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SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD, THE SAILOR

After my first voyage, I intended to spend the rest of my days at Bagdad, but it was not long ere I grew weary of a quiet life. So I bought goods proper for commerce, and with merchants of good name put to sea a second time.

We traded from island to island and exchanged goods with great profit. One day we landed on an island covered with several sorts of fruit trees, but we could see neither man nor beasts upon it. We went to take a little fresh air in the meadows and along the streams that watered them. Whilst some amused themselves with gathering flowers, and others with gathering fruits, I sat down by a stream betwixt two great trees and I fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but when I woke up the ship was gone.

I was very much surprised to find the ship gone. I got up and looked about everywhere but could not see one of the merchants who had landed with me. At last I perceived the ship

under sail but at such a distance that I lost sight of her in a very little time.

I leave you to guess at my gloomy thoughts in this sad condition. I was ready to die with grief. I cried out sadly, beat my head and breast, and then threw myself down upon the ground. There I lay for some time in a terrible agony, one afflicting thought being succeeded by another still more afflicting. I upbraided myself a hundred times for not having been content with the produce of my first voyage which might well have served me all my life. But all this was in vain and my repentance was too late.

At last I resigned myself to the will of God, and not knowing what to do, I climbed up to the top of a great tree from which I looked about on all sides to see if there were anything that might give me hopes.

When I looked toward the sea, I could see nothing but sky and water. But looking toward the land I saw something white. I came down from the tree and went toward it.

The distance

was so great that I could not distinguish what it

was.

When I came nearer I thought it to be a white bowl of a wonderful height and bigness. When I came up to it, I touched it and found it to be very smooth. I went around to see if it was open on any side, but saw it was not and that there was no climbing up to the top of it, it was so smooth. It was at least fifty paces around.

By this time the sun was ready to set, and all of a sudden the sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud. I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more so when I found it occasioned by a bird of monstrous size that came flying toward me. I remembered that I had often heard mariners speak of a huge fowl by the name of roc. Indeed, the great bowl which I so much admired was a roc's egg, and the roc was coming no doubt to sit over the egg and hatch it.

As I perceived the roc coming nearer I crept close to the egg, so that when the bird had set

tled I had before me one of her legs which was as big as the trunk of a tree. I tied myself strongly to it with the cloth that went round my turban, in hopes that when the roc flew away next morning she would carry me with her out of this desert island.

After having passed the night in this condition, the bird actually flew away next morning, as soon as it was day, and carried me so high that I could not see the earth. She afterwards descended all of a sudden with so much rapidity that I lost my But when the roc was settled and I found myself upon the ground, I speedily untied the knot, and had scarce done so when the bird having taken up a serpent of a monstrous length in her bill flew away.

senses.

The place where the roc left me was a very deep valley, surrounded on all sides with mountains so high that they seemed to reach above the clouds, and so full of steep rocks that there was no chance to get up out of the valley. This a new perplexity. When I compared this

was

valley with the desert island from which the roc had brought me, I found that I had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through this valley, I perceived it was strewed with diamonds, some of which were of a surprising bigness. I took a great deal of pleasure in looking at them, but speedily I saw with terror great serpents, so big and so long that the least of them was capable of swallowing an elephant. In the daytime these serpents retired to their dens, where they hid themselves from their enemy, the roc, and did not come out often except in the nighttime.

I spent the day walking about the valley, resting myself at times in such places as I thought most pleasant. When night came I went into a cave where I thought I might be in safety. I stopped the mouth of it, which was low and strait, with a great stone to protect me from the serpents, but not so exactly fixed as to prevent the light from coming in. The serpents soon began to appear and their hissing about put

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