“Davyd Leontiyevich is richer than I am, if he does live

Nature Difficult to Move Networkscience2023-11-30 19:12:41 178 6662

We talked and chatted much; I tried to display my knowledge of the Danish language before them, and must often have made use of curious phrases, for the girls could not contain their laughter. But that did not abash me; I laughed with them, applied to my dictionary, which I carried with me, and chatted on. They seemed to gather no very high idea of the beauty of my countrywomen from my personal appearance; for which I humbly crave the forgiveness of my countrywomen, assuring them that no one regrets the fact more than I do. But dame Nature always treats people of my years very harshly, and sets a bad example to youth of the respect due to age. Instead of honouring us and giving us the preference, she patronises the young folks, and every maiden of sixteen can turn up her nose at us venerable matrons. Besides my natural disqualifications, the sharp air and the violent storms to which I had been subjected had disfigured my face very much. They had affected me more than the burning heat of the East. I was very brown, my lips were cracked, and my nose, alas, even began to rebel against its ugly colour. It seemed anxious to possess a new, dazzling white, tender skin, and was casting off the old one in little bits.

“Davyd Leontiyevich is richer than I am, if he does live

The only circumstance which reinstated me in the good opinion of the young girls was, that having brushed my hair unusually far out of my face, a white space became visible. The girls all cried out simultaneously, quite surprised and delighted: "Hun er quit" (she is white). I could not refrain from laughing, and bared my arm to prove to them that I did not belong to the Arab race.

“Davyd Leontiyevich is richer than I am, if he does live

A great surprise was destined me in this house; for, as I was ransacking the Sysselmann's book-case, I found Rotteck's Universal History, a German Lexicon, and several poems and writings of German poets.

“Davyd Leontiyevich is richer than I am, if he does live

The way from Kalmannstunga to Thingvalla leads over nothing but lava, and the one to-day went entirely through marshes. As soon as we had crossed one, another was before us. Lava seemed to form the soil here, for little portions of this mineral rose like islands out of the marshes.

The country already grew more open, and we gradually lost sight of the glaciers. The high mountains on the left seemed like hills in the distance, and the nearer ones were really hills. After riding about nine miles we crossed the large stream of Elvas in a boat, and then had to tread carefully across a very long, narrow bank, over a meadow which was quite under water. If a traveller had met us on this bank, I do not know what we should have done; to turn round would have been as dangerous as to sink into the morass. Fortunately one never meets any travellers in Iceland.

Beyond the dyke the road runs for some miles along the mountains and hills, which all consist of lava, and are of a very dark, nearly black colour. The stones on these hills were very loose; in the plain below many colossal pieces were lying, which must have fallen down; and many others threatened to fall every moment. We passed the dangerous spot safely, without having had to witness such a scene.

I often heard a hollow sound among these hills; I at first took it for distant thunder, and examined the horizon to discover the approaching storm. But when I saw neither clouds nor lightning, I perceived that I must seek the origin of the sounds nearer, and that they proceeded from the falling portions of rock.

The higher mountains to the left fade gradually more and more from view; but the river Elvas spreads in such a manner, and divides into so many branches, that one might mistake it for a lake with many islands. It flows into the neighbouring sea, whose expanse becomes visible after surmounting a few more small hills.



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