Twenty thousand leagues under the sea


Material Information

Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
Physical Description:
xiv, 386 p. : front., plates. ; 20 cm.
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Grosset & Dunlap
Grosset & Dunlap
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Sea stories -- 1917
Bldn -- 1917
Sea stories
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by Jules Verne... illustrated with scenes from the photo-play produced and copyrighted by the Universal film company.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002462167
oclc - 01387757
notis - AMG7542
lccn - 17010162
lcc - PZ3.V594 Tw5
System ID:

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Full Text



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July 31t 1913.

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enterprises. andK advntuou good~ tie.Wa nwi edul s n
hahi seshlde haeduttained The shoud constantly
bepreetdtbi h ok~h o lksbsytawy h ok

cheap~ juvenile literaturesrr srn

kbrary ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Jl ofst th itio fCluba asigo, .C;Harsn

Graor Librarian, Canei fibspraryofe Ptsbughe Pdctoa: Claude GLland,

Superpintesndet Bureatrus gof Liaimes, Boad nof duaio n, ewu YsorkCty



Edward F. Stevous, Librarian, Pratt Institute Free Library, Sh~ootlyn,

New York: together with the Editorial Board of our M~ovement, William

D. Murray, Georg~e D. Pratt and Frank Presbrey, with Franklin K. Mathieu,.

Chief Seout Libr'arian, as Seoretary.

In selecting 'the books, the Commission has chosen only such as

Bae of interest to boys, the first twenty-five being either wrorks of

tiotion or stirring stories of adventurous experiences. In later lists,

books of a more serious sort will be included. It is hoped that as

many as twenty-five may be added to the Library each year.

Thanks are due the several publishers who have helped to

'Ifaugurate ,this new department of our worS. Without their co-operation

In making available for popular priced editions some of the best books

ever published for boys, the promotion of EVERY BOY'S LIBRARY would.

have been impossible.

We wish, too, to express' our heartiest gratitude to the Library

Commission, who, wvitnptot compensation, have Glaced their vast experience

and immense resourcsas6t the service of our Mlovement.

The Commission invites suggestions as to future books to be

included in the Library. Librarians, teachers, parents, and all others

interested in welfare work for boys, can render a unique service by

forwarding to INational Headquarters lists of such books as in their

judgment would be suitable for EVERY BOY'S LIBRARY.


Chief Soont Executive.


_ __







Copyright, 1917, by


THIS is truly the age of wonders.
It is also the age and day of blunted vision and
warped perspective. You and I are apt to lose all
sense of proper proportion and relative value as we
sit and watch to-day's panorama of epoch making
history unfold itself.
Great events, marvelous discoveries and miracle-
like inventions have followed each other in such
rapid succession during the past few years that the
ear rings, the eye swims and the brain becomes con-
fused when we attempt to grasp, analyze and men-
tally catalog in its proper place, each of these new,
all important things--contributing causes to the
revolutionary readjustment of that scheme of life
which was ours but a few brief years back.
The steam engine and railroad, the telephone and
telegraph, the automobile and wireless, the motion
picture and aeroplane, the .skyscraper and subma-
rine~-these are only a few of the many recently es-
tablished milestones on the road of progress.
To-day we are so used to witnessing the accom-
plishment of that which was yesterday deemed im-
possible, that we are wont to give but a passing
glance to the ultimate achievement and then accept
it as a necessary part of our existence without look-
ing behind the scenes to ascertain the means and
methods employed to make that thing possible.
Who, in his boyhood days, has not reveled in the
thrills and fascinations of that wonderful story
"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"-the
fifty year old literary sensation which was born of


the imagination of that greatest of all scientific and
romantic dreamers, Jules Verne?
Who among us did not follow with breathless in-
terest the doings of the mysterious Captain Nemo
and his marvelous submarine craft, the Nautilus?
Who among us did not delight in the gifted author's
imaginative yet vivid descriptions of existence beneath
the waves, of the teeming life and terrible monsters
inhabiting the hidden depths and all the million mar-
vels of an unknown world?
Who among us, at that time, :ever thought that
the inventive brain of man, inspired by the dream
of Jules Verne, would one day--and a very near
day- at that--evolve an actual submarine which
would prove as practical as that imaginative cre-
ation of the then ridiculed author ? And who
among us, even in the wildest flights of fancy, ever
imagined ~that the time would come when we would
be able to sit in a comfortable theater seat and wvit-
ness in actual reality the wonderful exploits of
V'erne's mythical Captain Nemo and his phantom
adventure ship, the N~autilus, as it prowled the ocean
And yet-to-day, you and I canz sit in that com-
fortable theater seat and watch that very wonderful
Verne the dreamer has been vindicated and the
fabric of civilization has received another readjust-
ment through' the accomplishment of the supposed
impossible-the picturization o-f "'Twentyr Thou-
sand Leagues Under the Sea" following closely
upon the advent of the practical submarine.
The Unliversal Film M/fg. Co., in conjunction
with the Williamson Brothers, young scientists and
inventors, have visualized this sensational story of
Verne's, and to-day it can be seen in hundreds of
moving picture theaters scattered over many lands.


Through the medium of the cinema camera and
the marvelous submarine photographic inventions of
the Williamson Brothers we are now transported
bodily to the bottom of the ocean where we can wan-
der around as freely as in the air, revel in the won-
ders of Neptune's picturesque botanical gardens,
watch with breathless interest. the hunting trip of
Captain Nemo's fearless crew as they penetrate the
coral forests in search of deep -sea game, witness
the unique sight of a funeral procession along the
ocean bottom, see the fierce fought battle between
a giant octopus and a native pearl diver, and look
upon the actual torpedoing of a big ship by the real-
istic replica of Verne's submarine terror-the- Nau-
As these and hundreds of other fantastic and
hitherto undreamt of scenes are unfolded before
our eyes, curiosity takes the place of bewilderment
and we ask ourselves the.question--how was it all
made possible?
The deep sea tube, invented by Captain Charles
Wiilliamson, the father of the W17illiamson Brothers,
is the basic invention which has made undersea pho-
tography possible. The Williamson tube is flexible,
and composed of a series of strong interlocking iron
plates or hinges joined together and covered with
a watertight fabric in such a way as to exclude water
leakage. It is connected to a ship or barge and
hangs underneath the vessel for all the world like a.
huge Chinese lantern that has been submerged.
This tube descends into the water for fifty or sixty
feet or more, depending upon the depth required for
operations. The width inside is about three feet--
large enough to allow a man to climb up or down
much the same as one would climb up or down a
ladder. The plated walls of the tube are strong
enough to withstand the pressure of the sea at any


required depth and the tube sways and bends easily
with the tide or the movements of the vessel above,
the walls stretching apart or collapsing together in
the manner of an accordion.
When Captain Williamson invented the subma-
rine tube his two sons, George and Ernest William-
son, utilized their father's remarkable achievement
in the perfection of under water photography.
Realizing the obstacles which confronted them, but
undeterred by the prospect, these young scientists
set to work to make a photographic chamber which
could be attached to the lower end of the elder Wil-
liamson's tube. The eventual invention of such a
chamber and the prolonged series of experiments
which demonstrated its success marked the next step
toward the attainment of their ultimate object.
The Williamson phogrphic chamber is spheri-
cal in shape, measuresfv feet in diameter and
weighs over four tons, being built of heavy cast iron.
At one side of the chamber is a large, funnel shaped,
heavy glass window. It is through this window that
the pictures are taken. In taking the submarine
pictures two men usually occupy the photographic
chamber. One man concentrates upon the opera-
tion of the camera while the other man acts as look-
out and gives orders to those on the deck of the ves-
sel above. A simple ventilating device freshens the
air so that one may remain below indefinitely. The
raising and lowering of the camera chamber is ac-
complished through chains attached to the chamber
and running to chain hoists on the deck of the boat.
With the invention of this submarine photographic
chamber the Williamsons were enabled to not only
make photographs, but moving pictures far below
the surface of the sea.
This apparatus, which was used by the William-
son Brothers in photographing the submarine por-


tions of "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the
Sea," may appear rather simple in construction, but
when it is taken into consideration that it was
only perfected after many years of study, experi-
ment and unrelenting effort, often hampered by dif-
ficulties which would have discouraged many men of
less perseverance, you and I can gain some vague
idea of the principal obstacle which had to be over-
come in order to allow us the pleasure of witnessing
a visualization of Captain Nemo's famous adven-
After inventing and building the tube and photo-
graphic chamber a year and a half in time and many
thousands of dollars were expended by the William-
sons in their experiments with undersea cinematog-
raphy before they felt that they were finally ready
to tackle the production of Jules Verne's sensational
Arrangements were then consummated between the
Universal Film M/fg. Co., and the Williamson
Brothers by the terms of which the production was
to be made jointly.
Preliminary to the actual production of the story,
however, many other things had to be done. The
waters of the West Indies had been selected for the
scene of operations, so a complete expedition was
fitted out and sent to this location, where laborato-
ries and studios were established by the Williamsons
and active preparations for the big undertaking
started. The next big problem that presented itself
was the securing of the many unique and extraordi-
nary properties considered necessary to a correct ren-
dition of the fantastic story.
After many fruitless efforts to secure the loan of
a submarine from the United States Government
it was decided to have one built. For the next six
months the Williamsons were busily engaged in


directing the work of dozens of mechanics engaged
in carrying out this task from the designs which
they had drafted. The completed boat has a length
of over 125 feet and a beam width of about: 15 feet.
It is built entirely of sheet iron and has sufficient
resistance to withstand a water pressure when sub-
merged in forty feet of water. By means of tanks
this counterpart of the Nautilus is enabled to take on
water and sink beneath the surface of the sea, while
compressed air tanks are utilized to blow out the
water ballast and raise the boat to the surface once
more. The submarine was fitted with a power plant
for propelling itself through the water and was
equipped with regulation torpedo tubes and prac-
tical torpedoes. The interior of the boat as well
as the exterior followed closely the lines of the Nau-
tilus as described by Verne, and every detail of ac-
cessory equipment was added prior to the comple-
tion of the task.
This job off of their hands the Williamsons next
turned their attention to the matter of self-contained
submarine suits in which to dress the crew of the
Nautilus for their adventures on the floor of the
ocean. This was indeed a problem, but fortunately
during a search of scientific records the Williamsons
learned that such a suit had been invented and was
then in use by one of the big foreign governments.
After some negotiation with the manufacturer in
England a dozen of these suits were purchased and
delivered at the studio in the Bahamas. By means
of an oxylithe tank attached to the suit one is en-
abled to walk the floor of the ocean almost at will,
as the air required for breathing purposes is self-
contained. It was most fortunate for the sake of
the picture that the Williamsons were able to pro-
cure these suits when they did. A few months later
war was declared and the British Government com-


mandeere~d the factory of the concern which had
manufactured them. Now these suits cannot be
procured at any price, as they are utilized, it is said,
exclusively by the government in fighting the Ger-
man submarine campaign.
The days and weeks of scheming necessary to lo-
cate and secure the monster octopus--the difficulties
of reproducing the battle between this giant of the
deep and an actor--the days of experimenting be-
fore the matter of making guns explode by air pres-
sure was solved--the obstacles which had to be
overcome before the scenes depicting the ramming
of the Abraham Lincoln by the submersible Nau-
tilus could be registered upon the sensitive film--
these and hundreds of similar incidents would each
make most interesting reading if chronicled by them-
selves, but unfortunately this limited space will not
permit of such description.
Suffce to say that only after months and months
of unrelenting effort, handicaps and hardships and
the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars
was it: possible to reproduce on the film camera's
ribbon that master story which you and I always
deemed impossible to visualize.
And now, as we again read the fantastic prophecy
of the master dreamer, Verne, or watch with bated
breath the pictured ventures of his brain-children, let
us voice a silent prayer of appreciation for the in-
ventive genius that has made it all a vivid reality.
Truly it is the age of wonders.
February 20, 1917.


II PRO AND CON .. ,- :. 9
IV NED LAND .. .. .. .. 20
V AT A VENTURE ........27
VI AT FULL STEAM ... .. .. 33
X THE MAN OF THE SEAS ,. .... 61
XI ALL av ELECTRICITY .. .. .. 78
XII SOME FIGURES .. .. .. 84
XVIII VANIKORO ......... 127
XXII "lEcmz SOMNIA" ........ 164


IV THE RED SEA .. .. .. .. 207
HOURS .. .. ..238
VIII VIco BAY .. .. .. .25
XIII THE ICEBERG. .. .. .. .. 291
XIV THE SouTH POLE .. .. 31
XVI WANT OFAI~R ....... 321
170 28' .......... 361
XXI A HECATOMB ........ 367

Twenty Thousand Leagues

Under the Sea



THE year 1866 was signalized by a remarkable
incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon,
which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to
mention rumors which agitated the maritime popula-
tion, and excited the public mind, even in the interior
of continents, seafaring men were particularly ex-
cited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of ves-
sels, skippers, both of Eur~onpde and Anmera nava
officers of all countries, adtegvrmnso
several states on the two continents, were deeply
interested in the matter.
For some time past, vessels had been met by "an
enormous thing," a long object spindle-shaped, oc-
casionally phosphorescent, and infinitely larger and
more rapid in its movements than a whale.
The facts relating to this apparition (entered in
various log-books) agreed in most respects as to
the shape of the object or creature in question, the
untiring rapidity of its movements, its surprising
power of locomotion, and the peculiar life with


which it seemed endowed. If it was a cetacean, it
surpassed in size all those hitherto classified in
science. Taking into consideration the mean of ob-
servations made at divers times--rejecting the timid
estimate of those who assigned to this object a
length of two hundred feet, equally with the ex-
aggerated opinions which set it down as a mile in
width and three in length-we might fairly conclude
that this mysterious being surpassed greatly all di-
mensions admitted by the ichthyologists of the day,
if it existedd at all. And that it did exist was an
undeniable fact; and, with that tendency which dis-
poses the human mind in favor of the marvelous,
we can understand the excitement produced in the
entire world .by this supernatural apparition. As
to classing it in the list of fables, the idea was out
of the question.
On the 20th of July, 1866, the steamer Governor
Higginson, of the Calcutta and Burnach Steam
Navigation Company, had met this moving mass
five miles off the east coast of Australia. Cap-
tain Baker thought: at first that he was in the pres-
ence of an unknown sanc' bank; he even prepared to
determine its exact position, when two columns of
water, projected by the inexplicable object, shot with
a hissing noise a hundred and fifty feet up into the
ai.Now, unless the sand-bank had been submitted
to the intermittent eruption of a geyser, the Gov-
ernor Higginson had to do neither more nor less
than with an aquatic mammal, unknown till then,
which threw up from its blow-holes columns of water
mixed with air and vapor.
Similar facts were observed on the 23d of July
in the same year, in the Pacific Ocean, by the Colum-
bus, of the West India and Pacific Steam Navigation
Company. But this extraordinary cetaceous crea-
ture could transport itself from one place to another

with surprising velocity; as, in an interval of three
days, the Governor Higginson and the Columbus
had observed it at two different points of the chart,
separated by a distance of more than seven hundred
nautical leagues.
Fifteen days later, two thousand~miles further off,
the Helvetia, of the Compagnie-Nationale, and the
Shannon, of the Royal M~ail Steamship Company,
sailing to windward in that portion of the Atlantic
lying between the United States and Europe, re-
spectively signaled the monster to each other in 420
IS' N. lat. and 60" 35' W. long. In these simul-
taneous observations, they thought themselves justi-
fled in estimating the minimum length of the mammal
at more than three hundred and fifty feet, as the
Shannon and Helvetia were of smaller dimensions
than it, though they measured three hundred feet
over all.
Now the largest whales, those which frequent
those parts of the sea round the Aleutian, Kulammak,
and Umgullich Islands, have never exceeded the
length of sixty yards, if they attain that.
These reports arriving one after the other, with
fresh observations made on board the transatlantic
ship Pereira, a collision which occurred between the
Etna of the Inman line and the monster, a process
verbal directed by the officers of the French frigate
Normandie, a very accurate survey made by the
staff of Commodore Fitz-James on board the Lord
Clyde greatly influenced public opinion. Light-
thinking people jested upon the phenomenon, but
grave, practical countries, such as England, America,
and Germany, treated the matter more seriously.
In every place of great resort the monster was
the fashion. They sang of it in the cafds, ridiculed
il kin th paper,~,~" and represented it on the stage.
Allkins o series were circulated regarding it.


There appeared in the papers caricatures of every
gigantic and imaginary creature, from the white
whale, the terrible "Moby Dick" of hyperborean
regions, to the immense kraken whose tentacles could
entangle a ship of five hundred tons, and hurry it
into the abyss of the ocean. The legends of ancient
times were even resuscitated, and the opinions of
Aristotle and Pliny revived, who admitted the ex-
istence of these monsters, as well as the Norwegian
tales of Bishop Pontoppidan, the accounts of Paul
Heggede, and, last of all, the reports of Mr. Har-
rington (whose good faith no one could suspect),
who affrmed that, being on board the Castillan, in
1857, he had seen this enormous serpent, which had
never until that time frequented any other seas but
those of the ancient "Constitutionel."
Then burst forth the interminable controversy be-
tween the credulous and the incredulous in the so-
cleties of savants and scientific journals. "The
question of the monster" inflamed all minds. Edi-
tors of scientific journals, quarreling with believers
in the supernatural, spilled seas of ink during this
memorable campaign, some even -drawing blood;
for, from the sea-serpent, they came to direct per-
For six months war was waged with various for-
tune in the leading articles of the Geographical In-
stitution of Brazil, the Royal Academy of Science
of Berlin, the British Association, the Smithsonian
Institution of Washington, in the discussions of the
"Indian Archipelago," of the Cosmos of the Abbi
Moigno, in the Mittheilungen of Petermann, in the
scientific chronicles of the great journals of France
and other countries. The cheaper journals replied
keenly and with inexhaustible zest. These satirical
writers parodied a remark of Linnaus, quoted by
the adversaries of the monster, maintaining that


"nature did not make fools," and adjured their con-
temporaries not to give :the lie to nature, by admit-
ting the existence of krakens, sea-serpents, "Moby
Dicks," and other lucubrations of delirious sailors.
At length an article in a well-known satirical journal
by a favorite contributor, the chief of the staff, set-
tled the monster, like Hippolytus, giving it the death-
blow amid a universal burst of laughter. Wit had
conquered science.
During the first months of the year 1867, the
question seemed buried never to revive, when new
facts were brought before the public. It was then
no longer a scientific problem to be solved, but a
real danger seriously to be avoided. The question
took quite another shape. The monster became a
small island, a rock, a reef, but a reef of indefinite
and shifting proportions.
On the 5th of March, 1867, the Moravian, of the
Montreal Ocean Company, finding herself during
the night in 270 30' lat. and 72o 15' long., struck on
herstaboad carter a rock, marked in no chart
for sthrbatd~ part of the sea. Under the combined ef-
forts of the wind and its four hundred horse-power,
it was going at the rate of thirteen knots. Had it
not been for the superior strength of the hull of
the Moravian, she would have been broken by the
shock, and gone down with the 237 passengers she
was bringing home from Canada.
The accident happened about five o'clock in the
morning, as the day was breaking. The officers of
the quarterdeck hurried to .the after-part of the
vessel. They examined the sea with the most
scrupuloussr attention. The'y swntin u
iif th~edd sraceu thadeen violently agitated. The
bearings of the place were taken exactly, and the
Moravian continued its route without apparent dam-


age. Had it struck on a submerged rodk, or on an
enormous wreck? They A6uld not tell; but on ex-
amination of the ship's bottom when undergoing
repairs, it was found that part of her keel was
This fact, so grave in itself, might perhaps have
been forgotten like many others, if, three weeks
after, it had not been re-enacted under similar cir-
cumstances. But, thanks to the nationality of the
victim of the shock, thanks to the reputation of the
company to which the vessel belonged, the circum-
stance became extensively circulated.
The 13th o f April, 16, the sea being beautiful,
the breeze favorable, teScotia, of the Cunard
Company's line, found herself in I50 12' long. and
450 37' lat. She was going at the speed of thirteen
knots and a half.
At seventeen ni~inutes past four in the afternoon,
while the passengers were assembled at lunch in the
great saloon, a slight shock was felt on the hull of
the Scotia, on her quarter, a little aft of the port:
The Scotia had not struck, but she had been struck,
and seemingly by something rather sharp and pene-;
trating than blunt. The shock had been solgh
that no one had been alarmed, had it not been for
the shouts of the carpenter's watch, who rushed on
to the bridge, exclaiming, "We are sinking! we are
sinking l" At first the passengers were much fright-
ened, but Captain Anderson hastened to reassure
them. The danger could not be' imminent. The
Scotia, divided into seven compartments by strong
partitions, could brave with impunity any leak. Cap-
tain Anderson went down immediately into the hold.
He found that the sea was pouring into the fifth
compartment; and the rapidity of the influx proved.
that the force of the water was considerable. Foi-


tunately this compartment did not hold the boilers,
or the fires would have been immediately extin-
guished. Captain Anderson ordered the engines to
be stopped at once, and one of the men went down
to ascertain the extent of the injury. Some minutes
afterward they discovered the existence of a large
hole, of two yards in diameter, in the ship's bottom.
Such a leak could not be stopped; and the Scotia,
her paddles half submerged, was obliged to con-
tinue her course. She was then three hundred miles
from Cape Clear, and after three days' delay, which
caused great uneasiness in Liverpool, she entered
the basin of the company.
The engineers visited the Scotia, which waspu
in dry-dock. They could scarcely believe it possibe
at two yards and a half below water-mark was a
regular rent, in the form of an isosceles triangle.
The broken place in the iron plates was so perfectly
defined that it could not have been more neatly done
by a punch. It was clear, then, that the instrument
producing the perforation was not of a common
stamp; and after having been driven with prodigious
strength, and piercing an iron plate one and three-
eighth inches thick, had withdrawn itself by a ret-
rograde motion truly inexplicable.
Such was the last fact, which resulted in exciting
once more the torrent of public opinion. From this
moment all unlucky casualties which could not be
otherwise accounted for were put down to the
Upon this imaginary creature rested the respon-
sibility of all these shipwrecks, which unfortunately
were considerable; for of three thousand ships whose
loss was annually recorded at Lloyds', the number of
sailing and steam ships supposed to be totally lost,
from the absence of all news, amounted to not less
than two hundred.


Now, it was the "monster" who, justly or unjustly,
was accused of their disappearance, and, thanks to
it, communication between the different continents
became more and more dangerous. The public de-
manded peremptorily that the seas should at any
price be relieved from this formidable cetacean.



AT the period when these events took place, I had
just returned from a scientific research in the dis-
agreeable territory of Nebraska, in the United
States. In virtue of my office as Assistant Professor
in the Museum of Natural History in Paris, the
French government had attached me to that expedi-
tion. Atrsix months in Nebraska, I arrived in
New York toward the end of March, laden with
precious collection. My departure for France was
fixed for the first days in May. Meanwhile, I was
occupying myself in classifying my mineralogical,
botanical, and zoological riches, when the accident
happened to the Scotia.
Iwas perfectly up in the subject which was the
question of the day. How could I be otherwise?
I had read and reread all the American and Euro-
pean papers without being any nearer a conclusion.
This mystery puzzled me. Under the impossibility
of forming an opinion, I jumped from one extreme
to the other. That there really was something
could not be doubted, and the incredulous were in-
vited to put their finger on the wound of the Scotia.
On my arrival at New York, the question was
at its height. The hypothesis of the floating island,
and the unapproachable sand-bank, supported by
minds little competent to form a judgment, was
abandoned. And, indeed, unless this shoal had a
machine in its stomach, how could it change its posi-
tion with such astonishing rapidity?


From the same cause, the idea of a floating hull
of an enormous wreck was given up.
There remained then only two possible solutions
of the question, which created two distinct parties:
on one side, those who were for a monster of colossal
strength; on the other, those who were for a sub-
marine vessel of enormous motive pos twer. cul
But this last hypothesis, plausiblea tws ol
not stand against inquiries made in both worlds.
That a private gentleman should have such a ma-
chine at his command was not likely. Where, when,
and how was it built ? and how could its construc-
tion have been kept secret? Certainly a govern-
ment might possess such a destructive machine.
And in these disastrous times, when the ingenuity'
ofmnhas multiplied the power or weapons o
war, it was possible that, without the knowledge of
others, a state might try to work such a formidable
engine. After the chassepots came the torpedoes,
after the torpedoes the submarine rams, then--the
reaction. At least, I hope so.
But the hypothesis of a war-machine fell before
the declaration of governments. As public interest
was mn question, and transatlantic communications
suffered, their veracity could not be doubted. But,
how admit that the construction of this submarine
boat had escaped the public eye? For a private
gentleman to keep the secret under such circum-
stances would be very difficult, and for a state whose
every act is persistently watched by powerful rivals,
certainly impossible.
After inquiries made in England, France, Russia,
Prussia, Spain, Italy, and America, even in Turkey,
the hypothesis of a submarine monitor was definitely
Upon my arrival in New York several persons did
me the honor of consulting me on the phenomenon


in question. I had2 published in France a work in
quarto, in two volumes, entitled, "Mysteries of the
Great Submarine Grounds." This book, highly ap-
proved of in the learned world, gained for me a
special reputation in this rather obscure branch of
Natural History. My advice was asked. As long
as I could deny the reality of the fact, I confined
myself to a decided negative. But soon finding my-
self driven into a corner, I was obliged to explain
myself categorically. And even "the Honorable
Pierre Aronnax, Professor in the Museum of Paris,"~
was called upon by the Newe York Herald to express
a definite opinion of some sort. I did something;.
I spoke for want of power to hold my tongue. I
discussed the question in all its forms, politically
and scientifically; and I give here an extract from
a carefully studied article which I published in the
number of the 30th of April. It ran as follows:
"After examining one by one the different ~hy-
potheses, rejecting all other suggestions, it becomes
necessary to admit the existence of a marine animal
of enormous power.
"The great depths of the ocean are entirely un-
known to us. Soundings cannot reach them. What
passes in those remote depths--what beings live, or
can live, twelve or fifteen miles beneath the surface
of the waters---what is the organization of these
animals---we can scarcely conjecture. However,
the solution of the problem submitted to me may
modify the form of the dilemma. Either we do
know all the varieties of beings which people our
planet, or we do not. If we do not know them
all, if Nature has still secrets in ichthyology for us,
nothing is more conformable to reason than to ad-
mit the existence of fishes, or cetaceans of other
kinds, or even of new species, of an organization
formed to inhabit the strata inaccessible to sound-


ings, and which an accident of some sort, either
fantastical or capricious, has brought at long in-
tervals to the upper level of the ocean.
"If, on the contrary, we do know all living kinds,
we must necessarily seek for the animal in question
among those marine beings already classed; and, in
that case, I should be disposed to admit the exist-
ence of a gigantic narwhal.
"The common narwhal, or unicorn of the sea,
often attains a length of sixty feet. Increase its
size fivefold or tenfold, give it strength propor-
tionate to its size, lengthen its destructive weapons,
and you obtain the animal required. It will have
the proportions determined by the officers of the
Shannon, the instrument required by the perforation
of the Scotia, and the power necessary to pierce the
hull of the steamer.
"Indeed the narwhal is armed with a sort of ivory
sword, a halberd, according to the expression of cer-
tain naturalists. The principal tusk has the hard-
ness of steel. Some of these tusks have been found
buried in the bodies of whales, which the unicorn
always attacks with success. Others have been
drawn out, not without trouble, from the bottoms of
ships, which they had pierced through and through,
as a gimlet pierces a barrel. The Museum of the
Faculty of Medicine of Paris possesses one of these
defensive weapons, two yards and a quarter in
length, and fifteen inches in diameter at the base.
"Very well! suppose this weapon to be six times
stronger, and the animal ten times more powerful;
launch it at the rate of -twenty miles an hour, and
you obtain a shock capable of producing the catas-
trophe required. Until further information, there-
fore, I shall maintain it to be a sea-unicorn of
colossal dimensions, armed, not with a halberd, but
with a real spur, as the armored frigates, or the


'rams' of war, whose massiveness and motive power
it would possess at the same time. Thus may this
inexplicable phenomenon be explained, unless there
be something over and above all that one has ever
conjectured, seen, perceived, or experienced; which
is just within the bounds of possibility."
These last words were cowardly on my part; but,
up to a certain point, I wished to shelter my dignity
as professor, and not give too much cause for laugh-
ter to the Americans, who laugh well when they
do laugh. I reserved for myself a way of escape.
In effect, however, I admitted the existence of the
"monster." My article was warmly discussed,
which procured it a high reputation. It rallied
round it a certain number of partisans. The solu-
tion it proposed gave, at least, full liberty to the
imagination. The human mind delights in grand
conceptions of supernatural beings. -And the sea
is precisely their best vehicle, the only medium
through which these giants (against which terrestrial
animals, such as elephants or rhinoceroses, are as
nothing) can be produced or developed.
The industrial and commercial papers treated the
question chiefly from this point of view. The
Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, the Lloyds' List,
the Packet-Boat and the 2Maritime and Colonial Re-
viewe, all papers devoted to insurance companies
which threatened to raise their rates of premium,
were unanimous on this point. Public opinion had
been pronounced. The United States were the first
in the field; and in New York they made prepara-
tions for an expedition destined to pursue this
narwhal. A frigate of great speed, the Abraham
Lincoln, was put in commission, as soon as possible.
The arsenals were opened to Commander Farragut,
who hastened the arming of his frigate; but, as it
always happens, the moment it was decided to pursue


the monster, the monster did not app~ear. For two
months no one heard it spoken of. No ship met
with it. It seemed as if this unicorn knew of the
plots weaving around it. It had been so much
talked of, even through the Atlantic cable, that
jesters pretended that this slender fly had stopped
a telegram on its passage, and was making the most
of it.
So when the frigate ~had been armed for a long
campaign, and provided with formidable fishing ap-
paratus, no one could tell what course to pursue.
Impatience grew apace, when, on the 2d of June,
they learned that a steamer of the line of San Fran-
cisco, from California to Shanghai, had seen the
animal three weeks before in the North Pacific
Ocean. The excitement caused by this news was
extreme. The ship was revictualed and well stocked
with coal. .
Three hours before the Abraham Lincoln left
Brooklyn pier, I received a letter worded as follows:.

"Professor in the Museum of Paris,
"Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York.
"SIR: If you will consent to join the Abraham
Lincoln in this expedition, the government of the
United States will with pleasure see France repre-
sented in the enterprise. Commander Farragut has
a cabin at your disposal.
"'Very cordially yours,
"J. B. Honson,
"Secretary of Marine."



THREE seconds before the arrival of J. B. Hob-
son's letter, I no more thought of pursuing the uni-
corn than of attempting the passage of the North
Sea. Three seconds after reading the letter of the
Honorable Secretary of Marine, I felt that my true
vocation, the sole end of my life, was to chase this
disturbing monster, and purge it from the world.
But I had just returned from a fatiguing journey,
weary, and longing for repose. I aspired to nothing
more than again seeing my country, my friends,
myr little lodging by the Jardin des Plantes, my dear
and precious collections. But nothing could keep me
back I forgot all--fatigue, friends, and collec-
tions-and accepted without hesitation the offer of
the American government.
"LBesides,") thought I, "all roads lead back to Eu-
rope; and the unicorn may be amiable enough to
hurry me toward the coast of France. This worthy
animal may allow itself to be caught in the seas of
Europe (for my particular benefit), and I will not
bring back less than half a yard of his ivory halberd
to the Museum of Natural History." But in the
meanwhile I must seek this narwhal in the North
Pacific Ocean, which, to return to France, was tak-
ing the road to the antipodes.
"Conseil," I called in an impatient voice.
Conseil was my servant, a true, devoted Flem-
ish boy, who had accompanied me in all my travels.
I liked him, and he returned the liking well. He
was phlegmatic by nature, regular from principle,


zealous from habit, evincing little disturbance at the
different surprises of life, very quick with his hands,
and apt at any service required of him; and, despite
his name, never giving advice--even when asked
for it.
Conseil had followed me for the last ten years
wherever science led. Never once did he complain
of the length or fatigue of a journey, never made
an objection to pack his portmanteau for whatever
country it might be, or however far away, whether
China or Congo. Besides all this, he had good
health, which defied all sickness, and solid muscles,
but no nerves; good morals are understood. This
boy was thirty years old, and his age to that of his
master as fifteen to twenty. May I be excused for
saying that I was forty years old?
But Conseil had one fault--he was ceremonious
-to a degree, and would never speak to me but in the
third person, which was sometimes provoking.
"'Conseil," said I again, beginning with feverish
hands to make preparations for my departure.
Certainly I was sure of this devoted boy. As a
rule, I never asked him if it were convenient for
him or not to follow me in my travels; but this
time the expedition in question might be prolonged,
and the enterprise might be hazardous in pursuit
of an animal capable of sinking a frigate as easily
as a nutshell. Here there was matter for reflection
even to the most impassive man in the world. What
would Conseil say?
"Conseil," I called a third time.
Conseil appeared.
"Did you call, sir ?" said he, entering.
"Yes, my boy; make preparations for me and
yourself too. We leave in two hours."
"As you please, sir," replied Conseil quietly.
"Not an instant to lose; lock in my trunk all travel-


ing utensils, coats, shirts, and stockings--without
counting--as many as you can, and make haste."
"And your collections, sir ?" observed Conseil.
"We will think of them by and by."
"What! the archiotherium, the hyracotherium,
the oreodons, the cheropotamus, and the other
skins ?"
"They will keep them at the hotel."
"And your live Babiroussa, sir ?"
"They will feed it during our absence; besides, I
will give orders to forward our menagerie to
"We are not returning to Paris, then?~" said
"Oh! certainly," I answered evasively, "by mak-
mng a curve."
"Will the curve please you, sir ?"
"Oh!i it will be nothing; not quite so direct a road,
that is all. We take our passage in the Abraham
"As~ ~~~~: yutnkpoesr" coolly replied Conseil.
"You see, my friend, it has to do with the monster
-the famous narwhal. We are going to purge it
from the seas. The author of a work in quarto,
in two volumes, on the 'Mysteries of the Great
Submarine Grounds' cannot forbear embarking with
Commander Farragut. A glorious mission, but a
dangerous onel We cannot tell where we maygo
these animals can be very capricious. But we wl
go whether or no;~ we have got a captain who is
pretty wide awake."
I opened a credit account for Babiroussa, and,
Conseil following, I jumped into a cab. Our lug-
gage was transported to the deck of the frigate
immediately. I hastened on board and asked for
Commander Farragut. One of the sailors con-
ducted me to the poop, where I found myself in the


presence of a good-looking officer, who held out his
hand to me.
"Monsieur Pierre Aronnax?" said he.
"Himself," replied I; "Commander Farragut?"
"You are welcome, professor; your cabin is ready
for you."~
I bowed, and desired to be conducted to the cabin
destined for me.
The Abraham Lincoln had been well chosen and
equipped for her new destination. She was a frigate
of great speed, fitted with high-pressure engines
which admitted a pressure of seven atmospheres.
Under this the Abraham Lincoln attained the mean
speed of nearly eighteen knots and a third an hour--
a considerable speed, but, nevertheless, insufficient
to grapple with this gigantic cetacean.
The interior arrangements of the frigate corre-
sponded to its nautical qualities. I was well satisfied
with my cabin, which was in the after-part, opening
upon the gun-room.
S"We shall be well off here," said I to Conseil.
"As well,. by your honor's leave, as a hermit crab
in the shell of a whelk," said Conseil.
I left Conseil to stow our trunks conveniently
away, and remounted the poop in order to survey
the preparations for departure.
At that moment Commander Farragut was order-
ing the last moorings to be cast loose which held
the Abraham Lincoln to the pier of Brooklyn. So
in a quarter of an hour, perhaps less, the frigate
would have sailed without me. I should have
missed this extraordinary, supernatural, and incred-
ible expedition, the recital of which may well meet
with some skepticism.
But Commander Farragut would not lose a day
nor an hour in scouring the seas in which the animal
had been sighted. He sent for the engineer.


"LIs the steam full on?" asked he.
"LYes, sir," replied the engineer.
"Go ahead," cried Commander Farragut.
The quay of Brooklyn, and all that part of New
York bordering on the East River, was crowded
with spectators. Three cheers burst successively
from five hundred thousand throats; thousands of
handkerchiefs were waved above the heads of the
compact mass, saluting the Abraham Lincoln, until
she reached the waters of the Hudson, at: the point
of that elongated peninsula which forms the town
of New York. Then the frigate, following the coast
of New Jersey along the right bank of the beautiful
river, covered with villas, passed between the forts,
which saluted her with their heaviest guns. The
~Abraham Lincoln answered by hoisting the Amer-
ican colors three times, whose thirty-nine stars shone
resplendent from the mizzen-peak; then modifying
its speed to take the narrow channel marked by buoys
placed in the inner bay formed by Sandy Hook Point,
it coasted the long sandy beach, where some thou-
sands of spectators gave it one final cheer. The
escort of boats and tenders still followed the frigate,
and did not leave her until they came abreast of the
light-ship whose two lights marked the entrance of
New York Channel.
Six bells struck, the pilot got into his boat, and
rejoined the little schooner which was waiting under
our lee, the fires were made up, the screw beat the
waves more rapidly, the frigate skirted the low
yellow coast of Lo~ng Island; and at eight bells, after
having lost sight in the northwest of the lights of
Fire Island, she ran at full steam on to the dark
waters of the Atlantic.



CAPTAIN FARRAGUT was a good seaman, worthy
of the frigate he commanded. His vessel and he
were one. He was the soul of it. On the .question
of the cetacean there was no doubt in his mind, and
he would not allow the existence of the animal to
be disputed on board. He believed in it as certain
good women believe in the leviathan--by faith, not
by reason. The monster did exist, and he had sworn
to rid the seas of it. He was a kind of Knight of
Rhodes, a second Dieudonn6 de Gozon, going to
meet the serpent which desolated the island. Eter
Captain Farragut would kill the narwhal, or the nar-
whal would kill the captain. There was no third
The officers on board shared the opinion of their
chief. They were ever chatting, discussing, and cal-
culating the various chances of a meeting, watching
narrowly the vast surface of the ocean. More than
one took up his quarters voluntarily in the cross-trees,
who would have cursed such a berth under any other
circumstances. As long as the sun described its daily
course, the rigging was crowded with sailors, whose
feet were burned, to such an extent by the heat of
the deck as to render it unbearable; still the Abraham
Lincoln had not yet breasted the suspected waters
of the Pacific. As to the ship's company, they de-
sired, nothing better than to meet the umicorn, to
harpoon it, hoist it on board, and dispatch it. They
watched the sea with eager attention.


Besides, Captain Farragut had spoken of a certain
sum of two thousand dollars, set apart for whoever
should first sight the monster, were he cabin-boy,
common seaman, or officer.
I leave you to judge how eyes were used on board
the Abraham Lincoln.
Far my own part, I was not behind the others, and
left to no one my share of daily observations. The
frigate might have been called the Argus, for a
hundred reasons. Only one among us, Conseil,
seemed to protest by his indifference against the
question which so interested us all, and seemed to
be out of keeping with the general enthusiasm on
I have siiid that Captain Farragut had carefully
provided his ship with every apparatus for catching
the gigantic cetacean. No whaler had ever been
better armed. WVe possessed every known engine,
from the harpoon thrown by hand to the barbed
arrows of the blunderbuss, and the explosive balls
of the duck-gun. On the forecastle lay the perfec-
tion of a breech-loading gun, very thick at the breech,
and very narrow in the bore, the model of which had
been in the Exhibition of I867. This precious
weapon of American origin could throw with ease
a conical projectile of nine pounds to a mean distance
of ten mi~les.
Thus the Abraham Lincoln wanted for no means
of destruction; and, what was better still, she had
on board Ned Land, the prince of ~harpooners.
Ned Land was a Canadian, with an uncommon
quickness of hand, and who knew no equal in his
dangerous occupation. Skill, coolness, audacity, and
cunning he possessed in a superior degree, and it
must be a cunning whale or a singularly "cute"
cachalot to escape the stroke of his harpoon.
Ned Land was about forty years of age; he was


a tall man (more than six feet high), strongly built,
grave and taciturn, occasionally violent, and very
passionate when contradicted. His person attracted
attention, but above all the boldness of his look,
which gave a singular expression to his face.
Who calls himself Canadian calls himself French;
and little communicative as Ned Land was, I must
admit that he took a certain liking for me. My
nationality drew him to me, no doubt. It was an
opportunity for him to talk, and for me to hear, that
old language of Rabelais, which is still in use in some
Canadian provinces. The harpooner's family was
originally from Quebec, and was already a tribe of
hardy fishermen when this town belonged to France.
Little by little, Ned Land acquired a taste for
chatting, and I loved to hear the recital of his ad-
ventures in the polar seas. He related his fishing,
and his combats, with natural poetry of expression;
his recital took the form of an epic poem, and I
seemed to be listening to a Canadian Homer singing
the Iliad of the regions of the North.
I am portraying this hardy companion as I really
knew him. We are old friends now, united in that
unchangeable friendship which is born and cemented
amid extreme dangers. Ah, brave Nedl II ask no
more than to live a hundred years longer, that I
may have more time to dwell the longer on your
Now, what was Ned Land's opinion upon the
question of the marine monster ? I must admit that
he did not believe in the unicorn, and was the only
one on board who did not share that universal con-
viction. He even avoided the subject, which I one
day thought it my duty to press upon him. One
magnificent evening, the 25th of June--that is to
say, three weeks after our departure--the frigate
was abreast of Cape Blanc, thirty miles to leeward


of the coast of Patagonia. We ha'd crossed the
tropic of Capricorn, and the Straits of Magellan
opened less than seven miles to the south. Before
eight days- were over, the Abraham Lincoln would
be plowing the waters of the Pacific.
Seated on the poop, Ned Land and I were chatting
of one thing and another as we looked at this mys-
terious sea, whose great depths had up to this time
been inaccessible to the eye of man. I naturally
led up the conversation to the giant unicorn,an
examined the various chances of success or failure
of the expedition. But seeing that Ned Land let
me speak without saying too much himself, I pressed
him more closely.
"Well, Ned," said I, "is it possible that you are
not convinced of the existence of this cetacean that
we are following? Have you any particular reason
for being so incredulous?"
The harpoonerr looked at me fixedly for some
moments before answering, struck his broad fore-
head with his hand (a habit of his), as if to collect
himself, and said at last, "Perhaps I have, Mr.
"But, Ned, you, a whaler by profession, familiar-
ized with all the great marine mammalia--you,
whose imagination might easily accept the hypothesis
of enormous cetaceans-you ought to be the last to
doubt under such circumstances "
"That is just what deceives you, professor," re-
plied Ned. "That the vulgar should believe in
extraordinary comets traversing space, and in the
existence of antediluvian monsters in the heart of
the globe, may well be; but neither astronomers nor
geologists believe in such chimeras. As a whaler,
I have followed many a cetacean, harpooned a great
number, and killed several; but, however strong or
well-armed ~they may have been, neither their tails

nor their weapons would have been able even to
scratch the iron plates of a steamerr"
"But, Ned, they tell of ships which the teeth of
the narwhal have pierced through and through."
"Wooden ships---that is possible," replied the
Canadian; "but I have never seen it done; an'd, until
further proof, I deny that whales, cetaceans, or sea-
unicorns could ever produce the effect you describe."
"Well, Ned, I repeat it with a conviction resting
on the logic of facts. I believe in the existence of
a mammal powerfully organized, belonging to the
branch of vertebrata, like the whales, the cachalots,
oar the dolphins, and furnished with a horn of de-
fense of great penetrating power."
"Hum i" said the harpooner, shaking his head with
the air of a man who would not be convinced.
"Notice one thing, my worthy Canadian," I re-
sumed. "If such an animal is in existence, if it
inhabits the depths of the ocean, if it frequents the
strata lying miles below the surface of the water, it
must necessarily possess an organization the strength
of which would defy all comparison."
"And why this powerful organization?" ~de-
manded Ned.
"Because it requires incalculable strength to keep
one's self in these strata and resist their pressure.
Listen to me. Let us admit that the pressure of
the atmosphere is represented by the weight of a
column of water thirty-two feet high. In reality
the column of water would be shorter, as we are
speaking of sea-water, the density of which is greater
than that of fresh water. Very well, when you
dive, Ned, as many times thirty-two feet of water
as there are above you, so many times does your
body bear a pressure equal to that of the atmosphere,
that is to say I5 lbs. for each square inch of its
surface. It follows, then, that at 320 feet this pres-


sure equals that of 10 atmospheres, of loo atmos-
pheres at 3,200 feet, and of I,000 atmospheres at
32,000 feet, that is, about 6 miles; which is equiva-
lent to saying that, if you could attain this depth in:
the ocean, each square 3/3 of an inch of the surface
of your body would bear a pressure of 5,600 lbs.
Ah I my brave Ned, do you know how many square
inches you carry on the surface of your body?"
"(I have no idea, Mr. Aronnax."
"About 6,$oo; and, as in reality the atmospheric
pressure is about I5 lbs. to the square inch, your
6,500 square inches bear at this moment a pressure
of 97,500 lbs."
"Without my perceiving it ?"
"Without your perceiving it. And if you are not
crushed by such a pressure, it is because the air
penetrates the interior of your body with equal pr~es-
sure. Hence perfect equilibrium between the interior
and exterior pressure, which thus neutralize each
other, and which allows you to bear it without in-
convenience. But in the water it is another thing."
"Yes, I understand," replied Ned, becoming more
attentive; "because the water surrounds me, but does
not penetrate."
"Precisely, Ned; so that at 32 feet beneath the
surface of the sea you would undergo a pressure of
97,500 lbs.; at 320 feet, ten times that pressure; at
3,200 feet, a hundred times that pressure; lastly, at
32,000 feet, a thousand times that pressure would be
97,500,ooo lbs.--that is to say, that you would be
flattened as if you had been drawn from the plates
of an hydraulic machine l"
"LThe devill" exclaimed Ned.
"Very well, my worthy harpooner, if some verte-
brate, several hundred yards long, and large mn
proportion, can maintain itself in such depths---of
those whose surface is represented by millions of


square inches, that is by tens of millions of pounds,
we must estimate the pressure they undergo. Con-
sider, then, what must be the resistance of their bony
structure, and the strength of their organization to
withstand such pressure!"
"Why !" exclaimed Ned Land, "they must be made
of iron plates eight inches thick, like the armored
"As you say, Ned. And think what destruction
such a mass would cause, if hurled with the speed of
an express train against the hull of a vessel."
"Yes-certainly--perhaps," replied the Canadian,
shaken by these figures, but not yet willing to give in.
"Well, have I convinced you ?"
"You have convinced me of one thing, sir, which
is, that if such animals do exist at the bottom of the
seas, they must necessarily be as strong as you say."
"But if they do not exist, mine obstinate har-
pooner, how explain the accident to the Scotia ?"



THE Voyage of the Abraham Lincoln was for a
long time marked by no special incident. But one
circumstance happened which showed the wonderful
dexterity of Ned Land, and proved what confidence
we might place in him.
The 30th of June, the frigate spoke some Amer-
ican whalers, from whom we learned that they knew
nothing about the narwhal. But one of them, the
captain of the Monroe, knowing that Ned Land had
shipped on board the Abraham Lincoln, begged for
his help in chasing a whale they had in sight. Com-
mander Farragut, desirous of seeing Ned Land at
work, gave him permission to go on board the
Monroe. And fate served our Canadian so well
that, instead of one whale, he harpooned two with
a double blow, striking one straight to the heart
and catching the eitherr after some minutes' pursuit.
Decidedly, if the monster ever had to do with Ned
Land's harpoon, I would not bet in its favor.
The frigate skirted the southeast coast of America
with great rapidity. The 3d of July we were at the
opening of the Straits of Magellan, level with Cape
Vierges. But Commander Farragut would not take
a tortuous passage, but doubled Cape Horn.
The ship's crew agreed with him. And certainly
it was possible that they might meet the narwhal in
this narrow pass. Many of the sailors allirmed that
the monster could not pass there, "that he was too
big for that!"


The 6th of July, about three o'clock in the after-
noon, the Abraham Lincoln, at fifteen miles to the
south, doubled the solitary island, this last rock at
the extremity of the American continent to which
some Dutch sailors gave the name of their native
town, Cape Horn. The course was taken toward
the northwest, and the next day the screw of the
frigate was at last beating the waters of the Pacific.
"Keep your eyes open l" called out the sailors.
And they were opened widely. Both eyes and
glasses, a little dazzled, it is true, by the prospect of
two thousand dollars, had not an instant's repose.
Day and night they watched the surface of the ocean,
and even nyetalopes, whose faculty of seeing in the
darkness multiplies their chances a hundredfold,
would have had enough to do to gain the prize.
I myself, for whom money had no charms, was
not the least attentive on board. Giving but few
minutes to my meals, but a few hours to sleep, in-
different to either rain or sunshine, I did not leave
the poop of the vessel. Now leaning on the netting
of the forecastle, now on the taffrail, I devoured with
eagerness the soft foam which whitened the sea as
far as the eye could reach; and how often have I
shared the emotion of the majority of the crew when
some capricious whale raised its black back above the
waves The poop of the vessel was crowded in a
moment. The cabins poured forth a torrent of
sailors and officers, each with heaving breast and
troubled eye watching the course of the cetacean.
I looked, and looked, till I was nearly blind, while
Conseil, always phlegmatic, kept repeating in a calm
"If, sir, you would not squint so much, you would
see better!"
But vain excitement the Abraham Lincoln checked
its speed and made for the animal signaled, a simple


whale, or common cachalot, which soon disappeared
amid a storm of execration.
But the weather was good. The voyage was be-
ing accomplished under the most favorable auspices.
It was then the bad season in Australia, the July of
that zone corresponding to our January in Europe;
but the sea was beautiful and easily scanned round
a vast circumference.
The 20th of July, the tropic of Capricorn was
cut by 1050 of longitude, and the 27th of the same
month we crossed the equator on the I Ioth meridian.
This passed, the frigate took a more decided westerly
direction, and scoured the central .waters of the
Pacific. Commander Farragut thought, and with
reason, that it was better to remain in deep water,
and keep clear of continents or islands, which the
beast itself seemed to shun (perhaps because there
was not enough water for him l suggested the greater
part of the crew). The frigate passed at some
distance from the Marquesas and the Sandwich Is-
lands, crossed the tropic of Cancer, and made for
the China Seas. We were on -the theater of the last
diversions of the monster; and to say truth, we no
longer lived on board. Hearts palpitated, fearfully
preparing themselves for future incurable aneurism.
The entire ship's crew were undergoing a nervous
excitement, of which I can give no idea; they could
not eat, they could not sleep: twenty times a day, a
misconception or an optical illusion of some sailor
seated on the taffrail would cause dreadful perspira-
tions, and these emotions, twenty times repeated, kept
us in a state of excitement so violent that a reaction
was unavoidable.
And truly, reaction soon showed itself. For three
months, during which a day seemed an age, the
Abraham Lincoln furrowed all the waters of the
Northern Pacific, running at whales, making sharp


deviations from her course, veering suddenly from
one tack to another, stopping suddenly, putting on
steam, and backing ever and anon at the risk of
deranging her machinery; and not one point of the
Japanese or American coast was left unexplored.
The warmest partisans of the enterprise now be-
came its most ardent detractors. Reaction mounted
from the crew to the captain himself, and certainly,
had it not been for resolute determination on the
part of Captain. Farragut, the frigate would have
headed due southward. This useless search could
not last much longer. The Abraham Lincoln had
nothing to reproach herself with, she had done her
best to succeed. Never had an American ships' crew
shown more zeal or patience; its failure could not
be placed to their charge--there remained nothing
but to return.
This was represented to the commander. The
sailors could not hide their discontent, and the service
suffered. I will not say there was a mutiny on board,
but after a reasonable period of obstinacy, Captain
Farragut (as Columbus did) asked for three days'
patience. If in three days the monster did not ap-
pear, the man at the helm should give three turns
of the wheel, and the Abraham Lincoln would make
for the European seas.
This promise was made on the 2d of November.
It had the effect of rallying the ship's crew. The
ocean was watched with renewed attention. Each
one wished for a last glance in which to sum up his
remembrance. Glasses were used with feverish ac-
tivity. It was a grand defiance given to the giant
narwhal, and he could scarcely fail to answer the
summons and "appear."
Two days passed, the steam was at half-pressure;
a thousand schemes were tried to attract the atten-
tioni and stimulate the apathy of the animal in case


it should be met in those parts. Large quantities of
bacon were trailed in the wake of the ship, to the
great satisfaction (I must say) of the sharks. Small
craft radiated in all directions round the Abraham
Lincoln as she lay to, and did not leave a spot of
the sea unexplored. But the night of the 4th of
November arrived without the unveiling of this sub-
marmne mystery.
The next day, the 5th of November, at twelve, the
delay would (morally speaking) expire; after that
time, Commander Farragut, faithful to his promise,
was to turn the course to the southeast and abandon
forever the northern regions of the Pacific.
The frigate was then in 31o 15' north latitude and
1360 42' east longitude. The coast of Japan still
remained less than two hundred miles to leeward.
Night was approaching. They had just struck eight
bells; large clouds veiled the face of the moon, then
in its first quarter. The sea undulated peaceably
under the stern of the vessel.
At that moment I was leaning forward on the
starboard netting. Conseil, standing near me,.was
looking straight before him. The crew, perched in
the ratlines, examined the horizon, which contracted
and darkened by degrees. Officers with their night-
glasses scoured the growing darkness; sometimes the
ocean sparkled under the rays of the moon, which
darted between two clouds, then all trace of light
was lost in the darkness.
In looking at Conseil, I could see he was under-
going a little of the general influence. At least I
thought so. Perhaps for the first time his nerves
vibrated to a sentiment of curiosity-.
"Come, Conseil," said I, "this is the last chance
of pocketing the two thousand dollars."
"May I be permitted to say, sir," replied Conseil,
"that I never reckoned on getting the prize; and,

had the government of the Union offered a hundred
thousand dollars, it would have been none the
"You are right, Conseil. It is a foolish affair
after all, and one upon which we entered too lightly.
WVhat time lost, what useless emotions I We should
have been back in France six months ago."
"In your little room, sir," replied Conseil, "and
in your museum, sir; and I should have already
classed all your fossils, sir. And the Babiroussa
would have been installed in its cage in the Jardin
des Plantes, and have drawn all the curious people
of the capital l"
"As you say, Conseil. I fancy we shall run a fair
chance of being laughed at for our pains."
"That's tolerably certain," replied Conseil quietly;
"I think they will make fun of you, sir. And--must
I say it?---"
"Go on, my good friend."
"Well, sir, you will only get your deserts."
"LIndeed i"
"When one has the honor of being a. savant as
you are, sir, one should not expose one's self to---"
Conseil had not time to finish his compliment. In
the midst of general silence a voice had just been
heard. It was the voice of Ned Land shouting:
"Look out there I the very thing we are looking
for--on our weather beam l"



AT this cry the whole ship's crew hurried toward
the harpooner-commander, officers, masters, sail-
ors, cabin-boys; even the engineers left their engines,
and the stokers their furnaces.
The order to stop her had been given, and the
frigate now simply went on by her own momentum.
The darkness was then profound; and however good
the Canadian's eyes were, I asked myself how he had
managed to see, and what he had been able to see.
My heart beat as if it would break. But Ned Land
was not mistaken, and we all perceived the object
he pointed to. At two cables' lengths from the
Abraham Lincoln, on (he starboard quarter, the sea
seemed to be illuminated all over. It was not a mere
phosphoric phenomenon. The monster emerged
some fathoms from the water, and then threw out
that very intense but inexplicable light mentioned in
the report of several captains. This magnificent
irradiation must have been produced by an agent of
great shining power. The luminous part traced on
the seaman immense oval, much elongated, the center
of which condensed a burning heat, whose overpow-
ering brilliancy died out by successive gradations.
"It is only an agglomeration of phosphoric par-
ticles," cried one of the officers.
"No, sir, certainly not," I replied. "Never did
pholades or salpae produce such a powerful light.
That brightness is of an essentially electrical nature.
Besides, see, seel it moves; it is moving forward,
backward, it is darting toward us 1"


A general cry arose from the frigate.
"Silence l" said the captain; "up with the helm,
reverse the engines."
The steam was shut off, and the Abraham Lincoln,
beating to port, described a semicircle.
"Right the helm, go ahead," cried the captain.
These orders were executed, and the frigate moved
rapidly from the burning light.
I was mistaken. She tried to sheer off, but the
supernatural animal approached with a velocity
double her own.
We gasped for breath. Stupefaction more than
fear made us dumb and motionless. The animal
gained on us, sporting with the waves. It made the
round of the frigate, which was then making fourteen
knots, and enveloped it with its electric rings like
luminous dust. Then it moved away two or three
miles, leaving a phosphorescent track, like those vol-
umes of steam that the express trains leave behind.
All at once from the dark line of the horizon whither
it retired to gain its momentum, the monster rushed
suddenly toward the Abraham Lincoln with alarming
rapidity, stopped suddenly about twenty feet from
the hull, and died out--not diving under the water,
for its brilliancy did not abate--but suddenly, and
as if the source of this brilliant emanation was ex-
hausted. Then it reappeared on the other side of
the vessel, as if it had turned and slid under the
hull. Any moment a collision might have occurred
which would have been fatal to us. However, I was
astonished at the maneuvers of the frigate. She fled
and did not attack.
On the captain's face, generally so impassive, was
an expression of unaccountable astonishment.
"Mr. Aronnax," he said, "'I do not know with
what formidable being I have to deal, and I will
not imprudently risk my frigate in the midst of this


darkness. Besides, how attack this unknown thing,
how defend one's self from it ? Wait for daylight,
and the scene will change."
"You have no further doubt, captain, of the nature
of the animal?"
"No, sir; it is evidently a gigantic narwhal, and
an electric one."
"Perhaps," added I, "one can only approach it
with a gymnotus or a torpedo."
"Undoubtedly," replied the captain, "if it pos-
sesses such dreadful power, it is the most terrible
animal that ever was created. That is why, sir, I
must be on my guard."
The crew were on their feet all night. No one
thought of sleep. The Abraham Lincoln, not being
able to struggle with such velocity, h~ad moderatedF its at h
pace, and sailed at half sed o t at h
narwhal, imitating the frigate, let the waves rock
it at will, and seemed decided not to leave the scene
of the struggle. Toward midnight, however, it dis-
appeared, or, to use a more appropriate term, it
"died out" like a large glow-worm. Had it fled?
One could only fear, not hope it. But at seven min-
utes to one o'clock in the morning a deafening whist-
ling was heard, like that produced by a body of
water rushing with great violence.
The captain, Ned Land, and I were then on the
poop, eagerly peering through the profound dark-
"LNed Land," asked the commander, "you have
often heard the roaring of whales?"
"Often, sir; but never such whales the sight of
which brought me in two thousand dollars. If I
can only approach within four harpoons lengths of
it I"
"But to approach it," said the commander, "I
ought to put a whaler at your disposal?"

"Certainly, sir."
"That will be trifling with the lives of my men."
"And mine too," simply said the harpooner.
Toward two o'clock mn the morning, the burning
light reappeared, not less intense, about five miles
to windward of the Abraham Lincoln. Notwith-
standing the distance, and the noise.0f the wind and
sea, one heard distinctly the loud strokes of the
animal's tail, and even its panting breath. It seemed
that, at the moment that the enormous narwhal had
come to take breath at the surface of the water, the
air was ingulf ed in its lungs, like the steam in the
vast cylinders of a machine of two thousand horse-
"Huml" thought I, "a whale with the strength
of a cavalry regiment would be a pretty whale i"
We were on the qui vive till daylight, and pre-
pared for the combat. The fishing implements were
laid along the hammock nettings. The second lieu-
tenant loaded the blunderbusses, which could throw
harpoons to the distance of a mile, and long duck-
guns, with explosive bullets, which inflicted mortal
wounds even to the most terrible animals. Ned
Land contented himself with sharpening his har-
poon--a terrible weapon in his hands.
At six o'clock, day began to break; and with the
first glimmer of light, the electric light of the nar-
whal disappeared. At seven o'clock the day was
sufficiently advanced, but a very thick sea-fog ob-
scured our view, and the best spy-glasses could not
pierce it. That caused disappointment and anger.
I climbed the mizzen-mast. Some officers were
already perched on the mast-heads. At eight o'clock
the fog lay heavily on the waves, and its thick scrolls
rose lit-tle by little. The horizon grew wider and
clearer at the same time. Suddenly, just as on the
day before, Ned Land's voice was heard:


"The thing itself on the port quarter!" cried the
Every eye was turned toward the point indicated.
There, a mile and a half from the frigate, a long
blackish body emerged a yard above the waves. Its
tail, violently agitated, produced a considerable eddy.
Never did a caudal appendage beat the sea with such
violence. An immense track, of a dazzling white-
ness, marked the passage of the animal, and de-
scribed a long curve.
The frigate approached the cetacean. I ex-
Tmndi hhe reports ofteShannon and of the Helvetia
had rather exaggerated its size, and I estimated its
length at only two hundred and fifty feet. As to
its dimensions, I could only conjecture them to be
admirably proportioned. While I watched this
phenomenon, two jets of steam and water were
ejected from its vents, and rose to the height of
I20 feet; thus I ascertained its way of breathing.
I concluded definitely that it belonged to the verte-
brate branch, class mammalia.
The crew waited impatiently for their chief's
orders. The latter, after having observed the ani-
mal attentively, called the engineer. The engineer
ran to him.
"Sir," said the commander, "you have steam up ?"
"Yes, sir," answered the engineer.
"Well, make up your fires and put on all steam."
Three hurrahs greeted this order. The time for
the struggle had arrived. Some moments after, the
two funnels of the frigate vomited torrents of black
smoke, and the bridge quaked under the trembling
of the boilers.
The Abraham Lincoln, propelled by her power-
ful screw, went straight at the animal. The latter
allowed it to come within half a cable's length;


then, as if disdaining to dive, it took a little turn,
and stopped a short distance off.
This pursuit lasted nearly three-quarters of an
hour, without the frigate gaining two yards on the
cetacean. It was quite evident that at that rate we
should never come up with it.
"Well, Mr. Land," asked the captain, "do you
advise me to put the boats out to sea ?"
"No, sir," replied Ned Land; "because we shall
not take that beast easily."
"What shall we do then?"
"Put on more steam if you can, sir. With your
leave, I mean to post myself under the bowsprit,
and if we get within harpooning distance, I shall
throw my harpoon."
"Go, Ned," said the captain. "Engineer, put on
more pressure."
Ned Land went to his post. The fires were in-
creased, the screw revolved forty-three times a
minute, and the steam poured out of the valves. We
heaved the log, and calculated that the Abraham
Lincoln was going at the rate .of 1802 miles an
But the accursed animal swam too at the rate of
:I8 0 miles.
For a whole hour, the frigate kept up this pace,
without gaining six feet. It was humiliating for
one of the swiftest sailers in the American navy. A
stubborn anger seized the crew; the sailors abused
the monster, who, as before, disdained to answer
them; the captain no longer contented himself with
twisting his beard--he gnawed it.
The engineer was again called.
"You have turned full steam on?"
"Yes, sir," replied the engineer.
The speed of the Abraham Lincoln increased.
Its masts trembled down to their stepping-holes, and


the clouds of smoke could hardly find way out of
the narrow funnels.
They heaved the log a second time.
"Well?" asked the captain of the man at the
"Nineteen miles and three-tenths, sir."
"Clap on more steam."
The engineer obeyed. The manometer showed
ten degrees. But the cetacean grew warm itself, no
doubt; for, without straining itself, it made nineteen
miles and three-tenths.
What a pursuit I No, I cannot describe the emo-
tion that vibrated through me. Ned Land kept his
post, harpoon in hand. Several times the animal
let us gain upon it. "We shall catch it I we shall
catch it l" cried the Canadian. But just as he was
going to strike the cetacean stole away with a rapid-
ity that could not be estimated at less than thirty
miles an hour, and even during our maximum of
seed it bullied the frigate, going round and round
i.A cry of fury broke from every one.
At noon we were no further advanced than at
eight o'clock in the morning.
The captain then decided to take more direct
"Ah l" said he, "that animal goes quicker than
the Abraham Lincoln. Very well I we will see
whether it will escape these conical bullets. Send
your men to the forecastle, sir."
The forecastle gun was immediately loaded and
slewed round. But the shot passed some feet above
the cetacean, which was half a mile off.
"LAnother more to the right," cried the com-
mander, "and five dollars to whoever will hit that
infernal beast."
An old gunner with a gray beard--that I can see
now--with steady eye and grave face, went up to


the gun and took a long aim. A loud report was
heard, with which were mingled the cheers of the
The bullet did its work; it hit the animal, but not
fatally, and, sliding off -the rounded surface, was
lost in two miles' depth of sea.
The chase began again, and the captain, leaning
toward me, said:
"I will pursue that beast till my frigate bursts up."
"Yes," answered I; "and you will be quite right
to do it."
I wished the beast would exhaust itself, and not
be insensible to fatigue, like a steam-engine I But
it was of no use. Hours passed, without its show-
ing any signs of exhaustion.
However, it must be said in praise of the Abraham
Lincoln, that she struggled on indefatigably. I can-
not reckon the distance she made under three hun-
dred miles during this unlucky day, November the
6th. But night came on, and overshadowed the
rough ocean.
Now I thought our expedition was a't an end, an'd
that we should never again see the extraordinary
animal. I was mistaken. At ten minutes to eleven
in the evening, the electric light reappeared three
miles to windward of the frigate, as pure, as mn-
tense as during the preceding night.
The narwhal seemed motionless; perhaps, tired
with its day's work, it slept, letting itself float with
the undulation of the waves. Now was a chance
of which the captain resolved to take advantage.
He gave his orders. The Abraham Lincoln kept
up half-steam, and advanced cautiously so as not to
awake its adversary. It is no rare thing to meet
in the middle of the ocean whales so sound asleep
that they can be successfully attacked, and Ned Land
had harpooned more than one during its sleep. The


Canadian went to take his place again under the
The frigate approached noiselessly, stopped at
two cables' length Ifrom the animal, and following its
track. No one breathed; a deep silence reigned on
the bridge. We were not a hundred feet from the
burning focus, the light of which increased and daz-
zled our eyes.
At this moment, leaning on the'forecastle bulwark,
I saw below me Ned Land grappling the martingale
in ~one hand, brandishing his terrible harpoon in the
other, scarcely twenty feet from the motionless ani-
mal. Suddenly his arm straightened, and the har-
poon was thrown; I heard the sonorous stroke of
the weapon, which seemed to have struck a hard
body. The electric light went out suddenly, and
two enormous waterspouts broke over the bridge
of the frigate, rushing like a torrent from stem to
stern, overthrowing men, and breaking the lashing
of the spars. A fearful shock followed, and,
thrown over the rail without having time to stop my-
self, I fell into the sea.



TmIs unexpected fall so stunned me that I have
no clear recollection of my sensations at the time.
I was at first drawn down to a depth of about twenty
feet. I am a good swimmer (though without pre-
tending to rival Byron or Edgar Poe, who wei-e
masters of the art), and in that plunge I did not
lose my presence of mind. Two vigorous strokes
brought me to the surface of the water. My first
care was to look for the frigate. Had the crew
seen me disappear ? Had the Abraham Lincoln
veered round ? Would the captain put out a boat ?
Might I hope to be saved?
The darkness was intense. I caught a glimpse of
a black mass disappearing in the east, its beacon-
lights dying out in the distance. It was the frigate!
I was lost.
"HelpI help" I shouted, swimming toward the
~Abraham Lincoln in desperation.
My clothes encumbered me; they seemed glued
to my body, and paralyzed my movements.
I was sinking. I was suffocating I
"(Help l1"
This was my last cry. My mouth filled with
water; I struggled against being drawn down the
abyss. Suddenly my clothes were seized by a strong
hand, and I felt myself quickly drawn up to the
surface of the sea; and I heard, yes, I heard these
words pronounced in my ear:
"If master would be so good as to lean on my


shoulder, master would swim with much greater
I seized with one hand my faithful Conseil's arm.
"Is it you?" said I, "yiou?"
"LMyself," answered Conseil; "and waiting mas-
ter's orders."
"That shock threw you as well as me into the
sea ?"
"No; but being in my master's service, I followed
The worthy fellow thought that was but natural.
"And the frigate?" I asked.
"The frigate?" replied Conseil, turning on his
back; "I think that master had better not count too
much on her."
"You think so?"
"I say that, at the time I threw myself .into the
sea, I heard the men- at the wheel say, 'The screw
and the rudder are broken.' "
"Broken ?"
"Yes, broken by the monster's teeth. It is the
only injury the Abraham Lincoln has sustained.
But it is a bad lookout for us--she no longer an-
swers her helm."
"Then we are lost!"
"Perhaps so," calmly answered Conseil. "How-
ever, we have still several hours before us, and one
can do a good deal in some hours."
Conseil's imperturbable coolness set me up again.
I swam more vigorously; but, cramped by my clothes,
which stuck to me like a leaden weight, I felt great
difficulty in bearing up. Conseil saw this.
"Will master let me make a slit?" said he; and
slipping an open knife under my clothes, he ripped
them up from top to bottom very rapidly. Then
he cleverly slipped them off me, while I swam for
both of us.


Then I did the same for Conseil, and we con-
tinued to swim near to each other.
Nevertheless, our situation was no less terrible.
Perhaps our disappearance had not been noticed;
and if it had been, the frigate could not tack, being
without its h~elm. Conseil argued on this supposi-
tion, and laid his plans accordingly. This phleg-
matic boy was perfectly self-possessed. We then
decided that, as- our only chance of safety was be-
ing picked up by the Abraham Lincoln's boats, we
ought to manage so as to wait for them as long as
possible. I resolved then to husband our strength,
so that both should not be exhausted at the same
time; and this is how we managed: while one of
us lay on his back, quite still, with arms crossed,
and legs stretched out, the other would swim and
push the other on in front. This towing business did
not last more than ten minutes each; and relieving
each other thus, we could swim on for some hours,
perhaps till daybreak. Poor chance but hope is so
firmly rooted in the heart of manly Moreover,
there were two of us. Indeed, I declare (though
it may seem improbable) if I sought to destroy all
hope, if I wished to despair, I could not.
The collision of the frigate with the cetacean had
occurred about eleven o'clock the evening before.
I reckoned then we should have eight hours to
swim before sunrise--an operation quite practicable
if we relieved each other. The sea, very calm, was
in our favor. Sometimes I tried to pierce the in-
tense darkness that was only dispelled by the phos-
phorescence caused by our movements. I watched
the luminous waves that broke over my hand, whose
mirror-like surface was spotted with silvery rings.
One might have said that we were in a bath of
Near one o'clock in the morning, I was seized with


dreadful fatigue. My limbs stiffened under the
strain of violent cramp. Conseil was obliged to
keep me up, and our preservation devolved on him
alone. I heard the poor boy pant; his breathing be-
came short and hurried. I found that he could not
keep up much longer.
"Leave me leave me!" I said to him.
"(Leave my master ? never 1" replied he. "IT
would drown first."
Just then the moon appeared through the fringes
of a thick cloud that the wind was driving to the
east. The surface of the sea glittered with its rays.
This kindly light: reanimated us. My ~head got bet-
ter again. I looked at all the points of the horizon.
I saw the frigate 1 She was five miles from us, and
looked like a dark mass, hardly discernible. But
no boats!
I would have cried out. But what good would
it have been at such a distance ? My swollen lips
could utter no sounds. Conseil could articulate
some words, and I heard him repeat at intervals,
"Help!i help!"
Our movements were suspended for an instant;
we listened. It might be only a singing in the ear,
but it seemed to me as if a cry answered the cry
from Conseil.
"(Did you hear ?" I murmured.
"Yes yesI"
And Conseil gave one more despairing call.
This time there was no mistake 1 A human voice
responded to ours Was it the voice of another
unfortunate creature, abandoned in the middle of
the ocean, some other victim of the shock sustained
by the vessel?~ Or rather was it a boat from the
frigate, that was hailing us in the darkness?
Conseil made a last effort, and leaning on my
shoulder, while I struck out in a despairing effort,


he raised himself half out of the water, then fell
back exhausted.
"What did you see ?"
"(I saw," murmured he--"I saw--but do not talk
-reserve all your strength l"
What had he seen? Then, I know not why, the
thought of the monster came into my head for the
first time I But that voice ? The time is past for
Jonahs to take refuge in whales' bellies! How-
ever, Conseil was towing me again. He raised his
head sometimes, looked before us, and uttered a
cry of recognition, which was responded to by a
voice that came nearer and nearer. I scarcely heard
it. My strength was exhausted; my fingers stiff-
mouth, convulsively opening, filled with salt water.
Cold crept over me. I raised my head for the last
time, then I sank.
At this moment a hard body struck me. I clung
to it, then I felt that I was being drawn up, that I
was brought to the surface of the water, that my
chest collapsed: I fainted.
It is certain that I soon came to, thanks to the
vigorous rubbings that I received. I half opened
my eyes.
"Conseil!" I murmured.
"Does master call me ?" asked Conseil.
Just then, by the waning light of the moon, which
was sinking down to the horizon, I saw a face which
was not Conseil's, and which I immediately recog-
"Ned!" I cried.
"The same, sir, who is seeking his prize!" replied
the Canadian.
"Were you thrown into the sea by the shock of
the frigate?"
"Yes, professor; but, more fortunate than you, I


was able to find a footing almost directly upon a
floating island."
"An island ?"
"LOr, more correctly speaking, on our gigantic
"Explain yourself, Ned!"
"LOnly I soon found out why my harpoon had not
entered its skin and was blunted."
"Why, Ned, why?"
"Because, professor, that beast lis made of sheet-
The Canadian's last words produced a sudden
revolution in my brain. I wriggled myself quickly
to the top of the being, or object, half out of the
water, which served us for a refuge, I kicked it.
It was evidently a hard, impenetrable body, and not
the soft substance that forms the bodies of the
great marine mammalia. But this hard body might
be a bony carapace, like that of the antediluvian
animals; and I should be free to class this monster
among amphibious reptiles, such as tortoises or alli-
Well, nol the blackish back that supported me
was smooth, polished, without scales. The blow
produced a metallic sound; and incredible though it
may be, it seemed, I might say, as if it was made
of riveted plates.
There was no doubt about it I this monster, this
natural phenomenon that had puzzled the learned
world, and overthrown and misled the imagination
of seamen of both hemispheres, was, it must be
owned, a still more astonishing phenomenon, inars-
much as it was a simply human construction.
We had no time to lose, however. We were ly-
ing upon the back of a sort of submarine boat, which
appeared (as far as I could judge) like a huge fish
of steel. Ned Land's mind was made up on this


point. Conseil and I could only agree with him.
Just then a bubbling began at the back of this
strange thing (which was evidently propelled by a
screw), and it began, to move. We had only just
time to seize hold of the upper part, which rose
about seven feet out of the water, and happily its
speed was not great.
"As long as it sails horizontally," muttered Ned
Land, "I do not mind; but if it takes a fancy
to dive, I would not give two straws for my
The Canadian might have said still less. It be-
came really necessary to communicate with the be-
ings, whatever they were, shut uep o insde thee macne
I searched all over the outsidefra prue
panel, or a man-hole, to use a technical expression;
but. the lines of the iron rivets, solidly driven into
the joints of the iron plates, were clear and uniform.
Besides, the moon disappeared then, and left us
in total darkness.
At last this long night passed.Myndsncre
membrance prevents my describingalthimrs
sions it made. I can only recall one circumstance.
During some lulls of the wind and sea, I fancied
I heard several times vague sounds, a sort of fugi-
tive harmony produced by distant words of com-
mand. What was then the mystery of this sub-
marine craft of which the whole world vainly sought
an explanation? What kind of beings existed in
this strange boat? What mechanical agent caused
its prodigious speed?
Daybreak appeared. The morning mists sur-
rounded us, but they soon cleared off. I was about
to examine the hull, which formed on deck a kind
of horizontal platform, when I felt it gradually
"Oh, confound it!" cried Ned Land, kicking the


resounding plate; "open, you inhospitable rascals l"
Happily the sinking movement ceased. Sud-
denly a noise, like iron works violently pushed aside,
came from the interior of the boat. One iron plate
was moved, a man appeared, uttered an odd cry,
and disappeared immediately.
Some moments after, eight strong men with
masked faces appeared noiselessly, and drew us down
into their formidable machine.



THIs forcible abduction, so roughly carried out,
was accomplished with the rapidity of lightning. I
shivered all over. Whom had we to deal with?
No doubt some new sort of pirates, who explored
'the sea in their own way.
Hardly had the narrow panel closed upon me,
when I was enveloped in darkness. My eyes, daz-
zled with the outer light, could distinguish nothing.
I felt my naked feet cling to the rings of an iron
ladder. Ned Land and Conseil, firmly seized, fol-
lowed me. At the bottom of the ladder, a door
opened, and shut after us immediately with a bang.
WIe were alone. Where, I could not say, hardly
imagine. All was black, and such a dense black that,
after some minutes; my eyes had not been able to
discern even the faintest glimmer.
Meanwhile, Ned Land, furious at these proceed-
ings, gave free vent to his indignation.
"Confound it!" cried he, "here are. people who
come up to the Scotch for hospitality. They only
just miss being cannibals. I should not be surprised
at it, but I declare that they shall not eat me with-
out my protesting."
"Calm yourself, friend Ned, calm yourself," re-
plied Conseil quietly. "Do not cry out before you
are hurt. We are not quite done for yet."
"Not quite," sharply replied the Canadian, "but
pretty near, at all events. Things look black.
Happily my bowie-knife 'I have still, and I can al-


ways see well enough to use it. The first of these
pirates who lays a hand on me-"
"Do not excite yourself, Ned," I said to the har-
pooner, "and do not compromise us by useless vio-
lence. Who knows that they will not listen to us?
Let us rather try to find out where we are."
I groped about. In five steps I came to an iron
wall, made of plates bolted together. Then turn-
ing back I struck against a wooden table, near which
were ranged several stools. The boards of this
prison were concealed under a thick mat of phor-
mium, which deadened the noise of the feet. The
bare walls revealed no trace of window or door.
Conseil, going round the reverse way, met me, and
we went back to the middle of the cabin, which meas-
ured about twenty feet by ten. As to its height,
Ned Land, in spite of his own great height, could
not measure it.-
Half an hour had already passed without our
situation being bettered, when the dense darkness
suddenly gave way to extreme light. Our prison
was suddenly lighted--that is t~o say, it became filled
with a luminous matter, so strong that I could not
bear it at first. In its whiteness and intensity I
recognized that electric light which played round
the submarine boat like a magnificent phenomenon
of phosphorescence. After shutting my eyes invol-
untarily, I opened them and saw that this luminous
agent came from a half-globe, unpolished, placed in
the roof of the cabin.
"At last one can see," cried Ned Land, who, knife
in hand, stood on the defensive.
"Yes," said I; "but we are still in the dark about
"Let master have patience," said the imperturb-
able Conseil.
The sudden lighting of the cabin enabled me to


examine it minutely. It only contained a table and
five stools. The invisible door might be hermeti-
cally sealed. No noise was heard. All seemed dead
in the interior of this boat. Did it move, did it
float on the surface of the ocean, or did it dive into
its depths? I could not guess.
A noise of bolts was now heard, the door opened
and two men appeared.
One was short, very muscular, broad-shouldered,
with robust limbs, strong head, an abundance of
black hair, thick mustache, a quick, penetrating look,
and the vivacity which characterizes the population
of Southern France.
The second stranger merits a more detailed de-
scription. A disciple of Gratiolet- or Engel would
have read his face like an open book. I made out
his prevailing qualities directly: self-confidence--be-
cause his head was well set on his shoulders, and
his black eyes looked around with cold assurance;
calmness--for his skin, rather pale, showed his cool-
ness of blood; energy--evinced by the rapid contrac-
tion of his lofty brows; and courage-because his
deep breathing denoted great power of lungs.
Whether this person was thirty-five or fifty years
of. age, I could not say. He was tall, had a large
forehead, straight nose, a clearly cut mouth, beau-
tiful teeth, with fine taper hands, indicative of a
highly nervous temperament. This man was cer-
tainly the most admirable specimen I had ever met.
One particular feature was his eyes, rather far from
each other, and which could take in nearly a quarter
of the horizon at once.
This faculty--I verified it later--gave him a range
of vision far superior to Ned Land's. When this
stranger fixed upon an object, his eyebrows met, his
large eyelids closed around so as to contract the
range of his vision, and he looked as if he magnified
the objects lessened by distance, as if he pierced


those sheets of water so opaque to our eyes, and
as if he read the very depths of the seas.
The two strangers, with caps made from the fur
of the sea otter and shod with sea boots of seals'
skin, were dressed in clothes of a particular texture,
which allowed free movement of the limbs. The
taller of the two, evidently the chief on board, ex-
amined us with great attention, without saying a
word; then turning to his companion, talked with
him in an unknown tongue. It was a sonorous,
harmonious, and flexible dialect, the vowels seeming
to admit of very varied accentuation.
Tihe other replied by a shake of the head, and
added two or three perfectly incomprehensible
words. Then he seemed to question me by a look.
I replied in good French that I did not know his
language; but he seemed not to understand me, and
my situation became more embarrassing.
"If master were to tell our story," said Conseil,
"perhaps these gentlemen may understand some
I began to tell our adventures, articulating each
syllable clearly, and without omitting one single de-
tail. I announced our names and rank, introducing
in person Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil,
and M/aster Ned Land, the harpooner.
The man with the soft calm eyes listened to me
quietly, even politely, and with extreme attention;
but nothing in his countenance indicated that he had
understood my story. When I finished he said not
a word.
There remained one resource, to speak English.
Perhaps they would know this almost universal lan-
guage. I knew it, as well as the German language
---well enough to read it fluently, but not to speak
it correctly. But anyhow we must make ourselves
"Go on in your turn," I said to the harpooner;


"speak your best IAnglo-Saxon, and try to do better
than I."
Ned did not beg off, and recommended our story.
To his great disgust, the harpooner did not seem
to have made himself more intelligible than I had.
Our visitors did not stir. They evidently under-
stood neither the language of Arago nor of Faraday.
Very much embarrassed, after having vainly ex-
hausted our philological resources, I knew not what
part to take, when Conseil said:
"If master will permit me, I will relate it in Ger-
But in spite of the elegant turns and good accent
of the narrator, the German language had no suc-
cess. At last, nonplused, I tried to remember my
first lessons, and to narrate our adventures in Latin,
but with no better success. This last attempt being
of no avail, the two strangers exchanged some words
in their unknown language and retired.
The door shut.
"It is an infamous shame," cried Ned Land, who
broke out for the twentieth time; "we speak to those
rogues in French, English, German, and Latin, and
not one of them has the politeness to answer l"
"Calm yourself," I said to the impetuous Ned,
"anger will do no good."
"LBut do you see, professor," replied our irascible
companion, "that we shall absolutely die of hunger
in this iron cage?"
"Bah," said Conseil philosophically; "we can hold
out some time yet."
"MRy friends," I said, "we must: not despair. W1e
have been worse off than this. Do me the favor to
wait a little before forming an opinion upon the com-
mander and crew of this boat."
"My opinion is formed," replied Ned Land
sharply. "They are rascals."
"GoodI and from what country?"


"From the land of rogues!"
"My brave Ned, that country is not clearly in-
dicated on the map of the world; but I admit that
the nationality of the two strangers is hard to deter-
mine. Neither English, French, nor German, that
is quite certain. However, I am inclined to think
that the commander and his companion were born
in low latitudes. There is southern blood in them.
But I cannot decide by their appearance whether they
are Spaniards, Turks, Arabians, or Indians. As to
their language, it is quite incomprehensible."
"There is the disadvantage of not knowing all
languages," said Conseil, "or the disadvantage of
not having one universal language."
As he said these words, the door opened.A
steward entered. He brought us clothes, coats and
trousers, made of a stuff I did not know. I hastened
to dress myself, and my companions followed my
example. During that time, the steward--dumb,
perhaps deaf--had arranged the table, and laid
three plates.
"cThisis something like,", said Conseil.
"Bah," said the rancorous harpooner, "what ~do
you suppose they eat here ? Tortoise liver, filleted
shark, and beefsteaks from sea dogs."
"We shall see," said Conseil.
The dishes, of bell metal, were placed on the
table, and we took our places. Undoubtedly we had
to do with civilized people, and had it not been for
the electric light which flooded us, I could have
fancied I was in the dining-room of the Adelphi
Hotel at Liverpool, or at the Grand Hotel in Paris.
I must say, however, that there was neither bread
nor wmne. The water was fresh and clear, but it
was water, and did not suit Ned Land's taste.
Among the dishes which were brought to us, I recog-
nized several fish delicately dressed; but of some,
although excellent, I could give no opinion, neither

could I tell to what kingdom they belonged, whether
animal or vegetable. As to the dinner service, it
was elegant, and in perfect taste. Each utensil,
spoon, fork, knife, plate, had a letter engraved on
ift, with a motto above it, of which this is an exact
fac-simile :
The letter N was no doubt the initial of the name
of the enigmatical person who commanded at the bot-
tom of the seas.
Ned and Conseil did not reflect much. They de-
voured the food, and I did likewise. I was, besides,
reassured as to our fate; and it seemed evident that
our hosts would not let us die of want.
However, everything has. an end, everything
passes away, even the hunger of people who have
not eaten for fifteen hours. Our appetites satisfied,
we felt overcome with sleep.
"Faithl II shall sleep well," said Conseil.
"So shall I," replied Ned Land.
My two companions stretched themselves on the
cabin carpet, and were soon sound asleep. For my
own part, too many thoughts crowded my brain, too
many insoluble questions pressed upon me, too many:
fancies kept my eyes ~half open. Where were we?
What strange power carried us on? I felt--or
rather fancied I felt--the mischine sinking down to
the lowest beds of the sea. Dreadful nightmares
beset me; I saw in these mysterious asylums a world
of unknown animals, among which this submarine
boat seemed to be of the same kind, living, moving,
and formidable as they. Then my brain grew
calmer, my imagination wandered into vague uncon-
sciousness, and I soon fell into a deep sleep.



How long we slept I do not know; but our sleep
must have lasted lon, for it rested us completely
from our fatigues. I woke first. My companions
had not moved, and were still stretched in their
Hardly roused from my somewhat hard couch, I
felt my brain freed, my mind clear. I then began
an attentive examination of our cell. Nothing was
changed inside. The prison was still a. prison; the
prisoners, prisoners. However, the steward, during
our sleep, had cleared the table. I breathed with
difficulty. The heavy air seemed to oppress my
lungs. Although the cell was large, we had evi-
dently consumed a great part of the oxygen that it
contained. Indeed, each man consumes, in one hour,
the oxygen contained in more than 176 pints of air,
and this air, charged (as then) with a nearly equal
quantity of carbonic acid, becomes unbreathable.
It became necessary to renew the atmosphere of
our prison, and no doubt the whole in the submarine
boat. That gave rise to a question in my mind.
How would the commander of this floating dwelling-
place proceed? Would he obtain air by chemical
means, in getting by heat the oxygen contained in
chlorate of potash, and in absorbing carbonic acid
by caustic potash? Or, a more convenient, econom-
ical, and consequently more probable alternative,
would he be satisfied to rise and take breath at the
surface of the water, like a cetacean, and so re-

new for twenty-four hours the atmospheric pro-
In fact, I was already obliged to increase my
respirations to eke out of this cell the little oxygen
it contained, when suddenly I was refreshed by a
current of pure air, and perfumed with saline emana-
tions. It was an invigorating sea-breeze, charged
with iodine. I opened my mouth wide, and my lungs
saturated themselves with fresh particles.
At the same time I felt the boat rolling. The
iron-plated monster had evidently just risen to the
surface of the ocean to breathe, after the fashion of
whales. I found out from that the mode of ven-
tilating the boat.
When I had inhaled this air fifeely, I sought the
conduit-pipe which conveyed to us the beneficial wchiff,
and I was not long in finding it. Above the door
was a ventilator, through which volumes of fresh
air renewed the impoverished atmosphere of the
I was making my observations, when Ned and
Conseil awoke almost at the same time, under the in-
fluence of this reviving air. They rubbed their eyes,
stretched themselves, and were on their feet In an
"Did master sleep well?" asked Conseil, with his
usual politeness.
"Very well, my brave boy. And you, Mr.
Land ?"
"Soundly, professor. But I don't know if I am
right or not; there seems to be a sea-breeze!"
A seaman could not be mistaken, and I told the
Canadian all that had passed during his sleep.
LGood!") said he; "that accounts for those roar-
mngs we heard when the supposed narwhal sighted
the Abraham Lincoln."
"Quite so, Master Land; it was taking breath."


"Only, M/Jr. Aronnax, I have no idea what o'clock
it is, unless it is dinner-time."
"Dinner-time! my good fellow? Say rather
breakfast-time, for we certainly have begun another
"(So," said Conseil, "we have slept twenty-four
hours ?"
"That is my opinion."
"I will not contradict you," replied Ned Land.
"'But dinner or breakfast, the steward will be wel-
come, whichever he brings."
"Master Land, we must conform to the: rules on
board, and I suppose our appetites are in advance
of the dinner-hour."
"That is just like you, friend Conseil," said Ned
impatiently. "You are never out of temper, always
calm; you would return thanks before grace, and
die of hunger rather than complaint"
Time was getting on, and we were fearfully
hungry; and this time the steward did not appear.
It was rather too long to leave us, if they really
had good intentions toward us. Ned Land, tor-
mented by the cravings of hunger, got still more
angry; and notwithstanding his promise, I dreaded
an explosion when he found, himself with one of
the crew.
For two hours more, Ned Land's temper in-
'creased; he cried, he shouted, but in vain. The
walls were deaf. There was no sound to be heard
in the boat; all was still as death. It did not move,
for I should have felt the trembling motion of the
hull under the influence of the screw. Plunged in
the depths of the waters, it belonged no longer to
earth---this silence was dreadful.
I felt terrified, Conseil was calm, Ned Land
Just then a noise was heard outside. Steps


sounded on the metal flags. The locks were turned,
the door opened, and the steward appeared.
Before I could rush forward to stop him, the
Canadian had thrown him down, and held him by
the throat. The steward was choking under the
grip of his powerftdl hand.
Conseil was already trying to unclasp the har-
pooner's hand from his half-suffocated victim, and
I was going to fly to the rescue, when suddenly I
was nailed to the spot by hearing these words in
"Be quiet, Master Land; and you, professor, will
you be so good as to listen to me?"



IT was the commander of the vessel who thus
At these words, Ned Land rose suddenly. The
steward, nearly strangled, tottered out on a sign
from his master; but such was the power of the
commander on board, that not a gesture betrayed
the resentment: which this man must have felt to-
ward the Canadian. Conseil interested in spite of
himself, I stupefied, awaited in silence the result of
this scene.
The commander, leaning against_ a corner of the
table with his arms folded, scanned us with profound
attention. Did he hesitate to speak? Did he re-
gret the words which he had just spoken in French?
One might almost think so.
After some moments of silence, which not one of
us dreamed of breaking, "Gentlemen," said he, in a
calm and penetrating voice, "I speak French, Eng-
lish, German, and Latin equally well. I could,
therefore, have answered you at our first interview,
but I wished to know you first, then to reflect. The
story told by each one, entirely agreeing in the main
points, convinced me of your identity. I know now
that chance has brought before me IM. Pierre Aron-
nax, Professor of Natural History at the Museum of
Paris, intrusted with a scientific mission abroad;
Conseil, his servant; and Ned Land, of Canadian
origin, harpooner on board the frigate Abraham
Lincoln of the navy of the United States of


I bowed assent. It was not a question that the
commander put to me. Therefore there was no
answer to be made. This man expressed himself
with perfect ease, without any accent. His sen-
tences were well turned, his words clear, and his
fluency of speech remarkable. Yet I did not recog-
nize in him a fellow-countryman.
He continued the conversation in these terms:
"You have doubtless thought, sir, that I have de-
layed long in paying you this second visit. The rea-
son is that, your identity recognized, I wished to
weigh maturely what part to act toward you. I
have hesitated much. Most annoying circumstances
have brought you into the presence of a man who
has broken all the ties of humanity. You have come
to trouble my existence."
"Unintentionally 1" said I.
"Unintentionally?" replied the stranger, raising
his voice a little; "was it unintentionally that the
Abraham'Lincoln pursued me all over the seas?
Was it unintentionally that you took passage in this
'frigate ? Was it unintentionally that your cannon-
balls rebounded off the plating of my vessel? Was
it unintentionally that Mr. Ned Land struck me with
his harpoon?"
I detected a restrained irritation in these words.
But to these recriminations I had a very natural an-
swer to make, and I made it.
"Sir," said I, "no doubt you are ignorant of the
discussions which have taken place concerning you
in America and Europe. You do not know that
divers accidents, caused by collisions with your sub-
marine machine, have excited public feeling in the
two continents. I omit the hypotheses without num-
ber by which it was sought to explain the inexplicable
phenomenon of which you alone possess the secret.
But you must understand that, in pursuing you over


the high seas of the Pacific, the Abraham Lincoln
believed itself to be chasing some powerful sea-
monster, of which it was necessary to rid the ocean
at any price."
A half-smile curled the lips of the commander:
then, in a calmer tone:
"LM. Aronnax," he replied, "dare you affrm that
your frigate would not as soon' have pursued and
cannonaded a submarine boat as a monster ?"
This question embarrassed me, for certainly Cap-
tain Farragut might not have hesitated. He might
have thought it his duty to destroy a contrivance of
this kind, as he would a gigantic narwhal.
"You understand then, sir," continued the
stranger, "that I have the right to treat you as
enemies ?"
I answered nothing, purposely. For what good
would it be to discuss such a proposition, when force
could destroy the best arguments ?
"I have hesitated for some time," continued the
commander; "nothing obliged me to show you hos-
pitality. If I chose to separate myself from you, I
should have no interest in seeing you again; I could
place you upon the deck of this vessel which has
served you as a refuge, I could sink beneath the
waters, and forget that you had ever existed.
Would not that be my right ?"
"It might be the right of a savage," I answered,
"but not that of a civilized man."
"Professor," replied the commander quickly, "I
am not what you call a civilized man I have done
with society entirely, for reasons which I alone have
the right of appreciating. I do not therefore obey
its laws, and I desire you never to allude to them
before me again!"
This was said plainly. ~A flash of anger and dis-
'dain kindled in the eyes of the Unknown, and I had


a glimpse of a terrible past ill the life of this man.
Not only had he put himself beyond the pale of
human laws, but he had made himself independent
of them, free in the strictest acceptation of th~e word,
quite beyond their reach Who then would dare to
pursue him at the bottom of the sea, when, on its sur-
face, he defied all attempts made against him?
What vessel could resist the shock of his submarine
monitor ? What cuirass, however thick, could with-
stand the blows of his spur ? No man could demand
from him an account of his actions; God, if he be-
lieved in one--his conscience, if he had one--were
the sole judges to whom he was answerable.
These reflections crossed my mind rapidly, while
the stranger personage was silent, absorbed, and as
if wrapped up in himself. I regarded him with fear
mingled with interest, as, doubtless, (Edipus re-
garded the Sphinx.
After a rather long silence, the commander re-
sumed the conversation.
"(I have hesitated," said he, "but I have thought
that my interest might be reconciled with that pity
to which every human being has a right. You will
remain on board my vessel, since fate has cast you
there. You will be free; and in exchange for this
liberty, I shall only impose one single condi-
tion. Your word of honor to submit to it will
"Speak, sir," I answered. "I suppose this con-
dition is one which a man of honor may accept ?"
"Yes, sir; it is this. It is possible that certain
events, unforeseen, may oblige me to consign you to
your cabins for some hours or some days, as the case
may be. As I desire never to use violence, I expect
from you, more than all the others, a passive obedi-
ence. In thus acting, I take all the responsibility:
I acquit you entirely, for I make it an impossibility


fbr you to see what ought not to be seen. Do you
accept this condition?"
Then things took place on board which, to say
the least, were singular, and which ought not to be
seen by people who were not placed beyond the pale
of social laws. Among the surprises which the
future was preparing for me, this might not be the
"We accept," I answered; "only I will ask your
permission, sir, to address one question to you--one
"(Speak, sir."
"You said that we should be free on board."
"I ask you, then, what you mean by this liberty?"
"Just the liberty to go, to come, to see, to ob-
serve even all that passes here--save under rare cir-
cumstances-the liberty, in short, which we enjoy
ourselves, my companions and I."
It was evident that we did not understand one
"Pardon me, sir," I resumed, "but this liberty is
only what every prisoner has of pacing his prison.
It cannot suffice us."
"(It must suffice you, however."
"What! we must renounce forever seeing our
country, our friends, our relations again?"
"Yes, sir. But to renounce that unendurable
worldly yoke which men believe to be liberty is
not perhaps so painful as you think."
"Well," exclaimed Ned Land, "never will I give
my word of honor not to try to escape."
"I did not ask you for your word of honor, Mas-
ter Land," answered the commander coldly.
"Sir," I replied, beginning to get angry in spite
of myself, "you abuse your situation toward us; it:
is cruelty."


"No, sir, it is clemency. You are my prisoners
of war. I keep you, when I could, by a word,
plunge you into the depths of the ocean. You at-
tacked me. You came to surprise a secret 3hich
no man in the world must penetrate--the secret of
my whole existence. And you think that I a'm go-
ing to send you back to that world which must know
me no more? Never In retaining you, it is not
you whom I guard--it is myself."
These words indicated a resolution taken on the
part of the commander, against which no arguments
would prevail.
"'So, sir," I rejoined, "you give us simply the
choice between life and death?"
"(My frends," said I, "to a question thus put,
there is nothing to answer. But no word of honor
binds us to the master of this vessel."
"LNone, sir," answered the Unknown.
Then, in a gentler tone, he continued:
"Niow, permit me to finish what I have to say
to you. I know you, M. Aronnax. You and your
companions will not, perhaps, have so much to com-
plain of in the chance which has bound you to my
fate. You will find among the books which are my
favorite study the work which you have published
on 'the depths of the sea.' I have often read it.
You have carried your work as far as terrestrial
science permitted you. But you do not know all-
you have not seen all. Let me tell you then, pro-
fessor, that you will not regret the time passed on
board my vessel. You are going to visit the land
of marvels."
These words of the commander had a great effect
upon me. I cannot deny it. My weak point was
touched; and I forgot, for a moment, that the con-
templation of these sublime subjects was not worth


SUnriversal F4ilm M/g Co.


the loss of liberty. Besides, I trusted to the future
to decide this grave question. So I contented my-
self with saying:
"By .what name ought I to address you?~"
"Sir," replied the commander, "I am nothing to
you but Captain Nemo; and you and your com-
panions are nothing to me but the passengers of
the Nautilus."
Captain Nemo called. A steward appeared.
The captain gave him his orders in that strange lan-
guage which I did not. understand. Then, turning
toward- the Canadian and Conseil:
"(A repast awaits you in your cabin," said he.
"Be so good as to follow this man. And now, M.
IAronnax, our breakfast is ready. Permit me to leitd
the way."
"Ir am at your service, captain."
I followed Captain Nemo; and as soon as I had
passed through the door, I found myself in a kind
of passage lighted by electricity, similar to the
waist of a ship. After we had proceeded a dozen
yards, a second door opened before me.
I then entered a dining-room, decorated and fur-
nished in severe taste. High oaken sideboards, in-
laid with ebony, stood at the two extremities of the
room, and upon their shelves glittered china, por-
celain, and glass of inestimable value.
The plate on the table sparkled in the rays which
the luminous ceiling shed around while the light was
tempered and softened by exquisite paintings.
In the center of the room was a table richly laid
out. Captain Nemo indicated the place I was to

The. breakfast consisted of a certain numbe of
dishes, the contents of which were furnished by the
sea alone; and I was ignorant of the nature and
mode of preparation of some of them. I acknowl-


edged that they were good, but they had a peculiar
flavor, which I easily became accustomed to. These
different aliments appeared to me to be rich in phos-
phorus, and I thought they must have a marine
Captain Nemo looked at me. I asked him no
questions, but he guessed my thoughts, and answered
of his own accord the questions which I was burning
to address to him.
"The greater part of these dishes are unknown to
you,") he said to me. "However, .you may partake
of them without fear. They are wholesome and
nourishing. For a long time I have renounced the
food of the earth, and I am never ill now. My
crew, who are healthy, are fed on the same food."
"(So," said I, "all these eatables are the produce
of the sea?"
"Yes, professor, the sea supplies all my wants.
Sometimes I cast my nets in tow, and I draw them in
ready to break. Sometimes I hunt in the midst of
this element, which appears to be inaccessible to man,
and quarry the game which dwells in my submarine
forests. My flocks, like those of Neptune's old
shepherds, graze fearlessly in the immense prairies
of the ocean. I have a vast property there, which
I cultivate myself, and which is always sown by the
hand of the Creator of all things."
"I can understand perfectly, sir, that your nets
furnish excellent fish for your table; I can under-
stand also that you hunt aquatic game in your sub-
marine forests; but I cannot understand at all how
a particle of meat, no matter how small, can figure
in your bill of fare."
"This, which you believe to be meat, professor, is
nothing else than fillet of turtle. Here are also
some dolphin's livers, which you take to be ragout
of pork. My cook is a clever fellow, who excels


in dressing these various products of the ocean.
Taste all these dishes. Here is a preserve of holo-
thuria, which a Malay would declare to be unrivaled
in the world; here is a cream, of which the milk has
been furnished by the cetacea, and the sugar by the
great fucus of the North Sea; and lastly, permit me
to offer you some preserve of anemones, which is
equal to that of the most delicious fruits."
I tasted, more from curiosity than as a connois-
seur, while Captain Nemo enchanted me with his
extraordinary stories.
"You like the sea, captain?"
"Yes, I love it1 The sea is everything. It
covers seven-tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its
breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense
desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life
str'ngo llsds The sea is only the embodi-
ment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It
is nothing but love and emotion; it is the 'Living
Infinite,' as one of your poets has said. In fact, pro-
fessor, Nature manifests herself in it by her three
kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal. The sea
is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began
with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not
end with it ? In it is supreme tranquillity. The sea
does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men
can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another
to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial hor-
rors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign
ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power
disappears. Ah!1 sir, live--live in the bosom of the
waters There only is independence! There I
recognize no masters 1 There I am free!"
Captain Nemo suddenly became silent in the midst
of this enthusiasm, by which he was quite carried
away. For a few moments he paced up and down,
much agitated. Then he became more calm, re-


gained his accustomed coldness of expression, and
turning toward me:
"Now, professor," said he, "if you wish to go over
the Nautilus, I am at your service."
Captain Nemo rose. I followed him. A double
door, contrived at the back of the dining-room,
opened, and I entered a room equal in dimensions
to that which I had just quitted.
It was a library. High pieces of furniture, of
black violet ebony inlaid with brass, supported upon
their wide shelves a great number of books uniform-
ly bound. They followed the shape of the room,
terminating at the lower part in huge divans, covered
with brown leather, which were curved, to afford
the greatest comfort. Light movable desks, made
to slide in and out at will, allowed one to rest one's
book while reading. In the center stood an im-
mense table, covered with pamphlets, among which
were some newspapers, already of old date. The
electric light flooded everything; it was shed from
four unpolished globes half sunk in the volutes of
the ceiling. I looked with real admiration at this
room, so ingeniously fitted up, and I could scarcely
believe my eyes.
"Captain Nemo," said I to my host, who had
just thrown himself on one of the divans, "this is a
library which would do honor to more than one of
the continental palaces, and I am absolutely astound-
ed when I consider that it can follow you to the
bottom of the seas."
"Where could one find greater solitude or silence,
professor ?" replied Captain Nemo. "Did your
study in the Museum afford you such perfect quiet?"
"No, sir; and I must confess that it is a very poor
one after yours. You must have six or seven thou-
sand volumes here."
"Twelve thousand, M. Aronnax. These are the


only ties which bind me to the earth. But I had
done with the world on the day when my Nautilus
plunged for the first time beneath the waters. That
day I bought my last volumes, my last pamphlets,
my last papers, and from that time I wish to think
that men no longer think or write. These books,
professor, are at your service besides, and you can
make use of them freely."
I thanked Captain Nemo, and went up to the
shelves of the library. Works on science, morals,
and literature abounded in every language; but I did
not see one single work on political economy; that
Subject appeared to be strictly proscribed. Strange
to say, all these books were irregularly arranged, in
whatever language they were written; and this med-
ley proved that the captain of the Nautilus must
have read indiscriminately the books which he took
up by chance.
"Sir," said I to the captain, "I thank you for
having placed this library at my disposal. It
contains treasures of science, and I shall profit by
"This room is not only a library," said Captain
Nemo, "it is also a smoking-room."
"A smoking-room!" I cried. "Then one may
smoke on board?"
"Then, sir, I am forced to believe that you have
kept up a communication with Havana."
"LNot any," answered the captain. "Accept this
cigar, M. Aronnax; and though it does not come
from Havana, you will be pleased with it, if you are
a connoisseur."
I took the cigar which was offered me; its shape
recalled the London ones, but it seemed to be made
of leaves of gold. I lighted it at a little brazier,
which was supported upon an elegant bronze stem,

and drew the first whiffs with the delight of a lover
of smoking who has not smoked for two days.
"It is excellent," said I, "but it is not: tobacco."
"No l" answered the captain, "this tobacco comes
neither from Havana nor from the East. It is a
kind of seaweed, rich in nicotine, with which the
sea provides me, but somewhat sparingly."
At that moment Captain Nemo opened a door
which stood opposite to that by which I had entered
the library, and I passed into an immense drawing-
room splendidly lighted.
It was a vast four-sided room, thirty feet long,
eighteen wide, and fifteen high. A luminous ceiling,
decorated with light arabesques, shed a soft, clear
light over all the marvels accumulated in this mu-
seum. For it was in fact a museum, in which an
intelligent and prodigal hand had gathered all the
treasures of nature and art, with the artistic con-
fusion which distinguishes a painter's studio. Thir-
ty first-rate pictures, uniformly framed, separated by
bright drapery, ornamented the walls, which were
hung with tapestry of severe design. I saw works
of great value, the greater part of which I had ad-
mired in the special collections of Europe, and in the
exhibitions of paintings. The several schools of the
old masters were represented by a Madonna of
Raphael, a Virgin of Leonardo da Vinci, a nymph of
Correggio, a woman of Titian, an Adoration of
Veronese, an Assumption of Murillo, a portrait of
Holbein, a monk of Velasquez, a martyr of Ribeira,
a fair of Rubens, two Flemish landscapes of
Teniers, three little "genre" pictures of G~rard
Dow, Metsu, and Paul Potter, two specimens of
G~ricault: and Prudhon, and some sea-pieces of
Backhuysen and Vernet. Among the works of
modern painters were pictures with the signatures
of Delacroix, Ingres, Decamp, Troyon, Meisson-


nier, Daubigny, etc.; and some admirable statues in
marble and bronze, after the finest antique models,
stood upon pedestals in the corners of this magnifi-
cent museum. Amazement, as the captain of the
Nautilus had predicted, had already begun to take
possession of me.
"Professor," said this strange man, "you must:
excuse the unceremonious way in which I receive. you,
and the disorder of this room."
"Sir," I answered, "without seeking to know who
you are, I recognize mn you an artist."
"An amateur, nothing more, sir. Formerly I
loved to collect these beautiful works created by the
hand of man. I sought them greedily and ferreted
them out indefatigably, and I have been able to bring
together some objects of great value. These are
my last souvenirs of that world which is dead to me.
In my. eyes, your modern artists are already old;
they have two or three thousand years of existence;
I confound them in my own mind. Masters have
no age."
"And these musicians ?" said I, pointing out some
works of Weber, Rossini, Mozart, Beethoven,
Haydn, Meyerbeer, H~rold, Wagner, Auber,
Gounod, and a number of others scattered over a
large model piano organ which occupied one of the
panels of the drawing-room.
"These musicians," replied Captain Nemo, "are
the contemporaries of Orpheus; for in the memory
of the dead all chronological differences are effaced;
and I am dead, professor; as much dead as those
of your friends who are sleeping six feet under the
earth !"
Captain Nemo was silent, and seemed lost in a
profound reverie. I contemplated him with deep
interest, analyzing mn sdence the strange expression
of his countenance. Leaning on his elbow against

an angle of a costly mosaic table, he no longer saw
me--he had forgotten my presence.
I did not disturb this reverie, and continued my
observation of the curiosities which enriched this
Under elegant glass cases, fixed by copper rivets,
were classed and labeled the most precious produc-
tions of the sea which had ever been presented to the
eye of a naturalist. My delight as a professor may
be conceived.
The division containing the zoiiphytes presented
the most curious specimens of the two groups of
polypi and echinodermes. In the first group, the
tubipores, were gorgones arranged like a fan, soft
sponges of Syria, ises of the Moluccas, pennatules,
an admirable virgularia of the Norwegian seas, va-
riegated umbellulariae, alcyonariae, a whole series of
madrepores, which my master Milne-Edwards has
so cleverly classified, among which I remarked some
wonderful flabellina, oculine of the island of Bour-
bon, the "Neptune's car" of the Antilles, superb
varieties of corals, in short, every species of those
curious polypi of which entire islands are formed,
which, will one day become continents. Of the
echinodermes, remarkable for their coating of
spmnes, asteri, sea-stars, pantacrmsa, comatules,
astbrophons, echini, holothuri, etc., represented in-
dividually a complete collection o~f this group.
A somewhat nervous conchyliologist would cer-
tainly have fainted before other more numerous
cases, in which were classified the specimens of mol-
lusks. It was a collection of inestimable value, which
time fails me to describe minutely. Among these
specimens, I will quote from memory only the ele-
gant royal hammer-fish of the Indian Ocean, whose
regular white spots stood out brightly on a red and
brown ground, an imperial spondyle, bright colored,


bristling with spines, a rare specimen in the Euro-
pean museums (I estimated its value at: not less than
1I,000) ; a common hammer-fish of the seas of New
Holland, which is only procured with difficulty; ex-
otic buccardia of Senegal; fragile white bivalve
shells, which a breath might shatter like a soap-
bubble; several varieties of the aspirgillum of Java,
a kind of calcareous tube, edged with leafy folds,
and much debated by amateurs; a whole series of
trochi, some a greenish-yellow, found in the Ameri-
can seas, others a reddish-brown, natives of Aus-
tralian waters; others from the Gulf of Mexico, re-
markable for their imbricated shell; stellari found
in the Southern Seas; and last, the rarest of all, the
magnificent spur of New Zealand; and every de-
scription of delicate and fragile shells to which sci-
ence has given appropriate names.
Apart, mn separate compartments, were spread out
chaplets of pearls of the greatest beauty, which re-
flected the electric light in little .sparks of fire; pink
pearls, torn from the pinna-marina of the Red Sea;
green pearls of the haliotyde iris; yellow, blue, and
black pearls, the curious productions of the divers
mollusks of every ocean, and certain mussels of the
watercourses of the North; lastly, several specimens
of inestimable value which had been gathered from
the rarest pintadines. Some of these pearls were
larger than a pigeon's egg, and were worth as much,
and more than that which the traveler Tavernier
sold to the Shah of Persia for three millions, and
surpassed the one in the possession of the Imaum of
Muscat, which I had believed to be unrivaled in the
Therefore, to estimate the value of this collec-
tion was simply impossible. Captain Nemo must
have expended millions in the acquirement of these
various specimens, and I was thinking what source

he could have drawn from, to have been able thus
to gratify his fancy for collecting, when I was in-
terrupted by these words:
"Yuare examining my shells, professor ? Un-
questionably they must be interesting to a naturalist;
but for me they have a far greater charm, for I
have collected them ~all with my own hand, and there
is not a sea on the face of the globe which has es-
caped my researches."
"I can understand, captain, the delight of wander-
ing about in the midst of such riches. You are one
of those who have collected their treasures them-
selves. No museum in Europe possesses such a
collection of the produce of the ocean. But if I ex-
haust all my admiration upon it, I shall have none
left for the vessel which carries it. I do not wish
to pry into your secrets; but I must confess that this
Nautilus, with the motive power which is confined
in it, the contrivances which enable it to be worked,
the powerful agent which propels it, all excite my
curiosity to the highest pitch. I see suspended on
the walls of this room instruments of whose use 3.
am ignorant."
"You will find these same instruments in my own
room, professor, where I shall have much pleasure
in explaining their use to you. But first come and
inspect the cabin which is set apart for your own
use. You must see how you will be accommodated
on board the Nautilus."
I followed Captain Nemo, who, by one of the
doors opening from each panel of the drawing-room,
regained the waist. He conducted me toward the
bow, and there I found, not a cabin, but an elegant
room, with a bed, dressing-table, and several other
pieces of furniture.
I could only thank my host.
"Your room adjoins mine," said he, opening a


door, "and mine opens into the drawing-room that
we have just quitted."
I entered the captain's room; it had a severe,
almost a monkish aspect. A small iron bedstead, a
table, some articles for the toilet; the whole lighted
by a skylight. No comforts, the strictest neces-
saries only.
Captain Nemo pointed to a seat.
"Be so good as to sit down," he said. I seated
myself, and he began thus:



"'SIR," said Captain Nemo, showing me the in-
struments hanging on the walls of his room, "here
are the contrivances required for the navigation of
the Nautilus. Here, as in the drawing-room, I have
them always under my eyes, and they indicate my
position and exact direction in the middle of the
ocean. Some are known to you, such as the ther-
mometer, which gives the internal temperature of
the Nautilus; the barometer, which indicates the
weight of the air and foretells the changes of the
weather; the hygrometer, which marks the dryness
of the atmosphere; the storm-glass, the contents of
which, by decomposing, announce the approach of
tempests; the compass, which guides my course; the
sextant, which shows the latitude by the altitude of
the sun; chronometers, by which I calculate the lon-
gitude; and glasses for day and night, which I use
to examine the points of the horizon when the Nau-
tilus rises to the surface of the waves."
"These are the usual nautical instruments," I re-
plied, "Land I know the use of them. But these
others, no doubt, answer to the particular require-
ments of the Nautilus. This dial with the movable
needle is a manometer, is it not?"
"It is actually a manometer. But by communica-
tion with the water, whose external pressure it in-
dicates, it gives our depth at the same time."
"And these other instruments, the use of which
I cannot guess?"
"Here, professor, I ought to give you some ex-


planations. Will you be kind enough to listen to
me ?"
He was silent for a few moments, then he said:
"There is a powerful agent, obedient, rapid, easy,
which conforms to every use, and reigns supreme on
board my vessel: Everything is done by means of
it. It lights it, warms it, and is the soul of my me-
chanical apparatus. This agent is electricity."
"Electricity?" I cried in surprise.
"Yes, sir."
"Nevertheless, captain, you possess an extreme
rapidity of movement, which does not agree well with
the power of electricity. Until now its dynamic
force has remained under restraint, and has only
been able to produce a small amount of power."
"Professor," said Captain Nemo, "my electricity
is not everybody's. You know what sea-water is
composed of. Ina thousand grams are found
ninety-six and a half per cent. of water, and about
two and two-thirds per cent. of chloride of sodium;
then, in a smaller quantity, chlorides of magnesium
and of potassium, bromide of magnesium, sulphate
of magnesia, sulphate and carbonate of lime. You
see, then, that chloride of sodium forms a large part
of it. So it is this sodium that I extract from sea-
water, and of which I compose my ingredients. I
owe all to the ocean; it produces electricity, and elec-
tricity gives heat, light, motion, and, in a word, life
to the Nautilus."
"But not the air you breathe?"
"'Oh, I could manufacture the air necessary for
my consumption, but it is useless, because I go up to
the surface of the water when I please. However,
if electricity does not furnish me with air to breathe,
it works at least the powerful pumps that are stored
mn spacious reservoirs, and which enable me to pro
long at need, and as long as I will, my stay in the


depths of the sea. It gives a uniform and unin-
termittent light, which the sun does not. Now look
at this clock; it is electrical, and goes with a regu-
larity that defies the best chronometers. I have
divided it into twenty-four hours, like the Italian
clocks, because for me there is neither night nor day,
sun nor moon, but only that factitious light that I
take with me to the bottom of the sea. Look just
now, it is ten o'clock in the morning."
"Another application of electricity. This dial
hanging in front of us indicates the speed of the
Nautilus. An electric thread puts it in communica-
tion with the screw, and the needle indicates the real
speed. Look! now we are spinning along with a
uniform speed of fifteen miles an hour."
"It is marvelous! and I see, captain, you were
right to make use of this agent that takes the place
of wind, water, and steam."
";We have not finished, M. Aronnax," said Cap-
tain Nemo, rising; "if you will follow me, we will
examine the stern of the Nautilus."
Really, I knew already the anterior part of this
submarine boat, of which this is the exact division,
starting from the ship's head: the dining-room, five
yards long, separated from the library by a water-
tight partition; the library,.five yards long; the large
drawing-room, ten yards long, separated from the
captain's room by a second water-tight partition; the
said room, five yards in length; mine, two and half
yards; and lastly, a reservoir of air, seven and a
half yards, that extended to the bows. Total length
thirty-five yards, or one hundred and five feet. The
partitions had doors that were shut hermetically by
means of india-rubber instruments, and they insured
the safety of the Nautilus in case of a leak.
I followed Captain Nemo through the waist, and


arrived at the center of the boat. There was a sort
of well that opened between two partitions. An
iron ladder, fastened with an iron hook to the parti-
tion, led to the upper end. I asked the captain what
the ladder was used for.
"It leads to the small boat," he said.
"What! have you a boat?" I exclaimed, in sur-
"Of course; an excellent vessel, light and insub-
mersible, that serves either as a fishing or as a pleas-
ure boat."
"But then, when you wish to embark, you are
obliged to come to the surface of the water?~"
"Not at all. This boat is attached to the upper
part of the hull of the Nautilus, and occupies a cav-
ity made for it. It is decked, quite water-tight, and
held together by solid bolts. This ladder leads to
a man-hole made in the hull of the Nautilus, that
corresponds with a similar hole made in the side of
the boat. By this double opening I get into the
small vessel. They shut the one belonging to the
Nautilus, I shut the other by means of screw
pressure. I undo the bolts, and the little boat goes
up to the surface of the sea with prodigious rapidity.
I then open the panel of the. bridge, carefully shut till
then; I mast it, hoist my sail, take my oars, and I'm
"But how do you get back on board?"
"I do not come back, M. Aronnax; the Nautilus
comes to me."
"(By your orders?"
"By my orders. An electric thread connects us.
I telegraph to it, and that is enough."
"Really," I said, astonished at these marvels,
"nothing can be more simple."
After having passed by the cage of the staircase
that led to the platform, I saw a cabin six feet long,


in which Conseil and Ned Land, enchanted with
their repast, were devouring it with avidity. Then
a door opened into a kitchen nine feet long, situated
between the large storerooms. There electriciy
better than gas itself, did all the cooking.Th
streams under the furnaces gave out to the sponges
of platina a heat which was regularly kept up and
distributed. They also heated a distilling appara-
tus, which, by evaporation, furnished excellent drink-
able water. Near this kitchen was a bath-room
comfortably furnished, with hot and cold water taps.
Next to the kitchen was the berth-room of the ves-
sel, sixteen feet long. But the door was shut, and
I could not see the management of it, which might
have given me an idea of the number of men em-
ployed on board the Nautilus.
At the bottom was a fourth partition, that sep-
arated this office from the engine-room. A door
opened, and I found myself in the compartment
where Captain Nemo--certainly an engineer of a
very high order--had arranged his locomotive ma-
chinery. This engine-room, clearly lighted, did not
measure less than sixty-five feet in length. It was
divided into two parts; the first contained the ma-
terials for producing electricity, and the second the
machinery that connected it with the screw. I ex-
amined it with great interest, in order to understand
the machinery ofthe Nautilus.
"You see," said the captain, "I use Bunsen's con-
trivances, not Ruhmkorff's. Those would not have
been powerful enough. Buns'en's are fewer in num-
ber, but strong and large, which experience proves
to be the best. The electricity produced passes for-
ward, where it works, by electro-magnets of great
size, on a system of levers and cog-wheels that
transmit the movement to the axle of the screw.
This one, the diameter of which is nineteen feet, and

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