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with them; I always go naked.” — But,' replied Dehaousch, decency will not permit that you should stay with us in that condition.' The man took him up short“Oh!' says he, you will have time enough to accustom yourself to it.' This brutal answer confirmed us in the opinion that he had lost his senses. Being sharp-set, he was very impatient that he was not served to his mind. He stamped with his foot upon the deck, ground his teeth, and rolled his eyes so ghastly that he looked both furious and menacing. At last what he wanted appeared; he fell upon it with a greediness that surprised us, and though there was certainly sufficient for any other six men, he despatched it in a moment.
“When we had cleared the table which had been spread for him, he, with an air of authority, bade us bring him some more victuals. Dehaousch, being resolved to try how much this devouring monster could really swallow, ordered he should be obeyed. The table was spread as before, and as much victuals again set before him ; but this second service lasted him no longer than the first it was gone in a moment. We thought, however, he would stop there, but we were mistaken, he demanded more meat still ; upon which one of the slaves aboard the ship, going up to this brute, was about to chastise him for his insolence, which the other observing prevented, laying his two paws upon his shoulders, fixing his nails in his flesh and tearing him to pieces. In an instant fifty sabres were drawn to revenge this dreadful murder ; every one pressed forward to strike him and chastise his insolence, but they very soon found to their terror that the skin of their enemy was as impenetrable as adamant; their sabres broke, and their edges turned without so much as raising the skin. Though he received no hurt by their blows,
they did not strike him with impunity ; he took one of the most forward of his assailants, and with amazing strength tore him to pieces before our eyes.
“When we found our sabres were useless, and that we could not wound him, we threw ourselves upon him to endeavor to fling him into the sea, but we could not stir him. Besides his huge limbs and prodigious nerve, he stuck his crooked nails in the timber of the deck, and stood as immovable as a rock in the midst of the waves. He was so far from being afraid of us that he said with a sullen smile, “You have taken the wrong course, friends, you will fare much better by obeying me; I have tamed more indocile people than you. I declare if you continue to oppose my
I will serve you all as your two companions have been served.'
“ These words made our blood freeze in our veins. We a third time set a large quantity of provisions before him, he fell aboard it, and one would have thought by his eating that his stomach rather increased than diminished. When he saw we were determined to submit he grew goodhumored. He said he was sorry we had forced him to do what he did, and kindly assured us he loved us on account of the service we had done him in taking him out of the sea, where he should have been starved if he had stayed there a few hours longer without succor; that he wished, for our sakes, he could meet with some other vessel laden with good provisions, because he would throw himself aboard it and leave us in quiet. He talked thus while he was eating, and laughed and bantered like other men, and we should have thought him diverting enough had we been in a disposition to relish his pleasantry. At the fourth service he gave over, and was two hours without eating any thing at all. During this excess of sobriety
he was very familiar in his discourse ; he asked us one after another what country we were of, what were our customs, and what had been our adventures. We were in hopes that the fumes of his victuals he had eaten would have got up in his head and made him drowsy ; we impatiently expected that sleep would seize him, and were resolved to take him napping, and Aling him into the sea before he had time to look about him. This hope of ours was our only resource, for though we had great store of provisions aboard, yet, after his rate of eating, he would have devoured them all in a very little while. But, alas! in vain did we Aatter ourselves with these false hopes. The cruel wretch, guessing our design, told us he never slept; that the great quantity of victuals he ate repaired the wearisomeness of nature, and supplied the want of sleep.
“ To our grief we found what he said was true; we told him long and tedious stories on purpose to lull him asleep, but the monster never shut his eyes. He then deplored our misfortune, and our master despaired of ever seeing Golconda again ; when on a sudden a cloud gathered over our heads. We thought at first it was a storm which was gathering, and we rejoiced at it; for there was more hope of our safety in a tempest than in the state we were in. Our ship might be driven ashore on some island; we might save ourselves by swimming; and by this means be delivered from this monster, who doubtless intended to devour us when he had eaten up all our provisions. We wished, therefore, that a violent storm would overtake us ; and, what perhaps never happened before, we prayed to heaven to be drowned. However, we were deceived ; what we took for a cloud was the greatest rokh that was ever seen in those seas. ΤΙ monstrous bird darted him
self on our enemy, who was in the middle of our ship’s company; and mistrusting nothing, had no time to guard himself against such an attack: the rokh seized him by his claws, and flew up into the air with his prey, before we were aware of it.
“We then were witnesses of a very extraordinary combat. The man recollecting himself, and finding he was hoisted up in the air between the talons of a winged monster, whose strength he made trial of, resolved to defend himself. He struck his crooked nails into the body of the rokh, and setting his teeth to his stomach, began to devour him, flesh, feathers, and all. The bird made the air resound with his cries, so piercing was his pain ; and to be revenged tore out his enemy's eyes with his claws. The man, blind as he was, did not give over. He ate the heart of the rokh, who, re-collecting all his force at the last gasp, struck his beak so forcibly into his enemy's head, that they both fell dead into the sea, not many paces from our ship's side.” *
In the “ Arabian Nights” is an account of a nation who live under the sea, but they differ in nothing from men, except in their power of so doing, and coming to and fro with dry clothes, “as if nothing had happened ; all of which is not in the usual fine taste of that work.t
Of men of the sea, in their connection with the more shadowy nation of the Fairies, we have treated elsewhere, in a separate article on that people, and therefore say nothing of them here ; and what we might have had to say on Mermen has been anticipated, as far as the genus is
* “Persian Tales; or, the Thousand and One Days.' Ed. 1800, vol. ii., p. 133
† See the story of Prince Beder and the Princess Giauhara.
concerned, in the paper on · Sirens and Jermaids ; as we extracted into that paper Vír. Tennyson's poem on the female of this genus, we cannot but indulge ourselves here with giving his companion-piece.
Who would be
l'ncier the stil,
On a throne?
I 2009:/?1 til! ti sca-hulls with a coice of power ;
Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower;
I woulil kiss thein (often under the sea,
Laughingi'', I rughingly.
Chasing each other merrily.
There would be neither moon nor star;
Neither moon nor star.
All night merrily, merrily.
All night merrily, merrily.