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on bis mind that nothing is more reasonable, than to suppose that, one figure may have been mistaken for another by the transcriber, in the copy published by Amoretti. But this sweeping assumption, we take the liberty of informing him, will not serye his turn. Conceiving it possible that the copy of Amoretti might contain some errors, we have been at the pains to procure, through the means of Don Filipe Bauza, superintendant of the hydrographical department in Madrid, an authenticated copy of the manuscript fiom the library of the Dục d'Infantado ; and we can venture to assure M. Lapie there is no difference whatever in the numbers as contained in Amoretti's publication, and in the said manuscript.
With regard to his proleptical discovery of nearly 1000 Hanseatic vessels in the port of St. Michael, before it was so named, and when the whole town contained only nine houses, and its trade was confined nearly to nine English ships ;-to his meeting with a Hanseatic ship of 800 tons, which accompanied bim through Behring's Strait, passed the north-east cape of Asia, which has once only been passed by Deschneff, and the Cape Cevero Vostochnoi, which has never been passed at all;-to the discoveries of Quiros to which he alludes, but which had not then been made, with several other extraordinary circumstances incompatible with the period of the voyage, the Chevalier is wholly silent. He notices, however, the beautiful fruit-trees which Maldonado found in 60° N. lat. or, as he will have it, in 65° 30'— the apples, pears, plums, grapes, and, above all, the lechias!—The litchi (the fruit meant) grows only in the southern provinces of China, and is so delicate, that we believe it has not yet been ripened in England, except in the hot-house of Lord Powis. These choice fruits were not ripe, we, admit, in the month of May; but plenty of the last year's growth were still hanging on the trees. And have not Cook and Mackenzie,' says M. Lapie, 'equally gathered fruits thus dried upon the trees?' What they may have done in some 'temperate clime,' we cannot tell; but in 65° 30', or even in 60° of north latitude, we are quite sure that they gathered nothing better than whortleberries :-enough, however, of Maldonado.. .
The fictitious Voyage of Barthelemy de Fonté will not detain us long. It purports to have been performed in the year 1640 with four ships, fitted out at Callao in Lima. The Admiral sailed along the coast of California, and among the islands, to the 53d degree of north latitude, where he fell in with the mouth of a large navigable river, (which has no existence,) called Rio dos Reyes. From this visionary point, he dispatched one of his cap. tains, Pedro de Bernarda, up another river, which he ascended, withovi interruption, as far as a certain Lake Valasco, where he
left his ship; and, embarking in three canoes, with two Jesuits and thirty-six natives, sailed on various courses till he reached lat. 77° N. Meantime, the Admiral proceeded up the Dos Reyes easterly to Lake Belle; thence down a river, called Parmentiers, which fell into another lake, named after himself, and which communicated with a third lake called Estricho de Ronquillo: here was an Indian town, the inhabitants of which informed him, that a little farther to the eastward there was a great ship lying at anchor, where none had ever been seen before. This ship was found on the spot pointed out, having on board an old man and à boy, from whom he learned that she came from a town in New England, called Boston. Shortly afterwards the captain made his appearance, with the owner, a certain Seimor Gibbons, with whom De Fonte had various dealings. The Admiral then returned, by the way he had come, to his ships in Lake Belle. Here he received a letter from the adventurous Capt. Bernarda, stating that he had been at the head of Davis's Strait, which terminated in a fresh lake, about thirty miles in circumference, in the 80th degree of north latitude; so that there was no communication out of the Spanish or Atlantic sea by Davis's Strait:and the Admiral concludes his wonderful narrative with stating that he found there was no passage into the South Sea by what is called the Northwest passage ;-a conclusion which we should not have expected, after he had himself told us that he sailed fromthe Pacific to the shores of Hudson's Bay, where he found the ship from Boston.
Not to say that the palpable absurdities of this pretended voyage could hardly be supposed to deceive any one; the very circumstances under which it was first given to the world were. more than sufficient to stamp it as a forgery. In April 1708, sixty-eight years after this voyage was said to have been performed, it made its first appearance, without explanation and without comment, in a periodical work published in London under the name of the Monthly Miscellany, or Memoirs for the Curious, a work that had risen out of the ruins of a previous publication, called Weekly Memorials for the Ingenious. Here, in all probability, it would have found that oblivion which it so well merits, had not Messrs. Delisle and Buache, nearly fifty years afterwards, accidentally stumbled upon it; and as a Frenchman is ever ready either to dispute what is matter of fact, or to defend what is problematical, these two' Members of the Academy'(geographers, like the Chevalier Lapie) undertook a translation of the narrative, accompanied by a memoir to prove its authenticity, and a map invented to elucidate De Fuente’s discoveries. The Academy, however, received the paper with an unusual degree of LL 2
-Brun's Spurious Voyages. caution ; but it was finally printed, and from the French translated into the Spanish language. The Spaniards caused a minute search to be made into their records both at home and in Peru; but neither the names of the Admiral, bis captains or ships, nor the slightest trace of such an expedition, could be found. We should indeed have been surprized, if they had ; for, after a close inquiry in England, in consequence of the resuscitation of this fable on the continent, every thing but absolute proof appeared, that it was a hour (without the malignity, however, of a modern hoax) of a Mr. James Petiver, apothecary to the Charter-house, and a celebrated botanist of that day, whose collection of plants is still in the British Museum. This gentleman either conducted or contributed largely to the · Monthly Miscellany,' and was in the constant habit of visiting the British Museum for the purpose of making extracts from rare and curious voyages and travels, to work up into ' Memoirs for the Curious.'*
We acquit Mr. Petiver of any unworthy motive; we believe, on the contrary, that as a botanist he was anxious to extend his herbarium, and that his sole object was to stimulate the nation to undertake geographical discoveries,+ which it had entirely neglected since the voyages of Foxe and James, a period of seventyseven years. His fictitious voyage was not ill calculated to provoke inquiry, and would, perhaps, have done so had the times been favourable for physical research. It just laid such a foundation in facts, as was sufficient to render it probable that it might not be altogether a fiction. The Spaniards had prosecuted their discoveries as high up as the port of Monterey, and the Jesuits lrad established theinselves in that neighbourhood. The French had made themselves acquainted with the chain of lakes in Upper Canada; they had fitted out a ship from Quebec to explore the coasts of Hudson's Bay, where was discovered, on the banks of Nelson's river, a solitary hut, with half a dozen iniserable wretches, on the point of perishing with famine. They were part of the crew of a ship from Boston, which, while they were on shore, had been driven from her anchors in a gale of wind, and never returned ; thus far therefore he had facts to work upon.
The name of his hero too was well selected. The Burgomaster Witsen, in his "Nord and Oost Tartarye,' inentions a celebrated Portugueze seaman of the name of Da Fonta, who, in 1649, at the
* It might be said of Mr. Petiver, what the late Adiniral Burney facetiously observed to a friend whom he met on the Museum steps, and who, like binself, had been in search of materials : • I see, my friend, you and I are following the same trade,-making new shoes out of old upper-leathers.'
If this was the object, it completely failed; as more than thirty years elapsed before Middleton was sent out in seurch of a North-west passage.
cost cost of the King of Spain, visited the Terra del Fuego and Staten Land, and examined every creek. These materials were fully sufficient for the fabrication of a voyage of far niore interest and ingenuity than that of De Fonté, which, in fact, possesses a very small share of either.
Of all these circumstances poor M. Lapie is wholly innocent. He seems to have blundered on the work by mere chance, and burns with a laudable zeal to impart the discovery to the world. Not a doubt arises in his mind as to the reality of the voyage, or the truth of all the monstrous falsehoods which it contains. Even though it is wholly at variance with the existing state of our knowledge, he finds no difficulties that do not immediately vanish on the application of the new lights which he brings to bear upon them. The process is pretty much the same as in Maldonado's voyage. Thus, though De Fonté places his Rio dos Reyes in the 53d degree of latitude, 'I have thought it right,' says this intrepid geographer,' to carry it to 58° 13', because there is an opening there, which Vancouver probably did not examine;' and because • the copyists may have committed an error, or the figures may have been badly made. But we shall give his own words, as a specimen of the compendious manner in which he settles trifles of this kind. . 'Il est vrai que l'amiral place cette entrée au 53e degré de latitude, - tandis que je la porte au 58e degré 13 minutes ; mais si l'on fait attention que dans les diverses traductions qui ont été faites de cette relation, on trouve de semblables anomalies ; que le Cap Abel, par exemple, est placé dans l'une à 20 degrés, tandis que dans une autre il est au 26e, on ne sera plus étonné de cette différence ; d'ailleurs on conviendra que, dans une écriture mal formée ou altérée, un 8 peut facilement être pris pour un 3, un 6 pour un zéro, &c.'
With equal facility, and with a bold defiance of all that is contained in the minute and accurate survey of that most excellent navigator, Vancouver, he opens the canal of Lynn, in lat. 59° 13', for the great river Haro to discharge its waters into the Pacific, and to afford a navigable passage for the ship of the redoubtable Capt. Bernarda; coolly observing that a lieutenant of Vancouver had examined this canal, and ascertained, as he thought, that it was completely closed, so as to render all passage by it impossible. Yet,' says our geographer, there might be a river winding among the mountains, which was hid from his sight !'— but enough of such miserable trifling, which yet is kept in countenance by the chart fabricated for the illustration of this precious menoir. In this, the Rio dos Reyes runs to the
eastward right through the Slave lake, whence the strait of · Ronquillo continues in a broad open navigable channel into Ches
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terfield inlet, which half a century ago was ascertained to be completely closed. The river Haro, the scene of the memorable exploits of Captain Pedro Bernarda, is a geographical curiosity; it has neither source nor termination, but it has two ends,-one in the Pacific, the other in the Polar Sea, and yet it runs with a gentle current of fresh water. But Greenland is perhaps the greatest curiosity; in shape it resembles a wbale,—the spout of which forms Cape Farewell, and the tip of its tail the entrance into Norton Sound, enclosing between its extended body and the northern coast of America, a fine open "Mer Polaire' for Bernarda and Maldonado to sail upon without interruption; whilst to the northward of this huge monster lies the 'Océan Glacial.' This separation of the polar from the icy sea is a notable discovery, solely due to the Chevalier; but the whale-like Greenland is a mere imitation. He had no doubt heard that some German theorist had persuaded the Russians that Asia overlapped Behring's Strait, and was joined to America; and not willing to be outdone in geographical licence, he has actually overlaid the whole American continent, by stretching out old Greenland, so as to form the eastern side of Behring's Strait. The Chevalier géographe, however, bas one argument still left to console himself with, and one not unusually employed by his countrymen,- that if the thing be not so, it ought to have been so: but Malte-Brun,-a plodding, sober-minded Dane,-must find some other excuse for admitting such fooleries into his respectable Journal.
Art. XV.-1. Second and Third Report from the Select Com
mittee of the House of Commons appointed to consider of the Means of Improving, and Maintaining the Foreign Trade of the Country. Ordered to be printed, 18th May, and 19th July,
1821. 2. Report (relative to the East Indies and China) from the
Select Committee of the House of Lords, appointed to inquire into the Means of extending and securing the Foreign Trade
of the Country. 11th April, 1821. 3. Report of a Committee of the Honourable House of Assembly
of Jamaica, presented to the House, 10th December, 1817, relative to the Present State of the Island, with respect to its
Population, Agriculture, and Commerce. IN our Number for January, 1821, we entered into an examinaI tion of the policy of applying the principle of unlimited free intercourse to foreign trade. At that time, we confined our argument to commerce as directly carried on between independent nations; omitting a collateral view of the subject, which, from its'