Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea - Jules Verne - Страница 1 из 392


This etext was done by a number of anonymous volunteers of the
Gutenberg Project, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks and to
whom we dedicate this book.
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
by
JULES VERNE
PART ONE
CHAPTER I
A SHIFTING REEF
The year 1866 was signalised by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and
puzzling phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to
mention rumours which agitated the maritime population and excited the
public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were
particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels,
skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries,
and the Governments of several States on the two continents, were
deeply interested in the matter.
For some time past vessels had been met by "an enormous thing," a long
object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infinitely
larger and more rapid in its movements than a whale.
The facts relating to this apparition (entered in various log-books)
agreed in most respects as to the shape of the object or creature in
question, the untiring rapidity of its movements, its surprising power
of locomotion, and the peculiar life with which it seemed endowed. If
it was a whale, it surpassed in size all those hitherto classified in
science. Taking into consideration the mean of observations made at
divers times--rejecting the timid estimate of those who assigned to
this object a length of two hundred feet, equally with the exaggerated


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