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THE HOME AMID THE SNOW.-A-'" .Q6-
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THEHOME AMID THE SNOW;OR,WARM HEARTS IN COLD REGIONS.A, Iale of arctic gife.BYCHARLES EDE, R.N.LONDON:T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.1873.
Chap. PageI. TILE EXILES' HOME ... ... ,* ***II. THE MESSMATES ... ... ** ... 19III. THE FIRST LETTER ... ... .. 32IV. THE SURFACE NET ... ... ... **. 42V. THE ESQUIMAUX HIT ... 57VI. THE LOST BOAT ... ... *... COVII. MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY ... ... ** 74VIII. THE DISAPPOINTMENT ... .. ... 102IX. THE CLOSING OF THE ICE ... -- *.. 113X. THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE ... .. ... 131XI. DAVIE'S NARRATIVE ... ... .,. 100XII. THE RESCUE ... ... .. ... 179XIII. FRIENDS IN DENMARK ... ... ... ... 190XIV. THE END ... .. ... ** *. 198
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h-OTHE HOME AMID THE SNOW.CHAPTER I.THE EXILES' HOME.N the western coast of Greenland thereis a Danish settlement, called Upper-navik, part of which is formed by afew straggling huts belonging to theEsquimaux. The whale-fishermenOccasionally touch there during thesummer, and ships from Denmark makeperiodical visits, bringing supplies for the littlecolony, and carrying away the spoils of thechase. But for these arrivals, the life of theEuropean residents would be too solitary, evenfor the Moravian missionary, who holds theS chief position in Uppernavik.Some years before the opening of my nar-AL
8 THE EXILES' HOME.rative, Wilhelm Miller had undertaken thecharge of the station. He was rather abovethe middle height, powerfully made, temperatein mind and body, with a simple, truthfulmanner, admirably suited to the race he had solong striven to christianize. His undauntedcourage enabled him to bear patiently thedangers and sufferings incident to his respon-sible position. Miller united the learning ofthe scholar with the vigour of the sportsman,and to his skill in the use of the rifle thesettlers were indebted for many a plentifulmeal of reindeer flesh.The Esquimaux looked up to him as afather, and in all their troubles sought hisadvice and assistance.Miller was a widower, and with him re-sided his only daughter. She was about six-teen years of age, tall, and elegantly formed,with all the golden beauty of the pure Scan-dinavian. Gentle, kind, and playful, her everready smile and earnest manner endeared herto the hearts of the neighbours. Silena wasbrought into frequent communication with thenatives in her endeavour to assist and instructthem; and this, the more often, as winter ap-
THE EXILES' HOME. 9preached, when extreme cold prevented thepursuit of reindeer; hence, she became ac-Y -- -,FLOATING ICEBERGS.quainted with their superstitions, harmless inthemselves, but little in keeping with thetenets of her religion.Brought up by her father, and sharing with"him the privations of a distant colony, shewas rendered fearless of physical danger, with
10 THE EXILES' HOME.a resolution in difficulties far beyond her age,and strangely at variance with her delicateappearance.In the evenings of their short summer, whenthe sun skirts the horizon without dippingbelow it, Miller, seated at the door of thehouse, would call Silena to him, and bid herread aloud one of the stirring tales from theold voyagers, who had first coasted the roughand perilous shores of Greenland. He admiredthe bold truthfulness of their accounts, andhis blood warmed as he read their glowingdescriptions of vast fields of snow, and hugeicebergs floating statelily among the whirlingwaters.His daughter read with eagerness the tra-ditions of the colonization of Greenland by theNormans, and never tired of their chivalrousadventures.It was on one of these occasions that theirattention was attracted by the shouts andgesticulations of a half-bred native, who cametowards them, as fast as his cumbersome seal-skin dress would permit. Interruptions werenot unfrequent, for Miller, as the arbiter ofthe village, was appealed to at all hours; vio-
THE EXILES' HOME. 1 Ilent exclamations were, however, very unusual,the Esquimaux having learned to approachtheir benefactor with propriety.BEARS BREAKING INTO THE CACHES.The man proved to be Calleharona, a veryworthless character; nevertheless, a most ex-pert hunter. Although useful for his readinessand activity, he could not be safely trusted,as he was not given to speak the truth; and,in spite of the governor's care, seemed to bebut little improved in this particular..
] 2 THE EXILES' HOME."Bring the rifle," was all he could findbreath to say, as he drew near.When le had somewhat recovered himself,he stated that the bears were breaking into thenative caches, or stores of provision; and thatthe men were absent in pursuit of reindeer.They could now hear the indistinct soundsof women's voices, and the yelping of dogs inthe distance.Miller entered the house to procure hisrifle, and started with the bearer of the newsin quest of the marauders.Silena remained for some minutes watchinghis departure, and then turned to admire theinexpressibly grand scene, stretching awayseaward. The huge icebergs, interspersedwith broad floe pieces, were moving south-ward, in solemn state, mimicing, in their variedforms, the towers, spires, and steeples of somefair city-the thousand dazzling reflections,from their surfaces, filling the opaline shadowswith mysterious light.Further off, and upon the horizon, themagical mirage played with the moving masses,raising them high in the air, inverted, dis-torted, and multiplied. No words can de-
THE EXILES' HOME. 13_ .r.___ ,_ -- I,,,,, ,,, ', '__ ,,_ -IF SPIRES OF ICE.scribe, no colours can convey the effect ofthat changing panorama, that natural kaleido-scope.
14 THE EXILES' HOME.Those travellers, who have wandered throughthese sublime fastnesses of the world, haveacknowledged their awe-inspiring grandeur,and have marvelled at the inexhaustible beau-ties of creation, as showing forth the glory ofthe Creator.Silena was soon interrupted in her reverieby the approach of their only servant." I cannot tell how it is we have not thoughtof the winter furs, Miss, they will not do foranother season.""You are so good a manager, dear Gott-frieda, that we leave them to your care. Iwill, with pleasure, look them over with youwhenever you can find time."" I do not like to take you away from yourfather. Poor man he has need of some oneto cheer him, amidst this pack of idle fellows,who only make work for him. They mighthave left one or two of their lazy men toguard the cach6, instead of trusting to chance.""The bears do not often come so close toour dwellings, Gottfrieda.""Nevertheless," urged the woman, "masteris to be pitied. There is not a sorrow in thecountry but he is expected to bear the half of
THE EXILES' HOME. 15it upon his great brave shoulders. If I werethe governor for a week, there would be achange before the end of it, I promise them."Gottfrieda Swabbe was a privileged servant.She had left Copenhagen with the family, andhad been faithful to its members throughmany years of trial After the death of hermistress, she had carefully nursed Silena, andadministered the affairs of the household withdiscretion. To a merry blue eye, and a quietcast of feature, she added a thoroughly kindheart; and but for a slight quickness of tem-per, not unlike the sudden splash of a stonethrown into a smooth pond, making a greatnoise and commotion for the moment, thengradually passing back to its old state of re-pose, in wider and wider circles, she wouldhave been faultless in her station."The time has nearly arrived for the re-turn of the ship from Denmark," remarkedSilena, "and then for more news from home;although too young to remember when we left,I shall always think of it as my home."" Yes, you were very young, and as I carriedyou down to the boat, many a tearful eye wasupon you. I look forward to the news from
16 THE EXILES' HOME,the old country with dread, for every yearbrings tidings of some one of my early acquaint-ance having passed away. I fear there willnot be very many of those who knew me re.maining when we return.""Why are you sad to-day, Gottfrieda ?These forebodings are not usual; it was neveryour wont to meet sorrow half-way, and that,half-way to Denmark.""Aye, but to be so long in this dreadfulcountry, living in the hope of meeting withkind friends, and then to hear of their dyingwithout my receiving another pleasant smilefrom them, or even a word, to say I was re-membered. Each year, I feel, one has less tolive for, and that will make the parting easierI am too old to form new friendships."" Hark there is the crack of the rifle, theyhave found the bears without much trouble."" Your ears are quick, Gottfrieda, for thatshot was some distance from us. I do hopethe poor dogs will not suffer as they did at thelast hunt.""I hope not, poor things. Will the limejuice come by the next ship ? ""Yes; we are to have double the quantity
THE EXILES' HOME. 17this year, and preserved milk in addition, asthe natives had scurvy so badly during thelast season."" Is it true, Miss, that the vessel will remainmore than a twelvemonth in this country ?""We have heard so, as it is not possible tocomplete the survey under that time; and,unless any unforeseen circumstance shouldarise, it is likely they will choose this harbourfor their winter quarters; if so it will be apleasant change for us, with such limitedsociety as we possess."After an hour's sharp walk Miller drewnear to the manse, and found Silena comingto meet him."We have been fortunate to-night, mydaughter," he said, as he walked by her side." Two of the largest bears seen here for manymonths have been secured, and to-morrow themen will bring in the skins."" Gottfrieda and I only heard one report,how, then, did you kill two bears?""The first shot you heard was at the largestcache, where I had no trouble in shooting thefirst animal, he was so gorged with food hehad no power to run away. The second(42) 2
18 THE EXILES' HOME.reached the floe, and was only brought to astand by the dogs at a considerable distancefrom the village, and, as the wind was blowingfresh from the south-west, you might not haveheard me fire a second time. Let us to supper,the walk has improved my usually good ap,petite. One of the natives said, as we camealong, that he had seen a big ship in the mirage,to the southward; if so, we shall have visitorsin the morning."Their meal of cakes and deer-flesh was uponthe table when they reached the house. Miil-ler said his customary benediction, and pro-ceeded to do justice to the light and whole-some meat. The conversation turned uponthe expected arrival from Denmark, and thehope of good news."What a luxury to these exiles, to receivethe intelligence of a whole year, and to poreover the papers and letters from their friends!It was the only link that bound them to civi-lized life.
THE MESSMATFS. 19CHAPTER II.THE MESSMATES.HEN the world is new to us, welook upon our fellow-creatureswithout distrust, and form friend-Sships with greater readiness andWith less inquiry as to the stabi-lity of the foundation upon whichthey are based than in after years, whenmany of our early acquaintances and friendshave resolved themselves into mere passers by,to whom we bow without any further greetingbeyond the formal salutations common tosociety. The freshness and brilliancy of life issubdued by the experience we gain; and if welose half the glitter, we have at least the solidsatisfaction which more than compensates; butwhen, by time, the friend of our youth is boundcloser to us, for his tried and sterling quali-ties, we build around him our hopes and plea-sures, clinging with as much certainty to our
20 THE MESSMATES.faith in him, as the spider to the glisteningthreads he has so long and carefully cherished.repairing by renewed attention, those that haveyielded and become weakened from the casual-ties of time.The mirage which acted as a natural tele-graph to the people of Uppernavik by reveal-ing the approach of the vessel coming fromDenmark, is best explained by the trick of thecoin in the empty basin being rendered visibleto the eye of an observer, who has retreatedfrom it so as to hide the piece of money belowits edge, when water is poured into it. Thedifferent density producing refraction, the ob-ject appears lifted above its real site, so, whena south-westerly wind laden with vapour fromthe Atlantic, occupies the lower stratum of air,while the upper is free from moisture, the ship,like the coin, comes into view; and thus the daybefore its actual arrival, they had really seen thevisitor at a distance where it would have beenotherwise invisible. In this vessel was WalterManfred, an Englishman by birth, but servingin the Danish navy, which he entered whenvery young; and Karl Petersen, a Dane.They had been many voyages together, and
THE MESSMATES. 21were about the same age. From the know-ledge thus acquired of each other by the closeintimacy the confinement within the smallspace of a man-of-war necessitates, a sincerefriendship had arisen, founded partly on esteemfor each other's good qualities, and from theirsimilarity in habits and education. They werenicknamed by their messmates, " The Insepar-ables."Walter's features were large and bold, indi-cating power and strength of purpose. Thepenetrating glance of his keen, dark eye, re-minded one of the steady, undaunted gaze ofa mastiff when watching the approach of afriend or foe. He had a rolling gait, butsufficiently elastic to deprive it of the slouchingindolence generally accompanying the habit.The great breadth of his chest and muscularityof his limbs, gave a heavy, awkward characterto his person.Karl was decidedly handsome, with delicateregular features, freed, however, from effemi-nacy by their marked intellectual expression.His amiability was rendered particularly attrac-tive by the activity of his mind, and the giftof ready conversation. His education had been
22 THE MESSMATES.carefully promoted by the choice of excellentmasters.Karl was taller than his friend, but of slighterconformation, making up for his inferiorstrength, by the agility arising from the frequentuse of gymnastic exercises. The gentleness ofthe one almost precluded any quarrel that mighthave arisen from the quick temper of the other;their friendship had never been interrupted bycoldness or dispute. After going several voy-ages together, they were appointed to a survey-ing vessel bound for the coast of Greenland.The officers are selected for these expeditionsfrom their fellows, for those qualities most likelyto ensure the successful results anticipated bythose in authority. Petersen had been chosenfor his scientific attainments, and Manfred forhis consummate seamanship and self-possessionunder difficulties. The novelty of the cruiseattracted many candidates, and it was withunalloyed pleasure our heroes found themselvesgazetted to the same ship. The young menhad advanced rapidly in their profession. Thecaptains with whom they had sailed possessedthe utmost confidence in them, so that if im-portant enterprises were to be undertaken, the
THE MESSMATES. 23services of one or other were enlisted, and thusthey were constantly placed in positions wherethey had opportunities of distinguishing them-selves above the majority of their shipmates.In the conscientious performance of our duty,we lay the foundation of our future career ofglory and happiness. We too often attributeto good fortune the rise of those who haveattained the highest eminence, instead of trac-ing it back to its real source, the care withwhich the first steps in life are taken.The corvette employed on this survey wascalled the Fulmar. The name was appropri-ately chosen from one of the strong-winged sea-gulls frequenting the northern ocean, whoseuntiring pinions bear it over the roughest seas,and against the violent gales prevailing there,and rendered more difficult to combat by com-ing from the eternal glacier. She was light,and strongly built, capable of encountering theheaviest storms with the same immunity asher living namesake. As with a fair wind sheneared the coast of Greenland, a natural curio-sity was excited in those who, for the first time,sailed in these waters to catch the first glimpseof the ice; a few days served to familiarise them.
24 THE MESSMATES.The dark brown hills partially covered withsnow, strangely belied the name given tothe country by the early navigators, Green-land.Flocks of small birds about the size of afieldfare passed them; their plumage was blackand white in nearly equal proportion. Theyfeed upon small shrimps during the summer,and become very fat. As portions of the opensea actually swarm with these sea insects thebirds are able to procure ample supplies fortheir young. They fly in a double line formedlike a wedge, and vary in number from five orsix to twenty or thirty.The wind falling light, and the ice closingbefore the Fulmar, by the action of the tide,permission was granted to a boat-party ofofficers and men, to pull into the shore for thepurpose of shooting. Karl and Manfred wereto be of the party, and asked many questionsof the old hands as to the best spot likely toafford good sport. The boat was manned in avery short time, every one of her crew beinganxious to push off from the ship, the changeandnovelty of the scene lendingunusual alacrityto their preparations, which consisted of hand-
THE MESSMATES. 25ing into her, powder, shot, fowling pieces, andcreature comforts of various descriptions.Now they are off, pulling in for the landwith a will, laughing and talking in the highestpossible spirits; from time to time the eiderduck and loon would fly near to them, and morethan once, the young hands were tempted todrop the oars and seize the guns; this, however,was soon put a stop to by the 'old Arctics,'who advised them to reserve their fire untilthey could make sure of their game withoutinterrupting the progress of the general sportby the delay the securing of a stray bird ortwo upon the water would necessitate.How grand was the general exclamation,as the boat glided beneath the flat perpendi-cular face of the dark, and abrupt headland,called Cape Shackleton, and became lost in theshadow of its fifteen hundred feet of height.Karl remarked how much the eye was at faulthere in judging distance, one of the men as-serting that they were within a stone's throwof the wall-like cliff, when at least half a mile,from it. The only certain method was by fix-ing the sight upon a bird of known size, andwatching it until it settled upon the granite
26 THE MESSMATES.ledge, and then, by noticing the distinctness ofform, or, if nearer, of colour, some approxima-tion to the true distance might be arrived at.They all understated the number of yards theywere from the cliff. When within gunshotthey lay upon their oars to gaze upwards atthe extraordinary appearance the surface pre-sented, as far as the eye could reach. Crowdedon the shelves of the rock, were innumerablebirds, chiefly loon, the uria brunichii and uriatroile. They are about the size of an Englishduck ; and usually sit erect, moving their headswatchfully from side to side, their white breastshowing conspicuously against the dark stone.They here deposit their eggs, generally one toeach mother, of an olive brown colour, ratherlarger than a duck's egg, and more pointed atthe smaller end. The flavour of the yolk isstrong, but with the appetite acquired inBaffin's Bay by no means an objection likelyto be regarded by the consumer. While hatch-ing they are very tame, and may be readilytaken by the hand in the more accessible partsof the rocks, yet not without showing a de-termined front, and vigorously using theirpowerful beaks to inflict painful wounds upon
THE MESSMATES. 27I".: -rTHE H .UNT OF TIME SEA-BIRDS.the unwary. At the first report of a gun, therush of life is quite startling. The cliff seemsto vibrate with their simultaneous spring, asits terrified inhabitants plunge into the air,and for a short time wing their way out tosea, returning with hasty flight to their eggs
28 THE MESSMATES.or young. The sky is darkened above youby the multitude of birds, whose varying "posi-tions produce a giddiness in thoSe who lifttheir eyes upwards to the busy scene; and themind is filled with wonder, that amidst sucha host of moving creatures, no real confusionever happens, each avoiding the other soadroitly that a collision never occurs. Here theshooting became mere slaughter, four or five,and sometimes as many as ten, would be broughtdown at each shot.The extent of this " loonery " is such, thata whole fleet might be supplied from it, andyet a sufficient number be left to give the ap-pearance of crowding to the colony. Thenovelty of the place, together with the excite-ment of the sport, caused the time to pass awayunnoticed. It was not until their ammunitionbegan to fail, that they thought of returningwith the very handsome bag they had secured.The night was perfectly calm; and the Fulmarlay motionless upon the water. One of themen, who had been originally a collector of seafowl's eggs in the Orkney Islands, clamberedup the uneven surface of the rock and collectedseveral dozen eggs.
THE MESSMATES. 29The young men were proud of their success,their animated faces glowing with pleasure asthey sat down in the boat to partake of a sub-stantial repast from the good things theyhad brought with them." How nobly," said Karl, " that toweringmass of rock stands forth against the cloudlesssky, reflecting itself in the calm blue sea! Howbeautiful are those silver streaks of fallingwater descending from the melting snow atits summit! What an object for a painter !"" I think," replied Manfred, "the restlesslife with which it swarms would baffle highart to portray. What an undefined hummingseems to fill the air!"" The sound must be occasioned by thequick stroke of the birds' wings," said Karl,who sat watching the busy creatures poisingthemselves, with tremulous, half-closed wings,upon the ledges of granite."These loon make uncommon good soup,Mr. Petersen," said the quarter-master, whosteered the boat. "You see, sir, you mustfirst take their jackets off, for they are apt tobe strong, and then put them in salt andwater for twelve hours; after that, wash them
30 THE MESSMATES.well, and boil them down with some spice;and if a little wine is to be had, why, a glassof port before they come to table spirits themup wonderful."" Thank you; I shall remember your re-ceipt-one worth knowing in this country."" I learned it from the steward of the lastship I was in that sailed in these waters, sir;an uncommon clever kind of chap he was forcooking fowl."" What an admirable position the loonselect to be safe from their enemies."" Yes," replied Karl, " they have God'steaching instinct, by which many of the loweranimals successfully compete with their mostcunning persecutor, man."" Look look !" exclaimed Manfred, " whata grave, reverend head that is above thewaves, with its shining white tusks and largeeyes."" That is a walrus, sir ; some call it a sea-horse, but-I never saw a horse with tusks andbeard.""Do they not herd very much together?"asked Karl."Yes sir; and, like the seal, enjoy basking
T1HE MESSMATES. 31WALRUSES SPORTING.in the sun upon the rocks or floe pieces of ice.They smell like pigs in warm weather."" The wind is springing up from the south,Manfred; had we not better pull on board ? "" With all my heart; come then, lads, takeyour oars."Half-an-hour's pleasant exertion broughtthem alongside, the ship having stood towardsthem under easy sail.
32 THE FIRST LETTER.CHAPTER III.THE FIRST LETTER.HERE are two ways of acquiring in-formation in the world: by directobservation of the matter, forces, andlife therein acting, and by borrow-ing from the stored-up labours ofour fellow-men.To many minds, the latter is more con-genial arid presents less difficulty than theformer; to others, and those generally of thegreatest power, the world is their storehouse,from which they draw the materials forthought.The short period of time given to man forthe employment of his faculties on earth ren-ders it impossible, even for the strongest in-tellects, to embrace the whole field of nature;hence, by mutual consent, men have divided andsub-divided its kingdoms for particular study;so that, availing ourselves of their observations,we gain more knowledge in less time. than by
THE FIRST LETTER. 33working nature's mine; nevertheless, whenviewed through the minds of others, we areapt to perpetuate those errors which arisefrom the peculiar construction of their ideas.Ella Petersen, the mother of our hero, Karl,resided at Copenhagen. She was by birth anative of Sweden. To great personal beautyshe added an unusually powerful mind, and adisposition of genial amiability. Her earlytraining had been judiciously and carefullyconducted, and her own efforts completed thework so excellently begun. A more culti-vated intellect was rarely met with in herown class of society.Having so largely benefitted by education,Mrs. Petersen was desirous of conferring uponher children the greatest advantages her ownknowledge could procure, for which purposeshe was anxious that Karl should see othercountries, and mix with men of all nations; and,although to part with her only son cost manya struggle, yet, when once she was convincedof the duty, the dictates of her heart were notallowed to' interfere with the convictions ofher judgment. When a commission in theDanish service was offered to her for Karl,(412 3
34 TIlI FIRST LETTER.she gladly availed herself of the opportunitythus afforded him of seeing the world.The last ship from Greenland brought aletter from her boy, stating, if they were suc-cessful in avoiding the drifting pack in Baffin'sBay, it would be impossible for him to writeagain that year with any hopes of being able totransmit it to Denmark. The letter was full ofardent terms of affection, and admirable descrip-tions of the scenes amongst which he was thrown.Calling her daughter, Mrs. Petersen tookdown from the book-case a late work relatingto that portion of the globe in which her sonwas, and spreading out the map before them,she proceeded to trace out the track of theFulmar, from the time of its departure,following it up to the latest known date." Mamma, do let me find the pictures of thebirds Karl mentions in his letter; do you thinkhe has sketched them?"" I hope so, Edith, for they can only betruly represented when seen in their naturalstate. You may bring me the book on ani-mals, given to you by Dr. Krantz, and we willfind them in the order in which they arementioned in your brother's letter."
THE FIRST LETTER. 3" But, mamma, how can they live if it is sovery cold ? There can be no water for themto drink."" The animals either return to the south orhybernate, that is, sleep through the winter;their instinct teaches them when to depart, orwhen to bury themselves in the snow or earth."Edith placed the book upon the table, andturned to the engraving of the polar bear.POLAR PEAR." Most bears," said Mrs. Petersen, "feedupon roots and berries; the black bear willcleverly suck an egg, but the only flesh-eatingbear is the polar."
80 THE FIRST LETTER."What broad paws the creature has,mamma.""Yes, it is the form best suited for walk-ing upon the snow and ice."The conversation was interrupted by theentrance of Dr. Krantz, the master from whomyoung Petersen had acquired his classical andgeneral education."Good evening to you, my very goodfriend; the post having arrived to-day, Icame to hear of my favourite pupil, a clever,good lad,'and I am told rapidly rising in theservice; all sorts of golden opinions are heldabout him at head-quarters. How fares he inthe Arctics ? What says he of the glacier;and the opinions of Agassiz? Ah he willfind his advantage in Baron Wrangel's voyageto those parts, which I gave him upon parting,-a good, clever lad."" Yes, Dr. Krantz, we have heard, and hereis the letter, which you shall read when I havesufficiently enjoyed it; but I hope you willpass lightly over his expressions about home,and those he has left behind; for I know youare a Spartan, with regard to the display ofthe softer feelings ; is it not so, doctor ?"
THE FIRST LETTER. 37"It has never seemed good to me, Mrs.Petersen, that men who have to battle withthe world, should yield one foot of the van-tage ground to those feelings which are tooapt to decoy us from the great work of ourlife; hence, it has always been my endeavourto repress them, or at least, their manifesta-tion, believing that in the majority there-willbe still enough left to prevent hard-hearted-ness or cruelty.""But do you not think the suppression ofall signs of feeling is apt to deter others fromseeking further acquaintance with those whoput up the iron shutters of their hearts, until,at last, they find they are left without a friend ? "" There are moments when those shuttersmust be thrown open, and they happen quiteoften enough to remove any fear of injuriouseffects from ordinary closure."" Although preferring the Athenian to theSpartan discipline, for one so sensitive as mydear boy, I think you may be right, for did hewear his heart upon his sleeve, there would bebut a poor chance of his succeeding with menof the present day, more especially while beat-ing about the world as a sailor."
38 THE FIRST LETTER." Do you know his friend, Manfred, theEnglishman, Dr. Krantz ?"" Ay,in good faith, I do; a more determined,brave, good-natured, thoughtless lad I nevertried to teach. They are quite suited to eachother."" I am glad they are sailing together; it iswell! it is well!"Little Edith had quitted the room in greathaste upon the entrance of Dr. Ludwig Krantz,having imbibed a certain amount of awe ofhim from her brother's remarks."This is a sweet specimen of the Arcticflora," said the doctor, as he examined a smalldried plant."It is, I think, the Papaver Nudicaule, atreasure to those with herbariums, and a leafor two of the Arctic willow, the Salix Arctica.It is well! it is well! he evidently followsup his botanical study. What pleasant talkwe shall have upon his return to Copenhagen!"" May I beg one leaf to show to my scholars,-to hold up to them as a remembrance ofone of my best and most clever boys ? It is-strange how some lads take away our feel-ings with them."
THE FIRRT LETTER. 39"Certainly, I will spare one; but pray,remember the Spartans, and practise whatyou preach, or my faith in your system willbe terribly shaken, so do not take down theiron shutters before those who believe themalways closed.""I hear that the Fulmar is to call atUppernavik, where Karl will meet my oldand sterling friend MUller, the Moravian mis-sionary.""What a life to leave the enjoyments ofcivilized people, and fix yourself amongst thelowest tribe of our species, creatures who feedupon oil until they are as coarse and animalas the mammals they live on."" It seems to me that Muller had need ofthe resignation of Socrates, to endure so manywinters of inertion, and a climate with so fewpleasures.""Say, rather, the faith of a Christian, theunselfish love of good which no other religioncan infuse into its followers. I think, doctor,the man who can submit to such a life for somany years must be truly holy."" It is all very well for my friend; but hisdaughter would be far better placed in Den-
10 THE FIRST LETTER.mhark. The young mind receives impressionsso quickly, ard retains them until the lastmoments of existence, that we cannot be toocareful as to the scenes, and persons, whichsurround it." Memory is like the sensitive plate ofDaugerre, the image once formed thereon canonly be displaced by the destruction of itssurface."" If Wilhelm Miller is with Silena it doesnot matter where she may be placed. He soattracts those about him, and by his exampleand teaching so influences those near him,that there can be but little fear for his owndaughter. She has been taught that loveand respect for her excellent father, whichwill outweigh the evil she may meet with inso distant and so thinly peopled a land. Noone is better able to instruct a child."" It is well, it is well! I love MiiUer toomuch to utter one syllable that might detractfrom his merits; although they intrench uponmy particular calling, they stand, I believe,upon a foundation as firm as the granitemountains upon which he dwells, and are asdear to his friends as to himself. The accounts
THE FIRST LETTER, 41we receive from Greenland are conclusive; heis as deeply reverenced by the Esquimauxas were the patriarchs by the children ofIsrael."" You were speaking of young Manfred."" We expect his parents from England in afew weeks, whither they have gone to learnthe latest possible news that may come bythe whale fishermen, who return late in theyear to that country. .Their youngest sonis under my care, he is a quick lad, and isdestined for the Indian army. He will bemuch pleased with the report contained inyour letter; and, with your permission, I willread a few extracts to him when you send itto me.""That you may with pleasure, for I takegreat interest in the Manfreds ; they are theoldest acquaintances I have in Copenhagen.Or stay; kindly allow the lad to visit us to-morrow, and he then can convey the letterfor your perusal."To this Dr. Krantz assented; and withmany congratulations upon the receipt of suchpleasing intelligence took his leave.
42 THE SURFACE NET.CHAPTER IV.THE SURFACE NET.HE researches of the philosopher seemmere folly to the untutored mind;if, then, the wisdom of one man isunperceivedd by his fellow, how muchmore must we expect to find menwho are blind to the wisdom of God.If we consider, how little any one mind hasadded to our knowledge of the Creator's greatdesign, we are not surprised that generationafter generation passed away in ignorance ofhis wonderful works; and hence we admitthe necessity for revelation.With the advantages of modern instruction,with the immense stores of accessible infor-mation, our progress is still very slow, andthe real time given to each matured mind fordeduction, is limited to a few short years;this, with the fact of .the small number ofintellects fit for sound original thought,accounts for the very gradual advance in
THE SURFACE NET. 43knowledge. Men are but yet upon thethreshold of science, and years, ages, mustelapse, ere the sublimest truths are mastered.As the Fulmar swept slowly along, underthe influence of a light breeze, Karl took theopportunity of lowering his surface net, forthe purpose of obtaining the small jelly fishand other creatures abounding in these seas.Allowing some time to elapse after adjustingthe line by which it was made fast, he calledthe quarter-master." Draw in the net, Davie ;-gently therenow, raise it over the taffrail."" Ah! Mr. Petersen, you'll have a poorhaul to my thinking, nothing but a fewflimsy creatures, that would not fatten agull."" Quite true : and yet for all your boastedexperience of these parts, they fatten a muchlarger animal, being the chief food of the pon-derous whale."" It's lucky then, Mr. Peterson, he feedswithout thinking, for else, he would feelhorridly ridiculous at the smallness of hismeat. And yet they would suit me wellenough, seeing they do not require teeth."
44 THE SURFACE NET."Look, Davie, at the beautiful form ofthis Clio; now it is once more in water,how like a transparent bird it swims about.Do you see the red spot in the middle of itsbody, that is its heart, you can see it moving.""There seems to my old eyes, a bit of ablubber fish, like a piece of clear jelly, andthey are common enough in these waters,hardly worth the catching, I should think.""Have you a Clio borealis at last ?" saidManfred, as he came aft and looked into thebucket, over which Karl was stooping."Yes; there it is with its restless wings,rounded head, and the queer movement of thetail. The thin line, from the small bulb of areddish tint, is the great vessel of the body.It is a Pteropod, and one of the most singularof its race. Close to it is the Beroe, a sack-like body, furnished with minute hairs, orcilia, by which it creates a current in thewater, directing its food to its mouth. Thecolours, produced by varied rate of motion ofthe cilia, are most beautiful, quite a waterchamelion, for in a few minutes the wholerainbow seems to have been laid under con-tribution. If this glass-like bag be turned
THE SURFACE NET. 45inside out, it continues to live, and does notshow signs of being inconvenienced by theoperation. Theseminute meduspe havebeen erroneously sup- .'posed to occasion the -phosphorescence seenat night, on the sur- .iface of the ocean."" What is this,Karl, of a dark olive .colour, rising and fan- :i :ning with its fins, andthen plumping down,like a small shot, to .. "the bottom of thepail ?" MEDUSA." That will repay examination; it is aminiature nautilus. Take one in your hand,and you will find it has a clear diaphanousshell with ribs, like that of the paper nautilus.The animal within, gives the brown look tothe creature; it is called the ArgonautaArctica, an ending of our old classical friends,quite as probable as any other, and certainlyan elegant one. It moves through its native
46 THE SUtFACE NET.element by means of small fins, capable ofbeing hidden within the fragile covering, atthe will of the owner."" We have been fortunate with our surfacenet to-day.""That shrimp-like creature is the food ofthe rotchies and dovekies ; the naturalists giveit a very ugly name, Entromastraca. Whenseen under the microscope, it has -the appear-ance of being studded with rubies; they aresaid to be its eyes. It moves by bringingthe head and tail together, and then returningto the straight position with a jump. Everyanimal in these latitudes seems to be livingas fast as it can, as if it dreaded the end ofthe brief summer. The ice has scarcely brokenup, the snow but just commenced to melt, erethe land and water swarms with life; eventhe insect world comes forth, with redoubledactivity, and musquitoes plague the travelleralmost as much as in the tropics."" The current is very strong here, Karl,"said Manfred; " we are close upon Uppernavik.I long to stretch my legs once more on land."Their attention was now called away fromthe contents of the net to the shore they were
THE SURFACE NET. 47rapidly nearing, and their duties separatedthem for the time.The lead was going at the ship's side, andas she gradually drew in to the shallow water,a boat was sent to a large iceberg for thepurpose of mooring the Fulmar, so as to beready, without the trouble of weighing anchor,for a start, if the loose ice should close uponher. This is effected by means of a -stoutpiece of iron, bent like the letter S, one endof which, being inserted into the ice, the otheris fastened to a hawser secured on board." And now, lads, for shore," said CaptainHertz, as he descended the ship's side, andentered the stern sheets of his gig, seatinghimself between Karl and Manfred."Amongst my packet of letters for thegovernor, there is one from your motherPetersen, which you had better present inperson; it came with mine a short time beforewe sailed from Denmark.""Take us inside this large iceberg, Davie,and then we shall have a view of the settle-ment, as they are pleased to call a fewhouses.""Ay, ay, sir; but it looks hard and fast
-48 THE SURFACE NET.to' the land ice, for all the drift pieces stopthis side, none passing beyond the free edge."" Right, Davie, take your own way in."" That will be easier than taking our wayout sir, for the ice is setting in, and the south-westerly wind is freshening,-the mirage oflast night told a tale."" Never mind, Davie, the ship can take careof herself.""No offence meant, sir; we of these seaslike to look ahead in good time."Ere old Davie had finished his croaking,the latter part of which he prudently madeinaudible, the boat's bows grated against theice attached to the shore; and in a fewmoments the party had reached the shelvingground beyond it, where they were heartilyreceived by Muller, who, in grasping Karl'shand, said, " You are a Petersen, I am sure,without being introduced to you, so like myfriend of former years, Ella Petersen. Howdid you leave your mother and all our friends ?Come, my countrymen, let us to the manse,where my daughter will repeat my welcome.Ah, captain, the voice of a Dane awakes somany recollections that, should I grow a little
THE SURFACE NET. 49absent and inattentive, I am sure you willexcuse me, I have been so long an exile.""I accord you my sympathy," CaptainHertz replied; " for, like yourself, I have beenrarely at home for the last thirty years andcan enter into the nature of your trials; butwe must do our duty in spite of our wishes.We hear, in Denmark, of the improvementsyou have effected in these poor people; withthis satisfaction, and with your acquirements,all parts of -the world may be rendered en-durable. We have within us powers that canoutbalance the deficiencies of our position, anda consolation in our holy religion of which nolatitude can deprive us."Miller replied, "Your remarks are just;but as to my efforts, and the results thereof,you had better judge for yourself after visitingthe settlement. If you can spare the youngmen for a day or two, and they would like alittle sport, we will find them a few reindeer;or, if they prefer it, they can accompany theUsqui, upon the dog sledges, to the resorts ofthe seal, or in chase of the white bear."" Thank you; I will endeavour to do with-out Karl and Manfred in order that they may(42) 4
50 THE SURFACE NET.enjoy the amusements you so kindly offer, andwhich, I am sure, they will accept mostgladly."" We have reached my dwelling, and hithercomes my daughter. Silena, here are our newfriends, Captain Hertz, Lieutenants Petersenand Manfred. Lead the way, my child."They entered the small dining room, whoseneat and comfortable furniture was well adaptedto the intense cold of a Greenland winter. Thewindow was small, and double ; and the dooropened into a short passage, closed by aninner baize door, so that no cold air wasadmitted. A map of Greenland and Baffin'sBay was suspended against the wall with oneor two prints. The room contained a choicecollection of native birds, prepared and stuffedby Muller, and arranged with taste by hisdaughter. There was also a well preservedhead of the polar bear (ursus maritimus),once belonging to a distinguished animal ofthe neighbourhood; he had formerly destroyedmany of the dogs, and so severely injured oneof the men that he ultimately died from thehurt. Miller shot the bear soon after thislast catastrophe.
THE SURFACE NET. 51At table the conversation turned uponDenmark, and many questions were askedabout friends at home. The visitors weresurprised to find how conversant Miller andSilena were with European news; and theyoung men were often at a loss to answer thenumerous inquiries addressed to them. Theywere much interested in the simple accountsSilena gave them of her life in Uppernavik.She promised to show her collection of plants,and to take them to the highest point of land,whence they could obtain a good view of thebarren and wild country.Gottfrieda bustled in and out of the room,smiling with pleasure at the sound of freshvoices from her fatherland, and much delightedto hear some well-known name mentioned,and to receive an occasional remark from thestrangers. They were a happy party in thatfar off corner of the earth, away from all thejealousies and contentions of civilized existence.The whole life of these simple exiles was onecontinued endeavour to improve those aroundthem, and they had very fairly succeeded."Gottfrieda, have you forgotten to askafter Doctor Krantz ?"
52 THE SURFACE NET." No, no; not forgotten my old master, buthave not found room for my words."" He is quite well," said Karl, "and spokeof you ere we parted, and hoped we shouldfind you as active and happy as ever."" Thank him, I am as happy as one can be,away from dear Denmark; but the cold wrapsmy skin so close to my bones that I cannot"jump about as I once did."The party dispersed after returning thanks;the young people to seek the open air, andthe captain to arrange with his host aboutthe various stores he had on board the Fulmar.Silena and her companions, upon leavingthe house, climbed the hill that rose abruptlyat the back of it, and passing through one ofthose deep ravines in the frost shattered granite,they came out upon a hollow facing the south,-this held her garden. Here she had col-lected the flowering plants capable of bearingthe rigour of the climate. The purple saxi-frage was her greatest favourite, from its showycompact blossoms, and the readiness with whichit could be transplanted. The ranunculus andthe yellow poppy, the cranberry, the willow,and sorrel were there, but all dwarfed by the
THE SURFACE NET. 53unkindly cold. This spot, so striking amidstthe barrenness of the land, attracted the animalsin their summer wanderings. The white harewas frequently seen cropping the spring leaves,and, as a consequence, the arctic fox (cahisla-gopus). Looking down through the partedfragments of stone, the young men were struckwith the beautiful effect produced by theaccumulation of snow in those portions of theravine where the sun's rays could not pene-trate. The upper edge of the white curvingcrest was fringed with icicles, while on thatside where the sun had more power the snowmelted into numerous rills, trickling over theexposed rock, and undermining the frozencovering of the surface. From the ravine theice-covered ocean was seen as in a triangularframe." You see my world before you," said Silena,pointing with her finger to the distance. Thecloud-capped palaces are created by my imagi-nation out of those roughly used pieces ofglacier. Cities of men are but things of myfancy, or are made known to me through thewritings of those who have lived and reignedamongst them by their intellect. Do younot pity my ignorance?"
54 THE SURFACE NET." Oh, no," replied Karl; " those who havebeen reared in cities can only see them withprejudiced eyes, whereas you will go to themfresh from some of God's grandest works, andwill kive them only their true value."" That may be true of the buildings; but Ihave heard and read so much of the minds ofgreat men that I long to know more intimatelythe master spirits of the age; for after all,you must admit, an upright thinking man isGod's noblest work on earth."" Yes; and then you will become awarethat you have been guided by one of the bestof them, I mean your father, Wilhelm Miiller."" Ah, there is one of my sleek little pets;do you see how he eyes us and runs to theshelter of the stones? He does not likestrangers;" so saying, Silena walked forwardand picked up a fat, soft animal, stouter thana dormouse, but with shorter head and legs,and of a greyish colour."What do you call your friend?" askedManfred."It is a lemming. See how the tame,affectionate creature crawls up my sleeve; Inever allow them to be hurt; but sometimes
THE SURFACE NET. 55the great owl will defy me, and bear the petaway when I am not far off.""I must crave permission to rob yourgarden of a few specimens, for an Arctic nose-gay will be much prized in Copenhagen."" Oh, yes; but as I am not a good collectoryou had better select them; I love the beauti-ful and forget the rare. See, we have visitorsto-day; there is one of our few dainties, theptarmigan; you can hardly distinguish it fromthe ground on which it rests. Its plumagechanges with the seasons; as white as snowin winter; speckled, and then brown in sum-mer; its inconspicuousness is its only safety,for it has many enemies, both on the groundand in the air."" You have established an universal friend-ship in this favoured spot; are the white bearsequally courteous?" said Karl." I was once near one, when alone, uponthe shore. I stood quite still, and fixed my eyesupon him. Bruin turned and walked away, occa-sionally giving me a glance as he retreated."" Had you no fear?"" Oh, no, not afraid; they seldom attack un-less molested, or driven by hunger, then they
56 THE SURFACE NET.are very fierce. The natives say if I had ranoff screaming he would, most probably, havefollowed me."" You require courage to face the dangersand chances of this country. Do you oftenventure about alone ?""Rarely upon the shore, but frequentlyinland. We have one other animal far moreferocious than the bear ; that is the glutton;it is not often seen, and never ventures nearhouses in the summer. But let us return,the sun-dog barks wind at us from his roundfiery mouth, and the ice is coming in rapidly.You smile, gentlemen, but it is a disagreeablefact that a gale of wind invariably follows aparhelion, or sun-dog, and generally withinforty-eight hours. These mock suns are,nevertheless, very beautiful."
THE ESQUIMAUX HUT. 57CHAPTER V.THE ESQUIMAUX HUT.HE dwellings of men are as varied,and as indicative of their civiliza-tion, as the garments they wear.The fugacious tents of the Arabs, sowell adapted to their primitive life,impress the English owner of asubstantial and luxuriously fitted residencewith dismay, if in his wanderings he is com-pelled to dwell in the flimsy structures for thefirst time. Captain Hertz was not less sur-prised when Muller introduced him to the in-terior of an Esquimaux hut. The chief objec-tion was the long entrance by which theygained the sole apartment. Following hishost, he crept on his hands and knees througha narrow underground passage, thirty feet inlength, and so low, that he with difficultyavoided striking his head, until they came toa room a few feet square, in which they wereable to stand erect. There was no window to
"58 THE ESQUIMAUX HUT._--- .-_ .... ... .j.,'---s-ESQUIMAUX HUTS.let in light or air. A, simple lamp of oil,formed out of a roughly hewn stone, slightlyhollowed, faintly illumined the chamber. Amass of greasy seal-skins, bird-skins, and dirtyblackened vessels, lay strewed about the place,with a few garments equally objectionable.One end of the chamber was raised two feetabove the floor, upon which an Esquimauxwoman and child lay crouched beneath a heapof furs.The odour of rancid fish oil and the closeatmosphere, filled as it was by fcetid vapour,had a very powerful effect upon the captain,who, without waiting to hear Miiller's greet-ing to the native woman, quitted the hut morequickly than he entered. His host followed
THE ESQUIMAUX RUT. 59him, after saying a few words to the pro-prietress. On reaching the open air he turnedto his guest with a smile,-" What, captain, are you not proof againsta little decayed blubber ?""Your good cheer but ill assimilates withthe filthy smells and sights of your friend'sresidence, so I trust you will excuse my abruptdeparture, after a rapid glimpse at the in.terior.""Certainly, and yet I have heard thatsailors never smell anything but a storm.""Do not these people suffer very muchfrom scurvy ?""Yes, in the winter. I have striven formany years in vain to induce them to takeprecautions against the disease, which prevailsmost after failure in their autumn hunts. Insuccessful seasons, when food abounds, theybecome very plethoric, and are subject tobleedings from the nose. The lengthenedduration of light in the summer seems so tostimulate their bodies that they become full ofvitality, otherwise they could not live throughthe long night upon the simple diet they areable to procure.
60 THE ESQUIMAUX HUT." The native remedy for scurvy is the con-tents of the crops of ptarmigan, which theykill in the early spring. This consists of theyoung buds of the willow, birch, and othershrubs. You see the green patches we arenow approaching, lying well sheltered fromthe north ? We grow the Cochelaria Green-landica there. It is a species of cress, witha leaf not unlike that of the water-cress. Itis also called scurvy grass. We found itgrowing abundantly upon the rich soil be-neath a loonery, and by importing the earthwe have brought it nearer home. It requires,however, a warm and sheltered aspect. This,dressed as a salad, and a drink made with thebottled lime juice, has prevented much of theterrible suffering we formerly witnessed inthis country. I suppose you very seldommeet with the disease in the navy ?""Not often, and then it is chiefly owing tothe obstinacy of a man here and there out ofa large crew. I have had a sailor refuse totake the lime juice, and the first notice wehave of his folly is generally through the sur-geon of the ship.""Let us return to the house, Captain: I
THE ESQUIMAUX HUT. 61see our young friends descending the hills,and we shall be in disgrace with Gottfrieda ifwe are late for her cup of tea."They passed through the native village,which proved unattractive; a few fur-cladchildren stared at them out of their smalloblique eyes, and a batch of howling, half-feddogs fled before them.The captain stopped to admire the lines, orform of a native boat, called a kyak. TheKYAK.beautiful shape and neatly finished bows hadan especial charm for him. All the men beingaway seal-hunting, or sledge-driving, he couldnot see it upon the water: Muller promisedto show him one both building and afloatupon his return from his voyage to the north." You ought to know that bird," said Miil-ler, as a dark plumaged bird, with its headtwisted on one side, flew past them.
62 THE ESQUIMAUX HUT." Pray, what is it? I plead ignorance.""The boatswain bird, or Lestris parasiticus.It has two long feathers, projecting like a forkfrom its tail, not unlike the lovely frigate-bird of the tropics in that respect, but far in-ferior in elegance. Have you determined toleave us as soon as the ice opens ?""Yes; time presses, and you know wellhow short the period is for navigation."" You will be able to remain longer withus on your return, I hope, for it is a greattreat to me to be with my countrymen.""That will depend upon our good fortune,and the speed with which we complete thesurvey."No part of the world is so full of uncertaintyas the Polar Sea.-the fairest prospect is de-stroyed in a moment, and an end is put to allprogress.The merry voices of the guests resoundingin the house warned Miiller that the youngpeople had already reached home." How I like to hear those happy sounds !They fill me with thoughts and recollectionsof dear Denmark."He cast a rapid glance around him, and
OUT)AN ESQUIMAUX SLEDGE.
64 THE ESQUIMAUX HUT.then turning to his friend, said, with a sigh,"The ice is opening out and the wind isfalling, we shall have a change in the morn-ing. And, look, yonder goes an Esquimauxwith his sledge. At what a pace his tworough shaggy dogs carry him along !"They entered the house, and the eveningwas spent in singing their native airs, and inpleasant conversation.In distant lands the passing of a few hourstogether seems almost sufficient to form afriendship. The heart speaks out sooner whenfree from the restraint of crowded rooms, andmen are more natural when fewer eyes areupon them,-the knowledge of character ismore rapidly acquired, and we quickly arriveat a decision as to our future terms of acquaint-ance or friendship. The next day the ice hadbeen carried off from the coast, and our littleparty at the manse was broken up by thenecessity of making use of the open sea. Theparting was with mutual regret, and manyhopes were expressed of a repetition of thevisit at the earliest opportunity. Petersenand Manfred, although ever ready for theirduty, cast many a backward look of regret at
THE ESQUIMAUX HUT. 65their fair hostess as they moved down to theboat, and were not pleased at being compelledto forego the anticipated sport. Silena pro-mised Karl she would obtain from the nativeswhat plants the country possessed, as everygreen spot was well known to them in theirsearch after animals.Miiller and his daughter lingered long uponthe shore, watching the white sails fill, andthe elegant ship swing round to the breeze, asshe gradually spread out her canvas wings,and so away, further and further, until shehovered a moment on the horizon, and thenwas lost to sight.The exiles' best jewels are friendly faces, forthey leave much of their lustre behind them,and are set in the heart for ever. "Come,Silena, let us to our duties; we cannot recallthem by looking after them. They were asource of great pleasure to us during theirshort stay, and I trust we shall meet againbefore they shape their course for Denmark."(42) 5
66 THE LOST BOAT.CHAPTER VI.THE LOST BOAT.HE last days of summer lingered inwarm delight, the autumn breath-lessly advanced, stealing over theyellow harvest-fields, and caressingthe bloom upon the ripe fruits ofthe orchard, and yet no tidings ofher son had reached Mrs. Petersen, since welast saw her conversing with Dr. Krantz overthe open letter.Oh, the anxiety of that noble heart! Didshe in those moments of suspense utter oneregret ? No; she had decided with unbiassedjudgment, and-then committed her only sonto the keeping of the God she truthfully wor-shipped. It tried her courage to be so longwithout news. The last vessel for the yearhad only brought a letter from Miller, inwhich he spoke of her son's hasty departurefor the north, and of the brief but delightfulhours they had passed together. It described
THE LOST BOAT. 67Karl as being full of life, buoyant with spirits,and eager for adventure.There was one other possibility of receivingnews, and that was from the Manfreds, whenthey returned from England.Was the gooAi mother a trifle paler ? Didher friends notice her moments of thoughtful-ness, and absence of manner ? Yes, but theydid not feel the weary watching, the everwakefulness of her heart, or the pallid cheekwould have been less strange to them. Withthe greatest resignation there is still anxiety,and moments when the best and bravest flinchbeneath the trial Many weeks passed -awaybefore the Manfreds returned. Mrs. Petersenreceived the first intelligence of their arrivalfrom her good friend Dr. Krantz, who calledone morning with Walter's brother."I have this moment heard through myyoung pupil of his parents being once more inthe city; and, I am gratified to say, furthernews will reach you this afternoon; but do notanticipate anything definite, as their accountis based upon rumour.""Have you seen them, doctor?"."No, I have not, but a letter came to the
68 THE LOST BOAT.school for this youth, in which it stated thata few particulars of the Fulmar had been ob-tained. I entreat you not to place much de-pendence upon the reports of the whale fisher-men, they have so frequently been in eiror.It is possible there may be a grain of truth,mixed up with the husks of many guesses.""You alarm me, Dr. Krantz. Why areyou so anxious that I should not trust totheir .statements ? Have you-have youheard any bad news ? Oh pray tell me.""I assure you I have heard nothing toalarm you, but I thought it was possible youmight have set your hopes too strongly onthis the last chance for the year, and then thedisappointment would be very great should nosatisfactory account arrive."" I cannot divest myself of the idea thatyou are fencing off, Dr. Krantz; tell me all youreally know.""There is a report in which I place littlecredence, that one of the whalers had spokenthe Fulmar, and to the inquiry of 'All well?'the answer returned was: 'Yes, all well onboard, but one boat is lost, containing twoofficers and two seamen; she parted from the
THE LOST BOAT. 69ship, and before her return the ship was besetby the ice, and driven southward, from whichposition they were unable to extricate, thevessel, until they were off Uppernavik.'"" Is that the only news, doctor ?"" It is, madam."" Then my mind is relieved, thank you verymuch for your kindness in coming to me sosoon. It is not known who the officers were,I suppose ?""No; no names were given, as the shipswere obliged to part company before theycould hear any more, nor is it even statedwhere they fell in with the Fulmar, but Ishould think after she left the pack ice.""If it should happen to be my boy andManfred, I feel sure they will be found, asboth of them are brave and skilful, and ofgreat resources under difficulties. What menwill do they will, not only for themselves, butfor the poor fellows who may be with them.We must not take for granted that which wecannot affirm, as they may be safe on boardthe Fulmar, and the officers in the boat areas likely to be their messmates as them-selves."
70 THE LOST BOAT.In the afternoon the Manfreds called, andthe subject was renewed.Colonel Manfred was very sanguine, and atonce ran over the probable condition of theboat party, at the time of separation."It is clear to me, madam, that when theyleft the ship, they had an ample supply ofammunition, and most probably a good storeof food. We can only arrive at the conclusion,that the boat left on a shooting excursion,from the small number with her; if it hadbeen a surveying trip she' would have beenbetter manned, and more notice would havebeen taken of the weather. If they had suf-ficient sport to use most of their powder, theymust have procured ample provision in theform of edible birds, so that there would beno' chance of starvation for weeks. The boatwould enable them to push down the coast,and thus.reach the most northern settlement.The only point at which I am at fault, is theexact locality they were in at the time. Itmust have been near land, or they would nothave left the ship without seeing the necessity ofwatching the weather, and if so, they could fol-lowthe coast line to the Greenland settlements."
THE LOST BOAT. 71"You forget, Colonel Manfred, that thereare many islands some distance from themainland, where the birds congregate to besafe from the animals.""True; but having a boat with them, therecould be no difficulty in passing across Baffin'sBay with common care. I have no fear forthem, whoever they may be, my dear madam.They will turn up safe and sound."There are many sanguine men in the world,who shape their arguments by their wishes,and although they may be reassuring for thetime, yet their reasons seem so completelyapart of themselves, that they fail to convince,and we feel relieved by their absence, that wemay quietly commune with our thoughts, andargue the matter to its just conclusion. Itwas thus that Colonel Manfred's departureproved very agreeable to Mrs. Petersen. Shedetermined if possible to shorten the drearyhours of uncertainty, by entering more intosociety; and for this purpose, renewed theacquaintance of many families in Copenhagenwhose intimacy she had declined since thedeath of her husband.On one occasion while paying a visit, her
72 THE LOST BOAT.eye glanced down the columns of an opennewspaper, and her attention was rivetted byan announcement headed, "The Fulmar sur-veying vessel," in which it was stated thatthe True Love of Aberdeen had picked up aboat in Baffin's Bay, with the name of theship painted on the stern sheets. It wasfloating bottom upwards, and had been muchinjured by the ice, one side being stove in,and the rudder gone. At the time of theirmeeting with it, the weather was cloudy, andit was blowing fresh. She had much troublein extricating herself from the pack, whichdetained her a month behind the other whaleships; no land was sighted until she reachedthe north of Scotland.For a moment Mrs. Petersen seemed to loseconsciousness, the paragraph having taken herso much by surprise. The entrance of herfriend enabled her to regain her self-possessionsufficiently to explain the cause of her agitation,and to withdraw after a hasty apology. Shecalled on her way home upon the Manfreds,who, like herself, were ignorant of the boathaving been found."Even now, my dear madam, we have no
THE LOST BOAT. 73proof that the boat is that of the lost party,it may have been washed overboard from theship in a storm, as it scarcely seems probablethey-would have run any risks with their only"means of escape. They would follow the landice, and in the event of rough weather, wouldfind safety by drawing the boat on to thefloe. The paragraph in the paper proves no-thing, and I shall believe no reports, exceptdirect from Uppernavik. Why, my dearmadam, I could tell you twenty anecdotes ofmy messmates being dead, buried, or killed inbattle, on certain and credible witness, andyet they have baulked me of my promotionby coming to life again, and with one or twoof them, I have since cracked a bottle of Bur-gundy, and have had many a hearty laughover my disappointment.""You are very encouraging, colonel," saidMrs. Petersen, "the affair has, however, anugly look, but I trust you will prove to beright."" I confess our fears are not diminished bythe account, which tends to the idea of theirhaving perished in the pack ice from inabilityto gain the shore."
74 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.CHAPTER VII.MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.REAT dangers either strengthen thewill or increase the timidity of thoseexposed to them. The power ofviewing with coolness a situation ofimminent peril, and grasping at aglance the points of the greatestmoment, requires a self-possession rarely tobe found in men who, for the first time, havebeen placed face to face with almost certaindeath. The mind, like the body, has thefaculty of gradual adaptation to its position,by which the various circumstances of exis-tence, even the most trying, are borne withoutan apparent effort. Thus sailors, from habit,do not hesitate in the most violent storms toascend the rigging and lie out upon the yards,trusting only to the foot-rope, when theirwhole strength is required to reef the sails andto preserve their perilous hold. It is theirfamiliarity with danger which imparts the
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 75fearless hearing peculiar to them. The earlierthe system is subjected to adventitious habits,the more quickly it becomes accustomed tothem, and in practice we find those are thebest seamen who entered the service young.Courage is improved by circumstances whichcall it forth, and by example more than isgenerally supposed. We see a timid, frightenedlad enter active service, and at the end of afew years he has acquired the self-possessionand fearlessness of his comrades. He is com-pelled, by their ridicule and their habits, to usean attribute of his mind never before required,and he returns to his wondering friends vastlyimproved.The Fulmar was once more lying in theharbour of Uppernavik. The captain andMuller were walking the deck in earnest con-versation." You parted at the Cary Islands ?""Yes; the boat left the ship in the morn-ing watch, with Manfred, Petersen, old Davie,and a young hand named Hoven. They wereto remain at the extensive loonery, on thesouthern face of the largest island, for theday's shooting. We watched them pull into
76 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.the low shingly point, and noticed that theyhad some difficulty in forcing their waythrough loose ice that surrounded it, and thelast we saw of them was hauling up the boat.The tide was running rapidly to the south,and an unusual quantity of ice was broughtdown with it. A gale of wind sprang upfrom the northward, and the floe pieces weredriven between us and the island. We at firstthought the party on shore would have seenthe alteration. We fired guns to attract theirattention, but the wind being from them tous, it was doubtful about the sound reachingthem, the more so as we were obliged to standon and off to keep our position. The weatherbecame overcast and snow fell, so that welost sight of land. Every minute broughtdown upon us fresh floe pieces, and one or twoheavy icebergs lay across our course. Wewere unable to obtain soundings, and the galefreshened so much that we dared not trustanother boat among the rocking broken pieces,although, in five minutes, we had volunteersenough to have manned all we had on board.We could hear the ice grinding upon the landwhen we stood in upon our first tack, but
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 77THE SHIIIP AMONG THE ICEBERGS.afterwards, the noise around us was too greatto distinguish any particular sounds."" Do you suppose your people in the boatwere unaware of the danger ?"
78 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY." They were, no doubt, engaged in sport,with their boat made fast upon the beach;and as the breeze was blowing on to thenorth of the island they would have beensheltered from it, and hence ignorant of theeffects it was producing; and yet old Davie isalways attentive to, and even prophetic ofthe weather. They may, perhaps, have over-ruled his judgment.""How long did the storm last ?"" About the third day there was a change,but no decided improvement until the sixth;by that time we were two hundred miles awayfrom the islands, and completely surroundedby pack ice. I need not tell you of the manyattempts we made to force a passage, nor theanxiety felt by all on board for the safety oftheir shipmates." The missing party were great favouriteswith the ship's company, and I believe everyman who could have left the ship's side wouldhave volunteered for their rescue."Each day our sending help from the Ful-mar became more impossible, and, at" length,we resolved to communicate with you at allhazards, for which purpose we prepared a
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 79boat to traverse the pack as soon as we foundourselves abreast of Uppernavik. When nearCape Dudly Diggs, the strong westerly galesafforded us an opening for escape, and wefound we had been entangled in the outer por-tion only of the mid-ice.""We must decide promptly upon the bestmeans to be used for their deliverance," saidMiller." A boat party will be of uncertain use, asthe sea is frozen at night and remains so incalm weather. Their lives must certainly de-pend upon our reaching them within a weekor two.""The sledges afford us a better chance,only the space to be traversed is very great,and the difficulty of passing the five hundredmiles of glacier very formidable."" We may calculate upon their efforts fordiminishing the distance. We fell in with theTrue Love on our way here, and from her welearned they had picked up the boat to thesouth of Brown's Island, about ten leaguesfrom the shore, the rudder was gone and thebows stove. They had seen a few natives atCape York, but did not communicate. This
80 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.we made out from their writing in chalk upona black board; it was too rough to send a boat,and we failed to answer them in the same way.They do not know the names of our missingpeople."" That is fortunate, for until you knowtheir fate their friends had better remain inignorance of their names; and now, captain,let us go on shore."They pushed off in the gig, with a fewspare hands to assist in their preparations forthe search.Silena came to meet them, and, from herfather's anxious face, perceived that some mis-fortune had transpired. Miiller was unwillingto distress her with the account of the acci-dent, but her first question was sufficient toalter his intention." O my father! what has happened ? youlook unusually serious."" There has been an unavoidable separationbetween the ship and a boat with two officersand two men. You shall know more at a futuretime; but, for the present, assist us in ourattempt at rescue by fetching my warmestsledge furs, and any nourishment and cordials
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 81that you can pack in a small space. Go, mychild, and let Gottfrieda help you. You willfind us at the village selecting the best dogsand most expert drivers. The sailors willbring down what you have made ready, thelast thing before I start."Miiller, with Captain Hertz and the men,repaired to the Esquimaux huts and soughtout the head man, with whom Miiller con-versed for some time before he could persuadehim into the possibility of starting at midnight.Among the many objections urged was the ne-cessity of taking food for the dogs, so as not tobe delayed by procuring it on the way. Thiswas easily overcome by a promise that if the.men who had that day taken seals would partwith them for the purpose, they should havedouble their value as a recompence.Everything was satisfactorily arranged withthe Usqui (as the natives are familiarly called),and Captain Hertz offered to remain with theboat's crew to render any help in his power.Miller returned to the house to take a fewhours' sleep, desiring Silena to prevent hisbeing disturbed and to call him an hour beforemidnight.(42) 6
82 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.i '' I, : I"iiI, / t 1 1. 1AyrESQUIMAUX DOGS.While the governor is taking his rest wewill examine the work of those engaged inmaking ready for the journey; first, as of mostimportance, the sledges and dogs.---importance, the sledges and dogs.
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 83The Esquimaux sledge is of very simple con-struction, yet very effective for their purpose.They prefer wood, as the lightest and bestmaterial, but frequently employ bone, and eventightly-rolled and frozen skins. It consists oftwo parallel runners, of five or six inches indepth, by one and a half thick, and aboutfour feet in length; from these arise, almostat right angles, two upright pieces to form aback, across which and the runners are,fastened by thongs, transverse slips of wood,so as to form a platform whereon to placethe furs, and on which the occupants rest.The harness is made of hide or twistedsinew. Each dog has a broad chest-band,suspended by a slighter portion of hide fromthe shoulders, and to this the traces areattached; a girth secures it to the body.They have no reins and are guided by thewhip. As itany pairs of dogs are driven inline it requires a long lash to reach the leaders,and this being fixed upon a short handle ofwood, rarely more than two feet, demandsgreat dexterity in its use.During the time the sledges were being in-spected, and new thongs being substituted for
84 MULLER S FIRST JOURNEY.__- ___-- __ _ _-~-- -__-- ;__""/.- -. -. ----o ,3 ... .... .SKINNING A SEAL.those at all stretched or worn, the womenwere employed skinning the seals. This dutyis assigned to them, and they perform it veryadroitly with a semicircular knife set in abone handle, and are very careful to remove"the skin without injuring it with the sharpedge of the instrument. Miller had chosen
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 85three of the most expert drivers to accompanyhim, and the best dogs were selected out ofthe noisy pack to draw them. He had re-solved to occupy one of the sledges with thearticles requiring the greatest care, while asecond was to carry the food for the teams,and the third a plentiful supply of warmclothing and provisions for the men. Thedifficulty of journeying at that season of theyear cannot be estimated by those unacquaintedwith the surface to be traversed. The snowis not sufficiently hard to bear the weight,and in the middle of the day is rendered sobinding by the action of the sun as to clogthe runners.The movements of the ice in the summerleave the shores strewn with hummocks, scat-tered irregularly over the fixed portions of thefloe, adding greatly to the labour of the dogs.The freshly frozen surface is not sufficientlystrong to be trusted, and is easily broken upby the tides or severe gales.Miller slept on. His daughter movednoiselessly about the house, collecting manylittle comforts, such as tins of preserved milk,and chocolate, and a choice parcel of pemmican,
86 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.which was made from the best part of leanmeat, well dried, afterwards grated fine, andmixed with as much melted suet as wouldcover it, or fill the case in which it was pre-served. This had been given to the governorby an officer belonging to one of the exploringships, sent out after Sir J. Franklin. It wassaid to contain the greatest amount of nourish-ment, for its weight, of any known food, andwas palatable when warmed, or even eatencold. In Denmark Miiller had studied therudiments of medicine, and had acquired theknowledge of a few simple remedies. Whentravelling he carried with him a small case ofdrugs; this Silena placed in a stout box, andlaid ready for his departure.Gottfrieda had not been idle; she had madea large packet of reindeer sandwiches, andwith them had enclosed ship biscuits, and abottle of wine in a small basket. The mainsupply consisted of bags of dried reindeerflesh and biscuits. The warm fur wrapperswere carefully shaken and laid in order.Silena was very curious as to the extent ofthe anticipated journey, and asked one of theseamen many questions about the missing boat.
* MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 87The man replied doubtfully, and tried toavoid the subject. Silena knew that the lostofficers must be Manfred and Petersen, or theywould have been on shore with the captain.Her father's silence also confirmed the sus-picion.The time arrived at which Miiller was tohave been called, but to Silena's surprise hehad risen, and was coming from his room toinspect the arrangements. He expressed hisapproval and thanks for her admirable fore-thought." I shall be absent'many days, my child;do not, therefore, distress yourself should'anydelay occur. My return must necessarily bemost uncertain. If a fortnight elapse withouttidings, send two fresh dog-sledges upon mytrack ; and if you require advice or assistance,seek it from Captain Hertz, who has promisedto remain at the manse until I have accom-plished my mission. God bless you, mydaughter." Miiller embraced Silena affection-ately, and withdrawing quickly, hastened tothe village, followed by the men bearing theload. Silena wished to go with him to thehuts, but he begged of her to remain: "For
88 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.I have many orders to give, and to giveclearly, so that I would rather have nothingto engage my attention at the last moment:"then once more embracing her, he turned to-wards the shore.Left standing at the door of the manse,Silena watched his upright, firm figure, untila rise in the ground hid him from her sight;then she entered the house, and found Gott-frieda in tears. Her efforts to comfort thegood woman relieved her own sorrow. It isso true, that a good act, however trivial,blesses the actor, either in the delight of hisown' conscience, or in the gratitude of theperson benefitted ; hence it is so beautifullywritten, " It is better to give than to receive."The sudden departure of the good pastorhad allowed his daughter but little time forreflection. As soon, however, as she was leftalone, she understood the great risk her fathermust be exposed to in the search for his friends.She knew that by character and habit noone could be better qualified to overcome thedifficulties certain to be met with; and hislong residence in the country had given himexperience of its risks, that would be invalu-
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 89able; and yet she dreaded lest his fearlessspirit should carry him too far from help, andthen the character of the native drivers wouldshow itself, by their deserting him with thedogs in the hour of need. A thousand possi-bilities arose to her ardent imagination, andbut for Gottfrieda's homely philosophy, wouldhave rendered her miserable.Miller had taken with him Calleharonaone of the most expert and resolute men ofthe tribe. He hesitated before doing so, fromthe man's bad disposition. In the presentinstance there was nothing to call forth hisevil propensities, but rather to control them,as he would never be out of the governor'ssight, and had the promise of a handsome re-ward if he behaved properly. A prospect ofadventure always rendered him obedient forthe time; and the hope of meeting with thenorthern tribes beyond the glacier had a pecu-liar attraction for him, from the traditions ofhis own people, who still believe that theirkindred in the north are many, and better offthan themselves. The sledges were at lastput in order, after the fighting and yelping ofthe dogs had been checked by the free use of
90 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.the lash and butt end of the whip. Thesecreatures are very unruly at moving off, gene-rally biting and snapping at each other, untiltheir freshness is taken away by their load.MULLER BIDDING FAREWELL TO. TUE NATIVES.Before seating himself Muller said a few wordsto the principal natives, charging them to actwhile he was away as if he were present, andbidding them farewell, le settled himself in
MTTLLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 91his furs, and away the dogs went. The firstportion of their route lay over the long smoothsurface of land ice, that had escaped most ofthe pressure of the moving bergs and floe-pieces; and from the knowledge the drivershad of every part of the coast within a day'sjourney or so, they made considerable progress.Miller was indisposed to reply to the remarksof the Esquimaux who occupied the samesledge with himself. He was full of thedifficulties to be surmounted, and somewhatsaddened at the few apparent chances of suc-cess, when he remembered the inexperience ofthe young men and the late period of theseason.The dogs were very tractable upon theknown part of the coast, but at the end ofthe first day they were constantly making theattempt to return upon their own track. Theweather altered in the evening, and a coldwind came off the land.Miller encamped for rest beneath a highcliff.The extent of their journey must dependchiefly upon the supply of food; at the sametime, it would not be possible for them to
92 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.waste the precious hours searching for animalsuntil the meat they had with them was nearlyexhausted. The second day their progresswas slower, and the natives were less inclinedto urge the dogs. The wind was very pierc-ing, and the atmosphere more dense.The level floe was soon exchanged forheavy, pressed up blocks of ice, and thecharacter of the land was altered, so -that inmany places it was impossible to distinguishthe one from the other. Once they saw areindeer, but failed to approach unobserved.The Esquimaux became discontented uponthe third day, and expressed a wish to dis-continue the travelling; to this Miller repliedby a decided negative. He was most anxiousthat seal, bear, or deer should be met with,for then the natives would forget in the ex-citement of the chase their longing for home;besides, each day their store diminished.Several days passed with the like bad fortune,and the men and animals were placed uponshort allowance; so as to reserve sufficient forretreat. The drivers became more careful oftheir dogs, never pushing them to their fullpower, knowing that when exhausted with
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 93fatigue and hunger they become very fierce,even turning upon the men, or attacking anddevouring their weaker companions. Millerhalted the party, and after their simple mealdetermined to walk out from the land, withthe hope of meeting some animal to replenishtheir store. He had not proceeded manyyards before he caught sight of a dark formupon the ice, about a quarter of a mile offAs he crept forward, sheltering himself behindthe hummocks to conceal his advance, a largeirregular portion of iceberg lay in his path;he climbed over the first rise, and sprangdown from it on to the floe, when, to hisamazement, he found himself within half adozen yards of an enormous bear. The brutewas for the moment equally surprised. Thesudden meeting would have thrown one lessaccustomed to their habits off his guard, butere the animal had time to move, Miiller'srifle was at his shoulder, and the next moment,the sharp report and violence with which thebear was struck caused him to rear, then,with a loud half snort, half roar, the creaturefell over with some force, and struggled to re-gain his feet.
94 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.The shot was not fatal. The bear, afterseveral ineffectual attempts, regained his legs,and turned, with flashing eyes and dilatednostrils, upon Muller, who during this timehad made haste to reload; he was not quitefinished when thus threatened. It occurredto him that by moving towards the side ofthe broken leg, the result of his first shot, andwhich he did not perceive until the creaturehad commenced to advance, the bear wouldbecome embarrassed, and he should have timeto cap the rifle. The thought had hardlyarisen, ere it was acted upon; and Bruin, notyet accustomed to his loss, stumbled and fellheadlong. While he was recovering hisbalance, Mtiller had once more brought thefire 'breathing tube to bear, and with goodeffect, for when the smoke cleared away, thedreaded victim lay powerless upon the ice.The second report brought his companions tohim, who evinced much satisfaction at theacquisition. Calleharona was the first uponthe spot, and advanced to the carcase withcaution, avoiding the paws, as he examinedthe position of the wound.Miller understood the wisdom of his pre-
MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY. 95cautions, for an animal of so much muscularpower will, occasionally, in his death, strike avery severe, though unguided blow; and if,perchance, an unlucky curiosity has led anyone within the swing of so formidable a limb,he will have sad cause to remember it everafter.The capture proved to be a full grownmale, very fat, and of immense girth, measuringnine feet one inch from the point of the noseto the tip of the tail, a fact ascertained bythe governor, whose rifle barrel was convertedinto a measure by the simple means ofscratches at the various intervals upon itssurface. The natives were now in betterhumour, and the proposal to continue thesearch was no longer objected to. by them.They at once set to work to strip off the skin,and divide the huge bulk into portable pieces.The skin and flesh was placed upon one ofthe sledges, while the dogs were allowed tofeast upon the offil that remained.The party then encamped for the night,the animals settling themselves to rest withunusual quietness. The heavy meal over-night rendered them sluggish at starting in4
96 MULLER'S FIRST JOURNEY.the morning; but after a short time theirpace increased to about five miles an hour.This speed could not be maintained day afterday, without making the dogs footsore. Whenquite fresh, they may be driven ten mileswithin the hour, with a moderately ladensledge ; but if every necessary has to be carried,it cannot be done so quickly.Calleharona discovered some seals upon theice, and as the natives prefer their flesh tobears, Miller gave him permission to spearone, for which purpose a short halt was made.The adroitness he displayed in doing so, provedhim to have a deservedly high character as ahunter. He carried his spear with him, andapproached as near as he could by means ofthe cover the irregular blocks of ice afforded;then, concealment being no longer possible, hestretched himself out full length upon thewhite surface, pulling his seal skin hood overhis head, and lay motionless for some minutes.The nearest seal raised his head, and turnedit towards him, as if in the act of scrutinizingthe man; after a time he appeared satisfiedwith his inspection, and resumed his formerattitude. Presently Calleharona imitated the