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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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Author Topic: Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic  (Read 3242 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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Posts: 4693

« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2009, 11:38:55 pm »

beneath the moon and the stars. For the rest, they had daily services of religion, as dignified and sonorous as could have taken place on shore, except on those rare occasions when the chief bass voice was hushed in seasickness in some cabin below. Beautiful Gregorian masses rose to heaven, and it is certain that the Pilgrim fathers, in their two months on the Atlantic, almost a thousand years later, had no such rich melody as floated across those summer seas. Luis was a favorite of Oppas, the archbishop, who never seemed to recognize any danger in having an enamoured youth so near to the demure future abbess. He consulted the youth about many plans. Their aim, it seemed, was the great island called Antillia, as yet unexplored, but reputed to be large enough for many thousand people. Oppas was to organize the chief settlement, and he planned to divide the island into seven dioceses, each bishop having a permanent colony. Once established, they would trade with Spain, and whether it remained Moorish or became Christian, Oppas was sure of friendly relations.

p. 158

The priests were divided among the three vessels, and among them there was that occasional jarring from which even holy men are not quite free. The different bishops had their partisans, but none dared openly face the imperial Oppas. His supposed favorite Luis was less formidable; he was watched and spied upon, while his devotion to the dignified Juanita was apparent to all. Yet he was always ready to leave her side when Oppas called, and then they discussed together the future prospects of the party: when they should see land, whether it would really be Antillia, whether they should have a good landfall, whether the island would be fertile, whether there would be native inhabitants, and if so, whether they should be baptized and sent to Spain as slaves, or whether they should be retained on the island. It was decided, on the whole, that this last should be done; and what with the prospect of winning souls, and the certainty of having obedient subjects, the prospect seemed inviting.

One morning, at sunrise, there lay before

p. 159

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