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he is extremely careful to preserve. But neither literature nor military parade attract his attention so much as to make him neglect the more important concerns of agriculture, manufactures, and trade, the only true sources of national prosperity. In these his laudable pursuits he has been supported by some of the principal men in the kingdom, who have had sense enough to perceive that their own prosperity depended on the welfare of the people under them, and spirit enough to promote that welfare, in spite of those bars that avarice and ignorance have thrown in their way. The peasants of Denmark, like those of most of the northern countries of Europe, were like, till very lately, a sort of vegetative production of the soil, from which they could on no account be removed without the permifsion of their lord. Some enlightened spirits there, however, perceiving the indolence that this kind of slavery produced among the people, and sensible of many other evils originating from the same source, were desirous of restoring the people to those rights which alone could render them active and useful citizens to the state, and therefore resolved to emancipate their own people, to serve as an example to others. Count Bernstorff, prime minister of Denmark, had the honour of taking the lead in this generous and patriotic enterprise. He, and count Christian Ditlef Reventlow, afsisted by Mr Christian Col biornsen, the attorney-general, have at length effected that glorious enterprise, though not without great difficulty. But the struggle is now over, and a foundation is thus laid for the prosperity of Denmark, the fruits of which will be enjoyed by future ages.

The minds of the people in Denmark were nearly as much agitated by the prospect of this emancipation, as are those of the proprietors of our West India islands at present by the prospect of the proposed abolition of the slave trade. The VOL. ix.


May 9. evil appeared to be of such magnitude, that a great body of the nobility entered into a combination to oppose this dangerous reform, which they conceived affected their interest and privileges in so eminent a degree. An action was brought by these noblemen against Mr Colbiornsen before the high court of chancery, on account of his proceedings and advice relative to the abolition of this species of feudal tyranny. The matter was fully investigated, and after hearing parties at great length, it was proved, to the satisfaction of the court, that the interest of the nation required the emancipation of the peasants. A decree was therefore issued, by which the rights of the peasants are now fully recognised, and their protectors honourably acquitted. By this decree every landholder or proprietor of land is strictly required to accept of a fixed sum as a commutation for all the feudal services. These services were before unsettled, uncertain, and arbitrary, they are now to be commuted into money, and so fixed as to prevent all further dispute between the parties. Thus is a foundation laid in Denmark for a freedom similar to that which we have long enjoyed in Britain, and which has thrown an energy into all our enterprises that is scarcely to be found in any other nation. As Poland has adopted the same general system, it is to be hoped that Europe in a few years will rise to a still greater degree of eminence than has hitherto been known on the globe.

The views of the prince of Denmark, and his worthy counsellors, have not been confined to those objects only that are just now enumerated; not only do they lay before. the public the literary treasures of their country, that have been locked up in their archives for so many ages,—not only do they, by emancipating the peasants, give energy to their bodily exertions, and by the liberty of the prefs allow their minds to exert their utmost power with freedom,

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they have also broken down those barriers to trade which a spirit of monopoly, had reared up with a view to opprefs one half the natives of these dominions. The trade to Finmark and Iceland has been, for many years past, like our trade to the East Indies, monopolised by a company of merchants, who had the sole and exclusive privilege of supplying the wants of these people, and of purchasing the commodities they had to sell. The consequence has been, that the people of those countries have thus been depressed to an astonishing degree, their industry reprefsed, and of course their population greatly diminished. The royal revenue from these regions was almost annihilated; and though some of the servants of the company picked up a comfortable subsistence, the company itself has from time to time become bankrupt, as ever happens to companies of this sort. The enlightened ministers above named, përceived these evils, and marked the mischievous consèquences that must result to the nation at large from a longer continuance of this absurd system of management. This destructive monopoly of trade, has therefore been abolifhed, and it is now open on the terms specified in the note below*. The trade to Iceland was laid open at the same

1. Persons of every persuasion established on the tenets of the Chritian religion, shall have a right to settle in Finmark, and enjoy perfect li berty of worship.

2. Every inhabitant, of whatever sect of the christian religion he be, fhall have a right to buy lands, to whatever extent he pleases.

3: Every citizen fhall be exempted from all taxes and duties payable to government, during the term of twenty years. '

4. The new settler fhall moreover be free from the duty of 4 per cent. payable on capitals laid out on interest, and the use of stamps,

5. The town established in Finmark, and its inhabitants, fhall, for the space of twenty years, be exempted from all customs and excise, spirituous liquors only excepted, which fhall pay one shilling per gallon, and, collected by the custom-house officers, fhall be appropriated to the public benefit of the new settlements.

6. In the same manner, the export of home productions is free during course of twenty years.

time and put under similar regulations. The effects of this new regulation are well exprefsed in the following: extract of a letter from a gentleman in Copenhagen who takes a near interest in the prosperity of Iceland. {

7. Upon the same principles goods, and cargoes of every description, imported from foreign parts, in order to be again exported, fhall be fres from duty, notwithstanding they have been imported in foreign bottoms.

8. The ground which is necefsary for the establishment of a new town fhall be purchased at the public expence, in case it be private property; but if it belong to the crown, it fhall be given gratis, to the new settlers. In both cases an exact survey and a legal conveyance fhall be made.

The new settlers are moreover entitled to the support of government with regard to building materials.

10. The grounds which have been surveyed, and conveyed to a new settler, fhail be his sacred property for ever, unless it be not occupied with a building belonging to him in the space of two years next following; under that circumstance the ground returns to the crown, and may be given to another.

11. Every person, whether native or foreigner, applying to the grand bailiff of the country, fhall receive gratis, a certificate of being received a citizen, after having taken the oath of allegiance.

12. A foreigner who thus settles in one of the new towns, shall immediately enjoy the same rights and privileges which belong to a native of Fin mark, and after the end of six years next following, he and his posterity fhall be considered as entitled to all the rights which belong to a native of either kingdom.

13. Every new settler has liberty and right to leave the country whenever he pleases without paying any fine, and without respect to the length or shortness of his residence in the country.

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14. A new settler may make use of any trade he chooses, without a licence, except that of distilling spirituous liquors, and keeping a publíc house, for in both these cases an application.must be made to the grand. bailiff.

15. Handicrafts, whether natives or foreigners, will be encouraged, in: the most effectual manner, by the chamber of finance.

1.6. Every person, therefore, fhall have full liberty to exercise his trade and business as master, and his apprentices, having served their time, fhall enjoy al all the privileges which belong to the same trade in that town, wherein he may settle at a future period.


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"The trade of Iceland is now very brifk, we only want new settlers, enlarged with ideas unknown to a barbarous people. I say barbarous, for so these Icelanders are at present, relative to every knowledge useful to scociety. Psalms, hymns, prayers, sermons, are no where found in a greater plenty than in Iceland; and yet the people grow not a bit the wiser. How? the trade brisk, and the people ignorant and wretched! As if the golden gifts of

17. It is exprefsly enacted, that no corporation fhall be permitted to take place in any of these new settlements.

18. A new settler or citizen fhall receive an annual premium of one rix dollar, or four fhillings per ton, on every vefsel his-property, laid up in any of the Finmark harbours during the winter.

19 Every citizen, being enrolled as a merchant, fhall have liberty, equal with any other merchant in the king's dominions, to use his trade both with the natives or foreigners, whether they are Swedes or Russians.

20. All imports and exports. to and from Finmark, fhall go through the new towns.

21. Those citizens who are retail traders shall have liberty to order their commodities from whatever place they may please in the king's dominions.

22. Citizens only fhall have liberty to sell foreign goods in their mar-kets.

23. Those of the citizens who engage in the fisheries, fhall enjoy the same privileges. which have been granted to the other citizens of the two kingdoms, and they fhall be entitled to a premium of fifteen. rix dollars, or L. 3. per ton, for every ship not exceeding five hundred and ninety tons, they may fit out for the whale fishery under Spitzbergen, and the parts adjacent.

24. The same laws of excharge which are prescribed in the Norwegian Code of law, thall be observed in Finmark.

25. The government is lodged in the hands of the grand bailiff of Finmark, who besides. fhall have the power of deciding all matters relating to the customs.

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26. But justice fhall be administered within the new settlements, by the justice of peace residing in the town of Hammersfelt, till the said new settlement can arrive at such a degree of maturity as may enable them to appoint their own magistrate.


27. And then shall the community obtain their own seal, after having made an application to his majesty for that purpose.

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