Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/203

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voyage to greenland.

on his return to Denmark, to land in Old Greenland, but all his efforts proved abortive. M. Egede gave it as his opinion that the only practicable method of reaching that part of the country, would be to coast north about in small vessels, between the great ice fields and the shore; as the Greenlanders. had declared that the currents which rush continually from the bays and inlets, and run southwestward along the shore, prevent the ice from adhering to the land, so that there is always a channel open, through which vessels of small burden might pass, especially if lodges were built at proper distances on the shore, for the convenience and direction of the adventurers. In 1731, a royal edict was published enjoining all the king's subjects in Greenland to return home; and the colonies were thereby dissolved. But M. Egede, being zealous for the salvation of the inhabitants, staid behind, together with his family and some others who chose to follow his fortunes. This zealous man who was called the arctic apostle, feeling a deep desire to explore the eastern side, accompanied some Greenlanders, who went fifty leagues for the purpose of catching deer, to determine if it was practicable; and, on the 2d of September, 1751, he fitted out an expedition from the west side to explore the opposite boundary; when, having passed over much uneven ice, full of clefts, he was compelled to relinquish the enterprise after five days' toil, the particulars of which are thus related: "About north-east, or east north-east, are the