September 16, 2007

An Act of Decency in Time of War

I've been reading G.P.V. and Helen B. Akrigg's British Columbia Chronicle: 1778-1846. It isn't linguistics, but I encountered something I think worthy of note. Discussing the end of Captain George Vancouver's voyage of exploration in 1795, they note:

Entering the Atlantic, he had a special anxiety, fear of being intercepted by one of the French warships on the prowl for British ships. H.M.S. Discovery, lightly armed as a survey ship rather than a man-of-war, and worn out by four and a half years of voyaging, could not hope to defend herself successfully against a French cruiser. Vancouver's great voyage could end all too possibly with him and his crews rotting in a French prison. At St. Helena he received very welcome news: the French National Assembly, recognizing the contribution to human knowledge rendered by the Vancouver expedition, had instructed its warships not to molest the Discovery and the Chatham on their homeward journey. [pp. 99-100]
Posted by Bill Poser at September 16, 2007 03:06 PM