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and as the fame of Byron is in no immediate danger of extinction, should we not, on the whole, be glad to see the boardingschools desert Don Juan for Alton Locke?

We are sure that many a good book will be more thoughtfully read by hundreds who listened to Mr. Curtis's words; that his elevated and earnest treatment of writers who wrote with a purpose, will lead many to find the soul of wisdom in the substance of amusement. And so we are sincerely glad that Astor Place was crowded on six successive nights with the best and brightest of New-York; that anonymous admiration laid its nightly boquet upon the lecturer's desk; and even the grim reporter smiled upon the unwonted pleasure of his task.

Of more illustrious orators, preaching "Washington and Common Sense," we have nothing just now to say.

But we cannot lay down our pen without a word for the first great festival of art which our country has witnessed. Boston, so long the pioneer in the path of musical cultivation, has sealed her claims to artistic distinction among the cities of America, by the tribute which she has paid to the genius of music's mightiest master.

On the 1st of March, Crawford's noble statue of Beethoven was "inaugurated" (that is to say, set upon its pedestal) in the Music Hall of Boston.

It had been intended that the services upon this occasion should be truly memorable in the annals of American art. But the programme, as programmes will, suffered mutilations; choral symphonies were performed without a chorus, and personal preferences and private piques, as they are apt to do, thrust themselves up-ugly brambles among the roses.

Yet, on the whole, the performances were fine, and the occasion truly noteworthy. That an American citizen should have presented to an American city a splendid statue of the first of composers, designed by American genius-that the gift should have been received with enthusiastic welcome by an immense audience, and celebrated in fitting strains by an American poet-all this is certainly a not unimportant sign of better times to come.

The poet of the occasion may be regarded as an apt type, in his own person, of the significance of the event he sang. Mr.

Story, as the son of our most distinguished jurist, and himself a lawyer of learning and ability, fairly belongs to the "practical" world of American talent; while in his triple quality of musician, sculptor, and poet, he prefigures the larger culture which shall yet develop the finer qualities of the national intellect.

Those who have seen Mr. Story's own admirable statue of Beethoven, will best appreciate the generous tribute which he paid to Crawford's work; and all our readers, we trust, will echo the lofty words into which he translates the suggestions of the place and the celebration.

"Topmost crown of ancient Athens towered the Phidian Parthenon;

Upon Freedom's noble forehead, art, the starry jewel, shone.

Here as yet in our republic, in the furrows of our soil,

Slowly glows art's timid blossom 'neath the heavy foot of toil.

Spurn it not--but spare it, nurse it, till it gladden all the land;

Hail to-day this seed of promise, planted by a generous hand

Our first statue to an artist-nobly given, nobly planned.

"Never is a nation finished while it wants the grace of art--

Use must borrow robes from beauty, life must rise above the mart.

Faith and love are all ideal, speaking with a music tone

And, without their touch of magic, labor is the devil's own.

Therefore are we glad to greet thee, master artist, to thy place,

For we need in all our living beauty and ideal

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A Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art.

VOL. VII.-MAY, 1856.-NO. XLI.


THE two vessels of our expedition, the

good barque Release of Boston, and propeller Arctic of Philadelphia, having on board together forty officers and men, sailed from the Brooklyn Navy Yard on the 31st of May, 1855-by a coincidence, which cost some effort to bring it about, precisely two years after the sailing of the party for which they were to seek. We were detained for a few days off the Quarantine, by bad weather; so that it was not until the 3rd of June that we passed the Narrows, and got fairly out to sea.

I am told that the weather, after this, was fine; but I only know that, when my sea-sickness first allowed me to walk the deck, all traces of fine weather had disappeared. The wind was fair, it is true; but we had a succession of cold fogs, broken by drizzling rains, till we got inside the Arctic circle. I remember, as we were crossing the banks of Newfoundland, in one of these dreary days, the barque nearly ran down a small fishing smack. The propeller, too, towing blindly after, for we were saving our coal, came down on the skipper just as he found breath to congratulate himself on escaping from our consort. 'sheered off in time to save him; but the unlucky wight was so frightened, that, not knowing what might be coming next, he seized a long tin horn, and began blowing a recheat, to which his terror lent a singular shrillness. We heard him at it for half an hour afterwards, VOL. VII.-29


still sounding one shriek after another. I have an indistinct impression, too, that, just at this time, the prospects of an impending dissolution seemed to me a very small matter to make so much noise about, and that I regarded his notes of alarm as most dastardly. I was not only sea-sick, but wet and chilly: indeed, we suffered more from cold, I am sure, in this damp weather, than afterwards in the dry, sparkling climate of the Frigid


By the time I began to get about, we were well advanced to the north. The birds had begun to assume an Arctic character; the mother Carey's chickens gave place to their relations the molemokes, birds at least half a dozen times their size; strange white gulls flew screaming around us, which the men said were kittiwakes; and we passed numbers of large black and pearl-colored divers, which our progress did not seem to disturb from their repast on the floating sea-weed. The thermometer began to show quite a respectable degree of cold; but, as yet, we had seen no ice, which, by the way, gave no very encouraging prospect of an open season ahead.

The first ice we saw, was on a Sunday in June. It was a mere aggrega tion of loose floating fragments, and it amuses me to remember, how carefully we steered out of the way of every piece of it that was larger than a washing-tub. We learnt better afterwards.

I have seen our little steamer run back, and then butt away with a full head of steam at a projecting ice neck, eight feet thick and twenty yards wide, till the masts quivered, and not a man could keep his legs unassisted: but this was not yet. We saw another ice scene that very evening. It was an array of broken and water-washed masses, floating about as high out of the water as our poop deck; fantastic shapes, resembling a fleet of Cleopatra's barges, with canopies and couches, and all but their “ adornings." We jostled through these and came to open sea again; but that night we had a real ice adventure.

The barque was towing us along with a short hawser, when she encountered a large body of ice, that stopped her way abruptly. We were in upon her before we were able to loose the hawser, or even put up the helin. We "staved in one of her quarter boats”—I adopt the graphic language of my companions -"stove in her port monkey rail just abaft the beam, and getting foul, carried away her flying jib-boom." The hawser, which held the two vessels together, was cut; we were carried in one direction; our consort borne past us to the other. We saw her, as she disappeared in the fog, drifting rapidly to the southward, in the midst of a great white raft, from which it was impossible for her to extricate herself. This was the ice! No mistake about it this time. Great fragments of it had fallen on our decks, as it reared itself above our bulwarks. Except upon the outer surface, it was as hard as the best specimens of a New England ice cart; perhaps a little emerald-colored, but perfectly clear and free from taint of salt.

The noise attendant on this performance was terrific, and, I may confess, that it disturbed our nerves while it lasted; but we battered and thumped at it with commendable spirit, till we succeeded in escaping into open water. Here the next day we were joined by our consort, looking, like ourselves, a little the worse for her night's "spreagh," but not materially injured.

Schoolmaster experience advised us not to employ the tow-line after this lesson. Our vessels parted company, therefore, and orders were given us to make the best of our way to Liovely, in the Danish island of Disco. As we had fair winds, and plenty of them, at first, all hands were elated with the prospect

of spending the 4th of July in port. In fact, we were so full of plans, at one time, for celebrating it in due form, that the crew could hardly be induced to turn into their bunks. The whole of the short twilight, which now separated our days, these great children were upon the forecastle, discussing schemes of frolic, and exchanging their small stores of learning about the character and habits of the Greenlanders.

But calm succeeded calm, one after another, and the 4th and the 5th of July found us still in Davis's strait, out of spirits and out of temper. We had wished not to use our coal before attaining our field of search; but on the 5th of July, to the great satisfaction of all on board, our engineer reported that the engine would be all the better for a little exercise. So, by noon, we had passed the Whale Fish Islands, and by nine o'clock in the evening were steaming gallantly up Lievely harbor-our consort, the Release, having arrived just five hours before us.

Glad as we were to drop anchor, I must own that Lievely, in a snow storm, with its gray rocks, and pitch-covered houses, all dripping with their own dirty sweat, is not a cheerful sight. Still, it is the capital of the Danish possessions in north Greenland, and contains 150 Esquimaux, and about double that number of dogs. These last came down to the beach in a body the night of our arrival, and howled a welcome at us through the snow all night.

It is here that, without a single associate beyond his immediate household, resides the Herr Inspector Olrik, a truly gallant and accomplished gentleman.I am young, I live in the United States, who can tell what future may be in store for me? The inspector generalship of north Greenland, like the presidency of the United States, is an office neither to be sought for nor declined. But my mind is made up, fellow-citizens, that I shall never accept the office-I mean, of course, the inspectorship-so long as my party services can claim for me the dignity of light house-keeper on our Nantucket south shoal.

We left Lievely on the 9th of July, having staid there three days, and, with a Danish pilot on board, directed our course north through the Waigat. We intended adding to our stock of fuel from the coal mines which Captain Inglefield found there, and which he de

scribes as furnishing coal of excellent quality, and very easily worked. We, however, were unable to test this statement; for the fog was so thick that we could not find the place. We even lost sight of our consort with the pilot on board, and were obliged to shift for ourselves. I may remark in this place, without egotism, that I never was one of those fortunate mortals who master everything in six easy lessons; and, however great the temptation to impose upon one so completely at my mercy as the reader, I must admit that I know nothing whatever of the science of navigation, and, what is more, have no earthly desire to. This is my reason for not dilating fully now upon the terrors of a lee shore. Of course it is unpleasant for a person, desirous of taking a sail, to have his excursion interrupted by being blown violently against the land; the embarrassments of his position are also materially heightened, if a fine surf is at hand to break over his vessel as soon as she ceases to float. Now, if we add, that the sea and surf together are enough to tear his vessel to pieces, and that ar Arctic fog makes "an ugly night to swim in," a well regulated mind may safely pronounce the situation unsatisfactory. Now, in the navigation of the Waigat, we had a narrow channel, a mere potpourri of ice and water, a head wind to beat up against, bergs all around us, and a fog so dense, that the man at the wheel could not see the man on the lookout.


The experienced reader would of course suggest signal guns. There was not, probably, along the whole desolate coast,or the icebergs that formed its frontier, a single living soul to hear them.

I think the Arctic was three days beating about among the bergs, running from one side to the other, before we got out of the scrape. On coming once more into Baffin's Bay, we were joined by the Release, and sailed in her company to Upernavik. The barque, although unable, like ourselves, to stop at Inglefield's coaling ground, had stopped at Havoc Island, and obtained some coal there; but, a gale coming up, and there being no anchorage, she had been obliged to leave without getting as much as she wished. What she did get was surface coal, and of inferior quality, no doubt, to that found lower down. It seemed to be imperfectly formed, was of a brown color, and filled with small

particles of what I took to be amber. The grain of the wood could be plainly distinguished through it, and, in some pieces, there were interesting marks of branches and of leaves.

On Sunday, the 15th of July, as our consort and ourselves were sailing along towards Upernavik, we saw two vessels on our port bow, apparently on the opposite tack from ourselves. No sooner did they see us, however, than they turned about and headed directly towards us. We said, at once, that they had news of Dr. Kane's party, and even dared to hope that they might have some of the missing ones themselves on board. Our expectations were heightened when, at about three miles distance from us, each vessel sent off a boat, for the purpose of reaching us sooner than the light and baffling winds would bear the larger crafts.

We were doomed to disappointment. The two ships turned out to be two whalers, the Lord Gambier and the Messenger, commanded by two brothers Simpson, of Aberdeen, I think, who, having nothing else to do, had run down to beg news of the civilized world, from which they had been absent two years. It was pleasant to see new faces and hear English spoken by other than our own over-familiar voices; and we were really glad to see them, in spite of our disappointment. We gave them plenty of newspapers, and the last intelligence from Sebastopol, then, as now, not quite taken; and, on their part, they told us that Melville Bay was so packed with ice, that all the whalers had turned back in despair; and that for us to attempt to do better, would be to confront danger to no purpose. As we were conversing thus, the wind freshened; and as neither they nor ourselves could afford to lose time, we shook hands and went each his way.

The next day we reached Upernavik. It was a cold, raw day, a heavy sea running, a cutting wind, and harsh, drifting snow. We did not come to anchor, and the vessels were kept beating about while the captains visited the village. I have said that I was not favorably impressed with Lievely; but it was the palace of art compared with this place, its howling dogs, and heaps of filth. Upernavik has no good anchorage. A whaler had been driven ashore there only two days before our arrival.

At first I thought there were only three houses in the village, besides the church, governor's mansion, and oil house; but I afterwards found that the various little burrows in the side of the hill, which we had taken for dog hutches, were the dwellings of professing Christians. Captain Hartstein and myself climbed up to the top of a high hill which overlooks the town, and from it could see Melville Bay, and the great pack stretching away like a vast prairie, covered with snow as far as the eye, aided by the best Chevalier glass, could reach. We thought we saw an opening, and the captain determined to try it. That afternoon we were fast in the pack. So much has been said of the ice up here, that it is hardly worth my while to describe it; suffice it to say, that if the winter traveler upon the Camden and Amboy, or Philadelphia and Baltimore rail-roads, will imagine the winter ice he crosses on the Delaware or Susquehannah rivers to be a few hundred miles in extent, and from six to eight feet in thickness under foot, with the ridges that the cakes make in piling one upon another, to be two or three times the height of a man's head, he will have quite a good idea of the summer ice in Melville Bay. The great pack is of almost limitless extent, and in general appearance, may, perhaps, best be likened to a rugged and snowoovered country, with icebergs for mountains, and with black looking rivers running through it. These last are technically called leads: they are constantly opening and closing again under the action of the winds and tides. Any unfortunate craft which may be sailing in a closing lead, is said to be "nipt."

I remember very well the first nip we experienced. It was a clear, calm morning, and I was sitting upon deck writing my journal, when I heard a sort of humming, like the swarming of bees. While we were conversing about it, it grew louder and louder. Soon it rose to a howl, and this, in its turn, gave place to a crashing and roaring sound, quite supernatural. At the same time, the vessel began to creak, and groan, and utter all manner of unseemly sympathetic noises, while the ice, which pressed against her sides, began to break off, falling over, one piece upon another, till the upper layer rose nearly as high as her bulwarks. The vessel now straining more and more, I looked for nothing but our

destruction, when suddenly, the pressure becoming still greater, she gave a spring and rose completely out of the water. After a while the ice separated, and we were let down again; but while the pressure lasted, there was not a door on the ship that would shut, the vessel was so keeled over that walking the deck was like going up and down a hill, while the pitch was squeezed from out the seams like mud-pudding between a child's fingers. I remember thinking, at the time, I should never forget this fearful adventure.

Yet the old hands predicted that this was but a trifle to what we should encounter; and so I found it. We scarcely ever passed two days, while we were in Melville Bay, without such a "nip" as this; while, sometimes, the ice would heap high above our bulwarks, and in such weight that there was danger of our being pressed under it instead of being wedged upwards. All hands were not more than enough to clear it away as it accumulated. Indeed, on one memorable night, we were all of us confident we must go down if the nip continued much longer. Several of our timbers gave way; but the noise they made in breaking was so completely drowned by the crashing of the ice, that none knew of the accident till next morning.

I have already said that Captain Hartstein was not convinced by the unfavorable reports of the discomfited whalers, but determined to push on, in spite of Melville Bay and its bugbears. We went up aloft and espied, from the masthead, a small lead, which we were able to pursue for some distance into the heart of the pack. One afternoon, while anchored at the foot of this lead, our excellent engineer and myself took a boat and rowed over to a small island, which was near us, in hopes of finding some eggs. We hunted sedulously, regardless of fatigue-found no eggsbut started a large flock of eider—fired at them, and missed. We had a long pull back, amidst rain and sleet, to be welcomed by congratulations on our fisherman's luck. Even at this lapse of time, I find pleasure in remembering how soon our companions shared the luck they laughed at. Seal abound in these open leads, and, for a long while after this date, it was difficult to sleep at night, owing to the constant excited rushings to the cabin of volunteer sports

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