From their government they derive just sufficient assistance to prevent them from losing the little degree of civilisation which they have attained. The population in 1782 amounted to 4409. The revenue in 1790, to 3172 rix dollars;* it arises from the royal domains, quit rents, and taxes; the latter are light, and the greater part of all is paid in produce; only the wool which is thus paid, is sold at a low price to the poor at Thorshavn (the capital of the largest isle) to prevent a scarcity of it. Their ecclesiastical establishment is proportionately inexpensive. The islands are divided, or rather clustered, into seven parishes, composed of thirty nine congregations, each having its church. The yearly revenue of each church amounts, in general, from ten to twenty rix dollars; so that the income of the greatest pluralist does not exceed five and twenty pounds. And here, indeed, the labourer may truly be said to be worthy of his hire. The long journeys which the clergyman must undertake are equally difficult and laborious. There is no carriage road; in many places the country is so craggy, that it is impossible to ride; and in all places the snow, early in autumn and late in spring, renders it impracticable. In one parish, the church path (though always the best, and often the only road in these islands) is so steep and narrow, that at funerals the corpse is fastened to a board, and carried upon men's shoulders. At one island it is necessary to hoist the clergyman by a rope from his boat, there being no other means of landing. On those Sundays when the clergyman does not attend, the parishioners meet at church, where one of them officiates, and reads a printed sermon. There is not a single school or schoolmaster throughout all the islands. Parents instruct their children themselves; and if at any time they have not leisure, a

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vation of religious ceremonies. This is to be attributed to their habits of humble and laborious life; partly, also, it must be ascribed to their situation, their climate, and their perilous employments in fishing and, fowling. Being familiar with danger, they are associated, as it were, with the elements, and with the forms of nature. Under like circumstances, the savage and the sailor become superstitious, because they are uninstructed. The Feroese, like the Scotch, have their pastor and their bible; and, therefore, faith, which is an appetite of the human mind, finds its proper food. “In regard to the mental qualities of these people,” says Landt, “they are much more ingenious than might be expected, in so insulated an abode. But if, in this respect, they surpass the inhabitants of a great part of other Danish provinces (which, however, he adds, I am far from asserting) they are certainly indebted for this advantage to their state of freedom, and the little restraint they are under in conversing with each other.” The writer here shows, imperfectly, his opinion, that the Feroese are in general superiour to the Danes, though he does not think fit to assert it in Denmark; and he has assigned the true cause; they are a freer people. They reckon readily by head, summing up even fractions with facility. Ma

• The rix dollar is about four shillings.

ny of them are good chess players. Their practical knowledge of astronomy is such, that in clear weather they can determine by the stars the hour of the night. One of their methods of dividing time is peculiar to themselves. They reckon the day and night by eight ökter, of three hours each; these again are reduced into half Čkters, and they name them according to the point of the compass, on which the sun is at the time. Thus east northeast is half past four in the morning; east is six; east southeast, half past seven. Landt says that Ökt is certainly a corruption of vike, a week; but as the week consists of seven days, the derivation is surely untenable, and 5kt may obviously be rendered an eighth. The Feroese are a sober people, though, like all inhabitants of high northern latitudes, they are fond of strong liquors. Even at their weddings, they seldom drink to intoxication; but in their places of trade, communication with the Danes has corrupted their own simple manners. The men dress plainly; the women are covetous of foreign ornaments. Since the time of Eve, the tempter has changed his lure, and baits for the vanity, not the appetite of the sex. Landt praises the honesty of the people, and especially in cases of shipwreck. They claim a third of what they save as salvage; but they exert themselves to the utmost to save as much as possible from the wreck; never secrete any part of it; take the sailors into their houses; maintain them at free cost, and give them money at their departure. The pastor will not admit that his flock are addicted to any other faults than talkativeness, a little envy of their wealthier neighbours, and a little idleness. It is curious that the gout should be found among their diseases. The Scotch regard it as a fit punishment for the luxurious living of the English; and yet it exists among these poor

and temperate islanders. The author attributes it to their imprudence in throwing themselves on their beds to rest, without pulling off their clothes, when they come home wet. He says, also, that the excessive heat of their apartments, and the bad custom of sitting close to the fire, dispose them to be goutish, when exposed to the least cold or sharpness of the wind. Malignant, catarrhal fevers commonly attack all the inhabitants without exception, on sudden changes of the weather, especially in autumn and spring. Foreigners who settle in Feroe are generally free from this disease during the first two years. It is prevalent in Iceland also; but more so in the interiour than along the shores. Leprosy was once very common. It has now almost totally disappeared. A fact, which, in this instance, cannot be accounted for by any change of habits. The stone is more common than in other countries, and frequently proves fatal. Landt inquires whether it may not be occasioned by eating bread baked in the ashes, a portion of which necessarily adheres to the crust. The most singular disease among them shows itself in a great many small bladders, surrounded with a red ring. It is remedied by bathing them with a decoction of ground liverwort, or by fumigating the part with conferva, first dried, and then placed on burning coals. But when these blisters spread over the whole body they prove mortal. Some superstition is mingled with most of their modes of cure. They have, however, one remedy, which is singularly rude. When the uvula falls down, they cut off a portion of it, and no other bad effect has been experienced from the operation than a continual hoarseness. It is fully believed by old people in these islands, that the sun and moon rise to a greater altitude than they did formerly. There are villages where the sun is never seen during some of the winter months; and where, of course, the day on which he begins to be visible is exactly known; but, in 1798, they say, it was seen two days earlier than it ought to have been. Landt leaves the cause of this phenomenon, if it be, indeed, truly represented, to be investigated by astronomers. The change, however, is too great and too sudden to be possible; and, as the question is, whether these Feroese were, in this instance, inaccurate observers, or the sun was irregular in his course, such an alternative admits of little hesitation. It has not been observed here as it has in the Zetlands, that the northern lights are less frequent than they were formerly. The winds are tremendous. They descend from the hills to the shore; raise clouds of sand, and sweep them along the bays and creeks; sometimes they impel large stones, which are lying on the hills, and roll them forward like balls. Landt, even affirms, that they tear the turf from the sides of the hills; roll it together like a sheet of lead, and precipitate it into the valleys. Another instance of their vehemence, which he positively asserts, is, that frequently on the west side of Skoelling, the highest mountain in the whole group, the wind forces out huge masses of the projecting rocks, which fall down, emitting flames and smoke. The translator perceives the improbability of this account, and endeavours to explain it, by saying: “It is possible that sparks, elicited by the collision of the falling mass against the rocks, may set fire to some sulphurous, or other imflammable matter;” but we know of no inflammable matter among nature’s preparations, which can thus easily be ignited. It is hardly a more plausible supposition to suspect that they may be volcanick appearances; for these could scarcely exist without unequivocal proofs of their nature. There is, however, no solution which we should so un

willingly admit, as that of imputing direct falsehood to an author whose work every where bears marks of well meaning, and to whom no possible motive can be ascribed for deviating, in this instance, from his usual veracity. o During these wind storms, travellers are in great danger. As soon as they hear the hurricane bellowing among the hills, if on horseback, they immediately dismount; if on foot, they fall flat on the earth, to avoid being thrown down, and perhaps dashed to pieces. It is not said whether these storms are preceded by any appearances like those before the helm wind of Crossfell, a phenomenon which they seem to resemble, both in the violence of their effects, and in beginning upon the heights. Before one of these hurricanes, a cracking and crashing is heard in the houses, as if they were about to tumble down; such is the pressure of the air. The inhabitants, when they take the alarm in time, place boards on the roofs of their houses, throw ropes over them, and fasten down the ends with heavy stones; otherwise the roof is not unfrequently carried away, and even the flooring forced UlD. *in proportion as these remote specks in the ocean are without historical and commercial interest, they are rich in the more interesting facts of natural history. It is well known, that when sailors wish to drive a whale away from their ship, they pump out the bilge water. The Feroese fishermen, by whom these huge animals are, greatly dreaded, have not this remedy at hand; but they also have discovered, that the whale is impassent of unpleasant odours. They six a piece of castoreum to the fork, on which they wind up their fishing lines; and when this is thrown into the water, the whales Aresently plunge down and disappoir. Qil of juniper will also drive jem off. It is by si

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milar means that man must learn to protect himself against the insect tribes, the most annoying of his enemies, and against many of whom there is no other possible means of defence. The white streaked eagle formerly built its nest on Tintholm, one of the smallest islands of the group, but which was then inhabited, as is proved by the still existing ruins of some houses. One day an eagle darted upon an infant, which was lying at a little distance from its mother, and carried it to its nest; this was upon a rock, so steep towards the summit, that the boldest bird catchers had never ventured to climb it. The mother, however, ascended; but she came too late. The child was dead, and its eyes torn out. This destructive bird is no longer to be found in Feroe; if at any time a solitary one strays thither, such an invasion is the unica necessitas which calls the inhabitants to arms. There is but one of the falcontribe, the lanner, or falco lanarius, not so large as a pigeon, and yet the tyrant of these islands; the starlings, when pursued by this bird, will take shelter in a church or house, and seek refuge even in the presence of man. They often escape by means of what is called a wind house, a building for drying meat and fish, the sides of which consist of laths placed at a very small distance from each other. Through these the starling slips, and the lanner is frequently found jammed between them, the victim of its own eagerness. The little wren is called, by the Feroese, musubrouir, or the mouses brother; because, like the mouse, it creeps through the clinks

in these wind houses, and feasts on

the dried meat. The matin, which, in Fngland, is still considered as bringing good fortune to the house, under the caves of whic, it builds its nest, is regarded as a bird of ill omen in Feroe. It never builds here, and the islanders dread its appearance, be

lieving that either there will be a destructive sickness in the country, or that a corpse will soon be carried from the house over which it happens to fly. The crows are singularly troublesome, deriving great part of their subsistence from plunder. Not content with picking seed from the field, they dig up the newly planted potatoes, destroy the barley before it is ripe, cut off the cabbage roots, and those of almost every other garden vegetable; devour the fish which is hung up to dry, and carry off the goslings and ducklings. Necessity has made them omnivorous. They will even enter houses, where people are sitting, in search of prey. Those extraordinary assemblies, which may be called crow courts, are observed here as well as in the Scotch isles. They collect in great numbers, as if they had been all summoned for the occasion. A few of the flock sit with drooping heads; others, says Landt, seem as grave as if they were judges, and some are exceedingly active and noisy. In the course of about an hour the company disperse, and it is not uncommon, after they have flown away, to find one or two left dead on the spot. Dr. Edmonston, in his view of the Zetland islands, says that some. times the meeting does not appear to be complete before the expiration of a day or two, crows coming from all quarters to the session. As soon as they are all arrived, a very general noise ensues, and shortly af. ter, the whole fall upon one or two individuals, and put them to death. When this execution has been performed, they quietly disperse. The crows in Feroe feed also upon shell fish, which they let fall on the rocks from a considerable height. They manage better in this, than the he matofous ostrilegus, which sometimes, when a large muscle is gaping, thrusts its bill in, and is caught by the closing shell. The natives have a strange notion about the heron, attributing to it a ridiculous

practice for promoting or rather ensuring digestion, directly the reverse of that medical operation which old. fablers have said was borrowed from the stork. In the winter of 1797, a plague prevailcd among the cats in Feroe. There was a very general mortality among them about the same time in England, and that it should have prevailed in these remote islands, when it could not possibly have been Gommunicated by contagion, is a remarkable fact. Sea bathing was tried with little effect; emeticks were administered successfully, but the cases were not sufficiently numerous to establish the remedy. The life of a domestick cat is of some value there; for rats are very numerous; they will destroy a corn field in the course of two nights, and when they can get at the sea fowl, they commit such havock among them, that they leave little to be done by the fowlers. They have, however, since their introduction, nearly rid the islands of mice. The Hanover rat made his appearance there in 1768, arriving upon the wreck of a Norway ship, which was lost on the island of Lewis, and drifted to Suderoe. It is observed that he will not touch any thing that is poisoned. Sagacious as the rat is, this must be owing to the want of skill in disguising the poison; for in England, of which these vermin have made a more complete conquest than any former invader (having literally extirpated the original rat of the country) poison is the most common method of destroying them. Hay tea, though in longland regarded as a new discovery in feeding, is given to the cows in Feroe. It seems to have been long in use in other countries. Fifty years ago, the Dublin Society printed instructions for rearing calves with a portion of this food, according, as they say, to the method practised in divers countries. Kine are subject

there to white swellings in the corners of the mouth, which prevent the animal from eating or ruminating, but are easily cut out. If a cow loses its appetite from any other cause, the remedy is a superstitious one. All the churches are covered with living turf; two or three handfulls of grass plucked from that part of the roof which is directly over the choir, the altar, or the pulpit, are supposed to be a specifick. Whitelocke, in his journal (a book every way interesting) describes the sheep and goats as clambering up the Swedish country houses to graze upon the turf with which they are covered; the buildings being very low, and the roof just sloping sufficiently for the wet to run off. This mode of covering houses is common in Feroe. In one part of Stromoe, which is surrounded on all sides by steep hills (except toward the sea) every bull, which is either bred or brought there, becomes exceedingly ferocious and dangerous. The same fact is observed in Borrodale, at the head of Derwentwater, and for the same. reason; they are made furious by the echo of their own bellowing. There is a curious section in this volume under the head of Amphibia. “In Feroe there are no frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, or serpents; and no amphibious animal of any kind, a circumstance which is worthy of remark.” Certes; but not worthy of a whole section; for this is the whole. This, however, seems to be a Danish way of making chapters. In Horrebow’s Natural History of Iceland there are two such; chap. 42. “Concerning owls. There are no owls in the whole island.” And chapter 72. “Concerning snakes. No snakes of any kind are to be met with throughout the whole island.” Would that our book makers were equally honest, and when they came to a subject upon which they had no information to communicate, would frankly tell us so, instead of

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