Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/236

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great chance of our being obliged to land in Iceland, to replenish our fuel. This communication afforded me considerable satisfaction, as it would enable me to accomplish the strong wish which I had formed, of visiting a country so distinguished for its celebrated volcanoes and basaltic pillars. I longed to examine, on the spot, the tremendous effects which are there produced upon the surface of the ground, by the contention of the elements beneath its foundations, and to behold those scenes unrivalled in nature, where lofty columns of boiling water are jetted from caldrons heated by subterraneous fires; my object was also in some measure to witness the happiness of a race of people, who, although living in a most remote country under the greatest privations, are so warmly attached to their native land, that they rank themselves among the most blessed people of the earth; and agree with their old proverb that; Istand on hinn besta land sem solinn skinnar uppa, "Iceland is the best land on which the sun shines." This simple race afford a fine moral lesson to every country, and a censure on those dissatisfied creatures, who are living in the land of liberty, gifted with the bounties of Providence, even the choicest fruits of the earth, and who yet are not contented.

The island of Iceland had the honour of giving birth to the discoverer of Old Greenland. Eric Rande, or, Eric the Red, (so called from the colour of his hair), about the year 892, set sail from Snafaldes on an expedition to the westward, and fell in