. A gloomy, desolate scene--a perilous stronghold on the fringe of the Arctic night. There Rölvaag's forebears had lived, going out to the fisheries, since time immemorial. His father, who is still alive, is the image of a New England sea captain. The family must have been a remarkable one. An uncle, his father's brother, had broken away from the fishing life and made himself a teacher of prominence in a neighbouring locality. An older brother had the mind of a scholar; but something happened-- he went on with the fishing, and died long ago. There was a brilliant sister, also, who died young. These two evidently overshadowed Rölvaag while he was growing up; his case as a child seemed hopeless--he could not learn.