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I trod heaven in my thoughts, now exulting in my powers, now burning with the idea of their effects. From my infancy I was imbued with high hopes and a lofty ambition. (24.25)
You just know that Victor won first place at the state science fair. Ugh.
I mentioned in my last letter the fears I entertained of a mutiny. This morning, as I sat watching the wan countenance of my friend--his eyes half closed and his limbs hanging listlessly--I was roused by half a dozen of the sailors, who demanded admission into the cabin. They entered, and their leader addressed me. He told me that he and his companions had been chosen by the other sailors to come in deputation to me to make me a requisition which, in justice, I could not refuse. We were immured in ice and should probably never escape, but they feared that if, as was possible, the ice should dissipate and a free passage be opened, I should be rash enough to continue my voyage and lead them into fresh dangers, after they might happily have surmounted this. They insisted, therefore, that I should engage with a solemn promise that if the vessel should be freed I would instantly direct my course southwards. (24.33)
Walton’s crew wants to turn back to England without discovering anything. Although Walton is disappointed by such a prospect, he also starts to view the exploratory mindset in a more negative way due to his interaction with Victor.
The die is cast; I have consented to return if we are not destroyed. Thus are my hopes blasted by cowardice and indecision; I come back ignorant and disappointed. It requires more philosophy than I possess to bear this injustice with patience. (24.37)
Walton realizes that he would rather have his life than new knowledge. He chooses safety over the dangers of exploration – unlike Victor.