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generally went on a-head, while the boats were unloading and hauling up, in order to select the easiest road for them. The sledges then followed in our track, Messrs. Beverly and Bird accompanying them; by which the snow was much trodden down, and the road thus improved for the boats. As soon as we arrived at the other end of the floe, or came to any difficult place, we mounted one of the highest hummocks of ice near at hand, (many of which were from fifteen to five-andtwenty-feet above the sea,) in order to obtain a better view around us; and nothing could well exceed the dreariness which such a view presented. The eye wearied itself in vain to find an object but ice and sky to rest upon; and even the latter was often hidden from our view by the dense and dismal fogs which so generally prevailed. For want of variety, the most trifling circumstance engaged a more than ordinary share of our attention; a passing gull, or a mass of ice of unusual form, became objects which our situation and circumstances magnified into ridiculous importance; and we have since often smiled to remember the eager interest with which we regarded many insignificant occurrences. It may well be imagined, then, how cheering it was to turn from this scene of inanimate desolation, to our two little boats in the distance, to see the moving figures of our men winding with their sledges among the hummocks, and to hear once more the sound of human voices breaking the stillness of this icy wilderness. In some cases Lieutenant Ross and myself took separate routes to try the ground, which kept us almost continually floundering among deep snow and water. The sledges having then been brought up as far as we had explored, we all went back for the boats; each boat's crew, when the road was tolerable, dragging their own, and the officers labouring equally hard with the men. It was thus we proceeded for nine miles out of every ten that we travelled over ice: for it was very rarely indeed that we met with a surface sufficiently level and hard to drag all our loads at one journey; and in a great many instances, during the first fortnight, we had to make three journies with the boats and baggage-that is, to traverse the same road five times over.'-pp. 67,68.
The very highest point of latitude that was reached Captain Parry considers to be 82° 45', on the meridian of 19° 25′ east of Greenwich. He says,
'At the extreme point of our journey, our distance from the Hecla was only one hundred and seventy-two miles in a S. 8° W. direction. To accomplish this distance we had traversed, by our reckoning, two hundred and ninety-two miles, of which about one hundred were performed by water, previously to our entering the ice. As we travelled by far the greater part of our distance on the ice three, and not unfrequently five times over, we may safely niultiply the length of the road by two and a half; so that our whole distance, on a very moderate calculation, amounted to five hundred and eighty geographical, or six hundred and sixty-eight statute miles, being nearly sufficient to have reached the Pole in a direct line. Up to this period we had been particularly
particularly fortunate in the preservation of our health; neither sickness nor casualties having occurred among us, with the exception of the trifling accidents already mentioned, a few bowel complaints, which were soon removed by care, and some rather troublesome cases of chilblains arising from our constant exposure to wet and cold.'pp. 104, 105.
The party rested on the 26th, which happened to 'be one of the warmest and most pleasant to the feelings,' though the thermometer was only from 31° to 36° in the shade, and 37° in the sun, but it was calm and dry.
'Our ensigns and pendants,' says Captain Parry, 'were displayed during the day; and severely as we regretted not having been able to hoist the British flag in the highest latitude to which we had aspired, we shall, perhaps, be excused in having felt some little pride in being the bearers of it to a parallel considerably beyond that mentioned in any other well-authenticated record.'
This is undoubtedly true; those stories collected by Mr. Daines Barrington and others, of persons having reached beyond this, being idle fictions. At this extreme point of their progress, nothing like land appeared in any direction, and a yellow ice-blink overspread the northern horizon; no bottom was found with five hundred fathoms of line; the temperature of the sea was 37°, and of the air from 31° to 36°. No living creature made its appearance, except one, and it was an insect, (a new species of Aphis,) a miserable little insect, in a very languid state; but it revived by the heat of the hand.'
In the afternoon of the following day, the party turned their faces to the southward, and Captain Parry observes, I can safely say, that, dreary and cheerless as were the scenes we were about to leave, we never turned homewards with so little satisfaction as on this occasion.' The difficulties for some time were not less than before, but they felt confident that, on returning to the southward, they should keep all they gained, and, probably, by the southern set, make a good deal more, which turned out to be the case.
On the first voyage to Baffin's Bay, we heard a great deal about red snow: Captain Parry, in returning on the present expedition,
In the course of this day's journey we met with a quantity of snow, tinged, to the depth of several inches, with some red colouring matter, of which a portion was preserved in a bottle for future examination. This circumstance recalled to our recollection our having frequently before, in the course of this journey, remarked that the loaded sledges, in passing over hard snow, left upon it a light rose-coloured tint, which at the time we attributed to the colouring matter being pressed out of the birch of which they were made. To-day, however, we ob
served that the runners of the boats, and even our own footsteps, exhibited the same appearance; and on watching it more narrowly afterwards, we found the same effect to be produced, in a greater or less degree, by heavy pressure, on almost all the ice over which we passed, though a magnifying-glass could detect nothing to give it this tinge. The colour of the red snow which we bottled, and which only occurred in two or three spots, appeared somewhat different from this, being rather of a salmon than a rose colour, but both were so striking as to be the subject of constant remark.'—pp. 109, 110.
There is a curious and interesting paper in the Appendix, by Dr. Hooker, on the history of this substance, so frequently observed in various parts of the world, and named by some Protococcus nivalis, by others, Palmella nivalis, and by others again, Uredo nivalis. It has generally been thought, and Dr. Hooker seems to have no doubt, that it belongs to the order Alga.
The further they proceeded southerly, the ice became thinner, and more frangible, the snow softer, and the surface more frequently covered with pools of water: the men were afflicted with chilblains, and the epidermis, or scarf-skin, in many peeled off in large flakes, from every part of the body. A large she-bear was killed, and the men spent the whole day in frying and devouring bear-steaks, the consequence of which was, that for several days many of them complained of violent pains: 'they all,' says Captain Parry, amusingly enough, attributed this effect to the quality, and not the quantity of meat they had eaten.' The officers, who ate less intemperately, suffered nothing of the kind. At length, on the 11th of August, in latitude 81° 34', they reached the open sea, which was dashing with heavy surges against the outer masses,' and finally quitted the ice, after having sojourned upon it for forty-eight days.
The next day, steering through the fog by compass, they made the Little Table-island, right a-head; so correctly had their chronometers kept time under all the unfavourable circumstances of climate, and the shocks they must have received ;* but it is most wonderful to what a degree of accuracy these instruments, so essential to navigation, have been brought. Here they soon discovered that the bears had devoured all the bread they had deposited. From hence they bore up for Walden Island, but the weather became stormy, with snow they were obliged to trust to the compass, and reached it in the evening.
Everything belonging to us was now completely drenched by the spray and snow; we had been fifty-six hours without rest, and forty
*The chronometers employed on this occasion were made by Mesrrs. Parkinson and Frodsham, whose watches had performed so well on Capiain Parry's former voyages.
eight at work in the boats, so that, by the time they were unloaded, we had barely strength left to haul them up on the rock. We noticed, on this occasion, that the men had that wildness in their looks which usually accompanies excessive fatigue; and though just as willing as ever to obey orders, they seemed at times not to comprehend them. However, by dint of great exertion, we managed to get the boats above the surf; after which, a hot supper, a blazing fire of drift wood, and a few hours' quiet rest quite restored us.'-p. 121.
The party again set sail, and on the 21st of August arrived on board the Hecla, after an absence of sixty-one days, being received with that warm and cordial welcome which can alone be felt, and not described.' Thus ended this memorable expedition.
The distance traversed during this excursion was five hundred and sixty-nine geographical miles; but allowing for the number of times we had to return for our baggage during the greater part of the journeys over the ice, we estimated our actual travelling at nine hundred and seventy-eight geographical, or eleven hundred and twenty-seven statute miles. Considering our constant exposure to wet, cold, and fatigue, our stockings having generally been drenched in snow-water for twelve hours out of every four-and-twenty, I had great reason to be thankful for the excellent health in which, upon the whole, we reached the ship. There is no doubt that we had all become, in a certain degree, gradually weaker for some time past; but only three men of our party now required medical care, two of them with badly swelled legs and general debility, and the other from a bruise; but even these three returned to their duty in a short time.
'I cannot conclude the account of our proceedings without endeavouring to do justice to the cheerful alacrity and unwearied zeal displayed by my companions, both officers and men, in the course of this excursion; and if steady perseverance and active exertion on their parts could have accomplished our object, success would undoubtedly have crowned our labours.'-p. 128.
This expedition, we know, was reckoned by many as a dangerous, by some as a hopeless, and by others as an useless, undertaking. With regard to the danger, we know it was the opinion of naval men most conversant with the nature of it, that there was less risk than on either of the two preceding voyages for the discovery of a north-west passage, supposing always that proper precautions were used in the size, strength, and construction of the boats, in the selection and supply of provisions, and, above all, in the selection of officers and men, in whom perfect confidence could be placed.
To pronounce hopeless and absurd an experiment that has never been tried, is, à priori, one of the easiest modes of determining the character of any measure that does not suit the views, or is
above the capacity, of the Prophet of Evils.' Captain Parry did not adopt it without due consideration. Most of the navigators who had visited Spitzbergen represented the ice as by no means unfavourable for the project. Captain Lutwidge, the associate of Captain Phipps, describes the ice to the north-eastward as having the appearance of one continued plain of smooth unbroken ice, bounded only by the horizon;' in the chart of that voyage, the ice to the northward of the Seven Islands is represented as flat and unbroken;' and more to the westward, 'the main body quite solid.' Mr. Scoresby says, he once saw a field so free from fissure or hummock, that he thought, had it been free from snow, a coach might have been driven many leagues over it, in a direct line, without obstruction or danger.' Captains Franklin, Buchan, and Beechey, judging from their own experience, thought favourably of it, and Franklin actually drew up a plan for making the attempt and conducting it in his own person. Several intelligent and experienced whalers, too, all agreed that they considered the plan as feasible. The following is Captain Parry's explanation why the ice, over which he passed, was found to answer so little to the description he had obtained from such respectable authorities:
It frequently occurred to us, in the course of our daily journies, that this may, in some degree, have arisen from our navigators' having generally viewed the ice from a considerable height. The only clear and commanding view on board a ship is that from the crow's-nest; and Phipps's most important remarks concerning the nature of the ice to the north of Spitzbergen were made from a station several hundred feet above the sea; and, as it is well known how much the most experienced eye may thus be deceived, it is possible enough that the irregularities which cost us so much time and labour may, when viewed in this manner, have entirely escaped notice, and the whole surface have appeared one smooth and level plain.'-pp. 146, 147.
We cannot, however, subscribe entirely to Captain Parry's final conclusion: to wit, that, after much consideration, he cannot recommend any material improvement in the plan lately adopted; the plan of boats for such a service we think a bad one in all respects, and that a good stout sailing vessel would have been preferable. Judging from the state of the ice towards the end of July, at the spot from whence the party returned, which was scarcely able to bear the weight of the boats, its rapid disappearance, which was so complete that Captain Parry says, 'before the middle of August a ship might have sailed to the latitude 82°, almost without touching a piece of ice,' at which time, in fact, all was a clear open sea that had been covered with ice in June -considering,