Letters From High Latitudes By Lord Dufferin















































































 -  [Footnote: The climate,
however, does not appear to have been then so inclement
in these latitudes as it has since - Page 110
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[Footnote: The Climate, However, Does Not Appear To Have Been Then So Inclement In These Latitudes As It Has Since Become.

A similar deterioration in the temperature, both of Spitzbergen and Greenland, has also been observed.

In Iceland we have undoubted evidence of corn having been formerly grown, as well as of the existence of timber of considerable size, though now it can scarcely produce a cabbage, or a stunted shrub of birch. M. Babinet, of the French Institute, goes a little too far when he says, in the Journal des Debats of the 30th December, 1856, that for many years Jan Mayen has been inaccessible.] Huge fleets of ice beleaguered the island, the sun disappears, and they spend most of their time in "rehearsing to one another the adventures that had befallen them both by sea and land." On the 12th of December they kill a bear, having already begun to feel the effects of a salt diet. At last comes New Year's Day, 1636. "After having wished each other a happy new year, and success in our enterprise, we went to prayers, to disburthen our hearts before God." On the 25th of February (the very day on which Wallenstein was murdered) the sun reappeared. By the 22nd of March scurvy had already declared itself: "For want of refreshments we began to be very heartless, and so afflicted that our legs are scarce able to bear us." On the 3rd of April, "there being no more than two of us in health, we killed for them the only two pullets we had left; and they fed pretty heartily upon them, in hopes it might prove a means to recover part of their strength. We were sorry we had not a dozen more for their sake." On Easter Day, Adrian Carman, of Schiedam, their clerk, dies.

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