6 JUNE 1840, Page 14


Ir the reader take up a modern map, he will see the Northern coast of Asia distinctly laid down, whilst the survey of North Ame- rica is yet incomplete. Part of this arises from the higher latitude of the American Arctic regions, and their more inhospitable climate. a good deal is to be attributed to political and social circum- stances. The Russian Government is much nearer the shores of the Polar Sea than the English, and feels a closer interest in Si. beria than we can take in the wastes of the Esquituaux: the hardy habits of the Northern Russians fit them for exploring severe climates: the natives of the countries bordering the Polar Ocean are for the most part subject to the Czar, and the collection of their tribute and the settlement of their disputes in- volve the necessity of resident officers : above all, a regular trade is carried on with the inhabitants by annual caravans ; and before

the country was known, mercantile expeditious were tattler- taken with the view of realizing enormous profits in the terra incognita of the North. The only person who has ever yet been able to make a voyage by sea from the mouth of the river Kolyma, in Siberia, through the Polar to the Pacific Ocean, was a Cossack named SEMEN DESIINEW (1648) ; and his first motive was to bring back " 280 sable skins at least " from the banks of the Anadyr. But though he reached the mouth of this the first river which fills into the Pacific, and sailed through the straits to which BEIIRING subsequently gave his name, he was ignorant of the value of his exploit, or the nature of his discovery ; and it was only in consequence of a quarrel with some rival, which induced Bins to make a report to the authorities, that any trace of his voyage and name have been preserved. Although, however, by means of commercial journeyings sanc- tioned by Government, and of various expeditions undertaken by its authority, together with Comes survey of part of the coast beyond Behring's Straits, the boundary of Asia was laid down with suf- ficient general exactness, especially in a sea unnavigable from the ice, still the situation of places had not been fixed with rigorous accuracy. There were also reports, brought back by some travellers, of land distinctly seen across the Polar Sea; and thence the existence of a Northern continent was inferred by many. To ascertain the truth of this supposition, and to make an exact survey of the Asiatic coast along the Polar Sea, as well as of the discovered islands in it, the Emperor ALEXANDER ordered an expedition to be fitted out in 1820. It was placed under the di- rection of Lieutenants 1■VitAxam.r. and ANJOU; ANJOU undertaking the survey of the islands of New Siberia and Kotdnoi, and striving thence to cross the ice on dog-sledges in search of the alleged Polar land; WRANGELL surveying the continental coast, and also pushing across the Frozen Sea as far as he could in the most promising point. These employments occupied three entire years, 18.21-22-23; but it was not till 1839 that the publication of the particulars of their proceedings was (we suppose) permitted. The papers were then placed in time hands of M. ENGELHEART; who "drew up" from them an account of the expedition, in German, " tinder the edi- torial care of Professor RITTER, with time sanction of M. Voti IVRANcar.r., who himself' communicated the map which accompa- nied the publication." The original work has been translated by Mrs. SABINE, in a manner which appears to preserve all the cha- racter and raciness of the original narrative ; and she has had the good taste to condense it, as her husband informs us, " by the substitution of a more simple and concise style than is usual in German writing, and by the occasional curtailment of repetitions."

The volume whose origin and history we have thus deduced, consists of several distinct portions. It opens with an historical sketch of the expeditions undertaken at different times by the Russian Government or its subjects in Siberia ; which, though furnishing a complete view of the question, w ill be found some- what dry by those who have not possessed themselves with the geography of the country, and steadily bear in mind the points

at issue. The narrative of Vox WuAsonr.Cs expedition (for there is no account of ANJou's) consists of various sections. There is first his journey from St. Petersburg till his arrival at Nishne

Kolymsk, on the banks of the Kolyma, whence the expedition was

to start ; and his preparations for his departure. Next in logical, though not in chronological order, is the account of his three

sledge-journies over the frozen Polar Sea, in search of the Northern

land; and of his 'survey of the coast till lie reached the island of Koliutchen, five degrees of longitude beyond Coon's Cape North. There are then the particulars of a partial survey of the coast from the Kolyma westward, by the mate Rosmmx, and of a journey by VON MATIUSCHKIN to the great fair at Ostrownojc; where he met the 'I'schuktschi tribe, who travel train the extreme point of Asia, and cross Behring's Straits to America m search of furs and walrus-teeth, to barter for Russian commodities—spirits and tobacco not being forgotten. Besides these, there is a narra- tive of several land-journies undertaken in the summer, when the ice is broken up, to explore the country and examine its rivers ; together with VON WRANGELL'S observations on the climate and people, their mode of life, and the productions of their land. The expeditions were perfectly successful in surveying that whose existence was already known, but failed in determining the existence of the Northern land ; meeting invariably an open sea with drift-ice, utterly impassable for sledges, and we should conceive un- navigable.even in summer, from the floating hummocks or icebergs. But, though failing in one point, a great addition has been made to our geographical knowledge and to our interesting books of adven- ture. VON WRANGELL is not an every-day traveller, who skims over a country ignorant of its history and character, and too rapid in his movements to acquire any knowledge of the people. On the con- trary, he appears to have been selected by the Government for his natural aptitude and liberal accomplishments ; and he had full opportunity for their exercise in the long winters, when all nature is bound in icy chains, and nothing but a hard necessity leads people to travel; or in the short summer • it being only in the spring, when the weather is comparatively mild, but the ice yet firm, that a drive over the sea can be attempted. Besides knowledge and ob- servation, with a sufficient power of recording what he knows and sees, VON WRANGELL is a man of enterprise and courage willing to undergo toil, to run risks, and to endure privations which the sojourner in a temperate region can scarcely conceive. Compelled toto carry every thing with them in their travels over the ocean, yet every additional incumbrance detracting from their chance of success, and adding somewhat to their danger by diminishing their speed, they restricted themselves as much as possible both in food and conveniences. A small tent formed their only shelter from the snows and frost and bitter winds of the Arctic circle ; the little brandy they carried with them was reserved for me- dicinal purposes,—tea forming their only, as they seem to have found it their best refreshment; their titre was always limited, and what was worse, their fire dependent upon the accident of finding drift-wood,—which, however, in that region is generally. to be met with. Yet, such are the effects of habit, that we find them complaining that the heat incapacited them front exertion, when a clear sky and a wind from the South raised the temperature above freezing-point. Either VON WRANGELL'S own style is weighty, or the different revisions it has undergone by the compiler and the translator have produced a pregnant brevity, where there is much solid matter in little space. There is scarcely a page which does not contain something interesting in the description of nature or man, or some particulars of hardship or anxious adventure. Instead, however, of attempting to enumerate the different subjects that are handled in the volume, we will endeavour by a selection of extracts to present to our readers the most striking features of the expedition. We begin with the essential element of winter travel—


The dogs have much resemblance to the wolf. They have long, pointed, projecting noses, sharp and upright ears, and a long bushy tail; 001110 have smooth and some have curly hair; their colour is various—black, brown, reddish-brown, white, and spotted. They vary also in size ; but it is consi- dered that a good sledge dog should not be less than two feet seven and a i half inches in height, and three feet three quarters of an inch in length (English measure.) Their barking is like the howling of a wolf. They pass their whole life in

the open ; in summer they dig holes in the ground for coolness, or lie in the water to avoid the mosquitos: in winter they protect themselves by bur- rowing in the snow, and lie curled up, with their noses covered by their bushy tails. The female puppies ere drowned, except enough to preserve the breed, the males alone being used in draught. Those born in winter enter on their training the ffillowing autumn, and arc not used in long jimmies until the third year. The feeding and training is a particular art, and much skill is required in driving and guiding them. The best trained dogs are used as lead- ers, and as the quick and steady going of the team (usually of twelve dogs) and the safety of the traveller depend on the sagacity and docility of the leader, no pains are spared in their education ; so that they may always obey their master's voice, and not be tempted from their course when they come on the scent of game. This last is a point of great difficulty ; sometimes the whole team, in such cases, will start off, and no endeavours on the part of the driver can stop them. On such occasions we have sometimes had to admire the cleverness with which the well-trained leader endeavours to turn the other dogs from their pursuit ; if other devices fail, lie will suddenly wheel round, and by barking, as if he had come on a new scent, tee to induce the other dogs to follow him. In travelling across the wide tunara, in dark nights, or when the vast plain is veiled in impenetrable mist, or in storms or snow-tempests—when the traveller is in danger of missing the sheltering powarna and of perishing in the snow—he will frequently owe his safety to a good leader. If the animal has ever been in this plain, and has stopped with his master at the powarna, he will be sure to bring. the sledge to the place where the lint lies deeply buried in the snow; when arrived at it lie will suddenly stop, and indicate, significantly, the spot where his master must


The cold still continued, and the thermometer constantly indicated 58 deg. In such a temperature a journey in sledges would have been very disagreeable, but on horseback the actual sufferinr, is such as cannot well be imagined by those who have not experienced it. suffering from head to foot in stiff and cumbrous furs, weighing thirty or forty pounds, one cannot move ; anti under

the thick fur-hood, which is fastened to the h '

ear-skin collar and covers the whole face, one can only draw in, as it were by stealth, a little of the external air, which is so keen that it causes a very peculiar and painful feeling to the throat and langs. The distance from one halting-place to another takes about ten hours, during which time the traveller must always continue on horseback, AS the cumbrous dress makes it impossible to wade through the snow. The poor horses suffer at least ns much as their riders, for besides the general effect of the cold, they are tormented by ice farming in their nostrils and stopping their breathing; when they intimate this, by a distressed snort and a convul- sive shaking of the head, the drivers relieve them by taking out the pieces of ice, to save them from being suffocated. When the icy ground is not covered by snow, their hoofs often burst from the effiicts of the cold. The caravan is always surrounded by a thick cloud of vapour : it is nut only living bodies which produce this effint, but even the snow smokes. These evaporations are instantly changed into millions of needles of ice, which fill the air, and cause a constant slight noise, resembling the sound of torn satin or thick silk. Even the rein-deer seeks the forest to protect himself from the intensity of the cold ; in the tundras, where there is no shelter to be found, the whole herd crowd to- gether as closely as possible, to gain a little warmth from each other, and may be seen standing in this way quite motionless. Only the dark bird of winter,

the raven, still cleaves the icy air with slow and heavy wing, leaving behind him a long line of thin vapour, marking the track of his solitary flight. The influence of the cold extends even to inanimate nature ; the thickest trunks of trees are rent asunder with a loud sound, which, in these deserts, falls on the ear like a signal shot at sea; large masses of rock are torn from their ancient sites; the ground in the tundras and in the rocky vallies, cracks and forms wide yawning fissures, from which the waters which were beneath the surface rise, giving off a cloud of vapour, and become immediately changed into ice. The effect of this degree of cold extends even beyond the earth ; the beauty of the deep blue polar sky, so often and so justly praised, disappears its the dense atmosphere which the intensity of cold produces ; the stars still glisten its the firmament, but their brilliancy is dimmed.


As soon as the tent was pitched and the fire lighted, we hastened to fill the kettle with clean ice or snow, and to make it boil as soon as possible, for we all fbund tea our most welcome and strengthening refreshment. We generally drank ten or twelve cups each. Sometimes we had a piece of rye-biscuit or dried fish to eat with it.

Between tea and supper the sledge-drivers went out to attend and feed their clogs, which were always tied up for the night lest they should be tempted away by the scent of sonic wild animal. Meanwhile we were engaged in com- paring our observations, and in laying down in the map the ground which we had gone over in the course of the day ; the severe cold, and the smoke which usually filled the tent, sometimes made this no easy task. Supper always con- sisted of a single dish—soup, either of fish or of meat (as long as we had any of the latter.) It was boiled for us all in the Mille kettle out of which it was eaten. Soon after we bad finished our meal the whole party lay down to sleep ; on account of the cold we could not lay aside any part of our travelling- dress, but we regularly changed our hoots and stockings every evening, and hung those we had taken off with our fur-caps and gloves on the tent-poles to dry. This is MI essential precaution, particularly in respect to stockings, for with damp clothing there is the greatest risk of the part being frozen. We always spread the bear-skins between the frozen ground and ourselves, and the fur-coverings over ns ; and being well tired, we usually slept very soundly. As long as all the sledge-drivers continued with us, we were so crowded that

we had to place ourselves like the spokes of a wheel, with our feet towards the fire and our heads against the tent wall. Its the morning we generally rose at six, lit the fire, and washed ourselves before it with fresh snow ; we then took tea, and immediately afterwards dinner (which was similar to the supper of the night before.) The tent was then struck, and every thing packed and stowed on the sledges; and at nine we usually took our departure.


When our fire burnt up, the ice which incrusted the tent began to melt, and produced a close damp, which was so oppressive that, in spite of the cold, we were frequently obliged to go into the open air. The temperature sunk in the night to 37 deg., with a cutting wind from the South-west. In spite of our furs, we were several times under the necessity of warming ourselves by exer- cise. On the next morning M. Kosmin complained its quite an unusual man- ner of his feet. We advised him to change his boots and stockings, which he had omitted to do the night before. When the boots were taken off, we saw with no little alarm that the stockings were frozen to hi:. feet. After drawing them off with great care, we found a layer of ice of the thickness of a line in- terposed between the stockings and feet. Happily the latter had not yet frozen, and by gentle rubbing with a little brandy, they were soon restored. This ex- perience gave us a farther warning of the dangerous consequences in intense cold of sleeping in damp clothing, whether arising from external causes or from the evaporation from the skin.

The preceding extracts relate for the most part to terra firma ; let us pass to the Frozen Sea. The obstacles to progress there were threefold,—bare ice, which wore the runners of the sledges, and was less easy to pass over than hard snow ; hummocks or hillocks of ice, which were at all times difficult to traverse, involv- ing an ascent and descent, and when these were too precipitous requiring to be cut through; natural dangers from tempests, cold, and insecure ice.


Hitherto we had got on without much difficulty, except in passing the bum. mocks ; but now we came on a surface of ice, which, though smooth, was covered with sharp grains of sea-salt, which soon destroyed the ice-coating of our sledge-runners. They no longer glided smoothly along, and we were obliged to relieve the dogs of ouriveight. The ffirther we advanced, the more difficult our progress became. At eveq worst we found the snow more soft and damp, and the crust of salt thicker. The wind, which was from the E.N.E., rose more and more, bringing with it a thick fog, so moist that our fur clothing was soon wet through. All these circumstances indicated the vicinity of open water, and our situation became every moment more hazard- ous, as the gale continued to increase, and the thick mist which covered the whole horizon did not permit us to see where we were going. To advance fur- ther, therefore, was out of the question; to halt fur the night where we were, was almost equally so; the snow and ice were both so saturated with salt as to be quite undrinkable ; and on this fiat surface we had no point of refuge in the not improbable event of the ice being broken up by the storm. \Vhilst we were in this state of painful uncertainty, the mist lightened in the N. 35 deg. E. direction, sufficiently to allow us to perceive some hummocks at the distance of about a wrest. We basteued to them, and encamped under the shelter of a thick wall of ice, five fathoms in height, to await a favourable change of wea- ther. Here too the layer of snow, which was about a foot thick, was so min- gled with salt, that I thought it probable the ice might not be strong enough to afford us a secure foundation during the approaching storm : I had a hole therefore cut to examine its thickness, and was satisfied OR finding that it ex- ceeded 3 feet. The upper surface of the snow which was lying on the hum- mocks, supplied us with pure and good water ; that which was in immediate contact with the ice had a very salt and most unpleasant flavour. The storm continued to increase, and became extremely violent in the course of the night; our tent was torn by the wind, and might probably have been carried away entirely, if it had not been secured to the hummock by strong fastenings. * *

Meanwhile, the north wind increased in strength, and must have raised a considerable sea in the open water, as we heard the sound of the agitated clement beneath, and felt the undulatory motion of the thin crust of ice. Our position was at least an anxious else ; the more so, as we could take no step to avoid the impending danger. I believe few of our party slept, except the dogs, who alone were unconscious of the great probability of the ice being broken up by the fbrce of the waves.

A niswria. DRIVE.

The hummocks to the north of us now becoming absolutely and entirely im- passable, we tried to take a W.N.W. direction : but after making about eight wends, we came to an open space at least five wersts across, and only covered by a thin crust of ice, which from its perfect smoothness we knew to be just formed. Going round the opening was out of the question, for it extended

further than the eye could reach, from W.N.W. to E.S.E. We halted for the night near the margin ; the depth of water was 1914- fathoms, the bottom mud and sand.

Our first care on the morning of the 21st was to examine the possibility of further advance ; beyond the fissure near which we stood, the hummocks ap- peared to be of old formation, and less steep and crowded, so that we might hope to find them passable if we could but reach them. This, however, could only be done by trusting to the thin ice of the channel, and opinions were divided as to the possibility of its bearing us. I determined to try, and the adventure succeeded better than could have been hoped for, owing to the inerediby swift running of the dogs, to which, doubtless, we owed our safety. The lead- ing sledge actually broke through in several places, but the dogs, warned no doubt of the danger by their natural instinct, and animated by the incessant cries of encouragement of the driver, flew so rapidly across the yielding ice, that we reached the other side without absolutely sinking through. The other three sledges followed with similar rapidity, each across such part as appeared to them most promising ; and we were now all assembled in safety on the north side of the fissure. -It was necessary to halt for a time, to allow the dogs to recover a little from their extraordinary exertions.


After driving only three worsts, we found our old track completely obli- terated by fresh hummocks and fissures, which rendered our advance so difficult that we were at last forced to abandon a part of the stores which we carried. After toiling on for two worsts more, we found ourselves completely surrounded by lanes of water, opening more and more, until, to the west, the sea appeared

completely open with floating ice, and dark vapours ascending from it obscured the whole horizon. To the south we still saw what appeared a plain of ice, but it consisted only of larger fragments, and even these we could not reach, as we were seperated from them by a wide space of water. Thus ant Won every side, we awaited the night with anxiety ; happily for us, both the sea and the air were calm, and this circumstance, and the expectation of a night- frost, gave us hope. During the night, a gentle breeze sprung up from the W.N.W., and gradually impelled the ice-island on which we were towards the east, and nearer to the larger surface before-mentioned. In order to get over the remaining space, we hooked with poles the smaller pieces of ice which floated about, and formed with them a kind of bridge, which the night-frost cemented sufficiently to admit of our crossing over upon it before sun-rise on the 27th. We bad hardly proceeded one worst, when we found ourselves in a fresh labyrinth of lanes of water, which hemmed us in on every side. As all the floating pieces around us were smaller than the one on which we stood, which was seventy-five fathoms across, and as we saw many certain indications of an approaching storm, I thought it better to remain on the larger mass, which offered us somewhat more security ; and thus we waited quietly what- ever Providence should decree. Dark clouds now rose from the west, and the whole atmosphere became filled with a damp vapour. A strong breeze sud- denly sprung up from the west, and increased in less than half-an-hour to a storm. Every moment huge masses of ice around us were dashed ngainst each other, and broken into a thousand fragments. Our little party remained fast on our ice island, which was tossed toand fro by the waves ; we gazed in most painful inactivity on the wild conflict of the elements, expecting every moment to be swallowed up. We had been three long hours in this position ; and still the mass of ice beneath us held together, when suddenly it was caught by the storm, and hurled against a large field of ice; the crash was terrific, and the mass beneath us was shattered into fragments. At that dreadful moment, when escape seemed impossible, the impulse of self-preservation implanted in every living being saved us. Instinctively we all sprang at once on the sledges, and urged the dogs to their full speed ; they flew across the yielding fragments to the field on which we had been stranded, and safely reached a part of it of firmer character, on which were several hammocks, and where the dogs hit- mediately ceased running, conscious, apparently, that the danger was past. We were saved ; we joyfully embraced each other, and united in thanks to God for our preservation from such imminent peril. The name of SABINE is known in connexion with Northern dis• coveries; and we are by no means sure that one motive to the translation of this volume, though operating unconsciously, may have been a desire to excite the fitting-out of a somewhat similar expedition on the part of England. If so, the plan would be this—to start from a northernmost point of the American conti-

nent; to sledge it across the ice as far as possible ; and then to embark in such vessel as could be conveyed over the Frozen Ocean, and steer direct for the Pole. At all events, the editor in

his preface quotes a passage from WRANGELL to the effect that his further progress was always checked by the " melancholy " spec- tacle of the ocean; and goes en to remark that it would not be " melancholy " to those whose advance depended upon " naviga- tion." What sort of a sea VON Wnalsonu. met, shall be described in his own words on two different journies.


At the end of six hours, M. Von Matiuschkin returned. 11e had passed high and very difficult hummocks, and had crossed wide fissures ; notwithstanding which, ire had been enabled, by the lightness of his sledge, to accomplish tea worsts in a due north direction, when all further advance was stopped by the complete breaking up of' the ice, and a close approach to the open sea. Ile had seen the icy sea break its fetters; enormous fields of ice, raised by the waves into an almost vertical position, driven against each other with a dreadful crash, pressed downwards by the force of the foaming. billows' and reappearing again on the surface covered with the torn-nip green mud, which everywhere here forms the bottom of the sea, and which we had so often found on tine highest hummocks. On his return, M. Von Matinschkin found great part of the track he had followed already gone, and large spaces which Ire had just traversed were now covered with water

Till noon on the 23d. March, we had clear weather, with a light breeze, which, towards the afternoon, became fresh, with gathetang clouds ; while from N.W. to N.E. the horizon was covered by the dense Vac vapour which, in these regions, always indicates open water. Notwithstanding this sure token of the impossibility of proceeding much further,. we continued to go due north for about nine worsts, when we arrived at the edge of tun immense break in the ice, extending east and west further than the eye could reach, and which at the narrowest part was more than 150 þs across. The sharp westerly wind was widening the gap, and the easterly current was running at the rate of a knot and a half. We climbed one of the loftiest ice-hills, whence we ob- tained an extensive view towards the north, anal whence we beheld the wide immeasurable ocean spread before our gaze. It was a fearful and magnificent, but to us a melancholy spectacle ! Fragments of ice of enormous size floated on the surface of tine agitated ocean, and were thrown by the waves with awful violence against the edge of the ice-field on the further side of the channel before us.. The collisions were so tremendous, that large masses were every instant broken away; and it was evident that the portion of ice which still divided the channel from the open ocean would soon be completely destroyed. Had we attempted to have ferried ourselves across upon one of the floating pieces of the ice, we should not have found firm footing upon our arrival.

Even on our own side fresh lanes of water were continually forming eel extending in every direction in the field of ice behind us. We could go lie further.

When large sums are to be squandered on vain schemes fur co. Ionizing the interior of Africa, with the sacrifice, at a moderate emu. putation, of the lives of' two-thirds of the unfortunates who shall embark in the project, there can be no reasonable argument brought forward against an enterprise of this nature, which is certain to advance science, and would it' successful redound to the glory of the country. To reach the Pole, and to discover the North.

"the hdifficultiese only hi thing tleimfte west Passage, was a deeply-seated natural feeling; "it is," said a seaman of England's heroic age, (when the world had been circum- navigated, and its grand regions mark.d oButui

for a man to do to distinguish indicated plan are very great. We cannot conceive that any vessel, which could be drawn across the ice that bounds the coasts of the Polar Ocean, could safely navigate an ice-studded sea such as is described in the above extracts ; nor would the American shore furnish the same advantages to start foul, as the settled country of Northern Siberia.

As regards a Northern continfnt, all that can be said with cer- tainty is, that the expedition saw nothing of it. This is the best and latest evidence on which its existence rests- " Kamakai, was a very civilized person in his own way. When I had told him the object of our journey, and had apparently succeeded in satisfying him that we had no designs against him and his people, but that we were cause to examine the form and situation of' their coast, and to learn by what route Russians could best bring them tobacco and other articles for barter, head only gave me an accurate description of the limits of his country, which ex. tends from the great Baranicha to Cape North, but he also drew for us with a piece of burnt wood the form of Cape Seliclag,skoi, which he called Eeri,-- Arautan Island, which was correctly represented both as to furm and posi- tion,—and another island to the east of the Cape, which we afterwards found there. He further assured its positively, that there was no other island along the coast. When I asked hint whether there was ally other land to the North beyond the visible horizon, he seemed to reflect a little, and then mid, that between Cape Erni (Sehelagskoi) and Cape Ir-Kaipij, (Cape North,) there was a part of the coast where,from suns rip ',par the mouth of' a river, one might in a clear summer's day descry snow- corered mountains at a great distance to the north, bat that in winter it was impossible to see so far. tic said that for- merly herds of rein-deer sometimes came across the ice of the sea, probably from thence, but that they had been frightened back by hunters and by wolves; that he bad himself once seen a herd returning to the north in this way, in the month of April, and that he had followed them in a sledge drawn by two rein- deer, for a whole day, until the rugged surface of the ice forced Infra to desist. Ills opinion was, that these distant mountains were not on an island, but on an extensive land, einillar to his own country. Ile hod been told by his father, that a Tschuktschi elder had once gone there with a few followers, in large Battlers, or boats, made of skin, but what they found there, or whether they ever returned, he did nut know. Still Ire maintained that the distant 'anthem land was inhabited, and adduced as a proof of it, that sonic years ago it dead whale had been found at Manton Island, pierced by spears pointed with slate, and as the Tschuktschi do not use such weapons, he supposed that the whale must have been wounded by the inhabitants of the Northern land."

The reports of barbarians on geographical facts have frequently been found correct ; and it is probable the chieftain spoke truth according to his belief. But optical delusions in those high lati- tudes are of constant occurrence—the expedition followed one for many hours, which had all the appearance of mountains. When the point indicated by the chieftain was reached, no land could be discerned ; and if land actually exists, it may only be an island, similar to several others in that part of the Frozen Ocean.