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HE white bear of Greenland and Spitzbergen is
considerably larger than the brown bear of Europe, or the black bear of North America. This animal lives upon fish and seals, and is not only seen upon land in the countries bordering upon the North-Pole, but often on floats of ice, several leagues at sea. The following relation is extracted from the “ Journal of a Voyage, for making Discoveries towards the North-Pole?”
Early in the morning, the man at the maft-head gave notice that three bears were making their way very fast over the ice, and that they were directing their course towards the ship. They had, without question, been invited by the scent of the blubber of a fea-horse, killed a few days before, which the men had set on fire, and which was burning on the ice at the time of their approach. They proved to be a fhe-bear and her two cubs; but the cubs were nearly as large as the dam. They ran eagerly to the fire, and drew out from the flames. part of the flesh of the fea-horse that remained unconfumed, and ate it voraciously. The crew from the ship threw great lumps of the flesh of the sea-horse, which they had still left, upon the ice, which the old bear fetched away fingly, laid every lump before her cubs as the brought it, and, dividing it, gave each a share, reserving but a small portion to herself. As she was fetching away the last piece, they levelled their muskets at the cubs, and shot them both dead; and in her retreat they wounded the dam, but not mortally. It would have drawn tears of pity from
any feeling minds, to have marked the affectionate concern expressed by this poor beast, in the last moments of her expiring young. Though she was forely wounded, and could but just crawl to the place where they lay, she carried the lump of flesh she had taken away, as she
had done others before, tore it in pieces, and laid it down before them; and when she saw that they refused to eat, she laid her
first upon one, and then upon the other, and endeavoured to raise them up: all this while it was pitiful to hear her moan. When the found the could not stir them, the went off, and when she had gotten at some distance, looked back and moaned; and that not availing her to entice them away, she returned, and smelling round them, began to lick their wounds. She went off a second time, as before ; and having crawled a few paces, looked again behind her, and for some time stood moaning. But still her cubs not rising to follow her, she returned to them again, and, with signs of inexpressible fondness, went round one, and round the other, pawing them and moaning Finding at last that they were cold and lifeless, the raised her head towards the ship, and groaned a curse upon the murderers; which they returned with a volley of musket balls. She fell between her cubs, and died, licking their wounds.
Can you admire the maternal affection of the bear, and not feel in your heart the warmest emotions of gratitude for the stronger and more permanent tenderness you have so long experienced from your parents ?
The Mountain of Calamity.
BOUT a month ago, in returning from a fox-chace
on Nimrod, a rolling stone threw him down, and falling with my right leg under him, fo bruised my knee, that I have never since been able to set my foot to the ground; when the accident first happened, I was dejected beyond measure, not so much from the actual pain I fuffered, as from the horrors of being confined many weeks during the best season for hunting. I am now almost free from pain; but the limb is so weak, that I am still confined, and have had, for the last fortnight past, full leisure to reflect on my various sensations during my imprisonment.
You can hardly conceive, Sir, the prodigious revolution which has taken place in my mind. Many things now delight which formerly afforded no fatisfaction, and I look with indifference on pursuits, which before appeared to me the most engaging.
I have lately had recourse to reading, which had previously afforded me little amusement, and was confequently little pursued. Yesterday evening, after reading the Spectator, where he compares “the evils of « this life to rocks and precipices, which appear rugged « and barren at a distance, but, at our nearer approach, « we find little fruitful spots and refreshing springs, 66 mixed with the harshness and deformities of nature.”
With my mind engaged in this contemplation, I went to rest, when the following dream produced such vivid imagery to my fancy, that I almost doubt whether I was asleep, or only musing and commenting on the metaphor. I conceived myself transported to a delightful country, beautifully variegated with gentle hills and vales, with woods and plains and cultivated fields, which were for ever changing as I paffed on ; for Time, who was my conductor, never would give me leave to stop a minute in a place, except when leep made me insen
fible of his progressive motion : For then he would gently carry me in his arms to some spot which commanded nearly the same prospect with that where weariness had overtaken me, but I would not have you fancy my conductor was an old man with a scythe and an hour-glass, as he is generally represented ; no, he was continually changing Thapes; when I first met him, he was a healthy, playful boy; he taught me many a puerile game, and cheered my first steps with pastimes and delights; we danced rather than walked the beginning of our journey, for all was sport and festive innocence ; at length he led me by the hand through Academic Groves, where every step we took enlarged my prospects, and increased my satisfaction in his company. I had only one cause of discontent, and that was, as I before hinted, that he never would permit me to itop a minute in a place, or go back to view the scenes which had given me the greatest pleasure; indeed he would sometimes give a reason for his non-compliance, by telling me, “that the delight of every scene consisted “ chiefly in its novelty;" and he would sometimes shew me the picture of the places I had visited, reflected in the Mirror of Experience, which confirmed the truth of what he said. On my departure from the Academic Grove, I was struck with the appearance of a vast extensive plain, a sort of heath or common, intersected by many roads, but which all seemed to tend towards an object I had never before beheld; it was a distant mountain, whose bleak and barren aspect at once convinced me that it was the Mountain of Calamity; I shrunk from the fight, and would have gladly turned back into the Grove, or at least wished to stop, and refolve which of the roads it were most adviseable to take ; but my conductor hurried me on, bidding me not direct my eyes to painful objects at a distance, but look about me; I did so, and was again delighted with the profpect near at hand; the ground was enamelled with a thousand flowers, that shed their sweets as we paffed by; I saw before me at a little distance the moft de
lightful objects, through which the several roads seemed to take their respective courses; one led thro' a city, whose palaces glittered with riches, the effect of trade; another led to a splendid Fane, dedicated to Naval and Military Honours; another to a sacred Grove, where Holy Contemplation seemed to ensure peace and happiness; and others still thro’ various and interesting scenes ; each was surrounded with enchanting prospects; but each was more or less exposed to a view of the diftant Mountain ; and I observed, that, in proportion as the inhabitants of these several places struggled to ascend to the highest spots of their situation, they had a more distinct view of the Mountain which all wished to shun: Struck with this reflection, I chose a road different from any I have mentioned, and passed through villages and pleasant farms, where unexpected scenery on every side delighted me; I could often view detached parts of all the other roads, and sometimes travelled a few miles in each ; but though my prospects on each fide were ever varying, and always pleasant, yet I could not avoid a light of the fearful Mountain, and this, as I approached it nearer, seemed to rob the surrounding landscapes of their charms, and, by degrees, I found my spirits linking, and became disgusted with my journey. Sometimes my conductor would bid me take courage, and enjoy with him the nearer prospects, or look back on the country we had passed ; there I saw some hills which I had climbed with ease, and some which I had avoided without knowing how: I was often pleased to see torrents which I had passed without danger, and sometimes vexed to perceive objects that I had missed, and to which now there was no going back; by thus looking round occasionally, I insensibly preffed forward till I was so near the Mountain, that it seemed impossible to remove it from my eyes; but how was I overwhelmed with despair at the horrors of my way, when, on a sudden, a few steps farther presented the full profpect of the River of Death, which swept away thousands in their passage to the Mountain ! Nay, I saw some