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5. Indian Sketches. By John T. Irving, Jun
Art. I.-1. Narrative of a Second Voyage in Search of a North.
west Passage, and of a Residence in the Arctic Regions, during the Years 1829-30-31-32-33. By Sir Jolin Ross, Č.B., K.S.A., K.C.S., &c. &c., Captain in the Royal Navy. London, 1835.
4to. pp. 740. 2. The Late Voyage of Captain Sir John Ross, R.N. to the Arctic
Regions, for the Discovery of a North-west Passage ; performed in the Years 1829-30-31-32-33. From authentic Information and original Documents, transmitted by William Light, Purser's Steward to the Expedition. By Robert Huish, author of the • Memoirs of the Princess Charlotte,' Treatise on Bees,' &c.
&c. London. 1835. 8vo. pp. 760. 3. Report from a Select Committee of the House of Commons, on
the Erpedition to the Arctic Seas, commanded by Captain
John Ross, R.N. 1834. WE TE should most willingly, and for many reasons, have dis
pensed with the task of noticing Captain Ross's work, had we not felt ourselves called upon to confute assertions which have no foundation in fact, and to expose misrepresentations which are adhered to, in spite of long by-gone correction, with a pertinacity that not only surprises, but almost confounds us. We now take up the volume with every disposition to deal with it as leniently as possible, but, at the same time, with a determination to defend the accuracy of those statements and opinions which we have so frequently had occasion to maintain, on the great question before us, from every attack, however artful, weak, or worthless. There are no circumstances, that we are aware of, which should induce us to be silent; indeed, we feel ourselves specially called upon, and for this reason- -it was the Quarterly Review* that took the initiative in reviving and dis
cussing * Quarterly Review.-On Lieutenant Chappel's Voyage. No. 35, Art. ii. Published in October, 1817. And here we may observe that, at the very threshold—in his silly • Introduction,'Sir J. Ross starts with a misrepresentation : ' It is not generally known,' he says, 'that the question of a North-West Passage, which had been lying dormant since the voyage of Captain Phipps, was, in 1817, revived by Mr. William Scoresby,' &c.—that he wrote to Sir Joseph Banks, and that on Sir Joseph's recommendation his proposal was attended to, &c. Now this statement VOL, LIV. NO, CVII.
cussing the question of a north-west passage—of examining the grounds of probability for its existence--and recommending that expeditions should be sent forth to decide, if possible, a question in itself highly interesting and important, and which had excited an ardent and devoted zeal in the naval worthies of Great Britain, under the fostering protection of Government, many centuries ago. Captain Ross having thought fit to throw down the gauntlet, he will find us prepared for the combat, but anticipating, as we do, an easy conquest over such an antagonist, we shall reserve the exposure of the faults and failings of his narrative, until we have briefly gone over the proceedings therein stated.
We wish it, in the outset, to be clearly understood, that we mean not to give the least countenance to the work which stands second at the head of this article. We consider it as having been put together for the mere purpose of obtaining a few pounds, by one of those industrious but unscrupulous scribblers known as booksellers' hacks-by one who calls bimself Huish; but whether this be a real name, or a mere nom de guerre, is of litle importance—and we take leave to say the same thing as to the existence or non-existence of Huish's Memoirs of the Princess Charlotte'-Huish's · Treatise on Bees,'—and the other opera Huishiana, modestly indicated by the &c. &c. of this great entity's title-page. The book itself, however, bears internal evidence of the narrative part being generally correct in its details; but it is interJarded throughout with very serious and heavy charges against Captain Ross, most of which we cannot believe to be true. tleman might have contented himself with the abundance of authentic materials with which he had been furnished by the journals of some of the crew, (for most of them, Ross says, kept journals,) without travelling out of the record to introduce his own crude opinions and unqualified abuse. The person who avowedly supplied him with the most material part of the documents was the steward of the ship, a man of the name of Light, who had previously been on two of the northern voyages with Parry. He was one of those useful people in a ship who know how to read, write, and cast accounts'—a sort of factotum, whose business was to manage the general concerns of the people--to issue the provisions-to bake bread and make puddings and pies for the cabin—to wash, is wholly incorrect. Mr. Scoresby did write to Sir Joseph Banks, as Ross might have learned from the above article of our Review, but not about the North-West Passage; he merely acquainted him with the fact of the disappearance of the ice from the coast of Greenland. We happen to know that Sir Joseph never made any recommendation to the government, nor corresponded with any of the public officers on the subject, except with Mr. Barrow, the Secretary of the Admiralty. Mr. Scoresby published two volumes, one on the Arctic regions, the other on the Greenland Whale-fishery, but not till 1820; and in his “Remarks on the celebrated Question’ he constantly refers to Nos. 35 and 36 of the Quarlerly Review'.