Adalbertius Metropolitanus Hamburgensis, Anno Christi 1070. Vidit ad Christum conuersos Islandos: licet ante susceptam Christi fidem, lege Naturali vuuentes, non multum à lege nostra discrepantes: itaque, pretentibus illis, ordinauit quendam virum sanctum, primum Episcopum, nomine Isleif.
Krantzius his verbis, et Munsterus alibi, fidei seu Religionis Christianæ dignitatem Islandis videntur adscribere: Facerentque et se, et veritate dignum, nisi eandem alias nobis adimerent. Nam (vt de Krantzio infra) Munsterus, quæ supra prodidit, de fide nostra, seu opinione circa Inferni locum situmque, omnino est à Christiana pietate alienum: Velle scilicet scrutari arcana, quæ Deus sibi soli reseruauit, quæque voluit nostrum captum excedere: Non enim reperitur de hac re quicquam in literis sacris, vbi locus vel sitis inferni seu ignis æterni, Diabolo et Angelis ipsius, adeoque damnatis omnibus animabus destinati, determinetur, aut circumscribatur: Nullam inquam, infra terram, seu in ea, aut vlla alia huius mundi parte, corporalem seu localem situm illi damnatorum carceri pagina sacra assignat: quinimo, terram hanc interituram, et terram nouam et coelos nouos, iustorum et sanctorum habitacula, creanda affirmat: Apoc. 2. 2, Petri 3, Esa. 65. Quare Christianus rerum adeò abstrusarum inquisitionem libenter præterit: tum dogmata nullis appertis et illustribus scripturæ sacras testimonijs stabilita, velut certa et vera recipere, aut alijs tradere, nefas esse ducit. Deut 4. et 12, Esa. 8. Matth, 17. 2, Timoth. 3.
Deinde etiam pugnat acriter cum Religione Christiana, quo Munsterus & Krantzius Islandos ornant, encomium: Eos videlicet, catulos ac pueros suos æquo habere in precio. De quo infra, section. 7. Sic igitur secum dissidet Munst. dum quos Christianos assent, inferni architectos alias facit: Item, Krantzius et Munsterus, dum quos fide Christo insertos affirmant, eosdem omni pietatis et honestatis sensu exuunt: quòd scribant filios ab his, non maiore cura, quàm catulos diligi.
Sed vt ad rem: De Religione equidem nostra, quæ qualiseu fuerit, cum Ethnicismus primùm fugari coepit, nihil magnificè diceret possumus: quemadmodum nec alia Septentrionis Regna vicina, vti existimo, de suis fidei initijs. Fatendum enim est, et cum serijs gemitibus deplorandum vsque ad illam nunquam satis prædicatam diem, quæ nobis velut immortalitatis initium illuxit et repurgati Euangelij doctrinam attulit, tenebras plusquam Cimmerias, etiam nostris hominibus, vt reliquis Septentrionis Ecclesijs, offusas fuisse. Illud tamen piè nobis sentire liceat, apud nos, vt et in vicina Noruegia (nam nolo vltra septa vagari, et de populis ignotis quicquam pronunciare) eiecta primùm Idololatria Ethnica, sinceriorem longè et simpliciorem fidem seu religionem Christianam viguisse; quippe veneno Papistico minus infectam, quam posteà, vbi auctum Romanæ sedis fermentum pestiferum, et malum contagiosum maturuit, et per totum orbem virus suum diffudit: Nam vt posteà apparebit, multis annus antequam noua Pontificiorum Idololatria vires et incrementum cepit, Islandia Christum amplexa est: et vt laudatissimi duo illi Noruegiæ Reges, quibus vt commune nomen, ita commune nominis Christi propagandi studium et professio, nihil nisi fidem in Deum Patrem, Filium, et spiritum Sanctum, sonabat. Dico autem illum Olaum Thryggonis F. qui Anno Christi 968. natus, Anno ætatis 27. imperium Noruegiæ adeptus est, et primus, vt accepimus, Noruegis Christum obtrusit: quibus imperitabat annis 5. Et huic cognominem, Olaum nuncupatum Sanctum, Haraldi F. Qui anno Christi 1013. aut circiter, imperij habenas arctius in primis obtinuit. Per annos fere 17. Christi doctrinam audacter tradidit. Anno Christi 1030. ab improbis parricidis nefariè interfectus, in pago Noruegise Stickla Stodum, pro Christi nomine cruorem fudit.
Habuit etiam nostra patria inter multos alios quendam insignem pietate virum; cui Nialus nomen erat, qui circa annum Christi 1000 vixit in prædio seu villa Berthors huol, sita in Parochia Islandiæ, Landenum: Quique rerum humanarum experientia, circumspecta animi prudentia, sagacitate et consilio, habebatur insignis. Cum enim, eius seculo, indomitis Islandia motibus fluctuaret, incolis à nullo ferè superiore magistratu repressis, nullis se factionibus immiscuit: Plurimas cauta animi virtute ac industria composuit. Nunquam vim fecit, nec passus est, si vltimum tantum in vita diem excipias. Adeò studiosè seditiones et turbas vitauit aliosque vitare aut euadere cupientes optimè iuuit. Nec quisquam eius consilio, nisi maximo suo commodo est vnquam vsus: nec quisquam ab eo, nisi cum vitæ et fortunarum penculo deflexit. Tam certum ab eo oraculum petebatur, vt valde mirandum sit, vnde homini tanta futurorum euentuum, et tam certa coniectura et consilium esse potuerit, quanta in ipso deprehensa est. Vnde ipsius cauta, prouidens et consilij plena sapientia, apud nostrates in prouerbium abijt: Nials biita raden: quasi dicas, Niali consilium; vel, Niali consilio res geritur, aut succedit: cùm quid prudenter et admirando cum consilio gestum est.
Hic cum domi suæ, à 100. viris coniuratis ob cædem à filio ipsius, ipso tamen inscio, patratam cingeretur, et inimicis domum vndique igni succendentibus, sibi videret supremum fatum instare, ait tandem. Hæc quidem fato, hoc est, voluntate diuina accidunt. Cæterum spem et fiduciam in Christo sitam habeo, nos (de se et vxore loquens) licet corpus hoc nostrum caducum, inimicorum flammis, mortalitatis corruptionem subeat, ab æternis tamen flammis liberatum iri. Sicque inter has voces, et flammarum sævitiam, vitam, An. Christo 1010. cum vxore et filio homicida, finiuit. Vox profectò filijs Dei non indigna, animæ, cum mortis acerbitate luctantis summum solatium arguens.
Hæc ideo addidi, vt ostendam quà coniectura adducar ad extstimamdum mox initio Christianismi (vt sic loquar) apud nos recepti, non fuisse tam deceptas et errorum tenebris immersas hominum mentes, quàm nunc, paulò ante hæc nostra tempora fuerunt.
Ast verò iam postquam Dominus Deus per Lutherum, et Lutheri in vinea Domini collegas, et pios successores, salutis doctrinam illustriorem reddidit, mentiùmque nostrarum graui veterno et densa caligine excussis, dextræ suæ digito, hoc est, spiritu Sancto, (Matth. 12. vers. 28.) cordis nostri auriculas vellicauit, ac oculos, quibus saluificam ipsius veritatem cerneremus, nobis aperuit: Nos omnes et singuli credimus et confitemur Deum esse Spiritum, (Iohan. 4. vers. 24.) æternum (Esai 40. vers. 28.) Infinitum (Ierem. 23. vers. 24. Psalm. 136. vers. 7. 8. 9.) optimum (Matth. 19. 17.) omnipotentem (Gene. 17. 1. Apocal. 1. 8.) Vnum essentia et natura: Vnum prouidentia: vnum efficentia rerum et administratione (Deut 6. 5. Ephes. 4. 5.) At personis diuinitatis, proprietatibusque distinctum, Patrem, Filium et spiritum Sanctum (Matth. 28. 19. & 3. 17.) Deum Patrem quidem, primam diuinitatis personam, coeli terræ et omnium rerum creatorem (Gene. 1. vers. 1. & sequent.) Sustentatorem et gubernatorem (Psal. 115. 3. Heb. 1. 3.) Patrem Domini nostri Iesu Christi (Psalm. 2. 7. & sequent:) et nostrum per eundem Patrem (Rom. 8. 15.) Animæ et corporis curatorem (Luc. 12. 12,) Tum Iesum Christum, secundam diuinitatis personam, filium Dei patris (Iohan. 1. 18. &c.) Vnigenitum (Iohan. 1. 29. Heb. 1. 2.) æqualem patri (1. Paral. 17. 13. Iohan. 1. 1.) Deum verum (Iohan. 1. 2. &c.) ante omnia creata præordinatum (1. Pet. 1. 20. Apocal. 13. 8. &c.) et statim post lapsum, promissum Messiam (Gen. 3. 15.) Sanctis Patriarchis identidem promulgatum, vt Abrahæ (Gen. 12. 3. &c.) Isaac. (Gen. 26. 4.) Iacob. (Gen. 28. 14.) et promissionibus confirmatum (Genes. 49. 9. Esa. 11. 1. 10.) Sacrificijs Mosaicis (Leuit. 1. 2. &c.) Et alijs typis præfiguratum: immolatione Isaac (Gen. 22.) Exaltatione ænei serpentis. (Num. 21.) Iona (Ion. 2. &c.) Prophetarum testimonio proclamatum (Esai 7. 14. &c.) ac tandem in plenitudine temporis verè exhibitum: hominem verum (Iohan. 1. 14. &c. Paul. Galat. 4.) mortuum pro peccatis nostris: resuscitatum propter iustificationem nostri (Rom. 4. 25. &c.) Ascendentem in coelum (Act. 1. 9. &c.) ac pro nobis ad dexteram patris sine intermissione interpellantem (1. Iohan, 2. 1. &c.) per spiritum Sanctum suum qui tertia est diuinitatis persona patri et filio compar et consubstantialis. (Actor. 5. 4.) Ecclesiam sibi verbo et Sacramentis colligentem (Matth. 16. 18. Roman. 10. 14. &c) Et ad vitam æternam sanctificantem (Actor. 9. 31. &c.) Ac tandem consummatis seculis è coelo, venturum (Actor, 1. 11.) Iudicare viuos et mortuos (1. Thess. 4. 15.) redditurum impijs secundum opera sua, eòsque poenis æternis adiudicaturum (Mat 13. 42. & 25. 41.) credentes verò in nomine ipsius æterna vita donaturum (Mat 25. 34. &c.) Hunc, inquam, Iesum Christum redemptorem (Mat 1. 21.) Caput (1. Corinth. 12. 27.) et Dominum nostrum (Ephes. 4. 5.) agnoscimus: Nosque illi nomen in sacro baptismo dare ac dedisse (Actor. 2. 38.) Et per baptismum illi insertos esse (1. Cor. 12. 13.) apertè, ingenuè, liberè ac libenter fatemur ac contestamur: omnesque alios, quicunque aliud nomen sub coelo datum esse hominibus, per quod salui fiant, comminiscuntur, seriò detestamur, execramur et damnamus. (Actor. 4. 12.) Verbum ipsius sanctissimum vnicam salutis normam statuimus, illudque tantummodò, omnibus humanis commentis abiectis et spretis, infallibilem fidei nostræ regulam et amussim nobis proponimus: (Galat 1. 8. Esa. 29. 13. Ezech. 20.) Quod duplicis Testamenti, veteris et noui appellatione complectimur. (Hebr. 8.) traditum per Prophetas et Apostolos (Ephes. 2. 20.) singulari et immensa Dei bonitate in hunc vsque diem semper in Ecclesia conseruatum et conseruandum in posterum. (Matth. 28. vlt. Psalm. 71. 18. 1. Cor. 11. 26.)
Deo igitur optimo maximo gratias ex animo et toto pectore agimus, quòd etiam ad nos, vastissimo interuallo à reliquo Ecclesiæ corpore diuulsos et vltimas mundi partes habitantes, lumen hoc suum, concessum, ad reuelationem gentium, et paratum ante faciem omnium populorum, olim pio Simeoni benigne ostensum (Nam in Christo omnes thesauri saptentiæ reconditi) quod nunc totam nostram gentem radijs suis saluificis illuminat ac fouet, pertingere voluerit. Hæc ita breuiter, ipsam summam perstringendo, fides nostra est, et nostra religio, quaro monstrante spirtu Sancto, et ipsius in vinea Christi ministris, bausimus: idque ex fontibus Isrælis.
Krantzius. Anno Domini 1070. vidit ad Christum conuersos Islandos.
Dubium nobis est, vtrum his verbis dicere voluerit Krantzius, Islandos primùm Anno Domini 1070. ad Christum esse conuersos an verò, prius quidem esse conuersos non neget, sed eo primùm anno id Adalberto innotuisse dicat. Chronologiæ Islandicæ gentis antiquissimæ. Vtrumuis autem affirmet, tamen fidem ipsius hoc loco suspectam reddunt annales et chronologiæ nostræ gentis antiquissimæ, quæ contrarium testantur: quibus vtrum malis, de rebus nostris proprijs et domesticis et intra nostræ insulæ limites gestis credere, an verò Krantzio, aut cuius alteri in nostratium rerum historia peregrino, sit penes tuum, candide Lector, arbitrium. Ego profecto multis adducor vt nostris potius assentiar. Nostrates emm nota tantum et fere domestica asserunt: ille peregrina et ignota. Hi suas Chronologias sine aliarum omnium nationum labe, macula et sugillatione contexuerunt tantummodò, vt rebus gestis suum verum tempus seu æram assignarent; ille quædam cum re et veritate pugnantia in contumeliam gentis nostræ ignotissimæ, historiæ suæ admiscuit, vt paulò post apparebit: hi omnium episcoporum Islandiæ nomina, annos, ordinem et successum describunt: ille vnius tantùm mentionem facit, idque longè secus quàm res habet. Porrò vt his fidem faciam, panca, quæ in ventustissimis nostris annalibus de Islandia ad Christum conuersa, et de Episcoporum in nostris Ecclesijs successione reperi, quorum etiam fides apud nos publicè recepta est, cum extraneis communicabo. Vetustissmum annales. Quæ tametsi leuiuscula, nec omnia prorsus digna quæ scribantur, scribenda tamen omninò sunt ad nostrarum rerum veritatem, aduersus Krantzium et alios asserendam: Sic igitur habent.
874. Islandia primum inhabituta. Anno Christi 874. prius quidem, vt ante commemorauimus, inuenta, sed tunc primum à Noruagis (quorum princeps fuit Ingulphus quidam, è cuios nomine promontorium Islandiæ orientalis Ingulffs hoffdi appellatitionem traxit) occupata est Islandia. Hi plures quam 400. cum cognatis et agnatis et præterea numerosa familia nominatim in annalibus nostris recensentur: nec illorum tantùm numerus describitur, sed quas oras, quæ littora, et quæ loca mediterranea, singuli occupauerint et incoluerint, et quomodo primi inhabitatores, fretis, sinibus, portubus, Isthmis, porthmis, promontorijs, rupibus, scopulis, montibus, collibus, vallibus, tesquis, fontibus, fluminibus, riuis, ac denique villis seu domicilijs suis nomina dederint, quorum hodiè plæraque retinentur et in vsu sunt, apertè narratur. Itaque Noruagi occupatæ iam Islandiæ 60. annorum spacio, aut circiter, habitabiles partes sua multitudine implent: Centum verò prope modum annis Ethnici manserunt, ci paucissimos, qui in Noruagia fortè sacro fonte abluti fuerant, excipias. 974. Annis autem vix centum à primo ingressu elapsis, mox de religione Christiana agi coeptum est, nempe circa annum Domini 974. quæ res non sine insigni rebellione plusquam 20 annis variè à multis tentata est. Fredericus Saxo. Commemorantur autem duo Episcopi extranei, qui cum alijs, in conuertenda ad fidem Christi insula, diligenter laborarint: Prior Fridericus, Saxo natione, qui anno 981. ad Islandos venit, atque docendi munere strenuè functus est, ac tantum fecit, vt Anno 984, sacræ ædes Islandis in vsu fuerint.
Alter verò ille extraneus Episcopus siue concionator, quem Thangbrandt nuncupauere, anno 997. in Islandiam primùm venit.
Anno Dom. 1000. Hinc post 26, annorum disceptationem de religione, tandem Anno 1000. in conuentu generali omnium incolarum decretum est, vniuersali eorundem consensu, vt Ethnicorum numinum cultu seposito, religionem sectarentur Christianam.
Rursus in solenni incolarum conuentu Anno 1050. sancitum est, vt leges seculares seu politicæ (quarum constitutiones allatas ex Noruagia quidam Vlfliotus, Anno 926. Islandis communicarat) vbique cederent iuri Canonico seu diuino.
Anno 1056. abit peregrè ex Islandia Isleifus quidam, in Episcopum Islandiæ ordinandus.
Redit ordinatus in Islandiam, et Cathedram Schalholtensem adit Anno 1057. Moritur 1080. Ætatis 74. 4. Kalendas Iulias.
Videbuntur forsitan hæc minuta, concisa, vilia, nec narratione satis digna, cum multis fortè quæ sequuntur: Sed nec historiam Romanam conteximus, nec tam minuta erunt, quin contra Krantzij et aliorum errores conuincendos, prout nostrum est institutum, valeant. Et certè, quantum ad fidem nostrarum Chronologiarum, constat Saxonem Grammaticum non parum illis tribuisse: Cuius, in præfatione suæ Danæ, hæc sunt verba. Nec Thylensium inquit, (sic enim Islandos appellat) industria silentio obliteranda: qui cum ob natiuam soli sterilitatem, luxuriæ nutrimentis carentes, officia continuæ sobrietatis exerceant, omniàque vitæ momenta ad alienoram operum notitiam conferre soleant, inopiam ingenio pensant. Cunctarum quippe nationum res gestas cognosse, memoriæque mandare, voluptatis loco reputant non minoris gloriæ iudicantes, alienas virtutes disserere, quam proprias exhibere. Quorum thesauros Historicarum rerum pignoribus refertos curiosius consulens, haud paruam præsentis operis partem ex eorum relationis imitatione contexui: nec arbitros habere contempsi, quos tamta vetustatis peritia callere noui. Hæc Saxo. Quare lubet Episcoporum Islandiæ Catalogum persequi, vt ex annalibus nostris continuata diligenter, quoad eius fieri potest, omnium series, his quæ de primo Isleifo contra Krantzium attulimus, fidem faciat.
Krantzius in præfatione suæ Norwegiæ. Adalbert Metropolitane of Hamburg in the yeere of Christ 1070. saw the Islanders concerted Christianitie: albeit, before the receiuing of Christian faith, they liued according to the lawe of nature, and did not much differ from our lawe: therefore at their humble request, he appointed a certaine holy man named Islief to be their first Bishop.
Krantzios in these words, and Munster other where, doe seeme to attribute vnto the Islanders the prerogatiue of Christian faith and they should deale both beseeming themselues and the trueth, if they did not in other places depriue vs of the same. For (to speake of Krantzras anone) that which Munster before reported concerning our faith or opinion about the place and situation of hell, is very farre from Christian pietie: namely to be desirous to prie into those secrets which God hath kept close vnto himselfe alone, and which his pleasure is, should exceed our capacitie: for there is not any thing found in the holy Scriptures of this matter, where the place and situation of hell, or of eternall fire prepared for the deuill and his angels, and so for all damned soules, is bounded or compassed about. The holy Bible (I say) assigneth no locall or bodily situation beneath the earth, or vpon the earth, or in any other place of this world, to that prison of the damned: but it affirmeth that this earth shall perish, and that a new earth, and new heauens shall be created for the habitation of iust and holy men, Reuel. 2. 2. Pet. 3. and Esay20 65. wherefore a Christian man willingly giueth ouer to search into such hidden secrets and he accounteth it vnlawful to receiue or deliuer vnto others, opinions (grounded vpon no plaine and manifest places of Scripture) for certainties and trueths, Deut. 4. and 12. Esay 8. Matth. 27. 2. Tim 3.
Further also that commendation wherewith Munster and Krantzius doe grace the Islanders, is meerly contrary to Christian religion: namely that they make al one reckoning of their whelps and of their children. But more of this matter anone in the 7. section. So therefore Munster disagreeth with himselfe, whereas those whom he affirmeth to be Christians, afterward, he maketh to be master builders of hell. Also Krantzius and Munster both together, when as those whom they affirme to be engraffed by faith into Christ, they except from all sense of piety and honesty, in that they write that their sonnes are not dearer vnto them then their whelpes.
But to returne to the matter: In very deed we haue no great thing to say concerning our religion, what, or of what sort it was when Gentilisme was first put to flight. No more (I thinke) haue other Northern nations neere vnto vs to say concerning the beginning of their faith. For (alas) we must needs confesse and bewaile with deepe sighes, that vntill that day which shined vnto vs like the beginning of immortalitie, and brought vnto vs the pure doctrine of the gospel, our countrymen, as likewise other churches of the North, were ouerspred with more then Cimmerian darkenesse. But we may iustly and religiously thinke thus muche, that among vs and our neighbours of Norway (for I will not range out of my bounds, nor affirme any thing of vnknowen people) after heathenish idolatry was rooted out, Christian faith and religion did florish far more sincere, and simple, as being lesse infected with the poison of poperie, at that time, then afterward, when as the pestiferous leauen of the see of Rome being augmented, and the contagious mischiefe growing ripe, the poison thereof was dispersed through the whole world: for, as it shal afterward appeare, Island embraced Christ many yeeres before the new idolatry of the papists began to preuaile, and did sound foorth nothing but faith in God the Father, the Sonne and the holy Ghost, like vnto those two most renouned kings of Norway, who as they had one common name, so had they one common care and profession to aduance the gospel of Christ. The first christian king of Norway I meane Olaus the sonne of Thryggo, who was borne in the yere of Christ 968. attaining to the kingdom of Norway in the 27. yeere of his age, and was the first, as we haue heard, that offred Chnst vnto the Norwegians, ouer whom hee reigned fiue yeeres and another of that name called Olaus Sanctus the sonne of Harald, who in the yeere of Christ 1013. or there about, gouerned with more seueritie, and for the space of 17. yeeres did boldly deliuer the doctrine of Christ. In the yere of Chnst 1030. being vniustlie slaine by wicked murtherers, he shed his blood for the name of Christ in a town of Norway called Sticfla Stodum.
Nialus the first knowne professour of Christian faith in Island. Our countrey also had, among many other, one man of excellent pietie whose name was Nialus, who about the yeere of Chnst 1000. liued in the village of Berthorshuol situate in the parish of Island called Landehum: who also for his experience in humane affaires, for his great wisedome and sage counsell was accompted famous. For whereas in his time Island was turmoiled with many fierce mutinies, the inhabitants being in subiection to no superiour magistrate, he intermedled not in any quarels, sauing that by his discreet vertue and diligence he set through and brought to composition a great number: hee neuer did nor suffered violence, but onely vpon the last day of his life. So carefully auoyded he al seditions and strifes: and gaue good assistance to others, who were desirous also to auoyd and escape them: neither did any man euer put in practise his counsel, but it turned to his especiall good: nor euer any did swerue therefrom, but with the danger of his life and possessions. The wordes or rather the oracles that came from him were so certaine, that it was wonderful from whence any man should haue so great and so sure forecast and counsell of things to come, as was found to be in him. Whereupon his discreet and prouident wisedome, ioyned with counsell became a prouerbe amongst vs, “Nials byta raden:” That is to say, the counsel of Nialus or, the thing is done, or succeedeth by Nialus his counsel: when any business was atchieued prudently, and with admirable discretion. This man, when, for a slaughter committed by his sonne without his knowledge, he was in his owne house beset with a 100. men, who had conspired his death, and when his enemies began on all sides to set his house on fire, seeing his ende approch, at length he brake into these words. “Doubtlesse these things happen by fate, that is, by the will of God. Howbeit, I put my hope and confidence in Christ, that we (meaning his wife and himselfe) although this our fraile body shal vndergoe the corruption of death, in the fire of our enemies, yet, that it shalbe deliuered from eternal flames.” And so in the midst of these voyces, and in the fury of the flames, he with his wife and the manslayer his sonne, in the yere of Christ 1010. ended his life. A voyce vndoubtedly full well beseeming the sonnes of God, arguing the notable comfort of his soule amidst the very pangs of death.
I therefore added those things to shew by what reason I was moued to thinke that in the very beginning of Christianitie receiued amongst vs, mens minds were not so beguiled and ouerwhelmed in the darkenes of errors, as of late, a little before these our times they haue bene.
A summe of the Islanders Religion. But after the Lord God by Luther, and Luthers fellow-labourers in the vineyard of the Lord, and by godly successours, did make the doctrine of saluation more manifest, and shaking off the heauie slothe, and thicke miste of our minds by the finger of his right hand, that is by his holy spirit (Matth. 12. v. 28.) did plucke the eares of our hearts, and opened our eyes that we might behold his sauing health: We all, and euery of vs do belieue and confesse that God is a spirit (Iohn 4. v. 24.) eternal (Esay. 40. v. 28.) infinite (Iere. 23. v. 24. Psal 139. v. 7. 8. 9.) most good (Matth. 19. v. 17.) almighty (Gen. 17. 1. Reuel. 1. 8.) one in being, and nature: one in prouidence, one in the making and gouerning of all things (Deut. 6. 5. Ephe. 4. 5.) But distinguished by the persons of the Godhead and their properties, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost (Matth. 28. 19. and 3. 17.) God the Father the first person of the Godhead creator of heauen and earth, and all other things (Gen. 1. v. 1. and in those that folow) the vpholder and gouernor of all (Psa. 115. 3. Heb. 1. 3.) Father of our Lord Iesus Christ (Psal. 2, 7. and verses following) and our Father through him (Rom. 8. 15.) keeper of our soules and bodies (Luke 12. 12.). And that Iesus Christ the second person of the Godhead is the sonne of God the Father (Iohn 1. 18. &c.) onely begotten (Iohn 1. 29. Heb. 1. 2.) equal to his Father (1. Chro. 17. 13. Ioh. 1. 1.) true God (Iohn 1. 2. &c.) foreappointed before the creation of all things (1. Pet. 1. 20, Reuel 13. 8. &c.) and presently after mans fell promised to be the Messias (Gene. 3. 15. &c.) published eftsoones vnto the holy Patriaches, as vnto Abraham (Gen. 12. 3. &c.) vnto Isaac (Gen. 26. 4.) vnto Iacob (Gene. 28. 14.) and confirmed by promises (Gen. 49. 9. Esa. 11. 1, 10.) prefigured by the sacrifices of Moses (Leu. 1. 2. &c.) and by other types, as namely by the offering of Isaac (Gen. 22.) by the lifting vp of the brazen serpent (Num. 21.) by Ionas (Ionas 2. &c.) proclaimed by the testimony of the Prophets (Esa. 7. 14.) and at length in the fulnesse of time truely exhibited: true man (Iohn 1. 14. &c. Gal. 4.) that he died for our sinnes, and was raised again for our iustification (Rom. 4. 25. &c.) Ascending into heauen (Acts 1. 9. &c.) and making intercession for vs at the right hand of his Father without ceasing (1. Iohn 2. 1. &c.) by his holy Spirit (which is the thirde person of the Godhead, coequall, and consubstantial to the Father and the Sonne, Acts. 5. 4.) gathering the Church to himselfe by the word, and Sacraments (Matth. 16. 18. Rom. 10. 14. &c.) and sanctifying it to eternal life, (Acts. 9. 31. &c.) And that one day at the end of the world he will come from heauen (Acts 1. 11.) to iudge the quicke and the dead (1. Thessal. 4. 15.) that he will render vnto the wicked according to their workes, and that he will iudge mem to eternal paines (Matth. 13. 42. and 25. 4.) but that he wil reward them, with eternal life, who beleeue in his Name (Matth. 25. 34.) This Iesus Christ (I say) wee acknowledge to be our Redeemer (Matth. 1. 21.) our head (1. Corinth. 12. 27.) and our Lord (Ephe. 4. 5.) And that wee in our holy baptisme do giue, and haue giuen our names vnto him (Acts. 2. 38.) and that wee are engraffed into him by baptisme (1. Corin. 12. 13.) And this we do plainely, ingenuously, freely, and willingly confesse and witnesse: And as for all others who inuent any other name in heauen giuen vnto men by which they may be saued, we doe earnestly detest, cursse, and condemne them (Acts. 4. 12.) We holde his most holy Word to be the onely rule of our saluation: and that alone (al mans deuises being cast away and contemned) we propound vnto our selues as an infallible rule, and leuel of our faith (Galat. 1. 8. Esai 29. 13. Ezech. 20.) which we conteine vnder the name of the olde and newe Testament (Hebr. 8.) deliuered by the Prophets and Apostles (Ephe 2. 20) by the singular and infinite goodnesse of God, presented euer vnto this day and to be preserued here after alwayes in the Church (Matth 28. last verse. Psal 71. 18. 1 Cor 11. 26.)
Therefore we render thankes vnto our most gratious and Almighty God from our soule, and from our whole heart, because that euen vnto vs being separated an huge distance from the rest of the body of his Church, and inhabiting the farthest parts of the world, hee would that this light graunted for the reuelation of the Gentiles, and prepared before the face of all people, and in olde time fauourably shewed to holy Simeon (for in Christ are all the treasures of wisedome hidden) which now doeth enlighten and cherish with the sauing beames thereof our whole nation, that hee would (I say) this light should come vnto vs. This in briefe (running ouer the very summe) is our faith, and our Religion, which by the direction of the holy Spirt and of his Ministers in the vineyard of Christ, we haue drawen and that out of the fountaines of Isræl.
Kranzius In the yeere of our Lord 1070. saw the Ilanders conuerted vnto Christ, &c.
It is doubtful vnto vs whether in these words Kranzius would haue said, that the Islanders were first conuerted vnto Christ in the yeere of our Lord 1070. or whether he doth not deny that they were indeed before conuerted, but saith that it was knowne first vnto Adalbert that yeere. The most ancient Chronicles of Island. But whethersoeuer of these he affirmeth: notwithstanding the yeerely records, and most auncient Chronicles of our nation testifying the contrary do make his credite to be suspected in this place, vnto which records and Chronicles, whether you had rather giue assent concerning our owne proper and domesbcal affaires, done within the bounds of our Island, or to Krantzaus or any other being ignorant in the story of our countrey, I appeale (friendly reader) vnto your owne discretion. For my part I am enforced by many reasons to agree rather vnto our owne writers. For our countreymen affirme those things onely that be knowen, and in a maner domesticall he writeth matters forreine and vnknowen they haue compiled their histories without the diffaming, disgracing or reprehending of any other nations, onely that they might assigne vnto their owne acts and exploits the true time or age thereof: he hath intermedled in his historie certaine things contrary to the trueth, and that to the vpbraiding of our nation being most vnknowen vnto him, as it shall immediatly appeare: they describe the names, yeres, order, succession of all the Bishops of Island: he mentioneth onely one, and that farre otherwise then the trueth. Furthermore that I may make good the credite of our Countreymen, I wil impart with strangers a fewe things which I found in our most ancient records of the conuersion of Island vnto Christ, and of the succession of Bishops in our Churches. Which although they be of litle moment, and not altogether worthy to be written, yet must they of necessitie bee set downe for the defence of the trueth of our affaires against Krantzius and others: thus therefore standeth the certaintie thereof.
Island first inhabited. In the yeere of Christ 874. Island (being indeed discouered before that time, as is aboue mentioned) was then first of all inhabited by certaine Noruagians. Their chiefetaine was one Ingulphus from whose name the East cape of Island is called Ingulffs hoffdi. These planters are reckoned vp by name in our recordes more then to the number of 400 together with those of their blood and kinred, and great families besides neither onely is their number described, but it is also plainely set downe, what coasts, what shores, and what inland places eche of them did occupie and inhabite, and what names the first inhabitants did giue vnto Streights, bayes, harboroughs, necklands, creekes, capes, rockes, cragges, mountaines, hilles, valleys, homockes, springs, floods, riuers. And to be short, what names they gaue vnto their graunges or houses, whereof many at this day are reteined and vsed. Therefore the Norwayes with their company peopled all the habitable parts of Island now occupied by them for the space of 60. yeeres or thereabout but they remayned Ethnickes almost 100. yeres, except a very fewe which were baptised in Norwaie. But scarce a 100. yeres from their first entrance being past, presently Christian religion began to be considered vpon, namely about the yeere of our Lord 974. Which thing aboue 20. yeres together, was diuersly attempted of many not without notable rebellion: amongst the rest there are mentioned two outlandish Bishops, who with others diligently laboured in conuerting the Island to Christian faith: Saxo, the first preacher of the Christian faith in Island. Anno Domini 981. the former was one Fridericus a Saxon borne, who in the yeere 981. came into Island, and behaued himselfe couragiously in the office of preaching, and preuailed so much, that in the yeere 984. Churches were vsed in Island.
But the other outlandish Bishop or preacher whom they called Thangbrandt came first into Island in the yeere 997.
Anno Domini 1000. And then after 26. yeeres consulting about Religion, at length in the yeere 1000, it was decreed in a generall assembly of all the inhabitants by their whole consent, that the worship of heathenish Idoles being abandoned, they should embrace Christian Religion.
Againe, in the yeere 1050, it was decreed in a solemne assembly of the inhabitants, that temporall or politique lawes (the constitutions whereof being brought out of Norwaie were communicated vnto the Islanders by one Vlfliot in the yeere 926.) should euery where giue place to the Canon or diuine Lawe.
In the yere 1056. one Isleif went beyond the seas out of Island to be consecrated bishop of Island.
He came home consecrated into Island, and entred into the bishopricke of Scalholt in the yeere 1057. He died 1080. in the yeere of his age 74. The 4. of the Kalends of Iuly.
These things perhaps wil seeme trifling, short and base, not sufficiently worthy to be mentioned, together with many other matters which follow: but neither doe wee compile the Romane history, neither yet shall these things be so trifling, but that they may be of sufficient force to conuince the errours of Krantzius and others, according to our purpose. A notable testimonie of Saxo concerning the Islanders. And vndoubtedly as touching the trueth of our histories, it is euident that Saxo Grammaticus attributeth very much vnto them: whose words in his preface of Denmarke be these: Neither is the diligence of the Thylenses (for so he calleth Islanders) to be smothered in silence: who when as by reason of the natiue barrennes of their soile, wanting nourishments of riot, they do exercise the duties of continuall sobrietie, and vse to bestow all the time of their life in the knowledge of other men’s exploits they supply their want by their wit. For they esteeme it a pleasure to know and commit vnto memory the famous acts of other nations, reckoning it no lesse praiseworthy to discourse of other mens vertues, then to practise their owne. Whose treasures replenished with the monuments of historical matters, I more curiously searching into, haue compiled no smal part of this present worke by following of their relation neither despised I to haue those men for my iudges, whom I knew to be skilful in so great knowledge of antiquitie. Thus farre Saxo.
Wherefore I thinke it not amisse to proceede in the recitall of the Bishops of Island, that the order and descent of them all, being so farre foorth as is possible, diligently put together out of our yeerely records, may make good that which we haue alledged against Krantzius concerning Isleif the first Bishop of Island.
Anno Episcopi Schalholtenses Christi I. Isleif. 1056 Ordinatur peregrè. 1057 Redit et Schalholtensem cathedram adit 1080 Anno ætat 74. Moritur 4. Kalend. Iul. II. Gysserus. 1082 Ordinatur peregrè, 1083 Redit in Islandiam cum Episopatu. 1118 Moritur 5. Kalend. Maias qui fuit dies Martis. III. Thorlacus Runolphi. F. Anno ætatis Ordinatur eodem anno, quo prædecessor. 32: Gysserus vita excessit, sed tamen ante illius obitum 30. die 1133 Moritur. IV. Magnus 1134 Ordinatur. 1148 Postridiè festi omnium Sanctorum in villa sacerdotali Hittardal comuiuans, coenaculo fulmine percusso, cum viris 70. flammis absumptus est. V. Klaingus. 1151 Eligitur. 1152 Cathedram adit. 1176 Moritur. VI. Thorlacus. Eligitur biennio ante obit, prædecessoris 1178 Ordinatur. 1193 Moritur. VII. Paulus. 1195 Ordinatur. 1211 Moritur. VIII. Magnus. 1216 Ordinatur. IX. Siguardus. 1239 Cathedram adit. 1268 Moritur. X. Arnerus. 1269 Cathedram adit. 1298 Moritur. XI. Arnerus Helgonis F. 1304 Ordinatur. 1305 Cathedram adit. 1309 In Noruagiam abit ligna à rege Noruagiæ petiturus, quibus templum Schalholtense reædificaretur, quod eodem anno fulmine tactum conflagrarat. 1310 Redit ex intinere. 1320 Moritur. XII. Ionas Haldorus. 1321 Eligitur. 1322 Ordinatur Kal. Augusti. 1323 Cathedram adit. 1338 Moritur. XIII. Ionas Indridi F. Roruages 1339 Cathedram adit. 1341 Moritur. XIV. Ionas Siguardi F. 1343 Cathedram adit. 1348 Moritur pridiè Diui Magni. XV. Gyrthus. 1349 Ordinatus Asloiæ Noruagorum, ab Episcopo Asloensi Salomone. 1356 Abiens peregrè fluctibus vitam finit. XVI. Thorarinnus. 1362 Cathedram adit. 1364 Moritur. XVII. Oddgeirus. 1366 Cathedram adit. 1381 Moritur in assumpt. beatæ virginis, in portu Noruagiæ Burgensi, è mercium aceruo in imum nauis delapsus. Sepultus Bergis in æde Saluatoris. XVIII. Michaël Danus. 1385 Cathedral adit. 1388 Resignat profectus in Daniam. XIX. Wilhelmus Danus. 1394 Cathedram adit. Moritur. XX. Arnerus. Hic cognomento fuit Milldur. i. liberalis. Gessit vna pæfecturam Islandiæ tertius: Episcopatum Schalholtens. & vice Episcopatum Holensem. 1420 Obijt. XXI. Ionas Gerichso. 1432 Suecus siue cognomento siue natione præest Ecclesiæ Schalholtensi: ac posteà ob quædam nimis audacter tentata, à quodam Thorualdo de Modruvallum (vt fama est) captus, & aligato ad collum saxo in amne Schalholtensi, qui à ponte nomen habet, viuus submersus & strangulatus est. XXII. Gosuinus. 1445 Præest Ecclesiæ Schalholtensi. XXIII. Sueno. 1472 Dictus sapiens præest. XXIV. Magnus Riolphi F. 1489 Præest. XXV. Stephanus. 1494 Cathedram adit. Deinde Godtschalco episcopo Holensi, qui crudelis nomen meritus esse videtur, Synchronos similem cum illo clementiæ & iusticiæ laudem reportauit. 1519 Moritur: aut circiter. XXVI. Augmundus. Eligitur anno obitus Stephani 1522 Cathedram adit. Hoc episcopo, prefectus regius cum comitibus aliquot Scalhotiam inuitatus, in ipso conuiuio à coniuram quibusdam interfectus est, eò quòd impiè passim in incolas & bona ipsorum grassatus esset. Augmundus vcro tanquam istius cædis author, quanquam se iuramento purgarat in Daniam transuectus, Obijt. XXVII. Gysserus. 1540 Eligitur viuente Augmundo 1541 Cathedram adit, Papisticarum traditionum abrogator circa coniugium 1544 sacerdotum: Eius nuptiæ Schalholtiæ celebratæ. XXVIII. Martinus. 1547 Præest, & sequentibus. XXIX. Gislaus Ionas. Hic statim, Augmundo episcopo, coepit iuuenis veræ pietatis & purioris doctrinæ Euangelicæ studio, & amore flagrare, eandemque pastor ecclesiæ Sclardalemsis diligenter propagare, qua ratione Pontificiorum odium adeò in se deriuauit, vt illorum insidijs ac rabiei cedere coactus, Hamburgum se contulerit, vnde Haffniam Danorum profectus, in coepto veræ Theologiæ studio strenuè pergens, in multorum, præcipuè verò in summa D. D. Petri Palladu tum temporis Episcopi, familiaritate et gratia viuebat. 1556 Postea, inde in patriam reuerso, Martinus sponte cessit. 1587 Moritur et hic 31. annos plus minus Euangelium Iesu Christi professus: nec tantum viua voce, sed et quocunque demum potuit modo, docendo, dicendo, scribendo, re et consilio Ecclesiam Dei iuuit et promouit. XXX. Otto Knerus Vir grauis, pius et eruditus. 1588 Electus abit patria. 1589 Ordinatur. Redit et cathedram adit, susceptique muneris labores aggreditur.* * * * *
Anno Episcopi Holenses. Christi I. Ionas Augmundi F. Isleifi discipulus. 1106 Ordinatur peregrè: anno ætat. 64. cognomentum illi, sanctus: curus memoriæ dies 3. Martij, apud Islandos est antiquitùs dicatus. 1121 Moritur 11. Kalend. Maias. II. Ketillus siue Catullus. 1122 Ordinatur. 1145 Moritur. III. Biorno. 1147 Ordinatus venit in Islandiam. 1162 Moritur. IV. Brandus. 1163 Ordinatur. 1165 Cathedram adit. 1201 Moritur. V. Gudmundus, cognomento Bonus. 1203 Eligitur et ordinatur. 1237 Moritur. VI. Botolphus. 1239 Redit ordinatus. 1246 Moritur. VII. Henricus. 1247 Cathedram adit. 1260 Moritur. VIII. Brandus. 1262 Abbas peregrè abit. 1263 Cathedram adit. 1264 Moritur. IX. Iorundus. 1267 Cathedram adit. 1313 Moritur. X. Audunnus. 1314 Cathedram adit. 1322 Moritur. XI. Laurentius. 1324 Eligitur & ordinatur. 1331 Moritur Idib. April. XII. Egillus. 1332 Cathedram adit. 1341 Moritur. XIII. Ormus. 1343 Cathedram adit. 1355 Moritur in festo omnium Sanctorum. XIV. Ionas Erici F. _cognomento_ Skalle 1358 Cathedram Holensem aditurus venit in Islandiam. Hic Ionas, olim in Grondlandiæ Episcopatum Gronlandis ordinatus, à Pontifice Romano Episcopus impetrauit, vt liceret sibi Episcopatum Holensem adire, qui 1356 tunc temporis vacabat. Vnde cum confirmationem huius dignitatis ac munerus, à Pontifice acceptam, veniens non proferret, apud Presbyteros dioecesis Holensis, suspectæ fidet esse coepit. Quare abijsdem in Noruagiam relegæus est, vt ea res arbitrio Regis componeretur. Rege igitur ipsius partibus fauente Cathedram Holensem obitnuit. 1391 Moritur. XV. Petrus. Ordinatur, quo anno prædecessor rebus mortalium exemptus est. 1392 Cathedram adit Holensem. Moritur. XVI. Ionas Wilhelmus. 1432 Anglus, siue genere, siue cognomine, præfuit Ecclcsiæ Holensi. XVII. Godschalcus. 1457 Moritur. XVIII. Olaus Rogwaldi F. 1458 Prædicti Godschalchi ex sorore nepos, vterque Noruagus, eligitur. 1497 Moritur. XIX. Godschalcus. De mortus Olai nepos ex fratre, et ille Noruagus, eligitur eodem anno quo patruus decessit. 1500 Cathedram adit, ac per totos 20. annos multos ex subditis duriter exercuisse fertur. Anno 1520. cum inter pocula et voluptates conuiuales versaretur audirétque obijsse Ionam Sigismundum, quem cum vxore et liberis multos annos crudelissimè vexauerat, in subitum morbum repentè incidit, et sic paulò post, eam, qua in tota vita in miseros subditos vsus est vim cum miserabili morte commutauit. XX. Ionas Aræsonius. 1525 Cathedram adit: etiam hic papisticarum superstitionum vltimus et acerrimus assertor. Qui, cum Gyssero et Martino episcopus Schalhotiæ acriter resisteret, à pientiss. Rege Christiano 1548 tertio iubetur sub poena exilij protinus in Daniam aduentare. 1550 Sed hoc neglecto, captum Martinum Schalholtiæ Episcopum custodiæ mandauit. Tandem et ipse à viro quodam magni nominis, quem prius vt fertur, lacessiuerat, captus, ac Schalholtiam adductus, ibidem cum filijs duobus, authoritate regij præfecti, capitis 1551 supplicio affectus est. In cuius vltionem, non multò post præfectus ille regius, cum socijs aliquot, à quibusdam sicarijs, decollatorum olim famulis, nefarie occisus est. XXI. Olaus Bialterus. 1552 Abit patria. 1553 Cathderam adit. Hic primus sincerioris doctrinæ apud Holenses amorem in multorum animis, etiam adhuc prædecessoris sui collega, accendit: Deinde eandem doctrinam Episcopus apertius docuit et propugnauit. 1568 Moritur. XXII. Gudbrandus Thorlacius. Ille non modò suæ ætatis, sed et posterntatis ornamentum. Qui præterquam quod inchoatum opus à prædecessore Olao sibi relictum ducente S. S. optimè ad eam, quam dedit Deus perfectionem, deduxit, (dico labores et diligentiam in asserenda veritate Euangelica, et papisticis superstitionibus abrogandis) etiam in hac patria sua officinam Typographicam primus Islandorum aperuit. Cui idcirco patria inter libros complures in linguam vernaculam translatos, etiam sacrosancta Biblia, elegantissimis typis Islandica lingua in officna ipsius excusa, in æternum debebit. Hic inquam Episcopus præsens, officium suscepturus. 1570 Abijt. 1571 Redit Cathedram Holensem ingreditur.
The Bishops of Schalholt. In the yeere of Christ I. Isleif. Consecrated beyond the seas. 1056 Returneth and entereth the Bishops sea of Schalholt. 1057 Dieth in the yere of his age 74. the 4. of the 1080 Kalends of Iuly. II. Gysserus. Consecrated beyond the sea. 1082 Returneth into Island with his Bishopricke. 1083 Dieth the 5. of the Kal. of May being tuesday. 1118 III. Thorlacus sonne of Runulphus. Consecrated the same yeere, wherein his predecessor. In the year Gysserus deceased, but yet 30. dayes before of his age 32 his death. Dieth. 1133 IV. Magnus. Consecrated. 1134 On the morrowe after the feast of all Saints, in his 1148 parish towne of Hiitardal, the house being striken with lightning, hee, and 70. men with him were consumed with fire. V. Klaingus. Chosen. 1151 Entreth the see. 1152 Dieth. 1176 VI. Thorlacus. Chosen two yeres before the death of his predecessour. Consecrated. 1178 Dieth. 1193 VII. Paulus. Consecrated. 1195 Dieth. 1211 VIII. Magnus. Consecrated. 1216 IX. Siguardus. Entreth his see. 1239 Dieth. 1268 X. Arnerus. Entreth his see. 1269 Dieth. 1298 XI. Arnerus sonne of Helgo. Consecrated. 1304 Entreth the see. 1305 Saileth into Norwaie, to craue timber of the king of Norway, 1309 wherewith the Church of Schalholt might be reedified, which the same yere being toucht with lightning, was burnt downe. Returneth home. 1310 Dieth. 1320 XII. Ionas Haldorus Elected. 1321 Consecrated the first of August. 1322 Entreth his see. 1323 Dieth. 1338 XIII. Ionas, sonne of Indred, a Noruagian borne. Entreth his see. 1339 Dieth. 1341 XIV. Ionas sonne of Siguardus. Entreth his see. 1343 Dieth on S. Magnus euen. 1348 XV. Gyrthus. Consecrated at Aslo in Norway by Salomon bishop of Aslo. 1349 Going beyond the seas he was drowned. 1356 XVI. Thorarinnus. Entreth his see. 1362 Dieth. 1364 XVII. Oddgeirus. Entreth his see. 1366 Dieth vpon the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, in the port of 1381 Bergen in Norway, falling downe from a packe of wares into the botome of the ship. He was buried at Bergen in the Church of our Sauiour. XVIII. Michael a Dane. Entreth his see. 1385 Resigneth, and saileth into Denmarke. 1388 XIX. William a Dane. Entereth the Bishopricke. 1394 Dieth. XX. Arnerus. Arnerus sirnamed Mildur, that is to say Liberall. He was at one time Lord President of all Island, bishop of Schalholt, and vicebishop of Holen. He died. 1420 XXI. Ionas Gerichson. Sueden either sirnamed or borne is made Bishop ouer the Church of 1432 Schalholt and afterward for certaine bolde attempts being taken by one Thorualdus de Modruuollum (as it is reported) and a great stone being bound to his necke, hee was cast aliue into the riuer of Schalholt, (which taketh name of the bridge) and was there strangled. XXII. Goswinus. Bishop of Schalholt. 1445 XXIII. Sueno. Called the wise, bishop of Schalholt. 1472 XXIV. Magnus sonne of Riolphus. Bishop &c. 1489 XXV. Stephen. Entreth the See. Then (liuing at one time with Godschalchus bishop 1494 of Holen, who seemed worthy to be sirnamed cruel) he had the same commendations for mercy and iustice, that Godschalchus had. He died: or thereabout. 1519 XXVI. Augmundus. Chosen in the yeere wherein Stephen deceased. Entreth the see. 1522 While he was Bishop, the kings Lieutenant with some of his followers being inuited to Schalholt, in the time of the banquet was slaine by certaine conspirators because hee had in all places wickedly wasted the inhabitants and their goods. But Augmundus as the authour of that murther (although he purged himselfe with an othe) being transported into Denmarke there ended his life. XXVII. Gysserus. Elected, Augmundus yet liuing. 1540 Entred the see. 1541 He was the abolisher of Popish traditions about Priests marriages: his owne marriage being solemnized at Schalholt. 1544 XXVIII. Martinus. Bishop &c. And the yeeres following. 1547 XXIX. Gislaus Ionas. This man presently, in the time of bishop Augmund began in his youth to be enflamed with the loue of true pietie, & of the pure doctrine of the Gospel, & being pastour of the Church of Selardal, diligently to aduance the same, by which meanes he did so procure vnto himselfe the hatred of Papists, as being constreined to giue place vnto their craft & crueltie, he departed ouer to Hamburg, from whence comming to Copen Hagen in Denmarke & painefully proceeding in his former study of diuintie, he liued in the familiaritie, and fauour of many, but specially of D. D. Peter Palladius: who was at that time bishop there. Afterward returning into his countrey, Martine gaue place 1556 vnto him of his owne accord. This man died also, hauing for the 1587 space of 31. years or there abouts, professed the Gospel of Iesus Christ: neither did he helpe & further the Church of God by the sound of his voice much, but by all other meanes to the vtmost of his abilities, by teaching, preaching, writing, by his wealth & his counsel. XXX. Otto Knerus. A graue, godly, and learned man. Being Chosen he departeth his 1588 country. Hee is consecrated returneth, and entreth the sea, 1589 endeuouring himselfe in the labours of his function. * * * * * The Bishops of Holen In the yeere of Christ I. Ionas sonne of Augrnundus. Isleif his disciple. 1106 Consecrated beyonde the seas in the yeere of his age 64, his surname was Sanctus, vnto whose memorie the 3. of March was by the inhabitants in old time dedicated. Dieth the 11. of the Kalends of May. 1121 II. Ketillus or Catullus. Consecrated. 1121 Dieth. 1145 III. Biorno. Being consecrated came into Island. 1147 Dieth. 1162 IV. Brandus. Consecrated 1163 Entreth his Episcopall see. 1165 Dieth. 1201 V. Gudmundus sirnamed Bonus. Elected and consecrated. 1203 Dieth. 1237 VI. Botolphus. Returneth consecrated. 1239 Dieth. 1246 VII. Henricus. Entreth the see. 1247 Dieth. 1260 VIII. Brandus an Abbat. Goeth beyond the seas. 1262 Entreth the Bishopricke. 1263 Dieth. 1264 IX. Iorundus. Entreth his see. 1267 Dieth. 1313 X. Audunnus. Entreth his see. 1314 Dieth. 1322 XI. Laurentinus. Elected and consecrated. 1324 Dieth in the Ides of April 1331 XII. Egillus. Entreth his see. 1332 Dieth. 1341 XIII. Ormus. Entreth his see. 1343 Dieth vpon the feast of all Saints. 1355 XIV. Ionas Sonne of Ericus, sirnamed Skalle. Being to enter his sea of Holen came into Island. This Ionas 1358 being before time consecrated bishop of Gronland, obteined A Bishop licence of the bishop of Rome to enter the See of Holen, which Gronland was at that time vacant. Whereupon comming and not bringing 1356 with him the confirmation of this dignitie and function, receiued from the Pope hee began to be suspected among the priests of the diocesse of Holen. Wherefore he was sent backe by them into Norway that the matter might bee set through by the iudgement of the king. The king therefore fauouring his part, he obteined the bishopricke of Holen. He dieth. 1391 XV. Peter. Consecrated the same yeere wherein his predecessour departed out of this present life. Entreth the see of Holen. 1392 Dieth XVI. Ionas Wilhelmus. An Englishman Bishop of English, either borne or sirnamed. Island. Entred the see. 1432 XVII. Godschalcus. Died. 1457 XVIII. Olaus. Son of Rogwaldus nephew to the forenamed Godschalcus by the sisters side, both of them being Norwayes. He was established. 1458 He died. 1497 XIX. Godschalcus. The nephewe of Olaus deceased, by the brothers side: also hee being a Noruagian was elected the same yeere wherein his vncle deceased. He entreth the see. And for the space of 20. whole yeres is 1500 reported cruelly to haue entreated many of the subiects. In the yeere 1520. when he was in the midst of his cups, and banquetting dishes, and heard that Ionas Sigismundus was departed out of this life (whom with his wife and children, he had for many yeres most cruelly oppressed) he presently fell into a sudden disease, and so not long after changed that violence for miserable death, which in his whole life he had vsed against his distressed subiects. XX. Ionas Aræsonius. Entreth the see. 1525 This man was the last and most earnest mainteiner of Popish superstitions. Who stoutely withstanding Gysserus and Martinus bishops of Schalholt, was commanded by the most religious king Christian the 3. vnder paine of banishment to come with all speed into Denmarke. But neglecting the king's commaundement, hee tooke Martine bishop of Schalholt, and committed him to ward. At length he himselfe also being taken by a man of great name (whom before that time, it is saide, he had prouoked) and being brought to Schalholt, was, together with his two sonnes, by the authoritie of the kings Lieutenant beheaded. In reuenge 1551 whereof not long after, the saide Lieu-tenant with some of his company, was villanously slaine by certaine roysters, which were once seruants to the parties beheaded. XXI. Olaus Walterus. Departed his countrey. 1552 Entreth the see. 1553 This man (being as yet in the life time of his predecessour fellow-labourer with him) was the first that kindled the loue of sincere doctrine at Holen in the hearts of many: and then being bishop did openly teache and defend the said doctrine. He died. 1568 XXII. Gudbrandus Thorlacius. The ornament, not onely of his age, but of posteritie also who besides that, by the direction of the holy spirit, he hath most notably brought the worke begunne, and left vnto him by his predecessour Olaus to that perfection which it hath pleased God to vouchsafe: (namely his labours and diligence in maintayning the trueth of the Gospel, and in abolishing of Popish superstitions) euen in this his countrey hee is the first that hath established a Printing house. For which cause his countrey (besides, for many other books translated into our mother tongue) shalbe eternally bounded vnto him, that the sacred Bible also, by his meanes, is fairely printed in the language of Island. (I say) being at this present, Hee Bishop, when he was about to take his charge: Departed his countrey. 1570 Returned and entred the see of Holen. 1571
Circa hæc igitur tempora mentibus nostris è coelo redditta lux est, et regni coelestis ianua per sinceriorem doctrinæ Christianæ expositionem reserata. Nam et Schola triuialis in vtraque sede Episcopali, laudatissimi Regis Daniæ Christiani tertij munificentia et pietate, circa annum 1553. fundata est: ac subinde patris Christianissimi eximiam pietatem imitante filio, Diuo Friderico secundo rege nostro sanctissimo, Anno 1588. ad coelestem patriam euocato, aucta et promota: quæ etiam hodiè, clementissimi regis et principis nostri, Christiani 4. fauore et nutu viget floretque: in qua iuuentus nostræ Insulæ, artium dicendi et sacræ Theologiæ rudimentis imbuta, ad scientiam et veram pietatem formatur, vt hinc ministri Ecclesiarum petantur.
Peruenimus tandem ad hodiernum vsque diem in Episcoporum Islandiæ catalogo: quo prædicti viri clarissimi Dom. Gudbrandus Thorlacius, et Dom. Otto Enerus ille Holis, hic Schalholtiæ Ecclesiarum sunt antistites: quorum vtrumque, vt Deus opt. max. Ecclesiæ suæ saluum et superstitem, propter gloriam nominis sui sanctissimi, diu conseruare velit, omnes seriò et ardentibus votis flagitamus.
In these times therefore light is restored vnto our soules from heauen, and the gate of the kingdome of heauen is opened vnto vs by the sincere preaching of Christian doctrine. For in either of the Bishops seats there is a free schoole founded by the liberality and pietie of that most renoumed King of Denmarke Christian the third: and afterward the sonne following the godly steppes of his most Christian father, the said Free schooles by Lord Friderick the second, our most religious King, being called vp to his heauenly countrey in the yeare 1588, haue beene encreased and furthered: which at this day also doe prosper and flourish by the fauour and authoritie of the most gracious King and our Prince, Christian the fourth, wherein the youth of our Islande being instructed in the rudiments of liberall artes, and sacred diuinitie, are trained vp to knowledge and true godlinesse, that from hence ministers of Churches may proceede.
We are come at length in the register of the Bishops of Island downe to this present day, wherein the forenamed excellent men Gudbrandus Thorlacius, and Otto Enerus, the one at Holen, and the other at Schalholt are Bishops of our Cathedrall Churches both of which men, that it would please God long to preserue vnto his Church in health and life, for the glorie of his most holy name, we all doe earnestly and with feruent prayers beseech him.
Must. Krantz. Frisius. Specus habitant plerùmque, aut ad montium latera in excauatis mansiunculis. Et mox: Templa habent multa et domos ex ossibus piscium et balenarum constructas. Item: Multi etiam ad pellendam frigoris asperitatem in cauernis latitant, quemadmodum Africani ad solis æstum vitandum. Item Munsterus. Multi in Islandia hodie costis et ossibus balenarum, domos suas construunt, &c.
Hic membrum secundum initium sumit, de incolarum viuendi ratione et moribus. Et primùm, quibus vtantur, edificijs seu domibus: nempè secundum Munsterum, Krantzium, Frisium, &c. Specubus et montium cauernis. Quamuis autem in splendidis ædificijs, alijsque id genus mundani ornatus pretiosis rebus parum inest, quod ad verè beatam vitam conferre queat, tamen nec hîc veritatem tacere possumus: dicimúsque omnino Cosmographos et Historicos in errore etiam hîc versari. Etenim, cuiusmodi gentis publica domicilia esse scribunt, ea sunt tantùm in paucis locis, tum magalia, vt opilionum, tum piscatorum casæ et receptacula, eo tantum anni tempore quo piscaturæ operam dare, aut propter gregem excubare opus habent. Negotiatio cum Noruagis desijt. Sylua fluctibus maris delatæ. At ipsas domus, seu ipsa hominum domicilia, antiquitus quidem satis magnificè et sumptuosè, quoad huius terræ fert conditio, ligno, cespite et saxis habuerunt Islandi constructa, vsque ad illud tempus, quo illis cum Noruagis, qui ligna sufficiebant, negociatio, et mercium commutatio esse desijt, quæ inde paulatim collabi incipiunt: Cum nec syluas ædificijs aptas habeamus, nec fluctuum maris beneficio iam vt olim ad littora, quod minima ex parte sufficiat, adferatur: Nec mercatores extranei inopiæ nostræ succurrant. Vnde plurima rura ignobiliora ab antiqua illa integritate multum declinarunt, et iam quædam collapsa sunt, quædam ruinam minantur. Nihilominus multa sunt prædia, multæ villæ, quas haud facile recensuero, quarum ædificia veterem illam excellentiam imitantur, et quarum domus sunt maximæ, et latæ et longæ, tum plærúmque benè altæ. Vt exempli gratia. Prædia seu villæ, quæ cubilia habent plusquam 50. cubitos longa, 10. lata, alta 20. Tum reliquas domus, vt coenaculum, hypocaustum, penuarium &c. huic sua proportione respondentes. Possum multa nostratium ædificia ampla et vasta, nec in speciem deformia, nec ob artis structuram et sumptuosam firmitudinem, seu robur, contemnenda cum aliquot delubris, siue sacris ædibus, solis lignis, antiqua et operosa grauitate et pulchritudine extructis commemorare: Cuiusmodi est templum Cathedrale Holense atrium habens, cuius columnæ vtrinque quinque vlnas 14. altæ, 5. circiter crassæ: tum trabes ac tigna, et reliquum culmen, huic substructioni proportionaliter respondens. Ligna ad hoc ipsum atrium Anno 1584. horrenda tempestate collapsum, clementissimus Rex noster D. Fridericus cuius nobis sacratissima est memoria, Anno 1588. benignissimè largitus est. Ipsum verò templum atrium suum omni quantitate manifeste excedit: tum templi intima pars quæ chorus appellari solet, et templi meditullio, et atrio magnitudine nonnihil cedit. Erat autem hoc longè maius olim, vt accepi Schalholtense, quod iam bis concrematum, ad inferiorem magnitudinem redactum est. Prætereà aliquot alia templa nostræ Insulæ horum antiquam magnificentiam imitantia licet non æquintia. Sed hic nequaquam res exigere videtur, vt in prolixiorem eius rei descriptionem euager. Vt enim Domus et edificia nostra nihil depredicamus: ita eorundem nos nihil pudet, quòd contenti paupertate nostra Christo gratias immortales agamus, qui à nobis vili tecto non dedignatur recipi, quòdque templa et domus nostras quas Munsterus Krantzius et Frisius piscium et balenarum ossibus non verè dicunt extructas, non aspernetur magis, quàm illa extraneorum culmina marmorea, parietes vermiculatos pauimenta tesselata reliquùmque id genus ornamenti.
Munsterus. Krantzius. Frisius. They inhabite for the most part in caues, or hollowe places within the sides of mountaines. And againe, They haue many houses and Churches built with the bones of fishes, and Whales. Againe. Many of them also to auoide the extremitie of colde, doe keepe themselues close in their caues, euen as the people of Africa doe to auoyde the heate of the sunne. Also Munster sayth: Many in Island at this day build their houses with the ribbes and bones of Whales.
Here the second member taketh his beginning concerning the course of life, and the manners of the inhabitants. And first of all what buildings or houses they doe vse namely according to Munster, Krantinus, Frisius &c. Holes and caues of mountaines. But although in gorgeous buildings, and such other worldly braueries there is very little helpe to the attayning of a life truely happie: notwithstanding, wee can not in this place conceale the truth and we plainly affirme that Cosmographers and Historiographers also doe erre in this point. For such habitations as they write to be common vnto the whole nation, are but in verie fewe places, and are either sheepe-cots for shepheards, or cottages and receptacles for fishermen at that time of the yeere onely when they goe a fishing, and the others stande in neede to watch their flocke. Traffike with the people of Norway ceaseth. But for their houses themselues, and the verie dwelling places of men, the Islanders haue had them built from auncient time stately and sumptuously enough, according to the condition of the Countrey, with timber, stones, and turfes, vntill such time as traffike and exchange of wares beganne to cease betweene them and the Noruagians, who were wont to supply them with timber, and for that cause nowe our houses beginne to decay whenas neither we haue woods of conuenient for building, Drift wood not so plentifull now as in times past nor yet there are nowe a dayes, as there were in olde time, trees cast vpon our shores by the benefite of the sea, which may in any sort relieue vs: neither doe outlandish Merchants succour our neccessities; whereupon many of our meanest countrey villages are much decayed from their auncicnt integritie, some whereof be fallen to the ground, and others bee very ruinous. Notwithstanding there be many farmes and villages which I cannot easily reckon vp, the buildings whereof doe resemble that auncient excellencie, the houses being verie large both in breadth and length, and for the most part in height also As for example farmes or granges which conteine chambers in them, more than fiftie cubites in length, tenne in breadth, and twentie in height. And so other roomes, as a parler, a stoue, a butterie, &c. answering in proportion vnto the former. I could here name many of our countrey buildings both large and wide neither ilfauoured in shewe, nor base in regarde of their workemanship and costly firmenesse or strength, with certaine Churches also, or religious houses, built of timber onely, according to auncient and artificiall seemelinesse and beautie: as the Cathedrall Church of Holen hauing a bodie the fiue pillars whereof on both sides be foure elnes high, and about fiue elnes thicke, as also beames and weather-bourdes, and the rest of the roofe proportionally answering to this lower building. Our most gracious King Lord Frederick, whose memory is most sacred vnto vs, in the yere 1588. did most liberally bestowe timber for the reedifying of this body being cast downe in the yere 1584. by an horrible tempest. But the Church it selfe doth manifestlie exceed the body thereof in all quantity: also the inner part of the Church, which is commonly called the quier is somwhat lesse, both then the middle part of the Church, and also then the bodie.
The Church of Schalholt was farre greater as I haue heard in olde time, then this our Cathedrall, which hauing now beene twise burnt, is brought to a lesser scantling. Likewise there be some other Churches of our Island, although not matching, yet resembling the auncient magnificence of these. But here the matter seemeth not to require that I shoulde runne into a long description of these things. For as wee doe not greatly extoll our houses and buildings, so are we nothing ashamed of them, because being content with our pouertie, we render vnto Christ immortall prayse who despiseth not to be receiued of vs vnder a base roofe, and contemneth not our temples and houses (which Munster, Krantzius, and Frisius doe not truely affirme to be built of fishes and Whales bones) more then the marble vaults, the painted walles, the square pauements, and such like ornamentes of Churches and houses in other countries.
Munsterus Krantzius. Commum tecto, victu, statu, (hic Krantzius habet, strato) gaudent cum iumentis. Item: Solo pastu pecorum et nunc captura piscium victitant.
Hæc sunt et sequentia, quæ Krantzius suo Munstero præmansa, in os ingessit, adeò vt Munstero non opus fuent ea vel semel masticare, quod ex collatione vtriusque patet. Munsterus enim hæc opprobria, vt ex Krantzij in suam Noruegiam præfatione hausta deglutierat, ita eadem cruda lib. 4. Cosmographiæ capit. 8. in gentem nostram euomit. Quæ hactenus fuerunt, etsi satis grauia sunt, tolerabiliora tamen erant. Hoc verò commentum malignissimum, et quæ sequentur, non facilè est sine stomacho præterire. Nostrum igitur est, etiam hîc veritatem asserere, et mendacium in Authoris caput retorquere.
Tecto: Primùm igitur quod de commum tecto (vti etiam de victu et statu) cum iumentis dicunt, falsum et erroneum clamamus, teste non modò re ipsa, si quis id hodiè perquirere volet: Sed etiam multorum extraneorum, qui aliquot apud nos annos egerant, et veritati plus quam gentem nostram calumniandi affectui tribuunt, experientia; qui ipsi domos et habitationes nostras viderunt, et norunt in singulis prædijs seu villis, multas esse distinctas domus: nempe in abiectissimis et vilissimis 7. vel 8. in maioribus, nunc decem, nunc 20. In maximis, nunc 40, nunc 50; quæ vt plurimùm, et tecto et parietibus distinctæ, vni possessori vel domino, rarò duobus aut tribus, rarissimè pluribus inseruiunt, ac vsibus quotidianis et domesticis sufficiunt. Vnde facilè intelligis, Lector, quàm verè eodem tecto cum iumentis vtantur Islandi, cum singuli rustici in hac domuum varietate, peculiaria bouilia, ouilia, equitia, agnilia, debitis interuallis dissita habeant, quæ serui, quoties opus est, petunt, vnde rursus habitationem subinde repetunt.
Quòd autem quidam in mappa Islandiæ de prouinca Skagefiord annotauit, sub eodem tecto homines, canes, sues et oues, viuere, partim falsum, partim minimè mirandum est. De ouibus quidem, vt iam dictum est, et præcipuè suibus (cum illa prouincia sues non habeat) falsum: De canibus haud mirum, cum illis nec regum aulæ caruerint nec hodiè careant, vt nimis omnibus est notum. Sed de canibus paulò post Sect 7. huius.
Victu. An iumentorum pabula possint commodè victus appellatione contineri, meritò dubitauerim. Cùm Doletus, Ciceronis interpretem agens, dicat: Victum, inquit, cum iureconsultis, ita exponemus, vt victus verbo contineantur, quæ esui, potui, cultuique corporis, quæque ad viuendum homini sunt necessana. Et Vlpianus, de verborum significat. Ijsdem verbis victum definit. Hoc loco verò Authores illi, etiam iumentorum pabula, victum appellant.
Cæterum videamus quomodo hîc eluceat veritatis et candoris præstantia. Iumenta non habemus præterquam equos et boues: His gramina et foenum (nisi vbi foeni inopia obrepit) pabulum, aqua potum præbet. At hi ipsi scriptores fatentur, Islandos piscibus, butyro, carnibus, tum bubulis, tum ouillis, etiam frumento, licet pauco et aduentitio viuere. Non igitur cibum habent cum brutis communem, quod tamen ijdem his verbis asserunt. Communi victu gaudent cum iumentis: Quod quid sit Munstero, ipse paulò superius haud obscurè docuit. Islandia, innquit, populos multos continet, solo pecorum pastu, et nunc captura piscium victitantes. Quid autem est pecorum pastus, aliud, quàm pecorum cibus? ait Doletus: nisi Munsterus fortè pecorum pasium, ipsa pecora ad pastum hominum mactata appellet: cui, vt existimo, vsus Romanorum refragatur, qui, vt homines vesci, ita pecora pasci docuit: hominúmque victum pecorum autem, pastum et pabulum vocari iussit. An verò existimem tam dementes fuisse Munsterum et Krantzium vt senserint Islandos graminibus et foeno viuere? Quo miseriæ Nabuchodonozor, diuinæ vltionis iugum subiens redactus est Dani 4. 30. Facilè dabimus multa, quibus homines, non modò nostrates, sed vestrates quoque vescuntur, iumenta et pecora fortè non reijcere, si familiari pabulo destituantur. Vt equi frumento et panibus hordeaceis pascuntur: ijdem lac (quemadmodum etiam vituli et agni) et cereuisiam, si offeratur bibunt, et quidem auidè. Sed et canes quævis fercula et cibaria deuorant. An idcircò quisquam dicet, homines communi victu cum canibus et iumentis gaudere?
Iam quæcunque famis grassantis tempore contigere pro vniuersali gentis alicuius consuetudine in historiam referri non debent. Vt non licet nobis de extraneis scribere huius aut illius terræ populos canum murium aut felium vsu victitare solitos, etsi fortè fame siue obsidione, siue alioqui annonas charitate inualescente immissa, id factitarint.
Potum autem interdum esse multis cum iumentis communem non magnoperè contraibimus: nempè aquam limpidissimam, naturalem ilium potum omnibus animantibus à Deo creatum quem etiam ex parte, medicinæ consulti comendant, imò nec patres Hebræi nec ipse Seruator noster fastidiebat.
Ad amictum verò quod attinet, (Nam et amictum victus vocabulo comprehendimus) nequaquam hic cum iumentis communis est. Illa enim pilis et villis natura (quod Munsterum et Krantzium nouisse iurarim) vestiuit: homines, alioqui nudi, pannis corpus induere necesse habent. Hæc indumenta, quæ quidem Islandia suppeditat, ex lanis ouium conficiuntur. Sed non cogitaram ideò recte dici, amictum esse nobis cum ouibus communem siue eundem. Vtuntur etiam extranei pannis ex ouilla lana confectis, licet artificio subtiliore. Sed de indumentis nihil: Stultum enim est, ex eo laudem vel superbam æstimationem quærere quod naturæ nostræ infirmitatem arguit.
Statu. Restat ille status quem cum brutis habere communem dicimur. Qui qualis aut cuiusmodi sit, aut eum esse velint nostri scriptores, certè non facilè assequor. Status inquit Doletus est vel corporis, vel causarum vel ordinis et conditionis. Certè alium esse statum nostri corporis quàm iumentorum (nam præter duos pedes etiam manus habemus et corpore ac vultu sursum erecto incedimus) alium item ordinem et conditionem nostram ducimus. Illi boni viri si id de se aut alijs cognitum habent fateantur. Nos hæc tam vana et in Deum creatorem nostrum tam contemptibilia irridemus, nec prolixiore tractatu dignamur.
Occasi harum fabularum. Cæterum quia nostrum est nec amori patriæ, nec vlli rei tantum tribuere, quin plus semper et vbique veritati largiamur: Dicam quid sit quod huic infami scriptorum conuicio occasionem fortè dederit.
Sunt in vicinia Schalholtiæ, ad littus Islandie australe paroechiolæ tres, inter duos rapidissimos amnes Thiorsaa et Olffwis Aa interceptæ; quæ et syluis et cespitibus consueto gentis ad focos alendos fomite ferè destituuntur. In istis paroechijs habitantes et si qui sint vicini, quamuis plures eorum, vt de omnibus rebus ad rem familiarem pertinentibus, ita etiam de his, quæ ad focos et balnea opus habent, sibi opportunè prospiciunt: Tamen sunt inter eos quidam sed infirma tantum sortis coloni, qui quoniam estis rebus domi destituantur, nec aliunde petere eas valeant in culinis foeno ad coquendos cibos vtuntur: Ast vbi hyemis niuosæ sævitia horrida ingruit, coloni isti miseri ad suum bouile refugiunt illic scilicet exstructis tabulatis interidiù operas domesticas exercentes, à bobus, cum focos habere nequeant, calorem mutuantur, quemadmodum mihi ab alijs narratum est. Sicque illi tantùm qui sanè paucissimi sunt, communi cum bobus tecto in bruma vti quidem non gaudent, sed coguntur. Verùm victum et statum longè alium habent, de qua re hactenus. Hæc est in istis Paroechiolis quorundam sors et inopia, quorum conditio idcirco etiam apud nos fabula vulgi effecta est, quamuis non satis iustè. Vbi quo iure toti genti tribuatur, quod vix ac ne vix quidem de istis paucis colonis verùm est, libentur quæsierim? Tædet de his pluribus agere: Tantum quia mihi cum Theologis res est illud Saiomonis ijs reponam. Prouerb 14. Qui calummatur egenum, deridet factorem eius.
Equidem quia gens hæc nostra pauper et egena est et fuit, ad veluti quidam mendicus inter diuites, tot extraneorum probra et scommata tulit. Sed videant cui exprobrent. Certè, si aliud nihil nobis cum illis commune est, tamen omnes ex ijsdem constamus elementis, et vnus et idem omnium Pater, Deus.
They and their cattell vse all one house, all one food or victuals, one state (here Krantzius hath it lodging.) Also. They liue onely by feeding of cattell, and sometimes by taking of fishes.
Those be the things together with those that followe, which Krantzius hath champed, and put into Munsters mouth, so that Munster shall not neede so much as once to chewe them, which may appeare by comparing them both together. For Munster, as hee swallowed these reproches, taking them out of Krantzius his preface vpon Norway, so he casteth vp the verie same morsels vndigested and rawe against our nation, in his fourth booke of Cosmographie cap. 8. Those things which haue beene hitherto, although they haue sufficiently grieued vs yet will we let them seeme more tollerable: but this most malitious deuise, and those which follow we cannot easily brooke. It is our part therefore in this place also to auouch the trueth, and to turne the leasing vpon the authors owne head.
House, &c. First, that which they say concerning the same common house (as also liuing, and state) with our cattell, we plainely affirme to be false and erronious, not onely the truth it selfe being our witnesse, if any man would make triall, but also the experience of manie strangers, that haue liued some yeeres amongst vs, and haue more minde to speake the trueth then to reuile our nation: who haue seene our house and habitations with their owne eyes, and knewe that in euery particular farme or graunge there were many seuerall roomes namely, in those that were most simple and base, seuen or eight: In others which were greater, sometimes tenne, and sometimes twentie. In the greatest sometimes fortie, and sometimes fiftie. Which for the most part being seuered, both by roofes and walles, doe serue for the dayly and household affaires of one owner or master, seldome of two or three, but almost neuer of more: whereupon the Reader may easily iudge, howe true it is that the Islanders and their cattell haue all one house to lie in, when euery husbandman in this varietie of roomes hath seuerall oxe stalles, sheepe-cotes, stables lambes-cots separated in different spaces one from another, which the seruants goe vnto so oft as neede requireth, and from thence returne backe to the dwelling houses.
But whereas one noted in his Mappe of Island, concerning the prouince of Skagefiord, that vnder the same roofe, men, dogges swine and sheepe liue altogether, it is partly false, and partly no maruell: for sheepe, as it hath been sayde, and especially for swine (when as that prouince hath no swine at alt) it is vtterly false: for dogges it is no maruell, when is not kings courts were euer, or at this day are destitute of them, as it is well knowen to all men. But as touching dogges afterward in the seuenth section.
Victuals, &c. Whither beasts meate may fitly be termed by the name of Victus, a man may lustly doubt: When Doletus interpreting a peece of Tullie, saith: As for Victus (sayth he) wee will so expound it with the Ciuilians, namely that we comprehend vnder the word of Victus all things necessarie for the life of man as meate, drinke, attire of the bodie, &c. And Vlpianus de verborum significatione defineth Victus in the very same words. But in this place the saide authors call beaste meate by the name of Victus.
But let vs see what trueth and plaine dealing is to be found in these men. We haue no labouring cattel besides horses and oxen: these haue grasse and hay (except where haye is wanting) for their fodder, and water to drinke. Now, the very same writers confesse, that the Islanders liue by fish, butter, flesh both beefe and mutton, and corne also, though it bee scarce, and brought out of other countries. Therefore they haue not the same foode with brute beasts, which notwithstanding the sayde writers affirme in these wordes: They and their cattel vse all one victuals or food. What Munsters meaning is in this clause, he himselfe a little before hath plainely taught.
Island (saith he) conteineth many people liuing onely with the food of cattell, and sometimes by taking of fishes. But what else is the food of cattell, but the meat of cattell, saith Doletus? Vnlesse perhaps Munster calleth the food of cattell, cattell themselues slaine for the foode of men: whom, as I thinke, the vse of the latine tongue doth gaine say, which hath taught vs that as men doe eate, so beasts do feede, and hath termed the victuals of men, and the food or fodder of cattell. But may I thinke that Munster and Krantzius were so mad as to imagine that the Islanders liue vpon grasse and hay: To this passe of miserie was Nabuchodonozor brought vndergoing the yoke of Gods vengeance Daniel 4. vers. 30. We will easily graunt that beasts and cattell will not perhaps refuse many things, which men not onely of our countrey but of yours also eate, if the saide beasts be destitute of their vsuall food: as horses are fedde with corne and barley loaues: they will drinke milke also (like vnto calues and lambes) and ale if it be proffered them, and that greedily. And dogges in like manner will deuour any deinty dishes whatsoeuer. May any man therefore say that men vse the same common victuals with dogges and horses?
Now, whatsoeuer things haue happened in the time of grieuous famine ought not to be recorded in historie for the generall custome of any countrey. As it is not lawfull for vs to write concerning other nations, that the people of this or that countrie, doe vsually liue by eating of dogs, mise, cats, although perhaps in the time of famine or seige or dearth of corne, they haue often bene constrained so to doe.
But that the same drinke is sometimes common to many men with beasts we will not greatly gainesay: namely most pure water, that naturall drinke created by God for all liuing creatures: which also in some respect Phisicians doe commende, yea, neither the Patriarkes themselues, nor our sauiour Christ despised it.
As touching apparell (for we comprehend apparell also vnder the name of Victus) it is no wise common to vs with beasts. For nature hath clad them with hairs and bristles (as I dare say Munster and Krantzius cannot be ignorant) men, being otherwise naked stande in neede of clothes to couer their bodies. But I had not thought it might therefore haue properly beene sayde that sheepe and we haue all one apparell. Men of other countries also weare cloth of sheepes wooll, although it be more finely wrought. But no more concerning the attire of the bodie. For it is a meere folly to seeke for praise, and ambitious reputation by that, which argueth the infirmitie of our nature.
State, &c. Now, it remaineth that we should speake of that state, which we are sayd to haue common with beasts; but of what kinde or maner it should be, or our writers would haue it to be I cannot easily discerne. State (sayth Doletus) is either of the body, or of causes, or of order and condition. Doubtlesse, that there is another state of our bodies then of beasts (for besides our two feet, we haue hands also, and go with our bodies, and countenances lift vpright) and that we be of another order and condition from them, we are verily perswaded. As for these good fellowes, if they know any such matter by themselues or others, let them disclose it. We doe altogether scorne these, being so vaine things, and breeding so great contempt against the Maiesty of God our creator, neither do we vouchsafe them any larger discourse.
But because it is our duty not so highly to regard either the loue of our countrey, or of any other thing whatsoeuer, but that we may be ready at all times and in all places, to giue trueth the preheminence: I will say in a word what that was which perhaps might minister occasion to this infamous reproch of writers.
There be neere vnto Schalholt, vpon the South shore of Island three small parishes standing betweene two most swift riuers Thiorsaa and Olffwis Aa, being in a maner destitute both of wood and turfe, which is the accustomed fewell of the countrey. And although most of the inhabitants of these parishes and some of their neighbours, as they doe in time of yeere prouide all things necessary for householde, so especially those things which belong to fires and bathes: notwithstanding there be certaine among them of the basest sort of people, who because they want those things at home, and are not able to prouide them from other places, are constrained to vse straw for the dressing of their meat. But when the sharpe rigor of snowy Winter commeth on, these poore people betake them to their oxe stalles, and there setting vp sheds, and doing their necessary businesse in the day time, when they are not able to make fires, they borrow heat from their oxen, as it hath beene reported to mee by others: And so they onely being verie fewe in number, doe not willingly enioye, but are constrayned to vse the same common house with their oxen. But for their liuelihoode and state it is farre otherwise with them then with their oxen, of which thing I haue entreated before. This is the lot, & pouertie of certaine men in those pettie parishes, the condition whereof is therefore made a common byworde of the people amongst vs, though somewhat iniuriously. Where I would willingly demaund with what honestie men can impute that vnto the whole nation, which is hard and skantly true of these fewe poore men? I am wearie to stay any longer in this matter: onely, because I haue to doe with Diuines, let that of Salomon suffice, Prouerbs 17, verse 5. Hee that mocketh the poore, reprocheth him that made him.
And in very deede, because this our nation is nowe, and heretofore hath been poore and needie, and as it were a begger amongest many rich men, it hath susteined so many taunts and scoffes of strangers. But let them take heede whom they vpbraide. Verely if there were nothing else common vnto vs with them, yet we both consist of the same elements, and haue all one father and God.
Krantzius Munster In simplicitate sancta vitam agunt, cum nihil amplius quærant quàm natura concedit. Beata gens, cuius paupertati nullus inuidet. Sed mercatores Anglici et Dani quiescere gentem non sinunt, qui ob piscaturam vehendam terram illam frequentantes cum mercibus omnigenis vitia quoque nostra inuexerunt. Nam et fruges aquæ miscere in potum didicerunt, et simplicis aquæ haustus oderunt. Nunc aurum et argentum cum nostris admirantur.
Simplicitate. Equidem sanctæ simphcitatis laudem nobis attribui, meritò gaudemus: Sed id dolemus, quòd reperiatur etiam apud nos iustitiæ ac legum ingens deprauatio, ac magna anarchia, quam multorum scelerum myriades consequuntur, quod pij et boni omnes quotidiè deplorant. Id mali autem nequaquam supremi Magistratus, hoc est, Regis nostri clementissimi, sed verius nostra culpa accidit: qui hæc quæ clàm ipso præposterè geruntur et quæ in inferiore magistratu desiderantur, ad maiestatem ipsius non deferimus.
Mercatores. Mercatores porrò, non solùm Angli et Dani, sed maximè Germani, vt nunc, ita olim terram nostram, non ob piscaturam sed pisces euehendos frequentantes, nequaquam artem illam, miscendarum frugum aquæ, Islandos docuerunt. Quippe ipsi Noruagi primi, quòd nobis constet, terræ nostræ incolæ; à quibus oriundi sunt Islandi, artem illam, sicut etiam aureos argenteósque nummos, secum ex Noruegia attulerunt; vt initio non fuerit minor argenti et auri vsus apud nos, quàm est hodiè.
Et quidem ante Danorum, Germanorum, Anglorumue frequentes ad nos nauigationes, terra nostra multò, quàm nunc, senescentis mundi incommoda, coelo solóque persentiens, fertilior, in delectis simis quibúsque locis, Cereris munera produxit.
Krantzius. Munster. They leade their liues in holy simplicitie, not seeking any more then nature doeth afforde. A happie Nation, whose pouertie no man doth enuie. But the English and Danish merchants suffer not the nation to be at rest, who frequenting that countrey to transport fishing, haue conueighed thither our vices, together with their manifolde wares. For nowe, they haue learned to brew their water with corne, and beginne to despise, and loath the drinking of faire water. Now they couet golde and siluer like vnto our men.
Simplicitie, &c. I am exceedingly glad, that the commendation of holy simplicitie is giuen vnto vs. But it grieueth vs that there is found so great a decay of iustice, and good lawes, and so great want of gouernement amongst vs, which is the cause of many thousande haynous offences which all honest and godly men doe continually bewayle. This inconuenience doth not happen through the negligence of the highest Magistrate, that is of our most gracious King, but rather by our owne fault, who doe not present these thinges vnto his Maiestie, which are disorderly committed without his knowledge, and which are wanting in the inferiour Magistrate.
Merchants. Moreouer, Merchants, not onely of England and Denmarke, but especially of Germanie, as at this time, so heretofore frequenting our countrey, not to transport fishing, but fishes, taught not Islanders the arte of brewing corne with water. For the Noruagians themselues, the first, to our knowledge, that inhabited this Island, from whom ye Islanders are lineally descended, brought with them out of Norway that arte, as also golde and siluer coine, so that in old time there was no lesse vse of siluer and golde with vs, then there is at this day.
Corne of old time growing on Island. And it is certaine that before the often nauigations of Danes, Germans, and English men vnto vs, our land was much more fertile then nowe it is (feeling the inconueniences of the aged and decayed worlde, both from heauen and earth) and brought foorth, in certaine choyse places, corne in abundance.
Munsterus. Krantzius. Rex Daniæ qui et Noruagiæ quotannis præfectum immittit genti.
Anno Domino 846. natus est Haraldus Harfagre (quod auricomum vel pulchricomum dixeris) Qui deinde Anno 858, Rex Noruagiæ designatus, vbi ætas viresque iustum incrementum acceperunt, formam imperij Noruagici mutauit. Nam antea in minutas prouincias diuisum (quas Fylki vocabant, et qui his præerant regulos, Fylkis Konga) ad Monarchiam armis potentibus redegit. Id cum et genere et potentia valentes aliquot regni incolæ ægrè ferrent, patria exulare, quàm ipsius Tyrannidis iugum non detrectare maluerunt. Vnde hi in Islandiam, antea quidem à quibusdam visam et inuentam, at desertam tamen, colonias, dicto Superius Anno 874. transtulerunt: Atque sic genti nostræ originem præbentes, se Islandos nuncuparunt, quod nomen hodiè posteri retinent. Vixerunt itaque Islandi diu, nullius imperium agnoscentes, annis scilicet 386. plus minus. Et quamuis Rex Noruagiæ Haquinus ille conatus, qui omnium regum Noruagiæ diutissimè, nempe plusquam 66. annos imperium gerebat, sæpè per legatos tentarat tributarios sibi facere Islandos, constanter tamen semper restiterunt, donec tandem circa annum Domini 1260. homagium ipsi præstarent. Margareta. Atque postea semper in data fide persistentes, et regibus Noruagiæ parentes, translato per Margaretam, Daniæ, Sueciæ, et Noruagiæ reginam, Noruagorum imperio, ad Danos, vnà cum reliquis imperij Noruagici Insulis, Serenissimum Daniæ regem; Dominum et Regem suum hodiè salutant.
Munsterus. Krantzius. The King of Denmarke and Norway sendeth euery yeere a Lieutenant into the Countrey.
In the yeere of our Lord eight hundred fortie and sixe Harold Harfagre (which is to say, golden haires or faire lockes) was borne. Who afterward in the yeere eight hundred fiftie and eight, being chosen king of Norway, when he was growen to age, and full strength, chaunged the forme of the Noruagian gouernment. For whereas before it was diuided into pettie Prouinces (which they called Fylki, and the pettie kings that gouerned them, fylkis konga) he reduced it by force of armes vnto a Monarchie. The occasion of the first inhabiting of Island by the people of Norway. But when some inhabitants of the countrie, being mightie, and descended of good parentages, could not well brooke this hard dealing, they chose rather to be banished their countrey, then not to shake off the yoke of tyranny. Whereupon, they in the yeere aboue named eight hundred seuentie and foure, transported colonies into Island being before discouered by some men and found out, but vnpeopled as yet: And so being the first founders of our nation, they called themselues Islanders, which name their posteritie reteineth vnto this day. And therefore the Islanders liued a long time, namely, three hundred eightie and sixe yeeres, more or lesse, acknowledging no submission to any other Nation. Haquinus coronatus. And although Haquinus that crowned King of Norway who reigned longest of any Noruagian king, namely, about sixtie sixe yeares, did oftentimes attempt by Ambassadours to make the Islanders become tributaries vnto him, notwithstanding at all times they constantly withstoode him, till at length about the yeere of our Lord 1260. they performed homage vnto him. And afterward continued alwayes in their promised loyaltie, being subiects to the king of Norway. But now at this day, since the Empire of the Noruagians was translated by Margaret Queene of Denmarke, Suedeland, and Norway vnto the Danes, they doe honour as their soueraigne Lord and King the most gracious king of Denmarke.
Krantzius Munsterus Omnia eos communia sunt, præter vxores.
Hoc loco præmittit Krantzius talem Ironiam.
Multa insignia in moribus illorum, &c. Porrò etiam hic fidem vestram eleuat ingenium, ad asserendum res incompertas nimis procliue, cupidinem nouitatis, et nominis ac famaæ, imò veritatis curam preposteram arguit, omnium et rerum personarúmque et temporum experientia: O scriptores suspiciendi.
Testes sunt leges politicæ, quibus inde ab initio cum Noruagis vsi sunt eisdem Islandi: De Rege et subditis: De foro, et his quæ in forensem disceptationem cadere possunt: De hæreditatibus: adoptionibus, nuptijs, furto, rapinis, mutuo contractibus et cæteris: Quæ omnia, quorsum illis, quebus res omnes sunt communes? Testes sunt, tot de bonis mobilibus et immobilibus contentiones, turbæ et certamina, in foris ac iudicijs Islandorum: Testes sunt Reges nunc Daniæ et olim Noruagiæ, qui tot libellis supplicibus Islandorum, ad componendas istas de possessionibus controuersias, olim et nunc interpellati sæpè fuerant. Testis contra seipsum Krantzius, cuius verba distinction. i. huius, hæc fuerunt. Ante susceptam Christi fidem (Islandi) lege naturali viuentes parum à lege nostra discrepabant, &c. Si lege naturæ, certè lege illa iustitiæ, quæ tribuit vnicuique suum: Si lege iustitiæ, certè proprietatum et dominiorum distinctiones in nostra gente locum habuisse oportet: Quanquam autem in hanc ipsam legem etiam in Ecclesia, et quidem satis atrocitur, sæpè delinquitur tamen et Ecclesia et Ethnici iustissimam et optimam esse semper fassi sunt.
Krantzius. Munsterus. All things are common among them except their wiues.
Here Krantzius in the first place beginneth with such a gybe There be many notable things in their manners, &c. Moreouer, your wit being too hastie in affirming things vnknowen, doth here also diminish your credite. The experience as well of all things as of persons and times proueth your ouer greedie desire of noueltie, of fame and vaine glorie, and argueth your great negligence in maintaining the truth. O worthy writers.
But whether the aforesayde things bee true or no, wee call the lawes of our Countrey to witnesse, which the Islanders from the beginning haue vsed all one with the Norwayes: of the King and his subiects: of the seate of iustice, and of law cases which come to be decided there, of inheritances: of adoptions, marriages, theft, extortions, lending, bargaines, and the rest: all which, to what purpose should they be enioyned vnto them with whom all things are common? We call to witnesse so many broyls and contentions in our courts, and places of iudgement in Island concerning goods mooueable, and immooueable: we call to witnesse our kings now of Denmarke, aforetime of Norway, who by so many billes of supplication out of Island in old time, and of late haue beene often interrupted, for the setting through of controuersies concerning possessions. Wee call Krantzius himselfe to witnesse against himselfe, whose words in the first section were these: Before the receiuing of Christian faith the Islanders liuing according to the lawe of nature did not much differ from our lawe &c. If by the lawe of nature, then doubtlesse by that lawe of iustice, which giueth to euery man his owne: If by the lawe of iustice, then certainely distinctions of properties and possessions must needes haue taken place in our Nation: and although this very lawe is often transgressed, and that haynously euen in the Church: notwithstanding both the Church, and also heathen men doe acknowledge it to be most iust and good.
Catulos suos et pueros æquo habent in precio: Nisi quod à pauperioribus facilius impetrabis filium quàm catulum, &c.
Quamuis principio huius commentarioli censuerim, Munsterum et alios magni nominis viros, in ijs, quæ de Islandia scripta reliquerunt, esse à calumnæ nota liberandos: num tamen id hîc, etiam à candidissimo et maxime sincero quocunque fieri possit, non satis video. Quid enim mouit tantos viros, vt Nautarum maleuolas nugas et mendacia secuti, tam atroci et contumelioso opprobrio gentem nostram diffamarent, commacularentque? Nihil profectò, nisi secura ridendi et contemnendi gentem pauperem et ignotam, licentia, et si quæ sunt huic vicia confinia.
Cæterum nôrint omnes non tam Islandis, quàm ipsis Authoribus, incommodare hoc mendacium. Cum enim illud, et plurima etiam alia in historiam suam accumulant, efficiunt vnà, vt alibi quoque suspectæ fidei habeantur. Illudque quod ait Aristoteles lucrantur, vt cum vera dixerint, illis sine suspitione non credatur.
Sed age Lector, subsiste paulisper, mecùmque grauitatem et sapientiam tantorum virorum expende: Ne tantum Islandiæ Elogium intactum prætereamus. Docuerunt hactenus Krantzius et Munsterus: Islandos esse Christianos. Item: Islandos ante susceptam Christi fidem lege naturali vixisse. Item: Islandos vixisse lege quadam non multum à lege Germanorum discrepante. Item: Vixisse eos in sancta simplicitate. Adesdum igitur Lector, et quas Christianismi, Legis naturalis, legis Germanorum, santæ simplicitatis notas Authores illi requirant, et in Islandis monstrent ac depingant, perpende. Vna fuit supra, quòd infernum siue carcerem damnatorum montis Heclæ voragine et radicibus circumscribant Islandi: de quo vide Sect. i. huius: et sect. 7. prior. part. Altera nota, quòd, cum Anabaptistis, proprietatum et dominiorum distinctiones tollant: de quo Sect. præced. Tertia eàque longe excellentissima hæc est: illi præclari affectus naturales, amor, cura, et animus tam pius et paternus Islandorum in liberos, quòd videlicit eiusdem precij sint apud illos canes et filij, aut hi etiam viltoris. Siccine nobis Munstere et Krantzi. Legem Christi, naturæ, Germanorum, et sanctam simplicitatem depingitis: O picturam præclaram et excellentem, quamuis non prorsus Apellæam: O Inuentum acutum et admirandum, si benè authenticum: O scientiam plusquàm humanam, etsi non prorsus diuinam.
Nos verò Islandi, quamuis vltimi et gelidum conclusi ad Arcton, longè alias Christianismi notas requirimis. Nam et præceptum Dei habemus, vt quilibet proximum diligat velut seipsum. Iam nemo est, puto, qui seipsum non plus diligat, aut pluris faciat, quàm canem. Quod si tantus esse debet proximi cuiuslibet fauor, tanta æstimatio, tantus amor, quantus quæso erit in liberos? Quorum arctissimum amorem, præterquam quod ipsa parens natura nobis firmissimè conciliauit, etiam Lex diuina curam summam in enutriendo habere iussit (Exo. 12. 24. Ephe. 6, 4.) vt scilicet sint in sancto coniugio, Ecclesiæ quædam seminaria, omnis pietatis et honestatis exercitia: Prout vates ille pulcherrimè cecinit.
Vult Ecclesiolam quamlibet esse domum.
Item: Coniugium humanæ quædam est Academia vitæ.
Vt iam satis constet, apud Christianos longè pluris faciendos et curandos filios, quàm canes: Et, si qui non aliter curent, Christianos non esse.
Sed et hic in prolem dulcissimam affectus naturalis in Ethnicis etiam satis apertè conspicitur: vt si quos hoc penitùs exueris, eosdem etiam homines esse negaueris. Monstrant id matres Carthaginenses, cum tertio bello Punico adolescentes quique lectissimi obsides in Siciliam mitterentur, quos illæ fletu et lamentatione miserabili ad naues comitatæ, et ex his quædam à filioram compleximus ægrè diuulsæ, cum ventis pandi vela cernerent, nauesque è portu egredi, dolore stimulante, in subiectos fluctus dissiluere: Sabellico authore. Monstrat Ægeus, qui nauem filij Thesei, cum velis atri coloris, ex Creta redeuntem cerneret, perijsse filium ratus, vitam in proximis vndis finiuit. Sabellic. lib. 3. cap. 4. Monstrat Gordianus senior, Africæ proconsul, qui similiter, ob rumores de morte filij, vitam suspendio clausit. Campofulgos. lib. 5. cap. 7. Monstrant idem Iocasta Creontis filia, Auctolia Sinonis F. Anius Tuscorum Rex, Orodes Rex Parthorum, et alij numero innumero. De quibus vide stat. lib. 2. Plutarchum, et alios, &c. Huc illud. Amor descendit, &c. Adeò, vt videas non minus esse homini proprium, sobolem intimè diligere, et summo amore prosequi, quàm aut volare; vt si iam aliquando homines esse Islandos, nedum Christianos scriptores nostri fassi sint, hunc amorem et affectum in filios ijsdem, quantumuis inuiti et repugnantes, adscribant: sin minus, non modò hominis titulum et dignitatem illis detrahant, sed etiam infrà bruta et quasuis bestias, quæ ipsæ, stimulante natura, maximo prolis suæ et arctissimo amore tenentur, deprimant.
Non addam contra hoc impudens mendacium exempla etiam nostratium satis illustria: Tacebo leges nostras plagiarias ipsis Islandis antiquiores, quippe a Noruagis acceptas, quæ exstant in codice legum nostrarum, titulo Mannhelge: cap. 5. Si quis hominem liberum (quemuis nedum filium) extraneis vendat, &c.
Iam verò si quis eò fortunæ deueniat, vt proprium filium, siue incolæ, siue extranei alicuius potestati, vel fame vel extrema quacunque vrgente necessitate, aut periculo, permittat, ne familicum *media deficientem aspicere cogatur, canem verò in proprias dapes reseruet, Is minimè dicendus est filium æquo aut inferiore loco habere quàm canem, siue id faciant, Islandi, siue extranei quilibet.
Offenderant fortè Germanorum vel Danorum nautæ apud nos mendicos quosdam, liberis onustos, quorum hîc maximus est numerus, qui iocando, vt sunt nugis scurrilibus addicti, dixerint: Da mihi aut vende hoc vel illud: Cumque rogarint extranei: Quid tu mihi vicissim? Responderint mendici. Habeo liberos 10. vel 14. dabo ex eis vnum vel plures, &c. Solet enim ista mendicorum colluuies istiusmodi scurriles dialogismos cum extraneis instituere. Quod si tum quispiam bonus vir, misertus stoliditatis et inopiæ mendicorum, vno illos filio leuauerit, eique propter Deum in alijs terris, aliquo tandem modo benè prospexerit, num mendicus, qui alioqui cum filio, fame et paupertate moriturus, filium miserenti permittit et committit, filium istum suum minoris facit quàm canem? Præstitum est à multis tam Islandis quàm extraneis huiusmodi beneuolentiæ et commiserationis opus: ex quibus fuit vir nobilissimus Accilius Iulius à serenissimo rege Daniæ olim missus ad Islandos, Anno Domini 1552. Qui vt audiui, 15. pueros pauperculos assumpsit et secum in Daniam auexit: Vbi postea ipsius beneficio singulos suo vitæ generi addictos, in viros bonos et frugi euasisse, mihi narratum est.
Quid si quis in extrema constitutus angustia, filium non modò vendat; sed si emptorem non habet, ipse mactet et comedat? Nota sunt huius rei exempla: Parentum videlicet inuitiæ crudelitatis in filios, stimulante non odio vel astorgia, sed ineuitabili necessitate compellente. Num quis inde vniuersale gentis alicuius conuicium exstruxerit? Legimus, in obsidione Samariæ matres duas filios suos mactasse, et coctos comedisse: 4. Reg. C. 6. Legimus in obsidione Ierosolymitana, quam flebilis fuerit vox miserrimæ matris, filium misellum iam mactaturæ. Infans, ait, (referam enim Eusebij verba de hac re, etsi notissima, vt miseræ matris affectus appareat,) miselle et infelix, cuinam in hoc belli. famis, et seditionis tumultu, te commodè reseruem? Si Romanorum subijciamur imperio, illic seruitutis iugo pressi, vitam infoeliciter exigemus. Sed seruitutum credo fames anteuertet. Accedit factiosorum prædonum turba, his vtrisque miserijs toleratu multò asperior. Age igitur mi gnate, sis matri cibus, sis prædonibus furia, sis communi hominum vitæ fabula, quæ res vna ad Iudæorum calamitates deesse videtur. Quæ cum dixisset, natum trucidat, assatumque dimidium mox comedit, dimidium reseruat &c. Eusebius libro 3. capite 6. Iam quis est, qui non credat misserrimam hanc matrem filium hunc suum, domini alicuius, si se obtulisset, apud quem credidisset seruatum iri, aut emptoris possessioni fuisse permissuram? Nota est fames, Calagurium, Hispaniæ vrbem, olim à Cneio Pompeio obsessam opprimens (Val. libro septimo cap. 7.) cuius ciuibus, vxores et liberi in vsum estremæ dapis conuersi sunt, quos profectò; pro cibarijs et alijs dapibus haud inuiti vendidissent. Nota est quoque fames, quæ Anno Domini 851. (Vincent. libro 25. cap. 36.) Germaniam attriuit, vt etiam pater filium suum deuorare voluerit. Notum etiam est, post mortem Henrici septimi Imperat fame per triennium continuata, quomodo parentes liberos, vel liberi parentes deuorarint, et præcipuè quidem in Polonia et Bohemia. Et ne exempla tantùm antiqua petamus, accepimus tantam annonæ sæuitiam, Anno 1586. et 1587. in Hungaria grassatam fuisse, vt quidam alimentorum inopia adacti immanissimo Christianorum hosti proprios liberos vendiderint, et in perpetuum seruitutis iugum manciparint: quidam paruulos suos, quos vlterius tolerare non sustinebant, crudeli misericordia in Danubium proiecisse, et, suffocasse dicantur. Sed, num hæc et similia exempla quempiam eò insaniæ adigent, vt dicat hanc vel illam nationem, liberos in escam propriam mactare *consuettisse, Turcis libenter vendere, aut aquis submergere et suffocare solitam esse? Non opinor. Sic neque, quòd mendici apud Islandos, extrema vrgente necessitate, cuius durissimi sunt morsus, filios suos libenter amittant, toti genti, et quidem probri loco, communiter adscribendum est à quoquam, nisi apud eundem omnis pudor, candor, humanitas, veritas exulent.
Cæterum optarim ego, parcius Islandis canum curam exprobrare illos populos, quorum matronæ, et præcipuè nobiles, canes in maximis delicijs habent, vt eos vel in plateis, ne dicam in sacris concionibus, sinum gestent, quem morem in peregrinis quibusdam, quos Romæ catulos simiarum et canum in gremio circumferre Cæsar conspexit, hac quæstione reprehendit, dum quæreret: Numquid apud ipsos mulieres liberos non parerent? Monens errare eos, qui à natura inditos sibi affectus, quibus in amorem hominum ac præcipuè sobolis incitarentur, in bestias transferunt, quarum deliciarum voluptas Islandorum gentem, nunquam cepit aut habuit. Quare iam Munstere et Krantzi, alias nobis Christianitatis, (vt sic dicam) legis naturæ, legis item Germanorum, et sanctæ simplicitatis notas qusente.
They make all one reckoning of their whelpes, and of their children: except that of the poorer sort you shall easier obtaine their sonne then their shalke.
Although in the beginning of this Treatise I thought that Munster and other men of great name in those things which they haue left written concerning Islande, were not to bee charged with slander, yet whether that fauour may here be shewed by any man whatsoeuer (be he neuer so fauourable, and neuer so sincere) I doe not sufficiently conceiue. For what should moue such great men, following the despightful lyes, and fables of mariners, to defame and staine our nation with so horrible and so shamefull a reproch? Surely nothing else but a carelesse licentiousnesse to deride and contemne a poore and vnknowen Nation, and such other like vices.
But, be it knowen to all men that this vntrueth doth not so much hurt to the Islanders, as to the authors themselues. For in heaping vp this, and a great number of others into their Histories, they cause their credite in other places also to be suspected: And hereby they gaine thus muche (as Aristotle sayth) that when they speake trueth no man will beleeue them without suspition.
But attend a while (Reader) and consider with me the grauitie and wisedome of these great Clarkes: that we may not let passe such a notable commendation of Island. Krantzius and Munster haue hitherto taught, that the Islanders are Christians. Also: that before receiuing of Christian faith they liued according to the lawe of Nature. Also: that the Islanders liued after a law not much differing from the lawe of the Germanes. Also, that they liued in holy simplicitie.
Attend I say (good Reader) and consider, what markes of Christianitie, of the lawe of nature, of the Germanes law, of holy simplicitie, these authors require, and what markes they shew and describe in the Islanders. There was one of the sayd markes before: namely, that the Islanders doe place hell or the prison of the damned, within the gulfe and bottome of mount Hecla: concerning which, reade the first section of this part, and the seuenth section of the former. The seconde marke is, that with the Anabaptists they take away distinctions of properties and possessions: in the section next going before. The third and most excellent is this: those singular and natural affections, that loue and tender care, and that fatherly and godly minde of the Islanders towards their children, namely, that they make the same accompt of them, or lesse then they doe of their dogges. What? Will Munster and Krantzius after this fashion picture out vnto vs the lawe of Christ, the lawe of nature, the lawe of the Germanes, and holy simplicitie? O rare and excellent picture, though not altogether matching the skill of Apelles: O sharpe and wonderfull inuention, if authenticall: O knowledge more then humane, though not at all diuine.
But wee Islanders (albeit the farthest of all nations and inhabiting a frozen clime) require farre other notes of Christianitie. For we haue the commaundement of God, that euery man should loue his neighbour as himselfe. Nowe there is none (I suppose) that doeth not loue or esteeme more of himselfe then of his dogge. And if there ought to bee so great fauour, so great estimation, so great loue vnto our neighbour, then how great affection doe we owe vnto our children? The most neare and inseparable loue of whom, besides that nature hath most friendly setled in our mindes, the loue of God also commaundeth vs to haue speciall regard in trayning them vp (Exod 12. 24. Ephes. 6. 4.) namely that there may be in holy marriage certaine seminaries of Gods Church, and exercises of all pietie and honestie according to the excellent saying of the Poet —
God will haue each family,
A little Church to be,
Of humane life or mans societie,
A Schole or College is holy matrimonie
That it may be manifest, that among Christians their sonnes are more to be accompted of and regarded, then their dogges: and if any doe no otherwise esteeme of them, that they are no Christians.
But this naturall affection towarde our most deare of-spring is plainely seene in the heathen themselues: that whomsoeuer you totally depriue of this, you denie them also to bee men. The mothers of Carthage testifie this to be true, when as in the third Punic warre the most choyse and gallant young men in all the Citie were sent as pledges into Sicilia, whom they followed vnto the shippes with most miserable weeping and lamentation, and some of them being with griefe separated from their deare sonnes, when they sawe the saules hoysed, and the shippes departing out of the hauen, for very anguish cast themselues headlong into the water: as Sabellicus witnesseth. Egæus doth testifie this, who when he sawe the shippe of his sonne Theseus, returning out of Creete with blacke sayles, thinking that his sonne had perished, ended his life in the next waters: Sabell lib. 3. cap 4. Gordianus the elder, Proconsul of Affrica, doth testifie this, who likewise, vpon rumours of the death of his sonne, hanged himselfe. Campoful lib 5. cap. 7. Also, Iocasta the daughter of Creon, Auctolia daughter of Simon, Anius King of the Thuscans, Orodes King of the Parthians, and an infinite number of others. Concerning whom reade Plutarch stat. lib. 2. and other authors, &c. To these may be added that sentence, Loue descendeth, &c. So that you see, it is no lesse proper to a man entirely to loue his children, then for a bird to flie: that if our writers at any time haue confessed the Islanders to be men (muche lesse to be Christians,) they must, will they nill they, ascribe vnto them this loue and affection towardes their children: if not, they doe not onely take from them the title and dignitie of men, but also they debase them vnder euery brute beast, which euen by the instinct of nature are bound with exceeding great loue, and tender affection towards their young ones.
I will not adde against this shamelesse vntruth most notable examples of our owen countreymen: I will omit our lawes of man-stealing, more ancient then the Islanders themselues, being receiued from the Noruagians, and are extant in our booke of lawes vnder the title Manhelge cap. 5, Whosoeuer selleth a free man (any man much more a sonne) vnto strangers, &c.
Now if any man be driuen to that hard fortune, that he must needs commit his own sonne into the hands of some inhabitant or stranger, being vrged thereunto by famine, or any other extreame necessity, that he may not be constrained to see him hunger-starued for want of sustenance, but keepeth his dogge still for his owne eating, this man is not to be sayd, that he esteemeth equally or more basely of his sonne then of his dogge: whether Islanders or any other countreymen do the same.
The occasion of this slander. The Germane or the Danish mariners might perhaps find amongst vs certaine beggars laden with children (for we haue here a great number of them) who in iesting maner, for they are much giuen to trifling talke, might saye: Giue me this, or sell me that: and when the stranger should aske, What will you giue me for it? the beggar might answere: I haue ten or foureteene children, I will giue you some one or more of them, &c. For this rabble of beggars vseth thus fondly to prate with strangers. Now if there be any well-disposed man, who pitying the need and folly of these beggers, releaseth them of one sonne, and doth for Gods sake by some meanes prouide for him in another countrey: doth the begger therefore (who together with his sonne being ready to die for hunger and pouerty, yeeldeth and committeth his sonne into the hands of a mercifull man) make lesse account of his sonne then of his dogge? Such works of loue and mercie haue bene performed by many, as well Islanders themselues as strangers: one of which number was that honourable man Accilius Iulius, being sent by the most gracious King of Denmarke into Island in the yere of our Lord 1552, who, as I haue heard, tooke, and carried with him into Denmarke fiftene poore boyes: where afterward it was reported vnto me, that, by his good meanes euery one of them being bound to a seuerall trade, proued good and thriftie men.
What if some man be driuen to that passe, that he doth not onely sell his sonne but not finding a chapman, his owne selfe killeth and eateth him? Examples of this kinde be common, namely of the vnwilling and forced cruelty of parents towards their children, not being pricked on through hate, or want of naturall affection, but being compelled thereunto by vrgent necessity. Shall any man hereupon ground a generall reproch against a whole nation? We reade that in the siege of Samaria, two mothers slew their sonnes, and eat them sodden: 4. King, chap. 6. We reade in the siege of Ierusalem, how lamentable the voice of that distressed mother was, being about to kill her tender childe: My sweete babe, sayth she (for I will report Eusebius owne words, concerning this matter, though very common, that the affection of a mother may appeare) borne to miserie and mishap, for whom should I conueniently reserue thee in this tumult of famine, of warre, and sedition? If we be subdued to the gouernment of the Romans, we shall weare out our vnhappy dayes vnder the yoke of slauery. But I thinke famine will preuent captiuity. Besides, there is a rout of seditious rebels much more intollerable then either of the former miseries. Come on therefore, my sonne, be thou meat vnto thy mother, a fury to these rebels, and a byword in the common life of men, which one thing onely is wanting to make vp the calamities of the Iewes. These sayings being ended, she killeth her sonne, roasting and eating one halfe, and reseruing the other, &c. Eusebius lib 3. cap. 6. Now, what man will not beleeue that this vnhappy mother would full gladly haue passed ouer this her sonne into the possession of some master or chapman, if she could haue happened vpon any such, with whom she thought he might haue beene preserued: That famine is well knowen which oppressed Calagurium, a city of Spaine, when in olde time Cneius Pompeius layed siege thereunto (Valerius lib. 7. cap. 7.) the citizens whereof conuerted their wiues and children into meat for the satisfying of their extreame hunger, whom doubtlesse they would with all their heartes haue solde for other victuals. That famine also is well knowen which in the yere of our Lord 851. (Vincent lib. 35. cap 26.) afflicted Germany, insomuch that the father was glad to deuoure his owne sonne. It was well knowen after the death of the Emperour Henry the seuenth, in a famine continuing three whole yeres, how the parents would deuoure their children, and the children their parents, and that especially in Polonia and Bohemia. And that we may not onely allege ancient examples: it is reported that there was such a grieuous dearth of corne in the yeeres 1586, and 1587, thorowout Hungary, that some being compelled for want of food were faine to sell their children vnto the most bloudy and barbarous enemy of Christians, and so to enthrall them to the perpetuall yoke of Turkish slauery: and some are sayd to haue taken their children, whom they could no longer sustaine, and with cruell mercy to haue cast them into Danubius, and drowned them. But should these stories and the like make any man so mad as to affirme that this or that nation accustometh to kill their children for their owne food, and to sell them willingly vnto the Turks, or to drowne and strangle them willingly in the water? I cannot thinke it. So neither (because beggers in Island being enforced through extreame and biting necessitie, do willingly part with their sonnes) is this custome generally to be imputed vnto the whole nation, and that by way of disgrace, by any man, except it be such an one who hath taken his leaue of all modesty, plaine dealing, humanity, and trueth.
But I could wish that the loue of dogges in Islanders might be more sparingly reprehended by those people, whose matrons, and specially their noble women, take so great delight in dogs, that they carry them in their bosomes thorow the open streetes. I will not say in Churches: which feshion Cæsar blamed in certaine strangers, whom he sawe at Rome carrying about yoong apes and whelpes in their armes, asking them this question: Whether women in their countrey brought foorth children or no? signifying heereby, that they do greatly offend who bestow vpon beasts these naturall affections, wherewith they should be inuited to the loue of mankinde, and specially of their owne ofspring, which strange pleasure neuer ouertooke, nor possessed the nation of the Islanders. Wherefore now (Munster and Krantzius) you must finde vs out other marks of Christianity, of the law of nature, of the Germans law, and of holy simplicity.
Krantzius Munsterus Episcopum suum colunt pro Rege ad cuius nutum respicit totus populus. Quicquid ex lege, scripturis, et ex consuetudine aliarum gentium constituit, quàm sancte obseruant.
Fuit equidem initio ferè ad repurgatam Euangelij doctrinam maxima Episcopi obseruantia; sed nunquam tanta vt exteris legibus aut consuetudini cederent nostræ leges politicæ, ex nutu Episcopi. Nec tempore Alberti Krantzij, multò minus Munsteri (quorum ille 1517, hic 1552. post partum salutiferum decessit) Episcopi Islandorum regiam obtinuerunt authoritatem, cùm scilicet multi ex ijs, qui diuitijs paulò plus valebant aduersus ipsos consurgere non dubitarint; quæ res apud nostrates liquido constat. Intenm tamen Episcopi, anathematis fulmine terribiles, alios in suam potestatem redegerunt, alios furibunda sæuitia id temporis persecuti sunt.
Porrò etsi tum fuit magna, imò maxima Episcopi obseruantia, tamen nunc dispulsis tenebris Papisticis, alia ratione homines Satan aggreditur, eorùmque mentes contemptus libertate et refractaria contumacia, aduersus Deum et sacrum ministerium, etiam hîc armare non negligit.
Krantzius, Munsterus They honour their Bishop as their King vnto whose command all the whole people haue respect. Whatsoeuer he prescribeth out of the law, the scriptures, or the customes of other nations, they do full holily obserue.
There was indeed at the beginning, about the time of the reformation of religion, great reuerence had vnto the bishop; but neuer so great, that our politique lawes at the bishops command should giue place to outlandish lawes and customes. Neither in the time of Albertus Krantzius, much lesse of Munster (of which two the first deceased in the yere of our Lord 1517, and the second 1552) the bishops of Island had the authonty of kings, when as many of the country which were of the richer sort, would not doubt to rebell against them; which thing is too well knowen in our countrey. Yet in the meane time, the bishops being terrible with their authority of excommunication, reduced some vnder their subiection, and others at that time they cruelly persecuted.
Moreouer, albeit at that time the bishop was had in great, yea, in exceeding great reuerence, yet now adayes, the darkenesse of popery being dispelled, the deuill assaulteth men after another sort, and euen here amongst vs, he is not slacke to arme their minds with contempt, and peruerse stubburnnesse against God, and his holy ministery.
Munster. Illic victitant plerumque piscibus, propter magnam penuriam frumenti, quod aliunde à maritimis ciuitatibus infertur: & qui inde cum magno lucro pisces exportant. Item Munsterus. Illic piscibus induratis vtuntur loco panis qui illic non crescit.
Vide Lector, quàm Munsterum iuuet, eadem oberrare chorda: vt cum de gente ignota nihil scribere possit, quod coloris aliquid habeat, vel falsa afferre, vel eadem sæpius repetere, sicque cramben eandem recoquere sustineat: Dixerat enim paulò ante, Islandos piscibus viuere. Verba ipsius superiùs etiam recitata, hæc sunt. Islandia populos continet multos, solo pecorum pastu et nunc captura piscium victitantes, etc. Et vt cætera transeam in quibus leue quiddam notari poterat: Illud sanè, panem in Islandia non crescere, perquam verùm est. Quod etiam illi cum Germania commune esse crediderim, quòd videlicet nec illic panis crescat, nisi fortè in Munsteri, agro, vbi etiam acetum naturale optimè crescit. Sed hæc, troporum indulgentia, scilicet, salua erunt. Ad conicia autem, quæ ex victu Islandorum petunt extranei, infrà paucis respondebitur, Sect. 15.
Munsterus. They liue there for the most part vpon fishes, because of their great want of corne, which is brought in from the port townes of other countreys: who cary home fishes from thence with great gaine. Also Munster sayth, they do there vse stockefish in stead of bread, which groweth not in that countrey.
Consider (friendly reader) how Munster is delighted to harpe vpon one string, that when he can write nothing of an vnknowen nation which may cary any shew with it, he is faine either to bring in falshood, or often to repeat the same things, and so to become tedious vnto his reader: for he sayd a little before, that the Islanders liue vpon fish. His words aboue recited were these: Island conteineth many people liuing onely with the food of cattell, and sometimes by taking of fishes. And that I may omit the rest in which some trifle might be noted whereas he sayeth that bread groweth not in Island: it is most true: which I thinke is common therewith to Germany also, because bread groweth not there neither, except it be in Munsters field where naturall vineger also doth marueillously encrease. But these toyes, by the liberty of rethoricke forsooth, shall be out of danger. Howbeit, vnto these reproches, which strangers do gather from the meats and drinks of the Islanders, we will hereafter briefly answere, Sect. 15.
Munster. Krantzius. Incolæ res maiorum et sui temporis celebrant cantibus et insculpunt scopulis, atque promontorijs, vt nulla, nisi cum naturæ iniuria, intercidant apud posteritatem.
Frisius. Citharædi, et qui testudine ludunt, apud eos reperiuntur quàm plurimi, qui prædulci modulamine et volucres et pisces irretiant et capiant.
Veterum gesta apud Islandes conseruata. Quin veterum gesta aliquot cantibus et poematibus nostratium, vt et soluta oratione, apud nos conseruentur, non negamus. Quòd verò à nobis aut maioribus nostris eadem scopulis vel promontorijs insculpta sunt, eam non licet nobis, vt neque illam tantam Citharædorum, aues aut pieces demulcentium, laudem accipere. Statuimus enim animi esse generosi ac veracis, vt crimina falsa refellere, ita laudem immeritam sibi haud vendicare, nec, etsi quis tribuat, agnoscere.
Munsterus. Krantzius. The inhabitants do celebrate the actes of their ancestours, and of their times, with songs, and they graue them in rocks and promontories, that they may not decay with posterity, but onely by the defect of nature.
Frisius. There be diuers found amongst them that be minstrels, and can play vpon the lute, who with their delectable musicke ensnare and take both fowles and fishes.
The Islanders preserue in writing the acts of their ancestors. We denie not but that some woorthy actes of our forefathers be reserued in the songs and poemes of our countreymen, as also in prose: but that the same things haue beene engrauen by vs, or by our ancestors in rocks or promontories, we may in no case acknowledge that praise be due vnto vs, nor yet the other of minstrels, and taking of birds and fishes. For we holde it to be part of an honest and ingenuous mind, as to refute false crimes, so not to challenge vndeserued praise vnto himselfe, nor to accept it being offered.
Sed cum scriptoribus iam dictis, viris alioqui spectatæ eruditionis et preclari nominis, qui tamen hæc ita inconsideratè scriptis suis interseruerunt, actionis finis esto.
Etiam magna mei pars est exhaosta laboris:
Sed restat tamen fætus ille vipereus Germanicus, quem idcircò anonymum secundo partu mater edi voluit, vt venenatis aculeis nomen Islandorum tantò liberiùs pungeret.
Porrò licet aduersus hanc bestiam in arenam descendere non dubitem, omnibus tamen constate volo, quonam hoc animo faciam, videlicet, non vt cum illius pestifera virulentia, conuicijs aut maledicentia certem (Nam vt est in triuiali paroemia,
Hoc scio pro certo, quod si cum stercore certo,
Vinco, seu vincor, semper ego maculor:)
Sed vt bonis et cordatis omnibus, etiam extraneis, satisfaciam qui maledicentiam istam Germanicam lecturi vel audituri sunt, aut olim audierint, ne et hi nos meritò calumniam tantam sustinere credant: Tum etiam vt alios qui istis virulentis rhythmis Germanicis, in gentis nostræ opprobrium vtuntur, et inde dicteria et comumeliosas subsannationes ad despiciendos Islandos petunt, ab ilia mordendi licentia in posterum, si fieri possit, abducamus.
Ergò, ne longis ambagibus Lectori fastidium oratio nostra pariat, ad ea narranda accedam, quæ maledicus ille Gennanus in suum pasquillum congessit: Quem etiam sua de Islandis carmina Encomiastica recitantem in his pagellis introducerem, nisi præuiderem foetum ilium probrosum, tot et tam varijs maledictis turgidum, omnibus bonis nauseam mouere posse, ac sua spurcitie ab ijs legendis absterrere.
Referam igitur præcipua, (ijs scilicet omissis quæ cum alijs communia habet, atque hactenus ventilata sunt) sed, quàm ille, longe mitius; ne, vt dixi, linguæ ipsius obscoena petulantia, aures bonæ et eruditæ offendantur: Qui ipsum videre aut audire volet, quærat apud propolas. Nobis inquam, non est in animo putida ipsius calumnia et conuiciorum sentina, has chartas inquinare. 1. Obiectio seu conuicium. Primùm igitur obijcit Germanicus hic noster, si Dijs placet, Historicus: Multos ex pastoribus Islandiæ toto biennio sacram concionem ad populum nullam habere: Vt in priore editione, huius pasquilli legitur, quod tamen posterior editio eiusdem refutat: Dicens, eosdem pastores in integro anno tantum quinquies concionari solitos: quæ duo quàm ritè sibi consentiant, videas bone Lector, cum constet Authorem mox à prima editione vix vidisse Islandiam. Ita scilicet plerúmque mendacium mendacio proditur, iuxta illud: Verum verò consentit; Falsum nec vero nec falso.
Sed com nostrum non sit veritatem vspiam dissimulare, nos haud negandum ducimus conciones sacras circa id tempus, quo iste Sycophanta in Islandia vixit, nempe anno 1554. aut circiter multò fuisse rariores, quàm sunt hodiè, tum scilicet tenebris Papisticis vix dum discussis. Quod etiam de Psalmis Dauidicis à vulgo Latinè demurmuratis, vt idem nostratibus exprobrat, intelligere est: Papistæ enim totam spem salutis in sua Missa collocantes, de concione aut doctrina parum fuere solliciti. Postquam verò caligine illa exempti sumus, aliter se rem habere, Deo imprimis gratias agimus: Licet quorundam pastorum nostrorum tardam stupiditatem, segnitiem et curam præposteram non possimus omni modo excusare. Quod vtrum in nullos suorum popularium etiam competat, aliæ quoque nationes viderint.
But now, let this be the end of our controuersie with the authours aforesayd, being otherwise men of excellent learning, and of great renoume, who notwithstanding so inconsiderately haue entermedled these things in their writings. And now the better part of my labour is finished.
But yet there remaynes that viperous German brood, the mother whereof would haue come to light, as it were at a second birth, without name, that it might so much the more freely wound the fame of the Islanders with venomous sting.
Moreouer, although I be not afrayd to encounter with this beast, yet would I haue all men to know with what minde I vndertake this enterprise, namely, not that I meane to contend with his pestiferous rancour, by reproches, and railing speeches (for as it is in the common prouerbe:
I know, that if I striue with dung most vile, How ere it be, my selfe I shall defile);
but that I may satisfie all honest and well affected men, euen strangers themselues, who shall hereafter reade or heare, or haue heretofore heard that Germane pasquill, least they also should thinke that we woorthily sustaine so monstrous a disgrace: and also that I may from henceforth, if it be possible, restraine others (who vse those venomous Germaine rimes to the vpbrading of our nation, and from hence borrow their scoffes, and reproachfull taunts to the debasing of vs Iselanders) from that libertie of backbiting.
Therefore, that I may not be tedious to the reader with long circumstances, I will come to the rehearsing of those things which that railing Germane hath heaped vp in his leud pasquill: whom also I could bring in, repeating his friendly verses of the Ilanders, within the compasse of this my booke, but that I doe foresee that the sayd slanderous libell being stuffed with so many and diuers reproches, might breed offence to all honest men, and deterre them from reading it, with the filthinesse thereof.
I will therefore repeat the principall matters (omitting those things which he hath common with others, or, that heretofore haue been examined) but farre more modestly then he, least (as I sayd) I cause good and learned mens cares to tingle at his leud and vnseemely rimes: that they are desirous to see or heare him let them enquire at the Stationers. It is no part of our meaning (I say) to defile these papers with his stinking slanders, or with the filthy sinke of his reproches.
The first obiection or reproch. First therefore, this our goodly Germaine Historiographer obiecteth that there be many Pastours in Island, which preach not to their people once in two yeres, as it is read in the former edition of this pasquill, which notwithstanding the latter edition doth refute: saying that the sayd Pastours vse to preach but fiue times in an whole yeere which two, how well they agree together, let the reader be iudge, seeing it is manifest that the authour himselfe, presently after the first edition, had scarse seene Island. So oftentimes one he betrayeth another, according to that saying: Trueth agreeth vnto trueth; but falshood agreeth neither to trueth nor to falshood.
But sith it is our part not to dissemble the trueth in any place, we will not denie that holy sermons, about the time wherein this sycophant liued in Island, namely in the yere 1554, were seldomer in vse then they are at this day, namely, the darkenesse of popery being scarsely at that time dispelled. Which also is to be vnderstood concerning the Psalmes of Dauid mumbled by the common people in Latine, as he casteth vs in the teeth: for the Papists grounding all the hope of their saluation in the Masse, did little regard the sermon or doctrine. But after we were freed from that mist, it hath bene (God be thanked) farre otherwise with vs: although we cannot altogether excuse the dulnesse, slouth, and preposterous care of certeine of our Pastours. Which, whether it agreeth to any of their countreymen or no, let other nations iudge.
2. Conuitium Secundò calumniatur vitilitigator: Adulteria et scortationes non modò publica esse et frequentia scelera inter Islandos: sed ab ijs pro scelere ne haberi quidem.
Etsi autem foedissimæ istæ turpitudines etiam in nostra repub. non prorsus inusitatæ sunt: tamen cum omnibus constet in alijs quoque nationibus longè etiam frequentiores esse, cum ibi quoque populi frequentia maior: immeritò et malignè hoc nomine magis Islandos, quàm populos et gentes reliquas, quarum, vt dixi, nomen etiam plus nostratibus hoc crimine malè audit, notauit.
Et licet ex animo optarim longè minus ad scelera, et turpitudines in nostra patria conniueri, quàm passim hîc fieri videmus: tamen etiam innata illa mordendi libidine, hoc veterator in præsenti conuitio attexuit: videlicet, quòd scelera ista ab Islandis pro scelere non habeantur. Nam in quâ demum repub. id impudens ille asserere audet? Illane; quæ in legem codicis ll. titulo Mannhelge: cap. 28. iurauit; quæ statuit, vt iterum adulterium qui cum coniuge alterius commiserit, confiscatis suis bonis, capite etiam pectatur? Illane, quæ pro adulterio, à famulo cum vxore domini commisso, non ita dudum 80. thalerorum mulctam irrogauit? Illane, quæ eundem, si ad statutum tempus non soluerit vel vades dederit, in exilium proscribendum decreuit? Illane: cuius leges politicæ, quemuis in adulterio cum vxore, à viro legitime deprehensum, si euaserit, homicidij mulctam expendere iubent? Illane, cuius itidem leges politicæ, in complexu matris, filiæ aut sororis, à filio, patre, vel fratre deprehensum, vitam suam midio eius, quod quis si eundem insontem interfecisset, expendere teneretur, redimere iubent? Illane, cuius leges politicæ adultorium sceleris infandi nomine notarunt et damnarunt? Et in eo tertiò deprehensum, capite plectendum seuerè mandant?
Cernis igitur, Lector benigne, quàm iniurium habeamus notarium, dicentem: Adulterium et scortationes in Islandia peccati aut sceleris nomen non mereri. Nam licet politici quidam hoc vel illud scelus impunitum omittant, non debet tota gens, non leges, non boni et pij omnes, eo nomine in ius vocari, aut male audire.
The second reproach. Secondly, the trifler shamefully reporteth, that adulteries and whoredomes are not onely publique, and common vices amongst Islanders: but that they are not accounted by them for vices.
Although indeed these most filthy abominations, euen in our common wealth, be not altogether vnusuall: notwithstanding, since al men know that they are farre more common in other nations, where be greater multitudes of people, he did vndeseruedly, and maliciously note the Islanders rather with this reproch, then other people and nations, who are more infamous with this crime then our countreymen.
And albeit I wish with all mine heart that vices and enormities were much lesse wincked at in our countrey, then we see they are, yet notwithstanding this iugler by reason of his naturall inclination to backbiting, hath added this in his last reproch: namely that these vices by the Iselanders are not accounted for vice. For, in what common wealth dare the impudent companion affirme this to be true? What? in that common wealth which hath sworne to obserue the law contained in our statute booke vnder the title of Manhelge chap 28, whereby it is enacted, that whosoeuer committeth adultery with another man’s wife the second time, his goods being confiscate, he shall be punished with death? Or in that common wealth, which not long since hath inflicted the penalty of 80 dollers vpon a seruant committing adultery with his masters wife? Or in that common wealth which hath decreed that if he doth not pay, nor lay in sureties at the day appointed he shalbe banished the country? Or in that common wealth the politike lawes whereof doe streightly command that whosoeuer be according to law found in adultery with another man’s wife, by her husband, if he escape, he shall vndergoe the punishment of manslaughter? Or in that common wealth, the politike lawes whereof do also enioyne a man that is taken in carnall copulation with the mother, daughter, or sister, by the sonne, father, or brother, to redeeme his life with the one halfe of that which he oaght to haue payed, if he had shed the innocent bloud of the sayd party? Or in that common wealth the pollitike lawes whereof haue noted and condemned adultery vnder the name of a most heinous offence? And do straightly command that he which is taken the third time in that beastly act shalbe punished with death?
You see therefore (friendly readers) what an iniurious Notary we haue, affirming that adultery and whoredome in Island deserueth not the name of sinne and wickednesse for although some officers let slip this or that vice vnpunished, yet ought not the whole nation, nor the lawes, nor all good and godly men, in that regard, to be accused or euill spoken of.
3. Conuitium Tertium conuicium est, quo fraudis et perfidiæ erga Germanos Islandis notam inurit. Fuit autem proculdubio famosi huius libelli author, cerdo et propola circumforaneus, multòsque Ilandiæ angulos, sordidæ mercaturæ gratia, ostintim adierat: quod ipse de se in præclaris illi suis rythmis testatur, maximam Islandiæ partem sibi peragratam esse. Vnde cum ipse mala fide cum mulus egerit (plerumque enim fraus et mendacia coniunguntur, et mendacem se fuisse, hac ingenij sui experientia satis probauit) etiam fortè à se deceptorum fraudem est expertus. Hinc illa in totam gentem criminatio extitit: Dissimulato intereà, qua fide quidam Germanorum, quibus annua est nauigatio ad Islandos, cum nostris hominibus agant. Ea autem querela, cum non alios conuiciari, sed aliorum in gentem nostram immerita conuncia monstrare instituerim, consultò supersedeo.
The third reproach The third reproch is, whereby he doth brand the Islanders with the marke of deceit and trechery toward the Germans.
Doubtles the author of this libell was some vagabond huckster or pedler, and had gone particularly into many corners of Island to vtter his trumpery wares, which he also testifieth of himselfe in his worthy rimes, that he had trauailed thorow the greatest part of Island, whereupon when he had played the cousining mate with others (for often times deceit and lying are ioyned together, and he hath sufficiently proued himselfe to be a liar, by this triall of his wit) peraduenture himselfe was beguiled by them whom he before time had defrauded.
From hence proceedeth this slander, against our whole Nation: dissembling in the meane time with what honestie certaine Germans, making yerely voyages into Island, deale with our men. But seeing by this complaint I haue not determined to reproch others, but to lay open the vndeserued reproches of others against oar nation, I do here of purpose surcease.
4. 5. 6. & 7. Conuitia. Quarto: negat in conuituijs quemquam discumbentium à mensa surgere: sed matres familias singulis conuiuis quoties opus fuerit matellas porrigere. Prætereà variam conuiuiorum edendi bibendíque rusticitatem notat.
Cubandi et prandendi ritus obijcit: quod decem plus minus in eodem lecto promiscuè viri cum foeminis pernoctent, inque lecto cibum capiant: atque interea se non nisi aleæ aut latrunculorum ludo exerceant.
Sexto. Calumniatur eosdem faciem et os vrina proluere.
Septimo. Nuptiarum, sponsalium, natalitiorum celebritatem et funerum ritus contemptuosè extenuat.
Hæc et huiusmodi plurima in gentem insontem, imò de se et suis optimè meritam, impurus calumniator euomit. Quæ quidem eius generis sunt, vt illi de his respondere prorsus dedignemur. Nam vt demus (quod tamen non damus) aliquid huiusmodi apud homines sordidos, et ex ipsa vulgi colluuie infimos, quibuscum longè sæpius, quàm bonus et honestis conuersabatur, animaduertisse præclarum hunc notarium Gemanicum (vixerat enim, vt eius rhythmi testantur, diutiuscule in locis maritimis Islandiæ, quo ferè promiscuum vulgus, tempore piscaturæ annuatim confluit, et tam extraneorum nautarum, quàm sua nequitia corruptum, sæpius inhonestè mores et vtam instituit) Tamen manifestiorem etiam hoc loco iniuriam nobis facit, vnius nebulonis et desperati Sycophantæ turpitudine, totam gentem (vt ferè solent etiam alij) aspergendo, quàm vt refutatione vlla indigeat. Cuius rei etiam ipsi extranei in nostra Insula non parum versati, locupletissimi testes esse possunt.
Possem multas eius farinæ foeditates, rusticitates et obscoenitates etiam in ipsius natione deprehensas colligere. Sed odi facundiam caninam, nec in aliorum opprobrium disertum esse iuuat: nec tam tenet esse volo, vt verbulis transuerberer. Id tantum viderint boni et pij omnes, cuius sit animi, pessima quæque ab vno aut altera designata, toti genti obijcere. Si quis Germaniæ aut alterius nationes vrbes et pagos omnes peragret, et scelera ac mores pessimos, furta, homicidia, parricidia, scortationes, adulteria, incestus luxuriem, rapinas et reliquas impietates et obscoenitates in vnum coactas, omnibus Germanis, aut alioqui alteri cuiuis toti nationi communes esse asserat, atque hæc omnia insigniter mentiendo, exaggeret, ísne optimæ rei studiosus habebitur?
Sed quid mirum, licet verbero, et, vt propriè notem, porcus impurus, iste, inquam, Rhythmista, naturam et ingenium suum eiusmodi loidoria prodiderit?
Notum est enim porcos, cum hortos amænissimos intrarint, nec lilium nec rosas aut flores alioqui pulcherrimos et suauissimos decerpere: Sed rostro in coenum prono, quicquid est luti et stercoris volutare, vertere et inuertere, donec impurissima, hoc est, suo genio apprimè congruentia eruant, vbi demum solida voluptate pascuntur.
Ad istum igitur modum hic porcus Rythmista, optima, et quæ in nostra Repub. laudabilia esse possunt, sicco pede præterit, pessima quæque atque ea, vel à nullo, vel admodum paucis designata, hoc est, suæ naturæ, et ingenio aptissima, vt se esse, qui dicitur, re ipsa probaret, corrasit; vnde posthac porci nomen ex moribus et ingenio ipsius factum, sortitor.
The 4. 5. 6. & 7. reproches. Fourthly, he sayth that in bankets none of the ghests vse to rise from the table: but that the good wife of the house reacheth to euery one a chamber pot, so oft as need requireth. Moreouer, he noteth much vnmanerliness of eating and drinking at bankets.
Fiftly, he obiecteth customes of lying in bed, and of dining: namely that ten persons, more or lesse, men and women be altogether in the same bed, and that they eat their meat lying in bed: and that in the meane time they do nothing but play at dice or at tables.
Sixtly, he reporteth that they wash their hands or their faces in pisse.
Seuenthly, he despightfully abaseth our solemnizings of marriages, spousals, birth-dayes, and our customes at burials.
These, and a number of such like reproches hath this impure slanderer, spued foorth against an innocent nation, yea and that nation which hath deserued right well of him and his countrimen. Which are of the same kind with these, in so much that we altogether disdeigne to make answere vnto them. For, that we may graunt (which notwithstanding we will in no case yeelde vnto) that this worthy Germane notarie obserued some such matter among base companions, and the very of-scouring of the common people, with whom he was much more conuersant than with good and honest persons (for he had liued, as his rimes testifie, somewhat long vpon the coast of Island, whither a confused rout of the meanest common people, in fishing time do yerely resort, who being naught aswell through their owne leudnesse, as by the wicked behauiour of outlandish mariners, often times doe leade a badde and dishonest life) notwithstanding we are in this place more manifestly wronged through the knauery of this one varlet, and desperate sycophant by his defaming of the whole nation (as others also vsually do) then that it should neede any refutation at all. Of which thing strangers themselues, who are not a little conuersant in our Iland, may be most sufficient witnesses.
I could also gather together many such filthy, vnmannerly, and baudie fashions noted by others euen in his own countrey. But I detest this dogged eloquence, neither take I any pleasure to be witty in the disgracing of others: and yet I will not shew my selfe such a milke-soppe as to be daunted with light words. Onely, let all honest and good men consider, what disposition it argueth, for one to obiect against a whole nation certaine misdemeanours committed by some one or other particular man. If any man should trauell thorowout all the cities and townes of Germanie or any other nation, and heaping together the offences, and most leud maners, the robberies, manslaughters, murthers, whoredomes, adulteries, incests, riots, extortions, and other prophane, and filthy actes, should affirme them to be common to all Germans, or otherwise to any other whole nation, and should exaggerate all these things with notorious lies, is he to be accounted one that spends his time in a good argument? But what maruaile is it, though a varlet, and, that I may giue him his true title, a filthy hogge, that imer (I say) hath bewrayed his nature and disposition in reproches? For it is well knowen that swine, when they enter into most pleasant gardens, do not plucke lilies or roses, or any other most beautifull aud sweet flowers; but thrusting their snouts into the ground, doe tumble and tosse vp and downe whatsoeuer durt and dung they can finde, vntill they haue rooted vp most vncleane things, namely such as are best agreeable to their nature, wherewith they greedily glut themselues: Euen so this hoggish Rimer lightly passeth ouer the best and most commendable things of our Common wealth, but as for the woorst, and those which haue been committed by none, or by very few, namely, such things as best fit his humour and disposition (that he might indeed show himselfe to be the same which we haue termed him) those things (I say) hath he scraped vp together: whereupon hereafter by my consent, for his maners and disposition let him enioy the name of a swine.
9. Conuitium. Nonum conuicium hic recensebimus, quod à victu, ac præcipuè cibo potu Islandorum maledicus ille porcus, non vno aut paucis verbis, sed prolixa inuectiua petiuit: Nempe quòd cibis vtantur vetustis, et insulsis, idque sine panis vsu: Tum etiam quòd varia et incognita extraneis piscium genera illis sint esui, et aquam ac serum lactis in potum misceant. Quæ omnia venenatus hic pasquillus diserta contumelia, et ingeniosa calumnia, pulchrè amplificauit.
Cæterum etsi ilium prolixiore responsione non dignemur: tamen propter alios, qui hodie hanc rem partim mirantur, partim haud leuiter nostræ genti obijciunt, pauca hoc loco addenda videbantur.
Primùm igitur totam hanc gentem bipartitò secabimus: In mendicos, et hos qui et se et cum alijs etiam mendicos alunt. Mendicorum, et eorum qui ad hos proximè accedunt, omnia cibaria recensere aut examinare haud facile est, nec quod illos edere, aut edisse, extrema aliquando coegit necessitas, reliquæ genti cibariorum genera aut numerum præscribere fas est. Nam et de suffocatis quidem non comedendis legem habemus inter canones, quorum seruantissima videri voluit antiquitas.
Deinde etiam tempora distinguemus, vt nihil minim sit grassante annonæ sæuitia, multa à multis ad explendam famem adhiberi aut adhibita fuisse, quæ alias vix canes pascant. Vt nuperrimè de Parisiensibus accepimus, Anno 1590, arctissima Henrici 4. Nauarræi obsidione pressis, et famem Saguntinam, vt P. Lindebergius loquitur, perpessis; eos non modò equinam, sed morticinam quoque carnem ex mortuorum ossibus in mortario contusis farinæ pugillo vno aut altero misto, confectam, in suas dapes conuertisse, et de alijs quoque populis notum est, qui simili vrgente inopia, etiam murium, felium et canum esu victi tarint. Sic etiam Islandis aliquando vsu venit (quanquam a canina, munum et felium, vt et humana carne hactenus, nobis quantum constat, abstinuerint) licet non ab hoste obsessis: Nam cùm ad victum necessaria ex terra marique petant, et ab extraneis nihil commeatus, aut parum admodum aquehatur, quoties terræ, marisque munera DEVS præcluserit, horrendam annonæ caritatem ingruere et ingruisse, et dira fame vexare incolas, necesse est. Vnde fit, vt illos qui in diem viuere soliti fuerint, nec præcedentium annorum superantes commeatus habuerint, extrema tentasse, quoties egestas vrserit, credibile. Cæterum, vtrum hæc res publico et perpetuo opprobrio magis apud Islandos, quàm alias nationes, occasionem meritò præbere debeat, candidis et bonis animis iudi candum relinquo.
Porrò quod de gentis nostræ proprijs et consuetis alimentis multi obijcere solent, potissimum de carne, piscibus, butyro, absque sale inueteratis, Item de lacticinijs, frumenti inopia, potu aquæ, &c. et reliquis: id nos in plurimis Islandiæ locis (nam sunt multi quoque nostratium, qui Danorum et Germanorum more, quantum quidem castis et temperatis animis ad mediocritatem sufficere debet, licet magna condimentorum varietate, vt et ipsis Pharmacopolijs, destituimur, mensam instruere et frugaliter viuere sustineant) ita se habere haud multis refragabimur, videlicet prædicta victus genera, passim sine salis condimento vsitata esse. Et insuper addemus, hæc ipsa cibaria, quæ extranei quidam vel nominare horrent, ipsos tamen extraneos apud nos, non sine voluptate, manducare solitos. Ratio conseruandos cibos sine sale. Nam etsi frumenti aut farris penè nihil vulgò habeamus, nec sal, gulæ irritamentum, ad cibaria condienda, omnibus suppetit: docuit tamen Deus opt. max. etiam nostros homines rationem tractandi et conseruandi, quæ ad vitam sustentandam spectant, vt appareat, Deum in alendis Islandis non esse ad panem vel salem alligatum. Quòd verò sua omnia extranei iucundiora et salubriora clamant; negamus tamen satis causæ esse, cur nostra nobis exprobrent: Nec nos DEVM gulæ nostræ debitorem reputamus; quin potius toto pectore gratias agimus, quod sine opiparis illis delicijs et lautitijs, quæ tam iucundæ et salubres putantur, etiam nostræ gentis hominibus, annos et ætatem bonam, tum valetudinem etiam firmissimam, robur ac vires validas (quæ omnia statimus boni et conuenientis alimenti, [Greek: kai tes euchrasias] esse indicia) concedere dignetur, cum ingenio etiam non prorsus tam crasso ac sterili, quàm huic nostro aëri et alimentis assignare Philosophi videntur, quod re libentius, quàm verbis multi fortasse nostratium comprobare poterant.
Ni nos (vt inquit ille) paupertas inuidia deprimeret.
Sed hic vulgi iudicium, vt in alijs sæpè, etiam eos qui sapere volunt (iam omnes bonos et cordatos excipio) nimis apertè decipit: Videlicet hoc ipso, quòd omnia, quæ illorum vsus non admittit, aut quæ non viderunt, aut experti sunt antea, continuò damnent. Veluti, si quis, qui mare nunquam vidit, mare mediterraneum esse aliquod, non possit adduci vt credat: Sic illi sensu suæ experientiæ omnia metiuntur, vt nihil sit bonum, nihil conductibile, nisi quo illi soli viuunt: At profectò nos, eò dementiæ non processimus, vt eos qui locustis vescuntur, quod tum de alijs, tum Æthiopiæ quibusdam populis, ideo (autore Diodoro) Acridophagis appellatis, et Indiæ, gente, cui Mandrorum nomen Clytharcus et Magestanes dederunt, teste Agatarchide, didicimus; aut ranis, aut cancris mannis, aut squillis gibbis, quæ res hodiè nota est, vulgi propterea ludibrijs exponere præsumamus, a quibus tamen edulijs, in totum nostra consuetudo abhorret.
The ninth reproch. Wee will heere rehearse the ninth reproch, which that slanderous hogge hath drawen from the maner of liuing, and specially from the meat and drinke of the Islanders, and that not in one or a few wordes, but in a large inuectiue: namely, that they eate olde and vnsauoury meates, and that, without the vse of bread. Also that they eate diuers kinds of fishes which are vnknowen to strangers: and that they mingle water and whey together for drinke. All which this venemous pasquill, with eloquent railing and wittie slaunder hath set out at the full.
And albeit we doe scarse vouchsafe to stand longer about answering of him, yet in regard of others, who at this day partly woonder at the matter, and partly obiect it to our nation, we thought good to adde some few things in this place.
First therefore we will diuide this our nation into two parts: into beggers, and those that susteine both themselues, and amongst others, beggers also. As touching all kinds of meats wherewith beggers and other poore men satisfie their hunger, it is no easie matter to rehearse and examine them; neither, because extreame necessity hath at some times compelled them to eate this or that, therefore it is meet to prescribe certeine kindes and number of meats to the rest of the nation. For we haue also a law among the canons apostolicall, which forbiddeth to eat things strangled: in the obseruing of which canons, antiquity hath seemed to be very deuout.
Moreouer, we will make a distinction of times also, that it may seeme no strange accident in the time of famine, though many things are, and haue bene vsed by a great number of men to satisfie their hunger, which at other times are scarse meat for dogges. As very lately in the yeere 1590 we heard concerning the citizens of Paris, being enuironed with the most streite siege of Henrie the fourth, King of Nauarre, suffering (as Petrus Lindebergius speaketh) the famine of Saguntum; insomuch that they did not onely eate their horses, but also taking the flesh of dead men, and beating their bones to powder in a morter, they mingle therewith a bandfull or two of meale, esteeming it dainties. And it is well knowen also of other nations who in the like vrgent necessities haue liued by eating of mise, cats and dogs. In like maner sometimes are we Islanders constrained to doe, not being besieged by our enemies (although hitherto we haue abstained from mans flesh, yea, and to our knowledge, from dogs, mise, and cats) for whereas we prouide things necessary for food out of the land and sea, and no sustenance, or very little is brought vnto vs by strangers: so often as God withholdeth his gifts of land and sea, then must follow and ensue a dreadfull scarsity of victuals, whereupon the inhabitants are sometimes vexed with grieuous famine. And therefore it is likely that they amongst vs which vsed to liue from hand to mouth, and had not some prouision of former yeeres remaining, haue beene driuen to great extremities, so often as need hath enforced them thereunto. But whether this thing ought woorthily to minister occasion to a publike and perpetuall reproch against the Islanders, more then other nations, I referre it to the iudgement of indifferent and honest mindes.
Moreouer, whereas diuers vse to obiect concerning the proper and accustomed fare of our country, especially of flesh, fish, butter being long time kept without salt, also concerning white-meats, want of corne, drinking of water, and such like: in most places of Island (for there be many of our countrimen also, who, after the maner of the Danes and Germans so farre foorth as ought in a meane to suffice chast and temperate minds, although we haue not any great variety of sauce, being destitute of Apothecaries shops, are of ability to furnish their table, and to liue moderately) we confesse it to be euen so: Want of salt in Island. namely that the foresaid kind of victuals are vsed in most places without the seasoning of salt. And I wil further adde, that the very same meats, which certaine strangers abhorre so much as to name, yet strangers themselues, when they are among vs do vse to eat them with delight. The Islanders meanes of preseruing their meates without salt. For albeit for the most part we haue no corne, nor meale, nor yet salt the prouocation of gluttony, for the seasoning of our victuals, is common to vs all, yet notwithstanding almighty God of his goodnesse hath taught our men also the wauy how they should handle, and keepe in store those things which belong to the sustentation of life, to the end it may appeare, that God in nourishing and susteining of vs Islanders, is not tyed to bread and salt.
But whereas strangers boast that all their victuals are more pleasant and wholesome: yet we denie that to be a sufficient reason, why they should vpbraid vs in regard of ours: neither do we thinke God to be a debter vnto our deinty mouthes: but rather we giue him thanks with our whole hearts, that he vouchsafeth without this delicate and nice fare, which is esteemed to be so pleasant and wholesome, to grant euen vnto the men of our countrey many yeeres, and a good age as also constant health, and flourishing strength of body; all which we account to be signes of wholesome and conuenient nourishment and of a perfect constitution. Besides, our wits are not altogether so grosse and barren, as the philosophers seeme to assigne vnto this our aier, and these nourishments, which perhaps many of our countreymen could much rather verifie in deeds then in words, if (as the Poet sayth) enuious pouerty did not holde vs downe.
But here the iudgement of the common people, as often in other matters, doth too plainly deceiue (I except all good and well experienced men) some of them which would seeme to be wise, namely, that whatsoeuer their vse doth admit, or that they haue not seene, nor had trial of beforetime, they presently condemne. As for example, he that neuer saw the sea will not be persuaded that there is a mediterrane sea; so doe they measure all things by their owne experience and conceit, as though there were nothing good and profitable, but that onely wherewith they mainteine their liues. But we are not growen to that pitch of folly, that because we haue heard of certaine people of Aethiopia, which are fed with locusts, being therefore called by Diodorus, Acridophagi, and of a certaine nation of India also, whom Clitarchus and Megasthenes haue named Mandri, as Agatarchides witnesseth, or of others that liue vpon frogs or sea-crabs, or round shrimps, which thing is at this day commonly knowen, that (I say) we should therefore presume to make them a laughing stocke to the common people, because we are not accustomed to such sustenance.
10. Conuicium. Decimo. Hospitalitatem nostris hominibus inhumanissimus porcus obijcit. Marsupium inquit, non cirumferunt, nec hospitiari aut conuiuari gratis pudor est. Nam si quis aliquid haberet, quod cum alijs communicaret, id faceret sane in primis ac libenter. His quoque annectamus, quod templa, seu sacras ædiculas domi propriæ à multis Islandorum extructas velut pudendum quiddam commemorat: quodque eas primùm omnium de manè oraturi petant, nec à quoquam prius interpellari patiantur. Hæc ille velut insigne quoddam dedecus in Islandis notauit.
Scilicet, quia nihil cum Amaricino, sui:
Nec porci diuina vnquam amarunt: quod sanè metuo ne nimis verè de hoc conuiciatore dicatur, id quod vel ex his vltimis duabus obiectionibus constare poterit.
Verùm enimuerò cùm ipse suarum virtutum sit testis locupletissimus, nos Lectorem eius rei cupidum ad ipsius hoc opus Poëticum remittimus, quod is de Islandia composuit, et nos tam aliquot proximis distinctionibus examinauimus: cuius maledicentiæ et foeditatis nos hic pro ipso puduit; ita, vt quæ is Satyrica, at quid Satyrica? Sathanica, inquam, mordacitate et maledicentia in nostram gentem scribere non erubuit, nos tamen referre pigeat: Tanta eius est et tam abominanda petulantia, tam atrox calumnia. DEVS BONE: Hoc conuiciorum plaustrum (paucissima namque attigimus: Nolui enim laterem lauare, et stulto, vt inquit ille sapientissimus, secundum stultitiam suam respondere, cum in ipsius Rhythmis verbum non sit quod conuicio careat) qui viderit, nonne iudicabit pasquilli istius autorem hominem fuisse pessimum, imò fæcem hominum, cum virtutis ac veritatis contemptorem, sine pietate, sine humanitate?
Sed hîc meritò dubitauerim, peiusne horum conuiciorum autor de Islandis meritus sit, an verò Typographus ille Ioachimus Leo (et quicunque sunt alij, qui in suis editionibus, nec suum nec vrbis suæ nomen profiteri ausi sunt) qui illa iam bis, si non sæpius Typis suis Hamburgi euulgauit. Hoccine impunè fieri sinitis, ô senatus populusque Hamburgensis? Hanccine statuistis gratiam deberi Islandiæ, quæ vrbi vestræ iam plurimos annos, exportatis affatim nostratium quibusuis commodis, pecudum, pecorumque carnibus butyro et piscium copia quotannis, penè immodica, quædam quasi cella penuaria fuit? Vrbes Angliæ commercia olim in Islandia excercentes. Sensere huius Insulæ commoda etiam Hollandiæ olim et Angliæ vrbes aliquot: Præterea Danis, Bremensibus, et Lubecensibus cum Islandis commercia diu fuerunt. Sed a nullis vnquam tale encomium, talem gratiam reportarunt, qualis hæc est Gregoriana calumnia: In vestrâ, vestrâ inquam vrbe, nata, edita, iterata, si non tertiata: quæ alias nationes, quibus Islandia vix, ac ne vix quidem, nomine tenus, alioqui innotuerat, ad huius gentis opprobrium et contemptum armauit: quam à ciue vestro acceptam iniuriam, iam 30. annos, et plus eò, Islandia sustinet. Sed etiam, inscio magistratu, eiusmodi multa sæpè fiunt: Neque; enim dubitamus, quin viri boni eiusmodi scripta famosa indignè ferant, et ne edantur, diligenter caueant: cum tales editiones pugnent cum iure naturali: Ne alteri facias, quod tibi factum non velis: Et Cæsareo, de libellis famosis: in quo irrogatur poena grauissima ijs, qui tales libellos componunt, scribunt, proferunt, emi vendiue curant, aut non statim repertos discerpunt.
Cæterum iam tandem receptui canamus: Nosque ad te, Islandia parens carissima, quàm nec paupertas, nec frigora, nec id genus incommoda alia, quamdiu Chnsto hospitia cupidè et libenter exhibere non desistis, inuisam fecient conuertamus: Vbi te primùm ad id quod modò diximus, nempè serium et ardens studium ac amorem DEI, et diuinæ scientiæ, nobis in Christo patefactæ, totis viribus hortamur: vt vni huic cuncta posthabeas, doctrinæ et verbi cupiditate flagres: Sacrum ministerium et ministros, non parum cures, non contemnas aut odio prosequeris: sed reuerearis, foueas, ames. Contra facientes, pro impijs et profanis habeas: vt omnia ad pietatis et honestatis præscriptum geras, in vita priuata et communi, vt huic status et ordines Ecclesiastici et Politici, in vniversum obtemperent: In vtroque vitæ genere ab illi amussi seu norma æqui et boni dependeas, et cæteros qui pertinacia ac impietate ab ea deflectunt, auersens, quos æquum est poenis condignis affici, id quod magistratur curæ futurum non diffidimus. In pritmis verò nullos nisi spectatæ fidei et probitatis viros, quique ad istas virtutes, reliquas huc pertinentes coniungant, ad gubernacula admittas, qua ratione reliquis incommodis ritè occurritur Res ista enim, si probe curetur, vt videlicet, qui munus publicum gerunt, ex bonis omnibus optimi quique deligantur, improbi et huic rei inepti, procul inde arceantur, subditorum conditio, longè erit optatissima: vita et mores tantò magis laudabiles sequentur: pietas et honestas tantò erunt illustriores. At verò si secus fiat. si Pastores Ecclesiarum suo muneri, vel vita vel doctrina non respondeant, si ad administrationem politicam promiscuè admittantur, quicunque eò propria leuitate, ambitione vel auaritia et contentione honoris, ruunt: si ijdem criminum aut improbitatis, vel suspecti vel conuicti sint, aut suspectorum et conuictorum protectores, vel ijsdem illicite indulgentes, quis tuus quæso demum futurus est status? quæ facies? quæ conditio? Certe longe omnium miserrima. Nec enim alio pacto citius ad ruinam et interitum tuum appropinquabis, quàm si istis te regendam commiseris, qui quod in ijs est, licet sint et ipsi ex tuis, iugulum tuum, propter emolumenta priuata, et odia latentia, quotidiè petere contendunt/ Quamobrem (ne ista pluribus agam) quanti intersit, vt hæc probè curentur, facile, ô Patria, intelligis.
Sed dum hæc tuis auribus à me occinuntur, utinam gemitus meos altissimos, qui sub hac ad te Apostrophe latent, Serenis simæ Regiæ Maiestatis aures exaudiant, apud quam ego pro te ita deploro damna publica, quæ ea de causa exoriuntur maximè, quòd patria nostra à regia sede, et conspectu, tantò interuallo sit remota, vt multi propterea tantò sibi maiorem sumant licentiam, et impunitatem securius promittant. Cæterum ista numini iustissimo, quod æquis omnia oculis aspicit, committenda ducimus.
Reliquum est, ô patria, vt studium in te nostrum, eo quo speramus animo i. comi et benigno, suscipias: quod quamuis minimè tale est, quale optaremus, tamen cum VELLE SIT INSTAR OMNIVM, nolui idcirco desistere, quod pro tuo nomine, tua dignitate, tua innocentia pugnare me satis strenuè diffiderem. Quin potius, quicquid id est si modò quicquam est et quantulumcunque tandem, quod ad tui patrocinium pro mea tenui parte afterre possem, nequaquam supprimendum putaui nec enim illos laudare soleo,
Qui, quod desperent inuicti membra Glyconis,
Nodosa nolunt corpus prohibere Chiragra.
Me sanè, si hæc commentatiuncula non erit tibi aut mihi dedecori, operæ nequaquam poenitebit. Quod si ad laudem vel aliquale patrocinium tui aliquid faciat, operam perdidisse haud videbor. Sin verò alios alumnos, meos conterraneos, arte et industria superiores, ad causam tuam, vel nunc, vel in posterum suscipiendam, hoc conatu tenello excitauero, quid est cur operæ precium non fecisse dicar? quibus scribentibus, licet mea fama in obscuro futura est, tamen præstantia illorum, qui nomini officient meo, me consolabor: Nam etsi famæ et nominis cura surnma esse debett maior tamen patriæ; cuius dignitate salua et incolumni, nos quoque saluos et incolumes reputabimus.
Scripsi Holis Hialtædalensium in Islandia, Æræ Christianæ Anno 1592. 17. Kalendas Maias.
The tenth reproch. Tenthly, that vnciuill beast casteth our men in the teeth with their good hospitality. They do not (sayth he) carry about money with them in their purses, neither is it any shame to be enterteined in a strange place, and to haue meat and drinke bestowed of free cost. For if they had any thing which they might impart with others, they would very gladly. Moreouer, he maketh mention of certeine churches or holy chappels (as of a base thing) which many of the Islanders haue built in their owne houses: and that first of all in the morning, they haue recourse thither, to make their prayers, neither do they suffer any man before they haue done their deuotion to interrupt them. These be the things which he hath set downe as some notable disgrace vnto the Islanders. And no maruell:
For filthy swine detest all cleanly ones,
And hogs vncleane regarde not precious stones.
Which I feare, least it may be too truely affirmed of this slanderer, as it is manifest out of these two last obiections.
Howbeit, sithens he himselfe is a most sufficient witnesse of his owne vertues, we will referre the reader, who is desirous to know more of him vnto his booke of rimes against Island, which we haue now examined in our former sections at whose railing and filthy speeches we haue bene ashamed on his behalfe: insomuch that those things which he with satyrical, satyrical? nay sathanicall biting and reuiling of our nation, hath not blushed to write, are irksome for vs to repeat: so great and abominable is his insolency and his reproches so heinous. Good God! whosoeuer shall view this cartlode of slanders (for we haue mentioned the least part thereof, because I was loth to lose my labour, or, as the wise man sayth, to answere a foole according to his foolishnesse, whereas in his rimes there is not one word without a reproch) will he not iudge the authour of this pasquill to haue bene a most lewde man, yea the very drosse of mankinde, without pietie, without humanitie?
But here I haue iust occasion to doubt whether the authour of these reuilings hath bene the more iniurious to Islanders, or the Printer thereof Ioachimus Leo (and whatsoeuer else they be who in their editions dare neither professe their own name, nor the name of their Citie) which Leo hath nowe twise, if not oftener, published the saide pamphlet at Hamburg. Doe you suffer this to goe vnpunished, O ye counsell and commons of Hamburg? What? The commodities of Island. Haue you determined to gratifie Island in this sort, which these many yeeres, by reason of your aboundant traffique with vs, and your transporting home of all our commodities, of our beeues and muttons, and of an incredible deale of butter and fishes, hath bene vnto your Citie in stead of a storehouse. The ancient traffique of England with Island. In times past also, certaine Cities of England and of Holland haue reaped the commodities of this Isle. Moreouer, there hath bene ancient traffique of Denmarke, Breme, and Lubeck with the Islanders. But they neuer gained by any of their chapmen such commendations, and such thanks, as are contained in this libell: It hath in your, in your Citie (I say) bene bred, brought foorth, iterated, if not the thirde time published: which I hath armed other people vnto whom the name of Island was otherwise scarce knowne, to the disdaine and contempt of this our Nation: and this iniurie offered by a Citizen of yours, hath Island susteined these 30. yeeres and more, and doeth as yet susteine. But many such accidents often come to passe without the knowledge of the magistrate, neither do we doubt but that good men are grieued at such infamous libels, and do take diligent heed that they be not published: for such editions are contrary to the lawe of nature: Doe not that to another which thou wouldest not haue done vnto thy selfe: Lawes against libels. and to the laws Emperial of infamous libels: wherein is enioyned a most grieuous penaltie vnto those who inuent, write, ytter, or cause such libels to be bought or sold, or do not presently vpon the finding thereof teare them in pieces.
But now time bids vs to sound a retreat: and to returne home vnto thee, Island (our most deare mother) whom neither pouertie, nor colde, nor any other such inconueniences shall make ircksome vnto vs, so long as thou ceasest not to giue heartie and willing entertainment vnto Christ: where, first we doe earnestly exhort thee to the serious and ardent affection, and loue of God, and of the heauenly knowledge reueiled vnto vs in Christ: that thou wouldest preferre this before all things, being enflamed with desire of doctrine, and of the worde: that thou wouldest not lightly esteeme, contemne or hate the holy ministerie and ministers, but reuerence, cherish and loue them. Accompting those that practise the contrary as wicked and prophane: and managing all thine affaires both priuate and publique, according to the prescript rule of pietie and honestie, that vnto this, thy states and orders Ecclesiasticall and politique may in all things be conformed; and so in either kinde of life relying thy selfe vpon that leuell and line of equitie and iustice, and auoyding others, who vpon stubbernesse and impietie swerue therefrom. That thou wouldest also inflict iust punishments vpon offenders: All which we doubt not but the Magistrate will haue respect vnto. But especially that thou admittest none to be Magistrates, but men of approued fidelitie and honestie, and such as may adioyne vnto these vertues others hereto belonging, by which meanes inconueniences may fitly be preuented. For if this matter be well handled, namely that they which are the best of all good men be chosen to beare publicke authoritie, wicked and vnfit men being altogether reiected; the condition of the subiects shalbe most prosperous: the hues and maners of all men shal proue by so much the more commendable; godlinesse also and honestie shal become the more glorious. But on the contrary, if pastours of Churches be not answerable to their function, either in life or doctrine; if all men without respect or difference be admitted to the gouernment of the common wealth, who aspire thereunto by their owne rashnesse, ambition, or auarice, and desire of honour, yea though they be suspected or conuicted of crimes and dishonestie, or be protectours or vniust fauourers of such persons as are suspected and conuicted; then what will be thy state, oh Island? What wil be thy outward show or condition? Doubtlesse most miserable. Neither shalt thou by any other meanes more suddenly approch to thy ruine and destruction, then if thou committest thy selfe to the gouernment of such men, who to the vttermost of their power, although they be of thine owne brood, dayly seeke thine ouerthrow for their owne priuate aduantage and secret malice. Wherefore (to be short) let these be to aduertise my deare Countrey, how behouefull it is that the matters aforesaid be put in practise.
But whilest I am speaking these things vnto thee (my Countrey) oh that my deepe and dolefull sighes, which lie hid in the former speach, might pierce the eares of our Kings most excellent Maiestie, before whom, on thy behalfe I doe bewaile the publique miseries, which in this respect especially doe arise, because wee are so farre distant from the seate and royall presence of our King, that many therefore take more libertie, and promise more securitie of offending vnto themselues. But we will commit all these matters to the most iust Judge of heauen and earth who beholdeth all things in equitie.
Nowe it remaineth (my beloued Countrey) that thou wouldest take in good part these my labours employed in thy seruice, and accept them with that fauourable and courteous minde which I haue expected. And although they be not of such worth as I could wish, yet sith a willing minde is worth all, I would not therefore giue ouer because I mistrusted my selfe as one insufficient to contend for thine innocencie, for thy reputation, and thine honour, my deare Countrey. But rather whatsoeuer it be (if it be ought) and how mickle soeuer which for my slender abilitie I was able to afford in thy defence, I thought good not to suppresse it: for I esteeme not those men worthy of commendation, who despairing
To ouergrow the limmes of Lyco stoute,
Neglect to cure their bodies of the goute:
And in very deed, it doeth no whit repent me of my labour, if this little treatise shall tend neither to thine, nor to mine owne disgrace. But if it shall any thing auaile to thine honour or defence, I will thinke my trauaile right well bestowed. Yea, if by this my slender attempt, I may but onely excite other of thy children, and my natiue Countreymen, being farre my superiours both in learning and industrie to take thy cause in hand, either nowe or hereafter what reason is there why any man should say that it is not worth my labour? Nowe, if they addresse themselues to write, howsoeuer my fame shalbe obscured, yet wil I comfort my selfe with their excellencie, who are like to impaire my credite: for albeit a man ought to haue speciall regard of his name and fame, yet he is to haue more of his Countrey, whose dignitie being safe and sound, we also must needes esteeme our selues to be in safetie.
Written at Holen Hialtedale in Island, the yeere of our Lord 1592. the 17. of the Kalends of May.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09