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Can these enumerated monumental results of the great agencies of Nature in past time, presented in close succession throughout the tour, be all really of so magnificent an order, if the traveller may at this time compass the whole island, and scarcely witness, excepting the Geysers, one present display of those agencies which he can describe as eminently grand To such an insinuation, if such there were, it might be replied, that the tour of the whole island would not be likely to make the traveller the spectator of a greater number of transient, grand phenomena, than he would have witnessed in remaining stationary, for the same number of months, in any one spot where the great but slow agencies of Nature were in the course of producing such phenomena; as an object moving in a shower of hail or rain, would not receive a greater proportion of the falling element than if standing perfectly still the same length of time. Five or six months of travelling were thus but equivalent, with respect to the sight of contemporary mighty operations, to remaining so long fixed in any one of a hundred different spots of Iceland. Now, then, imagine the case that there had been a hundred observers placed during those months in these hundred stations, and that they had subsequently brought into one collective description all the magnificent transiant phenomena they should have witnessed. If, on the average, each of them had to relate no more than two or three prodigious exhibitions, the whole assemblage would, nevertheless, form an amazing display of what had taken place within that short period. It would, by the rule laid down, contain a hundred times as many wonders, of present occurrence, as our Author witnessed in his whole tour. It would in fact contain a far greater proportion; since a very large part of his time was necessarily spent in passing over tracts where, from the nature of the place, nothing extraordinary was likely to happen, even in the course of many years; whereas, the hundred observers might all have remained stationary, during the whole time, in situations where the great operations of Nature, tending to great catastrophes, were evidently going on. . But what a majestic picture would thus be furnished of the continual achievements of that agency, slowly productive of extraordinary phenomena as it may appear, in the descriptive narration of a single observer ! Nevertheless, it will strike every reader that time has wrought a very great change in the island with regard to the Power of fire. In this respect, it looks like the vast deserted metropolis of some ancient and fallen empire. In contemplating the unnumbered volcanos, and the immensity of lava and other vestiges of the rage and dominion of fire, it is inevitable to believe, that there have been times when eruptions and earthVol. X. N. S. R
quakes were of far more frequent occurrence than during the last few centuries, or in perhaps any age since the island was colonized ; though since that period there have been twentythree recorded eruptions of Hekla. This appears to have been the most active in maintaining the formidable sublimity of Iceland; but half a century has now elapsed since its last eruption. In some of the mountains whose extensive lavas proclaim their original character, Snaefell Yokul, for instance, the power of destruction has slumbered ever since the occupation of the island. The observations at some spots on the southern shore of the Breidafiord, especially at Helgafell and the neighbourhood, give occasion to introduce some amusing reminiscences, historical and legendary, of the first rude pagan settlers in this part of the island. It retains the fame, and, as Dr. H. is satisfied, a substantial monument, of the residence and proceedings of Thorolf, a bold Norwegian nobleman, who took possession of the tract, a little before the end of the ninth century, and distinguished himself and the place by a fanatical devotion to the worship of Thor. This grim Moloch of the North was never sparing in his demands of human blood; and the report of the present existence of one of his most tributary altars, that on which were sacrificed the culprits condemned in Thorolf's public court of justice,—incited our Author to an active search in and around the spot indicated by ancient remains to have been a place of convocation : the following is the result.
“We fell in with an immense number of small square heights, which are evidently the ruins of the booths used by the people at the public assembly. We here instituted a strict search after the Blotsteinn, or Stone of Sacrifice, on which human victims were immolated to Thor; but sought in vain in the immediate vicinity of the booths, none of the stones in that quarter answering to the description which had been given of it. At last we descried a large stone - in the middle of a morass at some distance, which, though rough and unshapen, was determined to be the identical “Stone of Fear,” by the “horrid circle of Brumo,” in the centre of which it is situate. The stones which form this circular range; appear also to be of a considerable size; but as they are now almost covered by the morass, it is impossible to ascertain their depth, except by digging. The circle itself is about twelve yards in diameter, and the stones are situated at short distances from each other. The Blot-steinn is of an oblong shape, with a sharp summit, on which the backs of the victims were broken, that were offered as expiatory sacrifices, in order to appease the wrath of the offended deity, and purge the community from the obnoxiousness of guilt. Within the circle, called in Icelandic domhringr, sat the judges, before whom the accused, with their advocates and witnesses, were convened, while the spectators crowded around the outside of the range in order to hear the trial.”
At Hvam, the necessity imposed on the Traveller of reposing, after a stage of great fatigue, in an Icelander's bed, in consequence of having left his tent and bedding behind in order to
make a collateral excursion, excited, he confesses, some appre
hension, perhaps as much as any of the secondary class of the
ART. IX. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.
*** Gentlemen and Publishers who have works in the press, will oblige the Conductors of the Eclectic Review, by sending Information (post paid) of the subject, extent, and pro price of such works; which they may depend upon being communicated to the Public, if
consistent with its Plan.
The Editors of the Biblical Register are sorry to be under the necessity of informing their Friends, that the encouragement which it has received, has not been such, as to justify individuals in continuing a Publication, at a very heavy certain loss, from which, under any circumstances, they would not derive any profit; and that therefore no additional number will be printed. The seven Numbers which have already appeared, may be had of Simpkin and Marshall, Stationer's Court, LudgateHill, and J. Low, Gracechurch-street, stitched together, price 3s. These contain, amongst other important and interesting matter, a full account of the plan of Organizing and Conducting Bible Associations; Historical Accounts of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and of the Naval and Military Bible Society; Reviews of various Pamphlets for and against the Bible Society, &c. &c.; and are embellished with a Portrait of the Emperor Alexander. Dr. Ayre, of Hull, will soon publish, in an octavo volume, Practical Observations on the nature and treatment of those disorders which may be strictly denouninated Bilious. Dr. A. B. Granville has in the press, Memoirs on the Present State of Science and Scientific Institutions in France; interspersed with anecdotes, and illustrated by numerous plates and tables. Dr. Clarke Abel will soon publish, Personal Observations made during the Progress of the British Embassy through China, and on its Voyage to and from that country, in a 4to. volume, illustrated by engravings. Mr. J. W. Wuittaker, of St. John's College, Cambridge, has in the press, a Critical Examination of Mr. Bellamy’s Translation of Genesis; comprising a refutation of his calumnies against the English Tran-lators of the sible. Mr. John Nichols is preparing for publication, in three octavo volumes, the Miscellaneous Works of the late G. Hardinge, Esq.
Dr. Spiker's Travels through England are published at Berlin, and an English translation is preparing for the press. Dr. Andrew Duncan will soon publish, an Account of the Life, Writors, and Character of the late Dr. Alex. Monro, delivered as the Harveian oration at Edinburgh for 1818. John Galt, Esq. is preparing the Second Part of the Life of 13enjamin West, Esq. Şı. A. Picquot is printing, a Chronological Abridgement of the History of Modern Europe, compiled from the best English, French, and German historians. Mr. William Carey bas in the press, a Biographical Sketch of B. R. Haydou, Esq. with Critical Observations on his Paintings, and some notice of his Essays in the public journals. Dr. Hallarau has in the press a second edition, with considerable additions, of his Practical Observations on the Causes and Cure of Insanity. In the press, an Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in Asia. By Hugh Murray, F.R.S.E. Author of an Historical Account of Discoveries in Africa. In 3 vols. 8vo. with maps. In the press, a Geographical and Statistical Description of Scotland. By James Playfair, D.D. F.R.S. and F.A. S.E. Principal of the United College of St. Andrew, and Historiographer to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent. In 2 vols. 8vo. with a map. In the press, Sermons: By the Rev. C. R. Maturin, Curate of St. Peter's, Dublin. In 8vo. Dr. Alexander Monro, Professor of Anatomy in the University of Edinbugh, has in the press, an Account of the Sinall-Pox, as it appeared after Vaccination. Including, among many Cases, three which occurred in the Author's own Family. In octavo, with plates. Preparing for publication, H. Butterworth's Catalogue of Modern Law Books, intended as a Guide to the purchasers of legal works.
Also, the second edition, with considerable additions, of the Elements of Forensic, or Juridical Medicine. By o George Edward Male, M.D. Physician to the General Hospital, Birmingham. * Also, a new edition, with great addiortions, of the Epitome of the Practice in of the High Court of Chancery. By Robert Venables, Esq. Author of the Practice of Costs in the Court of Chancery. Also, A Digest of the Law of the Distribution of the Personal Fstates of Intestates. By Francis Mascali, Fsq. of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister-at-Law. The proprietors of the Rev. Mr. Todd's edition of Dr. Johnson's Dictionary, beg to inform the public, that they will shortly publish an Abridgement of that valuable work, by Alex. Chalmers, Esq. F.S.A. Alex. Jamieson, Author of a Treatise on the Construction of Maps, &c. has now in the press, a Grammar of Logic and a Grammar of Rhetoric. These works are constructed upon principles not hitherto adopted in didactic books, except in Mr. Jamieson's edition of Adams's Flements of Useful Knowledge. The Grammar of Logic will ap
pear early in September, and that of Rhetoric in the end of Autumn. Mr. Nichols has published, Poems, Latin, Greek, and English. By Nicholas Hardiuge, Esq. M.A. Fellow of King’s College. Collected and revised by George Hardinge, M.A. F.R.S. and F.S.A. To which is now first added, (from the Author’s original M.S.) an Historical Engraving and Essay upon the administration of Government in England during the King’s minority. Written soon after the death of Frederic Prince of Wales. The Latin Poems of Mr. Nicholas Hardinge, (which have been justly character zed as elassical, and worthy of the Augustan age,) were never before printed for sale. Mr. Nichols has also published a third volume of his “ Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century.” In this volume, among other interesting articles, are given Memoirs of Nicholas Hardinge, Esq. and his Son, the late Mr. Justice Hardinge, with their Portraits, by Ramsay and N. Dance; with Memoirs of the truly heroic Captain George Nicholas Hardinge; also of John Townley, Esq. with an elegant Engraving of his bust, Soc.
New Exercises in Orthography; upon a new plan. By Joseph Guy, jun. Master of the Academy, Foley-street, 1s. bound.
A Mercator's Atlas of Skeleton Maps, adapted to modern Navigation and Maritime Surveying. By Alex. Jamieson, Author of a Treatise on the Construction of Maps, &c. royal 4to. 6s. 6d. sewed.
The Algebraist's Assistant; being a Compendium of Algebra, upon the plan of Walkingame's Tutor's Assistant: containing, I. The Elements of Algebra, plain and fractional; with concise explanations and numerous examples, with their answers annexed. II. Fauations, both simple and quadratic ; ratios, &c. with the first steps for the solution of the more difficult Problems. III. Application of Algebra to the investigation and extension of the rules of Arithmetic. IV. Dynamics, or first principles of Mechanics. V. Application of Algebra to Geometry, with