On the Magnet/IV-9
ἀνατολίζειν], till he come one mile to the Eastward from Plimouth, where the variation comming to the greatest is 13 degr. 24 min. From hence the Northeasting [Anatolismus] beginneth to decrease, til you come to Helmshude (which place is Westward from the North Cape of Finmark) where againe the needle pointeth due North. Now the longitude from Coruo to Helmshude is 60 degr. Which things being well weighed, it appeareth that the greatest variation [Chalyboclysis] 13 degr. 24 minutes at Plimmouth (the longitude whereof is 30 degr.) is in the midst betweene the places where the needle pointeth due North." But although this is in some part true in these places, yet it is by no means true that along the whole of the meridian of the island of Corvo the versorium looks truly to the north; nor on the meridian of Plymouth is the variation in other places 13 deg. 24 min.—nor again in other parts of the meridian of Helmshuda does it point to the true pole. For on the meridian passing through Plymouth in Latitude 60 degrees the North-easterly variation is greater: in Latitude 40 deg. much less; in Latitude 20 deg. very small indeed. On the meridian of Corvo, although there is no variation near the island, yet in Latitude 55 degrees the variation is about ½ a rumbe to the North-west; in Latitude 20 deg. the versorium inclines ¼ of a rumbe toward the East. Consequently the limits of variation are not conveniently determined by means of great circles and meridians, and much less are the ratios of the increment or decrement toward any part of the heavens properly investigated by them. Wherefore the rules of the abatement or augmentation of Northeasting or Northwesting, or of increasing or decreasing the magnetick deviation, can by no means be discovered by such an artifice. The rules which follow later for variation in southern parts of the earth investigated by the same method are altogether vain and absurd. They were put forth by certain Portuguese mariners, but they do not agree with the observations, and the observations themselves are admitted to be bad. But the method of haven-finding in long and distant voyages by carefully observed variation (such as was invented by Stevinus, and mentioned by Grotius) is of great moment, if only proper instruments are in readiness, by which the magnetick deviation can be ascertained with certainty at sea.