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down sail, we at length tipped our anchor and stood out to sea. It was bright starlight when we were clear of the bay, and the lofty island lay behind us in its still beauty; and I gave a parting look, and bid 5 farewell, to the most romantic spot of earth that my eyes had ever seen. I did then, and have ever since, felt an attachment for that island, altogether peculiar. It was partly, no doubt, from its having been the first
island that I had seen since leaving home, and still 10 more from the associations which every one has con
nected with it in their childhood from reading Robinson Crusoe. To this I may add the height and romantic outline of its mountains, the beauty and freshness of
its verdure, and the extreme fertility of its soil, and its 15 solitary position in the midst of the wide expanse of
the South Pacific, as all concurring to give it its peculiar charm.
RICHARD HENRY DANA: Two Years before the Mast
HELPS TO STUDY
1. Describe Juan Fernandez as Dana's vessel approaches it. 2. What made it difficult to bring the ship to anchor? 3. What experiences had Dana during his watch? 4. Describe the settlement as he saw it from the ship. 5. Tell the story of his attempt to go ashore; of his actual going ashore. 6. Tell all that you can about the inhabitants of the island. 7. Who visited the ship and what presents were taken aboard ? 8. Describe the
departure of the vessel. 9. What were Dana's feelings as he left the island behind him ?
10. Mention some reasons why Juan Fernandez, before it was settled, imight have been a good island to be cast away upon. 11. What phrases show that a sailor wrote this selection ? 12. What is meant by presidio? This word is still used in California and some other parts of the Southwest. 13. What other Spanish words are used in connection with Juan Fernandez? 14. What is meant by Botany Bay ? 15. Where is Valparaiso ? 16. Why is the island known as Robinson Crusoe's Island? Why does Dana speak of the houses as “ Robinson Crusoe like "?
For Study with the Glossary: Juan Fernandez, Valparaiso, Chilian, anchorage, watches, sensation, romantic, classic, landlocked, breakwater, tiles, palisade, forecastle, tow-line, maneuver, convicts, taskmasters, aqueduct, regimentals, offing, suite, sandalwood, tarpaulin, concurring.
Spanish words : Alerta, Presidio, Padre, Capitan.
Nautical Phrases : man-of-war brig, bracing the yards, the quarter boat, foul hawse, hove in upon our chain, tipped our anchor.
Other Phrases : sandalwood, ground apples, gray friars.
THE STORY OF THE FISHERMAN
This story is from the famous book The Thousand and One Nights, which we sometimes call The Arabian Nights. The tale ran that a king, being afraid of the power a wife might gain over him, was accustomed each day to marry a wife, and on the morrow to put her to death. But one woman, Shahrazad, was clever enough to outwit him. At night she fell to weeping, and the king said, “Why dost thou weep?” “O great king,” answered she, “I have a young sister and I desire to see her, that I may take leave of her before I die." So the king sent for the sister, and when she came to the room of the king and his wife, the maiden said, “O my sister, if thou be not asleep, tell us one of thy pleasant stories, to pass the weary hours of the night, and I will take leave of thee in the morning.”
“With all my heart," answered Shahrazad, "if the good king gives his permission.” And the king, being wakeful, was pleased to hear a story, and said, “Tell on.” And Shahrazad said: “Hear, then, O great king.
“There was a certain fisherman, advanced in age, who had a wife and three children; and though he was poor, it was his custom to cast his net, every day, no more than four times. One day he went forth 5 at the hour of noon to the shore of the sea, and put down his basket, and cast his net, and waited until it was motionless in the water, when he drew together its strings, and found it to be heavy. He pulled, but could not draw it up, so he took the end of the cord, and drove a stake into the shore, and tied the cord to it. He then stripped himself and dived round the net, and continued to pull until he drew it out. There-5 upon he rejoiced, and put on his clothes ; but when he came to examine the net, he found in it the carcass of an ass.
At the sight of this he mourned, and exclaimed, “This is a strange piece of fortune!'
“He then freed his net of the dead ass, and wrung 10 it out; after which he spread it, and descended into the sea, and cast it again, and waited till it had sunk and was still, when he pulled it, and found it more heavy and difficult to raise than on the former occasion. He therefore concluded that it was full of fish; SO 15 he tied it, and stripped, and plunged, and dived, and pulled until he raised it, and drew it up upon the shore; when he found in it only a large jar, full of sand and mud. On seeing this, he was troubled in his heart. But he threw aside the jar, and wrung out and cleansed 20 his net; and, begging the forgiveness of Allah for his impatience, returned to the sea for the third time, and threw the net, and waited till it had sunk and was motionless. He then drew it out, and found in it a quantity of broken jars and pots.
“Upon this, he raised his head towards heaven, and said, 'O Allah, thou knowest that I cast not my net
more than four times; and I have now cast it three times !' Then he cast the net again into the sea, and waited until it was still, when he attempted to draw it up, but could not, for it clung to the bottom. And he 5 stripped himself again, and dived round the net, and pulled it until he raised it upon the shore. Then he opened it, and found in it a bottle of brass, filled with something, and having its mouth closed with
a stopper of lead, bearing the impression of the seal 10 of Solomon.
“At the sight of this the fisherman was rejoiced, and said, 'This I will sell in the copper market; for it is worth ten pieces of gold. He then shook it, and found it to be heavy, and said, 'I must open it, and see 15 what is in it, and store it in my bag; and then I will sell the bottle in the copper market.' So he took out a knife, and picked at the lead until he had extracted it from the bottle. He then laid the bottle on the
ground, and shook it, that its contents might pour 20 out; but there came forth from it nothing but smoke, which ascended towards the sky, and spread over the face of the earth; at which he wondered exceedingly. And after a little while, the smoke collected together,
and became an Afreet, whose head was in the clouds, 25 while his feet rested upon the ground. His head was like a dome; his legs, like masts; his mouth resembled a cavern; his teeth were like stones; his nostrils, like