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being elsewhere and in a variety of scenes, it was always blowing
in my dream. At length, I lost that feeble hold upon reality, and
was engaged with two dear friends, but who they were I don't know,
at the siege of some town in a roar of cannonading.

The thunder of the cannon was so loud and incessant, that I could
not hear something I much desired to hear, until I made a great
exertion and awoke. It was broad day - eight or nine o'clock; the
storm raging, in lieu of the batteries; and someone knocking and
calling at my door.

'What is the matter?' I cried.

'A wreck! Close by!'

I sprung out of bed, and asked, what wreck?

'A schooner, from Spain or Portugal, laden with fruit and wine.
Make haste, sir, if you want to see her! It's thought, down on the
beach, she'll go to pieces every moment.'

The excited voice went clamouring along the staircase; and I
wrapped myself in my clothes as quickly as I could, and ran into
the street.

Numbers of people were there before me, all running in one
direction, to the beach. I ran the same way, outstripping a good
many, and soon came facing the wild sea.

The wind might by this time have lulled a little, though not more
sensibly than if the cannonading I had dreamed of, had been
diminished by the silencing of half-a-dozen guns out of hundreds.
But the sea, having upon it the additional agitation of the whole
night, was infinitely more terrific than when I had seen it last.
Every appearance it had then presented, bore the expression of
being swelled; and the height to which the breakers rose, and,
looking over one another, bore one another down, and rolled in, in
interminable hosts, was most appalling.

In the difficulty of hearing anything but wind and waves, and in
the crowd, and the unspeakable confusion, and my first breathless
efforts to stand against the weather, I was so confused that I
looked out to sea for the wreck, and saw nothing but the foaming
heads of the great waves. A half-dressed boatman, standing next
me, pointed with his bare arm (a tattoo'd arrow on it, pointing in
the same direction) to the left. Then, O great Heaven, I saw it,
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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