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rity in the collocation of the sections. · Coal mines' are succeeded by pilots,' and the whale fishery is no sooner over, than we are summoned, not to the cutting up of the blubber, but to the division of land. Much latitude, we are willing to allow may be reasonably claimed when a number of particulars are to be arranged, which do not follow in consecutive series ;
Sed non ut placidis coëant immitia ; non ut
Serpentes avibus geminentur, tigribus agni. Much of this confusion would have been avoided, had there been more chapters and fewer sections. Classifications of greater importance than the description of Feroe, have been ruined by an affectation of simplicity. Without staying any longer, however, to quarrel with the manner, we shall proceed to present our readers with the substance of this performance.
The etymology of the word Feroe or Faroe, Mr. Landt observes, is disputed; some deriving it from faar a sheep, others from fier feathers, and others with more probability from fiær or fiærn far distant. These islands, situated in the North Sea between the latitude of 610 15' and 620 21', and occupying in a direction from north to south 67 miles, and from east to west 45, are distant about 380 English miles from the coast of Norway on the eastern side, and 200 miles from the Shetland isles towards the sou west. They are twenty-two (Busching says twenty-five) in number, and seventeen of them are inhabited. They consist for the most part of steep rocks covered with a thin stratum of soil, in some places not more than eight inches deep, and in the narrow vallies (for the hills generally lie contiguous to each other) where the land is arable, never exceeding four feet. The rocks usually decline by terraces, except towards the sea, where they are mostly perpendicular, and from two to three hundred fathoms in height. How they have attained their present elevation, is a question Mr. L. does not affect to decide.
The streams are numerous, but of course inconsiderable; the islands abound in springs both warm and cold; but our author explodes the fables of Debes with respect to the tide' wells, of which the casual risings and depressions, he justly contends, have no connection whatever with the regular flux and reflux of the sea. The following circumstance he relates, to account for the sudden disappearance of a certain pond.
• Having walked one day about a hundred paces to the south-west of the church of Kirketai on the bank of an eminence hanging over the sea called Kliverne ; and being then about a hundred and twenty feet higher than the level of the water, but in such a position that I could not see the bottom of the rock, where it was washed by the waves, I was clambering about in search of different kinds of moss, when I observed a small hole beneath the surface of the earth. Its diameter was about eight inches ; but internally it became somewhat enlarged. Lying down to examine the mosses growing in the inside of this hole, I heard a hol. low murmuring noise proceed from it, and observed a vapour arising from the mouth of it. While I. sat lost in conjecture respecting this phenomenon, a repetition of the murmuring noise, and the ascent of the vapour or steam, excited my curiosity to learn the cause of it; but obserying that the vapour was of a saline quality, my attention was naturally directed to the restless ocean, which was then dashing its waves against the bottom of the rock. 1 then observed, that when a very heavy wave was thrown against the rock, I heard th before mentioned noise, and perceived the vapour to arise from the cavity. I have related this cir. cumstance, as it may serve to confirm the truth of my conjecture in re. gard to the disappearance of the pond in Vaagoe.' p. 52.
The seventeen inhabited islands are parcelled out into six parishes. The names of the islands are Fugloe, Sivinoe, Videroe, Bordoe, Konoe, Kalsoe, Osteroe, Stromoe, Kolter, Hesloe, Nolsoe, Vaagoe, Myggenæs, Sandoe, Skuoc, the greater Dimon, and Suderoe.' Of each of these our author has given a minute and rather tedious' topographical description.' We shall content ourselves with a single extract,
• Thorshavn, the capital of Stromoe, is situated on a small tongue of Jand, on the south-east side of the island. It is the seat of
government as well as the staple of trade, and the residence of the principal civ 1 officers, such as the commandant, chief justice, surgeon, &c. ' There is here a Latin School, and a neat wooden church covered with slate. The town is defended from privateers by a fort, constructed on a projecting point on the east side of the bay, which was strengthened and repaired in the time of the American war. The town cortains about a hundred houses, all built with wood; but some of the streets are so nar. row that, in consequence of the situation of the ground, or of upright masses of rock, which rise in them to a considerable height, no more than one person can pass through them at a tiine. There are here two smiths, two carpenters, one joiner, and three or four coopers. The whole inhabitants, including a garrison of thirty-six men, form about a hundred families, one half of whom are fishermen, servants, and paupers. Frederiksvaag, on the west side of Thorshavn, was formerly a staple for Danish East and West Indian goods, and a considerable trade was car. ried on here with Scotland, particularly during the time of the American war, which was very profitable to the individuals engaged in it ; but at prez sent this pretty little town is entirely deserted.' p. 52.
Many of the rocks bear a real or fancied resemblance to human figures or works of human contrivance. One of them,
we are told, a mass of rock about 70 feet high, when seen from the sea, has the appearance of ship under full sail ; while on the land side it pretty much resembles the statue of à monk, the neck of which is formed of a hard red clay, and the head and body of a blackish grey kind of stone, somewhat like irregular basaltes.' Such analogies, however, we are disposed to receive with caution. What appears to one almost in the shape of a camel,' may to another look black like a weazle', and to a third seem
very like a whale.' He that goes in quest of similitudes among the rocks and the clouds, will do well to carry with him a little of the complaisance of Polonius.
The glebe lands of Feroe belong to the king, and are beneficed to the clergy. The islands (but we must here beg the reader to remark that we are not accountable for Mr. Landt's transitions) abound in coal mines though they are not worked. The harbours are numerous and the navigation not difficult for the whole shore is bold, and nothing to be feared but what is visible.'
We come now to the physical description of Feroe, which we presume to be a more elegant phrase for natural history. The currents,' upon which our author has wisely chosen to launch his description,' are rapid and strong ; occasioned mainly by the ebbing and flowing of the sea, as the inhabitants are able to calculate high and low water pretty accurately by the new and full moon, but subject to considerable variations from the winds and other accidental causés "The ' whirlpools,' in Mr. Landt's opinion, are not so formidable as Debes and other writers have thought proper to represent. Instead of staying to particularize these currents and whirlpools, we shall present our readers with the following extracts which occur at the conclusion of this section.
• When stormy or bad weather prevails at sea, and the wind blows in shore, but particularly when there is at the same time a flood, or west fall, a violent surf is in general produced, and billows of a tremendous size are dashed against the coast with prodigious force. Those parts of the 'coast which lie open towards the sea are the most exposed to this violence ; and in those bays which have a sandy bottom, the sand becomés accumulated and makes the waves to rise to an astonishing height. Where the waves meet with opposition from projecting rocks, the water thrown up into the air falls down with a rattling noise ; and a person may stand safely at the bottom of the rock, or at a small distance from it, and be a quiet spectator of this singular phenomenon. On such occasions the water is projected, as I have been assured, to the height of from sixty to a hundred and eighty feet; and in some places to the height of three hundred and sixty. Sometimes the waves are dashed into the apertures and cavities between the projections of the rock, and produce a most frightful noise, which seems to make the rock tremble from its foundation. These effects are different according to the nature of the place; but near Quivig, in Stromoe, they are almost all united, so that during the tempestuous season of the year, and particularly in the night time, the noise occasioned by them is like continued thunder, or a long and heavy cannonade.'
• When a calm takes place after stormy weather, the sea, in consea quence of the agitation in which it has been thrown, may continue some days restless and covered with foaming surges, which the inhabitants of Feroe call siauarilska; and the sea when in that state, however fine the weather, is exceedingly dangerous. But the surface of the sea, even in a perfect calm, may sometimes be very smooth and have an undulating motion, to which the islanders give the name of alda. This motion is much like a perpendicular vibration, for the billows rise to a considerable height and then fall quietly back again, without the least violence or noise. It is exceedingly difficult for a boat to be rowed, or to sail through these swelling surges, for they communicate to the vessel a motion similar to that which one experiences in a swing.'
• Much less agreeable, and far more dangerous to navigators, is the sea when, according to the Feroese expression, it is said to glæer, or to be filled with glæver. This state is occasioned by the collision of the winds, which lash the surface of the water like a hurricane, and sweeping it, as it were, with great violence towards and along the sounds, forces it up into the atmosphere in the form of a mist. I know nothing to which this phenomenon can be so justly compared as the clouds of dust raised in the streets of Copenhagen, or on the high roads during windy weather, from which the traveller is exposed to a momentary inconvenience. But the inhabitants of Feroe, if at sea, must be very much on their guard when the glæver takes place ; the sails must speedily be taken in, and those in the boat endeavour, if possible, to row beyond the space which this kind of mist seems to occupy; but if this be not possible, to keep the boat in the same direction as the glæver ; for if the glæver comes across the boat it may soon be overset.' pp. 117–121.
The climate of Feroe, Mr. Landt thinks, has been much calumniated. It is indeed foggy; but the fogs are not unhealthy, and at all events do not smell so bad as in Denmark. The cold also is less severe than in that country. Neither is it true that the inhabitants of the Feroe islands become uniformly indisposed when the fogs clear up; that they are so sometimes, is owing to the cold piercing winds by which these fogs are usually succeeded. It would be great injustice to omit our author's animated account of the winds.
The winds act a distinguished part among the mountains of Feroe, and form a striking contrast with the whispering gales and cooling Zephyrs which are so much celebrated by the poets. They descend from the hills to the sea shore ; raise clouds of sand into the air, and convey it to a distance along the bays and creeks. Sometimes they sweep away
large stones lying on the hills, and roll them before them like a ball*, or tear out huge masses of the projecting rocks, which then fall down, emitting fames and smoket. On these occasions they shave off the turf from the sides of the hills, roll it together like a sheet of lead, and precipitate it into the valleys. The hurricanes in Feroe inspire travellers with the utmost terror; when their approach is announced by their bel. lowing noise among the hills, if on horseback, they must immediately dismount, and if on foot, they must fall flat on the earth, to avoid being thrown down or dashed to pieces. These winds often make the houses of the natives shake; and it is very rentarkable that before a hurricane, the pressure of the air causes a cracking and crashing in the house, as if it would tumble down; but when the wind really takes place, it has already exhausted its strength, so that the building remains firm and secure. Sometimes, however, the wind rises with increased violence, and in that case it often forces the house from its position, tears off the roof, shatters the window frames, and entering below the bottom of it, forces up the flooring, and agitates in a violent manner the stool on which one sits, or the bed in which one is lying. Such are the hurricanes which prevail in Feroe in the autumn and spring.' pp. 126, 127.
We have already observed that the stratum of vegetable mould is thin. It may, however, with due preparation be rendered productive. The hills consist in general of trap here and there intermixed with basaltes.' Our author's enumeration of earths and stones is pretty copious, though not, we are disposed to think, complete. The enumeration of plants and animals is still more copious; but as this part of the work is not very interesting except to the professed natu ralist, our readers will not be displeased to pass it at a gallop. One event, however, we must stay to commemorate. Towards the end of the year 1797 and the beginning of 1798, a dreadful mortality — a kind of plague, indeed, prevailed among the cats of Feroe, some of which died suddenly and others after a week's illness. What a noble subject for some future Feroese poet, ambitious of outgoing the “hæc ratio quondam morborum?, and the ' hic quondam morbo cæli!" What -a scope for climax, through all the successive stages of expiration and revival till the ninth and fatal deliquium ! And then, too, we have circumstances. " The islands of Feroe are much infested by rats,' which of course would
** This was the case with an uncommonly large stone lying on one of the hills in Stromoe, over which the road passes from Segnaboe to l'horshavn.
+ The author says, that this frequently happens on thewest side of the hill called Skalling. It is, indeed, possible, that sparks elicited by the collition of the falling mass against the rocks may set fire to some sul. phureous or other inflammable matter, which it meets with in its course, and thus produce fire and smoke. T.