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The anecdote we are about relate will show the way in which the love of such pursuits affected a young and friendless Swede, who, like another Linnæus, prosecuted his scientific researches with unabated ardour, in the midst of every disadvantage.
At Tornea, at the northern extremity of the gulf of Bothnia, Dr. Clarke, the celebrated traveller, met with this interesting youth, of whom he gives the following account:
“ We had sent to the apothecary of the place for a few jars of the conserved berries of the Rubus articus. They were brought by a boy without either shoes or stockings, who, having executed his master's orders, began to cast a longing eye towards the books of plants which we were engaged in turning over, being then busied in arranging our specimens, when, to our astonishment, he named every one of them as fast as they appeared, giving to each of them, with great accuracy, its Linnean appellation. This extraordinary youth, with whom we soon became better acquainted, was the dutiful son of a poor widow named Pyppon, living at Uleaborg, who, having bestowed upon her child the best education her circumstances could afford, had placed him as an apprentice to this apothecary. The apothecary had himself a turn for natural history, but did not choose that his little pupil should quit the pestle and mortar for the pursuits of botany and entomology: ‘it interrupted,' as he said, and perhaps very truly, 'the business of his shop.' The consequence was, that this young Linnæus carried on his studies unknown to his master, concealing his books and plants, and rising every morning before three o'clock, that he might snatch a few stolen hours from the duties of his profession, and dedicate them to enquiries which had already qualified him to become his master's instructor. If he found in his bare-footed rambles a new plant or a new insect, he was compelled to hide it in his hat, and thus bear it to his hidden museum. It fell out, however, that his master discovered his boxes of insects; and these he afterwards allowed him to place in the shop, because they attracted the notice of customers, and gratified his master's vanity, who always exhibited them as of his own collecting. They had been thus exhibited to us. This curious example of the power of genius rising superior to all circumstances, and overwhelming every obstacle, in one so young and friendless, induced us to take some pains in prevailing upon his master to allow a free scope to the bent of his inclination; and many were the pretences upon which we sent to the shop, that our young philosopher might be made. happy by bringing what was required. Upon one of these occasions, we told him that a plant rather rare, the Sonchus Sibiricus, was said to grow in the neighbourhood of Tornea, but that we had failed in our endeavours to find it. The words were scarcely uttered, when he ran off as fast as his legs could carry him, and soon returned, having in his hand two or three specimens of the plant."
Before the travellers left Tornea they presented young Pyppon with some English needles for his insects, and a few other trifles, with which he considered himself possessed of great treasure; and in order to pay him the last attention in their power, they prevailed on the apothecary to allow him to accompany them to the fair at Kiemi, a place of great resort for the the inhabitants of the north of Sweden. Of this journey, and the parting scene, Dr. Clark gives the following description:
" If our horses had been gifted with Pegasian wings, they would not have flown fast enough for our young companion; so eager was he to reach Kiemi, and for once enjoy unrestrained liberty. During six years, with the exception only of his summer morning scampers after a plant or an insect, he had never been further from the shop than his master's door, or the limits of his court-yard. In this
manner, with the most buoyant spirits, he took his seat in our waggon; making his appearance, for the first time, with a coat on, and his feet and legs clad in shoes and stockings, that he might seem dressed for the occasion; but complaining shortly after, of the confinement and heat his holiday-suit occasioned, he begged permission to divest himself of the encumbrance.
“ Arrived at Kiemi, we found the place resounding with the shouts of stragglers from the fair. The next morning we waited on the clergyman, and saw his well-selected herbarium. We then conducted young Pyppon to the fair upon the island off the town. Here we saw assembled almost all the Tornea merchants, and accordingly we took leave of our friends. A consciousness of the many pleasant hours we had passed together, added to the thoughts of never meeting again, depressed our spirits, casting a gloom over the otherwise gay scene which was here exhibited. When we returned back to the ferry we had another melancholy separation from little Pyppon, whose attachment to us would not allow of his remaining without us, even among his acquaintance: he therefore accompanied us to the other side. His request, when we asked him what we might send him from England, will add another trait to the sketch we have given of his character. If you should remember me,' said he, when you arrive in your own country, send me Drosera longifolia: I am told it is a common plant in England.'
“ We then shook hands and parted. The boy, shedding abundance of tears, set out for Tornea, and we gained the main road leading to Uleaborg."
Dr. Clarke's Travels in Scandinavia.
Verbena officinalis. Vervain. Simpler's joy.
Didynamia Gymnospermia. Spikes thread-shaped, panicled. Leaves with many jagged
clefts. Stem solitary.
Lower leaves deeply lobed and jagged; the upper, three-cleft
or simple. Stem nearly four-cornered. Flowering branches in opposite pairs. Floral leaves spear-shaped. Calyx one of the teeth much smaller and shorter than the rest, but not lopped; angles hairy. Blossom-tube fringed at the top with hairs ; mouth with two lips, the upper cloven into two, the lower into three nearly equal segments; purplish. Stamens four, two of them longer. Seeds four. Withering.