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a bad plan, but worst of all in that of a
savage with whom you are unacquainted, and
on whom you have no hold. Had the pay
depended upon the performance of the
service, the despatch might have had some
chance of reaching its destination.

I have had some opportunities of studying
Esquimaux character; and, from what I have
seen, I consider them superior to all the tribes
of red men in America. In their domestic
relationship they show a bright example to
the most civilised people. They are dutiful
sons and daughters, kind brothers and sisters,
and most affectionate parents. So well is the
first of these qualities understood among
them, that a large family is considered wealth
by a father and motherfor, the latter well
know that they will be carefully tended by
their offspring, well clothed and fed, whilst a
scrap of skin or a morsel of food is to be
obtained, as long as a spark of life remains;
and, after death, that their bodies will be
properly placed either on or under the ground,
according to the usage of the tribe.

I do not stand alone in the high opinion I
have formed of the Esquimaux character.
At the Hudson's Bay Company's establishments
of Fort George on the east, and
Churchill on the west, coast of Hudson's
Bay, where the Esquimaux visit, they are
looked upon in an equally favourable light.
The Moravian missionaries on the Labrador
coast find the Esquimaux honest and
trustworthy, and employ them constantly
and almost exclusively as domestic servants.
The report of the residents in the Danish
settlements on the west shores of Greenland,
is no less favourable; and although I have no
special authority for saying so, I believe
that Captain Perring's opinions are similar.
During the two winters I passed at Repulse
Bay, I had men with me who had been, at
some time of their lives, in all parts of the
Hudson's Bay Company's territories. These
men assured me that they had never seen
Indians so decorous, obliging, unobtrusive,
orderly, and friendly, as the Esquimaux.

Oh! some one may remark, perhaps they
have some private reason for this.

Now, my men had not any "private reason"
for saying so. I firmly believe, and can
almost positively assert, that no case of
improper intercourse took place between them
and the natives of Repulse Buy during the
two seasons I remained therewhich is more,
I suspect, than most of the commanders of
parties to the Arctic Sea can truthfully affirm.
A number of instances (principally
shipwrecks), are brought forward to show that
cannibalism has not been usually resorted to
in cases of extreme want; that it is the exception,
not the rule. Yet not one of those
properly represent the probable position of Sir
John Franklin's party. In all the cases
above alluded to, the parties suffering were
deprived of water as well as of food. We all
know that when any one suffers from two
painful sensations, but painful in different
degrees, the more severe of the two prevents
the lesser from being felt.

Thirst causes a far more painful sensation
than hunger, and consequently, whilst the
first remains unappeased, the pangs of the
other are very slightly, if at all, felt. In
the case of Franklin's party, their thirst
could be easily assuaged, and consequently
the pangs of hunger would be felt the more
intensely. Even Franklin's former disastrous
journey (from the narrative of which large
extracts have been made) is not a parallel case.
In it the suffering party had generally
something or other every few days to allay
the cravings of hunger. They had pieces of
old leather, tripe de roche, and an infusion of
the tea-plant. Unfortunately, near the mouth
of Back's Fish River, there are none of
the above named plants,—nothing but a
barren waste with scarcely a blade of
grass upon it. Much stress is laid on the
moral character and the admirable discipline
of the crews of Sir John Franklin's ships.
What their state of discipline may have
been I cannot say, but their conduct at the
very last British port they entered was not
such as to make those who knew it, consider
them very deserving of the high eulogium
passed upon them in Household Words.
Nor can we say that the men, in extreme
cases of privation, would maintain that state
of subordination so requisite in all cases,
but more especially during danger and

We have, I am sorry to say, but too many
recent instances of disagreement and differences
among the officers employed on the
Arctic service. It is well known in naval
circles that, in one vessel which has not yet
arrived from the north, there will be two
or three courts martial as soon as she reaches
home. To place much dependence on the
obedience and good conduct of the comparatively
uneducated seamen, if exposed to the
utmost extremes of distress, when their
superiors, without having any such excuse,
have forgotten themselves on a point of such
vital importance, would be very unreasonable.
Besides, seamen generally consider
themselves, when they have lost their ship
and set foot on shore, as being freed from
that strict discipline to which they would
readily submit themselves when on board.

As these observations have already attained
a much greater length than I at first anticipated,
I shall refrain from mentioning, as I
intended, one or two instances of persons fully
as well educated as the generality of picked
seamen usually are, and brought up as
Christians, having, in cases of extreme want,
had recourse to the "last resource," as a
means of maintaining life.

I am aware of the difficulties I have to
encounter in replying to the article on the
"Lost Arctic Voyagers." That the author
of that article is a writer of very great ability

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