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-considering, also, that the constant southerly drift of the ice must have left so much clear water to the northward, it is highly probable, we cannot help thinking, that such a ship as the Hecla, starting from the northernmost part of Spitzbergen the beginning of August, might make her way to the Pole, and return in time to make good her passage to England the same season. The six hundred miles thither, and as many back, at twenty-six miles in twenty-four hours, would be accomplished by the 15th of September, which is a full month before the navigable season is over in this part of the Arctic Sea. Even supposing her to be caught and frozen in, with an adequate supply of fuel and provision, little or no danger need be apprehended. Besides, we wish to see our brave fellows in their proper station-on board a ship; not wasting their strength in the drudgery of dragging heavy loads in boats or sledges, up to the knees in half-melted snow and water,—a species of labour more fitted for convicts than seamen.
These northern voyages have, as we all know, been pronounced absolutely useless--by none, however, we are willing to believe, except a certain class of persons who hold all knowledge to be worthless of which they themselves cannot see the immediate benefit; who measure the utility of what is new by the pounds, shillings, and pence it is likely to bring such persons as the ❝ Goldfiners of London,' who were more taken with the stones brought home by Martin Frobisher from his Arctic voyage, 'glistening with a bright marquesset of gold,' than by the geographical discoveries he had made, and who had influence enough to prevail on Queen Elizabeth that the captain in his second voyage should be specially directed, by commission, for the searching more of this gold ore, than for the searching any further discovery of the passage.' Persons of this description are ever at their post, to pronounce steam-boats, steam-carriages, gas-lights-in short, all new and important discoveries-useless and absurd.
The president and council of the Royal Society, however, thought otherwise. They stated, when the project was referred to them, that this enterprise, if successful, could not fail to afford many valuable scientific results, and settle important matters of philosophical inquiry; and a fellow of this society, one of the ablest and most scientific men of modern times, declared that he considered the attempt to reach the Pole the grandest object of discovery that remained to be made, and that he hoped the Admiralty, which had proved itself so friendly to the acquisition of knowledge, would not be adverse to Captain Parry's proposal.' Doctor Brewster, to whom the scientific world is much indebted
for many valuable researches, anticipated high advantage from the opportunity it would afford of determining the atmospherical and magnetical condition of the parallel of Spitzbergen, which possesses a peculiar interest from its being nearly equidistant from the two magnetic poles, and from the two cold meridians of the globe.' Will this position near the equidistant magnetic meridian explain the mild temperature that prevails along the whole coast of Norway and Spitzbergen, so mild that in 80° north a party from Hammerfest went out daily throughout the winter in chase of bears, walrusses, foxes, &c., and had copious rain at Christmas? That this meridian line is nearly equidistant from the two poles, is inferred from the circumstance of the variation of the magnetic needle being small, and subject to very little change from the Nore to Hakluyt's Headland, being about 25° or 26°, but which, on going eastward to Hammerfest, which is in 250 East, it was found to have decreased to 10° or 11°.
On the first voyage up Lancaster Sound, Captain Parry determined pretty nearly the position of the Western magnetic pole. He found that, in latitude 73°, longitude about 89° W., the directive power of the needle became almost suspended; that the dip was 88° 26, and the variation 118° 23′ West; but in latitude 75o, and longitude 103° 44', the dip being exactly the same, the variation had changed from 118° West to 128° 58 East, a proof that he had crossed immediately to the northward of the magnetic pole, which he calculates to be in about 100° W. of Greenwich. It is not a little remarkable that Derham, in his PhysicoTheology, should have deduced, from a theory of his own, the revolution of the magnetic pole in a circle of 13° radius; and that Mr. Lovett, in 1766, from the best observations of the variation of the compass at two different places, should have deduced its distance at about 14° from the pole of the earth, or in latitude 76°, being that nearly in which Captain Parry found it.
The scientific observations that have been made by Parry and Foster, Sabine and Fisher, and more particularly those highly interesting magnetical observations by Foster, which occupy half a volume of the Philosophical Transactions for 1825, and for which he obtained the Copley medal, contain such a vast body of information on every branch of meteorological science as is not to be found in any other work extant; and such is their known accuracy, that they are considered by all the learned societies in every part of Europe as so many matters of fact, to which they can with safety refer, in all their calculations and philosophical researches. The collections of natural history that have been brought home from these regions, and deposited in the museums
of London and Edinburgh, the details and descriptions of which are given in the accounts of the several voyages that have been published, have greatly extended our physical knowledge of the arctic regions, on the side of America; from the largest of the mammalia class, through all the orders of this and the other classes, down to the invertebrate animals of the sea and land. The scanty and dwarfish flora has been ransacked for such treasures as the soil will afford in these thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice*. Nor has the geological structure of the continent and islands been neglected, as will appear by the geological notices in the various appendices to Captain Parry's journals, and particularly in the clear and comprehensive remarks by Professor Jameson annexed to the narrative of the third voyage. The moral condition of a diminutive race of men, hitherto but little known, has been observed and described, with many interesting details. And lastly, if we compare the map of these countries but ten years ago with that which now exists, we shall see at one glance how much geography has benefited from these arctic voyages. We now, for the first time, have obtained undeniable proof that the great continent of America is insulated, and that the idea of its being joined to that of Asia by a slip across Behring's Strait, like the bridge of a pair of spectacles, as some Germans, and our countryman, Admiral Burney, would have it, is destitute of all foundation. We now know, that, from Behring's Strait to the Strait of the Fury and Hecla, this northern coast of America presents an undulating line, whose extreme latitudes extend from about 67 to 71°; and that it is indented by many good harbours and large rivers: whereas, before Franklin's expeditions, the maps had no line of coast, but only two points, one of which was erroneously laid down, and the other doubtful; the rivers and lakes were drawn ad libitum, which are now placed, the former in their proper directions, and the latter in their true shapes and dimen
We think, too, we may conclude with Parry and Franklin, that though the object for which these voyages were undertaken has not been fully accomplished, yet a north-west passage is feasible, and that it will one day be made, if not by us, by our rival Brother Jonathan, who, we are inclined to think, will not find it very difficult, with a wind and current in his favour, to run, in
For some account of the scientific observations and discoveries, we must refer our readers to Nos. XLIX, LIX, and LXVIII of the Quarterly Review; and for a detailed account of them to the First, Second and Third Voyages of Captain Parry; where the scientific inquirer cannot fail to be highly gratified with the copious information which is there given on subjects of natural history and philosophy.
one season, from Icy Cape, through Prince Regent's Inlet and Lancaster Sound, into Hudson's Bay.
In conclusion, we think, from all we have heard, that neither the country, nor the naval service, will ever believe they have any cause to regret voyages which, in the eyes of foreigners and posterity, must confer lasting honour on both; which have been the means of training up and accustoming a set of young officers to the most arduous and perilous situations in which a ship can be placed; of teaching them how to take care of, and to preserve the health of a ship's company; of instructing them in the higher branches of nautical science, and the treatment of chronometers, by which the long sought-for problem of finding the longitude at sea may be said to be discovered; and in the use of the various instruments which art, aided by science, has, in modern times, brought to a degree of perfection that, but a few years ago, could not have been contemplated; and, in short, of fitting them for the most gallant enterprises, or the most important commands with which they may one day be intrusted.
ART. XII.-Reports of the Select Committee on Emigration from the United Kingdom.
WHEN Naaman the Syrian complained to Elisha of his
leprosy, he was bid to wash himself in Jordan seven times. He looked for other miraculous courses to be taken by the prophet, and could hardly be persuaded thereto, because Abana and Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, were better. Naaman was a heathen, and had never any experience of God's Jordan; yet he was in the end persuaded. To supply our wants, to satisfy our hunger, to heal our diseases, there is, not a river, but the sea shown us.' These are the words of an old and intelligent writer, who thought that, in the facilities which our insular position afforded for the extension of our trade and of our fisheries, a remedy might be found for all the necessities of the commonwealth in his time. For the far more pressing necessities of the present time -necessities which have arisen, in a great degree, from an overgrown trade-we are now told that the sea offers, not indeed the speedy and certain cure which this projector promised for a less inveterate disease, but the prospect of immediate hope, sure relief, and ultimately of permanent benefit, by affording an easy outlet for a redundant population. Is our population redundant? and is the relief which is proposed attainable at a cost not disproportionately exceeding the expected advantage? These are questions
concerning which the Committee on Emigration has collected and laid before the public a large body of evidence.*
We need not look beyond the poor-rates for an answer to the first of these questions. Let it not, however, be supposed that we assent in any degree to Mr. Malthus's philosophy, and ascribe this redundancy to some necessary evil in the system of nature. It has arisen wholly from our system of society. It is an evil incident to the present stage of our progress, which might have been well prevented if it had been duly forescen; and which will be found remediable, if the proper and obvious remedies are judiciously and perseveringly applied. As little would we be supposed to agree with Mr. Malthus in his reprobation of the poorlaws. That gentleman, in his examination before the committee, prescribes an enactment,+ declaring that those who are born after a certain time should not be allowed to have any parish assistance;' such an enactment, depriving the pauper of a right to claim assistance, under the circumstances of his not being able to find employment, he considers absolutely necessary,' and pronounces 'that no essential improvement can take place without the denial of a legal claim.' Far gone, indeed, must those persons be in our modern mania of political economy, who recommend a measure impracticable, if, in other respects, it were wise; and abominable, if it could, by possibility, be carried into practice! The mischief which the poor-laws produce has arisen wholly from their mal-administration or perversion; the system itself is humane, just, necessary, befitting a Christian state, and honourable to the English nation. So it was regarded by Blackstone, when he said, not more emphatically than truly, that charity is interwoven with the very constitution of this country. So by Mr. Spence, when he observed with pride, as an Englishman, that this country is 'the only one in the world where every poor man is born, not only to the inheritance of freedom, but of a contingent patrimony; and can marry, and practise the virtues, and enjoy the happiness resulting from early marriage, without anxiety for the future; knowing, that if employment cannot be had, or sickness assail him and exhaust his little savings, (which no poor-laws would deter a well-educated poor from aiming to lay up,) he can by law claim from the rich a portion of their good things, and need, in no event, dread that he or his children should perish with hunger; for, though the laws of nature, and the good of society, require that the many should be poor, and the few rich, the poor have a
But why all that part of the evidence which is annexed to the Second Report (more than two hundred parliamentary pages) should have been reprinted in the third, we are at a loss to guess.
+ Third Report, p. 315.
Third Report, p. 323.