Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/237

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

with a point of land called Herjolf's Ness. Sailing to the south, he then entered a large inlet, which was thenceforth named Eric's Sound. Here he landed to spend the winter, and having explored the coast, returned to Iceland, where he gave so favourable a description of its green and pleasant meadows, (from which it obtained the name of Greenland), that many persons were induced to colonize it. About the year 1000, Christianity began to flourish in the new settlement; a cathedral and several churches were built along the coast, and the bishop's residence established at Gardé, a little to the south of the polar circle. At a small place called Albe, a monastery was also founded near a volcano, the subterraneous fire of which causing a spring of boiling water to rise, the fluid was conducted in that state into the houses of this religious fraternity for all culinary purposes. Many public buildings were also erected in the colony, which, for a few centuries, proceeded prosperously, until it was visited by the dreadful pestilence, termed the black death, which commenced its fatal career in Cathay or China in 1346; spread all over Asia and Africa, and reaching to the south of Europe in 1347, extended itself in the following year to Britain, Germany, the north of Europe, Iceland, and finally to this unfortunate colony. Since this period of calamity, the settlement has been little heard of, and never even visited, to discover whether the whole of the inhabitants perished, or whether any of the ancient race are re-