small, frosty window, and read in a loud whisper from some

I could see over an area of at least thirty or forty miles, and yet could not descry a tree or a shrub, a bit of meadow-land or a friendly village. Every thing seemed dead. A few cottages lay scattered here and there; at long intervals a bird would hover in the air, and still more seldom I heard the kindly greeting of a passing inhabitant. Heaps of lava, swamps, and turf-bogs surrounded me on all sides; in all the vast expanse not a spot was to be seen through which a plough could be driven.

small, frosty window, and read in a loud whisper from some

After riding more than four miles, I reached a hill, from which I could see Reikjavik, the chief harbour, and, in fact, the only town on the island. But I was deceived in my expectations; the place before me was a mere village.

small, frosty window, and read in a loud whisper from some

The distance from Havenfiord to Reikjavik is scarcely nine miles; but as I was unwilling to tire my good old guide, I took three hours to accomplish it. The road was, generally speaking, very good, excepting in some places, where it lay over heaps of lava. Of the much-dreaded dizzy abysses I saw nothing; the startling term must have been used to designate some unimportant declivities, along the brow of which I rode, in sight of the sea; or perhaps the "abysses" were on the lava-fields, where I sometimes noticed small chasms of fifteen or sixteen feet in depth at the most.

small, frosty window, and read in a loud whisper from some

Shortly after eight o'clock in the evening I was fortunate enough to reach Reikjavik safe and well. Through the kind forethought of Herr Knudson, a neat little room had been prepared for me in one of his houses occupied by the family of the worthy baker Bernhoft, and truly I could not have been better received any where.

During my protracted stay the whole family of the Bernhofts shewed me more kindness and cordiality than it has been my lot frequently to find. Many an hour has Herr Bernhoft sacrificed to me, in order to accompany me in my little excursions. He assisted me most diligently in my search for flowers, insects, and shells, and was much rejoiced when he could find me a new specimen. His kind wife and dear children rivalled him in willingness to oblige. I can only say, may Heaven requite them a thousand-fold for their kindness and friendship!

I had even an opportunity of hearing my native language spoken by Herr Bernhoft, who was a Holsteiner by birth, and had not quite forgotten our dear German tongue, though he had lived for many years partly in Denmark, partly in Iceland.

So behold me now in the only town in Iceland, { 27} the seat of the so-called cultivated classes, whose customs and mode of life I will now lay before my honoured readers.

Nothing was more disagreeable to me than a certain air of dignity assumed by the ladies here; an air which, except when it is natural, or has become so from long habit, is apt to degenerate into stiffness and incivility. On meeting an acquaintance, the ladies of Reikjavik would bend their heads with so stately and yet so careless an air as we should scarcely assume towards the humblest stranger. At the conclusion of a visit, the lady of the house only accompanies the guest as far as the chamber-door. If the husband be present, this civility is carried a little further; but when this does not happen to be the case, a stranger who does not know exactly through which door he can make his exit, may chance to feel not a little embarrassed. Excepting in the house of the "Stiftsamtmann" (the principal official on the island), one does not find a footman who can shew the way. In Hamburgh I had already noticed the beginnings of this dignified coldness; it increased as I journeyed further north, and at length reached its climax in Iceland.



Latest articles

Random articles

  • wooden steps. He drew himself closely to these, and directed
  • but left it when his father and elder brother died. In
  • for his having helped himself to one so much too young
  • had no effect. Lady Arandale requested Julia to sing; she
  • To his host he explained that he was moving his safari
  • evident scorn depicted on Julia’s countenance at the
  • An absolute stillness reigned throughout the apartment
  • of which were performed with the most perfect melody of
  • innocent purpose: each parish has a public musket, and
  • we found the air, even of the street, when at last we got
  • hersel tle a Minister, gin he hed been a young calant,
  • His hair was parted on the forehead, and fell on either
  • could trust. To them he explained his plans and the rich
  • the Earl was prevailed on to commence the following relation.
  • Henry took two Misses Morven; Mr. Gordon, the other two
  • the painful suspicions, which Edmund’s soothing attentions
  • his boys had deserted, for a hunting party from the bungalow
  • Morven, an elderly lady, the wife of a brother of my Lord.
  • Julia sighed heavily, and made no immediate[151] reply.—In
  • and she had, even then, felt a slight unacknowledged sensation
  • away from our tents the large circle of lookers on. An
  • of the window. This last couple were first waited for at
  • says, to give him, most cheerfully, her hand, her heart,
  • take any friend with me, you know, that I please. We rode
  • Was it, though, the ever beautiful blossoms of hollyhocks
  • “But are you sure of that, Frances?” asked Julia, as
  • heard without. The party passed the paling gate, and moved
  • directly beneath the great centre lustre, just so far removed
  • wall. He staggered down again; his remarkable physical
  • either of the girls like their aunt,)[108] he may perceive
  • is willing to wave imaginary, in favour of real superiority?”—and
  • her head, however, carefully turned in a contrary direction,
  • big farm, evidently finding in the society of this rougher
  • but since we have been grown up, I don’t mind people
  • of Mr. Graham’s wounds, a tête-à-tête business?”
  • rather hard, that I should have it to say, half unasked
  • in which they are here mentioned, expressing their respective
  • A curricle, with a gentleman driving, and a lady seated
  • the very day he was coming over to take me: so there I
  • never to utter, literally trembled on his lips. But honour,
  • To his host he explained that he was moving his safari
  • Julia repeated over to herself the two words, “otherwise
  • to which the melancholy that predominated in its expression,
  • blaze of light, till the white marble footway, branching
  • He divided his small following into two parties, entrusting
  • so tender, yet governed so entirely by honourable principles,
  • Susan, and, seemingly engaged in a conversation so earnest;
  • intrusion, by giving proof at once that none were near,
  • at our arrival, and said one to the other, “This is the
  • Lady Susan did not smile once, in the whole course of dinner;
  • tags