Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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   First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
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other has arrived. When this result seems
approaching, the crew raise first one oar,
then a second, a third, and sometimes even
a fourth, in proportion to Ihe degree of the
exigence. If the line at any time runs foul
and cannot be instantly cleared, it will draw
the boat under water, on which the only
chance the crew often have of saving their
lives, is to catch hold each of an oar and
to leap into the sea. The utmost care is
requisite on the part of every person in the
boat to avoid being entangled in the line
as it is drawn out. Scoresby mentions an
instance in which a man having chanced to
slip his foot through a coil, the hne drew
him forward to the boat's stern, and then
snapped off his foot by the ankle.
The fish generally remains about half an
hour, but sometimes a good deal longer,
under water, after being struck; and then,
it often rises at a considerable distance
from the spot from which it had made its
descent. 'Immediately that it re-appears,'
continues Captain Scoresby, 'the assisting
boats make for the place with their utmost
speed, and as they reach it, each harpoon-
er plunges his harpoon into its back, to
the amount of three, four, or more, accord-
ing to the size of the whale and the na-
ture of the situation. Most frequently, how-
ever, it descends for a few minutes after
receiving the second harpoon, and obhges
the other boats to await its return to the
surface, before any further attack can be
made. It is afterwards actively plied with
lances, which are thrust into its body, aim-
ing at its vitals. At length, when exhaust-
ed by numerous wounds and the loss of
blood which flows from the huge animal in
copious streams, it indicates the approach
of its dissolution by discharging from its
blow-holes a mixture of blood along with
the air and mucus which it usually expires,
and finally jets of blood alone. The sea to
a great extent around is dyed with its blood,
and the ice, boats, and men are sometimes
drenched with the same. Its track is like-
wise marked by a broad pellicle of oil,
which exudes from its wounds, and appears
on the surface of the sea. Its final cap-
ture is sometimes preceded by a convulsive
and energetic struggle, in which its tail,
reared, whirled, and violently jerked in the
air, resounds to the distance of miles. In
dying, it turns on its back or on its side,
which joyful circumstance is announced by
the capturers with the striking of their
flags, accompanied with three lively huzzas!'
The exhaustion which the whale exhibits
on returning to the surface after its first
phmge is to be attributed to the immense
pressure it has sustained from the water at
the great depht to which it had descended.
At the depht of 800 fathoms, as Captain
Scoresby calculates, this pressure must be
equal to 214,200 tons. 'This,' he remarks,
'is a degree of pressure of which we can
have but an imperfect conception. It may
assist our comprehension, however, to be
informed that it exceeds in weight sixty of
the largest ships of the British Navy, when
manned, provisioned, and fitted for a six
months' cruise.'
A whale has been sometimes captured
and killed in little more than a quarter of
an hour — and instances on the other hand
have occurred in which the contest has last-
ed for forty or fifty hours. The average
time occupied in favourable circumstances,
may be stated at about an hour. The gen-
eral average may probably be two or three
hours. But it not unfrequently happens that
after the exertions of many hours the fish
makes its escape and is lost.
Of the dangers sometimes occasioned by
the resistance of the whale, or its efforts
to retaliate upon its assailants, Captain
Scoresby relates various instances. It has
happened that the harpooner has been struck
dead in an instant by a blow from the ani-
mal's tail. At other times the stroke has
fallen upon the boat and jerked the crew
out of it into the water. A large whale
harpooned from a boat belonging to the
same ship became the subject of a general
chase on the 23d of June, 4809. Being
myself in the first boat which approached
the fish, I struck my harpoon at arm's
length, by which we fortunately evaded a
blow that appeared to be aimed at the
boat. Another boat then advanced, and an-
other harpoon was struck; but not with the
same result; for the stroke was immediate-
ly returned by a tremendous blow from the
fish's tail. The boat was sunk by the shock,
and at the same time whirled round with
such velocity, that the boat-steerer was pre-
cipitated into the water, on the side next
to the fish, and was accidentally carried
down to a considerable depth by its tail.
After a minute or so he arose to the sur-
face of the water and was taken up along
with his companions into my boat. A si-
milar attack was made on the next boat
which came up; but the harpooner being
warned of the prior conduct of the fish,
used such precautions, that the blow, though
equal in strength, took effect only in an in-
ferior degree. The boat was slightly stove.
The activity and skill of the lancers soon
overcame this designing whale, accomplish-