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nobility - Man Indian

♪1øø1~The second voyage of Sindbad♪


The second voyage of Sindbad

"As i had the honour to tell you yesterday, i had resolved, after my first voyage, to pass the rest of my days in tranquility at Bagdad. But the desire of seeing foreign countries and cariying on some traffic by sea returned. I bought merchendise and set off a second time with some merchants whose probity i could rely on. We embarked in a good vessel, and recommending ourselves to the care of Allah, we began our voyage."

"We went from island to island, and bartered our goods very profitably. One day we landed one one which was covered with variety of fruit trees, but so desert that we could not discover any habitation or the trace of a human being. We walked in the meadows and along the brooks that watered them, and whils some of my companions were amusing themselves with gathering fruit and flowers, i took out some of the vine and provisions i had brought with me, and seated myself by a little stream under some trees, which afforded a delightful shade. When i had satisfied my hunger, sleep gradually stole over my senses. I cannot say how long i slept, but when i avoke the ship was no longer in view. I was much surprised at this circumstances, and rose to look for my companions, but they were all gone, and i could only descry the vessel in full sail, at such a distance that i soon lost sight of it."

"You may imagine what were my reflections when i found myself in this dismal state. I thought i should have died with grief. I reproached myself a thousand times for my folly in not being contended with my first voyage, which ought to have satisfied my craving for andventure, but all my regrets were no avail, and my repetance came to late. At lenght i resigned myself to the will of heaven, and not knowing what would become of me. I ascended a high tree, from whence i looked on all sides, to try if i could not discover some oaject to inspire me with hope. Casting my eyeš towards the sea, i could discern only water and sky, but perceiving on the land side a white spot, i descended from the tree, and taking up the remainder of my provisions, i walked towards the object. As i approached, i perceived it to be a ball of prodigious size, and when i got near enough to touch it, i found it was soft. I walked round it to see if there was an opening, but could find none, and the ball appeared so smooth that any attempt to climb it would have been useless, its circumference might be about fifty paces."

"The sun was then near setting, the air grew suddenly dark, as i obscured by a thick cloud. I was surprised at this change, but how much did my amazement increase, when i perceived it to be occasioned by a bird of most extraordinary size, which was flying towards me. I recolected having heard the sailors speak of a bird called a roc, and i concluded that the great white ball which had drawn my attention must be the egg of this bird. I was not mistaken, for shortly afterwards it lighted on the white ball, and placed itself as if to sit upon it. When i saw this huge fawl coming i drew near the egg, so that i had one of the claws of the bird just before me. This claw was as big as the trunk of a large tree. I tied myself to the claw with the linen of my turban, in hopes that the roc, when it took its flight the next morning, would carry me with it out of that desert island. My project succeded, for at break of the day the roc flew away, and bore me to such a height that i could no longer distinguish the earth. Then it descended with such rapidity that i almost lost my senses. When the roc had alighted, i quickly untied the knot that bound me to its foot, and had scarcely released myself when it darted on a serpent of immesurable lenght, and shizing the snake in its beak, flew away."

"The place in which the roc left me was a very deep valley, sorrounded on all sides by mountains of such height that their summits were lost in the clouds, and so steep that these was no possibility of climbing them. This was a fresh embarrassment, for i had no reason to rejoice at my change of situation, when i compared it with the island i had left."

"As i walked along this valley i remarked that it was strewn with diamonds, some of which were of astonishing size. I amused myself for some time by examining them, but soon i perceived from afar some objects which destroyed my pleasure, and created in me great fear. These were a great number of serpents, so long and large that the smallest of them would have swallowed an elephant with ease. During the day time they hid themselves in caves from the roc, their mortal enemy, and only come out when it was dark. I passed the day in walking about the valley, resting myself occasionaly when an oportunity offered, and when the sun set i retired into a small cave, where i thought i should be in safety. I closed the entrance which was low and narrow with a stone large enough to protect me from the serpents, but which yet allowed a little light to pass into the cave. I supped on a part of my provisions, and could plainly hear the serpents which began to make their apperance. Their tramendous hissing caused me great fear, and as you may suppose, i did not pass a very quiet night. When the day appeared the serpents retired. I left my cave with trembling, and may truly say that i walked a long time on diamonds, without feeling the least desire to posess them. At last i sat down, and notwithstanding my agitation, after making another meal of my provisions i fell asleep, for i had not once closed my eyes during all the previous night. I had scarcely began to doze when something falling near me, with a great noise, awoke me. It was a large piece of fresh meat, and the same moment i saw a number of other pieces rolliog down the rocks from above."

"I had always supposed the account to be fictitios which i had heard related by seamen and others, of the Valley of Diamonds, and of the means by which merchants procured these precious gems. I now know it to be true. The method of procceding is this: the merchants go to the mauntains which surround the valley about the time that the eagles hatch their young. They cut large pieces of meat, and throw them into the valley, and the diamonds on which the lumps of meat fall stick to them. The eagles, which are larger and stronger in that country than in any other, seize these pieces of meat, to carry to their young at the top of the rocks. The merchants then run to the eagles nests, and by various noises oblige the birds to retreat, and then take the diamonds that have stuck to the pieces of meat. I had supposed it impossible ever to leave this valley, and began to look on it as my tomb, but now i changed my opinion, and turned my thoughts to the preservation of my life. I began by collecting the largest diamonds i could find, and with these i filled my leather bag in which i had carried my provisions. I then took one of the largest pieces of meat, and tied it around me with the linen of my turban. In this state i laid myself on the ground, tightly securing my leather bag around me."

"I had not been long in this position before the eagles began to descend, and each seized a piece of meat, with which it flew away. One of the strongest darted on the piece to which i was attached, and carried me up with it to its nest. The merchants then began their cries to frighten away the eagles, and when they had obliged the birds to quit their prey, one of them approached, but was much surprised and alarmed on seeing me. He soon however, recovered from his fear, and instead of inquiring by what means i came there, began to quarrel with me for trespassing on what he called his property. 'You will speak to me with pity instead of anger,' said i, 'when you learn by whdt means i reached this place. Console yourself, for i have diamonds for you as well as for myself, and my diamonds are more valuable than those of all merchants added together. I have myself choosen some of the finest at the bottom of the valley, and have them in this bag.' Saying this, i showed him my store. I had scarcely finished speaking, when the other merchants, perceiving me, flocked round me with great astonishment, and their wonder was still greater when i related my history."

"They conducted me to the place where they lived together, and on seeing my diamonds, they all expressed their admiration, and decleared they had never seen any to equal then in size or quality. The nest into which i had been transported belonged to one of those merchants, for each merchant has his own. I entreated him, therefore to choose for himself from my stock as many as he pleased. He contended himself with taking only one, and that too was the smallest i had, and as i pressed him to take more without fear of wronging me, he refused. 'No,' said he, 'i am very well satisfied with this, which is sufficiently valuable to spare me the trouble of making any more voyages to complete my little fortune.'"

"The merchants had been for some days in that spot, and as they now appeared to be contented with the diamonds they had collected, we set off all together on the following day, and traveled over high mountains, which were infested by prodigious serpents, but we had the good fortune to escape them. We reached the nearest port in safety, and from thence enbarked for the Isle of Roha, where i exchanged some of my diamonds for valuable merchendise. We set sail for other islands, and at las, after having touched at several points we reached Balsora, from which place i returned to Bagdad. The first thing i did was to distribute a great deal of money amongst the poor, and i enjoyed with credit and honour the remainder of my immense riches, which i had acquired with such labour and fatique."

Here Sindbad closed the relation of his second voyage. He again ordered a hundred sequins to be given to Hindbad, whom he invited to come on the tomorrow to hear the history of the third.

The quests returned home, and the following day repaired at the usual hour to the house of Sindbad, where the porter, who had almost forgotten his poverty also made his appearance. They sat down to table, and when the repast was ended, Sindbad began to tell the story of his third voyage.

Please continue to The third voyage of Sindbad

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