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the island, and dash itself at my feet, I felt myself pare tially 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 violence 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 voracious 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 ! a 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 them. I shouted to them, till my voice, hollow and broken, dwindled into a feeble whisper. The foremost of them was now within a mile of me. I could see men thronging the decks, and methought even at that distance I could distinguish them, all with their eyes fixed on me, and some surveying me through glasses. But they did not deviate from their course—they seemed passing me; I tore the garments from my back, and waved them in the air. They passed on in their course. The second came, and the third_all_all_they passed me, and replied not to my frantic signals. The seventh and last, the convoy of the squadron, now appeared. The starry flag of my country fluttered from her peak. My gestures and cries were now like those of a madman. I flung my neckcloth high in the air ; and the wind swept it from me into the sea. But they saw it-they saw it! They fired a gun; and I looked for them to lay to. I watched for the launching of the boat. I deceived myself. It was a signal for the squadron to vary their course ; and squadron and convoy soon vanished from my eyes.
I swooned, and revived to curse my fate and act the madman. The sun was setting. I crawled to a brink of the ice, fully resolved to throw myself into the sea. A dark object presented itself to my eyes, lying immediately under the island, and night had not so far advanced, as to prevent me from recognising in this singular apparition, a wreck, water-logged and without masts, rolling heavily in the sea. Something moved upon the stern. O heaven ! was it a human being—one like myself, spared to be mocked as I had been ?-I endeavoured to call aloud, but my previous exertions had left me voiceless. I presented myself on the cliff, and this miserable creature now appeared to me a dog, which, seeing me, set up a loud howl. It was not the plaintive cry we so often
hear uttered by this animal; not the animated yelp of recognition : no-hunger had changed its nature, as it had changed mine it was the howl of a famished fiend, the scream of a beast of prey. This also disappeared, and night was again upon the ocean.
The morning came: I cared not for it. The sun was melting my island under me, and must soon mingle it with the waters : I cared not for that. Days passed ; I forgot to count them. : I was resigned to my fate ; the pangs of hunger were now unfelt. I was happy, for I knew I was dying : but death came slowly, my constitution resisted him. I lay in a horrid stupor.
From this state I was roused by a human voice-yes, many voices shouting and calling aloud. I crawled from my cave-I rose feebly to my feet. A ship with her sails backed, lay a few furlongs to windward of me. They had descried my handkerchief, which I had hung upon a branch of the pine, and stuck in one of the most elevated parts of the island.
They saw me, and shouted cheeringly and triumphantly. They put out a boat, which approached the ice : but its sharp and upright sides rendered it impossible for them to land on it. I succeeded in crawling to a part of the berg, where it inclined shelvingly to the water, and as a last effort, slid myself down into the sea.
I was taken up, and found myself fostered among the rude hut kind-hearted tars of my own country.