The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 68

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. As no reply was at first
made to this question, we all concluded that the hybrid had been drowned
where he lay; but presently, to our great joy, he spoke, although very
feebly, saying that he was in great pain, being so cut by the tightness
of his lashings across the stomach, that he must either find means of
loosening them or perish, as it was impossible that he could endure
his misery much longer. This occasioned us great distress, as it was
altogether useless to think of aiding him in any manner while the
sea continued washing over us as it did. We exhorted him to bear his
sufferings with fortitude, and promised to seize the first opportunity
which should offer itself to relieve him. He replied that it would soon
be too late; that it would be all over with him before we could help
him; and then, after moaning for some minutes, lay silent, when we
concluded that he had perished.

As the evening drew on, the sea had fallen so much that scarcely more
than one wave broke over the hulk from windward in the course of five
minutes, and the wind had abated a great deal, although still blowing a
severe gale. I had not heard any of my companions speak for hours, and
now called to Augustus. He replied, although very feebly, so that
I could not distinguish what he said. I then spoke to Peters and to
Parker, neither of whom returned any answer.

Shortly after this period I fell into a state of partial insensibility,
during which the most pleasing images floated in my imagination; such as
green trees, waving meadows of ripe grain, processions of dancing girls,
troops of cavalry, and other phantasies. I now remember that, in all
which passed before my mind’s eye, motion was a predominant idea. Thus,
I never fancied any stationary object, such as a house, a mountain, or
any thing of that kind; but windmills, ships, large birds, balloons,
people on horseback, carriages driving furiously, and similar moving
objects, presented themselves in endless succession. When I recovered
from this state, the sun was, as near as I could guess, an hour high.
I had the greatest difficulty in bringing to recollection the various
circumstances connected with my situation, and for some time remained
firmly convinced that I was still in the hold of the brig, near the box,
and that the body of Parker was that

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