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duced; and ennobled it by the splendours of a poetical imagination, more powerful and more exalted by far than had ever in former days exerted its energies elsewhere than in the highest of the strictly poetical forms-epic and tragic. Far above any other British novelist in the aggregate quality of what he produces, he still more largely excels the two greatest foreign masters, Cervantes and Le Sage, in the copiousness of his creations. Nor is it, in our judgment, among the least of his merits, that his genius has achieved all these triumphs without for a moment departing from that firm healthiness of feeling, that sustained and masculine purity of mental vigour, of which there are unfortunately but few examples in the works of this class that intervened between Don Quixote and Waverley.
The unexampled popularity of this author has had good effects on our novel literature-and it has also had its evil effects. To that stimulus we, in all probability, owe the appearance of the classical and energetic Anastasius, the beautifully pathetic tale of Margaret Lyndesay, the exquisite humour of the Annals of the Parish, and The Provost, and other works of original merit. But to it we are also indebted for a whole deluge of novels and romances, which not only might not, but could not, have been written, had no Waverley pointed out one particular style and manner of novel-writing. On some of these, we are sorry to observe, considerable talents have been unwisely and unfortunately expended. In the best of them, it is almost needless to say, we seek in vain for any approach to the true excellencies of their master-the delicacy of his humour-the simplicity of his pathos-his tragic energy-the variety and extent of his knowledge the graceful ease of his style-above all, his original conception of character, and the astonishing fertility of his invention: these are matters far beyond the reach of knack. If we except two or three of the works of Mr. Cooper, we do not believe that any of these imitations will be remembered a few years hence; and yet we are far from considering that American writer as the ablest man that has imitated the great novelist of our time. His superior success is owing to the superiority of his materials; he has employed a style of delineation which he could never have invented, upon a fresh field, and, which is of still higher importance, on a field of manners and feelings familiar to his own observation. His Spy, Pioneers, &c., may be classed therefore, though post longum intervallum, with Waverley. His ingenious rivals on this side of the Atlantic have, on the contrary, trusted to reading and imagination for the best part of their materials; and being inferior beyond measure to their master, both in the accomplishment and the faculty, they have produced, at the best, the mere corpus exsangue of the historical romance.
It is impossible, however, to read the books even of this class, with which the press teems, without being struck with the extent to which the example of one great author has spread among our writers the feeling and perception of many principles of composition, heretofore but rarely exemplified, and never, perhaps, fully developed. If, for instance, we open any one of their books, and take any given description, whether of external nature, or of the picturesque of manners, and compare that with any attempt of the same class in the works of authors of the same sort of rank in talent, some fifteen years back, we shall be compelled to acknowledge, that the more recent writer has a feeling of what such description ought to be much above the reach of his predecessor. One genius, in a word, has made many clever artists; and some of their works, at least, would bid fair for life, if there were not one general rule in the world of imaginative literature to which there is absolutely no exception: viz. in Martial's words; • Victurus Genium debet habere liber.'
It is, above all, in the conception and delineation of character, that the true novelist, like the true dramatist, must excel; and these are matters, in which we may safely say, after the lapse of three thousand years since the date of the Iliad, that mere art can carry no one far. We read no fiction twice that merely heaps description upon description, and weaves incident with incident, however cleverly. The imitating romancer shrinks at once into his proper dimensions when we ask-what new character has he given us?
"Where is his child?" an echo answers 66
ART. III.-1. Journal of a Third Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific; performed in the years 1824, 25, in His Majesty's Ships Hecla and Fury, under the orders of Captain William Edward Parry, R.N., F.R.S., and Commander of the Expedition. London. 1826.
2. A Voyage towards the South Pole, performed in the years 1822-24. Containing an Examination of the Antarctic Sea, to the Seventy-fourth degree of Latitude: and a Visit to Tierra del Fuego, with a particular Account of the Inhabitants. To which is added, much useful Information on the coasting Navigation of Cape Horn, and the Adjacent Lands, with Charts of Harbours, &c. By James Weddell, Esq., Master in the Royal Navy. London. 1825.
THE third and, we grieve to say, the least successful of Captain
Parry's strenuous and most meritorious efforts to decide the question of the practicability of a North-West passage from the
Atlantic to the Pacific, has left it precisely where it was at the conclusion of his first voyage, in the course of which he went over the same ground. We call his last voyage the least successful, not only on account of the loss of one of his ships, which deprived him of the means of prosecuting the expedition, but because, unlike the former, it has added little or nothing to our stock of geographical knowledge. For all this, however, no blame attaches to either of the commanders; the same zeal, the same unabated exertion, and steady perseverance, were manfully employed by all the officers and men, on this as on former occasions. The unusual severity of the first season, on their passage outwards; and the change, of which they could not be aware, that had taken place in the position of the floating fields of ice that permanently occupy some part of Baffin's Bay, retarded the progress of the ships so long, that it was with much difficulty they were enabled to reach Port Bowen, on the eastern shore of Prince Regent's Inlet, before all further navigation, for that season, became impracticable, on account of the formation of young ice on the surface of the sea. Had they been fortunate enough to reach this point three weeks or a month sooner, as they had every reasonable ground, from former experience, to anticipate, they would in all probability have crossed the southern portion of the Polar sea, and wintered on some part of the coast of America. Subsequent appearances of the sea towards that quarter justified such an expectation; but, at all events, it was hoped that, by starting at an early period of the following season from the advanced post they had gained, they would be able to make very considerable progress to the westward, perhaps to accomplish the great object of the expedition. They came to this conclusion from the flattering circumstance that, to the southward of Prince Regent's Inlet, neither ice nor islands were visible to obstruct their passage, while a dark water-sky,' says Captain Parry, indicated a perfectly navigable sea in that direction.'
The winter in Port Bowen was passed pretty nearly in the same manner as former winters in the Polar Seas, while the ships were shut up in thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice,' and, with them, their brave crews doomed
there to pine,
Immoveable, infixed, and frozen round.' Perhaps, indeed, this third winter was somewhat more dreary than former ones; there was a total absence of all human creatures besides themselves; and, we might almost say, of every object of animated nature. In other respects, as Captain Parry observes, a description of the aspect of nature would suit alike each winter they had passed in the ice, and the catalogue of oc
currences and adventures of one sojourn might serve very nearly as well for any other.
'To those who read, as well as to those who describe, the account of a winter passed in these regions can no longer be expected to afford the interest of novelty it once possessed; more especially in a station already delineated with tolerable geographical precision on our maps, and thus, as it were, brought near to our firesides at home. Independently, indeed, of this circumstance, it is hard to conceive any one thing more like another than two winters passed in the higher latitudes of the Polar regions, except when variety happens to be afforded by intercourse with some other branch of " the whole family of man." Winter after winter, nature here assumes an aspect so much alike, that cursory observation can scarcely detect a single feature of variety. The winter of more temperate climates, and even in some of no slight severity, is occasionally diversified by a thaw, which at once gives variety and comparative cheerfulness to the prospect. But here, when once the earth is covered, all is dreary monotonous whiteness—not merely for days or weeks, but for more than half a year together. Whichever way the eye is turned, it meets a picture calculated to impress upon the mind an idea of inanimate stillness, of that motionless torpor with which our feelings have nothing congenial; of anything, in short, but life. In the silence there is a deadness with which a human spectator appears out of keeping. The presence of man seems an intrusion on the dreary solitude of this wintry desert, which even its native animals have for a while forsaken.'-pp. 40, 41.
As affording some amends for external deficiencies, their comforts and conveniences were considerably improved this voyage, and with these the general health of the seamen, which, if possible, exceeded that of all prior experience. This circumstance Captain Parry mainly attributes to his being able to keep up an uniform moderate temperature throughout every part of the ships, varying only from 56° to 63°, with a perfectly dry atmosphere: and these important advantages he was enabled to accomplish by means of Silvester's warming apparatus,'-' a contrivance,' he says, of which I scarcely know how to express my admiration in adequate terms.'
'The alteration adopted on this voyage of placing this stove in the very bottom of the hold, produced not only the effect naturally to be expected from it, of increasing the rapidity of the current of warm air, and thus carrying it to all the officers' cabins with less loss of heat in its passage; but was also accompanied by an advantage scarcely less important which had not been anticipated. This was the perfect and uniform warmth maintained during the winter in both the cable-tiers, which, when cleared of all the stores, gave us another habitable deck, on which more than one-third of the men's hammocks were birthed: thus affording to the ships' companies, during seven or eight months of the year, the indescribable comfort of nearly twice the space for their beds, and
twice the volume of air to breathe in. It need scarcely be added, how conducive to wholesome ventilation, and to the prevention of moisture below, such an arrangement proved; suffice it to say that we have never before been so free from moisture, and that I cannot but chiefly attribute to this apparatus the unprecedented good state of health we enjoyed during this winter.'-pp. 44, 45.
The occupation of the seamen in their ordinary duties, the occasional diversion of their minds, and the regularity of their bodily exercise, were objects not likely to be neglected by so experienced and attentive a commander as Captain Parry. Their former recreations, however, derived chiefly from the acting of plays and the composition and reading of a Weekly Gazette, might now be supposed to have lost the charm of novelty: these, therefore, were not again resorted to, and in lieu of them Captain Hoppner, (of the Fury,) Parry's tried and trusty associate in these voyages, suggested and planned a masquerade, in which both officers and men should be able to take a share.
'It is impossible that any idea could have proved more happy, or more exactly suited to our situation. Admirably dressed characters of various descriptions readily took their parts, and many of these were supported with a degree of spirit and genuine humour which would not have disgraced a more refined assembly; while the latter might not have disdained, and would not have been disgraced by, copying the good order, decorum, and inoffensive cheerfulness which our humble masquerades presented. It does especial credit to the dispositions and good sense of our men, that, though all the officers entered fully into the spirit of these amusements, which took place once a month, alternately on board each ship, no instance occurred of any thing that could interfere with the regular discipline, or at all weaken the respect of the men towards their superiors. Ours were masquerades without licentiousness-carnivals without excess.'-pp. 49, 50.
But an occupation not less assiduously pursued, and of much more important and permanent benefit to those engaged in it, was the re-establishment of schools.
'By the judicious zeal of Mr. Hooper, the Hecla's school was made subservient, not merely to the improvement of the men in reading and writing, (in which, however, their progress was surprizingly great,) but also to the cultivation of that religious feeling which so essentially improves the character of a seaman, by furnishing the highest motives for increased attention to every other duty. Nor was the benefit confined to the eighteen or twenty individuals whose want of scholarship brought them to the school-table, but extended itself to the rest of the ship's company, making the whole lower deck such a scene of quiet rational occupation as I never before witnessed on board a ship. And I do not speak lightly when I express my thorough persuasion that to the moral effects thus produced upon the minds of the men, were owing, in a very high degree, the constant yet sober cheerfulness, the uninterrupted good