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Captain Scoresby's Obseroations in re
On the Polar Ice. gard to the Polar Seas.
As erroneous ideas are in circulaIt will, no doubt, be interesting to tion, in regard to the North Polar the readers of this Journal to know, ice, the following short statement may in a general way, what Captain Scores- prove useful. by has done in regard to the natural
1. The North and South Poles aphistory of the Polar Seas, as it is a pear to be surrounded with fixed subject, at present, very much before ice. the public. The following short
2. The ice extends much farther statement, we conceive, will be suffi- from the South than from the North cient for this purpose.
1. It was Pole : the nearest approach to the Captain Scoresby who first described, South Pole being a distance of 1130 in an accurate and complete manner, miles, whereas that to the North Pole the forms, magnitudes, motions, and is only 510 miles. distributions of the north polar ice.
3. The extent of the Polar ices va. 2. He was the first who, of late years, ries with the season, being greater in rediscovered the east coast of West or
winter than in summer. Old Greenland. 3. It was Captain
4. The southern or exterior limit Scoresby who first observed and an
of the North Polar ice breaks up on nounced the breaking up the ice on
the approach of spring, and during the east coast of West Greenland. 4. the course of summer so much ice is It was the same skilful navigator who broken and carried away, that ships first determined, in an accurate man
have occasionally reached as high as ner, the longitude of the east coast latitude 81° N. A short way beyond of West Greenland, under latitudes that limit, the ice appears to be solid, 940 and 76° N. as stated in a let- and probably extends in this state onter to Professor Jameson, and in- wards to the Pole. serted in the Edinburgh Monthly
5. The great body of fixed ice which Magazine. 5. The idea of a journey surrounds the North Pole, and which over the ice towards the north pole extends to latitude 82° or 81° N. in originated with Captain Scoresby. the summer season, is a compound of The particulars of this proposed jour. salt and fresh water ice. The lower ney, and the detail of the various re- part of this vast body of ice is frozen markable circumstances to be expect- sea water ; over this are layers of fresh ed during such an enterprise, were
water ice, formed by the freezing of communicated by him to the public melted snow, rain, and hail. through the Wernerian Society. 6.
6. The formation of this great body It was the reports of the various re- of ice does not appear to be dependent markable papers, descriptive of the on the presence of land, for no land North Polar regions, read at differ- occurs in the Antarctic Ocean, where ent times before the Wernerian So- ice is even more abundant than in the ciety, that first, in our time, roused Arctic Ocean. the public attention to the state of 7. The extent of the polar ice must the Arctic seas.
7. And lastly, we depend on the temperature of the cirbelieve that the present expedition to cumpolar atmosphere and ocean. We the North Pole was principally occa- know that there is a determinate porsioned by the discoveries and obser. tion of heat appropriated to the cirvations of Captain Scoresby, and by cumpolar regions; in their long sumhis direct communication of a plan mer, the heat must be considerof a voyage of this description to gen- able, and during the melancholy and tlemen high in reputation and in- protracted winter, the cold must be fluence in the philosophical world.*
ses of ice. We are certain this gentleman We have received a letter from a has not read Captain Scoresby's valuable worthy old seaman, in which the writer paper, and are confident he either is undenies the natural effulgence of the ice in acquainted with the accounts and descripPolar Seas, as mentioned by Scoresby, and tions of the Polar ices, as given by Mul. also maintains that the ice islanas of the grave, Egede, Crantz, Cook, Forster, Pa. Greenland Seas are never so large as de- ges, Fabricius, Giesecke, &c. or, if he has scribed by the same author, and concludes read them, he must have forgotten them. by ridiculing Scoresby's description of the But we shall be glad to hear from him motion and concussion of the floating mas. again on this interesting subjecte Editor.
intense ; but these two periods of heat that these blocks are derived from and cold appear to be so balanced, veins, or imbedded masses of granite that the heat of summer is never able in the limestone itself. In this counto melt all the ice formed during the try, we have granite formed in sandwinter, and much of the ice which is stone, and blocks of such granite in melted in the summer, is frozen again sandstone districts are erroneously in winter, and the deficit occasioned considered as boulder stones brought by the flowing away of part of the from distant granite mountains by water of the melted ice, is made up the agency of water. by the freezing of the sleet, hail, and snow, of the succeeding winter. It is, New Magnetical Instrument for de indeed, highly probable, that, ever since the earth's axis received its
termining the Longitude by Simple present inclination, the polar ices
Inspection. have continued fixed, and within cer A gentleman in Liverpool, Mr Bentain limits, in this arrangement, jamin Wood, of strong mechanical agreeing with the distribution of snow genius, has, he conceives, made the and ice above the snow line in all discovery of a new principle in magnecountries of the earth where the ele tism, whichi, if such a principle really vation is sufficiently great. Were exists, will be of great service to navithere no limits set to the increase of gators, shewing the longitude by simthis circumpolar ice, it would liave ple inspection. He has been much long since accumulated to so great an in the habit of fitting up compasses, extent, as to have destroyed the cli- and preparing magnetic needles for mate of the temperate regions of the them. After adjusting the bar and earth.
the card to the plane of the horizon, 8. Periods of maxima and minima he found, on touching the former, of many atmospherical phenomena are that it not only dipped towards the mentioned by naturalists, and, corre- north, but likewise invariably inclined sponding with these also, periods of to one side. In the course of some ex, increase and decrease of the glaciers, periments on this subject, he prepare and of the limits of the snow line. It ed a cylindrical bar, which he adjustis, therefore, not improbable that the ed so nicely between two centres of polar ices exhibit similar phenomena, agate, that it whirled round with and may continue to increase for a great freedom, and rested indifferentlong series of years, until they reach ly in any position whatever ; but, on a period of maximum, or greatest in- being magnetised, it turned with a crease, and after this gradually de- certain part upward, and obstinately crease until they reach a period of maintained that position when at rest. minimum, or greatest decrease, when On this cylindrical magnet, about a the Greenland seas will be clearer than quarter of an inch in diameter, he usual, and even to the 82d or 83d of placed a kind of wheel of brass, granorth latitude ; but it is very impro- duated at the edge in 360 degrees, bable that any extensive breaking up Of this wheel, which might be two or of the ice takes place much beyond three inches in diameter, the magnet these limits.
formed the axis. The bar, with its
wheel, he fixed in a brass frame, and Blocks of Granite in Limestone Disa balanced the frame upon an agate tricts.
centre, whereby the magnet readily
assumed its proper position, that is, its In the mountains of Jura, on the parallelism to the magnetic meridian. Continent, we occasionally meet with His whole apparatus he placed in great masses of granite, which are ge- charge of an American captain, whom nerally supposed to have been brought he considered as a friend, for the purfrom distant granite ranges by the pose of trying the effect in crossing agency of currents of water that for the Atlantic. The captain, in a letmerly swept the face of the carth. ter addressed to the inventor, states We do not deny the former existence positively, that the instrument accuof such currents, yet we do not con- rately shewed the longitude all the ceive it to be necessary to call in their way across, by turning a different deaid to explain the phenomena of the gree upward for every degree of lonmanite blocks of Jura. It is probable gitude passed over ; thus constantly
maintaining its vertical, as well as its as it is now believed, that the natural horizontal parallelism. The captain's repository of the diamond is a rock of letter is perfectly satisfactory, as far the trap series. as his authority goes, is well written, and evinces much science; and, in proof of his high opinion of the ina Diamond conjectured to be occasionala strument, he has taken out a patent
ly of Vegetable origin. for its construction in America.
PROFESSOR JAMESON, in a paper How far this may be a discovery of lately read before the Wernerian Soa new principle, or a new property of ciety, after a detail of curious facts in the magnet, those versed in the his- regard to the natural history of the tory of magnetism will be able to diamond, stated it as a conjecture, judge. We confess we should like a that the remarkable hardness of some few more trials to be made before we wood might be owing to their concould give it complete credence. We taining carbonaceous matter, approachsaw the instrument, and had some ing to the adamantine state, and that conversation with the inventor, who, the diamond itself might occur in we found, had been in the habit of grains, or even in crystals, in some of delivering lectures on magnetism, and the vegetables in the warmer regions of appears well calculated to give as the earth. much information on this particular subject, as any person with whom we Trapp-Porphyry the general seat of have lately met.
BARON VON Buch, the celebrated Great Mass of Native Copper dis- traveller, iu a discourse read before
covered in North America. the Royal Academy of Sciences of Native copper has been met with
Berlin, has endeavoured to prove, in different parts of the world, parti- situated in trapp-porphyry, and that
that all the volcanoes in America are cularly in North America and Siberia, the same is generally the case with the but generally in small pieces. The
extinct volcanoes in Europe. The largest mass hitherto mentioned by naturalists, is that described by Link same indefatigable observer is even inin his travels in Portugal, and which clined to suspect, that the mines in is calculated to weigh 2616 pounds, tricts, are situated in a volcanic por
Hungary, and in other similar disand which was found in Brazil. Very lately Dr Francis Baron, of the Unite phyry. There is no doubt that this
latter opinion ed States, discovered in the bed of the
completely erroneous, river Onatanagan, to the south of as is shewn by the circumstance of Lake Superior, a mass of native cop- ring equally disseminated through
the same metalliferous matters occurper of still more extraordinary mag the surrounding slate, as in the pornitude, for it is stated to measure 12 feet in circumference at one end, and
phyry. 14 feet at the other.
Dr Bruce of New York. Coal in Vcins in the Calton-hill.
WE lament to state, that Dr Bruce.
of New York in America, the conThe principal rock of the Calton ductor of that interesting work the Hill is porphyry, which passes occa American Mineralogical Journal, died sionally into trap tuff, greenstone, and a short time ago. The United States sandstone, and is often traversed by have lost in him a valuable citizen, veins of calcareous spar. These veins, and the philosophical world a man of as in the porphyry immediately un no common talent and acquirements. der the Observatory, contain portions It was Dr Bruce who first successful-, of a variety of glance coal, (blind coal ly introduced into North Ainerica the of miners.) This coal, according to study of mineralogy, and who, by his Professor Jameson, does not consume, acquaintance with the Wernerian even when exposed to a high tem- geognosy, was enabled to instruct his perature, and hence is considered as countrymen in the mode of investiapproaching, in its chemical quali- gating the structure of the earth. He ties, to the diamond ; and this cir-. was far from viewing this branch of cuinstance is the more remarkable, knowledge asa mere speculative science;
on the contrary, the natural bent of menced his examination of the minerhis acute and sagacious mind led him alogy of the Shetland Islands, has to consider it as one of the most va- again sailed for that remote part of luable of the practical departments of the British empire, to resume his inNatural History and Economice. By vestigations. Dr Macculloch is also his writings and his personal exer- about to visit the Shetland Islands, in tions, he has succeeded in establishing order to make himself acquainted with so generala zeal and ardour for minera- their mineralogy; Mr Thomas Allan, logy in the New World, that its ad- and Mr Bullock of the London Mu vancement is now secured in that seum, are setting out for St Kilda, in quarter of the globe.
order to examine the mineralogy of
that remote rock, already so interestPetalite, a newly discovered Mineral, ing by the descriptions of Macaulley
containing a new Alkali, proba- and Martin ; and we understand bly occurs in the Islands of Coll and that the celebrated Professor Mohs Rona.
of Gratz, Count Breunner of Vienna, BERZELIUS, who is, without doubt, this season to visit the Highlands of
and Professor Jurine of Geneva, are one of the most active, laborious, and Scotland, with the view of studying acute chemists of our time, and who the numerous highly interesting miis constantly adding to the great store of chemical facts, and occasionally themselves to the attention of the na
neralogical phenomena which present contributing, although in rather an
turalist in all parts of our Alpine reextensive manner, to the hypothetical,
gions. or what has been named the poetical department of this science, has lately, through his pupil Arvedson, discover No Greywacke in Cornwall. ed in a new mineral named petalite, an alkali different from those already Cornwall, informs us that greywacke
DR BERGER, in his Mineralogy of known. Petalite, according to Ar. is abundant in different parts of the vedsoni, contains 80 parts of silica, 17 of alumina, and 3 of the new alkali
. country, and several succeeding writers, We remember to have met with a ed with the true characters of that
either copying himor being unacquaintmineral resembling petalite in the island of Coll, and a substance of the have made the same assertion. We
rock, as given by Professor Jameson, same general aspect in Rona, also one of the Hebrides. We mention this suspect all of them are mistaken, and
if we understood what has been decircumstance with the view of indu- livered from the chair of mineralogy cing some of the numerous young mic in the College, not
a piece of greyneralogists, now visiting all parts of Scotland, to look for petalite in the wacke has been hitherto met with in
Cornwall. places just mentioned. Discovery of Antimony in Banffshire.
Geognosy of Sweden.
The earliest information we pose It gives us much pleasure to inform our readers, that a promising tained in an excellent, but little
sess of the geognosy of Sweden is conappearance of antimony ore has been lately discovered on the estate of Lord of the celebrated chemist Bergman.
known, work, the Physical Geography Fife in Banffshire. This ore, we un- Linnæus, Wallernus, and their imderstand, has been examined by Pro mediate pupils, added considerably to fessor Jameson, who finds that it is the information published by Bergthe radiated grey antimony, and contains 70 parts of antimony and 30 engaged the particular attention of
More lately, this country has of sulphur. We trust this very pro Dandrades, Von Buch, Hevmelin, and mising discovery will be vigorously Hausmann; and we are happy to anpursued.
nounce, that a work, written profes
sedly on the geognosy of Sweden, is Mineralogical Excursions into Scote about to appear from the pen of a land.
skilful and“ zealous observer, Mr DR HIBBERT, who last season com- Hisinger.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Women ; or Pour et Contre : a Tale. selves better understood, however,
By the author of Bertram, a Tra- when we have given a slight sketch of gedy. 3 vols. 12mo. Constable & Co. the story, and made our readers some
what acquainted with the characters We have no hesitation in placing, of this novel. this as undoubtedly at the head of Charles de Courcy, a young IrishMr Maturin's productions. In his man of genius, great personal attracearlier novels, with much occasional tions and fortune, had scarcely enterfelicity of expression, and many indi- ed Dublin, where, in his 17th year, cations of genius, there was yet such he was placed at the University, than a chaos both of incidents and of lan- by a singular adventure he rescued guage, that we could scarcely trace from the hovel of an old crazy woany presiding mind moving over the man a beautiful young girl, who had troubled waters of his invention. been carried there by force, and lay Even his Bertram, with all its power concealed. He put her into the hands and popularity, came upon us rather of her relations, but entirely lost sight as a “blast from hell,” than as con- of her for some time afterwards; till veying any of those “airs from Hea- one night, he found himself placed ven," which ought ever to encircle beside her in a Methodist chapel, the divine form of poetry; and we read whither he had accompanied a serious it, we confess, with a feeling of hatred youth of his acquaintance. She was and loathing, which was in some de- so much occupied with her devotions, gree transferred from the book to its au- that she did not recognize him till the thor. In thepresent work, however, he service was over, when she looked has made us ample amends, and we are upon him with a smile of so much now disposed to give him equally our sweetness, that he immediately ad hearts and our admiration." He has, dressed her as an acquaintance; and indeed, in his tiine, “ supped so full an elderly lady who was with her, with horrors,” that it would be too begged him to visit at their house. much to expect him to change his This lady was a Mrs Wentworth, one hand entirely, and to acquire at once of the Evangelical class, and married a shape perfectly humane and con to a gentleman of much less underversable, but his darker spirits are standing or heart than herself, and now under the control of the magi- much narrower and more bigoted in cian, and while he moves among them, his opinions. The society at their like the poet Danté, in his Inferno, house was quite novel to the young we still feel that his understanding is man, and of a kind which certainly quite clear, and his sympathies, with had no tendency to give him any good Every thing human, most fresh and religious impressions. He was in the unimpaired. We are really at a loss daily practice of hearing the must sato say, whether this work is more re cred subjects discussed in a spirit of markable for poetical fancy, or in- controversial arrogance, or of the most tense feeling, or profound reflection. revolting fanaticisin ; and were it not There is much poetry in the inven- that he loved the fair Eva, he could tion of the characters, and in the si- never have submitted to such comtuations in which they are placed. pany. In her pure and gentle manThere is an agonizing dissection of the ners he found an attraction which nohuman heart, which unveils many of thing could overcome, -- yet she seem, its most painful sensibilities; and there ed so heavenly a being, that he had is withal a depth and a variety of not the vanity to think he could inthought on the most interesting of all spire her with a mutual passion. The inquiries, which, in its different re- agitation of his mind ultimately imsults, has had so powerful an influe paired his health, and brought him to ence on the character and happiness the brink of the grave, when the cause of every age, and of none more than of his malady was accidentally dis
We shall make our. covered, and he was permitted to apo