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have seen, and did see, his former mistake, candidly and frankly owned it, this would at once have silenced criticism-at least we can speak for ourselves. He has thought fit, however, to take a different-and we must say a most disingenuous—course, which we feel it our duty to expose. Mark, then, how ' a plain tale will set him down.' In his book of 1818 we find the following passage:
• The land I then saw was a high ridge of mountains, extending directly across the bottom of the inlet. This chain appeared extremely high in the centre,' &c. ....It (the weather) completely cleared up for about ten minutes, and I distinctly saw the land round the bottom of the bay, forming a connected chain of mountains with those which extended along the north and south sides. This land appeared to be at the distance of eight leagues.'—Voyage to Baffin's Bay in 1818, Pp. 173, 174.
No description could be more clear and distinct than this is of a nonentity. Now let us compare it with the above extract from his book of 1895. Here this noble chain of mountains is shirivelled up into A mountain ; and, instead of its stretching round the bottom of the bay (which by his own chart is forty-two miles across), we now find it perched at the extremity of the supposed north point of America, wholly out of the counterfeit bay: still he avers that he formerly stated it to be situated at this place. We shall see:- this mountain, he now tells us, lies between the latitudes of 73° 59' and 74° north; that is to say, it occupies a space of seven miles : in 1818, by bis own showing, it stretched froin 73° 36' to 74° 18', or forty-two miles. This is rather unlucky for the Captain's averment, but what immediately follows is much more so. And as its longitude,' he continues, is 90° west, it occupies the place at which I had marked Croker's niountain (still in the singular number) in 1818.' Now we shall show the gallant Knight that his conclusion is a non sequitur ; the mountain, in his chart of 1818, is placed in longitude 83}', and cannot therefore, in its new position of 90°; occupy the place he marked it in 1818; unless, indeed, as we are dealing with impossibilities, it possesses the gift of ubiquity.
We cannot leave this subject without pointing out the absurdity, as well as the meanness of this subterfuge. •In 1818,' he says, • I saw very distinctly, from the vicinity of the mountain called by me Hope's Monument, the land which I called Croker's Mountain." Now Hope's Monument appears, in his own chart, in lat. 74° 43', and long. 80° 30'. We have seen that this mountain of 1832 (whatever its name may be) occupies a place in long. 90°; and is, therefore, according to his logic, identically the same with that of 1818. If we reject the small difference of latitude, and assuming only that VOL. LIV. NO, CVII,
of longitude (9° 30'), we have a distance of 157 nautical miles from the spot in Lancaster Sound, where, from the deck of the Isabella, Ross asserts he saw that singular mountain, which by some means or other, between the years 1818 and 1832, bas transported itself from the sound to the north-eastern extremity of the Boothian Peninsula. We know of no parallel to this stretch of the visual organ, except it be that of the notorious Fernan Mendez Pinto, who saw the Great Wall of China from the neighbourhood of Amoy, about a thousand miles off. Perhaps his friend the feelosopher may suggest a wee bit refraction; but the largest bit will fall infinitely short of what would be required to raise a hill of six hundred feet so as to be visible at the verge
of the horizon from the above-mentioned distance; nothing short of the height of fifteen thousand feet would show itself! If Parry had not, in 1819, completely demolished this fine range of mountains, with Cape Rosamond in the centre of it—of whose castellated summit a splendid view illustrates Ross's book of 1818—Ross, in his volume of 1835, would have done the work for him.
We may mention another circumstance, which is remarkable only as it shows, among a multitude of instances, the loose manner in which the most simple statement of what are meant to be facts is usually made. This said unfortunate mountain seems doomed to find no resting place; it is stated in the tert of 1835, as lying between 73° 53' and 74°, but in his own chart of the same date, the whole space between these latitudes is occupied by water!
But we have not yet done with the new Croker's Mountain. A more gross misrepresentation of a recorded fact, with the testimony before one's eyes, and it was under his own, can scarcely be imagined than the following:
• Since that period (1818), it (the mountain) has been considered as belonging to what have been termed Leopold's islands ; thus receiving a new name which I cannot admit. I must therefore restore to it that one which I originally conferred, and in assuming a right granted to all discoverers, reclaim, of course, the right also of discovery over a land of which I then took possession [* i.e. at the distance of 157 miles !'] Since this spot is also a portion of the mainland, and not that island which has been asserted, in the more recent voyage to which I have thus referred, it is equally my duty to point out that the discovery of the north-east cape of the American continent thus belongs to myself, and to the original voyage which I made to these northern seas. Finally, in thus restoring the original designation of this spot, I must equally assert my right to establish everything else connected with it, as it stands in my own charts, and therefore replace the names which I then conferred on several objects in its vicinity.'-p. 671.
Can assurance go beyond this? In the more recent voyage to which he refers we find the following passage :
"We had now an opportunity of discovering that a long neck of very low land runs out from the southward of the Leopold Islands, and another from the shore to the southward of Cape larence. These two had every appearance of joining, so as to make a peninsula instead of an island of that portion of land which, on account of our distance preventing us from seeing the low beach, had, in 1819, been considered under the latter character.'-Parry's Third Voyage, p. 98. Nor is this all. Sir Edward Parry in his chart has joined the island to the continent by two dotted lines, forming an isthmus. And is it thus that an officer, with the facts staring him in the face, shall dare to pluck the laurels from his brother's brow'? The thing is in itself too paltry to be of the least importance, as concerns anybody but Ross himself; Parry, we are well assured, will laugh at it.
We consider it our duty, however, to put matters on their right footing, to correct misrepresentations, and to repel the unfounded and uncalled for insinuations against Captain Parry contained in the following extract:
• Sir Edward Parry remarks that Lancaster Sound had “ obtained a degree of notoriety beyond what it might otherwise have been considered to possess, from the very opposite opinions which have been held with regard to it.” This language is somewhat ambiguous, at least; and either from this cause, or others, it has been inferred by some of those persons who took an interest in the discoveries and proceedings of that voyage, that Sir Edward's opinion was opposed to mine, when we were employed together on that first expedition. Under such a conclusion, the same persons ought also to have perceived, that, as a matter of course, he must have then expressed that difference of opinion to me, since this was his duty as my associated though junior officer; and thence, I presume, they will have further determined, that, in acting as I did, I proceeded in opposition to his declared opinion. If this be the case, it is necessary that those persons should be undeceived; for he did not at that time make any such opinion known to me, and I am therefore bound to conclude that he did not entertain it. He could not have believed that there was a passage through Lancaster Sound, or he would have told me that he thought so; for it would be to suppose him capable of gross misconduct as an officer, were I to imagine that, when he was my second in command, he suppressed any opinion that could concern the duty in which we were both engaged ; above all, that he concealed an opinion which, on account of its very high importance, it was the more strongly his duty to have communicated. Nor is there a single officer belonging to either of the ships, who, if he now says that he differed from me in opinion at that time, is not equally censurable ; since it was incumbent on all to have stated to me what they believed or thought on that leading object of the expedition.'-Ross, 1835, pp. 89,90.
Now this vain and jealous man seems not to see, what everybody else will see, that if it were true that Parry had been so negligent of his duty as not to remonstrate with his commanding officer for his misconduct in abandoning one of the noblest objects ever attempted by human effort, that commanding officer was not one jot the less to blame. But we happen to be acquainted with two very strong reasons why Parry would not, could not, and therefore did not, make any such remonstrance. The first is, the simple fact of the utter impossibility of stating his opinion, if he had formed any, when the Isabella turned back in Lancaster Sound. This ship was six miles a-head of the Alexander when she put about; she came rattling past her, with a strong wind blowing right down the sound, without hailing, without making any signal, and without heaving to ; Parry, therefore, had nothing to do but to follow his leader, in utter ignorance of the cause of the sudden abandonment. His eyes were not keen enough to carry the view to Croker's Mountains—and he could not imagine non-entities; and therefore could not and did not give any opinion to his commanding officer.
The second reason, even had he formed an opinion, is as strong as the first, and perhaps stronger. Two or three days before this event, when at or near the head of Baffin's Bay, Ross consulted Parry personally, regarding the openings in the land; and to prevent any mistake the latter sent a note, in which he pointed out where they disagreed-to which the former returned an offensive repły,--such as was not calculated to encourage his junior officer to volunteer opinions a second time, unless specially called for. Whether this uncourteous reply was owing to Parry's opinion not being exactly suitable to his wishes, or whether it might be construed to imply that all had not been done that might have been done, in the examination of those numerous openings or inlets seen by Baffin, we pretend not to know; but the rapid manner in which Ross ran along the coast, and out of Lancaster Sound, gives the appearance of a premeditated and predetermined resolution to avoid a winter's residence, and to get home as speedily as possible.
After such treatment, how could he or any one expect that Parry would subject himself a second time to be so insulied ? and what right has the Ross of 1835 to throw out insinuations against the Parry of 1818-seventeen years having passed away—because the latter did not see things that had no existence ?—but the real cause of grievance undoubtedly is, that the Parry of 1819 demolished the unsubstantial phantom '—the baseless fabric of a vision,'-so happily named in the Westminster Epilogue the Acrokeraunian Mountains. *
** Acroceraunia, montes Epiri-known to the moderns (singularly enough) as the Munti della Chimera:'-Ainsworth's Dicl.
Ross seems disposed, throughout, to manifest a malicious feeling against Parry; and truly he is sometimes indiscreet in his choice of occasions. For example, in his examination before the Committee, he says, speaking of the Act which grants a reward for the discovery of the North-West Passage, the original Act of Parliament was repealed after my voyage, and again renewed on purpose for Captain Parry.' Here, with submission, Sir John Ross states what is not the fact. The Act of 58 George III. (8th May, 1918), by virtue of which, and of which only, Parry got the reward in 1820, was not repealed till 1829. The Act 1 and 2 George IV. (23rd Feb. 1821) was a mere explanatory Act, amending the scale, and declaring that no more than 20,000l. shall be paid altogether for the whole passage; and an order in council was grounded upon it, fixing a scale of rewards for portions of the passage. The scheme for the distribution of 5000l. to the crews of the Hecla and Griper was authorised on 30th Nov. 1820,before the passing of the explanatory Act which, the Committee are informed, was renewed on purpose for Captain Parry!'
We have taken occasion to observe on the jealousy with which Ross regards his brother officers employed on discoveries. It would hardly be believed that, at the conclusion of a very silly • Introduction,' he appears desirous, in what he calls a piece of novel geographical criticism,' to deprive Beechey, Franklin, Richardson, Hearne, and Mackenzie of all their discoveries, by sending De Puca and De Fonte, of whose histories he evidently knows nothing, through the Strait of Behring, and along the whole northern coast of America, as far as the Isthmus of Boothia ! and that no one may mistake his meaning, he draws a comparative chart of ancient and modern navigators,' in which their two tracks are laid down-tracks which, he says, they must have made to reach the Isthmus of Boothia, which I have reason to believe they did, from the uniformity of their descriptions to what we saw.
We want nothing more than this chart of ancient navigators,' and the novel criticism' which accompanies it, to convey a true impression of Sir Jolin Ross. Although it would seem to prove his utter ignorance of what has been attributed to the old pilot Juan de Fuca, and to De Fonte, the intention is obviously to deprive Beechey, Franklin, and the rest, of the merit of their valuable discoveries, which indeed he does not scruple to say are no new discoveries, for they had long ago been effected by those old navigators. But enough of such trash as this--and more than enough of Captain Ross and his book.
With regard to our northern explorers, whose conduct under the most trying circumstances has been above all praise, they must content themselves with the golden opinions of their countrymen,