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manufacture. In the common conversation, which they held, in the Danish language, with Mr..Jorgensen, they seemed to be much animated, and had a great deal of action with their hands and heads; but as often as any thing was said or offered to them which gave them pleasure, they made it apparent by scratching and rubbing themselves violently, and writhing their body so as to cause it to chafe against their clothes; thereby indicating that they were sorely afflicted with a complaint, said, with what truth I shall not pretend to determine, to be very troublesome in the northern parts of our own island. These poor creatures swallowed the provisions that we gave them, with a most voracious appetite, and, by means of their excellent sets of teeth, our hardest biscuits were soon reduced to a digestible state. With our snuff and tobacco* they were highly pleased, and
* This passion for snuff and tobacco is prevalent among all the northern nations. I had frequent opportunities of observing it, during my tours in the Highlands of Scotland; and Linnaeus has some curious remarks on the subject, in his Flora Lapponica, where he says, p. 310, "Ceterum apud innocentissimos Lappos innotuit pessimus mos pulvere Nicotianoe naies
even boys of fourteen or fifteen years of age held out their hands for a piece of tobacco, whilst I was dividing some amongst the men. They invited us in their turns to partake of their snuff, but when they presented their boxes, we were at a loss
saturamdi, ut nec vir nec femina mec puer sit, cui non in bursa adsit pyxis pro pulvere olfactorio tabaci, pro tabaco conscisso ad suffumigium, pro comminuto ad morsulas. Sed notes velim condimenta; non enim simplex pulvis Nicotianae sternutatorius sufficit maso ditiorum, sed pulvere Castorei saturatus erit, quo vehementius, gratius, salubrius spiret, licet mullam in Lapponià hystericam viderim; hinc in loco matali venditur communiter integer folliculus Castorei tribus florenis, vel, quod iden, unico rhenone.” This custom, however, is not confined solely to northern countries; for, in the town of Leetakoo, in Africa, in latitude 26° 30′ south, (according to the account written by some travellers who penetrated into that country, and published by Mr. Barrow,) the practice of snuff-taking is said to be peculiarly agreeable to the natives. “This article is composed of a variety of stimulant plants, dried and rubbed into dust, which is usually mixed with wood ashes; of this mixture they take a quantity in the palm of their hand, and draw it into their nostrils through a quill, or reed, till the tears trickle down their cheeks. Children, even, of four or five years of age, may be observed taking snuff in this manner.” Voyage to Cochinchina, p. 395.
how to get at a pinch; for their boxes* are shaped generally like a small flask, with an extremely narrow neck and mouth, which is stopped by a plug or peg of wood, fastened by its upper end to the neck of the box by means of a piece of string. The sides are carved with ornaments of various kinds, and inlaid very neatly with brass or silver: at the bottom, by means of a larger hole, which is closed by a screw, the snuff is admitted into the box, and our pilots soon shewed us their method of getting it out for use, which was, by holding their heads back, and inserting into one of their nostrils the mouth of the box; when, by two or three gentle shakes, a sufficient quantity is admitted into the nose, to produce the desired effect. Nothing more was then required, but to wipe away the superfluous particles from the nose, by drawing the back of the hand across it. However, this is not the only, although the ge
* Their shape might, perhaps, be more aptly compared to a pair of bellows in miniature, or to an English pounce-box, some of which I have seen with flat »ides considerably like them, but smaller. The middle part of an Icelandic snuff-box is made of wood, the week and screw of brass.
neral method of making use of their chief luxury; for the more moderate snuff-takers will be satisfied by shaking some upon the back of their hand, and then inhaling it with their nostrils; or by expanding the fore finger and thumb, so as to form a little pit or hollow at the base of the thumb, which will contain half a nostril-full: but, bv this method, more is wasted. It is, perhaps, one of the most disagreeable features among the generality of the Icelanders, both men and women, that their nostrils are always overflowing with this precious dust. The information which these men gave us was, that the governor of the island, Count Tramp, had just arrived in his ship, the Orion, from Denmark, and, that a man of war, from England, had but two days previous left Reikevig, where she had been staying some time, and had been entering into an agreement with the governor about permitting the. island to trade with the English. In a few hours, we came within sight of the islands about Reikevig, which appeared to be pretty well clothed with grass, and to have on them both houses and cattle. Along the shore, also, were here and there scattered a few cottages, which, on account of their being covered with turf, were not easily distinguishable from the ground they stood upon, and, sometimes, only by the superior luxuriance of vegetation. Another boat was now seen coming from the shore, in which were Mr. Savigniac, an agent for Mr. Phelps, who had spent the winter there, and a Mr. Betreyers, a Danish Merchant, who could speak a little English. While these gentlemen were talking over commercial affairs below, I kept upon deck, watching, with my telescope,every little object as it came in view. The house of the physician, Doctor Clog (pronounced Clo), a neat white building, covered with boards, was pleasantly situated upon a flat grassy peninsula, and, a little beyond it, we discovered the small town of Reikevig. The most conspicuous feature in this town was a pretty large white building, roofed with boards, which, I concluded, was the residence of the governor, but was surprised on being told it was the work-house, or house of correction. On drawing nearer, however, it was not such a comfortable place as it appeared in the distance, and the houses in the town, which we had a good view of, as we came to an