Laperouse By Ernest Scott


The King decided (1785) that a voyage should be undertaken; two ships
of the navy, LA BOUSSOLE and L'ASTROLABE, were - Page 30
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The King Decided (1785) That A Voyage Should Be Undertaken; Two Ships Of The Navy, LA BOUSSOLE And L'ASTROLABE, Were Selected For The Purpose; And, On The Recommendation Of The Marquis De Castries - Remember Madame La Marquise!

- Laperouse was chosen for the command.

All three of the men who ordered, planned and executed the voyage, the King, the scholar, and the officer, were devoted students of the work and writings of Cook; and copies of his VOYAGES, in French and English, were placed in the library of navigation carried on board the ships for the edification of the officers and crews. Over and over again in the instructions prepared - several times on a page in some places - appear references to what Cook had done, and to what Cook had left to be done; showing that both King Louis and Fleurieu knew his voyages and charts, not merely as casual readers, but intimately. As for Laperouse himself, his admiration of Cook has already been mentioned; here it may be added that when, before he sailed, Sir Joseph Banks presented him with two magnetic needles that had been used by Cook, he wrote that he "received them with feelings bordering almost upon religious veneration for the memory of that great and incomparable navigator." So that, we see, the extent of our great sailor's influence is not to be measured even by his discoveries and the effect of his writings upon his own countrymen. He radiated a magnetic force which penetrated far; down to our own day it has by no means lost its stimulating energy.

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