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surrounding her with an embankment of snow as high up as the gunwale, where it niet the canvass rooting and sheltered the people from all wind : the upper deck was also covered with snow tiro feet and a half thick, and trodden down till it became a solid mass of ice, and then sprinkled over with sand so as to put on the appearance of a rolled gravel walk. But one of the most simple and useful contrivances, for which we give Captain Ross, or whoever suggested it, great credit, was that of placing iron tanks with the open side downward, over apertures in the deck, to receive the flues from the steam-kitchen, oven, and other parts of the lower deck, and carry off the vapour. By this plan the apartments were kept dry; it saved the necessity of forcing up the temperature, which on former occasions caused the vapour to condense on the beams and deck; it saved fuel, and they were able to keep up a temperature of 40° and 50° of Fahrenheit the whole winter, which was found sufficient to make the place dry, warm, and comfortable. These condensers collected jointly a bushel of ice in the day; and (Captain Ross says) we could not but be highly pleased at reflecting, that, had it not been for the collection and condensation of this bushel, we should have been ourselves the condensers, and been involved in vapour and internal rain, to an equivalent amount all the twenty-four hours.' - (p. 217.) Something, we recollect, of this kind was practised by the younger Ross when with Captain Hoppner in the Fury.

Though the temperature out of doors was frequently from 30° to minus 37°, we are told that the system of comfort and economy within was as perfect as could be desired; but even without, however low the temperature, provided there was no wind, the men could take exercise, and make hunting excursions without much inconvenience; a circumstance which has been stated in all the former northern expeditions. We are told that the men, by attending the schools, 'improved with surprising rapidity,' and that ' a decided improvement for the better (!) was perceived in their moral and religious characters,' even, it is said, to the abolition of swearing. :-(p. 226.) On Saturday nights they danced, and drank as usual to their sweethearts and wives, and divine service was invariably performed on Sundays—a sacred duty, rarely we believe, if ever, neglected in a British man-of-war. The Captain had withheld the issue of spirits, being of opinion that they are productive of scurvy in the Arctic regions, but on Christmas day all hands were indulged with grog, and had even minced pies from the stores of the Fury, and iced cherry-brandy with its fruit. 'In some manner or other,' says Captain Ross, the last three months had passed away without weariness, and had, indeed, been almost unfelt.'


Ou the 9th January, 1830, an unexpected source of amusement, and of profit also, occurred in the visit of a tribe of Esquimaux, to the number of about thirty. A very large portion of the book is taken up with the traffic and transactions of the voyagers with these dismal savages, with descriptions of their mode of life, their persons, dress, food, and methods of procuring it; all of which, as nearly as may be, had already been abundantly detailed by Ross himself

, Parry, Franklin, and others. We shall therefore pass over the various accounts of their intercourse with this singular people, so very extensively scattered over the northern shores of America and its islands, and content ourselves with noticing their snow huts—which indeed differ very little from those already described - but were now frequently the means of accommodating Commander Ross, in the course of his long and painful journeys. The village of the tribe in question consisted of twelve of these lodging-houses, which had the appearance of so many inverted basins; a passage leads to each through a long crooked mound; they are generally about ten feet in diameter, and immediately opposite the doorway is a bank of snow, two feet and a half high, level at top and covered with various skins, which serves as the general sleeping place for the whole family. A lamp of moss and oil supplies both light and heat, so as to make the apartment, we are told, ' perfectly comfortable.' But they receive light also by a large oval piece of clear ice fixed in the roof. In the crooked passage is a recess for their dogs; the passage appears to be made crooked to enable them to turn the opening to leeward when the wind blows. Being formed entirely of blocks of snow, the completion of the fabric is but the work of a few hours.

Our voyagers soon discovered, or imagined they discovered, (for the parties knew nothing of each other's language, that these Esquimaux were able to give them some important geographical information; that they were acquainted with Winter Island and Repulse Bay, and had left Acoolee, a station opposite to the latter, only ibirteen days before. One man drew with the pencil several large Jakes close to that part of the country where they then were, marked the spots where their countrymen were to be found, and assured the strangers that the land here might be crossed in nine days to the salt water--were they not already in salt water? There was also in the party a female geographer, (a pendant to her of Parry,) who pointed out to them where they must sleep in their future progress, and where food was to be obtained. It seems that these people are provident, and that, in the summer season, they kill immense quanuities of game and fish, particularly of salmon, which they bury in the snow for their winter provender, when land-animals are less

plentiful, plentiful, and the weather so severe as to prevent them from making their hunting excursions. About the month of April, great herds of musk-oxen and rein-deer make their appearance from the southward; and bears, wolves, gluttons, foxes, hares, and ermines, are abundant. Among the birds, swans, grouse, ptarmigans, partridges, snipes, snow-buntings, dovekees, and sea-gulls, are met with in considerable numbers. The seal is one of their most useful animals both for food and clothing,

But the quantities of salmon that frequent the lakes on the neighbouring isthmus, which communicate by small rivers with the sea, are quite astonishing. Captain Ross states, that a party once brought from the fishery 500 tish and returned for 200 more, which was all they could carry; bringing also,' he adds, ' a note from the Commander, by which I learned that they had taken 3378 fish at one haul;' that they had taken in all 5067, but were obliged to leave 3000 of them to the natives.'-p. 583. This was in the month of July.

These varied resources, added to the large stock of provisions of every kind from the Fury's stores, equal to nearly three years' consumption, relieved the party from all apprehensions of famine, or even of scarcity. With all this, and duly appreciating the anxiety which they must have felt, we cannot forbear recalling how different was the situation of that most excellent officer and manSir John Franklin ! While Ross and his party were feasting on salmon and venison-with mince-pies and cherry-brandy-Franklin, on his Christmas-day, in his solitary ruined hovel, pervious to wind and snow, with a temperature 20° below zero, was left alone to waste away by famine, almost without the faintest ray of hope that he would ever be relieved, the spark of life just glimmering in the socket, and the flame only prolonged by being nurtured with the vilest of food,-pieces of bones and scraps of skin, picked out of the ash-heap, and boiled down into a miserable mess of acrid soup.

In point of fact, by our author's own account, they had now passed their first winter, not merely without suffering any great inconvenience, but in comparative comfort ; and as spring advanced they looked forward to the time when the truth of the Esquimaux geography should be put to the test by a journey on the land. On the ist of April Commander Ross set out on this expedition; and he returned on the 10th, not before he had satisfied himself that, having succeeded in crossing an isthmus, a little to the southward and westward of the ship, he had reached the western sea spoken of by the Esquimaux. I concluded,' he • that we were now looking on the great western ocean, of which these people had so frequently spoken to us, and



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that the land on which we stood was part of the great continent of America. This may be so, and we are inclined to think it so, but it remains to be proved. A second and third journey, towards the end of April, put the Commander in full possession of the geography of this isthmus, which connects the peninsula, named by Ross Boothia, and the land which, for the present, we are to consider as part of the continent of America; it also separates Prince Regent's inlet from the western sea; and, by a fourth journey, was ascertained to be about fifteen miles in width, consisting of a lake ten miles long in the centre, and five miles of land. This spot, until its geography was decided, had raised expectations that a passage might be found hereabouts into the sea to the westward.

Commander Ross says,• The party which I had thus quitted for a short time had announced their arrival on the shores of the western sea by three cheers: it was to me, as well as to them, and still more indeed to the leader than to his followers, a moment of interest well deserving the usual " hail” of a seaman ; for it was the ocean that we had pursued, the object of our hopes and exertions; the free space, which, as we once had hoped, was to have carried us round the American continent—which ought to have given us the triumph for which we and all our predecessors had laboured so long and so hard. It would have done all this, had not nature forbidden ; it might have done all this had our chain of lakes been an inlet—had this valley formed a free communication between the eastern and western seas; but we had at least ascertained the impossibility ; the desired sea was at our feet-we were soon to be travelling along its surface; and, in our final disappointment, we had at least the consolation of having removed all doubts and quenched all anxiety of feeling—that where God had said No, it was for man to submit, and to be thankful for what had been granted. It was a solemn moment, never to be forgotten; and never was the cheering of a seaman so impressive, breaking as it did on the stillness of the night, amid this dreary waste of ice and snow, where there was not an object to remind us of life, and not a sound seemed ever to have been heard.'--pp. 403, 404.

But when the hope of a navigable passage into the western sea appeared to be at an end, and that, according to the Esquimaux geography, the southern, like the western, shore of Regent's Inlet was closed round with land, the next important point to be ascertained was, whether the land to the southward of the isthmus was connected with, or a part of, the main land of North America ; —and this could only be done by the Commander and his party tracing the western shore as far as their provisions would allow them to proceed.

• For such an attempt' (this able officer says) it was necessary to make a still further reduction in the allowance of provisions; and whatever they who are well fed and at ease may think, such sacrifices are not small to him who is already under-fed and hard worked, who must exert himself every hour beyond his strength, who feels that food would enable him to go through his task, and who, independently of this reasoning, is actually suffering under the instinctive and irrepressible cravings of animal nature. Yet, on mentioning my wishes to the mate, Abernethy, he informed me that the men had intended themselves to make the same proposal to me, and were only waiting for the proper opportunity of transmitting their wishes through him. It may be believed that I rejoiced in this generous feeling on their parts; and the necessary reduction was, therefore, immediately announced.'-pp. 414, 415.


Having proceeded to a projecting headland, which the Commander named Cape Felix, the land was seen to trend to the south-west, while, says this adventurous traveller, the vast extent of ocean then before our eyes assured us, that we had at length reached the northern point of that portion of the continent which I had already ascertained, with so much satisfaction, to be trending towards Cape Turnagain.' A fatiguing journey of twenty miles, over hummocky ice and snow, brought them to another projecting headland, which they named Victory Point, and from which the great extent of sea, free from all appearance of land—(as was also the case at Cape Felix)-raised the most lively expectations of being able, the following season, to complete the survey of this part of the coast of America. The distance from this spot to Cape Turnagain is stated to be not greater than the space which they had already travelled over, namely about 210 miles. We can readily enter into the feelings of regret experienced by this enterprising officer, when he found himself obliged to return-at a time too when as many more days as he had already spent in the journey would have accomplished his object, and solved a problem of vast importance to geography—one, as we shall hereafter show, that goes very far towards settling the question of a North-West Passage.

But,' he continues, 'these days were not in our power ; for it was not days of time, but of the very means of existence that were want. ing to us. We had brought twenty-one days' provision from the ship; and much more than the half was already consumed, notwithstanding the reductions which had been made, without which we should have even stopped far short of our present point ; to reach which had occupied thirteen days, when we had provided ourselves for no more than eleven outwards. There was nothing, therefore, left to us but to submit; and thus, however mortified at the necessity of such a resolution, I was compelled to settle finally for our return to the ship, after we had advanced one other day. By the shortest route back, our distance from her was computed at two hundred miles; and even


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