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were perpetually contracted by its closing, till at length each vessel became immovably fixed. The smooth extent of surface was soon lost the pressure of the pieces of ice by the violence of the swell caused them to gather in heaps; fragment rose upon fragment, till in many places they were higher than the main-yard. The movements of the vessels were tremendous and involuntary, in conjunction with the surrounding ice, agitated by the currents. The water shoaled to fourteen fathoms. The grounding of the ice or of the ships would have been equally fatal: as the force of the ice might have crushed them to atoms, or have lifted them out of the water, and overset them; or have left them suspended on the summits of the pieces of ice at a tremendous height, exposed to the fury of

the winds, or to the risk of being dashed in pieces by the failure of their frozen dock.

It was in a similar situation that Sir Hugh Willoughby, an enterprising English navigator, perished with all his crew, in 1553.

Miserable they,

Who, here entangled in the gathering ice,
Take their last look of the descending sun;
While, full of death, and fierce with tenfold frost,
The long long night, incumbent o'er their heads,
Falls horrible. Such was the Briton's fate,

As with first prow (what have not Britons dared?)
He for the passage sought, attempted since
So much in vain, and seeming to be shut
By jealous Nature with eternal bars.
In these fell regions, in Arzina caught,
And to the stony deep his idle ship
Immediate seal'd, he with his hapless crew,
Each full-exerted at his several task,
Froze into statues; to the cordage glued
The sailor, and the pilot to the helm.


In this dilemma the ships' companies endeavoured to cut a passage to the westward, by sawing through immense fields of ice, but with so little success, that their utmost efforts, for a whole day, could not move the vessels more than three hundred yards.

In this dreadful state they remained nearly five days, during which young Nelson, whose active spirit rose superior to all danger, obtained, after re peated solicitations, the command of a four-oared cutter, with twelve men, for the purpose of exploring channels, and breaking the ice. On the 10th of August, a brisk wind springing up, effected their deliverance from this precarious situation; and Captain Phipps, finding it impracticable to penetrate further to the northward, returned to the harbour of Smee

renberg, on the coast of Spitzber


The coolness and courage of our young hero amid these dreadful scenes appears to the greatest advantage, from the following anecdote.

During one of the nights, which in those latitudes are generally clear, Horatio, notwithstanding the intense bitterness of the cold, was missing from the ship.

Immediate search was made after him, but in vain, and every person on board gave him up for lost. When the rays of the rising sun illumined the horizon, he was discovered by the astonished crew at a considerable distance, armed with a single musket, in eager pursuit of a prodigiously large bear. The lock being injured, his piece would not go off, and he pur

sued the shaggy animal till he had tired him, and knocked him on the head with the butt end of his musket. Being reprimanded by Captain Lutwidge on his return, for quitting the ship, and asked in a severe tone, what motive could induce him to attempt such a rash undertaking, the young hero replied, with great simplicity, "I wished, Sir, to get the skin for my father!" So great was his courage, and so affectionate were his sentiments for his worthy parent; to whom, in all the succeeding periods of his life, this illustrious man ever showed the most dutiful attentions. Of the subsequent events of Nelson's history, it is impossible here to speak : they are indelibly engraved in the grateful remembrance of his coun try; they will form some of the

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