who were able to labour immediately went on shore, to prepare lodging for the sick, which they did by digging pits in some sand-hills near a brook which ran from a mountain into the sea, and sails were used for their present covering. Some of the men proceeded to explore the island: they found neither tree nor trace of inhabitants. The interior of the island swarmed with foxes, both blue and white; but their fur was not so fine as that of the Siberian fox. They were not at all frightened at the sight of men. Sea-otters were numerous along the shores. Their flesh was so tough that it could scarcely be torn to pieces with the teeth; but Steller the physician considered it a specific against the scurvy. The intestines were reserved for the use of the sick. The otters were killed not only for food, but also for their skins, which constitute a chief article of the trade between the Russians and Chinese. Nine hundred of these skins were collected on the island by the crew; and of these Steller brought away one third as his own share, having received them from the sailors as fees for his attention to them while sick. A dead whale, that was thrown on the coast, was called by them their magazine, as it offered them a resource when nothing better was to be procured. Thirty of the crew died on the island. Poor Behring expired on the 8th of December. It might be said, that he was almost buried alive ; for as the sand rolled down from the pit in which he lay, and covered his feet, he would not suffer it to be removed, believing that it kept him warm: and it thus increased upon him till he was more than half covered; so that, when he was dead, it was necessary to unearth him, in order to inter him properly. . On the 6th of May the survivors of the crew, in number forty-five persons, commenced building a vessel from the timbers that remained of the wreck, in order to return to Kamtschatka. The carpenters were all dead; but a Cossack named Starodubzof, who had worked some time as a shipwright at Ochotsk. undertook to VOL. II. A A

superintend the work. The new vessel was launched on the 10th of August, and they sailed on the 16th ; but owing to adverse winds did not make the coast of Kamtschatka till the 25th. On the 27th they cast anchor in the bay of St. Peter and St. Paul. This vessel performed so well in the passage, that the Cossack Starodubzof was promoted, for his good service, to the rank of simbojarski, which is a degree of Siberian nobility. Behring left his name to the island on which he died. It is now time to return to Tshirikof, whose voyage, though less unfortunate than that of his commander, was hardly attended with less hardship and distress. After his separation from Behring, on the 20th of June, he ran for the American continent, which he made in lat. 55° 36'. The coast which presented itself before him was steep and barren, guarded by rocks, and without a single island that could afford him shelter. He anchored off the coast, and sent his long boat with orders to put on shore wherever she could land. Several days elapsed without her re-appearing: he despatched his other boat to learn the cause of this delay ; but the latter experienced, no doubt, the same fate as the preceding; and it is unknown what became of either. Some canoes, manned by Americans, came off from the shore a few days after, to survey the ship; but they feared to approach it closely; and Tshirikof, despairing to see his men again, resolved to quit the coast, and reached Kamtschatka in the beginning of October. Soon after the return of Behring's crew from the island on which he was shipwrecked and died, and which is called after his name, the inhabitants of Kamtschatka ventured over to that island, to which the seaotters and other sea animals were accustomed to resort in great numbers. Mednoi Ostroff, or Copper Island, which takes that appellation from large masses of native copper found upon the beach, and which lies full in sight of Behring's Isle, was an easy and speedy discovery. These two small uninhabited spots were for some

time the only islands that were known, until the scarcity
of land and sea animals, whose numbers were greatly

diminished by the Russian hunters, occasioned other
expeditions. Several of the vessels that were sent out
upon these voyages were driven by stormy weather to
the south-east, and thus obtained a knowledge of the
Aleutian Isles, which abound in furred animals, and are
but thinly peopled. From the year 1745, when these
islands were first visited, until 1750, when the first
tribute of furs was brought from them to Ochotsk, the
government appears not to have been fully informed of
their discovery. In 1760, the governor of Tobolsk
turned his attention to those islands; and until that
time all the discoveries subsequent to Behring's voyage
were made, without the interposition of the court, by
private merchants, in vessels fitted out at their own ex-
pense. It is on these Aleutian Islands, and on upwards
of 300 leagues of coast which extend beyond the polar
circle, that the indefatigable Russians have established
those settlements and factories that support the great
and advantageous fur trade carried on with China by
the Russian empire.

In this volume a rapid view has been taken of the
progress of geography from the commencement of the
sixteenth to the middle of the eighteenth century. We
have seen with what hasty strides Europeans proceeded
to establish themselves in the most distant regions of
the globe. Ambition, the love of gold and of adventure,
were the motives that prompted their indefatigable exer-
tions. Yet the impulse arising from the discoveries of
Columbus was not confined to the ambitious, the covet-
ous, or romantic alone; the studious and speculative like-
wise felt its influence. Geography, in the beginning of
the sixteenth century, was the favourite study of the
greatest scholars. The attention of learned men seemed
for a time engrossed by the light recently thrown on the
form and structure of the globe ; and many mathematicians and philosophers zealously applied themselves to the perfection of geographical science. Yet geography can hardly be said to have been cultivated generally, or to have been designedly promoted, apart from views of political or mercantile interest, prior to the period at which we have now arrived in the course of this work. The curiosity of mankind is now more liberal and exalted ; and, among civilised nations, not even war is allowed to obstruct the progress of geographical researches. Our reflections on the growth of geographical science are, therefore, reserved for the volume that is to follow.


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