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it appears that, during his residence at this monastery, being unused to such severity of weather, he fell sick, and died shortly after his return into Frisland. This Nicolo left behind him two sons in Venice, from one of whom was descended the celebrated Cardinal Zeno.
On the death of Nicolo, his brother Antonio succeeded to his property, and, unwillingly as it would seem, to all his dignities and honours, for he wished to return to his own country; but all his entreaties with Zichmni were unavailing; for Zichmni, “ being a man of great courage and valour, had determined to make himself lord of the sea.” At this time one of his fishermen returned to Frisland, after an absence of six and twenty years, and gave an account of his having been driven by a violent storm upon an island called Estotiland, about a thousand miles to the westward of Frisland. He related that the island was well peopled; that a man was brought to him who had likewise been shipwrecked, and who spoke Latin ; that the island was nearly as large as Iceland, and more fertile, the people ingenious and skilled as artisans; that the prince had Latin books, but did not understand them; that they had gold and all manner of metals; that they raised corn, made beer, traded with Greenland, from whence they procured furs, brimstone, and pitch; that their buildings were made of stone; that they had extensive woods, of which they built ships, and
traded with a country to the southward called Drogio.
Zichmni, having heard this strange relation, which was confirmed by the crew who had come to Frisland with the fisherman, determined to set out with a great number of ships and men in search of these countries, and Antonio Zeno accompanied him on this expedition of discovery. · As they proceeded to the westward, the first point they fell in with was called Icària, and beyond this they came to another country, whose temperature is said to have been inexpressibly mild and pleasant. To the haven in which they anchored they gave the name of Trin. In the interior were great multitudes of people, half wild, hiding themselves in caverns, of small stature, and very timid. Zichmni, finding this place to have a wholesome and pure air, a fruitful soil, and fair rivers, was so delighted with the country, that he determined to take possession of it and to build a city. But his people began to murmur and to express a desire to return, upon which he sent away Antonio to conduct back to Frisland all those who were unwilling to stay. They sailed
without seeing any land; then south-east five days, when they perceived the island of Neome, and, taking in fresh provisions, in three days more reached Frisland.
What followed after the letter containing
this intelligence," observes the narrator, “ I know not:" but from a piece of another letter of Antonio, it would appear that Zichmni built a town
discovered. The beginning of the letter he says is as follows:
“ Concerning those things that you desire to know of me, as of the men and their manners and customs, of the animals and neighbouring countries, I have set down particularly in a book, which, by the blessing of God, I will bring with me; wherein I have described the country, the monstrous fishes, the laws and customs of Frisland, Island, Estland, the kingdom of Norway, Estotiland, Drogio, together with the life of M. Nicolo, the knight our brother, with the discovery which he made, and the state of Engroneland. I have also written the life and acts of Zichmni, a prince as worthy of immortal memory as any that ever lived, for his great valour and singular humanity; wherein I have described the discovery of Engroneland on both sides and the city which he built. Therefore I will speak no further hereof in this letter, hoping to be with you very shortly, and to
The letters containing the curious and interesting narrative of the adventures and discoveries of the two Zenos were written by Antonio to his brother Carlo; "and it grieveth me,” says the narrator, " that the book and various other writings concerning these things should so lamentably have been destroyed; for being but a child when they fell into my possession, and not knowing of what importance they were, I tore them in pieces, as the manner of children is, which I cannot call to remembrance without the deepest grief.”*
The more the narrative of the two Zenos has been scrutinized, the stronger has the internal evidence appeared in favour of its general veracity. The heating of the monastery, the cooking of the friars' victuals, and watering their gardens with hot water, were considered, however, by many as things utterly incredible. But we are now “wiser than of yore," and manage these things in the same manner as the monks of St. Thomas were wont to do in the fourteenth century. The great difficulty, however, among geographers was that of assigning a proper position for the island of Frisland; a name which occurs in the life of Christopher Columbus, and is placed by Frobisher as the southern extremity of Greenland. Ortelius maintained that it was a certain part of the coast of North America. Delislet and some others supposed that Buss island, to the south of Iceland, was the remains of Friesland, which had been swallowed up by an
* Dello Scoprimento del l'Isole Frisland, &c. per Fran. Marcolini, 1558. + Hémisphère Occidental, 1720.
earthquake;* and others again cut the matter short by considering the existence of Frisland, and even the whole voyage of the two Zenos, as a fiction. But M. Buache and M. Eggers have gone far to prove the truth of the narrative on two different grounds; the former having shewn that the geographical position of Frisland corresponds with the cluster of the Feroe islands ; † and the latter, that the names given by Zeno correspond pretty nearly with the modern names of those islands. Forster has tried the same thing, and finds a corresponding island for every name inentioned in the narrative of the two Zenos. He has also discovered that one Henry Sinclair was Earl of Orkney and possessor of the Shetland islands so far down as the year 1406; and as Sinclair or Siclair to an Italian ear might sound like Zichmni, he concludes that Sinclair is the prince mentioned by Zeno. The name even of the aggregate, Feroesland, differs not materially from Frisland. Estotiland may be Newfoundland or Labrador.
* It is got rid of in this way by the Duc d'Almadover, the Abbé Zurla and Amoretti; (Voyage à la Mer Atlantique, &c. traduit par Ch. Amoretti;) and Buss island itself is gone, if it ever had any existence above water.
+ Mém. sur l'Ile de Frislande, dans l'Hist. de l'Acad. des Scien. 1784.
1 Mem. sur l'Ancien Greenland. 1792.
s History of Voyages and Discoveries made in the North, p. 209.