Monday, October 20, 2008

Victor Hugo - A Fight With A Cannon

La vieuville was suddenly cut short by a cry of despair, and a the sametime a noise was heard wholly unlike any other sound. The cry and soundscame from within the vessel.
The captain and lieutenant rushed toward the gun-deck but could not getdown. All the gunners were pouring up in dismay.
Something terrible had just happened.
One of the carronades of the battery, a twenty-four pounder, had brokenloose.
This is the most dangerous accident that can possibly take place onshipboard. Nothing more terrible can happen to a sloop of was in open seaand under full sail.
A cannon that breaks its moorings suddenly becomes some strange,supernatural beast. It is a machine transformed into a monster. That shortmass on wheels moves like a billiard-ball, rolls with the rolling of theship, plunges with the pitching goes, comes, stops, seems to meditate,starts on its course again, shoots like an arrow from one end of thevessel to the other, whirls around, slips away, dodges, rears, bangs,crashes, kills, exterminates. It is a battering ram capriciouslyassaulting a wall. Add to this the fact that the ram is of metal, the wallof wood.
It is matter set free; one might say, this eternal slave was avengingitself; it seems as if the total depravity concealed in what we callinanimate things has escaped, and burst forth all of a sudden; it appearsto lose patience, and to take a strange mysterious revenge; nothing morerelentless than this wrath of the inanimate. This enraged lump leaps likea panther, it has the clumsiness of an elephant, the nimbleness of amouse, the obstinacy of an ox, the uncertainty of the billows, the zigzagof the lightning, the deafness of the grave. It weighs ten thousandpounds, and it rebounds like a child's ball. It spins and then abruptlydarts off at right angles.

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Picture taken from Clipart ETC

Book Choice: Les Miserables

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