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MYSTERIES OF THE OCEAN.
Translated, Edited, and Enlarged
FROM THE FRENCH OF ARTHUR MANGIN,
THE TRANSLATOR OF • THE BIRD.”
WITH 130 ILLUSTRATIONS BY W. FREEMAN AND J. NOËL.
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
GC 21 M27
10 behold the Sea !
It is the dream of every landsman, citizen or peasant,
who dwells in the interior of an ocean-washed country, however little he may care for the grand scenes of nature,
The mountains attract in the same manner the inhabitant of the plains, but not so strongly. He may, with some degree of effort, embody them for himself with the aid of the pictures he has seen, or the descriptions he has read. Certainly, when at a later time fortune permits him with admiring eye to view these gigantic monuments of our planet's ancient convulsions; when he sees, on the platforms which are but their first steps, the enormous masses rising, on whose flanks the vast forests appear like mere patches of moss, and which are in their turn surmounted by piles of rocks with summits apparently piercing the celestial vault, he discovers but a faint resemblance between their reality and the conceptions he has formed of them. And if he undertake to climb these ladders of the Titans; if, at an elevation of some thousands of feet, he casts his glance over the plains; if he peers down into the abysses lying open before his steps; if he marks the cascades leaping from crag to crag with a thunderous roar and burying themselves in gulfs where whiten their foamy waves; if he attains the wintry regions where the rocks are of ice, where the soft moss and crisp green turf are replaced by perpetual snows, where he is lost—as it were—in space, where legions of moving clouds hide the earth from his ken, where the difficult air impedes his respiration: then he will think of the paltry landscapes born of his imagination with a scorn attempered by pity.