at all. At such times I used to sit down beside him and

Nature Difficult to Move Networkthanks2023-11-30 18:51:02 1 1365

On the king's birthday, which is kept every year at the house of the Stiftsamtmann, the festivities are said to be very grand; on this occasion the matrons appear arrayed in silk, and the maidens in white jaconet; the rooms are lighted with wax tapers.

at all. At such times I used to sit down beside him and

Some speculative genius or other has also established a sort of club in Reikjavik. He has, namely, hired a couple of rooms, where the townspeople meet of an evening to discuss "tea-water," bread and butter, and sometimes even a bottle of wine or a bowl of punch. In winter the proprietor gives balls in these apartments, charging 20 kr. for each ticket of admission. Here the town grandees and the handicraftsmen, in fact all who choose to come, assemble; and the ball is said to be conducted in a very republican spirit. The shoemaker leads forth the wife of the Stiftsamtmann to the dance, while that official himself has perhaps chosen the wife or daughter of the shoemaker or baker for his partner. The refreshments consist of "tea-water" and bread and butter, and the room is lighted with tallow candles. The music, consisting of a kind of three-stringed violin and a pipe, is said to be exquisitely horrible.

at all. At such times I used to sit down beside him and

In summer the dignitaries make frequent excursions on horse-back; and on these occasions great care is taken that there be no lack of provisions. Commonly each person contributes a share: some bring wine, others cake; others, again, coffee, and so on. The ladies use fine English side-saddles, and wear elegant riding-habits, and pretty felt hats with green veils. These jaunts, however, are confined to Reikjavik; for, as I have already observed, there is, with the exception of this town, no place in Iceland containing more than two or three stores and some half-dozen cottages.

at all. At such times I used to sit down beside him and

To my great surprise, I found no less than six square piano-fortes belonging to different families in Reikjavik, and heard waltzes by our favourite composers, besides variations of Herz, and some pieces of Liszt, Wilmers, and Thalberg. But such playing! I do not think that these talented composers would have recognised their own works.

In conclusion, I must offer a few remarks relative to the travelling in this country.

The best time to choose for this purpose is from the middle of June to the end of August at latest. Until June the rivers are so swollen and turbulent, by reason of the melting snows, as to render it very dangerous to ride through them. The traveller must also pass over many a field of snow not yet melted by the sun, and frequently concealing chasms and masses of lava; and this is attended with danger almost as great. At every footstep the traveller sinks into the snow; and he may thank his lucky stars if the whole rotten surface does not give way. In September the violent storms of wind and rain commence, and heavy falls of snow may be expected from day to day.

A tent, provisions, cooking utensils, pillows, bed-clothes, and warm garments, are highly necessary for the wayfarer's comfort. This paraphernalia would have been too expensive for me to buy, and I was unprovided with any thing of the kind; consequently I was forced to endure the most dreadful hardships and toil, and was frequently obliged to ride an immense distance to reach a little church or a cottage, which would afford me shelter for the night. My sole food for eight or ten days together was often bread and cheese; and I generally passed the night upon a chest or a bench, where the cold would often prevent my closing my eyes all night.

It is advisable to be provided with a waterproof cloak and a sailor's tarpaulin hat, as a defence against the rain, which frequently falls. An umbrella would be totally useless, as the rain is generally accompanied by a storm, or, at any rate, by a strong wind; when we add to this, that it is necessary in some places to ride quickly, it will easily be seen that holding an umbrella open is a thing not to be thought of.



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