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talking with old Mr. and Mrs. Widdrington,
real Coquet Dale people, and who knew all
about Simonside Moor, Otterburne, and the

We think it would be difficult to find a
more congenial knot of people than is now
settled about Mount Tracy. Sometimes,
indeed, the Widdringtons and Tom Boyd talk
themselves into such fits of enthusiasm, about
Border raids, the Douglas, the Percy, and
all the tales of moss-troopers that lay about
Liddesdale and Lynedale, with wraiths and
haunted castles, that they think there's no
place like Northumberland, and that some
day they will go there again; but in our
opinion it will not be to-morrow, nor the
next day, no, nor the day after.


"IT is a man!" said the captain, handing
his telescope to the mate, after a long, steady
look; "and he seems frozen hard and fast to
the side of the iceberg."

"Keep her away!" cried the skipper. "So
oo. Steady!" and by thus altering our
course we brought the iceberg right a-head.

The iceberg had been in sight since the
weather cleared at midnight, when it looked
like some high rocky headland, except that,
by watching the bright stars behind it, we
could see its gigantic outline swaying solemnly
and majestically up and down. There was
something sublimely grand in the slow
stately movement of such a mass. There it
floated, large enough, had it been land, to
have been the dwelling-place of hundreds of
human beings. The lower part was of so
dark a purple as to look almost black; but,
higher up, it shaded off to a bright azure,
then to a light pale green, while on its lofty
summit were long slender spires and
pinnacles, and pieces of thin transparent ice,
worked into all manner of fantastic forms,
and either of a crystal whiteness, or tinted
with a beautiful pale pink. There were bays
and promontories, caves and grottos, hills
and dells, with every variety of light and
shade. The island was almost equally divided
by a great valley running through its centre.
This was half filled with snow; which, thawing
slowly in the sun, formed the source of a
waterfall, at a height so great that it was
blown and scattered into fine rain before it
reached the sea. Around its baseon which
the sea was breaking with a noise less booming
and more musical than when it dashes on
the solid shorewas a broad band of frozen
spray, which, glittering in the sunshine,
looked like the silver setting of an enormous

Not far from the top, and on the side
nearest to us, was a vast, smooth, glassy plane,
inclining steeply towards the sea, and terminating
abruptly in a tremendous overhanging
precipice. In the very centre of this plane,
those among us who had good eyes could see
a small black spot. It was at this, the captain
had been peering through his glass, when he
said, "It is a man!"

Every glass in the ship was in requisition,
and every eye strained towards one point.
The excitement became almost frantic when
one of the watchers suddenly exclaimed that
he saw the man move his hand.

We approached; so near at last, that the
plateau above, and its dread object, were at
last hidden from view by the brink of the
precipice itself, which seemed as if about to roll
over and crush us. We sailed along its side,
frequently lying-to, to explore each nook
and corner as we passed. The farther end
of the island, when we rounded it, presented
quite a new feature; the base was sapped
away and undermined for about half a mile
by a succession of low cavernous hollows,
extending inwards farther than we could see,
while the sea rushing in and out tumultuously,
made the pent-up air within howl
and whistle like a hurricane. Altering our
course again, we steered almost due west
under the southern side, where its vast
shadow spread out far and wide over the ocean.
It now looked even grander, darker, more
fear-inspiring, than before, with the sun
beaming over its rugged crest, or shining
through the thinner parts and showing all
the prismatic colours of the rainbow. The
form of the ice-island was that of an irregular
triangle, and in about five hours we
had sailed completely round it. But there
was no single point at which any boat ever
built could have landed, even had it been a
dead calm, and the sea as still as a mill-pond;
much less in such a heavy surf as was then
foaming and creaming all around it. No
sign of living thing was seen, excepting one
great sleepy seal, that had crept into a hole
just above water-mark, and lay there as if
he were in comfortable quarters. No sign of
boat, or spar, or wreck. It was a picture of
utter desolation.

We hove-to again, at the nearest point
from which the man upon the iceberg could
be seen. He lay on his back with one arm
folded in an unusual manner under his head,
the whole attitude being one of easy repose;
indeed, had it not been for the marbly look
of his face and hands, we could have fancied
that he was sleeping soundly. He was clothed
as one of the better class of seamen, in rough
blue pilot-cloth with large horn buttons; he
had no hat, and by his side lay a small boat-
hook, to which was tied a strip of red woollen
stuff, apparently a piece of the same which he
wore round his neck. This, no doubt, the
poor fellow had intended planting on the
heights as a signal. In such a thin, clear
atmosphere, with the aid of a powerful telescope,
even his features might be plainly traced,
and his iron grey hair seen moving in the

The second mate stoutly declared that he
recognised the manhe was quite sure of it