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The communications from W. R.,-G. D., -and P. have reached us, and will meet with our earliest. and most respectful attention.

C. F.'s paper is very curious, and shall, if possible, find a place in our next.
A. D. qr. merits also our best thanks, and will be inserted.

We have received J.C.'s various communications, with sentiments of sincere respect;—but we cannot publish any contribution of that nature, which is not an exclusive gift.

We regret that we cannot insert the notice from St Andrew's, without infringing a rule we have hitherto found it expedient to follow. Our friend F.'s promised favour is impatiently expected.

Ebenezer Fudge ”has much of the family spirit about him, and his “ Letter First" is very abiy written; but we differ from him as to the propriety of indulging a depraved appetite in the public by

But were giving notoriety to such " delineations,” however exquisitely finished, -or amply deserved. we so disposed

“ There's none, (without flattery,) if We may judge,

Half so fit for this great undertaking as Fudge !" “ Acasto" is to didactic for a Monthly Magazine.

Si ral Poetical pieces of real excellence have recently reached us, amidst a deluge of more coinmon-place effusions. The former shall be gratefully inserted as speedily as our narrow limits will al low.

The Correspondents of the EDINBURGH MagaziNE AND LITERARY MISCELLANY are respectfully requested to transmit their Communications for the Editors to Archibald Constable and COMPANY, Edinburgh, or LONGMAN and COMPANY, London, to whom also orders for the Work should be particularly addressed.

Printed by Goorge Ramsay & Co.

THE

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE,

AND

LITERARY MISCELLANY.

MAY 1818.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

WITH OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROSPECTS OF SUCCESS TOR THE PRESENT EXPEDITIONS.

any

NOTICES OF voyages UNDERTAKEN prospects of success in attaining the

FOR THE DISCOVERY OF A NORTHERN objects which our present expeditions PASSAGE,

have in contemplation.

The first British expedition of discovery was undertaken in 1553, for

the purpose of exploring a passage to The regions situated between the India round the northern shores of Arctic Circle and the Pole, after being Europe and Asia. It was an object long abandoned to neglect and forget to the nation of almost unbounded enfulness, at this moment attract a strong- thusiasm. The discoveries of Spain er interest than of the fairer and and Portugal, which had opened new more smiling portions of the globe. worlds to the wonder of mankind, This was first excited by the curious and had deluged the mother countries and valuable facts communicated by with gold, were still fresh in their reCaptain Scoresby, and published by collection, and it was hoped that the the Wernerian Society, and it has present expedition would be producbeen greatly heightened by the bold tive of results equally splendid. Aland spirited attempts now making, though it was favoured by Governunder the auspices of Government, to ment, and particularly by the reignexplore a path through regions which ing monarch, Edward VI., it was una tempest and perpetual ice seemed to dertaken, and the expence defrayed, have hitherto barred against the ap- by a body of individuals united under proach of mortals. It is worthy of the title of the “ Mysterie and Comremark, that this was the earliest ca- panie of the Marchants Adventurers reer of British discovery; it was even for the Discoverie of Regions, Domithe nurse of our infant navy. That nions, Islands, and places unknowen." courage which has triumphed over all These are described as “ certaine the fleets of Europe, and made every grave citizens of London, and men of ocean tributary, was first employed in great wisedome, and careful of the braving the wintry tempests and mov- good of their country,”, who, seeing ing mountains of the Polar Seas. We that the wealth of the Spaniards are happy to understand that Mr Bar- and Portugals, by the discoverie of row is preparing a chronological ac newe trades and countries, was marcount of all the discoveries within the veilously increased, supposing the Arctic regions,-a work for which he same to be a course and meane for possesses ample materials, and which, them to obteine the like, resolved upin his hands, will be truly interesting. on a newe and strange navigation." In the mean time, the curiosity of For this purpose they subscribed our readers may be gratified by a ra- L. 5000, which was employed in pid sketch of some of the most re- building three vessels, in the construcmarkable of these voyages, to which tion of which all the skill in shipwe shall add a few remarks on the building which the nation possessed

was put in requisition. Not only The squadron sailed down the were they put together, calked, and Thames on the 10th of May 1553. pitched with the utmost care, but an As they passed Greenwich, where the invention, then new, was employed, court then resided, an immense conof covering the keel with thin sheets course assembled to behold and hail of lead, as a defence against insects; them. The courtiers and chief noand they were supplied with provi- bility stood at the windows, while the sions for a year and a half. Many common people covered the shore and gallant captains sued for the com- the roofs of the houses. Guns were mand of this squadron ; but the pre- fired, handkerchiefs waved, “ the valference was given to Sir Hugh Wil. leys and the waters gave an echo, and · loughby, a “ valiant gentleman," the mariners they shouted in such whose high birth, distinguished na- sort, that the sky rang againe with val prowess, and even his noble and the noyse thereof. To bee short, it commanding figure, seemed to throw was a very triumphe (after a sort) in a new lustre on the expedition. The all respects to the beholders.” At this second in command was Richard moment of exultation, the thought of Chancellor, “ a man of great estima- the mighty and unknown seas which tion, for many good partes of witte in they were to traverse, instead of damphim." The instructions for the voy- ing hope, served only to give a new age were drawn up by Sebastian Ca- grandeur to the enterprise. Not one, bot, governor of the merchant com- perhaps, of the thousands who hailed pany, who had himself made several them as they floated down in pomp, important discoveries, and was con- amid discharges of artillery, and with sidered as the most experienced ma- all their ensigns displayed, suspected riner in England. These instructions that they were victims adorned for are not unworthy of perusal. They the sacrifice, and that this brilliant contain many salutary exhortations to expedition was destined soon to have cleanliness, harmony, good order, and so fatal an issue. diligence. It is hinted that, in giving The squadron was detained a con“ advertisements of their proceed- siderable time by contrary winds in ings,” they may do it," passing such sailing along the English coast, and, dangers of the sea, perils of ice, into- having in vain attempted to reach lerable coldes, and other impediments Scotland, they then directed their which, by sundry authors and writers, course towards the coast of Norway. have ministered matter of suspicion Here they fell in with that multitude in some heads, that this voyage could of little islands which extend along not succeede.” We cannot help the north-eastern extremity of Scanthinking, however, that he himself dinavia. They touched at those of has conjured up a much more serious Lofoot, (Loffoden,) which they found and unfounded fear, when he tells “ plentifully inhabited, and very genthem that “ there are people that tle people." Here they obtained soine can swimme in the sea, havens, and directions for sailing along the coast, rivers, naked, coveting to draw nigh and fixed upon Wardhuys, a harbour your ships, desirous of the bodies of of Finmark, for their rendezvous, in men, which they covet for meate; case of dispersion. Soon after putting therefore diligent watch is to be kept to sea, there came on “ Aawes of both day and night.”. He concludes windes and terrible whirlwindes," in with telling them, “how many per- which they suffered dreadfully. The sons, as wel the king's majestie, the pinnace of the admiral's ship was lords of his honorable counsell, this dashed to pieces, and he lost sight enwhole companie, as also your wives, tirely of the other two vessels. Next children, kinsfolkes, allies, friends, morning he discovered one of themi, and familiars, be replenished in their the Confidence, to leeward of him ; hearts with ardent desire to learne and but the other, the Edward, was finalknow your estates, conditions, and ly lost sight of. The admiral conwelfares, and in what likeliliood you tinued, however, to push forward, in be in, to obtaine this noble enterprize, order to reach Wardhuys ; but he which is hoped no less to succeede to sailed on without discovering any apyou, than the orient and occident pearance of land, which, indeed, the Indias have to the high benefit of soundings (of 180 fathoms) indicated the emperour and kings of Portugal.” to be at a great distance; so that it

appeared “ that the land lay not as last extremity. There was only found the globe made mention.” Thus be- in the ship á will by Sir Hugh Wilwildered on this vast and stormy sea, loughby, dated in January, which in-he continued, however, to press to- timates that he was then alive, though wards his destination. In a few days sensible, probably, of his approaching he descried land, but, covered with fate. England waited in vain for ice and desolation. Geographers have news of her expedition ; but, in the doubted what land this could be ; summer of the following year, some supposing it to be Spitzbergen, some Russ fishermen, travelling this while others, more plausibly, believe way, found the ships with their lifea it to be part of Nova Zembla. In ei- less tenants. They carried the tidings ther case it could present only one as to St Nicholas, (Archangel,) where pect; rocks rising over rocks, with the there happened to be an English merclouds wrapt around their icy pin- chant, who conveyed home the sad innacles; while no sound could be waft- telligence. The place proved to be the ed over the waves but the crash of rver of Arzina, near Kegor, in Russiits falling ice, and the hungry roar of an Lapland. In 1554, the Company its monsters. Willoughby, however, sent out two vessels, to bring home the continued for several days longer to ships thus frozen up. Before executing push to the northward. But, finding their commission, they touched at Archthat his vessels became crazy and took angel, and took on board a Russian amin water, while, instead of reaching bassador, with his suite. Fate seemthe golden plains of India and Cathay, ed never to relent against this unforhe was plunging deeper and deeper tunate expedition ; it suffered cominto the regions of perpetual winter, plete shipwreck on the northern coast he deemed it needful to turn and seek of Scotland; the two vessels, which a harbour where they might be refit were probably now unsound, went ted. After several days' sail, they entirely to the bottom, and a great came in sight of a coast, but so shal- number of persons were drowned. low that they could not approach it. The ambassador, however, escapėd, They beat about for some time on and was received at the court of Scots these unknown and desolate shores, land. without obtaining sight of a human

We have still to trace the progress being, and at length came to a har- of Chancellor, commander of the Edbour, where it appeared that the ships ward, who, as already observed, was could lie in safety. It was now only separated in a storm from Sir Hugh September ; but it was here the depth Willoughby. His career was more of winter, -intense frost, and tempests fortunate. He appears never to have of snow driving through the air, while lost sight of the coast, and, sailing the sun, even at mid-day, appearing close along it, was not long of reachionly a little above a horizon, announ- ing Wardhuys. Here he waited a ced the speedy closing in of the polar week for his companions, after which night. They were now in the situa he judged proper to proceed alone, tion described by the poet.

without regard to the murmurs of his

crew, determining “ either to bring 66 Miserable they,

that to passe which was intended, or Who, here entangled in the gathering ice, else to die the death.” Accordingly, Take their last look of the descending sun, he “ helde on his course towards that While full of fate, and fierce with tenfold unknowen part of the world, and sail

frost, The long, long night, descending o'er their ed so farre, that hee came at last to heads,

the place where he found no night at Falls horrible. Such was the Briton's fate, all, but a continual light and brightAs with first prow (what have not Britons ness of the sunne shining clearely updared ?)

on the huge and mighty sea.” AsHe for the passage sought, attempted since sisted by this perpetual light of the So oft in vain, and seeming to be shut northern midsummer, he came “ into By jealous Nature with eternal bars.”

a certaine great bay,” (the White Sea.)

After looking diligently about, they disThis haven they never left; but covered a boat with some fishermen, the journal here stops, and a veil who, "amazed at the strange greatness hangs over the varied forms of famine of his ship, began presently to avoyde and death which beset them in their and flee;" but the courteous deport

ment of Chancellor soon converted secure themselves for the night. them into friends. The English now Sometimes they made their way heard, for the first time, the name of through, when they thought it "2 Russia, which distance and barbarism thing impossible ; but extremity doth had hitherto concealed from them, cause men to do much.” At length, and learned that it was governed by a finding, though it was the middle of great Emperor, Juan Vassilovitch. July, “yet winds. they had at will, Being interrogated in their turn, they but ice and fogs too much against gave an account of England, and as- their wills,” also“ great store of serted, that the sole object of the king snow ;" in short, that there was no in sending them, was to form relations possibility of advancing farther, they of aunity and commerce with the Rus- determined to return back, and effects sian monarch. “ The barbarians ed their return home, not without heard these things very gladly,” and some difficulty; and it was the inonth it was soon arranged that Chancellor of December before they arrived in should take a journey to court ; where sight of Buchanness. he was well received, and carried After this failure, the English nahome an account of Russia, which tion made all their subsequent atexcited the highest interest in Eng- tempts by the north-west. Before land. A company of Russian mer- noticing these last, however, it may chants was immediately formed, and be proper to mention several spia regular trade established with Arch- rited attempts male by the Dutch to angel.

reach the East Indies by the north of The English merchants were still Asia. These were begun in 1594 by not discouraged from attempting the a company of merchants, under the north-east passage ; on the contrary, patronage of the Stadtholder and States the establishment of a fixed point at General. The expedition consisted of Archangel appeared to promise new three vessels fitted out from Amsterfacilities for effecting it. A vessel dam, Zealand, and Enchuysen, and was, therefore, sent in 1556, under was placed under the command of WilStephen Burrough, who had acted as liam Barentz. They left the Texel master under Chancellor. Burrough on the 5th of June, and nothing repenetrated as far as Nova Zembla, markable occurred, till they found and the Straits of Waygatz, which themselves upon the coast of Nova separate that great insular territory Zembla. Here they were soon surfrom the continent ; but contrary prised by a sight of the walrus, or winds, and the formidable appearance sea-horse. These are described as of the ice, deterred him from proceed- “ marine monsters of terrible strength, ing. He wintered at Colmogri. larger than oxen, and having their

No further attempts were made for skin rougher than that of sea-dogs." some time, which seems to have been About this time, also, the first enpartly owing to the unfortunate issue counter occurred with the White of these expeditions, and partly to the or Polar Bear. Having seen one at a hope which opened of achieving a pas- little distance, the crew discharged sage by the north-west of America. their muskets, and several balls took In 1580, however, the zeal for disco- effect; but, as the wounds were slight, very was again excited, and a new ex- they. rowed up to him, and threw a pedition was fitted out, under two noose around his neck, intending, apcommanders of the name of Pet and parently, to lead him to Holland like Jackman. An extraordinary zeal was à lap-dog, and exhibit him to their again excited, and a series of instruc- countrymen. Bruin, however, who tions were drawn up by Richard did not approve of this destination, Hackluyt, Gerard Mercator, and other soon showed them how completely eminent geographers and navigators. they had mistaken his character. At Pet and Jackman succeeded in passing one push he extricated himself from Nova Zembla, but found the sea then their grasp; then, applying his foreentirely covered with icebergs, through feet to the stern, placed instantly one which they worked their way with half of his body in the boat. In the utmost difficulty. Their great this operation he made such dis. object, every day, was to warp from plays of unparalleled strength, and utone piece of ice to another, and then tered such frightful cries, as made the strike their anchors into the ice to sailors spring to the opposite end of

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