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mind of the American statesman, have not yet entered into
the account at all ; a certain proof how little the minds
that do, or ought to, influence events, are really up to the
work they have been delegated to perform. Military ex
peditions have twice been sent from this country to Canada,
when both the Canadas are not of one-half the importance
to the true security and independence of the country (no
nation is independent until it holds the control of all its
greater interests in its own hands) as the Bermudas.
When England asked the cession of territory undoubtedly
American, because it overshadowed Quebec, she should
have been met with this plain proposition " Give us the
Bermudas, and we will exchange with you. You hold
those islands as a check on our power, and we will hold
the angle of Maine for a check on yours, unless you will
consent to make a fair and mutual transfer. We will not
attack you for the possession of the Bermudas, for we deem
a just principle even more important than such an acces
sion ; but when you ask us to cede, we hold out our hands
*o take an equivalent in return. The policy of this nation
is not to be influenced by saw-logs, but by these manifest,
important, and ulterior interests. If you wish Maine, give
us Bermuda in exchange, or go with your wishes ungrati-
fied." Happily, among us, events are stronger than men ;
and the day is not distant when the mere force of circum
stances will compel the small-fry of diplomacy to see what
the real interests and dignity of the republic demand, in
reference to this great feature of its policy.

Roswell Gardiner and Daggett had several discussions
touching the manner in which they ought to pass those
islands. There were about four degrees to spare between
the trades and the Bermudas; and the former was of opi
nion that they might pass through this opening, and make
a straighter wake, than by going farther north. These
consultations took place from quarter-deck to quarter-deck,
as the two schooners ran off free, steering directly for the
islands, as a sort of compromise between the two opinions.
The distance from the main to the Bermudas is computed
at about six hundred miles, which gave sufficient leisure
for the discussion of the subject in all its bearings. The
13*



148 THE SEA LIONS.

conversations were amicable, and the weather continuing
mild, and the wind standing, they were renewed each after*
noon, when the vessels closed, as if expressly to admit of
the dialogue. In all this time, five days altogether, it was
farther ascertained that the difference in sailing between
the Twin Lions, as the sailors now began to call the two
schooners, was barely perceptible. If anything, it was
slightly in favour of the Vineyard craft, though there yet
remained many of the vicissitudes of the seas, in which to
make the trial. While this uncertainty as to the course
prevailed, the low land appeared directly ahead, when
Daggett consented to pass it to the southward, keeping the
cluster in sight, however, as they went steadily on towards
the southward and eastward.



CHAPTER XL

"With glossy skin, and dripping mane,

And reeling limbs, and reeking Sank,
The wild steed's sinewy nerves still strain
Up the repelling bank."

MAZEPPA.

ROSWELL GARDINER felt as if he could breathe more
freely when they had run the Summers Group fairly out of
sight, and the last hummock had sunk into the waves of
the west. He was now fairly quit of America, and hoped
to see no more of it, until he made the well-known rock
that points the way into that most magnificent of all the
havens of the earth, the bay of Rio de Janeiro. Travellers
dispute whether the palm ought to be given to this port, or
to those of Naples and Constantinople. Each, certainly,
has its particular claims to surpassing beauty, which ought
to be kept in view in coming to a decision. Seen from its
outside, with its minarets, and Golden Horn, and Bospho
rus, Constantinople is, probably, the most glorious spot on
earth. Ascend its mountains, and overlook the gulfs of



THE SEA LIONS. 149

Salerno and Gaeta, as well as its own waters, the Cam-
pagna Fdici and the memorials of the past, all seen in the
witchery of an Italian atmosphere, and the mind becomes
perfectly satisfied that nothing equal is to be found else
where ; but enter the bay of Rio, and take the whole of
the noble panorama in at a glance, and even the experienced
traveller is staggered with the stupendous as well as be
witching character of the loveliness that meets his eye.
Witchery is a charm that peculiarly belongs to Italy, as all
must feel who have ever been brought within its influence;
but it is a witchery that is more or less shared by all regions
of low latitudes.

Our two Sea Lions met with no adventures worthy of
record, until they got well to the southward of the equator.
They had been unusually successful in getting through the
calm latitudes ; and forty-six days from Montauk, they spoke
a Sag Harbour whaler, homeward bound, that had come
out from Rio only the preceding week, where she had been
to dispose of her oil. By this ship, letters were sent home ;
and as Gardiner could now tell the deacon that he should
touch at Rio even before the time first anticipated, he be
lieved that he should set the old man's heart at peace. A
little occurrence that took place the very day they parted
with the whaler, added to the pleasure this opportunity of
communicating with the owner had afforded. As the
schooners were moving on in company, about a cable's
length asunder, Hazard saw a sudden and extraordinary
movement on board the Vineyard Lion, as the men now
named that vessel, to distinguish her from her consort.

" Look out for a spout!" shouted the mate to Stimson,
who happened to be on the foretopsail-yard at work, when
this unexpected interruption to the quiet of the passage
occurred. "There is a man overboard from the other
schooner, or they see a spout."

"A spout! a spout!" shouted Stimson, in return; " and
a spalm (sperm, or spermaceti, was meant) whale, in the
bargain ! Here he is, sir, two p'ints on our weather beam."

This was enough. If any one has had the misfortune to
be in a coach drawn by four horses, when a sudden fright
starts them off at speed, he can form a pretty accurate
notion of the movement that now took place on board of



150 THE SEA LIONS.

Deacon Pratt's craft. Every one seemed to spring into
activity, as if a single will directed a common set of mus
cles. Those who were below literally " tumbled up," as
seamen express it, and those who were aloft slid down to
the deck like flashes of lightning. Captain Gardiner sprang
out of his cabin, seemingly at a single bound ; at another,
he was in the whale-boat that Hazard was in the very act
of lowering into the water, as the schooner rounded-to.
Perceiving himself anticipated here, the mate turned to the
boat on the other quarter, and was in her, and in the water,
almost as soon as his commanding officer.

Although neither of the schooners was thoroughly fitted
for a whaler, each had lines, lances, harpoons, &c., in rea
diness in their quarter-boats, prepared for any turn of luck
like this which now offered. The process of paddling up
to whales, which is now so common in the American ships,
was then very little or not at all resorted to. It is said that
the animals hare got to be so shy, in consequence of being
so much pursued, that the old mode of approaching them
will not suffice, and that it now requires much more care
and far more art to take one of these creatures, than it did
thirty years since. On this part of the subject, we merely
repeat what we hear, though we think we can see an ad
vantage in the use of the paddle that is altogether indepen
dent of that of the greater quiet of that mode of forcing a
boat ahead. He that paddles looks ahead, and the approach
is more easily regulated, when the whole of the boat's crew
are apprised, by means of their own senses, of the actual
state of things, than when they attain their ideas of them
through the orders of an officer. The last must govern in
all cases, but the men are prepared for them, when they
can see what is going on, and will be more likely to act
arith promptitude and intelligence, and will be less liable
to make mistakes.

The four boats, two from each schooner, dropped into
the water nearly about the same time. Daggett was at the
steering-oar of one, as was Roswell at that of another.
Hazard, and Macy, the chief mate of the Vineyard craft,
were at the steering-oars of the two remaining boats. All
pulled in the direction of the spot on the ocean where the
had been seen. It was the opinion of those who had



THE SCA LIONS. 151

been aloft, that there were several Juk; and it was certain
that they were of the most valuable species, or the sperma
ceti, one barrel of the oil of which was worth about as
much as the oil of three of the ordinary sort, or that of the
right whale, supposing them all to yield the same quantity
in number of barrels. The nature or species of the fish
was easily enough determined by the spouts; the right
whale throwing up two high arched jets of water, while the
spermaceti throws but a single, low, bushy one.

It was not long ere the boats of the two captains came
abreast of each other, and within speaking distance. A
stern rivalry was now apparent in every countenance, th
men pulling might and main, and without even a smil*
among them all. Every face was grave, earnest, and de
termined ; every arm strung to its utmost powers of exer
tion. The men rowed beautifully, being accustomed to
the use of their long oars in rough water, and in ten min
utes they were all fully a mile dead to windward of the two
schooners.

Few things give a more exalted idea of the courage and
ingenuity of the human race than to see adventurers set
forth, in a mere shell, on the troubled waters of the open
ocean, to contend with and capture an animal of the size
of the whale. The simple circumstance that the last is in
its own element, while its assailants are compelled to ap
proach it in such light and fragile conveyances, that, to the
unpractised eye, it is sufficiently difficult to manage them
amid the rolling waters, without seeking so powerful an
enemy to contend with. But, little of all this did the crews
of our four boats now think. They had before them the
objects, or M of the objects, rather, of their adventure,
and so long as that was the case, no other view but that of
prevailing could rise before their eyes.

How is it, Gar'nerf called out the Vineyard master;
' shall it be shares ! or does each schooner whale on Iber
own hook?"

This was asked in a friendly way, and apparently with
great indifference as to the nature of the reply, but with
profound art It was Daggett's wish to establish a sort of
partnership, which, taken in connection with the good feel
ing created by the affair at Beaufort, would be very apt to



52 THESEALIONS.

lead on to further and more important association. Luckily
for Gardiner, an idea crossed his mind, just as he was about
to reply, which induced the wisest answer. It was the
thought, that competition would be more likely to cause
exertion than a partnership, and that the success of all
would better repay them for their toils and risks, should
each vessel act exclusively for itself. This is the principle
that renders the present state of society more healthful and
advantageous than that which the friends of the different
systems of associating, that are now so much in vogue,
wish to substitute in its place. Individuality is an all-im
portant feeling in the organization of human beings into
communities; and the political economist who does not
use it as his most powerful auxiliary in advancing civiliza
tion, will soon see it turn round in its tracks, and become
a dead weight ; indulging its self-love, by living with the
minimum of exertion, instead of pushing his private advan
tage, with the maximum.

" I think each vessel had better work for herself and her
owners," answered Roswell Gardiner.

As the schooners were in the trades, there was a regular
sea running, and one that was neither very high nor much
broken. Still, the boats were lifted on it like egg-shells
or bubbles, the immense power of the ocean raising the
largest ships, groaning under their vast weight of ordnance,
as if they were feathers. In a few minutes, Gardiner and
Daggett became a little more separated, each looking ea
gerly for the spouts, which had not been seen by either
since quitting his vessel. All this time the two mates came
steadily on, until the whole of the little fleet of boats was,
by this time, not less than a marine league distant from the
schooners. The vessels themselves were working up to
windward, to keep as near to the boats as possible, making
short tacks under reduced canvass ; a shipkeeper, the cook,
steward, and one or two other hands, being all who were
left on board them.

We shall suppose that most of our readers are sufficiently
acquainted with the general character of that class of ani
mals to which the whale belongs, to know that all of the
genus breathe the atmospheric air, which is as necessary
for life to them as it is to man himself. The only differ*



THE SEA LIONS. 153

ence in this respect is, that the whale can go longer with
out renewing his respiration than all purely land-animals,
though he must come up to breathe at intervals, or die. It
is the exhaling of the old stock of air, when he brings the
" blow- holes," as seamen call the outlets of his respiratory
organs, to the surface, that forces the water upward, and
forms the " spouts," which usually indicate to the whalers
the position of their game. The " spouts" vary in appear
ance, as has been mentioned, owing to the number and
situation of the orifices by which the exhausted air escapes.
No sooner is the vitiated air exhaled, than the lungs receive
a new supply ; and the animal either remains near the sur
face, rolling about and sporting amid the waves, or descends
again, a short distance, in quest of its food. This food,
also, varies materially in the different species. The right-
whale is supposed to live on what may be termed marine
insects, or the molluscae of the ocean, which it is thought
he obtains by running in the parts of the sea where they
most abound ; arresting them by the hairy fibres which
grow on the laminae of bone that, in a measure, compose
his jaws, having no teeth. The spermaceti, however, is
furnished with regular grinders, which he knows very well
how to use, and with which he often crushes the boats of
those who come against him. Thus, the whalers have but
one danger to guard against, in assaulting the common
animal, viz., his flukes, or tail; while the spermaceti, in
addition to the last means of defence, possesses those of his
teeth or jaws. As this latter animal is quite one-third head,
he has no very great dissemblance to the alligator in this
particular.

By means of this brief description of the physical forma
tion and habits of the animals of which our adventurers
were in pursuit, the general reader will be the better able
to understand that which it is our duty now to record.
After rowing the distance named, the boats became a little
separated, in their search for the fish. That spouts had
been seen, there was no doubt ; though, since quitting the
schooners, no one in the boats had got a further view of
the fish, if fish, animals with respiratory organs can be
termed. A good look-out for spouts had been kept by each
man at the steering-oars, but entirely without success. Had



154 THE SEA LIONS.

not Roswell and Daggett, previously to leaving their re
spective vessels, seen the signs of whales with their own
eyes, it is probable that they would now have both been
disposed to return, calling in their mates. But, being cer
tain that the creatures they sought were not far distant,
they continued slowly to separate, each straining his eyes
in quest of his game, as his boat rose on the summit of the
rolling and tossing waves. Water in motion was all around
them ; and the schooners working slowly up against the
trades, were all that rewarded their vigilant and anxious
looks. Twenty times did each fancy that he saw the dark
back, or head, of the object he sought ; but as often did it
prove to be no more than a Upper of water, rolling up into
a hummock ere it broke, or melted away again into the
general mass of the unquiet ocean. When it is remembered
that the surface of the sea is tossed into a thousand fantas
tic outlines, as its waves roll along, it can readily be ima
gined how such mistakes could arise.

At length Gardiner discerned that which his practised
eye well knew. It was the flukes, or extremity of the tail
of an enormous whale, distant from him less than a quarter
of a mile, and in such a position as to place the animal at
abput the same breadth of water from Daggett. It would
seem that both of these vigilant officers perceived their
enemy at the same instant, for each boat started for it, as
if it had been instinct with life. The pike or the shark
could not have darted towards its prey with greater prompti
tude, and scarcely with greater velocity, than these two
boats. Very soon the whole herd was seen, swimming
along against the wind, an enormous bull-whale leading,
while half a dozen calves kept close to the sides of their
dams, or sported among themselves, much as the offspring
of land animals delight in their youth and strength. Pre
sently a mother rolled lazily over on her side, permitting
its calf to suck. Others'followed this example; and then
the leader of the herd ceased his passage to windward, but
began to circle the spot, as if in complaisance to those con
siderate nurses who thus waited on the wants of their
young. At this interesting moment, the boats came glanc
ing in among the herd.

Had the competition and spirit of rivalry been at a lower



THE SEA LIONS. 155

point among our adventurers than it actually was, greater
caution raiglit have been observed. It is just as dangerous
to assault a whale that has its young to defend, as to assault
most other animals. We know that the most delicate women
become heroines in such straits; and nature seems to have
given to the whole sex, whether endowed with reason or
only with an instinct, the same disposition to die in defence
of the helpless creatures that so much depend on their care.
But, no one there now thought of the risk he ran, it being
the Vineyard against Oyster Pond, one Sea Lion against
the other, and, in many instances, pocket against pocket.

Roswell, as if disdaining all meaner game, pulled quite
through the herd, and laid the bows of his boat directly on
the side of the old bull a hundred-barrel whale, at the
very least. No sooner did the enormous creature feel the
harpoon, than, throwing its flukes upward, it descended
into the depths of the ocean, with a velocity that caused
smoke to arise from the chuck through which the line
passed. Ordinarily, the movement of a whale is not much
faster than an active man can walk ; and, when it runs on
the surface, its speed seldom exceeds that of a swift vessel
under full sail ; but, when suddenly startled, with the har
poon in its blubber, the animal is capable of making a pro
digious exertion. When struck, it usually ' sounds,' as it
is termed, or runs downward, sometimes to the depth of a
mile; and it is said that instances have been known in
which the fish inflicted great injury on itself, by dashing
its head against rocks.

In the case before us, after running out three" or four
hundred fathoms of line, the ' bull' to which Gardiner had
4 fastened,' came up to the surface, ' blowed,' and began to
move slowly towards the herd again. No sooner was the
harpoon thrown, than a change took place in the disposi
tion of the crew of the boat, which it may be well to ex
plain. The harpoon is a barbed javelin, fastened to a staff
to give it momentum. The line is attached to this weapon,
the proper use of which is to ' fasten' to the fish, though it
sometimes happens that the animal is killed at the first
blow This is when the harpoon has been hurled by a very
skilful and vigorous harpooner. Usually, this weapon pene
trates some distance into the blubber in which a whale is
14



156 THE SEA LIONS.

encased, and when it is drawn back by the plunge of the
fish, the barbed parts get embedded in the tough integu
ments of the hide, together with the blubber, and hold.
The iron of the harpoon being very soft, the"hank bends
under the strain of the line, leaving the staff close to the
animal's body. Owing to this arrangement, the harpoon
offers less resistance to the water, as the whale passes swiftly
through it. No sooner did the boat-steerer, or harpooner,
cast his ' irons,' as whalers term the harpoon, than he
changed places with Roswell, who left the steering-oar, and
proceeded forward to wield the lance, the weapon with
which the victory is finally consummated. The men now
'peaked' their oars, as it is termed; or they placed the
handles in cleets made to receive them, leaving the blades
elevated in the air, so as to be quite clear of the water.
This was done to get rid of the oars, in readiness for other
duty, while the instruments were left in the tholes, to be
resorted to in emergencies. This gives a whale-boat a pe
culiar appearance, with its five long oars raised in the air,
at angles approaching forty-five degrees. In the mean time,
as the bull approached the herd, or school,* as the whalers
term it, the boats' crew began to haul in line, the boat-
Bteerer coiling it away carefully, in a tub placed in the
stern-sheets purposely to receive it. Any one can under
stand how important it was that this part of the duty should
be well performed, since bights of line running out of a
boat, dragged by a whale, would prove so many snares to
the rneu's legs, unless previously disposed of in a place
proper to let it escape without this risk. For this reason
it is, that the end of a line is never permitted to run out at
the bow of a boat at all. It might do some injury in its
passage, and an axe is always applied near the bows, when
it is found necessary to cut from a whale.

It was so unusual a thing to see a fish turn towards the
spot where he was struck, that Roswell did not know what
to make of this manoeuvre in his bull. At first he supposed
the animal meant to make fight, and set upon hini with its
tremendous jaws ; but it seemed that caprice or alarm

* We suppose this word to be a corruption of the Dutch " schule '
which, we take it, means the same thing.



THE SEA. LIONS. 157

directed the movement ; for, after coming within a hundred
yards of the boat, the creature turned and commenced
sculling away to windward, with wide and nervous sweeps
of its formidable flukes. It is by this process that all the
fish of this genus force their way through the water, their
tails being admirably adapted to the purpose. As the men
had showed the utmost activity in hauling in upon the line,
by the time the whale went off to windward again they had
got the boat up within about four hundred feet of him.

Now commenced a tow, dead to windward, it being
known that a fish, when struck, seldom runs at first in any
other direction. The rate at which the whale moved was
not at the height of his speed, though it exceeded six knots.
Occasionally, this rate was lessened, and in several in
stances his speed was reduced to less than half of that just
mentioned. Whenever one of these lulls occurred, the men
would haul upon the line, gradually getting nearer and
nearer to the fish, until they were within fifty feet of his
tremendous flukes. Here, a turn was taken with the line,
and an opportunity to use the lance was waited for.

Whalers say that a forty-barrel bull of the spermaceti
sort is much the most dangerous to deal with of all the
animals of this species. The larger bulls are infinitely the
most powerful, and drive these half-grown creatures away
in herds by themselves, that are called ' pads,' a circum
stance that probably renders the young bull discontented
and fierce. The last is not only more active than the larger
animal, but is much more disposed to make fight, com
monly giving his captors the greatest trouble. This may
be one of the reasons why Roswell Gardiner now found
himself towing at a reasonable rate, so close upon the flukes
of a hundred-barrel whale. Still, there was that in the
movements of this animal, that induced our hero to be ex
ceedingly wary. He was now two leagues from the schooners,



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