Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/268

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Extract, May 29, 1821, respecting Captain Manby's new method of taking whales.

"Hitherto, owing to the indisposition of the harpooner appointed to take charge of Captain Manby's apparatus for killing whales, no opportunity has occurred of applying any of the instruments to practice; it is time, however, that I should give some description of the apparatus, for the trial of which, Captain Manby, at an advanced period of life, (fifty-six) has been induced to forego the enjoyments of a peaceful and happy home, to encounter the rigour and privation of a Greenland voyage; and this, not from motives of personal emolument, but, with his usual philanthropy, with the view of contributing to the success of a branch of trade, the highest in the scale of national importance, and of diminishing, as far as may be, the dangers of the occupation; whatever, therefore, may be the fate of his invention, he is entitled to the full praise of having employed his property and his ingenuity for the promotion of a public benefit, and deserves well of his country."

"Captain Manby has invented three or four different pieces of apparatus, viz.:

"1st. A hand-harpoon constructed with jointed spring barbs, intended to prevent the liability of retraction.

"2d. A gun-harpoon for the same purpose, calculated, he conceives, to afford greater precision in direction, to take effect at greater distances, and to be more capable of retention when it penetrates, than the gun-harpoon at present in use.

"3d. A small gun with shells and carcasses for killing whales without the use of the lance.