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feelings, determined me to put it beyond the reach of violation, and I committed it to the deep. I was now alone.
Struck to the heart with a feeling of my loneliness and forlornness, I sat down, buried my face in my hands, and gave myself up to despair. Why had not I perished with my companions ? A quiet grave at the bottom of the ocean, or in the bowels of one of ocean's monsters, was preferable to this icy and living tomb.
The love of life prevailed over despair. Providence had not snatched me from the devouring waves to expose me to a more dreadful death, by deserting me in my greater need. I rose upon my feet, and looked around me for the means of preserving my existence. I soon discovered that in the vast mass of ice, upon which I stood, there were imbedded many fragments of rocks, trunks of trees, and other substances, denoting it to have been formed on the shores of some distant land. Nothing however capable of satisfying hunger, was to be found. No frozen animal, nor lifeless bird, rewarded my search; and having wandered painfully and laboriously about, wherever the asperities of the ice, or the presence of some land object, afforded me a precarious footing, I at last reclined hopelessly upon a cloven pine tree, that projected from the ice. Above me-for the berg was of great height-towered in inexpressible grandeur, cold and glittering pinnacles of pure and almost transparent ice. Below lay the ocean, silent and calm, presenting a surface, soundless and unvaried.
The day passed away wearily and monotonously; the night found me ; and still I clung listlessly to the shattered pine.
The moon rose, I have always loved the moon; and that night, while gazing upon her pure orb, now doubly
solitary, and thinking of many friends with whom I had sat at my own vine-covered porch, almost adoring her peaceful loveliness of many friends who might be, that very hour, in my own lost land, recalling the memory of their friend by gazing upon her again-I forgot for a time that I was alone, and a dweller on an ice berg.
A rack of clouds passed over her face ; I started—a sudden explosion, followed by a long and heavy growl of thunder, admonished me of another tempest. I fastened my arms to a branch of the pine, while the winds rose, and covered the moon and stars with black clouds. The ocean again was lashed to fury, and the foam of billows dashing against the sharp angles of the island, and snatched up by the winds, broke over me in incessant showers.
It was some time before my floating habitation felt and acknowledged the influence of the storm; but when the agitation of the sea had arrived at its height, there commenced a scene so appallingly sublime, that even the apprehension of approaching destruction could not wholly unfit me for enjoying it. The island rocked, but not as a ship rocks, when she tumbles from a lofty wave into the trough of the sea, nor even as a mountain, when vexed by the earthquake in its bowels. It seemed rather to reel or spin round, like a kraaken in the whirlpool of Norway ; sometimes lurching heavily over, until its tallest precipices were buried in the waves.
Then a more regular assault of gusts and breakers prevailing, it would stoop and yield before the wind, and drift with amazing celerity through the waters.
Happily my position was in a central part; and al. though occasionally a billow more mountainous and voracious than the rest, would seem almost to overwhelm
the island, and dash itself at my feet, I felt myself partially secure.
All this, however, was trifling to that which soon followed. I know not whether the tornado had huddled the other ice islands together and impelled them with yiolence against my own, or whether my island may not have struck upon some concealed rock. Be that as it may, I was suddenly alarmed by a shock that communicated itself in a vibratory shudder to all parts of the island, followed by a deafening crash; and in another moment, I was made sensible, by the distracted and impetuous tossing of my berg, and by many successive shocks, that it had been split in twain, and was now breaking to pieces.
The storm died gradually away ; and with the morning sun came another calm, and another day of famine and of misery.
Several days succeeded to this, a dull and horrid calendar of starvation, distraction, and stupor. Of water I had plenty : I slaked my thirst, by sucking it from a piece of ice, or by scooping it in my hands from the puddles that formed every day around the trees, rocks, and earth on my island. But food--I had no food. I chewed such splinters of bark and wood as I could tear away from the pine tree--they were dry and disgustful. I cut strips of leather from my shoes, and endeavoured to eat them. A letter that I had valued beyond my life, remained in one of my pockets—I chewed and swallowed it; but it gave me no relief.
A burning, excruciating fire was in my stomach ; and although I drank copiously of the melted ice, the feverish agony increased, till at last even this grew nauseous, and my stomach revolted at it. Then I began to sicken
and swoon, and lie for hours in a state of stupefaction, insensible to every thing but a dull gnawing pain in my stomach. Rains would pour down upon me, and beat in my face, unregarded; and once there happened another storm, almost as violent as those I have described, which I listened to with indifference. I cared not—nay I rather desired that some friendly billow might wash me away, and make an end of my miseries. But they disturbed me not ; and still I lay by my pine tree, unmindful of the joyous sun that burst out after the gale.
Once too, as I lay in that state of fearful stupefaction, my nostrils were suddenly saluted with delicious odours coming upon the breeze, and my ears invaded with the shrill cries of birds. I started up, and, looking around, I beheld myself within a few leagues of land.... Was this an illusion of madness ? Did I dream ? Were those glorious blue hills that rose before my eyes, those green fresh forests, those yellow beaches edged with snowy surf, merely a phantom paradise made up of delusive fogs ?-an airy nothing, conjured up to mock me in my misery? My soul was filled with transport: the vision grew
in my eyes, and as the current bore me nearer and nearer to it, it increased in beauty, magnificence, and reality. I could count the shells on the shore; I could distinguish the seal and the turtle sunning themselves in the golden sards. I could behold rivulets of fresh water come dashing down the blue hills, in a sparkle of light and splendour. Tall palms, and cabbage trees, rose on my sight; green sloping hills, and verdant valleys, were before me.
I was evidently under the control of a current that seemed to sweep round a little promontory, and then make a circle into a deep bay beyond it.
Distracted, frantic with joy, I waited for the moment
when I was to double the cape, and throw myself from my island, in an effort to swim to the shore.
It came- I whirled round the point, and the next moment found that the estuary beyond it was the mouth of an impetuous torrent, which in an instant swept me far from the land. I shrieked, I howled, I tore my hair ;I approached the edge of an icy cliff to throw myself into the sea, and drown : but my emotions were beyond my strength--I fell into a swoon, and that blissful shore, that Eden of the waters, was lost to me for ever.
I awoke from my trance-I cast my eye back to the land; it lay like a blue cloud on the horizon, sinking and sinking in the distance and the twilight, until it vanished, and I was again sent out into the wide ocean.
Famine, fatigue, suffering, and disappointed hope had done their work; and the afternoon of another day saw me reclining on a fragment of rock, watching with a voracioụs eye flocks of sea birds skimming and eddying above me. They flew around me, croaking and screaming, nay they flapped their wings in my face, as if impatient of the hour which was to give them a banquet upon human flesh. I waved my hand; I shouted, and the hoarse sound frighted them from me. One alone remained; it crept for food into a little hollow of the ice, where I followed and secured it. I tore it with my nails, and devoured it. Refreshed, although but half satisfied, I arose and looked again upon the ocean. A white speck appeared on the horizon; it grew, it increased, it approached -I saw it--a sail- one, two, three, four-0 heaven ! gallant fleet, rising white and glorious, from the blue waters. Onwards and onwards they came, their sails set, and their prows dashing up the dark element in clouds of snowy foam. Hope gave me supernatural strength : I climbed an icy peak, and stretched forth my arms to