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THE

GATE-WAY TO THE POLYNIA :

BEING

A VOYAGE TO SPITZBERGEN.

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.

“Ponti profundus clausa recessibus.

Strepens procellis, rupibus obsita,
Quam grata defesso virentem

Sinum nebulosa pandis.”

The British Sailor has taken a leading part in the exploration of the North Polar Regions since the Venetian merchant of Bristol, John Cabot, led the way under the patronage of Henry VII., at the close of the fifteenth century. The names of Willoughby, Frobisher, Davis, Hudson, Baffin, Ross, Parry, Franklin, Scoresby, Beechy, Back, and many others belonging to individuals who are yet alive, recall to our minds the deeds of our countrymen-deeds which shed a lustre upon the annals of the British Navy. At one time the motive for such enterprise was based upon commercial considerations, the desire being to

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