Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/267

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pooners of the ship; I distinctly declared that the object of my voyage to Greenland was solely a desire to benefit the fishery; and all I required was a fair trial of my several instruments to determine their merits.

For this purpose, Captain Scoresby appointed to the boat intended for the service, a harpooner who was making his first voyage in that capacity, as one best calculated for a new practice in the fishery; but most unfortunately he was soon after violently attacked by illness. From conversation with the other harpooners, my suspicions were established of an inveterate jealousy existing against any novel practice, and particularly with regard to the application of a gun-harpoon; I was indeed assured in confidence by one of the crew, on whose veracity I could rely, that the following declaration had been made, "that if the gun succeeded it might lead to its more general use, and that every man then, who could point a gun, could act as a harpooner;" and further that the minds of most of the crew had been influenced to express a wish for its failure. After this, water was actually poured into one of my guns by some miscreant; no doubt with the object of defeating the success of the invention.

From these circumstances, I considered the harpooner not sufficiently unprejudiced to sit in judgment on its utility, and determined to await until the man was restored to health, who had been appointed to the service of the gun-boat; and in the mean time I resolved to make myself master of the process of fishing, by accompanying expeditions, and minutely observing every transaction in taking fish by the hand-harpoon.

The following is an extract from the journal of Captain Scoresby, describing my implements, &c., with which he favoured me.