16 FEBRUARY 1850, Page 12


Panoramas have been exhibited before of the icy regions in the extreme North. More than thirty years ago, if we remember rightly, Spitsbergen was displayed to the London visitant—a day scene at midnight : Arctic expeditions have brought back the scene to Leicester Square. Some fif- teen years ago, when Sir James Clarke Ross returned from his discovery of the Magnetic Pole, Boothia was- presented in the frozen dreariness of an Arctic night-winter ; and now we again see the same commander in the Arctic seas. The general character of such regions is of course in a considerable degree the same, but as yet its varieties have been by no means exhausted; and in the present instance a new arrangement in- creases the variety. The largest of the circles in Mr. Burford's rooms is parted in two, by a red curtain, dividing summer and winter. On the first side you see the ships Investigater and Enterprise in the waters of Glacier Harbour' on the coast of Greenland. This part of Greenland probably consists of islands, consolidated by the perdurable ice, of which an enormous glacier forms the back to the view • a few primitive rocks raising their vast shoulders above the frozen I:1st:form : this glacier extends far along the coasts of Greenland, and is int some parts thousands of feet thick. Im- mense icebergs are floating in the harbour in the glassy waters ; their forms varied with every graceful and fantastic device that Frost; can in- vent, mostly in his pointed style of architecture ; but the style varies indeed, from the pure Saxon ex& of a cavern excavated in the transitory rock of solid water, to the cathedral stall with its fretwork and hanging canopy. The Investigator is half hidden by a vast rock of ice; the crew of the Enterprise is engaged, under its own captain, Sir James Ross, in pre- paring to tow the ship out of its nook. The glassy waters reflect the varied tints above; the Northern sky blushes with a crimson glow pecu- liar to these regions : it is a picture of surpassing interest and beauty. Going through the curtain, you are in the midst of Arctic night : the ships frozen up ; the crews, clothed in their fur habiliments, strewed over the frozen ice-shore; the sky radiant with a watery moon and the spark- ling aurora. The aurora here is ranged in more systematic strips than we remember to have seen, either in other pictures of it or in nature so far as it can be witnessed in more temperate region.s ; its colour also is less yellow and more uniformly pink than the guide-book itself describes. We conjecturally impute this to defective artistical skill on the part of Lieutenant Browne, who furnished the drawings : smaller sketches from his hand are in the room, in a dry hard manner, nearly destitute of picto- rial effect, but looking like exact transcripts : Messrs. Burford and Se- kus probably had excellent materials for the substantial parts of their picture; the moon is a familiar object in England; but we suspect that Mr. Browne's diagram of the aurora was not so easily translated. Still the picture is, like the other, beautiful and interesting. The men are engaged in making the snow wall which afforded exercise in the building and then shelter against the wind and blinding snow; they are trapping white foxes, and preparing the transport of the provisions stored at Whaler's Point for the use of Franklin's party. In this group is a por- trait of Captain Bird.