Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/165

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that direction. To accomplish this plan, every point of the compass had been tried, every part visited, and every opening pursued until we could proceed no further through the ice. Captain Scoresby on returning from the crow's nest, and the latitude being reported to him, said, "Then, alas! all further attempts to get to the westward are in vain; having only attained fifty miles of western course, very few whales having been seen and none taken, that destination must now be given up, and search made for whales in other situations." I heard the declaration with feelings of the deepest regret, for I had contemplated setting my foot upon that long-lost country of Greenland, which for ages had been shut from all knowledge; and probably upon a part never yet trodden by man; my disappointment was the greater because I had designed to attempt a geographical and hydrographical description of the country, and to collect, as far as my time and limited abilities would permit, other information of importance to science.

We now sailed to the eastward, and the weather being calm, I went in pursuit of a finner, (Balæna Physalis, Linn.), with the intention of proving the effect of a shell upon one of those fish, which are allowed to be the most difficult and dangerous to attack, being persuaded that instantaneous destruction would attend the explosion of a shell in the viscera of the animal; but, my expected prey went down, and did not come up within a quarter of a mile from us. This is not only the largest of the