Sinbads First Voyage.
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Start of Story
I had inherited considerable wealth from my parents, and being young
and foolish I at first squandered it recklessly upon every kind of
pleasure, but presently, finding that riches speedily take to
themselves wings if managed as badly as I was managing mine, and
remembering also that to be old and poor is misery indeed, I began to
bethink me of how I could make the best of what still remained to me.
I sold all my household goods by public auction, and joined a company
of merchants who traded by sea, embarking with them at Balsora in a
ship which we had fitted out between us.
We set sail and took our course towards the East Indies by the Persian
Gulf, having the coast of Persia upon our left hand and upon our right
the shores of Arabia Felix. I was at first much troubled by the uneasy
motion of the vessel, but speedily recovered my health, and since that
hour have been no more plagued by sea-sickness.
From time to time we landed at various islands, where we sold or
exchanged our merchandise, and one day, when the wind dropped suddenly,
we found ourselves becalmed close to a small island like a green
meadow, which only rose slightly above the surface of the water. Our
sails were furled, and the captain gave permission to all who wished to
land for a while and amuse themselves. I was among the number, but
when after strolling about for some time we lighted a fire and sat down
to enjoy the repast which we had brought with us, we were startled by a
sudden and violent trembling of the island, while at the same moment
those left upon the ship set up an outcry bidding us come on board for
our lives, since what we had taken for an island was nothing but the
back of a sleeping whale.
Those who were nearest to the boat threw
themselves into it, others sprang into the sea, but before I could save
myself the whale plunged suddenly into the depths of the ocean, leaving
me clinging to a piece of the wood which we had brought to make our
Meanwhile a breeze had sprung up, and in the confusion that
ensued on board our vessel in hoisting the sails and taking up those
who were in the boat and clinging to its sides, no one missed me and I
was left at the mercy of the waves. All that day I floated up and
down, now beaten this way, now that, and when night fell I despaired
for my life; but, weary and spent as I was, I clung to my frail
support, and great was my joy when the morning light showed me that I
had drifted against an island.