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CHAPTER XIV.


HOLAB.

l-AOE

The Cathedral—Altar Vestments—Triptych—Portraits and Tombs—
MSS.—The Ancient Possessions of the Church—Repairs—Flowers
—The Skagafjord—Orange —Birds—Gannet—Puffin—Skua . 285

CHAPTER XV.
The Outlaw's Isle: a Saga ...... 246

CHAPTER XVI.

FROM 8KAQAFJORD TO MITHFJOBD.

Svathastathr—Heathen Charity—Church of Vithimyri—An odd Cow—
Borg, an old Castle—Queen Victoria's Cousin—Icelandic Duck—
The long-tailed Duck—Red-necked Phalaropcs—Deep Bogs—Meir
—A happy Meeting—A Wedding—Female Dress—Music—National
Anthem—Michaelmas Hymn—Mr. Briggs in Love—Church Service
—Sacred Music—Ecclesiastical Position of the Icelandic Establish-
ment . . . . . . . .278

CHAPTER XVII.

THE MIDDLE FBITH.

Glacial Action—Bjarg: the Home of Grettir — Cairn—Spear-head—
Carved Stone—Magical Characters—The Story of the Banded-men:
A Saga . .297

CHAPTER XVHI.

THE HBUTAFJORD.

Leave Melr—Icelandic Etiquette—A beautiful Frith—Mr. Briggs's Story
—Thorodds-stathr—Row across the Fjord—Merchant Vessels—
Hospitality—Mr. Briggs recovers his Heart—Trouble with the Pack-
saddle—Holtavb'rthu Heithi—Sclavonian Grebe—Arctic Foxes—
Icelandic Traditions concerning the Fox—Icelandic Mice—Tra-
vellers' Tales — Swans—Terns—Difficult Pass—Paula —MSS.—
Church of Hvammr . . . . . .817

CHAPTER XIX.

THE VALE OF SMOKE.

Runaway Horses—Grjothdls—Glorious View—I succeed in Mastering the
Horses—Cruelty to Birds—The Future of Animals—Ptarmigan—
Whimbrel and Plover—A Heithi—Icelandic Way of Sleeping —
Names—Tunguhver—Boiling Jets in a River—Reykholt—Snorro's
Bath—The Church—Snorro Sturlason .831

CHAPTER XX.
OK.

PAGE

Ascend the Side of Ok — Flowers — Strange Sight — Skogkottr — Meet old
Friends — The Skrimsl — Mermaids — Francesco de la Vega —
Smoking in the Tent ...... 844

CHAPTER XXI.

GEYSIB.

Flowers — A natural Chimney — Extensive Plain — Laugarvatn — An
eccentric Bridge — Uthlith — Sleeping in a Church — Position of the
Geysir District — Description of the Springs — The Little Geysir —
Jack in the Box — Boiling Wells — Stroke — Blue Ponds — Experi-
ments — Great Geysir — Keeping Watch — Magnificent Explosion —
Mr. Briggs misses seeing it — Theory of the Geysir . . 854

CHAPTER XXII.
Thorgils' Nursling: a Saga about Greenland .... 368

CHAPTER
CONCLUSION.

Leave Geysir — Last View of Heckla — The rumoured Eruption of Skapta

— Return to Thingvollum — Latin Conversation — Seljadalr — The
Plague of Flies — Halt at a Farm — A fair Haymaker — The Spell
broken — Return to Reykjavik — Sale of Horses — Icelandic Ponies —
Their strong and weak points — Leave Iceland — The Captain's Joke

— Reach England — Advice to Travellers .... 385

APPENDICES.

Appendix A.—Ornithology of Iceland, by A. Newton, Esq. . . 899

„ B.—Advice to Sportsmen, by J. W. R. . . . 422

„ C.—List of Icelandic Plants .... 424

,, D.—List of Icelandic published Sagas . . . 489

,, E.—Expenses of my Tour in Iceland . . . 445

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XW. Kálfstindar
XVI. The Great Geysir

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ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXT.

Sketch Map of Reykjavík
Plan and Elevation of a Farm
Nicolásagja . -
Great Northern Dive
Kitchen at Withimyri
Mountains in Öxnadalr -
Runic Stave at Grenjatharstathr
Uxahver: the Second Spring -
Boiling Mud Chaldron, Námar-hlith .

Dettifoss - -
Diagram of Triptych, Hólar
Skagasjord . - -

Carved Stone in Mithfjord
Icelandic Magical Characters

Tunguhver - -
Runic Tombstone at Reykholt -
The Skrimsl . - - - - -
Bird's-eye View of the Geysir District
Gyr-Falcon - - -

frontispiece to face 166

... 109 . 163 . 167 . 194 . 197 . 211 . 217 . 287 . 246 . 299 . 299 . 340 . 848 . 346 . 358 . 898

171 205 208 228 279 297 845 855 862

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My object in visiting Iceland was twofold. I purposed examining scenes famous in Saga, and filling a portfolio with water-colour sketches.

The reader must bear this in mind, otherwise he may be disappointed at finding in these pages little new matter of scientific interest.

The landscape painter will thank me for having opened to him a new field for his pencil; and the antiquarian will be glad to obtain an insight into the habits and customs of Icelanders in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

My illustrations faithfully represent the character of the country, though they necessarily fail in rendering the wild beauty of colouring. I invariably submitted them to my guide, and found that he at once » recognized the spots, so that I am satisfied with their 1 fidelity. Some of the panoramic views have unavoid- i ably suffered in being contracted to the compass of the book, but if the reader will imagine them to be pulled out like bits of india-rubber he will obtain a correct notion of the scenes. I refer to the panoramas on Plates I. and XIV.

My specimens of the Sagas have been selected with a view towards illustrating the voyages, quarrels, litigations, and superstitions of the ancient Icelanders.

It must be remembered that the Sagas from which I draw my extracts are not mere popular tales; they are downright history. To quote the words of our highest English authority on the subject when speaking of the Njala, but which apply equally to the Gretla, Aigla, Bandamanna Saga, Vatnsdo3la Saga, &c.:—" We may be sure that as soon as each event recorded in the Saga occurred it was told and talked about as matter of history; and when at last the whole story was unfolded and took shape, and centred round Njal, that it was handed down from father to son as truthfully and faithfully as could ever be the case with any public or notorious matter in local history. But it is not on Njala alone that we have

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