Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/41

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

in chase of a fish, and they get fast, if none of their own boats be near, assist them, or bend on, if need be, and remain by them until you be no longer wanted. If you bend on, make no claim for assisting, as no reward will be taken."

Third, "Should you be sent to assist any vessel in killing a fish, do not chase it on any account whatever, if it get loose, but return from the scene of action as soon as possible."

Fourth, "Do not attempt to strike a fish that has just escaped from any ship, provided its boats be in close pursuit; and it is only where a wounded fish is beyond the possible reach of the original striker, that you can be justified in attacking it."

Fifth, "The above conduct, I desire, may be pursued with every ship, whether British or foreign, friendly or unfriendly! if the stranger be a friend, he is entitled to your assistance; if he be one who has withheld his helping hand under like circumstances, your aiding him will shew him his duty in future."

Being aware, from conversation drawn from the harpooners, that a strong jealousy existed respecting the use of the gun-harpoon, and the alterations in the mode of fishing which I had suggested, and intended to make trial of, I considered that, from mismanagement, (without putting any harsher construction upon it,) a useful production is often brought into discredit, by a failure in its first undertaking. I was therefore induced to act with caution, and determined to address them in a tone which