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navigation being discovered in the arctic regions,) years, when one of his officers, lieutenant Cresswell, still the scheme of a north-west passage has been reached the admiralty with despatches from the prosecuted with ardour, principally to solve the gallant adventurer. geographical problem, whether the American con- It appears that M'Clure coasted eastward from tinent pushed its way northward to the pole, or Behring's Strait, passed the mouth of the Machad an oceanie termination short of it, while the kenzie river, and soon after reaching Cape Bathurst, gain of some results of interest to magnetic and open water was observed to the northward. He meteorological science might be expected from the therefore took leave of the American shore, and proexploration. In consequence of maritime and ceeded in that direction, discovering an unknown overland expeditions under Parry, Ross, Beechey, coast after having made the distance of about sixty Franklin, Back, Richardson, and the officers of the miles, which was named Baring island. This lies Hudson's Bay Company, it has been known for to the south of Melville island, where Parry wintersome years that the mainland of America termi. ed, and thus the farthest longitude attained from nates generally to the north, about the parallel of the east by that commander in 1820, was reached 70°, where it is bounded by an ocean choked with from the west by M'Clure in 1850. The season islands, loaded with enormous masses of ice, and suddenly changing, the ship was beset with ice in completely frozen up through the long polar winter. motion. It soon became compact, and the vessel We now know further, that it is not an absolute was firmly frozen up, October the 8th, remaining impossibility for a ship to force its way through so for the space of nine months. During this inthe greater part of the ice-encumbered sea, terval the commander started at the head of a though years must be devoted to the task, and travelling party over the ice. He discovered the dreary winters be spent fast bound in frozen fetters, / western entrance into Barrow's Strait, which leads with the imminent hazard, nay, almost certainty, through Lancaster Sound into Baffin's Bay, and of some fatal catastrophe occurring. This result has thus established beyond all doubt the existence of been ascertained -by commander Robert M'Clure, a north-west passage. one of the officers sent in search of Sir John The ice broke up July the 14th, 1851, and the Franklin's missing expedition, backed by a chosen vessel was again fairly afloat. But the season band of British sailors, who entered the arctic proved unpropitious to progress, the sea remaining ocean by the western inlet of Behring's Strait, and open little more than two months, and all the time has sent home one of his lieutenants with des- much encumbered. North-east winds drifted large patches by the eastern opening of Baffin's Bay. masses of ice into Barrow's Strait, and effectually
M'Clure served as first lieutenant in the " Enter- barred the passage. After gaining a little higher prise,” under Sir James Ross, in 1848-9, in the first northern latitude, and approaching nearer to Melsearch for Franklin, and was promoted to the rank ville island, winter quarters were selected in a of commander for that service. He then volun. well-sheltered spot, to which the name of the Bay teered for another expedition with the same object of Mercy was given. Here, on the night of Sep. in view, and left Plymouth in the " Investigator," tember the 24th, the “ Investigator” was once on the 20th of January, 1850, departing from the more firmly frozen in. Some extracts from the shores of England with the confidence of winning journal of her commander sufficiently reveal the his post rank, by either finding the lost navigator, dangers encountered down to this period.
* Octoor making the passage of the icy sea. Having ber 8, 1850: Since the 11th of last month have sailed through the Strait of Magellan, he cleared been drifting in the pack-narrowly escaping dethe Sandwich islands on the 5th of July, passed struction several times-Runtil, with a heavy nip at the Aleutian group by the Strait of Amoutka on 3 A. M. this day, which lifted the ship 34 degrees, the 20th, and stated, in a letter bearing that date, we were firmly fixed for the space of nine months "No alarm need be felt, should the 'Investigator
' in lat. 729 47', long. 117° 34'."..." August 29, not be heard of until 1854.” Behring's Strait was 1851: Ship in great danger of being dashed or passed by the 27th, the "Plover" seen on the driven on shore by the ice coming in with heavy 29th, and the “Herald” on the 31st. The men pressure from the polar sea, driving her along were then in excellent health and high spirits. Cap. within a hundred yards of the land for half a mile, tain Kellett, in command of the "Herald,” states, heeling her fifteen degrees, and raising her bodily "I went over the ship, and was highly pleased with one foot eight inches, when we again became stathe comfort and cleanliness : everything appeared tionary and the ice quiet.” September 19: in its right place. Commander M'Clure did not clear water along shore to the eastward; cast off much extol her sailing qualities, but spoke in high and worked in that direction, with occasional obpraise of her capabilities for taking the ice. He structions, and several narrow escapes from the parted from me at midnight, with a strong north stupendous polar ice, until the evening of the 23rd, east wind, and under every stitch he could carry, when we ran upon a mud-bank, having six feet and he was seen again by the “Plover” on the 5th, water under the bow and five fathoms astern; hove in lat. 70° 44', long, 159° 52', steering to the north off without sustaining any damage.". Two rewith a strong south-west wind; the two vessels markable discoveries are mentioned in the journal, could only communicate by exchanging numbers." namely, some smoking hillocks and a petrified It is said that captain Kellett deemed it advisable forest. Before quitting the American coast,
friendly to recall M‘Clure, and made the signal accordingly, intercourse was had with the Esquimaux, through but the latter parted from his senior officer with the medium of an interpreter ; but off the Macthe response, also by signal, “ Can't stay!"-"Own kenzie river they assumed a hostile attitude. Driftresponsibility!". From that time nothing more was wood was also encountered in great abundance, and heard of him at home till four o'clock in the morn- much game. In the vicinity of the Bay of Mercy, ing of Friday, October 7th, 1853, upwards of three reindeer and hares abounded on the hills, which remained the entire winter, and furnished the but is very hungry.” The present state of the crew with a seasonable supply of provisions. arctic question may now be briefly defined. The
The ice not breaking up at all around the “In- " Investigator” discovery ship has been brought vestigator" in the following year, she remained in from Behring's Strait on the west, to within a her cold prison, and was still there when last comparatively short distance of a point in the polar heard of, May 21, 1853, after an interval of one sea which has been reached by vessels from Baffin's year and eight months. The Bay of Mercy being Bay on the east. An enormous mass of ice interabout 70 miles to the south-west of Melville island, vened at the date of the last advices. It did not M'Clure, with a party of seven, proceeded thither break up in the summer of 1852, but may have over the ice in April, 1852, and deposited a record done so in the summer of 1853. In this case, the of his proceedings at Winter-harbour, with an in- ship will have been liberated, and may spend the timation of his position. By a singular coincidence, next winter in Barrow's Strait, making her appearit so happened that the very same captain Kellett, ance in England in 1854, thus effecting in an inthe last person with whom he shook hands in verse direction the north-west passage. But should Behring's Strait, had returned to England, and had the ice remain firm, she must of course be abanbeen sent out in the “ Resolute," a ship belonging doned, and her crew be transferred over it to one to sir E. Belcher's squadron, with orders to pro- of sir E. Belcher's searching vessels. In this ceed to Melville island, to deposit provisions there event, the honour will still belong to Robert for the use of the “ Investigator," which was ex. M'Clure, of having been the first to conduct compected to have arrived at that spot. Kellett safely munication through the polar sea from west to reached his destination, discovered the despatch east, at the north extremity of the American conwhich had been left, and was thus informed of the tinent. Whatever be the issue, it must be suffi. whereabouts of M'Clure and his imprisoned crew. ciently obvious to the greatest enthusiast for arctic Lieutenant Bedford Pim, one of his officers, being discovery, that no passage available for useful pursent to make out the Bay of Mercy, succeeded in poses exists between Baffin's Bay and Behring's doing so; and thus, for the first time, parties en- Strait. England will not therefore be justified in countered each other in the polar sea, who had exposing her seamen to imminent hazard of de. gone into it at opposite points--by the western and struction, and expending her treasure, perhaps eastern entrances of Behring's Strait and Baffin's already considerably exceeding a million, in conBay. This was early in April, 1853. M'Clure tinuing the quest of a route which may be possible, and his first lieutenant were walking upon the floe but is only so under favourable circumstances, at as Pim came in sight, proceeding very fast-a uncertain intervals, after immense difficulty and strange object--and one at first utterly inexplica- danger. It may be added to the foregoing particu. ble. What could it be moving over the eternal lars, that no trace of sir John Franklin's expediice? A bear? That idea was soon dispelled, as tion has been met with by the recent searching the lessening distance showed the proportions of ships ; and that their routes, lying in another directhe mysterious appearance. Coming within a hun. tion, furnish no evidence for or against the condred yards, Pim shouted and threw up his hands. jectural large polar sea, more or less open, into But his face was as black as a hat, and his words which he may have penetrated, and become enwere not distinctly heard. At length, the space tangled. We would have every effort made to narrowing, M'Clure called out, “Who are you, and rescue survivors of the ill-fated party, if any are where are you come from " The reply was, of in existence a forlorn hope-or to ascertain their course, " Lieutenant Pim, ' Resolute,' captain Kel- fate. When this is done, we shall do well to aban. lett." But this answer for the moment made con don the arctic seas to whalers and sealers, or to fusion more confounding to M'Clure, as the stranger those scientific expeditions, which may be conapproached from the east, and he had left Kellett ducted without risking the wholesale sacrifice of more than a thousand miles behind in the west. human life, and plunging a nation in anxiety for Matters were speedily explained; and on news of years. Another paper, “The Lost in the Polar the arrival reaching the “ Investigator," the sick Seas,” we hope hereafter to give, as a tribute to jumped from their hammocks, the crew forgot the memory of those who have been sought anxitheir despondency, and all was changed on board ously but in vain, and have probably perished long by the certainty of relief being near.
ago in the icy zone. On the 19th of April, the captain and crew of the “Resolute," at Melville island, were made acquainted with Pim's successful meeting with M'Clure, by their arrival at the vessel." A THE WRITTEN ROCKS OF MOUNT SINAI. private letter of that date, from one on board, With the exception of Jerusalem, there is perhaps states : -" This is really a red-letter day in our no spot upon earth consecrated by more sacred and voyage, and shall be kept as a holiday by onr heirs sublime associations than Sinai. What "the holy and successors for ever. At nine o'clock of this city" was to the new dispensation, that was "the day, our look-out made the signal for a party mount of God” to the old. Here the voice from coming in from the westward, and went out to the burning bush summoned Moses to the glorious meet them and assist them in. A second party task of delivering his nation; here the law was was then seen. Dr. Domville was the first person given amid " blackness, and darkness, and tempI met. I cannot describe my feeling when he told ost, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of me that captain M'Clure was among the next words;" here the prophet, whom neither the party. I was not lovg In reaching him, and giving tempest, nor the earthquake, nor the fire could him many hearty shakes--no purer were ever terrify, wrapped his face in his mantle and worgiven by men in this world. M'Clure looks well, shipped, as the still small voice fell mysteriously
upon his ear. Upon the savage glens and ravines, with that of the most ancient Egyptian remains which cleave the mountain side a supernatural in the neighbourhood, that is to say, they have darkness has rested, their gloom has been lit up by been ascribed to the Israelites during their long fire from heaven, their silence broken by celes- sojourn at the foot of the mountain. tial voices. We cannot wonder that with associa- The first notice we have of these inscriptions is tions such as these, travellers should have been about the year 535, when they were seen by a willing to brave the perils and endure the priva- Christian merchant named Cosmas Indicoplenstes, tions which a visit to Sinai involves.
on his return from a voyage to India. Even then The conjecture that contemporary records of they seemed extremely ancient, and the character these events are to be found among the desert and language in which they were written were solitudes of Sinai and Horeb, has of late years forgotten. Some Jews iu the company, however, excited afresh the attention of scholars, and we professed to have read them, and said that they propose in this paper to give a brief statement of recorded the wanderings of their ancestors in the the facts under investigation. It has long been wilderness; and Cosmas came to the conclusion known that the valleys and rocks for miles round that they were written by the children of Israel Sinai, and especially those along which the Israel in the time of Moses. This statement is of imites must have passed during their exodus, are portance, as showing that not only were they in covered with inscriptions, in an unknown character existence at that early date, but that even then and language. Interspersed among these are their origin was lost in remote antiquity, so figures and images, executed in the rudest possible that their being the work of the Jews durstyle, representing camels, horses, asses, goats, ing the exodus seemed not only credible, but serpents, birds, and men in various attitudes, very probable. The treatise of Cosmas, however, reoften that of devotion. Along the Wady Mokat- mained in manuscript, and no further notice teb, or the Written Valley, they cover the rocks for was taken of these curious facts for nearly 1200 ten or twelve miles, and are to be numbered by years. thousands. They are sometimes of very large size, In the year 1722, a Franciscan monk, quoted by and thirty or forty feet high. Some are in Greek Laborde, passed along these valleys with a caravan, or Latin, and appear to be so recent as the fifth or and was struck with astonishment at the innumesixth century; a few others were obviously in rable inscriptions he saw. He says, " Though we scribed about the commencement of our era ; but had men among us who understood the Arabic, the immense majority are referred to a date coeval | Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Coptic, Latin, Armenian,
Turkish, Illyrian, German, and Bohemian lan- / volume lately published, * the writer of which beguages, there was not one who had any know. lieves himself to have discovered the key to their ledge of the characters inscribed on these rocks, meaning. It would unduly protract this paper, with such labour, in a country where there is and be uninteresting to the mass of our readers, nothing to be had either to eat or drink."
to trace the steps of this discovery, or to discuss About this period, the attention of the western the evidence of its correctness. We shall thereworld was called to these mysterious inscriptions, fore at once proceed to the results ; referring for by the publication of the work of Cosmas in which details to the work alluded to. The following are they are described. Dr. Clayton, bishop of Clogher, the proposed interpretations of some inscriptions. convinced that they were the work of the Israelites, “The red geese ascend from the sea ; as asserted by Cosmas, offered a reward of five
Lusting, the people eat them." hundred pounds to any one who would bring copies of them to Europe. Pococke, Montague, Niebuhr, hard stone, his hand sustaining Aaron Hur.”
“Prayeth unto God the prophet, upon a great and Burckhardt, stimulated yet further the curiosity which was felt, by copying a few and describing Another inscription, with the figure of an ass, is others : but little was done till 1820, when Mr. G. translated—“The people with prone mouth drinkF. Gray and his companion succeeded in drawing eth at the water springs together. The people like one hundred and seventy-seven, written in the un
a hornet-stung ass kicketh." known character, and a few others of a more
Another, with a rude drawing of a rock, is renmodern date in Greek. The materials for studying dered—" The eloquent speaker strikes the rock ; the inscriptions having been thus accumulated, flows forth the water falling down." scholars in France, Germany, and England, at- These specimens may suffice. Should subsetempted to account for their existence and to quent investigations prove the correctness of these decipher their contents. Professor Beer, of Leip. interpretations, what a striking confirmation shall sic, came to the conclusion that they were the we have of the truth of the Mosaic narrative. On work of Christian pilgrimsan opinion now gene- every hand new evidence is crowding in upon us, rally surrendered as untenable, for many reasons; proving that the scriptures are no “cunningly amongst others, because they are evidently the devised fable.” From Egypt, Nineveh, and Babywork of a single age, and pilgrims during many lon," the stones are crying out,” to rebuke the centuries could not produce the number still in folly, of infidelity, and attest the veracity of the existence ; because the height at which many are inspired records. And now the desert solitudes of placed require an apparatus of ropes, platforms, or Sinai are apparently becoming vocal in the same scaling-ladders, which it would be absurd to sup- cause, and promise ere long to bring to the conpose that pilgrims carried with them ; and because firmation of scripture, words graven with an the language of Cosmas renders such a supposition iron pen and with lead in the rock for ever.” to the last degree improbable ; for had they been the work of Christian pilgrims, he or his companions must have known it. Equally unsatisfac
A VILLAGE TALE. tory is the supposition that they are the work of a Nabathean tribe inhabiting this district, the ex- One day, a few weeks after the midnight conistence of such a tribe being unsupported by a single ference, of which we have ventured to give a modi. tittle of evidence, and being almost impossible from fied abridgment, Rebecca Kennet, in travelling the utter sterility of the soil, unless indeed they dress, was seen to ascend the outside of the coach were fed by miracle, without which they could not at her uncle's door. It was quite an event in that have subsisted long enough to produce a tithe of household; and when the coach was out of sight, the inscriptions.
though the sun might shine as brightly and warmly If, however, we ascribe these rude sculptures to as ever, a deep gloom seemed to settle upon the the Israelites during their long encampment in entire establishment, from the head of it to the these valleys, all difficulties vanish. The miracu. shop-boy and servant-maid. To the old shoplous supply of food and water, recorded in the book keeper there were also other causes of gloom. His of Exodus, explains the presence of a host, of num- son had committed an act of bankruptcy by a hasty bers sufficiently large, for a period sufficiently long, flight, which subsequent investigation proved to to produce them. They came, as has been well have been taken to avoid the disgrace of an immiremarked, from Egypt, a country which is covered nent and inevitable commercial failure. His wife with inscriptions of every degree of magnitude, was alike ignorant of his intention and destination, wherever there is a rock to receive a chisel, and and it could only be surmised that he had left the where the inhabitants were possessed with a rage country. In consequence of this, his creditors had for turning all its mountains into books, as is entered into possession, and his wife was abandoned proved by existing remains. Familiarity with this to helpless destitution. There was matter for selfpractice might well suggest to the Israelites the reproach here, to the troubled father, who reflected fitness of employing their abundant leisure in giv that he had in some measure been accessory to ing a like enduring record to the signal events this misery, by refusing assistance when it had which had marked their exodus. In the combina- been sought; and, taking advantage of his softened tion of writing with figures, we may trace, too, a mood, Rebecca, like the patient and gentle peace, rude imitation of the similar combination of pho maker she was, had obtained his reluctant consent netic
and hieroglyphic writing, so prevalent among to seek out the deserted wife, and invite her to his the Egyptians. This theory of the origin of the Sinaitic inscrip: Israel from the Rocks of Sinai:
* “ The One Primeral Language, including the Voice of
By the Rev. C. FORSTER. tions has been learnedly advocated in a remarkable London : R. Bentley, New Burlington Street.
home, till some plan could be devised for her | lot and desolate condition, there was Rebecca at maintenance. This was the more necessary, since hand to whisper comfortable words of condolence the door of her own father's house was harshly and encouragement, and to suggest some active closed against her.
occupation, to banish unprofitable reflections. And " I never thought,” said old Godfrey, " that I though very little success attended these efforts, should ever bring myself to see that false-hearted she went on in the exercise of that charity which woman under my roof; but Rebecca has more “is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, beareth cause than I to dislike her, and since she had set all things, hopeth all things, and endareth all her mind so much upon it, I couldn't hold out." things;" bearing with mild patience the frequent
And so, after a few days' absence, Rebecca re- fits of sullen discontent, and humouring almost all turned, but not alone. It would be difficult to the whims and their name was legion-of her say with what feelings Louisa had received the unhappy visitor. visit of her injured former friend, in the miserable At length, Mrs. Godfrey was induced so far to lodgings to which distress had driven her, and rouse herself as to attempt the establishment of a had suffered the persuasions of that friend to village school in the neighbouring cottage, which remove her from the scene of her later sorrows to had some pretensions to gentility, and which that of her earlier treachery. But whatever were Rebecca prevailed upon her uncle to furnish for her mental emotions, there were no signs of re- his daughter, though he predicted that she would morse, and she entered the house of her father-in- never make a living at it, nor half a living either. law, as into an asylum to which she had an un. However, as he must do something for her support, doubted claim, and with a show of injured innocence he said he might as well do it one way as another, and condescending magnanimity, which argued and he should be glad to have his own house to unfavonrably for the future comfort of Mr. Godfrey himself and his niece again. and his niece.
Years, more years, rolled on, and other changes The old shopkeeper pished and pshawed some were wrought by time. Old Robert Godfrey had times, when, after the experience of a few weeks, it been compelled to stoop under the weight of age, was found that his daughter-in-law was too much and his eyes had become dim, and his ears hard of of a lady--in her own estimation--to do anything hearing, and his hands shook sorely when he useful; that she preferred taking her breakfast in twisted the string round his packages of tea and bed, and that her chief occupation through the day sugar, and he talked tremblingly of the former was to recline languidly on the sofa, and listlessly days being better than these, and of the decay of turn over the leaves of sundry novels and romances, trade, and the ruin of credit, though for anything a fresh supply of which she ordered and received that could be seen, his shop was as thronged and weekly from the nearest town which boasted of a his business as flourishing as ever ; for there was circulating library. And especially, when he saw Rebecca, now a matronly woman, to superintend that the entire care of little Robert, a neglected, his affairs, post his ledgers, look to his outgoings weakly, and fretful child, about five years old, was and incomings, and to rectify his mistakes when added to every other care, and ruthlessly laid on he made them, which was not seldom, as well as Rebecca's shoulders, he broke through the silence to mollify his customers when he offended them, which, until then, he had imposed on himself. which was not seldom either ; for age had added
“I tell you what, Rebecca, this won't do. Why the infirmities of temper to the infirmities of frame, doesn't that idle woman wash and brush her own and the generation of old ladies in red cloaks child? The least she could do, I should think, having passed away, or near upon it, another would be to see after him, and keep him out of generation had succeeded, who didn't wear red harm's reach. But instead of that, she makes a cloaks, and who didn't reverence the ancient shopcomplete slave of you, and never a 'thank you' keeper's grey bairs, and who "would have found either, as far as I can see, for anything you do for another shop long ago," they said, “if it hadn't her. I don't like it, Rebecca.”
been for Miss Rebecca Kennet, who was the But Rebecca had the soft answer ready-the cleverest and best-tempered body that ever did kind of answer that turns away wrath. She pleaded stand behind a counter, or ever would.” for "poor Louisa,” by saying it was no wonder she And there were other changes. There was a had lost heart and spirit after the sad blow which smart youth, for instance, in apron and sleeves, had fallen upon her ; that indeed she really seemed who called Miss Kennet aunt, though everybody unwell, and unable to exert herself ; but that by- knew that there wasn't so close a relationship as and-by, with fresh air and quiet, she would get that between them, and who also called the old stronger and move about more, she hoped and shop-keeper grandfather, which was in strict acthought; and that, as to herself, she did not mind cordance with literal fact; and whom both granda little extra work. Then she coaxed her uncle to father and aunt called Robert, and who was known admire little Robert, and coaxed the boy to sit on all over the village as Robert the third. It would his grandfather's knee, and found out that when have been hard to recognise in him the half-spoiled, he smiled he was like some one whose name she neglected, sickly child who came into the village whispered, and whom they might never see again, ten years ago or more, with his mother, and who till Mr. Godfrey was fairly overcome, and was even had been brought up ever since by our kind friend prevailed upon to put on his hat and take the Rebecca, who had nursed him when sick, and kept little fellow under his protection into the meadow, him in order when well, and sent him to school, to gather a big handful of the staring moon-daisies, and paid for his schooling, and clothed him, and which were just then in full flower.
loved him, without spoiling him, and won his And then, on the other hand, when the deserted affections, and so skilfully managed matters that wife gave way to idle lamentations over her hard he became such a favourite with his grandfather