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comes of the second milking is by far the best; for it is common here, having milked the whole flock, to begin again and milk them a second time.'-A particular description is here giren of the usual structure, divisions, and arrangements of an Icelandic house, when belonging to persons above the humblest order,

! A low fence of stone or turf encloses a considerable portion of ground, and, in the midst, stands a cluster of little buildings or cabins, which, taken collectively, form the house. The walls of these are extremely thick, especially at the base, formed of layers of stone and turf, not standing perpendicularly, but leaning a little inwards, and about seven or eight feet high: a sloping roof of turf, laid on birch boughs, make the whole height of the buildings, which even thus does not reach above twelve or fourteen feet.'

These several rooms, or cabins, have their fixed appropriate uses.

· Their fronts resemble the gable ends of English houses, and are formed of unpainted boards, standing vertically. As to the inside, the walls and floors are seldom boarded; the sides are usually nothing but the black stone and turf, and the bottom only the bare ground. Generally there are small openings, either in the walls or roof, by way of windows; but these are rarely glazed, and more frequently covered with the amnion of the sheep, which allows but a small portion of light. Yet even this is the case only in ore or two of the rooins. A chimney, or rather an aperture for the emission of the smoke, usually made with a tub, is seen only in the best houses; in others the smoke is left to find its way out at the door, by which also the only air that they can possibly receive is admitted.

Pursuing their journey, they saw a number of caverns, one of which, large and gloomy, they entered, but had no lights to assist them to explore beyond thé glimmering of day-light. Soon afterwards they came to an old volcanic crater, amidst a field of lava.

• In climbing to the summit of a great mass of rock, of nearly a conical shape, composed of calcined matter, we found the edge extremely rugged, sharp, and vitrified, having an orifice from six to seven feet wide, and gradually becoming narrower for a few feet as it descended, then widening again and forming a hole, whose depth I was by no means able to ascertain.' • There was no smoke nor any smell of sulphur to be perceired; por, to judge from the grass which grew, in thick tufts some

way

down the crater, had there been any for a great length of time. The natives had no tradition of its having thrown out fire, neither was the place itself known to

many who lived in this part of the island.' It would be difficult to avoid being a little indignant at such extreme deficiency of curiosity, if we did not recollect that these worthy people live in a country where craters and beds of lava are very common things, and also that, during the season of the year that would permit them to explore the less obvious traces of ancient elemental commotion, the indispensable cares and toils for securing the means of subsistence, leave no time, nor vigour, nor interest, for researches of which no man would expect any other reward, than that of being someWhat poorer and more in danger of starvation than his neighbours.

After witnessing, at Middalr, another station in the progress, a special scene of poverty, distress, and ingenuous kindness, at the house of the priest, and observed, in passing along, various objects which would in another country be curiosities, our traveller diligently prosecuted his way towards the Geysers, and

very reasonably exulted to find himself at length arrived in a tract where numerous boiling springs, and columns of steam, gave him warning of what he might soon behold. The principal and most distant of these columns of steam, soon drew him away from examining a beautiful sulphuric efflorescence on the heated ground, and admiring springs that were throwing up their boiling water several feet.

• À vast circular mound, (of a substance which, I believe, was first ascer. tained to be siliceous by Professor Bergman) was elevated a considerable height above those that surrounded most of the other springs. It was of a brownish grey colour, made rugged on its exterior, but more especially near the margin of the basin, by numerous hillocks of some siliceous substance, varying in size, but generally about as large as a molehill, rough with minute tubercles, and covered all over with a most beautiful kind of efflorescence. On reaching the top of this mound, I looked into the perfectly circular basin*, which gradually shelved down to the mouth of the pipe or crater in the centre, whence the water issued. This mouth lay about four or five feet below the edge of the basin, and proved, on my afterwards measuring it, to be as nearly as possible seventeen feet distant from it on every side. It was not possible now to enter the basin, for it was filled nearly to the edge with water the most pellucid I ever beheld, in the centre of which was observable a slight ebullition, and a large, but not dense body of steam, which, however, increased both in quantity and density, from time to time, as often as the ebullition was more violent. At nine o'clock, I heard a hollow subterraneous noise, which was thrice repeated in the course of a few moments ; the two last reports,

following each other more quickly than the first and second had done. It exactly resembled the distant firing of cannon, and was accompanied each time with a perceptible, though very slight shaking of the earth ; almost immediately after which, the boiling of the water increased together with the steam, and the whole was violently agitated.'

**To compare great things with small, the shape of this basin resembles that of a saucer with a circular hole in its middle.'

An eruption followed, but not in the grand style. We shall therefore transcribe the description of that which he saw the next day; premising that he was informed by an old woman, who lived not far from the place, that the eruptions were most frequent when there is a clear and dry atmosphere, which generally attends a northerly wind.' After describing the shocks and subterraneous winds, as before, he proceeds

I was standing at the time on the brink of the basin, but was soon obliged to retire a few steps by the heaving of the water in the middle, and the consequent flowing of its agitated surface over the margin, which happened three separate times in about as many minutes. I had waited here but a few seconds when the first jet took place, and this had scarcely subsided before it was succeeded by a second, and then by a third, which last was by far the most magnificent, rising in a column that appeared to us to reach not less than ninety feet in height, and to be in its lower part nearly as wide as the basin itself, which is fifty-one feet in diameter. The bottom of it was a prodigious body of white foam ; higher up, amidst the vast clouds of steam that had burst from the pipe, the water was seen mounting in a compact column, which, at a still greater elevation, burst into innumerable long and narrow streamlets of spray, that were either shot to a vast height in the air, in a perpendicular direction, or thrown out from the side, diagonally, to a prodigious distance. The excessive transparency of the water, and the brilliancy of the drops as the sun shone through them, considerably added to the beauty of the spectacle. As soon as the fourth jet was thrown out, which was much less than the former, and scarcely at the interval of two minutes from the first, the water sunk rapidly in the basin, with a rushing noise, and nothing was to be seen but the column of steam, which had been continually increasing from the commencement of the eruption, and was now ascending perpendicularly to an amazing height, as there was scarcely any wind, expanding in bulk as it arose, but decreasing in density.'

During the several days that Mr. Hooker remained in this much more than enchanted region, in which there are more than a hundred boiling springs with their columns of steam, there were many eruptions of the great Geyser, some of them, at least one of them, to a considerably greater height than that of which we have extracted the description. In the greater number of instances, the columnn of water was about the diameter of the crater, which is seventeen feet; sometimes, as in the instance above described, it was nearly, in the lower part, of the diameter of the whole basin, fifty-one feet. The heat of the water was uniformly 212° of Fahrenheit,

At the distance of a few hundred yards from the great Geyser, there was another crater of very considerable dimensions, which was reported to Mr. Hooker as sometimes exhibiting pheno. mena of no contemptible order. The tents had therefore been pitched near it to afford the better station for watching its operations. It did not seem to make any extraordinary pretensions for some time, the water only boiling, and gently Howing over the side. The sensations which therefore came upon him in a moment may be conjectured, and must be envied by all his readers.

At half past nine, whilst I was examining some plants gathered the day before, I was surprised by a tremendously loud and rushing noise, like that arising from the fall of a great cascade immediately at my feet. On putting aside the canvass of my tent, to observe what could have occasioned it, I saw, within a hundred yards of me, a column of water rising perpendicularly into the air, from the place just mentioned, to a vast height: but what this height might be, I was so overpowered by my feelings that I did not for some time think of endeavouring to ascertain. In my first impulse I hastened only to look for my portfolio, that I might attempt, at least to represent upon paper what no words could possibly give an adequate idea of ; but in this I found myself nearly as much at a loss as if I had taken my pen for the purpose of describing it, and I was obliged tic sati: fy myself with little more than the outline and proportional dimensions of this most magnisicent fountain. There was, however, sufficient time allowed me to make observations; for, during the space of an hour and half, un uninterrupted column of water was continually spouted out to the elevation of one hundred and fifty feet, with but little variation, and in a body of seventeen feet in its widest diameter; and this was thrown up with such force and rapidity, that the column. continued to nearly the very summit as compact in body, and as regular in widtlr and shape, as when it fust issued from the pipe; a few feet only of the upper part breaking into spray, which was forced by a light wiod on one side, so as to fall upon the ground some paces from the aperture. The breeze also, sit times, carried the immense volumes of steam that accompanied the eruption to one side of the column of water, which was thus left open to full view, and we could clearly see its base partly surrounded by foam, caused by the column's striking against a projecting piece of rock near the mouth of the crater; but thence to the upper part, nothing broke the regularly perpendicular line of the sides of the water-spout; and the sun shining upon it rendered it in some points of view of a dazzling brightness. Standing with our backs to the sun, and looking into the niouth of the pipe, we enjoyed the sight of a most brilliant assemblage of all the colours of the rainbow, caused by the decomposition of the solar rays passing through the shower of drops that was falling between us and the crater.' • Stones of the largest size that I could find, and great masses of the silicious rock, which we threw into the crater, were instantly ejected by the force of the water; and though the latter were of so solid à nature as to require very hard blows from a large hammer, when I wanted to procure specimens, they were, nevertheless, by the violence of the explosion, shivered into small pieces, and carried up with amazing rapidity to the full height of and frequently higher than the summit of the spout. One piece of a light porous stone was cast at least twice as high as the water, and falling in the die rection of the colunin, was met by it, and a second time forced up to a great height in the air.' p. 184.

During this prodigious exertion of the subterraneous forces,

there were no signs in the great Geyser, or in any of the boiling wells, to indicate any communication among their foun, tains, or community in the agency which produces such astonishing effects in the two principal ones. Mr. Hooker has de. clined giving his speculations on the probable constitution of the interior regions and reservoirs, and the precise mode of operation of the steam, by which these wonderful phenomena are produced. The subject is scientifically investigated, in the still more recent and very interesting work of a still later traveller, or rather party of travellers, Sir George Mackenzie and his associates. It is conjectured that the cavities that supply the water and steam of the new Geyser, must have been enlarged by an earthquake about twenty years since, its operations having been more frequent and magnificent subsequently to that time.

On one of the latter days of Mr. Hooker's encampment on this unequalled spot, he was reminded of its being Sunday, by seeing a number of people passing on horseback toward a church at some distance: and he determined, for whatever reason, to attend the service; calling, by the way, at the house of an old lady, 'who' was celebrated as rich by the Icelanders, for she was the proprietor of ten cows, five rams, and a hundred sheep.' The account of the manners of the people as displayed in the church-yard, previously to the service, and of their seriousness during its performance, is a curious picture of friendly simplicity, and, to all appearance, of sincere interest about their religion.

* This spot,' (the churchyard), previous to the arrival of the minister on 'a sabbaih affords a most interesting spectacle. Numerous parties of men, women, and chileren, who had come on horseback, and in their best apparel, were continually saluting each other; and any person who had been absent from the place of worship for a more than usual length of time, esther through illness or any other cause, was kissed by the whole congregation. As they were little accustoined to see strangers, they all flocked, around us, presenting us with milk and cream from the neighbouring farm, and asking us a hundred questions. : Many were surprised at our having come so far to see the Geysers, which they are accustomed to look at with the utmost indifference.?

There will be some little reluctance to admit, what is probably the truth'nevertheless, that if these amazing objects were in England, they would be this regarded with indifference by the generality of the people after being long familiarized to the sight. It would be a very curious, and perhaps a very mortifying experiment, for even men of taste and philosophers to try, whether, and how soon, and by what perceptible degrees, their feelings also would decline from amazement, and inquisitive wonder, down to a comparative general in difference.

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