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they were fixed in their winter quarters in five fathoms water, and within about 200 yards from the shore. The lat. of this harbour, (if we recollect rightly, named Winter Harbour,) is 74 deg. N., and long 111 deg. W. Hitherto, they had never lost sight of a continuous barrier of ice to the southward, that is, from west long. 90 deg. to the extreme of Melville Island.

Every thing was soon made snug for the formidable winter of these regions. The officers and crews formed various plans for passing the dreary days, or rather nights, of the polar regions. Plays were performed by the officers for their own amusement and that of the crews; and we are told, that a melo-drama was written, having for its object the probable success of the expedition, and their ultimate return to their friends through Behring's Straits, after having planted the British flag in countries which had eluded the bold and fearless darings of a Davis and a Baffin.

The sun disappeared entirely on the 11th November. The thermometer was below Zero of Fahrenheit's scale, when the expedition entered Winter Harbour. In the month of November, the spirit of wine thermometer was 50° below Zero, and in February, the coldest month of these regions, the spirit of wine pointed to the tremendous cold of 54° and 55° below Zero. During these intense colds, our adventurous countrymen felt but little inconvenience so long as they remained under the housing of their ships. A slight covering for the ears, and a shawl around the neck, were considered as sufficient protection against the most intense degree of cold; but when the atmosphere was agitated by gales of wind, then the cold became truly dreadful and insupportable, and every one was forced to seek shelter below. Nevertheless, scarcely any accident occurred from exposure to cold; while the constant and regular exercise, which formed a necessary part of the duty of the crews, kept every one lively, and active, and free from disease. One death only took place during the expedition, and that was in the case of an individual who had contracted the disease of which he died before he left England. This poor fellow re

poses in a solitary grave, amidst the trackless wilds of Melville Island. A little mound was erected to his me mory, in a region which had never before been seen by any civilized beings, nay, the soil of which has, to all appearance, been but rarely visited by a few casual wanderers, from the most forlorn and isolated tribes of the human race.

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When the sun had its greatest southern declination, a twilight was perceptible at noon in the southern horizon, affording sufficient light to read a book with difficulty. The day was like the fine clear evening of winter in our climate. The stars shone with great brilliancy, and when the moon appeared in the firmament, she shone with a beauty and splendour unknown in the more southern and temperate regions of the globe. The northern lights appeared frequently, generally of a yellow colour, sometimes green, but rarely red, and most commonly towards the southwest. It was remarked, that this brilliancy was seldom so great as in our country; no noise was ever heard to proceed from them, and the magnetic needle did not appear to be affected by their presence. But we long to know if they were visible the whole day-and what were their various forms, and motions, and transparency.

The sun re-appeared on the 3d of February, after an absence of 83 days, and those only who have suffered the privation of its "glorious light" can feel and tell the rapture with which the crews hailed the first glimpse from the mast-head. They had calculated the exact period of its return, and were anxiously looking for it from the main-top.

In April, some partial symptoms of thaw appeared. By the end of May, pools and streams of water made their appearance, and shortly after, regular thaw commenced. Nearly about this time, Captain Parry, with a party of his officers and men, crossed Melville Island, and reached the sea on the opposite side, in Lat. 75° N. where they discovered another Island. They were fourteen days absent, and we have heard, made many curious observations on the forms of the hills and mountains of this Island, collecting withal, very extensively, specimens of all its

vegetable, animal, and mineral productions. The remains of an enormous whale were found fur inland, and a few huts, intimating the presence of man, were discovered by some of the party. Vegetation had now become active; and sorrel was found in such quantity, as to remove all these symptoms of scurvy which had begun to make their appearance among the crew. The ice in Winter Harbour was also beginning to dissolve rapidly, and by the end of July, it had entirely disappeared. Yet the ships were still quite blocked up by the exterior ice. It was not till the 30th, that the outside ice began to crack; -on the 31st of July, it moved off very gently, and released the crews from their winter prison, where they had been shut up for 310 days.

On the 6th of August they reached the western extremity of Melville Island, situated, we believe, in Long. 1140 W. where the ice was found to be very thick and impermeable. From this island new land was observed to the south-west, estimated to be 20 leagues distant; so that they may be said to have seen land as far west as Long. 118°. Many attempts were made to reach this interesting Terra incognita, but in vain; and the commander and his admirable crew were, with feelings of the deepest regret, forced to return, owing to the vast barriers of ice.

Having failed in this attempt to reach the south-western land, and the winter again approaching, the vessels now sailed directly eastwards, through the Polar Sea, and Barrow's Straits, into Sir James Lancaster's Sound, thence into Baffin's Bay, and by the usual track homewards.

In their progress among the islands, the officers shot a few rein-deer, ptarmigan, partridge, and hares; and the howls of the wolf were heard frequently in Melville island. Several musk oxen were killed; and, we are informed, the crews considered it, after being properly macerated, to get rid of the musky flavour, as preferable eating

to that of the rein-deer. One of the sailors, who had ventured beyond his companions in search of rein-deer, returned to the ship with all his fingers frost-bitten, from carrying his musket too long. When the fingers were plunged into cold water, ice was formed on its surface, and this continued to be the case for half an hour afterwards, as often as the fingers were plunged into it. The sailor lost five of his fingers.

From Lancaster Sound to Melville Island, the compass, we understand, was found to be totally useless, a circumstance which left to the commanders no other guides than the heavenly bodies and the trend of the land, thus at once presenting the striking spectacle of modern navigators tracking the ocean, without the compass, as was done by the mariners of old. We cannot, indeed, conceive a more striking scene than that of our discovery ships forcing their solitary course through unknown regions, surrounded with rugged, dreary, and desolate wastes, in the midst of the most appalling dangers, and deprived of the use of the compass.

The Hecla was forced into Leith Roads by stress of weather-a circumstance which afforded us an opportunity of conversing with the officers, and of furnishing our readers, from the recollection of their most interesting conversations, with this narrative, which, although very brief, will be found, we venture to say, not inaccurate.

From the preceding narrative, and other details in our possession, it appears,

1. That Captain Parry has discovered an opening into the Arctic Ocean, from Baffin's Bay.*

2. That continuous land extends along the north side of Sir James Lancaster's Sound, and Barrow's Strait, to long. 93 west; and that, beyond this, onward to Melville Island, the land appears not continuous, but broken into islands; while, on the south side of Sir James Lancaster's

The Edinburgh Review says, that the only chance of a passage is through Cumberland Strait, and that it is vain to think of any opening into the Arctic Sea by Lancaster Sound. So much for their geographical foresight. In another of their rambling geogra phical articles, composed of unacknowledged shreds and patches from English, German, French, and Italian authors, there is an uncommon share of absurd vapouring about the condition of the Polar ice, all of which, although already sufficiently ludicrous and absurd, is, we understand, proved to be visionary by the observations of the present expedition. But, to say truth, we have already given the Professor his due in this Number.

Sound, and Barrow's Straits, in a westerly direction, to Prince Regent's Inlet, the land is continuous; beyond this inlet, land extends for a consider able way to the west, when it is succeeded by ice; and this extends onward to the lofty mountainous land, seen to the south-west of Melville Island.

3. That the land seen to the northward, extending from Barrow's Straits and Melville Island, appears to be a groupe of islands; that the land on the north side of Barrow's Strait, named by Captain Parry North Devon, is probably an island, being separated from West Greenland by some of the sounds at the top of Baffin's Bay; and that, probably, West Greenland itself may prove to be a great island, separated from the islands, in the line we

have just mentioned, by some of the openings at the head of Baffin's Bay.

4. Either that the land observed to the south of the east and west line we have mentioned, or of Barrow's Straits, is the coast of islands skirting the north coast of America, or that some of the masses of land may be projecting points of the great American continent.

5. Finally, That, in all probability, the land extending from Prince Regent's Inlet, through Barrow's Straits and Lancaster Sound, along the west coast of Baffin's Bay and Davis' Straits, to Cape of God's Mercy, and from this point through the great inlet at the head of Hudson's Bay, or through Cumberland Strait, may be a great island, whose western boundary may be in a line drawn from Foxes Farthest to Prince Regent's Inlet.

VOL. VIII.

2 E

LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.

Distant Visibility of Mountains.(From the Quarterly Journal of Science, Literature, and the Arts) :

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Ghaut at the back of Tellichery
Golden Mount, from ship's deck
Pulo Pera, from the top of Penang
The Ghaut at Cape Comorin
Pulo Penang, from ship's deck

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Do. 53 Restoration of Paintings.-The white used in oil-painting is generally prepared from lead, and forms the basis of many other pigments; and is extremely liable to turn brown or black, when affected by sulphureous vapours. M. Thenard, of Paris, has restored a painting of Raphael's, thus injured, by means of oxygenated water, applied with a pencil, which instantly took out the spots and restored the white The fluid was so weak, as to contain not more than five or six times its volume of oxygen,

and had no taste.

Ripening Wall-Fruit.-Mr Henry Dawes, of Slough, has published the result of an experiment for facilitating the ripening of wall-fruit, by covering the wall with black paint. The experiment was tried on a vine, and it is stated, that the weight of fine grapes gathered from the blackened part of the wall was 20lb. 10 oz.; while the plain part yielded only 71b. 1 oz., being little more than one-third of the other. The fruit on the blackened part of the wall was also much finer, the bunches were larger, and ripened better than on the other half; the wood of the vine was likewise stronger, and more covered with leaves on the blackened part.

Principles of Vegetation. In the first part of the fourth volume of the Transactions of the London Horticultural Society, we find an essay, by the Rev. William Herbert, detailing various experiments on hybrid vegetables, which appear to have been conducted with great care and accuracy. One inference drawn by the Rev. Gentleman from his success in producing varieties in vegetables is, that all the species of plants now existing have branched from original genera, or, in other words, that genera alone were created; and that most of those plants, which are now considered species, are no more than permanent varieties: the saving word probable, is indeed introduced into this hypothesis; but from the tenor of the whole paper, it should seem the author gives full credit to this favourite opinion. This conclusion, how

ever, we cannot help thinking unphilosophical; for, on reflection, it naturally oc curs, that the same creative power, which produced one individual vegetable, could, with equal facility, create a million; and that if genera in their native soils and climates produced, in the early era of the world, endless permanent varieties, at what period did this propensity to indefinite multiplication cease to act? It may be said, that new permanent varieties, or species, continue to arise at the present day, but this remains to be proved; for since plants have been described with accuracy (we mean since the time of Ray and Tournefort), what new species do we know, or even suspect, to have been produced in a native lo cality? That many vegetables under cultivation are apt to run into varieties, is obvious; but the varieties of plants, in a state of nature, are comparatively few in num ber, and these varieties are generally pro duced by the individuals growing in situa tions differing in moisture, temperature, and exposure, from the stations which are natural to them-seldom from seminal admixture; for were there no limit to the power gratuitously ascribed to the first created genera, the vegetable kingdom, long ere this period, would have become a confused and heterogeneous assemblage of hybrids, deviating, in every respect, from one of the most essential and fundamental laws of

nature.

Pompeii: Shower of Ashes.-From a late eruption of Vesuvius, a shower of ashes fell on the now uncovered ruins of Pompeii. M. de Gimbernat, a Spanish naturalist, has compared the substances of which this recent shower is composed, with those by which the city was anciently overwhelmed. He could not find the smallest resemblance between them; insomuch that it appears doubtful to him whether that city really was ruined by a shower of ashes. The same naturalist has observed, that within a few days after the eruption, the crater of Vesu vius was covered with crystals of sea-salt We have always understood that the action of water was evident among the concurring causes of the ruin of Pompeii, whether it were fresh water, or consequent on any violent action of the sea. At all events, the comparison instituted by M. Gimbernat, is a laudable attention; and, properly pursued, may afford new light on the still obscure history of the calamities which had blotted out Pompeii from among the cities of the earth.

Journey of Etymological Inquiry.—There is nothing equal, in point of evidence, to the bringing a theory to the test of experience. Professor Rask, whose Memoir on the Origin of the Northern Languages was crowned by the Academy of Copenhagen, is at this time absent on a journey into Asiatic Russia, with the design to examine the

various idioms of that extensive country, and to determine whether there really is that resemblance between them and the Sclavonian and German languages which has been pointed out by his theory. His intention is, to visit afterwards the mountains of Caucasus, the countries of Persia, and India beyond the Ganges. He allows himself three years for this undertaking. Undoubtedly, the conformity of dialects affords strong proof of the consanguinity of nations, where it can be effectively traced. To this should be added, and we hope the Professor will not overlook it, a comparison of religious opinions, rites, and ceremonies, with the influence they have had on the manners, the expressions, and the still remaining superstitions, preserved most strongly among the lower classes of the population.

The latest intelligence from M. Rask states his progress towards mount Caucasus, and his personal safety: but adds, that he finds himself under the necessity of waiting till certain feuds among the natives have subsided.

Gas Lights, with Earthen-ware Reflectors. These reflectors, proposed by Mr Millington, are now used in the city of Bath. They are made of earthen-ware, with the common white glaze; are about eleven inches diameter, and cost about seven shillings a dozen. They not only considerably increase the light, but materially contribute to the protection of the head of the lamp, by preventing its being unsoldered, or injured by the flame.

Discovery of the mouth of the Niger. The mouth of the Niger has been discovered by M. Depuis. We understand, in addition to the information obtained by this traveller, that a gentleman in Jamaica, fond of geographical studies, by his own researches, and by the examination of negroes, arrived theoretically at the same conclusion. It would seem, that a little antiquarian lore in matters of this sort, is not unprofitable. The editor of a contemporary journal has an atlas, published in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, in which the Niger is represented discharging itself by several mouths at the bottom of the great south-west bay of Africa.

Account of Timbuctoo and Housa."Our limits will not admit of many extracts from this work; but as our manufactures are on the decline, and the nation is anxiously looking out for new markets, and as we know that the mind of the country and of the government are now strongly directed to a quarter of the world, in which, at no distant period, we anticipate a great outlet for British manufactures and industry, which, if the nation loses it, the fault must be her's alone. We cannot refrain from quoting the following passage respecting the trade to Africa:

Timbuctoo is the great emporium for all the country of the blacks, and even for Marocco and Alexandria; the principal articles VOL. VIII.

of merchandize are, tobacco, plattilias, beads of all kinds, cowries, small Dutch looking glasses, called in Holland Velt Spiegels, &c. In the Desert they buy rock salt of the Arabs, who bring it to them in camel loads, ready packed, which sells to great advantage at Timbuctoo, and in the several markets of Sudan. Shabeeny's caravan consisted of five hundred loaded camels, of which about two hundred carried rock salt.

The returns are made in gold dust, slaves, ivory, gum sudan, and other things of lesser consideration; the gold dust is brought to Timbuctoo from Housa, in small leather bags; cowries and gold dust are the medium of traffic. The (Shereess) Muhamedan princes, and other merchants, generally sell their goods to some of the principal native merchants, taking their gold dust with them into other countries. The merchants residing at Timbuctoo have agents, or correspondents, in other countries, and are themselves agents in return. Timbuctoo is visited by merchants from all the negro countries; some of its inhabitants are extremely rich; a principal source of their wealth is lending gold dust and slaves, at high interest, to foreign merchants, which is repaid by goods from Morocco or Marocco, as Mr Jackson calls it, and other countries to which the gold dust and slaves are conveyed. Shabeeny says that gold is found about sixteen miles from Housa. We can hardly credit the description which this muselman gives of the mode of collecting it. He says they go in the night with camels, whose legs and feet are covered to protect them from snakes; they take a bag of sand, and mark with it the places that glitter with gold; in the morning they collect the earth where marked, and carry it to the refiners, who, for a small sum, separate the gold.

Iron mines are in the desert; the iron is brought in small pieces by the Arabs, who melt and purify it; they cannot cast iron. They use charcoal fire, and form guns and swords with a hammer and anvil. The points of their arrows are barbed with iron; no man can draw the bow by his arm alone, but they have a kind of lever; the bow part is of steel, brought from Barbary, and manufactured at Timbuctoo.""

Double Refraction.-M. Soret has, in the Journal de Physique, (xc. p. 353), given two simple methods of ascertaining the double refraction of mineral substances. The apparatus for the first method is simply two plates of tourmaline, cut parallel to the axes of the crystal, and placed crossways, so as to absorb all the light. The substance to be examined is to be placed between these plates: if it be doubly refractive, the light re-appears through the tourmalines: if not, all remains dark. The second method consists in placing the mineral to be examined over a hole in a card, and examining the light transmitted through it by an achromatic prism of Iceland spar. It 2 F

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