nians are stated to have discovered, far beyond the pillars of Hercules, an Island in the Atlantic Ocean, of great extent and fertility, watered by large and magnificent rivers, but entirely uninhabited. This enterprising people are said to have planted a colony there, which was afterwards recalled, owing to some political objection, which forbad distant colonization. The Tyrians are also said to have evinced some intention of occupying this Island, and were proceeding to carry their purpose into execution, when they were prevented by the jealousy of the Carthaginians. It was pretended by some writers that this Island was Hispaniola, by others, one of the Azores. The boldness of the Carthaginian navigators is sufficiently authenticated ; and however we may be inclined to doubt the probability of their having ventured as far as the West Indies of modern days, it is by no means impossible that they had acquired some imperfect notion of Islands and lands in the western hemisphere. One fact, however, is clearly ascertained, that their belief in the existence of such Islands or continent did not induce any subsequent colony to go in search of them ; nor is there any reason to believe, that America received any portion of its early inhabitants from civilised Europe, prior to the close of the fifteenth century.

We may here mention a curious passage in the lost writings of Cornelius Nepos, quoted by Pomponius Mela: “ A king of the Boii made Quintus 66 Metellus Celer then Proconsul of Gaul, a pre“ sent of some Indians who had been thrown by a “ tempest on the coast of Germany." The Romans concluded from this circumstance, that coming, as these savages did, from India, it was practicable to make the tour of Asia and Europe round the north, by traversing the imaginary ocean 'which, as they supposed, occupied the site of Siberia and of the north of Russia. This explanation cannot now be admitted ; but the fact still remains, that Indians, or dark complexioned people of some nation or other, actually reached the coast of Germany or Gaul, some time before the year of Rome, 694, the commencement of Cæsar's conquests. In all probability, they were Esquimaux, either from Labrador or Greenland. The same circumstance again occurred in 1680 and 1684. In Wallace's Account of Orkney, it is mentioned that some Greenlanders arrived there in the kind of boats peculiar to them, which were preserved in the Church of Barra, and in the College Museum of Edinburgh.


On the discovery of America by Columbus, several prior claims were attempted to be put in by different nations, founded on tradition, and stories were revived which had been well nigh consigned to oblivion. The claim advanced by the Welch merits relation, as having been made by a people of kindred stock with ourselves. Their tradition respecting the discovery of America is, that about the year 1170, one of their Princes, Madoc, son of Owen Guyneth, Prince of North Wales, sailed to the New World, and there established a colony of his countrymen. The cause of his emigration is stated to be this :— the sons of Owen disputed the division of their father's dominions, and Madoc fearing the consequences of the disunion, like another Teucer, chose to seek a new habitation in a foreign land, rather than to hazard the dangers of civil convulsion. He is said to have steered due west, leaving Ireland on the north ; and thus to have arrived at an unknown country, the continent of America, on which he landed. He afterwards returned to Wales, and took thence a second supply of people, but was no more heard of. The objections to this story are its improbability, and want of supporting evidence. The Welsh were at no period a naval people ; and in the age of Madoc, must have been ignorant of all navigation, but that of rivers and coasts. It should, however, be mentioned in justice to the claims of our Welsh fellow countrymen, that this tale was by no means invented after the real discovery of America, in order to establish a fabricated title. Meredith Ap Rees, who died in 1477, a famous Welsh poet, composed an ode in honor of this Madoc, wherein was handed down the tradition, with an account of his discoveries, several years anterior to the time of Columbus. Of the tradition itself there can be no doubt. Indeed, in an American publication a few years ago, we have seen it stated, in reference to this supposed voyage of Madoc, that a people quite distinct from the Aborigines, both as to language and physiognomy, had been lately discovered in Mexico, and were supposed to be descendants from the colony of Madoc. Their language was said to be somewhat similar to the ancient British, or Celtic; and several Celtic words have also been traced in the Mexican tongue. The Celtic is undoubtedly one of the most ancient languages, and its roots may still be found in most of those of the civilised world, from the Persian to the Scottish, Irish and Welsh. A few words may have been adopted into the Mexican : it is indeed mentioned, by Vater, that he had found eighteen Celtic words in ten American lan


The traditions of the Celtic nations, and those derived from them, have always been of the most marvellous quality-witness the fanciful Trojan origin of the first settler in Britain, Brutus, who kindly bestowed his name on the sea-girt Island ; and the derivation of the Irish Celts from positive and direct emigration of Egyptian, Phænician, Greek and Milesian origin, under various imaginary leaders, all and several of whom, as well as an interminable list of kings, are gravely set down in the veracious Chronicles of Eri.


America must have been known to the barbarous tribes of Asia for thousands of years ; but it is singular that it should have been visited by one the most enterprising nations of Europe, nearly five centuries before the time of Columbus, without awakening the attention of either statesmen or philosophers. The Norwegians, with far higher pretensions than the Welsh, founded their claim to the early discovery of America on their well known voyages to Iceland and Greenland in the tenth and eleventh centuries; and having undoubtedly penetrated within so short a distance from the New World, they may fairly be supposed to have touched on some part of that tinent in their annual voyages for nearly three centuries, distinguished as the old Northmen were by their enterprise, hardihood and love of adventure. In the year 1001, Biorn is said, in Icelandic manuscripts of good reputation, to have landed on the coast of Labrador, where he met with the Esquimaux, whom he called Skraelingues, from their very diminutive stature. In the following year it has



been maintained, on reasonable evidence, that they had a settlement in Newfoundland, which they called Vinland, from the vines growing there. We shall find that the same fondness for the vine, and a similar abundance of that tree, induced Jacques Cartier to give the name of “ Isle of Bacchus,” to what is now termed the Isle of Orleans. They passed the winter there, and found that on the shortest day the sun rose at eight o'clock, which fixes the place of their visit to the 49th degree, the latitude of Newfoundland, or of the River St. Lawrence. The following story is amusing :-One day a German sailor of the name of Tuckil was missing, but soon returned shouting and leaping for joy; having, as he said, discovered the intoxicating grape of his own country, the expressed juice of which, according to the story, had had its usual effect upon his brain. To prove the truth of his assertion, he led some of his comrades to the fortunate spot, and they gathered several bunches of grapes, which they presented in triumph to their commander, who called the country, in consequence, Vinland. This ancient settlement, however, after some years, seems to have been relinquished, although it is believed that some traces of it have lately been discovered.

We find it mentioned in Haliburton's History of Nova-Scotia, that the wild vine is well known there; and all New England abounds with the wild purple grape, some vines of which are very prolific. There is the best evidence that it may be turned to account in the manufacture of wine. An American writer observes, that there is not the slightest doubt that this vine may be cultivated so as to yield a thousand fold more than now, of large and finer fruit; and the product will be abundant of almost

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