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south. So far, then, there was evidence | visible when the open water which it indithat the sea on which the fields had formed cates is as yet forty or fifty miles off, or was both wide and deep. It also became even further. Therefore, the northern clear that this sea extends much further to boundary of Parry's ice-field must have the north than Parry had been able to get, lain far away to the north; and adding the because it is obvious that the ice on which distance thus indicated to the southerly drift he and his party stood when they had at- of the field, it will be seen that the open tained their highest northerly latitude must water which lay beyond the ice-field must have been much further towards the north extend within two or three hundred miles a few days before — since it had been float-of the North Pole, if not nearer. This, be ing continually southwards during that it remarked, is certain; the open sea probtime. But still, it was not clear from ably extends much further north; since Parry's voyage that the northern seas are there is every reason for supposing that ever navigable in those high latitudes. For Parry's ice-field had been floating about in anything which appeared, it might be a those northern seas for weeks before he part of the economy of the Arctic regions began to traverse it. Thus we learn from that a vast icefield extending in a solid Parry's experience, combined with that mass right across the North Atlantic, in gleaned by Professor Nordenskiold, that the latitudes higher than any yet reached, open sea route towards the Pole only reshould float each year bodily southwards. requires to be boldly and perseveringly There was, indeed, no reason for supposing pursued in a well-fitted and strongly-built that Parry's experience was exceptional; steamer, to reward the Arctic voyager with nor did it appear at all unlikely that what a much closer approach towards the North happened to the north of Spitbergen might Pole than has ever yet been attained – if indicate that a similar process was taking not even with success in reaching the Pole place_right across those northern seas. itself. One circumstance, however, seems But Professor Nordenskiold's voyage in to merit attention. Captain Koldewey, it the Sofia has shown that in the very lati- will be remembered, tried to make the tude to which Parry found that the great shore of Greenland in latitude 76°, and afice-field extended northwards in an un- terwards bore away to the east. The Swedbroken mass there is open water commu- ish expedition also traversed the eastern nication further west. If a process resem- part of the North Atlantic. Now, it seems bling that observed by Parry was going on to us that Dr. Kane's discovery of an open during the present year, then it must be tidal sea to the north of Kennedy's Chanassumed that the Sofia was outside the nel indicates that the true course for an western border of the great ice-field. Now, Arctic explorer, when once the eightieth if we imagine the case of a more powerful parallel has been reached, is to bear off steamer thus situated, at so early a season towards the north-west. For it is certain as to permit of a more protracted struggle that the tidal waves of the Atlantic find with the difficulties presented by the ice- their way in that direction. It is equally encumbered seas, we shall see that there certain, also, that the warm waters of the would be a very fair prospect of the Pole, Gulf Stream pour round the unknown northor at least a very high latitude, being ern shores of Greenland to Kane's sea, since reached. For the great ice-field which car- the observed temperature of that sea indiried Parry southwards must have been float-cated in a very obvious manner the action ing freely. Therefore, a ship placed on its of the enormous volume of water carried border could have found a channel around northwards by the Gulf Stream. Besides, it; and, further, since the motion of the by adopting a north-westerly course a ship field was towards the south, the open water would increase her chance of escaping from around it must have been widening on its the outlying arms of the enormous ice-fields northern border. So that the further north which float about to the north of Spitberthe ship was pushed the clearer would her gen. An attempt to reach Kane's sea from course become. Again, we have already Spitzbergen is worth making. Success in remarked that the most northerly point such an attempt would be fully as imporreached by Parry must have been much tant as success in reaching the Pole; but nearer the Pole a few days before Parry in all probability the latter exploit would turned his face southwards. But this is be a sequel to the former, since there is not all. Parry saw towards the north good reason for believing that the sea on no sign of open water. The experienced whose shores Dr. Kane and his party found Arctic traveller can detect the neighbour- the limit on their northward progress is the hood of an open sea long before the water true Polar ocean, and is navigable throughbecomes actually visible to the eye. The out the summer months right up to and bephenomenon termed the “water-sky” is 'yond the Pole.
From The Spectator, 7 Nov. which risk much and rashly for immediate EARTHQUAKES AND ENGLISH CHAR
gains, at the expense of those slowly cumuACTER.
lative energics which sow early in the faith
that they shall reap late, but certainly. If England were ever to become the cen Yet it might seem that earthquakes are tre of a region of active earthquakes like sent especially and providentially to aid in Peru and Ecuador, - earthquakes not like the realization of that attitude of mind that of October, 1863, and yesterday week, which Roman Catholics call “ detachment, which alarmed a few nervous people, but for no other phenomenon, natural or susuch as turn cities into lakes, substitute ac- pernatural, so completely snaps all the ties tive volcanoes for fertile farms, and throw between man and every physical and earthly up new mountains, — what would become object of attachment. Pestilence may kill of the English character? It is not impos- us, but if it does not, it may leave us infisible ; or if it is, it is an impossibility which nitely richer by the death of others; from we bave no means of knowing, for it seems famine, or flood, or drought, or volcanic pretty certain that the surface of the earth eruption we may escape to other lands; we is but a thin crust confining the wildest and may ensure ourselves against fire or wreck, most destructive forces, which are always or almost any other physical danger; but if striving to break out, and succeed when the earth itself gives way beneath us, if the ever a cracking of that crust, owing to any “real” estate vanishes, if there is no footsudden cooling or overheating of the sur- ing beneath us on which to flee away, if the face, enables them to do so. Though it city is swallowed up at our feet as it was at seems probable that we have a thicker crust those of Lord Carnarvon's friend in Peru, between us and the earthquake-forces in if the insurers disappear, and the whole England than either South America or Cal- property which is the basis of insurance abria, we have no assurance that any in- sinks into the yawning gulf, if there is left ward disturbance of the interior force may no room for 'ascetic self-denial because not cause some new rift that might lay us nothing earthly to cling to, - then, indeed, open to the same terrible dangers. If that one would suppose that we should try what were ever to happen, should we verify Mr. we could manage in the way of clinging by Buckle's theory of the degrading effect pro- our consciences and spirits to the spiritual duced on the minds of all the races of men will, which is the only reality left to us. by any destructive forces of overpowering Yet, as a matter of fact, it is nearly certain and overwhelming magnitude, in the pres- that if all our habits of trust in what, though ence of which man is almost helpless, and we may call it earthly, has ever been the paralyzed even where he is not helpless ? foundation of our ordinary life and duties, Supposing a slight earthquake a day were were to be rudely broken at once, men the ordinary rule, as it is in some parts of would find it not more, but much less easy, South America, and a terribly destructive to trust implicitly the Divine Spirit itself. shock at intervals of a few years, should we " Detachment,” in the Catholic sense, cannot remain what we now mean by true “ Brit- be reached by merely breaking earthly and ons ” for another generation ? Would not human ties, but only by cultivating the the great external change soon work its spiritual. To be physically detached from effect on our characters, — impress on us all objects of earthly desire is not a step the uncertainty of life and property in a towards, but a step away from, life in God, sense in which our religious teachers have for the essence of that, is trust, acquiescence entirely failed to engrave it on our minds, in Ilis will because it is Ilis will, — and the - and yet instead of spiritualizing us, essence of this is nakedness, the sudden deaden us more effectually than ever to all sense of emptiness, and helplessness, and truly spiritual impressions? We think it is fear, and want, and impotence, all of them scarcely possible to doubt that so it would emotions in the last degree opposed to those be. And if so, it is a curious lesson to at which the religious spirit aims. The those teachers who are always trying to first physical (or is it moral?) effect of an persuade us that the thought of death should earthquake seems to be to strip men of all be ever present with us, that wherever Na- their sense of moral relation to the universe ture herself succeeds in staunping this indel- altogether, to reduce them to the sickness ibly on men's minds, the result is not to of absolute isolation, and this even before refine the grosser, and strengthen the spir- the shock has worked its destructive effects. itual, affections of human nature, but only A gentleman who was in one of the worst to diminish the total force of human charac- earthquakes at Copiapo said, “ Before we ter altogether, and perhaps even to foster hear the sound, or at least are fully conthe impatient and gambling dispositions scious of hearing it, we are made sensible,
I know not how, that something uncommon/" Peel's Act” and cash payments be susis going to happen; everything seems to pended, but all need for cash payments change colour; our thoughts are chained abruptly abolished, that 'not only the immovably down; the whole world appears small boroughs might prove “ rotten,” but to be in disorder; all nature looks different the very largest, - that the Irish Churches from what it was wont to do; and we feel might be “ disestablished" without the vote quite subdued and overwhelmed by some of either House of Parliament, and the teninvisible power beyond human control or ure of the Throne itself dangerously comprehension.” That is almost a prose touched” without any conspiracy either account of what Dr. Newman paints in verse Roman Catholic or Fenian Suppose a as his conception of the detachment of death British Parliament deliberating under such itself:
conditions as these or anything remotely
approaching them, - under fears such as “I am no more ; for now it comes again, would be reasonable in Quito and not unThat sense of ruin which is worse than pain, natural at Lima, — and what would British That masterful negation and collapse
good sense," and British tenacity of purOf all that makes me man, as though I bent
pose, and that British courage which does Over the dizzy brink,
not seem to know when it is beaten, beOf some sheer infinite descent ;
come? Or worse, as though
We suspect that no character Down, down for ever I was falling through
would show less brilliantly than the British The solid framework of created things,
under such circumstances as these. Its And needs must sink and sink
strength consists very much in a slow but Into the vast abyss. And crueller still, deeply graven, imagination, which takes a A fierce and restless fright begins to fill
profound impression from all those transThe mansion of my soul.”
actions to which it is well accustomed, and
is very obtuse to all others, so obtuse as And since even a Catholic does not regard not to admit any disturbance from considthe detachment of death as a moral dis- erations which seem to be irrelevant to the cipline for any one who has not cultivated ordinary course of its daily work. Let spiritual life before the crash comes, once this practical line of expectation and the moral effects of the earthquake, which confidence be rudely shaken, and it is alare the next thing to death, the sinking most impossible to say what form British away of all physical stays, the abandonment character would take. It would scarcely of man to the absolutely “unknown and un- show the strenuousness of ants, which knowable” as regards all earthly life, can work at once to repair all the mischief done not be supposed to be a moral discipline, to their nest, and this as often as the inexcept to him who has really learned to jury is repeated; for British confidence live a hidden life which no convulsions of seems to be easily disheartened, witness the this sort even threatens.
prolonged panic caused by the evidence of And the Briton is the last man who can speculative and ill-managed companies in be supposed to have learned this at all. the last few years. Let only Nature treat The good in him mainly consists in the the Englishman as badly as the speculative tenacity with which he lives in a narrow set trader has recently treated him, and all of visible relations, and the punctuality would soon be either at a stand-still, or with which he fulfils the duties which so else there would be a great rush towards arise to him. What would a British Parlia- | immediate enjoyment by way of seizing on ment be like if deliberating under the fixed the only certainty; more probably, perimpression that all they did one year might haps, the former; for the speculative and be undone the next, that some morning gambling spirit in Englishmen is caused the new Embankment might turn out to be more by narrow and overweening self-conat the top of a new chain of hills, and the fidence than by anything like desperatestones of the Houses of Parliament them- ness; and though Englishmen would not selves associated with it, – 'that the Docks create if the fear of sudden destruction was at Devonport' might any night be left by strong upon them, it is not perhaps very the sea some three miles inland, - that the like them to throw away recklessly anything City and Westminster might be shuffled, they have. We suspect that a deep plysiand the Marquis of Westminster suddenly cal distrust of Nature would operate on beggared by the fall of all his houses and Englishmen very like their recent deep the death of most of his tenants, - that the moral distrust of commercial enterprise, bullion at the Bank of England might dis- that it would simply paralyze and narrow appear without what is called “a flow," their active powers, but in no way contribwithout being exported, and not only ute to enlarge their spiritual life.
Even granting the truth in what the Hindoos who tried to establish the ChurCatholics mean by the virtue of “detach- ruck Pooja or Swinging Festival, but were ment," – granting, that is, that we ought to prevented by the Government; 25,000 live a life that is not all absorbed and were negroes; 20,000 Portuguese of Mawrapped up in earthly duties, that can bear deira, nominally Catholic, and some, 50,000 to contemplate a complete transformation or so Chinese, who have either no religion of those duties, -even granting this, En- at all or adopt that of the ruling race. glishmen are likely to attain it, so far as The tongues spoken are endless, the variethey ever can, rather by exhausting the full ties of civilization as numerous, but still meaning of them, and finding out that they above them all calmly sits the Englishman, are not enough for the whole life within us, insisting on order, and in the main securing than by any sudden rupture of them. We, it, except when circumstances bring to light as a nation, if we ever do attain * detach- the inexplicable antipathy entertained by the ment," shall do so by exhausting the power Chinaman for the negro, an antipathy appaof "attachment,” not by being shaken free rently deeper seated than that of the Anglofrom earthly ties. We suspect an era of Saxon. Among them all, the least known earthquake would demoralize us even more and the most interesting are the Aborigines, than it would demoralize most other races whom the Government for many reasons, of our globe.
the principal, perhaps, being that we, and not they, are the intruders, - have very much
let alone. They have, however, an attrac
tion for the Missionaries, and the author of From The Spectator. this volume has resided years among them, THE INDIANS OF GUIANA.* and appears to have visited some of their MR. Brett has had good materials to observer, a fair draughtsman, and the work
most sequestered retreats. He is a keen work with, but he has not used them well. leaves a strong impression of his personal We make no objection, except on the score truthfulness, – not an invariable quality of of taste, to the odd little tags or sentences of artificial and unctuous piety with which
The general type of the natives of Guihe studs his writing, for he is evidently a
ana is quite uniform.
“ Their skin is of a sincere man yielding to a professional habit; but his book is discursive
to weariness, and copper tint, a little darker than that of his information disjointed. He has adopted hair is straight and coarse, and continues
the natives of Southern Europe. Their the chronological form of narrative, and facts jet black till an advanced period of life. about the same tribe have often to be sought at Their eyes are also black and keen, and wide intervals. Most Englishmen will, how- their sight and hearing very acute.” The ever, gain something from his book; for few men wear nothing of their own accord but a Englishmen, we suspect, are aware of the re- strip of cotton about the loins, and on festimarkable experiment working itself out in vals coronals of feathers; and the women Guiana, of the amazing precipitate of man small aprons of beads, and necklaces either which has gradually there deposited itself of beads or teeth taken from wild animals; under British protection. Imagine a trop- but the Missionaries teach them some rules ical Delta, or a series of three Deltas, of dress as essential to godly, or at all 200 miles in breadth, and of an almost un events to decorous, life. They dwell in known depth into the interior, pierced by thatched huts with sloping roofs, which many rivers, and inhabited, so far as it is usually contain two apartments, one for the inhabited at all — that is, on the coast — by man and his goods, the other for the women almost every dusky race under the sun,
and children. Most of them allow polygnative “Americans," savage as the Red Indians, but more amenable to authority ; women, and are expert both with the bow
amy, throw the drudgery of life on their negrocs, Portuguese from Madeira, Hindoos and arrow and the blow-pipe, a weapon from Bengal and the Nerbudda Valley, almost peculiar to themselves. Thus far gans from the Nagpore jungles, and Chi- they differ little from other savages, and esnese from the Southern provinces. Of
the pecially from the Aborigines of India, but 100,000 immigrants imported within 30 selves. The most remarkable of these is
they have a few customs peculiar to themyears of the Emancipation, 50,000 were their mode of avenging murder. When from India, some of them Mussulmans who still observe the Mohurrum; and more tribe indicates the murderer, and the near
any one is put to death the sorcerer of the The Indian Tribes of Guiana. By Rev. W. n. est relative then goes through certain cereBrett. London : Bell and Daldy.
monies, which end in his becoming a
“Kanaima,” that is, a man possessed with take in hand, whether it be for evil or for the deity of that name. He devotes him- good. So at least we found it with this self to the slaughter of the murderer, or clan, then separate from all their brethren. some one of his family, lives by rule, and Having believed and embraced Christianity, appears to work himself up to a state of they were evidently trying to live up to it. madness, in which he is as dangerous as a Of those who first came to us, there rewild beast. When his victim is found he mained, in a few years, not one unbaptised, first renders him dumb by pressing poison nor a couple unmarried.” It appears that into his mouth, then kills him; and then if even in the wild state their women are the relatives remove the body visits his chaste, and they are probably the only savgrave to run a stake through his heart, in ages in the world who babitually speak low, order that he may taste it. If he can fulfil - a mark of a character given to selfall these ceremonies he goes home com- restraint. Even the Acawoios, however, posed, if not, he wanders on till overtaken yield both in courage and cruelty, to the by madness or starvation. This custom is Caribs, the warrior tribe which once ruled dying out on the coast, but is still pre- the whole of this region, was declared by served in the interior, and, perhaps, ac- the Dutch to eat its enemies, and was uncounts for the dislike of many tribes to questionably fierce and courageous beyond quarrelling, The uniformity of the native any other in America. The Caribs are clans is only apparent, as the word “na- now comparatively civilized, though still tive" includes several tribes, notably the liable to ferocious bursts of passion, and in Arawaks, Acawoios, Waraus, and Caribs. Guiana, as everywhere, they are rapidly The Arawaks, or Lokono, are a gentle dying out. On the Corentyn, the eastern tribe, much favoured by the Dutch, who boundary of the colony, rude carvings are take readily to Christianity and civilization, constantly seen in places whence the huseldom quarrel, and would, but for a ten- man race has died out, the Caribs having dency to get drunk on chewed cassava, apparently worn themselves out with war, very much resemble the less civilized in- slave-hunting, and the orgies to which the habitants of Bengal. They are willing to latter habit gave rise. They had probably learn, are interested in maps and pictures, adopted, moreover, some habit of infantiand exhibit, as we gather from several cide, for in 1866 the average of children anecdotes, a livelier conscience than most among a few scattered families which still semi-civilized people. The Waraus seem remained was only one per couple. In one to be precisely like the Sonthals, cling to place where they had been numerous, only the coast, are indolent, but capable of hard 29 Caribs remained, still honoured by the labour, and, unlike most American savages, Indians of other tribes as the descendants are of a jovial disposition. The Acawoios of a once irresistible race. The same deare a fiercer tribe, who combine the avoca- cline is visible in all provinces, and this tion of traders and pirates. They under- not only within our rule, but in districts take immense journeys, which they make in which no white man has ever visited - a armed parties, to Venezuela or Brazil, strange fact, as it disposes of one plausible usually massacring the people of any vil- theory, that the presence of Europeans imlage en route not strong enough to resist presses the native imagination till, hopeless them. They are brave to audacity, and of rivalling or enduring the invaders, they are dreaded by their neighbours, and ex- perish of melancholy. At all events, unhibit the phenomenon, rare, though not un- like the aborigines of India and the neknown among savages, of discontent with groes, they are perishing, and officials extheir own creed. În 1845 an impostor, pect speedily to record their extinction. supposed to have been a white man, sum The creed of all these races seems to be moned them to encamp in a sort of para- of the same kind, a general belief in a dise, as he described it, and they marched in Supreme being, and a special belief in evil in hundreds from all parts of their territory, spirits, furies or demons whom he allows to received orders from a concealed voice, and torment mankind - an idea almost univerremained encamped, waiting apparently for sal among races who have found nature a new revelation, till after twelve months' hostile. They hold that man was created delay they came to the conclusion that they by God, or His son Sigu, and tell wild and had been duped by the Devil. Once civi- poetic legends to account for the natural lized, they become excellent Christians.facts around them. They believe in the “Quiet resolution and strength of purpose future life, and bury their dead upright to seem to be characteristic of this more than show that they are not beasts, and have a of any other aboriginal tribe; and they en- tradition of a deluge, and like other Ameriter thoroughly into whatever business they can Indians repeat stories of great men