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search of the lost Sir John Franklin and his
companionsnow four years unheard of, and
believed to be frozen up in the regions of
thick-ribbed ice at the North Pole. Two of
the Arctic ships were put in dry dock, and
two afloat in the river. The names of the
ships as put together by an old sailor in our
hearing, express their mission. The 'Resolute,'
'Intrepid,' 'Pioneer,' goes with 'Assistance'
to Sir John Franklin and his frozen-up

We had followed the workman with the
artificial memory, and by this time stood
beside the dry dock in which one of the vessels,
the 'Pioneer,' a steamer, was fixed upright and
out of water. There she stood in a fine massive
granite basin, the sides of which were fashioned
into steps. Down there we went, and then
walked round and under her from stem to
stern, and in doing so, could see what
preparation had been made to fit her for the duty
she had to do. This steamer had been in the
foreign cattle trade, and had brought, it
seems, many a drove from the fields of
Flanders, and from the hills of Spain, to
make fatal acquaintance with the abominations
of Smithfield. Bought out of that
unsavoury service as a strong capable steamship,
she had been placed in this granite
cradle, and been swathed outside with tarred
felt, upon the top of which additional planking
was then fixed. Upon her bows where
the shock of the ice would be most severe,
another layer of felt was then applied, and
over this was riveted tough sheets of iron.
With this metal casing her stem was
complete. At her stern, as she stood thus out of
water, we had an excellent opportunity of
inspecting the screw by which she was to be
impelled. This was of a brazen compound
metal prepared with a view to great strength
and toughness; but as its blows upon the
stray floating ice might injure it, another
screw of iron was on board to replace it
should it be broken when out of reach of
dockyard help. Having passed round the
vessel, and looked up at her huge bulging
sides, we ascended the stone steps, and walking
along a plank from the dock-side, boarded
the 'Pioneer,' to seeafter such outside
preparationswhat care had been taken with
the inside of the ship. It was soon evident
that the felting and planking of the exterior
had been matched by a similar felting and
planking of the interior; with this difference,
that inside the felt was untarred. These
additions to the thickness of her sides to
make her firm and warm, had been followed
by another contrivance, to give her still
further ability to withstand any crushing
weight she might have to endure. Strong
beams had been placed aslant, from her keel
and her decks, outwards and upwards towards
her sides; and lastly, her decks had been
doubled; so that, thus secured, she became
almost as capable of resisting outward
pressure as a solid block of oak. Having
thus strengthened this floating fortress against
the fierce assaults of the Giant Frost, we
turned to look how they had stored it to
withstand the beleaguering siege ofit may
bea two or three years' Arctic winter.
Here we found an ample field for wonder
and admiration. Surely human ingenuity
and ships' stowage were never better
displayed. Every inch of space had been made
the most of. In the centre of the vessel were
her engines, cased round with iron, so that
outside them could be stowed away no less
than 85 tons of patent compressed fuel to
feed the fires. Thus surrounded, the engines
were literally bedded in a small coal-mine,
for their own consumption.

The danger to be apprehended from the
close contiguity of so much combustible
material to the engine-fire is obviated, in case of
accident, by eight pumps on the decks and
two patent pumps below, besides others in
the engine-rooms. There are fourteen pumps
altogether, which can be handled in case of
fire or leakage. Some of these are worked by
the engine, some are placed in warm berths
below, so that the men may have exercise at
them without exposure on deck. Nearly all
these pumps work independently of each
other, so that if one is deranged, it does not
hurt the rest.

The question as to how the ship is to be kept
warm?—was answered by our being conducted
deep down into the hold; there we found a
patent stove, so constructed that pure air was
admitted by pipes to its neighbourhood, and
being heated there was passed through other
pipes through all parts of the ship, until
having lost much of its heat and more of its
purity, it was allowed to escape, and was
replaced by another stream of pure air to be
warmed, and used and replaced again; so on
from day to day while the ships remained in
the ice. This warming apparatus, the 85 tons
of fuel, the four years' provisions, and the
Bolton and Watt's engines occupied, in spite
of the most perfect stowage, so much room,
that it was puzzle to know where the water
was stowed.

It was, however, explained that 85 tons of
coal round the engine is not all that must go.
The ship will take 200 tons of coal altogether,
but won't want much water room, for along
with the engine is a contrivance for melting
ice for use whilst the ships are locked in.

The salt sea there is a surface of ice that
comes direct from Heaven. The snow is not
salted, and the fires will melt the snow-made-
ice for the ship's use.

Having learned all these particulars as to
the essentials of warm air, and good water,
and having heard an account of the four
years' provisions, with a certainty that there
was a still further supply near the Copper
Mine River in case of need: and having learned
also that the doctors had got ample supplies
of lime-juice and lemon-juice to keep off the
scurvy, and that they had mixed it with