ePub 版

specimens of minerals imbedded in the igneous, large class was 64 lbs. And heavy as they rocks, there was not the least appearance of were, and seemed, their activity in leaping vegetation ; but it was so densely covered with was incredible. In their walk, and glancpenguins, which stoutly resisted their landing, ing over their shoulders as it were with wonder that it was with difficulty they could force their at their strange visitors, they betrayed no sears, way through them.

and hardly took themselves out of the way. The acquisitions to natural history, geology, But if an impulse led them to jump up the face geography, but above all towards the elucida- of a piece of ice, their flappers came down on tion of the grand mystery of terrestrial magnet- each side, and they rose with a spring (considerism, raise ihis voyage to a pre-eminent rank ing their form) truly astonishing; as several of among the greatest achievements of British the officers estimated such exploits at 10, 12, or courage, intelligence, and enterprise.

14 feet in perpendicular height. We mentioned the plummet having struck How these birds contrive to live on icy the ground in a sounding of great depth, but masses, unable to fly, and not much made for had not at the moment the exact extent before running, is, we repeat, a natural curiosity. us. It was at 2677 fathoms; and by an able There are no insects within many degrees in contrivance the vessels veered out more than the antarctic circle where they abide. 4000 fathoms of line, and yet (as in lat. 66.1° S.) Of the dreadful storm mentioned in our last, with all that scope could find no bottom. In we have since seen a sketch ; which, we are asthe former case, where they did, they could not sured, is an under-wrought representation of the bring the lead up again to indicate the nature of scene. It is perfecily appalling! The Erebus the ground.

and Terror are but one wave apart, and the In the highest latitudes, however, which they tremendous masses of ice seem as if they must reached, and much within the antarctic circle, crush a thousand navies. Their escape was intheir dredging was very productive, and they deed miraculous. Both rudders lost at nearly have brought home, in spirits of wine, many the same time, and a dreadful swell driving specimens of molluscs and other creatures, them up and down, whilst the rolling ice was shells, &c., &c., which are believed to be rare, sometimes under them and sometimes emerging if not new in this branch of scientific exploration, from the water around. It must have heen terand which will be the more welcome now, since rific; and it may be observed, that the oceanProfessor Forbes's Ægean researches (see for- swell, of which we have spoken, renders the tunately, in this very same number, his re- navigation of the south infinitely more perilous port, and the results to which it leads) have, than that in the northern sphere, where the as it were, opened a vast novel field of inquiry waves and currents are comparatively smooth, for the investigation of the nature of our globe. and the forcing a way through the ice a very dif

In these desolate regione, where so little ferent and much safer operation. could be seen or found on the surface, it was Among the memorable objects of the voyage, some compensation to be able to divulge even the volcano we described last week was the a few secrets from the depths of the sea. Above most memorable. Its appearance is spoken of and around them it was almost as if life were by all the officers and crews as of stupendous extinct. Animals there were none; and birds beauty; and some idea may be formed of its were very few. The stormy petrel occasionally grandeur when we state, that on sailing away flying over their heads was shot; and a new from it in a direct course, the vessels could see species of white petrel was also obtained. The it distinctly at the distance of 130 miles ! other ornithological inhabitants of the antarctic, The geology near this phenomenon would be such as gulls, &c., were identical with those of of extreme interest; but it was not attainable ; the arctic regions; the same in colors, feathers, and we have only to console ourselves with the and form. Only they were “like angel visits, abundance of specimens brought from other few and far beiween.” Of shrimps under the parts. Kerguelen's Land was rich in this reice there were myriads; but apparently nothing spect, and seems altogether to have been one to feed upon them except the worthless finner of the most remarkable spots visited by the exwhale. For the mess the ocean was a blank. pedition. We said it was of volcanic origin; Seals, however, abounded, with skins of a but it is a puzzle to tell exactly what it is. long coarse hair. And this was all—all ex- Covered with lava, it imbeds immense fossil cept the extraordinary penguin, whose habits trees, some of them 6 or 7 feet in circumferseemed to be impenetrable. This bird was ence; and numerous fine minerals, quartz in found always on the ice, and at immense dis- huge masses in basaltic caverns, and other tances from land. How it existed appeared to singular remains. It looks as if a land had been be a mystery. There were thousands and tens submerged, and again thrown up to the surface of thousands of the smaller species; and the by volcanic action; the former solid earth and lightly fledged young in their first year were all its products having been restored to view often met with. But there were, besides, a pa- under an igneous power, which destroyed it. triarchal order, never encountered in more than Here, however, our countrymen fared well, three at any time, and of an immense size. Their and were fortunate in their magnetic observaappearance on the summits of icebergs and tions. They could not thin the multitudes of elsewhere were almost ludicrous; for, with their teal which surrounded them and afforded good stately stalk and short legs, they looked, for all table cheer, and an excellent species of the the world, like the padres of a religious order. brassica tribe, though wild, furnished a vegetaOne was weighed at 76 lbs., and stood about 4 ble much esteemed after a long voyage. The ft. 6 in. in height. The average weight of this seed of this cabbage furnished food for many

birds, and several specimens were brought mimics. One of our officers danced and sung from this quarter. Aliogether, we understand, Jim Crow to a set of them; and a Fuegian imabout sixty have been sent or brought home, mediately, to the great entertainment of the out of which, no doubt, some will augment our ships' crews, copied both dance and song; the fauna. Shooting these was one of the principal first to perfection, and the last so well that it amusements of the officers, when not on duty. was thought he pronounced every absurd word

From Kerguelen's Land we have on our ta- whilst he jumped Jim Crow! ble, kindly presented to us by Lieut. Smith, a Among the happy returns, we cannot conbeautiful specimen of the fossil wood-a black clude without mentioning the pretty kitten sent silex, with the woody fibres obviously circling on board the Erebus just before starting, and in the anterior, and the outer bark, particularly which we declared to be a “Pole-cat.” It has on one side, of a different brown consistency. certainly become one, with a thick rich fur, as if It is about five inches in diameter, and very the antarctic seasons had agreed with it. There heavy. From Van Diemen's Land we have is also a goat shipped at Van Diemen’s Land, also silicified vegetable remains, of singular which has stood all the hardships of three years' beauty; and in mentioning the place whence iceing. They are now animals of considerable they came, we are happy again to notice the interest; and, like their commanders, we are hearty welcome from Sir Jahn Franklin, who glad to observe, they give themselves no airs made it a home to the expedition. But before about it. we leave Kerguelen's Land, we must revert to the scientific operations there, though merely to mention that the “ambulatory” observatories, from which so much information has been acquired, have all been safely relanded in Eng

EMBASSIES TO China.-La Presse observes, that land, and are ready for any other expedition. as a French Ambassador is about to be appointed These houses answered their purposes admir- to China, it may not be uninteresting to know the ably, as did the instruments generally; and dates and duration of all the European embassies as the Erebus and Terror worked simultane- sent to the Celestial Empire. The following is an ously, and communicated the results by signal arrived at Pekin the 17th of July, 1636, and re

exact list of them :-1. The Dutch embassy, which daily,* there cannot be a doubt of the correct mained there 91 days. 2. A Dutch embassy, which ness of the experiments and observations. This arrived the 20th of June, 1667, and remained 46 is of infinite consequence, for it must prevent days. 3. A Russian embassy, which arrived the all question, or cavil, or pretence from other 5th of November, 1692, and remained 106 days. quarters.

4. A Russian embassy, which arrived the 18th of The visit to Cape Horn, whither they ran November, 1720, and remained 114 days. 5. An from the Falkland Islands, brought them (as embassy from the Pope, which arrived in 1720, and we observed) acquainted with the natives of remained 91 days. 6. A Portuguese embassy, that wild promontory. They met them on an which arrived the 1st of May, 1753, and remained island, not on the mainland, but a place evi- 39 days. 7. An English embassy, which arrived on dently much frequented by them. They never the 4th of August, 1793, and remained 47 days. met more than six or seven of the men to. 8. A Dutch embassy, which arrived the 10th of gether, and found them a fearless and rather January, 1795, and remained 35 days. 9. A Rusrobust, active, and well-looking race. They were which set out in February, 1816, and remained 15

sian embassy in 1806. 10. An English embassy, matchless imitators, and very dexterous thieves ; had nothing to offer in barter but small pieces of days, 11. That about to be conducted by M. La

greene. " It must be remarked,” adds La Presse, skins; and were careful to prevent the appear that the English ambassadors never approached ance of their women. These were kept sedu- the Emperor of China, because they always prolously out of sight; and in one instance, where tested against the laws of etiquette observed at the a party from the ships surprised two of them court of the Celestial Empire. In order to approach crouching in a concealed part, they leapt up the emperor it is necessary to proceed from the and ran from them, screeching with terror. door to the throne on the knees, to strike the head The “Jerdan Island” of Capt. Weddell's map nine times against the ground, and to kiss the left was near; and upon it, as upon others, rabbits heel of the sublime emperor several times.- Colo(brought from the Falkland Isles) were put nial Magazine. ashore; and as the soil is light and sandy, and covered with grass and brushwood, they will no

Prof. WHEATStone's ELECTRO-METEOROLOGI doubt thrive, and replenish the land. Our kind CAL REGISTER (noticed in Lit. Gaz. No. 1372) for voyagers also, on other remote shores where observing the states of the barometer, thermomevessels will hereafter touch, landed rabbits, poul- ter, and psychrometer, every half-hour, and printtry, goats, and sheep, of which their future suc

ing the results, is now completed. It requires no

attention for a week, and then five minutes suffice cessors may reap the advantage.

The boats of the natives of the Terra del to prepare it for another week's operation. The Fuego are curiously built, and their bottom bal- daily record will be given next meeting. Col.

Sabine stated that it was a matter of great importlasted with clay, on which their cooking is per-ance to have this instrument completed during the formed. The men, as we have said, are great first year of their occupation of the observatory at

Kew, which had been conceded by the Government *" Daily” may be a word misapplied through for the use of the British Association. He also a considerable portion of the time, when the sun pointed out the great advantage of it for universal was shining over their heads for three weeks to meteorological observations, dispensing with a corps gether.-Ed. L. G.

of observers, &c. It cost only £25.- Lit. Gaz.

THE ENGLISH ON THE CONTINENT. grosser vice of excess. It must be granted From the Foreiga Quarterly Review.

that no people in the civilized world sit so

long at table as the English. In France, 1. The Mountains and Valleys of Switzer- the preparation of a dinner is a grave piece

land. By Mrs. Bray. 3 vols. London. of science; in England, the work of gravity 1841.

begins when dinner is served up. And it is 2. A Summer in Western France. By J. A. the apparition of this uncongenial serious

Trollope, Esq., B. A. 2 vols. London. Dess which procures us such a reputation 1841.

abroad as great feeders ; and which, by the An English party, devouring sandwiches naked force of contrast, makes the people and drinking bottled stout amidst the brok- around us appear so frivolous in our eyes. en walls of the Amphitheatre, might sit for We can as little understand their exuberthe portraits of a large class of our travel. ant gaiety, as they can reconcile themling countrymen. The ruins of antiquity selves to our animal stupor. They nickgo for something ; but they would be of no name us Roast-Beef, by way of showing account without the dèbris of the luncheon. that the paramount idea in the mind of an Eating is the grand business of a weighty Englishman is that of substantial good livmajority of the English out of England. It ing; and we resent it by calling them arises partly from a certain uneasy appre- Soup-maigre, a sort of ignominious hint of hension that they cannot get any thing fit vital animation at starvation point. There to eat anywhere else ; and this very fear of is no justice at either side. The French not finding any thing they can eat, probably eat as much as the English, but they do not tempts them to eat every thing they can set about it so doggedly. find. It is a common occurrence at a con- Great mistakes in national character, tinental table d'hôte to hear an Englishman beginning in prejudices on the surface, and declare, after having run the gauntlet of at last sinking into traditions and by-words, twenty or thirty plates, that he hasn't had have their origin generally in the absurd a morsel to eat.

process of applying the same test to disA great deal of this feeling may be traced similar things; of trying opposite manners to the sudden conflict of habits and antip- and different circumstances by the same athies, brought face to face at that mo-moral or social standard. But of all nament in the day when a man is least in- tions, we have the least right to complain clined to compromise his desires ; but of any injustice of this kind, because, of all making all due allowances on that score, people, we are the most sullen and intractthere is no doubt that the English carry a able, and have the least flexibility, the least mighty stomach with them everywhere : power of adaptation, the least facility in the voracity of the shark, the digestion of going out of ourselves and falling into the the ostrich. Their physical sensations are habitual commonplaces of others. We canin advance of their intellectual and mental not comprehend the reasonableness of cravings-even of their curiosity. The usages that differ from our own. We are first inquiry at an hotel is—at what o'clock at once for setting them down as so much do you dine? They cannot stir another bigotry or tomfoolery. We cannot change step without something to eat. If the cli. sides for a moment, and, by the help of a mate is hot, it exhausts them, and they little imagination, endeavor to see ihings must recruit; if cold, they get hungry with from a different point of sight from that to astonishing celerity, the air is so keen and which we have been all our lives accusbracing. Change of air, change of scene, tomed. We allow nothing for varieties of change of diet, the excitement of moving temperament, for constitutional antagofrom place to place, the clatter of a new nisms. We are solidly inert and impenetralanguage-every thing contributes to this ble, and oppose ourselves bodily, bone and one end : as if the sole aim and business of muscle, to all strange tastes and fashions. travelling was to get up an appetite.

This is the real character of the EnglishThe French make a delicate, but impor. man, and the true reason why he is so untant distinction between the gourmand and comfortable abroad, and why he makes the gourmet ; and they include us, whole- every body so uncomfortable about him. sale, under the former designation. We Out of England, be is out of his element. try to get rid of the imputation by sneering He misses the unmistakable cookery, the at the elaborate labors of their cuisine, just rugs and carpets, the bright steps and win. as if we never made any fuss about eating dows, the order, decorum, the wealth and and drinking ourselves ; but they take its material sturdiness. He comes out of their revenge, and ample it is, upon our his fogs and the sulphurous atmosphere of



his sea-coal fires, into an open laughing as the lengthening shadows track the declimate. His ears are stunned with songs cline of light. It was so with all the gorand music from morning till night; every geous republics of antiquity, with Tyre and face he meets is lighted up with enjoy- Athens, and with imperial Venice, when, ment; he cannot even put his head out of crowned like another mistress of the world, the window without seeing the sun. What she married the Adriatic, and thought herwonder the poor man should be miserable, self immortal! and wish himself at home again! He has The insular position of the English, and no notion of pleasure unassociated with a protracted war, which shut them up for care. He must enter on pleasure as a mat- half a generation in their workshops and ter of business, or it is no pleasure for bim. their prejudices, contributed largely to There must be an alloy to preserve the tone foster this hard and obstinate character, of his mind, for he has a motto, that there this egotistic and selfish intolerance. The is no happiness without alloy; and so, peculiarities of other nations, like colors in where there is none, he makes it. He has the prism, dissolve into each other at their always a safe resource in his own morbid frontier lines; but the English are waterfancy, and has only to fall back upon him- locked; they enjoy none of the advantages self to escape effectually from any sur- of that miscellaneous experience, that free rounding influences that happen to throw expanse of observation and intercourse, too strong a glare upon his moroseness, or which elsewhere have the effect of enlargto affront his egotism by showing that ing the capacity of pleasure, of furnishing other people can be happier than himself. materials for reflection, of strengthening,

The fundamental error of the travelling elevating, and diffusing human knowledge English consists in bringing their English and sympathy. The sea has been compar. feelings and modes with them, instead of ed to the confines of eternity; and the leaving them behind to be taken care of English may be said to have been looking with their pictures and furniture. You can out upon eternity while other races have detect an Englishman abroad by that re- been engaged in active commerce with pulsion of manner which covers him over their fellow men. sike frost-work, and within the range of All this sonnds very oddly in reference which nobody can enter without being bit- to a people who have amassed such enorten with cold. His sense of superiority mous wealth, who have been the great freezes the very air about him ; you would navigators and colonizers of the world, think he was a statue of ice, or a block who exercise sovereignty in every quarter dropped from a glacier of the loftiest Alps. of the globe, and upon whose possessions It would be as easy for the sun to thaw the the sun never sets! Yet it is true, never. eternal peak of the snowy Jungfrau, as for theless. All this work of colonization and any ordinary warmth of society to melt extension of empire is transacted at a writthat wintry man into any of the cordial ing-desk. The counting-house in a twi- . courtesies of intercourse. Why is this? light alley, in the murky depths of the Why is it that the English alone treat all city, is the laboratory where the portable foreign countries through which they pass gases are generated, which are thus carried with such topping humors and contempt-off and distributed over the remotest relooking down upon them as if they belong- gions. Half-a-dozen dismal men meet ed to an inferior clay, as if they alone were round a table, scratch their signatures to a the genuine porcelain, as if arts and civili- paper, and a new empire starts up in the zation, knowledge and power, grace and Southern Pacific; they part in silence, and beauty, intelligence, strength, and the god- go home to dinner, with as much apathetic heraldry of goodness and wisdom, were regularity as if nothing had happened out one vast monopoly within the girth of of the way; and for the rest of the evening Great Britain? Why is this? Why, sim- nurse their family phlegm as they had done ply because the corruption of gold has eat. any time all their lives long. In a single en into their hearts; because they are the morning, the basis of a teeming trade of purse-holders of the world; because money centuries hence is laid down ; but it brings is power, and they have only to put their no change in the inner life of the individual, hands into their pockets if they would make The hands move outwards, but the works the earth pant on its axis. The English are of the clock still keep their dark routine. It not exempt from the frailties of universal is one thing to ship off our superfluous nature; and pride and vainglory, and lus-population to distant lands, to plant the trous pomp, with its eyes amongst the Union Jack on some savage rock, and stars, follow in the train of gold as surely I crack a bottle with a huzza ! to the health




of Old England; and another to maintain When a Frenchman, or an Italian, comes intimate relations and constant interchange to England, he brings his sunshine with with nations as civilized as ourselves, to him. When an Englishman goes to France rub off the rust of isolation and drudgery, or Italy, he cannot leave his fogs behind to lift ourselves out of the one idea of him. He is like a rolling mass of darkness, money-getting, and to draw in humanity absorbing all the encircling light, but emit. and good humor from our neighbors. In ting none. There is this remarkable point the large and philosophical sense of the of contrast, too, that the former becomes at word, we have never acted upon the true once a citizen of the country he visits, and principle of colonization ; we never con- the latter never ceases to be the petty lord ciliate the races we subdue—we conquer of the manor, the common council man, every thing but their affections. Our set. the great gun of the village or the county. tlements are camps in a hostile country, as The universe is only Big Little Pedlington completely apart from the native popula- to Hopkins. tion as swans nests in a stream. In India, But it is surprising how a little knocking we are hedged in on all sides by jealousy about in steamboats, and railways, and diliand distrust ; the war of races in Canada gences, and schnell posts and voitures of is as bitter at this moment as it was in all sorts, and hotels with every variety of 1760; and the animosities of the pale still perfumes, shakes a man out of his sluggish flourish as rankly as ever in Ireland, in thoughts and opake humors. It is the best spite of free trade, two rebellions, the of all constitutional remedies for mind and Union, Catholic Emancipation, and Reform. body, although it acts but slowly on the This comes of our immobility-of our ele. whipcord nerves of the English. It is good mental resistance to fusion.

for the brains and the stomach.. It invigo. The same thing that happens upon a rates the imagination, loosens the blood and great scale in political affairs, is illustrated makes it leap through the veins, dispels the in a minor way in the intercourse of tra- nebulous mass of the stay-at-home animal, velling. Our social tariff amounts almost and, liberating the spirit from its drowsy to a prohibition. Exchange of ideas takes weight of prejudices, sends it rebounding place only at the extreme point of necessi. back, lighter and brighter than ever, with ty. We are as reluctant to open our mouths the fresh morning beams throbbing in its or our ears as our ports, and have as pro- pulses. There is nothing in this levelling found a horror of foreign vivacity and com- world of ours which so effectually annimunicativeness as of foreign corn. Habit hilates conventional respectability as tragoes a long way with us. People are so velling. It tumbles down with a single blow used to cry out “The farmers are ruined,' the whole wire and gauze puppet, reducing that they must keep up war prices after a its empty length and breadth to mere finery peace of nearly thirty years. We have a and sawdust. All our staid, solemn proprisimilar difficuliy in relaxing our manners. eties, that beset and check us at every land's The bulk of our continental travellers enter turn like inauguration mysteries, as if we an hotel with as much severity and suspi- were entering upon some esoteric novitiate cion in their looks as if we were fighting every day of our lives—all our family pride the battles of legitimacy over again, and and class instincts-our local importance were doomed to fight them for ever. and stately caution-paddocks and lawnsBy staying so much at home, and being liveries, revenues, and ceremonials—all

go kept so much at home by the pressure of for nothing in the swirl and roar of the liv. external circumstances, our ideas and feel. ing tide. A great landed gentleman cannot ings become introverted. We turn eter- bring his ten-feet walls, his deer-park, or nally upon ourselves. We accumulate im- his parish-church, with its time-honored mensely, but undergo little or no sensible slabs and monuments, in the palm of his modifications of character. We advance hand to the continent; he cannot stick the in the direction of utility, but are still pret. vicar and the overseer and the bench of ty much the same people we were a couple justices in his hatband ; he cannot inscribe of hundred years ago. The only marked the terrors of the tread-mill on his traveldifference is that we are less hearty, less ling-bag; he cannot impress every body frank and joyous. We drop our old cus. abroad as he can at home with the awful toms, our games and festivals, one by one, majesty of his gate-house, and the lump of and grow more and more plodding and self- plush that slumbers in the padded arm. ish. 'Merry England' survives only in chair ; he has passed out of the artificial ballads. Robin Hood and Little John are medium by which he has hitherto been so gone to the workhouse.

egregiously magnified, and he is forced,


« 上一頁繼續 »