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humblest sailor's name will never be

Yet although we bear in mind the
mournful tale of Willoughby and his
companions, or credit our worst fears as to the
fate of our own companions and friends who
disappeared with Franklin, there have not
fallen in the fight for knowledge at the Pole
during three centuries as many men as are
shot down in the first five minutes of some
famous battle; the whole battle being but
a fragment of some war bred of a mean
cause, of petty misconstructions, or the bullying
perhaps of a big potentate, who cannot
keep his temper under fit control. Under
the heats of Africa, or under the frosts of
either pole, or in encountering for the gain
of knowledge any risk of life that can be run
between the Poles, it is most probable that
in a thousand years, there have not perished
so many investigators of the ways of nature,
as there die yearly men, women, and children
in one country only, killed by diseases that
are bred of ignorance, or of that worst evil,
inattention to results of knowledge.

We do not therefore account as rashness
the firm resolution of the northern navigator
which enables him to struggle forward
through all perils and to die, if he must, in
the execution of his duty. Even in those
seas, the boldness that takes active mariners
into the way of peril, teaches them how to
escape from dangers that would overwhelm
a coward. More lives are saved than lost by
exercise of proper courage.

From first to last the Arctic search has been
a work of dauntless perseverance, to which
many nations have contributed men always
resolute and never rash. Drawing back
from foolhardiness, they have carried energy
and determination always to their utmost
limits. For resolution of that kind the poet
finds an emblem in the northern ice and
snow, when he lauds men

"In fixed resolves by reason justified,
That to their object cleaves like sleet,
Whitening a pine-tree's northern side,
When fields are naked far and wide,
And withered leaves, from earth's cold breast,
Up-caught in whirlwinds nowhere can find rest."

The first party of Europeans who endured
an Arctic winter, and whose experiences are
recorded, were the Dutchmen who had Barents
for their pilot. The last accounts from among
the ice are of Englishmen and of a Frenchman,
Lieutenant Bellot, who worked with
them; a young man of a true Arctic character,
full of genius, enterprise and spirit, very
brave and very gentle, warmly devoted to the
pursuit of science, a man who deemed no fit
companion to be to him a foreigner. He
perished among the ice and was mourned as
a brother by his English comrades. The
people at home also, connecting in their
hearts the Arctic Regions with those pure
and noble thoughts about humanity that are
so thoroughly associated with them, talk of
Lieutenant Bellot at their firesides; and are
desiring to express their sympathy in stone;
although stone has ceased for many years
to be more durable than words. We add
the stone, however, to the words because we
cannot give expression too emphatically to
our belief that men of all races are one flesh
in the Arctic Seas; nor should we be sorry to
suggest by the same act that beyond the
Arctic circle they need not be disunited.

In a former volume of this Journal we
gave a faint outline of the history of Arctic
exploration.* We wish now to illustrate what
has been said of the spirit of the Arctic
navigators; and, to do that, we will indicate
a few characteristic points belonging to the
first and the last published accounts of
Arctic wintering.

The first was the story of a voyage by
the north-east in search of a passage to
Cathay; during which the Dutchman Barents
and his associates, two hundred and fifty-
seven years ago, wintered upon the northern
shores of Nova Zembla. The last is the
account of the voyage of the British sailors,
Commander M'Clure and his men, in search
of Sir John Franklin narrated in
despatches recently made public; a voyage
which has resulted in the discovery of the
long-sought north-west passage. Barents
and his party were obliged finally to escape
from their winter quarters by abandoning
their vessel; and, in the case of Captain
M'Clure, also, it is extremely doubtful
whether he and his ship will not finally be
left where we last heard of them, hopelessly
frozen in. The account of the Dutch voyage
was published at the time by one of the men
engaged in it, Gerrit de Veer, and was shortly
afterwards translated into English. It has
been re-published lately with the other voyages
of Barents; and forms one of the most agreeable
of the volumes issued by the Hakluyt
Society. The account of the English voyage
has lately occupied our newspapers.

The Dutch account was illustrated with
pictures not quite so highly finished as those
brought home by explorers of the present
day. The first picture that relates to their
wintering voyage characterises, in one respect,
the feelings of the Dutchmen very well; there
is character even in its title: A Wonder in
the Heavens, and how we caught a Bear.
The wonder is a vision of three suns; each
represented with a face and surrounded with
the usual appearances attendant upon a
parhelion. The Dutchmen, however, in two
boats are attending chiefly to the bear, not
only a wonder but a danger in their eyes; a
former picture having shown how, as stated
in their own label, "A frightful, cruel, big
bear tare in pieces two of our companions."
On the fifth of June the Dutchmen saw the
first ice floating towards them, which they

           * Vol III, page 66.