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and with his broad, glittering eyes, raised mast-high, looks out, as it seems, for plunder or for victims.” Scott knew a mariner of good reputation who fully believed in the sea-serpent. It appeared, so far as could be guessed, to be about a hundred feet long, with the wild mane and fiery eyes which old writers ascribe to the monster; "but," says Scott, “it is not unlikely the spectator might, in the doubting light, be deceived by a good Norway log on the water."
According to Carl Blind, the Shetlanders believed that the tides were caused by some monster living in the sea, or in the words of an old fisherman, “a monstrous sea-serpent that took about six hours to draw in his breath, and about six to let it out again.
The Rev. Mr. M'Lean, pastor of a parish in the Hebrides, described, in a letter to the Wernerian Society, a sea-serpent seen in 1808, while he was in a boat a couple of miles from land. The serpent followed him as he rowed to shore, but he finally escaped to a rock. It had a large head and a slender neck, with no fins, and tapered towards its tail. “Its length might be seventy or eighty feet.”
The following appears to be a well-attested case, allowing for the inevitable discrepancies among unscientific observers.
In 1817, a large marine animal, “supposed to be a serpent," was seen near Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and a report relative to the event was published by the Linnæan Society of New England. Undoubted care was taken in regard to the evidence, and the depositions of eleven witnesses of unblemished character were taken on the matter, and certified on oath before magistrates, one of whom himself saw the creature, and corroborated the statements of the deponents on the most important points. The serpent form was attested by all, and the colour, a dark brown, mottled, according to some, with white on the under parts of the head and neck. The length was variously estimated, from fifty to a hundred feet. No appearance of mane was seen by any; this point is italicised, because in many other accounts a mane is mentioned. The head was compared to that of a sea-turtle, a rattle-snake, and a serpent generally; and, for size, to that of a horse. As to the form of body, five deponents speak of dorsal protuberances; four declare that the body was straight, while two do not moot the point. The mode of progression is generally spoken of as by vertical undulation, "like that of a caterpillar"-probably, as Mr. Gosse tells us, a looping or geometric caterpillar is meant. The magistrate who saw the animal, and to whom the body appeared straight, considers that the appearance of protuberances was due to the vertical bendings of the body during energetic action.
An independent testimony to the above was published many years afterwards, when the report of Captain M'Quhæ, of our Royal Navy, (to be afterwards mentioned), which created general attention, and raised an enormous amount of speculation and controversy, was first issued. In the Boston (U.S.) Daily Advertiser for Nov. 26, 1848, the Hon. T. H. Perkins of that city attested his own observations of the marine serpent seen at Gloucester Harbour, near Cape Ann, in 1817. The following is an extract from that communication :"Wishing to satisfy myself on a subject on which there existed a great difference of opinion, I myself visited Gloucester with Mr. Lee. ... All the town were, as you may suppose, on the alert; and almost every individ.
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ual, both great and small, had been gratified, at a greater or less distance, with a sight of him. The weather was fine, the sea perfectly smooth, and Mr. Lee and myself were seated on a point of land which projects into the harbour, and about twenty feet above the level of the water, from which we were distant about fifty or sixty feet."
Omitting a part of the letter unimportant in this narrative, Mr. Perkins goes on to tell us that
"In a few moments after my exclamation, I saw, on the opposite side of the harbour, at about two miles' distance from where I had first seen, or thought I saw, the snake, the same object, moving with a rapid motion up the harbour, on the western shore. proached us, it was easy to see that his motion was not that of the common snake, either on the land or in the water, but evidently the vertical movement of the caterpillar. As nearly as I could judge, there was visible at a time about forty feet of his body. It was not, to be sure, a continuity of body, as the form from head to tail (except as the apparent bunches appeared as he moved through the water) was seen only at three or four feet asunder. It was very evident, however, that his length must be much greater than what appeared, as, in his movements, he left a considerable wake in his rear. I had a fine glass, and was within from one-third to half a mile of him. The head was flat in the water, and the animal was, as far as I could distinguish, of a chocolate colour. I was struck with an appearance in the front part of the head like a single horn, about nine inches to a foot in length, and of the form of a marline-spike. There were a great many people collected by this time, many of whom had before seen the same object, and the same appearance. From the time I first saw him until he passed by the place where I stood, and soon after disappeared, was not more than fifteen or twenty minutes."
While at Cape Ann this correspondent spoke to many persons who had seen the serpent, among them to a gentleman named Mansfield, one of the most respectable inhabitants of the town. His estimate of its length, and that of his wife, who compared it with a local wharf with which they were familiar, was about a hundred feet. It is to be observed that this man had been such an unbeliever in the existence of the monster, that he had not given himself the trouble to go from his house to the harbour, when the creature was first reported, but had been forced into belief by seeing it accidentally. One acquaintance of Mr. Perkins, who had noticed the protuberance or horn above its head, considered that it was the creature's tongue. The crew of the revenue cutter, whilst in the neighbourhood of Cape Ann, saw it from a few yards' distance, but do not appear to have added anything to the information given above.
The Great Sea-Serpent—if such there be-has evidently no idea of making himself too common, for it is not till the year 1838 that we hear of him again, in any. thing like an authentic account. On the 13th of May of that year, a party of five British officers, Captain Sullivan, Lieutenant Maclachlan, and Ensign Malcolm of the Rifle Brigade; Lieutenant Lyster, of the artillery; Mr. Ince, ordnance storekeeper at Halifax; and an old manof-war's-man, named Dowling, started from Halifax in a small yacht for Mahone Bay, some forty miles eastward, on a fishing excursion. They had run about half the distance, as they supposed, and were enjoying themselves on deck, smoking, and getting their tackle ready
for the approaching campaign against the salmon, when they were surprised by the sight of an immense shoal of grampuses, which appeared to be in an unusual state of excitement. The latter approached the little craft closely, and were fired at with rifles. Let us give the rest of the narrative in Mr. Ince's own words.
"Our attention was presently diverted from the whales, and 'such small deer,' by an exclamation from Dowling, our man-of-war's-man, who was sitting to leeward, of, 'O sirs, look here! We were startled into a ready compliance, and saw an object which banished all other thoughts, save wonder and surprise.
"At the distance of from a hundred and fifty to two hundred yards on our starboard bow, we saw the head and neck of some denizen of the deep, precisely like those of a common snake, in the act of swimming, the head so far elevated and thrown forward by the curve of the neck, as to enable us to see the water under and beyond it. The creature rapidly passed, leaving a regular wake, from the commencement of which, to the fore part, which was out of water, we judged the length to be about eighty feet; and this within, rather than beyond the mark. We were, of course, all taken aback at the sight, and with staring eyes, and in speechless wonder, stood gazing at it for full half a minute. There could be no mistake, no delusion, and we were all perfectly satisfied that we had been favoured with a view of the 'true and veritable sea-serpent,' which had been generally considered to have existed only in the brain of some Yankee skipper, and treated as a tale not much entitled to belief. Dowling's exclamation is worthy of record: 'Well, I've sailed in all parts of the world, and have seen rum sights too in my time, but this is the queerest thing I ever see !' and