Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/198

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

known, being rendered inaccessible by the great quantity of floating ice which, probably forming a compact body to the land, prevents all communication with it: the distance was too far and the weather not sufficiently clear to enable me to ascertain the precise nature of the coast; but by the aid of a good glass and much attention, I succeeded in making a correct resemblance of its character, so as to distinguish its features, determine the great evenness of the surface of its mountains, the singular point of one, and the ruggedness of another: I could also plainly see that the snow was confined Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821, page 146.png only to its valleys, that there was none upon its loftier lands, and that the face of these last did not wear the appearance of sterile rock, but was veined with variegated colours, as if spread over with a little earth, turf, or a scanty covering of vegetation. A prospect like this greatly interested me, being persuaded that many valuable objects of natural history would consequently be furnished by these regions. The range of country which I could distinguish extended from north-west, to north-north-west, and uniformly bore the same character.

The only history of this almost unknown land, and particularly of the eastern side, is, that it was first peopled by Icelanders in the tenth century, but