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The Cathedral—Altar Vestments—Triptych—Portraits and Tombs—
FROM 8KAQAFJORD TO MITHFJOBD.
Svathastathr—Heathen Charity—Church of Vithimyri—An odd Cow—
THE MIDDLE FBITH.
Glacial Action—Bjarg: the Home of Grettir — Cairn—Spear-head—
Leave Melr—Icelandic Etiquette—A beautiful Frith—Mr. Briggs's Story
THE VALE OF SMOKE.
Runaway Horses—Grjothdls—Glorious View—I succeed in Mastering the
Ascend the Side of Ok — Flowers — Strange Sight — Skogkottr — Meet old
Flowers — A natural Chimney — Extensive Plain — Laugarvatn — An
Leave Geysir — Last View of Heckla — The rumoured Eruption of Skapta
— Return to Thingvollum — Latin Conversation — Seljadalr — The
— Reach England — Advice to Travellers .... 385
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
ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXT.
Sketch Map of Reykjavík
Dettifoss - -
Carved Stone in Mithfjord
Tunguhver - -
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
27 59 69
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