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author succeeded in convincing the reader, or at least Eigil

Tvibur, that in 1846 Napoleon Nolsøe had broken the

Hippocratic Oath. That accusation was not just hard; it was

enough to destroy a man’s legacy.

In 1846, namely, measles was ravaging the Faroes; in

Tórshavn alone around 50 of the 800 inhabitants died.

Doctor Napoleon, who at that time practiced in

Nólsoyarstova, was asked by county administrator Pløyen to

travel to Su


uroy to help with the crisis. He would be paid

50 rigsdaler a month. However, Napoleon refused to depart.

A few years after Eigil read Ole Jacobsen’s article, the

literary history

Bókmentasøga I

by Árni Dahl was published.

It was clear that Dahl greatly respected the doctor. Indeed,

page 75 of the book featured a large photograph of the man;

the picture was accompanied by a short biography, and

Dahl reprinted a few snippets composed in Faroese by

Cand. med. & chir. N. Nolsøe.

That made Eigil furious. He had always been disgusted by

the type of nationalist who claimed to love the native

poetry, but could care less about the country’s inhabitants.

As Regin Dahl wrote:

I love the land, hate the people.


maybe it was the reverse. Eigil simply had no tolerance for

that kind of verbiage. And that was more or less how

Napoleon Nolsøe was described in Ole Jacobsen’s essay. He

loved the Faroese songs and ballads, but in 1846 had turned

his back on his dying countrymen.