Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/271

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shank, however, is too short and too thick, of which defects, Captain Manby is now aware; nor do they, indeed, in the least degree lessen the merit of the principle. I am also in some doubt whether the withers towards the point be not too weak: this likewise has no reference to the principle: in old fish, the fibre of whose blubber is very tenacious, I believe that Captain Manby's harpoon, if sufficiently strong in manufacture, could not be withdrawn by the strength of a whale line, though such a line is capable of sustaining a weight of more than two tons, perhaps 2 3/4 tons, when new, of the best hemp, and manufacture 2 1/4 inches thick. But in young fish, there is little doubt but that this or any harpoon might be drawn through the whole thickness of fat, though no cut whatever had been made for its insertion, in consequence of the want of strength of the tendinous fibre of the blubber.

"Captain Manby's gun-harpoon is on an entirely new principle, both in its construction, and in the manner of firing it. It is represented by figure 6.

Fig. 6.

Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821, page 217.png