, constantly exposed to contact with the rela- 
tives of the sick, and with the convalescents themselves ; but 
excepting one individual who took fright, kept at home, 
sickened and died, we all escaped." 

After the return of Count Rosen which occurred soon 
after the breaking out of the pestilence, when several cholera 
hospitals, amply provided with everything from the Govern- 
ment stores, had been established, and additional medical aid 
obtained, consisting chiefly of young men from the provinces, 
or from Denmark the spirits of the people began to revive. 
Owing, perhaps, somewhat to the energetic way in which 
these and other sanitary measures were carried out, the 
pestilence gradually subsided ; and, after having raged for 
eight or nine weeks, terminated, or nearly so, towards the 
end of September ; not, however, before it had swept off 
upwards of three thousand souls, or a seventh part of the 

High and low, alike, perished on this occasion. General 
Count Rosen, whose praiseworthy and fearless exertions 
nothing could exceed, was, amongst others, a victim. Nearly 
at the close of the visitation, public matters called him to 
Trollhattan, where we accidentally met ; and, though he 


professed to be in health, his looks were haggard and care- 
worn. He was already, probably, stricken by the plague, 
for three days afterwards he was numbered with the 
dead ! 

In 1850, the cholera again visited Gothenburg, though 
with less fatal effect than in 1834. Profiting by what had 
occurred on the former occasion, needful and timely pre- 
parations were made; and, excepting in a few solitary 
instances, when " the quicksilver fell below the knees," 
every one was at his post. The public mind was thus 
tranquillized ; and, though some sixteen hundred sickened, 
and the half of that number died, everything went on in 
the town as if the enemy had been at a thousand miles 

It may be deserving of mention, that in some places in 
Sweden, where cholera raged at this time, phenomena occurred 
for which it is difficult to account. Dr. Willman assures me, 
for instance, that soon after the disease broke out in the 
town of Malmo, where it caused great havoc, the jackdaws, 
which breed in large numbers in the church steeple, simul- 
taneously disappeared ; and that it was not until after the 
cessation of the disorder that they returned to their old 
quarters. The same was also the case with the sparrows. 
The fish on the coast, moreover, especially on one particular 
day, came up dead to the surface, in large numbers. 

The Doctor also assured me, that when he was in Finland 
in 1848, in which country the cholera was then raging, the 
herrings, in large quantities, were frequently found dead in 
the Gulf of Finland. 

When the cholera had all but disappeared in Gothenburg, 
the Governor, M. Fahrseus, whose conduct under the heavy 


infliction was deserving of all admiration, gave a parting 
entertainment to those persons who had more particularly 
exerted themselves whilst the epidemic lasted. Amongst a 
variety of toasts, His Excellency proposed three, specially 
applicahle to the occasion. The first was to the Sundhets- 
Namnd, or the Members of the Sanitary Committee ; the 
second, to the Sundhets-Byra, which may be rendered, 
the Working Members of the same ; and the last, to the 
Faculty, which he prefaced by a speech to the following 
effect : 

" My third toast, is in honour of the medical gentle- 
men present ; and amongst them the volunteers who came 
to assist us in contending against this scourge. I arrange 
my toasts in this wise, because I venture to liken a pestilence 
to an enemy, who makes an inroad into a country, and 
devastates it with fire and sword. The Sundhets-Namnd 
answers to the ministry of war of the land invaded; the 
Sundhets-Byra to the commissariat; and the' members of 
the faculty to the armed host actually opposed to the foe. 
Gentlemen, the health of the Doctors ! whom I most grate- 
fully thank for the courage and unwearied zeal with which 
they have contended against the enemy of our country !" 



WOLVES, as said, were pretty numerous in my neighbour- 
hood. Some few, indeed, had their haunts in the hills of 
Hunneberg and Halleberg, where, however, from the almost 
inaccessible nature of the ground, they were difficult of 
access. Occasionally I fell in with these beasts. Once in the 
summer time, when returning at mid-day from the hamlet of 
Sollebrunn, situated at about twenty miles to the southward 
of Ronnum, three full-grown individuals walked coolly across 
the high road within forty to fifty paces of my vehicle ; but 
the gun being in its case, there was no time to discharge it. 
Indeed, had I fired, it would probably have availed little, the 
piece being only loaded with small shot. 

Wolves are also common throughout the greater part of 


Scandinavia. From time immemorial, indeed, they have 
been a standing grievance. Olaus Magnus, who flourished 
in the sixteenth century, tells us that in his day the 
country was overrun with those beasts, and Pontoppidan 
that, " they were the plague and torment of the land/' 

The extermination of wolves in countries like Sweden 
and Norway, covered with boundless forests and mountain- 
fastnesses, though a consummation devoutly to be wished, 
is next to an impossibility. Still, one would imagine that 
persecuted as they are in every way, their numbers would 
be materially diminished. But this is not the case. Indeed, 
it would appear that, on the contrary, they are rather on the 
increase than otherwise. 

To what cause the increase of wolves is attributable is 
hard to say. Not improbably, however, to migrations from 
Russia and Finland, whence they may have been driven by 
an increase of the population or other causes. The Lapps 
have the notion that the larger portion of the wolves, which 
persecute their herds of reindeer, are visitors from these 
countries. And why may not this be the case ? for it would 
seem as if they came originally from the eastward. So it 
may be partly inferred, at least, if what we are told by 
Bishop Pontoppidan be true namely, that " prior to 1718, 
wolves were unknown in the bishopric of Bergen (the most 
western district of Norway). Filefield was then the bound of 
these creatures' devastations ; they never passed that moun- 
tain, till about the above year, or at the end of the last war, 
at which time the armies marched ; and all manner of neces- 
saries of life were transported over that mountain in the 
winter, and the insatiable wolf followed the scent of the 



But before making farther mention of the wolf, it may be 
well to say a few words respecting his natural history a 
subject, as with the bear, partly treated of in my former 


The general opinion is, that only the common wolf (Varg, 
Sw. ; Canis Lupus, Linn.), as depicted above, exists in Scan- 
dinavia. Professor Nilsson, who at a former period rather 
imagined the black wolf (Canis Lycaon, Gmel.) to be indi- 
genous to the peninsula, has now, I believe, come to the 
same conclusion. 

The wolf breeds only once in the year. The female is 
said to carry her young for ten weeks, and to bring forth at 
the end of the month of April or May. Usually she has 

VOL. I. G G 


not more than from five to six cubs; but some few years 
ago a lair was found near to Gellivaara in Lapland, con- 
taining the extraordinary number of eleven cubs. The 
Rev. Johan Bjorkman, the rector of the parish, , who 
relates the circumstance, supposes, however, that two bitch 
wolves had whelped in the same bed, and that the weaker 
of the mothers had afterwards been expelled and driven 
away by the stronger. 

Wolf cubs, when very young, are nearly black, and so closely 
resemble those of the fox, that people are often deceived 
in them. I myself was nearly so on one occasion. There 
is this difference, however, that the wolf cub has not the 
white tip to his tail that the fox cub has ; and when three 
or four weeks old, the head and neck begin to be a little 
greyish. The hair is very soft and fine, like the body hair 
of old foxes. 

The wolf has proverbially a most ravenous appetite. 
Pontoppidan in his quaint way tells us :* " He can suffer 
hunger and hardships for a long time, which is common for 
beasts of prey, according to the Creator's wise institution ; 
for their provision is uncertain, and comes accidentally, and at 
irregular intervals. When his hunger becomes too great, he'll 
eat clay if it is to be had ; and this, as it is not to be digested, 
remains in his belly till he gets flesh, and that works 
it off violently ; and then he is heard to howl most dismally 
for pain ; and if he is watched upon this, and his excrements 
are found, they are mixed with a woolly matter, which many 
have assured me. Near Vandelven, on Sundmcer, a farmer 

* The above and other quotations from Pontoppidan are not, it should be 
remarked, from the original work, to which unfortunately the author has not 
had access, but from a translation published in London in 1755. 

RABIES. 451 

saw a wolf that appeared very sick, and so faint, that he 
could hardly move along. It gave the farmer double courage, 
who mended his pace, got up to him, and killed him. He 
had the curiosity to open him and see what was the matter, 
and he found his stomach filled with moss from the cliffs, 
and birch tops." 

When the wolf is hungry, everything is game that 
comes to his net. In the Gulf of Bothnia he often preys 
on seals. When that sea is frozen over, or partially so, as is 
generally the case soon after the turn of the year, he roams 
its icy surface in search of the young of the grey seal, which 
at that season breed amongst the hummocks in great 
numbers ; and finding this an easy way of procuring suste- 
nance, he remains on the ice until it breaks up in the spring. 
It not unfrequently happens, however, that during storms, 
large fields of ice, on which numbers of wolves are congre- 
gated, break loose from the shore or the land-ice, in which 
case, as soon as the beasts perceive their danger, but see 
no possibility of escape, they rush to and fro, keeping 
up the while a most woeful howling heard frequently 
at a great distance until they are swallowed up by the 

The Scandinavian wolf, though subject to several diseases, 
is happily, I believe, exempt from rabies. This is well ; for 
were they liable to that horrid infliction, the consequences 
would be dreadful from their numbers, and their being 
so generally distributed throughout the peninsula. In 
warmer climes, as known, the destruction caused by this 
animal when the fatal malady is at work within him, is awful 
to contemplate. 

" A mad wolf in the vicinity of Hue-au-Gal in France," 

G G 2 


such is the substance of a paragraph that recently met 
my eye in a Swedish journal, " has during a single day 
(April 25, 1851) bitten no less than forty-six persons and 
eighty-two head of cattle. The accounts are very afflicting. 
The consequences have begun to show themselves. One 
person is dying after another in the most frightful agonies. 
All the cattle were purposely destroyed. The treatment 
recommended in similar cases namely, that the wound 
should be kept in a state of suppuration for fifty days 
has not been adopted, so that probably none of those 
bitten can be saved." 

Another account, dated August 18, 1852, ran as follows: 
" The small town of Adalia, in the Turkish territories, 
has just been the scene of a sad catastrophe. On the 7th 
of July a mad wolf rushed into the place, attacked and 
severely bit several individuals in the street ; but becoming 
at length alarmed at the cries of the people, he made for the 
gardens at the outskirts of the town. In consequence of this 
being the time of the silkworm harvest, several hundred 
individuals slept in one and the same garden, and one 
hundred and twenty-eight of them were severely wounded ! 
Owing to the Governor having recently taken from the 
inhabitants every kind of weapon, the unhappy people 
found themselves without any means of defence. The wolf 
was at length driven thence also ; but the same night he 
attacked a flock of sheep, and killed eighty-five of them. It 
was not until the following day that the people, to whom 
the Governor had returned their arms, succeeded in destroy- 
ing the beast. The report of a medical man resident in the 
town, in regard to the wounded, is frightful. The most 
shocking part of the affair is, that several of those bitten have 


already died raving mad, and the population of the place are 
in a state of the most terrible consternation." 

It is the generally received opinion that wild beasts flee 
from fire ; but such seems not always to be the case with the 

" When I was out one night for the purpose of spearing 
pike by Bloss, or torch-light, near to Ekshult, in West- 
gothland, and in a Karr-Ang, or wet meadow, then covered 
with water from the adjoining lake," says the Jagare 
Roxberg, " my attention was attracted by a splashing in the 
water, as of a dog running through it. Supposing it to be 
one of my own dogs that had got loose and followed me, I 
steered my Ek-stock* up a dyke that intersected the field, 
where the water was deeper, that I might take the animal into 
the punt. When I had approached the Skogs-bryn, or edge 
of the wood, I perceived a much larger object, which at 
first I almost fancied might be a human being ; but by the 
light of the fire I soon made it out to be a large wolf, 
standing quite still in the water, and gazing attentively at 
the Bloss. He was not at more than twenty feet distance. 
Thus we stood looking at each other for several minutes. 
But when I attempted to approach somewhat nearer, for 
the purpose of driving my Ljuster into his body, he moved 
off; not, however, in an opposite direction, but in a line 
with the Ek-stock, and with his head always turned towards 
the light. Subsequently I heard him wading in the water, 
along the edge of the meadow, where he disturbed several 
wild ducks, as evidenced by their cries when they took wing. 

The wolf has the reputation of being innately a great 

* The trunk of a tree hollowed out in the manner of a canoe. 


poltroon. " Fierce as this beast is," says Pontoppidan, " he is 
daunted when he meets with the least resistance, and only 
bold and daring against those that he puts to flight: to 
those that are afraid of him he is merciless; but as long 
as even the deer is upon the defence he does not attack 
him. And it has been often seen, that not only a cow, 
but even a goat, when it has turned against him, and 
butted at him, or pushed at him with his horns, has main- 
tained its ground against him, and put him to flight. In 
this case the wolf is not unlike the evil spirit, whom the 
Word of God represents to us to be a coward, and only 
to appear bold against the unbeliever's fear; as we read 
in Scripture : ' Stand up against him, and he shall fly from 
you ; resist the devil, and he shall flee from you.' " 

But whether the wolf be innately a poltroon or not, certain 
it is that when hungry he is a daring and formidable 

" During severe weather, especially in the month of 
January," says Olaus Magnus, "" wolves collect in large 
droves, and are in the highest degree destructive ; and when 
people at such times journey in sledges, they come rushing 
down upon them in numbers from all quarters; so that 
clergymen, when visiting their distant congregations, and 
indeed travellers in general, are obliged to be provided with 
guns, and bows and arrows, to protect themselves and horses. 
What with cold and hunger," this author goes on to say, 
" wolves are frequently so frantically savage, that they enter 
out-buildings, and either devour the cattle therein, or drag 
them away mangled to the forest." 

Pontoppidan tells us something to the same effect. 
"Hunger, sharp as a sword," says the worthy prelate, 


" makes the wolf, in the winter season, much bolder 
than usual, so that he will often, and particularly 
upon the ice, take away a horse from a sledge; for this 
reason travellers, at that time of the year, are generally 
provided with fire-arms. The late Bishop Munck in 
Christianity would not believe there was any occasion for 
these; and persuaded a clergyman of his diocese, whose 
name was M. Kolbiorn (father of the eminent Kolbiorns, 
so distinguished in the late war by their valour and courage 
at Frederickshald), that it did not become his function to carry 
a gun with him when he travelled to church, or on ecclesi- 
astical affairs. But the bishop got the better of this pre- 
judice, on being taken over the ice by this very minister, 
on one of his visitation journeys. They were in expectation 
of seeing a wolf, which accordingly appeared. The bishop, 
at sight of him, began to be frightened, and asked M. 
Kolbiorn if he had not his gun ; and, from this day, he was 
convinced it was both necessary and becoming." 

Daring as the wolf was in olden times, he has lost nothing 
in audacity at the present day. 

" In places where cattle have been pastured in security for 
sixteen years," so we lately read in a Norwegian journal, 
" droves of wolves, sometimes as many as twelve in number, 
now prowl about in search of prey. They approach near 
to inhabited houses, although there may be people about 
the premises. And that they are not afraid, is evidenced 
by their remaining perfectly still, even when fired upon. 
Two wolves recently seized a sheep, and were about to 
devour it, when two women ran to the rescue, and at- 
tempted by shouts and casting stones, to drive them away. 
But the beasts took not the slightest notice of their assaults, 


until one of the women, taking up a large stone, and going 
close up to them, threw it with all her force against the leg 
of one of the animals, thereby laming it severely, which had 
the effect of causing both to relinquish their half- devoured 
prey, and to retreat. 

" In another instance, at Sandsver, a peasant's wife and 
a wolf had a regular fight for a goat. The beast had seized 
the poor animal, when the woman, in the hope of getting it 
out of his clutches, and whilst pulling at the goat's leg with 
one hand, with a cudgel which she held in the other 
thumped away at the depredator with all her might ! But it 
was some time before she could compel the wolf to quit his 
hold ; when growling, and as if half inclined to attack her in 
turn, he retired to the forest. 

"A peasant at Rajeheia," the account farther states, 
" had also a battle with a wolf, under somewhat similar 
circumstances; but this beast, which had likewise made 
free with a goat, was more obstinate ; for though the 
man belaboured him right well with a stout stick, he would 
not quit his prey. Seeing no other remedy, the peasant 
therefore let go his hold of the goat, and grasping the wolf 
by the tail, he pulled and tugged at him with all his 
might, which rough treatment at length had the desired 
effect. But the matter was not greatly mended ; for 
although the beast relinquished the goat, he assaulted the 
man, whom he bit severely in the arm. And having thus 
revenged himself, he walked quietly away." 

"The wolves this winter are remarkably daring in the country 
about Kragero," so the same journal tells us, under date of 
March, 1852. " They show themselves in large droves near 
the high road, and even approach the very outskirts of the 


town itself, in the vicinity of which they recently displayed 
extraordinary audacity. It happened thus: Two ladies, 
who resided there, were taking an airing in a sledge ; hut 
they had only proceeded a short distance from the town, 
when six wolves stationed themselves before the horse, and 
would not get out of the way, although the coachman used 
his hest endeavours to force the animal forward. Very 
fortunately there was a dog with the party, which more 
especially attracted the attention of the beasts, and which 
they quickly seized and tore to pieces ; and thus the ladies 
got off with a terrible fright only." 

The wolf, as known, is a great enemy to dogs ; and in 
some parts of Scandinavia it is next to impossible to keep 
those animals. Even in the vicinity of Ronnum, dogs were 
often picked up by them. 

On one occasion, when proceeding, in the winter time, on 
a visit to my immediate neighbour, M. Bagge, at Ny-Gard, 
and on a slight eminence, within a couple of hundred paces 
of the house, I perceived a black, shaggy mass lying on the 
snow, with much blood about it. Leaving the sledge, to see 
what it might be, I found, to my regret, that it was the head 
of my friend's favourite yard-dog, which, as it appeared, the 
wolves had destroyed whilst chained to his kennel, I believe 
during the preceding night, but of which they had not left 
another morsel. 

As a matter of curiosity, I cast the severed head, 
then hard frozen, into my vehicle, and carried it home ; 
where, to my surprise, and in direct opposition to what M. 
Nilsson and others tell us, as to dogs never eating their 
fellows, my dogs feasted upon it as if the greatest of 


Albeit my friends and neighbours were occasionally 
sufferers, my own dogs were never carried off by the wolves, 
though, in one instance, they were in considerable peril. 
This was at an after-period, when residing at Gadd aback 
distant three to four miles from Ronnum. It occurred in 
this manner : About midnight, I was aroused from my 
slumbers by the furious barking of the dogs. Imagining 
there were thieves on the premises, I at once jumped out of 
bed, and, without waiting to put on one particle of clothing, 
stealthily left the house, in the hopes of coming unawares on 
the depredators. I had a single-barrelled pistol ready cocked 
in my hand ; but, when I turned the corner of the out- 
building where the dogs were chained, I found myself con- 
fronted, at some ten paces' distance, with a large wolf. 
Though pretty dark at the time, and amongst the trees, I 
could distinctly make out his figure ; and, without the loss of 
a moment, I levelled my weapon, and pulled the trigger ; 
but, unfortunately, the cap missed fire. The beast, which 
had previously been stationary, becoming now alarmed, 
wheeled about and moved off ; and though, whilst in 
the act of retreating, I sent a ball after him for at 
this second attempt the cap exploded it did not appa- 
rently take effect: but this was less surprising, as from 
his being in motion, and the foliage, my aim was very 

The wolf is amongst the most voracious of beasts. The 
slaughter he commits in the fold is at times terrible ; and he 
frequently kills ten times more than he can devour. Hence 
it would appear, he is impelled rather by a mere love of 
destroying, than by hunger. It is possible, nevertheless, 
that hunger is really the cause that makes him commit 


needless destruction ; for he may reason like the famishing 
man, who finds himself seated before a plenteous hoard, and 
who is apt to fancy the whole contents of a larder will not 
be enough to satisfy his appetite, which, however, soon 
becomes appeased. 

We read, for instance, that one winter's night, four 
wolves paid a visit to a Svin-gdrd, or piggery, in one of the 
rural districts of Sweden. Only one of the beasts had the 
temerity to leap over the high palisades surrounding the 
enclosure. But he played his part well, for in a very short 
time he slaughtered no less than eleven large hogs, devouring, 
however, only a very small portion of one of them. As was 
subsequently seen by the tracks in the snow, the other three 
wolves were merely spectators of the butchery. But the 
surviving pigs were soon revenged for the death of their 
fellows ; for the proprietor, hearing of what was going on, 
hastened to the spot, and quickly destroyed the invader. 

Wolves were occasionally destructive in the neighbour- 
hood of Ronnum. On one occasion, within two or three 
miles of the house, these beasts^ slaughtered twenty or more 
sheep, the property of a peasant. These, for their better pre- 
servation, were confined for the night in a sort of movable 
shed, closed in front, and placed in the field in which 
they pastured. Unfortunately, however, there was no floor, 
and the wolves burrowing under it, obtained ready access to 
the poor creatures. The owner of the sheep was a consi- 
derable sufferer ; but his loss was somewhat diminished, owing 
to myself and others purchasing a portion of the mutton, 
which, from being mangled, was in a very unsaleable state. 

However savage wolves may be in their native wilds, yet 


if reared up from a tender age, and kindly treated, they will 
become as docile as dogs. 

" My husband," says Mrs. Carin Bedoire, " purchased at 
Gysinge three wolf cubs, which had only just obtained their 
sight. One of them was a female. I petitioned for leave to 
keep these little creatures a time. They were together for 
about a month, during which period they had their abode in 
an arbour in the garden. As soon as they heard me in the 
court-yard calling ' Sma valparna ' (little puppies) for so I 
was accustomed to designate them they would run up to 
me with such signs of affection and pleasure as was quite 
surprising; and when I had caressed them, and given 
them food, they would return to their asylum. After the 
lapse of a month, one of them, a male, was presented to 
M. af Uhr, and another, a female, to M. Thore Petree. 
When the one we retained was left by himself, he took 
refuge with the work-people, though for the most part he 
followed me and my husband. It was remarkable, that this 
wolf became so faithful and attached, that when we took a 
walk about the estate, and he was with us, he would crouch 
beside us when we rested, and would not allow any one to 
approach nearer than about twenty paces ; for if they came 
closer he would growl and show his teeth. When I scolded 
him, he would lick my hand, at the same time always 
keeping his eyes fastened on the intruder. He went 
about the house and in the kitchen in the same manner 
as a dog ; and was much attached to the children, whom 
he would lick and play with. This continued until 
he was five months old, by which time he was grown 
large and strong, when my husband, who feared lest 


during his gambols with the children he might injure them 
with his claws, which were very sharp ; or that if by acci- 
dent he found blood upon the children, he might feel in- 
clined to do them injury, determined on having him tied up. 
But he nevertheless often went loose with me when I took a 

" He had his kennel in the lower yard near to the gate ; 
and in the winter time, when the peasants came with char- 
coal, he would leap on to the stone fence, where he would 
wag his tail and whine until they came up to him and patted 
him. At such times he was always desirous of searching their 
pockets that he might ascertain if they had anything good to 
eat about them. The men became so accustomed to this, 
that they used to amuse themselves by putting a piece of 
bread in their coat-pockets to let him find it out, which he 
perfectly well understood, and he eat all that they gave him. 
Besides this he eat three bowls of food daily. It was 
remarkable that our dogs used to eat with him out of the 
same bowl ; but if any strange animal attempted to share the 
food with him he would go beside himself with rage. When- 
ever he saw me in the yard he kept up a dreadful noise, and 
when I went up to his kennel he would raise himself on 
his hind legs and place his forepaws on rny shoulders, and 
in the exuberance of his delight would lick me ; but when 
I left him he would howl with sorrow. 

" One day a fox was shot. Bedoire having fastened a 
rope round the carcase gave it to the wolf, who received it 
with much gratification, and drew it along with him into his 
kennel. But when Bedoire pulled at the rope, with the 
intention of taking it from him again, the wolf held his prey 
with such tenacity that both were drawn out of the kennel 


together ; and even then he only let go his hold of the 
carcase with the loss of two of his front teeth. As, however, 
these were his temporary teeth, others came in their place 
in about three weeks afterwards. We had him for a year, 
but as he was rather expensive to keep, and howled greatly at 
night, Bedoire determined on shooting him. 

" The gardener, and the poetaster Malmberg, were his 
Baneman, or executioners. And it was not without sorrow 
that I saw him led to the garden his first asylum where 
he met his doom. 

"The wolf presented to M. af Uhr, singularly enough, 
shared his kennel with one of that gentleman's dogs. The 
latter lay along with him every night ; and when meat 
was given him to eat, he never could find it in his heart to 
devour the whole of it, but carried a portion to the wolf, 
who always received it with friendly gesticulation. And it 
happened not unfrequently that the wolf rewarded his friend 
the dog in a similar manner. 

" Of the female wolf I have nothing to relate ; but I have 
heard it said she was very ill-tempered and ferocious." 

Having at different times reared wolves myself, I can, in 
part at least, corroborate Mrs. Bedoire's very interesting 
account as to the docility of those beasts when in confine- 
ment. I say in part, for having pea-fowl, &c., about the 
premises, I never ventured to give my wolves that degree of 
liberty wTiich the one that lady more particularly speaks of 
enjoyed, whilst under her protection. While being handled, 
however, they were perfectly harmless ; and, so far as myself 
and people were concerned, never evinced vice of any 

At one time, indeed, I had serious thoughts of training a 


fine female wolf, in my possession, as a pointer ; but I was 
deterred, owing to the penchant she exhibited for the neigh- 
bours' pigs. She was chained in a little enclosure, just in 
front of my window, into which those animals, when the 
gate happened to be left open, occasionally found their 
way. The devices the wolf employed to get them in her 
power were very amusing. When she saw a pig in the 
vicinity of her kennel, she, evidently with the purpose of 
putting him off his guard, would throw herself on her side 
or back, wag her tail most lovingly, and look innocence 
personified. And this amiable demeanour would continue, 
until the grunter was beguiled within the length of her 
tether, when, in the twinkling of an eye, "Richard was 
himself again." 

Whilst young, her charges were invariably directed at the 
rear of the animal ; and if she got hold of the tail, it was 
always taken off as clean as a cook would slice a carrot. 
Several pigs were under my own eye thus mutilated. When 
full-grown, however, she was not altogether satisfied with 
this fraction of a pig ; and if one of a small size approached 
her too near, she would pitch bodily upon it, and seizing 
it crosswise in her mouth, as far as the length of her 
chain admitted, walk backwards and forwards with it in 
front of her kennel. The squeaks of the sufferer were, on 
these occasions awfully piercing, and I have had difficulty 
in relieving them from durance. And no wonder, if the 
jaws of the wolf, as I have heard asserted, possess such 
power as to enable his teeth to penetrate a thin plate of 

Though wolves are so numerous in Scandinavia, and 
commit such considerable ravages amongst cattle, they do 


not often molest man. The most murderous of their 
attacks on record, were during the winter of 1820-21, 
when they killed, within a confined line of country, near to 
the town of Gefle, on the Bothnian Gulf, some twenty 
human beings, the greater part of whom, however, were 
children, and wounded many others. And though in the 
course of this slaughter several wolves were occasionally seen 
in company, it is the general opinion that the same beast 
was always the attacking party, and the primary cause of the 
mischief. From the boldness this wolf displayed, and his 
utter fearlessness of man, it was believed he, in early life, 
had been domesticated, and had subsequently escaped from 

The subjoined details of some of the sad occurrences in 
question, may not be without interest. 

"On the 1st of January, 1821," says the Rev. C. E. 
Angman, " a peasant on his return from the post-house of 
Byas, in the parish of By, and when about two miles from 
the church, was attacked by a wolf, who pulled him down 
from the sledge in which he rode, and dragged him along the 
ground for some little distance ; but the man's coat, of which 
the beast had hold, giving way, at length the poor fellow 
was enabled to regain his legs, when running back to the 
sledge, he pursued his journey. For the space of nearly a 
mile, however, and until he reached the village of Leknas, he 
was closely followed by the wolf. 

"Not long afterwards, a boy eight years old, son to the 
discharged soldier, Jager, was attacked by a wolf. Together 
with several others he was cutting yran-och tall-ris (the 
sprigs of the spruce-pine and Scotch fir) for the use of 
the cattle, in an enclosure near to the cottage. When the 


boys saw the wolf approaching, they shrieked out and fled 
towards home. But they were soon overtaken by the beast, 
who, rushing into the midst of them, seized the above- 
named boy in his jaws, and dragged him over a Gardesgard* 
and several stone walls. The children that escaped related 
what had happened to his mother, who forthwith ran to the 
assistance of her son. She found the wolf still grasping the 
poor boy in his jaws ; but on her nearer approach he let 
him go and retreated. The boy still lives, and bears visible 
marks about him of the wolf's fangs. 

" Subsequently a wolf fell in with some peasants, who with 
their sledges were journeying in company between Morshyttan 
in the parish of By, and Forssby in that of Folkarna, and 
attacked the rearmost of the party. The peasant seized a 
stout stake and attempted to kill the beast, who with great 
quickness evaded the blow, and cunningly getting behind the 
poor fellow, renewed the attack. On hearing the cries of the 
man, however, his comrades, who were in advance, came to 
his aid, on which the wolf retreated. 

* The Gardesgard is thus constructed : Two Storar that is, stakes of ten to 
fifteen feet in length, and of the thickness of a man's wrist, are, with the 
assistance of a crow-bar, inserted upright in the ground opposite to each other, 
and at about four to five inches apart. These double stakes are continued at 
intervals of from three to four feet, the whole length of the intended enclosure. 
The open space is then filled up with G'drdsel long bars, or strips of wood, 
usually young pines split into two or more pieces, which are laid longi- 
tudinally one on the other between the several pairs of Storar, until they reach 
to about the height of four feet. And whilst the fence is being thus con- 
structed, and to keep everything in its proper place, the Storar at about every 
foot are bound fast together with Hankar, which word, as said, implies bands 
of any kind ; but in its common acceptation Hank means a sapling, or small 
branch of the spruce-pine, or other pliable tree, previously passed through the 
flames to render it still more flexible. The nature of the Gardesgard will be 
better understood by reference to the drawing, p. 490. 

VOL. I. H H 


" From hence the same wolf ran directly to a neighbouring 
village. It would seem, at least, to have been the identical 
animal ; for only a very few minutes afterwards a boy was 
there seized by a wolf, which dragged him over two stone 
walls. He was fortunately rescued from his perilous situa- 
tion, however, by some peasants who were assembled in the 
village for the purpose of celebrating a christening. 

"A wolf was next heard of near to Horndahls-.BmA:,* 
where he killed a little girl aged eleven years named Stina, 
daughter of Anders Olsson, within a few stones' throw 
of her home, which she had just left on an errand. Some 
peasants, who were crossing the large lake Rossen, which 
was hard by, saw the beast with the girl lying under him. 
They tore the corpse from his grasp by force, and laid it 
on one of their sledges for the purpose of depositing it at 
the nearest house, which happened to be the child's home. 
When the parents came out of doors and learnt the sad fate 
of their offspring, the wolf was there also, and remained 
awhile without evincing the least fear of the people who were 
collected. His gluttony and craving for human flesh seems 
to have been very great; for when on the way from the 
lake to the cottage, he licked up the blood that ran from 
the body of the child on to the snow. This tragical event is, 
for the most part, inscribed in the parish register. The girl 
was interred on the 4th of February. 

" The same day, in the evening, a wolf made his appear- 
ance at a house near to the church, and carried away a boy 
of five years of age, who was standing on some steps outside 

* Brulc, in its common acceptation, signifies iron-works, but is applicable 
also to other manufactories. 


the door ; but fortunately a number of people, who hap- 
pened to be passing at the time, rescued the child. 

" From hence the wolf proceeded to the village of Vestan- 
back, about two miles from Vadsbro, and attacked two boys 
who were amusing themselves with a little hand-sledge. 
They ran towards home, but were overtaken at the house of 
the soldier Skaffare. The beast rushed past the one that 
stopped at the gate, and seized the other, who had gained the 
little enclosure, by the back. He was, nevertheless, rescued 
by his parents, who fortunately at the time were near at 

" It is also related that a pregnant woman was attacked by 
a wolf on the road between the villages of Hede and Norrby. 
She ran to a Gardesgard, and climbed up it ; but the beast 
pulled her down again, tore her clothes to pieces, and bit one 
of her ears. The people from the village, hearing her cries, 
came to her assistance. But the woman and the child that 
she then bore in her bosom are still alive. 

" A wolf was afterwards heard of on the 1 8th of March 
of the same year, in the village of Vatbo, distant four to five 
miles from the church. Whilst several children were on their 
way from hence to the neighbouring village of Andersbo, a 
wolf rushed amongst the poor little things, and carried off a 
boy named Anders, aged six years and a half. The wolf 
and the corpse were discovered far from the spot. When 
the melancholy catastrophe happened, which is inscribed in 
the parish register, the child's mother was in church. 

" It is said that two wolves, a larger and a smaller, have 
been seen in company ; but here, in the parish of By, during 
all the above occurrences, not more than one large wolf was 

n H 2 


"On the 10th of February, 1821," writes M. Bostrom 
from Stjernsund, " the boy Erik Sundstedt, who was born 
on the 1st of July, 1806, was killed by a wolf near this 
place. Two other lads and himself were skating on the lake 
Grycken, and halted for a while on an island at about two 
hundred fathoms to the eastward of the Bruk. One of the 
boys, C. W. Sundmark, born 23rd of May, 1807, stood 
nearest to Sundstedt ; the other, Johan Westerberg, born in 
1805, at ten or twelve paces' distance. Whilst thus resting, 
a wolf suddenly rushed amongst them. He was of an 
uncommonly large size ; in colour light grey, with some dark 
spots, and white under the belly ; and according to the testi- 
mony of the survivors, his growl was as loud as the bellowing 
of an ox. He first made towards Sundmark, who by casting 
himself on one side, and brandishing a short stick in the face 
of the beast, escaped. The unfortunate boy Sundstedt, being 
without skates at the moment, was unable to get out of the 
way, and the wolf attacking him next, cast him on the 
ground, and threw himself upon his victim, bit him in the 
throat, and shook him dreadfully. The cries of agony 
uttered by Sundstedt were described by his comrades 
as most heart-rending. But believing they could render 
him no assistance, and affrighted beyond measure, they 
ran on their skates to the Bruk as fast as they 
were able. 

" In the meanwhile the wolf dragged the poor boy over 
the island, which is called Bjorknabba, then for a short 
distance along the ice, across the high-road, and up a 
considerable eminence, and finally to a wooded and stony 
piece of ground the distance altogether being about one 
thousand feet. 


" On hearing of the sad occurrence, several persons in- 
stantly hastened from the Bruk, and following the tracks, 
soon came up to the boy, who though still alive, expired 
shortly afterwards ; but of the wolf nothing more was 

" The body of the poor fellow, with the exception of his 
legs, feet, and one of his arms, was divested of every particle 
of clothing, even to the shirt itself. It was besides terribly 
mutilated, although the number of wounds could not be 
calculated to a certainty. They were found on the head, 
nose, cheeks, throat, arms, and here and there over the body 
and thighs. On each side of the nose there were several holes 
as if from the beast's claws, and others on the neck from his 
teeth. On one side of the stomach some of the bowels 
were drawn out ; but with the exception of a part of one of 
the ears, which was gone, there was not the least portion 
of the body eaten. 

" For a long time after this terrible catastrophe, the boy 
Sundmark, owing to the severe shock his nervous system 
had received, remained in a very melancholy and depressed 

"The same day, 10th of February, 1821, at one o'clock, 
Anna, a girl aged twelve years, daughter of Jan Jansson of 
Bastmora (distant eight to nine miles from Stjernsund), was 
carried off by a wolf. 

" The mother had just left her daughter in the cow-house, 
but hearing a cry of distress, she ran back to see what was 
the matter, when she found the door of the building closed, 
and outside of it an overturned pail, in which, to her horror, 
was lying the bloody flesh of the right cheek of her child, as 
also the handkerchief that had served for her head-dress. 


Looking around, she saw the poor creature in the jaws of an 
immense wolf, who was dragging her up the face of a rather 
precipitous acclivity at some fifty paces' distance. The beast 
had hold of the girl crosswise by the thigh ; but as she was 
tall for her age, and heavy, and the ground slippery, and he 
in consequence unable to carry her, he would swing her half 
round, as it were, in advance; and when he had thus got 
his burthen a little before him, step forward a pace or two 
and repeat the manoeuvre. 

"As soon as the poor mother saw the dreadful situation 
of her child, she rushed distracted to the spot, whereupon 
the wolf dropped his victim. But as the beast only moved 
to a few paces' distance, where with distended jaws, and 
pendent tongue dripping blood, he stood eyeing her fixedly, 
the exhausted parent could not aid the sufferer until such 
time as she obtained assistance. Whilst hastening to the 
spot, she thought she once heard the child exclaim Jan, the 
name of her young brother. The mother's cries soon 
brought the servant-maid, who was armed with a stout 
stake, to her aid, on which the wolf moved somewhat far- 
ther off. The mother now fell on her knees, and clasped 
her daughter in her arms ; their eyes met for the last 
time, for after uttering a single sigh, the girl breathed her 

" Soon after the catastrophe, the man-servant, who had 
been absent from the house, returned and assisted in bearing 
home the corpse ; of which mournful ceremony the wolf, who 
had remained stationary all the time, was a spectator. This 
beast was described as very large, and of a light brindled- 
grey colour. On the following day it was found that he 
had torn up the ice where he had been deprived of his 


prey ; but it could not be ascertained if this had been 
done at the time of the calamity, or during the succeeding 

" Independently of the dreadful wound in the cheek, the 
poor deceased girl had several severe bruises on the head, and 
many wounds in the thigh. A leather jacket that she wore 
had probably saved her neck and breast." 

" In the small village of Jemtbo, which contains only 
three families," says the Rev. P. S. Lonegren, Rector of the 
parish of Garpenberg, " the following catastrophe occurred 
on the 12th of January, 1821, between the hours of eleven 
and twelve in the forenoon. The people in one of the 
houses were making preparations for a funeral, and were 
moving about the premises in every direction, and being in 
want of a Spjell* a little boy, aged six years and a half, 
was sent to fetch one from a neighbouring cottage, distant 
only some twenty paces. On the way, however, he was 
suddenly attacked by a wolf, which, seizing hold of his 
throat, dragged him, together with the Spjell, across the 
enclosure to a thicket, scarcely a gun-shot off. The blood 
about the spot made known what had happened, and the 
alarm being given, the people immediately pursued the 
tracks of the beast. But they came too late though in 
time to see two wolves retreat for the body of the lad 
was all but devoured, and little more than the bones and 
the Spjell remained. 

"A similar melancholy occurrence happened in February 
of the same year, and at the same hour of the day, in 

* A thin iron plate to close the chimney, thereby to retain warmth in the 
apartment ; but at times it is used for baking purposes. 


the village of Rafshytta, consisting of twelve families. A 
boy aged nine years and a half, was leading by the hand 
his little sister, who was only three years and a half old, 
with the intention of paying a visit to a neighbouring 
cottage, when all at once a wolf rushed from a by-path, 
and seized hold of the boy. The mother hearing his cries, 
and seeing from the window the danger her children were 
in, called to another son, a youth of sixteen, then hewing 
wood at the back of the house, who, axe in hand, instantly 
rushed to the spot. On his near approach, however, the 
beast let go his hold of the lad, and fastening his fangs 
in the little girl instead, bore her off to the forest. Un- 
fortunately, there were no men at the time in the village 
to render assistance. The mother, who was far advanced 
in pregnancy, attempted nevertheless to fly to the rescue 
of her offspring; but she had not proceeded more than 
a few paces from the cottage-door, when she fell to the 
ground in a swoon. Pursuit was subsequently made 
and after a while the child was found, or rather its remains, 
the beast having already devoured nearly the whole of the 

"In the month of March, 1821, a still more audacious 
onset was made by a wolf. Daniel Dalberg, a hired servant, 
in the village of Jelken a youth tall and strong for his 
age whilst watering the cattle at noon, within a short 
pistol-shot of the house, was attacked by a wolf, which 
seized him by the breast, and threw him at once to the 
ground. By means of his hands, however, the youth saved 
his throat ; but he could not prevent the savage from 
fastening his fangs into his shoulder, and thus drawing 
him towards a neighbouring Gardesgard. The beast made 


several desperate attempts to get him over this obstruction ; 
but owing to the youth's violent resistance, and the weight 
of the burthen, he was unable to accomplish his purpose. 
In the meanwhile the cries of the youth, and the bellowing 
of the cattle, brought people out of the house, who presently 
relieved him from his perilous situation. And they came 
in the very nick of time, for at the instant a second wolf 
was observed, at about one hundred paces' distance, rush- 
ing down from the forest to share the booty with his 
fellow. The youth was wounded in several places, and the 
deep scars his person still bears, testify to the injuries he 
received on the occasion. 

" Fright and an excited imagination," M. Lonegren con- 
cludes by saying, " caused the peasantry to believe that 
the wolves, which, at the period in question, attacked and 
destroyed so many people, both in colour and formation were 
totally different from common wolves." 



" THE wolf in some places," M. von Greiff tells us, " taxes 
the peasant higher than the Crown." The antipathy to 
the beast is still farther increased by the prevalent idea that 
he is some evil spirit incarnate ! According to the Northern 
Mythology, indeed, the giantess Angerboda bore wolves to 
Loke, den Onde, or the Wicked God : 

" Eastward, in the forest of iron, 
Sat the Evil One, 
And there begat 
The young wolves." 

" And from hence," we also read, " all the different races 
of wolves are descended." 

The superstitious notions entertained in Scandinavia re- 
garding the wolf, are multitudinous. In certain districts, 



during a portion of the spring, the peasants do not venture 
to call him by his usual designation of Varg, as in that case 
he will carry away their cattle the following summer, but 
substitute in its stead that of Ulf, Grahans, &c. To meet a 
wolf at certain hours, or under certain circumstances, is looked 
upon as a bad omen ; and the appearance of those beasts 
in numbers, to forebode war or other great calamity. Old 
hags, moreover, reputed to deal in the black art, who dwell 
alone in the recesses of the forest, are believed to be in 
league with, and to harbour wolves ; and, in consequence, 
they go by the hated name of Varg-Modrar or wolf-mothers. 
The wolf having thus a bad name in every way, it is little 
surprising that the hand of every man is raised against him. 


A good many wolves are run down on Skidor, chiefly 
however in the northern districts of Scandinavia, where 


the country is more open, and but little intersected by 

The Lapps, when thus pursuing the wolf, have frequently 
no other weapon than a stout staff of about six feet in 
length, armed at one end with a pike, which staff serves to 
expedite or retard their own progress, and also to deal 
destruction to their worst enemy. So the wolf, with every 
propriety may be called ; for night and day, summer and 
winter, he hangs with the tenacity of the night-mare on the 
rear of the rein-deer, ever and anon picking up a straggler, 
and in one instance, we are told, as many as forty out of a 
single herd. Several individuals usually take part in these 
hunts ; and as the wolf often holds out a day or two, the men 
are provided with a good supply of provisions. When the 
beast finds himself pursued, he, like the bear, takes to 
broken ground and the most tangled thickets, from whence 
at times there is difficulty in dislodging him. When hard 
pressed, and that he begins to tire, he makes for a beaten 
path if one is to be found, where, as the footing is hard, 
he for a time has it all his own way. Sooner or later, 
however, he is necessitated to quit the " vantage-ground," 
and betake himself once more to the forest or the fjall, as 
the case may be. Thus the chase may continue for a day 
or two, until the beast is fairly worn out with hunger and 
fatigue, when his pursuers are enabled to close with him 
generally on the long slope of a hill and to put an end 
to his miseries and his life. 

Though many wolves are thus annually killed in Lapland, it 
is not often that a regular slaughter takes place amongst those 
beasts. But such at times do occur. " Several merchants 


from this place," writes M. Ekenstam from the town of Lulea 
on the Bothnian Gulf, under date of the 6th of May, 1833, 
"who a fortnight ago returned from the fair of Gellivaara, 
speak of the extraordinary destruction the Lapps have made 
amongst their inveterate enemies, the wolves, in the begin- 
ning of last April, not only in that parish, but in the 
adjoining ones of Qvickjock and Jockmock. In Gellivaara 
alone no less than seventy of those beasts were killed in the 
course of a week, and fifty more in the above parishes in the 
same space of time. That great numbers of wolves have 
actually fallen victims to the revenge of the Lapps, we may 
safely infer from the price of the skins, which were sold as low 
as five shillings each. The Lapps do not recollect for the past 
twenty years such a concurrence of favourable circumstances 
for their wolf slaughter. There were such alternations in the 
weather sometimes frost, and at other times thaw that 
the surface of the snow, which was deep in the woods, would 
support their Skidor, but not the weight of the wolves." 

From actual experience, I myself can say nothing of the 
Chasse in question ; for though during my wanderings in 
the northern forests, I have frequently fallen in with 
the tracks of wolves, the localities were always such, that 
any attempt to overtake the beasts would have been worse 
than useless. 

Little in the shape of wolf-hunting such at least as 
accords with our notions of hunting is practised in 
Sweden; and that little is, from necessity, always followed 
on foot. From the difficult nature of the ground, and the 
peculiar style of fence, it would be quite an impossibility 
to pursue that beast on horseback. Even the wolf-hunts 


that do take place are chiefly for the capture of cubs, the 
dogs of the country being little capable of facing the old 
ones. Were the dogs ever so courageous and strong, 
indeed, it would hardly be worth a man's while to make 
wolf hunting a regular pastime, as from the immensity of 
the forests, and the wandering habits of the beast, the hunter 
would never know where to find him. 

There are individuals, however, who follow up this 
sport. "The Hof-Jagmastare, J. A. Strom," we are told, 
for instance, " makes use of strong dogs of a powerful 
breed for wolf hunting. In the early part of the summer, 
when the cubs are small, he begins with six dogs; but in 
the autumn, when the young follow the mother, twelve to 
twenty-four dogs are slipped from their couplings at once." 

When speaking of destroying wolf cubs at the Lya, 
or lair a plan, by the bye, which, if more generally adopted, 
would tend more than anything else to diminish the number 
of those beasts M. Strom tells us : " Wolves do not pair 
at Christmas time, as many believe, but in the end of 
February or beginning of March ; and the cubs are born 
after the lapse of nine weeks. They are blind for eleven 
days, and do not leave the Lya before they are a month 
old, during which while the mother never goes far from 
them, but seeks her prey in the vicinity that is to say, 
within a distance of from three to four miles of home. 
When at this time, therefore, she repeatedly attacks cattle, 
her lair, which one may be assured is not far off, should 
be sought for. This can be done by twenty to thirty 
persons, who, forming line, beat the country before them 
in the same manner as with a Dref-Skall. Whilst the 


young are small, the favourite resorts of wolves are the 
thickest brakes and the clefts of the most inaccessible rocks ; 
but when the rye is of sufficient height to shelter them 
properly, they often take refuge in the rye-fields. The 
bones of slaughtered animals betray their dwelling-place ; 
and if large and courageous dogs, who are accustomed to 
give Stand-Shall that is, to continue challenging at one and 
the same spot be used, they will soon make known where 
the Lya and the cubs are to be found. There is little reason 
to fear losing the dogs; for at this time of the year the 
wolves are thin-haired and timorous, and will not willingly 
meet the attack of several dogs conjointly. The she-wolf 
does not, like the fox, litter in deep holes in the ground, 
where it is difficult to get at the cubs ; but under boulders, 
under the stumps of uprooted trunks, in close thickets, or 
beneath spruce-pine trees, the branches of which hang to the 
very ground ; and for this reason, when the Lya is found, 
one can readily take and destroy the cubs. 

" One of the number, however, should be retained alive, 
that by means of its cries the mother may be killed also. The 
object is best effected by erecting a screen of boughs, near 
to the lair, where two of the hunting party (the rest retiring 
to a distance) secrete themselves, and shoot her on her return 
home. This is hastened by the piteous lament of her 
offspring, who at some four feet from the ground, is sus- 
pended by the hind leg to a neighbouring tree. But the 
men, at such times, should face in opposite directions, so 
that one or the other will be sure to see her when she first 
makes her appearance, as she then comes much nearer to the 
ambush than afterwards." 


The Chamberlain L. G. Kolthoff, in allusion to the 
same subject, tells us, that in his part of the country the 
peasants have an easy method of discovering a wolfs lair. 
" The cubs," says that gentleman, " almost always let their 
whereabouts be known in the night time, when they are 
alone, and the mother absent on a foray. If, therefore, one 
goes into the forest when the young are pretty well grown, 
and especially between eleven and twelve o'clock, and listens 
attentively for their screeching cry, their whereabouts may be 
readily ascertained." 

A good many wolves are also killed in Skalls ; not, how- 
ever, during the summer, owing chiefly to the locale of those 
beasts being then uncertain, but in the regularly organized 
winter Skalls, mentioned in my former work, where Skall- 
platser are previously prepared ; for when the beasts are con- 
gregated at the Luder-plats or the spot where carrion is 
exposed for the purpose of attracting wild beasts, and sur- 
rounded not alone with Jagt-tyg, but six to seven hundred 
men it is hardly possible for them to escape. 

Such Skall-platser, however, owing to the expense and 
trouble attendant on keeping them up, &c., are not of 
frequent occurrence in Sweden ; but they are, nevertheless, 
to be met with in the provinces most infested by wolves. 
Considerable execution is done at them. In those near to 
Stockholm, it is on record, for instance, that "from 1821 
to 1828, a period of eight years, in the course of which 
thirty-five great Skalls took place, one hundred and fifty- 
four full-grown wolves were killed ! and this independently 
of some fifty cubs, which were found in the females, on 
opening their bodies after death." The Skalls in question 



were under the command of M. Arrhenius, who very de- 
servedly obtained much credit for the superior manner in 
which they were conducted. 


As mentioned in my former work, a not uncommon plan 
of shooting wolves in the winter time in Scandinavia, is to 
traverse the country taking a pig in one's sledge ; for if there 
be any of those beasts in the vicinity, the squeaks of the 
grunter, which a pinch of the ear, or the prick of a pin, 
will elicit in abundance, are pretty sure to bring them within 
shot. On these occasions it is also desirable to tie a dog to 
the back of the vehicle ; for even should the wolf not be 
near enough to hear the cries of the pig, he may, whilst 
on the prowl, come on the track of the dog, in which case 
he is nearly sure to follow it up, as a hound would a Slap, or 
drag. Though the device in question succeeds occasionally 
in the day time, it answers much better in the night, especially 
when there is moonlight. 

VOL. I. I I 


But even if the wolf be attracted by the squeaks of the 
pig, it is not always he will venture to approach within 
gun-shot of the sledge. Should this be the case, the better 
plan, particularly if there be two persons in company, is to 
jump unobserved from off the vehicle whilst it is passing 
a tree or a bush, and to lie in ambush for the beast, the 
sledge waiting the while at some distance ahead. 

Some will have it there is danger in these nocturnal expe- 
ditions ; but knowing what we do of the cowardly nature of 
the wolf, I apprehend that if a man be true to himself, the 
risk is not great. I do not speak from experience, however ; 
for on the several different occasions of my trying the plan, 
it was never my luck to fall in with even a single wolf. 
A year or two after leaving Lapp-Cottage, in Wermeland, 
where the reader may remember I was formerly located, a 
friend of mine, Cornet Carl Geijer, was more fortunate. 
But he shall tell his own story a somewhat singular one, 
by the bye in his own words. 

" Some years ago, whilst I was residing at Uddeholm," 
says the gallant officer, " the servant-girl came into my 
room about eight o'clock one evening, and informed me 
that she had just heard cries of distress on the lake Rada, 
situate within twenty paces of the mansion ; which cries, 
on going out of doors for the purpose of ascertaining the 
truth of her report, I myself could also plainly distinguish. 
A short time afterwards a peasant made his appearance, 
and said that he had been attacked on the ice by a drove of 
five wolves, who had attempted to take the horse from 
him ; and that it was only by the aid of a stout cudgel 
that he and the steed had escaped their jaws. 


" I ordered a horse to be harnessed forthwith to a Kolryss 
(an immense basket-like sledge, used for the purpose of con- 
veying charcoal to the furnaces), as also a pig to be put in 
a sack ; and with the Estate Inspector as a companion, and 
provided with three guns, loaded with Varg-hagel, or wolf- 
shot small slugs, in short I betook myself to the lake. 

" At first the pig would not squeal at all ; but as soon as 
we had got his head out of the sack, and pulled his ears, 
he opened his pipes most lustily. We had not gone far 
before three wolves made their appearance ; but they would 
not approach nearer to us than some eighty paces, at about 
which distance the sledge proceeding at a slow pace 
the while they followed us for a considerable time. 
Finding, however, that so long as we kept moving, the 
beasts would not come closer to us, we halted, on which 
they presently advanced to within forty or fifty paces, and 
quietly seated themselves on their haunches. The Inspector 
and myself now agreed slowly to count one, two, three, and 
on pronouncing the last number to fire, each at his own 
particular wolf. We did so, our guns going off so simul- 
taneously that the report seemed like one and the same 
Both of the wolves at which we had aimed fell on the 
instant, but the third moved quickly off. 

"The Inspector and I now ran towards the spot where 
the beasts lay, but in our joy forgot to take the third gun, 
which was still charged, along with us. We had not pro- 
ceeded more than twenty paces from the Kolryss, however, 
when one of the prostrate wolves although he had not 
hitherto moved in the least suddenly got on his legs and 
ran off. Seeing this, I returned forthwith to the sledge 

I I 2 


for the loaded piece. The Inspector, meanwhile, went up to 
the remaining wolf, which was still quite passive, and seized 
it hy the leg, with the intention of drawing it towards our 
vehicle. But as the beast showed signs of vitality, he gave 
him a blow on the head with the butt of his gun. This, 
however, had the contrary effect to that intended ; for instead 
of dispatching, it brought him to life, and on to his legs 
again; and a second blow mended not the matter, for he 
now not only broke away from his captor, but following 
the example of his comrade, ran away. At this moment 
I had just got hold of the loaded gun, and was in the act 
of giving the wolf the coup de grace, when, as ill-luck would 
have it, the Inspector stood in the very line of fire, and in 
consequence I dared not pull the trigger. 

" We afterwards got into the sledge, and endeavoured to 
overtake the hard-lived beast that my comrade had been 
belabouring ; but for the reason that our horse whom we 
had selected because he was old and steady, and therefore 
not likely to be afraid of fire could not be got out of a 
walk, the attempt proved fruitless. We persevered, never- 
theless, so long as possible; and at times, by the light of 
the moon, saw the beast as he lunkade, or trotted slowly 
before us. But it was of no avail, and we were at length 
obliged though very reluctantly, and little satisfied with 
our evening's work to give up farther pursuit for the 

"At an early hour on the following morning, we re- 
newed the chase. The wounded wolves had taken different 
directions. The one the Inspector shot at, we found near to 
the borders of the lake, and about three to four miles from 


where he had fallen the preceding evening ; or rather, we 
discovered his head, tail, and feet, his companions having 
wholly devoured the rest of him. 

The other beast, at which I myself fired, we also found 
near to the lake, under a willow-bush where he had passed 
the night ; but he ran off at our approach. There was 
not only a large quantity of blood in his bed, but also 
something, that, as it appeared to us, had exuded from his 
intestines. I tracked him the whole day, and viewed him 
several times when crossing openings in the forest ; but on 
these occasions he was always out of shot range. Every- 
where more or less blood was to be seen in his Spar, 
especially in those places where he had made temporary 
halts. But all my efforts to come up with him that day 
were unavailing ; and they were equally so on the following, 
which was the less surprising, as the snow was so deep as 
to take me at least up to the knees, and my progress was 
consequently very slow. 

" On the third day I took two men and two large dogs 
with me, and had no difficulty in again rousing the wolf; 
for, as on previous occasions, he had passed the night very 
near to where he was left on the preceding evening : and 
here also there was much blood. But the dogs were of no 
avail ; for as soon as they scented the beast, they were 
frightened, and came to heel, and would not leave us for 
the remainder of the day. We ourselves, nevertheless, 
persevered the whole of the forenoon ; but finding at length 
that the wolf, instead of becoming weaker and weaker, as 
after so great a loss of blood one would have expected, 
began now to leap with facility over objects that he had 
previously the greatest difficulty in surmounting, we con- 


sidered all farther pursuit worse than useless, and returned 

Numbers of wolves are captured in Sweden in the Varg- 
grop, or wolf-pit ; which, as described in " Northern Sports," 
is usually ten to twelve feet in depth, by the same measure- 
ment in diameter. Many are square, some octagonal, and 
others circular. As well for the purpose of preventing the earth 
from falling into the pit, as wild beasts, that may be incar- 
cerated, from working themselves out, the sides are usually 
built up with wood or stone. The proper construction of the 
pit-fall would seem to be still a mooted question in Scandi- 
navia ; but all agree in this, that it should be sunk in a 
dry and open situation, and in preference free from trees, 
bushes, fences, &c. ; as also at not more than two hundred 
to three hundred paces from the Ladu-gdrd, or cattle-house ; 
for singularly enough the more distant the Varg-grop is 
from that building, the more the suspicions of wild beasts are 

Great execution is at times done in these pit-falls. In 
one instance, Dr. Willman informed me, no less than eight 
wolves were captured at one and the same time. Others 
had also been engulphed, as was evident by the marks in 
the snow, but had subsequently escaped, and, as it was 
believed, by making the backs of their fellows serve as 
scaling-ladders. On the occasion in question, a fox was 
likewise made captive, and though surrounded by his most 
deadly enemies, was still alive and unhurt. 

Bipeds as well as quadrupeds sometimes fall into the 
Varg-grop, from which, owing to the perpendicularity of 
its sides, and its depth, escape by their own exertions, 
has been found impracticable. A somewhat amusing adven- 


ture of the kind is related of a certain parson who flourished 
nearly a century ago. 

" The reverend gentleman," so goes the story, " was a 
great sportsman, and like many others of the cloth, had a 
Varg-grop for the capture of wolves and foxes. One Sunday 
morning, after preparing his sermon, and putting on his 
Kragar, or bands, he took it into his head to pay a visit to 
the Varg-grop. On reaching the spot, he observed an aper- 
ture in the straw covering the pit-fall ; and although he had 
then no time to send for a rope and a ladder to draw up 
the prisoner, he could not resist the temptation of seeing 
what beast it was of which he had made prize. For this 
purpose he peered down the pit ; but having advanced too 
near to the brink, he over-balanced himself and fell head 
over heels to the bottom !* 

" When he had somewhat recovered from the shock and 
fright this break-neck tumble had given him, he looked 
cautiously about his gloomy prison, and discovered in a 
corner a fox that a few hours before had made the descent 
in the same unexpected manner as himself. What was now 
to be done ? The sermon was, it is true, in his pocket ; 
everything was in order, and hearers alone were wanting; 
for the only one present seemed to be fully occupied with 
thoughts as to how he could best obtain his freedom. The 
same cogitation began now to trouble the poor parson, when 

* To guard against similar accidents, which are not of unfrequent occur- 
rence, the law very properly ordains, that prior to poison, pit-falls, steel-traps, 
or other dangerous devices for the destruction of wild beasts, being left 
exposed in the forest or elsewhere, due notice should be given from the pulpit. 
The party transgressing is not only subjected to a pecuniary fine, but is held 
answerable for all damages that the neglect of such public notification may 
have occasioned. 


his English byxsacks-ur * was pointing near to ten o'clock, 
the hour that the service should commence. 

" Let us now leave the worthy man in safety, though in 
bad company, and see how things were going on at the 
Parsonage. Here there was more hurry and flurry, and 
more confusion of tongues amongst the women, than if the 
Dean or the Bishop had been expected. One ran here, and 
another there. If any of the newly-arrived congregation 
were met with, the same question was put to each : * Have 
you seen the Pastor ?' But all gave the same answer : ' No !' 
An old and faithful serving-man, however, who, to give his 
ears a little ease from the eternal jabbering going on amongst 
the women, had retired apart, began to reason within himself 
as to where his master could be ; and it was not long before 
it entered his mind that by possibility he might have fallen 
into the Varg-grop. 

" Without communicating his suspicions to any one there- 
fore, he hastened towards the spot, and on his near approach 
he heard the parson singing with great fervour the 99th 
(Sw.) Psalm. Overjoyed at the discovery, he advanced to the 
edge of the abyss, and reached out his hand to the reverend 
divine for the purpose of helping him up. But the master 
was heavier by several stone than the man ; and in his anxiety 
to escape from imprisonment, he pulled at the proifered hand 
with so much force as to draw the poor fellow down into the 
pit. Here now stood the trio, though certainly with alto- 

* Literally, breeches' fob-watch. These machines, from their great size 
resembling turnips, in short are much valued by the peasantry, who on 
fitting and unfitting occasions exhibit them, together with the gaudy and 
bulky appendages. For the most part they were made by Ward of London, 
whence their usual designation of Vardare. 


gether different reflections on their predicament; and here 
they had to remain until the afternoon, when aid at length 

" And what of the assembled congregation ? inquires the 
reader. Why, they had in all patience the men with long 
tobacco-pipes, and the women with still longer histories of what 
had occurred in the parish whiled away time on the church- 
yard, until hunger told them it was their dinner-hour ! 

" The report of this misadventure soon circulated ; and as 
rumour generally makes a story worse than it really is, people 
at length said that three foxes of different colours three 
cunning old rogues, in short had been caught in the parson's 
Varg-grop ! Happily there was no one ill-natured enough to 
tell the tale to the Bishop ; but it is related that, from this 
time forward the reverend gentleman was careful to attend to 
his congregation in the first instance, and to his wolf-trap 

The wolf is also frequently captured in Sweden by means 
of the Varg-gdrd, or wolf-enclosure. This device is ingenious 
enough in its way the principle being to erect such a fence 
that the beast may readily find his way into the enclosure ; 
but from which, owing to the height of the fence, and its 
inward inclination, it is next to impossible for him to find 
his way out again. 

Varg-gardar differ somewhat, however, in their nature. 
In some, a considerable gap is left in the fence, so that 
wolves may have free access to the Luder-plats ; which gap, 
on its being known that the beasts have entered, is hurriedly 
closed with Jagt-tyg. In others again, the fence completely 
encompasses the enclosure ; when therefore the wolf has 
surmounted it, one has only to knock him on the head. 


The plan recommended by the late M. von Greiff em- 
bracing a pit-fall as the more ready means of destroying 
wolves when imprisoned, instead of hunting them down with 
men is perhaps preferable to all others. Its nature, with the 
assistance of the annexed drawing, will be readily understood. 

Fig. 1, it should be premised, shows the ground-plan of 
the Varg-gard as a whole ; Fig. 2, the same in profile, the 
inclination of the fence, &c. ; Fig. 3, the angle of the Varg- 
gard at the Trumma, or covered way, as also the pit-fall 
seen in front ; Fig. 4, the Trumma and pit-fall, seen in 
profile ; and Fig. 5, the fixed, as well as the artificial covering 
of the pit-fall. 

The Varg-gard so M. von Greiff tells us may be con- 
structed in any place where there is wood, and the ground 
not too stony; but in preference where the wolves have 
their Strdk that is, the line of country they are in the 
habit of traversing when passing from one place or district 
to another. The locality selected should be near sand ridges, 
small morasses, &c., and surrounded by eminences where 
a pit-fall can be sunk that is not subject to inundation. An 
open, exposed country, or one to which the wind has free 
access, will not answer the purpose ; for in the event of an 
unusually snowy winter, the snow-drifts would be so high near 
to the fence, as greatly to facilitate the escape of the wolf. 

The circumference of the Varg-gard should be about 
twelve hundred feet, but a few feet more or less are not 
of consequence. In preference, its shape should be oval 
(Fig. 1), with the exception of the corner where the fences 
meet and form a right angle, where the pit-fall a a a a is 

The forest thereabouts should be left undisturbed as much 

v\c,. 6. 

FIG. 1. 

FIG. 5. 

FIG. 2. 


[To face paye 490, VOL. i. 


as possible, and only in cases of the greatest necessity should 
any of the wood be cut down. The more dense it is near to 
the outside of the fence the better. Stones, stubs, fallen 
timber and the like, are to be carefully cleared away from the 
inner side of the fence, but outwardly, on the contrary, they 
may without detriment be left even immediately alongside of 
the fence. 

The latter, which in principle is the same as the Gardes- 
gar d, described in note, page 465, is constructed of very 
stout materials. There ought to be a space of about 
thirty inches between the several pair of Storar; and the 
Giirdsel, instead of being laid as usual at an angle of a few 
degrees, should rise much more vertically, as in that case it 
is more difficult for the beast to obtain a firm footing and 
climb over the fence. Supports &, Fig. 2, are needful to 
retain the fence in its proper inclination. They ought to be 
placed perpendicularly, so as not to assist the imprisoned 
animal when making its spring; but if trees be growing 
immediately contiguous to the outside of the fence, fasten- 
ings c, Fig. 2, connecting the two (provided they be but 
little perceptible) may be used in lieu of, or to assist, the 
supports. The height of the fence and its inclination 
inwards, are two important matters to be attended to, and 
should be regulated according to the locality. When 
following an As, or eminence, that is on the inner side 
precipitous, it need not be more than three and a half to 
four and a hah feet, but on a level not less than eight feet. 
Its height depends, in short, on the nature of the ground. 
A certain inclination has this good effect, that the fence is 
not required to be so elevated, a point which a good eye 
ought to see and regulate. 


The Gardsel must be packed closely together, so that no 
aperture be left that may give encouragement to the beast, 
when impounded, to work or gnaw himself out ; and to 
prevent his burrowing beneath the fence, the stems of small 
pines or other trees are laid longitudinally on both sides of it, 
and kept in their place by means of pegs. To the upper 
edge of the inner side of the fence a row of long poles is 
fastened lengthwise with withes, and on these again Gran- 
ris, D D, Figs. 3 and 4, with the points broken and turned 
inwards, which form, as it were, a chevaux-de-frise ; and as 
wild beasts are accustomed every day to meet with, and 
leap over, somewhat similar fences in the forest, they excite 
no apprehension. 

When the fence is ready, and to ascertain that it is 
sufficiently high and has the requisite inclination, one may 
imprison a pretty large and active dog within the enclosure ; 
and if he cannot find his way out, other animals will not 
succeed better. 

The pit-fall, a, Figs. 1, 3 and 4, is excavated on rising 
ground, that water may not lodge within it, and at the spot 
where the fences form an angle. It should be nine feet 
square, and ten in depth, and its sides lined or built up with 
logs of five to six inches in thickness, placed vertically in 
like manner with pits in ordinary use for wolves or foxes. 

Both sides of the mouth of the pit-fall, E E, Fig. 5, are 
securely covered over with boards, so that only a space of 
about thirty inches, F, remains open. To hide this aperture, 
the thick ends of Gran-ris are fastened to the outer parts 
of E E, the points of which meeting in the middle, completely 
conceal it from view. 

Over the aperture F again, is a Trumma, or covered 


way, G, Fig. 4, which is of boards and about three feet in 
height by two and a half in breadth. This is absolutely 
needful, for if the pit-fall was open at the sides or above, the 
wolf would either leap clean over it, or to the right or left, 
and thus effect his escape. The Trumma has also the good 
effect of preventing the snow from accumulating on the 
Gran-ris so as to depress them. 

When now the wolf is imprisoned in the Varg-gard, and 
endeavours to escape through the Trumma, the Gran-ris 
gives way under his weight ; but as soon as he is engulphed, 
it rises again like a spring, and the aperture is as imper- 
ceptible as before. If, therefore, other beasts be within the 
enclosure, and attempt to escape the same way, they do not 
perceive the danger until too late to avoid it. But if, instead 
of Gran-ris, the aperture was as usual to be covered with 
straw, which would naturally give way altogether on pressure 
from above, it would never happen that more than one beast 
would attempt to escape by that outlet. 

The gate by which carrion is introduced into the Varg- 
gard ought to be situated in a dense brake, or otherwise 
concealed with Gran-ris, &c. 

The carcases of horses are usually exposed as lure, one of 
which should be deposited outside of the Varg-gard, in the 
early part of the autumn. Denuded bones of animals are 
also to be scattered here and there in the vicinity. Crows, 
ravens, &c. should never be in any way disturbed. The 
introduction of living animals within the enclosure, has a 
very beneficial effect; as, for example, to allow hogs, 
sheep, pigs, &c., to wander about it, for the trail and 
the scent left by them encourage wild beasts to approach 
boldly. Goats, as being less affected by cold, and by 


their rank odour and bleating best serve to attract tbe 
wolves. In some thicket, screened from view, pens, so to 
say, are formed by means of long and pointed stakes, and 
so strongly put together that wild beasts cannot rend them 
asunder. During the day-time the goats are allowed to be 
together, but at night each is confined by himself to induce 
them to bleat to one another. 

The darker the fence from age the better the Varg-gard 
succeeds, and if only kept in repair and that the Gran-ris, 
forming the chevaux-de-frise be renewed annually, it will 
last for many years. Should one not have leisure in the 
summer time to attend to it properly, it is better at that 
season to leave the gate at all times open. 

Wolves and other noxious animals are also frequently 
destroyed at the Luder-plats itself, by means of Gillrade 
Gevar, or fire-arms, set in the manner of spring guns. Even 
before the invention of gunpowder, people adopted a some- 
what similar mode, which they expressively called Sjelf- 
skjut, or self-shot. For they were accustomed so to place 
bent bows, that on the beast touching a certain string, the 
arrow was released and pierced him to the heart. 

But the more common plan of killing wolves when con- 
gregated at the Luder-plats, is by a species of Jagt, or 
hunting, which the Swedes call Skytte for ylugg that is, 
shooting from a small aperture in the side walls of a 
cow-house or other out-building, or it may be from a hut 
erected for the special purpose, near to which the Luder con- 
sisting generally of a dead horse is placed. But this method 
can only be adopted in the winter time, say from November, 
when the snow first falls, to about the end of March. 

"The Glugg," so we are told, "ought to be somewhat 


more capacious within than without ; and either kept closed 
by a small glazed window, so contrived as to open in- 
wards at pleasure, or partially closed with a wisp of straw. 
But in the latter case, ample room must be left, as well 
for the sportsman to see what is going on outside, as to 
admit the gun, when the time has arrived for using it. If 
possible, the Glugg should face the south; the east and 
west may answer, but the north will never do ; for to say 
nothing of being exposed to the coldest wind, one has little 
benefit from the moonlight. 

" The Luder should be deposited about fifteen paces from 
the Glugg, and in such manner, that either the head or the 
hind-quarters of the animal face the aperture; for though 
opinions vary as to which end should be foremost, all agree 
in this, that it will not answer to place the carcase cross- 
wise, for in that case the expected visitor would find shelter 
behind it. 

" When the wolf or fox come to the Luder, and com- 
mence eating, then is the time to fire. But in bringing the 
gun to the shoulder, care must be taken that the muzzle does 
not protrude much beyond the Glugg, or otherwise he may 
take alarm, and move off. One should first take aim 
along the line of the snow, and then raise the gun until 
the beast obscures the Korn, or "sight," when the trigger 
should be pulled. But the sportsman must be care- 
ful not to fire too high, as from the usual loftiness of 
the Glugg, and the short range, he is apt to do. The 
gun that it may be the more readily handled should 
be shorter than usual ; and it should also be of pretty 
large calibre. To avoid the danger of setting fire to 


the building, all cobwebs, &c., should be carefully swept 
away ; and one should load with wadding of such a nature 
as not to be easily ignited. If the beast fall to the shot, 
he ought not to be approached incautiously. When only 
wounded, he must be immediately sought after with a 
Ian thorn. But if not found in the vicinity, it is most 
advisable to desist from the search until the coming day- 
light renders it practicable to track and follow him to a 

" To watch at the Glugg, two men are required, so that 
they may sleep by turns. They should always be accompanied 
to the ambush by a third, who ought to remain with them 
for a while, because the fox's cunning is such that, otherwise, 
he may suspect a trap, and keep his distance. From dark, 
when all is still, to about eleven o'clock, the fox usually 
makes his appearance. But if not during that time he will 
not probably show himself before three in the morning, or 
between that hour and when people are up and moving ; but 
after all, the time of his coming is rather uncertain. It is 
known, however, that the farther the season be advanced, 
the later he appears, and that he never shows himself at 

It should be observed that shooting thus " for glugg " is 
seldom attended with much success during bar-vintrar 
that is, winters when there is little or no snow on 
the ground; also, that as wild beasts seldom visit the 
carrion at the new moon, it should not be laid out until 
the first quarter, when the nights are light, and when of 
course it is best to shoot. It is worthy of remark, that 
although the wolf seeks the Luder-plats only during very 


hard weather, the fox, on the contrary, visits it in preference 
when the snow is hut moderately deep and the temperature 
not particularly severe. 

Many wolves are captured in Scandinavia in the common 
steel trap. As regards the midland and southern provinces 
of Sweden, this is chiefly the case in those set for foxes ; for 
owing to the more wandering life led by the wolf than by the 
fox, his duller organs of smell, and consequent less capability 
of winding the bait from a distance, together with it being 
probable that his instinct leads him in quest of larger game 
than the fox is satisfied with, it would be but a poor specu- 
lation to lay out traps expressly for the wolf the rather 
because so many other and more advantageous modes can be 
had recourse to for his destruction. 

However, in the more northern districts of the peninsula, 
especially in Lapland, where the wolf follows the herds 
of reindeer in their wide wanderings from forest to fjall, 
and from fjall to forest, this mode of capture is much 
resorted to, and, as it is said, with very considerable success. 
But the trap is not baited, being merely concealed beneath 
the snow in such paths as the beast is likely to tra- 
verse. It is fastened by a chain to a block of wood some 
six feet in length, and of considerable thickness. This 
precaution is adopted in order that in the event of bad 
weather, the trap itself, as well as the prisoner if one 
happens to be made should not be altogether buried in the 
snow and lost. It is only brought into use in the winter 
time, after the snow has fallen. It is placed in preference 
in tracks made by the herds of tame reindeer; for these 
Lapp-vagar, as they are called, are always frequented by 

VOL. i. K K 



several kinds of wild beasts. " First in order after the 
herd," M. von Wright informs us, " comes the daring wolf, 
who now and then picks up a fawn, or even an old deer, 
that straggles from the herd. Then the voracious glutton ; 
and after him the fox, who, by his cunning, manages to 
share in the plunder that his worthy predecessors have seized 
by force. Lastly, comes the Arctic fox, with the hopes of 
picking up some of the crumbs that may have fallen from 
his masters' table. Several traps are usually set on the same 
pathway, at a distance of one to two miles apart, in order 
that though the wolf may avoid the one toil he may fall 
into some of the rest." 


Another very common method of capturing the wolf, is by 
means of the Brandar, or Stock-fallor literally [falling- 
beam which is placed across a forest-path, known to be 


frequented by that animal. But this kind of trap is not 
now so generally adopted as a hundred years ago, when it 
was very common. 

The above drawing represents the Brandar, when gill- 
rade. d d, g g, and h h, are three pair of stout upright 
posts ; L, a stock lying lengthwise on the ground, between 
dd and g g, but which, by the aid of moss and mould 
cast up on either side, is completely concealed from view, 
c c is a heavy log the drop, in short. 1 1 are blocks 
of wood or stones laid on c c, to increase its weight ; 
e e a stick, resting crosswise on pins, in the upper 
part of the posts d d ; f, a hank formed of spruce-pine or 
juniper boughs, in which the drop c rests ; K, a small 
wooden pin, inserted in the upper part of the hank /, 
and resting against the stick e e ; M, a pin inserted at about 
a foot from the ground, in one of the posts d, its outer end 
resting in a notch N in the inner side of the opposite post d ; 
o is a brass wire, previously glodgad that is, exposed to 
the flames, as well to discolour it, as to render it more 
ductile one end of which is fastened to the pin M, near 
to the notch N, and the other to one of the posts g; a 
second wire, attached to the lower end of the small pin K, is 
securely fixed to the middle of the pin M. 

When, therefore, the wolf breasts the wire o and no 
beast of any size can pass under the drop c without so 
doing the pin M is pulled out of the notch N ; as a 
consequence, the pin K is released, and turning upwards, 
liberates the hank / and the weighted drop-log, which 
descends instantaneously, and crushes the animal. 

With this, as with several other similar devices for the 

K K 2 


destruction of wild beasts, it is always desirable to run a 
Slap, consisting of a roasted cat, or some such savoury morsel, 
about the surrounding country, and thence to the immediate 
vicinity of the trap, thereby to draw the wolves towards 
the spot. 

Wolves are also frequently captured by means of the 
Varg-krok, or wolf-hook, gillrad in a similar manner to 
that for the fox, of which mention is made in the chapter 
treating of that animal. At times, also, as regards Lapland 
at least, the wolf is taken by means of snares, of which 
more hereafter. 

Though many and various be the devices adopted in 
Scandinavia for the destruction of the wolf and other noxious 
animals, none exceed in ingenuity the employment of 
Knall-silfver, or fulminating-powder. This deadly prepa- 
ration, after being duly protected from injury, is carefully 
introduced into the leg or thigh bone of a fresh-killed calf 
or sheep, from which the marrow has been first extracted. 
Afterwards the bone is placed in a part of the forest where 
the wolf is known to haunt, and when the beast begins to 
gnaw it, an instant explosion takes place, and his head, as a 
consequence, is blown to atoms ! 

More wolves, however, are probably destroyed by poison 
than by any other means. Arsenic is that in most general 
use; but from its causing almost immediate sickness, and 
from wolves and foxes being often able to throw it up again, 
many give the preference to nux-vomica called in Sweden 
Raf-kaka, or fox-cake which is without smell, and does not 
provoke vomiting ; it has the disadvantage of a bitter taste, 
however, which doubtless prevents many animals from par- 


taking of it. And poison would seem to be administered in 
powerful doses, for one often hears of wolves being found 
dead either on the very spot, or immediately near to it, 
where it was swallowed. 

M. , when speaking of the properties of the 

several poisons, says : " One winter I opened the breast of 
a sparrow, and introduced one-eighth of an ounce of white 
arsenic (arsenious acid) into the crop, after which the aperture 
was drawn together, and the bird laid out to be frozen. The 
following night it was devoured by a fox ; and on pursuing 
his track the next day, it was found he had not gone more 
than two hundred paces from the spot where he had eaten it 
before he began to retch. He seemed to have suffered 
greatly; for he had sometimes lain down and vomited, 
and at others crawled on a few paces. At length the 
sickness had ceased, and so far as I was able to follow 
the track, his steps seemed to become steadier and 
steadier. Some nights subsequently I laid out another 
small bird similarly prepared, though with a very much 
stronger dose say three-eighths of an ounce of the same 
description of arsenic, which was likewise eaten up, and, 
as I believe, by the very same fox. This time he had 
been seized with immediate and severe vomiting, and also 
with violent evacuations ; for the feet and other remains of 
a hare which he had a little before devoured, had passed his 
stomach undigested, and were now found to be altogether 
powdered with arsenic. I conceived, in consequence, that 
Michel* had made his last meal; but, to my great astonish- 
ment, he had neither lain down so often, nor retched so long 
* The nickname of the fox, as Nalle for the bear. 


as the first time, before he again recovered; so that all 
attempts at pursuit were useless. Once more I tried a 
similar experiment on a fox with a considerable portion of 
pure arsenic acid, evaporated to dryness, and afterwards 
pulverized, which is a much stronger poison than arsenious 
acid, and which, moreover, can easily be dissolved in fluids ; 
but even this time, and after well clearing out his stomach, 
Michel went his way. 

" The horse, or other animal, whose carcase is to be 

poisoned," M. farther tells us, " is killed in such wise 

that the blood is not lost. With the exception of a strip of 
the breadth of one's hand, running the whole length of the 
back, the skin is then taken off ; and after deep incisions have 
been made everywhere in the flesh with a knife, the poison 
is well rubbed into the whole body as well inwardly as out- 
wardly. This matter accomplished, the skin is once more 
drawn to its place and sewn together. The carcase is then 
laid for several days together in some warm place such as 
a dunghill, where it is covered with straw in order that 
the poison may be thoroughly disseminated throughout the 
entire body and entrails. When it has been thus duly 
prepared, it is exposed in a spot known to be haunted by 
wolves : in preference, on an eminence, free from boulders, 
trees, bushes, &c., as such may excite suspicion on the part 
of wild beasts. Gloves should be worn whilst handling 
the carcase, and these, as well as the sledge on which it 
is conveyed in short, everything with which it comes in 
contact must be sprinkled with the urine of horses or 
cattle, mixed with the Soft, or juice from fresh horse-dung. 
Fresh horse-dung must also be strewed, as well at the 


bottom of the sledge, as on the spot where the carcase is 
deposited. When all is in order, the entrails, &c., of 
animals that have not been poisoned, are strewed around. 
No one afterwards must go within one hundred paces of 
the Luder-plats in common shoes, unless wrapped round 
with pieces of old and clean linen, containing a portion of 
fresh horse-dung ; but he must either ride or use Skidor ; and 
one must be specially careful not to spit, or commit other 
uncleanness near to the spot. A Slap, consisting of any 
kind of rotten flesh, or what is better, the hind- quarters of a 
recently-skinned female wolf, should be trailed after a sledge 
everywhere in the neighbourhood." 

In many districts certain individuals on receiving a trifling 
remuneration, which is levied as a tax on the inhabitants, 
take upon themselves the office of poisoning the wolves and 
other wild beasts, and for this purpose cause the carcases of 
animals, prepared somewhat as described, to be laid out every 
here and there in the forest. Such was the case at Sollebrunn, 
situated, as said, some twenty miles to the south of Ronnum. 
One winter, when passing through that village, I remember 
seeing two wolves which had just been picked up dead near 
to the Luder-plats, and were then lying before the house of 
the post-master, who was at that time the public exter- 

Fortunately, poison is seldom exposed excepting in the 
winter time; but in the districts where it is resorted to, 
English sportsmen will do well to bear in mind that dogs at 
all seasons of the year run some risk. For, though only 
bleached bones may remain at the Luder-plats, or in the 
vicinity wolves and other animals often drawing them a 


considerable distance the venom sometimes remains em- 
bedded in them for a long while afterwards. 

We read, for instance, that : " At the hamlet of Talle and 
parish of Hardemo, in the province of Orebro, a carcase had 
been so strongly impregnated with poison, that the wild beasts 
shunned it altogether. In the spring it was buried, but some 
bones belonging to it having been overlooked, were cast upon 
the roof of a neighbouring house, where they remained ex- 
posed to the rays of the sun the whole of the summer. The 
following winter there was a great fall of snow, and a drift 
of such height was formed near to the side of the building, 
that a hungry fox arriving there one cold night, easily 
mounted on the roof, and digging up the bones, com- 
menced gnawing them ; but the poison affected him 
so powerfully, that the following morning he was found 
lying dead on the spot where he had been eating. From 
the appearance of the snow, it did not seem as if he had 
rolled about or suffered in any manner ; but, on the 
contrary, he still retained the half-eaten bones between his 
fore paws." 

Independently of the innumerable devices of man to 
cause his destruction, the wolf is sometimes his own 

" Two years ago," says Lieutenant C. G. Jack, " a wolf in 
the parish of Western Fernebo made captive of himself in a 
very singular manner. He was found hanging between 
the stems of two fir-trees growing out of one and the same 
root, but which, separating at some feet from the ground, 
formed a Klyka, or fork. The probability is, that whilst 
pursuing a cat, a martin, or a squirrel that had taken refuge 


in the tree, he had, in his efforts to catch his prey, made a 
great leap, and in his fall got thus fixed. A spruce pine of 
nearly six inches in diameter, growing close at hand, was 
nearly bitten through hy the beast whilst thus imprisoned. 
The people in the village stated they had heard for some 
considerable time a sort of plaintive howling in the forest, 
but no one would take the trouble to ascertain the cause, 
which was not found out until some time afterwards, when 
the herd- boy accidentally discovered the carcase suspended 
in the manner described." 

VOL. i. L L 



As it may interest the Faculty, I here subjoin some re- 
marks on the Cholera, with which I have been favoured by 
a highly talented medical friend of mine, who had ample 
opportunities of studying the malady in all its phases, as well 
in Stockholm, as Gothenburg : 

" In most cases the attacks were preceded by premonitory 
symptoms. The more usual were a sense of fulness in the 
epigastric region, and a slight diarrhoea. 

"The disease itself was generally ushered in by copious 
rice water-like alvine dejections, sometimes accompanied by 
vomiting ; pain at the pit of the stomach which eventually 
became excruciating, and constant thirst succeeded, with an 
intense desire for cold drinks ; after a short time, cramps in 
the extremities supervened, which were very painful and of 
long duration. 

" After two or three, or at most six hours of diarrhoea 
and cramps, the symptoms of collapse commenced. The 
skin became cold to the touch, and of a bluish tint ; the 
features contracted ; the eyes deeply sunk, and bloodshot ; 
the tongue, then generally of a bright red colour, felt cold, 


as did the breath at a more advanced stage of the disease ; 
the pulse was quick, and when the collapse was fairly set in, 
hardly perceptible ; the patients were quite sensible ; and 
during the cessation of the cramps, generally calm. The 
greatest number of deaths took place in this stage. 

" In those cases in which dissolution did not ensue during 
collapse, the patients either recovered by a remission of the 
symptoms, or a subsequent stage manifested itself, marked 
by great febrile reaction, severe headaches, delirium, dryness 
of the tongue, and pain at the pit of the stomach, which 
proved fatal^in many instances. 

" The morbid appearances after death, were : congestion 
of the blood-vessels in the brain, the sinuses being in all 
cases literally gorged with blood in a fluid state ; in many 
instances exudation of limpid serum into the arachnoid 
membrane, and between that and the pia mater ; the lungs, 
particularly at the back, congested ; the heart flaccid ; fluid 
blood in the right cavities, the left empty ; the stomach and 
intestines pale, containing fluid resembling the alvine excre- 
tions. In all cases the gall-bladder was distended almost 
to bursting with concentrated bile. No bile observed in 
the duodenum. The bladder contained scarcely any fluid. 
The secretion of urine seemed to be suppressed in almost 
all patients. 

" Those that came under medical treatment at an early 
stage, with diarrhoea, and other premonitory symptoms, were, 
with few exceptions, cured. The remedies consisted of an 
emetic ; if the tongue was foul, a dose of castor-oil was given, 
and afterwards rhubarb, with some bitter or aromatic infusion, 
and small doses of laudanum. The diet was reduced to 
farinaceous food. 


" The principal methods of treatment, after the disease was 
fully established, were : bleedings, emetics, Steven s's saline 
mixture, camphor this last was at one time in great 
request calomel one grain every five minutes, cold affu- 
sions, frictions with spirits of camphor, and insertion between 
feather beds to provoke perspiration. Although these were 
the means in most frequent use, I am pretty sure there 
were few preparations in the pharmacopoeia which were left 

" When the reaction after collapse had set in, with fever, 
headache, and delirium, it was treated by general or local 
abstraction of blood, gentle laxatives, calomel, and opium, and 
general antiphlogistic regimen. 

"During convalescence, tonics and bitter infusions were 

" But after all, as regards treatment, my opinion is, that 
we know just as little now as we did before the disease broke 
out. The fact is, that in the beginning nothing succeeded, 
and at last everything answered well. It is my belief that 
during the first fourteen days after the appearance of the 
cholera in any place, two out of three cases were fatal; 
whilst at an after-period the recoveries were infinitely more 
numerous in proportion. The only remedy that seemed to 
have a marked influence on the disease was bleeding ; 
although, when collapse was fairly established, from the 
blood having assumed a tar-like consistency, it was of less 

" Owing to the want of authentic reports from different 
parts of the country, it is impossible to state with accuracy 
the number of cases, and the proportion of deaths. In some 
reports it is quite evident that all cases even those which 


only showed premonitory symptoms have been included. 
In others, those alone have been noted in which the cholera 
itself was fully developed. This is the only way to explain 
the discrepancies. For example, from one town it is reported 
that out of one thousand two hundred cases, only one 
hundred and ninety had terminated fatally ; from the navy 
yard at Gothenburg, on the contrary, out of one hundred 
and seven cases sent to the hospital, sixty-three died. And 
the results were similar in the establishment superintended by 
me in Stockholm, where out of two hundred patients ninety- 
nine were lost." 



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