Chap. xvi. On the variation in Nova Zembla.
ariations in parts near the pole are greater (as has been shown before) and also have sudden changes, as in former years the Dutch explorers observed not badly, even if those observations were not exact — which indeed is pardonable in them; for with the usual instruments it is with difficulty that the truth becomes known in such a high latitude (of about 80 degrees). Now, however, from the deviation of the compass the reason for there being an open course to the east by the Arctick Ocean appears manifest; for since the versorium has so ample a variation toward the north-west, it is demonstrable that a continent does not extend any great distance in the whole of that course toward the east. Therefore with the greater hope can the sea be attempted and explored toward the east for a passage to the Moluccas by the north-east than by the north-west.
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