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nobility - Man Indian

♪1øø1~The sixth voyage of Sindbad♪


The sixth voyage of Sindbad

"I feel convinced, my friends, that you all wonder how i could be tempted again to expose myself to the caprice of fortune, after i had undergone so many perils in my other voyages. I am astonished myself when i think of it. It was fate alone that impelled me, at the expiration of a year, to venture a sixth time on the changeful sea."

"Instead of taking the route of the Persian Gulf, i passed through some of the provinces of Persia and the Indies, and arrived at the seaport, where i embarked in a good ship, with a captain who was determined to make a long voyage. Long indeed it proved, but at the same time unfortunate, for the captain and pilot lost their way, and did not know how to steer. They at lenght found out where we were, but we had no reason to rejoice at the discovery, for the captain astonished us all by suddenly quitting his post, and uttering the most lamentable cries. He threw his turban on the deck, to re his beard and beat his head, like a man distraught. We asked the reason of this violent grief, and he replied, 'I am obliged to announce to you that we are in the greatest peril. A rapid current is hurrying the ship along, and we shall all perish in less than a quartes of an hour. Psay Allah to deliver us from this dreadful danger, for nothing can save us unless he takes pity on us.'
He then gave orders for setting the sails, but the ropes broke in the attempt, and the ship became entirely unmanageable, and was dashed by the current against a rock, where it split and went to pieces. Nevertheless we had time to disembark our provisions, as well as the most valuable part of cargo."

"When we were assembled on the shore the captain said, 'God's will be done. Here we may dig our graves, and bid each other eternal farewell, for we are in a place so desolate that no one who ever was cast on this shore returned to his own home.'
This speech increased our distress."

"The mountain, at the foot of whic, we were, formed one side of a large and long island. The coast was covered with the remains of vessels which had been wrecked onit, and the scattered heaps of bones, which lay strewn about in every direction, convinced us of the dreadful fact that many lives had been lost in this spot. Almost incredible quantities of merchendise of every sort were heaped up on the shore."

"In every other region it is common for a number of small rivers to discharge themselves into the sea, but here a large river of fresh water takes its course from the sea, and runs along the coast through a dark cave, the entrance to which is extremely high and wide. The most remarkable feature in this place is, that the mountain is composed of rubies, crystals, and other precious stones. Here, too, a kind of pitch, or bitumen, distils from the rock into the sea, and the fishes which eat it return it in the form of ambergris, which the waves leave on the shore."

"To complete the description of this place, i had only to mention that is impossible for a ship to being dragged thither, if it comes within a certain distance. If a sea breeze blows, the wind assist the current, and there is no remedy, and if the wind comes from land, the high mountain impedes its effect, and causes a calm, which allows the current full force, and then it whirls the ship against the coast, and dashes it to pieces as it shattered ours. In addition to this, the mountain is so steep that it is impossible to reach the summit, or indeed to escape by any means."

"We remained on the shore, quite heart broken, expecting to die. We had divided our provisions equally, so that each person lived a longer or a shorter time according to the manner in which he husbanded his portion."

"Those who died first were interred by the others. I had the dismal office of burying my last companion, for, besides managing my share of provisions with more care than the rest had shown in the consumptions of theirs, i had also store which i kept concealed from my comrades. Nevertheless, when i buried the last of them, i had so little food left that i imagined i must soon follow him."

"But Allah still had pity on me, and inspired me with the thought of going to the river which lost itself in the recesses of the cave. I examined the stream with great attention, and it occurree to me that, as the river ran under ground, it must in its course come out to daylight again. I therefore conjectured that if i constructed a raft, and placed myself on it, the current of the water might perhaps bring me to some inhabited country. If i perished, it was but altering the manner of my death, but if, on the contrary, i got safely out of this fatal place, i should not only escape the cruel death by which my companions perished, but might also meet with some fresh opportunity of enriching myself."

"These reflections made me work at my raft with fresh vigour. I made it of thick pieces of wood and great cables, of which there was abundance on the coast. I tied them closely together, and formed a strong framework. When it was completed, i placed on it a cargo of rubies, emeralds, ambergris, crystal, and also some gold and silver stuffs. When i had stowed all these things so as to balance the raft, i embarked on my vessel, guiding it with two little oars which i had provided, and driving along with the current, i resigned myself to the will of God."

"As soon i was under the vault of the cavern i lost the light of day, the current carried me on, but i was unable to discern its course. I rowed for some days in this obscurity without ever perceiving the least ray of light. During this time i consumed no more of my provisions than was absolutely necessary to sustain nature. But, frugal as i was, they came to an end. I then fell into a sweet sleep. I cannot tell whether i slept long, but when i awoke i was surprised to find myself in an open country, near a bank of the river, to which my raft was fastened, and in the midst of a large concourse of blacks. I rose and saluted them, they spoke to me, but i could not understand them."

"At this moment i feld transported with joy that i could scarcely believe myself awake. Being at lenght convinced that my deliverance was not a dream, i pronounced aloud these Arabic words,
'Invoke the Almighty, and he will come to thy assistance. Close thine eyes, and while thou sleepest Allah will change thy fortune from evil to good.'"

"One of the blacks, who understood Arabic, hearing me speak thus, advanced towards me, and spoke as follows, 'Brother, be not surprised at seeing us, we live in this country, and we came hither today to this river, which flows from the neighbouring mountain, to water our fields by cutting canals to admit the water. We observed that the current bore something along, and we immediately ran to the bank to see what it was, and perceived this raft, one of us instantly swam to it, and guided it to shore. We fastened it as you see, and were waiting for you to wake. We entreat you to relate to us your history, which must be very extraordinary, tell us from whence you came.'
I requested him first to give me some food, and promised to satisfy their curiosity when i had eaten."

"They produced several kinds of meat, and when i had satisfied my hunger i related to them all that happened to me. They appeared to listen my story with great admiration. As soon as i had finished my history, their interpreter told me that i had astonished them with my relation, and i must go myself to the king, to recount my adventures, for they were of too extraordinary a nature to be repeated by any one but by the person himself to whom they had happened. I replied that i was ready to do anything they wished. The blacks then sent for a horse, which arrived shortly after, they placed me on it, and while some walked by my side to show me the way, certain stalwart fellows hauled the raft out of the water, and followed me, carrying it on their shoulders, with the bales of rubies."

"We went together to the city in Serendid, for this was the name of the island, and the blacks presented me to their king. I approached the throne on which he was seated and saluted him in the manner adopted towards sovereigns in India, namely, by prostrating myself at his feet and kissing the earth. The king made me rise, and receiving me with an affable air, he seated me by his side. He first asked me my name, i replied that i was called Sindbad, surnamed the Sailor, from having made several voyages, and ended, that i am a citizen of Bagdad. 'How then,' said the monarch, 'came you into my dominions, and from whence have you arrived?'"

"I concealed nothing from the king, but related to him all you have heard me tell. He was so pleased with it that he ordered the history of my adventures to be written in letters of gold, that it might be preserved amongst the archives of his kingdom. The raft was then produced, and the bales were opened in his presence. He admired the aloe wood and ambergris, but above all the rubies and emeralds, as he had none in his treasury equal to them in value."

"Perceiving that he examined my valuables with pleasure, i prostrated myself before him, and took the liberty of saying, 'O, king, not only am i your servant, but the cargo of my raft also is at your disposal, if your majesty will do me the honour of accepting it.'
The king smiled, and replied that he did not desire to possess anything which belonged to me, that instead of diminishing my riches, he should add to them, and that when i left his dominions i should carry with me proofs of his liberality. I could only reply to this by praying for his prosperity and by praising his generosity."

"He ordered one of his officers to attend me, and placed some of his own servants at my disposal. The officers faithfully fulfilled the charge with which they were entrusted, and conveyed all the bales to the place appointed for my lodging. I went every day at certain hours to pay my court to the king, and employed the rest of my time in seeing the city."

"The island of Serendid is situated exactly under the equinoctial line, so that the days and nights are of equal lenght. The principal town is situated at the extremity of a beautiful valley, formed by a mountain which is in the middle of the island, and which is by far the highest in the world. It is discernible at sea at a distance of three days sail. I made a devotional journey up the mountain, to the spot where Adam was placed on his banishment from paradise, and i had curiosity to ...
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