quite large, and was literally filled with odd bits of furniture, elegant and well kept. Heavy crimson curtains were draped about the windows, a rich crimson carpet covered the floor, and there were lounges and chairs of various patterns, adapted for every temper of mind or mood of body, - all of the same pleasing color. Odd &tagères, hanging and standing, and a large solid walnut case, were all well filled with books, and other books were carefully arranged on a table in the centre of the room. Among them my eye quickly detected the works of various English authors, conspicuous among which were Shakespeare, Byron, Scott, Dickens, Cooper, and Washington Irving. Sam Slick had a place there, and close beside him was the renowned Lemuel Gulliver; and in science there were, beside many others, Brewster, Murchison, and Lyell. The books all showed that they were well used, and they embraced the principal classical stores of

the French and German tongues, be-,

side the English and his own native Danish. In short, the collection was precisely such as one would expect to find in any civilized place, where means were not wanting, the disposition to read a habit and a pleasure, and the books themselves boon companions. A charming feature of the room was the air of refreshing neglige with which sundry robes of bear and fox skins were tossed about upon the chairs and lounges and floor; while the blank spaces of the walls were broken by numerous pictures, some of them apparently family relics, and on little brackets were various souvenirs of art and travel. “I call this my study,” said the Doctor; “but in truth there is the real shop”;—and he led me into a little room adjoining, in which there was but one window, one table, one chair, no shelves, a great number of books, lying about in every direction, and great quantities of paper. On the wall hung about two dozen pipes of various shapes and sizes, and a fine assortment of guns and rifles and all WOL. xx. — No. 117. 4

the paraphernalia of a practised sportsman. It was easy to see that there was one place where the native-born Sophy did not come. The chamber of this singular Greenland recluse was in keeping with his study. The walls were painted light blue, a blue carpet adorned the floor, blue curtains softened the light which stole through the windows, and blue hangings cast a pleasant hue over a snowy pillow. Although small, there was indeed nothing wanting, not even a well-arranged bath-room, - nothing that the most fastidious taste could covet or desire, **** “And now,” said my entertainer, when we had got seated in the study, “does this present attractions sufficient to tempt you from your narrow bunk on shipboard? You are most heartily welcome to that blue den which you admire so much, and which I am heartily sick of, while I can make for myself a capital ‘shake-down” here, or vice versa. If neither of these will suit you, then cast your eyes out of the window, and you will observe snow enough to build a more truly Arctic lodging.” I stepped to the window, and there, sure enough, piled up beneath it and against the house, was a great bank of snow, which the summer's sun had not yet dissolved; and as I saw this, and then looked beyond it over the wretched little village, and the desolate waste of rocks on which it stood, and then on up the craggy steeps to the great white-topped mountains, I could but wonder what strange occurrence had sent this luxury-loving man, with books only for companions, into such a howling wilderness. Was it his own fancy? or was it some cruel necessity ? In truth, the surprise was so great that I found myself suddenly turning from the scene outside to that within, not indeed without an impulse that the whole thing might have vanished in the interval, as the palace of Aladdin in the Arabian tale. My host was watching me attentively, no doubt reading my thoughts,

for as I turned round he asked if I “liked the contrast.” To be quite candid, I was forced to own myself greatly wondering “that a den so well fitted for the latitude of Paris should be stumbled upon away up here so near the Pole.” “Hardly in keeping with ‘the eternal fitness of things, eh?” “Precisely so.” “You think, then, because a fellow chooses to live in barbarous Greenland, he must needs turn barbarian P” “Not exactly that, but we are in the habit of associating the appreciation of comfort and luxury with the desire for social intercourse, – certainly not with banishment like this.” “Then you would be inclined to think there is something unnatural, in short, mysterious, in my being here, — tastes, fancies, inclinations, and all?” “I confess it would so strike me, if I took the liberty to speculate upon it.” “Very far from the truth, I do assure you. I am not obliged to be here any more than you are. I came from pure choice, and am at liberty to return when I please. In truth, I do go home with the ship to Copenhagen, once in three or four years, and spend

a winter there, living the while in a deno

much like what you here see; but I am always glad enough to get back again. The salary which I receive from the government does not support me as I live, so you see that is not a motive. But I am perfectly independent, have capital health, lots of adventure, hardship enough (for you must know that, if I do sleep under a skyblue canopy, I am esteemed one of the most hardy men in all Greenland) to satisfy the most insatiate appetite and perverse disposition.”

“Sufficient reason, I should say, for a year or so, but hardly, one would think, for a lifetime.”

“why not?”

“Because the novelty of adventure wears off in a little time. Good health never gives us satisfaction, for we do not give it thought until we lose it, so that can never be an impelling motive;

and as for independence, what is that, when one can never be freed from himself? In short, I should say one so circumstanced as you are would die of ennui; that his mind, constantly thrown back upon itself, must, sooner or later, result in a weariness even worse than death itself. However, I am only curious, not critical.” “But you forget these shelves. Those books are my friends; of them I never grow weary, they never grow weary of me; we understand each other perfectly, -they talk to me when I would listen, they sing to me when I would be charmed, they play for me when I would be amused. Ah! my dear sir, this country is great as all countries are great, each in its way; and this is a great country to read books in. Upon my word, I wonder everybody don't fill. ships with books and come up here, burn the ships, as did the great Spaniard, and each spend the remainder of his days in devouring his ship-load of

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“A pretty picture of the country, truly; butlet me ask how often do books reach you?” “Once a year, -when the Danish ship comes out to bring us bread, sugar, coffee, coal, and such-like things, and to take home the few little trifles, such as furs, oil, and fish, which the natives have picked up in the interval.” “Books to the contrary, I should say the ship would not return more than once without me, were I in your situation.” “So you would think me a sensible fellow, no doubt, if I would pick up this box and carry it off to Paris, or may be to New York 2' “That’s exactly what I was thinking; or rather it would certainly have appeared to me more reasonable if you had built it there in the first instance.” “Quite the contrary, I do assure you, —quite the contrary. Indeed, I can prove to your entire satisfaction that I am a very sensible man; but wait until I have shown you all my possessions. Will you look at my farm * * Farm – well, this was, after all, ex


hibiting some claims of the country to the consideration of a civilized man. A farm in Greenland was something I was hardly prepared for. The Doctor now rose and led the way to the rear of the house, into a yard about eighty feet square, enclosed by a high board fence. “This is my farm,” said the Doctor. “Where P’’ “Here, look. It is n’t a large one.” And he pointed to a patch of earth about thirty feet long by four wide, enclosed with boards and covered over with glass. Under the glass were growing lettuce, radishes, and pepper-grass, all looking as bright and fresh and green and well contented as if they, like the man for whose benefit they grew, cared little where they sprouted, so only they grew. The ten round red radishes of the recent luncheon were accounted for. “So you see,” exclaimed the Doctor, “something besides a lover of books can take root in this country. Are you not growing reconciled to it? To be sure they are fed on pap from home; but so does the farmer who cultivates them get his books from the same quarter.” “How is that? Do you mean to say you bring the earth they grow in from home?” “Even so. This is good rich Jutland earth, brought in barrels by ship from Copenhagen.” An imported farm One more novelty. “Now you shall see my barn”; — and we passed over to a little tightly made building in the opposite corner, where the first thing that greeted my ears was the bleating of goats and the grunting of pigs; and as the door was opened, I heard the cackling and flutter of chickens. Twenty chickens, two pigs, and three goats: “All brought from Copenhagen with the farm "; — and the Doctor began to talk to them in a very familiar manner in the Danish tongue. They all recognized the kindly voice of their master, and flocked round him to be fed; and

while this was being done I observed that he had provided for the safety of his brood by securing in the centre of their house a large stove, which was now cold, but which in the winter must give them abundant heat. And so the Doctor, besides his round red radishes and his nice fresh butter, had pork and milk and eggs of native growth. The next object of interest to attract attention was the Doctor's “smokehouse,” then in full operation. This was simply a large hogshead, with one head pierced with holes and the other head knocked out. The end without a head was set upon a circle of

stones, which supported it about a foot

above the ground, and inside of this circle a great volume of smoke was being generated, and which came puffing out through the holes in the head above. Inside of this simple contrivance were suspended a number of fine salmon, the delicate flesh of which was being dried by the heat, and penetrated by the sweet aroma of the smoke, which came puffing through the holes. The smoke arose from a smouldering fire of the leaves and branches of the Andromeda (Andromeda Hetrigona), the heather of Greenland, – a trailing plant with a pretty purple blossom, which grows in sheltered places in great abundance. Besides moss, this is the only vegetable production of North Greenland that will burn, and it is sometimes used by the natives for fuel, after it is dried by the sun, for which purpose it is torn up and spread over the rocks. The perfume of the smoke is truly delicious, which accounts for the excellent flavor of the salmon which the Doctor had given me for lunch. Nothing, indeed, could exceed the delicacy of the fish thus prepared. The inspection of the Doctor's garden, or “farm,” as he facetiously called it, occupied us during the remainder of the afternoon; and so novel was everything to me, from the Doctor down to his vegetables and persumed fish, that the time passed away unnoticed, and I was quite astonished when Sophy came to announce “dinner.”

We were soon seated at the table where we had been before, and Sophy served the dinner. Her soup was excellent, the trout were of fine quality and well cooked, the haunch was done to a turn, the wines were this time rightly tempered, the champagne needed not to be iced, more of the round red radishes appeared in season, and then followed lettuce and cheese and coffee, and then we found ourselves at another game of billiards, and at length were settled for the evening in the Doctor's study, one on either side of a table, on which stood all the ingredients for an arrack punch, and a bundle of cigars.

Our conversation naturally enough ran upon the affairs of the big world on the other side of the Arctic Circle, – upon its politics and literature and science and art, passing lightly from one to the other, lingering now and then over some book which we had mutually fancied. I found my companion perfectly posted up to within a year, and inquired how he managed so well. “Ah! you must know,” answered he, “that is a clever little illusion of mine. I’m always precisely one year behind the rest of the world. The Danish ship brings me a file of papers for the past- twelve months, the principal reviews and periodicals, the latest maps, such books as I have sent for the year previous, and, beside this, the bookseller and my other home friends make me up an assortment of what they think will please me. Now, you see, in devouring this, I pursue an absolute method. The books, of course, I take up as the fancy pleases me; but the reviews, periodicals, and newspapers I turn over to Sophy, and the faithful creature places on my breakfast-table every morning exactly what was published that day one year before. Clever, is n't it? You see I get every day the news, and go through the drama of the year with perhaps quite as much satisfaction as they who live the passing days in the midst of the occurring events. Each day's paper opens a new act in the play, and what matters it that

the ‘news’ is one year old? It is none the less news to me; and, besides, are not Gibbon, Shakespeare, and Mother Goose still more ancient?” I could but smile at this ingenious device; and the Doctor, seeing plainly that I was deeply interested in his novel mode of life, loosened a tongue which, in truth, needed little encouragement, and rattled away over the rough and smooth of his Greenland experiences, with an enjoyment on his part perhaps scarcely less than mine; for it was easy to see that his love of wild adventure kept pace with his love of comfort, and that he heartily enjoyed the exposures of his career and the reputation which his hardihood had acquired for him. I perceived, too, that he possessed a warm and vivid imagination, and that, clothing everything he saw and everything he did with a fitting sentiment of strength or beauty, he had blended wild nature and his own strange life into a romantic scheme which completely filled his fancy, — apparently, at least, leaving nothing unsupplied, - and this he enjoyed to the very bottom of his soul., The hours glided swiftly away as we sat sipping our punch and smoking our cigars in that quaint study of the, Doctor's, chatting of this and of that ; and a novel feature of the evening was, that, as we talked on and on, the light grew not dim with the passing hours; for when the hand of a Danish clock which ticked above the mantel told nine, and ten, and eleven o'clock, it was still broad day; and then in the full blaze of sunshine the clock rang out the “witching hour” of midnight. The sun, low down upon the northern horizon, poured his bright rays over the hills and sea, throwing the dark shadow of the mountains over the town, but illuminating everything to right and left with that soft and pleasant light which we so often see at home in the early morning of the spring. After the clock had struck twelve, we threw our fur cloaks over our shoulders, and strolled out into this strange midnight. Passing through the town, I remarked the quiet which everywhere prevailed, and how all nature seemed to have caught the inspiration of the hour. Not a soul was stirring abroad; the dogs, crouching in clusters, were all asleep; and it seemed as if my little vessel lay under the shadows of the cliffs with a consciousness that midnight is a solemn thing even m sunshine; and never did the sun shine more brightly, or a more brilliantly illuminated landscape give stronger evidence of day. But wearied nature had sought repose, even though no “sable cloud with silver lining” turned upon the world its darkening shadow, - for the hour of rest was come. Walking on over the rough rocks, we came at length upon the sea, and I noticed that the very birds which were wont to paddle about in great flocks upon the waters, or fly gayly through the air, had crawled upon the shore, and, tucking their heads beneath their wings, had gone to sleep. Even the little flowers and blades of grass seemed to droop, as if wearied with the long hours of the day, and, defying the restless sun to rob them of their natural repose, had fallen to sleep with the beasts and birds. The very sea itself seemed to have caught the infection of the hour, dissolving in its blue depths the golden clouds of day. The night was far from cold, and, selecting the most tempting and sunny spot, we sat down upon a rock close beside the sea, watching the gentle wavelets playing on the sand, and the changing light as the sun rolled on, glistening upon the hills and upon the icebergs, which, in countless numbers, lay upon the watery plain before us, like great monoliths of Parian marble, waiting but for the sculptor's chisel to stand forth in fluted pillar and solid architrave, – floating Parthenons and Pantheons and Temples of the Sun. The scene was favorable to the conversation which had been broken off when we left the study, and the Doctor came back to it of his own accord. I was much absorbed with the grandeur of this midnight scene, and had remained

for some time quiet. My companion, breaking in abruptly, said: “I think I promised to prove to you that I am the most sensible fellow alive. Now let me tell you, to begin with, that I would not exchange this view for any other I have ever seen. It is one of which I am very fond ; for at this hour the repose which you here see is frequently repeated; and, to compare big things with little, it might be likened to some huge lion sleeping over his prey, which he is not yet prepared to eat, quick to catch the first sound of movement. There is something truly terrible in this untamed nature. Man's struggle here gives him something to rejoice in; and I would not barter it for the effeminate life to which I should be destined at home, on any account whatever. Perhaps, if I should there be compelled absolutely to earn my daily bread, the case might be different, for enforced occupation is quite too sober an affair to give time for much reflection; but I should most likely lead an idle sort of life there, and should simply live without — so far as I can see — a motive. I should encounter few perils, have few sorrows, fewer disappointments, and want for nothing, —nothing, indeed, but temptation to exert myself, or prove my own manhood in its strength, or enjoy the luxury of risking the precious breath of life, which is so little worth, and which is so easily knocked away. You have seen one side of me, – how I live. . Well, I enjoy life and make the most of it, after my own fashion, as everybody should do. If it is a luxurious fashion, as you are pleased to say, it but gives me a keener relish for the opposite; and that it does not unfit me for encountering the hardships of the field is proved by the reputation for endurance which I have among the natives. If I sleep between well-aired sheets one night, I can coil myself up among my dogs on the ice-fields the next, and sleep there as well, - I care not if it’s as cold as the frigid circle of Lucifer. If I have a penchant for Burgundy, and like to drink it out of French glass, I can drink train-oil out of a tin cup when I am cold

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