Scott's Last Expedition: In Winter Quarters - Modern Style
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In Winter Quarters: Modern Style
Monday, May 15. -- The wind has been strong from the north all day -- about 30 miles an hour. A bank of stratus cloud about 6000 or 7000 feet (measured by Erebus) has been passing rapidly overhead towards the north; it is nothing new to find the overlying layers of air moving in opposite directions, but it is strange that the phenomenon is so persistent. Simpson has frequently remarked as a great feature of weather conditions here the seeming reluctance of the air to 'mix' -- the fact seems to be the explanation of many curious fluctuations of temperature.
Went for a short walk, but it was not pleasant. Wilson gave an interesting lecture on penguins. He explained the primitive characteristics in the arrangement of feathers on wings and body, the absence of primaries and secondaries or bare tracts; the modification of the muscles of the wings and in the structure of the feet (the metatarsal joint). He pointed out (and the subsequent discussion seemed to support him) that these birds probably branched at a very early stage of bird life -- coming pretty directly from the lizard bird Archaeopteryx of the Jurassic age. Fossils of giant penguins of Eocene and Miocene ages show that there has been extremely little development since.
He passed on to the classification and habitat of different genera, nest-making habits, eggs, &c. Then to a brief account of the habits of the Emperors and Adelies, which was of course less novel ground for the old hands.
Of special points of interest I recall his explanation of the desirability of embryonic study of the Emperor to throw further light on the development of the species in the loss of teeth, &c.; and Ponting's contribution and observation of adult Adelies teaching their young to swim -- this point has been obscure. It has been said that the old birds push the young into the water, and, per contra, that they leave them deserted in the rookery -- both statements seemed unlikely. It would not be strange if the young Adelie had to learn to swim (it is a well-known requirement of the Northern fur seal -- sea bear), but it will be interesting to see in how far the adult birds lay themselves out to instruct their progeny.
During our trip to the ice and sledge journey one of our dogs, Vaida, was especially distinguished for his savage temper and generally uncouth manners. He became a bad wreck with his poor coat at Hut Point, and in this condition I used to massage him; at first the operation was mistrusted and only continued to the accompaniment of much growling, but later he evidently grew to like the warming effect and sidled up to me whenever I came out of the hut, though still with some suspicion. On returning here he seemed to know me at once, and now comes and buries his head in my legs whenever I go out of doors; he allows me to rub him and push him about without the slightest protest and scampers about me as I walk abroad. He is a strange beast -- I imagine so unused to kindness that it took him time to appreciate it.
Tuesday, May 16. -- The north wind continued all night but dropped this forenoon. Conveniently it became calm at noon and we had a capital game of football. The light is good enough, but not much more than good enough, for this game.
Had some instruction from Wright this morning on the electrical instruments.
Later went into our carbide expenditure with Day: am glad to find it sufficient for two years, but am not making this generally known as there are few things in which economy is less studied than light if regulations allow of waste.
For measuring the ordinary potential gradient we have two self-recording quadrant electrometers. The principle of this instrument is the same as that of the old Kelvin instrument; the clockwork attached to it unrolls a strip of paper wound on a roller; at intervals the needle of the instrument is depressed by an electromagnet and makes a dot on the moving paper. The relative position of these dots forms the record. One of our instruments is adjusted to give only 1/10th the refinement of measurement of the other by means of reduction in the length of the quartz fibre. The object of this is to continue the record in snowstorms, &c., when the potential difference of air and earth is very great. The instruments are kept charged with batteries of small Daniels cells. The clocks are controlled by a master clock.
The instrument available for radio-activity measurements is a modified type of the old gold-leaf electroscope. The measurement is made by the mutual repulsion of quartz fibres acting against a spring -- the extent of the repulsion is very clearly shown against a scale magnified by a telescope.
The measurements to be made with instrument are various:
The ionization of the air. A length of wire charged with 2000 volts (negative) is exposed to the air for several hours. It is then coiled on a frame and its rate of discharge measured by the electroscope.
The radio-activity of the various rocks of our neighbourhood; this by direct measurement of the rock.
The conductivity of the air, that is, the relative movement of ions in the air; by movement of air past charged surface. Rate of absorption of + and - ions is measured, the negative ion travelling faster than the positive.
Wednesday, May 17. -- For the first time this season we have a rise of temperature with a southerly wind. The wind force has been about 30 since yesterday evening; the air is fairly full of snow and the temperature has risen to -6° from -18°.
I heard one of the dogs barking in the middle of the night, and on inquiry learned that it was one of the 'Serais,' that he seemed to have something wrong with his hind leg, and that he had been put under shelter. This morning the poor brute was found dead.
I'm afraid we can place but little reliance on our dog teams and reflect ruefully on the misplaced confidence with which I regarded the provision of our transport. Well, one must suffer for errors of judgment.
This afternoon Wilson held a post-mortem on the dog; he could find no sufficient cause of death. This is the third animal that has died at winter quarters without apparent cause. Wilson, who is nettled, proposes to examine the brain of this animal to-morrow.
Went up the Ramp this morning. There was light enough to see our camp, and it looked homely, as it does from all sides. Somehow we loom larger here than at Cape Armitage. We seem to be more significant. It must be from contrast of size; the larger hills tend to dwarf the petty human element.
To-night the wind has gone back to the north and is now blowing fresh.
This sudden and continued complete change of direction is new to our experience.
Oates has just given us an excellent little lecture on the management of horses.
He explained his plan of feeding our animals 'soft' during the winter, and hardening them up during the spring. He pointed out that the horse's natural food being grass and hay, he would naturally employ a great number of hours in the day filling a stomach of small capacity with food from which he could derive only a small percentage of nutriment.
Hence it is desirable to feed horses often and light. His present routine is as follows:
Morning. -- Chaff.
Noon, after exercise. -- Snow. Chaff and either oats or oil-cake alternate days.
Evening, 5 P.M. -- Snow. Hot bran mash with oil-cake or boiled oats and chaff; finally a small quantity of hay. This sort of food should be causing the animals to put on flesh, but is not preparing them for work. In October he proposes to give 'hard' food, all cold, and to increase the exercising hours.
As concerning the food we possess he thinks:
The chaff made of young wheat and hay is doubtful; there does not seem to be any grain with it -- and would farmers cut young wheat? There does not seem to be any 'fat' in this food, but it is very well for ordinary winter purposes.
N.B. -- It seems to me this ought to be inquired into. Bran much discussed, but good because it causes horses to chew the oats with which mixed.
Oil-cake, greasy, producing energy -- excellent for horses to work on.
Oats, of which we have two qualities, also very good working food -- our white quality much better than the brown.
Our trainer went on to explain the value of training horses, of getting them 'balanced' to pull with less effort. He owns it is very difficult when one is walking horses only for exercise, but thinks something can be done by walking them fast and occasionally making them step backwards.
Oates referred to the deeds that had been done with horses by foreigners in shows and with polo ponies by Englishmen when the animals were trained; it is, he said, a sort of gymnastic training.
The discussion was very instructive and I have only noted the salient points.
Thursday, May 18. -- The wind dropped in the night; to-day it is calm, with slight snowfall. We have had an excellent football match -- the only outdoor game possible in this light.
I think our winter routine very good, I suppose every leader of a party has thought that, since he has the power of altering it. On the other hand, routine in this connection must take into consideration the facilities of work and play afForded by the preliminary preparations for the expedition. The winter occupations of most of our party depend on the instruments and implements, the clothing and sledging outfit, provided by forethought, and the routine is adapted to these occupations.
The busy winter routine of our party may therefore be excusably held as a subject for self-congratulation.
Friday, May 19. -- Wind from the north in the morning, temperature comparatively high (about -6°). We played football during the noon hour -- the game gets better as we improve our football condition and skill.
In the afternoon the wind came from the north, dying away again late at night.
In the evening Wright lectured on 'Ice Problems.' He had a difficult subject and was nervous. He is young and has never done original work; is only beginning to see the importance of his task.
He started on the crystallisation of ice, and explained with very good illustrations the various forms of crystals, the manner of their growth under different conditions and different temperatures. This was instructive. Passing to the freezing of salt water, he was not very clear. Then on to glaciers and their movements, theories for same and observations in these regions.
There was a good deal of disconnected information -- silt bands, crevasses were mentioned. Finally he put the problems of larger aspect.
The upshot of the discussion was a decision to devote another evening to the larger problems such as the Great Ice Barrier and the interior ice sheet. I think I will write the paper to be discussed on this occasion.
I note with much satisfaction that the talks on ice problems and the interest shown in them has had the effect of making Wright devote the whole of his time to them. That may mean a great deal, for he is a hard and conscientious worker.
Atkinson has a new hole for his fish trap in 15 fathoms; yesterday morning he got a record catch of forty-three fish, but oddly enough yesterday evening there were only two caught.
Saturday, May 20. -- Blowing hard from the south, with some snow and very cold. Few of us went far; Wilson and Bowers went to the top of the Ramp and found the wind there force 6 to 7, temperature -24°; as a consequence they got frost-bitten. There was lively cheering when they reappeared in this condition, such is the sympathy which is here displayed for affliction; but with Wilson much of the amusement arises from his peculiarly scant headgear and the confessed jealousy of those of us who cannot face the weather with so little face protection.
The wind dropped at night.
Sunday, May 21. -- Observed as usual. It blew from the north in the morning. Had an idea to go to Cape Royds this evening, but it was reported that the open water reached to the Barne Glacier, and last night my own observation seemed to confirm this.
This afternoon I started out for the open water. I found the ice solid off the Barne Glacier tongue, but always ahead of me a dark horizon as though I was within a very short distance of its edge. I held on with this appearance still holding up to C. Barne itself and then past that Cape and half way between it and C. Royds. This was far enough to make it evident that the ice was continuous to C. Royds, and has been so for a long time. Under these circumstances the continual appearance of open water to the north is most extraordinary and quite inexplicable.
Have had some very interesting discussions with Wilson, Wright, and Taylor on the ice formations to the west. How to account for the marine organisms found on the weathered glacier ice north of the Koettlitz Glacier? We have been elaborating a theory under which this ice had once a negative buoyancy due to the morainic material on top and in the lower layers of the ice mass, and had subsequently floated when the greater amount of this material had weathered out.
Have arranged to go to C. Royds to-morrow.
The temperatures have sunk very steadily this year; for a long time they hung about zero, then for a considerable interval remained about -10°; now they are down in the minus twenties, with signs of falling (to-day -24°).
Bowers' meteorological stations have been amusingly named Archibald, Bertram, Clarence -- they are entered by the initial letter, but spoken of by full title.
To-night we had a glorious auroral display -- quite the most brilliant I have seen. At one time the sky from N.N.W. to S.S.E. as high as the zenith was massed with arches, band, and curtains, always in rapid movement. The waving curtains were especially fascinating -- a wave of bright light would start at one end and run along to the other, or a patch of brighter light would spread as if to reinforce the failing light of the curtain.
The auroral light is of a palish green colour, but we now see distinctly a red flush preceding the motion of any bright part.
The green ghostly light seems suddenly to spring to life with rosy blushes. There is infinite suggestion in this phenomenon, and in that lies its charm; the suggestion of life, form, colour and movement never less than evanescent, mysterious, -- no reality. It is the language of mystic signs and portents -- the inspiration of the gods -- wholly spiritual -- divine signalling. Remindful of superstition, provocative of imagination. Might not the inhabitants of some other world (Mars) controlling mighty forces thus surround our globe with fiery symbols, a golden writing which we have not the key to decipher?
There is argument on the confession of Ponting's inability to obtain photographs of the aurora. Professor Stormer of Norway seems to have been successful. Simpson made notes of his method, which seems to depend merely on the rapidity of lens and plate. Ponting claims to have greater rapidity in both, yet gets no result even with long exposure. It is not only a question of aurora; the stars are equally reluctant to show themselves on Ponting's plate. Even with five seconds exposure the stars become short lines of light on the plate of a fixed camera. Stormer's stars are points and therefore his exposure must have been short, yet there is detail in some of his pictures which it seems impossible could have been got with a short exposure. It is all very puzzling.
Monday, May 22. -- Wilson, Bowers, Atkinson, Evans (P.O.), Clissold, and self went to C. Royds with a 'go cart' carrying our sleeping-bags, a cooker, and a small quantity of provision.
The 'go cart' consists of a framework of steel tubing supported on four bicycle wheels.
The surface of the floes carries 1 to 2 inches of snow, barely covering the salt ice flowers, and for this condition this vehicle of Day's is excellent. The advantage is that it meets the case where the salt crystals form a heavy frictional surface for wood runners. I'm inclined to think that there are great numbers of cases when wheels would be more efficient than runners on the sea ice.
We reached Cape Royds in 2 1/2 hours, killing an Emperor penguin in the bay beyond C. Barne. This bird was in splendid plumage, the breast reflecting the dim northern light like a mirror.
It was fairly dark when we stumbled over the rocks and dropped on to Shackleton's Hut. Clissold started the cooking-range, Wilson and I walked over to the Black beach and round back by Blue Lake.
The temperature was down at -31° and the interior of the hut was very cold.
Tuesday, May 23. -- We spent the morning mustering the stores within and without the hut, after a cold night which we passed very comfortably in our bags.
We found a good quantity of flour and Danish butter and a fair amount of paraffin, with smaller supplies of assorted articles -- the whole sufficient to afford provision for such a party as ours for about six or eight months if well administered. In case of necessity this would undoubtedly be a very useful reserve to fall back upon. These stores are somewhat scattered, and the hut has a dilapidated, comfortless appearance due to its tenantless condition; but even so it seemed to me much less inviting than our old Discovery hut at C. Armitage.
After a cup of cocoa there was nothing to detain us, and we started back, the only useful articles added to our weights being a scrap or two of leather and five hymn-books. Hitherto we have been only able to muster seven copies; this increase will improve our Sunday Services.
Wednesday, May 24. -- A quiet day with northerly wind; the temperature rose gradually to zero. Having the night duty, did not go out. The moon has gone and there is little to attract one out of doors.
Atkinson gave us an interesting little discourse on parasitology, with a brief account of the life history of some ecto- and some endo-parasites -- Nematodes, Trematodes. He pointed out how that in nearly every case there was a secondary host, how in some cases disease was caused, and in others the presence of the parasite was even helpful. He acknowledged the small progress that had been made in this study. He mentioned ankylostomiasis, blood-sucking worms, Bilhartsia (Trematode) attacking bladder (Egypt), Filaria (round tapeworm), Guinea worm, Trichina (pork), and others, pointing to disease caused.
From worms he went to Protozoa-Trypanosomes, sleeping sickness, host tsetse-fly -- showed life history comparatively, propagated in secondary host or encysting in primary host -- similarly malarial germs spread by Anopheles mosquitoes -- all very interesting.
In the discussion following Wilson gave some account of the grouse disease worm, and especially of the interest in finding free living species almost identical; also part of the life of disease worm is free living. Here we approached a point pressed by Nelson concerning the degeneration consequent on adoption of the parasitic habit. All parasites seem to have descended from free living beasts. One asks 'what is degeneration?' without receiving a very satisfactory answer. After all, such terms must be empirical.
Thursday, May 25. -- It has been blowing from south with heavy gusts and snow, temperature extraordinarily high, -6°. This has been a heavy gale. The weather conditions are certainly very interesting; Simpson has again called attention to the wind in February, March, and April at Cape Evans -- the record shows an extraordinary large percentage of gales. It is quite certain that we scarcely got a fraction of the wind on the Barrier and doubtful if we got as much at Hut Point.
Friday, May 26. -- A calm and clear day -- a nice change from recent weather. It makes an enormous difference to the enjoyment of this life if one is able to get out and stretch one's legs every day. This morning I went up the Ramp. No sign of open water, so that my fears for a broken highway in the coming season are now at rest. In future gales can only be a temporary annoyance -- anxiety as to their result is finally allayed.
This afternoon I searched out ski and ski sticks and went for a short run over the floe. The surface is quite good since the recent snowfall and wind. This is satisfactory, as sledging can now be conducted on ordinary lines, and if convenient our parties can pull on ski. The young ice troubles of April and May have passed away. It is curious that circumstances caused us to miss them altogether during our stay in the Discovery.
We are living extraordinarily well. At dinner last night we had some excellent thick seal soup, very much like thick hare soup; this was followed by an equally tasty seal steak and kidney pie and a fruit jelly. The smell of frying greeted us on awaking this morning, and at breakfast each of us had two of our nutty little Notothenia fish after our bowl of porridge. These little fish have an extraordinarily sweet taste -- bread and butter and marmalade finished the meal. At the midday meal we had bread and butter, cheese, and cake, and to-night I smell mutton in the preparation. Under the circumstances it would be difficult to conceive more appetising repasts or a regime which is likely to produce scorbutic symptoms. I cannot think we shall get scurvy.
Nelson lectured to us to-night, giving a very able little elementary sketch of the objects of the biologist. A fact struck one in his explanation of the rates of elimination. Two of the offspring of two parents alone survive, speaking broadly; this the same of the human species or the 'ling,' with 24,000,000 eggs in the roe of each female! He talked much of evolution, adaptation, &c. Mendelism became the most debated point of the discussion; the transmission of characters has a wonderful fascination for the human mind. There was also a point striking deep in the debate on Professor Loeb's experiments with sea urchins; how far had he succeeded in reproducing the species without the male spermatozoa? Not very far, it seemed, when all was said.
A theme for a pen would be the expansion of interest in polar affairs; compare the interests of a winter spent by the old Arctic voyagers with our own, and look into the causes. The aspect of everything changes as our knowledge expands.
The expansion of human interest in rude surroundings may perhaps best be illustrated by comparisons. It will serve to recall such a simple case as the fact that our ancestors applied the terms horrid, frightful, to mountain crags which in our own day are more justly admired as lofty, grand, and beautiful.
The poetic conception of this natural phenomenon has followed not so much an inherent change of sentiment as the intimacy of wider knowledge and the death of superstitious influence. One is much struck by the importance of realising limits.
Saturday, May 27. -- A very unpleasant, cold, windy day. Annoyed with the conditions, so did not go out.
In the evening Bowers gave his lecture on sledging diets. He has shown great courage in undertaking the task, great perseverance in unearthing facts from books, and a considerable practical skill in stringing these together. It is a thankless task to search polar literature for dietary facts and still more difficult to attach due weight to varying statements. Some authors omit discussion of this important item altogether, others fail to note alterations made in practice or additions afForded by circumstances, others again forget to describe the nature of various food stuffs.
Our lecturer was both entertaining and instructive when he dealt with old time rations; but he naturally grew weak in approaching the physiological aspect of the question. He went through with it manfully and with a touch of humour much appreciated; whereas, for instance, he deduced facts from 'the equivalent of Mr. Joule, a gentleman whose statements he had no reason to doubt.'
Wilson was the mainstay of the subsequent discussion and put all doubtful matters in a clearer light. 'Increase your fats (carbohydrate)' is what science seems to say, and practice with conservativism is inclined to step cautiously in response to this urgence. I shall, of course, go into the whole question as thoroughly as available information and experience permits. Meanwhile it is useful to have had a discussion which aired the popular opinions.
Feeling went deepest on the subject of tea versus cocoa; admitting all that can be said concerning stimulation and reaction, I am inclined to see much in favour of tea. Why should not one be mildly stimulated during the marching hours if one can cope with reaction by profounder rest during the hours of inaction?
Sunday, May 28. -- Quite an excitement last night. One of the ponies (the grey which I led last year and salved from the floe) either fell or tried to lie down in his stall, his head being lashed up to the stanchions on either side. In this condition he struggled and kicked till his body was twisted right round and his attitude extremely uncomfortable. Very luckily his struggles were heard almost at once, and his head ropes being cut, Oates got him on his feet again. He looked a good deal distressed at the time, but is now quite well again and has been out for his usual exercise.
Held Service as usual.
This afternoon went on ski around the bay and back across. Little or no wind; sky clear, temperature -25°. It was wonderfully mild considering the temperature -- this sounds paradoxical, but the sensation of cold does not conform to the thermometer -- it is obviously dependent on the wind and less obviously on the humidity of the air and the ice crystals floating in it. I cannot very clearly account for this effect, but as a matter of fact I have certainly felt colder in still air at -10° than I did to-day when the thermometer was down to -25°, other conditions apparently equal.
The amazing circumstance is that by no means can we measure the humidity, or indeed the precipitation or evaporation. I have just been discussing with Simpson the insuperable difficulties that stand in the way of experiment in this direction, since cold air can only hold the smallest quantities of moisture, and saturation covers an extremely small range of temperature.
Monday, May 29. -- Another beautiful calm day. Went out both before and after the mid-day meal. This morning with Wilson and Bowers towards the thermometer off Inaccessible Island. On the way my companionable dog was heard barking and dimly seen -- we went towards him and found that he was worrying a young sea leopard. This is the second found in the Strait this season. We had to secure it as a specimen, but it was sad to have to kill. The long lithe body of this seal makes it almost beautiful in comparison with our stout, bloated Weddells. This poor beast turned swiftly from side to side as we strove to stun it with a blow on the nose. As it turned it gaped its jaws wide, but oddly enough not a sound came forth, not even a hiss.
After lunch a sledge was taken out to secure the prize, which had been photographed by flashlight.
Ponting has been making great advances in flashlight work, and has opened up quite a new field in which artistic results can be obtained in the winter.
Lecture -- Japan. To-night Ponting gave us a charming lecture on Japan with wonderful illustrations of his own. He is happiest in his descriptions of the artistic side of the people, with which he is in fullest sympathy. So he took us to see the flower pageants. The joyful festivals of the cherry blossom, the wistaria, the iris and chrysanthemum, the sombre colours of the beech blossom and the paths about the lotus gardens, where mankind meditated in solemn mood. We had pictures, too, of Nikko and its beauties, of Temples and great Buddhas. Then in more touristy strain of volcanoes and their craters, waterfalls and river gorges, tiny tree-clad islets, that feature of Japan -- baths and their bathers, Ainos, and so on. His descriptions were well given and we all of us thoroughly enjoyed our evening.
Tuesday, May 30. -- Am busy with my physiological investigations. Atkinson reported a sea leopard at the tide crack; it proved to be a crab-eater, young and very active. In curious contrast to the sea leopard of yesterday in snapping round it uttered considerable noise, a gasping throaty growl.
Went out to the outer berg, where there was quite a collection of people, mostly in connection with Ponting, who had brought camera and flashlight.
It was beautifully calm and comparatively warm. It was good to hear the gay chatter and laughter, and see ponies and their leaders come up out of the gloom to add liveliness to the scene. The sky was extraordinarily clear at noon and to the north very bright.
We have had an exceptionally large tidal range during the last three days -- it has upset the tide gauge arrangements and brought a little doubt on the method. Day is going into the question, which we thoroughly discussed to-day. Tidal measurements will be worse than useless unless we can be sure of the accuracy of our methods. Pools of salt water have formed over the beach floes in consequence of the high tide, and in the chase of the crab eater to-day very brilliant flashes of phosphorescent light appeared in these pools. We think it due to a small cope-pod. I have just found a reference to the same phenomena in Nordenskiöld's 'Vega.' He, and apparently Bellot before him, noted the phenomenon. An interesting instance of bi-polarity.
Another interesting phenomenon observed to-day was a cirrus cloud lit by sunlight. It was seen by Wilson and Bowers 5° above the northern horizon -- the sun is 9° below our horizon, and without refraction we calculate a cloud could be seen which was 12 miles high. Allowing refraction the phenomenon appears very possible.
Wednesday, May 31. -- The sky was overcast this morning and the temperature up to -13°. Went out after lunch to 'Land's End.' The surface of snow was sticky for ski, except where drifts were deep. There was an oppressive feel in the air and I got very hot, coming in with head and hands bare.
At 5, from dead calm the wind suddenly sprang up from the south, force 40 miles per hour, and since that it has been blowing a blizzard; wind very gusty, from 20 to 60 miles. I have never known a storm come on so suddenly, and it shows what possibility there is of individuals becoming lost even if they only go a short way from the hut.
To-night Wilson has given us a very interesting lecture on sketching. He started by explaining his methods of rough sketch and written colour record, and explained its suitability to this climate as opposed to coloured chalks, &c. -- a very practical method for cold fingers and one that becomes more accurate with practice in observation. His theme then became the extreme importance of accuracy, his mode of expression and explanation frankly Ruskinesque. Don't put in meaningless lines -- every line should be from observation. So with contrast of light and shade -- fine shading, subtle distinction, everything -- impossible without care, patience, and trained attention.
He raised a smile by generalising failures in sketches of others of our party which had been brought to him for criticism. He pointed out how much had been put in from preconceived notion. 'He will draw a berg faithfully as it is now and he studies it, but he leaves sea and sky to be put in afterwards, as he thinks they must be like sea and sky everywhere else, and he is content to try and remember how these should be done.' Nature's harmonies cannot be guessed at.
He quoted much from Ruskin, leading on a little deeper to 'Composition,' paying a hearty tribute to Ponting.
The lecture was delivered in the author's usual modest strain, but unconsciously it was expressive of himself and his whole-hearted thoroughness. He stands very high in the scale of human beings -- how high I scarcely knew till the experience of the past few months.
There is no member of our party so universally esteemed; only to-night I realise how patiently and consistently he has given time and attention to help the efforts of the other sketchers, and so it is all through; he has had a hand in almost every lecture given, and has been consulted in almost every effort which has been made towards the solution of the practical or theoretical problems of our polar world.
The achievement of a great result by patient work is the best possible object lesson for struggling humanity, for the results of genius, however admirable, can rarely be instructive. The chief of the Scientific Staff sets an example which is more potent than any other factor in maintaining that bond of good fellowship which is the marked and beneficent characteristic of our community.