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a similar inference may be drawn as to the parts unnoticed. According to the information that we have obtained, the northern districts have not suffered less than the rest, and their present deplorable condition may be put on a parallel with that of Western Skaptefield.
Effects upon the That the eruption had likehuman fame. wige a powerful effect on the human frame is certain, and is the less to be wondered at, as the unwholesome and pestilential air operating together with the noxious water and food, and with the want and distress occasioned by the destruction of the cattle, must naturally be productive of sickness and distempers. Diseases of the most inveterate kinds, in the form of scurvy, broke out in sundry places, and those even far distant from the fire: as, for instance, in the districts of Guldbringue, Borgefiord, and Myhre, especially in the first. The district of West Skaptefield was, however, the chief seat of this distemper; and in only six parishes there, no less than one hundred and fifty persons were carried off between the commencement of the new year and the month of June following; but some of these perished by famine. The same symptoms shewed themselves, in this disorder, in the human race, as among the cattle: The feet, thighs, hips, arms, throat, and head, were most dreadfully swelled, especially about the ankles, the knees, and the various joints, which last, as well as the ribs, were contracted. The sinews, too, were drawn up, with painful cramps, so that the wretched sufferers became crooked, and had an appearance the most pitiable. In addition to this, they were oppressed with pains across the breast and loins; their teeth became loose, and were covered with the swollen gums, which at length mortified, and fell off in large pieces of a black or sometimes dark blue color. Disgusting sores were formed in the palate and throat, and not uncommonly at the extremity of the disease, the tongue rotted entirely out of the mouth. This, dreadful, though, apparently, not very infectious, distemper, prevailed in almost every farm in the vicinity of the fire during the winter and spring; but, happily, its extreme horrors were confined to the district of West Skaptefield, beyond which it was attended with less melancholy consequences. Many of the unfortunate inhabitants, who resided in the vicinity of the place of eruption, and who could not procure either medicine or assistance, were starved to death; from an utter incapability of swallowing during the prevalence of the disorder any portion of food, even if they could obtain it, which was not often the case. On the farm of Nupstad, in the Fliotshverfet, which was the only one of all that remained inhabited, till the spring of 1784, the distemper attacked every individual among the inhabitants, not leaving a single person in health to assist and comfort the sick with the necessarv at tendance. Report goes even so far as to state, that several persons had been lying dead in their houses for a considerable time, before any intelligence of their decease could reach Siden, the nearest station; and that the information was at length conveyed by some travellers from the east country, who accidently stopped at Nupstad, and there VOL II. R
heard from the few survivors of the distressing situation of the district. Both there, and at Horgsland, and, indeed, at some other places, it was necessary to burn the bodies upon the spot; since there were no horses left, and but few persons who were able to convey the deceased to the church. I ought indeed to add, that the circumstance of the earth being frozen to a considerable depth, as well during the winter as the spring of 1784, made a measure of this kind the more indispensible; the few that were free from disease being so enfeebled by hunger, that they had by no means strength sufficient to break up the indurated ground, and open graves for so great a number of bodies as now required interment. As often, therefore, as burial was at all resorted to, six, seven, eight, and even ten bodies were placed in one grave, and, for the sake of sparing exertions that they were little able to encounter, this was frequently so shallow as barely to allow a covering of earth above tbe lid of the coffin. That the air, from such a mode of interment, must soon become corrupted