My motive is twofold: to tell of the doings of a screw steam-vessel, the first ever tried in the Polar regions, and by a light, readable description of incidents in the late search for Sir John Franklin, to interest the general reader and the community at large upon that subject. Without fear, favour, or affection, I have told facts as they have occurred; and I trust have, in doing so, injured no man. A journal must necessarily be, for the most, a dry narration of facts; I have, therefore, thrown in here and there general observations and remarks founded upon such facts, rather than a dry repetition of them.
hern extremity was fleeting, but sufficient to show that it fully realized in appearance the most striking accumulation of ice and land that the mind could picture,--a land of gaunt famine and misery; but which nevertheless, for some good purpose, it had pleased Providence in a measure to people.
Had we not had an urgent duty to perform, I should have regretted thus hurrying past the land; for there is much to see there. True, Greenland has no deep historical interest, but the North has always had its charm for me. Scandinavia, and her deeds,--the skill and intrepidity of her bold Vikings,--their colonies in Snæland, our Iceland,--their discovery of Greenland,--and the legend of the pirate Biarni, who forestalled even the great Columbus in his discovery,--were all associated with the region through which we were now sailing.
Without compass, without chart, full three centuries before the Genoese crossed the Atlantic, the Norsemen, in frail and open barks, braved the dark and angry sea (whi