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LITERARY NOTICES.

the redress of all kinds of wrongs. The ideal should rather be to reduce its functions to the narrowest limits in order that all the more life may reside in our local institutions, and all the more scope be left to private initiative. It is easier to stereotype a civilization than people imagine, and the way to do it is to look to the Government for everything.

To show how easy it is to make a fallacious use of figures, we may mention that in the alarming statistics frequently published in support of the Blair Bill for Federal aid to education in the South—statistics intended to show what an overwhelming mass of ignorance existed in the Southern States—no account was taken of the fact that a very large proportion of the illiterate blacks belonged to a class—the adult population—whom educational measures could never reach, however liberal might be the appropriations made therefor. A recent writer has pointed out that when we come to compare the percentage of children attending school in the South with the percentage so attending, say, in New England, the difference is by no means very striking. The South is evidently doing well, and will yet do better, if no intrusive and demoralizing aid is afforded to it out of the national treasury.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Three Years of Arctic Service. An Account of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition of 1881-'84, and the Attainment of the Farthest North. By Adolphus W. Greely. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Two vols. Pp. xxv-428, and 444, with Maps.

No story of tragic adventure has ever excited greater interest or invoked stronger sympathy than that of the life and sufferings of Lieutenant Greely and his party of twenty-four men at Cape Sabine during the winter of 1883-'84. Other parties have suffered intense privations and pains, in the Arctic regions and other inhospitable parts of the globe; but, as a rule, there have been features of some kind to set off and relieve the uniformity of their misery, or else, all having perished, the world has escaped the sorrow of viewing the picture of their suffering in photographic detail. But with this party of our countrymen there were nine months of monotonous uniformity of suffering, and slow, steady progress toward death; and enough have survived its perils to describe the pains in all their colors. It is right that we should have this full story of the expedition from its commander. He was responsible for its management, and he was the member of it, if any, who was best able to take a complete view of it as a whole, and in all its aspects. In preparing his account, he has, he says, spared neither health nor strength. For materials he has drawn upon his own diary, the official field reports, and the journals of Lieutenant Lockwood and Sergeant Brainard, the only complete ones, with his own, that were kept. As is fitting, the story of the last terrible days of starvation, freezing, and death, is told almost wholly in the words of the diaries as it was recorded from day to day at the time, with hardly a word of comment.

The expedition commanded by Lieutenant Greely was intended to establish one of the international stations for circumpolar observation that had been decided upon after the suggestion of Lieutenant Weyprecht, of the Austrian Navy, by the Polar Conferences which met in Hamburg and Berne in 1879 and 1880. Two of the fourteen stations established were assigned to the United States one at Point Barrow, in latitude 71 18' north, longitude 156° 24' west, under Lieutenant Ray, and one at Lady Franklin Bay, latitude 81° 44' north, longitude 64° 45' west, under Lieutenant Greely. The station at the latter point, when established, was named Fort Conger, after Senator Conger, of Michigan, who had interested himself specially in behalf of the expedition. Hardly had the party landed, when a defect in its organization revealed itself, in the shape of inharmonious elements and the want of strong enough authority. The circumstance, says Lieutenant Greely, emphasizes "the necessity of selecting for Arctic service only men and officers of thoroughly military qualities, among which subordination is by no means of sec-