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in a business in which the honour of his country was implicated. He gave orders that the new Icelandic flag should be taken down, the battery destroyed, and that Count Tramp, Mr. Phelps, and Jörgensen, should come to England, that the whole case might be laid before his Majesty's Government and thoroughly investigated. These conditions were complied with ; Mr. Phelps, together with Count Tramp and Lieutenant Stewart, of the Talbot, sailed in the Margaret and Anne, while Jörgensen was placed on board the Orion. On the third day of voyage, the former ship was set on fire by the Danish prisoners, but the passengers and crew were saved by the Orion.
The result of the investigation and representations made in England was that an Order in Council was issued, of which the following is a copy:—
“Whereas it has been humbly represented to his Majesty that the islands of Ferroe and Iceland, and also certain settlements on the coast of Greenland, parts of the dominions of Denmark, have, since the commencement of the war between Great Britain and Denmark, been deprived of all intercourse with Denmark, and the inhabitants of those islands and settlements are, in consequence of the want of their accustomed supplies, reduced to extreme misery, being without many of the necessaries, and most of the conveniences, of life : “His Majesty, being moved by compassion for the sufferings of these defenceless people, has, by and with the advice of his Privy Council, thought fit to declare his royal will and pleasure, and it is hereby declared and ordered, that the said islands of Ferroe and Iceland, and the settlements on the coast of Greenland, and the inhabitants thereof, and the property therein, shall be exempt from the attack and hostility of his Majesty's forces and subjects, and that the ships belonging to the inhabitants of such islands and settlements, and all goods being of the growth, roduce, or manufacture of the said islands or settlements, on board the ships belonging to such inhabitants, engaged in a direct trade between such islands and settlements respectively and the ports of London or Leith, shall not be liable to seizure and confiscation as prizes. “His Majesty is further pleased to order, with the advice
aforesaid, that the people of all the said islands and settlements be considered, when resident in his Majesty's dominions, as stranger friends, under the safeguard of his Majesty's royal peace, and entitled to the protection of the laws of the realm, and in no case treated as alien enemies.
“His Majesty is further pleased to order, with the advice aforesaid, that the ships of the United Kingdom, navigated according to law, be permitted to repair to the said islands and settlements, and to trade with the inhabitants thereof.
“And his Majesty is further pleased to order, with the advice aforesaid, that all his Majesty's cruisers and all other his subjects be inhibited from committing any acts of depredation or violence against the persons, ships, and goods of any of the inhabitants of the said islands and settlements, and against any property in the said islands and settlements respectively.
“And the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury, his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the Judge of the High Court of the Admiralty, and the Judges of the Courts of the Vice-Admiralty, are to take the necessary measures herein, as to them shall respectively appertain.
(Signed) “W. FAWRENER.”
Of late, free trade has been granted to Iceland, and undoubtedly it will be a great boon to it. The heavy restriction which formerly existed checked the life-blood of the people, and was probably the main cause of the entire loss of the old Greenland settlement, which died out from want of supplies, so completely, that the place thereof knew it no more, and only the ruined churches and the tombstones remain to tell that former generations had peopled those lone shores.
Iceland has withered under the same paralyzing influence, and the whole character of the people has been deteriorated by the grinding want of the necessaries of life, so that there is now none of the energy and enterprise among them which were the distinguishing features of the early population.
Iceland has produced some few great men in modern times, whilst its ancient palmy days teemed with heroes, lawyers, poets, and historians. In grace of diction, and charm of putting a scene vividly before one, working up the details, and bringing the actors and speakers forward, by a few bold strokes which leave nothing to be desired, the old historians, or saga writers of Iceland, are inimitable. Of later times, Finn Jónsson, or Fin
noeus Johanoeus, as he delighted to call himself, the accomplished writer of the ecclesiastical history of his native isle, is one of the great lights. To Arnas Magnoeus we owe the preservation of the Saga MSS. This truly great man was born in 1631, and, at the age of thirty-one, became professor of philosophy in the Copenhagen University. A few years later he was made professor of northern antiquities, in which capacity he made frequent trips to his native isle, to gather the MSS. which were dispersed through the farms. After having collected together a large library, he had the misfortune of seeing it consumed by fire in 1728. Still many sagas remained in his own private library, and others were afterwards sent him from Iceland, so that, at his death, two years later, he was able to bequeath to the university library a considerable store of valuable MSS. Another distinguished Icelander is Thormod Forfaeus, author of The Series of Dynasties and Kings of Denmark and the History of Norway. Last in the list comes the sculptor Thorwaldsen, whose grandfather was an Icelander. I close this introductory chapter with a list of the principal Travels. travels in Iceland. Olafsson og Pålsson, Reise igjennem Island (Soróe, 1772). Von Troil, Letters on Iceland (2nd ed., 1780). Hooker's Tour in Iceland (1st ed., 1811; 2nd ed., 1813). Sir George Mackenzie's Travels in Iceland (2nd ed., 1812). Henderson's Iceland (1st ed., Edinburgh, 1818; 2nd ed., 1819). Barrow's Visit to Iceland. 1835. Ida Pfeiffer, Reise nach dem Skand, Norden. 1845. Sartorius von Waltershausen, Physisch-Geographische Skitze von Island. Göttingen, 1847. Pliny Miles, Rambles in Iceland. 1854. Chambers' Tracings of Iceland. 1855. Lord Dufferin, Letters from High Latitudes. 1857. Captain Forbes' Iceland. 1860. Mr. Clarke's “Notes on Iceland,” in Vacation Tourists. 1860. Rev. F. Metcalfe's Oaconian in Iceland. 1861. Mr. Holland's “Tour in Iceland,” in Alpine Club Volume for 1861. Drs. Preyer und Zirkel, Reise nach Island. 1862. Mr. Symmington's Pen and Pencil Sketches. 1862. Carl Vogt, Nordenfahrt von Dr. Berna. 1863.
Besides these, there is the large and expensive work by Gaimard, published in 1840 by order of King Louis Philippe, and costing about 211. It is to be regretted that some English tourists have transferred to their volumes the grossly exaggerated and unreal pictures of Gaimard's great work.
The great majority of the tourists mentioned above have only visited the scenes in the neighbourhood of Reykjavík, such as the Geysir and Hekla, and perhaps extended their range to Snoefell's Jökull.
First sight of Iceland—Hjörleif's Head—Dyrhólar—The Westmann Islands —Life of the Islanders—The Yankee's Story—My first Saga: “The Red Rovers"—Cape Reykjanes—The Mealsack—The Great Auk.
“BRITISHERs 1 I take you all to witness that I aire the first to catch sight of Iceland l’’ This, uttered in a shrill nasal twang, woke me on the morning of June 15th. “How so? You have not been on deck.” “I’ve looked through the port-hole though. Ay! I guess you seem pretty well streaked, young man; now, if—you— please, your five shillings.” Confound the Yankee On his own proposition we had come to an agreement on the previous evening, that every passenger should pay the sum now demanded to the first who saw Iceland. I had made up my mind to be the first on deck, had resisted the solicitations of Martin to have another drop of
whisky-toddy, had slept through Mr. Briggs' jokes, *