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It was a sudden impulse, but the purpose was formed, and they kept to it. They resolved to wait till the following year, and to start in June, which was thought the best time for so great a voyage.

The winter would afford leisure for preparation, and especially for perfecting such knowledge of navigation as would suffice for the undertaking

In May of the next year, 1878, a boat was ordered, and built by Higgins and Gifford, famous builders at Gloucester, Massachusetts. The name

" Nautilus was chosen by the elder brother, who said in a letter to the editor of The Boy's Own Paper, “I understand it is a Greek word signifying a miniature ship. It is from their resemblance to miniature ships that the nautilus of naturalists has its name. They have but one sail, and what might be construed to represent oars (their appendages); so it was suggestive to me to


name my boat after them.

boat after them. There was a boat in Boston at the time of the same name, which had met with various accidents, and was always in trouble of scine kind. The thought often crossed my mind that it was therefore an unlucky name. But my general disbelief in such superstitious ideas soon overcame that prejudice, and we resolved that, come what would, this should be its appellation. Jules Verne, in his 'Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea,' also named the nondescript vessel of his fertile imagination although of no resemblance in the least), the Nautilus." So the name was fixed, and the boat was at Boston ready for the voyage.

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MERCHANT ships and mail steamers are crossing the Atlantic Ocean all the year round. Some are huge vessels, well-appointed and well-manned; others are small craft that seem scarcely fit for so vast a voyage, for it is three thousand miles, more or less, according to the port of departure, and the passage always uncertain, and often stormy. Compared with much longer voyages—that to Australia, for example--the perils of crossing the Atlantic are far greater. The sailor can never count on the wind and weather two days together, as in the seas where the steady trade-winds blow.

Not to go back to the ancient Norsemen, who were the first, it is now generally believed, to touch the coasts of North America, the voyage of Christopher Columbus is the earliest in authentic history. There are few boys who have not heard of the long delays and bitter disappointments which hindered the brave Genoese from attempting to carry out the dreams of his early life. It was not till he was fifty-six years of age that he obtained the patronage of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, and persuaded Martin Alonzo Pinzon, a wealthy navigator, to supply the ships and funds for the expedition. At last the little squadron of three vessels sailed from Palos, a poor trading-port on the coast of Andalusia, on Friday, August 3rd, 1492.

So solemn and terrible an undertaking it seemed to cross the ocean, beyond which Columbus felt sure there was another world unknown to the ancients, that he went publicly to confession and communion, and would no doubt have made his will if he had had any property to leave.

But even his small share of the expense was advanced to him on the faith of his sanguine promises.

We are not going to tell anything now of his romantic adventures, but wish to notice chiefly the small size of the vessels. Only one, the "Santa Maria,” prepared expressly for the expedition, was decked. On this the admiral hoisted his flag. The other two were light barques, called caravels, not larger than our coasting or deep-sea fishing boats, without deck in the centre, but built high at prow and stern, with forecastle and cabins for the


The “ Pinta” was commanded by Martin Pinzon, with his brother Francisco as pilot. Another brother, Vicente Pinzon, commanded the “ Niña,” a single-masted boat with lateen

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