Just as this part of the mountain was knocked off, the ghost of the Cape, that tremendous sprite which cuts such a figure in the Lusiad, was discovered sitting squat in an excavation formed for him in the centre of the mountain. He seemed just like a young bee in his little cell before he comes forth, or like a bean in a bean-pod; and when the upper part of the mountain was split across and knocked off, the superior half of his person was discovered. He appeared of a bottle-blue colour, and started, dazzled with the unexpected glare of the light: hearing the dreadful rattle of the wheels, and the loud chirping of the crickets, he was thunder-struck, and instantly giving a shriek, sunk down ten thousand fathoms into the earth, while the mountain, vomiting out some smoke, silently closed up, and left not a trace behind!
The Baron secures his chariot, &c., at the Cape and takes his passage for England in a homeward-bound Indiaman—Wrecked upon an island of ice, near the coast of Guinea—Escapes from the wreck, and rears a variety of vegetables upon the island—Meets some vessels belonging to the negroes bringing white slaves from Europe, in retaliation, to work upon their plantations in a cold climate near the South Pole—Arrives in England, and lays an account of his expedition before the Privy Council—Great preparations for a new expedition—The Sphinx, Gog and Magog, and a great company attend him—The ideas of Hilaro Frosticos respecting the interior parts of Africa.
I perceived with grief and consternation the miscarriage of all my apparatus; yet I was not absolutely dejected: a great mind is never known but in adversity. With permission of the Dutch governor the chariot was properly laid up in a great storehouse, erected at the water’s edge, and the bulls received every refreshment possible after so terrible a voyage. Well, you may be sure they deserved it, and therefore every attendance was engaged for them, until I should return.
As it was not possible to do anything more I took my passage in a homeward-bound Indiaman, to return to London, and lay the matter before the Privy Council.
We met with nothing particular until we arrived upon the coast of Guinea, where, to our utter astonishment, we perceived a great hill, seemingly of glass, advancing against us in the open sea; the rays of the sun were reflected upon it with such splendour, that it was extremely difficult to gaze at the phenomenon. I immediately knew it to be an island of ice, and though in so very warm a latitude, determined to make all possible sail from such horrible danger. We did so, but all in vain, for about eleven o’clock at night, blowing a very hard gale, and exceedingly dark, we struck upon the island. Nothing could equal the distraction, the shrieks, and despair of the whole crew, until I, knowing there was not a moment to be lost, cheered up their spirits, and bade them