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quarian Society at Copenhagen, which go far to show that those bold navigators discovered the coast of Labrador, and proceeding to the south, fell in with the island of Newfoundland; continuing their course, they beheld the sandy shores of Cape Cod, centuries before the American continent was discovered by Christopher Columbus.
3. It is even believed that these Scandinavian adventurers effected a settlement on the shores of what is now known as Narraganset Bay in Rhode Island, and in consequence of the multitude of grapes which abounded in the woods, they called the new and fruitful country Vinland. But owing to the great number of hostile savages who inhabited these regions, the colonists, after some sanguinary skirmishes, forsook the coast and returned to Greenland.
4. The colony, however, continued to flourish, and the intercourse between it and the mother country was constant and regular. In the year 1400, it is said to have numbered one hundred and ninety villages, a bishopric, twelve parishes, and two monasteries. During this period of four hundred years, vessels were passing, at regular intervals, between the Danish provinces in Europe and Greenland. But in the year 1406, this intercourse was interrupted in a fatal manner. A mighty wall arose, as if by magic, along the coast, and the navigators who sought those shores could behold the mountains in the distance, but could not effect a landing.
5. During the greater part of the fifteenth, and the whole of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Greenland was inaccessible to European navigators. The whole coast was blockaded by large masses and islands of ice, which had been drifting from the north for years, and which at length chilled the waters of the coast, changed the temperature of the atmosphere, and presented an impassable barrier to the entrance in their ports of friend or foe. The sea, at the distance of miles from the land, was frozen to a great depth. Vegetation was destroyed, and the very rocks were rent with the cold. And this intensely rigid weather continued for ages !
6. The colony of Greenland, after this unexpected event took place, never had any intercourse with their friends in the mother country. They were cut off from all the rest of the world. And by this sudden and unanticipated change of climate, they were also doubtless deprived of all resources within themselves. Their fate, however, is a mystery. History is silent on the subject. All that is known of this unfortunate people is, that they no longer exist.
7. The ruins of their habitations and their churches have since been discovered along the coast by adventurous men, who have taken advantage of an amelioration in the climate to explore that sterile country, and establish settlements again on various parts of the coast: and also by missionaries, who have braved hardships and perils to introduce among the aboriginal inhabitants the blessings of civilization and Christianity. No other traces of those early European settlers have been discovered, and we can only speculate upon their fate.
8. It would require no vivid fancy to imagine the appalling sense of destitution which blanched the features and chilled the hearts of those unhappy colonists when they began to realize their forlorn condition; when the cold rapidly increased, and their harbours became permanently blocked with enormous icebergs, and the genial rays of the sun were obscured by fogs; when the winters became for the first time intensely rigid, cheerless, and dreary; when the summers were also cold, and the soil unproductive; when the mountains, no longer crowned with forests, were covered with snow and ice throughout the year, and the valleys filled with glaciers; when the
wonted inhabitants of the woods and waters were destroyed or exiled by the severity of the weather, and their places perhaps supplied by monsters of a huge and frightful character.
9. It were easy to follow this people in fancy to their dwellings; to see them sad, spiritless, and despairing, while conscious of their imprisoned and cheerless condition and impending fate; to watch them as their numbers gradually diminish through the combined influence of want and continual suffering; to behold them struggling for existence, and striving, nobly striving, to adapt their constitutions, their habits, their feelings, and their wants to their strangely changed circumstances, but all in vain. -J. S. Sleeper.
glaciers, fields or immense mas- sterile, barren.
ses of ice formed in deep but aboriginal, first, primitive. elevated alleys.
speculate, surmise. chequered, diversified.
vivid, strong or lively. accessible, that
appalling, growing pale with proached.
fear. settlement, the act of planting a blanched, whitened. colony.
forlorn, deserted. emigrants, people who quit one permanently, without change.
country to live in another. genial, enlivening. colony, a body of people trans- obscured, darkened.
planted from their mother wonted, usual. country to inhabit some distant exiled, banished or driven out. place.
despairing, giving up all hope. exploration, discovery.
impending, threatening. projected, formed.
Scandinavians, inhabitants of antiquarian, pertaining to an- Norway and Sweden.
tiquity or ancient times. Greenland, an extensive territory, navigators, persons skilful in North America.
the art of navigation or direct- Iceland, an island, North Atlaning the course of ships.
tic Ocean. hostile, warlike.
Labrador, an extensive peninmonasteries, houses of religious sula, east coast of British North retirement.
America. intervals, periods.
Newfoundland, a large island, barrier, obstacle.
British America, at the mouth rigid, cold.
of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. intercourse, communication. Cape Cod, a peninsula, United unanticipated, unlooked for.
States of America. habitations, dwellings.
Rhode Island, United States, amelioration, improvement.
When was Greenland first discovered, and by whom? What other coasts are supposed to have been discovered in those days? Why did the colonists forsake these regions? Describe the colony in the year 1400. How was the intercourse with the mother countries interrupted in the year 1406? How long was Greenland rendered inaccessible to European navigators? What traces of these early settlers have been discovered?
THE DUKE D'ENGHIEN.
1. Last of a high and noble race,
Unhappy prince, thy fate we mourn
And life and fame wert torn.
Where thou bright wreaths of glory won-
Great Condé's gallant son.
2. The midnight torch gleam'd wild around,
Where thou didst fall so young and brave; Thy breast received the fatal wound,
And ready was thy grave.
No eye where pity's teardrop shone:
Great Condé's gallant son.