An Auto-Biographical Memoir of Sir John Barrow, Bart., Late by John Barrow

By John Barrow

Sir John Barrow (1764-1848) was once a special British govt servant whose diplomatic occupation took him to China and Africa, and who in 40 years as Secretary to the Admiralty used to be accountable for selling Arctic and Antarctic exploration, together with the voyages of Sir John Ross, Sir William Parry, Sir James Clark Ross and Sir John Franklin (the final of which famously resulted in disaster). Barrow's autobiography, written whilst he was once eighty-three, depicts a existence amazing for its variety of expertise and task, from a small farm within the Furness peninsula to the court docket of the Emperor of China, and from an it sounds as if settled existence as a civil servant at Cape city to the centre of affairs at a time whilst the British Navy's succeed in and impact reached their optimum element. This interesting account should be of curiosity to an individual attracted to exploration and the background of the British military.

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Filled with an immense glacier, known to the Dutch as the Seven Icebergs (seben ysgebergte). " In another part of the coast, it is said, the firing of a gun brought down from the glacier such a mass, as to form a floating iceberg in the sea. But to return to the situation in which our ship was— beset and helpless. The weather fortunately was tranquil, and on the fifth day a change of wind to the south, increasing to what may be called a brisk gale, by meeting the northerly current, caused so much confusion in the ice, and so many heavy blows to the poor ' Peggy,' that apprehensions were at one time entertained she would not escape without damage.

The law ? None but first-rate talents could hope to succeed in that. Physic ? Too late to begin the study of it—and the market already overstocked—railroads had not yet supplied an accession of patients—and the only prospect was that of becoming a country apothecary. And the church ? Without powerful friends little to be hoped for beyond a curacy, which barely affords food and clothing; besides, I never could bring my mind to think myself suited for the church, and not having had the benefit of an university education, it was by no means clear that a reverend SECT.

SECT. ] A SINGULAR CHARACTER. 11 withal, did he insense me, (as Doctor Wollaston would have said,) that I repeated my visit three or four times; and should have gone, at least once more, before quitting home, had I not felt somewhat ashamed to trouble him on that occasion, which was the following. I had puzzled myself for a couple of days and nights with a problem in Simson's Conic Sections, which, without consulting any one, I found myself so much perplexed and confused, as to despair of ever being able to master: the failure preyed on my mind.

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