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number of recitals exceeds eighty, and many of them comprehend a variety of minute details. It would be endless, therefore, to attempt a summary or classification of all the circumstances recapitulated, both because their number is great and because almost every case seems to be marked by its own peculiar features. Accordingly, after having allotted a portion of our limits to a notice of the attempts made to winter in Greenland, and to a point in our own history which has excited some contradictory observations, we shall proceed to a more welcome topic, — we mean a consideration of the various expedients that have been proposed for the preservation of life in cases of shipwreck.
With regard to Greenland, several instances are recorded in these volumes of seamen being left behind by Dutch and English whale-ships. In some cases, the measure was volun-, tary, the Dutch merchants being desirous of ascertaining the practicability of establishing a permanent colony in that inhospitable region. The first attempt on the part of the Dutch was made in 1633, when seven of the stoutest and ablest men of the fleet consented, on certain conditions, to make a trial of passing the winter in St. Maurice's island in Greenland. Unhappily, scorbutic complaints made their appearance among them in the month of March, in consequence of the scarcity of fresh provisions; and the progress of the disease affecting the spirits of the men, and incapacitating them from exercise, they soon exhibited symptoms of rapid decay: so that, from the joint effect of the malady and the extreme coldness of the weather, they all expired towards the latter part of April, or the beginning of May. Their countrymen, re-visiting Greenland, according to annual custom, in summer, found only the dead bodies and a journal kept by the ill-fated party. - Another experiment made by the Dutch in the same year, in Spitz. bergen, was attended with a different result. The cold was here equally rigorous ; and, though the party left behind were provided with various accommodations, as a grate, a stove, and comfortable beds, they were frequently obliged to take violent exercise for the sake of warmth. Fortunately, they had laid in a stock of rein-deer, sea-fowl, and vegetables; all of which being fresh provision, they were preserved in health, and enabled to rejoin their countrymen in the ensuing summer. En. couraged by this success, the Dutch determined to repeat the experiment in the next year. Seven seamen were accordingly left behind, lodged in a warm hut, and provided with various comforts : but, having unhappily been inattentive to the prevention of scurvy, that dreadful disease began to appear towards the end of November, by which time it was too late to seek for green herbs. They were also not fortunate in their efforts to obtain fresh provisions by giving chace to bears and foxes, as these animals did not begin to approach the hut until the seamen had become too weak to manage their guns.
- The sun had disappeared on the 20th of October, nor was he seen again until the 24th of February, when the mariners were so weak as to be constantly confined to their cabins. Two days after, they ceased to be able to write, at that time expressing themselves in a journal thus: “ Four of us who still survive, lie flat on the floor of our hut. . We think we could still eat, were there only one among us able to get fuel, but none can move for pain ; our time is spent in constant prayer, that God, in his mercy, would deliver us from this misery : we are ready whenever he pleases to call us.".
Such is the rigour of the climate at Spitzbergen, that the putrefaction of a dead body is almost imperceptible. The bodies of these seven sufferers, having been deposited in coffins in the earth, with stones laid over them to preserve them from beasts of prey, were inspected about thirty years afterward, and found almost as entire as at the moment of their decease.
We are next to advert to a less melancholy narrative relating to a party of our own seamen, who were left accidentally in Greenland in the year 1630. Eight men having been sent ashore on 15th August, to hunt rein-deer, at a place called Green Harbour, were forced to remain, in consequence of their vessel being driven off the coast by the floating ice. In this alarming situation, their first step was to lay in a stock of rein-deer, as well as of bear's flesh; a precaution to which may be chiefly attributed the contrast afforded by their history and that of the unfortunate Dutchmen:
• A kind of hut had been erected by the Dutch in Bell Sound for coopers employed in the whale fishery, of which the mariners now took possession. It was eighty feet long, and fifty broad, consiste ing of timber, with roof of tiles : another smaller hut stood at some distance, which they took down for the purpose of building a compartment within the larger one. This, with considerable labour, was accomplished, and a quantity of wood laid in for fuel.
Meantime it was expedient to secure a sufficient store of prori. sions to serve the necessities of the people; and two sea-horses being observed asleep on the ice on the 14th of September, they were struck with harpoons. These animals proved to be an old one and its cub: but the latter, though the mother was dead, would not leave it, and continued swimming about until also killed by the mariners. They were carried ashore, skinned, and pieces of their flesh roasted.
As there was little chance of obtaining supplies, more than occasionally killing a straggling bear, an exact survey was made of all the provisions; and finding the quantity too small to last through the winter, the people agreed to restrict themselves to one reasonable weal daily
- To mend their clothes and shoes, which were all wore out or tore at the lapse of that period, they made thread of rope-yarn, and needles of whale-bone. The nights now began to grow very long, and the cold became so intense that the sea was quite frozen over. Fiom the 14th day of October the sun sunk entirely below the hori. zon, and, in the irksome time occasioned by his absence, the mariners had leizure to reflect on their friends, wives, and children at home, and their own desolate condition.
• They were still obliged to watch carefully over the extent of their stores; and, lest fuel might fail towards the end of the year, they daily roasted half a deer, which was put into casks that had also been found ashore. —
• The sun remained below the horizon, and perpetual night prevailed from the first of December until the first of January, when a kind of twilight began.'
As the new year commenced, the cold became more intense; and its severity gradually augmented, until blisters would rise on the people's fesh as if they had been burnt with fire; and if they chanced to touch iron, it would stick to their fingers like bird. lime.
• They had contrived to procure fresh water, which was discharged from a cliff under thick ice; but from the roth of January, nothing except snow-water could be obtained, until the 20th of May, from snow melted by hot irons.
. The weather being clear, though excessively cold, on the 3d of February the seamen were gladdened by the return of the sun, whose beams gilded the tops of the lofty mountains. On the same day a she-bear and her cub appeared, making their way directly to the hut, whereupon the people hastened to prepare their lances. Awaiting the approach of the animals, and then rushing against them, they killed the old one, but the cub escaped; she was quickly dragged into the hut, and, being flayed, served twenty days for fresh provisions. The people relished the flesh even more than venison. - Not less than forty bears visited the hut in the same manner, of which seven were killed, and afforded such an abundant supply, that the seamen enlarged their allowance to two, and sometimes three meals a day. The flesh was roasted on a wooden spit, and, by feeding so copiously upon it, they became much stronger; nor was this the only supply, for they caught fifty foxes, which were also roasted. Numbers of sea-fowl were likewise taken, and plenty of their eggs.'
• The mariners daily repaired to the top of a mountain when the weather would admit, trying to discover whether the open sea was in view, but nothing except ice had for long appeared. On the 24th of May, however, the same day that they hunted the deer, the ice seemed to have dispersed, but a strong easterly wind confined them on the twenty-fifth to their hut. Being all but one collected together to prayers in the smaller hut, they suddenly heard voices. Mutual explanations soon followed, from which the mariners discovered that two Hull ships had arrived in Bell Sound, where they obtained access by the wind driving out the ice the day preceding. The master of one knowing that some mariners had been left there, manned
a shallop, and gave the crew instructions to march over land, and endeavour to learn what had become of them. — The strangers were not a little astonished to see a number of people in rags, and quite blackened with smoke.'. After fourteen days ease and refreshment, the whole perfectly recovered their health, and, having embarked in different ships of the Aeet on the 20th of August, reached the river Thames in safety."
Having now concluded our observations on the inhospitable shores of Greenland, we shall proceed to advert to a particular circumstance in our own history. In the spring of the year 1682, the Duke of York, afterward James II., had a very narrow escape from death by shipwreck on his passage from the
Thames to Scotland. The vessel conveying him was the Gloucester man of war, Captain Sir John Berry, and the place of disaster was the sand about 12 leagues from Yarmouth, called the Lemon and Ower. Of three hundred persons on board, more than half perished ; and, as a number of friends of the Duke escaped, a report went abroad that partiality had been shewn in saving the passengers. Bishop Burnét goes so far as to say, “ The Duke got into a boat and took care of his dogs, and some unknown persons, who were taken, from that earnest care of his, to be his priests. The long boat went off with very few in her, though she might have carried off above eighty more than she did.”* It appears, however, that the Duke himself narrowly escaped, and had very little time to shew favour to any individuals in his suite. Sir James Dick, of Prestonfield, one of his followers, having stated that the ship struck at seven o'clock in the morning, adds the following particulars :
« The Duke and the whole that accompanied him were in bed when she struck; and the helm of the ship having broke, the helmsman was killed by the force of it. When the Duke had got on his clothes, lie inquired how matters stood, the vessel having nine feet water in the hold, and the sea running in at the gun.ports. All the seamen and passengers were not under command, from every one studying his own safety, whence the Duke was forced to go out at the large window of the cabin, where his little boat was secretly ordered to attend him, lest the passengers and seamen should have so thronged is upon him as to drown the boat. It was accordingly conveyed in such a way that none but the Earl of Winton and the Lord President of the Court of Session, with two of his bed-chamber men, (of whom one was afterwards Duke of Marlborough,) went with him, but were forced to draw their swords to keep the people off. We, seeing his Highness gone, did cause tackle out with great difficulty the ship's boat, whereinto the Earl of Perth got, and then myself, by
* Burnet's History, Vol. i. p. 523.
leaping off the shrouds into her: the Earl of Marchmont, after me, jumped in upon my shoulders, and then the Laird of Touch, with several others that were to row. Thus we thought the number sufficient for her loading, considering the sea run so high by a wind from north-east, and because we saw another boat close by the one containing the Duke overset by the waves, and the whole people in her drowned, except two who were observed riding on the keel.
• This made us desire to be gone; but before we were aware, twenty or twenty-four seamen leapt in upon us from the shrouds, which induced all the spectators and ourselves to think we were sinking; but having got out of reach, and being so crowded, prevented an hundred more from doing the like.'
• The difficulties and hazards of 11s that were in the boat rendered it wonderful that we should all be preserved: had it not been thought that our whole number should have been dead men, I am sure many ' more would have jumped into the boat above us, where we were so
thronged we had no room to stand.' · I was in my gown and slippers, lying in bed, when the ship first struck, and escaped in that condition.'
• When I looked back, I could not see one bit of the whole great ship above water, but about a Scots ell of the staff upon which the royal standard stood.'
After a long recapitulation of melancholy recitals, the compiler of this work proceeds to the more consoling topic of the means of saving life in cases of shipwreck. Every one who is liable to the casualties of the sea ought, he justly remarks, to acquire the art of swimming. Schools for that purpose have been lately established in France, and the acquisition of the art is neither tedious nor difficult. Various expedients for obtaining safety in shipwreck, by means of “ life-preservers," have been ascertained and described, many years ago : but the most simple of the whole is a small square frame of open wood, shaped so as to support the head and shoulders above water. This is adopted by the Chinese; and the bamboo, which they use, is from its lightness and buoyancy particularly fitted for the purpose. Fir, or other European timber, would not fail to fulfil the object of preservation : but the size of the machine must necessarily be larger. The cork jacket was invented, nearly seventy years ago, by Dr. Wilkinson, and was instrumental in saving the lives of many persons. It consisted merely of a canvas-jacket, with a quantity of cork sewed within or fastened to it. As an improvement on this contrivance, the public was next presented with the Marine Collar, or belt, with what was called the Marine Spencer The latter was particularly simple, being merely a girdle of six inches in breadth, drawn close under the arms, and fastened by a strap over each shoulder. Another strap, proceeding from behind and passing between the legs, was fastened to the Rev. AUG. 1814.