Imatges de pÓgina

Edwards 11-1846 $66.9


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[Having been favoured by a friend with the following fragment of Icelandic

history, in order to insert it, the Gleaner is forced to postpone the critique on Kotzebue to the next Number.] N the Kristnisaga is contained an dran, who having visited Saxony in

account of the introduction of quest of adventures, embraced the Christianity among the barbarous in. Christian faith, and brought from habitants of Iceland, in the tenth and that country Frederic the first Iceeleventh centuries, which the curious landic bishop. Thorwald at his remay compare with the modern rela.

turn to Iceland attempted to convert tions of the African and South Sea his ather Kodran, who refused to mislions. Tbe stile of the Kristni. suffer himself to be baptized, until he saga is plain, simple, and unadorned; had determined the comparative power events are narrated precisely as they of working miracles, poffeffed by the are supposed to have happened ; mira- Christian bishop, and the sacred stone cles, murders, massacres, sanguinary which he worshipped as inhabited by combats, and those traits of manners a spirit. The issue of this contest which mark the barbarous genius of was entirely in favour of Frederic, the age, as in the annals of every whose powerful prayer over the sa. rude nation, are related with little at- cred stone foon fplit it, and expelled tention to order or connection: It the dæmon. After this triumph Thoris commonly attributed to Hauk the wald traversed Iceland with the bifon of Erland, who in 1306 was e- shop; at Vatnsdal they were encoun. lected legiflator of Iceland, and died tered by two Maniacs or BERSERKER,

He is the reputed author who raved, formed, and, through of the Landnama Bok, io which the the power of their familiar spirits, Kristoifaga is generally appended, and walked unhurt amid the burning fire; of which it is reckoned a part by but when Frederic had consecrated J. Gudmund. A meagre account of the fire, they were miserably scorchBp. Ideif of Iceland is commonly ed and flain. In their peregrinations annexed to this Saga. The author the Scalds ridiculed Thorwald and relates that Christianity was intro- the bishop his attendant ; Thorwald duced into Iceland about the year revenged himself by killing the bards, 981, by Thorwald the son of Ko. and the good bishop refused any



in 1334

longer to accompany the man of ven- cise or definite idea. They are regeance. As this mission proved un. presented as agitated by fits, during successful, another attempt was made which, with wolfish ferocity, and dis. to convert the Icelanders, by Olaf, torted countenances, they gnawed king of Norway, who dispatched and devoured their shields, displayed Stefner for that purpose. On his the Atrength of bulls and bears, threw arrival in Iceland, Stefner, provoked themselves, without injury, on the by the obstinacy with which the points of swords, walked amidst flames islanders adhered to their ancient opi. of fire unhurt, and swallowed burning nions, began to destroy their temples, coals. This unnatural habit is attriand break their idols. This summa- buted to various causes, as magical ry method, as may be supposed, did practices, furious passions, and herenot greatly conciliate the minds of ditary disease. The idea of its mathe Pagans, or facilitate their con gical origin is implied in the terms version; on the contrary, they attack. TRYLLAST and HAMAST, by which ed the reformer, who with difficulty it is often denominated, and which made his escape to Norway: About are properly applied to enchantment, this time Thangbrand, a priest, being or power derived from malevolene accused of piratical practices, recon- genii

. By Snorro Sturleson, and the ciled himself to Olaf, by undertaking author of the Havamaal, it is attrithe conversion of Iceland. Thang- buted to Odin. Sometimes it was brand, renouncing piracy, proceeded believed to derive its origin from the to Iceland, where he quickly convert. giants, or evil beings ; at least the ed many heathens, who were enchant Jotunmodr, or characteristic madness ed by the tiukling of his bells, the of the giants, or raiher the Jures, odour of his frankincense, and the seems to bave resembled that of the fplendor of his fillets and purple gar. Berserkers. From the supposition of ments; and a sorcerer was hired, in its origin from malevolent spirits, it vain, by the Pagans, to cause the was punished with banishment by the

, earth to swallow him up. Thang laws of Iceland and Norway. brand proceeded towards the west of The opinion of those, by whom it Iceland, where he was encountered was, attributed to ferocious pafsion, is by Tiörin the Berserker or forcerer, plausible and philosophical. Barbawho, like another Elymas, challeng- rians, whose constitutions are harden. ed him to a trial of fill. This chale ed by incessant exertion, and the felenge was readily accepted by the verity of the climare, who have been priest, when the forcerer declared, inured to rapine, devastation, and Had you known my power, you cruelty from their birth, when exas“ would have declined the contest; perated with rage, derive from its I walk barefooted over the burn- itimulus a prodigious increase of mus.

ing fire, and throw myself without cular strength. The Berserkers are " injury on the points of naked always represented as exasperated to “ swords." God will determine madness by opposition, and advancing that, said Thang brand, who confe. to the fingle combat bellowing with crated the fire, and marked the sword rage, and gnawing their shields. Like with the sign of the cross, when the the licensed bullies or champions of fire scorched the feet of the Berser- former times, they were accustomed ker, and the sword penetrated his to acquire money by their success in body, and killed him.

single combats. The paroxyfm of Of these Berserkers, who are fre. fury was commonly succeeded by a quently mentioned in the Icelandic ftate of debility and exhaustion like annals, it is difficult to form any pre madness, and the violent exertions of



The Gleaner ---No. XV.

5 passion. In some persons it seems to His menaces amazingly facilitated have been a hereditary disease, a spe. their convertion, and another band of cies of furious melancholy, which ge- miffionaries failed to Iceland. On nerally seized them in the evening. their arrival violent debates ensued in The following description of a Ber- the assemblies of the people, during serker occurs in another Saga. " Ke. which a volcano, or earthfire, as it 56 till, froin his childhood, was tract. is termed, burit forth in' Olfus; and, - able and taciturn, displaying but in order to avert the impending desor little curiosity ; but twice in the truction, the Pagans prepared to sa« month he was seized with a fit, crifice two men for every province. “ when his skin shuddered, his teeth Hiallt and Giffur, the chiefs of the

gnashed, and his body was violent. Christians, likewise affembled their “ ly agitated. This shivering he people, as if to a sacrifice, and thus “ described as resembling the diffusion addressed them : “ The heathens of66 of some cold fubstance between his “ fer as victims to their gods the most “ skin and his flesh. This cold was " wicked men, whom they precipi“ succeeded by violent fury, which u tate from Iteep rocks; but let us 6 wrecked itself indiscriminately on “ select the most virtuous men as “ whatever object occurred, whether " victims to Jesus Christ, that they 66 animate or inanimate." The su- may live ftill more virtuously, and pernatural Arength which these mad “more unblameably." Thorgeir men displayed, the warriors of the advised the Icelanders to compromise north sometimes attempted to acquire their disputes, and preserve internal by eating the flesh of bears, the hearts tranquillity. Being chosen arbitraof wild beasts killed in hunting, and tor of their differences, he enacted, by drinking warm human blood. " That the Icelanders should all be The Berserkers derived" their name baptized, and worship one God; from their customary mode of fight- « that the ancient cultom of exposing without armour, or in their bare ing infants, and eating horse Aesh, shirts, as the term literally signifies. " should continue as formerly ; and Trusting to the supernatural influence " that facrifices to the ancient gods of the fpirits which they worshipped, " should not be performed publicly, thty were the most zealous opponents “under penalty of punishment."

“ of Christianity in Iceland, where it After this regulation, the practice of made considerable progress. The sacrifice foon fell into desuetude, Pagans often reviled Chrift, and the The Pagans complained of being deChristians fometimes retorted their ceived in this coovention, but fubmitinvectives, till at last Hiallt the lon ted to baptism, on condition that the of Skegg was banished for blasphem- rite should be performed in a warm ing the goddess Freya. He built a bath. Thus was Iceland finally conbarge, and failed to Norway, where verted about the year 1000; and he informed Olaf of the success of this moje of conversion easily achis mission. As the Icelanders ap- counts for the number of Gothic supeared to king Olaf unreafouably te. perititions retained by the common nacious of their ancient opinions, he people of that country to a very late caused all the Pagans who had visited period.

1. his court to be apprehended, and (The Critigue on Kotzebue continacd threatened with severe punishments.

in our next.)


BAT ARNBOUGLE Castle, the seat beautifully situate on the southern of the Earl of Roseberry, is shore of the Frith of Fortb, at the distance of somewhat more than jects which mark the busy, crowded three miles north-west from Edin. intercourse of men, catching the eye; burgh.


while, on the liquid expanse, thips The house is handsome and com- of all forms and bulks, are conti. modious. The park is beautiful, nually seen to pass and repass, ridand confiderably extensive. The ad- ing at anchor, or tosling before the jacent grounds are skilfully laid out, wind. and ornamented. But it is from its Barnbougle.Castle, with its do. situation in a fort of nook upon the mains, were the ancient property of Frith, that this house derives its a branch of the illustrious Norman principal advantages of aspect and family of Mowbray. In the begin. prospect. From certain points of ning of the lixteenth century, they view, its appearance is strikingly pic- were acquired by Hamilton, Earl of turelque. Nothing in landscape can Haddingtoe. Soon after the retobe nobler, or more interesting, than ration of Charles the Second, Primthe gradual opening of the Frith, rose first Earl of Roseberry, who atinto the unlimited expanse of the tained to nobility through the graOcean; as it is seen from Barnbougle- dation of Juridical services and hoHouse; the shores winding beauti- nours, purchased thefe poffeffions. fully on either side ; presenting, here They have been inherited by his fabroken, scarry cliffs,--there green mily. The prelent poffeffor is Neil, and cultured banks; there owns, third in succession of the Earls of groves of masts, and those varied ob- Roseberry:

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By William Brooke, F. S. A.
WHEN the nation, about thirty It may, therefore, be asserted as

years ago, began to turn its the general sense of the nation, that
serious attention to agriculture, as a our distress, for want of greater plenty
science of the first importance, a very in the articles of wheat and other
wrong bias took place in the mind of grain, butcher's meat, poultry, &c.
the public; whether by the contriv- arises from various causes, the prin-
ance of artful individuals, or by acci. cipal of which are,
dent, I shall not pretend to determine. Monopoly of farms;
The mistake was, that it would be The immense number of horses
more for the advantage of the nation, kept in this kingdom ;
that the small farms and cottages

The neglect in breeding cows, should be thrown into large farms; horned cattle, hogs, asses, and goats; and upon this illulive idea, that the The almost disuse of fish, and care. large farmer, by the means of his lessness of our fisheries ; superior capital, would work the The present method of supporting land which he occupied to greater the clergy; advantage than the fmall farmer. Too extenfive hop-grounds ;

Unfortunately, experience, that Neglect of orcharding, &c. never failing touchstone to truth, hath I will boldly assert, that the sea convinced us how much we were in condary cause of many of the mis. the wrong. As the present period is chiefs we have experienced of misery not the moment to indulge in specula- and almost famine, has been from an ive reasoning, it will be right to come animal, which, although a noble anio the essential points at once. mal, and of value in himself, has

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proved to this country uncommonly for argument fake we will allow that pernicious ; I mean the horse, not in the produce of 250,000 acres sown himself, had he been bred in mode. with oats is eaten by the people, and ration, but from the extravagant 150,000 acres used forfattening numbers now in the land, and the swine. It appears clear, if this statedoubly extravagant manner in which ment is correct, that as much land they are kept.

at least is sown for the support of In the first place, the high price of horses as is for the people: a very horses of late years, has encouraged melancholy reflection, when the poor the monopolizers of many of vur have so severely suffered. superior lands to occupy them in In times of peace let any person breeding and rearing these animals, look over the bills of entry of Lonwhich, in the early stage of life, can don only, and he cannot but notice be looked after without much trouble. the many hundred thousand quarters

It appears by the minister's re- of oats imported from Holland and port, there are near one million and Flanders, and be sensibly struck with an half of horses in this kingdom; the heavy expenee horses are to this those who know the great expense of country. keeping one only of these beasts in I shall be asked, on the other hand, good order, on grass, hay, and grain, how is the ploughing, the drawing, will surely agree with me, that five and all kinds of team-work, to be human beings could live in great performed without horses ? I answer, plenty on the produce of the same By oxen, bulls, or mules. The prequantity of land needful to fupport ference is due to the first animal, on one horse. It is therefore evident, account of his increasing fize; and the horses in England devour not also for the value and quality of his only a very large proportion of the carcase. grain raised in it, but also occupy the That the ox or bull is capable of beft paftures in the kingdom ; pas- performing all the business of heavy tures which ought to be employed draft, not only as well as the horse, for the support of much more useful but even better, is proved beyond animals.

contradition by the use of them in As every possible proof on so Flanders, Germany, Spain, Turkey, weighty a subject ought to be brought and all the Eaft, where they plough, forward to support bare assertion, &c. with no other animals; they are

“ I shall adjoin the actual state of also generally employed in the norththe conttant tillage-land in England, ern ftates of America, and even in as taken from an account published some few places in England. In the by authority. It consists of ten mil. five New England ftates, all farming lions and one half of acres (Wales business, such as ploughing, harrowexcluded,) of which there are only ing, weeding among corn, &c.; also yearly, in wheat 2,100,000 acres : all the waggons, carts, sledges, dragthere consequently remain 8,400,000 ging timber of the largest fize, clearacres employed in raising barley, ing land, &c, all is done by oxen; oats, rye, beans, peas, &c. or fallow: atid they not only execute the work admitting that 3,400,000 are fown I have specified, but go very long with barley and rye, there yet re journies of many hundred miles, in main 5,000,000 unaccounted for; as short a time as can commonly be and it is but fair to affirm that done by horses: as one striking in2,500,000 acres are sown with oars, stance, a gentleman with whom I beans, and peas, the remaining two was well acquainted, removed his famillions and a half being fallow ; and mily from the eastern part of Massari



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