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and features may be without example, as the phenomena of
the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered
solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eter-
nal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which
attracts the needle and may regulate a thousand celestial
observations that require only this voyage to render their
seeming eccentricities consistent forever. I shall satiate my
ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never
before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted
by the foot of man. hese are my enticements, and they are
suicient to conquer all fear of danger or death and to in-
duce me to commence this labourious voyage with the joy
a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with his holi-
day mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native river.
But supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot
contest the inestimable beneit which I shall confer on all
mankind, to the last generation, by discovering a passage
near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present
so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret
of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be efected
by an undertaking such as mine.
hese relections have dispelled the agitation with which
I began my letter, and I feel my heart glow with an enthu-
siasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes
so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose—a
point on which the soul may ix its intellectual eye. his
expedition has been the favourite dream of my early years.
I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyag-
es which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the
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