Letters From High Latitudes By Lord Dufferin















































































 -  It is true the silk
tartan still coruscated on Sabbaths, but its brilliant
hues were quite a relief to the - Page 210
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It Is True The Silk Tartan Still Coruscated On Sabbaths, But Its Brilliant Hues Were Quite A Relief To The Colourless Scenes Which Surrounded Us, And The Dangling Chain Now Only Served To Remind Me Of What Firm Dependence I Could Place Upon Its Wearer.

Soon after, the sun came out, the mist entirely disappeared, and again on the starboard hand shone a vision

Of the land; this time not in the sharp peaks and spires we had first seen, but in a chain of pale blue egg-shaped islands, floating in the air a long way above the horizon. This peculiar appearance was the result of extreme refraction, for, later in the day, we had an opportunity of watching the oval cloud-like forms gradually harden into the same pink tapering spikes which originally caused the island to be called Spitzbergen: nay, so clear did it become, that even the shadows on the hills became quite distinct, and we could easily trace the outlines of the enormous glaciers - sometimes ten or fifteen miles broad - that fill up every valley along the shore. Towards evening the line of coast again vanished into the distance, and our rising hopes received an almost intolerable disappointment by the appearance of a long line of ice right ahead, running to the westward, apparently, as far as the eye could reach. To add to our disgust, the wind flew right round into the North, and increasing to a gale, brought down upon us - not one of the usual thick arctic mists to which we were accustomed, but a dark, yellowish brown fog, that rolled along the surface of the water in twisted columns, and irregular masses of vapour, as dense as coal smoke.

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