Letters From High Latitudes By Lord Dufferin















































































 -   Whether Columbus - for it was no less a personage
than he - really learned anything to confirm him in his
noble - Page 40
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Whether Columbus - For It Was No Less A Personage Than He - Really Learned Anything To Confirm Him In His Noble

Resolutions, is uncertain; but we have still extant an historical manuscript, written at all events before the year 1395, that

Is to say, one hundred years prior to Columbus' voyage, which contains a minute account of how a certain person named Lief, while sailing over to Greenland, was driven out of his course by contrary winds, until he found himself off an extensive and unknown coast, which increased in beauty and fertility as he descended south, and how, in consequence of the representation Lief made on his return, successive expeditions were undertaken in the same direction. On two occasions their wives seem to have accompanied the adventurers; of one ship's company the skipper was a lady: while two parties even wintered in the new land, built houses, and prepared to colonize. For some reason, however, the intention was abandoned; and in process of time these early voyages came to be considered as aprocryphal as the Phoenician circumnavigation of Africa in the time of Pharaoh Necho.

It is quite uncertain how low a latitude in America the Northmen ever reached; but from the description given of the scenery, products, and inhabitants, - from the mildness of the weather, - and from the length of the day on the 21st of December, - it is conjectured they could not have descended much farther than Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, or, at most, the coast of Massachusetts. [Footnote:

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