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terials for the foundation of comparative physical geography.
I may add, that never were geographical or physical disco-
veries more influential on human affairs. A larger field of
view was opened, commerce was stimulated by a great in .
crease in the medium of exchange, as well as by a large
accession to the number of natural productions valued for
use or enjoyment ; above all, there were laid the foundations
of colonies, of a magnitude never before known : and through
the agency of all these causes*, extraordinary changes were
wrought in manners and customs, in the condition of ser-
vitude long experienced by a portion of mankind, and
in their late awakening to political freedom.

"When a particular epoch thus stands out in the histoiy

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d mankiiid asimaiked by important inteUe^ual -progress^ vm
shall find on exAmiBfllion that preparations for ibis progress
had fafcen made daimg a long (series of antecedent eaituries.
It does not appear to belong to the destinies cf the human
race that all portions of .it should suffer eclipse or obscura-
tion at tiie same time. A preserving principle maintains
tiie ever living praoeas of the progress of reason. Hhq
epoch of Gokmdnra Attained the fulfilment of its objects so
rapidly^ beeanse their ;attamn^nt was the develqpment of
fruitful germs^ ivrhidi had be^i {ffovioudy deposited by\a
series of highfy gifted iitea> who fanned as itiKecea long
beam of light which we may tarace ihrou^nt the whole of
what hav^ been Tilled the daik ages. A single centuryy the
thirteenth^ shows us Bc^r .Bae(»i^ Nicolaus Scotos^ Albertus
Magnus^ and Yincentius.of Beauvais. The subsequent mone
general awakening of mental activity «x>n ^bore &uit inihe
extension of .geographical knowledge. When, in 152S>
Biego Sibero reamed &om the geograpbico^astronomical
congress whi^ was held at the Pueate de Caya near Ydve^
for the tenninatk)n lof differences riespecting the boundaries
of the two great empires ef the Portugneae and Spanish
monarchies, idietenilines of the JNfew Continent had .already
been traced fix)m T^oa del Pu^ to the coasts of.Labia^
dor. On the^we^em side^ opposite to Asia;, the advances
wereTsatunJly less rapid; yet in 1643 Bodriguez IJabrillo
had ^abeady penetBated meirth of Montemy ; and a£ber this
great and adventorone lutvigator had met his .^death .cS
New Califimiia, in the Channel of Santa Jlacbar^^ the.piktf
fiaartholomew.3Penreto.etiU led the expedition as^^as.the
43d degree of latitude, where Yanoouver'is Cape Oxtotd,k
vitoatftd. ^etemulatiiffi activity of the Spaniard^^ JQq^h^

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attd tPorti^ttare, 'was then so groat, iliat Jiailf a century ^iff-
fised to chstBvmiue the outline or the general direction df-^
coaate of iJie Western Continent.

Althon^ the «eqiiaintniiee of ihe nations dT Suiope wift
the Tjestem hemisphere is the leading subject to wbioh '^is
section is devoted, and around :which aie grouped the nu-
merous resulte whioh ilow from it of jnster end grander
Ticwe' of the TJniverae, yet we must draw e strongly marfeed
Une of distinction betweon ite &st diftcovery of America
in >it6 more nordiem portions^ whidi is eertainfy ix> lie
as^bed to the Notthnvm, and the Te-dis«oYery ^of 4be ^same
Continent in its tropical portions. Whilst 'the OdiiJiMrte
of JBogdad still flourished under the ^bas^des, and >«diile^he
Samanides whose reign was so fevoniablffto poetry bore^wayin
Persia, Ameriea was discovered inrfche year 1000, byanOTtbem
route, as far soutkas41'J°noTtJi. latitude, by»Leif,the son\^
Brie the Hed. (^ea) The first but acddcntal s4ep:toward€r this
JMCovery was made from Norway. In the iieoand half <^f the
ninth eentui^, !Naddod, (having ^sailed .lor tiie Eltoe Islands^
whioh had previously been visited from Ireland, 'VFEB driven
by -storms ito Icdand, and the first Norman setflement nwi
established there by Ingolf, ini^75. Qreenland, Ae eastern
peninsula of a land which is everywhere -sepafftted 'by4lu8
aea.frcnn America proper, was early tserai, (^ but was^firet
peopled from lesland a hundred ^ysars hter^ in 963. ^I%e
cotaniaation of Jceknd, which had been ^fisstodkd^ Nad-
dod, Snowland (8njoland),;]ioweondueted^iniasQU&^w«(talif
direction, .pamng i^ Chreenhnd, to ihe .New CknttiBeiit.

The E&coe Islands and -Icdand must be Tegardftdn in-'
ieormediate stations, and as pointe of departose :&r enter-
pues to 6auidiiianan.Am«risa. ilnAisimflar aammisr ite

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settlement of the Tyrians at Carthage had aided them to
xeach the Straits of (Madeira and the port of Tartessus, and
Tartessus itself conducted tliis enterprising race from station
to station to Oerne, the Grauleon (ship island) of the Car*
thaginians. {^^) ^

, Notwithstanding the proximity of the opposite coast of
Labrador (Helluland it mikla or the great), 125 years elapsed
from the first settlement of Northmen in Iceland, to Leif^s
great discovery of America ; so small were the means which,
in this remote and desolate part of the globe, a noble, ener-
getic, but not wealthy race, were able to devote to naval en-
ter})rises. The line of coast called Vinland, from wild
vines which were found there by the German Tyrker,
charmed its discoverers by the fertility of its soil and the
mildness ot its climate, compared with Iceland and Green-
land. The tract which received from Leif the name of
ViiJand it goda (Vinland the good), comprised the coast
line between Boston and New York ; therefore parts of the
present States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connec-
ticut, between the parallels of Civila Vecchia and Terracina,
but which corresponded there to mean annual temperatures
of 51-8° and 57*2^ of Fahr. (^66) This was the principal set- the Northmen. The colonists had frequently to
contend with a very warUke tribe of Esquimaux, then ex-
tending much' farther to the south, under the name of SkriL-
linger. The first bishop of Greenland, Eric Upsi, an Icelan-
der, undertook, in 1121, a Christian mission to Vinland ; and
the name of the colonised country has even been met with in
old national songs of the natives of the Faroe Islands. {^^)

The activity, courage, and enterprising spirit of the ad-
venturers from Iceland and Greenland is manifesti^d by the

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9n imTBMBL-^oeabtiffe dsscoysb^bs. 23S

i^, thtft iftef tbey hftd aeHkd ih^Msdves s9 fiur south as
41^^ N. latitede^ thej {uroecoaled ^e£r teaesnrches to the
IfttiUide of 72"" &6' on tbe east coast af Baffin's Bay; wWe, on
cae ef 4be Woiaen's Isknds^ p^^^so^^^est of the presesfc
most northena Bamsh set^ment of Upemsdk, tbey set up
fbree srtone pillars mali:iia^ fbe limit of their discoveries.
The Rniiie insofijpition on the stoae dboovered there in the
autvumi of 1824^ coataii^^ accordsng to Bask and Fiu
llagnusei^ the date llSg. From ihis eastern coast of
Baffin's Bay the colonists very regularly visited Lancaster
SouBidy and a part of Bararow's Stra^ for ptirposes of
&];m:igy inere than six oenturies befofe the adventurofos
TOfyage of Parry. The loeaUty of the fisb^ is very dis-
tmctly deseribed, and priests from Qremiland from the
Ittshopnc ef Gaidar conductei the first voyage of £scovefy
(12^6). Tkis BOFth^westeramost stimiiKr station is called
Urn Eorcicafjardar-Heide. Mention is made of the drift-
wood (doubtless from Siberia) whkik was coQeeted there^
and of the ahoudaiBee of whales, seals, walmses, wsd sea-

Our i«co«mt8 ol the eomimnrieafions of the extreme
Mrth of Salope, aand of Icdond and Greenlaiid, with the
Asiesican Gentinent propody so called, only extend to the
wddk at Hm 14th century. In 1347, a ship was sent from
QreedbBd to Mathlamd (Ifova Scctia), to bring building
tistfber aiid oilier neanssaj armies* In retminifig from
liarhknd ti» ship was driven by ten^esfls asd letted to
take refi^ in Straunidlord, in the West of Xodmd. This
ia the lalcot lotice hsiring lefevence to America, preserved
it «s ia ancient Sbai&lin&vian waitings* {^
I h«fa hithado kept stxiotlj on hiatorie groimd. ^ 9n
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critical and highly praiseworthy labours of Qiristiaa Rafii,
aiid of the Royal Society establisted at Copenhagen for the
study of northern antiquities^ the Sagas and original
sources of information respecting the voyages of the North*
ineu to Heliuland (Newfoundland), to Markland, the mouth
of the St. Lawrence and Nova Scotia, and to Vinland
(Massachusetts), have been severally printed, and satisfac-
torily commented on. (^^o) The duration of the voyage,
the course, and the times of sunrise and sunset, are aU
expressly given.

There is less certainty respecting the traces which have
been supposed to be found of a discovery of America from
Ireland previous to the year 1000. The Skralinger related
to the Northmen settled in Vinland, that farther to the
south, beyond Chesapeake Bay, there were ^^ white men,
wearing long white garments, who carried before them poles
with pieces of cloth fastened to them, and who called with
a loud voice." This account was interpreted by the Christian
Northmen to indicate processions, with banners and singing.
In the oldest Sagas, in the historical narratives of Thorfinn
Karlsefne, and the Icelandic Landnama-books, these sou-
thern coasts between Virginia and Florida are designated by
the name of White Men's Land. They are also called
Great Ireland (Mand it mikla), and it is asserted that they
were peopled from Ireland. According to testimonies
wliich go back as far as 1064, before Leif discovered Vin-
kaid, probably about the year 982, An Marsson, of the
powerful Icelandic family of Ulf the squint-eyed, on a
voyage from Iceland to the southward, was driven by
storms to the coast of White Men's Land, and was there
baptized a Christian j and not being permitted to go awayi

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was recognised there by men from the Orkney Islands and
Iceland. (37i)

jSome northern antiquaries are of opinion that as in the
oldest Icelandic documents the first inhabitants of the island
are called " West men who arrived by sea/' (and settled
themselves at Papyli on the south-east coast and on the
adjacent small island of Papar), Iceland must have been
first peopled not directly from Europe, but from Virginia
and Carolina, that is to say from Irland it mikla or White
Men's land, which had received its inhabitants from Ireland
at a still earlier period. The impoftant treatise entitled '^ de
Mensura Orbis Terrse" by the Irish monk Dicuil, which was
written in 825, being 88 years before Iceland was discovered
by Northman Naddod, does not, however, confirm this opinion.

Christian anchorites in the north of Europe, and Buddhist
monks in the interior of Asia, have explored and opened to
civilisation regions which were supposed to be inaccessible.
The desire of extending reKgious dogmas has led sometimes^
to warlike enterprises, and sometimes has prepared the way
to peaceful ideas and to commercial relations. In the first
half of the middle ages geography was advanced by enter-
prises dictated by the religious zeal, strongly contrasted
with the indifference of the polytheist Greeks and Romans,
of Christians, Buddhists, and Mahometans. Letronne, in'
his conmientary on Dicuil, has with much ingenuity and'
acuteness made it appear probable that after the Irish
missionaries were expeUed from the Faroe Islands by the
Northmen, they began about the year 795 to visit Iceland.
When the Northmen first landed in Iceland they found
there Irish books, Mass bells, and other objects which had
been left behind by earlier visitors called Papar : these papaa.

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2S6 Epocfls nr thb msftma ov vm txymmsmixaos of

(hthen) were tke cleriei cf Biodl. (^'^y If tkmi>.M ire
may suppose from the testimony here refeircfl to^ tfaeae
objects beloBfged to* Irisb monks (piqpar) who Ittd'Come from
the F&roe Uknde^ why snould they have been tented in the
mrtiye Sagas, '' We«t men*' (Yestmen), " wte had come over
file sea from the westward^ (kommir til vestan nm haf ) ?
AU that i^elates to the supposed voyage of the Gaelic chieftaia
Madoc the son ci Owen Gwynath, is as yet veiled in pro-
fbfimd ohseurity : the smpposcd laee of Celto-iimaricanaj
idueh ci^uk>«i travellors thoaj^ they had dis^rered in
several parts of the UiiitSd States, is gradnally diaappearii^
since ihe introduction of strict ethnolc^cal eomparisoo,
founded not on accidental resemblaa<»s of wocda, but tm
(»*ganic stru(itufe and grammatical forms. (^

That this first discoveiy of Amenca in or bebte the
efefenth century was not produetire of a great mA pet-
manent eidargement of the ptgrtieal contemplation of this
Umrerse, as was the re-disco(reiy of the sostt continent bf
ColundHis at the close of the fifteenth oehAufy, is an abaost
neeessary oonseqvcnce of the uncnltinrskod condition of tbs
race by whom ike fiist diseovery was madc^and of iketkatute
of iJie rsgioiu to whieh it remained limited. The Seai^di^
narrnns were not prepaved by any scientific knowledge to
exi^kHPe the lands in whidithqraetded &rtker tbaoi appeared
meeessaiy for the supply of their soost immediate wants.
Cbeenlaad and leehnd, whieb nmst be regarded as the true
mother ooimtnes of those new cdonks, are r^'onn in wlvieb
SFtem has to eope with all the diflicdltks and hardships ^ iMi
iiihospitd)fe dimate. Hie wonderfully oiganised IcdanAc
1^ Iftate did, indeed^ piesenre its jadepenaenre tot tlMfoo
sentmies and a kal^ until flie deslnsciioiL df cii3 ireedoBi^

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and tne subjection of the cmmtry to the Noiwegaffi ihvgr
Haco VI. Trie flower of the Iieelandfe litiewtew^ tiie
historical writings, the collection of Sagas and <rf tbewmgi
of the Edda, belong tto tbe iwdfth and thwteentti oenturica
It is a remarkable phenomenon in tlw histety of the int«i#
lectual cultivation of nations, that when t3ie natioiiftl tre&snns
of the oldest documents belonging to the Moitk of Eovopt
were placed in jeopardy by tJie u^cfuiet s5t«te of their own
country, they should have been conveyed to Iceland atui^tbepe
carefully preservfid, asod thus rescued for pcwteriiy. ThiB
icscue, the remote consequence of Ingdf » iirs^ settifassenii
in Iceland in $7B, became, uoMsi the undicfiAed. mid
misty forms of ^c ScaiMlmainan w<»kl of; myths amk at
ISguwrtive cosmogonies, an «vent <£ wmch importraicc in
respect to tbe fruiti; of the po^cd and imagiBative fmaitim
tS men : it waa only natural kiiowJedge which gamed no
fXtisTf^emmt. Travellers from kdaitd. visited tbe fearocd
institutionB of Germany and Italy; ba^thedifieovamnadib
fiom Greenland <?(ywardfei tbe mxxih^ and Urn inooncislfisbb
ffttenjonirse siaintaii>ed ^rtith Vinkitti, tfae v^oMioB of
>i»^)i did' no<;. present any striking pecujiariil^ t£ cha«-
?«cter, had w iiUie power to divert, sditieis and nmrineiS
from their wJboUy fiuropran inteivst, tlmt no ttdingt of ibem
Bftwly settled, oountriee i^read sanoog the cul^Ttttod nations
d Southern! Eviope. Eveus in' loehaid itaeU no noiaob
WBipre t in y theaaj appeaoa to* have reached the oars <ifi tjie
great Genoese navigator. Iceland and (Steenlaftdi kadi tlitm
lieen already separated from eaeh otlvcr fer mose tiiaB, two
aenivnes, aa in 1£61 GveenlaiRi had lost its lepubHian
coestitutioii^ and as a posaesaion of the crowm oC Komraf
iMd baeiL fanaidlf interdict from all iisteagonnee wk^

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foreigners, and even with Iceland. In a now very rare work
of Columbus " on the Five Habitable Zones of the Earth/'
he mentions having visited Iceland in the month of February
1477, and adds that "the sea was not then co^jered with
ice, (37*) and that the country was visited by many traders
from Bristol." If he had heard there of the former coloni-
sation on an opposite coast of an extensive connected terri-
tory — of Helluland it mikla, of Markland, and of ^' the good
Vinlaud" — and had connected this knowledge of a neigh-
bouring continent with the projects with which he had
already been occupied since 1470 and 1473, — ^his visit to
Thule (Iceland) would no doubt have been more spoken of
in the celebrated lawsuit respecting the merit of the first
discovery, which was not concluded until 1517 ; for the
suspicious Fiscal even mentions a chart (mappa mundo)
which Martin Alonso Pinzon had seen at Eomq, on which
the New Continent was said to have been laid down. If
Columbus had designed to seek for a land of which he had
obtained information in Iceland, he would certainly not
have steered a south-westerly course from the Canaries in
his first voyage of discovery. Between Bergen and GreeUi-
land, however, commercial relations still subsisted in 1484^
seven years after Columbus's voyage to Iceland.

Very different from the first discovery of the new con-
tinent in the eleventh century, in its results on the history
of the world, and in its influence on the enlargement
of the physical contemplation of the Universe, was the
re-discovery of America, — ^the discovery of its tropical
lands,— by Columbus. Although in conducting his great
enterprise he had by no means in view the discovery of «
Bew part of the world; although it is even certain that

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both Columbus and Amerigo Yespucci died in the firm per-
suasion (375) that the lands which they had seen were
merely portions of Eastern Asia, yet his voyage has all the
character of the execution of a plan founded on scientific
combinations. The expedition steered confidently onward
to the west through the gate which the Tyrians and Colseus
of Samos had opened, through the ^^ immeasurable sea of
darkness" (mare tenebrosum) of the Arabian geographers ;
they pressed forwards towards an object of which they
thought they knew the distance : the mariners were not
accidentally driven by tempests, as were Naddod and Grardar
4k) Iceland, and Gunnbiom the son of UK Kraka to Green-
land, nor were the discoverers conducted onward by inter-
vening stations. The great Nuremberg cosmographer,
Martin Behaim, who accompanied the Portuguese Diego
Cam on his important expeditions to the west coast of
Africa, Hved four years (1486-1490) at the Azores ; but it
was not from these islands, situated at -f-ths of the distance
of the Iberian coast from that of Pensylvania, that America
was discovered. The determined purpose of the act is
finely celebrated in the stanzas of Tasso. He sings of that
which Hercules dared not attempt : —

Non 086 di tentar Talto Oceano

Segn6 le mete, e'n troppo brevi chiostri

L'ardir ristrinse dell' ingegno umano

Tempo verra che fian d'Ercole i segni

Favola vile ai naviganti industri

Un nom della Liguria avra ardimento

All' incognito corso esporsi in prima

Tasso, xv. st. 25, 80 and 31.

And yet all that the great Portuguese historical writer
John Barros, (376) whose first decade appeared in 1562. kur

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to say of tMs ^^nom deDa lAgvam/^ is, that he was a vain
and fantastic talker: (homem fallador e glorioso eaa
mostrar snas habilidades e mais fantastieo, e de imaginScocs
com sua Hha Cypango.) It is thus that, thronghont dl
ages and all degrees of civilization yet attained, natioraJ
animosity has endeavonredto obscure the brightness of glo-
rious names.

In the history of the contemplation of the Universe, Uie
discovery of tropical America by Christopher Columbus,
Aknso de Hojeda, and Alvarez Cabra!, mui^ not be regarded
as an isolated event. Its influence on the extension of phy-
sical knowledge, aaid wi the enrichment of the worTd df
ideas, cannot be justly apprehended, without casttng a brief
^amce on the preceding centuries, whieli separate the age of
tiae great nautical «iterprises frc^a the period when the
scientific cultivation of the Arabians flourished. That which
gave to the era of Columbus its distinctive character, as a
series of uninterrupted and successfoi exertions for the
attainment of new geographical discoveries or of an enlarged
knowledge of the earth^s surface, was prepared beforehand,
slowly, and in various ways. It was no prepared by a smaS
number of courageous men, who roused themselves at once
to general freedom of independent thought, and to the in-
vestigation of particular natural phsenomeiMi; — ^by the in-
fluence exerted on the most profound springs of intellec-
tual life by the renewed acquaintance formed in Italy
with the works of Greek and Eoman literature; — by ibe
discovery of an art which lends to thought at once winp
for rapid transmission and indefinitely multiplied means of
preservation; — and by the more extensive knowledge ol
Eastern Asia^ which travdling meidiaiitej and iiw numki

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wbo hftd been s^t as fa&ba€i8»dors to tkte Mogul prinoes^
eiixmlat/ed smcrngst those nations of sootb-westeati Europe
ii4io were most disposed to dUtant commeree and mtcf^
6&ur^y and most eagerly desifons of difscova'mg a sfeorter
fottte to the Spice Islands. 'The fulfilment of the wishei
idiieh all these causes conteibttted to excite vas in the moirt
important degree faciliteted towards the close ef the ISA
century, by advances in Uie art of navigation, the gradual
mprovement of nauticed instruments, magneticai as well as
astronomical ; aiKl finally, by ihe intPodnctioL of new me^
&ods of determining the ship's place, and by the moi«
genen3 nse of the q)hemerides of t&c sun and moon pre-
pared by Eegiomontaaus.

Without entering into details in the history of thE
sciences which do not belong to the present work, we mtBSt
cite among those who had prepared the way for the epoch xst
Gdumburf and Gama, three great names, Alberttrs Magnua,
Eoger Bacon, and Vincent of Beauvais. I have given these
three in the order of time, — but the name of most importance,
and which belongs to the most comprehensive genius, fr
unqoestionaJ^ that of Eoger Bacon, a Franciscan monk of
Echeeter, whQ studied in Oxford «aid in Psris. All thrw
wete in a<kaiice of their age, and acted powerfully upon ft.
In the long ami for the most part unfruftful contests ci
dJaleetic speeidations, and ef the kgieal dogmatism ot s
j^iilosopiiy which has been deai^iated by the vague mi
equivoeal terai of urfiolaBtic, we cannot everiook the advan-
tage derived from what mi^t be eafied the flfter-action ef
the mAamoe of the AsaUaas. The peodiwity ef Iheir
national dtaraeter deserved ia the preoedSng section, uA
' ttttadinieiit to Oie conioapbtion and stady ef natof^

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had procured for the newly translated writings of Aristotle
an extensive reception, which was intimately connected with
the predilection for the experimental sciences, and higliiy
conducive to the gradual establishment of a basis on which
they might hereafter be solidly built. Until the end of the
tweKth and the commencement of the thirteenth centuries,
misunderstood doctrines of the Platonic philosophy pre-
vailed in the schools. The Fathers of the Church (^77) had
thought they discovered in them types of their own religious
coutemplations. Many of the symbolising physical fancies
of tlie Timseus were accepted with enthusiasm ; and thus
confused and erroneous ideas respecting the CJosmos, of
which the Alexandrian mathematical school had long since
shown the groundlessness, 'were revived by Christian autho-
rity. Thus the predominance of the Platonic philosophy,
or, to speak more correctly, of the new modifications of Pla-
tonism, was propagated under varying forms from Augustine
to Alcuin, John Scotus, and Bernard of Chartres. (378)

When, on the other hand, the Aristotelian philosophy
gained the ascendancy, it influenced the minds of its students
at once towards the researches of speculative philosophy, and
the philosophical elaboration of natural knowledge by way of
experiment. Of these two directions the first might appear
to be but little connected with the object of the present work ;
yet it must not be left without allusion, because, in the middle
of the period of dialectic scholastics, it tended to incite a few

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