of the surface; these, we at length
noticed, were always preceded by wild flickerings in the region of vapor
to the southward.
_March 4th._-To-day, with the view of widening our sail, the breeze from
the northward dying away perceptibly, I took from my coat-pocket a white
handkerchief. Nu-Nu was seated at my elbow, and the linen accidentally
flaring in his face, he became violently affected with convulsions.
These were succeeded by drowsiness and stupor, and low murmurings of
_March _5th.-The wind had entirely ceased, but it was evident that
we were still hurrying on to the southward, under the influence of a
powerful current. And now,--indeed, it would seem reasonable that we
should experience some alarm at the turn events were taking--but we
felt none. The countenance of Peters indicated nothing of this nature,
although it wore at times an expression I could not fathom. The polar
winter appeared to be coming on--but coming without its terrors. I felt
a numbness of body and mind--a dreaminess of sensation but this was all.
_March 6th._-The gray vapor had now arisen many more degrees above the
horizon, and was gradually losing its grayness of tint. The heat of the
water was extreme, even unpleasant to the touch, and its milky hue was
more evident than ever. Today a violent agitation of the water occurred
very close to the canoe. It was attended, as usual, with a wild flaring
up of the vapor at its summit, and a momentary division at its base. A
fine white powder, resembling ashes--but certainly not such--fell over the
canoe and over a large surface of the water, as the flickering died away
among the vapor and the commotion subsided in the sea. Nu-Nu now threw
himself on his face in the bottom of the boat, and no persuasions could
induce him to arise.
_March 7th._-This day we questioned Nu-Nu concerning the motives of
his countrymen in destroying our companions; but he appeared to be too
utterly overcome by terror to afford us any rational reply. He still
obstinately lay in the bottom of the boat; and, upon reiterating the
questions as to the motive, made use only of idiotic gesticulations,
such as raising with his forefinger the upper lip, and displaying the
teeth which lay beneath it. These were black. We had never before seen
the teeth of an inhabitant of Tsalal.
_March 8th._-To-day there floated by us one of the white animals whose
appearance upon the beach at Tsalal had occasioned so wild a commotion
among the savages. I would have picked it up, but there came over me
a sudden listlessness, and
" [Illustration: 9015] Presently my soul grew stronger; Hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly Your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, And so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, Tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"-- Here I opened .Page 2
" [Illustration: 0020] Open here I flung the shutter, .Page 3
[Illustration: 0022] Then this ebony bird beguiling My sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum Of the countenance it wore, " Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, Thou," I said, " art sure no craven, Ghastly, grim and ancient Raven Wandering from the Nightly shore-- Tell me what thy lordly name is On the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.Page 4
" Wondering at the stillness broken By reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters Is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy.Page 5
master Whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster, So when hope he would adjure, Stern despair returned, Instead of the sweet hope he dared adjure, That sad answer, "Nevermore.Page 6
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee By these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and Nepenthe From thy memories of Lenore! Let me quaff this kind Nepenthe, And forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.Page 7
" And the Raven, never flitting, Still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming Of a demon's that is dreaming, .Page 8
And the lamplight o'er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow That lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore! [Illustration: 0035].