stooped to pick them up. In doing so, he stepped on some

From another basin, hardly two feet in diameter, a mighty column of steam shot continually into the air with so much force and noise that I started back half stunned, and could have fancied the vault of heaven would burst. This basin is situated in a corner of the valley, closely shut in on three sides by hills. In the neighbourhood many hot springs gushed forth; but I saw no columns of water, and my guide assured me that such a phenomenon was never witnessed here.

stooped to pick them up. In doing so, he stepped on some

There is more danger in passing these spots than even in traversing the mountains. In spite of the greatest precautions, I frequently sank in above the ankles, and would then draw back with a start, and find my foot covered with hot mud. From the place where I had broken through, steam and hot mud, or boiling water, rose into the air.

stooped to pick them up. In doing so, he stepped on some

Though my guide, who walked before me, carefully probed the ground with his stick, he several times sank through half-way to the knee. These men are, however, so much accustomed to contingencies of this kind that they take little account of them. My guide would quietly repair to the next spring and cleanse his clothes from mud. As I was covered with it to above the ankles, I thought it best to follow his example.

stooped to pick them up. In doing so, he stepped on some

For excursions like these it is best to come provided with a few boards, five or six feet in length, with which to cover the most dangerous places.

At nine o'clock in the evening, but yet in the full glare of the sun, we arrived at Krisuvik. I now took time to look at this place, which I found to consist of a small church and a few miserable huts.

I crept into one of these dens; it was so dark that a considerable time elapsed before I could distinguish objects, the light was only admitted through a very small aperture. I found in this hut a few persons who were suffering from the eruption called "lepra," a disease but too commonly met with in Iceland. Their hands and faces were completely covered with this eruption; if it spreads over the whole body the patient languishes slowly away, and is lost without remedy.

Churches are in this country not only used for purposes of public worship, but also serve as magazines for provisions, clothes, &c., and as inns for travellers. I do not suppose that a parallel instance of desecration could be met with even among the most uncivilised nations. I was assured, indeed, that these abuses were about to be remedied. A reform of this kind ought to have been carried out long ago; and even now the matter seems to remain an open point; for wherever I came the church was placed at my disposal for the night, and every where I found a store of fish, tallow, and other equally odoriferous substances.

The little chapel at Krisuvik is only twenty-two feet long by ten broad; on my arrival it was hastily prepared for my reception. Saddles, ropes, clothes, hats, and other articles which lay scattered about, were hastily flung into a corner; mattresses and some nice soft pillows soon appeared, and a very tolerable bed was prepared for me on a large chest in which the vestments of the priest, the coverings of the altar, &c., were deposited. I would willingly have locked myself in, eaten my frugal supper, and afterwards written a few pages of my diary before retiring to rest; but this was out of the question. The entire population of the village turned out to see me, old and young hastened to the church, and stood round in a circle and gazed at me.



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