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Art. XI.—The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of
London, Vol. iii., Part 1. London ; Murray. 1833.
In this part we find the high character of the geographical journal still most worthily sustained. The articles which it contains are eight in number, and they chiefly relate to discoveries and descriptions in the eastern world.
From the first article we learn that a Geographical Society has been established at Bombay, and that one of its leading objects will be to maintain an intimate communion with the parent Society in London. There is no doubt that an example so fraught with advantages to geographical science, will be rapidly and extensively adopted in our colonies.
The second article contains an account of a tour through the province of Azerdbijan in Persia, by Colonel Monteith. This is followed by a paper giving a description of the river Usumasinta, in Guatemala, the production of Don Juan Galindo, of the Central American Service, and a Corresponding Member of the Royal Geographical Society. The account of the magnificent ruins of Palenque, on the banks of the river, forms a most interesting feature in this important communication.
The remaining papers, with the exception of one to which we shall presently call the reader's attention, are observations on the Gulf of Arta, an inlet of the Ionian Sea, by Lieut. James Wolfe, R.N.; an account of East Falkland Island, communicated by Woodbine Parish, Esq.; an account of the ascent of the Peter Botte mountain, in the Mauritius. This strange exploit was accomplished by Capt. Lloyd, chief civil engineer, accompanied by Lieutenant Phillpotts, of the 29th Regiment, Lieutenant Keppel, R.N., and Lieutenant Taylor, R.A.
The last article is a summary from the log-book of the brig Tula, Captain Briscoe, of the recent discoveries in the Antarctic Ocean,
The article which merits a separate examination is, the account of the route to be pursued by the arctic land expedition in search of Captain Ross. The paper is communicated by Captain Bach.
This expedition is to consist of two officers and about eighteen men, all of them accustomed to the duties and fatigues of travelling in America; and some of Sir John Franklin's men, who have volunteered their services.
The party should set out either in January, or early in February, so that they may reach Montreal in the month of April. This would enable them to engage Canadian voyageurs as guides, and also to lay in a good stock of provisions and ammunition. A canot de maitre, which is much larger than a north canoe, will be sufficient to carry the luggage and crew, and they ought to be on Lake Huron on the first of May. The route lies along the northern shores of this lake, which are barren and uninteristing. The Manatouline islands are rich in fossils, and run parallel, terminating at the Sault de St. Marie, where it is usual to lay in a supply of fresh provisions, and then follow the trendings of the northern shore of Lake Superior, across Michipicoton Bay, to the entrance of the Kamanatekwoya, or Dog River, on the right bank of which stands the Hudson's Bay Company's post Fort William. The country on the north side consists of a succession of hills, based upon rocks and faced with precipices. At Fort William the canot de maitre is exchanged for the two north canoes, provided by the Hudson's Bay Company, and also a supply of corn and fat. Where other food is not abundant, these two substances form the rations of the travellers. The corn is prepared by boiling it in strong alkali, which takes off the outer husk; it is then well washed and dried ; one quart of this is boiled in a gallon of water, to which a couple of ounces of melted suet are added, and these cause the corn to split, and make a pretty thick pudding, named hominee : the food is wholesome and easy of digestion.
In ascending the Dog river, the route is impeded by seventeen portages and decharges. One is occasioned by the falls of Kakabikka, remarkable for the volume of water which they present for the great height from which it falls—for the picturesque appearance of the rocks round the cascade-for the wildness of the vegetationand, finally, for the very great noise which it produces, and which is said to be louder than that of Niagara. On the opposite side is a cavity in the rock, which is regarded by the Indians as the abode of an evil spirit. Muddy Lake, which lies a little farther on, is possessed of a peculiar property, which has not as yet been explained—it is that of attraction in a manner to require unusual exertion on the part of the voyageurs to force their canoes over it; and during the late expedition under Sir John Franklin, our heavy canoes met the same obstruction, the lake at the time being but slightly agitated by a moderate breeze, but devoid of whirlpools, or any bubbling, to account for such an effect. On leaving this we proceed to the · Portage de la Prairie,' one end of which communicates with Lake Winnispeg, while the streams at the other end flow towards Lake Superior. After crossing the Rat Portage, we get to the River Winnispeg, which is a noble stream, but full of rapids and water-falls; and one is admonished of the fatal accidents that occurred by the number of wooden crosses placed on the banks by the survivors to the memery of their lost companions : these form so many beacons to point out the most dangerous spots. The expedition will then follow the regular route to Cumberland-house, where the canoes will be exchanged for two large boats, capable of containing the sixty bags of pemmican furnished by the liberality of the Hudson's Bay Company. The party will then make the best of its way across Pine Island Lake, and along some river tracks to Isle a la Crosse, Buffalo and Methye Lakes, as far as Portage la Roche, or Methye Portage. The boats are to be dragged across this height of land, and this is a business of time and trouble. Sailing against many obstructions, the party will next enter the Elk river, the country about which becomes less hilly. Passing through Stony river, the party follows the stream of the Slave river. On entering the Great Slave lake, the party will choose a different route from that taken by Franklin in his two journies ; they will coast the southern shores of the lake to its eastern extremity, and thence it will proceed by a route well known to the natives to the banks of the Great Fish river.
These explanations are illustrated by a coloured sketch of North America, showing the proposed route of Captain Back. The interest and importance of this map, however, will not be felt until the expedition has advanced a certain way; and it is our advice to all those who take an interest in such things to provide themselves in time with the necessary materials for understanding the future operations of the expedition.
Art. XII.- Ecclesia Anglicana: a Poem; containing an Historic
Portraiture of the British Church; with a more particular reference to York Minster; an Apology for the National Reformed Church; and Reflections on the Opinions and Aspect of the Present Times. By CHARLES OVERTON, Curate of Romaldkirk. London: Rivington. Bellerby: York. 1833.
A POEM, in five parts, in defence of the Church of England, is a phenomenon which few would have expected, at least in the present era. Surely the priests of that establishment have matters on their hands of much deeper importance at this moment than to afford time for recreations on the hill of Parnassus.
The poem is divided into five stages, called parts, each of which is a whole in itself. They contain historical and theological matter of all sorts connected with the foundation and progress of the church, and all the various subjects, sacred and profane, are alike subjected to the restrictions of the rules of metre.
Part I. directs our contemplations to the period of the first preaching of Christianity in Britain, and finishes at the era when the Saxons were made converts to that religion.
Part II. transports over some hundreds of years, and fixes us down in York city, to contemplate the burning of its cathedral.
In Part III. the glories of anthems, and other sorts of church music, are eulogized; the different orders of the hierarchy are described, and the sin of sacrilege meets with all the vengeance of the poet's fury.
Somewhat appeased by having vented his spleen against sacrilege, the poet proceeds with considerable serenity to the commemoration of those illustrious persons who protested against the errors of the papal system, and this leads him naturally to the great era of the Reformation.
Part V. is devoted to biographical sketches of the Archbishops of York, from the Reformation to the present time.
In going through the pages of our author, we have been frequently astonished at the nature of the policy which he seems to ascribe to the Creator in his superintendence of mundane affairs. Thus it appears beyond all dispute, that the author ascribes the burning of the cathedral of York to the anger of the Divinity, who must have looked with indignation on the profane use to which the sacred temple was put, when a musical festival was allowed to take place within its precincts. We can gather no other inference than this now stated from the following passage:
Perchance depicted by the tree that grew,
Here the reverend bard puts the question, did the Holy One dictate the destruction ? and he answers it, not indeed directly by a categorical reply, but by presenting us with the realization itself of the malediction as its natural result. Thus he sings :
That word gone forth, a Maniac's dreams fulfil
Then view'd his glory, and his realm restor'd.
The cathedral being now renovated, the solicitude of the author is directed to the important question, whether or not any thing is to happen again to the dome. He asks, will its desolation be accomplished by flames, or billows, or earth wide-gaping, or the furious gale, or, worse than even these, lawless rapine and ungovernable lust? Deeply interested is the reverend inquirer in finding out if papal Rome is once more to be lord of the ascendant, and again to be permitted to practice her sorceries? To which of these con. tingencies the author gives the preference, we have no means what. ever of judging; it is only sufficient to say, that he seems most apprehensive of papal domination, because the blind policy of this country has facilitated that usurpation. As a circumstance worthy the attention of all pious Protestants, the reverend author calls our attention to the solemn and mysterious coincidence of time which has occurred between the burning of the cathedral and the passing of the Catholic Bill! We must hear the wrath of the excited bard on this occasion:
Should future years, intent, some mark require,
Just ere it fell, indelible the stain,