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of the Austro-Hungarian expedition of 1872–74. It is such a short time since the return of the men of this expedition, and since we were able, by reference to the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and to Dr. Petermann's Mit
theilungen,' to give some account of the actual work which had been performed, and of the additions which had been made to geographical knowledge,* that the main features of the voyage will, we may hope, be still fresh in the memories of our readers. The more detailed narrative now before us permits us to complete that account by a closer examination into the circumstances and details of this remarkable adventure, the record of which stands, in many respects, alone amidst the stories of Arctic discovery, and may, even at the present time, temper our maritime pride, and force from us the admission that our sailors have no exclusive right in those qualities which may deserve,
if not win, success. This work is now brought before the English public with peculiar advantages. We had occasion, some short time ago, to peruse it in German, and we confess that the diffuse clumsiness of the style and the multitude of irrelevant details, addressed to readers of small experience of nautical matters, caused us to do scant justice to the real merit of its contents. But the English translator has surmounted and removed these defects. He appears to have in great measure re-written the book, which now presents a singularly vivid picture of a marvellous expedition. The English publisher has likewise done his part; and for beauty of typography and of illustration these volumes are as perfect as anything which the press in this country has produced.
The · Tegetthoff,' a steamer of 220 tons and 100 horse-power, specially built and equipped at Bremerhaven, sailed from Tromsö on July 13, 1872, under the command of Lieutenant Weyprecht, of the Austrian navy. Her crew consisted of twenty-four men, all told, officers and seamen, including two Tyrolese jägers-Haller and Klotz—who, as accustomed to icework on the glaciers of their native mountains, were expected to render, and did, in point of fact, render, good service on the ice of the far North : in addition to these were eight dogs, whose exploits, whose strength, whose courage, whose playful tricks, whose tragic end, render them no mean persons in the narrative.
Twelve days brought them to the ice in latitude 74° N.,
Edinburgh Review, No. 288, pp. 460-466.
much farther south than the experience which the two commanders had gained in the preceding year had led them to expect; and it was not without tedious detentions and some difficulty that they reached the coast of Novaya Zemlya, and anchored at the Barentz Isles on August 13.
The state of the ice, and the delays to which it subjected them, boded no good for the future; their passage had been made amongst enormous ice-fields, across diminutive ice-holes, and through narrow lanes ; mists and snow-storms and bitter cold alternated with the most glorious blue skies, with comparatively genial warmth and great solar heat, the measure of which, the black-bulb thermometer, stood occasionally as high as 113° F. But this brilliant sun, which, as it sank at midnight to the edge of the horizon, and tinted the icebergs and ice, or the distant rocks and glaciers of Novaya Zemlya, with a rosy light, whose beauty made them almost forget the desolation by which they were surrounded—a beauty of which perhaps Rasmussen's wonderful picture, · The Discovery of Greenland,' or Morris's gorgeous verse, may convey some idea.
the glorious sun rose up, And the heavens glowed above him like the bowl of Baldur's cup, And a golden man was he waxen; as the leart of the sun he seemed, While over the feet of the mountains like blood the new light streamed.'
Sigurd, p. 132. This powerful sun, whose noontide heat caused magnificent cascades to precipitate themselves down the sides of the icebergs, or with a noise as of thunder tore off Titanic masses, which, as they plunged into the sea, raised huge volumes of foam, and startled the seabirds from their peaceful confidence into wild flight and terrified screams—this glowing, burning, blistering sun brought no escape from the ice-fields amongst which they were entangled, or by which they were held fast; and their rescue came at length from a heavy swell which broke up the ice, and was accompanied by rain and a soft temperature of 41° F.
When they arrived in the open coast-water of Novaya Zemlya they found that Count Wilczek, the generous patron of the expedition, had out-sailed them. With the intention of establishing a depôt of provisions for them at Cape Nassau, he had left Tromsö some days after the · Tegetthoff,' in a fishing smack, the • Isbjörn,' the same in which Lieutenants Weyprecht and Payer had made their reconnaissance in the previous year; and the fact that an imperfectly-equipped, weakly-manned sailing-vessel had thus gained on the steamer specially fitted out for the work in which she had been engaged, seems to point out very strongly that what, in our ignorance and for want of a better name, we must call luck, plays a most important part in the success or failure of an Arctic voyage. The • Tegetthoff, in company with the • Isbjörn,' remained a week at the Barentz Islands, and formed a depôt, on which they might retreat, in a crevice of a rock, known to the whalers on the coast by the illsounding name of. The Three Coffins. During this week the weather was persistently bad; mist and snow hindered them from getting sights to fix their position with sufficient accuracy; and the ice, continuing to press close in on the land, would have prevented their leaving even if they had been ready. It was the 20th before some changes in the ice seemed to make navigation possible: they paid a farewell visit to their friends on board the Isbjörn,' and with a fresh wind from the north-east steamed away into the North. In the afternoon they ran into an ice-hole, but during the night, barriers of ice stopped their further progress; the ship, then in latitude 76° 22' N., longitude 63° 3' E., was made fast to a floe, the steam was blown off, and the adventurers awaited the parting asunder of the ice. They waited a very long time. Immediately after the ship had been made fast to the floe, the ice closed in on them from all sides, and they became close prisoners in its grasp. No water was to be seen around; from day to day, week to week, month to month, at the changes of the seasons or of the year, they continued to hope for their deliverance, but it never came. They were no longer discoverers, but passengers against their will on an ice-floe.
In this position they passed the winter ; the ice pressed closely round them, and the floes, bound together by heavy falls of snow, were frozen into a single field. Holes occasionally formed at but a small distance from the ship, but all efforts to reach them were vain, and they quickly froze over, leaving hope of escape farther off than ever. And meanwhile, at the mercy of winds and currents, they drifted continually to the north-east, slowly indeed, but surely. Excursions on the ice, building ice-huts for the swell to engulf, much as children on the shore build battlements of sand to oppose the advancing tide, shooting matches, bear-hunting--and of bears there seems to have been great plenty-were the amusements of the day. The serious business was the continual preparation to abandon the ship if she should be crushed by the ice.
The first serious alarm which they had from this danger was on October 13. As they sat at breakfast, the floe burst across immediately under the ship. They rushed on deck, and found that the ice all round was in motion, and pressing in on them. Vast masses were reared up out of the plain, and the low groan which issued from them grew into a deep rumbling sound, and rose at last into a furious howl. Noise and confusion reigned supreme. · The floe was crushed, and its blocks, piled into mountains, were driven hither and thither; here towering high above the ship, or forcing the protecting timbers of massive oak against the hull; or there falling down as into an abyss under the ship, so that the quantity of ice beneath her was continually increased, and began at last to lift her above the level of the sea.
· Shortly after noon the pressure reached its height; every part of the vessel strained and groaned, the ship heeled over on her side, and huge piles of ice threatened to precipitate themselves upon her. This passed, the ship righted, and the men went below to their dinner. Their time was short; the strain was again felt, and all hastened on deck, carrying their dinner in their hands, or stuffing it into their pockets. The danger appeared imminent; officers and men went to their stations, and carried out the special duties which had been assigned to each in the contemplated abandonment of the ship. Everything was prepared; the boats, with provisions,
' stores and ammunition, sledges and tents, were hoisted out; each man, with his bundle, stood ready to start, but no one pretended to know how or whither: Boats or sledges were equally out of the question. The ice, in blocks and floes of all shapes and sizes, was in active motion, rising, falling, rearing, turning, twisting; none was at rest, none on the level. A sledge would at once have been swallowed up, and for a boat there was no water. The very dogs recognised the extremity of the danger, and were completely tamed. Sumbu, a big Lapland dog which had joined at Tromsö, fox-like in nature, cunning and impudent in expression, became timid and humble, meekly offering his paw, unbidden, to all passers-by; and the huge Newfoundlands, on piles of chests, stood motionless, like scared chamois.
About 4 P.m. the pressure moderated; an hour afterwards there was a calm; the carpenter 'made his examination, and found that the ship had sustained no serious injury. Owing' to her fine lines the pressure had lifted instead of squeezing her, and the close stowage of her hold, which had rendered her almost a solid body, had resisted what squeezing there was. In the evening there was thirteen inches of water in the well, which was pumped out without difficulty.
This alarm was but the first of a long series. Every noise came to be regarded with suspicious apprehension; the days were growing shorter, the nights longer; and daily, for one
hundred and thirty days, they went through the same experiences in greater or less measure, almost always in sunless darkness. . Every night,' writes Payer, 'we are startled out of our sleep, and like hunted animals up we spring, to await, amid an awful darkness, the end of an enterprise from which all hope of success has departed. It becomes at last a mere mechanical process to seize our rifles and our bag of necessaries • and rush on deck.' They lost the sun on October 28, and the darkness increased the horrors of their situation,
There is perhaps a very general misunderstanding that the Arctic night is night only in name; that a perpetual twilight reigns; that the reflection of the snow illumines distant objects; that the moon is always at the full ; and that the flashes of the Aurora, the merry dancers of the North, are always brilliant. We are not exaggerating when we say that we have, at one time or another, heard each of these propositions, and especially the fragment of a lunar theory, seriously maintained by men who would be generally spoken of as well-informed. It is well, therefore, to say that they are, each and every one of them, misstatements and misconceptions based on absolute error. That in the lower latitudes within the Arctic Circle the twilight at noon is very perceptible; that the moon, when full, shines through the clear air with great brilliance; that the Aurora occasionally gleams with great splendour and beauty; and that what little light there is is intensified by the white lustre of the snow, are points to be readily admitted, but do not alter the great law of nature to which Arctic travellers have to submit. The Arctic night is, practically speaking, as dark as any other night, and the experiences of the officers of the • Tegetthoff' afford us some homely measures of its intensity.
In the beginning of November, in clear weather, day was still distinguishable from night, but the darkness, even at noon, was so great, that mists could not be seen, but felt only. On one occasion, Sumbu was mistaken for a fox, and narrowly escaped being shot. A few weeks later, and even this faint distinction between day and night had disappeared. Occasionally, with full moon and very clear weather, a faint twilight was perceptible at noon, but generally there was no difference between the light of midday and of midnight. The heavens were usually overcast, and the light of the Aurora, during the few minutes of its greatest intensity, seldom exceeded that of the moon in its first quarter.
Christmas and the New Year were celebrated with an attempt at German conviviality, in which the dogs took their part. Jubinal, a Siberian dog of great size and strength, found