Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/61

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

if designed as rustic bridges, supported on columns, with regular capitals, most perfectly and beautifully formed. One of these extraordinary forms must have derived the regularity of its parts immediately above the surface, from the vibrating action and friction of the sea lashing those parts within its reach. It was of the following dimensions: pillars above the surface, six feet long; capitals, one foot; the superincumbent mass, from eighteen to twenty feet, and upwards of one hundred feet in width.

The wind ceasing, and a seal being observed on a piece of ice, I requested a boat; but it became alarmed, and I could not get near it; however I shot an Anas mollissima, (Buff.,) or Eiderdrake, of the most beautiful kind. It had a black bill, somewhat elevated; forehead of velvet black: a broad black bar, glossed with purple, extended from thence beyond each eye; middle of the head, whole neck, upper part of the back, scapulas, and coverts of the wings, white; below the hind part of the head, a stain of pea-green; lower part of the back, tail, breast and whole under side of the body, black; legs, greenish; weight, seven pounds; length, two feet two inches; and extent of wing, three feet. Nature having clothed this species of birds with the warmest covering of down, their skin is rendered so exceedingly valuable that it forms a considerable article of commerce from Iceland. They dive to a great depth, and keep under water an astonishing time. They are supposed not to arrive at their