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A Visit to Iceland and the Scandinavian North Translated from German by Madame Ida Pfeiffer

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the steep steps, the horn is sounded, and at the same time the train
moves on; the sound being the signal for the engine-driver, the
passengers having none.

In these states there was also not the least trouble with the
passport and the intolerable pass-tickets. No officious police-
soldier comes to the carriage, and prevents the passengers alighting
before they have answered all his questions. If passports had to be
inspected on this journey, it would take a few days, for they must
always be taken to the passport-office, as they are never examined
on the spot.

Such annoying interruptions often occur several times in the same
state. And one need not even come from abroad to experience them,
as a journey from a provincial to a capital town affords enough
scope for annoyance.

I had no reason to complain of such annoyances in any of the
countries through which I had hitherto passed. My passport was only
demanded in my hotel in the capitals of the countries, if I intended
to remain several days. In Stockholm, however, I found a curious
arrangement; every foreigner there is obliged to procure a Swedish
passport, and pay half-a-crown for it, if he only remains a few
hours in the town. This is, in reality, only a polite way of taking
half-a-crown from the strangers, as they probably do not like to
charge so much for a simple vise!


I have never seen a town more beautifully or regularly built than
Berlin,--I mean, the town of Berlin itself,--only the finest
streets, palaces, and squares of Copenhagen would bear a comparison
with it.

I spent but a few days here, and had therefore scarcely time to see
the most remarkable and interesting sights.

The splendid royal palace, the extensive buildings for the picture-
gallery and museums, the great dome--all these are situated very
near each other.

The Dome church is large and regularly built; a chapel, surrounded
by an iron enclosure, stands at each side of the entrance. Several
kings are buried here, and antiquated sarcophagi cover their
remains, known as the kings' graves. Near them stands a fine cast-
iron monument, beneath which Count Brandenburg lies.

The Catholic church is built in the style of the Rotunda in Rome;
but, unlike it, the light falls from windows made around the walls,
and not from above. Beautiful statues and a simple but tasteful
altar are the only ornaments of this church. The portico is
ornamented by beautiful reliefs.

The Werder church is a modern erection, built in the Gothic style,
and its turrets are ornamented by beautiful bronze reliefs. The
walls inside are inlaid with coloured wood up to the galleries,
where they terminate in Gothic scroll-work. The organ has a full,
clear tone; in front of it stands a painting which, at first sight,
resembles a scene from heathen mythology more than a sacred subject.
A number of cupids soar among wreaths of flowers, and surround three
beautiful female figures.

The mint and the architectural college stand near this church. The
former is covered with fine sculptures; the latter is square, of a
brick-red colour, without any architectural embellishment, and
perfectly resembling an unusually large private house. The ground-
floor is turned into fine shops.

Near the palace lies the Opera Square, in which stand the celebrated
opera-house, the arsenal, the university, the library, the academy,
the guardhouse, and several royal palaces. Three statues ornament
the square: those of General Count Bulov, General Count
Scharnhorst, and General Prince Blucher. They are all three
beautifully sculptured, but the drapery did not please me; it
consisted of the long military cloth cloak, which, opening in front,
afforded a glimpse of the splendid uniforms.

The arsenal is one of the finest buildings in Berlin, and forms a
square; at the time of my stay some repairs were being made, so that
it was closed. I had to be content with glimpses through the
windows of the first floor, which showed me immense saloons filled
by tremendous cannons, ranged in rows.

The guardhouse is contiguous, and resembles a pretty temple, with
its portico of columns.

The opera-house forms a long detached square. It would have a much
better effect if the entrances were not so wretched. The one at the
grand portal looks like a narrow, miserable church-door, low and
gloomy. The other entrances are worse still, and one would not
suppose that they could lead to such a splendid interior, whose
appointments are indescribably luxurious and commodious. The pit is
filled by rows of comfortably-cushioned chairs with cushioned backs,
numbered, but not barred. The boxes are divided by very low
partitions, so that the aristocratic world seems to sit on a
tribune. The seats in the pit and the first and second tiers are
covered with dark-red silk damask; the royal box is a splendid
saloon, the floor of which is covered with the finest carpets.
Beautiful oil-paintings, in tasteful gold frames, ornament the
plafond; but the magnificent chandelier is the greatest curiosity.
It looks so massively worked in bronze, that it is painful to see
the heavy mass hang so loosely over the heads of the spectators.
But it is only a delusion; for it is made of paste-board, and
bronzed over. Innumerable lamps light the place; but one thing
which I miss in such elegant modern theatres is a clock, which has a
place in nearly every Italian theatre.

The other buildings on this square are also distinguished for their
size and the beauty of their architecture.

An unusually broad stone bridge, with a finely-made iron balustrade,
is built over a little arm of the Spree, and unites the square of
the opera with that on which the palace stands.

The royal museum is one of the finest architectural piles, and its
high portal is covered with beautiful frescoes. The picture-gallery
contains many chefs-d'oeuvre; and I regretted that I had not more
time to examine it and the hall of antiquities, having only three
hours for the two.

From the academy runs a long street lined with lime-trees, and which
is therefore called Under-the-limes (unter den Linden). This alley
forms a cheerful walk to the Brandenburg-gate, beyond which the
pleasure-gardens are situated. The longest and finest streets which
run into the lime-alley are the Friedrichs Street and the Wilhelms
Street. The Leipziger Street also belongs to the finest, but does
not run into this promenade.

The Gens-d'arme Square is distinguished by the French and German
churches, at least by their exterior,--by their high domes, columns,
and porticoes. The interiors are small and insignificant. On this
square stands also the royal theatre, a tasteful pile of great
beauty, with many pillars, and statues of muses and deities.

I ascended the tower on which the telegraph works, on account of the
view over the town and the flat neighbourhood. A very civil
official was polite enough to explain the signs of the telegraph to
me, and to permit me to look at the other telegraphs through his

The Konigstadt, situated on the opposite shore of the Spree, not far
from the royal palace, contains nothing remarkable. Its chief
street, the Konigsstrasse, is long, but narrow and dirty. Indeed it
forms a great contrast to the town of Berlin in every thing; the
streets are narrow, short, and winding. The post-office and the
theatres are the most remarkable buildings.

The luxury displayed in the shop-windows is very great. Many a
mirror and many a plate-glass window reminded me of Hamburgh's
splendour, which surpasses that of Berlin considerably.

There are not many excursions round Berlin, as the country is flat
and sandy. The most interesting are to the pleasure-gardens,
Charlottenburg, and, since the opening of the railway, to Potsdam.

The park or pleasure-garden is outside the Brandenburg-gate; it is
divided into several parts, one of which reminded me of our fine
Prater in Vienna. The beautiful alleys were filled with carriages,
riders, and pedestrians; pretty coffee-houses enlivened the woody
portions, and merry children gambolled on the green lawns. I felt
so much reminded of my beloved Prater, that I expected every moment
to see a well-known face, or receive a friendly greeting. Kroll's
Casino, sometimes called the Winter-garden, is built on this side of
the park. I do not know how to describe this building; it is quite
a fairy palace. All the splendour which fancy can invent in
furniture, gilding, painting, or tapestry, is here united in the
splendid halls, saloons, temples, galleries, and boxes. The dining-
room, which will dine 1800 persons, is not lighted by windows, but
by a glass roof vaulted over it. Rows of pillars support the
galleries, or separate the larger and smaller saloons. In the
niches, and in the corners, round the pillars, abound fragrant
flowers, and plants in chaste vases or pots, which transform this
place into a magical garden in winter. Concerts and reunions take
place here every Sunday, and the press of visitors is extraordinary,
although smoking is prohibited. This place will accommodate 5000

That side of the park which lies in the direction of the Potsdam-
gate resembles an ornamental garden, with its well-kept alleys,
flower-beds, terraces, islets, and gold-fish ponds. A handsome
monument to the memory of Queen Louise is erected on the Louise
island here.

On this side, the coffee-house Odeon is the best, but cannot be
compared to Kroll's casino. Here also are rows of very elegant
country-houses, most of which are built in the Italian style.


This place is about half an hour's distance from the Brandenburg-
gate, where the omnibuses that depart every minute are stationed.
The road leads through the park, beyond which lies a pretty village,
and adjoining it is the royal country-palace of Charlottenburg. The
palace is built in two stories, of which the upper one is very low,
and is probably only used for the domestics. The palace is more
broad than deep; the roof is terrace-shaped, and in its centre rises
a pretty dome. The garden is simple, and not very large, but
contains a considerable orangery. In a dark grove stands a little
building, the mausoleum in which the image of Queen Louise has been
excellently executed by the famed artist Rauch. Here also rest the
ashes of the late king. There is also an island with statues in the
midst of a large pond, on which some swans float proudly. It is a
pity that dirt does not stick to these white-feathered animals, else
they would soon be black swans; for the pond or river surrounding
the island is one of the dirtiest ditches I have ever seen.

Fatigue would be very intolerable in this park, for there are very
few benches, but an immense quantity of gnats.


The distance from Berlin to Potsdam is eighteen miles, which is
passed by the railroad in three-quarters of an hour. The railway is
very conveniently arranged; the carriages are marked with the names
of the station, and the traveller enters the carriage on which the
place of his destination is marked. Thus, the passengers are never
annoyed by the entrance or exit of passengers, as all occupying the
same carriage descend at the same time.

The road is very uninteresting; but this is compensated for by
Potsdam itself, for which a day is scarcely sufficient.

Immediately in front of the town flows the river Havel, crossed by a
long, beautiful bridge, whose pillars are of stone, and the rest of
the bridge of iron. The large royal palace lies on the opposite
shore, and is surrounded by a garden. The garden is not very
extensive, but large enough for the town, and is open to the public.
The palace is built in a splendid style, but is unfortunately quite
useless, as the court has beautiful summer-palaces in the
neighbourhood of Potsdam, and spends the winter in Berlin.

The castle square is not very good; it is neither large nor regular,
and not even level. On it stands the large church, which is not yet
completed, but promises to be a fine structure. The town is
tolerably large, and has many fine houses. The streets, especially
the Nauner Street, are wide and long, but badly paved; the stones
are laid with the pointed side upwards, and for foot-passengers
there is a stone pavement two feet broad on one side of the street
only. The promenade of the townspeople is called Am Kanal (beside
the canal), and is a fine square, through which the canal flows, and
is ornamented with trees.

Of the royal pleasure-palaces I visited that of Sans Souci first.
It is surrounded by a pretty park, and lies on a hill, which is
divided into six terraces. Large conservatories stand on each side
of these; and in front of them are long alleys of orange and lemon-

The palace has only a ground floor, and is surrounded by arbours,
trees, and vines, so that it is almost concealed from view. I could
not inspect the interior, as the royal family was living there.

A side-path leads from here to the Ruinenberg, on which the ruins of
a larger and a smaller temple, raised by the hand of art, are
tastefully disposed. The top of the hill is taken up by a reservoir
of water. From this point one can see the back of the palace of
Sans Souci, and the so-called new palace, separated from the former
by a small park, and distant only about a quarter of an hour.

The new palace, built by Frederick the Great, is as splendid as one
can imagine. It forms a lengthened square, with arabesques and flat
columns, and has a flat roof, which is surrounded by a stone
balustrade, and ornamented by statues.

The apartments are high and large, and splendidly painted,
tapestried, and furnished. Oil-paintings, many of them very good,
cover the walls. One might fill a volume with the description of
all the wonders of this place, which is, however, not inhabited.

Behind the palace, and separated from it by a large court, are two
beautiful little palaces, connected by a crescent-shaped hall of
pillars; broad stone steps lead to the balconies surrounding the
first story of the edifices. They are used as barracks, and are, as
such, the most beautiful I have ever seen.

From here a pleasant walk leads to the lovely palace of
Charlottenburg. Coming from the large new palace it seemed too
small for the dwelling even of the crown-prince. I should have
taken it for a splendid pavilion attached to the new palace, to
which the royal family sometimes walked, and perhaps remained there
to take refreshment. But when I had inspected it more closely, and
seen all the comfortable little rooms, furnished with such tasteful
luxury, I felt that the crown-prince could not have made a better

Beautiful fountains play on the terraces; the walls of the corridors
and anterooms are covered with splendid frescoes, in imitation of
those found in Pompeii. The rooms abound in excellent engravings,
paintings, and other works of art; and the greatest taste and
splendour is displayed even in the minor arrangements.

A pretty Chinese chiosque, filled with good statues, which have been
unfortunately much damaged and broken, stands near the palace.

These three beautiful royal residences are situated in parks, which
are so united that they seem only as one. The parks are filled with
fine trees, and verdant fields crossed by well-kept paths and
drives; but I saw very few flower-beds in them.

When I had contemplated every thing at leisure, I returned to the
palace of Sans Souci, to see the beautiful fountains, which play
twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday, from noon till evening. The
columns projected from the basin in front of the castle are so
voluminous, and rise with such force, that I gazed in amazement at
the artifice. It is real pleasure to be near the basin when the sun
shines in its full splendour, forming the most beautiful rainbows in
the falling shower of drops. Equally beautiful is a fountain rising
from a high vase, enwreathed by living flowers, and falling over it,
so that it forms a quick, brisk fountain, transparent, and pure as
the finest crystal. The lid of the vase, also enwreathed with
growing flowers, rises above the fountain. The Neptune's grotto is
of no great beauty; the water falls from an urn placed over it, and
forms little waterfalls as it flows over nautilus-shells.

The marble palace lies on the other side of Potsdam, and is half an
hour's distance from these palaces; but I had time enough to visit

Entering the park belonging to this palace, a row of neat peasants'
cottages is seen on the left; they are all alike, but separated by
fruit, flower, or kitchen-gardens. The palace lies at the extreme
end of the park, on a pretty lake formed by the river Havel. It
certainly has some right to the name of marble palace; but it seems
presumption to call it so when compared to the marble palaces of
Venice, or the marble mosques of Constantinople.

The walls of the building are of brick left in its natural colour.
The lower and upper frame-work, the window-sashes, and the portals,
are all of marble. The palace is partly surrounded by a gallery
supported on marble columns. The stairs are of fine white marble,
and many of the apartments are laid with this mineral. The interior
is not nearly so luxurious as the other palaces.

This was the last of the sights I saw in Potsdam or the environs of
Berlin; for I continued my journey to Vienna on the following day.

Before quitting Berlin, I must mention an arrangement which is
particularly convenient for strangers--namely, the fares for
hackney-carriages. One need ask no questions, but merely enter the
carriage, tell the coachman where to drive, and pay him six-pence.
This moderate fare is for the whole town, which is somewhat
extensive. At all the railway stations there are numbers of these
vehicles, which will drive to any hotel, however far it may be from
the station, for the same moderate fare. If only all cab-drivers
were so accommodating!

October 1st.

The railway goes through Leipzic to Dresden, where I took the mail-
coach for Prague at eight o'clock the same evening, and arrived
there in eighteen hours.

As it was night when we passed, we did not enjoy the beautiful views
of the Nollendorf mountain. In the morning we passed two handsome
monuments, one of them, a pyramid fifty-four feet high, to the
memory of Count Colloredo, the other to the memory of the Russian
troops who had fallen here; both have been erected since the wars of

On we went through charming districts to the famed bathing-place
Teplitz, which is surrounded by the most beautiful scenery; and can
bear comparison with the finest bathing-places of the world.

Further on we passed a solitary basaltic rock, Boren, which deserves
attention for its beauty and as a natural curiosity. We
unfortunately hurried past it, as we wished to reach Prague before
six o'clock, so that we might not miss the train to Vienna.

My readers may imagine our disappointment on arriving at the gates
of Prague, when our passports were taken from us and not returned.
In vain we referred to the vise of the boundary-town Peterswalde; in
vain we spoke of our haste. The answer always was, "That is nothing
to us; you can have your papers back to-morrow at the police-
office." Thus we were put off, and lost twenty-four hours.

I must mention a little joke I had on the ride from Dresden to
Prague. Two gentlemen and a lady beside myself occupied the mail-
coach; the lady happened to have read my diary of Palestine, and
asked me, when she heard my name, if I were that traveller. When I
had acknowledged I was that same person, our conversation turned on
that and on my present journey. One of the gentlemen, Herr Katze,
was very intelligent, and conversed in a most interesting manner on
countries, nationalities, and scientific subjects. The other
gentleman was probably equally well informed, but he made less use
of his acquirements. Herr Katze remained in Teplitz, and the other
gentleman proceeded with us to Vienna. Before arriving at our
destination, he asked me if Herr Katze had not requested me to
mention his name in my next book, and added, that if I would promise
to do the same, he would tell me his name. I could not refrain from
smiling, but assured him that Herr Katze had not thought of such a
thing, and begged him not to communicate his name to me, so that he
might see that we females were not so curious as we are said to be.
But the poor man could not refrain from giving me his name--Nicholas
B.--before we parted. I do not insert it for two reasons: first,
because I did not promise to name him; and secondly, because I do
not think it would do him any service.

The railway from Prague to Vienna goes over Olmutz, and makes such a
considerable round, that the distance is now nearly 320 miles, and
the arrangements on the railway are very imperfect.

There were no hotels erected on the road, and we had to be content
with fruit, beer, bread, and butter, &c. the whole time. And these
provisions were not easily obtained, as we could not venture to
leave the carriages. The conductor called out at every station that
we should go on directly, although the train frequently stood
upwards of half an hour; but as we did not know that before, we were
obliged to remain on our seats. The conductors were not of the most
amiable character, which may perhaps be ascribed to the climate; for
when we approached the boundary of the Austrian states at
Peterswalde, the inspector received us very gruffly. We wished him
good evening twice, but he took no notice of it, and demanded our
papers in a loud and peremptory tone; he probably thought us as deaf
as we thought him. At Ganserndorf, twenty-five miles from Vienna,
they took our papers from us in a very uncivil, uncourteous manner.

On the 4th of October, 1845, after an absence of six months, I
arrived again in sight of the dear Stephen's steeple, as most of my
countrywomen would say.

I had suffered many hardships; but my love of travelling would not
have been abated, nor would my courage have failed me, had they been
ten times greater. I had been amply compensated for all. I had
seen things which never occur in our common life, and had met with
people as they are rarely met with--in their natural state. And I
brought back with me the recollections of my travels, which will
always remain, and which will afford me renewed pleasure for years.

And now I take leave of my dear readers, requesting them to accept
with indulgence my descriptions, which are always true, though they
may not be amusing. If I have, as I can scarcely hope, afforded
them some amusement, I trust they will in return grant me a small
corner in their memories.

In conclusion, I beg to add an Appendix, which may not be
uninteresting to many of my readers, namely:

1. A document which I procured in Reikjavik, giving the salaries of
the royal Danish officials, and the sources from whence they are

2. A list of Icelandic insects, butterflies, flowers, and plants,
which I collected and brought home with me.


Salaries of the Royal Danish Officials in Iceland, which they
receive from the Icelandic land-revenues.

Florins {58}

The Governor of Iceland 2000
Office expenses 600
The deputy for the western district 1586
Office expenses 400
Rent 200
The deputy for the northern and eastern districts 1286
Office expenses 400
The bishop of Iceland, who draws his salary from
the school-revenues, has paid him from this
treasury 800
The members of the Supreme Court:
One judge 1184
First assessor 890
Second assessor 740
The land-bailiff of Iceland 600
Office expenses 200
Rent 150
The town-bailiff of Reikjavik 300
The first police-officer of Reikjavik, who is
at the same time gaoler, and therefore
has 50 fl. more than the second officer 200
The second police-officer 150
The mayor of Reikjavik only draws from this
treasury his house-rent, which is 15O
The sysselman of the Westmanns Islands 296
The other sysselmen, each 230
Medical department and midwifery:
The physician 900
House-rent 150
Apothecary of Reikjavik 185
House-rent 150
The second apothecary at Sikkisholm 90
Six surgeons in the country, each 300
House-rent for some 30
For others 25
A medical practitioner on the Northland 110
Reikjavik has two midwives, each receives 50
The other midwives in Iceland, amounting
to thirty, each receives 100
These midwives are instructed and
examined by the land physician, who
has the charge of paying them annually.

Organist of Reikjavik 100
From the school-revenues
The bishop receives 1200
The teachers at the high school:
The teacher of theology 800
The head assistant, besides free lodging 500
The second assistant 500
House-rent 50
The third assistant 500
House-rent 50
The resident at the school 170



Pagarus Bernhardus, Linnaeus.


a. Coleoptera. Nebria rubripes, Dejean. Patrobus hyperboreus.
Calathus melanocephalus, Fabr. Notiophilus aquaticus. Amara
vulgaris, Duftsihm. Ptinus fur, Linn. Aphodius Lapponum, Schh.
Otiorhynchus laevigatus, Dhl. Otiorhynchus Pinastri, Fabr.
Otiorhynchus ovatus. Staphylinus maxillosus. Byrrhus pillula.

b. Neuroptera. Limnophilus lineola, Schrank.

c. Hymenoptera. Pimpla instigator, Gravh. Bombus subterraneus,

d. Lepidoptera. Geometra russata, Hub. Geom. alche millata.
Geom. spec. nov.

e. Diptera. Tipula lunata, Meig. Scatophaga stercoraria. Musca
vomitaria. Musca mortuorum. Helomyza serrata. Lecogaster
islandicus, Scheff. {59} Anthomyia decolor, Fallin.

LIST OF ICELANDIC PLANTS collected by Ida Pfeiffer in the Summer of
the year 1845

Felices. Cystopteris fragilis.

Equisetaceae. Equisetum Teltamegra.

Graminae. Festuca uniglumis.

Cyperaceae. Carea filiformis. Carea caespitosa. Eriophorum

Juncaceae. Luzula spicata. Luzula campestris.

Salicineae. Salix polaris.

Polygoneae. Remux arifolus. Oxyria reniformes.

Plumbagineae. Armeria alpina (in the interior mountainous

Compositae. Chrysanthemum maritimum (on the sea-shore, and on
marshy fields). Hieracium alpinum (on grassy plains). Taraxacum
alpinum. Erigeron uniflorum (west of Havenfiord, on rocky soil).

Rubiaceae. Gallium pusillum. Gallium verum.

Labiatae. Thynus serpyllum.

Asperifoliae. Myosotis alpestris. Myosotis scorpioicles.

Scrophularineae. Bartsia alpina (in the interior north-western
valleys). Rhinanthus alpestris.

Utricularieae. Pinguicula alpina. Pinguicula vulgaris.

Umbelliferae. Archangelica officinalis (Havenfiord).

Saxifrageae. Saxifraga caespitosa (the real Linnaean plant: on
rocks round Hecla).

Ranunculaceae. Ranunculus auricomus. Ranunculus nivalis.
Thalictrum alpinum (growing between lava, near Reikjavik). Caltha

Cruciferae. Draba verna. Cardamine pratensis.

Violariceae. Viola hirta.

Caryophylleae. Sagina stricta. Cerastium semidecandrum. Lepigonum
rubrum. Silene maritima. Lychnis alpina (on the mountain-fields
round Reikjavik).

Empetreae. Empetrum nigrum.

Geraniaceae. Geranium sylvaticum (in pits near Thingvalla).

Troseaceae. Parnassia palustris.

OEnothereae. Epilobium latifolium (in clefts of the mountain at the
foot of Hecla). Epilobium alpinum (in Reiker valley, west of

Rosaceae. Rubus arcticus. Potentilla anserina. Potentilla
gronlandica (on rocks near Kallmanstunga and Kollismola).
Alchemilla montana. Sanguisorba officinalis. Geum rivale. Dryas
octopela (near Havenfiord).

Papilionaceae. Trifolium repens.


{1} In this Gutenberg eText only Madame Pfeiffer's work appears--

{2} Madame Pfeiffer's first journey was to the Holy Land in 1842;
and on her return from Iceland she started in 1846 on a "Journey
round the World," from which she returned in the end of 1848. This
adventurous lady is now (1853) travelling among the islands of the
Eastern Archipelago.--ED.

{3} A florin is worth about 2s. 1d.; sixty kreutzers go to a

{4} At Kuttenberg the first silver groschens were coined, in the
year 1300. The silver mines are now exhausted, though other mines,
of copper, zinc, &c. are wrought in the neighbourhood. The
population is only half of what it once was.--ED.

{5} The expression of Madame Pfeiffer's about Frederick "paying his
score to the Austrians," is somewhat vague. The facts are these.
In 1757 Frederick the Great of Prussia invaded Bohemia, and laid
siege to Prague. Before this city an Austrian army lay, who were
attacked with great impetuosity by Frederick, and completely
defeated. But the town was defended with great valour; and during
the time thus gained the Austrian general Daun raised fresh troops,
with which he took the field at Collin. Here he was attacked by
Frederick, who was routed, and all his baggage and cannon captured.
This loss was "paying his score;" and the defeat was so complete,
that the great monarch sat down by the side of a fountain, and
tracing figures in the sand, was lost for a long time in meditation
on the means to be adopted to retrieve his fortune.--ED.

{6} I mention this little incident to warn the traveller against
parting with his effects.

{7} The true version of this affair is as follows. John of Nepomuk
was a priest serving under the Archbishop of Prague. The king,
Wenceslaus, was a hasty, cruel tyrant, who was detested by all his
subjects, and hated by the rest of Germany. Two priests were guilty
of some crime, and one of the court chamberlains, acting under royal
orders, caused the priests to be put to death. The archbishop,
indignant at this, placed the chamberlain under an interdict. This
so roused the king that he attempted to seize the archbishop, who
took refuge in flight. John of Nepomuk, however, and another
priest, were seized and put to the torture to confess what were the
designs of the archbishop. The king seems to have suspected that
the queen was in some way connected with the line of conduct pursued
by the archbishop. John of Nepomuk, however, refused, even though
the King with his own hand burned him with a torch. Irritated by
his obstinate silence, the king caused the poor monk to be cast over
the bridge into the Moldau. This monk was afterwards canonised, and
made the patron saint of bridges.--ED.

{8} Albert von Wallenstein (or Waldstein), the famous Duke of
Friedland, is celebrated as one of the ablest commanders of the
imperial forces during the protracted religious contest known in
German history as the "Thirty Years' War." During its earlier
period Wallenstein greatly distinguished himself, and was created by
the Emperor Ferdinand Duke of Friedland and generalissimo of the
imperial forces. In the course of a few months Wallenstein raised
an army of forty thousand men in the Emperor's service. The
strictest discipline was preserved WITHIN his camp, but his troops
supported themselves by a system of rapine and plunder unprecedented
even in those days of military license. Merit was rewarded with
princely munificence, and the highest offices were within the reach
of every common soldier who distinguished himself;--trivial breaches
of discipline were punished with death. The dark and ambitious
spirit of Wallenstein would not allow him to rest satisfied with the
rewards and dignities heaped upon him by his imperial master. He
temporised and entered into negotiations with the enemy; and during
an interview with a Swedish general (Arnheim), is even said to have
proposed an alliance to "hunt the Emperor to the devil." It is
supposed that he aspired to the sovereignty of Bohemia. Ferdinand
was informed of the ambitious designs of his general, and at length
determined that Wallenstein should die. He despatched one of his
generals, Gallas, to the commander-in-chief, with a mandate
depriving him of his dignity of generalissimo, and nominating Gallas
as his successor. Surprised before his plans were ripe, and
deserted by many on whose support he had relied, Wallenstein retired
hastily upon Egra. During a banquet in the castle, three of his
generals who remained faithful to their leader were murdered in the
dead of night. Roused by the noise, Wallenstein leapt from his bed,
and encountered three soldiers who had been hired to despatch him.
Speechless with astonishment and indignation, he stretched forth his
arms, and receiving in his breast the stroke of a halbert, fell dead
without a groan, in the fifty-first year of his age.

The following anecdote, curiously illustrative of the state of
affairs in Wallenstein's camp, is related by Schiller in his History
of the Thirty Years' War, a work containing a full account of the
life and actions of this extraordinary man. "The extortions of
Wallenstein's soldiers from the peasants had at one period reached
such a pitch, that severe penalties were denounced against all
marauders; and every soldier who should be convicted of theft was
threatened with a halter. Shortly afterwards, it chanced that
Wallenstein himself met a soldier straying in the field, whom he
caused to be seized, as having violated the law, and condemned to
the gallows without a trial, by his usual word of doom: "Let the
rascal be hung!" The soldier protested, and proved his innocence.
"Then let them hang the innocent," cried the inhuman Wallenstein;
"and the guilty will tremble the more." The preparations for
carrying this sentence into effect had already commenced, when the
soldier, who saw himself lost without remedy, formed the desperate
resolution that he would not die unrevenged. Rushing furiously upon
his leader, he was seized and disarmed by the bystanders before he
could carry his intention into effect. "Now let him go," said
Wallenstein; "it will excite terror enough.""--ED.

{9} Poniatowski was the commander of the Polish legion in the
armies of Napoleon, by whom he was highly respected. At the battle
of Leipzig, fought in October 1813, Poniatowski and Marshal
MacDonald were appointed to command the rear of Napoleon's army,
which, after two days hard fighting, was compelled to retreat before
the Allies. These generals defended the retreat of the army so
gallantly, that all the French troops, except those under their
immediate command, had evacuated the town. The rear-guard was
preparing to follow, when the only bridge over the Elster that
remained open to them was destroyed, through some mistake. This
effectually barred the escape of the rear of Napoleon's army. A
few, among whom was Marshal MacDonald, succeeded in swimming across;
but Poniatowski, after making a brave resistance, and refusing to
surrender, was drowned in making the same attempt.--ED.

{10} Leipzig has long been famous as the chief book-mart of
Germany. At the great Easter meetings, publishers from all the
different states assemble at the "Buchhandler Borse," and a large
amount of business is done. The fairs of Leipzig have done much
towards establishing the position of this city as one of the first
trading towns in Germany. They take place three times annually: at
New-year, at Easter, and at Michaelmas; but the Easter fair is by
far the most important. These commercial meetings last about three
weeks, and during this time the town presents a most animated
appearance, as the streets are thronged with the costumes of almost
every nation, the smart dress of the Tyrolese contrasting gaily with
the sombre garb of the Polish Jews. The amount of business
transacted at these fairs is very considerable; on several
occasions, above twenty thousand dealers have assembled. The trade
is principally in woollen cloths; but lighter wares, and even
ornaments of every description, are sold to a large extent. The
manner in which every available place is taken advantage of is very
curious: archways, cellars, passages, and courtyards are alike
filled with merchandise, and the streets are at times so crowded as
to be almost impassable. When the three weeks have passed, the
wooden booths which have been erected in the market-place and the
principal streets are taken down, the buyers and sellers vanish
together, and the visitor would scarcely recognise in the quiet
streets around him the bustling busy city of a few days ago.--ED.

{11} The fire broke out on 4th May 1842, and raged with the utmost
fury for three days. Whole streets were destroyed, and at least
2000 houses burned to the ground. Nearly half a million of money
was raised in foreign countries to assist in rebuilding the city, of
which about a tenth was contributed by Britain. Such awful fires,
fearful though they are at the time, seem absolutely necessary to
great towns, as they cause needful improvements to be made, which
the indolence or selfishness of the inhabitants would otherwise
prevent. There is not a great city that has not at one time or
another suffered severely from fire, and has risen out of the ruins
greater than before.--ED.

{12} There are no docks at Hamburgh, consequently all the vessels
lie in the river Elbe, and both receive and discharge their cargoes
there. Madame Pfeiffer, however, is mistaken in supposing that only
London could show a picture of so many ships and so much commercial
activity surpassing that of Hamburgh. Such a picture, more
impressive even than that seen in the Elbe, is exhibited every day
in the Mersey or the Hudson.--ED.

{13} Kiel, however, is a place of considerable trade; and doubtless
the reason why Madame Pfeiffer saw so few vessels at it was
precisely the same reason why she saw so many at Hamburgh. Kiel
contains an excellent university.--ED.

{14} At sea I calculate by sea-miles, of which sixty go to a

{15} This great Danish sculptor was born of poor parents at
Copenhagen, on the 19th November, 1770; his father was an Icelander,
and earned his living by carving figure-heads for ships. Albert, or
"Bertel," as he is more generally called, was accustomed during his
youth to assist his father in his labours on the wharf. At an early
age he visited the Academy at Copenhagen, where his genius soon
began to make itself conspicuous. At the age of sixteen he had won
a silver, and at twenty a gold medal. Two years later he carried
off the "great" gold medal, and was sent to study abroad at the
expense of the Academy. In 1797 we find him practising his art at
Rome under the eye of Zoega the Dane, who does not, however, seem to
have discovered indications of extraordinary genius in the labours
of his young countryman. But a work was soon to appear which should
set all questions as to Thorwaldsen's talent for ever at rest. In
1801 he produced his celebrated statue of "Jason," which was at once
pronounced by the great Canova to be "a work in a new and a grand
style." After this period the path of fame lay open before the
young sculptor; his bas-reliefs of "Summer" and "Autumn," the "Dance
of the Muses," "Cupid and Psyche," and numerous other works,
followed each other in rapid succession; and at length, in 1812,
Thorwaldsen produced his extraordinary work, "The Triumph of
Alexander." In 1819 Thorwaldsen returned rich and famous to the
city he had quitted as a youth twenty-three years before; he was
received with great honour, and many feasts and rejoicings were held
to celebrate his arrival. After a sojourn of a year Thorwaldsen
again visited Rome, where he continued his labours until 1838, when,
wealthy and independent, he resolved to rest in his native country.
This time his welcome to Copenhagen was even more enthusiastic than
in 1819. The whole shore was lined with spectators, and amid
thundering acclamations the horses were unharnessed from his
carriage, and the sculptor was drawn in triumph by the people to his
atelier. During the remainder of his life Thorwaldsen passed much
of his time on the island of Nyso, where most of his latest works
were executed. On Sunday, March 9th, 1842, he had been conversing
with a circle of friends in perfect health. Halm's tragedy of
Griselda was announced for the evening, and Thorwaldsen proceeded to
the theatre to witness the performance. During the overture he rose
to allow a stranger to pass, then resumed his seat, and a moment
afterwards his head sunk on his breast--he was dead!

His funeral was most sumptuous. Rich and poor united to do honour
to the memory of the great man, who had endeared himself to them by
his virtues as by his genius. The crown-prince followed the coffin,
and the people of Copenhagen stood in two long rows, and uncovered
their heads as the coffin of the sculptor was carried past. The
king himself took part in the solemnity. At the time of his decease
Thorwaldsen had completed his seventy-second year.--ED.

{16} Tycho de Brahe was a distinguished astronomer, who lived
between 1546 and 1601. He was a native of Denmark. His whole life
may be said to have been devoted to astronomy. A small work that he
published when a young man brought him under the notice of the King
of Denmark, with whose assistance he constructed, on the small
island of Hulln, a few miles north of Copenhagen, the celebrated
Observatory of Uranienburg. Here, seated in "the ancient chair"
referred to in the text, and surrounded by numerous assistants, he
directed for seventeen years a series of observations, that have
been found extremely accurate and useful. On the death of his
patron he retired to Prague in Bohemia, where he was employed by
Rodolph II. then Emperor of Germany. Here he was assisted by the
great Kepler, who, on Tycho's death in 1601, succeeded him.--ED.

{17} The fisheries of Iceland have been very valuable, and indeed
the chief source of the commerce of the country ever since it was
discovered. The fish chiefly caught are cod and the tusk or cat-
fish. They are exported in large quantities, cured in various ways.
Since the discovery of Newfoundland, however, the fisheries of
Iceland have lost much of their importance. So early as 1415, the
English sent fishing vessels to the Icelandic coast, and the sailors
who were on board, it would appear, behaved so badly to the natives
that Henry V. had to make some compensation to the King of Denmark
for their conduct. The greatest number of fishing vessels from
England that ever visited Iceland was during the reign of James I.,
whose marriage with the sister of the Danish king might probably
make England at the time the most favoured nation. It was in his
time that an English pirate, "Gentleman John," as he was called,
committed great ravages in Iceland, for which James had afterwards
to make compensation. The chief markets for the fish are in the
Catholic countries of Europe. In the seventeenth century, a great
traffic in fish was carried on between Iceland and Spain.--ED.

{18} The dues charged by the Danish Government on all vessels
passing through the Sound have been levied since 1348, and therefore
enjoy a prescriptive right of more than five hundred years. They
bring to the Danish Government a yearly revenue of about a quarter
of a million; and, in consideration of the dues, the Government has
to support certain lighthouses, and otherwise to render safe and
easy the navigation of this great entrance to the Baltic. Sound-
dues were first paid in the palmy commercial days of the Hanseatic
League. That powerful combination of merchants had suffered
severely from the ravages of Danish pirates, royal and otherwise;
but ultimately they became so powerful that the rich merchant could
beat the royal buccaneer, and tame his ferocity so effectually as to
induce him to build and maintain those beacon-lights on the shores
of the Sound, for whose use they and all nations and merchants after
them have agreed to pay certain duties.--ED.

{19} The Feroe Islands consist of a great many islets, some of them
mere rocks, lying about halfway between the north coast of Scotland
and Iceland. At one time they belonged to Norway, but came into the
possession of Denmark at the same time as Iceland. They are
exceedingly mountainous, some of the mountains attaining an
elevation of about 2800 feet. The largest town or village does not
contain more than 1500 or 1600 inhabitants. The population live
chiefly on the produce of their large flocks of sheep, and on the
down procured, often at great risk to human life, from the eider-
duck and other birds by which the island is frequented.--ED.

{20} I should be truly sorry if, in this description of our "life
aboard ship," I had said any thing which could give offence to my
kind friend Herr Knudson. I have, however, presumed that every one
is aware that the mode of life at sea is different to life in
families. I have only to add, that Herr Knudson lived most
agreeably not only in Copenhagen, but what is far more remarkable,
in Iceland also, and was provided with every comfort procurable in
the largest European towns.

{21} It is not only at sea that ingenious excuses for drinking are
invented. The lovers of good or bad liquor on land find these
reasons as "plenty as blackberries," and apply them with a
marvellous want of stint or scruple. In warm climates the liquor is
drank to keep the drinker cool, in cold to keep him warm; in health
to prevent him from being sick, in sickness to bring him back to
health. Very seldom is the real reason, "because I like it," given;
and all these excuses and reasons must be regarded as implying some
lingering sense of shame at the act, and as forming part of "the
homage that vice always pays to virtue."--ED.

{22} The sailors call those waves "Spanish" which, coming from the
west, distinguish themselves by their size.

{23} These islands form a rocky group, only one of which is
inhabited, lying about fifteen miles from the coast. They are said
to derive their name from some natives of Ireland, called West-men,
who visited Iceland shortly after its discovery by the Norwegians.
In this there is nothing improbable, for we know that during the
ninth and tenth centuries the Danes and Normans, called Easterlings,
made many descents on the Irish coast; and one Norwegian chief is
reported to have assumed sovereign power in Ireland about the year
866, though he was afterwards deposed, and flung into a lough, where
he was drowned: rather an ignominious death for a "sea-king."--ED.

{24} This work, which Madame Pfeiffer does not praise too highly,
was first published in 1810. After passing through two editions, it
was reprinted in 1841, at a cheap price, in the valuable people's
editions of standard works, published by Messrs. Chambers of

{25} It is related of Ingold that he carried with him on his voyage
the door of his former house in Ireland, and that when he approached
the coast he cast it into the sea, watching the point of land which
it touched; and on that land he fixed his future home. This land is
the same on which the town of Reikjavik now stands. These old sea-
kings, like the men of Athens, were "in all things too

{26} These sea-rovers, that were to the nations of Europe during
the middle ages what the Danes, Norwegians, and other northmen were
at an earlier period, enjoyed at this time the full flow of their
lawless prosperity. Their insolence and power were so great that
many nations, our own included, were glad to purchase, by a yearly
payment, exemption from the attacks of these sea-rovers. The
Americans paid this tribute so late as 1815. The unfortunate
Icelanders who were carried off in the seventeenth century nearly
all died as captives in Algiers. At the end of ten years they were
liberated; but of the four hundred only thirty-seven were alive when
the joyful intelligence reached the place of their captivity; and of
these twenty-four died before rejoining their native land.--ED.

{27} This town, the capital of Iceland, and the seat of government,
is built on an arm of the sea called the Faxefiord, in the south-
west part of the island. The resident population does not exceed
500, but this is greatly increased during the annual fairs. It
consists mainly of two streets at right angles to each other. It
contains a large church built of stone, roofed with tiles; an
observatory; the residences of the governor and the bishop, and the
prison, which is perhaps the most conspicuous building in the town.-

{28} As Madame Pfeiffer had thus no opportunity of attending a ball
in Iceland, the following description of one given by Sir George
Mackenzie may be interesting to the reader.

"We gave a ball to the ladies of Reikjavik and the neighbourhood.
The company began to assemble about nine o'clock. We were shewn
into a small low-roofed room, in which were a number of men, but to
my surprise I saw no females. We soon found them, however, in one
adjoining, where it is the custom for them to wait till their
partners go to hand them out. On entering this apartment, I felt
considerable disappointment at not observing a single woman dressed
in the Icelandic costume. The dresses had some resemblance to those
of English chambermaids, but were not so smart. An old lady, the
wife of the man who kept the tavern, was habited like the pictures
of our great-grandmothers. Some time after the dancing commenced,
the bishop's lady, and two others, appeared in the proper dress of
the country.

"We found ourselves extremely awkward in dancing what the ladies
were pleased to call English country dances. The music, which came
from a solitary ill-scraped fiddle, accompanied by the rumbling of
the same half-rotten drum that had summoned the high court of
justice, and by the jingling of a rusty triangle, was to me utterly
unintelligible. The extreme rapidity with which it was necessary to
go through many complicated evolutions in proper time, completely
bewildered us; and our mistakes, and frequent collisions with our
neighbours, afforded much amusement to our fair partners, who found
it for a long time impracticable to keep us in the right track.
When allowed to breathe a little, we had an opportunity of remarking
some singularities in the state of society and manners among the
Danes of Reikjavik. While unengaged in the dance, the men drink
punch, and walk about with tobacco-pipes in their mouths, spitting
plentifully on the floor. The unrestrained evacuation of saliva
seems to be a fashion all over Iceland; but whether the natives
learned it from the Danes, or the Danes from the natives, we did not
ascertain. Several ladies whose virtue could not bear a very strict
scrutiny were pointed out to us.

"During the dances, tea and coffee were handed about; and negus and
punch were ready for those who chose to partake of them. A cold
supper was provided, consisting of hams, beef, cheese, &c., and
wine. While at table, several of the ladies sang, and acquitted
themselves tolerably well. But I could not enjoy the performance,
on account of the incessant talking, which was as fashionable a
rudeness in Iceland as it is now in Britain. This, however, was not
considered as in the least unpolite. One of the songs was in praise
of the donors of the entertainment; and, during the chorus, the
ceremony of touching each other's glasses was performed. After
supper, waltzes were danced, in a style that reminded me of soldiers
marching in cadence to the dead march in Saul. Though there was no
need of artificial light, a number of candles were placed in the
rooms. When the company broke up, about three o'clock, the sun was
high above the horizon."

{29} A man of eighty years of age is seldom seen on the island.--

{30} Kerguelen (writing in 1768) says: "They live during the
summer principally on cod's heads. A common family make a meal of
three or four cods' heads boiled in sea-water."--ED.

{31} This bakehouse is the only one in Iceland, and produces as
good bread and biscuit as any that can be procured in Denmark. [In
Kerguelen's time (1768) bread was very uncommon in Iceland. It was
brought from Copenhagen, and consisted of broad thin cakes, or sea-
biscuits, made of rye-flour, and extremely black.--ED.]

{32} In all high latitudes fat oily substances are consumed to a
vast extent by the natives. The desire seems to be instinctive, not
acquired. A different mode of living would undoubtedly render them
more susceptible to the cold of these inclement regions. Many
interesting anecdotes are related of the fondness of these
hyperborean races for a kind of food from which we would turn in
disgust. Before gas was introduced into Edinburgh, and the city was
lighted by oil-lamps, several Russian noblemen visited that
metropolis; and it is said that their longing for the luxury of
train-oil became one evening so intense, that, unable to procure the
delicacy in any other way, they emptied the oil-lamps. Parry
relates that when he was wintering in the Arctic regions, one of the
seamen, who had been smitten with the charms of an Esquimaux lady,
wished to make her a present, and knowing the taste peculiar to
those regions, he gave her with all due honours a pound of candles,
six to the pound! The present was so acceptable to the lady, that
she eagerly devoured the lot in the presence of her wondering

{33} An American travelling in Iceland in 1852 thus describes, in a
letter to the Boston Post, the mode of travelling:- "All travel is
on horseback. Immense numbers of horses are raised in the country,
and they are exceedingly cheap. As for travelling on foot, even
short journeys, no one ever thinks of it. The roads are so bad for
walking, and generally so good for riding that shoe-leather, to say
nothing of fatigue, would cost nearly as much as horse-flesh. Their
horses are small, compact, hardy little animals, a size larger than
Shetland ponies, but rarely exceeding from 12 or 13.5 hands high. A
stranger in travelling must always have a 'guide,' and if he does go
equipped for a good journey and intends to make good speed, he wants
as many as six horses; one for himself, one for the guide, one for
the luggage, and three relay horses. Then when one set of horses
are tired the saddles are exchanged to the others. The relay horses
are tied together and are either led or driven before the others. A
tent is often carried, unless a traveller chooses to chance it for
his lodgings. Such an article as an hotel is not kept in Iceland
out of the capital. You must also carry your provisions with you,
as you will be able to get but little on your route. Plenty of milk
can be had, and some fresh-water fish. The luggage is carried in
trunks that are hung on each side of the horse, on a rude frame that
serves as a pack-saddle. Under this, broad pieces of turf are
placed to prevent galling the horse's back."

{34} The down of the eider-duck forms a most important and valuable
article of Icelandic commerce. It is said that the weight of down
procurable from each nest is about half a pound, which is reduced
one-half by cleansing. The down is sold at about twelve shillings
per pound, so that the produce of each nest is about three
shillings. The eider-duck is nearly as large as the common goose;
and some have been found on the Fern Islands, off the coast of

{35} The same remark applies with equal force to many people who
are not Icelanders. It was once the habit among a portion of the
population of Lancashire, on returning from market, to carry their
goods in a bag attached to one end of a string slung over their
shoulders, which was balanced by a bag containing a stone at the
other. Some time ago, it was pointed out to a worthy man thus
returning from market, that it would be easier for him to throw away
the stone, and make half of his load balance the other half, but the
advice was rejected with disdain; the plan he had adopted was that
of his forefathers, and he would on no account depart from it.--ED.

{36} The description of the Wolf's Hollow occurs in the second act
of Der Freyschutz, when Rodolph sings:

"How horrid, dark, and wild, and drear,
Doth this gaping gulf appear!
It seems the hue of hell to wear.
The bellowing thunder bursts yon clouds,
The moon with blood has stained her light!
What forms are those in misty shrouds,
That stalk before my sight?
And now, hush! hush!
The owl is hooting in yon bush;
How yonder oak-tree's blasted arms
Upon me seem to frown!
My heart recoils, but all alarms
Are vain: fate calls, I must down, down."

{37} The reader must bear in mind that, during the season of which
I speak, there is no twilight, much less night, in Iceland.

{38} The springs of Carlsbad are said to have been unknown until
about five hundred years ago, when a hunting-dog belonging to one of
the emperors of Germany fell in, and by his howling attracted the
hunters to the spot. The temperature of the chief spring is 165

{39} History tells of this great Icelandic poet, that owing to his
treachery the free island of Iceland came beneath the Norwegian
sceptre. For this reason he could never appear in Iceland without a
strong guard, and therefore visited the Allthing under the
protection of a small army of 600 men. Being at length surprised by
his enemies in his house at Reikiadal, he fell beneath their blows,
after a short and ineffectual resistance. [Snorri Sturluson, the
most distinguished name of which Iceland can boast, was born, in
1178, at Hoam. In his early years he was remarkably fortunate in
his worldly affairs. The fortune he derived from his father was
small, but by means of a rich marriage, and by inheritance, he soon
became proprietor of large estates in Iceland. Some writers say
that his guard of 600 men, during his visit to the Allthing, was
intended not as a defence, as indicated in Madame Pfeiffer's note,
but for the purposes of display, and to impress the inhabitants with
forcible ideas of his influence and power. He was invited to the
court of the Norwegian king, and there he either promised or was
bribed to bring Iceland under the Norwegian power. For this he has
been greatly blamed, and stigmatised as a traitor; though it would
appear from some historians that he only undertook to do by
peaceable means what otherwise the Norwegian kings would have
effected by force, and thus saved his country from a foreign
invasion. But be this as it may, it is quite clear that he sunk in
the estimation of his countrymen, and the feeling against him became
so strong, that he was obliged to fly to Norway. He returned,
however, in 1239, and in two years afterwards he was assassinated by
his own son-in-law. The work by which he is chiefly known is the
Heimskringla, or Chronicle of the Sea-Kings of Norway, one of the
most valuable pieces of northern history, which has been admirably
translated into English by Mr. Samuel Laing. This curious name of
Heimskringla was given to the work because it contains the words
with which begins, and means literally the circle of the world.--

{40} A translation of this poem will be found in the Appendix.

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