Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/119

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

fall asleep, with the exception of one who is appointed to watch; he however frequently doses, and at such times they may be easily approached and killed. The mothers invariably provide for the safety of their young, in preference to their own, by plunging them into the sea, even when themselves are badly wounded. A striking instance of the affection of a young walrus towards its mother, was related to me: the little animal on seeing its parent killed, became so exasperated, that it singly attacked the boat, and though repeatedly wounded, would not desist, but crawled upon the ice after the men, till a lance entered its heart, and terminated its existence.

We now rowed in pursuit of a whale that came up to blow, but after it had gracefully waved its majestic tail, it descended before we were near enough to commence a combat; in hopes of its return, we waited about half an hour near a large piece of ice, from under which two other whales made their appearance, but were too shy to let us approach them. After rowing about for some time, we returned to the ship; when another whale being seen, I went in the boat, in which I had been during the morning, as I was determined neither to take my harpoon-gun, nor to go with the man appointed to the gun-boat. We were ordered to proceed beyond a point of ice, belonging to an extensive field upward of a mile from the ship: as we were going to our destination, we heard the blast of a whale among the ice; presently it was repeated, and about