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nobility - Man Indian

♪1øø1~The fifth voyage of Sindbad♪


The fifth voyage of Sindbad

"The pleasures i enjoyed soon made me forget the perils i had endured, yet these delights were not sufficiently attractive to prevent my forming the resolution of venturing a fifth time on the sea. I again provided myself with merchendise and sent it overland to the nearest seaport. Unwilling to trust again to the captain, and wishing to have vessel of my own, i built and equiped one at my own expense. As soon as it was ready i loaded it and embarked, and as i had not sufficient cargo of my own to fill it, i received on board several merchants of differen nations with their goods."

"We hoisted our sails to the first fair wind, and put to the sea. Aftes sailing for a considerable time, the first place we stopped at was a desert land, where we found the egg of a roc, as large as that of which i spoke on a former occasion. It contained a small roc, almost hatched, for its break had begun to pierce through the shell. The merchants who were with me broke the egg with hatchets, cut out the young roc, piece by piece and roasted it. I had seriously advised them not to touch the egg, but they would not attend to me."

"They had scarcely finished their meal, when two immense clouds appeared in the air at a considerable distance from us. The captain knew by experience what it was, and cried out that the father and mother of the young roc were coming. He warned us to reembark as quickly as possible, to escape the danger which threatened us. We took his advice, and set sail immediately."

"The two rocs approached uttering the most terrible screams, which they redoubled on finding their egg broken and their young destroyed. Designing to revenge themselves they flew away towards the mountains from whence they came, and disappeared for some time, while we used all diligence to sail away, and prevent what nevertheless befell us."

"They soon returned, and we perceived that each had an enormous piece of rock in its claws. When they were exactly over our ship they stopped, and suspending themselves in the air, one of them let fall the piece of rock it held. The skill of the pilot, who suddenly turned the vessel, prevented our being crushed by its fall, but the stone fell close to us into the sea, in which it made such a chasm that we could almost see the bottom. The other bird, unfortunately for us, let is piece of rock fall directly on the ship that it broke and split our vessel into a thousand pieces. The sailors and passengers were all crushed to death or drowned. I myself was under water for some time, but rising again to the surface, i had the good fortune to seize a piece of the wreck. Swimming sometimes with one hand and sometimes with the other, still clutching the plank i had seized, i at lenght reached an island where the shore was very steep. But i contrived to clamber up the beach, and got on land."

"I seated myself on the grass to recover from my fatique. When i had rested i rose, and advanced into the island, to reconnoitre the ground. This region seemed to me like a delicious garden. Wherever i turned my eyes i saw beautiful trees, some loaded with green, others with ripe fruits, and transparent streams meandering between them. I ate of the fruits, which i found excellent, and quenched my thirst at the inviting brooks."

"When night came, i lay down on the grass in a convenient spot. But i did not sleep an hour at a time, and i passed the greater part of the night in lamenting my fate, and reproaching myself for the imprudence of venturing from home, where i had possesed everything that could make me comfortable. The reflections led me so far, that i meditated the idea of taking my own life, but day returned with its cheerful light, and dissipated my gloomy thoughts. I rose, and walked amongst the trees, thought now without some degree of trepidation."

"When i had advanced a little way into the island, i perceived an old man, who appeared very decrepit. He was seated on the bank of a little rivulet. I approached and saluted him. He replied only by a slight inclination of the head. I asked him what he was doing, but instead of answering, he made signs to me to take him on my shoulders, and cross the brook, making me understand that he wanted to gather some fruit."

"I supposed he wished me to render him this piece of service, and taking him on my back, i waded through the stream. When i had reached the other side, i stooped, and desired him to alight. Insted of complying, this old man, who appeared to me so decrepit, nimbly threw his legs, which i now saw were covered with a skin like a cow's, over my neck, and seated himself fast on my shoulders, at the same time squeezing my throat so violently that i expected to be strangled, this alarmed me so much that i fainted away."

"Nothwithstanding my condition, the old man kept his place on my neck, and only loosened his hold sufficiently to allow me to breathe. When i had somewhat recovered, he pushed one of his feet against my stomach, and kicking my side with the other, obliged me to get up. He then made me walk under some trees, and forced me to gather and eat the fruit we found. He never quitted his hold during the day, and when i wished to rest at night, he laid himself on the ground with me, always clinging to my neck. He never failed to awaken me in the morning, and then made me get up and walk, kicking me all the time. Imagine how miserable it was to me to bear this burden, without the possibility of getting rid of it."

"One day i chanced to find on the ground several dried gourds, which had fallen from the tree that bore them. I took the large one, and after having cleared it well, i squeezed into it the juice of several bunches of grapes, which the island produced in great abundance. When i had filled the gourd, i placed it in a particular spot, and some days after returned with the old man. On tasting the contents, i found the juice converted into excellent wine, which for a little time made me forget the ills that weighted upon me. The drink gave me new vigour, and raised my spirits so high that i began to sing and dance as i went along."

"Perceiving the effect this beverage had taken on my spirits, the old man made signs to me to let him taste it. I gave him the gourd, and the liquor pleased his taste so well that he drank it to the last drop. There was enough to inebriate him, and the fumes of the wine very soon rose into his head. He then began to sing after his own manner, and to sway to and from on my shoulders. Finding he no longer held me tight, i threw him on the ground, where he lay motionless. I then took a large stone and crushed him to death."

"I was much rejoiced at having god rid of this old man, and i walked towards the seashore where i met some people who belonged to a vessel which ha anchored there to get fresh water. They were much astonished at seeing me and hearing the account of my adventure.
'You have fallen,' they say, 'into the hands of the Old man of the sea, and you are the first of his captives whom he has not strangled. The island is famous for the number of persons he had killed. The sailors and merchants who land here never dare to approach except in a strong body.'"

"After giving me this information, they took me to their ship, whose captain received me with greatest politeness, when he heard what had befallen me. He set the sail, and in a few days we anchored in the harbour of a large city, where the houses were built of stone."

"One of the merchants of the ship had contracted a friendship for me. He entreated me to accompany him, and conducted me to the quarters set apart for foreign merchants. He gave me a large sack, and then introduced me to some people belonging to the city, who were also furnished with sacks. He requested them to take me with them to gather cocoa, and said to me, 'Go, follow them, and do as they do, and do not stray from them, for your life will be in danger if you leave them.'
He gave me provisions for the day, and i set off with my new friends."

"We arrived at a large forest of tall trees, the trunks of which were so smooth that was impossible to climb up to the branches where the fruit grew. These were all cocoa trees, and we proposed to knock down the fruit and fill our sacks. On entering the forest, i saw a great number of monkeys of all sizes, who fled at our approach, and run up the trees with surprising agility. The merchants who were with me collected stones, and threw them with great force at the monkeys, who had reached some of the highest branches. I did the same, and soon perceived that these animals were aware of our proceedings. They gathered the cocoa nuts, and threw them down at us with gestures which plainly showed their anger and spite. By this contrivance we obtained nuts enough to fill our sacks, a thing utterly impracticable by any other method."

"When we had collected a sufficient quantity, we returned to the city, where merchant who had sent me to the forest gave me the value of the cocoa nuts i had brought. At last i had collected such quantity of cocoa nuts, that i sold them for a considerable sum."

"The vessel in which i came had sailed with the merchants, who had loaded it with the cocoa nuts they purchased. I waited for the arrival of another, which shortly after came into harbour to take in a cargo of the same description. I sen on board all the cocoa nutš which belonged to me, and when the ship was ready to sail i took leave of the merchant to whom i was under so much obligation."

"We set sail, and steered towards the island of Comari. In this island i exchanged all my cocoa nuts for aloe wood, and i then, like the other merchants, engaged on my own account in a pearl fishdry, in which i employed many divers. I had soon collected by these means a great number of very large and perfect gems, with which i joyfully put to the sea, and arrived safely at Balsora, from whence i returned to Bagdad. Here i sold a large sum the aloes and pearls which i had brought with me. I bestowed a tenth part of my profit in charity, as i had done on my return from every former voyage, and endeavoured by all kinds of relaxation to recover from my fatigues."

When he had concluded his narrative, Sindbad gave a hundred sequins to Hindbad, who retired with all the other guests. The same party returned to the rich Sindbad's house the next day, and after their host had regaled them in a sumptuous manner as on the preceding days, he began the account of his ...
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