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wrecked under the polar circle. A bright appearance near the horizon was always a herald to sigoify the approach of ice; and this the pilots called the blink of the ice. The same appearance was noticed ou Captaio Cook's voyage toward the south pole in 1773 and 1774. Dr. Irving tried the specific gravity of ice on board the Racehorse. A piece of the most dense cold ice he could find being immersed in snow water, thermometer 34 deg. 14 fifteenth parts sunk under the surface of the water. In brandy, just proof, it barely floated; in rectified spirit of wine, it fell to the bottom at once, and dissolved immediately.
The above expedition having failed in the grand object it was designed to effect, the Ilonourable Daines Barrington, who proposed it to the council of the Royal Society, by which it was recommended to the board of Admiralty, in order to free himself from the imputation of having planned an undertaking which was utterly impracticable, from the solid body of ice which is ever met with there, read a paper to the Royal Society in May 1774, in which he attempted to prove the practicability of approaching to, and even reaching the north-pole. In this paper he relates the following very singular story, which was told him by Dr.Campbel: A Dr.Daillie, who lived in Racquet-court, Fleet-street, London, about the year 1745, and practised as a physician, assured Dr. Campbel, that he had been farther to the southward and the northward than perhaps any other person who ever existed. He had sailed with Roggewein, the famous Dutch navigator, who is said to have reached the latitude of 62° 30' south, in the year 1722. He had likewise sailed, when very young, in a Dutch ship of war, sent out to superintend the Greenland fishery, when he penetrated (to the best of Dr. Campbel's recollection, who related it from memory at the distance of thirty years) as far north as latitude 88°; and he added, that the weather was warm, the sea perfectly free from ice, and rolling like the Bay of Biscay. With these favourable appearances, Daillie pressed the captain to proceed farther; but he answered, that he had already gone too far, by having neglected his station, for which he should be blamed in Holland; on which account also he would suffer no journal to be made, but returned as speedily as he could to Spitsbergen.
Nothing but the deserved estimation in which Mr. Barrington is
held could preserve so palpable an imposition from the oblivion which it merits, as the experience of two centuries is to be placed in opposition to the bare assertion of an obscure individual, who appears to have been diverting himself with the credulity of a man of letters, and to have passed himself upon him as a most extraor. dinary character. Mr. Barrington afterward pursued the subject farther, and produced a variety of doubtful testimonies, concerning advances which have been made, both by English and Dutch navigators, beyond the eighty-fourth degree of latitude ; from which evidence he concludes, “ that the Dutch seamen employed in the Greenland fishery agree with our own countrymen, in never having so much as heard of a perpetual barrier of field ice to the northward of Spitsbergen, in 80° 30, which indeed is one of their most common latitudes for catching whales, whilst all of them suppose the sea to be generally open in those parts; and many of them proceed several degrees beyond it." [Payne.
Cold of the North Polar Regions as ascertained by Captain
Cook during his third Voyage, together with his Discovery of a Passage from the Pacific Ocean Northward, between the Points of Asia and America, and his attempts to Navigate the North Sea.
On the return of this great navigator from his second voyage, he was promoted from the rank of master and commander to that of a captain in the navy, and was assigned an honourable retreat, by being appointed one of the four captains of Greenwich Hospital, which, beside providing him with a delightful residence, has the pay of £230 per annum annexed to it. Alike caressed by the great and the learned, by natives and foreigners, who all be held him with an enthusiastic kind of veneration, in the full possession of health and spirits, being in the fifty-third year of his age, he was one of those few favoured mortals for whom extraordinary merit had obtained ano immediate recompence. Those navigators who have transmitted their names with the greatest renown to future ages, have, in general, been no less remarkable for the unworthy and mortilying returns they have met with from mankind, when they have survived their perils, and seen their labours crowned with success; but it was Captain Cook's good fortune to live in times when merit was both discerned and recompensed.
The eastern extremity of Asia, and western coast of North America, remained at this period unknown; and although a northern passage from Europe to Asia had become an early and a favourite object, after the discovery of the western hemisphere, yet no attempt had been made to reach the north sea from the Pa. cific Ocean. As a navigation, therefore, of this kind was not only new, but connected with the most important part of geogra. phical knowledge which yet remained to be revealed, namely, the exact position of the extreme points of the two continents; ano. ther voyage was resolved upon, chiefly with a view to effect those important purposes; which, when effected, nothing would remain to complete the geography of the globe, but what, as the editor of Captain Cook's third voyage (the bishop of Salisbury) observes, 6 might justly be called the minutiæ of the science.”
The ope. rations proposed to be pursued were so novel, so extensive, and so various, that the skill and exertions of Captain Cook were thought requisite to conduct them; he therefore relinquished the nominal command to which he had been appointed, in order to conduct an expedition which would expose him to the toils, the hardships, and the perils of a third voyage on the great Pacific Ocean, in a direction which had scarcely been attempted. To draw forth every exertion in this undertaking, an act of parlia. ment was passed, by which the discovery of a northern passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was declared to entitle the discoverer to the reward of twenty thousand pounds, which, by an act passed in 1745, had been restrained to such expeditions as should discover a passage through Hudson's Bay; and king's ships were now entitled to the reward on making such discovery, from which they had been excluded by the former act. The Resolution sloop was appointed to this service, so little injury had she sus. tained in her last voyage, and the Discovery, a vessel of three hundred tons, was joined in the same expedition; the command of her was given to Captain Clerke, who had been twice round the world with Captain Cook, and once with Commodore Byron. On the 11th of July, 1776, the Resolution sailed from Plymouth, and was joined by the Discovery at the Cape of Good Hope, on the 10th of November following.
The whole of the year 1777 was employed in exploring land to the southward, and in traversing the great Pacific Ocean in various directions, by which many more islands were discovered, whilst those formerly known were re.visited; on these several useful animals were landed, to provide, if possible, a breed of cattle un. known in those regions; the western coast of North America was explored, and an acquaintance with Nootka Sound first obtained. From this port the two ships sailed on the 17th of May, 1778, to the northward, in which navigation, the mouth of a very consi. derahle river was reached, and its course traced more than seventy leagues from its entrance, being explored as high as the latitude of 61° 30', in longitude 150° W. but its source could not be discern. ed, or conjectured upon. Captain Cook, in his journal, called it 66 the Great River," but it has since received the name of Cook's River, which it is likely to retain, even when its whole ex. tent and beneficial communications are fully ascertained.
In proceeding from the mouth of Cook's River, in the direction of north west, on the 26th of June, at half past four in the morning, the weather being so thick that nothing could be seen at the distance of an hundred yards, those on board the Resolution were alarmed at hearing the sound of breakers on their larboard bow, which led Captain Cook to cast anchor, and to call to the Disco. very to do the like. A few hours after, the fog having somewhat cleared away, the danger which they had escaped appeared to have been imminent, as the ships had passed between such rocks and breakers in the dark, as our navigator would not have viptured through in a clear day; and it appeared, that the ships had gained such an anchoring place, without choice, as was equal to any which could have been obtained hy the most deliberate search ! Captain Cook, in his chart, distinguishes the cape near which this event happened, by the name of Cape Providence ; and Ellis, in his narrative of this voyage, calls it a most providen. tial escape;" adding, “ if we had stood on five minutes longer, we must, in all probability, have been on shore; or if we had varied to the right or left, we should have run the risk of being upon the rocks.”
The American coast was here ascertained to form a long and narrow peninsula, which had received from Beering, the Russian navigator of those parts, the name of Alaska.
jecting point of the American continent had been imperfectly traced by him, and not ascertained to be part of the continent, but was now fully explored by Captain Cook; to him, indeed, mankind will ever be indebted for the knowledge acquired of that part of the world, which, until he visited it, was altogether un. known. It has been justly remarked, that “the fictions of spe. culative geographers in the southern hemisphere have been continent, and in the northern hemisphere seas.” If Captain Cook in his second voyage annihilated imaginary southern islands, he has made amends in his third voyage, by annihilating northern seas, and filling up the vast space which has been allotted to them, with the solid contents of his new discoveries of American land, farther Westward and northward than had hitherto been traced.”
On the 7th of August our navigator reached the western extre. mity of all America hitherto known, which he named Cape Prince of Wales; it is situated in latitude 65° 46', longitude 168° 5' W. On the 9th, the two ships crossed the strait, for the opposite coast of Asia, which they reached the next day: the coasts of the two continents are there distant only thirteen leagues. The people who inhabit this eastern extremity of Asia are called the T'schutski, and were visited by Beering in 1728. This land Captain Cook considers as properly the Tschukotskoi Noss, or eastern promorrtory of Asia, although the promontory to which Beerin; gave that name is farther to the south-west. It is a peninsula of considerable height, joined to the continent by a very low and, to all appear. ance, narrow neck of land, in latitude 66° 6', and longitude 169* 38'W. Proceeding to the north-east, they regained the Ameri. can shore, being now in the Arctic or North Sea ; on the 17th they had reached latitude 70° 33', when a brightness in the north. ern horizon appeared, like that reflected from ice, and which is commonly called “the blink;" in an hour after, a large field of ice became visible, and shortly, when in latitude 70° 41', entirely prevented the farther progress of the ships in that direction. On the 18th the two ships were close to the edge of the ice, which was as compact as a wall, and seemed at least ten or twelve feet high ; farther north it appeared much higher, its surface was extremely rugged, and here and there pools of water were observed upon it. The depth of water was from seven to nine fathoms. At this time the weather, which had been hazy, cleared up a little,