Restless, he dreamed of his shipwreck, and dreamed it as a man of wit, who even in dreams, or especially in them, must take care that as propositions embellish a conception, so reservations make it vital, while mysterious connections give it density; considerations make it profound; emphases uplift, allusions dissimulate, transmutations make subtle.
In those days, and on those seas, more ships were wrecked than returned safely home; but to one shipwrecked for the first time the experience must have been a source of recurrent nightmares, which the habit of expressing in appropriate conceits must have made as picturesque as a Last Judgement.
Since the evening before, it was as if the air had sickened with catrrah, and it seemed that the eye of Heaven, brimming with tears, could support no longer the sight of the expanse of waves. The brush of nature had now diluted the line of the horizon and was sketching distances of indefinite provinces.
Roberto, whose viscera have already predicted an imminent catastrophe, flings himself on his pallet, rocked now by a nurse of giants, dozes amid uneasy dreams of which he dreams the dream he relates, and beholds before his very eyes a host of galactic wonders. He wakes to the bacchanal of thunder and the cries of the sailors, then streams of water invade his berth, Dr. Byrd looks in and, running, cries to him to come up on deck and cling firmly to anything more firm than himself.