1 Six years have passed since I resolved on my present undertaking.
2 Such is my journal of what relates to this strange occurrence up to the present day.
3 If you feel thus, we shall assuredly be happy, however present events may cast a gloom over us.
4 He then took a cursory view of the present state of the science and explained many of its elementary terms.
5 The present season was indeed divine; the flowers of spring bloomed in the hedges, while those of summer were already in bud.
6 Felix had accidentally been present at the trial; his horror and indignation were uncontrollable when he heard the decision of the court.
7 The picture I present to you is peaceful and human, and you must feel that you could deny it only in the wantonness of power and cruelty.
8 The materials at present within my command hardly appeared adequate to so arduous an undertaking, but I doubted not that I should ultimately succeed.
9 Continue for the present to write to me by every opportunity: I may receive your letters on some occasions when I need them most to support my spirits.
10 Before I depart I will give them to you; they will prove the truth of my tale; but at present, as the sun is already far declined, I shall only have time to repeat the substance of them to you.
11 Through this work I obtained a cursory knowledge of history and a view of the several empires at present existing in the world; it gave me an insight into the manners, governments, and religions of the different nations of the earth.
12 As yet I looked upon crime as a distant evil, benevolence and generosity were ever present before me, inciting within me a desire to become an actor in the busy scene where so many admirable qualities were called forth and displayed.
13 The porter opened the gates of the court, which had that night been my asylum, and I issued into the streets, pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would present to my view.
14 I prepared myself for a multitude of reverses; my operations might be incessantly baffled, and at last my work be imperfect, yet when I considered the improvement which every day takes place in science and mechanics, I was encouraged to hope my present attempts would at least lay the foundations of future success.
15 I remembered too well the treatment I had suffered the night before from the barbarous villagers, and resolved, whatever course of conduct I might hereafter think it right to pursue, that for the present I would remain quietly in my hovel, watching and endeavouring to discover the motives which influenced their actions.
16 I saw plainly that he was surprised, but he never attempted to draw my secret from me; and although I loved him with a mixture of affection and reverence that knew no bounds, yet I could never persuade myself to confide in him that event which was so often present to my recollection, but which I feared the detail to another would only impress more deeply.
17 But supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind, to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.
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