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plicit confidence in these absurd oracles. Some account of their ideas repecting death, and of their belief in a future state of existence, has already been introduced in the course of the foregoing pages, in the order of those occurrences which furnished us with opportunities of observing them.

N A R RATIVE

OP

AN ATTEMPT TO REACH THE

NORTH POL E,

IN BOATS FITTED FOR THE PURPOSE, AND ATTACHED

TO HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP HECLA,

IN THE YEAR 1827.

NARRATIVE.

INTRODUCTION.

In April, 1826, I proposed to the Right Honour. able Viscount Melville, first lord commissioner of the Admiralty, to attempt to reach the North Pole by means of travelling with sledge-boats over the ice, or through any spaces of open water that might occur. My proposal was soon afterward re. ferred to the president and council of the Royal Society, who strongly recommended its adoption ; and an expedition being accordingly directed to be equipped for this purpose, I had the honour of being appointed to the command of it; and my commis. sion for his majesty's ship the Hecla, which was in. tended to carry us to Spitzbergen, was dated the 11th of November, 1826.

Two boats were constructed at Woolwich, under my superintendence, after an excellent model suggested by Mr. Peake, and nearly resembling what are called “ troop-boats," having great flatness of floor, with the extreme breadth carried well forward and aft, and possessing the utmost buoyancy, as well as capacity for stowage. Their length was twenty feet, and their extreme breadth seven feet. The timbers were made of tough ash and hickory, one inch by half an inch square, and a foot apart,

6 half-timber” of smaller size between each

with a

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