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arrived on the 29th of June. On the 18th of July he again set out for the north, to be accompanied, through some part of the journey, by two gentlemen of Holstein. At Husafell

, and indeed eisewhere, he very properly took occasion to make particular inquiry respecting the famous species of mice, of which Olassen and Povelson have reported what Mr. Pennant believed, but Mr. Hooker and other writers have pronounced ridiculously incredible. Most readers will immediately recollect the story to be, that these mice, besides other points of extraordinary sagacity, have admirable talents for navigation; going to considerable distances from their lodgements, in small foraging parties, to collect berries for their

store, which berries they import, across rivers and lakes, on flat pieces of dried cow-dung, each manned by a crew of six or ten, all standing with their heads toward the centre, and rowing the vessel by means of their tails.

• Having been apprised,' says Dr. H. of the doubts entertained on this subject, I made a point of inquiry at different individuals as to the reality of the account, and am happy in being able to say, that it is now established as an important fact in natural history, by the testimony or two eye witnesses of unquestionable veracity, the clergynfan of Briamslaek, and Madame Benedictson of Stikesholm, both of whom assured me they had seen the expedition performed repeatedly. Madame B. in particular, recollected having spent a whole afternoon, in her younger days, at the margin of a small lake on which these skilful navigators had embarked, and amusing herself and her companions by driving them away from the sides of the lake as they approached them. I was also informed that they make use of dried mushrooms as sacks, in which they convey their provisions to the river, and thence to their homes. Nor is the structure of their nests less remarkable, &c. &c.'

Whatever is not, in its own nature, plainly impossible, may be believed on testimony, strict regard being had to the qualificatious indispensable to constitute the competence of witnesses to an antecedently improbable fact. We can have no reason to question the competence of the witnesses here cited by our Author; but it is obvious that a more minute statement was necessary, to inform us precisely what it is that these witnesses testified.

In passing through the book, the reader may perhaps meet with some very few occasions for wishing to check, in the Author, a little too inconsiderate a facility of faith ; as, for instance, when he cites (Vol. II. p. 25.) without any decided expression of incredulity, from an ancient Norwegian work, the description of a celebrated mineral spring in Hytardal, attributing such almost whimsical properties to the

water, as it would really seem quite absurd to believe. And again, in a very curious account of the foxes, which are numerous and very mischievous in Iceland, (Vol. II. p. 98.) he introduces, with expressions of uncertainty whether it should be positively disbelieved, the wellknown tale which describes the foxes at the northernmost extremity of the island, as accustomed to assemble in a wrestling match, to ascertain which is the strongest; and then, in order to reach the sea-fowl sitting on the ledges and in the holes of the rocky perpendicular coast, suspending themselves from the edge of the cliff in a chain, formed by their bolding, each a tail in its inouth, the strongest stationed at the top, and holding the whole adventurous band. We must stop, at any rate, at the line of mechanical impossibility, in that tendency to credulity, which is evidently an unavoidable and rational consequence of our enlarging knowledge of the natural history of the world. That such is the natural consequence, no one can deny who considers what a multitude of things have been placed on the ground of incontestable fact, within the last half century, which, if previously asserted, would bave encountered universal disbelief.

A number of hours were spent in exploring the grand cavern of Surtshallir, extending about a mile under an enormous lava from the Bald Yokul, of the dimensions, through two thirds of its length, of fifty feet in breadth, and forty in height, and reputed, by the early inhabitants, to be the abode of Surtur, the

black prince of the regions of fire,' whose appointed office, according to their mythology, was to burn the world at the conclusion of the present system of things. The description of one part of this cavern will recal that of Antiparos. Its Ciagulicent exhibition is indeed of a more frail material, but it will in fact probably last as long..

« The roof and sides of the cave were decorated with the most superb icicles, crystallized in every possible form, many of which rivalled in minuteness the finest Zeolites : while, from the icy floor, rose pillars of the same substance, assuming all the curious and fantastic shapes imagin .ble, mocking the proudest specimens of art, and counterfeiting many well-known objects of animated nature. A more brilliant scene perlaps never presented itself to the human eye, nor was it easy to divest ourselves of the idea that we actually beheld one of the fairy scenes depicted in eastern fable. The light of the torches rendered it peculiarly enchanting.'

From this cavern, the route was directed toward the hot springs of Hveravellir, across a trackless desert, of lonely and formidable aspect, shining and frowning with icy and volcanio sublimities, and of a substance which entirely baffled the magnetic needle to which the party had recourse on their becoming enveloped in a very dark mist, in a place where they were passing among deep chasms, and where a temporary return of light

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presented to their view, directly before then, an immense Al-.

pine barrier,' which forbade all further progress. The only expedient for extrication was to go with the course of a great ancient stream of lava, which brought them at length, after many hours of toil, during which their anxiety would not permit the examination of . volcanic chimnies' on their right hand or their left, to the welcome banks of a rivulet, at a spot whence they proceeded the next day to the boiling Springs. It

was not,' says Dr. H. without sensations of awe, tbat we bea held the columns of smoke that were issuing from almost innumerable apertures, and heard the thundering noise attending its escape.' 'Among this prodigious and raging assemblage of cauldrons, most of them, like the Geysers, ejecting at intervals, columns of water, there is the grand singularity denominated the

Roaring Mount,' L'a circular mount of indurated bolus, about four feet in height from an aperture, on the west side of which a great quantity of steam makes its escape with a noise louder than that of the most tremendous cataract. The steam issues with such force, that


stones you may throw into the aperture are instantly ejected to a considerable height. On thrusting a pole down the hole, we observed a very considerable increase, both in the quantity of steam emitted, and the noise accompanying its escape,'

Exceedingly s riking too, is the account of the regulated system manifest throughout the tremendous tumult of operations, to which this singular ! Mount seems appointed to act in quality of a magnificent trumpeter, a part which is performed in a manner which may, without presumption, claim to appropriate the description,

«Sonorous as immortal breath can blow.' From an elevated part of the adjoining lava we had a grand view of the tract, and could not sufficiently admire the connexion and regularity observable in the bursts of steam and jets of water that continued to ascend into the atmosphere the whole of the evening. The order they maintained can only be compared to that observed in the firing of the different companies of a regiment drawn up in the order of battle. The play commenced on a signal being given by the Roaring Mount, which was instantaneously followed by an eruption of the largest jetting fountain at the opposite end of the tract ; on which the turn went to the rest, vast columns of steam bursting from the surface of the general mound, while the jets rose and fell in irregular beauty. Having continued to play in this manner for the space of four ininutes and a half, the springs abated for nearly two minutes; when the Roaring Mount renewed the signal, and the explosions took place as before.'

In this tract of fires and thunders, the Campi Phlegræi of Iceland, as our Author justly denominates it, there are still and silent objects which give an impressive idea of what there bas been in the past ; mounds and depositions which tell of ancient boiling fountains of enormous magnitude; especially,' says our Author, one which exhibits the remains of a mount twice as large in circumference as that of the great southern Geyser.'

In advancing laboriously northward, it was not an unpleasing diversification of the scene, to come into a tract of fine meadows, numerous flocks, and good farmhouses; or to fall in with a travelling company of the natives, one of whom was an ingenious goldsmith and watchmaker, and another, mistaken at first by Dr. H. for a dull and stupid man, surprised him by an intelligent and animated talk on a plurality of worlds, zealously maintaining that those worlds must be inhabited, and regretting he could not see Dr. Herschel, to whom he should be glad to propose many questions. It was a still greater luxury to pass a few days at Modrufell, with an enlightened, and zealous, and excellent clergyman, whom he had scen and admired the preceding year, and who evinced an ardent interest in all that is done, and is to be done, for the Christian cause, in Iceland and in the wide world.

After going on some distance eastward from this last mentioned station, the Traveller hastened his return to the south, directly through the centre of the island; and we soon find him again at the Geysers, at Skalholt, and in the neighbourhood of Mount Hekla, with extremely brief intermediate notices of his

Wonders had already been too much multiplied to be any longer, with a few exceptions, minutely recorded. From those of the volcanic class there was no escape or remission but by quitting the island. When a little to the south-west of Skalbolt, he says,

• After passing a number of red cones, of immense size, I encoun. tered a dreary tract of lava, over which I had to scramble for scveral hours, and which presented such prodigious heights and gulleys, that were the sea, when brought into agitation by the most violent storm, and running, as the phrase is, mountains higli, suddenly to congeal, it would scarcely furnish a counterpart to the scene before me. What then must have been the terrific appearance of this region, when the red hot flood of melted substances rolled across it, consuming every thing that lay in its way, and raising its fiery waves to the height they still exhibit !'

He bad not time to visit the wild scenes of the Gullbringe Syssel, the south-western peninsula. The last superb spectacle he was destined to contemplate and describe, were the boiling springs and geysers of Reykium. He reached Reykiavik but just in time to make a few hasty arrangements before the sailing of the Danish vessel, in which he embarked on the 20th of August, and after a rough passage of seventeen days, arrived at Copenhagen. He describes the deep emotions with which


he looked back on this unparalleled region while it receded, and at length vanished from his sight.

Displeased as we sincerely are at the measureless length of this article, we are yet willing to hope that the extraordinary interest of the book, of which, after all, it is but a slight abstract, may be an accepted apology. The grand and the strange phenomena of Nature form, perhaps, on the whole, the most attractive portion of the descriptive narration brought us from foreign climes, and in this order of subjects this journal in Iceland contains as much as could be collected from some twenty respectable contemporary books of travels. Those of our readers who may not yet have obtained it, may in the mean time see, in these pages, a faithful slight sketch of the magnificent picture; and they who have hastily looked over that original, may here in few moments renew in their memory the images of the most prominent objects.

Of one matter, continually and necessarily intervening in the course of the narration, we have made but very few notices, that is, the communications held with the clergymen, magistrates, and commercial residents, at all the stations, relative to Dr. H.'s main object, the circulation of the Scriptures. Every where these principal persons shewed the greatest readiness, in most

instances a lively zeal, to co-operate in his design, by undertaking - to ascertain the wants of the people, in this respect, and concert

ing with him the best plans for supplying them. This information and these plans will be rapidly combined and brought to their practical effect, by the Icelandic Bible Society, of which he had the happiness to promote and to see the provisional forma. tion, under favourable auspices, before he left the island.

Great and urgent as the want of the Sacred Book might paturally bave been presumed to be, it was found to be actually still greater than had been presumed. Under such a destitution of the standard of religious faith, it was somewhat surprisiog, and greatly delightful, to our Author, to find that a peculiar Providence bad preserved much of the purity and simplicity of that faith among the people. This preservation be attributes in a considerable degree, as an immediate cause, to Vidalin's print, ed sermons, a book universally popular among them, and, he says, deserving to be so, for its genuine principles and spirit of Christianity.

The state of the people is no small testimony in favour of their clergy, with whom, on the whole, he was greatly satisfied and pleased. The friendly and even affectionate treatment so constantly experienced by the stranger, and the gladness excited by bis object, naturally inclined him to pronounce rather too positively for so very transient an acquaintance. Perhaps reflection sometimes made hiin sensible of this; for we have observed here

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