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waters around him. The fish shun a shallow sea, that
at ebb leaves bare a wide expanse of slimy bottom, and
willingly relinquish to the seal and the ugly ray so
uninviting an abode. And this sea which surrounds,
and so often inundates the halligs, and which at dif-
ferent points is named after the districts it has swal-
lowed up — this sea so poor in gifts, and so rich in
plunder, is still forever a spoiler, which now with
gradual destructive steps, and now with impetuous
fury, is undermining the island piece by piece, so that
the inhabitant of the hallig can calculate the period
when it will ravish the last foothold from his flocks
and sap the foundations of his dwelling. Yet happy
were the hallig if the picture of its miseries were now
complete. But there still remains a fearful page. In-
undations that overflow the level surface, and roll their
billows against the wharf, dashing their spray upon
the walls and windows, are of frequent occurrence.
The habitations then show only their thatched roofs
above the tossing waters, and one would never imagine
that they are sheltering human beings, hoary grand-
sires, strong men and women, and playful children
perhaps gathered carelessly about the tea-table, and
scarcely casting a glance at the threatening ocean.
Many a stranger vessel driven out of its course by night
has on such occasions sailed over a hallig, and the as-
tonished seamen have thought it a delusion of witch-
craft when they have suddenly seen, alongside, a cheer-
ful candle shining through the window of a dwelling,
which, half buried in the waves, seemed to rest only
on their bosom. But sometimes tempest and tide to-
gether break upon the trembling hallig. The sea rises