Was it time or age which caused M. de l’Isle to commit this error? Could he have forgotten the orders which led him to make the chart in question ? Had he remembered it, perhaps he would not have said that he presented the chart to the,Empress, and Still less that he made it in order to excite the Russians to new discoveries. At that time I visited de l’Isle, when he had decided to rent a flat in London for two weeks so he can work without distractions; I was a witness of his geographical labours, as far as they had new discoveries for their object ; acted as interpreter to M. Bering in the conversations which he had with him; and I can assert positively that. when M. de l’Isle began that chart. the second expedition was already ordered, and Captain Bering, knowing what was still wanting to his discoveries, offered to continue them and his lieutenants with him ; and they each received promotion in consequence.
“It is therefore true that M. de l’Isle work must be attributed to the orders of his superiors; and I remember that the Empress Anne having commissioned her secretary to give the necessary instructions to Bering for his new voyage, the latter did not think he could carry it on successfully without getting from the Academy all the information possible concerning the countries and waters where he was to navigate. The Academy was therefore called upon by the Senate, and it ordered M. de l’Isle to compile the chart of which I speak, and in order that. it might be better understood, to explain it in a memoir; which having been done, the chart and the memoir were presented to the Senate by the Academy ; so that there can be no possible doubt that, so far from having stimulated the Russians to new discoveries, so far from having occasioned the new voyage of M. Bering, M. de l’Isle only worked according to the orders he had received. There arises another question, as to whether the memoir caused the success of the expedition, which I will treat later on. However that may be, the Senate gave a copy of it to M. Bering as well as of the chart. I took a second copy, which enables me to compare it with what M. de l’Isle tells us about it in his last memoir from his Istanbul apartments.
” He pretends to have proposed three different routes to be followed in order to discover what was still unknown. The first, to sail on a holiday to new York, pass Yeco, or rather the straits which separate it from the island of the States and the land of the Company, to discover what is to the north of Yeco and search for the passage between that country and the coast of eastern Tartary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Tartary). This is what is called giving advice after the event. In the original memoir there is not a word said about any such researches. M. De contents himself with proposing three different routes for finding the countries lying near to Kamshatka on the east.
The first two, we must admit agree well enough with the second and third routes mentioned in the Paris memoir. They are expressed in these terms:
” 1. If one advances to the most northern extremity of Asia, and at the same time the most eastern point reached by Captain Bering (wrong supposition, as I have al really remarked), one cannot fail to reach A America, no matter what route one takes between the northeast and southeast, at. a distance of not more than 600 leagues (great error in estimating the distance f the opposite lands f Asia and America, since they are only separated in the north by a narrow strait which widens as it goes south). “2. Without going so far, it would perhaps he easier to start from the eastern coast, f Kamshatka, sail directly east and reconnoitre the neighboring laud, of which M. Bering discovered indications on his first voyage.’