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the ship, caught in the ice and helplessly drifted at the caprice of the wind or current, scarcely advanced to the eastward of Novaya Zemlya, but was taken away to the north and to the New Lands, which—as had been expressly stated—it was not an object to seek, it is clear that the word success' is used in a sense which must be regarded as to some extent conventional.
But the fact is that in all exploration, and in Arctic exploration more particularly, the object aimed at is so obscure, that any addition to our knowledge, and especially when it clears up previous misconceptions, is, more or less, a success. In this way the expeditions of Livingstone and Cameron in Central Africa have been considered successes, although they found the sources of the Congo, whilst looking for those of the Nile: in this way the Austro-Hungarian expedition has been called a success, although it discovered Franz Josef Land, unintentionally, unwillingly, and by stress of fortune, whilst striving to achieve the north-east passage; and it is still in the same way that we claim the English expedition which has just returned as a geographical success—not because the “ Alert' attained a higher latitude than any ship before had attained, nor because the advanced sledging party, under Markham and Parr, pushed farther to the north than even Parry's farthest in 1827, but because it has solved the question of the alleged extension of land to the northward beyond Robeson Channel, has traced the outline of the coast far to the west, far to the east, and perhaps most of all, because it has thoroughly disposed of that pet fancy of theoretical geographers—the Open Polar Sea.
This romantic fancy had been so thrust forward by imaginative writers, that many had pictured to themselves our ships sailing gallantly over a summer sea, or dressing, manning yards and saluting, as the meteor flag was hoisted at the very Pole. To such of course the expedition is a failure; but to those who considered the expedition as strictly one of exploration, a decided advance, such as has been made, in our knowledge of the geography and of the physics of the Arctic Sea, is a fair measure of success; not indeed a complete and most glorious success, as ill-advised partisans have endeavoured to maintain it, but a success which would have been generally considered satisfactory, were it not for an uneasy feeling that more might and should have been done; and that more was not done is beyond doubt due to the outbreak of scurvy amongst the men.
So far as reaching the Pole is concerned, Sir George Nares has told us that this in no way affected the result; and it is indeed clear that, scurvy or no scurvy, Markham and Parr could not have reached the Pole, a distance of 400 or more miles, at the rate they could travel over the old pack with the new name, though they might have won a few more minutes of latitude; and the extreme difficulties which beset Beaumont's route were altogether independent of the scurvy, which served only to endanger his return.
But it was assuredly the scurvy which hurried home the ships equipped to stay out another season. There is no doubt that in so coming home Captain Nares exercised a wise discretion; crews so enfeebled would have probably broken down during the winter, and could not be depended on for work in the following spring; to return was the only course which a prudent commander could adopt; the work of the expedition was cut short to save the lives of the men; and but for that necessity, we should probably have known, in the course of next year, what lies beyond Beaumont's Cape Britannia. As it is, we do not know ; Sir George Nares thinks Cape Britannia is the northern extremity of Greenland; Dr. Petermann thinks that it is not; both give. very good reasons, and we shall not know which is right till some one goes and sees.
British seamen, and for that matter Austrian seamen too, as this book shows, will do anything and dare anything for the honour of their flag, for advancement in their profession, for fame in the world; and these expeditions are greater tests of courage and endurance than the perils of naval war. But we confess that we feel great doubt whether it is right in a nation to expose some of the bravest and noblest of its sons to intolerable hardships, privations, and to death itself, for such results as these. It now appears that the attainable limit of Arctic navigation, or very nearly so, was reached by Parry fifty years ago. The most interesting discoveries made since that period have been effected by expeditions along the coast; and we very much doubt whether any benefits to science or to mankind would be gained by further attempts to penetrate the icy deserts and the
murky nights of the great Polar Sea.
ART. VII.-Life of William Earl of Shelburne, afterwards
first Marguess of Lansdowne, with Extracts from his Papers and Correspondence. By Lord EDMOND FITZMAURICE.
3 vols. 8vo. London: 1875–76. Lo ORD SHELBURNE, though one of the foremost statesmen of
the earlier half of the reign of George III., is less known to fame than any of his eminent contemporaries. Having served with distinction in the Seven Years' War, he quitted the profession of arms for political life at the commencement of the new reign, and at the age of twenty-four we find him in the confidence of Lord Bute, and the trusted friend of the first Lord Holland. He was afterwards admitted to the intimate counsels of Lord Chatham, who rarely trusted anybody ; he was the friend and the foe of Mr. Fox; and Mr. Pitt first took office as Chancellor of the Exchequer when Shelburne became head of the Government. Yet the name of Shelburne has come down to us conspicuous chiefly for an imputation of duplicity which has fastened upon it; a remarkable exception to the rule that contemporary slander leaves no permanent stain on a distinguished reputation. In an age of selfishness and corruption, when public men plotted and intrigued, abandoned and betrayed each other, it would be difficult to point at a single transaction in which Shelburne acted otherwise than with good faith and honour.
Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice has undertaken the task of redeeming the memory of his ancestor from unmerited obloquy by a plain and impartial narrative of his public life. The manuscripts at Lansdowne House, arranged by Sir James Lacaita, the papers of Lord Bute and of the first Lord Holland, together with other original sources to which he has had access, have furnished Lord Edmond with materials for an important and interesting book, not only to dispel the obscurity which has dimmed the reputation of an English statesman, but to shed new light on the history of the period in which he played so prominent a part. A considerable portion of the work consists of Shelburne's own accounts of the affairs in which he had been engaged, and of the characters of the public men with whom he had acted. The latter are frequently drawn with much point, but not always with historical indifference; but there should be no reason to doubt that Lord Shelburne's statements as to matters of fact are substantially accurate. The • Chapter of Autobiography' with which the first volume opens, is curious and interesting. It dates from his birth in 1737; but the biographical part of the chapter fills only twenty pages out of seventy-five. The rest consist of detached historical
sketches, and flying comments relating chiefly to the earlier years of the Hanover succession.
The first four years of Lord Shelburne's life were passed in the remotest parts of the south of Ireland, under the govern'ment of an old grandfather, who reigned, or rather tyrannised,
equally over his own family and the neighbouring country' (p. 1). Up to the age of fourteen the boy's education was neglected. • Arrived at the age of sixteen,' he writes, 'I had ' nobody to teach me and everything to learn, of which I was
fully aware; but I had, what I was not at all aware of, every' thing to unlearn.' At sixteen he went to Oxford; there, under the direction of a tutor whom he describes as a narrowminded man, he made some progress in his studies, and at the same time his father introduced him to Lord Chesterfield, Lord Granville, and other persons of distinction.
We next hear of Lord Fitzmaurice in 1757, an officer in Wolfe's regiment, distinguishing himself at Minden and at Kloster Kempen, rewarded with the rank of colonel and that of aide-de-camp to the King. This rapid promotion gave such umbrage to the Whig courtiers that the Duke of Richmond resigned his office in the Household from resentment that Fitzmaurice should have been preferred to his brother, Lord George Lennox, who had been equally distinguished. His staff appointment brought Lord Fitzmaurice into immediate contact with the Court, and he there found an opportunity of making his political fortune, which he seized with promptitude and dexterity. Lord Bute had undertaken the mission of emancipating the young King from the dominion of the Whig oligarchy which had hitherto held the House of Hanover in bondage. A more desperate enterprise could hardly have been conceived. Bute was connected with no party, he had no personal following, no popularity. He was a poor Scotch lord, known only as the Chamberlain, and the reputed favourite of the Princess Dowager. He had no political experience, and but a slender capacity. The Minister, on the other hand, a man of unrivalled abilities and strenuous will, was at the height of fame and power. He was supported by the strongest combinations in Parliament, and he had the country at his back. Called to power, as he proudly boasted, by the voice of the nation at a crisis of danger and disgrace, the 'great
Commoner' had secured its safety and restored its honour. The downfall of Pitt was therefore an indispensable preliminary to the policy of the Court. The career of military triumphs which had set in under his guidance must be stopped, and peace at any price must be obtained.
Such was the project which a half-educated young man, newly entered upon public life, undertook to promote! The first thing to be done was to secure the services in Parliament of some able, experienced, and unscrupulous partisan. There was one man of great courage and capacity, who in former years had coped, not always unsuccessfully, with Pitt; but, overborne at last by the ascendency of his rival, Henry Fox had retired from public life, pursued by public obloquy, and loaded with the spoils of office. But when the new reign opened a prospect of a change
policy, Fox evinced a desire to return to political adventure. There had been a connexion between Fox and Fitzmaurice's father. Early in 1761 Fox made an overture to Lord Bute through Fitzmaurice. A meeting took place accordingly, and a basis of negotiation was soon agreed upon. Fox was willing to do the work of the Court at a price ; and as that price involved no question of policy, but simply a personal bargain, there could be no real difficulty in effecting an arrangement. The details were entrusted to Fitzmaurice. Fox demanded a peerage for his wife by way of a retaining fee. Bute, by desire of the King, who was throughout his reign very chary of granting honours, tried to put him off with a promise that Lady Caroline should have a peerage at the first opportunity ; but Fox was not the man to be dealt with in this way; he threw out a significant hint that unless his terms were granted he could give only a general support to the new Ministry, and that a general support was tantamount to a half opposition.' This was sufficient; the peerage was granted, and soon after Pitt having been thrust out of office, Fitzmaurice was urging Bute, who had lately made himself Secretary of State, to assume the name as well as the position of Prime Minister. Fitzmaurice having succeeded
to the peerage on the death of his father, nominated Colonel Barré as his successor in the representation of the family borough of Chipping Wycombe. Barré was a great accession to the Court party, and shortly after he had taken his seat he opened the war by an insolent though powerful invective against Pitt. It was naturally supposed that Shelburne had instigated this attack, and it is not improbable that he was privy to it; but Barré had a private grudge against Pitt, who had neglected his application for promotion after the taking of Quebec. Barré afterwards became a staunch adherent and one of the few devoted personal friends of Chatham. Shelburne, though at this time firmly opposed to the Whig combination, which had so long monopolised power, affected to take an independent course in Parliament, and was