Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/278

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curacy, although they should never have been in Greenland before, prove themselves superior harpooners to many, who have spent all their lives in the service. These considerations, I am inclined to hope, would excite a partiality to the use of the gun-harpoon. A proper sense of duty and zeal for their employers' benefit might be excited in the minds of the harpooners, by inducing them plainly to see, that as many fish may be taken by a gun-harpoon, as by the hand harpoon; and by making them, at the same time, understand, that their emoluments will not be diminished, it would be reasonable to suppose, that it could not then but be indifferent to them which they employed. Go farther, and convince them, that more fish must be taken by a gun than by a hand-harpoon; and assure them, that their perquisites shall be increased in exact proportion; and can it be supposed, that they will hesitate to give a preference to the former?

But should these endeavours and encouragements fail in making their owners' benefit their primary consideration; let the masters be directed by the owners, to despatch a boat carrying a gun as one of those first sent in pursuit on a fish being seen, and to hold out a further gratuity for a fish taken by the gun, beyond the sum at present allowed to the first fast boat: and, in order to produce additionai incitement to the crew, and attention in the manager of the gun towards striking the fish in a vital place, so as to cause instant death; let it be determined that one whale being taken without the aid of a second harpoon, the harpooner shall receive two guineas, and the boats' crew one guinea each, in lieu of the usual bounty of half a guinea each to the crew of the first fast boat.

If the gun should be brought into general use, and scientifically applied, which I have no hesitation in saying, would, in many cases, remove the causes of failure; I should suggest the propriety of men, who are anxious to be