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had been gazetted to the rank of commander, obtained immediate promotion on his return, his captain's commission being dated the 20th November 1822. The Royal Society, "in recognition of his invaluable exertions in the cause of geographical science, whilst conducting one of the most remarkable journeys ever achieved," offered him its Fellowship. On all hands he was welcomed and fêted as the hero of the day. Had he been other than he was he Iwould have run no little risk of being spoilt. But he was of all men most simple-minded and modest; more anxious to return to his cherished schemes of exploration along the Polar shore of the New World than to figure as the lion of the season in London drawing - rooms. Moreover, an important event had occurred to lessen the claims of ordinary society life upon him, for a few months after his return to England he married Miss Eleanor Porden, with whose family he had been for some time acquainted.
Franklin's first marriage was, in one sense, destined to be little more than a passing episode of his life. Within eighteen months of the wedding-day he was left a widower with a little child, and with the remembrance of a more bitter trial than any he had till then been called upon to endure. For, once more, the call to active service had come, and inexorable duty necessitated the parting with one who was even then almost in the throes of death, and whose malady, a rapid consumption, precluded all hope of their meeting again in this world. Six days after her husband's ship had sailed for America Mrs Franklin died. Those were the days of rare and slow communication, and weeks elapsed before the news reached
him. The letters that he wrote to cheer and comfort her in her mortal sickness-written, some of them, when she had been lying for nearly two months in her grave-are among the most touching extracts that we find in Mr Traill's volume.
It was good for him that work, and that of the most active kind, lay before him. Once more, despite the terrible experiences of his former journey, he was to undertake the exploration of the northern coast-line of America, and once more it was decided by the authorities to co-operate by sea. From Icy Cape, near Bering's Strait, where Cook had left off his discoveries, to the mouth of the Coppermine river, where his own had begun, the map was a blank, and this blank it was determined to fill in. The expedition was to be on a very different scale from the former one: the voyageurs were to be in part replaced by British sailors, and English-made boats were to supplant the Indian canoes. His companions were all that he could desire. First to volunteer were his old comrades Richardson and Back. Lieutenant Kendall joined as survey officer and Mr Drummond as naturalist, while in Mr Dease, a Hudson's Bay Company's official who ten years later was to make himself celebrated by his wonderful journeys, they found an indefatigable assistant whose local knowledge and experience of the natives were invaluable. The plan of the expedition, as on the first occasion, was left very much to Franklin's own judgment.
As far as Fort Resolution on Great Slave Lake the route followed was the same as that taken on his first journey. But instead of proceeding thence northward in the direction of the Coppermine river, his boats were headed for
the western end of the lake, where the Mackenzie river begins its course. Its rapid current bore them in less than a week to Fort Norman-one of the farthest outposts of the Hudson's Bay Company-which they reached on the 7th August 1825. Here a halt was made, and the future plans of the expedition discussed.
The winter was not yet upon them, and there accordingly remained some time for reconnaissances, of which they were glad to take advantage. Franklin despatched Back and Dease to the north to erect winter quarters at the south-west extremity of Great Bear Lake; while Richardson, at his own request, explored the northern shore of this great inland sea, with the special view of making himself acquainted with the route by which he might return from a survey of the coast of the Arctic Ocean, of which he was to have charge in the ensuing summer. Meanwhile Franklin had set himself a more formidable task-that of descending the Mackenzie to the sea, and returning before winter set in. Fortunately all three designs were carried out without a hitch, and Franklin had the melancholy satisfaction of hoisting at the mouth of the river the silken union-jack which had been worked for him by his dying wife, and which it was her desire that he should not unroll till the Arctic Ocean was reached.
The winter passed without incident, and on the 22d June 1826 the season was considered sufficiently far advanced for the voyage to be resumed. The descent of the Mackenzie was once more safely accomplished, and at its mouth Richardson's party bade adieu to the others, and turning eastward, began their task of sur veying the coast-line which lay be
tween this point and the Coppermine river. With them we have nothing to do, although it is pleasant to be able to record that unbroken success attended them, and that they safely returned to Fort Franklin, as the winter quarters were called, on the 1st September, after surveying 900 miles of coast and completing a journey of more than twice that length. The same good fortune did not favour the other party. It has been said of Franklin that he was one of the few successful men who invariably failed, and fail he certainly did upon this occasion. Constant fog, an obstacle he had met with but twice upon his first land-journey, hindered his progress, as did the great abundance of shore - ice encountered. Little by little, however, the boats fought their way westward, till a distance of nearly 400 miles had been accomplished. Then the order for return had to be reluctantly given, for, though they had less than a fortnight of August left to them, they were not half-w -way to Icy Cape, the spot where Beechey in the Blossom had arranged to meet them. Thus for the second time Franklin was doomed to disappointment, though he was happily not called upon to face the appalling disaster that overtook him in his first endeavour. The expedition reached its old quarters on Great Bear Lake in good condition before the winter had set in, and Franklin was back in England once more in September 1827, with a running survey of twelve hundred miles of previously unknown coast-line to his credit. His failure, after all, spelt success.
Warmly as he had been welcomed home in 1822, his reception on this occasion was no less gratifying. The Geographical Society of Paris presented him with their
gold medal, and later he became the guest of the Duc d'Orléans. A visit to St Petersburg resulted in his being entertained at dinner by the Emperor, who showed the greatest interest in his voyages; and his own country though somewhat more tardy in doing him honour-eventually joined in the approbation expressed by Europe by knighting him. In the summer of 1829 the University of Oxford conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.C.L. The old diaries kept by one of his relatives during that "Commem." lie at our elbow, and testify to the wild enthusiasm with which he and Parry-who was accorded a similar honour-were greeted on the occasion. Parry was unmoved by the roar from undergraduate throats; but Franklin, who was evidently unprepared for such a reception, and rather disliked publicity, showed traces of a nervousness which his comrades in the terrible struggle to Fort Enterprise would perhaps scarcely have suspected.
A little packet of letters is in the writer's possession which has escaped the waste-paper basket for three-quarters of a century. They deal with no State secrets, and are penned by no learned hand. Association alone can be pleaded to justify their preservation, for they are merely the letters of two schoolgirls, who can have been but ill educated, for in their day Girton was non-existent and The Heavenly Twins' unpublished. unpublished. Some are addressed "Miss Porden," the others "Miss Griffin, 21 Bedford Place"; and the interest of them lies in the fact that each writer was destined afterwards to become the wife of him of whom we are now writing, but with whom at that time they were apparently not even ac
quainted. With each, too, a tragedy was connected similar in kind; for in both cases the call of duty brought about a parting which was to be final in this world.
It was not surprising that Franklin on his return should be drawn to the society of one who, like Miss Griffin, had been on terms of intimacy with his wife, and still less, perhaps, that she should have eventually become the latter's successor. Her father, Mr John Griffin, a man of some fortune, was himself an enthusiastic traveller, but he was not, as Mr Traill states, a solicitor of high standing in his profession," nor indeed in any way connected with the legal profession. Huguenot by descent-for in spite of its appearance the name is French his family had for a lengthy period been engaged in that industry by which the RevoIcation of the Edict of Nantes so enriched England-namely, silkweaving. weaving. His wife, Miss Guillemard, also came of an old Huguenot family which settled in England at the end of the seventeenth century. One of three beautiful sisters, Miss Griffin's attractions were not confined to what Carlyle has contemptuously termed the "external wrappage of the man." Vivacious, animated, and intelligent-in a word, alive to her finger-tips-she had met and known a pretty large proportion of the interesting people of the day, and had travelled extensively with her father in almost every part of Europe. Franklin's choice is not difficult to understand, and that it was a happy one is proved by the camaraderie subsisting between them during his lifetime, and the devotion which led her later to spend the greater part of her time and fortune in the solu
tion of the mystery which surrounded his death.
They were married on the 5th November 1828; and for nearly two years Franklin took a wellearned rest from active service-a rest which was nevertheless not of his own choosing, for he submitted a plan for yet another Arctic expedition, only to find that the Admiralty "did not intend to recommend any more Northern expeditions to his Majesty's Government." It was not till the summer of 1830 that congenial employment again offered itself in the shape of the command of H.M.S. Rainbow. This time he was called upon to change his role of explorer for that of diplomat; for this it was that his command as senior naval officer in Greece during the War of Liberation practically amounted to, in days when a freer hand was given and telegraphs were non-existent. With this period of his life Mr Traill deals at great, and we think quite unnecessary, length; for the affair was of very secondary importance, the incidents of interest rare, and the mass of detail with which we are presented of a more than common dulness. Two things, however, forcibly present themselves to the reader's mind the extreme popularity of the Rainbow's captain, and the general happiness and concord which prevailed among all ranks throughout the cruise. One who was then on board as cadet-" volunteer of the first class," as they were then called -speaks to the same effect in a letter to the present writer :
"The ship was in first-rate order, having a very smart 1st lieutenant, and I well remember how much respected and beloved was Sir John by all on board. He entertained his officers a good deal at dinner, and his kindness to them as well as his
courtesy of manner much struck my boyish observation. All were happy, and the ship may be said to have been thoroughly comfortable.' By the sailors she was known as the Celestial Rainbow, or Franklin's Paradise."
In connection with the unfortunate squabble in which he afterwards became mixed up in Tasmania this fact is of interest, as is also his complete success in the far from easy political duties which his command in Greek waters for nearly three years involved. In acknowledgment of his services he was made Knight Commander of the Guelphic Order of Hanover on reaching home, while King Otho of Greece conferred upon him the Cross of the Order of the Redeemer.
We would gladly have welcomed in Mr Traill's volume a larger number of extracts from Franklin's own letters, for of these he has given us but few. The subject of a biography often tells his own story best, and though we are not among those who believe that the letters of a man necessarily afford the best clue to his mind and habit of thought, they often reveal phases of character not otherwise evident. Perhaps Mr Traill would plead that Sir John was less interesting as a correspondent than as an explorer. And, indeed, it must be confessed that his letters, so far at least as the writer of these pages is acquainted with them, are abnormally serious, and read as if too much care had been taken to "seek the choice word and measured phrase," though it must be remembered that this was in great part a marked feature of letters of that period. Those who look for anecdote, too, in Mr Traill's Life' will meet with disappointment. Disraeli, however, with whose family both
Franklin and his wife were intimate, forms the subject of the following sketch from the latter's pen :
"Young D'Israeli's follies on board the Hermes are of a piece with his and his companions' conduct here two years ago. They are quite a by-word at Corfu, the names of D'Israeli, Clay, and Meredith never being mentioned but to be laughed at. They apologised for being too late for dinner, because the scenery of the island did
not enable them to think of such things; accepted with hesitation an invitation to one of the regimental messes, saying it was a trying thing to dine at a mess; avowed their utter inability to dine in anything but a large room, and with Sir Frederick Adam,... behaved as if they thought their host was a very insignificant person indeed compared with themselves. Mr Clay wore long ringlets down his cheeks, and was dressed in a complete suit of blue lined with velvet, with blue buttons and blue spurs !"
It is more probable, as Mr Traill suggests, that there is a mistake here, and that for Mr Clay Lady Franklin meant to have written Disraeli.
A letter from Disraeli at a much later period, quoted on p. 276, although not in other ways of particular interest, conceals a rather ludicrous incident which that statesman was hardly likely himself to reveal, and which Mr Trail is probably unacquainted with. It mentions the fact of his meeting Sir John's father-in-law on the road between Augsburg and Munich, without further remark. But we have another letter sous la main which gives the incident in full. Mr Griffin and his daughter, Lady Simpkinson travelling voiturier, and halting to rest the horses at a post-house some hours from Munich, suddenly became aware of "a most disconsolate-looking figure with long
VOL. CLXI.-NO. DCCCCLXXVI.
dark curls, leaning dejectedly against one of the pillars of the porch." It was Disraeli on his wedding tour! The sight of his friends aroused him sufficiently to enable him to disclose his tale of woe. Either owing to the charms of his bride or the monotony of the scenery he had failed to recognise the fact that for some hours he had been retracing his steps instead of proceeding in the direction of Innsbruck as he had intended, and had reached post-house only to find no horses available for his return. The joke lost nothing, moreover, by the additional fact that they had mistake had taken place in duplievery reason to suppose that the cate, and that another couple, desirous of reaching Augsburg, were at that moment speeding on their return journey to Innsbruck! Our letter does not relate the further adventures of the unlucky travellers.
That the period of idleness which fell to Franklin's lot at the completion of his service in Greece was irksome to him it hardly needs the evidence of his letters to show. During his commission the Government had again revived their designs of Arctic exploration, and though it was only natural that in his absence the command of the expedition—which had in view the survey of the N.E. portion of North America— should be given to Back, his letters evince the fear that he might be dropping out of the ranks as far as Arctic work was concerned. "We may rest assured," he writes, "that there will be no more landjourney after Back's return." But though his forecast was in this respect incorrect, and though the latter navigator's success in his discovery of the Great Fish River led again to an Arctic commission,