Gislason, Cleasby's chief amanuensis, on whom devolved the literary direction of the
work. For this purpose the heirs of Richard Cleasby devoted several hundred pounds
to erect what they naturally regarded as the best monument to his memory. In
the meantime the writer had succeeded in interesting the Delegates of the Oxford

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University Press in favour of the work, which, when completed, was to be edited by
him and printed at the expense of the University. But when the MS. of the Dictionary
was forwarded after several years from Copenhagen, so far was it from being in a
fit state for publication, that, after struggling with it for some years, he found it necessary
to call in other assistance to complete the work. This he was fortunate enough to
find in Mr. Gudbrand Vigfusson, then one of the Stipendiaries in the Arna Magnćan
Library at Copenhagen, an institution which has done so much for Icelandic scholarship.
After inspecting the materials placed at his disposal, Mr. Vigfusson found them so
crude and in such an unsatisfactory state, that he resolved on rewriting and remodelling
the whole. This Herculean task he has now completed, and in so doing has raised
a monument to his own scholarship as well as one to the memory of Richard Cleasby.
It is needless to say more of these Copenhagen transcripts in this place. Their nature
has been sufficiently explained and exposed in the Introduction. It is enough here
to point at them and pass by. The Dictionary as it now stands is far more the work
of Vigfusson than of Cleasby; but if the dead take heed of aught here below, it
must be a consolation to the spirit of Richard Cleasby to know that the work which
he so boldly projected has at last been worthily completed, though by other hands;
and if there be speech or language in those mansions, the solemn words of Hávamál
will rino- through them :


' Deyr fé, dcyja frćndr ;
Deyr sjálfr it sama;
En orđ-stírr deyr aldregi
Hvcim sér góđan getr.1