The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827.

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 106

to partition out the whole area into small squares
exactly equal in size. This is done by forming narrow paths, very
smooth, and crossing each other at right angles throughout the entire
extent of the rookery. At each intersection of these paths the nest of
an albatross is constructed, and a penguin's nest in the centre of each
square--thus every penguin is surrounded by four albatrosses, and each
albatross by a like number of penguins. The penguin's nest consists of
a hole in the earth, very shallow, being only just of sufficient depth
to keep her single egg from rolling. The albatross is somewhat less
simple in her arrangements, erecting a hillock about a foot high and
two in diameter. This is made of earth, seaweed, and shells. On its
summit she builds her nest.

The birds take especial care never to leave their nests unoccupied for
an instant during the period of incubation, or, indeed, until the young
progeny are sufficiently strong to take care of themselves. While the
male is absent at sea in search of food, the female remains on duty,
and it is only upon the return of her partner that she ventures abroad.
The eggs are never left uncovered at all--while one bird leaves the
nest, the other nestling in by its side. This precaution is rendered
necessary by the thievish propensities prevalent in the rookery, the
inhabitants making no scruple to purloin each other's eggs at every
good opportunity.

Although there are some rookeries in which the penguin and albatross
are the sole population, yet in most of them a variety of oceanic birds
are to be met with, enjoying all the privileges of citizenship, and
scattering their nests here and there, wherever they can find room,
never interfering, however, with the stations of the larger species.
The appearance of such encampments, when seen from a distance, is
exceedingly singular. The whole atmosphere just above the settlement is
darkened with the immense number of the albatross (mingled with the
smaller tribes) which are continually hovering over it, either going to
the ocean or returning home. At the same time a crowd of penguins are
to be observed, some passing to and fro in the narrow alleys, and some
marching, with the military strut so peculiar to them, around the
general promenade-ground which encircles the rookery. In short, survey
it as we will, nothing can be more astonishing than the spirit of
reflection evinced by these feathered beings, and nothing surely can be
better calculated to elicit reflection in every well-regulated human

On the morning after our arrival in Christmas Harbour the chief

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