The fortunes of my crew and I have taken a dark turn for the worse on this third full day of reading Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady. The ship is destroyed and we are marooned on a strange shore. It can only be our hope that there is somehow an overland route home or our lives will surely be lost in our attempt.
To be truthful, we still know not whether the force that mysteriously propelled out ship was demonic or merely indifferently destructive toward us. We traveled at such unbelievable speeds that we found ourselves, totally unrelated to any direction at our part, about 800 pages into the book. That was when we saw the rocky coastline of this strange new land directly in our course.
The ship slowed not as it crashed upon the rocks, destroying it utterly. It is only from jumping into the drink that we saved ourselves. If we had not, we surely would have died. We managed to save what we could from the wreckage, but our situation on that rocky beach was not good. Much of our provisions were lost. And then, there was also that strange giant creature made entirely of rock who watched us from the thick forest that bordered the rocky beach.
However, this rock giant turned out to be friendly and welcomed us. He began showing us the game and local fauna which we may likely consume to replace our provisions, though he had to guess since his form is so different from out own. He gave his name as Quazon.
As such, I must remark that we cannot be said to have discovered a new land in our reading of Clarissa. Only a ninny would lay claim to discovering a land that already had intelligent creatures in it. Regardless, things did not seem as dark when it was just Quazon that we had to deal with.
Unfortunately, Quazon was just one of a well-meaning group of rock giants. The land near the beach was populated by a second group, said by the first group to have sinister designs upon us. Fearing that we would not respect their judgment and have dealings with the second group, the first group virtually imprisoned us. Our lives surely would have been forfeit.
What could we do? We had no choice but think that the first group was merely prejudiced against the second. We escaped and sought protection from the first in this new land in the company of the second. Tragically, the second group was as bad as the first had said. Truly, we had no friends in this new land but Quazon and he had too little power in the first group to help us.
Would we but be back upon our ship! We may have hurtled inexplicably to our destruction, but we were not beset there, without the help of friends, by creatures that actively designed to do us harm.
There was no choice but to flee all and proceed forward into the darkly thick forest. We can only hope that this forward path will eventually lead to an overland route home. There is little else we can do, short of die as we march and read. Onward, then…because we have no other option.