Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819, 20, 21, and 22. By John Franklin…with an Appendix on Various Subjects Relating to Science and Natural History [Dr. John Richardson]

p. 258: … I shall mention briefly, that a considerable portion of it was occupied in writing up our journals. Some newspapers and magazines, that we had received from England with our letters, were read again and again, and commented upon, at our meals; and we often exercised ourselves with conjecturing the changes that might take place in the world before we could hear from it again. The probability of our receiving letters, and the period of their arrival, were calculated to a nicety…. The Sabbath was always a day of rest with us; the woodmen were required to provide for the exigencies of that day on Saturday, and the party were dressed in their best attire. Divine service was regularly performed, and the Canadians attended, and behaved with great decorum, although they were all Roman Catholics, and but little acquainted with the language in which the prayers were read. I regretted much that we had not a French Prayer-Book, but the Lord’s Prayer and Creed were always read to them in their own language.

p. 449: Through the extreme kindness and forethought of a lady, the party, previous to leaving London, had been furnished with a small collection of religious books, of which we still retained two or three of the most portable, and they proved of incalculable benefit to us. We read portions of them to each other as we lay in bed, in addition to the morning and evening service, and found that they inspired us on each perusal with so strong a sense of the omnipresence of a beneficent God, that our

situation, even in these wilds, appeared no longer destitute ; and we

conversed, not only with calmness, but with cheerfulness, detailing with unrestrained confidence the past events of our lives, and dwelling with hope on our future prospects. Had my poor friend been spared to revisit his native land, I should look back to this period with unalloyed delight.

p. 450: Michel now produced a hare and a partridge which he had killed in the morning. This unexpected supply of provision was received by us with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty for his goodness, and we looked upon Michel as the instrument he had chosen to preserve all our lives. He complained of cold, and Mr. Hood offered to share his buffalo robe with him at night : I gave him one of two shirts which I wore, whilst Hepburn, in the warmth of his heart, exclaimed, “How I shall love this man if I find that he does not tell lies like the others.” Our meals being finished, we arranged that the greatest part of the things should be carried to the pines the next day; and, after reading the evening service, retired to bed full of hope.

p. 455: Sunday, October 20. — In the morning we again urged Michel to

go a hunting that he might if possible leave us some provision, tomorrow being the day appointed for his quitting us; but he shewed great unwillingness to go out, and lingered about the fire, under the pretence of cleaning his gun. After we had read the morning service I went about noon to gather some tripe de roche, leaving Mr. Hood sitting before the tent at the fire-side, arguing with Michel; Hepburn was employed cutting down a tree at a short distance from the tent, being desirous of accumulating a quantity of fire wood before he left us. A short time after I went out I heard the report of a gun, and about ten minutes afterwards Hepburn called to me in a voice of great alarm, to come directly. When I

arrived, I found poor Hood lying lifeless at the fire-side, a ball having apparently entered his forehead. I was at first horror-struck with the idea, that in a fit of despondency he had hurried himself into the presence of his Almighty Judge, by an act of his own hand ; but the conduct of Michel soon gave rise to other thoughts, and excited suspicions which were confirmed, when upon examining the body, I discovered that the shot had entered the back part of the head, and passed out at the forehead, and that the muzzle of the gun had been applied so close as to set fire to the night-cap behind.

p. 456-57: Owing to the effect that the tripe de roche invariably had, when he ventured to taste it, he undoubtedly suffered more than any of the survivors of the party. Bickersteth’s Scripture Help was lying open

beside the body, as if it had fallen from his hand, and it is probable that he was reading it at the instant of his death. We passed the night in the tent together without rest, every one being on his guard.

p. 464: November 4. — Calm and comparatively mild weather. The

Doctor and Hepburn, exclusive of their usual occupation, gathered

some tripe de roche. I went a few yards from the house in search of bones, and returned quite fatigued, having found but three. The Doctor again made incisions in Adam’s leg, which discharged a considerable quantity of water, and gave him great relief. We read prayers and a portion of the New Testament in the morning and evening, as had been our practice since Dr. Richardson’s arrival; and I may remark that the performance of these duties always afforded us the greatest consolation, serving to reanimate our hope in the mercy of the Omnipotent, who alone could save and deliver us.

p. 485: October 18. — While we were this day occupied in scraping to-gether the remains of some deer’s meat, we observed Belanger

coming round a point apparently scarcely moving. I went to meet him, and made immediate inquiries about my friends. Five, with the Captain, he said, were at the house, the rest were left near the river, unable to proceed ; but he was too weak to relate the whole. He was conducted to the encampment, and paid every attention to, and by degrees we heard the remainder of his tragic tale, at which the interpreter could not avoid crying. He then gave me a letter from my friend the Commander, which indeed was truly afflicting. The simple story of Belanger I could hear, but when I read it in another language, mingled with the pious resigna-

tion of a good man, I could not sustain it any longer. The poor man was much affected at the death of our lamented companion, but his appetite prevailed over every other feeling; and, had I permitted it, he would have done himself an injury ; for after two hours’ eating, principally skin and sinews, he complained of hunger.

p. 596, remarks on the Aurora Borealis by Dr. Richardson: The forms of the Aurora are described in such language as occurred at the time, without any regard whatever to theory ; but it may be proper to remark,

that in reference to Mr. Dalton’s opinions, detailed in Rees’s Cyclopaedia, which comprised the whole of my limited reading upon the subject up to the time of observation.