Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal
Had we not had an urgent duty to perform, I should have regretted thus hurrying past the land; for there is much to see there. True, Greenland has no deep historical interest, but the North has always had its charm for me. Scandinavia, and her deeds,--the skill and intrepidity of her bold Vikings,--their colonies in Snæland, our Iceland,--their discovery of Greenland,--and the legend of the pirate Biarni, who forestalled even the great Columbus in his discovery,--were all associated with the region through which we were now sailing.
Without compass, without chart, full three centuries before the Genoese crossed the Atlantic, the Norsemen, in frail and open barks, braved the dark and angry sea (whi