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42 How the “ Mastiffs ” went to Iceland. very tired. A certain amount of exclusiveness, however, was still allowed to the ladies even in this arrangement. They slept upon the steps round the communion table, and were walled off by a little ecclesiastical rail. The men slept two and two, down the nave, or little passage rather, which ran down between the seats. Here, again, our Artist has done much more than I can do to describe the scene. Some of our party reposed in the gallery, and one irreverent hound insisted on ringing the church bell during the night. There was a rumour that this was done by our Artist herself, who had crept up to the place in order that she might exercise her art, and portray us as we were lying;—but I have reason to believe that this was a calumny. The night was passed with many noises. No sense of the solemn nature of the place, or of the near vicinity of the ladies, sufficed to repress some exuberant hounds who seemed to be unused to the proprieties of kennel life. During a pause in the growling, when all had just lain down, a voice in silvery tones proceeded from the direction of the communion rail:—“ Mr. Speaker, I spy strangers in the gallery! ” The Ancient Mariner declared that he was tickled; -—but he need not, therefore, have disturbed all Thingvalla with his roars. This was so bad at one time that an elderly “Mastiff” got up and made a speech, —“ Would not the ‘ Mastiffs ’ remember that there were ladies there,—ladies who were very tired,—ladies who would certainly wish to sleep?” Then there was heard a gentle suppressed titter which seemed to come from some locality near the communion table. I had expected to find the minister indignant on the following morning, because of the desecration of his church ; but the minister took it in good part, bell-ringing and all. What passed between J. B. and the minister nobody knew. I imagine that there was a pleasant moment. At any rate we parted from the family amidst expressions of devoted friendship. It was again in the evening that we started on our last day’s ride, and I own that I left Thingvalla with soft regrets, as I told myself that I should never again see that interesting spot. Thrice I had bathed in its rivers, and had roamed about it till I seemed to know all its nooks. It is a place full of nooks, because of those wonderful rifts,—and full of greenness. I had not cared much for the
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How the Mastiffs went to Iceland

Ár
1878
Tungumál
Enska
Blaðsíður
98