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hundred rix-dollars per annum, but the greater number do not produce an income of more than thirty or forty rix-dollars, and some do not exceed twelve, ten, or even five. It must be remembered, however, that most of the clergy occupy little farms, and this alone makes the condition of the greater part of them tolerable.

To give a more correct idea of the revenues of the clergy of Iceland, not only of the regular salaries which they receive from the crown, but also of such pensions as are appropriated to superannuated and poor priests and widows, I subjoin the following table of expenditure; only premising, that the number of clergymen is not to be estimated by that of the livings here mentioned; for, curates included, I think they amount to between three and four hundred.

Rdr. Sk.

1 Osterskaptefields Provstie .... 5 Livings 113 20

5 Vesterskaptefields Provstie 7 Ditto 164 40

3 Rangervalle and Westman-., ^ ^ ^ ^

noe Provstie J

4. Arnses Provstie 16 Ditto 436 34

5 Guldbringue and Kiose Provstie 9 Ditto 349 43

6 Borgafiord Provstie 6 Ditto 216 28

Carried forward .... 2016 45. f

Rdr. Sit.

Brought forward .. .7 2016 45

7 Myre Provstie 7 Livings 338 18

8 Snoefieldnes Provstie 7 Ditto 455 7

9 Dale Provstie 6 Ditto 281 18

10 Barderstrands Provstie 8 Ditto 291 72

11 Iseflords Vester Provstie 6 Ditto 215 80

12 Isefiords Norder Provstie 7 Ditto 188 41

13 Strande Provstie 4 Ditto 103 46

14 Hunevands Provstie t.... 15 Ditto 453 31

15 Skagefiords Provstie 14 Ditto 403 50

16 Oefiords Provstie 15 Ditto 434 16

17 Norder Provstie 17 Ditto 668 15

18 Norder Mule Provstie 10 Ditto 255 40

19 SyderMule Provstie 12 Ditto 359 90

Total...... 6464 89

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The amount of the revenues of the church- .» lands and tythes is therefore >

To th'i3 may be added,

The Bishop's annual salary 1848. 0

The Stiftprovsts annual salary 16 0

Salary to the Priest of Reikevig church .... 22 54

Pension to Bishop Stephensen's Widow .... 11719

Pension to Pastor emeritus Bergsen 20 0

Pension to Pastor emeritus Tholevsen...... 30 O

Total sum ...... 8518 66

The sum for the augmentation and amendment

of poor clergymen's livings and widow's > 618 72 pensions is •*

Thus the grands total of the expenditure of .» ^ 42 the church amounts to J

'The Icelandic language is the most ancient, and most pure, of all the Gothic and Teutonic dialects. It has been called the Gimbric, from its having been the one which chiefly prevailed among those tribes who inhabited theCimbrica Chersonesus, and, under this name, it is considered by the learned Dr. Hickes *, as the parent of the Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian languages, in the same manner as the Anglo-saxon is of the English, of the Friezland, and of the Lowland Dutch, and the Francic of the German lan-. guage. All of- them proceed from the same original stock -f-. That the Icelandic has retained its original purity to such a degree, that an Icelander of the nineteenth century can read, with ease, the oldest manuscripts

* In his Linguarum vet. Septentrionalium Thesaurus Grammatico-criticus et Archceologicus.

.j." To the old original mother-tongue it has been usual, after Verstegan, to give the name of Teutonic, not so much from the Teutones or Teutoni,. who inhabited the Danish islands, and were brethren to the Cimbri, as from its being the ancient Tuytsh, the language of Tuisto and his votaries; the great Father and Deity of the German tribes." Northern Antiquities, i. p. xl.

of his country, seems to be attributable to the little intercourse which this island has had with foreign nations, and to the small alteration that has taken place in the state of civilization of its inhabitants; few or no strangers having settled among them, who might corrupt their language by a mixture of their own; and few luxuries having been introduced, which might give rise to new wants, and consequently render necessary new terms to express them. What is spoken by the people of the coast is, however, in some degree, altered by the visits of foreigners; and in the immediate vicinity of the ports will be heard a number of words, which have been adopted from the Danes and Norwegians.

A specimen of the modern Icelandic will be found at page 295, of the second volume of this work, in a poem, written by one of the first native scholars of the present day; but, in order to shew how trifling is the change that has taken place in the language, between the years 1585 and 1746, I shall here subjoin a transcript of the Lord's Prayer, as it was written at each of those periods.


Fader vor thu sem ert a himnum. Helgist nafn thitt. Tilkome thitt riike. Verde thinn vilie so a jordu sem a himne. Gief ossidag vort dagligt braud. Og fyrerlat oss vorar skullder, so em vier fyrerlautum vorum skulldunautum. Og inleid oss ecki i freistne. Helldr frelsa thu oss af illu, thuiat thitt er riikit, maatur og dyrd um allder allda. Amen.


Fader vor thu sem ert a himnum. Helgesst thitt mafn. Tilkomme thitt rike. Verde thin vilie, so a jordu sem a himne. Gief thu oss i dag vort daglegt braud. Og fyrergief oss vorar skullder, so sem vier fyrer-giefum vorum skulldmautum. Og innleid oss ecke i freistne. Helldur frelsa thu oss fra illu; thuiad thitter riiked og maattur og dyrd um allder allda. Amen.

The Runic * characters, the first in use among the Icelanders, are of very remote antiquity, but of doubtful origin; though the Scandinavians, among whom they seem to have originated, were disposed to attri

* The word RUNE, Wormius derives either from Ryn, a furrow, or Ren, a gutter or channel. As these characters were first cut in wood or stone, the resemblance to a furrow or channel, would easily suggest the appellation. Northern Antiquities, i. p.363.

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