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TO

MAJOR-GENERAL EDWARD SABINE, R.A.,

President or the Roy AL society.

MY DEAR UNCLE,

It is with great pleasure that I dedicate this book to you, as a token of my gratitude for the kind interest you have taken, both in

my expedition to Iceland, and in the progress of this volume.

I remain,
Ever yours sincerely,

SABINE BARING-GOULD.

Island far-sceldar frdn,
Ok hag-sceldar hrim-hvita muSSir!
1 i var er yin fornaldar froegS,
FrelsiS ok mannda&n bezt?

Iceland, thou fare-blessed spot,
Thou use-blessed rime-whitened mother!
Where are thine olden fame,
And freedom, and manliness best?

CONTENTS.

PAGE

PREFACE . . . . . . . . xii

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I.

COASTING.

First Sight of Iceland — Hjorleif's Head—Dyrh61ar—The Westmann
Islands — Life of the Islanders — The Yankee's Story — My first
Saga: "The Red Rovers"—Cape Reykjanes—The Mealsack—
The Great Auk .......

CHAPTER II.

EEYKJAVIK.

Arrival—Description of Reykjavik—" A very Antient fish-like Smell! "—
The School — The Residence — The Cathedral — Thorwaldsen—
Icelandic Silverwork—The Merchant Stores—Mr. Briggs and the
Porters—Dinner—I visit the Rector—A would-be Suicide—The
Catholic Mission—The Origin of Iceland . . . .26

CHAPTER in.

MOSFELL.

Leave Reykjavik—Rich Soil—Leiruvogr—Accidents—Camp out — A
lazy Guide — Arctic Midnight — Rank Breakfast—The Story of
Sonartorrek—Alpine Road—Icelandic Dogs—A Farmhouse—Filth
—On the Heithi—Birds—Icelandic Indifference—Arrival at Thing-
\.iHum—A Quarrel . . . . . .48
CHAPTER IV.

THINUVELLIB.

PAGE

The Plains of the Council—The Almanna-gja—The Hill of Laws—
History of Althing—Lava Broth—Icelandic Food—Butter—Card
—Lichen—Sunday—The Burning of the Hostel: a Bags . 67

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CHAPTER VI.

THE EAGLE TAHN8.

Eiriks Jokull—Taxation — The Sheep's Disease—A Swan's-nest—Lava
—Lose Our Way — Camping out — Glorious Scene — Cooking
Arrangements—Rare Skua—Great Northern Diver—Storm on the
Heithi — Guunarssonarvatn — The Great Eagle Tarn—Desert—
H&lma-kvfsl: 99

CHAPTER VII.
The VAMPIRE'S Grave.

Barren Wilderness—A Cairn—The Valley of Shadows: a Saga—A
magnificent Gorge—Waterfalls—The Vatusdalr—Arrival at Grim-
stiinga . . . . . . . .115

CHAPTER VIII.

THE VALE OF WATERS.

Vatnsdalr—Forsoaludalr—A dangerous Predicament—Thorolf wi' the
Dead-face—An ancient Fort—Colonization of Vatnsdalr—Hof—
The Story of Hrolleifr: a Saga—MSS.—Old Nick — Icelandic
Endearments—Music—Haukagil—Undirfell . . . 188

CHAPTER IX.

FROM HNAUSIK TO EYJA FJOED.

PAGE

A Tract of Slag Cones—An Icelandic Doctor—Part from my Friends—
Gilja—Conversion of Iceland—Svinavatn—Icelandic Churches—A
miserable Lodging—Slang—Harlequin Duck—Ford the Blanda—
Vatnsskarth—Vithimyri—Purchase a Horse—Ford the Heradsvatn
—Mikliboer—Oxnadals Heithi—Steinstathr—A Caravan—Strange
Merchandise—The Princess Alexandra—A Death . . .155

CHAPTER X.

AKUREYRI.

A little Town—New Church—Site of the Town injudiciously chosen
—The Post—Grimsey—An Island Cure—Danish Hospitality—The
Newspaper Office—Supper—English Vessels—Jack Tar in Iceland
—Trees—MSS.—Icelandic Poetry—The Dream-Ballad . . 171

CHAPTER XI.

UXAHVER.

A second Guide — Icelandic Horse-calls — A theological Candidate —
Vathlaskarth—Wood in the Fnjoskii-dale—Hats —Ljosavatn—The
Raven—Myth regarding it—Extent to which the Myth has spread—
Gothafoss— Flowers — Cross the Flood of Quivering Waves —
Acquaintances—Lava Cracks—Grenjatbarstathr—Uxahver—Boil-
ing Springs—The Wild Huntsman—Origin of the Myth—Myvatn. 184

CHAPTER XII.

A REGION OF FIRE.

Myvatn—Lava Streams—Reykjahlith—Sand Columns—A Plain of Boil-
ing Mud—Chaldrons—Krafla—Obsidian Mountain—A Ride over
a Desert—Eylifr—A wretched Farm—Dettifosa—A magnificent Fall
—Volcanic Cones—Return to Reykjahlith . . . 205

CHAPTER XIII.

A SNOW PASS.

I hold a Levee—My Plans upset—The Church of Thvera—Taking French
Leave — Swimming across a River — MSS. Sagas—Jon's Bills—
Runaway Ponies—Rocky Spires — Perverseness of Grfmr—A
Mountain Sel—A fearful Pass—Snowbridge—A desperate Scramble
—Stone Bog—Midnight on the Snow—A crumbling Snowbridge—
Arrival at Holar—An alarming Proposal .... 220

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