Sidor som bilder

Their utmost up and on,- so blessing back | fect harbour, that is, a harbour which would, In those thy realms of help, that heaven thy if conveniently near the great routes, hold home,

ships of any size yet built, and is not too Some whiteness which, I judge, thy face makcs open to a dangerous sea ; there is scarcely proud,

a perfect one on the continent; America Some wanness where, I think, thy foot may fall !”

| boasts only two or three; we know of only

two in Asia, and the remainder of the world Mr. Browning describes “the British pub- offers only four or five. To put the case in lic" in this poem as “ ye who like me not, its extreme form, art and nature being estiadding a grim “God love you," — some- mated together, there are not ten ports in what as clergymen pray for their enemies, – the world in which the Great Eastern could but if it does not like him, it is only be- conveniently refit. On the other hand, cause while, with so great a power of lu- mountains bave decidedly sunk in value. cidity, he will spoil his finest poetry by Very few of them are worth anything in a careless hieroglyphics such as these, the political sense. Most of the lonely mounmere shorthand of a poet, which to him, no tain fortresses, once so impregnable, are doubt, recalls with sufficient precision what now accessible to long-range artillery, and was in his own mind when he wrote it, but the advantage of cooping up a few soldiers what certainly is not adapted to call it up in a place where nobody can get at them for the first time in those who cannot know, and they can get at nobody has become imfrom what is written, whether they have perceptible. Mountain ranges have their ever yet bad it in their mind or not. But importance, as they can be defended, and it is scarcely true that the British public besides, impress the imagination, and they love not Mr. Browning. They love hijn, make invasion troublesome, - though Bismore and more, at all events. And the marck entered Bohemia unchallanged, more they love hiin, the less they like the but we cannot recall an isolated hill in Eucarelessness with which a poet of so much rope for which an invader would be content power of speech slurs over the great faults to give thirty years' purchase as a “natural in his own style. Still, if the other three fortress.” He would starve it, or shell it, volumes of this poem are equal to the first, or leave it alone, and it would never hold a they will add greatly to the rich mines of modern army. There is not a bill capital intellectual wealth, full partly of gold ore, left in the world, not a place on a mountain in less degree of sifted gold, to be found worth as a means of national defence ten in Mr. Browning's writings.

Monsell guns or a little fleet of Mosquito ironclads. Even the great strategical points of the world, for wbich so much blood has been shed, are losing their hold over the

imagination of mankind. Thirty years ago From The Spectator, 26 Dec.

| a public man who proposed to Englishmen CONSTANTINOPLE, THE QUEEN CITY. I to give up Gibraltar, “ fortress gate of

ONE of the most curious of the many the Mediterranean," would have been oschanges which of late years have passed tracized as a fool beyond the range of seriover political thought, is the alteration in ous argument; and even now there are, we the political value attached to particular suspect, Englishmen who would think such a morsels of the world's territory. Harbours, cession almost a proof of lunacy. It would especially if very good indeed, have decid- be difficult, nevertheless, to find an Engedly increased in price. Ships have grown lish statesman who valued the Rock at half bigger and deeper, and sea-borne trade the price of the sugar duty; and a general more essential, while the expense of con- officer, with an hereditary claim to be somestructing by artificial means safe shelters thing more than a soldier, has this week for the ships and convenient depots for openly proposed its exchange for Ceuta, goods has increased, till it daunts nations and nobody has pelted him yet, or will pelt who think of millions as people a few years him. Ceuta has a future, Gibraltar has not, ago thought of thousands of pounds. There and we are the people of the future. In is no overplus of first-class harbours now in Asia, owing to some difficulties about coal, the world, not by any means too many ports and perbaps to a little of the old leaven into which the Admiralty would like to send which lingers about Anglo-Indian opinion, a five or six-thousand-ton steamer, or in there is a place or two supposed to have which a modern navy could ride at ease, or some special value; but there are cool engiabout which trading persons with geograph-neers with military experience who have ical instincts would build up great cities. doubts about the value of Aden, and who In England Milford Haven is the only per-I do not understand why Lord Palmerston

told so many fibs about the lighthouse on of intellectual life. At least, the approach Perim. What will all those guns there do ? to universal monarchy bas hitberto produced Coaling stations are useful, and bonded very few men of the highest brain except warehouses, but beyond those two accident for the exact sciences, and the resistance to it al and as it may be temporary necessities, has evolved a great many. Well, there the political world is not quite convinced are one or two races who seem to thoughtthat any place not producing reyenue, or ful persons, reasoning about that as they affording room for man, or offering the ad- would about anything else, able if they se vantages of a natural dockyard, can be of cured certain geographical positions to asany particular political value.

sume that attitude to the world at large. The generaļ change which has passed We will not quote Louis XIV., or Napoleover opinion makes one particular excep- on, or the ideas of their enemies about them, tion the more remarkable, and we have been because of course a man's grandfather is a asked this week by a friend, somewhat given fool in the eyes of his grandson, - and very to belief in tbe nineteenth century, why the properly, else we should always be listening world, which has rejected the worship of instead of thinking, which would be wearihigh places, and of little islands, and of some, - and we will talk to grandsons only. spots supposed to command straits, should They will admit that a strong man standing believe so very deeply in the importance of in his own porch is more dangerous to pasa third-rate city in South-Eastern Europe. sengers, if he wants to be dangerous, than Why think so much, or talk so much, or inside his house. Well, Russia in possessspend so much about Constantinople? Wbat ion of Constantinople would be in just that does it matter if Russia acquires the Turk-position; and so would Germany be, if she ish capital, or anybody else? The world were suzerain from Pesth southwards; or, will be where it was, or rather better than for that matter, England, if she had a railit was, and nations will be strong or weak road from Scutari to India. The specialty according to their numbers, their spirit, and of Constantinople, the virtue for which men their “resources," – that is, in less vague have fought for it for twelve hundred years, phraseology, their power of obtaining great is just this, that any strong man who holds quantities of the expensive material of mod- it and the territory iinmediately north of it ern war. It is a sensible question, and one can hit anybody he likes without being hit wbich for many reasons we should be glad in return. He strikes out at ease, while to answer by an assertion that Constantino- his adversary hits his knuckles against pilple is of no importance at all to mankind, I lars. That does not matter, if he is weak, only that answer unfortunately would be like the later Greek, or a worn-out barbathe reverse of the truth. It is very impor- rian, like the Turk; but suppose he is at tant, so very important to certain people once strong and aggressive. A Romanoff under certain circumstances, that its pos- master of Constantinople would have an session, if those people threatened it, and unassailable depot, or fortress, with a huge those circumstances occurred, might be worth dockyard, the Sea of Marinora, on the easta good, big, dangerous, costly, bothering ern side, inaccessible to any flag but his fight.

own; a huge close barbour, the Bosphorus, The old, old theory about “the balance in front; and a huge fortress, which he of power," which everybody nowadays ridi- would build at very slight expense, - for cules, more particularly and more easily if twenty 100-pounders on Monsell carriages, he has not, unlike Mr. Bright, any clear would shut the entrance against anything idea of what he is ridiculing, had, we take but a bird, - upon the west. He could it, one sound idea at its basis. It would build fleets for ever which nobody would not do to let any one power found a univer- even see, and could strike any place in the sal monarchy, or granting that to be un- Mediterranean, without a chance of reprilikely, a monarchy so powerful that every sals. If engineers may be trusted, any nation which wished to keep its independ- man in the profession, with European workence, its own ways, its own prejudices, men, a couple of millions, and absolute its own civilization, its own ideal, should be power, could place Constantinople beyond compelled to maintain a restless qui vive, to the reach of assault, making of it a fortress turn itself into an armed sentry-box or mil- to which Cronstadt would be a toy, — and itary cantonment. Life in that case would a British fleet with a Napier on board did for the remainder of mankind be much more not take Cronstadt. Nobody would be burdensome; there would be more taxes, a able to get near it, any more than to get heavier conscription, more drill, less vivid- near Tobolsk, while its owner could get ness in politics, less variety of develop- near anybody, as the Viceroy of Tobolsk ment, and generally, we suspect, less vigour I cannot do. He would be a long armed

boxer, master at once of the Mediterranean eqnal advantages, and thus combine very and the Black Sea, of the mouths of the many modes of attack with very few necesDanube, the mouths of the Volga, and the sities for defence. The statesmen may be mouths of the Nile; would control or men- wrong in their opinions, - we by no means ace the Northern coast of the Mediterra- deny it, — but they are not wrong in their nean, where the present is so great; tbreat facts, namely, that Russia in getting Conening Marseilles, and Naples, and Athens, stantinople would get a hundred opportuniand Trieste all at once; and of the southern ties of attack without incurring one extra coast, where the future is so possible. More- liability for defence, that Constantinople is over he would be driven, partly by the the natural fortress of the world, the one prestige of his capital, which would make it position in wbich it might be possible to the resort of all the discontented in Western build up a power that would compel the reAsia, partly by his own natural hunger for mainder of mankind, if they liked independbeautiful properties easily acquired, — for ence, to sleep always under arms. revenue, in fact, — to conquer Asia Minor and Egypt, which would lie, as it were, at his doors; and, if he were decently prudent, would ask him to come in. The Fellahs would accept Satan if he rid them of the

From The Saturday Review. Pasha and let them have their lands as Rus

ALASKA. sian villagers in the interior have their lands. The author of this agreeable book of This would be to seize the fairest countries travel and adventure will perhaps be conof Asia and the only country in Africa worth founded by many persons with his brother, having; to possess regions which wisely whose name was brought so prominently governed would yield endless cash, and before the public in connection with the open routes to any conquest the Czar might, melancholy misadventure upon the Matterfrom judgment, or ambition, or even caprice, horn three summers ago. Mr. E. H. heartily desire. Behind, in the cold North, Whymnper has since devoted his energies to would lie myriads of obedient soldiers; by an attempt to penetrate — with, we believe, his side, timid, though jealous enemies; in but moderate success — the unknown intefront, a rich population, ready to be serfs. rior of Greenland. These gentlemen have The Czar would be an armed man in a evidently much in common, as artists, porch ready to rob any passenger weaker lovers of adventure, and graphic delineators than himself, but almost unassailable by the of what comes in their way. We confess police of the world. He might not wish to that we are glad to see physical and mental . assail anybody, – that is a possible theory gifts like these find scope where they can about any politician, - but he would have exercise themselves with greater safety to every temptation to do it, he could not be their owners, as well as with fuller profit to hurt if he did, and he would be very much mankind, than on the bare slope of some pressed by those around him to try, more simply dangerous precipice. For strength, pressed than the Indian Viceroy is to annibil- hardihood, and every resource of a trained ate the last vestiges of native independence. intellect to be staked upon the barren He would be surrounded, in fact, by races honour of rivalling the chamois in glacier who need strong order, to whom he could climbing, or of breathing strata of air too give strong order, and whose conquest would rare for the beat of anything heavier than therefore seem an act of mercy. No doubt the slight wings of the butterfly, seem to us he could, if too dangerous, be resisted in among the least warrantable of human the end. The rise of America bas altered risks. It is, then, with satisfaction that we all European conditions, and it is difficult see the muscular prowess, the thirst for adto conceive the power to which the English- venture, and the artist's eye for what is speaking peoples, once united in offensive grand or picturesque in nature turned to and defensive alliance, could not dictate more practical and instructive pursuits than terms of peace, or rather the ultimate liinits that which so commonly absorbs the enerof war. But the statesmen of Europe have ergies, and occasionally thins the ranks, of hitherto held it wiser not to let affairs arrive the Alpine Club. The region selected by at so extreme a point of tension, to insist Mr. Frederick Whymper for working off that no power should rise to such a height his superfluous energy – which was at the as to be unassailable, to lay down the pro- time, he tells us, lying fallow - is one viso that a nation which has natural advan- | * Travel and Adventure in the Territory of Alaska,

I formerly Russian America, and in various other size, and England in her insular position. / Parts & the North Pacific. By Frederick Whym

per. With Maps and Illustrations. London: John should not be allowed to conquer other and 'Murray. 1868.

which has of late attracted much of | lower course is compiled from the reports public attention, having previously been and charts of Lieut. Zagoskin, of the Rusone of the least known and most lightly sian Imperial Navy, with other sources. prized sections of the globe. The pur- The upper course to Fort Yukon is laid chase of Alaska, as the Russian province of down from the bearings, distances, and notes North America is called, by the United of the writer himself. A glance at the preStates Government has awakened a lively vious delineations of this territory in our interest in that region; and whatever re- best atlases will show how much our knowllates to its natural features, its inhabitants, edge of geography in that quarter bas gained its existing state, and its possible re-in extent and precision by the travels of sources, comes to us with the twofold charın Mr. Whymper. of novelty and material interest. Mr. By the cession of “ Alaska" Russia has Whymper was able to take with him the not only enriched her exchequer to the exrequisite qualifications for breaking ground tent of seven million dollars, but has rid in that new and, in many respects, rough herself of an isolated possessionof dubious and uncivilized quarter, as the results of value. On the other hand, upwards of his explorations in the clearly written and 400,000 square miles of territory have been cleverly illustrated volume before us suffice added to the already vast domain of Uncle to testify. His book includes recollections Sam. Much hostile criticism was spent at of an earlier expedition through our own first upon this bold and independent specuterritories of British Columbia and Van-lation of Mr. Seward. “Our new possescouver Island, which have already been sion of Walrus-sia " figured in many a made sufficiently known to us. His ram- smart epigram and mock advertisement. bles, moreover, in this later journey ex- Already, however, the tide of popular tended to several points of interest among opinion bas turned, now that American enthe islands and the seaboard of the North terprise has fairly begun to develop the rePacific, and his return voyage included a sources of the country. Coal has been disvisit to San Francisco and the usual lions covered at Cook's Inlet, and an important of that most rapidly going-ahead of New- find of gold on the Tagus river has set the World communities. But all that is most tide of adventure violently in that direction. original and striking in his narrative cen- Many there are who see in this purchase tres in his experiences of life in the lately but the first move towards an American occeded territory, and in the estimate which cupation of the whole continent. Canada his graphic pictures of its physical aspects and all British North America will, they and of its people encourage us to draw for think, sooner or later be merged in the the future.

United States. Some, like our author, “Alaska Territory” - the title by which hold that such a transference would be for the whole of what was lately Russian the advantage of those dependencies. America is to be known in future — though However that may be, there can be no as good a name, Mr. Whymper remarks, doubt of Walrus-sia being destined to cut as any other, is, he bids us take notice, la figure in the history of the New World. founded apparently upon a mistake. It Already has the capital, Sitka, sprung from seems to have been taken from the title of the proportions of a fishing-village to those that long penisula of Aliaska, with which of a thriving city of 2,000 souls, where the the maps have long made us familiar. The locations, or plots of ground command name has not hitherto extended to the en- Californian prices. For a small log-house tire territory between the British dominions 10,000 dollars have been asked. This city, and Behring's Straits. Our author's thanks we are told, enjoys the 'unenviable position are paid to Mr. Arrowsmith for the trouble of being about the rainiest place in the taken by him to work out the crude mate world. It does not, however, rain quite rial laid before him in the traveller's notes all the year round, for, like another counand observations. The map thus resulting, try with which we have become familiar together with that illustrating more in de- nearer home, “ whiles it snaws." The clitail the course of the Yukon river, pre-mate is by no means severe, the thermompared, it appears, to accompany the paper eter seldom falling below twenty degrees contributed by Mr. Whymper to the Jour- of Fahrenheit. The puffs of the United nal of the Royal Geographical Society, has States press concerning the agricultural rebeen obligingly lent by that body for the sources of their new acquisition, Mr. purposes of the present publication. The Whymper declares are all moonshine. A mouths of the river have here been drawn few potatoes and beans and such like vegeout from the sketches of Mr. Smith, of the tables may be grown there, but “there is Western Union Telegraph Expedition. The not an acre of grain in the country." Next

to furs and mineral wealth the fisheries bid mounted. We can feel for the trials of an fair to be the most productive branch of com- artist essaying to sketch with the thermerce. Salmon so abound in the rivers as mometer 35° below zero. Water colours during spring-time to impede the passage of were soon found to be a bopeless mockery. boats. They are driven on shore by the All hardships, however, were forgotten in wind in heaps. They often run in size to the our autbor's zeal for adventure, and in face length of five feet. From 100,000 to 150,- of the scenes and incidents wbich bis note000 of these fish are exported annually to books enabled him to bring home. The the Sandwich Islands and elsewhere. Deer sight of the Yukon, a river from one to four and game of many kinds may be had for miles broad at 2,000 miles from the sea, the asking, and the bears are innumerable. frozen as it was at the time of his visit, Owing to this abundance of food, the na- filled him with thoughts of the capabilities tires are the laziest of savages. The Kalosh of the country. Such a climate, however, Indians, who inhabit the coast between the must, we think, put an effectual bar to any Stekine and Chilcat rivers, have a bad rep-considerable or continuous traffic, or mautation, and are by no means a preposses- terial development. A good deal bas been sing people. They are fond of painting done to penetrate and describe this corner themselves in red, black, or blue stripes of Northern America, not only by early and patches. Their huts or shanties are of voyagers and the emissaries both of the the cominon Esquimaux type, with a pas- Government and the fur companies of Russage underground from the main chamber to sia, but by Captain Bedford Pim and other the sleeping-room. The smoke-hole being officers engaged in the search of Sir John ·most commonly closed by a deerskin, while Franklin. The grave of one member of 'men, women, children, dogs, dried skins, Captain (now Admiral) Collinson's expefish, and oifal are heaped together in indis- dition was seen by the author in the little criminate masses, the atmosphere is hardly burial-ground behind the post or fort of to be imagined. Their canoes, of birch Nulato. The tale of his treacherous murbark, and their skin “ baidarkes” (kyacks), der, and of its vigorous punishment at the are not equal to those of Norton Sound and hands of the loyal natives, was told by the the northern coast. Their burials are pe-Russians at this spot:culiar. Graves being hard to dig in the frozen ground, most of the tribes burn their

Lieutenant Barnard was landed at St. Midead. The ashes are preserved in grave

chael's on October 12th, 1850, and remained

there till the Commander of the post at Nulato boxes, or portable tombs of singular and

came down in the early winter. He then accomoften artistic device. Specimens of these

panied this Russian up to the Yukon, travelling are drawn by the writer. On one of them

there by the route used by ourselves. Mr. Ada number of faces were painted, with long ams, an Assistant-Surgeon, R. N., and one seatresses of human hair hanging therefrom, man, were left at St. Michael's. On arriving at each representing some victim of the de- Nulato, Lieutenant Barnard despatched one of ceased one's ferocity. Up the Yukon river the employés of the Fur Company and an Indian some of the tribes heap over the bodies of to Co-Yukuk to make some inquiries. The Rus the dead cairns of stones or piles of deer sian, on arrival there, fell asleep on his sledge, horns. The natural feeling for art is amus- and in the absence of his Indian servant, was ingly shown in the rude but highly char- | killed by the Co-Yukons. The Indian, who had acteristic carving in stone of a Russian | gone but a little way to obtain water, on his resoldier. The high cheek-bones, stolid fea- turn found his master dead, and immediately tures. and martinet figure are done with / ran away affrighted. The others beckoned him infinite life and truth,

back, saying they had no intention of injuring

him. He, believing them, returned, and as he Our author's expedition up the Yukon

approached, was shot by arrows, and killed also. river was undertaken in connexion with the The murderers - numbering, it is said. more abortive enterprise on behalf of Russo- than a hundred men - then started down for American telegraph communication. It Nulato.. About forty Nulato Indians were conwas in the capacity of a volunteer artist gregated in some underground houses, near the that he attached himself to the party of mouth of the Nulato River, and not more than about thirty Europeans, under Colonel a mile from the post. The Co-Yukons surBulkley, who started from the coast in No- rounded these dwellings, heaped wood, broken vember. 1865. The usual difficulties of canoes, paddles, and snow shoes over the ensledge travel - walking in snow-shoes, con- | trance and smoke-holes, and then set them on tending with the vagaries and desertion of fire. All of the unfortunate victims below were dogs, the filth and dishonesty of Indians,

ndion's suffocated, or shot in attempting to escape. Only together with the fierce extremes of a polar | tive or six solitary Nulatos are now in existenoe. winter — were duly met and manfully sur-| The denizens on the banks of the noble

« FöregåendeFortsätt »