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 66

being rigged as I have never seen one rigged either before or since.
Down its main timber there ran a succession of stout iron hooks, and
others in the same manner down the stern-post. Through these hooks
there extended a very thick wrought-iron rod, the rudder being thus
held to the stern-post, and swinging freely on the rod. The tremendous
force of the sea which tore it off may be estimated by the fact, that
the hooks in the stern-post, which ran entirely through it, being
clinched on the inside, were drawn every one of them completely out of
the solid wood.

We had scarcely time to draw breath after the violence of this shock,
when one of the most tremendous waves I had then ever known broke right
on board of us, sweeping the companion-way clear off, bursting in the
hatchways, and filling every inch of the vessel with water.


Luckily, just before night, all four of us had lashed ourselves firmly
to the fragments of the windlass, lying in this manner as flat upon the
deck as possible. This precaution alone saved us from destruction. As
it was, we were all more or less stunned by the immense weight of water
which tumbled upon us, and which did not roll from above us until we
were nearly exhausted. As soon as I could recover breath, I called
aloud to my companions. Augustus alone replied, saying, "It is all over
with us, and may God have mercy upon our souls." By-and-by both the
others were enabled to speak, when they exhorted us to take courage, as
there was still hope; it being impossible, from the nature of the
cargo, that the brig could go down, and there being every chance that
the gale would blow over by the morning. These words inspired me with
new life; for, strange as it may seem, although it was obvious that a
vessel with a cargo of empty oil-casks would not sink, I had been
hitherto so confused in mind as to have overlooked this consideration
altogether; and the danger which I had for some time regarded as the
most imminent was that of foundering. As hope revived within me, I made
use of every opportunity to strengthen the lashings which held me to
the remains of the windlass, and in this occupation I soon discovered
that my companions were also busy. The night was as dark as it could
possibly be, and the horrible shrieking din and confusion which
surrounded us it is useless to attempt describing. Our deck lay level
with the sea, or rather

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

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scholars, one of the most original men of genius, and one of the most industrious of the literary profession of our country, whose temporary suspension of labor, from bodily illness, drops him immediately to a level with the common objects of public charity.
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Accordingly, in less than a second, I felt all the blood in my body rushing to my temples, and immediately thereupon, a concussion, which I shall never forget, burst abruptly through the night and seemed to rip the very firmament asunder.
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' "The whole of this paragraph must now appear a tissue of inconsequence and incoherence.
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With sickness of the heart the wanderer will flee back to the polluted Paris as to a less odious because less incongruous sink of pollution.
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We thus see the numerous and great obstacles in the way of pieces being 'torn off' through the simple agency of 'thorns;' yet we are required to believe not only that one piece but that many have been so torn.
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It was but just now that I passed directly before the eyes of the mate--it was no long while ago that I ventured into the captain's own private cabin, and took thence the materials with which I write, and have written.
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But while my lids remained thus shut, I ran over in my mind my reason for so shutting them.