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   Chapter 4 No.4

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 2044

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


Morning of the third day. Same mild, warm wind. Bright blue sky, with some very thin clouds in the horizon,-like puffs of steam. The glow of the sea-light through the open ports of my cabin makes them seem filled with thick blue glass.... It is becoming too warm for New York clothing....

Certainly the sea has become much bluer. It gives one the idea of liquefied sky: the foam might be formed of cirrus clouds compressed,-so extravagantly white it looks to-day, like snow in the sun. Nevertheless, the old gentleman from Guadeloupe still maintains this is not the true blue of the tropics

... The sky does not deepen its hue to-day: it brightens it-the blue glows as if it were taking fire throughout. Perhaps the sea may deepen its hue;-I do not believe it can take more luminous color without being set aflame.... I ask the ship's doctor whether it is really true that the West Indian waters are any bluer than these. He looks a moment at the sea, and replies, "Oh yes!" There is such a tone of surprise in his "

oh" as might indicate that I had asked a very foolish question; and his look seems to express doubt whether I am quite in earnest.... I think, nevertheless, that this water is extravagantly, nonsensically blue!

... I read for an hour or two; fall asleep in the chair; wake up suddenly; look at the sea,-and cry out! This sea is impossibly blue! The painter who should try to paint it would be denounced as a lunatic.... Yet it is transparent; the foam-clouds, as they sink down, turn sky-blue,-a sky-blue which now looks white by contrast with the strange and violent splendor of the sea color. It seems as if one were looking into an immeasurable dyeing vat, or as though the whole ocean had been thickened with indigo. To say this is a mere reflection of the sky is nonsense!-the sky is too pale by a hundred shades for that! This must be the natural color of the water,-a blazing azure,-magnificent, impossible to describe.

The French passenger from Guadeloupe observes that the sea is "beginning to become blue."

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