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From their government they derive neighbour will undertake the task, just sufficient assistance to prevent All of them can read, except a few them from losing the little degree persons of very great age; an excepof civilisation which they have at- tion which proves that the people tained. The population in 1782 have advanced in civilisation. They amounted to 4409. The revenue in are fond of reading, and the pastor 1790, to 3172 rix dollars;* it arises says that he found his parishfrom the royal domains, quit rents, ioners very well instructed in the and taxes; the latter are light, and Christian religion, and often thothe gạeater part of all is paid in pro- roughly acquainted with the bible. duce; only the wool which is thus Thus the Feroese resemble the paid, is sold at a low price to Scotch in the religious and moral the poor at Thorshavn (the capital part of their character, as well as of the largest isle) to prevent a in the poverty of their church estascarcity of it. Their ecclesiastical blishment, and the almost total priestablishment is proportionately in- vation of religious ceremonies. This expensive. The islands are divided, is to be attributed to their habits of or rather clustered, into seven pa- humble and laborious life; partly, rishes, composed of thirty nine con- also, it must be ascribed to their sigregations, each having its church. tuation, their climate, and their peThe yearly revenue of each church rilous employments in fishing and amounts, in general, from ten to fowling. Being familiar with dantwenty rix dollars; so that the in- ger, they are associated, as it were, come of the greatest pluralist does with the elements, and with the not exceed five and twenty pounds. forms of nature. Under like circum. And here, indeed, the labourer may stances, the savage and the sailor truly be said to be worthy of his become superstitious, because they hire. The long journeys which the are uninstructed. The Feroese, like clergyman must undertake the Scotch, have their pastor and equally difficult and laborious. There their bible; and, therefore, faith, is no carriage road; in many places which is an appetite of the human the country is so craggy, that it is mind, finds its proper food. impossible to ride; and in all places 6 In regard to the mental qualities the snow, early in autumn and late in of these people,” says Landt, “they spring, renders it impracticable. In are much more ingenious than one parish, the church path(though might be expected, in so insulated always the best, and often the only an abode. But if, in this respect, road in these islands) is so steep they surpass the inhabitants of a and narrow, that at funerals the great part of other Danish provincorpse is fastened to a board, and ces (which, however, he adds, I am carried upon men's shoulders. At far from asserting) they are certainone island it is necessary to hoistly indebted for this advantage to the clergyman by a rope from his their state of freedom, and the little boat, there being no other means of restraint they are under in converse landing. On those Sundays when the ing with each other.” The writer clergyman does not attend, the pa- here shows, imperfectly, his opinion, rishioners meet at church, where that the Feroese are in general su, one of them officiates, and 'reads a periour to the Danes, though he printed sermon. There is not a sin- does not think fit to assert it in Dengle school or schoolmaster through- mark; and he has assigned the true out the islands. Parents instruct cause; they are a freer people. They their children themselves; and if at reckon readily by head, summing any time they have not leisure, a up even fractions with facility. Maa
* The rix dollar is about four shillings.
ny of them are good chess players. and temperate islanders. The author Their practical knowledge of astro- attributes it to their imprudence in nomy is such, that in clear weather throwing themselves on their beds they can determine by the stars the to rest, without pulling off their hour of the night. One of their me. clothes, when they come home wet. thods of dividing time is peculiar to He says, also, that the excessive themselves. They reckon the day heat of their apartments, and the and night by eight ökter, of three bad custom of sitting close to the hours each; these again are reduced fire, dispose them to be goutish, into half ökters, and they name them when exposed to the least cold or according to the point of the com- sharpness of the wind. Malignant, pass, on which the sun is at the catarrhal fevers commonly attack time. Thus east northeast is half all the inhabitants without exceppast four in the morning; east is six; tion, on sudden changes of the east southeast, half past seven. weather, especially in autumn and Landt says that ökt is certainly a spring. Foreigners who settle in corruption of vike, a week; but as Feroe are generally free from this the week consists of seven days, the disease during the first two years. derivation is surely untenable, and It is prevalent in Iceland also; but ökt may obviously be rendered an more so in the interiour than along eighth
the shores. Leprosy was once very The Feroese are a sober people, common. It has now almost totally though, like all inhabitants of high disappeared. A fact, which, in this nortbern latitudes, they are fond of instance, cannot be accounted for by strong liquors. Even at their wed- any change of habits. The stone is dings, they seldom drink to intoxi. more common than in other councation; but in their places of trade, tries, and frequently proves fatal. communication with the Danes has Landt inquires whether it may not corrupted their own simple man- be occasioned by eating bread baked ners. The men dress plainly; the in the ashes, a portion of which newomen are covetous of foreign or- cessarily adheres to the crust. The naments. Since the time of Eve, the most singular disease among them tempter has changed his lure, and shows itself in a great many small baits for the vanity, not the appe- bladders, surrounded with a red tite of the sex. Landt praises the ring. It is remedied by bathing them honesty of the people, and especial with a decoction of ground liver. ly in cases of shipwreck. They claim wort, or by fumigating the part with a third of what they save as salvage; conferva, first dried, and then placed but they exert themselves to the on burning coals. But when these utmost to save as much as possible blisters spread over the whole body from the wreck; never secrete any they prove mortal. Some superstipart of it; take the sailors into their tion is mingled with most of their houses; maintain them at free modes of cure. They have, howe cost, and give them money at their ver, one remedy, which is singularly departure. The pastor will not admit rude. When the uvula falls down, that his flock are addicted to any they cut off a portion of it, and no other faults than talkativeness, a lit- other bad effect has been experi. tle envy of their wealthier neigh- enced from the operation than a conbours, and a little idleness. It is cu- tinual hoarseness. rious that the gout should be found It is fully believed by old people among their diseases. The Scotch in these islands, that the sun and regard it as a fit punishment for moon rise to a greater altitude than the luxurious living of the English; they did formerly. There are viland yet it exists among these poor lages where the sun is never seen
neighbour will undertake the task. All of them can read, except a few persons of very great age; an exception which proves that the people have advanced in civilisation. They are fond of reading, and the pastor says that he found his parishioners very well instructed in the Christian religion, and often thoroughly acquainted with the bible.
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
Thus the Feroese resemble the Scotch in the religious and moral part of their character, as well as in the poverty of their church establishment, and the almost total privation of religious ceremonies. This is to be attributed to their habits of humble and laborious life; partly, also, it must be ascribed to their si tuation, 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.
milar means that man must learn to lieving that either there will be a protect himself against the insect destructive sickness in the country, tribes, the most annoying of his ene- or that a corpse will soon be carried mies, and against many of whom from the house over which it hapthere is no other possible means of pens to fly. The crows are singularly defence. The white streaked eagle troublesome, deriving great part of formerly built its nest on Tintholm, their subsistence from plunder. Not one of the smallest islands of the content with picking seed from the group, but which was then inhabit- field, they dig up the newly planted ed, as is proved by the still existing potatoes, destroy the barley before yuins of some houses. One day an it is ripe, cut off the cabbage roots, eagle darted upon an infant, which and those of almost every other gar: was lying at a little distance from den vegetable; devour the fish which its mother, and carried it to its nest; is hung up to dry, and carry off the this was upon a rock, so steep to- goslings and ducklings. Necessity wards the summit
, that the boldest has made them omnivorous. They bird catchers had never ventured to will even enter houses, where peoclimb it. The mother, however, as- ple are sitting, in search of prey. cended; but she came too late. The Those extraordinary assemblies, child was dead, and its eyes torn which may be called crow courts; out. This destructive bird is no lon- are observed here as well as in the ger to be found in Feroe; if at any Scotch isles. They collect in great time a solitary one strays thither, numbers, as if they had been alt such an invasion is the unica necessi- summoned for the occasion. A few tas which calls the inhabitants to of the flock sit with drooping heads; arms. There is but one of the falo others, says Landt, seem as grave con tribe, the lanner, or falco lana- as if they were judges, and some are rius, not so large as a pigeon, and exceedingly active and noisy. In the yet the tyrant of these islands; the course of about an hour the compastarlings, when pursued by this bird, ny disperse, and it is not uncomwill take shelter in a church or mon, after they have flown away, to house, and seek refuge even in the find one or two left dead on the presence
of man. They often escape spot. Dr. Edmonston, in his view of by means of what is called a wind the Zetland islands, says that some. house, a building for drying meat times the meeting does not appear and fish, the sides of which consist to be complete before the expiraof laths placed at a very small dis- tion of a day or two, crows coming tance from each other. Through from all quarters to the session. As these the starling slips, and the lan- soon as they are all arrived, a very ner is frequently found jammed be general noise ensues, and shortly af. tween them, the victim of its own ter, the whole fall upon one or twoeagerness. The little wren is called, individuals, and put them to death. by the Feroese, musabrouir, or the When this execution has been permouse's brother; because, like the formed, they quietly disperse. The mouse, it creeps through the chinks crows in Feroe feed also upon shell in these wind houses, and feasts on fish, which they let fall on the rocks the dried meat.
from a considerable height. They The matin, which, in England, manage better in this, than the he is still considered as bringing good matopus ostrilegus, which somefortune to tie house, under the times, when a large muscle is gapcaves of whic, it builds its nest, is ing, thrusts its bill in, and is caught regarded as a hird of ill omen in by the closing shell. The natives Feroe. It never builds here, and the have a strange notion about the islanders dreadl ik appearance, be- heron, attributing to it a ridiculous
practice for promoting or rather en- there to white swellings in the corsuring digestion, directly the reverse ners of the mouth, which prevent of that medical operation which old the animal from eating or ruminatfablers have said was borrowed from ing, but are easily cut out. If a cow the stork.
loses its appetite from any other In the winter of 1797, a plague cause, the remedy is a superstitious
, prevailed among the cats in Feroe. one. All the churches are covered There was a very general mortality with living turf; two or three handamong them about the same time fulls of grass plucked from that part in England, and that it should have of the roof which is directly over the prevailed in these remote islands, choir, the altar, or the pulpit, are when it could not possibly have been supposed to be a specifick. Whitecommunicated by contagion, is a locke, in his journal (a book every remarkable fact. Sea bathing was way interesting) describes the sheep tried with little effect; emeticks and goats as clambering up the were administered successfully, but Swedish country houses to graze the cases were not sufficiently nu- upon the turf with which they are merous to establish the remedy. covered; the buildings being very The life of a domestick cat is of low, and the roof just sloping suffisome value there; for rats are very ciently for the wet to run off. This numerous; they will destroy a corn mode of covering houses is comfield in the course of two nights, mon in Feroe. In one part of Stro. and when they can get at the sea moe, which is surrounded on all fowl, they commit such havock sides by steep hills (except toward among them, that they leave little the sea) every bull, which is either to be done by the fowlers. They bred or brought there, becomes exhave, however, since their introchica ceedingly ferocious and dangerous. tion, nearly rid the islands of mice. The same fact is observed in BorroThe Hanover rat made his appear.
dale, at the head of Derwentwater, ance there in 1768, arriving upon and for the same, reason; they are the wreck of a Norway ship, which made furious by the echo of their was lost on the island of Lewis, and own bellowing drifted to Suderoe. It is observed There is a curious section in this that he will not touch any thing that volume under the head of Amphiis poisoned. Sagacious as the rat is, bia. “ In Feroe there are no frogs, this must be owing to the want of toads, lizards, snakes, or serpents; skill in disguising the poison; for in and no amphibious animal of any England, of which these vermin kind, a circumstance which is wor- . have made a more complete con- thy of remark.” Certes; but not quest than any former invader (ha- worthy of a whole section; for this ving literally extirpated the original is the whole. This, however, seems rat of the country) poison is the to be a Danish way of making chapmost common method of destroying ters. In Horrebow's Natural Histothem.
ry of Iceland there are two such; Hay tea, though in England re- chap. 42. “ Concerning owls. There garded as a new discovery in feed- are no owls in the whole island." ing, is given to the cows in Feroe. And chapter 72. Concerning snakes. It seems to have been long in use No snakes of any kind are to be met in other countries. Fifty years ago, with throughout the whole island.” the Dublin Society printed instruc- Would that our book makers were tions for rearing calves with a por- equally honest, and when they came tion of this food, according, as they to a subject upon which they had
, say, to the method practised in di- no inforination to communicate, vers countries. Kine are subject would frankly tell us so, instead of