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nals of many of the Davis Strait's, ships for the year 1817, for a different purpose than that of convicting Bernard O'Reilly, Esq. of misrepresentation, and among others, that of the Thomas; and in it we find that, instead of many days having elapsed before she sailed from that latitude,' (75° 17') she stood to the southward the very next day, (July 20th) on the noon of which she was, by observation, in lat. 75° 10′ N., and from that moment continued down the strait on her homeward-bound passage!-Nor shall his calumny against the master and mate of the Thomas of having falsified their journals avail him. The masters and mates of the other vessels in company must also have falsified their journals, and, by a singular coincidence, have all falsified them in the same places. The Andrew Marvel was in company with the Thomas, and the latitude marked in her log on the 18th is, by observation, 75° 19' N. The Royal George too was in company with her, and her log, on the same day, marks the latitude, also by observation, as 75° 24'.-The Ingria, the Majestic, the Eclipse, and many other vessels, to the amount of eighteen, were in sight from the 17th to the 20th July, and there is not ten miles difference of latitude between any two of them. So much for falsehood and calumny.
It requires some talent to carry on a successful imposture. The Linnaan islands, a very appropriate name it must be allowed, which Mr. O'Reilly presumed (as he says) to give them in honour of the prince of Natural Historians,' are stated in one part of the text, to run in a curve bending westward and northward, from the Greenland side across Davis's Strait,' and in another, 'to stretch across the Strait east and west, as far as the power of vision can ascertain,' (p. 94;) but, in a thing resembling a tailor's measure, or a proctor's bill, by its length, and which is humorously called a chart, the whole of these islands are unluckily placed north and south; and instead of stretching westward across the Strait, by the same unaccountable mishap, they are laid down a full degree to the eastward of any part of the west coast of Greenland! Again: from my chart, which was made with the utmost accuracy, the number of these islands is eighty:'-the blots upon the thing we have mentioned, and which, we suppose, are meant to represent islands, amount to about sixty.
These Linnæan islands' perform a very conspicuous part in Bernard O'Reilly's volume. By the power of vision' he sees be-hind them very distinctly, an open sea,' and beyond that an 'interminable icy continent.' But on reading a little farther, we find that the sea and the continent have changed places!
In the view of the extensive chain of islands (to which I have presumed to give the name of the Linnean Isles), which stretch across the
straits east and west, very nearly in a circular curve, as far as the power of vision can ascertain, there lies an immense continent of ice, rising towards the Pole, and towards the islands before mentioned, descending like the regular declivity of the land mentioned by Bruce in the approach to the sources of the Nile. In this descent innumerable chan nels are visible, eaten away by the snow which is dissolved annually under the presence of the sun. In some places it out-tops the islands, but leans upon them all; and it is probably owing to this very chain of islands presenting an impenetrable barrier, that the descent of larger portions of the icy continent have not before now carried their chilling aspect into southern climates.'-pp. 94, 95.
Thus, instead of an open sea beyond these islands, it would now appear, that this interminable continent,' the source of all the icebergs that float to the southward, abuts on them and out-tops them, (like the overhanging eaves of a thatched roof,) rising towards the North Pole, as the summit of the ridge!
We cannot be sufficiently thankful to these eighty buttresses, which Bernard O'Reilly has discovered, for preventing a southerly visitation of this icy continent with its 'chilling aspect.' Its presence, however, would not seem to offer any very great annoyance to the neighbouring inhabitants of Greenland. It is not here, as in other parts of the world, that frost, snow, and elevation of surface, occasion cold; on the contrary they are the sources of heat. Of this we cannot doubt, being assured that the elevated lands produce in themselves such an absorption of solar heat, during the summer months, as to make the atmosphere insupportably sultry;' (Introduction, p. 13.); that the heat of the sun reflected from the snow and ice, and also from the face of the rock, is intolerable;' and that when knee-deep in snow, the head and body are involved in a burning atmosphere.' (p. 191.)
This extraordinary development of heat from ice and snow (which, by the way, is noted, in what he calls a journal, from 33° to 40° of Fahrenheit in the mouth of July) might be expected to produce some extraordinary effect on the vegetation of Greenlandand so it does about Disco, near the 'icy continent;' for there 'the accumulation of heat is so great that all vegetable life is rapidly evolved,' (p. 271); on the southern part of Greenland, however, in about 60° of lat., the thermal influence ceases, and with it all appearance of vegetation. The ship Thomas, it is true, was never within sight of any land on this part of the coast; but that is nothing-Bernard O'Reilly's power of vision' enables him, like the witches in Macbeth, to see beyond the ignorant present.'-Indeed we are perfectly astonished at the unremitting attention which he appears to have bestowed on this picturesque country. Not a single day passes in which the cirrhus, the cirrhostratus, the agglomerated cumulostratus, cirrhocumulus, and the nimbus are not detected in playing
their gambols, perpetually intermingling with each other, dancing through the misty atmosphere, and producing over the more misty pages of his quarto, as numerous and as various transmutations as may be seen in the tube of a kaleidoscope; all this he has pilfered, and converted into nousense, from Forster's Systematic Arrangement of the Clouds.' With respect to the country itself, he gravely assures us that it is a grievous mistake to suppose it took its name from any thing green about it. The origin is totally different, and is plainly discoverable in the language of the natives. It is called Succanunga,' the Land of the Sun; but, lest we should not do justice to our author's learned and interesting speculation,' as he calls it, we present our readers with the passage entire.
'A classical reader, familiar with the works of Greek and Roman writers, will recollect that an epithet for the noon-day Apollo, when clad in Latin form, is Grynæus. Grynæus Apollo forms an adulatory invocation in the prayer of Eneas, who was at once a priest and prince according to the Phrygian mythological system. General Vallancy, who bestowed much and very extraordinary labour on the subject of antiquities, particularly those referable to eastern origin, has fixed on the word Grian, of Irish or Celtic signification, as it may be received, being epithetically expressive of the strongest power of the sun, which is synonymous among all ancient nations with the Apollo of Grecian mythology. To avoid, therefore, invidious reference as to intercourse with the Greenlanders, it may be fairly admitted, that the synonyme, by whatever voyager to these parts communicated, is justly explained by the above terms: let us view them in connexion:
Succanuk-the Sun. Succanunga-Greenland. Grian-Apollo, or the Sun. Grianland-Land of the Sun. 'The Land of the Sun, or Sunny-land, as familiarly may be said, corresponds with the simple appellation which the natives give their country. The adventurers who came in aftertimes to seek the same shores, not probably understanding the meaning of the term, yet spelling the word as they could from hearing it often repeated, were inclined to write Grianland in their mode Groënland, which sounds very nearly alike, but in the language of Denmark has no reference to the original. -pp. 14, 15.
There is a trifling mistake in this interesting speculation;' but it is rather favourable to the view of the subject as taken by Bernard O'Reilly, Esquire. With submission to his superior knowledge, we take leave to observe, that Grynæus is not exactly 'au epithet for the noon-day Apollo,' but rather of a grove sacred to Apollo.
His tibi Grynæi nemoris dicatur origo:
Ne quis sit lucus, quo se plus jactet Apollo.
Now as the ancients had a way of naming things by the 'rule of contraries,' as 'lucus a non lucendo,' an instance in point, nothing is more probable than that Æneas conferred the name of Grynaanland, or laud of groves, on this delightful country, because he
could not meet with a single twig upon it. Mr. O'Reilly has our permission to print this further elucidation' in the second edition of his quarto.
To be serious for a moment-General Valencey, (from whom most of this rambling stuff is taken,) though a man of learning, wrote more nonsense than any man of his time; and has unfortunately been the occasion of much more than he wrote. His reveries which, as they came from him, afforded occasional glimpses of ingenuity, when taken up by those who, like Bernard O'Reilly, have neither learning, nor taste, nor judgment, nor even common sense to direct them, degenerate into mere absurdities, too mad for reason, too foolish for mirth.
He, however, is so elated with his success, in the etymological line,' that he pursues his inquiries with increased vigour. He has actually collected a vocabulary of no less than six and twenty words of pure Esquimaux, among which are piccaninny, a child-canoe, a boat, &c.; and he has set the people themselves right as to the true manner of writing and pronouncing their name, which, it appears, is Uskee. From Uskee comes (we know not how) yak, and from yak, yankee;-of doodle Mr. O'Reilly says nothing. His most surprising discovery, however, is that of the derivation of the word Uskee itself, with which we should have favoured our readers had not the author, unfortunately for his literary fame,' contrived, in imitation of his betters, to mix up so much filth and obscenity with his speculations as to render it quite unfit for the public eye
We shall not trouble our readers with all the instances in which we have caught our learned author tripping, though, for the sake of doing justice to our own character for sagacity, we are under the necessity of noticing a few of them. Thus we apprehend there is a trifling mistake in the information now first communicated to the world, that Columbus came to Britain,' and that he was refused protection,' (Introduction, p. 10); that two noble Venetians, following his example, obtained a ship in Ireland, and sailed to West Friesland in 1380,' not many years after he, whose example they followed, was born. But though they got their ship in Ireland, and though Ireland traded with West Friezeland, the Irish, it seems, know nothing of the matter, and for this plain reason, because Queen Elizabeth deprived them of their records. (p. 10.) Still more unluckily for the Irish, this extensive island, peopled with polished inhabitants dwelling in a hundred towns, was, shortly after its discovery, suddenly overwhelmed in the ocean, and disappeared with every living creature on its surface,' (p. 10)—those beneath its surface, we take for granted, floated off in safety. It was situated, we are informed, in the fifty-eighth degree, between Ice
land and Greenland,' (p. 11.) both of which, of course, must then have extended, at least, as far south as that parallel, though they have since receded towards the North Pole. That there was a West Friezeland Mr. O'Reilly assures us is by no means doubtful; that it was not the Greenland of late note' is equally certain; and that it is now named the Sunken Land of Buss cannot be called in question:-yet in the very next page he says: "Quære? May not this land of Buss, so sunken, bear some probable reference to the Old or Lost Greenland, or the Atlantis of the Greek writers? It would not be easy to disprove this.' (p. 12). We will not contest the point with the learned author, especially as, after all, this island, with its hundred cities, which was metamorphosed from West Friezeland to Buss, from Buss to West Greenland, and from West Greenland to the Atlantis of the Greek writers,' turns out to be neither more nor less than the famed Ultima Thule of the ancients'!' aud as whole valleys of dreadful soundings, and peaks of tremendous and destructive contact, buried in the ocean water, forbid an exact inquiry regarding its actual position.' (p. 12.)
But if Mr. O'Reilly has perplexed us a little with this multinominal country, in return, he has set us at ease with regard to Spitzbergen, which we had supposed to be a cluster of islands, but which he has ascertained, from his two months cruize in Davis's Strait, to be one island.' (p. 47). We are moreover instructed that this one island (Spitzbergen) is utterly uninhabitable in the winter months,' and, finally, that the attempt has never yet been made.' Will not the Dutch and the Russians take shame to themselves for publishing in the face of the world, that their people have frequently wintered there! We are also informed that the bergy fragments' from the icy continent' seldom pass the latitude of Statenhoek before they become finally dissolved;' of course, the accounts of ice-islands seen in the Atlantic are false. And by way of further consolation, it is added, that the icy continent itself must finally disappear, as the melted snow has eaten deep and tremendous chasms into its sides.
One word more-We are not much in the habit of deciding on the price of books, considering that as not within the critic's province; yet when, as on the present occasion, the enormous sum of fifty shillings is charged for a very thin quarto,' we cannot but think it fair that the public should be apprized of what it is composed.— It is this consideration alone which has led us to waste a word on a composition so utterly worthless as the volume before us.