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pieces, and bring them home : the smell of these thips is almost insufferable. Every fish is computed to yield between 60 and 100 barrels of oil, of the value of 31. or Hl. a barrel. Though the Danes claim the country of East and West Greenland, where there whales are taken, the Dutch have in a manner monopolised this fishery. Of late the English have alla bewa very successful in it.
ICELAND. THIS island, which receives its name from the great maffes of ice that are seen near it, lies between 63 and 67 deg. N. lat. and between 11 and 27 deg. W. long. It extends four hundred miles in length, and a hundred and fixty in breadth, containing about 46,000 square miles. In April, 1783, the inhabitants of Iceland observed something rising and faming in the sea, to the south of Grinbourg, at eight miles distance from the rocks des Oileaux, which afterwards was found to be a new iland. The dimenfions and situation of this island are not well ascertained ; but according to some late information it was still increasing, and great quantities of fire itsued from two of its eminences.
POPULATION, INHABITANTS, MANNERS, AND CƯSTOM.] It ap. pears that a Norwegian colony, among which there were many Swedes, fettled in Iceland in the ninth century. They found there inhabitants who were Chriftians, and whom they called Papas. It is said that the Norwegians also found among them Irish books, bells, and crosiers : and it is conjectured that the people who were there when the Norwegians arrived in the island, originally came from England and Ireland. "The inhabitants long retained their freedom; but they were at last obliged to fubmit to the kings of Norway, and afterward became subject, together with Norway, to the kings of Denmark. They were at first governed by an admiral, who was sent there every year to make the necessary regula. tions ; but that mode has now been changed for many years, and a governor appointed, who is styled Stiftsamtwann, and who constantly resides in the country.
The number of inhabitants in Iceland is computed at about 60,000, which is by no means adequate to the extent of the country. It has been much more populous in former times ; but great numbers have been deftroyed by contagious diseases. The plague carried off many thousands from 1402 to 1404. Many parts of Iceland have also been depopulated by famine ; for though the Icelanders cannot in general be said to be in want of necessary food, yet the country has several times been visited by great famines. These have been chiefly occasioned by the Greenland float. ing ice, which, when it comes in great quantities, prevents the grass from growing, and puts an entire stop to their fishing. The small-pox has likewise been very fatal here ; for in the years 1707 and 1708 that diseafe dcz ftroyed 16,000 persons.
The Icelanders in general are middle-lized and well made, though not very strong. They are an honest, well-intentioned people, moderately induftrious, and are very faithful and obliging. Theft is seldom heard of among them. They are much inclined to hospitality, and exercise it as far as their poverty will permit. Their chief employment is attending to fishing and the care of their cattle. On the coasts the men employ their time in fifhing both winter and summer; and the women prepare the fish, and few and spin. The men alto prepare leather, work at several mechanis trades, and some few work in gold and Alver. They likewile
manufacture a coarse kind of cloth, which they call Wadmal. They have an uncommonly strong attachment to their native country, and think themselves no where else so happy. An Icelander, therefore, feldom fettles in Copenhagen, though the most advantageous conditions should be offered him. Their dispositions are serious, and they are much inclined to religion. They never pass a river, or any other dangerous place, without previously taking off their hats, and imploring the divine protection : and they are always thankful for their preservation when they have passed the danger. When they meet together, their chief pastime confifts in reading their history. The master of the house begins, and the rest continue in their turns when he is tired. They are famous for playing at chess; and one of their pastimes consists in reciting verses. Sometimes a man and woman take one another by the hand, and by turns sing ftanzas, which are a kind of dialogue, and in which the company occationally join in chorus. The dress of the Icelanders is not elegant or ornamental, but is neat, cleanly, and suited to the climate. On their fingers the women wear several gold, silver, or brass rings. The poorer women dress in the coarse cloth called Wadmal, and always wear black; those who are in better circumstances wear broad-cloth, with silver ornaments, gilt. The houses of the Icelanders are generally bad : in some places they are built of drift wood, and in others they are raised of lava, with moss stuffed between the lava. Their roofs are covered with fods laid over rafters, or sometimes over ribs of whales, which are both more durable and less expensive than wood. They have not even a chimney in their kitchens, but only lay their fuel on the hearth, between three stones, and the sinoke itlues from a square hole in the roof. Their food principally consists of dried fish, four butter, which they consider as a great dainty, milk mixed with water and whey, and a little meat. Bread is so scarce among them, that there is hardly any peatant who eats it above three or four months in
RELIGION.] The only religion tolerated in Iceland is the Lutheran. The churches in the cast, fouth, and west quarters of the island, are under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Skalholt (the capital of the island), and those of the north quarter are subject to the bishop of Hoolum. The island is divided into 189 parishes, of which 127 belong to the fee of Skalholt, and 63 to that of Hoolum. All the ministers are natives of Iceland, and receive a yearly salary of four or five hundred rix-dollars from the king, ex. clusive of what they have from their congregations.
LANGUAGE.] The language in Iceland is the same as that formerly spoken in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, and has been preserved to pure, that any Icelander understands their most ancient traditional histories. LEARNIXG AND LEARNED MEN.
.] It is faid that poetry formerly Hourithed very much in Iceland ; and we are informed thai Egil Skallagrimfon, Kormack Ormundson, Glum Geirson, and Thorlief Jarlaa, were celebrated as great poets. But the art of writing was not much in use till after the year 1000; though the Runic characters were known in that country before that period, and mofi probably brought thither from Norway. After the reception of the Chriftian religion, the Latin characters were immediately adopted, as the Runic alphabet, which only confifts of sixteen letters, was found insufficient. The first Icelandith bishop, Ifleif, founded a 1chool at Skalholt; and soon after four other schools were founded, in which the youth were instructed in the Latin tongue, divi. nity, and some parts of theoretic philosophy. From the introduction of the Christian religion here till the year 1204, when Iceland became subject to
Norway, it was one of the few countries in Europe, and the only one in the North, wherein the sciences were cultivated and held in esteem.
But this period of time seems to have produced more learned men in Iceland than any other period since. It appears from their ancient chronicles, that they had considerable knowledge in morality, philosophy, natural history, and astronomy. Most of their works were written in the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries; and some of them have been printed. Mr. Banks, now fir Joseph Banks, presented one hundred and fixty-two Icelandish manuscripts to the British Museum. That gentleman visited Iceland in 1772, accompanied by Dr. Solander, Dr. Var: Troi?, and Dr. Lind. Dr. Van Troil, who published an account of their voyage, observes, that he found more knowledge among the lower class in Iceland than is to be met with in most other places; that many of them could repeat the works of some of their poets by heart; and that a peasant was feldom to be found, who, besides being well instructed in the principles of religioa, was not also acquainted with the history of his own country; which proceeds from the frequent reading of their traditional histories, that being one of their principal amusements.
John Arefon, bishop of Hoolum, employed John Matthieffon, a native of Sweden, in establishing a printing press in Iceland about the year 1530; and the first book printed by him there was the Breviarium Nidarosiense. He also printed an ecclefiaftical manual, Luther's catechism, and other books of that kind. The Icelandic code of laws appeared in 1578, and the Icelandic Bible in 1584. A new privileged printing-office has lately been established at Hrappsey in this island, at which several valuable books have been printed.
MOUNTAINS, VOLCANOES, AND NATURAL CURIOSITIES.) Though this illand is situated so far to the north, earthquakes and yolcanoes are more known than in many countries in much warmer climates. The former have several times laid the country almost defolate, particularly in the years 1734, 1752, and 1755, when fiery eruptions broke out of the earth and produced very fatal effects. Many of the snowy mountains have also gradually become volcanoes. Of these burning mountains, Heckla is most known to foreigners. This mountain is situated in the southern part of the island, about four miles from the fea-coatt, and is divided into three points at the top, the highest of which is that in the middle, which is computed to be above 5000 feet higher than the sea. This mountain has frequently sent forth flames, and a torrent of burning matter. Its eruptions were particularly dreadful in 1693, when they occafioned terrible devallations, the alhes being thrown all round the ifland to the distance of 130 English miles. An eruption of Mount Heckla happened in 1766. It began on the 5th of April, and continued to the 7th of September following. Flames proceeded from the mountain in December 1771, and 1772 ; but no streams of lava.
But the greatest of the eruptions of Iceland, and, in fact, the most tremendous of any recorded in history, was that in 1783, which, we are affured, on the authority of Mr. Pennant, extended ninety-four miles in length and fifty in breadth, dried up twelve rivers, and overwhelmed not only all the villages it found in its way, but likewise many hills. The perpendicular height of the fides of this current was from eighty to a hundred feet, so that the entire surface of the country was in a state of fluidity, and formed a lake of fire, resembling a mass of melted metal.
Among the curiosities of Iceland, none are more worthy of attention than the hot spouting water-springs, with which this island abounds. The hot springs of Aix-la-Chapelle, Carlsbad, Bath, and Switzerland, and several others found in Italy, are considered as very remarkable ; bat, excepting in the last-mentioned country, the water no where becomes to hot as to boil; nor is it any where known to be thrown so high as the hot spouting water-springs in Iceland. All those water-works that have been contrived with so much art, and at fo enormous an expense, cannot by any means be compared with these. The water-works at St. Cloud, which are thought the greatest among all the French water-works, caft up a thin column eighty feet in the air; while some springs in Iceland fpont columns of water, of several feet in thickness, to the height, as many affirm, of several hundred feet. These springs are of an unequal degree of heat. From some, the water flows gently as from other springs, and it is then called a bath : from others, boiling water spouts with great noise, and it is then called a kettle. Though the degree of heat is unequal, yet Dr. Van Troil lays that he does not remember ever to have observed it under 188 of Fahrenheit's thermometer. At Geyler, Reynum, and Laugarvatn, he found it at 212 (the boiling heat); and in the laft place, in the ground, at a little hot current of water, 213 degrees. It is very common for fome of the spouting-Iprings to cease, and others to rita up in their stead. Frequent earthquakes, and subterranean noites, heard at the time, cause great terror to the people who live in the neighbourhood. In several of these hot springs, the inhabitants who live neas them boil their victuals, only by hanging a pot, into which the flesh is put in cold water, in the water of the spring. They also bathe in the rivulets that run from them, which by degrees become lukewarm, or are cooled by their being mixed with rivulets of cold water. The cows that drink of'thefe fprings are said to yield an extraordinary quantity of milk; and they are likewise esteemed very wholesome when drauk by the human fpecies.
The largest of all the spouting-springs in Iceland is called Geyser. It is about two days journey from Heckla, and not far from Skalholt. In
approaching towards it, a loud roaring noise is heard, like the rushing of a torrent, precipitating itself from stupendous rocks. The water here ipouts several times a-day, but always by 11.1ts, and after certain intervals. Sumne travellers have affirmed that it spouts to the height of fixty fathoms. The water is thrown up much higher at some times than at others; when Dr. Van Troil was there, the utmost height to which it mounted was computed to be 92 feet.
Basaltine pillars are likewise very common in Iceland, which are supposed to have been produced by lubterraneous fires. The lower sort of people imagine these pillars to have been piled upon one another by giants, who made use of fupernatural force to effect it. They have generally from three to leven lides, and are from four to seven feet in thickness, and from twelve to sixteen yards in length, without any horizontal divifions. In tome places they are only seen here and there among the lava in the mountains : but, in some other places, they extend two or three miles in length without interruption.
There are immense masses of ice, hy which, every year, great damage is done to this country, and which attect the climate of it; they arrive cominonly with a N. W. or N. N. W. wind from Greenland. The field ice is of two or three fathoms thickness, is separated by the winds, and leis dreaded than the rock or mountain ice, which is otien seen fifty and more feet above water, and is at least nine times the same depth below water. These prodigious mailes of ice are frequently left in thoal water, fixed, as it were, to the ground, and in that state remain many months, nay, it is said, even years, unditfolved, chilling all the ambient part of the almosphere for many miies round. When many luch lotty and bulky
masses of ice are floating together, the wood that is often drifted along between them is so much chafed, and preffed with such violence together, that it takes fire; which circumstance has occasioned fabulous accounts of the ice being in Hames. The ice caused fo violent a cold in 1753 and 1754, that many horfes and sheep were killed by it; and, through want of food, horses were observed to feed upon dead cattle, and the sheep to eat of each other's wool. A number of bears arrive yearly with the ice, which commit great ravages, particularly among the sheep. The Icelanders attempt to destroy these intruders as soon as they get light of them: and sometimes they assemble together, and drive them back to the ice, with which they often float off again. For want of fire-arms, they are obliged to make use of spears on these occasions. The government encourages the natives to destroy these animals, by paying a premium of ter dollars for every bear that is killed. Their skins are also purchased for the king, and are not allowed to be sold to any other person.
It is extraordinary that trees do not thrive in Iceland; nay, there are very few to be found in the whole island, though there are certain proofs that wood formerly grew there in great abundance. Nor can corn be cultivated here to any advantage; though cabbages, parsley, turnips, and peas, may be met with in five or fix gardens, which are said to be all that are in the whole illand.
Trade.) The commerce of this ifland is monopolised by a Danish company. The soil upon the fea-coaft is tolerably good for pafture : and though there is not any considerable town in the whole island, the Icelanders have several frequented ports. Their exports consist of dried fish, falted mutton and lamb, beef, butter, tallow, train-oil, coarse woollen cloths, stockings, gloves, raw wool, sheep-fkins, lamb-Ikins, fox-furs of various colours, eider-down, and feathers. Their imports confift of timber, fishinglines and hooks, tobacco, bread, horse-lhoes, brandy, wine, salt, linen, and a little filk, exclusive of fome necessaries and supertuities for the more wealthy.
STRENGTH AND REVENUE.) As Iceland affords no incitement for avasice or ambition, the inhabitants depend entirely upon his Danith majetiy's protection; and the revenue he draws from the country amounts to about 30,000 crowns a year.
THE FARO OR FERRO ISLANDS, So called from their dying in a cluster, and the inhabitants ferrying from
one itland to another. They are about 24 in number, and lie between 61 and 63 deg. N. lat. and o‘and 7 deg. W. long. from London. The space of this clutter extends about 60 iniles in length and 40 in breadth, 300 miles to the westward of Norway; having Shetland and the Orkneys on the south-east, and Greenland and Iceland upon the north and northweft. The trade and income of the inhabitants, who may be about 4000 or 3000, add little or notking to the revenues of Denmark.
THE natural fignification of Norway is,
the Northern-way. It is bounded on the south by the entrance into the Baltic, called the Scaggerac, or Categate; on the weft and north by the Northern Ocean; and on the east is die vided from Sweden by a long ridge of mountains, called at different parts by diferent names; as Fillefield, Dofrefield, Runfield, and Dourfield.