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DISCOVERING A NORTH-EAST, NORTH-WEST,
ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC:
FROM THE EARLIEST PERIODS OF SCANDINAVIAN NAVIGATION, TO THE
DEPARTURE OF THE
UNDER THE ORDERS OF
CAPTAINS ROSS AND BUCHAN.
" How shall I admire your heroicke courage, ye marine worthies, beyond all names of worthiness! that neyther dread so long eyther presence or absence of the sui foggy mysts, tempestuous winds, cold blasts, snowes and hayle in the ayre: nor the unequall seas, which might amaze the hearer, and amate the beholder, where the Tritons and Neptune's selfe would quake with chilling feare, to behold such monstrous icie ilands, renting themselves with terrour of their owne massines, and disdayning otherwise both the sea's sovereigntie, and the sunne's hottest violence, mustering themselves in those watery plaines where they hold a continual civill warre, and rushing one upon another, make windes and 'Waves give backe; seeming to rent the eares of others, while they rent themselves with crashing and splitting their congealed armours."--Purchas.
The two expeditions recently fitted out for exploring a northern communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were of a nature to excite public attention and to engage a large share of general conversation. But as many crude and absurd notions seemed to be entertained on the sub
in chronological order, of the dangers and difficulties and progressive discoveries of former attempts, might serve as a proper introduction to the narratives of the present voyages, which, whether successful or not, will be expected by the public.
In the compilation of this brief history no pretensions are set up to authorship-the collecting of the materials, though widely scattered through many large and some few scarce volumes, employed no great share either of the writer's time or research ; in their present form they may be the means of saving both to those who feel disposed to acquire a general knowledge of what has been and what yet remains to be accomplished.
London, 1st August, 1818.