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with a set of beaur esprits, among which old Fontenelle presides. He has no mark of age but wrinkles, and a degree of deafness: but when, by sitting near him you make him hear you, he never fails to understand you, and always answers with that liveliness, and a sort of prettiness, peculiar to himself. He often repeats and applies his own and other people's poetry very agreeably; but only occasionally, as it is proper and applicable to the subject. He has still a great deal of gallantry in his turn and in his discourse. He is ninety-two, and has the cheerfulness, liveliness, and even the taste and appetite of twenty-two.” R. Cumberland 1757.- “We have a sensible, modest, well behaved young man here, who has the seeds of poetry in him. He has wrote some lines on Eastbury and its master, which show, that time and a little cultivation will enable the soil to produce very good fruit. His name is Cumberland; he was of Cambridge, and is a protegé of lord Halifax." Robertson the historian 1759.“There is a history of Scotland, chiefly during the reigns of queen Mary and her son James, that every one runs mad after; I have not heard two opinions about it: 'tis wrote by one Robertson, a young man, and a presbyterian preacher, who has never lived a year out of Scotland; and yet, they say, his candour and his style are admirable. My friend, David Hume, has also just published his two volumes of the history of the Tudors, which will
meet his two other volumes of the history of the Stuarts. His candour and his writing are, in my opinion, superior to any: I don't speak of Robertson's, for I have not yet read it.” Accession of Geo. III.—“How very happy a death, and how luckily timed for him, was that of the late king !"—taken off at the most glorious period of his reign, shining with success and glory, before even that cloud came over it, which, had he lived but one day longer,t would have been known by him, and have grieved him extremely; but he was remarkably well and cheerful the night before, not otherwise in the morning, and at once, without pain, sickness, or the other inconveniences of a death-bed, he barely ceased to be. Happy, happy man! Every one, I think, seems to be pleased with the whole behaviour of our young king; and indeed so much unaf. fected good nature and propriety appears in all he does or says, that it cannot but endear him to all ; but whether any thing can long endear a king or an angel in this strange factious country, I can't tell. I have the best opinion imaginable of him,'not from any thing he does or says just now, but because I have a moral certainty that he was in his nursery the ho: nestest, true, goodnatured child that ever lived; and you know my old maxim, that qualities never change; what the child was, the man most certainly is, in spite of temporary appearances." Anecdote.--" In 1742 William Pulteney, who, a year before, had
* George II. died as he sat at breakfast at Kensington on Saturday morning, 25th Oct. + She alludes to the affair at Campen, on the 16th of October, in which the British troops in the allied army suffered a considerable loss. The account arrived in the cour*
ef the day on which the king died.
licious good-humour, “my lord, you and I are now the two most insignificant fellows in England.”
On the death of lord Albemarle in 1755, George the second granted a pension of 1200l. per ann. to his widow, of which transaction Lady H. gives the following acCOunt :
“The king, when he was solicited for lady Albemarle and her family,readily granted the request, but said it was hard that a man who for thirty years past had every, thing he asked for, which was every thing that was to be had, should at his death, leave him his whole family to keep, adding what he had often said of him when alive, that he was un waurien aimable.”
She continues in the same letter—
“Lord Montford's strange end surprised me a good deal, as he seemed as happy as a great taste for pleasure and an ample fortune to gratify it could make him. with many friends, few disappointments, and a cheerful temper. I never heard of more coolness than that with which he put an end to his life. I as yet hear no reason assigned for this event, but that tedium vitae, which is so frequent in this country. He had supped and played at White's, as usual, the night before, but sent to a lawyer he made use of, to come to him the next day at eleven o'clock, having himself business at twelve. The lawyer, with lord Montford, read over his will three times, examining very carefully every word, that there might not be any flaw or room left for a dispute. He then sealed up the will and the duplicate, putting the one into his drawer, and desiring the lawyer to take care of the other; went immediately into his bed-chamber, and before the man could take his papers and get down stairs, lord Montford shot himself through the head.”
VOYAGES AND THAVELS.
1. – A Journal of a Voyage of Discovery, in his Majesty's ships Hecla and Griper, in the years 1819 and 1820, by Alexander Fisher, Surgeon, R. N. 2.—Journalofa Voyage for the Discovery of a North-west Passage, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Performed in the years 1819 and 1820; in H. M. S. Hecla and Griper, under the orders of William Edward Parry, R. N. F. R. S. and commander of the expedition.
ON a subject which had so often and so long excited a powerful interest, it is not to be wondered at, that public curiosity demanded very speedy—and that our adventurers should issue, rather hasty publications. Mr. Fisher is advantageously known by his voyage in the Alceste, and by his natural talents and scientific endowments. His volume is written in a rough, unpolished style, but it contains a plain, intelligible representation of the chiefcircumstances of the voyage; and could only lose any portion of its interest, through being somewhat superseded by the more official and better written work of captain Parry—a gentleman eminently qualified for the enterprise, which, to a certain extent he has already accomplished, and which, in the more recent voyage he has undertaken,
will, we doubt not, be fully successful, if ever man is destined to prove by experiment, the practicability of anorthwestern passage through the Polar seas. Our first extract shall be taken from Mr. Fisher's narrative of the landing on an island in Lancaster's Straits. Saturday,28.--“Aboatwassent this forenoon to an island to make observations for determining the variation of the compass, which, somewhat to our surprise, was found to have changed from west to east, or, in other words, it exceeded 180°, if the usual term of westerly variation was to be continued. In consequence of the sluggish manner in which the compasses traversed, and the observations being made very near noon, when the sun moved slow in azimuth, the result of these observations were, as might be expected, rather wide of one another, for the first set of azimuths I took gave the variation 167° E.; the next set 168° E, ; and the third and last set 169° E.: the magnetic dip, or vertical inclination of the dipping-needle, at this place was 88° 27'. The place where these observations were made we found to be in latitude 75°9' N., and longitude, by chronometer, 103° 50'W. The tide was flowing when we landed, and, during the four hours we were on shore, it rose only sixteen inches;
inches; the flood came from the northward and westward. This island was, as near as I could judge, about ten miles in length, that is, if it is taken for granted that its greatest diameter is from north to south or in the direction that we viewed it; but it is possible that l may be premature in thus attempting to give its dimensions before we have seen all around it, for it may extend to the westward farther than we have any idea of yet. It resembled exactly, as to appearance, the islands that we have been passing for several days past, that is, low near the coast, and rising gradually towards the interior. The sea-coast, and a considerable part of the surface of it, indeed, as far as we went inland, was composed of fine sand; and the fixed rocks, wherever they were seen above the surface, was found to consist of white sandstone of a very soft and fine texture; and I have no doubt but the islands that we have passed lately, are composed of the same kind of stone, for ever since we got amongst them, the soundings have been found to consist of fine sand; whilst that brought up by the lead, when we were passing the high land to the eastward, consisted of soft mud that effervesced when touched with acid. The vegetation on this island was, when compared with what we have lately seen, rather luxuriant; moss in particular grew in considerable abundance in the moist valleys, and along the banks of the streams that flowed from the hills. These streams were, indeed, at this time almost dried up, their source, viz, the snow, being entirely dissolved; along
the beach, however, there were numerous fragments of heavy floe-ice aground, and in one place there was an extensive ledge of it firmly attached to the beach, with its surface covered with sand, in such a manner, that a cursory observer might take it to be a part of the land. “We saw no animals of any kind on this island; but we found evident proofs of its having been frequented, not only by different species of the brute creation, but that it had also, at some period or other, been inhabited by man; for, at the distance of about a quarter of a mile from the shore, we found the ruins of six huts close together on the side of a hill. From the dilapidated state of these ruins, it was impossible to draw any certain conclusions as to what time they had been inhabited, but it must have certainly been a long time ago; for nothing remained of them but the stones that marked their size and site ; and, from the small number of stones that the ruins were composed of, it is probable that they were only temporary residences. They had been all nearly about the same size, that is, about twelve feet long and from eight to ten feet broad, besides a space about three feet square formed by four flags set up on their edge, at the end of each hut. I understand from those that have been often amongst the Esquimaux huts in Greenland, that they have always a small apartment of this sort at one end of their hut, in which they keep all their provisions; so that we may infer from this circumstance that the ruins we have seen to-day belonged to a small tribe or party of Esquimaux that Were were here probably on a summer excursion. Those inclined to give these ruins greater antiquity, may consider them as one of the resting-places of the Esquimaux in their emigration from Asia to Greenland; for, according to the tradition of the Greenlanders themselves, their forefathers came originally from the westward. But be this as it may, it does not at all appear to me that the ruins we have seen to-day are likely to be one of the stations occupied at that remote period, more especially as a more probable way of accounting for them may be assigned to a party of the Esquimaux having visited these islands during some of their excursions from the coast of America; for we know, from Hearne's Account, that that continent is inhabited by these people nearly opposite to where We are. “Although we are left in doubt as to what time this island was visited by man, we have very unequivocal proofs of its being recently inhabited by different animals, for we found numerous tracts of what we supposed to be rein-deer, some of them apparently very lately made; and several of their horns, and small portions of their hair were found in different places where they had been lying. We had an equally good proof of this place being frequented by Musk-oxen (Bos Moschatus, Lin.), for we found the skeleton of one in a perfect state, except that the bones of the legs were separated from the rest, most probably by some carnivorous animal. The skull and horns were perfectly entire; but from the appearance of the horns, and indeed of the bones in general, they must have
been exposed to the weather at least one winter. Whether the cloven tracts we saw were chiefly those of the musk-oxen, or reindeer, it is impossible to say; but if we were to judge from the number of deer's horns we saw, we should be inclined to consider them as being principally those of the latter animal. It would appear that bears also frequent this land occasionally; for we found two or three of their skulls, and their tracts were pretty numerous along the beach. On the sand hillocks along the shore, there were immense numbers of small sea-shells of the Venus kind, which had unquestionably been carried there by some animals, for they were considerably beyond the tide-mark. “From all these circumstances, then, it is very evident that this island is frequented occasionally by different kinds of animals, although we had not the good fortune of seeing any of them." December 21 was a day among the memorabilia, and we copy its entry in the journal. “This being our shortest day, or, more properly speaking, the day on which the sun is farthest from us, several of the officers went out on the ice at noon with books to determine whether it was possible to read by the twilight; and surprising, as it may appear, yet we found that the smallest print could be read by it. The book that I took was a small (pocket) Common Prayer Book, (which was the smallest print I could find) and, by facing it to: wards the south, I could read it very distinctly. As the portion of it that presented itself by chance on this occasion contains a go moral