Imágenes de páginas

ing some of it off,“ the great island of ice gave à mightie cracke two or three times, as though it had been a thunder-clappe; and presently the island began to overthrow, which was like to have sunk both our boats."*

An inlet is described in 61° 40', not much pestered with ice, and forty leagues broad, within which Weymouth says he sailed a hundred leagues west and by south, but which we now know must have been impossible. Indeed the whole account of Weymouth's proceedings is so confused, that little or nothing can be drawn from it, except that he was among the islands to the northward of Hudson's Strait, and probably those of Cape Chidley; and though he calls every land he fell in with the “ land of America,” it is quite clear that he never came near the American coast, except that part of it which is known by the name of Labra

[ocr errors]

5th to the 14th July, when he discovers an inlet in lat. 56°, up which he sailed thirty leagues, entertaining sanguine hopes of a passage through it: this inlet corresponds with Sleeper's Bay, or Davis's Inlet. On the 5th August he arrived at Dartmouth.

The voyage of Weymouth was a complete failure. He reached no higher than lat. 63° 53'; “ hee neither discovered,” says Luke Fox, “ nor

* Purchas his Pilgrimes, vol. iii. p. 812.

Ibid. p. 814.

[ocr errors]

named any thing more than Davis, nor had any sight of Greenland, nor was so farre north; nor can I conceive he hath added any thing more to this designe; yet these two, Davis and he, did, I conceive, light Hudson into his straights."*

Hitherto the nation which might be supposed to be the most interested in prosecuting discoveries in the arctic seas, along the two coasts of Greenland, had seen the repeated enterprizes of the English in those seas with apparent indifference. Roused at length, however, to a sense of the propriety, but more so, perhaps, of the importance of northern discovery, the king of Denmark caused an expedition to be fitted out for exploring Greenland. It consisted of two ships and a pinnace; one of which, the Admiral, was called the Frost, of the burden of thirty or forty tasts, commanded by John Cunningham, a Scottish gentleman in the service of the king, and on board of which was James Hall, an Englishman, acting as principal pilot: the other ship was the Lion, Vice-admiral, of the same burden, commanded by a Dane; and the pinnace of twelve lasts was under the command of John Knight, also an Englishman. The

* North-west Fox, p. 50.

whole expedition was placed under the orders of Admiral Godske Lindenau. They sailed from Copenhagen on the 2d May, 1605. On the 24th, being in lat. 591° they expected to have seen Buss island, and conclude it to be laid down in a wrong latitude on the charts. On the 30th they saw the south point of Greenland, which, out of compliment to the king of Denmark, they named Cape Christian. To avoid the ice, which encompassed the shore, they stood to the westward, and fell in with “ mighty islands of ice, being very high, like huge mountains,". making a hideous and wonderful noise; and on one of them was observed “a huge rocke stone, of the weight of three hundred pounds or thereabouts.” Finding nothing but ice and fog, from the 1st to

miral,“calling very fearfully, and desiring the pilot to alter his course, and return homeward.” The alarm spread in the Admiral's ship, and they would have determined to have put about, had not Cunningham, the captain, protested he would stand by Hall, “ as long as his blood was warme, for the good of the king's majestie.” This pacified them for a moment, but the next floating island of ice renewed the terrors of those on board the Lion, who having fired a piece of ordnance, stood away to the southward.

On the 12th the Admiral fell in with the coast of Greenland, and gave the names of Mount Cun

ningham, Queen Anne, and Queen Sophia's Capes, to

bay, which they called Christian's Fiord, a party landed and examined some tents of the natives covered with seal skins; and within, among other articles, some vessels were observed boiling over a little lamp, in one of which was found a dog's head boiled, “ so that I persuaded myself,” says Hall, " that they eate dog's flesh.” The latitude of the anchorage was found by observation to be 66° 25'. The natives presently came off to the ship in their boats, and bartered whale-bone, seal-skins, inorse teeth and unicorns' horns for nails and pieces of old iron. But on reaching the shore they began to hurl stones at the strangers with their slings“ in such sort, that no man could stand upon the hatches." The Danes, however, succeeded after some time in dispersing them by the fire of musketry; but they assembled again in greater force than ever, having upwards of seventy boats, and not less than 300 persons on shore. The wind luckily became easterly, on which the pinnace steered out to sea, and coasting along the shore to lat. 69°, they found many goodly sounds, bays, and rivers, and gave names to divers of them; they met with much drift-wood,“ but whence it cometh,” observes Hall, “ I know not.” Hall would have proceeded farther to the northward, but the people in the pinnace earnestly entreated him to return, saying that their companions in the Admiral would inutiny and leave them behind, which in fact they had nearly done. They found, on their return, that the people of the ship had been engaged in fight with the natives, of whom several were slain and three taken prisoners.

Before they departed from Frost Sound they turned on shore two Danish malefactors, whom they had brought out for that purpose by order of the Court, with certain necessaries ; "and thus," says Hall, “ having committed both the one and the other to God we set saile homewards.” They passed down Davis's Strait with a rapid current in their favour, and anchored on the 10th August off the castle of Elsineur.

It would seem that the ship, in which Lindenau was, stood away to the east coast of Greenland; or rather, it may be suspected, to the south, somewhere about Cape Farewell, where he was visited by a number of the “ savages," as they are called, though very far from deserving that appellation. Wine, it is said, was offered to them, and not being to their taste was refused; but they drank with great avidity whole mugs of whale oil. The Admiral most unwarrantably seized two of the natives, and carried them off to Denmark; and it is said that those brought by Hall differed very much from those brought by Lindenau, in manners, language and appearance, the former being much superior in every respect. *


* Relation du Groenland par M. de la Peyrère. 1657.

« AnteriorContinuar »