weather, and sometimes on strands where the rise of the tide is so
rapid that the gatherers of amber find it necessary to seek for it on
horseback, in order to be able to escape from the returning flood. A
single piece sometimes sells for several hundred dollars, but success in
the search is so uncertain that it is, upon the whole, an unprofitable
In one of the North-Frisian dialects, amber is called glaes, a name
known to none of the Germanic family, but which is evidently identi-
cal with the glesum of Tacitus (whence also the appellation Insulæ
Glessariæ, or amber-islands.) Sed et mare scrutantur, ac soli omnium
succinum, quod ipsi glesum vocant, inter vada atque in ipso litore,
legunt. Tacitus de Germania, XLV. Kohl, Vol. III. p. 245.
According to an Arabian traveller of the tenth century cited by
Ritter, Erdkunde, XIII. 749, the camels of Hadhramaut were employed
in seeking amber upon the coasts of the Red Sea, being taught to kneel
when they saw it glitter in the moonshine.
The sand was drifting up day and night, and it was found impossible
to make the windows and doors tight enough to exclude it, nor did it
avail to shovel out the perpetually renewed incumbrance. Too poor to
build a new church, the people continued to occupy this as long as
The floor, and then the pews, were covered, the pulpit itself half
buried in sand, and the congregation were seated upon the sand around
it. At last the church was so nearly filled up that they could barely
creep in at a window.
Divine service was now held in the church for the last time, the con-
gregation broken up, and the building sold.
The purchaser employed such of the wood as he could save, in con-
structing a house, reserving the altar and the pulpit for finishing the
cabin of his ship. On what far coast the vessel Avith her consecrated
cabin-furniture was stranded at last, none could say. Kohl, Vol. II.