페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

the first of these motives, curiosity, undertook a coast- latitude 70° 44', the highest ever attained in that region, ing voyage from Drontheim towards the north, and was in the summer of 1778. Capt. Clerke, the successor of the first adventurer, of whom we have any account, who this extraordinary navigator, in 1779, Joseph Billings, crossed the Arctic circle: his voyage extended beyond in 1790, and Lieut. Kotzebue, in 1816, all passed Behthe North Cape of Norway to the entrance of the White ring's Strait; but none of them reached the extent to Sea. Iceland was discovered by a Scandinavian pirate which Cook attained. Subsequently, however, in an about the same period; and the south of Greenland was investigation by land, Capt. Cochrane, we understand, discovered about the year 970, by one of the colonists has traced the whole of ihe Tchuktchi Noss, and deof Iceland. But these are tracts of country which lie termined its peninsularity. without our limits, excepting a small promontory of the The greater part, almost the whole indeed, of the former, and the northern continuation of the latter. northern coast of Russia, between Archangel and the

The popular idea of a northern passage to India,- Tchukichi Noss, was traced by interrupted detail in which was suggested by John Vaz Costa Cortereal, or the years 1734 to 1740, by the Russians; and some according to a more general opinion, by John Cabot, other researches since that period, have been accomthe father of the celebrated Sebastian Cabot, about the plished by the same nation in the Frozen Sea. middle, or latter end of the fifteenth century,-was the The journey of Hearne 10 Copper-mine River, in occasion of a number of voyages being undertaken into 1772, and of Alexander Mackensie in 1789, to the Frothe Arctic Sea, from which, with some considerable dis zen Ocean, bring us down to the period of the recent coveries made by the whale-fishers, almost the whole of voyages of Captains Ross and Parry towards the northour knowledge of Arctic lands has been primarily de- west, and of the overland expedition of Capt. Franklin. rived.

Some of the whale fishers frequenting Davis' Strait, Though many attempts were made to find a north- penetrated in the year 1817 to an unusual height into western or western passage to India before the middle of Baffin's Bay; and some of the Spitzbergen whalers also the sixteenth century, there is no well-authenticated ac- penetrated to within sight of the ice-bound coast of count of any of these voyagers having extended their re East Greenland. This uncommon permeability of the searches within the Arctic circle. Sir Hugh Willough- polar ices, with a representation of one of the captains, by, therefore, who discovered Nova Zembla in the year that a great quantity of ice had disappeared out of the 1553, and perished soon afterwards with the crews of polar seas, and that circumstances were very favourtwo ships, on attempting to winter in Lapland, may be able for discovery, was the occasion, we believe, of the considered as one of the first discoverers, within the recent'voyages having been undertaken. Captain Ross, frigid zone. He was succeeded by Stephen Burrough, in the year 1818, circumnavigated the Bay of Baffin, who discovered the island of Weigats, and visited Nova corrected its geography, and expunged from the maps Zembla ; and by Frobisher and several others in voyages the supposed land lying in the centre of the strails, towards the north-west, whose researches did not ex called James's Island. As the time allowed to Captain tend so far as the polar circle. John Davis, however, Ross did not permit him to complete the examination passed lhis circle in the year 1585, and in the course of of this bay, and as there appeared to the government this and subsequent voyages discovered the strait named some reason to believe, that Lancaster Sound, of Baffin, after him, and the greater part of the coast on both sides was an outlet into the Hyperborean Sea, Captain Parry, of Davis's Strait, as high as the latitude of 72° 12' north, · well provided for wintering in these seas, was sent out William Barentz, a Dutch navigator, discovered Spitz- the year following for the purpose of pursuing this bergen, together with Bear or Cherie Island, in the supposed opening, and determining its limits towards year 1596, the investigation of the coasts of which, as the west. This was accomplished in the ablesl manner; far almost as at present known, was completed by the no particular difficulty indeed occurred, until the expeEnglish whalers between 1611 and 1620. The first dition reached the longitude of 110° west, but coming land seen within the Arctic circle, on the east coast of then on the coasts of a large island, which was named Greenland, was by Henry Hudson, in 1607, who dis- Melville Island, the ice was found gradually to apcovered Young's Cape, Hold with Hope, and other lands proach, and ultimately to form a junction with the shore. as high as latitude 73°. In Hudson's fourth voyage, in After every exertion, and after exposing the ships to which he discovered the strait and bay distinguished considerable risk, advanced to the longitude of 112° 51' by his name, this brave navigator was forced by a mu west, in latitude 74° 22 north, where the ice became an tinous crew into a boat, and, with eight of his adher. impervious wall. The winter now beginning to set in, ents, abandoned to perish. The celebrated William they returned a few leagues to the castward to a secure Baffin, in the year 1616, discovered the bay bearing place in Melville Island, which they named Winter Harhis name, and circumnavigated, in a solitary little ves bour, where they reinained in great quietness and safeiy, sel, this extensive and ice-encumbered sea, into which firmly frozen up until the middle of the 'next summer. the most adventurous navigators have not ventured to Being fairly released on the 1st of Aug. 1820, they refollow bim until within the present century.

newed the attempt to penetrate to the westward; but Considerable navigations of the Frozen Sea, on the after pressing with uncommon perseverance between northern face of Asia and Europe, were made by the the ice and the coast, in a dangerous and dubious chanRussians in 1636 and the ten following years, in which nel, as far as longitude 113° 46' 45" west, (in latitude establishments were formed, on the banks of the Lena, 74° 26' 25") they found it impracticable to proceed far&c.; and the rivers Jana, Indighirsa, Alasei, Kovima, ther, and therefore returned to search for a more fa&c. were discovered. The celebrated, but still doubtful vourable situation for pursuing the investigation. In voyage of Semoen Deschnew, round the great promon- this, however, they were not successful, the ice forming tory of the Tchuktchi, to the east side of Kamtchatka, a barrier to the westward wherever they went. They was undertaken in the year 1648 from the Kovima; arrived in England in the beginning of November, after and the discovery of Behring's Strait by the navigator having penetrated 520 miles, or 3210 of longitude farof that name, was accomplished in 1728. This strait ther to the westward ihan any former navigator in this has since been passed by Capt. Cook, who reached the parallel, and discovered various barren islands extend

ing from Lancaster Sound to Melville Island. To the Farewell, and had every prospect of being able to dechain of islands they met with on the north side, which termine the fate of the ancient Norwegian colonies, rewere nearly continuous, the occurrence of the open sea, specting which there is such a general and intense in. (wherein they made such considerable progress to the terest. westward) is to be attributed. This uncommon degree of success called for further research ; and Capt. Parry, Having now briefly traced the progress

of

geograwhose judicious management of the people under his phical discovery within the Arctic circle, we shall concharge, whose persevering zeal in the cause had distin- clude this division of our article with a notice of the guished him as admirably calculated for such a service, highest advances made towards the north pole. was accordingly dispatched again on a similar service, The first attempt to reach the north pole, of which and in a state of the best possible equipment, on the we have any account, was undertaken about the year 8!h of May, 1821. He returned safely in the month 1527, at the suggestion of one Robert Thorne, of Bris: of October, 1823, after two years and a half spent in tol, who proposed the scheme of the trans-polar passage laborious though fruitless exertions to obtain a passage for shortening the voyage to India. The result of this through the northern part of Hudson's Bay, round the attempt is not known. After this voyage, the passage north-eastern extremity of the American continent. across the pole was successively attempted by Bareniz

Captain Franklin, in his over-land expedition to the in 1596, Hudson in 1607, Jonas Poole in 1610 and 1611, mouth of the Copper-Mine River, obtained the first ac- Baffin and Fotherby in 1614, Fotherby iu 1615, Phipps curate knowledge of the American coast of the Frozen in 1773, and Buchan in 1813. Sea. His researches were perfectly satisfactory, as far The highest latitude attained by any of these navigaas they extended; and it was owing only perhaps to tors, it would appear, did not exceed 81°. Probably some unfortunate contingencies, and to the extreme Phipps, who penetrated to 80° 48', was the nearest to hardships he encountered, that the complete design of the pole. Some of the whalers, however, who pursue his laborious adventure did not fully succeed; for cer the Mysticetus in these frozen regions, have proceeded tainly, as much was accomplished as human persever- still farther north. Daines Barringlon, in his discussion ance could encounter.

of the question respecting "the probability of reaching A portion of the eastern side of Greenland, lying be the north pole,” gives a number of instances of whalers tween the parallels of 72o and 73° norih, we have ob. having attained higher latitudes than Phipps by several served, was discovered by Henry Hudson in the year degrees. But as his information was derived entirely 1607; but we have no record of any person having ever from oral comin'unications, there is reason to believe landed upon the coast, except Captain Scoresby, Jun. that most of his examples were greatly exaggerated by nor have we any details concerning it, excepting what the persons from whom he derived them. The closest we derive from the journal and researches of this navi. approximation to the pole that is fully authenticated, gator.* Captain Scoresby, bis annual visits to the was doubtless that of Captain Scoresby, Sen. who, in Greenland whale fishery, has at different times obtained the year 1806 penetrated the northern ice, with a single sight of this coast, which for centuries was supposed to ship, as high as 81° 30' north. be confined within an impenetrable zone of ice. In the The whale-fishers almost annually sail to the latitude summer of 1822, however, the first opportunity for of 80°, or 801°; but the extent reached by Capt. Scoresminute research, compatible with the leading designs by, en. is very rarely attainable. of his voyage, occurred. He penetrated the ice to an With a view of encouraging advances towards the extent of 150 miles towards the west, as soon as it was pole, government has for some years held out a scale of possible to accomplish a passage. On the 7th of June rewards for navigators penetrating to certain latitudes; he saw land (the east coast of Greenland) in the parallel but as the first premium is offered for 83', a latitude of 75°, and remained generally within sight of it until the much too high for the commencement of the scale, it 261h of August. During this interval Captain Scores- does not appear to have produced a single energetic by, notwithstanding the arduous duties of his profession, attempt. and the want of proper assistance for such a work, ac From the great severity of the cold in the regions complished a survey of nearly the whole line of coast beyond the 80th parallel, the mean annual temperature from latitude 75° to 69°, consisting of an extent, in- being perhaps 20° below the freezing point, combined cluding the various indentations and flexures, of near with the observations and experience of many years, 800 geographical miles. By this survey, it was found Captain Scoresby, Jun. is of opinion that the field ice that the coast was in general so totally unlike what it met with in so great profusion around Spitzbergen exis represented to be in our best charts, both as to form tends (provided there be no land) continuously to the and position, that the greater part of the land he visited pole. Hence he conceives, that the only access to the and explored may safely be considered as a new coun- pole would be over the ice; and he several years ago try. Various islands and inlets were discovered, and gave a memoir on the subject of the practicability of acnames were given to the most striking parts of the complishing the journey on sledges, drawn by dogs or coast. One of the inlets was penetrated and examined rein-deer. The feasibleness of the plan he grounds on by Capt. Scoresby, with the assistance of his father, to several examples of considerable journeys having been the depth of fifty or sixty miles. Capt. Scoresby's re- performed in this manner over snow-clad land, and also searches towards the south were limited by the leading across extensive surfaces of ice, which in point of diffiobjects of the voyage, otherwise he had no doubt of be- culty appear to bear a considerable relation to the proing able to proceed along shore betwixt the land and bable circumstances of the journey he proposes."S the ice, had he had a justifiable motive, down to Cape

* Journal of a Voyage to the Northern Whale Fishery, in 1822.

† The laborious nature of this work may be judged of, from the circumstance that Captain Scoresby's survey was founded on about 500 bearings or angles, besides 200 or 300 more for the deviation and variation of the compass, and that these were taken at 50 different stations, mostly determined astronomically.

Scoresby's Arctic Regions, vol. i. 42. 69 Arctic Regions, vol. i. p. 53-61; and Memoirs of the Wernerian Society, vol. ii. p. 328.

A 2

SECT. II.-Geography.

Navy Board Inlet, and others on the western side of

Baffin's Bay, and near Lancaster Sound, as channels As the Geography of the Arctic Regions is given and straits of this description. Captain Warham of the under the names of the respective lands, such as GREEN- British Queen, whaler, of Newcastle, was in one of LAND, SPITZBERGEN, Nova ZEMBLA, JAN MAYEN, &c. these inlets in latitude 721°, in the year 1820, when he we shall only have occasion, in this article, to describe was drifted by an inset several leagues up the strait, ihe general characters of the countries which are else- until it began to expand to the westward. In this diwhere given in more particular detail.

rection it presented a clear opening, in which a few iceThe appearance, or character of the arctịc portions bergs were seen setting through the strait with conof the two great continents, is very different from that siderable velocity. of the arctic islands. In the former, the mountainous Captain Scoresby, from his personal observations on land generally subsides, and the coasts become low the eastern coast of Greenland, came to the same conand uninteresting, and the sea adjoining shallow ; in clusion, as to the structure of the country being an asthe latter, on the contrary, the coasts are bold and pre- semblage of islands. He draws this conclusion from cipitous; the land mountainous to the very shores ; and the depth of the inlets he discovered;- from the currents the seas deep. Respecting the polar lands of America, setting up these inlets,- from the packing of the ice we know extremely little. Excepting the discoveries upon the coast in the end of summer, and from the of Captain Cook, on the north-western margin of Ame general character of the land. rica, extending as high as Icy Cape; of Middleton and The Arctic islands possess a character which is pecuFox in Hudson's Bay, touching the Arctic circle; of liar to themselves. While the features that constitute Hearne and Mackenzie towards the Frozen Ocean, no the beautiful landscape cannot be traced, the majestic other examination, of any moment, of this extensive and towering cliffs, and mountainous coasts of these tract of land had been made, until the recent expeditions islands, present innumerable specimens of the sublime. under Lieutenant Franklin by land, and Captain Parry The stately trees, the rich foliage, and the luxuriant by sea, were undertaken.

verdure which exhibit such endless beauties in happier The vast extent of territory possessed by the Rus- climes, become in the polar regions altogether extinct. sians within the Polar circle, their uncommon facilities Trees can scarcely be said to exist in the Arctic islands ; for research, in having a population either national or but where a ligneous plant does present itself, it is of tributary dispersed almost throughout the whole, to- such a stunted growth, that it can scarcely be recognizgether with the advantages afforded by the abundanted as a species of any other country, and often it is so river navigations, extending far into the frigid zone,- extremely humble in its appearance, that the eye of the ought to have rendered us tolerably familiar with the botanist can alone distinguish it from the grasses, bulbous bleak and barren shores of ice-bound Siberia. But we plants, or lichens among which it occurs. have not derived that information from these researches Even the surface of the ground has an extraordinary which might have been expected. The three great outline. The eye looks almost in vain for the rounded rivers, the Obe, Einesi, and the Lena, each of which hill, the gentle slope, the sweeping vale : it rather disdescending towards the north a distance of 1500 or cerns, in countrast to such, tremendous precipices, moun. 2000 geographical miles, or even more, must necessari- tain peaks, inaccessible cliffs, awful chasms, and extenly reach the sea in a low country ; while the many other sive dells. extensive rivers, though inferior to these, running in Instead of the fruitful soil, and the smooth undulating parallel courses, describe the general descent of the herb-clad surface seen commonly in almost every other land, and the prevailing lowness of the northern coasts. clime, these regions exhibit only naked rocks, or the Lapland, however, has a different aspect; this coast, disintegrated ruins of mountains, or a barren imperfect with some of the more considerable of the Russian pro- earth, not capable of yielding grain, or even useful roots ; montories, partakes more of the bold and rocky charac- and a surface so rugged and so mountainous, as to bid ter of the Arctic islands.

defiance to culture, or to yield any returns for any labour In our description of the Arctic islands we shall the art of man can bestow : and in place of herb-clad comprise Greenland, Spiztbergen, Nova Zembla, Jan fields and rich vegetation, to which the eye of the EuroMayen, and other smaller islands in the Greenland Sea, pean is accustomed, the polar regions present a country together with the land on the western side of Davis' either altogether void of herbage, or with such dissema Strait and Baffln's Bay, and that on either hand of inated or insulated tufts of vegetation, as to form no Barrow's Strait, extending to the North Georgian sensible proportion to the quantity of barren rocks; or Islands, forming the limit of Captain Parry's western in those places where vegetation might be looked for, navigation in this parallel.

we often find the surface hid beneath a bed of perennial GREENLAND, there can now be no doubt, is an in- ices, and the valleys filled with extensive and magnifisulated country, consisting probably of a vast archipe- cent glaciers. lago of islands. Sir Charles Giesecke, who spent a con Such is the most general nature of the polar islands, siderable time in the examination of the geology and which, however unproductive as to vegetation, exhibit a natural history of Greenland, in a manuscript chart of grandeur of appearance peculiar to themselves. The the coast adjoining Davis' Sirait and Baffin's Bay which stupendous hills rising by steep acclivities from the we have seen, lays down the land, not as a continuous margin of the ocean to an immense height; their natucoast, which at a distance it appears to be, but as a ral dark-coloured surfaces protruding amid a general chain of islands.

burden of snow of purest whiteness, or pale-green ices, And the many inlets on the west side of Baffin's Bay, constitute an extraordinary and beautiful kind of scenery. which have usually been considered as bays or sounds, There are particular spots, however, and even consider. are now preity well shown to be the straits and channels able islands, that have an aspect differing greatly from separating these Arctic islands. Captain Parry seems the general characters that have been described. Thus, 10 vicw Regent's Inlet, Admiralty Inlet, Pond's Bay, among the discoveries of Captain Parry, there are many

islands that are low and level in their surface, and which perhaps find himself dangerously involved amid elevaare totally void of those splendid glaciers, romantic ted precipices and terrific dells. Several persons have cliffs, and sublime scenery so general in Greenland and perished for the want of this precaution. When BaSpitzbergen.

rentz and Heemskirke, in their voyage of discovery toSpitzbergen, Greenland, the lands on the western wards the north, were at Cherie Island, some daring side of Baffin's Bay, &c. are in general mountainous; fellows among the seamen climbed a steep mountain in the very name of Spitzbergen (sharp mountains) is in- search of birds' eggs, where they unexpectedly found deed characteristic of its appearance. Many of the themselves in a most perilous situation : for, on iurning mountains take their rise from within a league of the to descend, the way by which they had attained the sea, and some rise from the very shore. Few tracts of summit presented a frightful assemblage of pointed table land, of more than a league in breadth, are to be rocks, vertical precipices, and yawning chasms. On seen; and in many places the blunt termination of attempting to re-trace their steps, they became more mountain ridges project beyond the regular line of the and more bewildered among the rocks. At length, after coast, and overhang, in prodigious precipices, the wa. suffering much anxiety, and being in great peril of their ters of the ocean.* The greater proportion of these lives, they succeeded, by mutually assisting one ano. countries consist of groups of insulated mountains, sel- ther, in effecting their extrication from the dangerous dom disposed in chains, or in any determinate order. situation into which their thoughtless daring had led Their forms are various; but the most prevailing have them.// conical, pyramidal, or ridged summits; sometimes they The iceberg, or polar glacier, is met with in almost are round backed; but more frequently terminate in all the Arctic islands, and is one of the most interesting points, and occasionally in acute peaks, not unlike objects which they afford. The most conspicuous are spires. Many of the precipices in Greenland, Spitzber- those occupying confined valleys, or ravines, opening gen, Jan Mayen, &c. are from 1000 to 1500, or even towards the coast. They commonly rest on an inclined 2000 feet perpendicular; and numbers of the moun- plane, bounded by hills on the sides, and ascending to tainous peaks are upwards of 4000 feet in elevation. a mountainous height in the back ground. In most Among such mountains, the valleys sometimes descend cases the icebergs terminate at the margin of the sea between each to within a few fathoms of the level of the with a precipitous crest, rising to 200, 300, or 400 feet sea; so that the whole elevation of the mountain is elevation; but in some sheltered situations they proseen, and the whole fabric becomes an insulated and trude beyond the beach into deep water, and being ihen distinct object. The base of some of these insulated capable of large dismemberments, give rise to those mountains of the greatest elevation does not exceed a extraordinary islands of ice found afloat in such abun. square of two or three miles. The points formed by dance in Baffin's Bay and Davis' Strait. The breadth the tops of some of the highest mountains in Spitz- in front of these glaciers is often upwards of a mile; bergen, are so fine, that an observer cannot discover a some extend to ten miles or more; and many of them place on which an adventurer, attempting the hazar- climb the mountains in the back ground to the height dous exploit of climbing one of the summits, might of 2000 or 3000 feet. rest.

Icebergs have a similar origin to the glaciers of EuAmong the mountains of Spitzbergen there are some rope. These being invariably formed between the line remarkable for the symmetry or regularity of their of perpetual freezing and the line of occasional freezing, form. Besides regularly proportioned four-sided pyra- and the interval between these lines being greatest in mids, there are some mountain crests of extraordinary high latitudes, we see why the belt of icebergs in the beauty. These consist of pyramids of stairs or steps of Arctic regions is of such extraordinary breadth, extendgigantic magnitude, each step diminishing on ali sides ing indeed from the summit of the highest mountains with such striking regularity, as to convey the idea of into the very bed of the sea. They are the produce of the beautiful superstructure being the work of art. On sleet and snows, augmented under particular circumthe north side of Barrow's Strait, the cliffs, which are stances by rains and fogs : a partial solution of the snow mural precipices of 500 or 600 feet, present a buttress- being necessary to consolidaie it into ice. like structure, of an appearance equally artificial, as The precipitous crest of icebergs has a glistening those mountain crests of Spitzbergen, which gives them uneven surface, of a greenish grey colour. "The upper a beautiful and imposing character. And a similar, but surface, in summer, is rough and furrowed; in winter much more magnificent, structure occurs on the south it is buried under a smooth expanse of snow. The ice side of Scoresby's Sound, on the east of Greenland. of these glaciers is hard and solid: considerable beds of “ The mountains facing the north are in general distin. it are met with as transparent as glass. guished by numerous parallel, horizontal strata or beds, The coasts of the Arctic islands exhibit a scenery forming ledges not unlike steps, on a gigantic scale, which is novel and interesting. Innumerable mounwhich strata are distinguished from the rest of the dark- tainous peaks, ridges, precipices, or needles, are seen coloured precipitous surfaces, by fine white lines of rising immediately out of the sea to the height of 2000, snow, that give the whole crest a beautiful as well as 3000, or 4000 feet; while show and ice in striæ, or extraordinary appearance."'S

patches, occupy the various clefts in the sides of the Many of the mountains of the Arctic islands are in- hills, cap the mountain summits, or fill with extended accessible to man. The steepness of the ascent, and beds and mighty glaciers the most considerable valleys. the looseness of the rocks, with the numerous lodg. There is, indeed a kind of majesty not to be conveyed ments of ice in the sides of the cliffs, constitute, in many in words, in these extraordinary accumulations of snow places, insurmountable obstacles. In attempting any of and ice in the valleys, and in the rocks above rocks and the steeper ascents, it is a matter of prudence to mark peaks above peaks in the mountain groups, which apevery step with chalk, otherwise the adventurer will pear above the ordinary elevation of the clouds, and

Scoresby's Arctic Regions, i. 94. # Ibid. i. 99. Parry's Voyage, p. 266.

Scoresby's Arctic Regions, i. 100.

+ Ibid. i. 97.

Scoresby's Voyage to Greenland in 1822, p. 219.

extend to the utmost limit of vision; and when you springs, and it is only when seen in deep seas that any approach the shore under the impenetrable obscurity of certain and unchangeable colour appears. The prevail. a summer fog, and the fog happens to disperse, as is ing colour is ultra-marine blue, differing but a shade often the case like the drawing of a curtain, then these from the colour of the atmosphere when free from ob. interesting lands, exhibiting a strong contrast of light scurity. But in many parts of the polar seas the colour and shade, heightened to the utmost elxent by a clondchanges to olive green, and the water becomes extremely less atmosphere and powerful sun, burst on the senses turbid. Henry Hudson, the Arctic navigator, was perin a brilliant exhibition, l'esembling the production of haps the first who noticed this circumstance, in the year magic.*

1607. Captain Parry and Captain Scoresby observed To this strong contrast of the light reflected from the the same. Hudson attributes the turbid green colour snow, and thc deep shade of the dark coloured rocks, to the influence of the ice; and Capt. Parry, on first is to be attributed a remarkable deception observed in seeing brown coloured water in Davis' Strait, considerthe apparent distance of the land. Any strangers, how. ed it as produced by an admixture with rain water. The ever well acquainted with other countries, must be com- true cause, however, of this turbidity and change of pletely at a loss when making the first ait: mpt to estic colour, was discovered by Mr. Scoresby to arise from mate the distance of any of the bold Arctic lands. When an innumerable quantity of minute medusæ and animal. at the distance of twenty miles, it would be no difficult cules contained in the water. He found that a cubic matter, in situations where the deception is the most inch of the olive-green water contained about 64 me. considerable, to induce even a judicious stranger to un- dusæ. In this proportion a cubic mile would contain dertake a passage in a boat, from a belief that he was about 23,888,000,000,000,000! The sea where this wawithin a league of the shore. At this distance indeed, ter occurred was above a mile deep; but supposing of twenty miles, the portions of rock and patches of these animals to extend only to the depth of 250 faihoms, snow are as distinctly and strongly marked as would be the above number of one species of animal would still expected at a fifth part of the same distance.f

occur in a space of two miles square,ma number, which From the great height of these lands, and the bril- Mr. Scoresby calculates would have required 80,000 liant manner in which the mountains are sometimes il- persons, to have started at the creation of the world, to luminated, many of the coasts may occasionally be seen have completed the enumeration at the present time.!! at the distance of fifty or sixty miles; and some parti “ What a stupendous idea this fact gives of the imcular mountains fully double this distance. In such mensity of creation, and of the bounty of divine Provi. cases, any extensive snow-clad surface shines with the dence, in furnishing such a profusion of life in a region brightness of the full moon, and exhibits a colour and so remote from the habitations of men ! But if the numappearance very similar to the resplendent face of that ber of animals in a space of two miles square be so luminary.

great, what must be the amount requisite for the disco

loration of the sea, through an extent of perhaps iwenty Sect. III.--Hydrography.

or thirty thousand square miles ?"

These animals, Mr. Scoresby observes, are not withWe are little acquainted with the hydrography of the out their evident economy, as on their existence possi. polar regions in general, as the greater part of the sur. bly depends the being and preservation of the whole face of the sea is covered by an impenetrable body of race of mysticete, and some other species of cetaceous ice. With respect to the Greenland sea, however, which animals. For the minute inedusæ apparently afford forms the most considerable proportion of the naviga- nourishment to the sæpie, actiniæ, cancri, helices, and ble part of the frigid zone, we are tolerably familiar; other genera of Molusca and Aptera, so abundant in and also with that of Davis' Strait and Baffin's Bay. the Greenland sea, while these latier constitute the food The Greenland Sea includes the whole extent between of several of the whale tribe inhabiting the same reGreenland and Nova Zembla, a breadth of 1400 miles, gion: thus producing a dependent chain of animal life, and from the parallel of Cape Farewell to an unknown one particular link of which being destroyed the whole distance towards the pole. In this sea the nearest ap- must necessarily perish.** proaches to the pole are made.

Besides these medusæ, the Arctic seas abound with The Arctic seas are less salt than those of other re other still smaller animals. In two or three instances, gions. The average specific gravity of tropical seas is Mr. Scoresby has met with extensive patches and streaks about 1.0288, and of the Greenland sea about 1.0265.9 of the sea of a yellowish green colour, having the ap. The average quantity of saline matter in the latter is pearance of an admixture with flowers of sulphur or of about 3.68 per cent.

The difference in the saline con- mustard. These occurred near the east coast of Greentents of the Arctic and tropical seas is very trifling: the land, in the parallels of 70° and 73° north. Suspecting general uniformity may be atıributed to ihe perpetual the colouring matter to be of an animal nature, Mr. circulation by currents which takes place in the waters Scoresby examined some of the water by a powerful of the main ocean. In more confined seas, however, microscope, when his conjectures were confirmed by where the same exchange of waters does not take place, the discovery of animalcules in immense numbers. The we find the specific gravity greatly reduced. Thus, larger proportion of these, consisting of a transparent while the lowest specific gravity observed by Mr. Scores- substance of a lemon yellow colour, and globular form, by in the Greenland sea was 1.0254, which occurred in appeared to possess very little power of motion; but a latitude 73° 34', Capt. Ross, in Baffin's Bay, found it so part; amounting perhaps to a fifth of the whole, were in low as 1.020; and Capt. Parry, near Melville Island, continual action. Some of these being seen advancing found it still lower, being little more than 1.01. by a slightly waving motion, and others spinning round

The water of the main ocean is well known to be as with a considerable celerity, gave great interest and transparent and as colourless as that of the most pure liveliness to the examination. But the progressive mo

* Arctic Regions, i, 110.
$ Scoresby's Arctic Regions, i. 182.

Ibid. i. 111. | Ibid. i. 179.

Edin. Phil. Journal, p. 162. q Ibid. i. 180. i. lbid, i. 180.

« 이전계속 »