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there is a great deal of land. If he was led to this conclusion by observing that the greatest quantity of ice was always found hanging about the land, we so far agree with him. Experience has already shown that, wherever there is an extensive sea free from islands, whatever ice may be formed on it in the winter season will, when broken up by gales of wind, be drifted about till it gets hold of some land, where it takes the ground, and becomes fixed to the shores; consequently, where there are numerous islands, as is the case in the Arctic seas, it is jammed in the straits formed between them, and closes entirely, or renders very difficult, the navigation of these straits. But how can he tell what land may exist between the degree of latitude which he reached and the South Pole? Should there be none, we have no doubt whatever of the practicability of an easy navigation to that Pole; and as little have we that Captain Parry will
find an uninterrupted navigation for his boats to the North Pole, provided no land intervenes between that and Spitzbergen. The icebergs, it is true, that were seen in this high latitude by Captain Weddell, could only have been formed by the precipitous shores of land existing somewhere in this Antarctic Ocean, but these masses are known to travel far, and in all directions, according as they are influenced by winds and currents.
That field-ice, or extensive floes of ice, cannot be easily formed in a deep and expansive ocean, we are disposed to agree with Captain Weddell, who is not aware perhaps that one of our best old navigators, who made three several attempts to discover a North-west passage, was of the same opinion, observing that • the deep sea friezeth not;' an opinion which he deduced from his own experience, and which is, moreover, considerably corroborated by the testimony of the Baron Wrangel, who, after traversing the solid ice which stretches from the northern coast of Siberia into the Polar seas, came to an expanse of water of which he could see no end in any direction; as also by that of Franklin, who saw nothing but water from the mouth of Mackenzie's river; by the observations of Parry in Lancaster Sound; and lastly, by the experience of Mr. Weddell himself in the Antarctic Ocean. Though the fact of the great deep sea not freezing may not be strictly and universally correct, we may safely affirm that it never remains frozen over. Captain Parry has observed that the first strong breeze of wind that agitates the sea, disperses and separates the ice into small heaps or packs, which drift away till they find some large floe, or field, or the shore of some land whereto to attach themselves. Mr. Weddell may therefore be right in his conjecture that the Antarctic sea will probably be found less icy than is generally imagined; and that, if there be no more land to the southward of the spot which he reached, (which is, in fact, the whole question,) there may be a clear field of discovery, even to the South Pole.'
This voyage of Mr. Weddell will assist us in correcting an erroneous and unfounded notion, which has somehow or other got abroad, and passes current like many other vulgar errors,'that the southern hemisphere is considerably colder than the northern one, in the corresponding degrees of latitude; in so much, that ten degrees of latitude, at the least, must be added to the latter to produce an equality of temperature with the former-as in 50°, for instance, of north latitude, the climate is of equal temperature with that of 40° of south latitude. This, we venture to affirm, is not the case, whether on the land or on the ocean; the absurdity, as a general rule, is obvious enough; for as temperature depends very much on local circumstances, by which it is governed perhaps more frequently than by degrees of latitude, no determinate rule of general comparison can possibly be established. Thus we find that oranges will grow in Europe in the same degree of latitude in which oats will scarcely ripen on one side of America; while again, on the opposite side of that same continent, in the very same degree, the delicate humming-bird builds its nest.
We have already had occasion to remark how much warmer are the western shores of continents and islands than their eastern sides ; perhaps one of the most remarkable instances of the high winter temperature of the sea on a western coast in a high latitude, is that of Norway, where the sea, even in its inland deep fiords, is rarely if ever frozen over. Mr. De Capel Brooke saw nothing like ice in the harbour of Hammerfest in lat. 70°, at a time when the thermometer on the shore was at 13° below zero. • On walking down,' says he, “ to the fiord, the whole surface was covered with a thick steam, which arose from the sea.' He tells us, what was not necessary, that this was occasioned by the difference of temperature between the water and surrounding air ; that the vapour of the former, being the warmer, is condensed into fog by the colder air, and becomes visible; but he does not tells us why the sea should be warmer on this than on the other side of the Atlantic, where the heated water of the Gulf-stream rolls its current. Is the phenomenon occasioned by the cold water of the surface descending by its increased gravity, while the warmer and lighter ascends to take its place from the great depth below ?* or is the heat that puzzles us created by subterranean fire?
In speaking of Lochness, which is said never to freeze on account of its depth, Dr. Johnson observes, 'its profundity can have little part in this exemption ; for though deep wells are not frozen, because their water is excluded from the external air, yet where a wide surface is exposed to the full influence of a freezing atmosphere, I know not why the depth should keep it open.'
The on the
The fact is, unquestionably, as stated by Mr. De Capel Brooke. We know that the harbour of New York, in lat. 401", is almost annually frozen up; and that of Halifax and the adjoining sea (lat. 44°) invariably so for several months; while the sea on the coast of Norway, even up to the North Cape in lat. 71° 10', is never frozen. The coast of Ireland is not molested by ice; while that of Newfoundland, extending 5° more southerly than that of Ireland, is surrounded with fields of ice for several months every year.
The case is the same eastern side of the continent of Asia. In the Japan islands, snow will remain on the ground till May. At Pekin, in lat. 40°, the canals
for two months in the year, and ice is not uncommon at Canton, which lies under the tropic.
These anomalies do not exist, or exist only in a very small degree, in the southern hemisphere, the vast expanse of ocean in proportion to the land there preserving a more equable temperature;-one so equable, so uniform indeed, that, take any one parallel, and it will be found that, in the whole circumference of the globe, no other difference of temperature exists, than what may be accounted for by the different nature of the surface, as mountains, forests, sandy plains, &c.
As there is, therefore, little or no analogy between the two hemispheres, so no comparative estimate can be formed of the difference of temperature between corresponding parallels of latitude. Instead of this difference being equal to 10° of latitude in favour of the northern hemisphere, we should rather be inclined to think that the contrary is nearer the truth : thus we shall find that South Africa has as high a summer temperature as the northern portion of that great continent; and that in winter, it has one that is much more so, especially near its southern extremity; and that South America, both in winter and summer, enjoys a much higher temperature than North America. The sea, too, within the Antarctic circle, as we have seen, is very little encumbered with ice as far as 75°, while a great portion of the Arctic seas, and even 10° or 12° below that circle, where land abounds, are in certain places almost choked up with it. The summer temperature of the ocean was found by Mr. Weddell every where higher than Captain Parry had it in much lower latitudes.
These examples, which might be greatly multiplied, are sufficient to show the absurdity of making any general comparison, and to prove how unfounded is the vulgar notion that the southern hemisphere is colder in corresponding latitudes than the northern
Another circumstance, of a different nature, struck us forcibly
in the perusal of Captain Weddell's book. In his description of the natives of Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego and the adjoining islands, one might suppose, without any great stretch of the imagination, that we were reading Captain Parry's account of the Esquimaux on the opposite extremity of the American continent; in the former, as in those, we find the same diminutive stature, the broad full-moon face, the skin clothing --less cumbrous from the superior warmth of the climate—the same luxury of feasting on blubber, the same weapons for slaying land and marine animals, such as slings, darts, bows and arrows, and these similarly constructed—the same faculty of imitation and mimicking whatever they see or hear; these, and other particulars, are all in accordance with what we have been told of the Esquimaux.
It is also remarkable that something of the same kind, though not quite so striking, occurs on the opposite side of the Atlantic, in the resemblance that exists betwee the Hottentots at the southern extremity of Africa, and the Kalmucs, the Samoyedes, and other diminutive races on the northern parts of Asiatic Siberia, all of them congenerous with the more civilized Chinese, to whom a likeness has ere now been pointed out in the stature, shape, complexion and countenance of the Hottentot; most particularly so, in that remarkable feature, the oblique and elongated eye, common to all the northern nations of Asia. The habits of the Hottentot, however, are different from those of the Asiatic nations; as they must necessarily be from the great difference, which exists in the two climates.
We may here also pause for a moment on the curious coincidence which exists at the southern extremities of the two continents of America and Africa, on both of which we find a race of pigmies in close contact with a nation of giants; for though the Patagonians are not quite so tall as Pigafetta and many of the old navigators have made them, they are undoubtedly a race of gigantic stature; while the Caffres, in close contact with the Hottentots, differ about as remarkably in shape, feature and colour, from their diminutive neighbours.
The last thing we shall remark in this unpretending little volume is the praiseworthy labour which its author appears to have bestowed, in adding new and important information to the interests of navigation, by improving the hydrography of the seas and islands at the southern extremity of America, and in detecting errors of great importance made by former navigators. These points, indeed, are of so much importance, as to have induced, among other considerations, the Board of Admiralty to send out an expedition, consisting of two ships of war, for the express purpose of surveying the coasts and islands of Patagonia; and the commander
(Captain King) of course has been supplied with the best and most expensive instruments that can be made, and such as individuals cannot be expected to be supplied with. Captain Weddell, however, had three chronometers of his own, patent azimuth compasses, and such other instruments as are mostly in use by navigators; of which he appears to have known well how to avail himself. As an old and able master in the navy, he entertained a proper feeling and a just sense of the value and importance of accuracy in hydrography, and an exact knowledge of the dangers scattered over that great deep navigated by multitudes of ships, on whose safety the lives of so many thousands of our fellow-creatures depend.
Speaking of South Iceland, and the Auroras, and other islands which have no existence but on the charts, he justly observes
• It is much to be regretted that any men should be so ill-advised as to propagate hydrographical falsehoods; and I pity those who, when they meet with an appearance that is likely to throw some light on the state of the globe, are led through pusillanimity to forego the examination of it. But the extreme reluctance I have to excite painful feelivgs any where, restrains me from dealing that just censure which is due to many of my fellow-seamen, who, by negligence, narrow views of pecuniary interest, or timidity, have omitted many practicable investigations, the want of wbich continues to be felt by the nation, and more especially by merchants and ship-owners.'-p. 48. We entirely agree with him in these sentiments.
The man who points out, in the midst of the wide ocean, a single rock unknown before, is a benefactor of the human race; not less so is he who, after careful examination, is able to decide that a rock or a shoal, laid down at random, is either misplaced or has no existence. These are discoveries that make little or no noise in the world; there is no story to tell; no romance in the narrative; it is but a rock less or more in the midst of the ocean, where thousands of the like kind exist; but that rock may have been, and may continue to be, while its place remains unascertained, the cause of destruction of many valuable lives and much property. Captain Weddell has performed many such good services; and when we consider that his voyage was a private mercantile speculation, undertaken with a view solely to profit, he is so much the more entitled to public gratitude, in having spontaneously and gratuitously devoted a considerable portion of time to hydrographical discovery of the most useful kind. We will mention only one instance. A cluster of three islands, called the Auroras, are laid down on the charts to the eastward of the Falkland Islands, in the track nearly of ships intending to double Cape Horn. Their position was supposed to have been accurately ascertained by the