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out of ten who study those languages at our schools / went to sleep, as I thought, very quictly, (it being near and colleges, acquires even a tolerable knowledge of one when the party broke up,) and without saying a them; and five out of those ten are, in a year or two word on his favorite topic. It might have been half an after they leave college, almost as ignorant of even the rudiments of those languages, as if they had never hour from the time of our getting in bed, and I was seen a book containing them. This would deter a wise just about falling into a doze, when he suddenly started parent from wasting six or eight years of his son's up, and swore with a terrible oath that he would not early life in so fruitless an attempt, unless he has indu- go to sleep for any Arthur Pym in Christendom, when bitable evidence of that son's ability and disposition there was so glorious a breeze from the south-west. I to study. This assertion of deficiency, discouraging as it may ay pear, is by no means exaggerated. Indeed never was so astonished in my life, not knowing what we have seen professors of these languages, men who he intended, and thinking that the wines and liquors lived by teaching them, stumble and blundle over the he had drunk had set him
entirely beside himself. He commonest sentences of Latin and Greek, like a boy proceeded to talk very cooly, however; saying he knew orer his first school exercise. We have not only seen that I supposed him intoxicated, but that he was never such, but we can produce them, together with graduates by the dozon who do not even pretend to be conversant
more sober in his life. He was only tired, he added, with the dead languages. Mulher Carey is right, there of lying in bed on such a fine night like a dog, and was is no question of it; and in nine cases out of ten, the time determined to get up and dress, and go out on a frolic spent on Latin and Greek by the boys in this country, with the boat. I can hardly tell what possessed me, might be more, much more, profitably employed.”
but the words were no sooner out of his mouth than I
felt a thrill of the greatest excitement and pleasure, ARTHUR GORDON PYM.
and thought his mad idea one of the most delightful and most reasonable things in the world. It was blow
ing almost a gale, and the weather was very cold-it My name is Arthur Gordon Pym. My father was being late in October. I sprang out of bed, neverthea respectable trader in sea-stores at Nantucket, where less, in a kind of ecstacy, and told him I was quite as I was born. My maternal grandfather was an attorney brave as himself, and quite as tired as he was of lying in good practice. He was fortunate in every thing, and in bed like a dog, and quite as ready for any fun or had speculated very successfully in stocks of the Ed-frolic as any Augustus Barnard in Nantucket. garton New-Bank, as it was formerly called. By these We lost no time in getting on our clothes and hurryand other means, he had managed to lay by a tolerable ing down to the boat. She was lying at the old decaysilm of money. He was more attached to myself, I ed wharf by the lumber yard of Pankey & Co. and believe, than to any other person in the world, and I almost thumping her sides out against the rough logs. expected to inherit the most of his property at his Augustus got into her and bailed her, for she was nearly death. He sent me, at six years of age, to the school half full of water. This being done, we hoisted jib of old Mr. Ricketts, a gentleman with only one arm, and mainsail, kept full, and started boldly out to sea. and of eccentric manners-he is well known to almost The wind, as I before said, blew freshly from the every person who has visited New Bedford. I staid south-west. The night was very clear and cold. Auat his school until I was fourteen, when I left him gustus had taken the helm, and I stationed myself by for Mr. E. Ronald's Academy on the hill. Here I be the mast, on the deck of the cuddy. We flew along at came intimate with the son of Mr. Barnard, a sea-cap- a great rate-neither of us having said a word since tain, who generally sailed in the employ of Lloyd and casting loose from the wharf. I now asked my compaVredenburgh-Mr. Baryard is also very well known nion what course he intended to steer, and what time in New Bedford, and has many relations, I am certain, he thought it probable we should get back. He whisin Edgarton. His son was named Augustus, and he lled for a few minutes, and then said crustily, “I was nearly two years older than myself. He had been am going to sea—you may go home if you think proon a whaling voyage with his father in the John Do- per.” Turning my eyes upon him, I perceived at naldson, and was always talking to me of his adven- once, that in spite of his assumed nonchalance, he was tures in the South Pacific Ocean. I uscd frequently to greatly agitated. I could see him distinctly by the go home with him and remain all day, and sometimes light of the moon—his face was paler than any marall night. We occupied the same bed, and he would ble, and his hand shook so excessively, that he could be sure to keep me awake until almost light, telling me scarcely retain hold of the tiller. I found that somestories of the natives of the island of Tinian, and other thing had gone wrong, and became seriously alarmed. places he had visited in his travels. At last I could not At this period I knew little about the management of a help being interested in what he said, and by degrees I boat, and was now depending entirely upon the nautifelt the greatest desire to go to sea. I owned a sail- cal skill of my friend. The wind too had suddenly boat called the Ariel, and worth about seventy-five dol-increased, as we were fast getting out of the lee of the lars. She had a half-deck or cuddy, and was rigged land-still I was ashamed to betray any trepidation, sloop-fashion-I forget her tonnage, but she would hold and for almost half an hour maintained a resolute silen persons without much crowding. In this boat we lence. I could stand it no longer, however, and spoke were in the habit of going on some of the maddest to Augustus about the propriety of turning back. As freaks in the world: and, when I now think of them, it before, it was nearly a minute before he made answer, appears to me a thousand wonders that I am alive to-day. or took any notice of my suggestion. “By and bye,”
One night there was a party at Mr. Barnard's, and said he at length—“time enough-home by and bye." both Augustus and myself were not a little intoxi- I had expected a similar reply, but there was something cated towards the close of it. As usual, in such cases, in the tone of these words which filled me with an indeI took part of his bed in preference to going home. He scribable feeling of dread. I again looked at the speaker
attentively. Elis lips were perfectly livid, and his knces (the water being nearly a foot deep just where he fell) shook so violently together, that he seemed scarcely I contrived to raise him partially up, and keep him in a able to stand. "For God's sake, Augustus,” I scream- sitting position, by passing a rope round his waist, and ed, now heartily friglitened, "what ails you?-what is lashing it to a ring-bolt in the deck of the cuddy. Havthe matter?- what are you going to do ?” “Matter!" ing thus arranged every thing as well as I could in my he stammered in the greatest apparent surprise, letting chilled and agitated condition, I recommended myself go the tiller at the same moment, and falling forward to God, and made up my mind to bear whatever might into the bottom of the boat—“ matter !-why, nothing happen with all the fortitude in my power. is the--matter-going home-d-d-don't you see ?" Hardly had I come to this resolution, when, suddenly, The whole truth now flashed upon me. I flew to him a loud and long scream or yell, as if from the throats and raised him up. He was drunk-beastly drunk- of a thousand demons, seemed to pervade the whole he could no longer either stand, speak, or see. Ilis eyes atmosphere around and above the boat. Never while were perfectly glazed, and as I let him go in the extre- I live shall I forget the intense agony of terror I expemity of my despair, he rolled like a mere log into the rienced at that moment. My hair stood crect on my bilge-water from which I had lifted him. It was evident head-I felt the blood congealing in my veins-my that, during the evening, he had drunk far more than I heart ceased utterly to beat, and without having once had suspected, and that his conduct in bed had been the raised my eyes to learn the source of my alarm, I tumresult of a highly concentrated state of intoxication-bled headlong and insensible upon the body of my fallen a state which, like madness, frequently enables the vic- companion. tim to imitate the outward demeanor of one in perfect I found myself, upon reviving, in the cabin of a large possession of his senses. The coolness of the night whaling-ship (the Penguin) bound to Nantucket. Seveair, however, had had its usual effect-the mental en-ral persons were standing over me, and Augustus, paler ergy began to yield before its influence-and the con- than death, was busily occupied in chafing my hands. fused perception which he no doubt then had of his Upon seeing me open my eyes, his exclamations of perilous situation, had assisted in hastening the catas- gratitude and joy excited alternate laughter and tears trophe. Ile was now thoroughly insensible, and there from the rough looking personages who were present. was no probability that he would be otherwise for many The mystery of our being in existence was now soon hours.
explained. We had been run down by the whaling-ship, It is hardly possible to conceive the extremity of my which was close hauled, beating up to Nantucket with terror. The fumes of the wine lately taken had evapo- every sail she could venture to set, and consequently rated, leaving me doubly timid and irresolute. I knew running almost at right angles to our own course. Several that I was altogether incapable of managing the boat, men were on the look out forward, but did not perceive and that a fierce wind and strong ebb tide were hurry- our boat until it was an impossibility to avoid coming in ing us to destruction. A storm was evidently gather-contact-their shouts of warning upon seeing us were ing behind us; we had neither compass nor provisions; what so terribly alarmed me. The huge ship, I was told, and it was clear that, if we held our present course, we rode immediately over us with as much ease as our own should be out of sight of land before day-break. These little vessel would have passed overa feather, and without thoughts, with a crowd of others equally fearful, flashed the least perceptible impediment to her progress. Not through my mind with a bewildering rapidity, and for a scream arose from the deck of the victim—there was some moments paralyzed me beyond the possibility of a slight grating sound to be heard mingling with the making any exertion. The boat was going through the roar of wind and water, as the frail bark which was water at a terrible rate-full before the wind-no reef swallowed up, rubbed, for a moment, along the keel of in either jib or mainsail-running her bows completely her destroyer—but this was all. Thinking our boat under the foam. It was a thousand wonders she did not (which it will be remembered was dismasted) some broach to; Augustus having let go the tiller, as I said mere shell cut adrift as useless, the captain (Captain before, and I being too much agitated to think of taking E. T. V. Block of New London) was for proceeding it myself. By good luck, however, she kept steady; on his course without troubling himself farther about and, gradually, I recovered some degree of presence of the matter. Luckily, there were two of the look out mind. Still the wind was increasing fearfully, and when who swore positively to having secn some person at ever we rose from a plunge forward, the sea behind fell our helm, and represented the possibility of yet saving combing over our counter, and deluged us with water. him. A discussion ensued, when Block 'grew angry, I was so utterly benumbed, too, in every limb, as to be and after a while said that “it was no business of his nearly unconscious of sensation. At length I summoned to be eternally watching for egg-shells, that the ship up the resolution of despair, and, rushing to the mainsail, should not put about for any such nonsense, and if there let it go by the run. As might have been expected, it flew was a man run down, it was nobody's fault but his over the bows, and, getting drenched with water, carried own-he might drown and be d—-d," or some lanaway the mast short off by the board. This latter acci-guage to that effect. Henderson, the first mate, now dent alone saved me from instant destruction. Under the took the matter up, being justly indignant, as well as jib only, I now boomed along before the wind, shipping the whole ship's crew, at a speech evincing so base a heavy seas occasionally over the counter, but relieved degree of heartless atrocity. He spoke plainly, seeing from the terror of immediate death, I took the helm, himself upheld by the men, told the captain he conand breathed with greater freedom, as I found that sidered him a fit subject for the gallows, and that he there yet remained to us a chance of ultimate escape. would disobey his orders if he were hung for it the Augustus still lay senseless in the bottom of the boat, moment he set his foot on shore. He strode aft, jostling and as there was imminent danger of his drowning, Block (who turned very pale and made no answer) on
one side, and, seizing the helm, gave the word in a firm | She was built, however, for the whaling service, and voice, Hard-a-lee! The men flew to their posts, and was fitted, as I have since had reason to believe, with the ship went cleverly about. All this had occupied air-boxes, in the manner of some life-boats used on the nearly five minutes, and it was supposed to be hardly coast of Wales. within the bounds of possibility that any individual After searching in vain for about the period of time could be saved—allowing any to have been on board just mentioned, it was determined to get back to the the boat. Yet as the reader has seen, both Augustus ship. They had scarcely made this resolve when a and myself were rescued ; and our deliverance seemed feeble cry arose from a dark object which floated to have been brought about by two of those almost rapidly by. They pursued and soon overtook it. It inconceivable pieces of good fortune which are attri- proved to be the entire deck of the Ariel's cuddy. buted by the wise and pious to the special interference Augustus was struggling near it, apparently in the last of Providence.
agonies. Upon getting hold of him it was found that While the ship was yet in stays the mate lowered he was attached by a rope to the floating timber. This the jolly-boat and jumped into her with the very two rope, it will be remembered, I had myself tied round men, I believe, who spoke up as having seen me at the his waist, and made fast to a ring-bolt, for the purpose helm. They had just left the lee of the vessel (the of keeping him in an upright position, and my so doing, moon still shining brightly) when she made a long and it appeared, had been ultimately the means of preservheavy roll to windward, and Henderson, at the same ing his life. The Ariel was slightly put together, and moment, starting up in his seat, bawled out to his crew in going down her frame naturally went to pieces; the to back water. He would say nothing else-repeating deck of the cuddy, as might have been expected, was his ery impatiently, back water! back water! The men lifted, by the force of the water rushing in, entirely from put back as speedily as possible; but by this time the the main timbers, and floated (with other fragments no ship had gone round, and gotten fully under headway, Joubt) to the surface-Augustus was buoyed up with although all hands on board were making great exer- it, and thus escaped a terrible death. tions to take in sail. In despite of the danger of the It was more than an hour after being taken on board the attempt, the mate clung to the main-chains as soon as Penguin before he could give any account of himself, or they came within his reach. Another huge lurch now be made to comprehend the nature of the accident which brought the starboard side of the vessel out of water had befallen our boat. At length he became thoroughly Dearly as far as her keel, when the cause of his anxiety aroused, and spoke much of his sensations while in the was rendered obvious enough. The body of a man water. Upon his first attaining any degree of consciouswas seen to be affixed in the most singular manner to ness, he found himselfbeneath the surface, whirling round the smooth and shining bottom, (the Penguin was cop- and round with inconceivable rapidity, and with a rope pered and copper-fastened) and beating violently against wrapped, in three or four folds, tightly about his neck. it with every movement of the hull. After several in- In an instant afterwards he felt himself going rapidly effectual efforts, made during the lurches of the ship, upwards, when, his head striking violently against a and at the imminent risk of swamping the boat, I was hard substance, he again relapsed into insensibility. finally disengaged from my perilous situation and taken Upon once more reviving he was in fuller possession of on board—for the body proved to be my own. It ap- his reason-this was still, however, in the greatest degree peared that, one of the timber-bolts having started and clouded and confused. He now knew that some accibroken a passage through the copper, it had arrested my dent had occurred, and that he was in the water, alprogress as I passed under the ship, and fastened me though his mouth was above the surface and he could in so extraordinary a manner to her bottom. The head breathe with some freedom. Possibly, at this period, of the bolt had made its way through the collar of the the deck was drifting rapidly before the wind and drawgreen baize jacket I had on, and through the back part ing him after it, as he floated upon his back. Of course, of my neck, forcing itself out between two sinews and as long as he could have retained this position, it would just below the right ear. I was immediately put to bed- have been nearly impossible that he should be drowned. although life seemed to be totally extinct. There was Presently a surge threw him directly athwart the deck; no surgeon on board. The captain, however, treated and this post he endeavored to maintain, screaming at me with every attention—to make amends, I presume, intervals for help. Just before he was discovered by in the eyes of his crew, for his atrocious behavior in the Mr. Henderson, he had been obliged to relax his hold previous portion of the adventure.
through exhaustion, and, falling into the sea, had given In the meantime, Henderson had again put off from himself up for lost. During the whole period of his the ship, although the wind was now blowing almost a struggles he had not the faintest recollection of the hurricane. He had not been gone many minutes when Ariel, nor of any matters in connexion with the source he fell in with some fragments of our boat, and shortly of his disaster. A vague feeling of terror and despair afterwards one of the men with him asserted that he had taken entire possession of his faculties. When he could distinguish a cry for help at intervals amid the was finally picked up, every power of his mind had maring of the tempest. This induced the hardy sea- failed him; and, as before said, it was nearly an hour men to persevere in their search for more than half an after getting on board the Penguin before he became hour, although repeated signals to return were made fully aware of his condition. In regard to myself-I them by Captain Block, and although every moment was resuscitated from a state bordering very nearly on the water in so frail a boat was fraught to them with upon death, (and after every other means had been tried the most imminent and deadly peril. Indeed it is nearly in vain for three hours and a half;) by vigorous friction impossible to conceive how the small jolly they were in with flannels bathed in hot oil-a proceeding suggested could have escaped destruction for a single instant. I by Augustus. The wound in my neck, althouglı of an
ugly appearance, proved of little real consequence, and brig Grampus for a whaling voyage. She was an old I soon recovered from its effects.
hulk, and scarcely sea-worthy when all was done 10 The Penguin got into port about nine o'clock in the her that could be done. I hardly know why she was morning, after encountering one of the severest gales ever chosen in preference to other good vessels belonging to experienced off Nantucket. Both Augustus and myself the same owners—but so it was. Mr. Barnard was managed to appear at Mr. Barnard's in time for break- appoinied to command her, and Augustus was going fast—which, luckily, was somewhat late, owing to the with him. While the brig was getting ready be freparty over night. I suppose all at the table were too quently urged upon me the excellency of the opportumuch fatigued themselves to notice our jaded appear-nity now offered for indulging my desire of travel. He ance-of course, it would not have borne a very found me by no means an unwilling listener-yet the rigid scrutiny. Schoolboys, however, can accomplish matter could not be so casily arranged. My father wonders in the way of deception, and I verily believe made no direct opposition; but my mother went into not one of our friends in Nantucket had the slightest hysterics at the bare mention of the design, and, more suspicion that the terrible story told by some sailors in than all, my grandfather, from whom I expected much, town of their having run down a vessel at sea and vowed to cut me off with a shilling if I should ever drowned some thirty or forty poor devils, had reference broach the subject to him again. These difficulties, either to the Ariel, my companion, or myself. We however, so far from abating my desire, only added two have since very frequently talked the matter over- fuel to the flame. 1 determined to go at all hazards, but never without a shudder. In one of our conversa and, having made known my intention to Augustus, tions, Augustus frankly confessed to me that in his we set about arranging a plan by which it might be whole life he had at no time experienced so excruciating accomplished. In the meantime I forbore speaking to a sense of dismay, as when on board our little boat he any of my relations in regard to the voyage, and, as I first discovered the extent of his intoxication, and felt busied myself ostensibly with my usual studies, it was himself sinking beneath its influence.
supposed that I had abandoned the design. I have In no affairs of mere prejudice, pro or con, do we since frequently examined my conduct on this occasion, deduce inferences with entire certainty even from the with sentiments of displeasure as well as of surprise. most simple data. It might be supposed that a catas- The intense hypocrisy I made use of for the furthertrophe such as I have just related, would have effectu-ance of my project-an hypocrisy pervading every ally cooled my incipient passion for the sea. On the word and action of my life for so long a period of timecontrary, I never experienced a more ardent longing could only have been rendered tolerable to myself by for the wild adventures incident to the life of a navi- the wild and burning expectation with which I looked gator than within a week after our miraculous deliver- forward to the fulfilment of my long-cherished visions
This short period proved amply long enough of travel. to erase from my memory the shadows, and bring out In pursuance of my scheme of deception, I was nein vivid light all the pleasurably exciting points of color, cessarily obliged to leave much to the management of all the picturesqueness, of the late perilous accident. Augustus, who was employed for the greater part of My conversations with Augustus grew daily more fre- every day on board the Grampus, attending to some quent and more intensely full of interest. He had a arrangements for his father in the cabin and cabin hold. manner of relating his stories of the ocean, (more than At night, however, we were sure to have a conference one half of which I now suspect to have been sheer and talk over our hopes. After nearly a month passed fabrications) well adapted to have weight with one of in this manner without our hitting upon any plan we my enthusiastic temperament, and somewhat gloomy thought likely to succeed, he told me at last that he had although glowing imagination. It is strange too, that determined upon every thing necessary. I had a relahe most strongly enlisted my feelings in behalf of the tion living in New Bedford, a Mr. Ross, at whose house life of a seaman, when he depicted his more terrible I was in the habit of spending occasionally two or three moments of suffering and despair. For the bright side weeks at a time. The brig was to sail about the midof the painting I had a limited sympathy. My visions dle of April, (April 1827) and it was agreed that a day were of shipwreck and famine; of death or captivity or two before her putting to sca, my father was to reamong barbarian hordes; of a long life-time dragged ceive a note, as usual, from Mr. Ross, asking me to out in sorrow and tears, upon some grey and desolate come over and spend a fortnight with Robert and rock, in an ocean unapproachable and unknown. Such Emmet (his sons.) Augustus charged himself with the visions or desires-for they amounted to desires-are inditing of this note and getting it delivered. Having common, I have been since assured, to the whole nu- set out, as supposed, for New Bedford, I was then to merous race of the melancholy among men-at the report myself to my companion, who would contrive a time of which I speak I regarded them only as pro- hiding place for me in the Grampus. This hiding phetic glimpses of a destiny which I felt myself in a place, he assured me, would be rendered sufficiently measure bound to fulfil. Augustus thoroughly entered comfortable for a residence of many days, during which into my state of mind. It is probable indeed that our I was not to make my appearance. When the brig had intimate communion had resulted in a partial inter- proceeded so far on her course as to make any turning change of character.
back a matter out of question, I should then, he sa d, During the three or four months immediately suc- be formally installed in all the comforts of the cabin, ceeding the period of the Ariel's disaster, the firm of and as to liis father he would only laugh hcartily at the Lloyd and Vredenburgh (a house connected in some joke. Vessels enough would be met with by which a manner with the Messieurs Enderby, I believe, of Li-letter might be sent home explaining the adventure to verpool) were engaged in repairing and fitting out the) my parents,