• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Jon of Iceland
 Philip of Greenland
 How the ancient Swedes thought...
 The land of pluck
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Jon of Iceland : : a story of the far north, and other tales.
Title: Jon of Iceland
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065167/00001
 Material Information
Title: Jon of Iceland : a story of the far north, and other tales
Physical Description: 128 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Publisher: Blackie & Son
Place of Publication: London
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Publication Date: c1889
 Subjects
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Europe, Northern   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1889   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1889   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Ireland -- Dublin
 Notes
General Note: Date of publication from prize inscription.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065167
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002232299
notis - ALH2691
oclc - 70658181

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Jon of Iceland
        Page 5
        Chapter I
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
        Chapter II
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
        Chapter III
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
        Chapter IV
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
        Chapter V
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
        Chapter VI
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
        Chapter VII
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
        Chapter VIII
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
    Philip of Greenland
        Page 83
        Chapter I
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
        Chapter II
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
        Chapter III
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
        Chapter IV
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
    How the ancient Swedes thought the world was made
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    The land of pluck
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text













N U, jaiM
















BIRMINGHAM


SCHOOL BOARD.



S4. PRESENTED TO t-.

....:... .......
for pa irig completely the ..... Standard
at tLhe B. ........ ..Board
School in the month oft -.. ri4-e 4.'J188
4 and for making 360 attendances during tre Scoo'
_ti
Year.
-,--- (S;gnedi

.... ....... .. Head Teacher.
"
GEORGE B. D11[VIS.
j C-0 ( ic 4i ti,. ii.1,


The Baldwin Library
SUniversyri


























1 41













I "



: -{ -- ;


PAGE 36.









JON OF ICELAND:


A STORY OF THE FAR NORTH.



AND OTHER TALES.


LONDON:
BLACKIE & SON, 49 OLD BAILEY, E.C.;
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND UBILIN.


- -























CONTENTS.





Page
JON OF ICELAND,. . .. 5

PHILIP OF GREENLAND, ... . .. 83

HOW TIE ANCIENT SWEDES THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS
MADE ... .......... .109
THE LAND OF PLUCK, .. . 121















JON OF ICELAND.



CHAPTER I.

JON'S FATHER--HIS HOUSE-HIS SISTER-HIMSELF-
HIS LEARNING AND HIS IGNORANCE.
U,-
X HE boys of Iceland must be content with
I very few acquaintances or playmates. The
valleys which produce grass enough for
the farmers' ponies, cattle, and sheep are gener-
ally scattered wide apart, divided by ridges
of lava so hard and cold that only a few wild
flowers succeed in growing in their cracks and
hollows. Then, since the farms must be all the
larger, because the grass is short and grows slowly
in such a severe northern climate, the dwellings
are rarely nearer than four or five miles apart;















JON OF ICELAND.



CHAPTER I.

JON'S FATHER--HIS HOUSE-HIS SISTER-HIMSELF-
HIS LEARNING AND HIS IGNORANCE.
U,-
X HE boys of Iceland must be content with
I very few acquaintances or playmates. The
valleys which produce grass enough for
the farmers' ponies, cattle, and sheep are gener-
ally scattered wide apart, divided by ridges
of lava so hard and cold that only a few wild
flowers succeed in growing in their cracks and
hollows. Then, since the farms must be all the
larger, because the grass is short and grows slowly
in such a severe northern climate, the dwellings
are rarely nearer than four or five miles apart;







JON OF ICELAND.


and were it not for their swift and nimble ponies,
the people would see very little of each other
except on Sundays, when they ride long dis-
tances to attend worship in their little wooden
churches.
But of all boys in the island, not one was so
lonely in his situation as Jon Sigurdson. His
father lived many miles beyond that broad,
grassy plain which stretches from the Geysers
to the sea, on the banks of the swift river Thiirv~i.
On each side there were mountains so black and
bare that they looked like gigantic piles of coal.
but the valley opened to the southward as if to
let the sun in, and far away, when the weather
was clear, the snowy top of Mount Hecla shone
against the sky. The farmer, Sigurd, Jon's
father, was a poor man, or he would not have
settled so far away from any neighbours; for he
was of a cheerful and social nature, and there
were few at Kyrkedal who could vie with him
in knowledge of ancient history and also of
Iceland.
The house was built on a knoll, under a cliff


6







JON OF ICELAND.


which sheltered it from the violent west and
north-west winds. The walls, of lava stones and
turf, were low and broad; and the roofs over
dwelling, storehouses, and stables were covered
deep with earth, upon which grew such excellent
grass that the ponies were fond of climbing up
the sloping corners of the wall in order to get at
it. Sometimes they might be seen, cunningly
balanced on the steep sides of the roof, grazing
along the very ridge-poles, or looking over the
end of the gable, when some member of the
family came out of the door, as much as to say:
"Get me down if you can!"
Around the buildings there was a square wall
of inclosure, giving the place the appearance of a
fortress. On one side of the knoll a hot spring
bubbled up. In the morning or evening, when
the air was cool, quite a little column of steam
rose from it, whirling and broadening as it melted
away; but the water was pure and wholesome as
soon as it became cold enough for use. In front
of the house, where the sun shone warmest,
Sigurd had laid out a small garden. It was a


7







JON OF ICELAND.


great labour for him to remove the large stones
and roll them into a protecting wall, to carry
good soil from the places where the mountain
rills had gradually washed it down from above,
and to arrange it so that frosts and cold rains
should do the least harm; and the whole family
thought themselves suddenly rich one summer
when they pulled their first radishes, saw the
little bed of potatoes coming into blossom, and
the cabbages rolling up their leaves in order to
make at least baby-heads before the winter came.
Within the house all was low, and dark, and
dismal. The air was very close and bad, for the
stables were only separated from the dwelling-
room by a narrow passage, and bunches of dry
salt fish hung on the walls. Besides, it was
usually full of smoke from the fire of peat, and
after a rain, of steam from Sigurd's and Jon's
heavy woollen coats. But to the boy it was a
delightful, a comfortable home, for within it he
found shelter, warmth, food, and instruction.
The room for visitors seemed to him the most
splendid place in the world, because it had a


8







JON OF ICELAND.


wooden floor, a window with six panes of glass,
a coloured print of the King of Denmark, and a
geranium in a pot. This was so precious a plant
that Jon and his sister Gudrid hardly dared to
touch its leaves. They were almost afraid to
smell it, for fear of sniffing away some of its life;
and Gudrid, after seeing a leaf of it laid on her
dead sister's bosom, insisted that some angel,
many hundred years ago, had brought the seed
straight down from heaven.
These were Sigurd's only children. There had
been several more, but they had died in infancy,
from the want of light and pure air, and the
great distance from help when sickness came.
Gudrid was still pale and slender, except in
summer, when her mild, friendly face took
colour from the sun; but Jon, who was now
fourteen, was a sturdy, broad-breasted boy, who
promised to be as strong as his father in a few
years more. He had thick yellow hair, curling
a little round his forehead; large, bright blue
eyes; and a mouth rather too broad for beauty,
if the lips had not been so rosy, and the teeth so


9







JON OF ICELAND.


white and firm. He had a serious look, but it
was only because he smiled with his eyes oftener
than with his mouth. He was naturally true
and good, for he hardly knew what evil was.
Except his parents and his sister, he saw no one
for weeks at a time; and when he met other
boys after church at Kyrkedal, so much time
always was lost in shyly looking at each other,
and shrinking from the talk which each wanted
to begin, that no very intimate acquaintance fol-
lowed.
But, in spite of his lonely life Jon was far
from being ignorant. There were the long
winter months, when the ponies, and sometimes
the sheep, pawed holes in the snow in order to
reach the grass on the bottoms beside the river;
when the cows were warmly stabled and content
with their meals of boiled hay; when the needful
work of the day could be done in an hour or two,
and then Sigurd sat down to teach his children,
while their mother spun or knitted beside them
and from time to time took part in the instruc-
tion. Jon could already read and write so well


10







JON OF ICELAND.


that the pastor at Kyrkedal lent him many an
old Icelandic legend to copy; he knew the history
of the island, as well as that of Norway and Den-
mark, and could answer (with a good deal of
blushing) when he was addressed in Latin. He
also knew something of the world, and its differ-
ent countries and climates; but this knowledge
seemed to him like a strange dream, or like
something that happened long ago and never
could happen again. He was accustomed to hear
a little birch-bush, four or five feet high, called
a "tree," but he could not imagine how any tree
could be a hundred feet high, or bear flowers and
fruit.
Once a trader from Rejkiavik-the chief sea-
port of Iceland-brought a few oranges to Kyrke-
dal, and Sigurd purchased one for Jon and
Gudrid. The children kept it, day after day,
never tired of enjoying the splendid colour and
strange delightful perfume; so that when they
decided to cut the rind at last, the pulp was
dried up and tasteless. A city was something of
which Jon could form no conception, for he had


11







12


JON OF ICELAND.


never seen even Rejkiavik; he imagined that pal-
aces and cathedrals were like large Icelandic
farm-houses, with very few windows, and turf
growing on the roofs.












-i'-















CHAPTER II.


JON'S OCCUPATION-THE VALLEY OF THE THIORVA-THE
TROLLS-THE DROUGHT-THE RESOLVE-THE START.
*1
[GURD'S wealth, if it could be called so,
was in a small flock of sheep, the pasture
for which was scattered in patches for
miles up and down the river. The care of these
sheep had been intrusted chiefly to Jon ever
since he was eight years old, and he had learned
their natures and ways-their simple animal
virtues and silly animal vices-so thoroughly
that they acquired a great respect for him, and
very rarely tried to be disobedient. Even Thor,
the ram, although he sometimes snorted and
tossed his horns in protest, or stamped impatiently
with his fore-feet, heeded his master's voice. In
fact the sheep became Jon's companions in the ab-







JON OF ICELAND.


sence of human ones; he talked to them so much
during the lonely days that it finally seemed as
if they understood a great deal of his speech.
There was a rough bridle-path leading up the
valley of the Thi6rvi, but it was rarely travelled,
for it struck northward into the cold, windy,
stony desert which fills all the central part of
Iceland. For a hundred and fifty miles there
was no dwelling, no shelter from the fierce and
sudden storms, and so little grass that the tra-
vellers who sometimes crossed the region ran
the risk of losing their ponies from starvation.
There were lofty plains of black rocks as hard
as iron; groups of bare, snowy-headed mountains;
and often at night a pillar of fire could be seen
in the distance, showing that one of the many
volcanoes was in action. Beyond this terrible
wilderness the grassy valleys began again, and
there were houses and herds, increasing as the
road approached downwards to the bright bays
along the northern shore of the island.
More than once a trader or government mes-
senger, after crossing the desert, had rested for


14







JON OF ICELAND.


a night under Sigurd's roof; and many were
the tales of their adventures which Jon had
treasured up in his memory. Sometimes they
.spoke of the trolls, or mischievous fairies, who
came over with the first settlers from Norway,
and were still supposed by many persons to lurk
among the dark glens of Iceland. Both Sigurd
and the pastor at Kyrkedal had declared that
there were no such creatures, and Jon believed
them faithfully; yet he could not help wondering,
as he sat Ii, ,":.' .iie rocky knoll overlooking
his sheep, whethK a strange little figure might
not come out of te chasm opposite and speak
to him. The more he heard of the terrors and
dangers of the desert to the northward, the more
he longed to see them with his own eyes, and
know them through his own experience. He
was not the least afraid; but he knew that his
father would never allow him to go alone, and
to disobey a father was something of which he
had never heard, and could not have believed it
to be possible.
When he was in his fifteenth year, however


15







JON OF ICELAND.


(it was summer, and he was fourteen in April),
there came several weeks during which no rain
fell in the valley. It was a lovely season for
the garden; even the geranium in the window
put forth twice as many scarlet blossoms as
before. Only the sheep began to hunger; for
the best patch of grass in front of the house was
carefully kept for hay, and the next best, farther
down the river, for the ponies. Beyond the
latter the land belonged to another. So Jon
was obliged to lead his flock to a narrow little
dell which came down to the Thi6rvA, three or
four miles to the northward. Here, for a week
they nibbled diligently wherever anything green
showed itself at the foot of the black rocks; and
when the pasture grew scanty again they began
to stare at Jon in a way which many persons
might have thought stupid. Hie understood
them; they meant to say: "We've nearly finished
this; find us something more!"
That evening as he was leading his flock
into the little inclosure beside the dwelling he
heard his father and mother talking. He thought
(124)


16







JON OF ICELAND.


it no harm to listen, for they never said anything
that was not kind and friendly. It seemed,
however, that they were speaking of him, and
the very first words he heard made his heart
beat more rapidly.
"Two days' journey away," said Sigurd;
"and excellent pastures that belong to nobody.
There is no sign of rain yet, and if we could
send Jon with the sheep-"
"Are you sure of it?" his wife asked.
"Eyvindur stopped to talk with me," he
answered, "and he saw the place yesterday. He
says there were rains in the desert, and indeed
I've thought so myself, because the river has not
fallen; and he never knew as pleasant a season
to cross the country."
"Jon might have to stay out a week or two;
but as you say, Sigurd, we should save our flock.
The boy may be trusted, I'm sure; only, if any-
thing should happen to him?"
"I don't think he's fearsome," said Sigurd;
"and what should happen to him there, that
might not happen nearer home?"
(124) B


17







JON OF ICELAND.


They moved away, while Jon clasped the
palms of his hands hard against each other, and
stood still for a minute to repeat to himself all
he had heard. He knew Eyvindur, the tall,
strong man, with the dark curling hair, who
rode the swift cream-coloured pony with the
black mane and tail. He knew what his father
meant-nothing else than that he, Jon, should
take the sheep two days' journey away, to the
very edge of the terrible wilderness, and pasture
them there, alone, probably, for many days!
Why, Columbus, when he set sail from Palos
could not have had a brighter dream of unknown
lands! Jon went in to supper in such a state of
excitement that he hardly touched the dried fish
and hard oaten bread; but he drank two huge
bowls of milk and still felt thirsty. When, at
last, his father opened his lips and spake, and
the mother sat silent with her eyes fixed upon
her son's face, and Gudrid looked frightened,
Jon straightened himself up as if he were
already a man, and quietly said:
"I'll do it!"







JON OF ICELAND.


He wanted to shout aloud for joy; but Gudrid
began to cry.
However, when a thing had once been decided
in the family that was the end of any question
or remonstrance, and even Gudrid forgot her
fears in the interest of preparing a supply of
food for Jon during his absence. They slept
soundly for a few hours; and then, at two o'clock
in the morning, when the sun was already
shining on the snowy tops of the Arne Moun-
tains, Jon hung the bag of provisions over his
shoulder, kissed his parents and sister, and started
northward, driving the sheep before him.









-7r


19














CHAPTER III.


THE JOURNEY-THE DISAPPOINTMENT-THE SEARCH-
THE SUCCESS-GUDRIDSDALE-THE EXPLORATION.

N a couple of hours Jon reached the farthest
I point of the valley which he had ever
j visited, and all beyond was an unknown
region. But the scenery as he went onward was
similar in character. The mountains were higher
and more abrupt, the river more rapid and
foamy, and the patches of grass more scanty-
that was all the difference. It was the Arctic
summer, and the night brought no darkness;
yet he knew when the time for rest came, by
watching the direction of the light on the black
mountains above. When the sheep lay down,
he sought a sheltered place under a rock, and
slept also.
Next day the country grew wilder and more







JON OF ICELAND.


forbidding. Sometimes there was hardly a blade
of grass to be seen for miles, and Jon drove the
sheep at full speed, running and shouting after
them, in his eagerness to reach the distant
pasture which Eyvindur had described. In the
afternoon the valley seemed to come suddenly to
an end. The river rushed out of a deep cleft
between the rocks, only a few feet wide, on
the right hand; in front there was a long stony
slope, reaching so high that the clouds brushed
along its summit. In the bottom there was
some little grass, but hardly enough to feed the
flock for two days.
Jon was disappointed, but not much discour-
aged. He tethered Thor securely to a rock,
knowing that the other sheep would remain
near him, and set out to climb the slope. Up
and up he toiled; the air grew sharp and cold;
there was snow and ice in the shaded hollows on
either side, and the dark, strange scenery of
Iceland grew broader below him. Finally he
gained the top; and now, for the first time, felt
that he had found a new world. In front,


21







JON OF ICELAND.


towards the north, there was a plain stretching
as far as he could see; on the right and left
there were groups of dark, frightful, inaccessible
mountains, between the sharp peaks of which
sheets of blue ice plunged downward like cata-
racts, only they were silent and motionless.
The valley behind him was a mere cleft in the
stony, lifeless world; his sheep were little white
dots, no bigger, apparently, than flowers of ever-
lasting. He could only guess, beyond the dim
ranges in the distance, where his father's dwelling
lay; and for a single moment the thought came
into his mind and made him tremble,-should
he ever see it again?
The pasture, he reflected, must be sought for
in the direction from which the river came.
Following the ridge to the eastward it was not
long before he saw a deep basin, a mile in
diameter, opening among the hills. The bottom
was quite green, and there was a sparkle here
and there, where the river wound its way through
it. This was surely the place, and Jon felt
proud that he had so readily discovered it.


22







JON OF ICELAND.


There were several glens which furnished easy
paths down from the table-land, and he had no
difficulty the next morning in driving, or rather
leading, his flock over the great ridge. In fact
they skipped up the rocks as if they knew what
was coming, and did not wait for Jon to show
them the way into the valley.
The first thing the boy did, after satisfying
himself that the sheep were not likely to stray
away from such excellent pasturage, was to seek
for a cave or hollow among the rocks, where
he could find shelter from storms. There were
several such places; he selected the most con-
venient, which had a natural shelf for his store
of provisions, and having dried enough grass
to make a warm, soft bed, he found himself
very comfortably established. For three or four
days he was too busy to feel his loneliness. The
valley belonged to nobody; so he considered it
his own property, and called it Gudridsdale,
after his sister. Then, in order to determine the
boundaries of this new estate he climbed the
heights in all directions, and fixed the forms of


23







JON OF ICELAND.


every crag and hollow firmly in his memory.
He was not without the secret hope that he
might come upon some strange and remarkable
object,-a deserted house, a high tree, or a hot
fountain shooting up jets like the Great Geyser,
-but there was nothing. Only the black and
stony wilderness near at hand, and a multitude
of snowy peaks in the distance.
Thus ten days passed. The grass was not yet
exhausted, the sheep grew fat and lazy, and Jon
had so thoroughly explored the neighbourhood
of the valley that he could have found his way
in the dark. He knew that there were only
barren, uninhabitable regions to the right and
left; but the great, bare table-land stretching
to the northward was a continual temptation,
for there were human settlements beyond. As
he wandered farther and farther in that direction
he found it harder to return; there was always
a ridge in advance, the appearance of a mountain
pass, the sparkle of a little lake,-some promise
of something to be seen by going just a little
beyond his turning-point. He was so careful


24







JON OF ICELAND.


to notice every slight feature of the scenery,-
a jutting rock here, a crevice there,-in case
mist or rain should overtake him on the way,
that the whole region soon became strangely
familiar.
Jon's desire to explore the road leading to the
northward grew so strong that he at last yielded
to it. But first he made every arrangement for
the safety of the sheep during his absence. He
secured the ram Thor by a long tether and an
abundance of cut grass, concealed the rest of
his diminishing supply of provisions, climbed
the nearest heights and overlooked the country
on all sides without discovering a sign of life,
and then, after a rest which was more like
a waking dream than a slumber, began his
strange and solitary journey.
The sun had just become visible again, low in
the north-east, when he reached the level of the
table-land. There were few clouds in the sky,
and but little wind blowing; yet a singular
brownish haze filled the air, and spots of strong
light soon appeared on either side of the sun.


25






JON OF ICELAND.


Jon had often seen those "mock suns" before,
they are frequent in northern latitudes, and are
supposed to denote a change in the weather.
This phenomenon, and a feeling of heaviness in
the air, led him to study the landmarks very
keenly and cautiously as he advanced. In two
or three hours he had passed the limits of his
former excursions; and now, if a storm should
arise, his very life might depend on his being
able to find his way back.
During the day, however, there was no change
in the weather. The lonely, rugged mountains,
the dark little lakes of melted snow lying at
their feet, the stony plain, with its great irregular
fissures where the lava had cracked in cooling-
all these features of the great central desert of
Iceland lay hard and clear before his eyes. Like
all persons who are obliged to measure time
without a watch or clock, he had a very correct
sense of the hours of .the day, and of the
distances he walked from point to point. Where
there was no large or striking object near at
hand, he took the trouble to arrange several


26







JON OF ICELAND.


stones in a line pointing to the next landmark
behind him, as a guide in case of fog.
It was an exciting, a wonderful day in his
life, and Jon never forgot it. He never once
thought of the certain danger which he incurred.
Instead of fear, he was full of a joyous, inspiring
courage; he sang and shouted aloud as some
new peak or ridge of hills arose far in front, or
some other peak, already familiar, went out of
sight far behind him. He scarcely paused to
eat or rest until nearly twelve hours had passed,
and he had walked nearly thirty miles. By
that time the sun was low in the west, and
barely visible through the gathering haze. The
wind moaned among the rocks with a dreary,
melancholy sound, and only the cry of a wild
swan was heard in the distance. To the north
the mountains seemed higher, but they were
divided by deep gaps which indicated the com-
mencement of valleys. There, perhaps, there
might be running streams, pastures, and the
dwellings of men!
Jon had intended to return to his flock on the


27







JON OF ICELAND.


morrow, but now the temptation to press onward
for another day became very great. His limbs,
however, young and strong as they were, required
rest; and he speedily decided what to do next.
A lighter streak in the rocky floor of the plain
led his eye towards a low, broken peak-in
reality, the crater of a small extinct volcano-
some five miles off, and lying to the right of
what he imagined to be the true course. On
the left there were other peaks, but immediately
in front nothing which would serve as a land-
mark. The crater, therefore, besides offering
him some shelter in its crevices, was decidedly
the best starting-point, either for going on or for
returning. The lighter colour of the rock came
from some difference in the lava of an old erup-
tion, and could easily be traced throughout the
whole intervening distance. He followed it
rapidly, now that the bearings were laid down,
and reached the ruins of the volcano a little
after sunset.
There was no better bed to be found than
the bottom of a narrow cleft, where the winds,


28







JON OF ICELAND.


after blowing for centuries, had deposited a thin
layer of sand. Before he lay down, Jon arranged
a line of stones, pointing towards the light streak
across the plain, and another line giving the
direction of the valleys to the northward. To
the latter he added two short, slanting lines at
the end, forming a figure like an arrow-head,
and then, highly satisfied with his ingenuity, he
lay down in the crevice to sleep. But his brain
was so excited that for a long time he could do
nothing else than go over in memory the day's
journey. The wind seemed to be rising, for it
whistled like a tremendous fife through the
rocky crevice; father and mother, and Gudrid,
seemed to be far, far away in a distant land;
he wondered at last whether he was the same
Jon Sigurdson who drove the flock of sheep up
the valley of the Thibrvi-and then, all at once
he stopped wondering and thinking, for he was
too soundly asleep to dream, even of a roasted
potato.


29













CHAPTER IV.

THE STORM-THE STRANGERS-LEADING THE WAY-
THE BREAK-DOWN-SUCCESS !

,I)W much time passed in the sleep Jon
S never could exactly learn; probably six
or seven hours. He was aroused by what
seemed to be icy-cold rats' feet scampering over
his face, and as he started and brushed them
away with his hand his ears became alive to a
terrible roaring sound. He started up, alarmed,
at first bewildered, then suddenly wide awake.
The cold feet upon his face were little threads of
water trickling from above; the fearful roaring
came from a storm-a hurricane of mixed rain,
wind, cloud, and snow. It was day, yet still
darker than the Arctic summer night, so dense
and black was the tempest. When Jon crept
out of the crevice he was nearly thrown down by







JON OF ICELAND.


the force of the wind. The first thing he did
was to seek the two lines of stones he had
arranged for his guidance. They had not been
blown away, as he feared; and the sight of the
arrow-head made his heart leap with gratitude
to the Providence which had led him, for with-
out that sign he would have lost his way at the
very start. Returning to the cleft, which gave a
partial shelter, he ate the greater part of his
remaining store of food, fastened his thick coat
thickly about his breast and throat, and set out
on the desperate homeward journey, carefully
following the lighter streak of rock across the
plain.
He had not gone more than a hundred yards
when he fancied he heard a sharp hammering
sound through the roar of the tempest, and
paused to listen. The sound came rapidly
nearer; it was certainly that which is ordinarily
produced by the hoofs of horses when they are
trotting on hard ground. Nothing could be
seen; the noise came from the west, passed in
front of Jon, and began to die away in the


31






JON OF ICELAND.


eastward. His blood grew chill for a moment.
It was all so sudden, and strange, and ghostly,
that he did not know what to think; and his
first impulse was to push forward and get out of
the regions where such things happened, when
he heard, very faintly, the cry which the Ice-
landers use when they drive their baggage ponies.
Then he remembered the deep gorge he had
seen to the eastward, before reaching the crater;
the invisible travellers were apparently riding
towards it, probably having lost their way, and
unaware of their danger.
This thought passed through Jon's mind like
a flash of lightning, and he shouted with all the
strength of his voice.
He waited for a reply, but there was no
answer. Then he shouted again, while the wind
seemed to tear the sound from his lips, and
throw it away-but on the course the hoofs had
taken.
This time a cry came in return: it seemed far
off, because the storm beat against the sound. Jon
shouted a third time, and the answer was now


32







JON OF ICELAND.


more distinct. Presently he distinguished words:
Come here to us!"
"I cannot!" he cried.
In a few minutes more he heard the sounds
returning, and listened more attentively than
ever. As lie hearkened to the approaching
sounds the forms of ponies became visible,
presenting themselves dimly in the stormy
atmosphere. The ponies and their riders
appeared to halt, and formed a semicircle in
front of him; and then one of three dim, spectral
riders, leaning forward, again cried, "Come here!"
"I cannot," was Jon's reply to the order.
Thereupon another of the horsemen rode close
to him, and stared down upon him. He said
something which Jon understood to be:
Erik, it is a little boy!" but he was not quite
sure, for the man's manner of talking was strange.
He seemed to put the words in the wrong places,
and pronounced them curiously.
The man who had first spoken leaped from his
horse. Holding the bridle, he came forward and
said in good, plain Icelandic:
(124) C


33






JON OF ICELAND.


"Why couldn't you come when I called you?"
"I am keeping the road back," replied Jon; "if
I move, I might lose it."
"Then why did you call to us?"
"I was afraid you had lost your way, and
might get into the chasm: the storm is so bad
you could not see it."
"What's that?" exclaimed the first man who
had spoken.
Jon described the situation as well as he could,
and the stranger at last said, in his queer, broken
speech:
"Lost way-we; can guide-you-know-
how?"
The storm raged so furiously that it was with
great difficulty Jon heard the words at all; but
he thought he understood the meaning. So he
looked the man in the face, and nodded, silently.
Erik-pony!" cried the latter.
Erik caught one of the loose ponies, drew it
forward, and said to Jon:
"Now, boy, mount and show us the way!"
"I cannot," replied Jon: "I will guide you; I


34







JON OF ICELAND.


was on my way already, but I must walk just as
I came, so as to find the places and know the
distances."
"Sir," said Erik, turning to the other traveller,
"we must let him have his own way. It is our
only chance of safety. The boy is strong and
fearless, and we can surely follow where he is
willing to go alone."
"Take the lead, boy," replied the other; "more
quick, more money."
Jon walked rapidly in advance, keeping his
eyes on the lighter coloured streak in the plain.
He saw nothing, but every little sign and land-
mark was fixed so clearly in his mind that he did
not feel the least fear or confusion. He could
hardly see, in fact, the foremost of the ponies
behind him, but he caught now and then a word
as the men talked with each other. They had
come from the northern shore of the island; they
were lost; they were chilled, weary; their ponies
were growing weak from hunger and exposure to
the terrible weather; and they followed him, not
so much because they trusted his guidance, as


35







JON OF ICELAND.


because there was really nothing else left for
them to do.
In an hour and a half they reached the first
landmark; and when the men saw Jon examining
the line of stones he had laid, and then striking
boldly off through the whirling clouds, they
asked no questions, but urged their ponies after
him. Thus several hours went by. Point after
point was discovered, although no object could
be seen until it was reached; but Jon's strength,
which had been sustained by his pride and his
anxiety, at last began to fail. The poor boy had
been so long exposed to the wind, snow, and icy
rain that his teeth chattered in his head, and his
legs trembled as he walked. About noon, fortu-
nately, there was a lull in the storm; the rain
slackened, and the clouds lifted themselves so
that one could see about him for a mile or more.
He caught sight of the rocky corner for which
he was steering, stopped, and pointed towards one
of the loose ponies.
Erik leaped from his saddle and threw his
arms around Jon, whose senses were fast vanish-


36







JON OF ICELAND.


ing. He felt that something was put to his lips,
that he was swallowing fire, and that his icy
hands were wrapped in a soft, delicious warmth.
In a minute he found that Erik had thrust them
under his jacket, while the other two men were
bending over him with anxious faces. The
stranger who spoke so curiously held a cake
to his mouth, saying:
"Eat, eat!"
It was wonderful how his strength came back!
Very soon he was able to mount the pony and
take the lead. Sometimes the clouds fell dark
and dense around them; but when they lifted
only for a second it was enough for Jon. Men
and ponies suffered alike, and at last Erik
said:
"Unless we get out of the desert in three
hours we must all perish!"
Jon's face brightened. "In three hours," he
exclaimed, there will be pasturage, and water,
and shelter."
He was already approaching the region which
he knew thoroughly, and there was scarcely a


37







38


JON OF ICELAND.


chance of losing the way. They had more than
one furious gust to encounter-more than one
moment when the famished and exhausted ponies
halted and refused to move; but towards evening
the last ridge was reached, and they saw below
them, under a dark roof of clouds, the green
valley-basin, the gleam of the river, and the
scattered white specks of the grazing sheep.










^ /a-'^ "d;L ''''






I --1





CHAPTER V.

THE BANQUET-THE ENGLISHMIAN-THE JOURNEY HOME--
THE MEETING-THE REWARD-THE DEPARTURE.
Ie__
1iHE ram Thor bleated loudly when he saw
s i master. Jon was almost too weary to
I able to move hand or foot, but he first
visited every sheep, and examined his rough
shelter under the rock and his few remaining
provisions, before he sat down to rest. By this
time the happy ponies had been unsaddled, and
were appeasing their hunger; Erik and his com-
panion had pitched a white tent, and a fire had
been kindled. The owner of the tent said some-
thing which Jon could not hear, but Erik pres-
ently shouted,
"The English gentleman asks you to come and
take supper with us!"
Jon obeyed, almost as much from curiosity as






JON OF ICELAND.


from hunger. The stranger had a bright friendly
face, and held out his hand as the boy entered
the tent.
"Good guide-eat!" was all he could say in
Icelandic, but the tone of his voice meant a great
deal more.
There was a lamp hung to the tent-pole, an
india-rubber blanket spread on the ground, with
cups and plates, which shone like silver, in
readiness for the meal. Jon was amazed to
see Erik boiling three or four tin boxes in a
kettle of water; but when they had been opened,
and the contents poured into basins, such a
fragrant steam arose from them as he had never
smelt before in his life. There was pea-soup,
and Irish stew, and minced collops, and beef, and
tea-with no limit to the lumps of sugar-and
sweet biscuits, and currant jelly! Never had he
sat down to such a rich, such a wonderful ban-
quet. He was almost afraid to take enough of
the dishes, but the gentleman filled his plate as
fast as he emptied it, patted him on the back, and
repeated the words,


40






JON OF ICELAND.


"Good guide-eat!"
Then he lighted a cigar, while Erik and the
other Icelander pulled out their horns of snuff,
threw back their heads, and each poured nearly
a teaspoonful into his nostrils. They offered
the snuff to Jon, but he refused both it and a
cigar. He was warm and comfortable to the
ends of his toes, and his eyelids began to fall,
in spite of all his efforts to hold them up,
after so much fatigue and exposure as he had
endured.
In fact, his senses left him suddenly, although
he seemed to be aware that somebody lifted and
laid him down again-that something soft came
under his head, and something warm came over
his body-that he was safe, and sheltered, and
happy.
When he awoke it was bright day. He started
up, striking his head against a white wet canvas,
and sat a moment, bewildered, trying to recall
what had happened. He could scarcely believe
that he had slept all night in the tent beside
the friendly Englishman; but he heard Erik


41







JON OF ICELAND.


talking outside, and the crackling of a fire, and
the shouting of some one at a distance. The sky
was clear and blue; the sheep and ponies were
nibbling sociably together, and the Englishman,
standing on a rock beside the river, was calling
attention to a big salmon which he had just
caught. Gudridsdale, just then, seemed the
brightest and liveliest place in Iceland.
Jon knew that he had probably saved the
party from death; but he thought nothing of
that, for he had saved himself along with them.
He was simply proud and overjoyed at the
chance of seeing something new-of meeting
with a real Englishman, and eating (as he sup-
posed) the foreign, English food. He felt no
longer shy, since he had slept a whole night
beside the traveller. The two Icelandic guides
were already like old friends; even the pony he
had ridden appeared to recognize him. His
father had told him that Latin was the language
by which all educated men were able to com-
municate their ideas; so as the Englishman
came up, with his salmon for their breakfast, he


42







JON OF ICELAND.


said, in Latin: "To-day is better than yesterday,
sir."
The traveller laughed, shook hands heartily,
and answered in Latin, with-to Jon's great sur-
prise-two wrong cases in the nouns:
Both days are better for you than for me. I
have learned less at Oxford."
But the Latin and Icelandic together were a
great help to conversation, and almost before he
knew what he was doing, Jon had told Mr.
Lorne-such was the name of the traveller-
all the simple story of his life, even his claim
to the little valley-basin wherein they were
encamped, and the giving it his sister's name.
Mr. Lorne had crossed from the little town of
Akureyri, on the northern shore of Iceland, and
was bound down the valley of the Thibrv~i to
the Geysers, thence to Hekla, and finally to
Rejkiavik, where he intended to embark for
England. As Jon's time of absence had expired,
his provisions being nearly consumed, and as it
was also necessary to rest for a day for the sake
of the travellers' ponies, it was arranged that


43






JON OF ICELAND.


all should return in company to the house of
Jon's father.
That last day in Gudridsdale was the most
delightful of all. They feasted sumptuously on
the stores which they had brought with them,
and when night came, the dried grass from Jon's
hollow under the rock was spread within the
tent, making a soft and pleasant bed for the
whole party.
Mounted on one of the ponies Jon led the way
up the long ravine, cheerily singing as he drove
the full-fed sheep before him. They reached the
level of the desert table-land, and he gave one
more glance at the black, scattered mountains
to the northward, where he had passed two such
adventurous days. In spite of all he had seen
and learned in that time he felt a little sad that
he had not succeeded in crossing the wilderness.
When they reached the point where their way
descended by a long, steep slope to the valley
of the ThibrvA, he turned for yet another fare-
well view. Far off, between him and the nearest
peak, there seemed to be a moving speck. He


44







JON OF ICELAND.


pointed it out to Erik, who, after gazing steadily
for a moment, said:
It is a man on horseback."
"Perhaps another lost traveller!" exclaimed
the Englishman: "let us wait for him."
It was quite safe to let the sheep and loose
ponies take their way in advance; for they saw
the pasture below them. In a quarter of an
hour the man and horse could be easily distin-
guished. The former had evidently seen them
also, for he approached much more rapidly than
at first.
All at once Jon cried out:
"It is our pony, Heindall It must be my
father!"
He sprang from the saddle as he spoke, and
ran towards the strange horseman. The latter
presently galloped up, walked a few steps, and
sat down upon a stone. But Jon's arms were
around him, and as they kissed each other the
father burst into tears.
I thought thou wert lost, my boy," was all he
could say.


45






JON OF ICELAND.


"But here I am, father!" Jon proudly ex-
claimed.
"And the sheep?"
"Fat and sound every one of them."
Sigurd rose and mounted his horse, and as
they all descended the slope together Jon and
Erik told him all that had happened. Mr.
Lorne, to whom the occurrence was explained,
shook hands with him, and, pointing to Jon, said
in his broken way:
Good son-little man!" whereupon they all
laughed, and Jon could not help observing the
proud and happy expression of his father's face.
On the afternoon of the second day they
reached Sigurd's farm-house; but the mother
and Gudrid, who had kept up an anxious look-
out, met them nearly a mile away. After the
first joyous embrace of welcome, Sigurd whispered
a few words to his wife, and she hastened back
to put the guest-room' in order. Mr. Lorne
found it so pleasant to get under a roof again,
that he ordered another halt of two days before
going on to the Geysers and Hekla. No beverage


46






JON OF ICELAND.


ever tasted so sweet to him as the great bowl of
milk which Gudrid brought as soon as he had
taken his seat; and the radishes from the garden
seemed a great deal better than the little jars of
jelly and orange marmalade which he insisted on
giving in exchange for them.
"Oh, is it indeed orange?" said Gudrid. Jon,
Jon, now we shall know what the taste is!"
Their mother gave them a spoonful apiece,
and Mr. Lorne smiled as he saw their wondering,
delighted faces.
"Does it really grow on a tree ?-and how high
is the tree?-and what does it look like?-like a
birch?-like a potato plant?" asked Jon, in his
eagerness, without waiting for replies. It was
very difficult for him to imagine what he had
never seen, even in pictures, or anything resem-
bling it. The English traveller endeavoured to
explain how different are the productions of
nature in warmer climates, and the children
listened as if they could never hear enough of
the wonderful story. At last Jon said, in his
firm quiet way:


47








JON OF ICELAND.


Some day I will go there!"
"You will, my boy," replied Mr. Lorne; "you
certainly appear to have strength and courage
enough to carry out your will."
Jon had never imagined that he had more
strength and courage than any other boy, but he
knew that the Englishman meant to praise him,
so he shook hands with him as he had been
taught to do whenever he received a gift.
The two days went by only too quickly. The
guest furnished food both for himself and the
family, for he shot a score of plovers, and caught
half-a-dozen fine salmon. He was so frank and
cheerful that they soon became accustomed to his
presence, and were heartily sorry when Erik and
the other Icelandic guide went out to drive the
ponies together, and load them for the journey.
Mr. Lorne called Sigurd and Jon into the "guest-
room," untied a buckskin pouch, and counted out
fifty silver rix-dollars upon the table.
For my little guide," he said, placing his hand
on Jon's thick curls.
Father and son uttered a cry of astonishment


48







JON OF ICELAND.


at the same moment, and neither knew what to
say. But, brokenly as the Englishman expressed
himself, they understood him when he said that
Jon had probably saved his life, that he was a
brave boy, and would make a good, brave man,
and that if the father did not require the money
for his farm expenses he could apply it to the
education of his son Jon.
The tears were running down Sigurd's cheeks.
He took the hand of Mr. Lorne, gave it a power-
ful grip, and simply said:
"It shall be used for Jon's benefit and for no
other purpose."
Jon was so strongly moved that, without
stopping to think, he did the one thing which
his heart suggested. He walked up to Mr. Lorne,
threw his arms round his neck, and kissed him
very tenderly.
"All is ready, sir!" cried Erik at the door.
The last packages were carried out and fastened
upon the baggage-ponies, farewells were said
once more, and the little caravan took its way
down the valley. The family stood in front
(124) D


49








50 JON OF ICELAND.

of the house, and watched until the ponies
turned round the first cape of the hills and
disappeared; then they could only sit down
and talk of all the unexpected things that had
happened. There was no work done upon the
farm that day.










.'^. s ..' 5
"^^ ^ ^












CHAPTER VI.

THE CONSULTATION-THE LETTER-THE QUESTION-
TIHE ANSWER-MISFORTUNE.

i-E unusual warmth of the summer, which
'-as so injurious to the pastures lying near
r le southern coast, wrought fortune to Sig-
urd's farm. The price of wool ran much higher
than usual, and owing to Jon's excursion into the
mountains the sheep were in the best possible
condition. They had never raised such a crop of
potatoes, nor such thickheaded firm cabbages;
and by great care and industry a sufficient supply
of hay had been secured for the winter.
"I am afraid something will happen to us,"
said Sigurd one day to his wife; "the good luck
comes too fast."
"Do not say that, husband!" she exclaimed,
"If we were to lose Jon-"







JON OF ICELAND.


"Jon!" interrupted Sigurd. "Oh, no; look at
his eyes, his breast, his arms and legs-there are
a great many years of life in them yet!" He
ought to have a chance in the school at Rej-
kiavik, but we can hardly do without him this
year."
"Perhaps brother Magnus would take him,"
she said.
"Not while I live!" Sigurd replied, as he left
the room, while his wife turned with a sigh to
her household duties.
Her family, and especially her elder brother,
Magnus, who was a man of wealth and influence,
had bitterly opposed her marriage with Sigurd,
on account of the latter's poverty, and she had
seen none of them since she came to live on the
lonely farm. Through great industry and fru-
gality they had gradually prospered; and now she
began to long for a reconciliation, chiefly for the
sake of her husband and children. It would be
much better, she thought, for Jon if he could find
a home in his uncle's house when they were able
to send him to school.


52







JON OF ICELAND.


So when they next rode over to Kyrkedal on
a Sunday in the late autumn, she took with her
a letter to Magnus, which she had written with-
out the knowledge of her husband, for she wished
to save him the pain of a slight, in case her
brother should refuse to answer, or should reply
in an unfriendly manner. It was a pleasant day
for all of them, for Mr. Lorne had stopped a day
at Kyrkedal, and Erik had told the story of Jon's
piloting them through the wilderness; so the
pastor after service came up at once to them
and patted Jon on the head, saying, Bene
fecisti, fili!"1 And the other boys, forgetting
their usual shyness, crowded round and said:
"Tell us all about it."
Everything was as wonderful to them as it still
seemed to Jon in his memory, and when each one
had said:
"If I had gone there I should have done the
same thing," Jon wondered that he and the boys
should ever have felt so awkward and bashful
when they came together. Now it was all
I "Be happy, my son I"


53







JON OF ICELAND.


changed; they talked and joked like old com-
panions, and cordially promised to visit each
other during the winter, if their parents were
willing.
On the way home Sigurd found that he had
dropped his whip, and sent Jon back to look for
it, leaving his wife and Gudrid to ride onward
up the valley. Jon rode at least half-a-mile
before he found it, and then came galloping
back, cracking it joyously. But Sigurd's face
was graver and wearier than usual.
Ride a little with me, Jon," he said, "I want
to ask thee something." Then, as they rode
together in the narrow track which the hoofs
of the ponies had cut through the turf, Sigurd
said:
"Jon, the boys at Kyrkedal seemed to make
much of thee; I hope thy head is not turned by
what they said to thee."
"Oh, father," cried Jon, they were so kind, so
friendly!"
"I do not doubt it, my son," answered his
father. "Thou did well, and I see thou art older


54







JON OF ICELAND.


than thy years. But suppose there were a
heavier task in store for thee-suppose that
I should be called away-couldst thou do a
man's part, and care properly for thy mother and
thy sister?"
Jon's eyes filled with tears, and he knew not
what to say.
Canst thou not answer me, Jon?" demanded
Sigurd sternly.
"I have never thought of that, father," replied
Jon, in a trembling voice; "but if I were to do
my best, would not God help me?"
He would," exclaimed Sigurd, with energy.
"All strength comes from Him, and all fortune.
Enough, I can trust thee, my son; ride on to
Gudrid, and tell her not to twist herself in the
saddle, looking back!"
Sigurd attended to his farm for several days
longer, but in a silent dreamy way, as if his
mind were busy with other thoughts. His wife
was so anxiously awaiting the result of her letter
to Magnus that she paid less attention to his
condition than she otherwise would have done.


55







JON OF ICELAND.


But one evening, on returning from the stables
he passed by the table where their frugal supper
was waiting, entered the bed-room, and sank
down, saying:
"All my strength has left me; I feel as if I
shall never rise again."
They then saw that he had been attacked by
a dangerous fever, for his head was hot, his eyes
glassy, and he began to talk in a wild incoherent
manner. They could only do what the neigh-
bours were accustomed to do in similar cases-
which really was worse than doing nothing at all
would have been. Jon was despatched next
morning on the best pony to summon the physi-
cian from Skalholt; but even with the best luck
three days must elapse before the latter could
arrive. The good pastor of Kyrkedal came the
next day and bled Sigurd, which gave a little
temporary relief, while it also reduced his vital
force. The physician was absent, visiting some
farms far to the eastward-in fact, it was a full
week before he made his appearance. During
this time Sigurd wasted away, his fits of delirium


56







JON OF ICELAND.


became more frequent, and the chances of his re-
covery grew less and less. Jon recalled, now, his
father's last conversation, and it gave him both
fear and comfort. He prayed, with all the fervour
of his boyish nature, that his father's life might
be spared; yet he determined to do his whole
duty, if the prayer should not be granted.










-- .- ,- /


57













CHAPTER VII.

DEATH-THE FARM-UNCLE MAGNUS-"GOOD-BYE"-
THE JOURNEY-REJKIAVIK.

S T the end of a fortnight Sigurd's wife re-
A ceived a letter from her brother, and it
S was better than she had dared to hope.
Magnus wrote that his wife was dead, his son was a
student in Copenhagen, and he was all alone in
the big house at Rejkiavik. He was ready to
give Jon a home, even to take herself and her
husband, provided the latter could sell his farm
to advantage, and find some employment which
would add to his means.
"He must neither live an idle life, nor depend
on my help," said Magnus in his letter; and his
sister felt that he was right, although he told
the truth in rather a hard, unfriendly way.
She read the letter to her husband next






JON OF ICELAND.


morning, as he was lying very weak and quiet,
but in his right mind. His eyes slowly bright-
ened, and he murmured at last with difficulty:
"Sell the farm to Thorsten, for his eldest son,
and go to Magnus. Jon will take my place."
Jon, who had entered the room in time to
hear these words, sat down on the bed and held
his father's hand in both of his own. The latter
smiled faintly, opened his lips to speak again,
and then a sudden quivering passed over his
face, and he lay strangely still. It was a long
time before the widow and children could believe
that he was dead. They said to each other,
over and over again, amid their tears:
"He was happy; the trouble for our sakes
was taken away from his heart;"-and Jon
thought to himself:
"If I do my best, as I promised, he would be
still happier in heaven."
When the death of Sigurd became known,
the neighbours came and helped the family until
the funeral was over, and the sad little household
resumed, as far as possible, its former way of


59







JON OF ICELAND.


life. Thorsten, a rich farmer of Kyrkedal, whose
son was to be married in the spring, came a few
weeks later to make an offer for the farm. No
doubt he hoped to get it at a low price; for
money has a greater value in Iceland, where
there is so little of it. But the widow said at
once:
"I shall make no bargain unless Jon agrees
with me;" and then Jon spoke up, looking a
great deal more like a full-grown, honest man
than he supposed.
"We only want the fair value of the farm,
neighbour Thorsten. We want it because we
need it, and everybody will say it is just and
right that we should have it. If we cannot get
that, I shall try to go on, and do my father's
work. I am only a boy now, but I shall get
bigger and stronger every year."
"Thy father could not have spoken better
words," said Thorsten.
He made what he considered a fair offer, and
it was very nearly as much as Jon and his
mother had reckoned upon; the latter, however,


60







JON OF ICELAND.


insisted on waiting until she had consulted with
her brother Magnus.
Not many days after that, Magnus himself
arrived at the farm. He was a tall man, with
dark hair, large gray eyes, a thin, hard mouth,
and an important, commanding air. It was a
little hard for Jon to say "Uncle" to this man,
whom he had never seen, and of whom he had
heard so little. Magnus, although stern, was not
unfriendly, and when he had heard of all that
had been said and done he nodded his head and
said:
"Very prudent; very well, so far!"
It was perhaps as well that the final settle-
ment of affairs was left to Uncle Magnus, for he
not only obtained an honest price for the farm,
but sold the ponies, sheep, and cows to much
better advantage than the family could have
done. He had them driven to Kyrkedal, and
sent messengers to Skalholt and Myrdal, and
even to Thingvalla, so that quite a number of
farmers assembled, and they had dinner in the
church. Some of the women and children also


61






JON OF ICELAND.


came to say "good-bye" to the family; but when
the former whispered to Jon:
"You will come back to us some day as a
pastor or skald" (author), Magnus frowned and
shook his head.
"The boy is in a fair way to make an honest,
sensible man," he said. "Don't you spoil him
with your nonsense!"
When they all set out together for Rejkiavik,
Jon reproached himself for feeling so light-
hearted, while his mother and Gudrid wept for
miles of the way. He was going to see a real
town, to enter school, to begin a new and
wonderful life; and just beyond Kyrkedal there
came the first strange sight. They rode over
the grassy plain towards the Geysers, the white
steam of which they had often seen in the
distance; but now, as they drew near a gray
cone, which rose at the foot of the hill on the
west, a violent agitation began in the earth
underneath their feet.
"He is going to spout!" cried the guide, and
he had hardly spoken when the basin in the top


62






JON OF ICELAND.


of the cone boiled over furiously, throwing huge
volumes of steam into the air. Then there was
a sudden, terrible jar, and a pillar of water, six
feet in diameter, shot up to the height of nearly
a hundred feet, sparkling like liquid gold in the
low pale sunshine. It rose again and again,
until the subterranean force was exhausted;
then the water fell back into the basin with a
dull sound, and all was over.
They could think or talk of nothing else for
a time, and -when they once more looked about
them the landscape.had changed. All was new
to Jon and his sister, and only dimly remembered
by their mother. The days were very short and
dark, for winter was fast coming on; it was
often difficult to make the distance from one
farm-house to another, and they slept twice in
the little churches, which are always hospitably
opened for travellers, because there are no inns
in Iceland. After leaving the valley they had a
bitterly cold and stormy journey over a high
field of lava, where little piles of stones, a few
yards apart, are erected to guide the traveller.


63






JON OF ICELAND.


Beyond this, they crossed the Raven's Cleft, a
deep, narrow chasm, with a natural bridge in
one place, where the rocks have fallen together
from either side; then, at the bottom of the last
slope of the lava-plains, they entered the Thing-
valla Forest.
Jon was a little disappointed; still he had
never seen anything like it. There were willow
and birch bushes, three or four feet high, growing
here and there out of the cracks among the
rocks. He could look over the tops of them
from his pony, as he rode along, and the largest
trunk was only big enough to make a club.
But there is no other "forest" in Iceland; and
the people must have something to repre-
sent one, or they would have no use for the
word!
It was fast growing dark when they reached
Thingvalla, and the great shattered walls of rock
which inclose the valley appeared much loftier
than by day. On the right, a glimmering water-
fall plunged from the top of the cliff, and its
roar filled the air. Magnus pointed out on the


64







JON OF ICELAND.


left the famous "Hill of the Law," where, for
nearly nine hundred years, the people of Iceland
had assembled together to discuss their political
matters. Jon knew all about the spot from the
many historical legends and poems he had read,
and there was scarcely another place in the
whole world which he could have had greater
interest in seeing. The next morning, when it
was barely light enough to travel, they rode up
a kind of rocky ladder, through a great fissure
called the Allmannagjd, or "People's Chasm,"
and then pushed on more rapidly across the
barren table-land. It was still forty miles to
Rejkiavik,-a good two days' journey at that
season,-and the snows which already covered
the mountains were beginning to fall on the
lower country.
On the afternoon of the second day, after they
had crossed the Salmon River, Magnus said:
"In an hour we shall see the town!"
But' the first thing that came in sight was
only a stone tower, or beacon, which the students
had built upon a hill.
(124) E


65






66 JON OF ICELAND.
"Is that a town?" asked Gudrid; whereupon
the others laughed heartily.
Jon discreetly kept silent, and waited until
they had reached the foot of the beacon, when-
all at once-Rejkiavik lay before them! Its
two or three hundred houses stretched for half
a mile over a belt of land between the sea and a
large lake. There was the prison, built all of
cut stone; the old wooden cathedral, with its
square spire; the large snow-white governor's
house, and a long row of stores and warehouses,
fronting the harbour,-all visible at once! To
a boy who had never before seen a comfortable
dwelling, nor more than five houses near each
other, the little town appeared to be a grand
magnificent capital. Each house they passed
was a new surprise to him; the doors, windows,
chimneys, and roofs were all so different, so
large and fine. And there were more people in
the streets than he had ever before seen together.
At last Magnus stopped before one of the
handsomest dwellings, and assisted his sister to
alight from her pony. The door opened, and






JON OF ICELAND.


67


an old servant came forth. Jon and Gudrid,
hand in hand, followed them into a room which
seemed to them larger and handsomer than the
church at Kyrkedal, with still other rooms
opening out of it, with wonderful chairs, and
pictures, and carpets upon which they were
afraid to walk. This was their new home.










Uc 0













CHAPTER VIII.

JON'S NEW HOME-THREE YEARS-THE ENGLISHMAN AGAIN
-A LONG JOURNEY-THE VOYAGE-SCOTLAND-THE
RETURN-CONCLUSION.

VEN before their arrival Jon discovered
that his uncle Magnus was a man who
Y said little, but took good notice of what was
uttered and performed by other people. The
way to gain his favour, therefore, was to accept
and discharge his new duties in life as they
should arise. Having adopted the resolution to
do this, it was surprising how soon these duties
became familiar and easy. He entered the
school, where he was by no means the lowest
or least promising scholar; assisted his mother
and Gudrid wherever it was possible; and was so
careful a messenger that Magnus by degrees
intrusted him with matters of some importance.
The household, in a little while, became well-






JON OF ICELAND.


ordered and harmonious, and although it lacked
the freedom and home-like feeling of the lonely
farm on the Thi6rvi, all were contented and
happy.
Jon had a great deal to learn, but his eager-
ness helped him. His memory was naturally
excellent, and he had been obliged to exercise it
so constantly-having so few books, and those
mostly his own written copies-that he was able
to repeat correctly large portions of the native
sagas, or poetical histories. He was so well
advanced in Latin that the continuance of the
study became simply a delight; he learned
Danish, almost without an effort, from his uncle's
commercial partner and the Danish clerk in the
warehouse; and he took up the study of English
with a zeal which was heightened by his remem-
brance of the English traveller whom he had
rescued from the storm, and who had rewarded
him so liberally.
We cannot follow him step by step, during
this period, although many things in his life
might instruct and encourage other earnest,


69







JON OF ICELAND.


struggling boys. It is enough to say that he
was always patient and cheerful, always grateful
for his opportunity of education, and never
neglectful of his proper duties to his uncle, his
mother, and his sister. Sometimes, it is true, he
was called upon to give up hours of sport, days
of recreation, desires which were right in them-
selves, but could not be conveniently gratified,-
and it might have gone harder with him to do so
if he had not constantly thought: "How would
my father have acted in such a case?" And had
he not promised to take the place of his father ?
So three years passed away. Jon was eighteen,
and had attained his full stature. He was
strong and healthy, and almost handsome; and
he had seen so much of the many strangers who
every summer came to Rejkiavik,-French fisher-
men, Spanish and German sailors, English and
American travellers, and Danish traders,-that
all his old shyness had disappeared. He was able
to look any man in the face, and ask or answer
a question.
It was the beginning of summer, and the


70







JON OF ICELAND.


school had just closed. Jon had been assisting
the Danish clerk in the warehouse; but towards
noon, when they had an idle hour, a sailor
announced that there was a new arrival in the
harbour; so he walked down the beach of sharp
lava-sand to the wooden jetty where strangers
landed. A little distance from the shore a yacht
was moored; the English flag was flying at the
stern, and a boat was already pulling towards
the landing-place. Jon rubbed his eyes, to be
sure he saw clearly; but no! the figure remained
the same; and now, as the stranger leaped
ashore, he could no longer restrain himself.
He rushed across the beach, threw his arms
round the man's neck, and cried out:
"Mr. Lorne, Mr. Lorne!"
The latter was too astonished to recognize him
immediately.
"Don't you know me?" Jon asked; and then,
half laughing, half crying, said in Latin:
"To-day is better than yesterday."
"Why, can this be my little guide?" exclaimed
Mr. Lorne. "But to be sure it is! There are no


71






JON OF ICELANb.


such wise eyes in so young a head anywhere else
in the world."
Before night the English traveller was in-
stalled in the guest-room" in Uncle Magnus's
house; and then they truly found that he had
not forgotten them. After supper he opened a
box, and took from it a silver watch for Jon; a
necklace, that could not be told from real pearls,
for Gudrid; and what a shawl for the mother!
Even Uncle Magnus was touched, for he brought
up a very old, dusty bottle of Portugal wine,
which he had never been known to do before,
except one day when the Governor came to see
him.
"And now," said Mr. Lorne, when he was a
little tired of being thanked so much. "I want
something in return. I am going, by the way of
the Broad Fiord to the northern shore of Ice-
land, and back through the desert; and I shall
not feel safe unless Jon goes with me."
"Oh!" cried Jon.
I am not afraid this time," said Gudrid.
Magnus looked at his sister, and then nodded.


72






JON OF ICELAND.


"Take the boy," he said. "He can get back
before school begins again; we are as ready to trust
him with you, as you are to trust yourself with
him."
What a journey that was! They had plenty
of ponies, and a tent,'and provisions in tin cans.
Sometimes it rained and snowed, and they were
wet and chilly enough at the end of the day, but
then the sun shone again, and the black moun-
tains became purple and violet, and their snows
and icefields sparkled in the blue of the air. They
saw many a wild and desolate landscape, but also
many a soft green plain and hay-meadow along
the inlets of the northern shore; and in the little
town of Akureyri Jon at last found a tree-the
only tree in Iceland! It is a mountain-ash, about
twenty feet high, and the people are so proud of
it that every autumn they wrap the trunk and
boughs, and even the smallest twigs, in woollen
cloth, lest the severity of the Icelandic winter
should kill it!
They visited the Myvatn (Mosquito Lake)
in the north-eastern part of the island, saw the


73







JON OF ICELAND.


volcanoes which a few years ago occasioned such
terrible devastation, and then crossed the great
central desert to the valley of the Thibrva. So
it happened that Jon saw Gudridsdale again, but
under pleasanter aspects than before, for it was a
calm sunny day when they reached the edge
of the table-land and descended into the lovely
green valley. It gave him a feeling of pain to
find strangers in his father's house, and perhaps
Mr. Lorne suspected this, for he did not stop at
the farm, but pushed on to Kyrkedal, when the
good old pastor entertained them both as welcome
guests. At the end of six weeks they were back
in Rejkiavik, hale and ruddy after their journey,
and closer friends than ever.
Each brought back his own gain-Mr. Lorne
was able to speak Icelandic tolerably well, and
Jon was quite proficient in English. The former
had made the trip to Iceland especially to collect
old historical legends and acquire new information
concerning them. To his great surprise, he found
Jon so familiar with the subject, that, during the
journey, he conceived the idea of taking him to


74







JON OF ICELAND.


Scotland for a year, as an assistant in his studies
and literary labours; but he said nothing of this
until after their return to Rcjkiavik. Then first
he proposed the plan to Magnus and Jon's mother,
and prudently gave them time to consider it. It
was hard for both to consent, but the advantages
were too evident to be rejected. To Jon, when
he heard of it, it seemed simply impossible, yet
the preparations went on-his mother and Gud-
rid wept as they helped, Uncle Magnus looked
grave-and at last the morning came when he
had to say farewell.
The yacht had favourable winds at first. They
ran along the southern shore to Ingolf's Head,
saw the high inaccessible summits of the Skaptur
Joktill fade behind them, and then Iceland
dropped below the sea. A misty gale began to
blow from the south-west, forcing them to pass
the Faroe Islands on the east, and afterwards the
Shetland Isles; but, after coming nearly in sight
of Norway, the wind changed to the opposite
quarter, and the yacht spread her sails directly
for Leith. One night, when Jon awoke in his


75







JON OF ICELAND.


berth, he missed the usual sound of waves
against the vessel's side, and the cries of the
sailors on deck-everything seemed strangely
quiet; but he was too good a sleeper to puzzle
his head about it, so merely turned over on his
pillow. When he got up in the morning the
quiet was still there. He dressed in haste and
went on deck. The yacht lay at anchor in front
of buildings larger than a hundred Rejkiaviks
put together.
"This is Leith," said Mr. Lorne coming up to
him.
"Leith!" exclaimed Jon: "it seems like Rome
or Jerusalem! Those must be the queen's
palaces."
"No, no, Jon," replied Mr. Lorne, "they are
only warehouses."
"But what are those queer green hills behind
the houses? They are so steep and round that I
don't see how anybody can climb them."
"Hills!" exclaimed Mr. Lorne. "O, I see now!
Why, Jon, those are trees!"
Jon was silent. He dared not doubt his


76






JON OF ICELAND.


friend's word, but he could not yet wholly
believe it. When they had landed, and he saw
the great trunks, the spreading boughs, and the
millions of green leaves, such a feeling of awe
and admiration came over him that he began to
tremble. A wind was blowing, and the long,
flexible boughs of the elms swayed up and
down.
"Oh, Mr. Lorne!" he cried. "See! they are
praying! Let us wait awhile; they are saying
something-I hear their voices. Is it English?-
can you understand it?"
There is one little rough cart in Rejkiavik, and
that is the only vehicle in Iceland. What, then,
must have been Jon's feelings when he saw scores
of elegant carriages (for so cabs and omnibuses
appeared in his eyes) driving about, and great
wagons drawn by giant horses? When they got
into a cab; it seemed to him like sitting on a
moving throne. He had read and heard of all
these things, and thought he had a clear idea of
what they were; but he was not prepared for the
reality. He was so excited, as they drove up Leith


77






JON OF ICELAND.


Walk to the historically famous and magnificent
city of Edinburgh, that Mr. Lorne, sitting beside
him, almost fancied he could hear the beating of
his heart. The new wonders never ceased; there
was an apple-tree, with fruit; rose-bushes in
bloom; whole beds of geraniums in the little
gardens; windows filled with fruit, or brilliant
silks, or gold and silver ware; monuments and
spires that seemed to touch the clouds, and
endless multitudes of people! As they reached
the hotel, all he could say in a faltering voice
was:
"Poor old Iceland!"
The next day they took the train for a small
town in Lanarkshire, in the neighbourhood of
which Mr. Lorne had an estate. When Jon saw
the bare, heather-covered hills, and the swift
brooks that came leaping down their glens, he
laughed and said:
Oh! you have a little Iceland even here! If
there were trees along the Thibrvi, it would look
like yonder valley."
"I have some moorland of my own," remarked


78






JON OF ICELAND.


Mr. Lorne; and if you ever get to be home-sick,
I will send you out upon it to recover."
But when Jon reached the house, and was so
cordially welcomed by Mrs. Lorne, and saw the
park and gardens where he hoped to become
familiar with trees and flowers, he thought there
would be as much likelihood of being home-sick
in heaven as in such a place.
Everything he saw tempted him to visit and
examine it. During the first few days he could
scarcely sit still in the library and take part in
Mr. Lorne's studies. But his strong sense of duty,
his long habits of patience and self-denial, soon
made the task easy, and even enabled him to take
a few more hours daily for his own improvement.
His delight in all strange and beautiful natural
objects was greatly prolonged by this course.
He enjoyed everything far more than if he had
rapidly exhausted its novelty. Mr. Lorne saw
this quality of Jon's nature with great satisfac-
tion, and was ever ready to give advice and
information which he knew would be earnestly
prized and judiciously exercised.


79







JON OF ICELAND.


It was a very happy year; but I do not believe
that it was the happiest of Jon's life. Having
learned to overcome the restlessness and impa-
tience which are natural to boyhood, he laid the
basis for greater content in life as a man. When
he returned to Rejkiavik, in his twentieth year,
with a hundred pounds in his pocket, and a rich
store of knowledge in his head-having visited
nearly all the important places in Great Britain,
Ireland, and the Continent-all other tasks
seemed easy. It was a great triumph for his
mother, and especially for Gudrid, now a bright,
blooming maiden of sixteen. Uncle Magnus
brought up another dusty bottle of wine to
welcome him, although there were only six more
left; and all the neighbours were invited to
welcome him. Even the Governor stopped and
shook hands with him in the street on the day
after his arrival. His mother, who was with
him, said, after the Governor had passed:
"I hope, Jon, thy father sees thee now!" and
the same thought was in Jon's own heart.
And now, as Jon is no longer a boy, and is still


80







JON OF ICELAND. 81

living at the time we are writing, we must say
"good-bye" to him. We have no fears for his
future life; he will always be brave, and manly,
and truthful. He settled down in Rejkiavik,
and rapidly became a most successful teacher in
the most important town in his native country.
The lessons of Jon's life are so pregnant with
much good and usefulness, and speak so plainly
for themselves, that we would only weaken them
by enlarging upon them.







^ *1q


P


(124








.'- - j '' _ 3 '




PHILIP OF GREENLAND.




CHAPTER I.

WHICH TELLS HOW GREENLAND WAS DISCOVERED, AND
HOW IT CAME ABOUT THAT THE COUNTRY WAS SO
NAMED.

F the reader will open his atlas at the map
S of North America, and will follow the map
Sfar up towards the top of it, where the north
pole is marked down, he will find there shown a
large country with "Greenland printed over it.
Perhaps he would like to know how it came
about that this country was discovered, and how
it received its name. He must first look at his
map again. There is a large island a little to the
right of Greenland, and over this is printed the
word "Iceland." Now we need hardly say that








.'- - j '' _ 3 '




PHILIP OF GREENLAND.




CHAPTER I.

WHICH TELLS HOW GREENLAND WAS DISCOVERED, AND
HOW IT CAME ABOUT THAT THE COUNTRY WAS SO
NAMED.

F the reader will open his atlas at the map
S of North America, and will follow the map
Sfar up towards the top of it, where the north
pole is marked down, he will find there shown a
large country with "Greenland printed over it.
Perhaps he would like to know how it came
about that this country was discovered, and how
it received its name. He must first look at his
map again. There is a large island a little to the
right of Greenland, and over this is printed the
word "Iceland." Now we need hardly say that






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


the name Iceland was given to this island because
of the great quantity of ice there; but there is a
great deal more ice in Greenland than there is in
Iceland, and it seems strange that any person
should have thought of calling such a place green.
Listen to the reason.
The first settlers in Iceland went there from
Norway in the ninth century, and they were
called Northmen or Norsemen, and sometimes
Vikings, and notwithstanding that the country
was very cold they prospered greatly, cultivating
the land and hunting and fishing, without caring
much for the cold or for the ice; and the people
became very numerous.
After Iceland had been. settled about a hun-
dred years, it came to pass that a certain
powerful man offended the king and was obliged
to flee from the country to save his life. Now
to flee from his country he had, of course, to get
into a ship and go to sea, for we have seen that
Iceland is surrounded on all sides by water.
This took place in the year A.D. 982.
The name of this man was Eric Raude, or Eric


84






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


Rufus, which means simply Eric the Red; but
whether this name was given to him on account
of the crimes he had committed, and meant Eric
with the Red Hand, or whether it was given to
*him on account of his having red hair, and meant
Eric with the Red Head, nobody knows, for there
were no printed books in those days.
Eric the Red put to sea in his ship, with a few
hardy followers, very hastily, but where to go
the unhappy man did not well know. He
thought there might be land to the west of
Iceland, for the people in the latter island gener-
ally believed so; but of this he was very uncer-
tain, and he would probably not have sought it
entirely of his own free-will; but, happily for
Eric, a storm set in from the east, and his ship
was driven to the west before he had fairly
made up his mind what he should do; but having
been driven so far, he thought he would venture
still farther-and he came at length in sight of
land.
At this discovery Eric and his followers were
much rejoiced, and they approached the land as


85






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


rapidly as they could, their ship being propelled
by sails, and partly with oars. When they
had come into smooth water between an island
and the mainland they anchored their vessel and
went on shore, and took possession of the country.
The place where they landed was a broad valley,
on both sides of which rose great high mountains,
whose sides and tops were covered with snow
and ice. But it was midsummer, and the valley
wa's covered with green grass and sparkling with
bright flowers. Some low bushes grew here and
there, and there were also some little pine or fir
trees about half as high as their bodies. A
great many reindeer were browsing in the valley,
and little birds were hopping about in the little
trees and flying through the air, rejoicing in the
sunshine and singing merrily.
The reindeer were very tame, and Eric and his
followers killed many of them with their strong
bows and arrows, so that they were able to live
there for some time without any trouble. Then
Eric said to his followers:
"For so valuable a discovery as this the king


86






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


87


will surely pardon us if we go back to Iceland;
and if we give the country a good name, people
will come and settle here."
So Eric called the country GREENLAND, and
by that name it has been known ever since.
The place where Eric had brought his ship to
anchor was named Eric's Sound, and when he
had fully satisfied himself that people could live
there he -returned in his ship, with nearly all his
followers, to Iceland.














CHAPTER II.

WHICH RELATES HOW PEOPLE CAME TO SETTLE IN GREEN-
LAND, AND SOME OTHER USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW.

T turned out as Eric had predicted; for no
Sooner had he told the king of the new
t land he had discovered than the king par-
doned him and all his followers, and gave him
twenty-five ships and a great number of people
to go out and settle and occupy this new country;
and when the people heard the fine stories which
Eric told of it, and the fine name which he had
given to it, they were very curious, and very
eager indeed to go there.
When Eric arrived in Greenland with his
twenty-five ships he found that the country
was already inhabited by a race of people of
short stature, whom he called Schraellings, which






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


means small or puny men; but they have since
come to be known as Greenlanders, or more
usually Eskimo. They lived together by hunting
and fishing, and dressed wholly in the skins of
animals. The colour of their complexion was
very dark, a sort of copper-colour. They roamed
about from place to place along the sea-shore,
living in the summer in tents made of seal-skins,
and in winter either in hovels made of stones or
in huts made of snow. At first they were kind
to the white men, and received them hospitably;
but after a time they began to quarrel with each
other, and many severe and bloody fights ensued
between the Eskimo and the Northmen.
But notwithstanding all obstacles, several
colonies were soon established in Greenland,
and many more people coming over from Ice-
land, these colonies rapidly increased, and were
extended round Cape Farewell (which is the
southern port of Greenland), and thence far up
the west side of the country, that is, on the
side where Baffin's Bay is marked down on the
map.


89






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


These Northmen were always a very restless
and discontented people, and a son of Eric named
Lief, growing tired of hunting and fishing, took
one of his father's ships, while he was yet a very
young man, and with thirty men as bold as him-
self set out westward from Greenland to see
what more could be found. They came upon
the land which is now called Labrador, and
further down they discovered the island now
called Newfoundland, and then they came to
Nova Scotia, and it is thought that they even
reached as far south as where the city of Boston
in the United States now stands. This was in
the year A.D. 1001, nearly five hundred years
before Christopher Columbus discovered America.
This new land which Lief had discovered was
called Vinland, meaning "The Land of Wine,"
because of the great numbers of wild grapes
which grew there, and from which they made
wine.
These Northmen remained in Vinland many
years, but went away at last, and the name also
passed away.


90






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


The colonies which the Northmen founded in
Greenland continued to flourish for nearly four
hundred years, and finally, from being pagans and
worshippers of the heathen god Odin, the people
became Christians, and a cathedral and several
churches were built there, and the pope even
sent a bishop to reside there. But at length,
partly because of quarrels among themselves and
with the Eskimo, and partly because of a pesti-
lence called the "Black Death," the Northmen
all died, and for a long time afterwards people
spoke about the "lost colonies of Greenland,"
but no person visited that country until about
two hundred and fifty years afterwards (that is
in the year 1721), when Hans Egede, a very
pious and worthy man, thought that he would
go out there and look after the conversion of the
Eskimo.
Hans Egede was a Dane, and the King of
Denmark sent this pious missionary in a ship to
Greenland, and he landed at a place which he
called Godthaab (which means Good Hope), and
began not only to convert the Eskimo, but to


91






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


colonize the country again; 'and from that day
to this the resettlement of Greenland has gone
on. There are now a great many little colonies
along the coast, nearly all the Eskimo are
Christians, and many of them are very good ones
too, most of them being able to read and write
like any other people.
The old Northmen used to cultivate the land
in some of the valleys, but from the time they
first went there the climate seems to have grown
colder and colder, until at this day there is no
land cultivated there at all. The Northmen had
altogether about two hundred farms, but now
neither the Danes nor the Eskimo have any
other means of subsistence than hunting and
fishing, except the food which they get from
Denmark; for it must not be supposed that
Greenland is wholly shut out from the rest of
the world, even if it has a name that it has no
business with, and is shut up in ice. Ships go
out there from Denmark every summer, and
altogether there are from fifteen to twenty of
them; and they carry out to the people bread


92






PHILIP OF GREENLAND.


and coffee and sugar and tea, and coal to make
fire with, and blankets and civilized clothing,
and indeed everything that the people want,
taking back on their return to Denmark the oil,
dried cod-fish, furs, whalebone, eider-down, and
other things which the people have collected
during the year, all of which are sold in the
city of Copenhagen.
All of these little colonies or settlements are
situated close by the sea. Some of them are
on the islands, which are very numerous every-
where along the Greenland coast, and some of
them are on the mainland; but none of them are
in the interior of the country.
If the reader will follow on the map the west
coast of Greenland up towards the north pole,
his eye will light directly upon the spot where
the very last of the Greenland colonies is marked
down. He will observe that it is very far up,
nearer to the north pole than any other civilized
settlement on the face of the earth. This colony
is called Upernavik, and this name means The
Summer Place," from uspernak, the Eskimo word


93




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