Þe Dunegang into þe Maelstrom

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ÞE DUNEGANG INTO ÞE MAELSTROM
By Edgar Allan Poe
Ƿent by Cascadia
(Þrucced 1845)

 

“Þe ƿays of God in Kind, as in His Ƿill, are not as ure ƿays; nor are þe licnesses þat ƿe frame in any ƿay fitting to þe greatness, ƿisdom, and unknoƿenliness of His ƿorks, hƿic have a depþ in hem greater þan þe ƿell of Democritus.”

- Joseph Glanville


ǷE had nu raugt þe cop of þe higest ricg. For sum minnits þe old ƿere looked too muc forspent to speak.

“Not long ago,” said he at lengþ, “and I culd haf ƿised þee on þis paþ as ƿell as þe geungest of my suns; but, abute þree geres sins, þere befell on me a þing suc as nefer befell on a lifing man—or at least suc as no man efer lifed to tell of—and þe six stunds of deadly broƿ hƿic I þen þoled haf broken me up body and soƿl. Þu reasoƿs me a migty old ƿere—but I am not. It ƿas less þan one day þat ƿent þese hairs from a rafen black to hƿite, ƿoakened my limbs, and unstrung my sineƿs, so þat I scake at þe least sƿink, and am frigtened at a scadoƿ. Knoƿs þu I can hardly look ofer þis littel cliff ƿiþute becumming giddy?”

Þe “littel cliff,” on hƿose ecg he had so carelessly þroƿn himself dune to rest þat þe ƿeigtier deal of his body hanged ofer it, hƿile he ƿas only kept from falling by þe hold of his elboƿ on its steep and slipper ecg—þis “littel cliff” arose, a sceer unremmed heigt of black scining stone, sum fifteen or sixteen hundred feet from þe ƿorld of needels beneaþ us. Noþing ƿuld haf costened me to ƿiþin six geards of its ecg. In treƿþ so deeply ƿas I frigtened by þe pleely stead of my siþe, þat I fell at full lengþ on þe grund, clung to þe scrubs abute me, and dared not efen look upƿard at þe heafens—hƿile I fougt emptily to benim myself of þe þougt þat þe barroƿs staddel itself ƿas pleed by þe ƿinds ƿraþ. It ƿas long before I culd reasoƿ myself into enuge dugt to sit up and look ute into þe firl.

“Þu must get ofer þis sƿoon,” said þe scoƿer, “for I haf brougt þee here þat þu migt haf þe best migtly sigt of þe stoƿ of þat befalling I nemmened—and to tell þee þe hƿole tale ƿiþ þe spot rigt under þy eye.”

“Ƿe are nu,” he ƿent on, in þat sundering ƿay hƿic scedded him—”Ƿe are nu nige on þe Nornisc score—in þe eigtandsixtieþ kerf of breadþ—in þe great land of Nordland and in þe dreary scire of Lofoden. Þe barroƿ atop hƿic ƿe sit is Helseggen, þe Cludy. Nu lift þyself up a littel higer—hold on to þe grass if þu feels giddy—so—and look ute, begeond þe belt of mist beneaþ us, into þe sea.”

I looked disily, and beheld a ƿide main, hƿose ƿaters ƿore suc a heƿ of bleck as to bring at ones to my mind þe Siler landlorers rake of þe Sea of Darkness. A full sigt sorelier lorn no faþoming of man can bird. To þe rigt and left, as far as þe eye culd reac, þere lay utestraugt, lic ƿalls of þe ƿorld, lines of eyfully black and beetelling cliffs, hƿose eard of gloom ƿas but þe more migtily meted by þe sƿell hƿic reared hige up agenst its hƿite and gastly cop, huling and screeing forefer. Rigt ƿiþer þe ricg on hƿose heigt ƿe ƿere set, and at a lengþ of sum fife or six miles ute at sea, þere ƿas seenly a small, bleac looking iland; or, more fitly, its stoƿ ƿas toknoƿenly þruge þe ƿilderness of iþes in hƿic it ƿas beclipt. Abute tƿo miles nearer þe land, arose anoþer of smaller great, atelly broken and ƿeast, and embfanged at sundry betƿixtfacks by a cluster of dark stones.

Þe ansen of þe sea, in þe rimþ betƿeen þe firlener iland and þe score, had sumþing migty selcooþ abute it. Alþaug, at þe time, so strong a ƿind ƿas bloƿing landƿard þat a scip in þe firlen offing lay to under a tƿiribbed þrisail, and steadily dofe her hƿole hull ute of sigt, still þere ƿas here noþing lic a rigt sƿell, but only a scort, cƿick, ƿroþ, minged beating of ƿater in efery ƿay—as ƿell in þe teeþ of þe ƿind as oþerƿise. Of foam þere ƿas littel but for in þe nigeness of þe stones.

“Þe iland far off,” þe old ƿere ƿent on, “is named by þe Norniscmen Vurrgh. Þe one midƿay is Moskoe. Þat a mile to þe norþƿard is Ambaaren. Geonder are Islesen, Hotholm, Keildhelm, Suarven, and Buckholm. Farþer off—betƿeen Moskoe and Vurrgh—are Otterholm, Flimen, Sandflesen, and Stockholm. Þese are þe treƿ names of þe stoƿs—but hƿy it has been þougt needful to name hem at all, is more þan eiþer þu or I can understand. Hears þu anyþing? Sees þu any ƿend in þe ƿater?”

Ƿe had nu been abute ten minnits atop Helseggen, to hƿic ƿe had clomb from Lofodens inland, so þat ƿe had fanged no sigt of þe sea hent it had burst on us from þe cop. As þe old ƿere spoke, I became aƿare of a great and sloƿly ƿaxing lude, lic þe moaning of a ƿidegale herd of ƿesends on an Americkisc ƿong; and at þe ilc brigtom I ageat þat hƿat seamen name þe ceopping eard of þe sea beneaþ us, ƿas sƿiftly ƿending into a farþ hƿic set to þe eastƿard. Efen hƿile I stared, þis farþ geat an ettinisc speed. Eac brigtom eked to its speed—to its headlong boldness. In fife minnits þe hƿole sea, as far as Vurrgh, ƿas hƿipt into unrixenly ƿraþ; but it ƿas betƿeen Moskoe and þe score þat þe main uproar had its ƿay. Here þe ƿide bed of þe ƿaters, seamed and marked into a þusand figting fleets, burst at ones into ƿood þroes—heafing, seeþing, hissing—hƿarfing in ettinisc and untellenly eddies, and all spinning and difing on to þe eastƿard ƿiþ a speed hƿic ƿater nefer elshƿere nims oþer þan freefall.

In a feƿ minnits more, þere came ofer þe sigt anoþer sƿeeping ƿend. Þe bred of þe sea greƿ sumhƿat smooþer, and þe ƿeals, one by one, sƿinded, hƿile great streaks of foam became suttel hƿere none had been seen before. Þese streaks, at lengþ, spreading ute to a great firl, and faying togeþer, nimmed unto hemselfs þe hƿarfing scriþing of þe sƿeþered eddies, and looked to scape þe seed of anoþer ƿidegaler. At ones—all at ones—þis fanged a sundry and suttel being, in a hƿarft more þan a mile in span. Þe ecg of þe sƿalloƿ ƿas spelled by a broad belt of gleaming mist; but no drop of þis fell into þe muþe of þe eyful pit, hƿose inside, as far as þe eye culd faþom it, ƿas a smooþ, scining, and bleakblack ƿall of ƿater, leant to þe sealine at a hƿem of sum fifeandfifty kerfs, speeding sƿiftly emb and emb ƿiþ a nodding and sƿeltering scriþing, and sending forþ to þe ƿinds an eyful stefen, half scree, half roar, suc as not efen þe migty ƿaterfall of Niagara efer lifts up in its sussel to Heafen.

Þe barroƿ scook to its staddel, and þe stone cƿifered. I þreƿ myself on my anlet, and clung to þe þin grass in an orn of angness.

“Þis,” said I at lengþ, to þe old ƿere—”þis can be noþing els þan þe great sƿalloƿ of þe Maelstrom.”

“So it is sumtimes named,” said he. “Ƿe Norniscmen name it þe Moskoestrom, from þe iland of Moskoe in þe midƿay.”

Þe ƿritten rakes of þis sƿalloƿ had in no ƿay readied me for hƿat I saƿ. Þat of Jonas Ramus, hƿic is maybe þe fullest of any, cannot geef þe smallest mark eiþer of þe þrumfulness, or of þe broƿ of þe sigt—or of þe ƿild beƿildering anget of þe neƿ hƿic mases þe beholder. I am not ƿiss from hƿat lookute þe man I ƿrite of hoƿed it, nor at hƿat time; but it culd neiþer haf been from þe cop of Helseggen, nor in a storm. Þere are sum cƿids of his rake, neferþeless, hƿic may be forþteed for her small marks, alþaug her ƿords are treƿly mainless in geefing an inþruc of þe ƿafing.

“Betƿeen Lofoden and Moskoe,” he says, “þe depþ of þe ƿater is betƿeen sixandþirty and forty faþoms; but on þe oþer side, toƿard Ver (Vurggh) þis depþ ƿanes so as not to aford a dafen fareld for a scip, ƿiþute þe plee of breaking on þe rocks, hƿic befalls efen in þe smiltest ƿeaþer. Hƿen it is flood, þe stream runs up þe room betƿeen Lofoden and Moskoe ƿiþ a ƿild speed; but þe roar of its reasing ebb to þe sea is seld efened by þe ludest and dreadfullest ƿaterfalls; þe din being heard many miles off, and þe eddies or pits are of suc a ƿidþ and depþ, þat if a scip cums ƿiþin its pull, it is ƿissly draƿn in and born dune to þe bottom, and þere beat to bits agenst þe stones; and hƿen þe ƿater slecces, þe sticces þereof are þroƿn up agen. But þese betƿixtfacks of friþ are only at þe ƿend of þe ebb and flood, and in smilt ƿeaþer, and last but a foƿrþ of a stund, its heast eftcumming stepƿise. Hƿen þe stream is ludest, and its ƿraþ heigtened by a storm, it is pleely to cum ƿiþin a Norƿay mile of it. Boats and scips haf been born aƿay by not ƿarding agenst it before hy ƿere ƿiþin its reac. It licƿise befalls often, þat hƿales cum too near þe stream, and are oferhƿelmed by its heast; and þen it is unmigtly to rec her hulings and belloƿings in her bootless figts to free hemselfs. A bear ones, fanding to sƿim from Lofoden to Moskoe, ƿas fanged by þe stream and born dune, hƿile he roared eyfully, so as to be heard on score. Great stocks of furroƿs, after being draƿn in by þe farþ, rise agen broken and torn to suc a hoad as if bristels greƿ on hem. Þis gleƿly scoƿs þe bottom to be made up of broken needels, among hƿic hy are þroƿn to and from. Þis stream is rixt by þe ebb and flood of þe sea—it being alƿays hige and neþer ƿater efery six stunds. In þe gere 1645, early in þe morning of Sixtieþ Sunday, it ƿeeded ƿiþ suc din and strengþ þat þe stones hemselfs of þe huses on þe score fell to þe grund.”

On þe depþ of þe ƿater, I culd not see hu þis culd haf been kenned at all in þe nigeness of þe sƿalloƿ. Þe “forty faþoms” must be only in þe deals of þe fleet nige on þe score eiþer of Moskoe or Lofoden. Þe depþ in þe middel of þe Moskoestrom must be unmetenly greater; and no better seeþing of þis is needed þan can be getten from efen þe sidelong peep into þe neƿelness of þe suck hƿic may be had from þe higest ricg of Helseggen. Looking dune from þis steepel on þe huling Flegeþon beneaþ, I culd not help smirking at þe afoldness ƿiþ hƿic þe good Jonas Ramus ƿrites, as a þing hard of beleef, þe tales of þe hƿales and þe bears; for it looked to me, in treƿþ, a selfsuttel þing, þat þe greatest scip of þe line in all þe ƿorld, cumming ƿiþin þe reac of þat deadly pull, culd figt it as littel as a feaþer þe ist, and must sƿind bodily and at ones.

Þe fands to rec þe ƿunder—sum of hƿic, I mun, felt to me beleefenly enuge in ƿriting—nu ƿore a migty sundry and bitesum anlet. Þe þougt often told is þat þis, as ƿell as þree smaller sƿalloƿs among þe Ferroe Ilands, “haf no oþer inting þan þe bloƿs of ƿafes rising and falling, at ebb and flood, agenst a ricg of stones and scelfs, hƿic haþers þe ƿater so þat it þroƿs itself lic a ƿaterfall; and þus þe higer þe flood rises, þe deeper þe fall must be, and þe kindly utecum of all is a great eddy or sƿalloƿ, þe great suck of hƿic is knoƿn ƿell þruge lesser fands.”—Þese are þe ƿords of þe Brittisc Kenbook. Kircer and oþers faþom þat in þe middel of þe fleet of þe Maelstrom is a neƿelness boring þe þoþer, and utefaring in sum full firlen deal—þe Helsing Sea being sumhƿat ƿissly beclept in one ƿrit. Þis ƿeen, idel in itself, ƿas þe one ƿiþ hƿic, as I stared, my faþoming þƿeared readiliest; and, bringing it up to my scoƿer, I ƿas raþer amased to hear him say þat, alþaug it ƿas þe ƿeen almost hƿolly scared by þe Norniscmen, it neferþeless ƿas not his oƿn. As to þe former reccing he andetted he ƿas unfit to understand it; and here I þƿeared ƿiþ him—for, huefer ƿiss it felt in ƿriting, it becums altogeþer unfaþomenly, and efen ƿitless, amid þe þunder of þe deep.

“Þu hast had a good look at þe suck nu,” said þe old ƿere, and if þu ƿill creep behind þis stone, so as to get in its lee, and deaden þe roar of þe ƿater, I ƿill tell þee a tale þat ƿill ƿin þee ofer þat I ougt to knoƿ sumþing of þe Moskoestrom.”

I set myself as he ƿisced, and he ƿent on.

“Myself and my tƿo broþers ones oƿned a fiscing scip of abute sefenty tuns birden, ƿiþ hƿic ƿe ƿere ƿunt to fisc among þe ilands begeond Moskoe, nearly to Vurrgh. In all heast eddies at sea þere is good fiscing, at þe rigt times, if man has only þe dugt to fand it; but among þe hƿole of þe Lofoden fiscermen, ƿe þree ƿere þe only men hƿo made an often bisiness of going ute to þe ilands, as I tell þee. Þe ƿunly reac is a great ƿay neþer dune to þe suþeƿard. Þere fisc can be had all stunds, ƿiþute muc plee, and þerefore þese steads are oft ceosen. Þe best spots ofer here among þe stones, huefer, not only geeld þe most sundering, but in far greater fulþ; so þat ƿe often had in a lone day, hƿat þe harehearteder of þe craft culd not gaþer in a ƿeek. In sooþ, ƿe made it a þing of reckless neeþing—þe deadly plee standing instead of sƿink, and dugt ansƿering for fee.

Ƿe kept þe scip in a cofe abute fife miles higer up þe score þan þis; and it ƿas ure ƿun, in good ƿeaþer, to milk þe fifteen minnits slack to sail þƿarst þe main fleet of þe Moskoestrom, far abuf þe sƿalloƿ, and þen drop dune on harbor sumhƿere near Otterholm, or Sandflesen, hƿere þe eddies are not so heast as elshƿere. Here ƿe formerly bode hent nearly time for slack ƿater agen, hƿen ƿe ƿeiged and made for home. Ƿe nefer set ute on þis fareld ƿiþute a steady side ƿind for going and cumming—one þat ƿe felt ƿiss ƿuld not truck us before ure eftcumming—and ƿe seld misreckoned on þis ord. Tƿise, þrugeute six geres, ƿe ƿere made to bide all nigt at anker for þere being a dead still, hƿic is a seldseen þing indeed abute here; and ones ƿe had to bide on þe grunds nearly a ƿeek, starfing to deaþ, oƿing to a storm hƿic bleƿ up scortly after ure lending, and made þe fleet too heast to be þougt of. On þis siþe ƿe sculd neferþeless haf been drifen ute to sea, (for þe eddies þreƿ us emb and emb so heastly, þat, at lengþ, ƿe fuled ure anker and dreƿ it) if it had not been þat ƿe drifted into one of þe unrimenly side farþs—here today and gone tomorroƿ—hƿic drofe us under þe lee of Flimen, hƿere, þankfully, ƿe brougt up.

I culd not tell þee þe tƿentieþ deal of þe hardscips ƿe met ‘on þe grunds’—it is a bad spot to be in, efen in good ƿeaþer—but ƿe made scift alƿays to run þe paþ of þe Moskoestrom itself ƿiþute bale; alþaug many times my heart has been in my muþe hƿen ƿe ƿere a minnit or so behind or before þe slack. Þe ƿind sumtimes ƿas not as strong as ƿe þougt it at starting, and þen ƿe made raþer less headƿay þan ƿe culd ƿisc, hƿile þe farþ made þe scip unsteerenly. My eldest broþer had a sun eigteen geres old, and I had tƿo strong knafes of my oƿn. Hy ƿuld haf been of great help at suc times, in manning þe sƿeeps, as ƿell as afterƿard in fiscing—but, sumhu, alþaug ƿe put ureselfs in plee, ƿe had not þe heart to let þe geunger do þe ilc—for, after all is said and done, it ƿas an eyful plee, forsooþ.

It is nu ƿiþin a feƿ days of þree geres sins hƿat I am going to tell þee befell. It ƿas on þe tenþ day of Afterliþe, 18—, a day hƿic þe folk of þis deal of þe ƿorld ƿill nefer forget—for it ƿas one in hƿic bleƿ þe eyfullest ist þat efer came ute of þe heafens. And get all þe morning, and indeed hent late in þe undern, þere ƿas a friþful and steady hƿiþ from þe suþeƿest, hƿile þe sun scone brigtly, so þat þe eldest seaman among us culd not haf foreseen hƿat ƿas to folloƿ.

Þe þree of us—my tƿo broþers and myself—had gone ofer to þe ilands abute tƿo in þe undern, and had soon nearly loaded þe scip ƿiþ good fisc, hƿic, ƿe all said, ƿere rifer þat day þan ƿe had efer knoƿn hem. It ƿas sefen, by my ƿac, hƿen ƿe ƿeiged and started for home, so as to make þe ƿorst of þe Strom at slack ƿater, hƿic ƿe kneƿ ƿuld be at eigt.

Ƿe set ute ƿiþ a fresc ƿind on ure starboard foƿrþ, and for sum time drofe along at a great speed, nefer faþoming plee, for indeed ƿe saƿ not þe smallest grund to þink it. All at ones ƿe ƿere struck by a ƿind from ofer Helseggen. Þis ƿas most selcooþ—sumþing þat had nefer befallen us before—and I began to feel a littel uneaþ, ƿiþute treƿly knoƿing hƿy. Ƿe put þe boat on þe ƿind, but culd make no headƿay at all for þe eddies, and I ƿas abute to put forþ eftcumming to þe cofe, hƿen, looking before us, ƿe saƿ þe hƿole sealine scruded ƿiþ a sundry copperheƿed clude þat rose ƿiþ þe amasingest speed.

Þerehƿile þe ƿind þat had headed us off fell aƿay, and ƿe ƿere dead adrift, listing abute in efery hƿic ƿay. Þis hoad of þings, huefer, lasted not long enuge to geef us time to þink abute it. In less þan a minnit þe storm ƿas on us—in less þan tƿo þe heafens ƿere fully oferspread—and hƿat ƿiþ þis and þe drifing mist, it became at ones so dark þat ƿe culd not see eac oþer in þe scip.

Suc an ist as þen bleƿ it is ƿitless to fand reccing. Þe oldest seaman in Norƿay nefer ƿent þruge any þing lic it. Ƿe had let ure sails go by þe run before it cleferly nimmed us; but, at þe first bloƿ, bo ure masts ƿent by þe board as if hy had been saƿn off—þe mainmast nimming ƿiþ it my geungest broþer, hƿo had tied himself to it for sickerhood.

Ure boat ƿas þe ligtest feaþer of a þing þat efer sat atop ƿater. It had a fully efen þilling, ƿiþ only a small hac near þe stem, and þis hac it had alƿays been ure ƿun to scut fast hƿen abute to fare þe Strom, by ƿay of foreƿit agenst þe ceopping seas. But for þis embstandness ƿe sculd haf sunk to þe bottom at ones—for ƿe lay fully berried for sum brigtoms. Hu my elder broþer atƿinded forƿird I cannot say, for I nefer had a bire to find ute. For my deal, as soon as I had let þe foresail run, I þreƿ myself dune on þe þilling, ƿiþ my feet agenst þe narroƿ ƿale of þe stem, and ƿiþ my hands grasping a ringbolt near þe foot of þe foremast. It ƿas feeling alone þat scied me to do þis—hƿic ƿas untƿeenly þe best þing I culd haf done—for I ƿas too muc aflutter to þink.

For sum brigtoms ƿe ƿere fully underƿater, as I say, and all þis time I held my breaþ, and clung to þe bolt. Hƿen I culd stand it no longer I þreƿ myself on my knees, still keeping hold ƿiþ my hands, and þus geat my head free. Soon ure littel boat geafe herself a scake, as a dog in cumming ute of þe ƿater, and þus rid herself, in deal, of þe seas. I ƿas nu fanding to get þe better of þe sƿoon þat had cum ofer me, and to gaþer my angets so as to see hƿat ƿas to be done, hƿen I felt sumbody grasp my arm. It ƿas my elder broþer, and my heart leapt ƿiþ ƿin, for I ƿas ƿiss þat he ƿas oferboard—but þe next brigtom all þis ƿin ƿas ƿent into broƿ—for he put his muþe nige to my ear, and rooped ute þe ƿord ‘Moskoestrom!’

No man efer ƿill knoƿ hƿat my feelings ƿere at þat brigtom. I scook from head to foot as if I had þe heastest fit of riþ. I kneƿ hƿat he meant by þat one ƿord ƿell enuge—I kneƿ hƿat he ƿisced to make me understand. Ƿiþ þe ƿind þat nu drofe us on, ƿe ƿere headed for þe sƿalloƿ of þe Strom, and noþing culd neer us!

Þu agets þat in faring þe Strom fleet, ƿe alƿays ƿent a long ƿay up abuf þe suck, efen in þe smiltest ƿeaþer, and þen had to bide and ƿac carefully for þe slack—but nu ƿe ƿere drifing rigt toƿard þe sƿalloƿ itself, and in suc an ist as þis! ‘To be ƿiss,’ I þougt, ‘ƿe scall lend rigt abute þe slack—þere is sum littel hope in þat’—but in þe next brigtom I cursed myself for being so ƿitless as to let myself hope at all. I kneƿ full ƿell þat ƿe ƿere doomed, had ƿe been ten times a ninety gun scip.

By þis time þe first ƿraþ of þe ist had spent itself, or maybe ƿe felt it not so muc, as ƿe bleƿ before it, anyƿay þe seas, hƿic at first had been kept dune by þe ƿind, and lay efen and foaming, nu rose into sceer barroƿs. A sundry ƿend, too, had cum ofer þe heafens. Emb in efery heading it ƿas still as black as pic, but nearly oferhead þere burst ute, all at ones, a sinƿelt rift of open lift—as sceer as I efer saƿ—and of a deep brigt heƿn—and þruge it þere blased forþ þe full moon ƿiþ a sceen þat I nefer before kneƿ her to ƿear. Sce lit up efery þing abute us ƿiþ þe greatest scedding—but, o God, hƿat a sigt it ƿas to ligt up!

I nu made one or tƿo fands to speak to my broþer—but, in sum ƿay hƿic I culd not understand, þe din had so ƿaxt þat I culd not make him hear but a ƿord, alþaug I rooped at þe top of my lungs in his ear. Soon he scook his head, looking as ƿan as deaþ, and held up one of his fingers, as if to say ‘listen!’

At first I culd not make ute hƿat he meant—but soon an atel þougt scone on me. I dreƿ my ƿac from its holder. It ƿas not going. I looked at its hands by þe moonligt, and þen burst into tears as I flung it far aƿay into þe sea. It had run dune at þe sefenþ stund! Ƿe ƿere behind þe time of þe slack, and þe sƿalloƿ of þe Strom ƿas at full ƿraþ!

Hƿen a boat is ƿell bilt, ƿell trimmed, and not deep laden, þe iþes in a strong ƿind, hƿen sce is going great, look alƿays to slide from beneaþ her—hƿic feels migty ferly to folk of þe land—and þis is hƿat is named riding, in sea speec. Ƿell, so far ƿe had ridden þe sƿells migty cleferly; but nu a hulking sea befell on and fanged us, and bore us ƿiþ it as it rose—up—up—as if into þe heafens. I ƿuld not haf beleefed þat any iþe culd rise so hige. And þen dune ƿe came ƿiþ a sƿeep, a slide, a dife, þat made me feel sick and disy, as if I ƿas falling from sum lifty barroƿtop in a sƿefen. But hƿile ƿe ƿere up I had þroƿn a cƿick look abute—and þat one look ƿas all enuge. I saƿ ure rigt stoƿ in an eyeblink. Þe Moskoestrom sƿalloƿ ƿas abute a foƿrþ of a mile dead ahead—but no more lic þe eferyday Moskoestrom, þan þe suck as þu sees it nu is lic a millrease. If I had not knoƿn hƿere ƿe ƿere, and hƿat ƿe had to foredeem, I sculd not haf acknoƿed þe stead at all. As it ƿas, I unƿillsumly scut my eyes in broƿ. Þe lids clenced hemselfs togeþer as if in a ram.

It culd not haf been more þan tƿo minnits afterƿard hent ƿe felt þe ƿafes sƿiftly sƿeþer, and ƿere beclipt in foam. Þe boat made a scarp half ƿend to larboard, and þen scot off in its neƿ heading lic a þunderbolt. At þe ilc brigtom þe ƿaters roaring lude ƿas fully druned in a kind of scrill scree—suc a reard as man migt faþom geefen ute by þe pipes of many þusand steamscips letting off her steam all togeþer. Ƿe ƿere nu in þe belt of ƿafes þat alƿays hems þe suck; and I þougt, indeed, þat anoþer brigtom ƿuld þroƿ us into þe deep—dune hƿic ƿe culd see only unsuttelly for þe amasing speed ƿiþ hƿic ƿe ƿere born along. Þe boat looked not to sink into þe ƿater at all, but to glide lic a liftbubbel atop þe bred of þe flood. Her starboard side ƿas next þe sƿalloƿ, and on þe larboard arose þe ƿorld of sea ƿe had left. It stood lic a great ƿriþing ƿall betƿeen us and þe sealine.

It may sƿey ferly, but nu, hƿen ƿe ƿere in þe ceafels hemselfs of þe maƿ, I felt steadier þan hƿen ƿe ƿere only nearing it. Hafing made up my mind to hope no more, I rid myself of a great deal of þat broƿ hƿic at first unmanned me. I ƿeen it ƿas ƿanhope þat strung my sineƿs.

It may look lic gelping—but hƿat I tell þee is treƿþ—I began to þink on hu þrumly a þing it ƿas to sƿelt in suc a ƿay, and hu ƿitless it ƿas for me to þink of so ƿorþless a þing as my oƿn life, in sigt of so ƿunderful an ateƿing of Gods migt. I beleef indeed þat I reddened in scame hƿen þis þougt ƿent þruge my mind. After a littel hƿile I became fanged ƿiþ þe keenest firƿit abute þe sƿalloƿ itself. I treƿly felt a ƿisc to rose its depþs, efen at þe bloot I ƿas going to make and my main gnorn ƿas þat I culd nefer tell my old frends on score abute þe runes I sculd see. Þese, no tƿeen, ƿere sundry faþomings to hold a mans mind in suc plee—and I haf often þougt sins, þat þe hƿarfings of þe boat emb þe maƿ migt haf made me a littel ligtheaded.

Þere ƿas anoþer deal of þe embstandness hƿic often beeted my ƿeeld of self; and þis ƿas þe stopping of þe ƿind, hƿic culd not reac us in ure anƿard stead—for, as þu saƿ þyself, þe belt of ƿafes is far neþer þan þe beclipping seafloor, and þis latter nu reared abuf us, a hige, black, barroƿisc ricg. If þu hast nefer been at sea in a heafy ƿind, þu cannot begin to faþom þe masing of mind brougt by þe ƿind and mist togeþer. Hy blind, deafen, and ceoke þee, and nim aƿay all þrake of deed or þougt. But ƿe ƿere nu, in a great deal, rid of þese harryings—rigt as ƿarroƿs fordeemed to deaþ in ƿitern are atiþed small gelses, forbidden hem hƿile her doom is get unƿiss.

Hu often ƿe made þe embgang of þe belt it is unmigtly to say. Ƿe hƿarfed emb and emb for hƿat felt a stund, flying raþer þan floating, falling stepƿise more and more into þe middel of þe suck, and þen nearer and nearer to its eyful inner ecg. All þis time I had nefer let go of þe ringbolt. My broþer ƿas at þe fore, holding on to a small empty ƿater bidden hƿic had been sickerly tied under þe fores coop, and ƿas þe only þing onboard þat had not been sƿept ofer hƿen þe storm first nimmed us. As ƿe neared þe ecg of þe pit he let go his hold on þis, and made for þe ring, from hƿic, in þe sussel of his fear, he fanded to pull my hands, as it ƿas not great enuge to aford us bo a sund grasp. I nefer felt deeper gnorn þan hƿen I saƿ him fand þis deed—alþaug I kneƿ he ƿas a madman hƿen he did it—his mind lost þruge sceer frigt. I cared not, huefer, to kneat þis ƿiþ him. I kneƿ it culd make no sced hƿeþer eiþer of us held on at all; so I let him haf þe bolt, and ƿent afore to þe bidden. Þis þere ƿas no great hardscip in doing; for þe scip fleƿ emb steadily enuge, and on an efen bottom—only ƿaƿing to and from, ƿiþ þe great sƿeeps and sƿelters of þe sƿalloƿ. Hardly had I sickered myself in my neƿ stead, hƿen ƿe geafe a ƿild reel to starboard, and reased headlong into þe deep. I hƿoastered a cƿick bead to God, and þougt all ƿas ofer.

As I felt þe sickening sƿeep of þe dunegang, I had, ƿiþute þinking, fastened my hold on þe coop, and scut my eyes. For sum brigtoms I dared not open hem—hƿile I ƿeened fast forƿird, and ƿundered þat I ƿas not already in my deaþ þroes ƿiþ þe ƿater. But brigtom after brigtom ƿent by. I still lifed. Þe anget of falling had ended; and þe scriþing of þe scip felt muc as it had been before, hƿile in þe belt of foam, oþer þan þat sce nu lay alonger. I gaþered dugt, and looked ones agen on þe sigt.

Nefer scall I forget þe feelings of ey, broƿ, and ƿunder ƿiþ hƿic I looked abute me. Þe boat looked to be hanging, as if by drycraft, midƿay dune, on þe inside ƿall of a bore ƿidegale in felly, great in depþ, and hƿose hƿolly smooþ ƿalls migt haf been þougt rafenflint, but for þe beƿildering speed ƿiþ hƿic hy spun abute, and for þe gleaming and gastly brigtness hy scot forþ, as þe beams of þe full moon, from þat sinƿelt rift amid þe cludes hƿic I haf already recced, streamed in a flood of golden ƿolder along þe black ƿalls, and far aƿay dune into þe inmost halks of þe neƿelness.

At first I ƿas too muc mased to hoƿ anyþing treƿly. Þe mean burst of eyful mearþ ƿas all þat I beheld. Hƿen I bootened myself a littel, huefer, my eyes fell þougtlessly duneƿard. In þis ƿay I culd get an unhindered sigt, from þe ƿay in hƿic þe scip hanged on þe hƿemmed bred of þe bore. Sce ƿas full on an efen bottom—þat is to say, her þilling lay in line ƿiþ þe bred of þe ƿater—but þis latter hƿemmed more þan fifeandforty kerfs, so þat ƿe looked to be lying on ure beamends. I culd not help agetting, neferþeless, þat I had littel more hardscip in keeping my hold and footing in þis stead, þan if ƿe had been on a dead glass; and þis, I ƿeen, ƿas oƿing to þe speed at hƿic ƿe hƿarfed.

Þe beams of þe moon looked to seec þe bottom itself of þe neƿel muþe; but still I culd make ute noþing suttel, oƿing to a þick mist in hƿic eferyþing þere ƿas beclipt, and ofer hƿic þere hung a þrumly rainboƿ, lic þat narroƿ and sƿinging bricg hƿic Sarakens say is þe only paþƿay betƿeen Time and Eferness. Þis mist ƿas no tƿeen broken nu and þen by þe clascing of þe great ƿalls of þe bore, as hy all met togeþer at þe bottom—but þe gell þat ƿent up to þe Heafens from ute of þat mist, I dare not fand to rec.

Ure first slide into þe deep itself, from þe belt of foam abuf, had born us a great ƿay dune þe liþ; but ure farþer dunegang ƿas in no ƿay efen. Emb and emb ƿe sƿept—not ƿiþ any straigt scriþing—but in disying sƿings and tugs, þat sent us sumtimes only a feƿ hundred geards—sumtimes nearly þe hƿole embgang of þe sƿalloƿ. Ure ƿay duneƿard, at eac hƿarfing, ƿas sloƿ, but agettenly.

Looking abute me on þe ƿide ƿeasten of floƿing black on hƿic ƿe ƿere þus born, I ageat þat ure boat ƿas not þe only þing in þe hals of þe suck. Bo abuf and beneaþ us ƿere seenly sticces of scips, great heaps of bilding timber and stocks of trees, ƿiþ many smaller þings, suc as deals of idisc, broken boxes, tuns and stafes. I haf already recced þe unkindly firƿit hƿic had nimmed þe stead of my former frigt. I felt it groƿ ofer me as I dreƿ nearer and nearer to my dreadful doom. I nu began to ƿac, ƿiþ a ferly grip, þe sundry þings þat floated ƿiþ us. I must haf been mad—for I efen sougt game in foretelling þe speeds of her sundry dunegangs toƿard þe foam beneaþ. ‘Þis furroƿ,’ I fund myself at one time saying, ‘ƿill ƿissly be þe next þing þat nims þe eyful dife and sƿinds,’—and þen I ƿas let dune to find þat þe a forspilt Duc ceeping scip ofernimmed it and ƿent dune before. At lengþ, after making many scots of þis kind, and being belirted in all—þis treƿþ—þe treƿþ of my set misreckoning—set me on a paþ of þougt þat made my limbs scake agen, and my heart beat heafily ones more.

It ƿas not a neƿ broƿ þat þus rined me, but þe daƿn of a hƿettinger hope. Þis hope arose in deal from min, and in deal from anƿard agetting. I brougt to mind þe great sundering of floatƿorþy anƿork þat streƿed þe score of Lofoden, hafing been draƿn in and þen þroƿn forþ by þe Moskoestrom. By far þe greater tale of þe þings ƿere scattered in þe greatest ƿay—so ƿorn and rugened as to haf þe ansen of being stuck full of spelds—but þen I munned þat þere ƿere sum of hem hƿic ƿere not ƿemmed at all. Nu I culd not rec þis sced but by ƿeening þat þe rugened þings ƿere þe only ones hƿic had been hƿolly draƿn in—þat þe oþers had infared þe sƿalloƿ at so late a time of þe tide, or for sum inting, had fallen so sloƿly after infaring, þat hy raugt not þe bottom before þe ƿend of þe flood came, or of þe ebb, as þe time migt be. I þougt it migtly, eiþer ƿay, þat hy migt þus be spat up agen to þe heigt of þe seas bred, ƿiþute meeting þe ƿird of þose hƿic had been draƿn in earlier, or sƿifter. I made, also, þree ƿeigty undergettings. Þe first ƿas, þat, as a mean ea, þe greater þe bodies ƿere, þe sƿifter her dunegang—þe oþer, þat, betƿeen tƿo bodies of efen great, þe one a trendel, and þe oþer of any oþer scape, þe greater in duneƿard speed ƿas þe trendel—þe þird, þat, betƿeen tƿo þings of efen great, þe one sinƿelt, and þe oþer of any oþer scape, þe sinƿelt one ƿas draƿn in sloƿer. Sins my atƿinding, I haf had many mootings ƿiþ an old teacer of þe scire; and it ƿas from him þat I learned þe noting of þe ƿords ‘sinƿelt’ and ‘trendel’ in þis ƿay. He recced to me—alþaug I haf forgetten þe reccing—hu hƿat I undergeat ƿas, indeed, þe kindly utecum of þe scapes of þe floating sticces—and scoƿed me hu it befell þat a sinƿelt þing, sƿimming in a sƿalloƿ, geafe more ƿiþering to its suck, and ƿas draƿn in ƿiþ greater hardscip þan a body of efen great, of any scape hƿatsoefer.

Þere ƿas one startelling deal of þe embstandness hƿic ƿent a great ƿay in drifing þese undergettings, and making me embhoƿ to make good of hem, and þis ƿas þat, at efery hƿarfing, ƿe ƿent by sumþing lic a tun, or els þe geard or þe mast of þe scip, hƿile many of þese þings, hƿic had been at þe ilc depþ as us hƿen I first opened my eyes on þe ƿunders of þe sƿalloƿ, ƿere nu hige up abuf us, and looked to haf scriþen but littel from her form stead.

I no longer ƿafered on hƿat to do. I made to tie myself fast to þe ƿater bidden on hƿic I nu held, to sniþe it free from þe þilling, and to þroƿ myself ƿiþ it into þe ƿater. I dreƿ my broþers heed by beckons, put my finger to þe floating tuns þat came near us, and did eferyþing in my migt to make him understand hƿat I ƿas abute to do. I þougt at lengþ þat he understood my plot—but, hƿeþer þis ƿas it or not, he scook his head hopelessly, and ƿerned to leaf his stead by þe ringbolt. It ƿas unmigtly to reac him; þe pligt at hand brooked no stalling; and so, ƿiþ bitter tears, I left him to his ƿird, fastened myself to þe tun by means of þe ties hƿic fastened it to þe þilling, and þreƿ myself ƿiþ it into þe sea, ƿiþute anoþer brigtoms ƿafering.

Þe utecum ƿas rigt hƿat I had hoped it migt be. As it is myself hƿo nu tell þee þis tale—as þu sees þat I atƿinded indeed—and as þu knoƿs already þe ƿay in hƿic þis atƿinding befell, and must þerefore foresee all þat I haf farþer to say—I ƿill bring my tale cƿickly to an end. It migt haf been a stund, or þereabute, after my leafing þe scip, hƿen, hafing hƿarfed to a great depþ beneaþ me, it made þree or foƿr ƿild spins in a sƿift roƿ, and, bearing my belufed broþer ƿiþ it, dofe headlong, at ones and forefer, into þe dƿolm of foam beneaþ. Þe bidden to hƿic I ƿas fayed sunk migty littel farþer þan half þe firl betƿeen þe bottom of þe maƿ and þe spot at hƿic I leapt oferboard, before a great ƿend befell in þe eard of þe sƿalloƿ. Þe liþ of þe sides of þe ƿidegale hole became stepƿise less and less steep. Þe hƿarfings of þe suck greƿ, stepƿise, less and less heast. By steps, þe foam and þe rainboƿ sƿinded, and þe bottom of þe maƿ looked sloƿly to uprise. Þe heafens ƿere torgt, þe ƿinds had gone dune, and þe full moon ƿas setting brigtly in þe ƿest, hƿen I fund myself on þe bred of þe sea, in full sigt of þe scores of Lofoden, and abuf þe spot hƿere þe sƿalloƿ of þe Moskoestrom had been. It ƿas þe stund of þe slack—but þe sea still heafed in barroƿisc iþes from þe rines of þe ist. I ƿas born heastly into þe fleet of þe Strom, and in a feƿ minnits ƿas sped dune þe score into þe ‘grunds’ of þe fiscermen. A boat fanged me—forspent from ƿeariness—and (nu þat þe plee ƿas gone) speecless from þe min of its broƿ. Þose hƿo dreƿ me aboard ƿere my old frends and daily mets—but hy kneƿ me no more þan hy ƿuld haf knoƿn a ƿayfarer from þe underƿorld. My hair, hƿic had been rafen black þe day before, ƿas as hƿite as þu sees it nu. I told hem my tale—and hy beleefed it not. I tell it nu to þee—and I can hardly higt þee to put more troþ in it þan put þe merry fiscermen of Lofoden.”

 

 

 

English Spelling

 

THE DOWNGANG INTO THE MAELSTROM
By Edgar Allan Poe
Went by Cascadia
(Thrutched 1845)

 

“The ways of God in Kind, as in His Will, are not as our ways; nor are the lichnesses that we frame in any way fitting to the greatness, wisdom, and unknowenliness of His works, which have a depth in hem greater than the well of Democritus.”

- Joseph Glanville


WE had now raught the cop of the higest ridge. For sum minutes the old were looked too much forspent to speak.

“Not long ago,” said he at length, “and I could have wised thee on this path as well as the youngest of my sons; but, about three years since, there befell on me a thing such as never befell on a living man—or at least such as no man ever lived to tell of—and the six stounds of deadly brow which I then tholed have broken me up body and soul. Thou reasows me a mighty old were—but I am not. It was less than one day that went these hairs from a raven black to white, woakened my limbs, and unstrung my sinews, so that I shake at the least swink, and am frightened at a shadow. Knows thou I can hardly look over this little cliff without becoming giddy?”

The “little cliff,” on whose edge he had so carelessly thrown himself down to rest that the weightier deal of his body hanged over it, while he was only kept from falling by the hold of his elbow on its steep and slipper edge—this “little cliff” arose, a sheer unremmed height of black shining stone, sum fifteen or sixteen hundred feet from the world of needles beneath us. Nothing would have costened me to within six yards of its edge. In truth so deeply was I frightened by the pleely stead of my sithe, that I fell at full length on the ground, clung to the shrubs about me, and dared not even look upward at the heavens—while I fought emptily to benim myself of the thought that the barrow’s staddle itself was pleed by the wind’s wrath. It was long before I could reasow myself into enough dought to sit up and look out into the firl.

“Thou must yet over this swoon,” said the shower, “for I have brought thee here that thou might have the best mightly sight of the stow of that befalling I nemmened—and to tell thee the whole tale with the spot right under thy eye.”

“We are now,” he went on, in that sundering way which shedded him—”We are now nigh on the Nornish shore—in the eight-and-sixtieth kerf of breadth—in the great land of Nordland and in the dreary shire of Lofoden. The barrow atop which we sit is Helseggen, the Cloudy. Now lift thyself up a little higher—hold on to the grass if thou feels giddy—so—and look out, beyond the belt of mist beneath us, into the sea.”

I looked dizzily, and beheld a wide main, whose waters wore such a hue of bleck as to bring at once to my mind the Siler landlorer’s rake of the Sea of Darkness. A full sight sorelier lorn no fathoming of man can bird. To the right and left, as far as the eye could reach, there lay outstraught, lich walls of the world, lines of eyfully black and beetling cliffs, whose eard of gloom was but the more mightily meted by the swell which reared high up ayenst its white and gastly cop, howling and shreeing forever. Right wither the ridge on whose height we were set, and at a length of some five or six miles out at sea, there was seenly a small, bleach looking island; or, more fitly, its stow was toknowenly through the wilderness of ithes in which it was beclipped. About two miles nearer the land, arose another of smaller great, atley broken and weast, and embfanged at sundry betwixtfacks by a cluster of dark stones.

The ansen of the sea, in the rimth between the firlener island and the shore, had something mighty selcouth about it. Althaugh, at the time, so strong a wind was blowing landward that a ship in the firlen offing lay to under a twiribbed thrisail, and steadily dove her whole hull out of sight, still there was here nothing lich a right swell, but only a short, quick, wroth, minged beating of water in every way—as well in the teeth of the wind as otherwise. Of foam there was little but for in the nighness of the stones.

“The island far off,” the old were went on, “is named by the Nornishmen Vurrgh. The one midway is Moskoe. That a mile to the northward is Ambaaren. Yonder are Islesen, Hotholm, Keildhelm, Suarven, and Buckholm. Farther off—between Moskoe and Vurrgh—are Otterholm, Flimen, Sandflesen, and Stockholm. These are the true names of the stows—but why it has been thought needful to name hem at all, is more than either thou or I can understand. Hears thou anything? Sees thou any wend in the water?”

We had now been about ten minutes atop Helseggen, to which we had clomb from Lofodens inland, so that we had fanged no sight of the sea hent it had burst on us from the cop. As the old were spoke, I became aware of a great and slowly waxing loud, lich the moaning of a widegale herd of wesends on an Americkish wong; and at the ilch brightom I ayat that what seamen name the chopping eard of the sea beneath us, was swiftly wending into a farth which set to the eastward. Even while I stared, this farth yat an ettinish speed. Each brightom eked to its speed—to its headlong boldness. In five minutes the whole sea, as far as Vurrgh, was whipped into unrixenly wrath; but it was between Moskoe and the shore that the main uproar had its way. Here the wide bed of the waters, seamed and marked into a thousand fighting fleets, burst at once into wood throes—heaving, seething, hissing—wharving in ettinish and untellenly eddies, and all spinning and diving on to the eastward with a speed which water never elsewhere nims other than freefall.

In a few minutes more, there came over the sight another sweeping wend. The bred of the sea grew sumwhat smoother, and the weals, one by one, swinded, while great streaks of foam became suttel where none had been seen before. These streaks, at length, spreading out to a great firl, and faying together, nimmed unto hemselves the wharving shrithing of the swethered eddies, and looked to shape the seed of another widegaler. At once—all at once—this fanged a sundry and suttel being, in a wharft more than a mile in span. The edge of the swallow was spelled by a broad belt of gleaming mist; but no drop of this fell into the mouth of the eyful pit, whose inside, as far as the eye could fathom it, was a smooth, shining, and bleakblack wall of water, leant to the sealine at a whem of sum five-and-fifty kerfs, speeding swiftly emb and emb with a nodding and sweltering shrithing, and sending forth to the winds an eyful steven, half shree, half roar, such as not even the mighty waterfall of Niagara ever lifts up in its sussel to Heafen.

The barrow shook to its staddle, and the stone quifered. I threw myself on my anlet, and clung to the thin grass in an orn of angness.

“This,” said I at length, to the old were—”this can be nothing else than the great swallow of the Maelstrom.”

“So it is sometimes named,” said he. “We Nornishmen name it the Moskoestrom, from the island of Moskoe in the midway.”

The written rakes of this swallow had in no way readied me for what I saw. That of Jonas Ramus, which is maybe the fullest of any, cannot yeave the smallest mark either of the thrumfulness, or of the brow of the sight—or of the wild bewildering anyet of the new which mazes the beholder. I am not wiss from what lookout the man I write of howed it, nor at what time; but it could neither have been from the cop of Helseggen, nor in a storm. There are sum quids of his rake, nevertheless, which may be forthteed for her small marks, althaugh her words are trewly mainless in yeaving an inthrutch of the waving.

“Between Lofoden and Moskoe,” he says, “the depth of the water is between six-andt-hirty and forty fathoms; but on the other side, toward Ver (Vurggh) this depth wanes so as not to afford a daven fareld for a ship, without the plee of breaking on the rocks, which befalls even in the smiltest weather. When it is flood, the stream runs up the room between Lofoden and Moskoe with a wild speed; but the roar of its reasing ebb to the sea is seld evened by the loudest and dreadfullest waterfalls; the din being heard many miles off, and the eddies or pits are of such a width and depth, that if a ship comes within its pull, it is wissly drawn in and born down to the bottom, and there beat to bits ayenst the stones; and when the water sletches, the stitches thereof are thrown up ayen. But these betwixtfacks of frith are only at the wend of the ebb and flood, and in smilt weather, and last but a fourth of a stound, its heast eftcoming stepwise. When the stream is loudest, and its wrath heightened by a storm, it is pleely to come within a Norway mile of it. Boats and ships have been borne away by not warding ayenst it before hy were within its reach. It lichwise befalls often, that whales come too near the stream, and are overwhelmed by its heast; and then it is unmightly to rech her howlings and bellowings in her bootless fights to free hemselves. A bear once, fanding to swim from Lofoden to Moskoe, was fanged by the stream and borne down, while he roared eyfully, so as to be heard on shore. Great stocks of furrows, after being drawn in by the farth, rise ayen broken and torn to such a hoad as if bristles grew on hem. This glewly shows the bottom to be made up of broken needles, among which hy are thrown to and from. This stream is rixed by the ebb and flood of the sea—it being always high and nether water every six stounds. In the year 1645, early in the morning of Sixtieth Sunday, it weeded with such din and strength that the stones hemselves of the houses on the shore fell to the ground.”

On the depth of the water, I could not see how this could have been kenned at all in the nighness of the swallow. The “forty fathoms” must be only in the deals of the fleet nigh on the shore either of Moskoe or Lofoden. The depth in the middle of the Moskoestrom must be unmetenly greater; and no better seething of this is needed than can be yetten from even the sidelong peep into the newelness of the suck which may be had from the highest ridge of Helseggen. Looking down from this steeple on the howling Phlegethon beneath, I could not help smirking at the afoldness with which the good Jonas Ramus writes, as a thing hard of belief, the tales of the whales and the bears; for it looked to me, in truth, a selfsuttle thing, that the greatest ship of the line in all the world, coming within the reach of that deadly pull, could fight it as little as a feather the ist, and must swind bodily and at once.

The fands to rech the wonder—some of which, I mun, felt to me believenly enough in writing—now wore a mighty sundry and bitesome anlet. The thought often told is that this, as well as three smaller swallows among the Faroe Islands, “have no other inting than the blows of waves rising and falling, at ebb and flood, ayenst a ridge of stones and shelves, which hathers the water so that it throws itself lich a waterfall; and thus the higher the flood rises, the deeper the fall must be, and the kindly outcum of all is a great eddy or swallow, the great suck of which is known well through lesser fands.”—These are the words of the British Kenbook. Kircher and others fathom that in the middle of the fleet of the Maelstrom is a newelness boring the thother, and outfaring in some full firlen deal—the Helsing Sea being somewhat wissly beclept in one writ. This ween, idle in itself, was the one with which, as I stared, my fathoming thweared readiliest; and, bringing it up to my shower, I was rather amazed to hear him say that, althaugh it was the ween almost wholly shared by the Nornishmen, it nevertheless was not his own. As to the former reching he andetted he was unfit to understand it; and here I thweared with him—for, however wiss it felt in writing, it becomes altogether unfathomenly, and even witless, amid the thunder of the deep.

“Thou hast had a good look at the suck now,” said the old were, and if thou will creep behind this stone, so as to yet in its lee, and deaden the roar of the water, I will tell thee a tale that will win thee over that I ought to know something of the Moskoestrom.”

I set myself as he wished, and he went on.

“Myself and my two brothers once owned a fishing ship of about seventy tons burden, with which we were wont to fish among the islands beyond Moskoe, nearly to Vurrgh. In all heast eddies at sea there is good fishing, at the right times, if man has only the dought to fand it; but among the whole of the Lofoden fishermen, we three were the only men who made an often business of going out to the islands, as I tell thee. The wonly reach is a great way nether down to the southward. There fish can be had all stounds, without much plee, and therefore these steads are oft chosen. The best spots over here among the stones, however, not only yield the most sundering, but in far greater fulth; so that we often had in a lone day, what the harehearteder of the craft could not gather in a week. In sooth, we made it a thing of reckless neething—the deadly plee standing instead of swink, and dought answering for fee.

We kept the ship in a cove about five miles higher up the shore than this; and it was our won, in good weather, to milk the fifteen minutes slack to sail thwarst the main fleet of the Moskoestrom, far above the swallow, and then drop down on harbor somewhere near Otterholm, or Sandflesen, where the eddies are not so heast as elswhere. Here we formerly bode hent nearly time for slack water ayen, when we weighed and made for home. We never set out on this fareld without a steady side wind for going and coming—one that we felt wiss would not truck us before our eftcoming—and we seld misreckoned on this ord. Twise, throughout six years, we were made to bide all night at anchor for there being a dead still, which is a seldseen thing indeed about here; and once we had to bide on the grounds nearly a week, starving to death, owing to a storm which blew up shortly after our lending, and made the fleet too heast to be thought of. On this sithe we should nevertheless have been driven out to sea, (for the eddies threw us emb and emb so heastly, that, at length, we fouled our anchor and drew it) if it had not been that we drifted into one of the unrimenly side farths—here today and gone tomorrow—which drove us under the lee of Flimen, where, thankfully, we brought up.

I could not tell thee the twentieth deal of the hardships we met ‘on the grounds’—it is a bad spot to be in, even in good weather—but we made shift always to run the path of the Moskoestrom itself without bale; althaugh many times my heart has been in my mouth when we were a minute or so behind or before the slack. The wind sometimes was not as strong as we thought it at starting, and then we made rather less headway than we could wish, while the farth made the ship unsteerenly. My eldest brother had a son eighteen years old, and I had two strong knaves of my own. Hy would have been of great help at such times, in manning the sweeps, as well as afterward in fishing—but, somehow, althaugh we put ourselves in plee, we had not the heart to let the younger do the ilch—for, after all is said and done, it was an eyful plee, forsooth.

It is now within a few days of three years since what I am going to tell thee befell. It was on the tenth day of Afterlithe, 18—, a day which the folk of this deal of the world will never foryet—for it was one in which blew the eyfullest ist that ever came out of the heavens. And yet all the morning, and indeed hent late in the undern, there was a frithful and steady whith from the southwest, while the sun shone brightly, so that the eldest seaman among us could not have foreseen what was to follow.

The three of us—my two brothers and myself—had gone over to the islands about two in the undern, and had soon nearly loaded the ship with good fish, which, we all said, were rifer that day than we had ever known hem. It was seven, by my watch, when we weighed and started for home, so as to make the worst of the Strom at slack water, which we knew would be at eight.

We set out with a fresh wind on our starboard fourth, and for some time drove along at a great speed, never fathoming plee, for indeed we saw not the smallest ground to think it. All at once we were struck by a wind from over Helseggen. This was most selcouth—something that had never befallen us before—and I began to feel a little uneath, without truly knowing why. We put the boat on the wind, but could make no headway at all for the eddies, and I was about to put forth eftcoming to the cove, when, looking before us, we saw the whole sealine shrouded with a sundry copper-hued cloud that rose with the amazingest speed.

Therewhile the wind that had headed us off fell away, and we were dead adrift, listing about in every which way. This hoad of things, however, lasted not long enough to yeave us time to think about it. In less than a minute the storm was on us—in less than two the heavens were fully overspread—and what with this and the driving mist, it became at once so dark that we could not see each other in the ship.

Such an ist as then blew it is witless to fand reching. The oldest seaman in Norway never went through any thing lich it. We had let our sails go by the run before it cleverly nimmed us; but, at the first blow, bo our masts went by the board as if hy had been sawn off—the mainmast nimming with it my youngest brother, who had tied himself to it for sickerhood.

Our boat was the lightest feather of a thing that ever sat atop water. It had a fully even thilling, with only a small hatch near the stem, and this hatch it had always been our won to shut fast when about to fare the Strom, by way of forewit ayenst the chopping seas. But for this embstandness we should have sunk to the bottom at once—for we lay fully buried for some brightoms. How my elder brother atwinded forwird I cannot say, for I never had a bire to find out. For my deal, as soon as I had let the foresail run, I threw myself down on the thilling, with my feet ayenst the narrow wale of the stem, and with my hands grasping a ringbolt near the foot of the foremast. It was feeling alone that shied me to do this—which was untweenly the best thing I could have done—for I was too much aflutter to think.

For some brightoms we were fully underwater, as I say, and all this time I held my breath, and clung to the bolt. When I could stand it no longer I threw myself on my knees, still keeping hold with my hands, and thus yat my head free. Soon our little boat yave herself a shake, as a dog in coming out of the water, and thus rid herself, in deal, of the seas. I was now fanding to get the better of the swoon that had come over me, and to gather my anyets so as to see what was to be done, when I felt somebody grasp my arm. It was my elder brother, and my heart leapt with win, for I was wiss that he was overboard—but the next brightom all this win was went into brow—for he put his mouth nigh to my ear, and rooped out the word ‘Moskoestrom!’

No man ever will know what my feelings were at that brightom. I shook from head to foot as if I had the heastest fit of rith. I knew what he meant by that one word well enough—I knew what he wished to make me understand. With the wind that now drove us on, we were headed for the swallow of the Strom, and nothing could neer us!

Thou ayets that in faring the Strom fleet, we always went a long way up above the suck, even in the smiltest weather, and then had to bide and watch carefully for the slack—but now we were driving right toward the swallow itself, and in such an ist as this! ‘To be wiss,’ I thought, ‘we shall lend right about the slack—there is some little hope in that’—but in the next brightom I cursed myself for being so witless as to let myself hope at all. I knew full well that we were doomed, had we been ten times a ninety gun ship.

By this time the first wrath of the ist had spent itself, or maybe we felt it not so much, as we blew before it, anyway the seas, which at first had been kept down by the wind, and lay even and foaming, now rose into sheer barrows. A sundry wend, too, had come over the heavens. Emb in every heading it was still as black as pitch, but nearly overhead there burst out, all at once, a sinwelt rift of open lift—as sheer as I ever saw—and of a deep bright hewn—and through it there blazed forth the full moon with a sheen that I never before knew her to wear. She lit up every thing about us with the greatest shedding—but, o God, what a sight it was to light up!

I now made one or two fands to speak to my brother—but, in some way which I could not understand, the din had so waxed that I could not make him hear but a word, althaugh I rooped at the top of my lungs in his ear. Soon he shook his head, looking as wan as death, and held up one of his fingers, as if to say ‘listen!’

At first I could not make out what he meant—but soon an atle thought shone on me. I drew my watch from its holder. It was not going. I looked at its hands by the moonlight, and then burst into tears as I flung it far away into the sea. It had run down at the seventh stound! We were behind the time of the slack, and the swallow of the Strom was at full wrath!

When a boat is well built, well trimmed, and not deep laden, the ithes in a strong wind, when she is going great, look always to slide from beneath her—which feels mighty ferly to folk of the land—and this is what is named riding, in sea speech. Well, so far we had ridden the swells mighty cleverly; but now a hulking sea befell on and fanged us, and bore us with it as it rose—up—up—as if into the heavens. I would not have believed that any ithe could rise so high. And then down we came with a sweep, a slide, a dive, that made me feel sick and dizzy, as if I was falling from some lifty barrowtop in a sweven. But while we were up I had thrown a quick look about—and that one look was all enough. I saw our right stow in an eyeblink. The Moskoestrom swallow was about a fourth of a mile dead ahead—but no more lich the everyday Moskoestrom, than the suck as thou sees it now is lich a millrease. If I had not known where we were, and what we had to foredeem, I should not have acknowed the stead at all. As it was, I unwillsomely shut my eyes in brow. The lids clenched hemselves together as if in a ram.

It could not have been more than two minutes afterward hent we felt the waves swiftly swether, and were beclipped in foam. The boat made a sharp half wend to larboard, and then shot off in its new heading lich a thunderbolt. At the ilch brightom the water’s roaring lude was fully drowned in a kind of shrill shree—such a reard as man might fathom yeaven out by the pipes of many thousand steamships letting off her steam all together. We were now in the belt of waves that always hems the suck; and I thought, indeed, that another brightom would throw us into the deep—down which we could see only unsuttly for the amazing speed with which we were borne along. The boat looked not to sink into the water at all, but to glide lich a liftbubbel atop the bred of the flood. Her starboard side was next the swallow, and on the larboard arose the world of sea we had left. It stood lich a great writhing wall between us and the sealine.

It may swey ferly, but now, when we were in the chavels hemselves of the maw, I felt steadier than when we were only nearing it. Having made up my mind to hope no more, I rid myself of a great deal of that brow which at first unmanned me. I ween it was wanhope that strung my sinews.

It may look lich yelping—but what I tell thee is truth—I began to think on how thrumly a thing it was to swelt in such a way, and how witless it was for me to think of so worthless a thing as my own life, in sight of so wonderful an atewing of God’s might. I believe indeed that I reddened in shame when this thought went through my mind. After a little while I became fanged with the keenest firwit about the swallow itself. I truly felt a wish to rose its depths, even at the bloot I was going to make and my main gnorn was that I could never tell my old friends on shore about the runes I should see. These, no tween, were sundry fathomings to hold a man’s mind in such plee—and I have often thought since, that the wharvings of the boat emb the maw might have made me a little lightheaded.

There was another deal of the embstandness which often beeted my wield of self; and this was the stopping of the wind, which could not reach us in our anward stead—for, as thou saw thyself, the belt of waves is far nether than the beclipping seafloor, and this latter now reared above us, a high, black, barrowish ridge. If thou hast never been at sea in a heavy wind, thou cannot begin to fathom the mazing of mind brought by the wind and mist together. Hy blind, deafen, and choke thee, and nim away all thrake of deed or thought. But we were now, in a great deal, rid of these harryings—right as warrows fordeemed to death in witern are atithed small yelses, forbidden hem while her doom is yet unwiss.

How often we made the embgang of the belt it is unmightly to say. We wharfed emb and emb for what felt a stound, flying rather than floating, falling stepwise more and more into the middle of the suck, and then nearer and nearer to its eyful inner edge. All this time I had never let go of the ringbolt. My brother was at the fore, holding on to a small empty water bidden which had been sickerly tied under the fore’s coop, and was the only thing onboard that had not been swept over when the storm first nimmed us. As we neared the edge of the pit he let go his hold on this, and made for the ring, from which, in the sussel of his fear, he fanded to pull my hands, as it was not great enough to afford us bo a sound grasp. I never felt deeper gnorn than when I saw him fand this deed—althaugh I knew he was a madman when he did it—his mind lost through sheer fright. I cared not, however, to kneat this with him. I knew it could make no shed whether either of us held on at all; so I let him have the bolt, and went afore to the bidden. This there was no great hardship in doing; for the ship flew emb steadily enough, and on an even bottom—only wawing to and from, with the great sweeps and swelters of the swallow. Hardly had I sickered myself in my new stead, when we yave a wild reel to starboard, and reased headlong into the deep. I whoastered a quick bead to God, and thought all was over.

As I felt the sickening sweep of the downgang, I had, without thinking, fastened my hold on the coop, and shut my eyes. For some brightoms I dared not open hem—while I weened fast forwird, and wondered that I was not already in my death throes with the water. But brightom after brightom went by. I still lived. The anyet of falling had ended; and the shrithing of the ship felt much as it had been before, while in the belt of foam, other than that she now lay alonger. I gathered dought, and looked once ayen on the sight.

Never shall I foryet the feelings of ey, brow, and wonder with which I looked about me. The boat looked to be hanging, as if by drycraft, midway down, on the inside wall of a bore widegale in felly, great in depth, and whose wholly smooth walls might have been thought ravenflint, but for the bewildering speed with which hy spun about, and for the gleaming and ghastly brightness hy shot forth, as the beams of the full moon, from that sinwelt rift amid the clouds which I have already reched, streamed in a flood of golden wolder along the black walls, and far away down into the inmost halks of the newelness.

At first I was too much mazed to how anything trewly. The mean burst of eyful mearth was all that I beheld. When I bootened myself a little, however, my eyes fell thoughtlessly downward. In this way I could yet an unhindered sight, from the way in which the ship hanged on the whemmed bred of the bore. She was full on an even bottom—that is to say, her thilling lay in line with the bred of the water—but this latter whemmed more than five-and-forty kerfs, so that we looked to be lying on our beamends. I could not help ayetting, nevertheless, that I had little more hardship in keeping my hold and footing in this stead, than if we had been on a dead glass; and this, I ween, was owing to the speed at which we wharved.

The beams of the moon looked to seech the bottom itself of the newel mouth; but still I could make out nothing suttle, owing to a thick mist in which everything there was beclipped, and over which there hung a thrumly rainbow, lich that narrow and swinging bridge which Sarakens say is the only pathway between Time and Everness. This mist was no tween broken now and then by the clashing of the great walls of the bore, as hy all met together at the bottom—but the yell that went up to the Heavens from out of that mist, I dare not fand to rech.

Our first slide into the deep itself, from the belt of foam above, had borne us a great way down the lith; but our farther downgang was in no way even. Emb and emb we swept—not with any straight shrithing—but in dizzying swings and tugs, that sent us sometimes only a few hundred yards—sometimes nearly the whole embgang of the swallow. Our way downward, at each wharving, was slow, but ayettenly.

Looking about me on the wide weasten of flowing black on which we were thus borne, I ayat that our boat was not the only thing in the halse of the suck. Bo above and beneath us were seenly stitches of ships, great heaps of building timber and stocks of trees, with many smaller things, such as deals of idish, broken boxes, tuns and staves. I have already reched the unkindly firwit which had nimmed the stead of my former fright. I felt it grow over me as I drew nearer and nearer to my dreadful doom. I now began to watch, with a ferly grip, the sundry things that floated with us. I must have been mad—for I even sought game in foretelling the speeds of her sundry downgangs toward the foam beneath. ‘This furrow,’ I found myself at one time saying, ‘will wissly be the next thing that nims the eyful dive and swinds,’—and then I was let down to find that the a forspilt Dutch cheaping ship overnimmed it and went down before. At length, after making many shots of this kind, and being belirted in all—this truth—the truth of my set misreckoning—set me on a path of thought that made my limbs shake agen, and my heart beat heavily once more.

It was not a new brow that thus rined me, but the dawn of a whettinger hope. This hope arose in deal from min, and in deal from anward ayetting. I brought to mind the great sundering of floatworthy anwork that strewed the shore of Lofoden, having been drawn in and then thrown forth by the Moskoestrom. By far the greater tale of the things were shattered in the greatest way—so worn and roughened as to have the ansen of being stuck full of spelds—but then I munned that there were some of hem which were not wemmed at all. Now I could not rech this shed but by weening that the roughened things were the only once which had been wholly drawn in—that the others had infared the swallow at so late a time of the tide, or for some inting, had fallen so slowly after infaring, that hy raught not the bottom before the wend of the flood came, or of the ebb, as the time might be. I thought it mightly, either way, that hy might thus be spat up ayen to the height of the sea’s bred, without meeting the wird of those which had been drawn in earlier, or swifter. I made, also, three weighty underyettings. The first was, that, as a mean ea, the greater the bodies were, the swifter her downgang—the other, that, between two bodies of even great, the one a trendle, and the other of any other shape, the greater in downward speed was the trendle—the third, that, between two things of even great, the one sinwelt, and the other of any other shape, the sinwelt one was drawn in slower. Since my atwinding, I have had many mootings with an old teacher of the shire; and it was from him that I learned the noting of the words ‘sinwelt’ and ‘trendle’ in this way. He reched to me—althaugh I have foryetten the reching—how what I underyat was, indeed, the kindly outcome of the shapes of the floating stitches—and showed me how it befell that a sinwelt thing, swimming in a swallow, yave more withering to its suck, and was drawn in with greater hardship than a body of even great, of any shape whatsoever.

There was one startling deal of the embstandness which went a great way in driving these underyettings, and making me embhow to make good of hem, and this was that, at every wharving, we went by something lich a tun, or else the yard or the mast of the ship, while many of these things, which had been at the ilch depth as us when I first opened my eyes on the wonders of the swallow, were now high up above us, and looked to have shrithen but little from her form stead.

I no longer wavered on what to do. I made to tie myself fast to the water bidden on which I now held, to snithe it free from the thilling, and to throw myself with it into the water. I drew my brother’s heed by beckons, put my finger to the floating tuns that came near us, and did everything in my might to make him understand what I was about to do. I thought at length that he understood my plot—but, whether this was it or not, he shook his head hopelessly, and werned to leave his stead by the ringbolt. It was unmightly to reach him; the plight at hand brooked no stalling; and so, with bitter tears, I left him to his wird, fastened myself to the tun by means of the ties which fastened it to the thilling, and threw myself with it into the sea, withute another brightoms wafering.

The outcum was right what I had hoped it might be. As it is myself who now tell thee this tale—as thou sees that I atwinded indeed—and as thou knows already the way in which this atwinding befell, and must therefore foresee all that I have farther to say—I will bring my tale quickly to an end. It might have been a stound, or thereabout, after my leaving the ship, when, having wharved to a great depth beneath me, it made three or four wild spins in a swift row, and, bearing my beloved brother with it, dove headlong, at once and forever, into the dwolm of foam beneath. The bidden to which I was fayed sunk mighty little farther than half the firl between the bottom of the maw and the spot at which I leapt overboard, before a great wend befell in the eard of the swallow. The lith of the sides of the widegale hole became stepwise less and less steep. The wharvings of the suck grew, stepwise, less and less heast. By steps, the foam and the rainbow swinded, and the bottom of the maw looked slowly to uprise. The heavens were torght, the winds had gone down, and the full moon was setting brightly in the west, when I found myself on the bred of the sea, in full sight of the shores of Lofoden, and above the spot where the swallow of the Moskoestrom had been. It was the stound of the slack—but the sea still heaved in barrowish ithes from the rines of the ist. I was born heastly into the fleet of the Strom, and in a few minutes was sped down the shore into the ‘grounds’ of the fishermen. A boat fanged me—forspent from weariness—and (now that the plee was gone) speechless from the min of its brow. Those who drew me aboard were my old frends and daily mets—but hy knew me no more than hy would have known a wayfarer from the underworld. My hair, which had been raven black the day before, was as white as thou sees it now. I told hem my tale—and hy believed it not. I tell it now to thee—and I can hardly hight thee to put more troth in it than put the merry fishermen of Lofoden.”