as thou _shouldst
be_--squandering away a life of magnificent meditation in that city of
dim visions, thine own Venice--which is a star-beloved Elysium of the
sea, and the wide windows of whose Palladian palaces look down with a
deep and bitter meaning upon the secrets of her silent waters. Yes! I
repeat it--as thou _shouldst be_. There are surely other worlds
than this--other thoughts than the thoughts of the multitude--other
speculations than the speculations of the sophist. Who then shall call
thy conduct into question? who blame thee for thy visionary hours, or
denounce those occupations as a wasting away of life, which were but the
overflowings of thine everlasting energies?
It was at Venice, beneath the covered archway there called the _Ponte di
Sospiri_, that I met for the third or fourth time the person of whom
I speak. It is with a confused recollection that I bring to mind
the circumstances of that meeting. Yet I remember--ah! how should I
forget?--the deep midnight, the Bridge of Sighs, the beauty of woman,
and the Genius of Romance that stalked up and down the narrow canal.
It was a night of unusual gloom. The great clock of the Piazza had
sounded the fifth hour of the Italian evening. The square of the
Campanile lay silent and deserted, and the lights in the old Ducal
Palace were dying fast away. I was returning home from the Piazetta, by
way of the Grand Canal. But as my gondola arrived opposite the mouth
of the canal San Marco, a female voice from its recesses broke suddenly
upon the night, in one wild, hysterical, and long continued shriek.
Startled at the sound, I sprang upon my feet: while the gondolier,
letting slip his single oar, lost it in the pitchy darkness beyond a
chance of recovery, and we were consequently left to the guidance of the
current which here sets from the greater into the smaller channel.
Like some huge and sable-feathered condor, we were slowly drifting down
towards the Bridge of Sighs, when a thousand flambeaux flashing from the
windows, and down the staircases of the Ducal Palace, turned all at once
that deep gloom into a livid and preternatural day.
A child, slipping from the arms of its own mother, had fallen from an
upper window of the lofty structure into the deep and dim canal. The
quiet waters had closed placidly over their victim; and, although my own
gondola was the only one in sight, many a stout swimmer, already in the
stream, was seeking in vain upon the surface, the treasure which was
to be found, alas!
White, in the city of Richmond.Page 3
We lost no time in getting on our clothes and hurrying down to the boat.Page 8
The captain, however, treated me with every attention--to make amends, I presume, in the eyes of his crew, for his atrocious behaviour in the previous portion of the adventure.Page 14
I thought I had never seen a nicer little room than the one in which I now found myself.Page 22
At length there returned to me some portion of presence of mind.Page 24
Thus the gloom of my prison may be imagined, and the.Page 28
Presently I became aware.Page 42
The brig was rolling violently, and there was so much noise in consequence, that it was useless to listen for any weak sound, such as those of my breathing or snoring.Page 60
He then poured him out a tumbler half full of rum, and made him drink it.Page 68
Shortly afterward we could perceive a sensible diminution in the force of the wind, when, now for the first time since the latter part of the evening before, Augustus spoke, asking Peters, who lay closest to him, if he thought there was any possibility of our being saved.Page 103
This island, or rather group of islands, bears southeast from the Cape of Good Hope, and is distant therefrom nearly eight hundred leagues.Page 104
To the westward, at the head of Wasp Bay, is a small stream of excellent water, easily procured.Page 110
On the twenty-seventh of January, 1820, Captain James Weddel, of the British navy, sailed from Staten Land also in search of the Auroras.Page 112
In the November following he renewed his search in the Antarctic.Page 114
At the same time the temperature of the air and water was at least thirteen degrees higher (more mild) than we had ever found it between the parallels of sixty and sixty-two south.Page 117
The variation here, per azimuth, was less than it had been previously to our passing the Antarctic circle.Page 125
Although it flowed with rapidity in all declivities where common.Page 138
After a long search, and much danger from the farther caving in of the earth above us, Peters at length cried out to me that he had hold of our companion's foot, and that his whole body was deeply buried beneath the rubbish, beyond a possibility of extricating him.Page 159
In our immediate vicinity it was usually smooth, never so rough as to endanger the canoe--but we were frequently surprised at perceiving, to our right and left, at different distances, sudden and extensive agitations of the surface--these, we at length noticed, were always preceded by wild flickerings in the region of vapour to the southward.Page 161
No means have been left untried to remedy the deficiency.