Letters From High Latitudes By Lord Dufferin















































































 -  Now, whether this
same Thule was one of the Shetland Islands, and the
impassable substance merely a fog, - or Iceland - Page 20
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Now, Whether This Same Thule Was One Of The Shetland Islands, And The Impassable Substance Merely A Fog, - Or Iceland,

And the barricade beyond, a wall of ice, it is impossible to say. Probably Pythias did not get beyond the

Shetlands.] This gentleman not having a compass, (he lived about A.D. 864,) nor knowing exactly where the land lay, took on board with him, at starting, three consecrated ravens - as an M.P. would take three well-trained pointers to his moor. Having sailed a certain distance, he let loose one, which flew back: by this he judged he had not got half-way. Proceeding onwards, he loosed the second, which, after circling in the air for some minutes in apparent uncertainty, also made off home, as though it still remained a nice point which were the shorter course toward terra firma. But the third, on obtaining his liberty a few days later, flew forward, and by following the direction in which he had disappeared, Rabna Floki, or Floki of the Ravens, as he came to be called, triumphantly made the land.

The real colonists did not arrive till some years later, for I do not much believe a story they tell of Christian relics, supposed to have been left by Irish fishermen, found on the Westmann islands. A Scandinavian king, named Harold Haarfager (a contemporary of our own King Alfred's), having murdered, burnt, and otherwise exterminated all his brother kings who at that time grew as thick as blackberries in Norway, first consolidated their dominions into one realm, as Edgar did the Heptarchy, and then proceeded to invade the Udal rights of the landholders. Some of them, animated with that love of liberty innate in the race of the noble Northmen, rather than submit to his oppressions, determined to look for a new home amid the desolate regions of the icy sea.

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