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Title: The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 278, Supplementary Number (1828)
Release Date: March 1, 2004 [eBook #11375]
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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION, VOL. 10, ISSUE 278, SUPPLEMENTARY NUMBER (1828)***
|VOL. X, NO. 273.]
Palaces are at all times objects of national interest, or rather they are national concerns. They belong to the attributes of royalty, and in some instances have been erected by a grateful people to celebrate the virtues of patriot princes. We therefore make no apology to our readers for occupying so large a portion of the present Supplementary Number with the representations and details of the New Palace, (the exterior of which is just now completed,) and of the consequent improvements in the adjoining Parks; since we are persuaded that the patriotic feelings of our subscribers will hail them as subjects of paramount importance. The great Lord Bacon, who treated these matters with the gravity of a philosopher, in his "Essays," gives a "brief model of a princely palace;" and in our times Napoleon is known to have expended many thousands in restoring the gilding of the palace at Versailles—although the extravagance of its founders paved the way for the events in which he distinguished himself.
In architectural improvement, London has made greater advances since the late peace, than in the entire century which preceded that auspicious event. Being unquestionably the richest, the largest, and most populous city of Europe, the seat of a wealthier court, and a more opulent body of nobility and gentry than any other metropolis, it seems only a reasonable expectation that it should likewise excel all others in the number and magnificence of its public edifices and private dwellings. Such, however, is not the case; for, till within the last few years, that most splendid and impressive of all the arts, architecture, has been almost wholly neglected.
The architectural superiority of London, such as it is, consists in the number, size, and neatness of its principal streets and squares. Petersburgh, Berlin, Naples, Turin, Geneva, Antwerp, Edinburgh, and other places, have perhaps finer streets than any in London, but in respect to their number there is no comparison. In churches, London will probably be admitted, after Rome, to take the first rank among the cities of Europe; but in palaces, London is confessedly excelled by almost every other capital in Europe, both in public and private edifices of this description; of the former, Whitehall, Carlton-house, (now almost demolished,) and the Mansion-house, comprise the whole list of buildings any way entitled to the appellation of palaces—and even their title has often been thought disputable.
To rescue our national character from this opprobrium, or ill-timed compliment to royalty, the remodelling of Buckingham-house, or rather the erection of the New Palace in St. James's Park, was decided on; and how far this design has been accomplished in the palace, we leave it to the taste of our readers to determine. Various piecemeal, not to say absurd, descriptions have, during the progress of the work, appeared in the London and provincial papers, many of them originating in party feeling; but the structure has now so far advanced to completion as to enable every spectator to estimate its merits and demerits; and we are sorry to add, that much of the censure bestowed on the palace during its progress (though with bad motives) now proves essentially correct. The name of the designer at present remains a secret. His majesty is known to possess exquisite taste, and it is scarcely believed that his approbation can have justified some of the incongruities, not to say enormities of the building; be this as it may, the general public feeling is that of disappointment and regret.
The annexed view is of the central entrance front, facing east, towards the Canal and the Horse Guards, taken from the Wall in St. James's Park. The first objection is the site, in itself insuperable, as will appear from the following remarks on the subject by Mr. Loudon, editor of the Gardener's Magazine:—
"Had the problem," he says, "been proposed (how) to alter Buckingham House and gardens, so as to render the former as unhealthy a dwelling as possible, it could not have been better solved than by the works now executed. The belt of trees which forms the margin of these grounds, has long acted as the sides of a basin, or small valley, to retain the vapours which were collected within; and which, when the basin was full, could only flow out by the lower extremity, over the roofs of the stables and other [pg 258] buildings at the palace. What vapour did not escape in this manner, found its way through between the sterns of the trees which adjoin these buildings, and through the palace windows. Now, all the leading improvements on the grounds have a direct tendency to increase this evil. They consist in thickening the marginal belts on both sides of the hollow with evergreens, to shut out London: in one place substituting for the belt an immense bank of earth, to shut out the stables; and in the area of the grounds forming numerous flower-gardens, and other scenes with dug surfaces, a basin, fountains, and a lake of several acres. The effect of all this will be a more copious and rapid exhalation of moisture from the water, dug earth, and increased surface of foliage; and a more complete dam to prevent the escape of this moist atmosphere, otherwise than through the windows, or over the top of the palace. The garden may be considered as a pond brimful of fog, the ornamental water as the perpetual supply of this fog, the palace as a cascade which it flows over, and the windows as the sluices which it passes through. We defy any medical man, or meteorologist, to prove the contrary of what we assert, viz. that Buckingham Palace is a dam to a pond of watery vapour, and that the pond will always be filled with vapour to the level of the top of the dam. The only question is, how far this vapour is entitled to be called malaria. We have the misfortune to be able to answer that question experimentally.... A man must be something less or more than a king, to keep his health in that palace for any length of time."
On the subject of malaria, an Italian term for the produce of marshy lands, the attention of the public has lately been powerfully excited by a series of essays by Dr. Macculloch, an abstract of which will be found at page 252, of our accompanying Number, under the head "Arcana of Science." Dr. M. is supported in his opinion by Lord Bacon and other philosophers; and he shows, that though it is commonly supposed that standing waters, when clear and free from smell, and all running waters, are perfectly salubrious, they may, in fact, be nearly as injurious as those that are putrid and stagnant; "that, besides proper marshes, fresh and salt meadows, and wet pasture lands generally, all woods, coppices, thickets, rivers, lakes, ponds, ornamental waters, pools, ditches—plashy and limited spots of ground generally, &c., send forth more or less of this noxious vapour; that wherever, in short, any chemical compound of the vegetable elements is wetted, or held in solution by water, there the poison in question may be or will be produced, provided the temperature be sufficiently high; that the smallest spot coming under any of the above denominations is sufficient to produce malaria, and a single inspiration of that malaria to produce disease."
Such is the theory of Dr. Macculloch; but, as observed by a contemporary, Why should he have observed any delicacy on this subject?—why not have, long since, denounced the whole of the ponds in St. James's, the Green, and Hyde Parks, Kensington Gardens, and the Regent's Park, as pestilential nuisances to all around them? Besides, he states that malaria is only generated in hot weather; so that the palace, being intended as a winter residence, the health of our gracious sovereign will, we hope, not be endangered by his residence. That there is much show of reason in this objection, cannot be denied; at the same time it should be remembered, that in all great undertakings the conflicting prejudices and caprices of private interests generally work too prominent a part: hence, opinions should be entertained with caution.
It is now time to speak of the architectural character of the palace. The main front represented in our engraving, forms three sides of a quadrangle, thus II, the area being not far from equal, and forming a clear space of about 250 feet in diameter. The central entrance is a portico of two orders of architecture in height; the lower is the Doric, copied from the temple of Theseus at Athens; the upper is the Corinthian, resembling that style in the Pantheon at Rome. This portico is so contrived, that upon the ground carriages can drive through it; while above, there is an open and spacious gallery, covered by a pediment on which statues are to be placed, and under which is a long panel filled with figures in high relief. It is understood that this entrance is to be exclusively appropriated for the admission of his Majesty and the royal family. The above union of two of the Greek orders is much censured: indeed a harmonious union of any two of the Greek orders has never been an easy task. In the Doric architecture of the ground story, the usual magnificence of this order is wanting; the columns being merely surmounted by what is termed "an architrave cornice," with the mutiles; while the frieze, with its rich triglyphs and metopes is altogether omitted. The Corinthian order of the upper story is altogether more worthy of admiration, notwithstanding that some objection has been raised to the "disproportionately slender [pg 259] columns, when contrasted with the massive shafts beneath them." Here, too, the entire frieze, with its emblematical embellishments of the British crown, surrounded with laurel, and alternate leaves of the rose, the thistle and shamrock, is sure to attract the eye of the spectator: the character and effect of the whole is truly British.
The Doric order, as adopted in the lower parts of the portico, is carried round the three sides of the court, consisting of fluted cast-iron columns, which are beautiful specimens of our excellence in the art of founding. At each side of the portico, terminating the centre front, is a pavilion, where the orders are again applied; surmounting which is an attic, towering above the other parts of the building, and decorated with pilasters and caryatides. Over the pediment, or centre, will be seen a dome, which is however at the back of the palace, over the state-chambers. This completes the front view as appears from the park.
The north and south sides of the quadrangle are only two stories high. In the centre of each there is also an entrance. At each extremity, the building is raised, and roofed in a temple-like form, presenting the ends towards the park with enriched pediments.
In the front of our engraving is represented a spacious circular enclosure which will be made, by an ornamental railing of mosaic gold, and divided into compartments by terms. The same metallic composition (which is patronized by Mr. Nash) is to be employed in every other part heretofore constructed in iron. In the middle of this area the Waterloo monument will be erected: it is to consist of a triumphal arch, somewhat resembling that of Constantine, at Rome, with national emblems, trophies, &c., and colossal statues in the above metal, imitating bronze.
The south front, towards Pimlico, will form the general entrance to the palace, a concave circular Ionic colonnade and lodges. Here the old octagon library of Buckingham-House is to remain, when raised and embellished after the manner of the Temple of the Winds: the remainder of this range is chiefly allotted to the domestic offices.
The west, or garden front, (of course, the back of the centre building of the quadrangle) is strikingly picturesque; its impression on the beholder is altogether beautiful and pleasing, and it is much to be regretted that the front or park view, (which will of course be exposed to public view, while the garden front will be comparatively private,) does not partake more largely of this character. The prima facies of the former is not likely to be admired, since its few excellencies require to be selected by nice observation. Some of its details may delight the artist, but the effect of the garden front will, on the most hasty observer, be that of order and simplicity, the essentials of architectural perfection.
The centre of the garden front is circular, embellished with columns of the Corinthian order, supporting the dome already alluded to. The upper story of the whole front is Corinthian, supported on a rustic Ionic basement, and, says a contemporary, "though the latter, like the Doric basement in front, has only an architrave cornice, yet in consequence of the parts omitted being of little importance, and the character of the Ionic more nearly allied, in point of delicacy, to the Corinthian, the construction is altogether tolerably harmonious." The outline is boldly broken into massive forms, which are, as Mr. Loudon observes, "simple and easy to be comprehended, and yet sufficiently enriched to mark the building as an abode destined for splendid enjoyment." In this front, also, level with the middle or principal tier of windows (those of the suite of state rooms) runs a stone balcony or balustrade, supported by corbels of a mixed character,—Gothic and Italian masques of chimera blended with wings and scrolls of foliage of singular beauty. On this side, too, is an extensive terrace, descending into the ground, with a rusticated front; and a balustrade with pedestals supporting vases of antique and classical models; and at each end an open Ionic temple, intended to be used as a summer conservatory.
The north front facing Piccadilly is of the same style and character with the garden front, but of lighter proportions. Here are the king's private apartments, from choice, comparatively small and compact, and the cabinet picture-gallery. Here, also, the terrace is continued, and a similar Ionic temple conservatory placed at the other extremity. Thus, his majesty's windows look out between these conservatories, upon the flower-garden spread below.
We are bound to acknowledge our partial, if not entire concurrence, in the general criticism on the central front, and of the two wings. The first impression is far from that produced by unity, grandeur, or elegance; there is a fantastical assemblage of turrets, attics, and chimneys, and a poverty or disproportion, especially in "the temple-like forms" which complete the ends towards the park. The dome, too, has been sarcastically compared with a "Brobdignagian egg." [pg 260] It strictly belongs to the back part of the palace, and had it been screened from the front, its form might have been less objectionable.
Of the internal arrangements of the palace, little is as yet perfectly known. On the principal floor of the centre, between the east and west suites of rooms, runs a splendid picture and statue gallery (the whole length of the building); the light into which is to be admitted from the sides, in a slanting direction, by metal skylights. The ceiling has iron girders thrown across, and is arched with combs, each having the ends closed, with the exception of a small hole (like an inverted flower-pot), which admits a current of air to circulate through the floor. The roof of this gallery is flat, and covered with slate embedded in a composition of hot coal-tar, lime, and sand: the roofing of the other parts of the palace is mostly covered with a similar composition, but not slated. The approach to the gallery is up the grand stairs, and through several rooms, in which will be disposed the king's magnificent collection of armour. The floors throughout are fireproof, formed of iron joists, and arched with hollow bricks of a singular construction.
The group for the pediment of the east facade of the palace, representing the triumph of Britannia, by Mr. Bailey, is nearly finished.
The original gardens of Buckingham House, an extensive space, will of course continue to be the grounds of the new royal residence; but considerable alterations have been made to render them eligible for that purpose. In order to conceal from the windows the great pile of stables lately erected in Pimlico, near the lower end of Grosvenor-place, a large artificial mound has been raised, and planted with curious trees and shrubs.1 The whole area now assumes all the appearances of natural hill and dale, is finely wooded, diversified with flowering and evergreen shrubs, with fine lawns broken into parterres, and possessing a noble serpentine piece of water, so disposed as to give the idea of great extent.2 This water winds round clumps of forest trees, which have been preserved for that purpose, and all that could be retained of the previously existing scene. It is supplied from a large circular reservoir, (near the top of the hill at Hyde Park Corner,) which is fed by a main from the Serpentine river. This reservoir, almost like a Roman work for magnitude, may be made a beautiful feature in the gardens—in copious and refreshing fountains, but not in pools and ornamental basins, such as are included in the anathema of Dr. Macculloch.
Although the scheme of the garden may, like many other projects, look better on paper, than in practice, it affords ample space for the display of much skill in artificial gardening. St. Cloud and Versailles have their fountains, and why not St. James's? "Fountains, (that sprinkle or spout water, or convey water, as it never stays in the bowls or the cistern,)" says Lord Bacon, are a great beauty and refreshment; "but pools mar all, and make the garden unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs."
References to the Plan.
1. Parade at the Horse Guards.
2. Park planted as a garden, with shrubberies and paths.
3. Ornamental Water, containing three islands, planted with shrubs.
4. The new Terrace, fronting the Grand Mall.
5. New House now building.
7. Continuation of Waterloo-place, opening to the Park, with an ornamental Circus in the centre.
8. United Service Club House and Garden.
9. Athenaeum Club House, with Pleasure-Grounds behind.
10. Travellers' Club House.
11. Heralds' College.
13. Pall Mall.
14. New Stable Yard.
16. St. James's Palace.
17. Present Stable Yards.
18. Duke of York's House.
19. Late Carriage-road in the Park.
20. New Carriage-road, recently the Northern Mall.
21. The new Mall, now the Northern Mall.
[pg 261] 22. A Splendid Triumphal Arch, in the front of the New Palace.
23. The King's Palace, on the site of Buckingham House.
24. Terrace behind the Palace; there is also a grand Terrace fronting the gardens.
25. Palace Garden, laid out in a picturesque style; including a line sheet of ornamental water, with a carriage-way from an entrance at Hyde Park Corner.
26. The Green Park.
27. The King's Stables, including those recently built, and others which are in contemplation.
28. James-street, leading from Buckingham Gate to Westminster, with thirteen new houses fronting the Park.
29. Stafford-row, with ten new houses, extending to the Gun Tavern, and continuing to Ward's-row, from whence Arabella-row runs, at the side of the King's Stable.
A road extends from Great George-street, Westminster, through Bird-cage walk, to Grosvenor-place, for private carriages, on the side of which, marked 5 in the plan, (in front of the present barracks,) a row of new houses will be erected.
The present Guard house at Buckingham Gate will be removed, and a new Guard house erected close to the wall of the new stables in James-street.
There may, perhaps, be some alteration in the distribution of the interior of the Park, as to the form of the paths; but the water will assume, as nearly as possible, the present shape, and the public will have access to the whole of the Park.
Lamentations long and loud have been poured forth on the late neglected state of St. James's Park. An intelligent home tourist in 1813, says, "It concerned me to observe that this park presents at this time a neglected appearance, unworthy of a metropolitan royal park, adjoining to the constant residence of the court." He goes on to say, "My heart ached, and the tears started from my eyes as I brought to mind the crowds of beauty, rank, and fashion, which till within these few years used to be displayed in the centre mall on evenings during the spring and summer. Here used to promenade, for one or two hours after dinner, the whole British world of gaiety, beauty, and splendour! Here could be seen in one moving mass, extending the whole length of the mall 10,000 of the most lovely women, in this country of female beauty, all splendidly attired, and accompanied by as many well-dressed men. The present promenades in Hyde-Park lose the effect produced by rank and distinguished character, owing to those classes being shut up in their carriages." Another writer, speaking of the park in Charles's time, with its Dorimants, Millamours, and Millamants, says, "every thing around breathes of beauty and gaiety, the air is courtly, silks are rustling, and feathers fluttering in the mall; fair forms are hovering, and bright eyes glancing round; at every turn you encounter lords and beauties." In the "neglected state" we have long concurred; and we sympathize with our tourist in his other lament; for the former we have a remedy at last, and it affords us pleasure to know that the first of these tourists possesses health and vigour to watch the progress of the improvements in the parks; and we hope that he may live many years to enjoy their completion. But for the second evil, we fear there is no remedy, since the disease is mortal to social happiness; unless that the proffered improvements may once more reinstate the Montpellier promenades of the park in fashion's favour. Editors are, however, very subordinate personages, when
——Fashion so directs, and moderns raise
On fashion's mould'ring base their transient praise.
Be this as it may, we, who are so unfashionable as to be occasional promenaders in the parks, rejoice to present our readers with the annexed plan of the improvements now in progress in St. James's Park, and in conjunction with the palace works they denote the simultaneous study of the happiness of the sovereign and the subject. Our country readers, surrounded by all the blooming attributes of health, will doubtless congratulate such important improvements of what has been termed "the lungs of the metropolis."
The annexed plan is reduced from the engraving which accompanied the Treasury Minute, January 19, 1827; from which the following are extracts:—
"The Earl of Liverpool and the Chancellor of the Exchequer lay before the Board a plan for building on the North and South sides of St. James's Park, (in addition to the buildings already sanctioned upon the site of Carlton Gardens;) and also for making some considerable alterations in the distribution of the intermediate ground, whereby the appearance of the park would be much improved, while a very material accommodation would be afforded to the public.
"They state, that they have received the King's commands to convey to the Board his Majesty's most gracious approbation of this proposal, and his pleasure that the necessary steps should be taken, with as little delay as possible, for carrying the measure into execution, so far as it respects the South side of the park, and the alteration of the ground comprised in it.
"My Lords perceive, that by this plan the whole of the space in St. James's Park, now laid out in grass, and from which the public are excluded, will be thrown open (with the exception of the parts to be planted) for the use of persons on foot."
The magnificent range of buildings intended to occupy the site of Carlton-house and gardens, and to extend from Spring Garden, Charing Cross on the east, to the Ordnance office, in Pall Mall, on the west, is already commenced in the last mentioned quarter. The substructure is a terrace, (containing the domestic offices,) of about 53 feet wide—its architecture of the Paestum Doric order surmounted [pg 262] by a balustrade. The order of the superstructure is Corinthian. In the centre of the range will be a fountain formed of the eight columns of the portico of Carlton-house, with eight additional columns on the same model. The basement story of all the houses is to be supplied with water by the overflow of this fountain and jets.
Our third Engraving represents the Grand Lodge Entrance to the New Palace, and resembles the arch in the front of the palace. The frieze of this gateway or arch, which is said to possess great merit, is still in the course of execution. Altogether this structure may be expected to form an approach of suitable splendour to the royal domain, whilst it bids fair to rank among the most interesting of the modern architectural embellishments of the metropolis.
Such is an outline of the improvements now in progress in St. James's Park and its vicinity. The palace may have fallen short of some expectations, but with all its imperfections, it will, when completed, be a pile of immense magnitude, with much of the grandeur and magnificence appertaining to regal splendour. His majesty will reside there when in his capital, and it is not an indifferent trait to observe, that it will not be altogether strange to his eyes; for every mantle and movable piece of Carlton palace, which can be used in the palace in St. James's Park, has been, or is about to be, removed thither. Meanwhile, the recreation of the people is not unstudied in the new arrangements of the park; indeed, it appears to be with their illustrious originator a primary consideration, as will be seen on reference to the treasury minute. Hence all loyal and grateful subjects may join in the song of olden time:
God prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safeties all.
On Saturday, September 29th, Captain Parry from his Arctic, and Captain Franklin from his North-American expedition, arrived at the Admiralty within half an hour of each other!3
Captain Parry may himself be taken as a specimen of the health of his crew; he looks as well as when he set out on his bold undertaking.
The sum of the intelligence which has transpired is, that the Hecla having arrived at Hamerfest, took in the rein-deer for dragging the boats, snow-shoes, &c. for the journey over the ice. Having reached the coast of Spitzbergen, a heavy gale drove the ship among packed ice, where she was entangled for several weeks, to the 6th of June. Here the first effort to proceed in the manner projected was tried on two boats commanded by Captain Parry and Lieut. Ross; but the ice broke up, and it was speedily relinquished. The Hecla then wrought to the north as far as Seven Islands, where finding no harbour, she put back. By the 19th of June, however, having cut through a formidable barrier, to the Wratskel of Van Henloopen, a second attempt to get forward in the ice-boats was strenuously made. Unfortunately the ice was what is called rotten, and so irregular as to render success impossible. Nothing could exceed the fatigues and difficulties of transport; the boats had to be loaded and unloaded many times in the course of a few hours; and no field-ice was met with, to any extent, over which they might glide on their way. The party at last attained the latitude of 82 deg., and three quarters N.; or to between four and five hundred miles of the Pole. Heavy rains prevailed, and the ice over which they were travelling so laboriously towards the north, was itself drifting more rapidly to the south than the distances which they could accomplish. Thus, the last three days having been spent in this disheartening and fruitless toil,—half the provisions being exhausted,—some of the men falling sick, and being reported unfit for exertion,—the scurvy threatening them,—and no hope of any favourable change remaining—our brave countrymen were compelled to abandon their impracticable design. They accordingly returned to the Hecla, and on the 24th of September put into Longhope, in the Orkneys, without having experienced any loss by death. The whole period occupied in these exertions on the ice is stated to have been sixty-one days.
The highest latitude to which the Hecla reached was 81 deg. 6 min. believed to be the farthest north that ever a ship made her way; so that all that was made in the boats was 1 deg. 39 min. At the farthest point north, no barrier of ice [pg 263] was seen, so that the idea of such a barrier always existing may now be dismissed. The ice found by the present expedition was of a very chaotic form. For about a mile, perhaps, it might be tolerably smooth; but at every interval huge ridges were crushed up by the action of tides and currents. No sooner was this obstacle over, and one of these rugged and precipitous masses overcome, than another appeared. There was plenty of fresh water on the surface, but towards the end of the attempt, when the rains fell, the ridges separated, and between them the salt sea flowed like so many canals. It was found impossible to make any use of the rein-deer in dragging the boats; and as there were no means of feeding dogs (as once proposed,) the whole work was performed by personal labour. Officers and men, twenty-eight in number, were alike harnessed to the tackle, and wrought in common at the exhausting toil. Their time for stalling in the morning (their morning being the beginning of the night,) was chosen when the light was least injurious to the eyes; for though the sun shone upon them during the whole period, and there was no darkness, yet when that luminary was lowest in the horizon, the reflection from the bright white surface of snow was more endurable. They could not, however, bear up under the fatigue. During their whole march they were soaking wet to the knees, and benumbed by a temperature always at or near the freezing point. At the close of twelve or fourteen hours thus occupied, when they came to seek rest by lying down, the change of their wet for dry stockings and fur boots caused such a reaction, that the tingling and smart were insufferable.
When Captain Parry found that the men could not support their toils on the allowance, (of about nineteen ounces per twenty-four hours, of pemecan and biscuit-powder.) he added, by way of luxury, a pint of hot water at night. This was found to be very restorative, warming the system; and if a little of the dinner food had been saved, it made a broth of great relish and value. Spirits were not drank; and the reason why even hot water was scarce, was, that it took so large a stock of their spirits of wine to boil it and the cocoa, that the quantity consumed could not safely be increased.
The ice itself was drifting faster to the south than they could make their way over it to the north: thus, during the last three days of their struggle, instead of gaining a higher latitude, they were actually two miles farther south than when they set out. This put an end to the expedition where everything which human energy and perseverance could do, was done so fruitlessly.
While the boats were away, the Hecla was not exempt from dangers. She had been wrought into a snug birth near the shore. A-head there were about three miles of ice; and a heavy gale coming on, detached this prodigious mass, and drove it with terrible violence against the ship. The cables were cut asunder, the anchors lost, and the poor Hecla forced high and dry upon the coast, by the irresistible pressure. Having got her again to the water, however, they proceeded to Weygatt Straits.
It is vexatious to be forced to the conviction that any attempt to reach the North Pole is but too likely to end in disappointment; but every fresh enterprise seems to lead to this conclusion.
Hudson, whose name is perpetuated in the bay, reached lat. 82 (as is laid down) in the year 1606; and a Scottish journal states, that the Neptune whaler, in 1816, got as high as 83 deg. 20 min.; but of the accuracy of this statement we have great doubts.
The Land Arctic Expedition.—About the end of June, 1826, Captain Franklin arrived at the last of the Hudson Bay company's posts, named Fort Good Hope, in lat. 67 deg. 28 min. N., long. 130 deg. 53 min. W.; with the expedition under his command in excellent health and spirits.
Three days' journey from thence, on the 4th of July, he despatched a party to the eastward, under the command of Dr. Richardson, and proceeded himself, in command of another party, by the western channel of Mackenzie's river, which flows at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and completed a survey of the coast from long. 113 deg. W. to 149 deg. 38 min. W. He was much impeded in his progress by the constant obstruction of ice, unbroken from the shore, in many parts, until the 4th of August—by the prevalence of fogs—and by the nature of the sea coast, which to the westward of the 140th degree is so extremely low and flat as to be unapproachable, even in boats, nearer than two or three miles. Indeed, beyond the 139th degree it was found impossible to land on the main shore, except at one point; and there they were most vexatiously detained eight days, in the best part of the season, by fog.
Before Captain Franklin had reached more than half way to Icy Cape, most of his party shewed symptoms of extreme suffering, from their unavoidable exposure to wading in the water, for the purpose of dragging the boats where they landed to rest or to get fresh water, or [pg 264] when compelled by gales to seek the shore. The temperature of the water was generally about the freezing-point, whilst that of the air seldom exceeded 36 degrees. The coast westward of Mackenzie's river, under any circumstances, was extremely hazardous to navigate; but under the difficulties which Captain Franklin experienced, further perseverance on his part would have been unpardonable rashness. The whole party being of opinion that the obstructions were insurmountable, were compelled to return, in the conviction, however, that the navigation of the northwest passage is open.
The eastern party, under Dr. Richardson, who was accompanied by Mr. Kendall, an intelligent young officer, succeeded in reaching the Coppermine river on the 8th of August, and returned to Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake, on the 1st of September. Like that under the command of Captain Franklin, they experienced repeated obstructions from ice, and occasionally from strong breezes; but they were spared the foggy weather, except on parts of two days.
The object of Dr. Richardson's party was to examine the intermediate coast between the Mackenzie and the coppermine rivers. After separating from Captain Franklin, on the 4th of July, they pursued the easternmost channel of the Mackenzie, until the 7th of that month, when finding that it distributed itself by various outlets, of which the more easterly were not navigable, for their boats, they chose a middle one, and that night got into brackish water, with an open view of the sea, in lat. 69 deg. 29 min. N., long. 133 deg. 24 min. W.
On the 11th, in lat. 69 deg. 42 min. N., long. 132 deg. 10 min. W., the water was perfectly salt, the sea partially covered with drift ice, and no land visible to seaward. They experienced considerable difficulty in crossing the estuaries of several rivers, which were deemed to be outlets of the shallow channels of the Mackenzie, that had been left to the eastward. They suffered, besides, some detention from ice and bad weather; and it was not until the 18th of July that, in lat. 70 deg. 37 min., long. 126 deg. 52 min. N., they got entirely clear of the widely spreading mouths of the Mackenzie, and of a large lake of brackish water, which seems to receive one of the branches of that river. The navigation across these wide estuaries was very embarrassing.
This danger was gladly exchanged for a coasting voyage in the open sea. They rounded Cape Parry, in lat. 70 deg. 8 min. N., long. 123 deg. W.; Cape Krusenstern in lat. 60 deg. 46 min. N., long. 114 deg. 45 min. W.; and entered George the IVth Coronation Gulf, by the Dolphin and Union Straits (so named after the boats), which brought them within sight of Cape Barrow, and two degrees of longitude to the eastward of the coppermine river. Their sea voyage terminated as beforementioned, on the 8th of August, by their actually entering that river.
Although they saw much heavy floe ice, some of it aground even in nine fathom water, yet none of it bore marks of being more than one season old; and from the heights of land they could discern lanes of open water outside,—so that a ship, properly strengthened for such a voyage, could make way through it with a favouring breeze.
Throughout the whole line of coast they had regular tides, the flood setting from the eastward; the rise and fall being from a foot to twenty inches. In the Dolphin and Union Straits, the current in the height of flood and ebb exceeded two miles an hour. They found drift timber everywhere, and a large portion of it, on many parts of the coast, lay in a line from ten to fifteen, and in some places upwards of twenty feet, above the ordinary spring-tide water-mark, apparently thrown up by a heavy sea.
After the first rapid, in the coppermine river, Dr. Richardson's party abandoned the boats, with the remainder of their cargoes of provision, iron-work, beads, &c. to the first party of Esquimaux which should chance to pass that way; and on the 10th of August set out by land, with ten days' provisions.
They reached the eastern end of Bear Lake, at the influx of Dease's river, on the 18th, and remained there until the evening of the 24th, before the boats arrived to convey them to Fort Franklin.
The person to whom the boats were entrusted, and who was sent off to Fort Franklin on the 6th of August, did not arrive on the latest day appointed for his appearance (the 20th), from a belief that Dr. Richardson's party would never return, and that he should make a needless voyage: and after the 20th Dr. Richardson was obliged to distribute his party into hunting and fishing groups, to procure subsistence. Dr. Richardson collected his party for embarkation on the evening of the 28th; and they reached the fort, after an absence from it of seventy-one days, the whole party in perfect health.
Footnote 1: (return)
This mound is said to resemble, in miniature, the scenery of Cumberland and Westmoreland. Perhaps this is too courtly; but it is surprising what the union of nature and art may effect in this way. Barrett, Cipriani, and Gilpin contrived to paint a room for Mr. Lock, at Norbury Park, so as to blend the scenery of Cumberland and Westmoreland, with the view from the windows, and to make it appear a continuation; and the effect was delightful, as thousands of delighted visiters have testified.
Footnote 2: (return)
Some years since there was at Reigate, in Surrey, a successful attempt made in this style of laying out grounds, on the very site where the illustrious Lord Shaftesbury wrote his "Characteristics," and probably the very background of the Gribelin frontispiece to the early edition of that invaluable work. This spot came afterwards into the possession of a gentleman who laid it out and planted it in so many forms, as to comprise in miniature whatever can be supposed in the most noble seats; for in it were a mount, river, parterre, wilderness, and gardens, and a lawn containing four or five deer, terminated by a small wood; yet the whole extent of ground did not exceed four acres. This occasioned it to be called all the world in an acre. Something of this kind was also projected by John Evelyn, called Elysium Britannicum, the plan of which is to be found in his works; but he did not complete his scheme. Gardening is one of the most interesting amusements of retirement, and without gardens, palaces are but "gross handyworks." Philosophers and Heroes have always been fondly attached to gardens, and their retreats must form an agreeable relief to the cumbrous cares of Royalty itself.
Footnote 3: (return)
In the facetious poem entitled May Fair, in speaking of Captain Parry's undertaking, and predicting its probable want of success, the following prophetic couplet appears:—
"Quarter-day you'll have him back,
With his volume in his pack;"
And lo! on quarter-day, the 29th of September, did Captain Parry make his appearance at the Admiralty!!
Printed and Published by J. Limbird, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) and sold by all Newsmen and Booksellers.
***END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION, VOL. 10, ISSUE 278, SUPPLEMENTARY NUMBER (1828)***
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