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taken on a lake, or other unsheltered place, by a storm of wind.” The same writer was struck by the beauty of the snow-huts as constructed by the natives of these barren shores. “ The purity of the material of which the house was framed, the elegance of its construction, and the transparency of its walls, which transmitted a very pleasant light, gave it an appearance far superior to a marble building, and one might survey it with feelings somewhat akin to those produced by the contemplation of a Greek temple reared by Phidias; both are triumphs of art, inimitable in their kinds."
The freedom from suffering enjoyed by the healthier portion of Franklin's crew, must not, however, lead us to suppose that their dangers were few or small. The fatal effects of cold are not always produced by the same degree of temperature. They depend upon the state of the body, and its greater or less degree of vigour. Persons of weak circulation may be dangerously affected by a degree of cold, which could easily be borne by their stronger companions. A moist state of the skin adds to the effect of cold. When the body is warm and the circulation vigorous, and when there is moreover a dry state of the skin, and therefore less loss from evaporation, it is astonishing to observe the endurance of cold which is possible to the human frame. It has also been asserted that when the mind is strongly preoccupied, cold is little felt: in this way the power of insane people to endure cold without complaint has been explained.
Within certain limits the abstraction of heat from the human body is a healthy process, and one which conduces to vigour. We all feel the enlivening influence of clear and frosty weather, and the increased capability of exertion which it brings with it. The moderate degree of cold in the temperate parts of the earth is favourable, apparently, to the highest development of man, both physically and intellectually. But when this abstraction of heat becomes considerable, a train of well-known painful effects is the result. The first is the sensation called cold, which exhibits itself either by pallor of complexion, caused by absence of blood in the capillary vessels; or by a reddishblue colour of the exposed parts of the skin, caused by a delay of blood in the capillaries, causing it to become venous blood. At the same time there is a shrunken state of the skin, and a contraction of it round the small glands, causing it to resemble a plucked goose; the same state of the skin of the head causes the hair slightly to rise. A continuance of cold causes the extremities to shrink and become sensibly smaller, so that rings fall off, and shoes become loose. The action of the heart is diminished in force, the pulsations are weak, and often more rapid than usual. The brain and nervous system also come under the influence of cold. The whole surface of the body becomes less sensible to the touch, and the ends of the fingers sometimes die, as it is called. Under these circumstances a further increase of cold, or a lengthened exposure thereto, may cause the brain to lose its energy, and may cause an overpowering desire to sleep. This is a sign of the approach of that general sedative effect of cold which destroys life. This kind of sleep, therefore, is resisted as a fatal symptom in those who are exposed to severe weather. The following instances strikingly show the extreme difficulty of resisting this sleep, and the fatal effects of indulging it.
Captain Cook gives an account of the excursion of Dr. Solander and Sir Joseph, then Mr. Banks, with nine other individuals, who went on a botaniz ing excursion over a portion of the mountainous district of Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost extremity of South America.
While the party were on the mountains, the weather, which for some time had been very fine, became gloomy and cold, with sudden blasts of a most piercing wind, accompanied by snow. The day was so far spent that it was impossible to get back to the ship before the next morning, and they were obliged to pass the night on the mountain. They therefore pushed on towards a more sheltered spot, where they might kindle a fire and build a wigwam. It was now near eight o'clock in the evening, says the narrative, but still good daylight; and they set forward for the nearest valley, Mr. Banks himself undertaking to bring up the rear, and see that no straggler was left behind. Dr. Solander, who had more than once crossed the mountains which divide Sweden from Norway, well knew the
dangers of extreme cold; he therefore conjured the company to keep moving whatever pain it might cost them, and whatever relief they might be promised by an inclination to rest. “ Whoever sits down," said he, "will sleep; and whoever sleeps, will wake no more.” Thus at once admonished and alarmed, they set forward; but while they were still upon the naked rock, and before they had got among the bushes, the cold became suddenly so intense as to produce the effects that had been most dreaded. Dr. Solander himself was the first to be seized with the fatal inclination against which he warned others, and insisted upon being suffered to lie down Mr. Banks entreated and remonstrated in vain; down he lay upon the ground, though it was covered with snow, and it was with great difficulty that his friend kept him from sleeping. Richmond, also, one of the black servants, began to linger. Mr. Banks therefore sent five of the company forward to get a fire ready at the first convenient place they could find; and himself, with four others, remained with the doctor and Richmond, whom, partly by persuasion and entreaty, and partly by force, they brought on; but when they had got through the greatest part of the birch and swamp, they both declared they could go no further. All that Mr. Banks could say produced no effect: when Richmond was told that if he did not go on, he would in a short time be frozen to death, he answered, that he desired nothing but to lie down and die. The doctor was willing to go on, but said that he must first take some sleep, though he had before told the company that to sleep was to perish. Mr. Banks and the rest found it impossible to carry them; and there being no remedy, they were both suffered to sit down, being partly supported by the bushes; and in a few minutes they fell into a profound sleep. Soon after, some of the people who had been sent forward returned with the welcome news that a fire was kindled about a quarter of a mile farther on the way. Mr. Banks then endeavoured to wake Dr. Solander, and happily succeeded; but though he had not slept five minutes, he had almost lost the use of his limbs, and the muscles were so shrunk that his shoes fell from his feet. He consented to go forward with such assistance as could be given him ; but no attempts to relieve
Richmond were successful. It being found impossible to make him stir, he was left with two others to look after him, under the promise that they should be soon relieved. Mr. Banks with much difficulty at last got the doctor to the fire; and soon after sent two of the people who had been refreshed, in hopes that, with the assistance of those left behind, they would be able to bring Richmond, even though it should still be found impossible to wake him. In about half an hour, however, they had the mortification to see these two men return alone; they said that they had been all round the place to which they had been directed, but could neither find Richmond nor those who had been left with him; and that though