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north of the island. From the east no intelligence has yet been received of its having broken out there. In some horses, which I had the opportunity of seeing during my journey to the place of the eruption, the distemper exhibited the same external appearances as in the other cattle; but the teeth in those that I examined were not yet become loose. It was a melancholy sight to see the miserable and deplorable state to which these poor creatures were reduced. In one instance, in particular, it was really astonishing how the wretched animal could walk, or even stand upon its legs, and yet its owners, in the confusion and distress, occasioned by their flight from the spot, were under the necessity of laying a burthen upon it. No striking external marks of the disorder were perceptible among the horses, out of the district of Skaptefield, but it has nevertheless prevailed there, if not as the sole cause, yet certainly in union with others, to produce a general destruction both among them and the horned cattle: many having died suddenly, when they had a plentiful supply of hay; others when in pastures where there was a sufficiency of grass, of which they were never deprived either by ice or snow. To our utter astonishment, we saw horses in the most miserable state of leanness, in the richest meadows, and even actually starved to death, having preferred eating substances the most injurious, such as the wood of houses, the hair from each other's coats, or whatever else was within their reach, rather than touch the grass of last year's crop, still remaining in the pastures. This appears to me to be a sufficient proof of the poisonous state of the herbage, during the year 1^83; and, although the circumstance has not yet been investigated, I am fully convinced that the entrails of the horses, have been equally, with those of other animals, infected with the distemper. The few inhabitants, who had still left them some of the old hay, of the year 1782, preserved their cattle in a healthy and good condition; but even here, when the new hay came into use, the disease began to appear among them.
I have farther to remark, that, during the last summer, several of the younger beasts were recovered by feeding upon the new grass.
It might seem contradictory, were I here to assert, that the whole destruction among the cattle is to be considered merely as an effect of the volcanic eruption; because I have before stated, that, in certain districts, which were within the operation of the fire, no particular distemper has yet made its appearance. I must, nevertheless, still maintain my opinion, that the fire has mostly contributed towards it: since this was, beyond a doubt, the cause of the unwholesome air and frequent tempests, as well as of the failure of the crops of grass and hay, in the summer of 1783.
The cattle had, at the close of that season, become remarkably lean, and consequently, were rendered unfit to withstand the rigors of the ensuing winter, one of the most severe hitherto known. The inhabitants had not, by any means, a sufficiency of provender for them; nor were they aware, at first, of the unwholesome and poisonous quality of that which they did possess. It may be easily supposed, that the inclemency of the weather greatly contributed to the destruction, although the fire itself was the principal and original cause of it.
The extent of the injury which Iceland has suffered by the loss of her cattle it is impossible at present accurately to ascertain; as no correct statement has hitherto been made of what have died, or of what are still remaining. I annex, however, the following table, which is extracted from official information, and from lists that have been transmitted to the Royal Treasury, by the proper officers, merely for the purpose of specifying, though in a general way, a part of the destruction. This table, notwithstanding its imperfections, inasmuch as it does not extend to the whole country, and is besides too vague, and not sufficiently explicit in particulars for some of the districts, nevertheless, proves that, as Rangervalle, Skagefiord, and Borgefiord, had, in proportion to their size and population, the greatest quantity of cattle and sheep, of all the districts therein specified, so they have also sustained the greatest loss, and thence
fa.) This statement merely belongs to two parishes in the district, Biamanes and 2ofells; no accounts having been as yet receiv1 from
Cl.J What cattle have died, 2 what still remain, in the district of Weste2 Skaptefield, we have not yet been able to ascertain: it is only
fc. ) No information has yet been received from the parishes of 2elgefields and Biar2rhavns, in this district, conce2ing the number dead
fd.J Among the number of sheep stated to have died in Dale, the lambs are not recko2d. Of the number still remaining in this district,
we can only speak to those in the two parishes, Staderhols and 2vams, which amounted to 93 horses, 121 cows, and 420 sheep. ft.) From five parishes in the district of Barderstrand, Muhle, Flatoe, Ottardals, Sandlaugsdals, and Saurboes, no inf2mation has yet been
receiv1 conce2ing what have died, 2 what are still remaining.