A Journey to the Interior of the Earth HTML version
Calm Philosophic Discussions
Here I end what I may call my log, happily saved from the wreck, and I resume my
narrative as before.
What happened when the raft was dashed upon the rocks is more than I can tell. I felt
myself hurled into the waves; and if I escaped from death, and if my body was not torn
over the sharp edges of the rocks, it was because the powerful arm of Hans came to my
The brave Icelander carried me out of the reach of the waves, over a burning sand where I
found myself by the side of my uncle.
Then he returned to the rocks, against which the furious waves were beating, to save what
he could. I was unable to speak. I was shattered with fatigue and excitement; I wanted a
whole hour to recover even a little.
But a deluge of rain was still falling, though with that violence which generally denotes
the near cessation of a storm. A few overhanging rocks afforded us some shelter from the
storm. Hans prepared some food, which I could not touch; and each of us, exhausted with
three sleepless nights, fell into a broken and painful sleep.
The next day the weather was splendid. The sky and the sea had sunk into sudden repose.
Every trace of the awful storm had disappeared. The exhilarating voice of the Professor
fell upon my ears as I awoke; he was ominously cheerful.
"Well, my boy," he cried, "have you slept well?"
Would not any one have thought that we were still in our cheerful little house on the
Konigstrasse and that I was only just coming down to breakfast, and that I was to be
married to Grauben that day?
Alas! if the tempest had but sent the raft a little more east, we should have passed under
Germany, under my beloved town of Hamburg, under the very street where dwelt all that
I loved most in the world. Then only forty leagues would have separated us! But they
were forty leagues perpendicular of solid granite wall, and in reality we were a thousand
All these painful reflections rapidly crossed my mind before I could answer my uncle's
"Well, now," he repeated, "won't you tell me how you have slept?"
"Oh, very well," I said. "I am only a little knocked up, but I shall soon be better."