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the temperature continued the same was three hours nearly in rowing as at the entrance: the Alexander was round it. It was found, by measureabout four or five miles a-stern of her ment, to be upwards of two miles in consort at that time; but not the least length, and almost as many in breadth, appearance of land was visible in the and above fifty feet above the surface. direction of the inlet from her crows All hands began to calculate its con
tents in cubic feet, which my memory On passing near the southern point will not allow me to state, but it's of Lancaster Sound, the depth of weight was settled to be some twelve water had increased to upwards of or thirteen millions of tons. On the 1,000 fathoms. Close to this point summit of this iceberg was a large we landed on a fine sloping sandy bear, who, in perceiving us advance beach, at the bottom of a little bay, to attack him, made a plunge into the into which a river of running water was sea, from the height of fifty feet, and falling, whose width"might be from 50 escaped from his pursuers. to 60 yards, and the water above knee We continued to trace the land deep. The flat ground through which down to Cape Walsingham, which it ran was free from ice, and appeared forms the northern side of the ento be covered with a tolerably good trance into Cumberland Straits, up soil, in which were growing a variety which old Davis proceeded 180 miles; of plants. On the banks were found we did not, however, once attempt to a piece of a fir-tree, or branch, about look at them, but shaped our course five inches in diameter, and a piece of from hence to Cape Farewell. Here, birch bark.: We went through the however, we encountered a most treceremony of taking possession of this mendous gale of wind, in which the land in the name of his Majesty, ships separated, and saw nothing of which, I fear, is only putting “a bare each other again till their arrival in ren sceptre in his hand,” though of Brassa Sound, on the 30th October, all the places we had yet seen since after a passage of three weeks across we crossed the Arctic circle, this is by the Atlantic, and within three hours far the most inviting ; and, indeed, of each other.' During this passage, were it not for the high peaked moun we had the Aurora Borealis
fretains, partially covered with snow, quently, and sometimes very grand which bound the valley on each side, and beautiful, but we could not perwe could not possibly have supposed ceive that it had the smallest influourselves to be in the high latitude ence on the magnetic needle, as we of 74°, especially on looking seaward, had been taught to expect, though and seeing not a particle of ice as far this phenomenon is unquestionably as the eye could reach.
connected with magnetism some way The month of September had now or other, as the great luminous arch set in, and the disappointment expe was generally, though not invariably, rienced in Lancaster Sound cast a bisected by the magnetic meridian. damp on all our future proceedings. You will probably expect from me We continued to the south-eastward, some opinion as to the existence and along the land, which we saw at inter- practicability of a north-west passage; vals, but kept at a very respectable but I really feel myself to be utterly distance from it. We saw several unable to give any well-founded opie openings, but examined none. The nion on the subject. I may, however, sea continued clear of ice, and the with safety assert, that our observaweather moderate, but seldom clear. tions have not supplied us with any We landed somewhere about lat. 70, grounds whatever for stating, as I perand found traces of natives, but saw ceive has been positively stated in the
Near this place too we fell in newspapers, and apparently on demiwith the largest iceberg which had official authority, that there is no pasyet occurred. The Alexander's boat sage from" Baffin's Bay into the Pacific.
I am perfectly certain, that no officer * The Crows-Nest is a kind of box, sut employed on the expedition ventured ficient to hold a man ; generally a cask,
to hazard such an assertion, because fixed near the mast-head, to protect the ob
no one is competent to make up his server from cold, and enable him to look mind to such a decision. But, were I out for whales, or open pieces of water.
compelled to deliver my sentiments on
EDITOR. this interesting question, I should say Vol. IV.
that the whole of this land, from Wol- that very little dependence could be stenhelm's Sound round the head of placed on them. On this subject our Baffin's Bay, and down to the north- journals teem with observations made ern coast of Labrador, is so intersect- in the ship, and on the ice, with facts ed by numerous straits or inlets, that, that must
give a deathblow to the theoas far as appearances go, the land on ry of Captain Flanders, and some other the western side of Davis' Strait and ingenious men, who, from a few facts, Baffin's Bay is formed into a great collected probably with no great care, clusteror archipelago of islands, beyond raise a system in their closets, which, which is the polar sea; but whether when submitted to the test of experiall, or any, of these straits are, or are ence, are found wofülly wanting. not, navigable, is a question that yet These few loose, hastily written hints, remains to be decided, and which no which I have thrown together while thing can decide but practical experi- the ships are preparing to be paid off, ence; and this I have reason to be will in some measure put you in poslieve to be the opinion entertained at session of the outlines of our proceedhead-quarters; for I am extremely ings, though they are not calculated happy to inform you, that the Admi- to satisfy a curiosity so ardent as I ralty have allowed the crews of the two know yours to be. But I must reserve ships to volunteer their services, as it the rest till I have the pleasure of is understood, for another expedition seeing you, which, I trust, will not be next year; and it is almost unneces- longer than ten days hence. In the sary to add, every one to a man has meantime, I am, &c. volunteered for this service.
Deptford, 1st Dec. 1818. To say that we have done nothing, would not be the truth; to say that P.S. We have just heard that two we are satisfied with what we have gun-brigs have been ordered up from done, would be equally untrue ;-and Chatham to Deptford, to be prepared yet the voyage has not been abortive. immediately for a particular service, If we had done nothing more than that whieh every body here says is for the of narrowing the ground of inquiry, it further prosecution of the North-westwould be something ; but it will be passage.--God grant it may be so, found that we have accomplished more and that I may be fortunate enough than this. We have swung the pen- to be again employed in this interesting dulum in latitudes where it was never enterprise. swung before; and we have made such experiments on the dip and variation of the magnetic needle, close to the magnetic pole, as cannot fail to
VERSIFICATION OF A PASSAGE IN clear up, in a very considerable degree, the mystery which hangs over this intricate subject. Our sudden de William Crowe, Esq., the public parture from Doncaster Sound was a
orator to the university of Oxford, on subject of so much deeper regret, as reading from Purchas the passage we had found, close to that inlet, the which Barrow has taken for a motto variation of the compass above 110° to his “ History of the Arctic Voywest, and the dip to exceed 86°; so ages," was so forcibly struck with the that, had we continued a very few des grandeur of the imagery, and with the grees of longitude to the westward, poetical manner in which it was experhaps 100 or 120 miles, we should pressed, that he sat down and versified certainly have stood on the magnetic the passage, almost without altering, poles, where in all probability our omitting, or adding a single word, as compasses would have ceased to act, at
will be seen when comparing them. least with any degree of certainty, on “ How shall I admire your heroicke couboard ship, as we found that the local rage, ye marine worthies, beyond all names attraction of the iron in the ships (and of worthiness ! that neyther dread so long especially the Alexander) increased cyther presence or absence of the sunne; with the increase of the dip and vari- cold blasts, snowes and hayle in the ayre:
nor those foggy mysts, tempestuous winds, ation; and that the magnetic polar at
nor the unequall seas, which might amaze traction decreased in the same propor- the hearer and amate the beholder, where tion; so that, at last, our compasses the Tritons and Neptune's selfe would became so sluggish and so variable, quake with chilling feare, to behold such
monstrous icie ilands, renting themselves sional proficiency, whatever it may with terrour of their owne massines, and be, exclusively to the opportunities disdayning otherwise both the sea's sove- afforded by them. reigntie, and the sunne's hottest, violence, mustering themselves in those watery plaines education, may be divided into two,
every other professional where they hold a continual civill warre, and rushing one upon another, make windes its elementary and higher branches; and waves give backe ; seeming to rent the in other words, into that degree of ineares of others, while they rent themselves formation which is indispensible to with crashing and splitting their congealed the whole body for the discharge of armours,'
PURCHAS. its daily duties, and that which is calTurned into verse by Mr Crowe.
culated to carry certain individuals How shall I admire beyond the beaten routine, and to enYour courage, ye marine adventurers,
able them to perform, if called on, Worthies, beyond all names of worthiness! certain higher services. The first dis Who can endure alike the sun so long vision comprises practical seamanship Present or absent, and without a dread and navigation, to which alone, acEncounter foggy mists, tempestuous winds, cordingly, the prescribed examination, Cold blasts, with snows and hail i' the fro- previous to a young man's becoming
zen air, And those unequal seas which might amaze
eligible for promotion as lieutenant, All ears and eyes, yea, and make Neptune's sidered positively incomplete without
is confined: the second may be conself To quake with chilly fear,:when he beholds: an introduction to natural history, When his huge monsters, icy isles, disdain- mechanics, the higher branches of ing
mathematics, natural philosophy, as His sovereignty, and the sun's hot violence, tronomy, and the like; but may also Muster themselves upon those watery plains, be extended even indefinitely beyond And hold continual war ; and where they these bounds, for what science is there
rush Make winds and waves give back, till in tively
useless in the conduct of a voy
in truth which may be deemed posithe shock, Crushing and renting their congealed sides, age of discovery, or other similar serThey split themselves by their own massiness. vice, what acquisition can never be
brought into play in the varied circumstances of a seaman's life?
A brief statement of the opportunities afforded by the existing institu
tions of our service for acquiring proMR EDITOR,
ficiency in these several departments, The subject of education in general and of the degree in which they are has been, of late years, so much a for the most part improved ; together
topic of discussion, and is, besides, at with some suggestions for a partial all times so interesting, scarcely any change in these institutions, by which, apology can be deemed necessary, with little expense, and, it is presumwhen a professional man seeks to com- ed, great profit, the opportunities in municate his ideas respecting that question might be materially multibranch of the whole, on which his op- plied and increased—these form the portunities have best enabled him to direct objects aimed at in the followform a judgment. On the present oc- ing remarks. .casion, accordingly, I hope to afford There are two ways, it is well known, your readers some satisfaction, by con- in which a bey, destined for the navy, sidering at length that most impor- may fulfil its requisitions preparatory tant portion indicated above, which is to promotion in its ranks.--He may connected with the pursuits of nearly be entered, at the age of thirteen, on all my past years, and which no possi- board one of his Majesty's ships, ble combination of political circum- where six years actual service as midstance can ever render altogether un- shipman entitles him to demand that interesting to a discerning British pub- he be examined touching his capacity lic; and in doing this, I shall equally to undertake the charge and fulfil the hope to be able to avoid giving offence duties of a lieutenant ;-or he may any where, for I shall studiously speak be sent at the age of twelve to Portsof existing institutions with that re mouth academy, an institution, it must spect which is especially their due be premised, on a very limited scale, from one who owes his own profes, and to which, accordingly, only very
ON NAVAL EDUCATION.
superior interest can procure a boy's interest, on daily witnessing the most admission, under bond too that the abstruse calculations applied to the Navy shall be the profession of his most indispensible purposes of selflife ; but where three years of assiduous preservation, readily carry a boy over study, if crowned with such proficien- the first difficulties. As his six years cy as the subsequent examination shall advance, he gradually becomes soliciconsider necessary, are held equivalent tous about his ensuing examination, to two years passed on board ship, receiving thus a further spur to exerand with four more, accordingly, spent tion; and thus, although it must be conin actual service, equally entitle the essed that, in almost every case alike, young aspirant to be put on his ulti- all other branches of liberal education mate examination. Of these two ways, are entirely overlooked and neglected, it is easy enough, at first sight, to there are yet few or no instances in determine which is best, and yet the which a young man of nineteen thus difference, on examination into the educated, is not qualified to meet the entire circumstances of each, is not ultimate scrutiny of the examining great, both labouring under peculiar captains, on the subject of practical disadvantages as complete systems of seamanship and navigation, a test, by professional education.
the bye, which, though once little The boy of thirteen, who is sent on more than matter of form, is now, by board ship, is withdrawn from his the rigour of some very recent regulaearly studies, while yet the only im- tions, abundantly severe. pression made by them on his mind, The boy of twelve, on the other is that of disgust at the labour their hand, who is sent to Portsmouth acatasks had imposed on him. He is demy, passes through a very different thrown into a new world, where the probation, but reaches ultimately very greatest number of those about him nearly the same point. Taken from are idle, and the choice spirits whom home at a still earlier age than the he is most likely to admire and imi- other, his habits of application are, if tate are profligate into the bargain. possible, still less confirmed; but they The schoolmaster, under whom he is are soon acquired here, for the discirequired to study navigation, knows pline is exceedingly strict, both in its nothing probably beyond that neces- letter and administration, and the atsary, but not exclusively necessary, tention of the young pupils is still furscience; ten to one he is not respecta- ther fixed on their tasks by a very juble in his habits, or if he is, that is, dicious regulation, which provides, under the supposition that the chap- that if any of them complete the prelain unites the two charges in his scribed course of study within two own person, he is a ward room officer, years and a half instead of three years, moving in a different sphere from his and can then undergo creditably the pupils, and only seeing them at dis- concluding examination, these two tant and uncertain intervals, while, years and a half shall reekon to them in the meantime, a thousand claims as full time. Their studies, meanwhile, of active duty, or of amusement un- consist of arithmetic in all its rules, der its name, press on the young mid- elementary mathematics, practical geoshipman's time and attention, render- metry, and drawing, together with ing it nearly utterly impossible for such notions of rigging, and other him to acquire any habit of consistent branches of practical scamanship, as application. And yet, notwithstand- the details of a dock-yard are calculaing, it is very seldom that any one, ted to convey,—this last, however, thus circumstanced, grows up a com- being rather considered as the recreaplete dunce ; for the situation is not, tion than the employment of the young after all, without its peculiar advan- students. Thus far all is very well; tages, as a school of instruction. The the concluding examination is very practical part of seamanship is even strict,—and the lad of fifteen, who has mechanically acquired,--the habit of passed its ordeal, joins a ship for the encountering difficulty and danger, first time with very decided advantaand of applying a prompt and judi- ges over his fellows-inferior to them cious remedy is early formed, -the only in the habitual, practical appliwits are sharpened for every practical cation of his learning to the purposes purpose,--and even in the theory of of his profession. Even this little ohnavigation, first curiosity, and then stacle in his course too is soon over
come a very few months are suffi Such is a faithful and not overcient to teach a sharp lad all that is ne- charged picture of the several means cessary to be learnt in this way; and for acquiring proficiency in professionthe habit of applying it comes of itself al science afforded by the existing in within the four years which, as has stitutions of our naval service, and of been already explained, he must yet the degree in which these are for the pass in active service before coming to most part improved by young officers. his ultimate examination. But unfor- A single glance is sufficient to shew tunately almost every other advantage them to be incomplete and inadequate is for the most part lost in the mean- for their purpose, now especially when time. . The young academicians are the pursuits of science are both more comparatively a very small body extensive in their own spheres, and scarcely any two of them get together more widely disseminated among all ---the chances are twenty to one at ranks of society than they were when least, that they do not they are in- these institutions were organized, and ferior in practical knowledge to their when accordingly greater opportunities young compeers, who, on the other for instruction are required by naval hand, feel their own strength on that officers to enable them as well to keep point, and, by consequence, under- pace with the improvements of science, value every other, and taunt and jeer as to retain their place relatively with at a proficiency which, not being their those with whom they are called on to own, they affect to despise. Thus act and to associate. But there are circumstanced, our young pupils yield three special points, each of great imfor the most part to the tide, -it would portance, in which they would appear be indeed too much to expect from to me most particularly deficient. In their years that they should very the first place, both systems of educasteadily set themselves in opposition tion pursued by them lead only to one to it,--they first, accordingly, conceal common point of very moderate profiand neglect, and then finally lose that ciency,--the pupil of the one learning proficiency which had been the aim steadily up to it, impeded only by his and boast of their earlier years; and own idle habits, and of the other emulous alone of that active excellence learning and unlearning down to it, which, as it is the most congenial to his first career being interrupted halftheir age, so is it the most popular in way by a sudden and entire change of their profession, they become, all of object of pursuit. In the second place, them, good practical seamen, much the union of two systems in the same as those educated on board ship, but service injures the effect of both, innever (I intimately know and highly asmuch as it deprives the respective regard many of them, and am igno- pupils of each of that encouragement rant of one exception), never push which community of preparation and forward to the higher branches of nau- objeet with their compeers can alone tical science-never keep up more of bestow. And, lastly, neither of them what they once learnt even, than afford any means or inducement to what is indispensably necessary to pass young men to pursue their studies bethem as lieutenants, and to enable yond the point of moderate proficiency them to discharge the duties of the se to which they both equally conduct, veral stations in our service which they which means and inducements are acmay afterwards attain *.
cordingly altogether wanting in our
service, not only to our own great loss I positively know one instance, and and disgrace, but also to the detriment perhaps it is not solitary, of a young man
of the country, whom we should otherwho passed through Portsmouth academy wise be enabled more effectually to with the utmost credit, having been one of ‘serve. a very few of his year who finished the prescribed course of study in two years and a half, and who yet was rejected as incom- been neutralized, only put in abeyance, by petent when he subsequently presented him- the circumstances in which he had been self to pass as lieutenant. My young friend placed ; they were, and are still equal to will forgive me for thus quoting him, when any exertion at which they could reasonaI add, that he was so stung by the affront, bly be tasked, and certainly much superior he studied day and night afterwards, and to the mere maintenance of acquisitions, passed the immediately following month the first difficulties of which they had reawith the utmost ease. His talents had only dily surmounted.