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all Danes to remain within their own houses, and prohibits every one from holding communication with them: the ninth article threatens those who act contrary to this decree with being brought before a military court and shot within two hours; while by the eighth tenth and eleventh articles, are promised to all native Icelanders undisturbed tranquillity and a felicity hitherto unknown *.
in Copenhagen, for which it might be considered a sort of equivalent. Some years ago, a great eruption took place from Mount Hecla, which destroyed a number of people and ruined many. In Denmark and other countries a large sum of money was collected by subscription for the relief of the suffering inhabitants on the island, and deposited in Copenhagen. The sums procured in such a manner have positively never been paid to the Icelanders, but detained by the Danish government. Also, to indemnify Danish merchants for their losses by property confiscated, the court at Copenhagen has nothing to do, but to order them to be paid from the Icelandic funds; and so could the merchants not be sufferers, and there would still remain a surplus, which would more than indemnify government for what public property was seized."
* Perhaps with a view of obtaining his share in the general felicity held forth by this proclamation, a poor
On the evening of the same day, appeared also a second proclamation, proceeding much farther than the other, and decreeing in its first article, that Iceland should be independent of Denmark; and in the fifth, that a republican constitution should be introduced, similar to that which existed before the country was united to Norway in the thirteenth century, but, till this could be
peasant presented a brief to his Excellency, Governor Jorgensen, who favored me with the following translation:
"A Petition from Biarne Thorlevsen, Sheweth,
"That in the year 1805, my wife Thorunn Gunnlaugdatter was sentenced to two years labor in the Icelandic work-house, only for the simple thing of stealing a sheep, which besides was nothing at all to me. The separation which took place accordingly, occasioned that I was compelled to take a young girl as my housekeeper, who otherwise much recommended herself by her ability and fidelity. The consequence of these circumstances was that the girl produced two little girls, after each other, whose father I am. We were then separated by order of the magistrates, and in this manner must the education of two innocent, but at the same time right handsome little girls, remain neglected, unless she as mother, in conjunction with me as father, settled by the representatives of the people, allowing by the sixth article, to the existing authorities the option of remaining in their respective situations. In the tenth article it is declared that the country shall be put in a state of defence: the twelfth annuls all debts due to Danish merchants in the
is not hindered from following the irresistible dictates of nature in the care and education of the children. But this cannot be done if we are not allowed to marry, and I humbly beg Mr. Bishop Videlin's declaration; so much the more so, as I am convinced of the justice of my cause.
"I also commit my life and worldly happiness to your Excellency's gracious consideration.
"With the confidence and attachment of a subject,
'' BlARNE Thorlevsen."
Skridnafell within Barderstrand Syssel, 1st August, 1809.
To his Excellency, Mr. Jorgen Jorgensen, Protector of the whole Island of Iceland, and Chief Commander by Sea and Land.
As my readers may wish to learn the fate of Mr. Biarne Thorlevsen and his faithful girl, I will add that upon farther inquiry on the part of the bishop into the affair, he found that the wife was anxious for a separation from her husband, when there remained no obstacle to his wishes of entering a second time into the marriage state. country or abroad, and prohibits clandestine payment of them, under pain of the individual being compelled again to pay the same amount to the new governor: the thirteenth provides against the prices of provisions being exorbitant: the fourteenth takes off the half of all taxes to be levied upon the inhabitants till the 1st of July, 1810: by the eighteenth, all communication with Danish ships is forbidden: the second third and fourth guarantee personal safety and property, and payments of pensions, &c.; while the nineteenth extends the same protection to Danes who do not intermeddle in the political affairs of the island.
It may be observed, that the number of representatives that were to have been sent were three from the southern ampt, one from the eastern ampt, two from the northern, and two from the western ampt.
The government-house was from this time occupied by Mr. Jorgensen, and all public business was as usual transacted in the office belonging to it. The salaries of the various officers under government were also paid; and they so far appeared satisfied * with the present arrangements that none of
* This satisfaction, to judge from the remarks of Count Tramp and the Etatsroed, existed only in appearance, since the former says, "Thus, a new order of things, presenting to view all the miseries that can spring from boundless despotism, was forced upon an innocent people, loyal and faithful to their king. The Danes that had been in public employments, who were now deprived of their places, and laboring under a suspicion otherwise honorable to themselves, of detesting the introduced changes, and meditating schemes for the fall of the usurper, and who were on that account exposed to the same persecutions and ill treatment of which so many instances had been seen, resolved to depart from a country where, with their best wishes, for want of means and assistance they found no possibility of being useful. Many natives in public functions followed their example in resigning, whose offices were filled with the most unqualified persons, by notorious drunkards and flatterers, who were indebted only to their officiousness as spies and calumniators for the favor and protection of the new ruler." —The latter, after mentioning some of the most severe articles in the proclamation, proceeds to affirm that "they did expand a general horror all over the country; and that only the rascality of a few people did approve them, for the gain of money and for the sake of getting some share in the disturbed government or rather in the