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naturally be anticipated, do not agree in every minute particular, as the appearance of the animal would necessarily assume various aspects, according to its position, the extent of its body visible at one time, and the rapidity of its motion; but in regard to its great size and snake-like form they all agree.
The person who makes the first deposition saw it for nearly half an hour, at a distance of 250 yards when nearest. At that distance he could not take in the two extremes with his glass at one view. He saw eight different portions or bunches, which he considers as caused by the vertical motion of the animal. The size is not specified. The second witness depones, that on the 10th day of August he observed a strange marine animal, which he believed to be a serpent. It continued in sight for an hour and a half, and moved through the water with great rapidity—at the rate of a mile in two, or at most three, minutes. He observed the same animal on the 23d of the same month. It then lay perfectly still, extended on the water, and shewed about fifty feet of its body. Colour dark brown. The third witness saw it in the same place, and judged it to be between eighty and ninety feet in length, with a head formed somewhat like that of a rattlesnake, but nearly as large as that of a horse. At one time it shewed about fifty distinct portions of its body, and appeared rough and scaly. He saw him on three different days, and on the 13th of August it was visible almost the whole day. When it moved on the surface of the water, its motion was slow, at times playing about in circles, and sometimes moving nearly straight forward. The fourth witness saw it on the 14th August, when it shewed about forty feet. When looking at it through a glass, he saw it open its mouth, which appeared like the mouth of a serpent. The fifth and sixth witnesses also saw it on that day, when the latter was within a distance of thirty feet. He fired his gun, loaded with ball, at its head, and thought he must have hit it, as he took good aim. When he had fired, the monster immediately turned round, as if it intended coming towards him, but it sunk down, and going directly under the boat, made its appearance again, at about a hundred yards from
the place where it had disappeared. It did not seem more shy in consequence of the shot, but continued playing on the water as before. The seventh witness observed it on the 17th day of the month, extended on the water to the length of from forty to sixty feet, with its head raised about a foot above the surface. It remained still for some time, and then started off with great velocity. (Colour very dark. The eighth witness saw it on the evening of the same day; he came within two oars length of it, but there was not sufficient light to enable him to give any description. In length it was at least fifty feet, and appeared straight. The ninth witness observed it the next day, while in a sail boat, coming out of a cave, and immediately hove to. It passed under the stern of the boat, and then turning towards him again, it crossed by the boat's bow. He saw it fired at, and thought it was hit, as it afterwards appeared more shy. The length was considered to be about seventy feet. The form of the curve, when it turned in the water, resembled a staple; the head seemed to approach towards the body for some feet, then the head and tail appeared moving rapidly in opposite directions, and when these were on parallel lines, they appeared not more than two or three yards apart. The last deposition contained in the American Report, being one of the most detailed and particular, we shall quote it at full length.
"I, Elkanah Finney of Plymouth, in the county of Plymouth, mariner, testify and say: That about the 20th of June A. D. 1815, being at work near my house, which is situated near the sea-shore in Plymouth, at a place called Warren's Cove, where the beach joins the main land; my son, a boy, came from the shore, and informed me of an unusual appearance on the surface of the sea in the cove. I paid little attention to his story at first; but as he persisted in saying that he had seen something very remarkable, I looked towards the cove, where I saw something which appeared to the naked eye to be drift sea-weed. I then viewed it through a perspective glass, and was in a moment satisfied that it was some aquatic animal, with the form, motion, and appearance of which I had hitherto been unacquainted. It was about a quarter of a mile from the shore, and was moving with great rapidity to the northward. It then appeared to be about thirty feet in length; the animal went about half a mile to the northward; then turned about, and while turning, displayed a greater length than I had before seen; I supposed at least an hundred feet. It then came towards me, in a southerly direction, very rapidly, until he was in a line with me, when he stopped, and lay entirely still on the surface of the water. I then had a good view of him through my glass, at the distance of a quarter of a mile. His appearance in this situation was like a string of buoys. I saw perhaps thirty or forty of these protuberances or bunches, which were about the size of a barrel. The head appeared to be about six or eight feet long, and where it was connected with the body was a little larger than the body. His head tapered off to the size of a horse's head. I could not discern any mouth. But what I supposed to be his under jaw had a white stripe extending the whole length of the head, just above the water. While he lay in this situation, he appeared to be about a hundred or a hundred and twenty feet long. The body appeared to be of a uniform size. I saw no part of the animal which I supposed to be a tail. I therefore thought he did not discover to me his whole length. His colour was a deep brown or black. I could not discover any eyes, mane, gills, or breathing holes. I did not see any fins or legs. The animal did not utter any sound, and it did not appear to notice any thing. It remained still and motionless for five minutes or more. The wind was light, with a clear sky, and the water quite smooth. He then moved to the southward; but not with so rapid a motion as I had observed before. He was soon out of my sight The next morning I rose very early to discover him. There was a fresh breeze from the south, which subsided about eight o'clock. It then became quite calm, when I again saw the animal about a mile to the northward of my house, down the beach. He did not display so great a length as the night before, perhaps not more than twenty or thirty feet He often disappeared, and was gone five or ten minutes under water. I thought he was diving or fishing for his food. He remained in nearly the same situation, and thus employed, for two hours. I then saw him moving off, in a north-east direction, towards the light-house. I could not determine whether its motion was up and down, or to the right and left His quickest motion was very rapid; I should suppose at the rate of fifteen or twenty miles an hour. Mackerel, manhaden, herring, and other bait fish, abound in the cove, where the animal was seen.
(Signed) Elkanah Finney." There are several other affidavits equally satisfactory in regard to the occurrence of this extraordinary creature, with the whole of which, however, we do not consider it necessary that we should trouble our readers. What we have already written must
be amply sufficient to dispel the doubts even of the most sceptical, and the satisfactory manner in which the opinions of Pontoppidan, and the writers who preceded him, have been thus confirmed, should render us extremely cautious in considering such opinions as vague and hypothetical, merely because they do not accord with the measure of our own experience.
We shall conclude our quotation on this subject by the following extracts. The first is from a letter written by the Honourable Lonson Nash, one of the committee appointed by the Linmean Society of New England; the other from a communication by the Rev. William Jenks, addressed to Judge Davis, the president of the Society.
"I have seen and conversed with the woman, who was said to have seen the serpent dormant on the rocks, near the water, to whom you refer in yours; but she can give no material evidence. She says that she saw something, resembling a large log of wood, on the rocks, on the extreme eastern point of Ten Pound island (a small island in our harbour), resting partly on the rocks, and partly in the water. The distance was about half a mile. She took a glass, looked at the object, and saw it move. Her attention was for a short time arrested, by some domestic avocation, and when she looked for the object again, it had disappeared.
You request a detailed account of my observations relative to the serpent I saw him on the llth ultimo, and when nearest, I judged him to be about two hundred and fifty yards from me. At that distance I judged him (in the largest part) about the size of a half barrel, gradually tapering towards the two extremes. Twice I saw him with a glass only for a short time, and at other times with the naked eye for nearly half an hour. His colour appeared nearly black—his motion was vertical. When he moved on the surface of the water, the track in his rear was visible for at least half a mile.
His velocity, when moving on the surface of the water, I judged was at the rate of a mile in about four minutes. When immersed in the water, his speed was greater, moving, I should say, at the rate of a mile in two or at most three minutes. When moving under water you could often trace him by the motion of the water on the surface, and from this circumstance I conclude he did not swim deep. He apparently went as straight through the water as you could draw a line. When he changed his course, it diminished his velocity but little—the two extremes that were visible appeared rapidly moving in opposite directions, and when they came parallel, they appeared not more than a yard apart. With a glass I could not take in, at one view, the two extremes of the animal that were risible. I have looked at a vessel at about the same distance, and could distinctly see forty-five feet. If he should be taken, I have no doubt that his length will be found seventy feet at least, and I should not be surprised, if he should be found one hundred feet long. When I saw him, I was standing on an eminence, on the sea shore, elevated about thirty feet above the surface of the water, and the sea was smooth.
If I saw his head, I could not distinguish it from his body; though there were seafaring men near me, who said that they could distinctly see his head. I believe they spoke truth; but not having been much accustomed to look through a glass, I was not so fortunate.
I never saw more than seven or eight distinct portions of him above the water at any one time, and he appeared rough; though I supposed this appearance was produced by his motion. When he disappeared, he apparently sunk directly down like a rock."
The information conveyed by Mr Jcnks is extracted from manuscript notes kept by him in America, and the letter which contains them is dated September 17, 1817.
"« June 88th, 1809. The Rev. Mr Abraham Cummings,' who has been much employed in missions in the district of Meine, and navigated his own boat among the islands, Ate. in the discharge of his duty, 'informs me,' in conversation, which was immediately written from his lips, 'that in Penobscot bay has been occasionally seen within these thirty years, a Sea Serpent, supposed to be about sixty feet in length, and of the size of a sloop's mast. Rev. Mr Cummings saw him, in company with his wife and daughter, a young lady of Belfast, Martha Spring; and judged he was about three times the length of his boat, which is twenty-three feet. When he was seen this time he appeared not to notice the boat, though he was distant, as nearly as could be ascertained, but about fifteen rods. Mr Cummings observes, that the British saw ram in their expedition to Bagaduse; that the inhabitants of Fox and Long Islands have seen such an animal, and that a Mr Crocket ssw two of them together about twenty-two years since. When he was seen by the inhabitants of Fox Island, two person were together at both times. People auo of Mount Desert have seen the monster. One of those which were seen by Mr Crocket was smaller than that seen by Mr Cummings, and their motion in the sea ap
Crd to be a perpendicular winding, and not aontaL The British supposed the length of that, which they saw, to be three hundred feet, but this Mr Cummings imagines Vou III.
to be an exaggeration. A gentleman of intelligence (Rev. Alden Bradford of Wiscasset, now Secretary of the Commonwealth), inquired of Mr Cummings whether the appearance might not be produced by a number of porpoises following each other in a train; but Mr Cummings asserts, that the animal held its head out of the water about five feet till he got out to sea; for when seen he was going out of the bay, and Mr Cummings was ascending it. The colour was a bluish green about the head and neck, but the water rippled so much over his body that it was not possible to determine its tint. The shape of the head was like that of a common snake, flattened, and about the size of a pail. He was seen approaching, passing, and departing. Till this, Mr Cummings was as incredulous, in respect to its existence, as many of his neighbours. The weather was calm, and it was the month of August, in which month, Mr Cummings remarks, that as far as he has heard, the Serpent makes his appearance on the coast'
I am inclined to suppose, that Mr Cummings' account is that, which in one of the public papers was lately alluded to, as having been communicated to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, but mislaid.
'Aug. 23, 1809. Mr Charles Shaw, (then of Bath, now an attorney of Boston), informed me, that a Cart Lillis, with whom he had sailed, observed cursorily in conversation, that he had seen off the coast a very singular fish; it appeared, said he, more like a snake than a fish, and was about forty feet long. It held its head erect, had no mane, and looked like an ordinary serpent. He asked Mr Shaw if he had ever seen, or read, or heard of such an animal?
About two years after hearing this, while on a journey to Indian Old Town, as one * of the Massachusetts Commissioners to induce the Indians to cultivate their lands, I had opportunity to make further inquiry, and find in my journal the following entry:
• Sept. 10, 1811. Having heard to-day further testimony respecting the Sea Serpent of Penobscot A Mr Staples of Prospect, of whom I inquired as I passed, was told, by a Mr Miller of one of the islands of the bay, that he had seen it; and ' it was as big as a sloop's boon, and about sixty or seventy feet long.' He told me also, that about 1780, as a schooner was lying at the mouth of the river, or in the bay, one of these enormous creatures leaped over it between the masts—that the men ran into the hold for fright, and that the weight of the serpent sunk the vessel, * one streak,' or plank. The schooner was of about eighteen tons.''
Having, we trust,'by means of the
preceding extracts and observations,
sufficiently cleared away all doubts
from the minds of such of our readers
as have been in the habit of consider-
as some have supposed, to the discov- of the former is mysterious, and that
by the Orcadians and Americans. Its appearance in the finest months of summer, during the calmest and most settled weather; its resemblance, while on the surface of the water, to a long chain of casks or floats; the rapidity of its motions ; and its general aspect and character; are described in such a manner by the one, as immediately to recal to recollection the words of the other. The existence of both these animals, we think, may be relied upon, although the exact nature
still to be done. "There are more things in heaven and earth than ore dream't of in our philosophy." W.
LETTER FROM AN OLD IN-
If any of your readers (who have arrived at the years of discretion) were inclined to hesitate about adopting th< conclusions of my former letter, I im uncertain they may be deemed, quite agine the answer to that letter, whicl sufficient to establish the existence of has since appeared in your Magazine,
an enormous marine animal, the attributes of which are of a nature sufficiently singular to account for the addition of those fabulous and almost supernatural powers with which it has been gifted by the superstitious apprehensions of the vulgar. An attentive consideration of such of its characters as may be relied upon, seems to warrant the conclusion, that the great northern animal, called the Kraken, is more nearly allied to the Colossal Cuttle Fish of the Indian and African
must have greatly contributed to re move their scruples. The young lad who has done me the honour to be i witty at my expense, was not aware when she composed her smart par graphs, that she was, in truth, ad, eating, with all her might, the ca, she supposed herself to be confoui ing. How she has happened to c cover me under the signature of" Old Indian," I cannot exactly discos but it may be as well for me, befo go any farther, to confess -very frat
seas, than to any other creature of to you and to your readers, that
which we have ever heard; and that these two species should be regarded as analagous, differing only in as far as animals of the same genus are found to differ from each other, the nature of whose physical and geographical position is so entirely dissimilar.
As to the Sea Serpent, it is unnecessary to point out an agreement so obvious, as that which might be perceived to exist between the accounts of the Norwegian writers and those given of the same or a similar animal
hints she has given you respecting person are, upon the whole, pi correct. I am old and gouty, Mr tor, but that is nothing to the s ments of Miss Alpina. It is suffi for all the purposes of the present troversy, that I can hear and st also have made my discoveries, I these in the sequel.
There is only one thing in the of Miss Alpina, which can be V sophistry twisted into an argumi
• See No XI.
favour of the rout-and-ball-system. It is this, that so far from the opportunities of gallantry and flirtation being lessened by the discontinuance of > small parties, they are, in fact, multiplied beyond all calculation, by means of the necessary bustle, confusion, neglect, and hubbub of great ones. She says well, that in the thick of a rout, or in the lobby of two house turned upside down by a ball; or, in the chaos of a supper for forty or fifty people packed into a bed-closet, there occur abundant occasions for sapping, in detail, all the outworks of courtship, or even for popping the match destined to blow up the citadel itself. Alpina is herself a melancholy example, that, however favourable might be the opportunity, it is not unfrequently neglected. It seems that there is nothing to prevent the enemy from drawing his line as close as he pleases; there is every reason to suspect that he might easily gain it party within the fortress, who would be happy, by all means in their power, to facilitate his entrance; —surely he is not much set upon the conquest, otherwise he would make some use of" the favourable hour."
The truth is, that there is no want of flirtation among our young gentlemen and ladies; my complaint is, that there is too much flirtation of one kind, the false, the superficial, the coxcombical, the nonchalant ; and very, very little of another kind, which I prefer— the true, the hearty, the sentimental, the Philandering, old-fashioned flirtation. It moves my spleen, Mr Editor, when I go into a ball-room, or a routroom, to see with what a confident, self-satisfied, free-and-easy manner, the Alpinas of the present day suffer themselves to be addressed by their beaux. When a young gentleman of my time approached a young lady, you could read love in some one or other of its shapes or shadings, in all the workings of his countenance. His general deportment was one of a faroff, respectful, almost adoring, submission; a smile shone upon him like a beam from above,—he received a whisper with the veneration due to an oracle of Heaven.
When the humility of his devotion procured for him a moment of communion with his deity, his countenance glowed with the fervency of a more than earthly rapture. His worship was formal, no doubt; if you
will, it was the papistry of flirtation. He had his relics like a good Catholic, —his fan, his glove, or his thimble; a miniature, if he could procure one, was a treasure above all price. He was a saint-worshipper, ana the supremacy of some favourite Catharine or Bridget did not prevent him from reserving an abundant portion of his veneration for Cecilia, Martha, Agnes, and all the fair innocents of his calendar. Alpina, will say that the reformation is a blessing; I doubt whether the adoption of a less stately ceremonial has been as useful in the temple of Love, as in that of Religion.
I am by no means desirous of being severe on matters at home, but I must confess my conviction, that a British ball-room is a thing, the absurdities of which are in a great measure peculiar and unrivalled. I remember when things wore a very different aspect; but the present mode of dancing is, I think, indeed an abomination. Without the airiness of French, the sentiment of German, or the splendour of Spanish execution, it is a vain and fruitless attempt to ingraft the graces of continental dancing upon the aboriginal coarseness of the reel. When I was a young man, I used to see the country lads and lasses dance pretty much in the same manner at their kirns, and I thought it suited them and their habits extremely well. As for the quadrille, that is a late importation, the use of which has not yet, and I believe never will, become familiar to us. I never see four grave, gloomy, Edinburgh beaux, figuring in it with four stiff, prim, saddled misses, without being reminded, in the most lively manner, of some of the cuts in Holbein's dance of death.— The waltz is not so bad a thing abroad as it is here. Foreigners continue to smile it off as a matter of a course, but our waltzing couples seem always to be impressed with a consciousness of guilt. With them it has quite the appearance of a serious and deliberate offence; but perhaps Miss Alpina may be of opinion that all this adds to the gout.
The young ladies may depend upon it, that this vile system of dancing is a poor substitute for the elegant and stately minuets which I remember to have seen performed by their grandmothers, in an assembly room far smaller, but far more splendid, grace