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ville Island, exploring in his way Sabine Island and Hecla and Griper Gulf, and determining the connexion of Byam Martin Channel with the Polar Sea. Lieutenant Osborne was exploring the coast of the Polar Sea at the same time, on its western side.
The North Star, Captain Pullen, passed the winter of 1852-53 on Beechey Island, in a most dangerous position. She was driven on shore by a violent gale, and remained there the whole winter, and was only got off last spring; luckily, it is said, without much difficulty or damage.
As late as the month of August, this year, M. Bellot having volunteered to lead a small party with despatches for Sir Edward Belcher, that gallant officer left the North Star with four men, a sledge, and an india-rubber boat, the ice being at that time still heavy in Wellington Channel. A sudden and unforeseen disruption of the ice took place, however, very soon after the departure of the party, and on the third day they came to open water, supposed to be off Cape Grinnell. M. Bellot tried to fetch land twice in the india-rubber boat, but without success. William Harvey, boatswain's mate, and William Madden, A.B., were more successful, taking a line with them in order to establish a communication with the shore. By this means three loads were landed from the sledge, when unfortunately the ice began to break up, moving from the shore, and M. Bellot, two men, and the boat and sledge, were drifted rapidly away. The men left on the floe with M. Bellot were Johnson and Hook. Johnson's account of what followed, under such fearful circumstances, must be given in his own words:
We commenced trying to draw the boat and sledge to the southward, but found the ice driving so fast; we left the sledge and took the boat only, but the wind was so strong at the time that it blew the boat over and over. We then took the boat with us under shelter of a piece of ice, and M. Bellot and ourselves commenced cutting an ice-house with our knives for shelter. M. Bellot sat for half an hour in conversation with us, talking on the danger of our position. I told him I was not afraid, and that the American expedition were driven up and down this channel by the ice. He replied, “I know they were ; and when the Lord protects us not a hair of our heads shall be touched.” I then asked M. Bellot what time it was? He said, “ About a quarter-past eight A.m." (Thursday, the 18th); and then lashed up his books and said he would go and see how the ice was driving. He had only been gone about four minutes when I went round the same hummock under which we were sheltered to look for him, but could not see him, and on returning to our shelter saw his stick on the opposite side of a crack, about five fathoms wide, and the ice all breaking up. I then called out “Mr. Bellot !" but no answer (at this time blowing very heavy). After this I again searched round, but could see nothing of him. I believe that when lie got from the shelter the wind blew him into the crack, and, his south-wester being tied down, he could not rise. Finding there was no hope of again seeing Lieutenant Bellot, I said to Hook, “ I'm not afraid ; I know the Lord will always sustain us." We commenced travelling, to try to get to Cape de Haven, or Port Phillips ; and, when we got within two miles of Cape de Haven, could not get on shore, and returned for this side, endeavouring to get to the southward, as the ice was driving to the northward. We were that night and the following day in coming across, and came into the land on the eastern shore, a long way to the northward of the place where we were driven off. We got into the land at what Lieutenant Bellot told us was Point Hogarth. (?)
In answer to a question as to how the survivors got on shore, Johnson replied:
In drifting up the Straits towards the Polar Sea we saw an iceberg lying close to the shore, and found it on the ground. We succeeded in getting on it, and remained for six hours. I said to David Hook, “Don't be afraid, we must make a boat of a piece of ice." Accordingly we got on to a piece passing. and I had a paddle belonging to the india-rubber boat. On being asked what became of the india-rubber boat, he replied, “It was left where Lieutenant Bellot was lost." By this piece of drift-ice we managed to reach the shore, and then proceeded to where the accident happened. We reached it on Friday. Could not find our shipmates, or any provisions. We then went on for Cape Bowden, and reached it on Friday night. We found Harvey and Madden there. They told us they were going on to the ship with the mail-bag. We rested that night in a miserable state, and in the morning got some bread and pemmican out of the caché, and after we had refreshed ourselves proceeded to the ship.
Thus it was that M. Bellot, who had endeared himself to every member of the Arctic expedition by his zeal, his gallantry, and his cheerful. ness, and more especially to the officers and crew of the North Star, who bad most of them served with him under the extraordinary difficulties which accompanied the exploring expedition of the Prince Albert, previously detailed in these pages, was lost to his country and to Europe. It is by such united labours in the cause of humanity that the cause of general peace and civilisation is best served. The men looked up to M. Bellot, although a foreigner, as a man they were always ready to follow ; and such an example of mutual confidence and friendly union ought never to be forgot by both nations.
The Phænir, Captain Inglefield, which has happily reached our own shores, had also its share of disasters. Being with its consort, the Breadalbane, off Cape Riley, on the 20th of August-a day which is noticed by Captain Pullen of the North Star, lying at the time off Beechey Island, as one of exceeding boisterousness — the ice closing obliged both ships to quit the cape before midnight, and in endeavouring to push the ships into a bight in the land Aloe the Phoenix touched the ground, but came off again immediately, without damage. The whole night was spent in struggling to get the ships into a place of security, but the ice drove both vessels fast to the westward, when, at 3.30 A.M. of the 21st of August, the ice closing all round, both vessels were secured to a floe edge, but with steam ready to push through the instant the ice should loosen.
Shortly, however, a rapid run of the outer foe to the westward placed the Phoenix in the most perilous position. Captain Inglefield ordered the hands to be turned up, not that aught could be done, but to be ready, in case of the worst, to provide for their safety; the ice, however, easing off, having severely nipped this vessel, passed astern to the Breadalbane, which ship either received the pressure less favourably, or was less equal to the emergency, for it passed through her starboard bow, and in less than fifteen minutes she sank in thirty fathoms of water, giving the people barely time to save themselves, and leaving the wreck of a boat only to mark the spot where the ice had closed over her. Anticipating such a catastrophe, Captain Inglefield says he got over the stern of the Phænir as soon as the transport was struck, and was beside her when she filled ; and he unhesitatingly states that no human power could have saved her. Fortunately, nearly the whole of the Government stores had been landed.
Having taken on board the shipwrecked crew, every precaution was used with regard to the safety of her Majesty's steam-vessel ; but it was not till the morning of the 22nd of August that they succeeded in getting her to a safe position in Erebus and Terror Bay, where the ship was again secured to the land floe.
Captain Inglefield describes himself as having obtained information on his way home of the existence of a most productive coal-mine, at a distance of twenty-five miles from the Danish settlement of Lievely Disco. The importance of such a discovery cannot be over estimated. With this we must conclude our notice of these recent brilliant discoveries ; but we shall wait for further details, more especially in connexion with the fate of her Majesty's ships Enterprise, Captain Collinson, and the Investigator and its gallant crew, with anxious interest. As it is, the record of the doings of the latter, and of the privations of her crew, as well also of the explorations of Sir Edward Belcher and his assistants, will add some most remarkable and heart-stirring pages to the now long annals of progress in Arctic discovery and research. Alas, that we cannot also say of succour to the long lost expedition! All the chances are increased by the negative results obtained by Captain M'Clure, that that expedition entered into the Polar Sea by Wellington Channel, and the habitations discovered on the shores of that sea by Sir Edward Belcher might possibly turn out to be a continuation of the traces discovered at Beechey Island.
BABALI AND THE PACHA.
BEING THE SECOND TALE OF MY DRAGOMAN.
BY BASIL MAY. BABALI the poet, philosopher, and dreamer, took a stroll, bent on stargazing. Babali was in advance of his age, bad outstepped the Maynooth doctors who said that the stars were so many balls of fire, and that the moon was no larger than a Dutch cheese. Babali had gone deeper into the matter; with head thrown back almost at right angles with his heels, arms crossed on his chest, and eyes distended, he had studied the moon, had been charmed with the good-natured expression of its broad physiognomy, grinning mouth, and benignant nose. From those signs he drew the conclusion that it must be a jolly world that smiled so pleasantly upon mankind. Babali was in one of his humours, ecstatic, foreign, detached from the outer world. Heedless of the deepening shades of night, not caring a pistachio for the khamsy which might surprise and overwhelm him, he pursued his course. How long he might have done so it is hard to say, but all of a sudden a violent pain of cramp at the nape of the neck dispelled his visionary speculations, and recalled him to himself.
“ Allah! Allah!" he exclaimed, wincing under it, and trying to bring his head forward to a perpendicular; but it had remained so long thrown back, the nerves had contracted, and it was some time before he could get it right again, or felt entirely free from a sensation of pain.
“ Allah! Allah! where are we?"
Where was Babali indeed? Above, the heavens ; below and all around, a desert-arid, wide. Babali had lost his way. He retraced his steps, walked back again, diverged to the right, to the left; went north, south, east, and west, all to no purpose; he could not find the right track. Bewildered, exhausted, panting, the nascent morn found him lying on the ground, his head resting on a mound of sand. Babali's hands were clasped, his travel-soiled and torn brodequins scarcely held to his feet, bleeding, sore. The blood had flown to his head, his lips were swollen, his tongue was parched, his eyes distended and fixed. There was a guttural sound in his throat-Babali was choking. Then he experienced a spasmodic sensation; his head rolled off the mound, and struck heavily on the ground, face downwards. He bled profusely at the nose, and this fortunate circumstance saved him. He sat up, gathered in his knees, and joined hands around them.
“ Oh, if I had but a donkey !” he exclaimed.
Babali pirouetted in the direction of the sound, and beheld a fat gentleman, with a long beard and many tails, leading an ass with a foal en croupe.
Now this fat gentleman happened to be a pacha, who was taking an early ride, and it chanced that the animal he rode, being enceinte, littered on the way. This sorely perplexed the worthy man, who valued his new-got treasure, so he placed it on its parent's back, and was fain himself to lead the elder beast.
Babali, believing in the interposition of a kind Providence, prepared to take his place by the side of the youngest member of the party, but the pacha, with a nervous hand, grasped him by the broadest part of his pantaloon, and held him back.
“Ah, dog! what wouldst thou? Art mad, to think of bestriding this poor ass. Take thou the foal on thine own shoulders and relieve the dam, or by Mohammet thou livest not to see to-morrow's sun."
Aghast, terrified, Babali staggered back.
“ Highness!” he cried, “I am worn out with travel-I can scarcely stand-dim shadows Ait before mine eyes; pity the poor blind man.'”
“Pity me no pities !” answered the pacha. “On with you; why starry yet awhile ?”
Now it was known far and near, that when the pacha quoted from the North Land savages it was no joking matter, and Babali fearing to provoke his ire shouldered the young ass and staggered onwards, as best he could, at the pacha's heels. In due time they reached the city, and having set down his burden at the pacha's door, the latter rewarded him for his pains and great suffering with a kick in his breech, adding:
“ Babali, oh thou fool! When thou callest upon Allah to send thee an ass, ask for a donkey that thou canst ride."
Poor Babali made the best of his way home, where he found his wife standing on the threshold of the door. He had strength enough left to throw himself into her arms, from whose embrace he was removed to be lain upon his bed, from which he did not rise for many days.
It was a fine night, just such another as that which introduced Babali to the reader. He was convalescent, and had gone out to breathe the
soft night air. Babali's cheek was pale, and step somewhat unsteady, yet he felt a strong inclination to roam.
“If I had but a donkey that I could ride!” he ejaculated, as he emerged upon the square.
“Babali, as I live !” exclaimed some one who heard the wish. * That's true, friend Mustapha,” rejoined Babali.
“Methought I heard thee wish thou hadst a donkey ?” continued Mustapha.
Verily thou heardest aright." “ And whither wouldst thou go?" inquired Mustapha. “ Merely a-roaming."
“ Listen to me, friend,” said Mustapha, falling into Babali's step, and walking by his side. “ Thou art a dreamer, and passest thy life in vain endeavours to unravel the mysteries which encompass us on every side, hoping to obtain a solution which will remove the veil from before the eyes of thy fellow-men. Hast thou never heard of that North Land compounder of drugs, whose wise maxim it was that where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise?" If a patient recovered, it was attributed to the virtue of his pills; if the patient died, it was that his time had come. Those there were who would know of what the pills were made, and then they lost all faith, and were never saved. Take my advice : accept the world and its anomalies as it is. Thy measure of life is threescore and ten. It will soon come round, friend; think of that, and let not the reflection intrude on thee at the eleventh hour that thy life has been a dream."
But Babali heeded him not; his eyes were raised to the canopy of heaven; his whole soul was absorbed in its contemplation.
* If I had but a donkey that I could ride !"
“ Allah hears the prayer of his faithful servant,” said Mustapha. “ My ass has been at grass for the last month. Command thy friend, and it shall bear thee whithersoever thou wouldst go.”
They had by this time reached Mustapha's dwelling, who took Babali by the arm and led him to the back of the premises, where there was an enclosed piece of ground whereon the donkey had enjoyed a month of rural freedom.
“ An airing will stretch its legs," said Mustapha; “mount thou him, therefore, and the spirit of the true Prophet attend and watch over thee."
Babali did not require a second bidding, but accepted the offer at once, and in a few minutes was journeying without the city.
“I will not stray from the path,” said Babali to himself ; “but being on assback will indulge in a long ramble. There is no fear of my getting tired.”
So saying, he slackened the rein on the donkey's back, letting him go his own pace, and gave himself up entirely to the study of the stars.
We are not quite sure that he had not made some satisfactory discovery, without the help of a telescope, tending to prove that the end of the world would be brought about by our running foul of one of the planets, when we should inevitably be split to pieces, not larger than those so-called thunderbolts which are occasionally picked up in the fields, but which never by any chance honour crowded cities with their presence. Babali's imagination had soared thus far above sublunary matters, when the cold