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voices. Hark! says I, here they come again. Well, I am now resolved to face them ; come life come death. It is not to be alone I thus dread; but to have company
about me, and not know who or what, is death to me, worse than I can suffer from them, be they who or what they will.
During my soliloquy the voices increased, and then by degrees diminished as usual; but I had scarce got my gun in my hand, to pursue my resolution of showing myself to those who uttered them, when I felt such a thump upon
the roof of my antechamber as shook the whole fabric, and set me all over into a tremor; I then heard a sort of shriek, and a rustle near the door of my apartment, all which to gether seemed very terrible. But I, having before determined to see what and who it was, resolutely opened my door and leaped out. I saw nobody; all was quite silent, and nothing, that I could perceive, but my own fears a-moving. I went. then softly to the corner of the building, and there, looking down by the glimmer of my lamp, which stood in the window, I saw something in human shape lying at my feet. I gave the word, Who's there ?-Still no one answered. My heart was ready to force a way through my side. I was for a while fixed to the earth like a statue. At length recovering, I stepped in, fetched my lamp, and returning, saw the very beautiful face my Patty appeared under in my dream; and not considering that it was only a dream, I verily thought that I had my Patty before me, but she seemed to be stone dead. . Upon viewing her other parts—for I had never yet removed my eyes from her face -I found she had a sort of brown chaplet, like lace, round her head, under and about which her hair was tucked up and twined; and she seemed to me to be clothed in a thin hair-coloured silk garment, which, upon trying to raise her, I found to be quite warm, and therefore hoped there was life in the body it contained. I then took her into my arms, and treading a step backwards with her, I put out my lamp; however, having her in my arms, I conveyed her through the doorway in the dark into my grotto; here I laid her upon my bed, and then ran out for my lamp.
This, thinks I, is an amazing adventure. How could Patty come here, and dressed in silk and whalebone, too! sure that is not the reigning fashion in England now. But my
dream said she was dead. Why truly, says I, so she seems to be. But be it so, she is warm. Whether this is the place for persons to inhabit after death or not, I cannot tell (for I see there are people here, though I do not know them); but be it as it will, she feels as flesh and blood; and if I but bring her to stir and act again as my wife, what matters it to me what she is ! It will be a great blessing and comfort to me, for she never would have come to this very spot but for my good.
Top-full of these thoughts, I re-entered my grotto, shut my door, and lighted my lamp; when going to my Patty, (as I delighted to fancy her), I thought I saw her eyes stir a little. I then set the lamp further off, for fear of offending them if she should look up; and warming the last glass I had reserved of my Madeira, I carried it to her, but she never stirred.
I now supposed the fall had absolutely killed her, and was prodigiously grieved, when laying my hand on her breast I perceived the fountain of life had some motion. This gave me infinite pleasure; so not despairing, I dipped my finger in the wine, and moistened her lips with it two or three times, and I imagined they opened a little. Upon this methought me, and taking a teaspoon, gently poured a few drops of wine by that means into her mouth. Finding she swallowed it, I poured in another spoonful, and another, till I brought her to herself so well as to be able to sit up. All this I did by a glimmering light, which the lamp afforded from a distant part of the room where I had placed it, as I have said, out of her sight.
I then spoke to her and asked her divers questions, as if she had really been Patty, and understood me; in return of which she uttered a language I had no idea of, though in the most musical tone, and with the sweetest accent I had ever heard. It grieved me I could not understand her. However, thinking she might like to be upon her feet, I went to lift her off the bed, when she felt to my touch in the oddest manner possible; for while in one respect it was as though she had been cased in whalebone, it was as soft and warm as if she had been naked.*
I then took her in my arms and carried her into my antechamber again; where I would fain have entered into conversation with her, but found she and I could make nothing of it together, unless we could understand one another's speech. It is very strange my dream should have prepossessed me so much of Patty, and of the alteration of her countenance, that I could by no means persuade myself the person I had with me was not she; though, upon a deliberate comparison, Patty, as pleasing as she always was to my taste, would no more come up to this fair creature, than a coarse ale-wife would to Venus herself.
* The flying apparatus of Wilkins's newly discovered people was called a graundee, and consisted of a natural investment like delieate silk and whalebone, which flew open at pleasure, and thus furnished its possessor with wings or a dress, according to the requirement of the moment. Peter's fature wife had been sporting in the air with some other young damsels, one of whom happening to brush too strongly against her, as they stooped among some trees, had occasioned the accident which was the cause of his good fortune.
You may imagine we stared heartily at each other, and I doubted not but she wondered as much as I by what means we came so near each other.
I offered her everything in my grotto which I thought might please her, some of which she gratefully received, as appeared by her looks and behaviour. But she avoided my lamp, and always placed her back towards it. I observing that, and ascribing it to her modesty, in my company, let her have her will, and took care to set it in such a position myself as seemed agreeable to her, though it deprived me of a prospect I very much admired.
After we had sat a good while, now and then, I may say, chattering to one another, she got up and took a turn or two about the room. When I saw her in that attitude, her grace and motion perfectly charmed me, and her shape was incomparable; but the strangeness of her dress put me to my trumps, to conceive either what it was, or how it was put on.
Well, we supped together, and I set the best of everything I had before' her, nor could either of us forbear speaking in our own tongue, though we were sensible neither of us understood the other. After
her some of my cordials, for which she showed great tokens of thankfulness, and often, in her way, by signs and gestures, which were very far from being insignificant, expressed her gratitude for my kindness. When supper had been some time over, I showed her my bed and made signs for her to go to it; but she seemed very shy of that, till I showed her where I meant to lie myself, by pointing to myself, then to that, and again pointing to her and to my bed. When at length I had made this matter intelligible to her, she lay down very composedly; and after I had taken care of my fire, and set the things we had been using for supper in their places, I laid myself down too; for I could have no suspicious thoughts, or fear of danger from a form so excellent.
I treated her for some time with all the respect imagi. nable, and never suffered her to do the least part of my work. It was very inconvenient to both of us only to know each other's meaning by signs; but I could not be otherwise than pleased to see, that she endeavoured all in her power to learn to talk like me. Indeed I was not behindhand with her in that respect, striving all I could to imitate her. What I all the while wondered at was, she never showed the least disquiet at her confinement; for I kept my door shut at first, through fear of losing her, thinking she would have taken an opportunity to run away
for little did I then think she could fly.
After my new love had been with me a fortnight, finding my water ran low, I was greatly troubled at the thought of quitting her at any time to go for more; and having hinted it to her with seeming uneasiness, she could not for awhile fathom my meaning ; but when she saw me much confused, she came at length, by the many signs I made, to imagine it was my concern for her which made me so; whereupon she expressively enough signified I might be easy, for she did not fear anything happening to her in my absence. On this, as well as I could declare my meaning, I entreated her not to go away
return. as she understood what I signified to her by actions, she sat down with her arms across, leaning her head against the wall to assure me she would not stir. However, as I had before nailed a cord to the outside of the door, I tied that for caution's sake to a tree, for fear of the worst; but I believe she had not the least design of removing.
I took my boat, net, and water-cask, as usual ; desirous of bringing her home a fresh-fish dinner; and succeeded so