Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/56

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noticed for many days, and several seals sporting about, I prepared my gun for any subject of natural history that might come near. The ship lying to, I shot a Columbus Troile, Linn. The bill was three inches long; the neck, head, back, wings and tail, of a deep mouse-colour; secondaries tipt with white; breast and belly pure white; legs dusky; weight twenty ounces; length seventeen inches; and extent of wing twenty-seven and a half inches. These birds are called the foolish Guillemot, from the stupid indifference they manifest to their own preservation, in exposing themselves to danger. On passing through a continuation of detached pieces of ice, several of them were standing in an erect posture upon them. As we proceeded, the ice became more closely packed, and appeared to set limits to our further progress: the second mate's report from the crow's nest, was to the same effect, and, indeed, the opinion was partly confirmed by three vessels which had been keeping the same course with us, and were now all bearing away. The undismayed commander of the Baffin, whose strong mind acted for itself, and was not influenced by the conduct of others, kept his course, and the ship soon came to some ice of no great resistance, which was separated with ease, causing only a rumbling sound, not unlike distant thunder, or subterraneous matter gathering its materials for a convulsion. Scarcely had the roaring subsided, when the ship struck a large body of ice, which, from the concussion agitated its whole frame with "earthquake shock." It was awful, but