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ART. I.-An Account of the Arctic Regions, with a history and
description of the northern whale fishery. By W. SCORESBY, Jun. F. R. S. E. 2 vols. 8vo. Pp. 1207. Edinburgh, 1820.
The appearance of these volumes has certainly been well timed. Since the restoration of peace to Europe, the attention of her scientific world has been strongly attracted towards the long forgotten questions of a north-west passage, and the probability of reaching the Arctic Pole. All national attempts at discovery, in those high northern latitudes, are entitled to the most unqualified thanks from the lovers of knowledge, for they are obviously undertaken without any expectation of benefiting commerce, could there exist hopes of complete success. The chimerical idea of shortening the passage to India, by making a thoroughfare of the polar basin, has long since been abandoned, and it is questionable whether the whaling vessels do not already penetrate farther through the ice than prudence will at all times justify. It is a pleasant spectacle to see the spirits of the men who direct the energies of great nations, infusing themselves in this manner into the public measures they control, and it is some consolation to know that, in this age of selfish policy, when all the barriers that were raised against political wrongs, in days that are gone by, have fallen before the arm of the strongest, the very men who might be supposed to feel themselves beyc id the reach of public opinion, are anxious to distinguish the period of their power by measures that may add something to the credit of their minds, as well as to that of - their policy. It is to this great corrective, which has grown VOL. III.