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MELVILLE ISLAND THE HALF-WAY POINT.

79

“Waft, waft, ye winds, his story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole."

These enduring and sublime views of the power

of the Deity, which strike the mind of every patient observer, connect, as it were, the phenomena of the earth with those more extensive arrangements presented to our intelligence in the planetary system, and in the grand design and structure of the universe itself.

On the return of the expedition to England the Government awarded the sum of £5000 to Captain Parry and the men, for having passed the 110° of west longitude, being the first portion of the Parliamentary grant for the discovery of the North-west Passage. They had accomplished half the distance between the two great oceans.

We cannot quit Melville Island, which has become a memorable spot in the history of the globe, and which this first voyage of Sir William Edward Parry brought into notice, without recording the ultimate result, by adopting the principle of this work, viz., Comparative and Analytical Research. achieved what had not heretofore been done; it was a great step in advance in fact, it was the half-way, or central point of rendezvous of the arctic navigators.

Melville Island, by itself, would be an unknown place, but when associated with the exciting narratives of bold adventures, the story gloys with warmth and light, and kindles up a kindred flame in every breast

This voyage

80

SIR HUGH WILLOUGHBY'S FATE.

who loves to know what man can do. For the poet says of Sir Hugh Willoughby, sent by Queen Elizabeth to discover the North-west passage; behold

" The Briton's fate who with first prow,

For the North-west passage sought,
Was with his ship, and helpless crew,
Froze into statues; to the cordage glued,
The sailor; and the pilot to the helm.”

THOMPSON.

CHAPTER IV.

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1850, July - Her Majesty's Ship, the “Investigator," proceeds through

Behring's Straits into the Polar Sea, along the Northern Coast of America, until the 30th of September, when they anchored for the Winter in the Prince of Wales' Straits, which communicated with the frozen waters of Melville Sound.—1851, July—The “Investigator endeavours to reach Melville Sound, but is foiled by the terrific Polar Sea.- Providentially reach the “Bay of Mercy,” and are frozen in on the very nigật of their arrival, 24th of September, and obtain, in these remote realms, a bountiful supply of Game during the whole Winter.—1852, April— Captain Mc Clure and a sledge party proceed to Melville Island, and the problem of the N.W. Passage solved, 24th April, 1852.—The Bay of Mercy remain frozen during all the Summer of 1852, and the Ship is fast bound in impenetrable masses of ice.—Another Winter passed in the Bay of Mercy.—Christmas Festivities, 1852. 1853, January intensely cold.—1853, April 6th-The visit of merciful deliverance.—Lieutenant Pim and party, like an apparition or angelic vision, come from the “Resolute” with glad tidings of Relief. The “Investigator” is left in the Bay of Mercy, and the crew transferred to the “ Resolute,” from thence to the “Phænix” and Home.—The “ Resolute" in her turn encounters dangers, and is abandoned, but drifts amid the Ice.Is taken possession of by an American Whaler, and presented to Queen Victoria. — Results of the Voyage.--As to Climate.--Its present and former condition in accordance with Parry's statements.—Comparison of the Meteorological Tables of Captain Mc Clure at Mercy Bay, with the Tables from the Observatory at Port Louis.- Remarks and inferences on the Polar Atmosphere, and that of the Tropics. — Supplementary Observations by Lieut. Foster at Port Bowen, illustrative of the action of the barometer, humidity, etc., etc.—The white Fox and the black Raven.-Honourable Testimony to the British Arctic Navigators.

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The Government, with great consideration, concerted and put into action the best means to search for and succour Sir John Franklin, whose spirit conceived the idea of Arctic research, and whose life was a sacrifice to his zeal and energy; and whose fate was probably much like that of the first explorer, Sir Hugh Willoughby. But it was in the search for Sir John Franklin that

that the North-West Passage was incidentally achieved.

July 30th, 1850. Her Majesty's ship, “Investigator,” Captain Mc Clure, left the Pacific Ocean, and passed through Behring's Straits into the Polar Sea, and proceeded along the north coast of America; so

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