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whether it was a point of Waigatz Island, or a cluster of small islands near to Waigatz. Here they saw more crosses, and continued their route three leagues further, “ till the sun was at North,” when they were near an opening about a Dutch league broad, in the middle of which was an island, so that in fact it formed two openings. The Southern appeared larger than the Northern, and from the Southern opening the outer coast lay in a S.S.E. direction. This opening was supposed to be the Strait between Waigatz and the Continent, which accorded with the globes and charts. “We had been told,” says Linschoten, “ that there was an island to the South of Waigatz, and six other isles farther to the East.” The island first mentioned in the opening was distant from them three Dutch leagues, and more distant land seen to the East appeared joined as a single land. As the wind was Easterly, they continued sailing to the S.S.E. At noon on the 23rd, the latitude was observed 69° 13'N. The weather this day was warm, and they were troubled with gnats. Since the 17th of June they had had the sun constantly above the horizon ; but on this night, the 23rd, the sun set at N.N.E. by the compass, and a short time afterwards reappeared at N.E. by N.; whence is to be inferred, that the variation of the compass was two points and a half North-westerly.
The land to the South was ascertained to be part of BARENTSZ'S VOYAGE.
the Continent. It was low, and much driftwood lay on the shores. They sailed back Northward to the Strait, and, the wind continuing Easterly, kept working to windward all the 24th. In the morning of the 25th, they sailed between two points of land moderately elevated, and covered with verdure, but without trees. The Southern or continental coast was sandy, and the sea near it rocky. The Northern land (Waigatz Island) was rather higher than the Southern, and level at the top. Crosses were seen in many places, but no appearance of habitations. These coasts were full of sinuosities forming small bays, especially the Northern coast, nearest to which the ships kept.
The wind being contrary, they anchored several times in the Strait. At one time they rode out a gale of wind in the middle of the Strait, a rapid current at the same time running through the Strait putott from the East, which brought with it large clumps Kamere of ice, and kept them in much alarm. This current was affected by the tides ; or more properly was partly tide, for it is afterwards remarked, that with the rising tide the current came from the East, and that the ebbing of the tide was scarcely perceptible. The direction of the Strait was here North-eastward.
In passing through the Strait, the depth under them was at one time not more than four fathoms, but they were then within a stone's cast of the shore. The
26th, latitude was observed 69° 43' N. On a point of land of the Waigatz they found a number of wooden images rudely carved to resemble men, women, and children, not fewer than three or four hundred, loosely heaped one upon another. Linschoten naturally conjectures that when a Samoyede dies, his friends consecrate an image to his memory. Some of these were worm-eaten and quite decayed ; others new and recently carved. Some had several visages on the same trunk, as if to represent many persons of the same family. “No graves, or bones, or other mark of cemetery or repository of the dead, were found here, and perhaps the Samoyedes bring their images here at certain seasons of the year.” This cape was named the Cape of Idols. Another cape of Waigatz, more advanced in the Strait, was named Kruyz Hoek, which signifies Cape of the Cross.
On the 29th, an ice island half a league in length drifted through the Strait. It was narrow and came lengthway; "if it had lain athwart it would have entirely closed the passage.” One of the ships was at anchor within a projecting point of land, and thither the other went for shelter. The water of the sea here was remarked to be clear, of a deep blue like the water of the ocean, and very salt.
Smokes had been seen rising from different places on the coast, and at small distances within, and men
had been seen at a distance. On the 29th, and afterwards, the Hollanders had friendly communication with some Samoyedes. By means of a Russian sailor belonging to one of the ships, “who had much trouble to understand them," information was obtained that eastward of Nova Zembla was a sea of no great extent, which being passed, there was another extending far. These Samoyedes being questioned, if they were subject to the great Czar of Muscovy, replied that they knew nothing of him. They spoke, however, of Pe- petelera troza and Pitzano, places which belonged to the Russians, as known to them.
Among a wandering unsettled people like the Samoyedes, it would naturally happen that some might be made to acknowledge themselves subject to the Russians, and others remain long in perfect ignorance of any such claim to their obedience. Descriptions of the Russian empire say that the Samoyedes, or Ostiaks, inhabiting near the river Ob, were compelled to swear fidelity and allegiance to the Russian empire in the following manner :-A mouthful of bread was presented to each man on the point of a knife, and the man, receiving it kneeling, was required to say, or repeat, “If in the course of my life I become unfaithful to my Czar, if at any time I do not pay my
tribute, may a bear devour me, and may this morsel of bread that I am about to eat choke me."
Linschoten says the Samoyedes seen by him were a very diminutive people, “who might be denominated half men. Some among them resembled apes or monsters ! Nevertheless,” he says, “ they are light and alert, jump well, run like stags, with admirable circumspection, casting their eyes from side to side; none of our people could keep pace with them in the race. They have sledges and reindeer, and use bows and arrows, and I think they would make good warriors, if they could be disciplined.” He says further, " they are not used to fishing, and live wholly by the chase. We saw no sign of their having boats or water conveyance of any kind, and we observed neither house nor cabin on the shore.” Linschoten seems here to have drawn a conclusion from appearances which might more reasonably be otherwise accounted for. It is difficult to imagine that any tribe of Samoyedes, residing occasionally, if not generally, near the sea coast, should not use boats and fish, although nothing of the kind was perceived among those seen by the Hollanders ; which very possibly was owing to their having travelled overland from some place where they had fixed their quarters, pur