Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/42

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might, if possible, remove the hostile impressions, which I both plainly saw, and was confidently assured existed, against my inventions. In addressing them, I stated my object in visiting Greenland, and requested it might be distinctly understood, that it proceeded from no selfish motive, but from a desire to benefit my country, by an endeavour to improve the whale-fishery, and to lessen the dangers that are sometimes fatally attendant on its prosecution; that, for the attainment of these objects, I had devised a hand-harpoon, on a new principle, and felt the greatest confidence, that it would afford better security in holding the fish, than those now in use; also a gun-harpoon possessing such combined mechanical strength, and singular principles to defy retraction; and that I had provided likewise shells and carcasses, to prevent those fatal accidents which often occurred to the crews of boats, in lancing what are termed "wicked fish." The employment of these last missiles, was, I also stated, desirable on the ground of humanity, by their quickly terminating the misery of the fish, and obviating the necessity of the barbarity often unavoidable in the present system, and which had called forth on the whale-fishery, the clamorous indignation of some who possessed the finer feelings of sensibility. I then read the following address to the harpooner appointed to the gun-boat in the presence of the rest.

"Richard Simpkin, you have been selected to the charge and direction of the boat, appointed to