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on literature in Denmark.

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38 May 9. Mercury did not spread blessings every where I beg your pardon for a paradox borrowed from the Hudson's Bay Company, and many others. However, the difference is very great between the Esquimaux and my countrymen. The first are savages from time immemorial, but the latter have the honour, if honour it can be called, to have fallen from the most civilized state of society, and be reduced to the most abject abyfs of ignorance and wretched pride. For amidst all their feelings and sentiments of poverty, they find an ample consolation in their noble pedigrees, and antiquity of their forgotten origin; and so continue to lead a life indolent, and industriously idle. Would to heaven that the pious labours of the prince royal, and his friends, the counts Bernstorff, Reventlow, Mr Colbiornsen, and his excellency the privy counsellor Bulow, may never suffer the least abatement in their vigour, but continue firm and intrepid! I wish Iceland may get some new colonies from Scotland; they will live well I am sure in a country where land sells almost for nothing, and the provisions are exceedingly cheap. They would be kindly received by the natives as their countrymen, for the Icelanders pride themselves on being descended from the ancient Scots, and they still preserve some of the arts that are lost in Britain* .

*The sira of the Icelanders is certainly the very same thing with the blanda of Buchanan, which he thus describes, lib. 1. c. 33. Serum lactis aliquot annos servatum in conviviis etiam avide bibunt. Id potionis genus blandium appellant. Major pars aqua sitim sedat. This is evidently the sira, of which our Icelanders are now so very fond, a particular description of which follows:


Run milk, prefs the curd slightly, and run off the whey. Put the curd in a barrel stopped up, and now and then let out the air After eighteen

months keeping, it is fit for use. A few spoonfuls of it, to be mixed with common milk or whey..

at a time, are

In Icelend, whey is also put in casks, where it is suffered to ferment, and is drank after being six months barrelled.

Being thus sure of a kind reception, what riches could they not obtain, by prudent management, from the unbounded fisheries round the island; from the salmon fisheries, which, though inexhaustible, have not as yet turned to any advantage, and the lucrative breed of sheep and cattle which are not attended to, notwithstanding Iceland abounds with the finest pastures *. There were times when this ultima Thule exported in her own bottoms her own manufactures and cloth, stockings and carpets, to Norway, Ireland, and the northern parts of Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and Russia; and the laws pafsed in the eleventh century prove that agriculture was well attended to, Things have indeed taken a sad revulsion since that period; however, by the joint labours of wise and benevolent men, the causes of such grievances will I trust be removed, and this long ne glected spot be made to resume once more a splendour greater even than it formerly possessed."

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Such are the warm terms on which this beneficent correspondent talks of the improvements in Iceland. To those who have only casually visited that island in its present state, and are not acquainted with the particulars of its past history, these particulars will no doubt appear to be greatly exaggerated; yet the present state of Spain, of Palestine, of Egypt, of Greece, and of Turkey, are so much inferior to what they once were, as to afford the clearest proof that political mismanagement can produce effects equally pernicious as those that have occurred in Iceland.

The first is represented by Mr Professor Thorkelin, a native of Iceland, as being a most refreshing sort of food for the fishers and others, after. ̧ the most violent exercise and fatigue. The other as a wholesome, plea sent beveridge,

They sometimes put salmon and cod-fish bones into the sira, which adds to its quality.

* The natives of Scotland, to their sad experience, know that similar natural advantages at home, do not ensure prosperity. Edit.




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It will afford a subject of curious disquisition to the English reader, to trace the history of this northern nation which has been sunk in utter oblivion for so many ages; and I congratulate the public on the near prospect of their Dr being enabled to do this in a satisfactory manner. Thorkelin, a native of Iceland, professor of antiquities in the university of Copenhagen, a gentleman well known in Britain for several ingenious publications in the English language, who accompanied Mr Dempster in his tour through the Hebrides, in the year 1786, has been commánded, as I am afsured from undoubted authority, by the prince of Denmark, to publish an account of his travels in Scotland. In this work he will have an opportunity of reviving the memory of the mutual intercourse that subsisted between this country and Iceland, in former times, and of illustrating the history of these northern people, by many facts that are very little known. I fhall not fail to announce this interesting work to the public, as soon as it appears.

A character of the prince of Denmark by another correspondent from Copenhagen, will be given in our next.


THE favour of A. N. is received. No subject can be more generally interesting than chemical inquiries when conducted with propriety.;-witnefs Watson's essays; but long systematic treatises would not be so generally relished. A course of chemical observations tending to perfect arts and manufactures, would be one of the most useful as well as entertaining performances that could be given. Should this ingenious correspondent direct his views to these points, his disquisitions will be highly acceptable." Perhaps, medical, and pharmaceutical remarks ought to be sparingly introduced, as this work is calculated for general, not particularly for medi cal readers.

The remarks of preceptor are well founded, but they are too long. If this gentleman were to try to cut out every thought, and every word that could be spared, he would make a much more interesting paper. This is recommended to him as an exercise which he will find redound to his own profit.

The Editor regrets that the verses by W. S. ate too defective for pübLication. A constant reader is received.

Farther acknowledgements deferred till our next.

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PINKERTON, a man whom the Scots are pleased to dislike because he tells them truths disagreeably, has judiciously proposed that the poems of Hawthornden should be reprinted with due selections.

I beg leave to second Mr Pinkerton's motion. I greatly and fondly cherish the memory of Hawthornden. I like his character, his muse, and his residence; moreover Ilike his companions; for I doat upon Ben ́ Johnson, and I esteem Drayton. There are few lords now like lord Stirling. He admired and honoured Drummond, and cherished his friendship and correspondence in the depth of retirement, when the peer was basking in the sun-fhine of Whitehall, and warm in the prosecution of his trans-Atlantic projects.

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Among all the poets of the beginning of the last century, (writes the author of the Cursory Remarks

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on some of the ancient English poets, said to be Mr le Neve) there is not one, after Shakespeare, whom a general reader of the English poetry of that age will regard with so much and so deserved attention as William Drummond. He was born at Hawthornden, near Edinburgh, in 1585, and was the son of Sir John Drummond, descended of the family of Stobhall, who, for ten or twelve years, was usher, and afterwards knight of the black rod to king James 1. of England. The poet was educated at Edinburgh, where he took the degree of master of arts in the year 1606, and was afterward sent by his father to study civil law at Bourges in France; but having no taste for the profefsion of a lawyer, he returned to Hawthornden, and there applied himself with great afsiduity to classical learning and poetry. Having courted a daughter of Cunningham of Barnes, whom he celebrates in his poems, and to whom her accomplishments, congeniality of taste, and propensity to retirement, had strongly attached him, he was succefsful in his addresses, and a day was fixed for their marriage.

Soon after the was seized by an illness which proved fatal, upon which Drummond again quitted his native country, and resided eight years on the continent, chiefly at Rome and Paris.

In the year 1630 he married Margaret Logan of Restalrig, by whom he had several children, the eldest of whom, William, was knighted by king Charles II*. He spent very little time in England,


The heiress general of Hawthornden was married to Dr Abernethy a non-juring bishop in Scotland, of the ancient family of Abernethy of Sal

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