Madame Chrysanthème, by Pierre Loti

Chapter 1

The Mysterious Land

At dawn we beheld Japan.

Precisely at the foretold moment the mysterious land arose before us, afar off, like a black dot in the vast sea, which for so many days had been but a blank space.

At first we saw nothing by the rays of the rising sun but a series of tiny pink-tipped heights (the Fukai Islands). Soon, however, appeared all along the horizon, like a misty veil over the waters, Japan itself; and little by little, out of the dense shadow, arose the sharp, opaque outlines of the Nagasaki mountains.

The wind was dead against us, and the strong breeze, which steadily increased, seemed as if the country were blowing with all its might, in a vain effort to drive us away from its shores. The sea, the rigging, the vessel itself, all vibrated and quivered as if with emotion.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 22:36