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18th of March, 1826. Upon the re- these moments of forgetfulness, in which I commendation of the teacher of the lavish my money as if I was babituated to elementary school at which he was first abundance, my poor mother is, perhaps, at placed, the municipality of Rochefort
her wits' end to provide for the necessities
of the family." granted him a demibourse, at the college of that city, and his parents, with There is here evidence enough, and a generosity which manifestly kindled it is corroborated in every subsequent in his mind the most lively and endur- page of his journal, that Bellot was a ing gratitude, taxed their slender re- good and true-hearted Frenchman; and sources to defray the other moiety of those who have the happiness to be acthe expenses of his education. The quainted with living specimens of the sacrifices made to this end were richly character, will not deny that, with all compensated. The boy's heart lent its peculiarities, it is eminent among strength to his intellect, and year after the most amiable and the best our frail year he obtained such distinctions as humanity can produce. Glowing with it was in the power of the college to family love, on fire for fame, the young bestow. At the age of fifteen years he man shrank not, as an English sailorwas admitted into the naval school, be- boy would bave done, from exposing ing again assisted by a grant of a demi- the inmost motives of his heart, or the bourse from the municipality. For two sharpest struggles of his conscience and years longer his parents struggled to bis pride ; but, if there was no delicate make up the cost of his maintenance, reserve in his manners, neither was until, in 1843, he was enrolled as a there hypocrisy, and the truth of his naval aspirant, and stationed in the emotions was as little obnoxious to susport of Brest, from whence, in the picion as if they had been kept strictly ensuing year, he was shipped in the concealed within his own breast. His corvette Berceau, as an élève de ma- sincerity was no more doubted or rine, and sailed upon his first cruise. doubtful when he recorded bis intent A sentence or two from the early pages to keep a journal, in order that he of the journal which he then began to might teach his brother and nephews, keep, contain the key-note of his cha- by his example, to devote themselves racter, and indicate the qualities that for their families, science, and hufashioned the course of his short life, manity, or when, in innocent vanity, and struck out from the hearts of the he sent his portrait to Mr. Barrow of strangers among whom he died those the Admiralty, than it was when he sympathies which have so remarkably allotted a portion of his pay to his distinguished his memory :
family, or “maintained the dignity of
his character," by refusing to allow "We sail (he writes) this morning from Lady Franklin to eke out his insuffi. Mayette. My negligence and apathy are cient allowances by paying the exextreme; I have not had the courage to
penses of his outfit. write home; so here is an opportunity lost The Berceau was destined for an exto me, through my own fault.
pedition to Madagascar, and there, in ought, however, to show more firmness in the
an affair at Tamatave, Bellot, to use position in which I stand, and bethink me that I must absolutely arrive at something.
his own words, received the baptism The desire of showing gratitude for all that
of fire. The rite was administered in has been done for me, ought, of itself, to con
the form of a ball in the thigh, and he stitute a very sufficient motive for me. Ought
characteristically tells his family, “it I not also to reflect, that I am destined to sup
was an ordeal from which I think I port a numerous and beloved family, of have come off not amiss. I knew well whom I am the sole hope ? I am considered that in case I felt fear, my pride and ambitious, I am sure, and it is true; but is sense of duty would never have forthere a nobler aim than that for the ambi- saken me; but I am delighted that I tion of a young man? This laudable feel.
have had the trial.” For this service ing, I well know, is not the only one that
the élève was promoted to the first makes me thus contemplate all my projects of class, and decorated with the Cross of glory and advancement ; perhaps even there is too much self-love in all my schemes ; but
the Legion of Honour, he being then these two motives together must make me
under twenty years old. Shortly afdesirous of prompt advancement. I must
terwards he returned to France, and work to win a good reputation, instead of having passed the necessary examinalapping myself to sleep in ease and supine- tion, was made enseigne de vaisseuu, ness.... I ought to consider, that in in which rank be served on board the
VOL. XLVI.-NO. CCLXXVI.
Triomphante, in South America, until including captain and officers, and the end of 1850, when he was removed sailing on teetotal principles, was from that ship and attached to the de- not very agreeable ; * but would it pôt company at Rochefort, where he have been possible for a French offi. soon became weary of an inactive and cer to draw back on account of a few inglorious life. “What (asks his dangers to be incurred ?" Evidently biographer) can a young unmarried not; the honour of the uniform vas naval officer do who is employed in a concerned, and the warmth of the port? When he has finished his day's thanks and the sympathies of which duty, which generally occupies but few the volunteer was the object, redor. hours, and partaken of the family meals, bled his enthusiam and devotion to the he has still a great deal of time on hand, hallowed enterprise. The sojourn in which he may spend in study, or in London during those few days was, in the salons of some of the townspeople truth, a sort of ovation, in the course of who receive visitors, or in the cercle, or which the amiable vanity of the young in the café." None of these modes of man was fully gratified, and the gal. whiling away life suited Bellot. He lantry and heartiness of his kindly, was evidently not a closet-student, happy nature were displayed in all and although passionately fond of their attractive freshness.Who is dancing, it must be confessed (says M. that young officer of the French pary, Lemer) this man, so intrepid in pre- with an air of such decision, and who sence of danger, so bold in thought, wears his precocious decoration so so ready of speech, always manifesting jauntily?' said Jules Janin to somesuch promptitude and presence of body. That is, replied the person mind before assembled men, was ex- addressed, M. Bellot, the enseigné cessively modest in all that concerned de vaisseau, who has volunteered to his renown, and bashful in the pre- take part in the new expedition which sence of women, for whom he pro- is about to sail in search of Franklin' fessed, too, a truly chivalric admira- Instantly Janin runs up to him, and tion and respect.
He was small of says, ' Ma foi, monsieur, I had a mi stature, and shrank from exhibiting wish to know you; you are a brave himself in a quadrille ; nor was he man ; allow me to clasp your head more at home in cercle or café, where, I loved him at once, the charming in, “ in the beginning one remains an whom I saw but for two or three hours hour, drinks a glass of beer, and said Janin, in relating the incident chats. By-and-bye the sittings are The Prince Albert sailed from insensibly prolonged, play takes the Aberdeen on the 22nd of May, 1851, place of conversation, liqueurs of and she re-entered that port on the beer; and what was at first but a 7th of October, 1852, not having espåstime, soon becomes a habit, then caped from the ice, in which she was a want, and often an irresistible set fast for three hundred and thirty passion." At last, in the beginning days, until the 6th of August. During of 1851, Bellot made up his inind to the whole of this period, with the es. offer to take a part in the expeditionception of a few weeks, Bellot kept which Lady Franklin was then pre- journal, from day to day, which his paring to send out in search of her biographer has now given to the pub husband; and having entered into a lic, and which cannot be read without correspondence with that lady, he so- deep interest. It is true it contains licited and obtained the permission of nothing novel in science or in adventhe French minister of marine, and ture for those versed in arctic-voyage repaired to London in May of that literature, but as the reflex of a simyear. The time was favourable; the ple, loyal, religious, and brave heart, Great Exhibition was flourishing in and as a faithful record of the social all its freshness, universal peace and life of the little company of true. philanthropy were the fashion, and hearted seamen into which he was the young enseigne de vaisseau, imper- adopted, every page of it is a study of sonating, to some extent, the grand the pleasantest side of our common idea of in oual union, became a
nature. In a letter to M. Marmier, sort of lion
hour. The pros Bellot thus describes his companions:pect of an arctic voyage in the Prince Albert, a little schooner of ninety * Hardy Scots of the Orcades, or Shettons, with a crew of eighteen men, land Isles, who formed part of the expedi
tions of Rae, Richardson, and Franklin, of after dinner, and the whole crew drank tried by numerous voyages in search of
a glass of groġ to the health of the fawhales, form a chosen crew.. Mr. John mily Bellot. But then, each day Hepburn, who followed Franklin in his ex
brought its festival of prayer and ämination of the Coppermine and Macken
praise. No sooner had Captain Kenzie rivers, has arrived in all haste from Van Diemen's Land, to furnish à fresh proof of
nedy recovered a little from the sea his devotion to his old captain. Mr. Leask,
sickness, to which the rough seas of pilot of the North Star, who knows the Bars the Orkneys consigned almost every fin and Barrow Straits, as well as you do one on board, than he mustered all your library, is our ice-master. At our head is hands to prayers on deck, and this Captain Kennedy, a captain in the Hud- practice was continued morning and son's Company's service, a man of an an evening during the entire voyage, cient stock; á seion of those Puritans, whose Few narratives we have ever read dauntless courage has its source in the most have seemed to us more touching than lively faith ; one of those models from
the entries in the journal incidentally whom Cooper has taken his Pathfinder.' Alone, in the midst of these men, tried by
alluding to these ministrations, and to incredible sufferings, I bring, instead of ex
the part taken in them by the young perience, a boundless ardour; but I have
French Roman Catholic. or a nas confidence. Have we not the justice of our ture deeply impressed with the relia cause to back us up?"
gious sentiment, he had manifestly
thought but little of these things before It was truly a strange companion- chance brought him within the inship, as he elsewhere observes in his fluence of English habits : diary, in which he found hiinself
“On Sunday (he writes to a friend, in * Commanding men of a foreign nation ;
reference to his first arrival in London) an officer of a military-marine service, among
I went to the Protestant Church. The men bound solely by a civil engagement; a
officer who had goodnaturedly made himCatholic, endeavouring to keep alive in their
self my cicerone, said to me, with so naminds a different religion, in which they
tural an air,What church shall we go have been educated, and the precepts of
to ?' that I durst not tell him how long it which I deliver to them in a tongue which
was since I had left off going to mass; and is not my own. Nevertheless (he adds)
I went as much to avoid giving him a bad there is not one of these men who does not
opinion of me as from any real inclination." regard me as a countryman, and obey me
The first impression was strengthas if I were really so."
ened during his short stay at StromAmong the notables of the crew,
ness, when the following entries were with whom the journal brings us into
made in his diary: close acquaintånce, there were, bè.
"Sunday, 25th May, 1851.-We moored sides these named above, the doctor,
in the inorning in Stromness roads. At :Cowie, who seems to have been a spe- two o'clock we go on shore with the crew, cial worthy ; Mr. Anderson, the se- and repair to the Free Church. Prayers are cond officer; Mr. Smith, the steward; said for us, and the congregation are called and Mr. Grate, the boatswain. And upon to put up vows for our prosperous never, so far as can be learned from voyage. the journal, did a more harmonious
* 1st June.- As usual, Sabbath day. This or cheerful party dwell together for
time I go not to the Free Church, but to the seventeen months. Their carousals
United Presbyterian. At Stromness, a town indeed were few and far between.
of twelve hundred inhabitants, there is also At starting, a few bottles of porter,
a third church. The apparent unity which
subsists among us proceeds after all only remaining from the last voyage, were from the indifference which Lamennais speaks consumed, to wet the first watch of
of. If our ministers are charged with being the foreign shipmate; a ration of declaimers and actors, the contrary reproach brandy was now and then conceded to may be addressed to the ministers here. the petitions of the forecastle, when The minister who officiated to-day is 5 teetotalism could no longer be en
radical, Miss C. tells me, for he says that dured ; and the birthday of the old
Jesus Christ owed his sanctity to his labour. Rochefort blacksmith was celebrated
After church I take a walk with the ladies. by a grand symposium, when the doc
Sup with Mr. B.; Bible reading and family tor, having casually become acquaint
prayer-the domestics are present at it." ed with the circumstance of the atini. From a hearer, Bellot soon became versary, had a little collation preparea å tilinister of the word; and as he does
not seem to have ever formally aban- passed in disquisitions worthy of doned the creed in which he was Byzantine schoolmen. Thus educated, the progress of his views, and the mutual tolerance with which “Mr. Grate (the boatswain] com he and his companions merged the me,” writes Bellot,“ during my watc! peculiarities of their respective opi. confides to me his doubts as to the nions in a common practical Chris
with which Judas Iscariot is regarded; tianity, are real curiosities of polemi
Jesus Christ was to be betrayed by cal literature :
body, it was God's will! 'Oh,' say
'formerly people were not educated a "Several American officers,” [of whalers]
are now. I should like to know to
guages, French and Hebrew.' When he writes, “came to Divine Service on board us this morning, with some of their men.
him why the latter, .In order to m
new translation of the Bible,' he replie Poor Captain Kennedy was quite affected
cable, and not a camel, to pass throu when he prayed to God for the safety of those from whom we are about to part, per
eye of a needle.'” haps for ever. Is not this one of the good sides of their religion, that every man of
Neither had the religion of the character may officiate without having taken of the Prince Albert anything ai holy orders ?"
in its nature. Captain
‘self sang sweet French-Canadian Again :
sons; and reading, dancing,
Smith's violin, and the organ give “As always, on Sunday we have Divine Service, and, as usual, I read the sermon.
Prince Albert, constituted the ene It seems I do not pronounce ill, and espe
amusements. Notwithstanding cially that my accent is not too bad. The total principles, also, high days service consists in reading some psalms, a
holidays were, as we have seen, chapter of the Bible, and prayers, morning brated with a cheerful glass, v and evening. On Sunday there is, in addi- was “pleasant to see what a de tion, the reading of a sermon, and then of of merriment could be produe fragments of numerous works which have
easily." The result of the whole been given to us. If the piety of our men tem seems to have been a very is not very enlightened, at least it appears
state of discipline, the most sincere; and even were it but a matter of
mutual confidence between otficers habit with them, the influence of that habit upon them is excellent. I know no spec
men, the truest and loyalest com tacle more suggestive of thought than the ship among all, and a general të sight of those few men singing the praises ness and affection for the foreign of the Lord amidst the solitude of the vast
who had fallen into their compe ocean ; I think of the convents of the East, instances of which it is scarcely po lying like a point amidst the desert. What, to read with a dry eye. In in fact, is our life on board, with its regu- of extreme peril, the crew were larity, but the convent minus inactivity, and tered and taken into council, minus the selfishness of the man who seeks
much to cover responsibility, as in prayer only his own salvation ? O yes!
if any one man could suggest any the exercise of prayer is salutary; it is,
better than what was proposed; above all, useful and indispensable to one
this confidence seems never who is animated by true piety. I used to think myself religious when I contented my
been abused. Under the most self with recognising the existence of a God;
circumstances, the opinion of ead I now understand how much this exercise of was pronounced honestly, and prayer facilitates for us the accomplishment single view to the common guod of duties, which without it we are disposed when a plan of action was deter to pass over very lightly."
upon by the proper authority
one put forth his best energies : It is not to be supposed, however, it into execution. When a bor that this tolerance in practice covered taining the captain and four me any latitudinarianism of doctrine or separated from the ship, it was indifference to the questions of dog- resolved to adopt a course which matic theology. Many sharp reli- take them away forty miles gious discussions took place, when the from their friends, and the reso disputants plied each other so hard, as promising the greatest ben that they ended in very bad humour, the greatest number, was m for the moment; and the solemn hours acquiesced in by the whole cry of the night-watch were occasionally cluding "poor Mr. Smith," the
ard, whose brother was in the boat. to the rank of lieutenant during his When the doctor wished to accompany
absence; the time he had passed on a party despatched in search of their board the British private ship was missing companions, although his assis. counted to him as service at sea, and, tance would bave been of great value, in order to give him time for repose, he was refused, “considering that and the arrangement of his papers, he his cares might be more precious on was placed on the footing of being board in case they return by sea ;" called on duty to Paris, from the date and the doctor at once gave way. In of his return to France. This dignithis very expedition Bellot alone added fied ease did not, however, long con. a little biscuit to his meal of pem- tinue to content his adventurous spi. mican, the men having slipped a few rit. Shortly after his return, he bepieces into the provision-bag, in spite gan to press upon the attention of the of his prohibition, because they thought ministry of marine a proposal for a that, not being accustomed to an ex- French expedition in search of Sir clusively meat diet, it might disagree John Franklin; and while this applicawith him :
tion was pending, he refused an offer
made to him by Captain Kane, of the “Many a time," he adds, “in this short trip, I had reason to be inwardly grateful
post of second in command of an Amefor such delicate attentions, which are always
rican expedition with the same object.
He also declined the still more flattering the more touching wben they are offered by persons apparently rough; and the first
tender of the command and ownership night, when I was half asleep, I saw them,
of the Isabella steamer, which Lady one after another, come and wrap me up,
Franklin was preparing specially for and make sure that my feet were not an expedition to Behring's Straits, and frozen."
in whích Captain Kennedy, his former
commander, was willing to serve under And so it was throughout. Truly,
his orders. “ You know," wrote even if the voyage of the Prince Al
Lady Franklin, when making this gebert has added no new fact to science, and although it failed to accomplish
nerous proposal, o that the crew of
the Prince Albert are ready to go the objects of its promoters, it yet with you wherever you choose to lead opened springs of human feeling, whose
them. However, you shall be free to merciful streams, blessing as they did
choose your own men ; and even, if those among whom they rose, will surely, in their further course, fertilise pedition two or three of your own
you like, to take with you in this exmany a withered heart.
countrymen in whom you have confi“ On their return," says M. de la Roquette,
dence.” The grounds of Bellot's rein a memoir read before the Geographical
fusal was no less noble and touching Society of Paris, “ Captain Kennedy, as than the motive of the offer.
" He well as all the crew of the Prince Albert, was afraid lest this extreme confidence spoke with so much admiration of the ser- should produce a bad effect in Engvices rendered by Bellot, and of his ex- land, and weaken the sympathy with emplary conduct during the whole course which Lady Franklin inspired her of the expedition, that he was everywhere
countrymen." received in England with genuine enthusi
At length, finding that he could not asm. The British Government made known
communicate his own enthusiasm to officially to that of France how well satisfied it was with the zealous and intelligent co
the minister of marine, and resolved operation of the young officer, and Lady
not to let a season pass by without Franklin personally expressed her gratitude making another visit to the Arctic reto him in the most touching terms. The gions, Bellot asked and received perGeographical Society of London, an illus- mission to embark in H.M.S. Phænix, trious body, which has already rendered so Captain Inglefield, and upon the 10th many services to science, conferred on him
of May, 1853, he was received on the title of Foreign Corresponding Member board that vessel as a volunteer for the a favour which acquired still more value in
expedition she was then about to prohis eyes from the flattering words of the
ceed on. This was the young seaman's President, Sir Roderick Murchison, and from the presence and approbation of the most
last voyage, and the closing scene of it distinguished personages of England."
we shall relate in the words of his
countryman, M. Lemer. On the 12th In his own country, too, he was not of August he left the Phenix and her unhonoured. He had been promoted companion, the North Star, in Erebus