Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/279

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employed as harpooners exercising themselves at a mark, as it must be evident that those most skilled as marksmen, would bring with them a high recommendation in their favour; and if premiums were given by the owners to be shot for as prizes, at some of the greatest ports, where Greenland ships are fitted out, it might cause considerable emulation, and encourage the use of the gun. This might be done in the long interval between return from the fishery, and departure again. A very little practice would convince those who witnessed it of what may be effected; and encourage them to render themselves expert in the use of an instrument, which they would see must succeed, if well directed.

I cannot conclude these remarks without again expressing the hope, that I shall not be censured for the confidence with which I have spoken of the aptitude of my harpoon for its purpose. I ground this confidence not upon mere theory. It rests upon my own experiments and observations, attested by the highly respectable gentlemen, whose signatures are annexed to the certificate which I have laid before my readers; and upon the opinions of the many experienced persons to whom my inventions have been submitted. Thus supported, I trust, I shall not only escape the charge of vanity, but the imputation of being too sanguine in my expectations of encouragement to a plan, that offers a means of promoting the success of one of the most lucrative branches of commerce known to the country.