‘Men are not free, tied to cities, pro­tect­ing their pos­ses­sions’

The Compass - - SPORTS -

they flow; con­tours of the top of the world; depths to the bot­tom; ocean salin­ity and fresh­ness; tem­per­a­tures of the seas; tem­per­a­tures of the air, both vastly nec­es­sary, if the air­ship is to pen­e­trate the re­mote Arc­tic re­gion.”

Next ex­pe­di­tion

Then this vet­eran, with a boy­ish en­thu­si­asm of which few sopho­mores at Har­vard are ca­pa­ble, spoke with glow­ing eyes of the ex­pe­di­tion “which will round out all my work.”

Last spring, Cap­tain Bartlett tried to in­ter­est the United States gov­ern­ment in un­der­tak­ing the very work of Arc­tic ex­plo­ration for which the Graf Zep­pelin is now be­ing fit­ted. Years ago, he tried to en­list for this work the Shenan­doah. He was told that was needed for work at the west­ern fairs — and it went to its ruin. Now he chafes, like a school­boy miss­ing the foot­ball game, be­cause as yet his chance of the most im­por­tant ex­pe­di­tion of all is de­layed.

“ We have the men — at An­napo­lis, for in­stance. We have the money — where is there the money that our coun­try can point to? Why should we let our good friends, the Ger­mans, get ahead of us?

“Last year, I went to Wash­ing­ton to urge such an ex­pe­di­tion upon Sec­re­tary Adams. Ad­mi­ral Mof­fett favoured it. He spoke about it when he made his Roo­sevelt Day ad­dress. Sec­re­tary Adams, who is a sports­man and a seago­ing man, was all for it, if it had been in his power. He saw the value it would be. But he told me there was no money avail­able; it was not pos­si­ble un­der gov­ern­ment aus­pices.”

If any­one wishes to hon­our the mem­ory of [Robert E.] Peary (1856-1920), De Long, Hall and Elisha Kent Kane, the old whalers of New Bed­ford and New Lon­don, this is the ex­pe­di­tion which would do it.

And, the cap­tain adds,“It would be won­der­ful for young men, the an­ti­dote the blasé youth of our city-hug­ging age need.”

Then some phi­los­o­phy of a seago­ing man.

“We think we are very clever, to­day, with all our ma­chines. But - some­times — I won­der if all the mod­ern con­ve­niences are not sap­ping the viril­ity of our young men. Is the pi­o­neer spirit in­deed dead? Have our boys never re­al­ized that men are not free, tied to cities, pro­tect­ing their pos­ses­sions?

“Isn’t it bet­ter to risk all, now and then, on a grand plunge for sci­ence, for mas­tery of the earth, even if the whole thing does blow up, than to hug the so­fas and drink tea and add up weary per­cent­ages for­ever? For,” and Cap­tain Bartlett fin­ished with em­pha­sis, “I tell you, th­ese men who went out ex­plor­ing and planted the flag of Bri­tain in all cor­ners of the world — they were free. We have Amer­i­can men like th­ese who can do more than this for us — and should be wak­ened to the op­por­tu­ni­ties. For only the man who can go away and stay away, if he is only a beach­comber — only he is free.

“Only the man who has lis­tened to the urge to see what is on the other side of the rim of the world. I’d like to see Amer­i­can di­ri­gi­bles tak­ing young Amer­i­cans to find out this se­cret. I’d like to be there, too, to put the fin­ish upon the Arc­tic work which Peary be­gan.”

The end.

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