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the only Englishmen who have suffered from the hospitality of the Geheime Etatsroed; for, since the first edition of this work was printed, I have had the honor of becoming' acquainted with Sir John Stanley, at whose table I once had the pleasure of meeting Sir Joseph Banks and Mr. Bright; thus being one of four persons, each of whom, in the course of forty years, had made a separate voyage to Iceland; and each, too, had fresh in his memory the events of the day on which he partook of the feast of the same noble Icelander. I do not recollect the ceremony of the goblet of wine, which, according to Mr. Bright, took place when he and his friends were at Vidoe, but I well remember that the old gentleman made us strike our tumbler-like wine glasses with our finger nail, that we might convince the company, by the vibration of the glass, that we had drunk off the last drop of liquor. At table we were waited upon by two females*, so exceedingly handsomely dressed, that I
* As I had this day, for the first time, an opportunity of observing carefully the dress of an Icelandic lady, which is different from that of other countries, I shall avail myself of the present occasion of describing concluded they were not common and I afterwards understood that my conjectures were right, and that it was always the custom for the ladies of the house to
it at some length; a thing I am the better able to do, since I had the good fortune to bring one of the richest in the island safe to England with me. I have preserved, also, an Icelandic account of the different articles it is composed of j from an English translation. of which, that the governor has been so good as to procure me, I have borrowed a great part of what follows. To begin then with the Faldur, or head-dress: this is the most singular and unbecoming part, and I feel such a difficulty in making my description of it intelligible, that 1 think it right to annex an engraving of it. The inside is composed of a number of pieces of paper, folded into an oblong shape, and neatly covered with two white linen handkerchiefs, in such a way that, below the bottom of the paper, they are formed into a sort of cap, that fits the head, and goes on nearly as far as the ears, which are, however, always exposed, whilst the hair is carefully twisted into a knot on the crown of the head, and entirely concealed. From the top of the head to the extremity, the Faldur measures eighteen inches, and, from a cylindrical shape below, becomes gradually compressed, till the upper part is quite flat, and bends over in the front in a i
wait at table when any strangers are present. The two who here performed this employment (which is in this country by no means considered a menial one) were, the eldest,
ner that somewhat resembles an ostrich feather, though sadly inferior to it in elegance. Its width at the top is five inches and a half j lower down, near the head, four inches and a half. The part which covers the head is bound round, to keep it on more securely, with two handsome chequered silk handkerchiefs like a turban, but more tight. The upper part is stiffened with numerous rows of pins. Three gilt silver ornaments are fastened to the front of the Faldur, about eight or ten inches above the top of the head, of a spherical shape, hollow, ornamented with open work, and richly embossed; from these hang knobs of the same metal, and rings with leaf-like appendages; in the centre of the ring is an embossed figure of the Blessed Virgin, with our Saviour in her arms. The next article I shall mention' is the Upphlutur, or bodice; which is made of fine green velvet, bound with a narrow strip of gold lace, with two broad bands of the same materials, and of elegant workmanship, in front, and three on the back; this is fastened before, all the way down the middle, by means of six large clasps of silver gilt, on each side the opening, as large as a half crown, and finely embossed with flowers j and these clasps are rendered more conspicuous by being fixed upon a border of black velvet, with a red edge. From. the bodice depends a green petticoat of fine cloth, which goes over several others of wadmal. Over this the widow of a clergyman, and, the youngest, her daughter, both of whom live in the family, and are maintained by the liberality of our host, who is himself a widower.
is worn another petticoat (Fat) of fine blue broadcloth, which, of course, conceals the green one: it is bound with red at the bottom, just above which is a broad border of flowers of various colors, worked in tambour. Over the petticoat in front, is worn an apron (Svynta) made of the same materials, ornamented with flowers like the petticoat, and bordered all round with red. From the upper part of it hang three large silver gilt ornaments; the centre one spherical, the lateral ones hemispherical; all hollow, richly ornamented and embossed, and having a silver leaf depending from each, which, together with many of the other ornaments, when the wearer is in motion, contribute no little to making a jingling noise, like horses with bells attached to them. Just beneath these ornaments the petticoat is fastened by means of the Lyndi, or girdle, which is nearly five feet in length, and composed of a number of oblong pieces of silver, about an inch and a half long, and one inch wide, sewed with the extremities close together, upon a piece of green velvet, so that it forms a number of joints, and is easily bent round the body, and fastened with a buckle; one end is suffered to hang down in front of the apron, and nearly reaches the bottom of it. All these joints are gilt, and beautifully ornamented with open work, and raised knobs of silver. The jacket (Treja), which goes over and conceals a part of the bodice, is made of black velvet, They were both handsome in their persons, and had beautiful complexions. During the dinner, a large sheep, the finest of the flock, was brought into the room for us to see,
the seams and borders of the sleeves ornamented with fine gold lace, with another stripe of the same down the breast, and gold embroidery near the opening in front, which, at the bottom, is never fastened, but left wide, to exhibit the ornaments of the bodice. The Kraga is a stiff and fiat collar, an inch and a half wide, completely encircling the neck, and fastened to the upper part of the jacket; this is also embroidered with gold, and sets off the pretty face of an Icelandic girl to great advantage; from the opening in the sleeve hang spherical ornaments, called Ermaknappa, of silver gilt, instead of buttons. The Halstrefell is merely a piece of white linen put round the neck, over which is bound the Hals Sikener, or neck-handkerchief, of purple silk. Around this the Hals Festi, neck-chain, three feet and a half long, of silver gilt, and of very curious workmanship, is wound three times, by which means it covers about two inches in depth of the blue silk, and has a very good effect upon it; on one end of it is fastened a large bracelet (NistiJ curiously ornamented, and hung round with the initials of the owner: this, also, is of silver gilt. The stockings fSockaJ of an Icelandic lady are generally of dark blue worsted; the shoes (Shor) are made of the skin of seals or sheep: an oblong piece is slit down two or three inches before and behind, and sewed up somewhat in the form of the foot, which it soon takes the shape of by stretching, and is