Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

the Arctic labyrinth on the cast, the En- pushed on through Barrow's Straits, deterprise and Investigator, commanded by siring, like Forsyth in the preceding year, Captains Collinson and McClure, were to examine Regent's Inlet. But the ice endeavoring to make their way from the was so thick he could not enter it. At west. They reached Behring's Straits in Port Leopold he was separated, along with 1850, with the purpose of trying to ap a small party, from his ship, and, drifting proach Melville Island. They have not away on the ice, was recovered with diffiyet been able to carry out that object. culty. A floe of ice then bore the Prince Along with the Plover, they were still, Albert down the inlet, where, on the westwhen last heard froin, laboring and linger ern shore, the voyagers wintered at Batty ing amidst these Arctic wildernesses they Bay. From this place Captain Kennedy have already spent so much time in ex and Mr. Ballot proceeded, on the 1st of ploring, in the still deferred hope of meet April, with sledges round Melville Bay, and ing with the missing mariners.

following Brentford Bay to the west, disAfter the return of the eastern squadron covered that it was a new channel, which of 1850, public opinion underwent a change they believed to be the looked for passage. in respect of the unknown movements of Passing round, they proceeded to Cape Sir John Franklin ; and it was believed, Walker, on North Somerset, and so eastas it still is, that he must have gone up to ward to Port Leopold, whence, after a the northwest, through Wellington Chan journey of 1200 miles in two months, they nel. He spent the winter of 1845-6—as reached the ship in Batty Bay. No trace we now know-on Beechy Island, and of Franklin was found; but the Prince also the succeeding summer, as has been Albert brought home last October some concluded from the deep ruts left in the interesting news nevertheless.

Passground by sledges, and from small patches ing up into Barrow's Straits, in August, of garden ground, bordered with purple 1852, Captain Kennedy reached Beechy saxifrages and planted with native plants. Island on the 19th of that month, and Much astonishment has been expressed there found Captain Pullen in the North that Franklin did not bury some record Star, at Erebus Bay, who told him Sir of his movements and intentions, and indi Edward Belcher, in the Assistance, had cate where they may be looked for. Sir started up Wellington Channel on the John Richardson, to account for this, says 14th, and Captain Kellett, of the Resolute, that, instead of burying one of those cop had gone westwardly to Melville Island per cylinders with which he was provided, and the south of Parry's Islands, to depoFranklin, knowing there was no resort of site there provisions and other necessaries natives to that place, would hang it con for Collinson and McClure's expedition, spicuously on a tree or a post, the sooner should it reach so far from Behring's to meet the eyes of explorers. But Rich Straits. Belcher's squadron had been ardson says this would not preserve it, for sent from England in the spring of last bears and wolverines climb trees and posts, year, Sir Edward's chief instructions beand tear down any packages that may be ing to attempt the passage by Wellington attached to them. A dépôt, carefully Channel. In his absence, the North Star formed by Lieutenant Griffith, on Griffith remained at Beechy Island as a dépôt. Island, was entirely eaten by the bears Research seems to have taken the right the tin cases proving a poor defence against track after all; and the failures of the last their tusks. They also overthrew a sign three years were necessary to indicate it. post, and bit off the end of the metal cylin The world is anxiously waiting to hear der containing the record. Richardson, the result of Sir Edward's bold voyage, therefore, thinks that Sir John Franklin favored as it has been by a season of great might have left a cylinder containing no openness. Captain Kennedy says that tices attached to the sign-post which Pen the sea was open to the north of Welling. ny found flat on the ground, or to some ton Channel when the Assistance went other object, and that the bears or wol up, and thus restores the credit of Captain verines might have pulled down and de Penny (whose announcement of open wastroyed it.

ter in that direction had been somewhat Be this as it may, the search for Sir John doubted), while it inspires a strong hope Franklin has not ceased. In 1851, Dr. Rae that something may now be effected. Capwas again sent from the Great Bear Lake tain Pullen, writing to the Admiralty on towards the sea, for the exploration of the the 23d of August, says the voyagers had coast and the shore of Wollaston Land. parted in high spirits, and with every hope In the same year, Lady Franklin-more of success. He adds, that from the sumsteadily hopeful than the Ithacan wife of mit of Beechy Island he had looked up old-sent the Prince Albert, Captain Ken Wellington Channel and to the westward, nedy again into the Arctic circle. Meeting and had seen water with very little ice. the returning American ships, Kennedy Later accounts have been received from

Sir Edward's ship in Wellington Channel, the expedition of Captains Collinson and to the effect that the expedition had seen,

McClure. The latter have been dear five floating down past them, the remains of years in those dreary labyrinths waiting whales, bears, and other animal substan on the shifting chances of that treacherces, which led them to the conclusion that ous region, and expecting those who never animal life was plenty in that region, and come. Indeed, it is not impossible that, at to the belief that the floating objects were this moment, the Enterprise and Investithe remains of what had been used for gator are in the predicament of the Erebus human food. When Captain Kennedy and Terror-in want of the succor which spoke of these facts to Captain Penny, at they went so far to convey ! Aberdeen, the latter expressed an energetic America, also, sends out one more exopinion that if Sir Edward Belcher's ex pedition in search of the missing ships. pedition were properly pushed forward, it Dr. E. R. Kane, in the Advance, goes would come out at Behring's Straits. up to the Arctic circle. He proposes to

Sir Edward does not think that Sir make the starting-point of his search John Franklin hurried away from Beechy Smith's Sound, or some convenient station Island. In a letter to the Admiralty of in the head waters of Baffin's Bay-over the 14th of last August, he says, that, on two hundred miles further to the north reaching Beechy Island, he proceeded with than Beechy Island. Thence, accompaservice parties to examine the place and nied by a small party with a couple of the adjacent coasts for some record of the sledges drawn by dogs, he will undertake missing expedition. After a laborious an overland pilgrimage westward, in the search, including the lines of direction of direction of the Polar Basin. He expects the head-boards of the graves, and at ten the co-operation of the Danish authorities feet distance, no trace, not even a scratch in removing any difficulties of the prepaon the paintcould be discerned. He ratory arrangements, and procuring the thinks Sir John had no intention of leav assistance of such Eskimos as he may ing a record at that place. Among the need. Each sledge will carry an Indiareasons occurring to him for such a belief rubber boat on a basket of wicker-work. is, that Sir John would not think it a like The doctor has carefully superintended the ly place for inquiry; that he would place pemmican, the biscuit, the condensed milk, his beacon on Cape Riley, or some more and dessicated vegetables, and all those prominent and accessible position. Lieu gastronomic resources on which the intretenant Hamilton, belonging to the expedi- pid little party must mainly rely. Hoption, speaks of some other tokens of the ing to reach the starting-place in the early missing mariners, found at Caswell's Tow season of navigation, he intends to follow er, on Beechy Island: “On searching, we his course of travel nearly upon a merididiscovered several of Goldner's preserved onal line, which would, it is believed, lead meat cases, seven or eight wine bottles, a him to the Polynya—a mare liberum, or fireplace, and a small well, the bottom of such, comparatively speaking-within its which was lined with small stones. A formidable borderings of the thick-ribbed pathway of large flat stones led to the ice. Mr. Grinnell has again generously well. No cairns or documents were found. given his good ship, the Advance, fully These articles evidently belonged to some equipped, for this chivalrous charity; and of Franklin's parties — most probably & the doctor has had his enterprise encourshooting party.

aged by autograph letters from the veneLast year the Isabel, screw steamer, rable Baron Humboldt, the Nestor of sciCaptain Inglefield, partly fitted out by ence and philosophy, Sir Francis Beaufort, Lady Franklin, went to the head of Baf Colonel Sabine, Captains Parry, Ross, and fin's Bay, and entered Whale Sound on other distinguished men. the eastern side. By this inlet the captain Meantime the expedition under Sir believed he had entered the Great Polar Edward Belcher, now following the track Basin, when the violence of the gales which the world believes Franklin took, checked his progress, and compelled him gives, we repeat, good hope of arriving at to return. He then crossed over to the something more concerning the missing western side of the bay, and entered ships. But the hope that Sir John FrankJones's Sound as far as the 84th degree lin is still alive is not so strongly enterof longitude, and then returned. After tained as heretofore. Between seven and visiting Belcher's squadron at Beechy Is eight years is a long time to spend within land, he came to England towards the close the dreary Arctic circle. Sir John Ross

has given it as his opinion that even if We perceive that the Isabel has re Franklin's expedition had been able to sumed her search this year, under the procure food enough, they could scarcely orders of Captain Kennedy, who will pro survive six winters in the Arctic regions. ceed to Behring's Straits to aid or look for Capt. Ommaney thinks Sir John and his

of the year.

crew have all perished, seeing that the of Franklin, and often influenced the cursupply of birds and animals in the North rent of his thoughts), “every attempt cannot be depended on for more than two which he (Von W.) made to proceed to the months in the year. He also supposes North repeated as these were during three that the meat in the tin cannisters may years (1820–23), and from many points of have been found unfit to eat-a dreary å line several hundred miles, in an eastera and a terrible idea! But the opinions of and western direction terminated alike in other good authorities give ground for conducting them to an open and navigable hope. Dr. Scoresby, with the arctic ex sea. After an ice-journey of more or less perience of half a century, thinks some continuance, they arrived where farther portion of the crews may still survive, in progress in sledges was impossible, where, extricably beset in the ice. Captain Kel to use the words of Von Wrangell. “ they lett of the Resolute, now under Belcher beheld the wide immeasurable ocean in the North, says it is not right or pro spread before their gaze,' a fearful and per to conclude the crews are dead, and magnificent but to them, a melancholy thinks they will be found farther west spectacle.” Wrangle was of opinion that than any explorers have yet reached. Sir this Polynya extended, unless land interJohn Richardson also thinks that part of vened, all the way round to Spitzbergen. the crew, at least, may still be alive to the The repeated failures of the English exnorth or northwest of Melville Island plorers to go to the West, beyond the -seeing that life may be supported for last mark of Parry, by way of a lower many years on the land and water ani- latitude, must have prepared the mind of mals that haunt the most northern re Franklin to receive these Russian opingions known. Captain Penny is of the ions and statements with something like same opinion. Mr. Petermann also be strong conviction; and he doubtless took lieves a portion of the crews may still be with him to the North, the determination safe, and so does Captain Inglefield. to look for the Polynya. This was, inMost of these authorities quoted, believe deed the alternative of his Admiralty inSir John went up through Wellington structions; and furthermore, it may be Channel. Captains Austin, Ommaney, observed that they who were most intiand Osborne of the royal expedition of mate with Sir John and his friend, Fitz1850 lean however, to the opinion that james, well knew that the thoughts of Franklin did not go northward through both reverted to the Polar Basin more that channel. Austin still supposes he strongly than in any other direction. would proceed beyond Cape Walker, ac Franklin did not contemplate a hasty cording to his instructions; Ommaney return; he seemed to look forward to a does not think Sir John prosecuted his longer stay in the North than people supresearch beyond Beechy Island; and posed. In a letter written home, a fortLieut. Osborne thinks he tried to enter night before he was last seen, he says to the Polynya from Baffin's Bay, north of Col. Sabine: “I hope my dear wife and Lancaster Sound, where animal life is daughter will not be over anxious if we more plenty than elsewhere. But the should not return by the time they have general belief is, that Franklin has gone fixed upon; for you know well that even up to reach that Polar sea which he may after the second winter, without success have seen from Beechy Island, and which in an object, we should wish to try some he must have strongly believed in, before other channel, if the state of our provihe began his voyage at all. About a year sions and the health of our crew justify before he started, his friend Col. Sabine, it." There is still stronger evidence that published, in London, a translation, from he did not intend to come down in a hurthe German, of the Russian Admiral Von ry. Capt. Martin of the whaler EnterWrangell's Journeys in 1820 over the ice prise, the last to communicate with Sir of the polar sea, from Nijnei Kolymsk. John, says (his letter appeared in the In this Wrangell speaks of a great Polyn- London Times), that «Franklin told him ya (open space), lying from thirty to he was fairly provisioned for five years, fifty miles north of Kotelnoi and New but that, if necessary, he could make his Siberia, and thence in a direct line, at stores last for seven. Capt. Martin also about the same distance from the conti saw the crews of the two ships busily ennent, between Chelagskoi and Cape North. gaged in salting down birds of which they He also alludes to the north and north had several casks full, and he says that east winds, and northwest winds that twelve men were, at the same time, emdamped the clothes of his party, proving: ployed in shooting more. Capt. Penny he says, that an open watery space exists says, Martin is a man of fortune and of to the north. Col. Sabine in his preface strict integrity. That shooting and salting to the translation says: (and these sen game shows a very deliberate purpose tences must have passed under the eyes on the part of Franklin-and while it

searches, in fact, shows that, in all human probability, Franklin never went westward from Wellington Channel. With respect to Beechy Island, Capt. Kennedy and others believe that, after all, some memorials of the intrepid navigator lie buried in the ground, though they cannot be come at. But, then, it is scarcely probable that Franklin would bury his intimations in a manner to baffle those who may come after him. Conjecture is bewildered by the facts, arguments, and conclusions that may be gathered from this mysterious question. All that can be said, apparently, is that the balance of probabilities points to the way, northwest from Wellington Channel, as that pursued in 1846, by the Erebus and Ter

ror.

proves that he would greatly depend on such food, it inevitably leads us to the conviction that he would be greatly disposed to direct his movements with reference to those places where animals and birds could be had in most abundance. This leads our beliefs towards the Polynya; and it is a consolation to think of the many authorities which give us the assurance of its capacity of furnishing food. Capt. Penny mentioned before the Geographical Society of London, a few months ago, as something encouraging, that twelve American seamen, who wintered last year in an inlet discovered by him in Davis' Straits, had killed twelve whalesan amount of food he says “on which Franklin and his crews might have subsisted during the time they were absent!" And Dr. Kane is equally hopeful of the safety of Sir John with respect to the supply of food. * The resources”-he says in one of his lectures which that region evidently possesses for the support of human life, are surprisingly greater than the public are generally aware. Narwhal, white whales, and seals—the latter in extreme abundance-crowd the waters of Wellington Channel ; indeed it is a region teeming with animal life. The migrations of the eider duck, the brent goose, and the auk-a bird about the size of our teal, were absolutely wonderful. The fatty envelope of marine animals, known as blubber, supplies light and heat, their furs warm and well-adapted clothing, their flesh wholesome and antiscorbutic food. The reindeer, the bear, and the fox, also abound in great numbers even in the highest latitude attained.”

Still, though every feeling of our nature, independently of reasons advanced, inclines us to hope Franklin is still alive -no one can deny that the absence of any memorial of his movements is most astonishing and unaccountable. The greater portion of the mystery is in this! Allowing there may be something in what Sir John Richardson says of the cunning voracity of bears and wolverines; still, that no direct notice should be found on Beechy Island or Cape Riley, is most extraordinary. Even if Franklin were to proceed to the West, towards Cape Walker, it would be strange he should leave no memorial in the place where he had wintered. If he had gone towards Regent's Inlet or Banks' Land, it would be expected he would deposit some token of his presence on some of the prominent points, where the explorers of 1850 must have found them. The result of their re

As we have said the enterprise of Sir Edward Belcher excites the strongest interest, and the world is in daily expectation of hearing some news from North Channel, Queen's Channel, or other waterways into the Polynya. It will be a dreary and disheartening thing is Belcher comes down without tidings or token of the lost mariners. He is more likely to meet a memorial of the ships than the ships themselves ; for, if they enter that region, they should be far to the westward by this time, and above that outlying circle of ice which resisted the efforts of the Plover, Enterprise and Investigator to pierce 'it. Altogether, the fate of Franklin is covered with uncertainty as with a thick cloud. No doubt, there are those who dream of the day when he may come down from the cold Polynya, to send a thrill of joy and congratulation through the length and breadth of the civilized world. But others, with Ommaney and Stewart (Penny's captain) dread the worst, and think that British-born crews could not survive six winters in the arctic circle. Still, hope is not killed. Sir John Ross spent four winters in the ice, and came out safe; though he was forced to quit his single ship, the Victory. Sir John Franklin's expedition was well equipped and furnished ; his ships were stout, and his determination to make some decisive westing was very strong. His case does not yet seem desperate; and we wait with anxiety, the result of efforts at present made in the Polar wilderness—efforts that will still be repeated till the fate of the lost navigator and his companions shall be discovered, or all reasonable hope of ever bringing it to light shall be extinguished.

.

THACKERAY IN AMERICA.

[R. THACKERAY'S visit at least finding it justified by his speaking. For

demonstrated, that if we are unwill he speaks as he writes, simply, directly, ing to pay English authors for their books, without flourish, without any cant of orawe are ready to reward them handsomelytory, commending what he says by its for the opportunity of seeing and hear intrinsic sense, and the sympathetic, and ing them. If Mr. Dickens, instead of humane way in which it was spoken. dining at other people's expense, and Thackeray is the kind of “ stump-orator making speeches at his own, when he that would have pleased Carlyle. He came to see us, had devoted an evening or never thrusts himself between you aná two in the week to lecturing, his purse his thought. If his conception of the would have been fuller, his feelings

time and his estimate of the men differ sweeter, and his fame fairer. It was a from your own, you have at least no Quixotic crusade, that of the Copyright, doubt what his view is, nor how sineere and the excellent Don has never forgiven and necessary it is to him. Mr. Thackethe windmill that broke his spear.

ray considers Swift a misanthrope. He Undoubtedly, when it was ascertained loves Goldsmith, and Steele, and Harry that Mr. Thackeray was coming, the pub- Fielding. He has no love for Sterne, lic feeling on our side of the sea was very great admiration for Pope, and alleviated much divided as to his probable reception. admiration for Addison. How could it "He'll come and humbug us, eat our be otherwise ? How could Thackeray dinners, pocket our money, and go home not think Swift a misanthrope, and Sterne and abuse us, like that unmitigated snob a factitious sentimentalist? He is a man Dickens," said. Jonathan, chafing with of instincts, not of thoughts. He sees the remembrance of that grand ball at and feels. He would be “Shakspeare's the Park theatre, and the Boz tableaux, call-boy” rather than dine with the Dean and the universal wining and dining, to of St. Patrick's. He would take a pot which the distinguished Dickens was sub of ale with Goldsmith rather than a glass ject while he was our guest.

of Burgundy with the "Reverend Mr. “Let him have his say,” said others, Sterne," and that, simply, because he is " and we will have our look. We will Thackeray. He would have done it as pay a dollar to hear him, if we can see Fielding would have done it, because he him at the same time; and as for the values one genuine emotion above the abuse, why it takes even more than two most dazzling thought, because he is, in such cubs of the roaring British lion to fine, a Bohemian, “a

minion of the moon," frighten the American eagle. Let him a great, sweet, generous human heart. come, and give him fair play.”

We say this with the more unction now, He did come, and has had his fair play, that we have the personal proof of it in and has returned to England with a com his public and private intercourse while fortable pot of gold holding $12,000, and he was here. with the hope and promise of seeing us The popular Thackeray-theory, before again in September, to discourse of some his arrival, was of a severe satirist, who thing not less entertaining than the witty concealed scalpels in his sleeves and carmen and sparkling times of Anne. We ried probes in his waistcoat pockets; a think there was no disappointment with wearer of masks; a scoffer and sneerer, his lectures. Those who knew his books and general infidel of all high aim and found the author in the lecturer. Those noble character. Certainly we are justiwho did not know the books were charmed fied in saying that his presence among us in the lecturer by what is charming in quite corrected this idea. We welcomed the author, the unaffected humanity, the à friendly, genial man; not at all contenderness, the sweetness, the genial vinced that speech is heaven's first law, play of fancy, and the sad touch of truth, but willing to be silent when there was with that glancing stroke of satire, whichnothing to say,--who decidedly refused to lightning-like, illumines while it withers. be lionized, not by sulking, but by stepThe lectures were even more delightful ping off the pedestal and challenging the than the books, because the tones of the common sympathies of all he met; a man voice, and the appearance of the the who, in view of the thirty odd editions of general personal magnetism, explained Martin Farquhar Tupper, was willing to and alleviated so much that would other confess that every author should " think wise have seemed doubtful or unfair. small beer of himself.” Indeed he has this For those who had long felt in the writ rare quality, that his personal impression ings of Thackeray a reality, quite inex deepens, in kind, that of his writings. The pressible, there was a secret delight in quiet and comprehensive grasp of the fact,

man,

« PoprzedniaDalej »