I have stated in the preface to the first Edition of this work, and in the Zoology of the Voyage
of the Beagle, that it was in consequence of a wish expressed by Captain Fitz Roy, of having some scientific person on board, accompanied by an offer from him of giving up part of his own accommodations, that I volunteered my services, which received, through the kindness of the hydrographer, Captain Beaufort, the sanction of the Lords of the Admiralty.
In six days I found a vessel ready to carry me to Japan, and spent fifteen days in the voyage
I thought no end of him, and that is why I remember with a peculiar satisfaction the last words he spoke to me on board his ship after an eighteen months' voyage
. It was in the dock in Dundee, where we had brought a full cargo of jute from Calcutta.
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.
That my reasons for resolving to take this step were numerous and weighty, may be inferred from the fact that I chose rather to risk my fortunes among the savages of the island than to endure another voyage
on board the Dolly.
The rush for the "sole paper which had the news," was something beyond even the prodigious ; and, in fact, if (as some assert) the "Victoria" did not absolutely accomplish the voyage
recorded, it will be difficult to assign a reason why she should not have accomplished it.]
was a skilful and lucky one; and returning to her berth with her hold full of the precious sperm, the Amelia's example was soon followed by other ships, English and American, and thus the vast Sperm Whale grounds of the Pacific were thrown open.
Blandly and the like, coming off to wish him a good voyage
and a safe return.
We were at sea now, for a very long voyage--we were to pass through the entire length of the Levant; through the entire length of the Mediterranean proper, also, and then cross the full width of the Atlantic--a voyage
of several weeks.
It was now the beginning of the year 1693, when my nephew, whom, as I have observed before, I had brought up to the sea, and had made him commander of a ship, was come home from a short voyage
to Bilbao, being the first he had made.
Then, as it was the first evening of their voyage
, they indulged in a regale, relishing their buffalo beef with inspiring alcohol; after which, they slept soundly, without dreaming of Crows or Blackfeet.
THAT evil influence which carried me first away from my father's house - which hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising my fortune, and that impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entreaties and even the commands of my father - I say, the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly called it, a voyage