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issue out of all their afflictions," and the derelicta detected in their track by the searches of the Fox, seem to speak of a fatal event boding only " lamentation, and mourning, and woe."
Mutilated spoils of various kinds obtained from wandering Esquimaux and their cairns, and initials full of significance to the eye of recognition, the heart of affection, tell but one tale, of which the dreary burden is "lost, lost, lost." Yet maps and journals alike proclaim of the region about Cape Herschel, that it is " a limestone tract abounding with reindeer and oxen."
On a review of Captain M'Clintock's narrative and other recent stories of Arctic adventure, our conclusions may be summed up thus:—
1. In the first place, they leave it well nigh past doubt that the party of Sir John Franklin have perished beyond the reach of recovery.
2. That if this fate has befallen them, it need not have been necessarily of starvation, for both in the brief summer and long winter of the Arctic circle there is more or less of animal life to be found in most regions, and in some quarters it abounds.
3. That much yet remains to be achieved in the exploration of all the space which is included within 65 and 125 deg. W. long., and 66 to 74 deg. N. lat., which has been most inadequately examined notwithstanding all that has been done.
4. That the use of dogs in the land and ice travelling has never been sufficiently tried hitherto in any of our expeditions, yet with their help Dr. Kane did wonders in his very short excursions from the ship; and without them, M'Clintock with his scanty crew could have accomplished next to nothing. The Esquimaux dogs are curious brutes, full of character, and worthy of study by an observant hand. M'Clintock's pack had two pounds each of seal given them every second day; the time consumed in devouring tliis frozen morsel was exactly forty-two seconds.—P. 48.
5. That single small vessels, and short select crews are better adapted for exploration than cumbrous ships and numerous crews, inasmuch as fresh provision is easily secured in adequate quantities for a small party, but a very limited supply, unless under unusually favourable auspices, for a large one.
C. That a stout built small screw-steamer, in consequence of the coasting nature of much of the sailing in those regions, in narrow lanes between the pack and the shore must be of special service, and that an expedition consisting solely of such a vessel, or vessels, is worthy of trial, at least once more in the neighbourhood of Victoria Strait, for the specific purpose of hunting up all that remains of Franklin's expedition, while we conceive it quite possible that such a vessel might accomplish the western passage, in Sir Robert M'Clure's track, in an open season.
7. That a trial of the passage round the north-west corner of Baring's Land a month earlier than Captain M'Clure tried it might issue in an entrance into Melville Sound by water. If, for instance, Captain M'Cltfre, entering Behring's Straits, had traced his -way round Behring's Land westward, in his first year in those seas, he might have attained (we do not say he would) a more satisfactory position by the middle of September than the Bay of Mercy, into which be was forced to drive his ship the year afterwards. It is possible that Captain M'Clintock's plan of entering into Franklin's Channel by Bellot Strait, and going "southward to the Great Fish River, passing cast of King William's Island" (p. 316), may yet be attended with success. The scheme 6eems founded on fairly probable data.
8. We express our hope that the exploration of these lands and ssas will not be given up, inasmuch as there is no finer school for seamanship nor field for heroic enterprise than those which they offer, while, with ordinary precaution, and the care a country will readily bestow on its men of success and research, there is nothing unfriendly to life in the extreme cold of the northern regions. That ever this route will be available for commerce, we do not for a moment apprehend; but we entertain at the same time no doubt that in a favourable year, with an early start, the transit may bo effected from the eastern to the western sea, and the path indicated be not only seen but followed out.
That the claims of humanity and science combined demand a further investigation of the Arctic seas, so as to complete the geographical outline of the whole of Parry's Sound sj>uth, we conceive, will be conceded at once. From Cape Walker, westward, nothing has been done since Captain Ommaney and Lieutenant Osbom discovered and named Ommaney and Osborn Bays respectively, the furthest point reached being only to long. W. 103° 25'. Captain Allen Young, that most devoted of Arctic pedestrians, with considerable risk to health and life, has indeed overlapped Osborn's discoveries from, the south, so as to complete the insular outline of Prince of Wales' Land, and fix its designation for'ever as an island. We greatly desiderate in Captain M'Clintock's narrative the verbatim journal of both Young and Hobson, to the latter of whom by far the most important Franklin discoveries are owing, while the former had the hardest work for his pains with no satisfactory results. We venture' to call for these journals. A further westward investigation may lead to important results bearing on the whole question of a north-western passage, and at least suggest a practicable channel, other than Peel's Inlet, by means of which the Erebus and Terror reached their lat. 78° 5' N.T and long. 98° 23' W., where they were beset in Sept., 1846. The suggestion is, that there must be, somewhere west of Cape Walker, such a course; but this is at present doubtful, as, although Captain M'Clintock was barred out by the ice so far north as Bellot Strait, in lat. 72 deg., it is not impossible that in favourable seasons there may be a passage practicable down Peel's Sound as far as Point Victory, where the last known position of Franklin's ships has been ascertained to have been.
After all that has been ascertained and done in these hyperborean regions of the earth, much still remains to be both ascertained and done, no longer in a geographical but social emergency. What is to be done is a renewed exploration of the embouchure of Back's Fish River, for vestiges of those evanished heroes who could not more effectually have escaped detection hitherto had they been swallowed up in a chasm of earth, like Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. We must ascertain the history of the adventurers from the hour of their leaving their ship, April 26th, 1848, till the hour of their death or deliverance. We have no doubt that ample records might be found ready to be woven into an Odyssey of a polar Ulysses, an Argonautica of an Arctic Jason, or the Luciada of some Icelandic Camoens. It is true that broken bottles and empty tin cases, in two or three instances of rifled receptacles on King William's LSnd, seem to tell of Esquimaux marauders making away with papers that would supply essential links in the narrative; but many other caches and cairns must have been raised on the journey of these hapless men through the wilderness—Ebenezers of thankfulness or stones of Bochim. Let these be found, and searched, and read.
Let the corpses and skeletons, moreover, be found of our yet undiscovered dead—England and humanity alike require it. Forty men together, tugging at one boat, are the highest numbers which the Esquimaux report as seen by them; but one hundred and five left the ship3. Where are the other sixty and five P If they died, and some became the prey, of Arctic foxes or grizzly bears, and some rotted in the summer thaw, this was probably not the fate of all; and, in any case, their bones survive. Where are these? The Esquimaux' report tells of regular burials, and hints at cannibal carousals of survivors, too horrible to believe; but, in any case, where is that formal burial-ground, where they laid their dead in frequent rows and considerable numbers, while there were many to bury and be buried r1 This, at least, has eluded search. Only three dead bodies have yet been met with, and those on King William's Land, not more than two or three days' journey from the ships, and these were waifs and strays, casual dead, that dropped as they went. Where is the full cemetery, the charnel-house, necropolis, in which both the ships' companies laid down their bones, and sleep—if sleep they do—in the slumber that knows no waking? No research has yet ascertained the resting-place of the multitude; and this, at least, demands thorough investigation and a decisive clearing up.
We rather wonder, too, we must confess, that M'Clintock did not insist on the guidance of the Esquimaux to that stranded ship of which they told him everywhere, which had been rifled by the men of their race, and which had proved, by its exhaustless stores of timber and iron, a gold-diggings to these wanderers of the frozen north. It could not have been far distant, on all the premises and ascertained data of the catastrophe; and its spoils met the captain on every hand, in the hut of every Esquimaux; and yet that shell of the forsaken ship was never hunted up. This we cannot but think a great fault, demanding renewed search and reparation. The natives talked of the body of a large man being found on board, and many books. Who can tell what these might reveal, if carefully sought up? At least they would speak of Christian faith and hope in their selection, like those found in the boat: "Five or six small books were found, all of them scriptural or devotional works, except the Vicar uf Wakefield" (p. 295). We except the exception, as we think Goldsmith's charming tale an edifying as well as interesting work of its class. But all the works of human genius pale their light before the full-orbed sun of inspiration. It is interesting to note how our English love and veneration for the Bible, which follow us everywhere, even to the regions of the reindeer and the whale, command the attention of foreigners. In the Independence Beige, a daily Belgian journal, an observant and candid writer (M. Lemoine) thus expresses himself on the subject:—
"Le sentiment intime de la Bible si commun aux Anglais, les suit partout; il les accompagne dans toutes les epreuves, les soutient dans tous les dangers. Quand le Calife Omar brula la bibliotheque d'Alexandrie, il dit, ' si les livres ne contiennent que le Coran ils sont inutiles, s'ils contiennent autre chose, ils sont de trop sur la terre.' Ainsi, les Anglais, avec leur Bible, ce livre unique leur suffit; il contient tout, Et quand on les suit dans ces courses heroiques qu'ils font dans les regions inexplorees, on ne peut s'empecher d'ouvrir avec eux le livre des livres. Ces intrepides pionniers, ces precurseurs de la civilization qui ouvrent a, l'humanite' des nouvelles voies, nous apparaissent comme des Moises qui vont a la conquete de la terre promise."
The whole course of Arctic research, with its melancholy close, is a fresh lesson read to us on the ever-pertinent text of vanity and vexation of spirit. The north-west passage is probably never open for navigation, save perhaps in an exceptional year, once in a decade, or once in a century ■ but even if open more frequently, the passage, at the best of times, is too precarious for the uses of commerce. In pursuing this phantom we have lost some of England's best and bravest, whose bones bleach in the wilderness, or garnish the sea-monster's cave. The stable course of Heaven is in strange contrast with the feeble achievements of man: "They shall perish, but Thou remainest." While frailty pens her In memoriam over her human dead, the inexorable chariot-wheels of the universe crash heedlessly along their way, and grind the opposer to powder. In those regions where feeble humanity melts into impalpable decay, God still builds up his palatial architecture of avalanching snow and piled iceberg —cathedral heights of grandeur—Milan miracles of more than marble whiteness; while shining prisms of crystal paint the surface to the shifting eye with the hues of the rainbow—with natural frescoes that surpass the pencillings of Giotto. There, too, the perpetual ordinance of the Aurora plays, though the gaze that might look upon it is sealed in darkness, ^panning with its luminous arches the width of heaven, opening high portals of glory into better worlds, «nd dancing in the fulness of its electric joy. The winds that sweep the northern wastes will still make them merry with their mournful music, whether there be an educated ear to mark their measures or no—and life, animal life, life in the waters and life on the shore, will still roll and range, quicken and thrive, in the very presence of man's mortality. All the phenomena and scenery of the Arctic regions are emphatic insignia of the Divine power, and of the quiet irresistible working of unchangeable laws, various in aspect, yet appointed by one hand and co-operating to one end,
"As in an organ, from one blast of wind
ANSCHAR, THE APOSTLE OF THE NORTH.
Exactly eight centuries have passed, according to the current computation, since the iron law of the first Emperor of Rome brought the Virgin Mother to Bethlehem, to give birth in a cattle-stall to her royal Son. Meanwhile, the Jewish peasant has made the proud pagan empire bow down to the tree of infamy to which it nailed Him, and because its homage was insincere, has dashed it in pieces like a potter's vessel. Still further to pour contempt upon the potsherds of the earth, a lamp of coarser clay is just being fashioned on the wheel of history, to carry the light to islands, shores, and continents yet unknown ; and then so soon as it also shall have become too foully choked with soot and filthy lees for further honour, will be shattered in its turn. On the high festival of that lowly nativity a new Christian world is horn. A second Augustus is kneeling before the symbol of weakness in the City of Strength. On his head is a diadem destined to be worn by himself and his successors for more than a thousand years; and the ornament which overtops all its glittering gold, and all its blazing gems is the cross. No augur of old Rome had divined her downfall by the hands of a crucified Jew, and the transfer of hor purple to one of his barbarian worshippers; least of all that a Pontifex Maximus should solemnize the act. Yet here in the seat of the Csesars, on the old Brumalia, now changed into the joyous commemoration of the furci/er's birth, the most sacred roof in the Eternal City, that dedicated not to the Capitolino Jove, but to the Galilean fisherman who has succeeded to the honours of the god, witnesses such a transfer. Karl*
* We adopt the German form of the name, in this and analogous cases, as a protest against the too common confusion of the Frankish history with the Frcneh.