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me, that we should throw all the monikins over
board, project the entire polar basin on his chart
as being entirely free from islands, and then go a
sealing. I rejected the propositions, firstly, as pre
mature; secondly, as inhuman ; thirdly, as inhos


pitable ; fourthly, as inconvenient ; and lastly, as

There might have arisen a disagreeable contro
versy between us, on this point ; for Mr. Poke had
begun to warm, and to swear that one good seal,
of the true quality of fur, was worth a hundred
monkeys ; when most happily the panther at the
mast-head cried out that two of the largest of the
mountains, to the southward of us, were separat
ing, and that he could discern a passage into
another basin. Hereupon Captain Poke concen
trated his oaths, which he caused to explode like
a bomb, and instantly made sail, again, in the
proper direction. By three o'clock, P. M., we had
run the gauntlet of the bergs, a second time, and
were at least a degree nearer the pole, in the basin
just alluded to.

The mountains had now entirely disappeared
in the southern board; but the sea was covered,
far as the eye could reach, with field-ice. Noah
stood on, without apprehension; for the water had
been smooth ever since we entered the first open
ing, the wind not having rake enough to knock up
a swell. When about a mile from the margin of
the frozen and seemingly interminable plain, the
ship was brought to the wind, and hove-to.

Ever since the vessel left the docks, there had
been six sets of spars of a form so singular, lying
among the booms, that they had often been the
subject of conversation between the mates and
myself, neither of the former being able to tell
their uses. These sticks were of no great length,
some fifteen feet at the most, of sound English
oak. Two or three pairs were alike, for they
were in pairs, each pair having one of the sides
of a shape resembling different parts of the ship's
oottom, with the exception that they were chiefly


concave, while the bottom of a vessel is mainly
convex. At one extremity each pair was firmly
connected by a short, massive, iron link, of about
two feet in length ; and, at its opposite end, a
large eye-bolt was driven into each stick, where
it was securely forelocked. When the Walrus was
stationary, we learned, for the first time, the uses
of these unusual preparations. A pair of the tim
bers, which were of great solidity and strength,
were dropped over the stern, and, sinking beneath
the keel, their upper extremities were separated,
by means of lanyards turned into the eye-bolts.
The lanyards were then brought forward to the
bilge of the vessel, where, by the help of tackles ;
the timbers were rowsed up in such a manner,
that the link came close to the false-keel, and the
timbers themselves were laid snug against each
side of the ship. As great care had been taken, by
means of marks on the vessel, as well as in forming
the skids themselves, the fit was perfect. No less
than five pairs were secured in and near the bilge,
and as many more were distributed forward and
aft, according to the shape of the bottom. Fore-
and-aft pieces, that reached from one skid to the
other, were then placed between those about the
bilge of the ship, each of them having a certain
number of short ribs, extending upwards and
downwards. These fore-and-aft pieces were laid
along the water-line, their ends entering the skids
by means of mortices and tenons, where they were
snugly bolted. The result of the entire arrange
ment was to give the vessel an exterior protection
against the field-ice, by means of a sort of net
work of timber, the whole of which had been so
accurately fitted in the dock, as to bear equally
on her frame. These preparations were not fairly
completed before ten o'clock on the following


morning, when Noah stood direct y for an opening
in the ice before us, which, just about that time
began to be apparent.

" We sha'n't go so fast for our armour," ob
served the cautious old sealer; "but what we
want in heels, we'll make up in bottom."

For the whole of that day, we worked our de
vious course, by great labor, and at uncertain
intervals, to the southward ; and at night, we fas
tened the Walrus to a floe, in waiting for the
return of light. Just as the day dawned, however,
I heard a tremendous grating sound against the
side of the vessel; and, rushing on deck, I found
that we were completely caught between two
immense fields, which seemed to be attracted
towards each other for no other apparent purpose
than to crush us. Here it was that the expedient
of Captain Poke made manifest its merits. Pro
tected by the massive timbers, and false ribs, the
bilge of the ship resisted the pressure; and as,
under such circumstances, something must yield,
luckily nothing but the attraction of gravitation
was overcome. The skids, through their inclina
tion, acted as wedges, the links pressing against
the keel ; and, in the course of an hour, the Wal
rus was gradually lifted out of the water, main
taining her upright position, in consequence of the
powerful nip of the floes. No sooner was this
experiment handsomely effected, than Mr. Poke
jumped upon the ice, and commenced an exami
nation of the ship's bottom.

"Here's a dry dock for you, Sir John!" ex
claimed the old sealer, chuckling. " I'll have a
patent for this, the moment I put foot ag'in in

A feeling of security, to which I had been a
stranger ever since we entered the ice, was created

224 THE MOIflKIff*.

by the composure of Noah, and by his self-con
gratulation at what he called his project to get a
look at the Walrus's bottom. Notwithstanding all
the fine declarations of exultation and success,
however, that he flourished among us who were
not mariners, I was much disposed to think that,
like other men of extraordinary genius, he had
blundered on the grand result of his " ice-screws,'*
and that it was not foreseen and calculated. Lei
this be as it may r however, all hands were soon
on the floe, with brooms, scrapers, hammers, ana
nails, and the opportunity of repairing and clean
ing was thoroughly improved.

For four-and-twenty hours the ship remained
in the same attitude, stiff as a church, and some
of us began to entertain apprehensions, that she
might be kept on her frozen blocks for ever. The
accident had happened, according to the statements
of Captain Poke, in lat. 78 13' 26" although I
never knew in what manner he ascertained the
important particular of our precise situation. Think
ing it might be well to get some more accurate
ideas on this subject, after so long and ticklish a
run, I procured the quadrant from Bob Ape, and
brought it down upon the ice, where I made it a
point, as an especial favor, the weather being
favorable and the proper hour near, that our com
mander would correct his instinct by a solar ob
servation. Noah protested that your old seaman,
especially if a sealer and a Stanin'tunner, had no
occasion for such geometry-operations, as he
termed them ; that it might be well enough, per-
haps necessary, for your counting-house, silk-

E'oved captains, who run between New- York and
iverpool, to be rubbing up their glasses and
polishing their sextants, for they hardly ever knew
where they were, except at such times; but as for


mmself, he had little need of turning star-gazer at
his time of life, and that, as he had already told
me, he was getting to be near-sighted, and had
some doubts whether he could discern an object
like the sun, that was known to be so many thou
sands of millions of miles from the earth. These
scruples, however, were overcome by my clean
ing the glasses, preparing a barrel for him to stand
on, that he might be at the customary elevation
above his horizon, and putting the instrument into
his hands, the mates standing near, ready to make
the calculations, when he gave the sun's declina

" We are drifting south'ard, I know," said Mr.
Poke, before he commenced his sight " I feel it
in my bones. We are, at this moment, in 79 36'
14" having made a southerly drift of more than
eighty miles, since yesterday noon. Now, mind
my words, and see what the sun will say about it."

When the calculations were made, our latitude
was found to be 79 35' 47". Noah was somewhat
puzzled by the difference, for which he could in
no plausible way account, as the observation had
been unusually good and certain. But an opinion
ated and an ingenious man is seldom at a loss to
find a sufficient reason to establish his own cor
rectness, or to prove the mistakes of others.

"Ay, I see how it is," he said, after a little
cogitation; "the sun must be wrong it should be
no wonder if the sun did get a little out of his track,
in these high, cold latitudes. Yes, yes : the sun
must be wrong."

I was too much delighted at being certain we
were going on our course to dispute the point,
and the great luminary was abandoned to the
imputation of sometimes being in error. Dr.
Reasono took occasion to say, in my private ear
that there was a sect of philosophers in Leaphigh,


who had long distrusted the accuracy of the plan
etary system, and who had even thrown out hints
that the earth, in its annual revolution, moved in
a direction absolutely contrary to that which Na
ture had contemplated when she gave the original
polar impulse; but that, as regarded himself, he
thought very little of these opinions, as he had fre
quent occasion to observe that there was a large
class of monikins whose ideas always went up hill.
For two more days and as many nights, we
continued to drift with the floes to the southward,
or as near as might be, towards the haven of our
wishes. On the fourth morning, there was a suit
able change in the weather; both thermometer
and barometer rose ; the air became more bland,
and most of our cats and dogs, notwithstanding
we were still surrounded by the ice, began to cast
their skins. Dr. Reasono noted these signs, and
stepping on the floe he brought back with him a
considerable fragment of the frozen element.
This was carried to the camboose, where it was
subjected to the action of fire, which, within a
given number of minutes, pretty much as a matter
of course, as I thought, caused it to melt. The whole
process was watched with an anxiety the most in
tense, by the whole of the monikins, however ; and
when the result was announced, the amiable and
lovely Chatterissa clapped her pretty little pattes
with joy, and gave all the other natural indica
tions of delight, which characterize the emoticns
of that gentle sex of which she was so bright an
ornament. Dr. Reasono was not backward in ex
plaining the cause of so much unusual exhilaration,
for hitherto her manner had been characterized
by the well-bred and sophisticated restraint which
marks high training. The experiment had shown,
bv the infallible and scientific tests of monikin


chemistry, that we were now within the influence
of a steam-climate, and there could no longer be
any rational doubt of our eventual arrival in the
polar basin.

The result proved that the philosopher was right.
About noon the floes, which ail that day had be
gun to assume what is termed a ' sloppy character,'
suddenly gave way, and the Walrus settled down
into her proper element, with great equanimity and
propriety. Captain Poke lost no time in unship
ping the skids ; and, a smacking breeze, that was
well saturated with steam, springing up from the
westward, we made saiL Our course was due
south, without regard to the ice, which yielded be
fore our bows like so much thick water, and, just
as the sun set, we entered the open sea, rioting in
the luxuriance of its genial climate, in triumph.

Sail was carried on the ship all that night ; and
just as the day dawned, we made the first mile
stone, a proof, not to be mistaken, that we were
now actually in the monikin region. Dr. Reasono
had the goodness to explain to us the history of
these aquatic phenomena. It would seem that
when the earth exploded, its entire crust, through
out the whole of this part of the world, was start
ed upward in such a way as to give a very uni
form depth to the sea, which in no place exceeds
four fathoms. It follows, as a consequence, that
no prevalence of northerly winds can force the
icebergs beyond 78 of south latitude, as they in
variably ground on reaching the outer edge of
the polar bank. The floes, being thin, are melt
ed of course ; and thus, by this beneficent preven
tion, the monikin wor.d is kept entirely free from
the very danger to which a vulgar mind would be
the most apt to believe it is the most exposed.

A congress of nations had been held, about five


centuries since, which was called the Holy-philo
marine-safety-and-find-the-way Alliance. At this
Congress the high contracting parties agreed
to name a commission to make provision, gene
rally, for the secure navigation of the seas. One
of the expedients of this commission, which, by
the way, is said to have been composed of very
illustrious monikins, was to cause massive blocks
of stone to be laid down, at measured distances,
throughout the whole of the basin, and in which
other stone uprights were secured. The necessa
ry inscriptions were graved on proper tablets, and
as we approached the one already named, I ob
served that it had the image of a mouikin, carved
also in stone, with his tail extended in a right line,
pointing, as Mr. Poke assured me, S. and by W.
half W. I had made sufficient progress in the
monikin language, to read, as we glided past this
water-mark "To Leaphigh, 15 miles." One
monikin mile, however, we were next told, was
equal to nine English statute miles ; and, conse
quently, we were not quite so near our port as
was at first supposed. I expressed great satisfac
tion at finding ourselves so fairly on the road, how
ever, and paid Dr. Reasono some well-merited
compliments on the high state of civilization to
which his species had evidently arrived. The day
was not distant, I added, when, it was reasonable
to suppose, our own seas would have floating res
taurants and cafes, with suitable pot-houses for the
mariners ; though I did not well see how we were
to provide a substitute for their own excellent or
ganization of mile-stones. The Doctor received
my compliments with a proper modesty, saying
that he had no doubt mankind would do all that
lay in their power to have good eating and drink-
ing-houses, wherever they could be established ;
hut, as to the marine mile-stones, he agreed with


me, that there was little hope of their being plant
ed, until the crust of the earth should be driven
upward, so as to rise within four fathoms of the
surface of the water. On the- other hand, Captain
Poke held this latter improvement very cheap. He
affirmed it was no sign of civilization at all, for, as a
man became civilized, he had less need of primers
and finger-boards; and, as for Leaphigh, any toler
able navigator might see it bore S. by W. half W.
allowing for variation, distant 135 English miles.
To these objections I was silent, for I had had fre
quent occasions to observe that men very often
underrate any advantage of which they have
come into the enjoyment by a providential inter

Just as the sun was in the meridian, the cry of
' land ahead' was heard from aloft. The monikins
were all smiles and gratitude ; the crew was ex
cited by admiration and wonder ; and, as for my
self, I was literally ready to jump out of my skin,
not only with delight, but, in some measure also,
from the exceeding warmth of the atmosphere. Our
cats and dogs began to uncase ; Bob was obliged
to unmask his most exposed frontier, by removing
the union-jack; and Noah himself fairly appeared
on deck in his shirt and night-cap. The amiable
strangers were too much occupied to be particu
lar, and I slipped into my state-room to change my
toilet to a dress of thin silk, that was painted to
resemle the skin of a polar bear, a contradiction
between appearances and the substance of things,
that is much too common in our species ever to be
deemed out of fashion.

We neared the land with great rapidity, im
pelled by a steam-breeze, and just as the sun sunk
in the horizon our anchor was let go, in the outer
narbor of the city of Aggregation.



An arrival ; forms of reception ; several new christenings
an official document, and terra firma.

IT is always agreeable to arrive safe, at the end
of a long, fatiguing and hazardous journey. But
the pleasure is considerably augmented when the
visit is paid to a novel region, with a steam- cli
mate, and which is peopled by a new species. My
own satisfaction, too, was coupled with the reflec
tion that I had been of real service to four very
interesting and well-bred strangers, who had been
cast, by an adverse fortune, into the hands of hu
manity, and who owed to me a boon far more pre
cious than that of life itself, a restoration to their
natural and acquired rights, their proper stations
in society, and sacred liberty ! The reader will
judge, therefore, with what inward self-congratu
lation I now received the acknowledgments of the
whole monikin party, and listened to their most
solemn protestations ever to consider, not only all
they might jointly and severally possess in the way
of estates and dignities, at my entire disposal, but
their persons as my slaves. Of course, I made as
light as possible of any little service I might have
done them, protesting, in my turn, that I looked
upon the whole affair more in the light of a party
of pleasure than a tax, reminding them that I had
not only obtained an insight into a new philosophy,
but that I was already, thanks to the decimal sys
tem, a tolerable proficient in their ancient and
learned language. These civilities were scarcely
well over, before we were boarded by the boat of"
the port-captain.


The arrival of a human ship was an event likely
o create excitement in a monikin country ; and,
as our approach had been witnessed for several
hours, preparations had been made to give us a
proper reception. The section of the academy to
whom is committed the custody of the " Science
of Indications," was hastily assembled, by order
of the King, who, by the way, never speaks ex
cept through the mouth of his oldest male first
cousin, who, by the fundamental laws of the realm,
is held responsible for all his official acts, (in pri
vate, the King is allowed almost as many privi
leges as any other monikin,) and who, as is due
to him in simple justice, is permitted to exercise,
in a public point of view, the functions of the eyes,
ears, nose, conscience, and tail of the monarch.
The savans were active, and as they proceeded
with method, and on well-established principles,
their report was quickly made. It contained, as
we afterwards understood, seven sheets of pre
mises, eleven of argument, sixteen of conjecture,
and two lines of deduction. This heavy draft on
the monikin intellect, was duly achieved by divid
ing the work into as many parts as there were
members of the section present, viz. forty. The
substance of their labors was, to say that the vessel
in sight was a strange vessel ; that it came to a
strange country, on a strange errand, being man
ned by strangers ; and that its objects were more
likely to be peaceful than warlike, since the glasses
of the academy did not enable them to discovei
any means of annoyance, with the exception of
certain wild beasts, who appeared, however, to be
peaceably occupied in working the ship. All this
was sententiously expressed in the purest monikin
language. The effect of the report was to cause
all hostile preparations to be abandoned.


No sooner did the boat of the jK>rt-captain return
to the shore, with the news that the strange ship
had arrived with my Lord Chatterino, my La<ly
Chatlerissa and Dr. Reasono, than there was a
general burst of joy along the strand. In a very
short time, the King alias his eldest first cousin
of the male gender ordered the usual compli
ments to be paid to his distinguished subjects. A
deputation of young Lords, the hopes of Leaphigh,
came off to receive their colleague; whilst a bevy
of beautiful maidens, of noble birth, crowded
around the smiling and graceful Chatterissa, glad
dening her heart with their caressing manners and
felicitations. The noble pair left us in separate
boats, each attended by an appropriate escort.
We overlooked the little neglect of forgetting to
take leave of us, for joy had quite set them both
beside themselves. Next came a long procession
composed of high numbers, all of the " brown-study-
color." These learned and dignified persons were
a deputation from the academy, which had sent
forth no less than forty of its number to receive
Dr. Reasono. The meeting between these loving
friends of monikinity and of knowledge, was con
ducted on the most approved principles of reason.
Each section (there are forty in the academy of
Leaphigh) made an address, to all of which the
Doctor returned suitable replies, always using
exactly the same sentiments, but varying the subject
by transpositions, as dictionaries are known to be
composed by the ingenious combinations of the
twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Dr. Reasono
withdrew with his coadjutors, to my surprise, pay
ing not a whit more attention to Captain Poke and
myself, than would be paid, in any highly civilized
country of Christendom, on a similar occasion, by
a collection of the learned, to the accidental pre


sence of two monkeys. I thought this augured
badly, and began to feel as became Sir John
Goldencalf, Bart., of Householder Hall, in the
Kingdom of Great Britain, when my sensations
were nipped in the bud by the arrival of the Offi
cers of Registration and Circulation. It was the
duty of the latter to give us the proper passports
to enter into and to circulate within the country,
after the former had properly enregistered our
numbers and colors, in such a way as to bring us
within the reach of taxation. The officer of Re
gistration was very expeditious from long prac
tice. He decided, at once, that I formed a new
class by myself; of which, of course, I was No. 1.
The Captain and his two mates formed another,
Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Bob had a class also to himself,
and the honors of No. 1 ; and the crew formed a
fresh class, being numbered according to height,
as the register deemed their merits to be altogether
physical. Next came the important point of color,
on which depended the quality of the class or caste,
4ie numbers merely indicating our respective sta
tions in the particular divisions. After a good deal
of deliberation, and many interrogatories, I was
enregistered as No. 1, flesh-color. Noah as No. 1,
sea-water-color, and his mates 2 and 3, accord
ingly. Bob as No. 1, smut-colour; and the crew
as Nos. 1, 2, 3, &c. tar-color. The officer now
called upon an assistant to come forth with a sort
of knitting-needle heated red-hot, in order to affix
the official stamp to each in succession. Luckily
for us all, Noah happened to be the first to whom
the agent of the stamp-office applied, to uncase
and to prepare for the operation. The result
was one of those bursts of eloquent and logical
vituperation, and of remonstrating outcries, to
which any new personal exaction never failed


to give birth in the sealer. His discourse on this
occasion might be divided into the several follow
ing heads, all of which were very ingeniously
embellished by the usual expletives and imagery
" He was not a beast to be branded like a horse,
nor a slave to be treated like a Congo nigger ; he
saw no use in applying the marks to men, who
were sufficiently distinguished from monkeys alrea
dy; Sir John had a handle before his name, and
if he liked it, he might carry his name behind his
body, by way of counterpoise, but, for his part,
he wanted no outriggers of the sort, being satis
fied with plain Noah Poke ; he was a republican,
and it was anti-republican for a man to carry
about with him graven images; he thought it
might be even flying in the face of the Scriptures,
or, what was worse, turning his back on them ;
he said that the Walrus had her name, in good
legible characters, on her starn, and that might

answer for both of them ; he protested, d n his

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