BELCHER'S ARCTIC VOYA013*—THE ILLUSTRATIONS.
Last week we reviewed this book ; to which we are induced to return on the present occasion by the copiousness, variety, and interest, of its illustrations. These form one of its distinctive features amid the cargo of books wherewith the history of Arctic enterprise in the nineteenth century will sail laden to the time to come, and they deserve a note of record for their own sake.
The illustrations are of three classes. First come charts ; one of which, detached and inserted in a pocket to the first volume, represents the dis- coveries in the Arctic Sea from 1819 to 1854. The wood-cuts are various in subject, bearing upon the native and naval implements, scientific facts, and minor incidents of the expedition. Thu lithographic and chromo-lithographic plates are thirty-six in number ; the majority executed after designs furnished by Captain Belcher himself. They sup- ply, in a vivid and authentic form, that visible information of events and phenomena which is in many cases as much more definite than verbal description as it is more immediate. Here we follow the squadron and its individual vessels and men from their quitting the Note in April 1852 ; we see them warping along a sledge and crew complete by a "Novel Ferry" of loose ice. "Duck-shooting on Oomiak," un- der a brilliant sky and castellated rocks; witnessing a splendid pare- selena, or lunar aurora, as it may be termed, at Northumberland Sound ; the South-west Division departing on their enterprise, with colours flying ; the Assistance blown out of winter-quarters in October 1863, is a pitiless snow-storm—the sky all powdered with its innumerable drift, the sea broken with jagged ice-blocks ; the cenotaph post-office dedicated to the memory of Bellot ; and other matters equally notable in the nar- rative. Four of the plates exhibit the exquisite delicacy and invention (as it would be called in a case of man's handiwork) of geometric pattern • The Last of the Arctic Voyages : being a Narrative of the Expedition in H.M.S. Assistance, under the command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, C.B., in search of Sir John Franklin, during the years 1852-'3-'4. With Notes on the Natural History, by Sir John Richardson, Professor Owen, Thomas Bell, J. W. Salter, and Lovell Reeve. In two volumes. Published by Reeve.
in snow-crystals, as seen in different grades of magnifying power,—a point which is evidently a favourite with Captain Belcher, and on which he offers numerous details of his own observations and those of scientific men; while eight other plates figure, with spirit and life-likeness, the col- lection of fish brought home by the Captain, with shells, crustacea, car- boniferous fossils, and bones of the ichtbyosaurus. Such, summarily glanced at, is the rich material accruing from the "Last of the Arctic Voyages," and submitted in the impressive intelli- gibility of form and colour.