Citation
From the Earth to the Moon direct in ninety-seven hours and twenty minutes, and a trip round it

Material Information

Title:
From the Earth to the Moon direct in ninety-seven hours and twenty minutes, and a trip round it
Uniform Title:
De la terre a la lune
Cover title:
From the Earth to the Moon
Creator:
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Mercier, Louis ( Translator )
King, Eleanor E ( Translator )
Hildibrand, Henri Théophile ( Engraver )
Pannemaker, Adolphe François, b. 1822 ( Engraver )
Sampson Low, Marston, Low & Searle ( Publisher )
Gilbert & Rivington ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle
Manufacturer:
Gilbert & Rivington
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 323 p., [80] leaves of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Interplanetary voyages -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Telescopes -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Artillery -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Space flight -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Moon ( lcsh )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1873 ( local )
Fantasy literature -- 1873 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1873
Genre:
Hand-colored illustrations ( local )
Fantasy literature ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Summary:
Written almost a century before the daring flights of the astronauts, Jules Verne's prophetic novel of man's race to the stars is a classic adventure tale enlivened by broad satire and scientific acumen. When the members of the elite Baltimore Gun Club find themselves lacking any urgent assignments at the close of the Civil War, their president, Impey Barbicane, proposes that they build a gun big enough to launch a rocket to the moon. But when Barbicane's adversary places a huge wager that the project will fail and a daring volunteer elevates the mission to a "manned" flight, one man's dream turns into an international space race.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Pannemaker and Hildibrand.
General Note:
Baldwin Library copy illustrations are hand-colored: probably by young owner.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jules Verne ; translated from the French by Louis Mercier and Eleanor E. King ; with numerous illustrations.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027005162 ( ALEPH )
ALH9747 ( NOTIS )
60313660 ( OCLC )

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PROJECTILE TRAINS FOR THE MOON.

[Page 95.



FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON

DIRECT

IN 97 HOURS 20 MINUTES:

AND A TRIP ROUND IT.

By JULES VERNE.

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH

By LOUIS MERCIER, M.A. (Oxon), ann
ELEANOR E. KING.

WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS.

Lonvon ;
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, LOW, AND SEARLE,
CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.
1873.

[All rights reserved.|



LONDON ;:
GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,
ST. JOHN’S SQUARE.



CONTENTS.



FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER I. PAGE
THe Gun CLus ‘ ; ° . : . . . . ; . dt
CHAPTER II.
PRESIDENT BARBICANE’S COMMUNICATION . : ‘ . . . 8

CHAPTER III.

EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’S COMMUNICATION . . ; . . - 1d
CHAPTER IV.
REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE . . . . : . 19
CHAPTER V.
THE ROMANCE OF THE Moon . . ; . . . . : - 23
CHAPTER VI.
THE Permissive Limits oF I¢noRANCE AND BELIEF IN THE UNITED
STATES . . . . . . . ; . ; ’ . 28

CHAPTHR VII.
Tue HymNortHe Cannon-Bann . . . . . . «. « 88

CHAPTER VIII.
HISTORY OF THE CANNON . . . . ; . . . . - AO

CHAPTER IX.
THE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS : . ° . ° . : . 44

CHAPTER X.
One ENEMY v. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS . ; . . . 49



iv CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XI.
FLorRipa AND TEXAS.

. CHAPTER XII,
URBI ET ORBI .

CHAPTER XIII.
Stonrs Hitz |

CHAPTER XIV.
PICKAXE AND TROWEL

CHAPTER XV.
THE FETE OF THE CASTING

CHAPTER XVI.
THE COLUMBIAD

CHAPTER XVII.
A TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCH

CHAPTER XVIII.

THE PASSENGER OF THE *‘ ATLANTA ”’

CHAPTER XIX.
A Monster MEETING

CHAPTER XX,
ATTACK AND RIPOSTE

-CHAPTER XXI.
How A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR .

CHAPTER XXII.

THE NEw CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES

CHAPTER XXITI.

THE PROJECTILE VEHICLE

CHAPTER XXIV.

Tue TELESCOPE OF THE Rocky MountTaAINs

CHAPTER XXV.
Fina Dzraits. ° 7 .

PAGE

. 54

. 59

« 65

70

75

80

85

86

92

99

- 108

- 117

- 122

. 125

. 128



CONTENTS

CHAPTER XXVI. PAGE
FIRE ! . . . : . . . . . : . e - 183
CHAPTER XXVIL |
Fount WEATHER ° ; . . ° 138
CHAPTER XXVIII.
A New Star. -., . . ; . . . : 141
ROUND THE MOON.
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER.
RECAPITULATORY , . . ; . . . . . 145
CHAPTER I.
From Twenty Minutes past TEN To Forty-sEVEN MINUTES PAST
TEN P.M. . 151
. CHAPTER II.
Tar First HALF-HOUR . . . , . . . . . . 157
CHAPTER III.
THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER . . . . ° ° ° ° . 169
CHAPTHR IV.
A Litre ALGEBRA . ; . . . . ° ;: ° ° . 178
CHAPTER V.
Tue Cop or SPACE. . ° . . ; : ° - 185
CHAPTER VI.
QUESTION AND ANSWER . 194
CHAPTER VII.
A Moment oF INTOXICATION. . . . ° . 202

CHAPTER VIII.
AT SEVENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND Five HUNDRED AND FourteEN LEAGUES .

| CHAPTER IX.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION.

212

» 221



v1 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X.
THE OBSERVERS OF THE Moon .

CHAPTER XI.
FANcY AND REALITY . :

CHAPTER XII.
OROGRAPHIC DETAILS

CHAPTER XIII.
Lunar LANDSCAPES .

CHAPTER XIV.

THE Nicut or THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTy-FouR Hours AND A HALF

CHAPTER XV.
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA . . ° ; °

CHAPTER XVI.
THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

CHAPTER XVII.
TYCHO . 7

CHAPTER XVIII.
GRAVE QUESTIONS . °

CHAPTER XIX.
A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE . °

CHAPTER XX.
THE SOUNDINGS OF THE “ SUSQUEHANNA”

CHAPTER XXI.
J. T. MAston RECALLED

CHAPTER XXII.
RECOVERED FROM THE SEA

/ CHAPTER XXIII.
Tae End. e e ® ° e ° e



PAGE
- 228

, 232

. 236

. 243

. 251

. 260

. 270

. 278

. 281

. 289

. 299

- 805

» 812

. 320°



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
The Artillery-men of the Gun Club
President Barbicane me ee ws le eet 1
Meeting of the Gun Club : : : . , , . 12
The Torchlight Procession ; : . . , : : . 16
Cambridge Observatory . : , ; , : . 19
The Moon’s Disc : : : . , ; . 26
Barbicane holds forth . : , , : . . 33
The Rodman Columbiad . , , ; : . d4
Cannon at Malta in the time of the Kaichts , ; , f - ns . 386
Tdeal Sketch of J. T. Maston’s Gun : : ; : . A2
The invention of Gunpowder by the Monk Schwartz : ° : . 44
Captain Nicholl . : : ; . 49
Nicholl published a number of ietbersi in itis Nowaapsis : ‘ - dl
It became necessary to keep an eye upon the Deputies . ‘ ; . 57
The Subscription was opened . : ; ; . ; . 60
The Manufactory of Goldspring, near Now York ; w °F % : . 63
Tampa Town, previous to the undertaking. ‘ ; sip 9 . 66
They were compelled to ford several Rivers . : . . . -. 68
The Work progressed regularly . ; . : ; : ; » W3—
The Casting . : . . : “ : . a CE
Tampa Town, after the anderiaing ; : : ; : : . 82
The Banquet in the Columbiad : . : : : ; - » 88
President Barbicane at his Window : : ; : ‘ : - 87
Michel Ardan . : : : : , ; : : ; : . 88
The Meeting . . _ ; ; : : ‘ : . 92
Projectile Trains for the Moon ; : : : ; : : - 95
Attack and Riposte . : : ; ‘ . : : . LOL
The Platform was suddenly carried: away : : : . ; - 106
Maston burst into the Room . . : : : : . 108
In the midst of this Snare was a poor little Bird ; ; . - . 112
‘Go with me, and see whether we are stopped on our journey”? . . 115
The Cat taken out of the Shell . ; . . : : ° . 120
The Arrival of the Projectile at Stones Hill . : : ° : . 122
J.T. Maston had grown fat. ; : ; : : : ; . 124

The Telescope of the Rocky Mountains . : . ; : : . 127



vill LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS,



PAGE

The Interior of the Projectile . : - 130
An innumerable Multitude covered the Prairie round Stones Hill . . 133
Fire!! .. : : ; : : : : ; : . 136
Effect of the ixplosion : ; : ‘ : : : : ; . 138
The Director at his Post . ; ‘ . ; ‘ : ; : . 139
The courageous Frenchman . - 4 ° ° : : : - 158
They raised Barbicane’ . : : : : : : ; : . 159
The Gas caught fire + ; : : : ; - & . 152
Diana and Satellite . ; : 7 . . : : : : . 154
It was an enormous Disc : ; : ; ; i : : . 163
The Sun chose to be of the party . ; . . 172
Ardan plunged his hand rapidly into certain caysterious ho: S. . 176
“Do I understand it P’”? cried Ardan; “my head is splitting with it” . 183
Satellite was thrown out : : : : : : : : . 193
It was the Body of Satellite . : ; ; - 201
“‘T could have ventured out on the top of the Projectile? me : - 206
anor struck up a frantic dance . ‘ : . ‘ ‘ : - 210
“The Oxygen !”’ he exclaimed : : ° : . ; : . 212
“ Ah! if Raphael had seen us thus” . : : : : . . 217
“‘T should be nothing more thana Pigmy” . : : : ° . 220
The Telescope at Parsonstown ; : : : ‘ - 228
How many people have heard speak of the Moon! . : » 232
“This plain would then be nothing but an immense Cenictery? : . 241
“What Giant Oxen!” . : . : : 245
He could distinguish nothing bat Desert Beds . ; : ; . 247
“Tt is the fault of the Moon” ‘. : . 252
Nothing could equal the splendour of this storey world . : ; . 256
‘““The vapour of our breath will fall in snow around us ” ' . . 258
A Discussion arose . : ; : ; ‘ : ; : - 261
A Prey to frightful Terror ; ; - Se : . : : . 267
What a sight! : ; : ; : : . ; . ; . 267
“The Sun!” , ; : - “% . 271
“ Light and Heat ; all Life i is oontained 4 in chen” i ; ; . 273
He distinguished all this . . . : . : : : ; . 275
Can you picture to yourselves? : ; : : . 277
A violent Contraction of the Lunar Crust : . 282
Around the Projectile were the Objects which had been row out . 291
«These practical people have sometimes most inopportune ideas ” . 295
Ardan applied the lighted Match . : : . ; . : . 296
, I fancy Iseethem” . : . ° : : : ; : . d01
‘A few feet nearer . : ; ° . : ; : - 304
The unfortunate man had disappeatel : ; ° : . : . 3ll
The Descent began : . ; ; : ° : 7 ° . 815
*“ White all, Barbicane ” ° ° . . . 319

The Apotheosis was worthy of the throe Heroes ° ° ° ° - 822



a4
}

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



CHAPTER I.
TIE GUN CLUB.

DvrineG the Federal War in the United States, a new and influen-
tial club was established in the city of Baltimore in the State of
Maryland. It is well known with what energy the taste for
military matters became developed amongst that nation of ship-
owners, shopkeepers, and mechanics. Simple tradesmen jumped
their counters to become extemporized captains, colonels, and
generals, without having ever passed the School of Instruction at
West Point: nevertheless, they quickly rivalled their compeers of
the old continent, and, like them, carried off victories by dint of
lavish expenditure in ammunition, money, and men.

But the point in which the Americans singularly distanced the
Europeans was in the science of gunnery. Not, indeed, that their
weapons retained a higher degree of perfection than theirs, but
that they exhibited unheard-of dimensions, and consequently
attained hitherto unheard-of ranges. In point of grazing, plung-
ing, oblique, or enfilading, or point-blank firing, the English,
French, and Prussians have nothing to learn; but their cannon,
howitzers, and mortars are mere pocket-pistols compared with the
formidable engines of the Amcrican artillery.

B



a4
}

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



CHAPTER I.
TIE GUN CLUB.

DvrineG the Federal War in the United States, a new and influen-
tial club was established in the city of Baltimore in the State of
Maryland. It is well known with what energy the taste for
military matters became developed amongst that nation of ship-
owners, shopkeepers, and mechanics. Simple tradesmen jumped
their counters to become extemporized captains, colonels, and
generals, without having ever passed the School of Instruction at
West Point: nevertheless, they quickly rivalled their compeers of
the old continent, and, like them, carried off victories by dint of
lavish expenditure in ammunition, money, and men.

But the point in which the Americans singularly distanced the
Europeans was in the science of gunnery. Not, indeed, that their
weapons retained a higher degree of perfection than theirs, but
that they exhibited unheard-of dimensions, and consequently
attained hitherto unheard-of ranges. In point of grazing, plung-
ing, oblique, or enfilading, or point-blank firing, the English,
French, and Prussians have nothing to learn; but their cannon,
howitzers, and mortars are mere pocket-pistols compared with the
formidable engines of the Amcrican artillery.

B



2 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

eed



This fact need surprise no one. The Yankees, the first me-
chanicians in the world, are engineers—just as the Italians are
musicians and the Germans metaphysicians—by right of birth.
Nothing is more natural, therefore, than to perceive them
applying their audacious ingenuity to the science of gunnery.
Witness the marvels of Parrott, Dahlgren, and Rodman. The
Armstrong, Palliser, and Beaulieu guns were compelled to bow
before their transatlantic rivals. :

Now when an American has an idea, he directly seeks a second
American to share it. If there be three, they elect a president
and two secretaries. Given four, they name a keeper of records,
and the office is ready for work; jive, they convene a general
meeting, and the club is fully constituted. So things were
managed in Baltimore. The inventor of a new cannon associated
himself with the caster and the borer. Thus was formed the
nucleus of the “ Gun Club.” Ina single month after its forma-
tion it numbered 1833 effective members and 30,565 corre-
sponding members.

One condition was imposed as a sine qud non upon every can-
didate for admission into the association, and that was the
condition of having designed, or (more or less) perfected a
cannon; or, in default of a cannon, at least a fire-arm of some
description. It may, however, be mentioned that mere inventions
of revolvers, five-shooting carbines, and ‘similar small arms, met
with but little consideration. Artillerists always commanded the
chief place of favour.

The estimation in which these gentlemen were held, according
to one of the most scientific exponents of the Gun Club, was
*‘ proportional to the masses of their guns, and in the direct ratio
of the square of the distances attained by their projectiles.”

The Gun Club once founded, it is easy to conceive the result
of the inventive genius of the Americans. Their military
weapons attained colossal proportions, and their projectiles, ex-
ceeding the prescribed limits, unfortunately occasionally cut in



THE GUN CLUB. | 3



two some unoffending pedestrians. These inventions, in fact,
left far in the rear the timid instruments of European artil-
lery.

It is but fair toadd that these Yankees, brave as they have
ever proved themselves to be, did not confine themselves to
theories and formule, but that they paid heavily, in propria
persond, for their inventions. Amongst them were to be counted
officers of all ranks, from lieutenants to generals; military men of
every age, from those who were just making their début in the
profession of arms up to those who had grown old on the gun-
carriage. Many had found their rest on the field of battle whose
names figured in the “ Book of Honour” of the Gun Club; and of
those who made good their return the greater proportion bore the
marks of their indisputable valour. Crutches, wooden legs, arti-
ficial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc jaws, silver craniums, pla-
tinum noses, were all to be found in the collection; and it was
calculated by the great statistician Pitcairn that throughout the
Gun Club there was not quite one arm between four persons, and
exactly two legs between six.

Nevertheless, these valiant artillerists took no particular
account of these little facts, and felt justly proud when the
despatches of a battle returned the number of victims at tenfold
the quantity of the projectiles expended. |

One day, however—sad and melancholy day!— peace was
signed between the survivors of the war; the thunder of the, guns
gradually ceased, the mortars were silent, the howitzers were
muzzled for an indefinite period, the cannon, with muzzles
depressed, were returned into the arsenal, the shot were repiled,
all bloody reminiscences were effaced; the cotton-plants. grew
luxuriantly in the well-manured fields, all mourning garments
were laid aside, together with grief; and the Gun Club was.
relegated to profound inactivity.

Some few of the more advanced and inveterate theorists set
themselves again to work upon calculations regarding the laws of

B 2



4 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



projectiles. They reverted invariably to gigantic shells and
howitzers of unparalleled calibre. Still, in default of practical
experience, what was the value of mere theories ? Consequently,
the club-rooms became deserted, the servants dozed in the ante-
chambers, the newspapers grew mouldy on the tables, sounds of
snoring came from dark corners, and the members of the Gun
Club, erstwhile so noisy in their séances, were reduced to silence
by this disastrous peace and gave themselves up wholly to dreams
of a Platonic kind of artillery.

“This is horrible!” said Tom Hunter one evening, while
rapidly carbonizing his wooden legs in the fire-place of the
smoking-room; “nothing to do! nothing to look forward to! what
a loathsome existence! When again shall the guns arouse us in
the morning with their delightful reports ?”

“Those days are gone by,” said jolly Bilsby, trying to extend
his missing arms. “It was delightful once upon a time! One
invented a gun, and hardly was it cast, when one hastened to try
it in the face of the enemy! Then one returned to camp with a
word of encouragement from Sherman or a friendly shake of the
hand from M‘Clellan. But now the generals are gone back to
their counters; and in place of projectiles, they despatch bales
of cotton. By Jove, the future of gunnery in America is -
lost!” |
“Ay! and no war in prospect!” continued the famous James
T. Maston, scratching with his steel hook his gutta-percha
cranium. ‘ Not a cloud in the horizon! and that too at such a
critical period in the progress of the science of artillery! Yes,
gentlemen! I who address you have myself this very morning
perfected a model (plan, section, elevation, &c.) of a mortar
destined to change all the conditions of warfare!”

“No! is it possible?” replied Tom Huntcr, his thoughts
reverting involuntarily to a former invention of the Hon. J. T.
Maston, by which, at its first trial, he had succeeded in killing
three hundred and thirty-seven people.





















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THE ARTILLERY-MEN OF THE GUN-CLUB.
[Page 4.



THE GUN CLUB. 5



“Fact!” replied he. “ Still, what is the use of so ‘many
studies worked out, so many difficulties vanquished? It’s mere
waste of time! The New World seems to have made up its mind
to live in peace; and our bellicose Zribune predicts some approach-
ing catastrophes arising out of this scandalous increase of popu-
lation.”

‘* Nevertheless,” replied Colonel Digncueny, “they are always
struggling in Europe to maintain the principle of nationali-
ties.”

“Well?” .

‘Well, there might be some field for enterprise down there;
and if they would accept our services—”

“‘ What are you dreaming of?” screamed Bilsby; “‘ work at gun-
nery for the benefit of foreigners ?”

“That would be better than doing nothing here,” returned the
colonel.

“Quite so,” said J. T. Maston; “ but still we need not dream of
that expedient.” atts

“And why not?” demanded the colonel.

‘** Because their ideas of progress in the Old World are contrary
to our American habits of thought. Those fellows believe that
one can’t become a general without having served first as an
ensign; which is as much as to say that one can’t point a gun
without having first cast it oneself!”
© Ridiculous!” replied Tom Hunter, whittling with his bowie-
knife the arms of his easy-chair; “but if that be the case.
there, all that is left for us is to plant tobacco and distil whale-
oil.”

“What!” roared J. T. Maston, “shall we not employ these
remaining years of our life in perfecting fire-arms? Shall there
never be a fresh opportunity of trying the ranges of projectiles?
Shall the air never again be lighted with the glare of our guns?
No international difficulty ever arise to enable us to declare war
against some transatlantic power? Shall not the French sink one



6 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
of our steamers, or the English, in defiance of the rights of
nations, hang a few of our countrymen?”

‘No such luck,” replied Colonel Blomsberry; “ nothing of the
kind is likely to happen; and even if it did, we should not profit
by it. American susceptibility is fast declining, and we are all
going to the dogs.”

‘“It is too true,” replied J. T. Maston, with fresh violence;
“there are a thousand grounds for fighting, and yet we don’t
fight. We save up our arms and legs for the benefit of nations
who don’t know what to do with them! But stop—without going
out of one’s way to find a cause for war—did not North America
once belong to the English ? ”

** Undoubtedly,” replied Tom Hunter, stamping his crutch with
fury.

“Well then,” replied J. T. Maston, “why should not England
in her turn belong to the Americans ? ”

“Tt would be but just and fair,” returned Colonel Blomsberry.

‘**Go and propose it to the President of the United States,” cried
J. T. Maston, ‘and see how he will receive you.”

“Bah!” growled Bilsby between the four teeth which the war
had left him; “ that will never do!”

“ By Jove!” cried J. T. Maston, “he minsits count on my vote
at the next election!”

“Nor on ours,” replied unanimously all the bellicose in-
valids. |

“‘ Meanwhile,” replied J. T. M., “allow me to say that, if I can-
not get an opportunity to try my new mortars on a real field of
battle, I shall say good-bye to the members of the Gun Club, and
go and bury myself in the prairies of Arkansas! ”

‘In that case we will accompany you,” cried the others.

Matters were in this unfortunate condition, and the club was
threatened with approaching dissolution, when an unexpected
eircumstance occurred to prevent so deplorable a catastrophe.

On the morrow after this conversation every member of the



THE GUN CLUB. 7
eee
association received a sealed circular couched in the following
terms :—

** BALTIMORE, Oct. 3.
“The President of the Gun Club has the honour to inform his colleagues
that, at the meeting of the 5th instant, he will bring before them a com-
munication of an extremely interesting nature. He requests, therefore,
that they wili make it convenient to attend in accordance with the present

invitation.—Very cordially,
“ TMpPEY BARBICANE, P.G.C.”



8 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER IL
PRESIDENT BARBICANE’S COMMUNICATION.

On the 5th of October, at 8 p.m., a dense crowd pressed towards
the saloons of the Gun Club at No. 21, Union Square. All the
members of the association resident in Baltimore attended the
invitation of their president. As regards the corresponding mem-
bers, notices were delivered by hundreds throughout the streets of
the city, and, large as was the great hall, it was quite inadequate
to accommodate the crowd of savanis. They overflowed into the
adjoining rooms, down the narrow passages, into the outer court-
yards. ‘There they ran against the vulgar herd who pressed up
to the doors, each struggling to reach the front ranks, all eager to
learn the nature of the important communication of President
Barbicane ; all pushing, squeezing, crushing with that perfect
freedom of action which is peculiar to the masses when educated
in ideas of “self-government.”

On that evening a stranger who might have chanced to be in
Baltimore could not have gained admission for love or money
into the great hall. That was reserved exclusively for resident
or corresponding members; no one else could possibly have
obtained a place; and the city magnates, municipal councillors,
and “select men” were compelled to mingle with the mere
townspeople in order to catch stray bits of news from the interior.

Nevertheless the vast hall presented a curious spectacle. Its
immense area was singularly adapted to the purpose. Lofty
pillars formed of cannon, superposed upon huge mortars as a base,
supported the fine ironwork of the arches, a perfect piece of cast-



PRESIDENT BARBICANES COMMUNICATION. 9



iron lacework. Trophies of blunderbuses, matchlocks, arquebuses,
carbines, all kinds of fire-arms, ancient and modern, were pic-
turesquely interlaced against the walls. The gas lit up in full
glare myriads of revolvers grouped in the form of lustres, whilst
groups of pistols, and candelabra formed of muskets bound
together, completed this magnificent display of brilliance. Models
of cannon, bronze castings, ‘sights covered with dents, plates
battered by the shots of the Gun Club, assortments of rammers
and sponges, chaplets of shells, wreaths of projectiles, garlands
of howitzers—in short, all the apparatus of the artillerist, en-
chanted the eye by this wonderful arrangement and induced a
kind of belief that their real purpose was ornamental rather than
deadly.

At the further end of the saloon the president, assisted by four
secretaries, occupied a large platform. His chair, supported by a
carved gun-carriage, was modelled upon the ponderous propor-
tions of a 82-inch mortar. It was pointed at an angle of ninety
degrees, and suspended upon trunnions, so that the president
could balance himself upon it as upon a rocking-chair, a very
agreeable fact in the very hot weather. Upon the table (a huge
iron plate supported upon six carronnades) stood an inkstand of
exquisite elegance, made of a beautifully chased Spanish piece,
and a sonnette, which, when required, could give forth a report
equal to that of a revolver. During violent debates this novel
kind of bell scarcely sufficed to drown the clamour of these
excitable artillerists.

In front of the table benches arranged in zigzag form, like the
circumvallations of a retrenchment, formed a succession of bastions
and curtains set apart for the use of the members of the club;
and on this especial evening one might say, “ All the world was
on the ramparts.” The president was sufficiently well known,
however, for all to be assured that he would not put his col-
leagues to discomfort without some very strong motive.

Impey Barbicane was a man of forty years of age, calm, cold,



Io FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.





austere; of a singularly serious and self-contained demeanour,
punctual as a chronometer, of imperturbable temper and immov-
able character ; by no means chivalrous, yet adventurous withal,
and always bringing practical ideas to bear upon the very rashest
enterprises ; an essentially New-Englander, a Northern colonist,
a descendant of the old anti-Stuart Roundheads, and the impla-
cable enemy of the gentlemen of the South, those ancient Cavaliers
of the mother-country. In a word, he was a Yankee to the

backbone.

Barbicane had made a large fortune as a timber-merchant.
Being nominated Director of Artillery during the war, he proved
himself fertile in invention. Bold in his conceptions, he contri-
buted powerfully to the progress of that arm and gave an immense
impetus to experimental researches. —

He was a personage of the middle height, having, by a rare
exception in the Gun Club, all his limbs complete. His strongly-
marked features seemed drawn by square and rule; and if it be
true that, in order to judge of a man’s character one must look at
his profile, Barbicane, so examined, exhibited the most certain
indications of energy, audacity, and sang-froid.

At this moment he was sitting in hig armchair, silent, absorbed,
lost in reflection, sheltered under his high-crowned hat—a kind
of black silk cylinder which always seems firmly screwed upon
the head of an American. _

Just when the deep-toned clock in the great hall struck eight,
Barbicane, as if he had been set in motion by a spring, raised
himself up. A profound silence ensued, and the speaker, in a
somewhat emphatic tone of voice, commenced as follows :—

‘My brave colleagues, too long already a paralyzing peace has
plunged the members of the Gun Club in deplorable inactivity.
After a period of years full of incidents we have been compelled
to abandon our labours, and to stop short on the road of progress.
I do not hesitate to state, boldly, that any war which should
recall us to arms would be welcome!” (Cries of “ Hear!



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[ Page 10.

PRESIDENT BARBICANE.



PRESIDENT BARBICANE’S COMMUNICATION. II





hear!”) ‘But war, gentlemen, is impossible under existing
circumstances ; and, however we may desire it, many years may
elapse before our cannon shall again thunder in the field of battle.
We must make up our minds, then, to seek in another train
of ideas some field for the activity which we all pine for.”

The meeting felt that the president was now approaching the
critical point, and redoubled their attention accordingly.

‘* For some months past, my brave colleagues,” continued Bar-
bicane, “I have been asking myself whether, while confining our-
selves to our own particular objects, we could not enter upon
some grand experiment worthy of the nineteenth century; and
whether the progress of artillery science would not enable us to
carry it out to a successful issue. I have been considering,
working, calculating; and the result of my studies is the con-
viction that we are safe to succeed in an enterprise which to any
other country would appear wholly impracticable. This project,
the result of long elaboration, is the object of my present commu-
nication. It is worthy of yourselves, worthy.of the antecedents
of the Gun Club; and it cannot fail to make some noise in the
world.” - |

A thrill of excitement ran through the meeting.

Barbicane, having by a rapid movement firmly fixed his hat
upon his head, calmly continued his harangue:—

“ There is no one among you, my brave colleagues, who has
not seen the Moon, or, at least, heard speak of it. Don’t be sur-
prised if I am about to discourse to you regarding this Queen of
the Night. It is perhaps reserved for us to become the Colum-
buses of this unknown world. Only enter into my plans, and
second me with all your power, and I will lead you to its con- —
quest, and its name shall be added to those of the thirty-six
States which compose this Great Union.”

‘“‘'Three cheers for the Moon!” roared the Gun Club, with one
voice.

“The moon, gentlemen, has been carefully studied,” continued



[2 | FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



Barbicane ; 6 her mass, density, and weight ;. he constitution,
motions, ivences as well as her: place in the solar system, have all
been, exactly determined. Selenographie charts have been con-
structed with. a. perfection which equals, if it does not even sur-
pass, “that. of our terrestrial maps. Photography has given us
proofs of the incomparable beauty of our satellite; in short, all is
known regarding the moon which mathematical Science, astro-
nomy, geology, and optics can learn about her. But up to the
present moment no direct communication has been established
with her.”

A violent movement of interest and surprise here greeted this
remark of the speaker.

‘Permit me,” he continued, ‘to recount to you briefly how
certain ardent spirits, starting on imaginary journeys, have pene-
trated the secrets of our satellite. In the seventeenth century a
certain David Fabricius boasted of having seen with his own eyes
the inhabitants of the moon. In 1649 a Frenchman, one Jean
Baudoin, published.a ‘ Journey performed from the Earth to the |
_ Moon by Domingo Gonzalez,’ a Spanish Adventurer. At the
same period Cyrano de Bergerac published that celebrated
‘Journeys in the Moon’ which met with such success in ‘France.
Somewhat later another Frenchman, named Fontenelle, wrote
‘The Plurality of Worlds,’ a chef-d’euvre of its time. About
1835. a small treatise, translated from the New York American,
related how Sir John Herschell, having been despatched to the
Cape of Good Hope for the purpose of making there some astro-
nomical calculations, had, by means of a telescope brought to
perfection by means of internal lighting, reduced the apparent
distance of the moon to eighty yards! He then distinctly per-
ceived caverns frequented by hippopotami, green mountains
bordered by golden lace-work, sheep with horns of ivor y, a white
species of deer, and inhabitants with membranous wings, like
bats. This brochure, the work of an American named Locke,
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PRESIDENT BARBICANES COMMUNICATION. 13
Sa
I will only add that a certain Hans Pfaal, of Rotterdam, launching
himself in a balloon filled with a gas extracted from nitrogen,
thirty-seven times lighter than hydrogen, reached the moon after
a passage of nineteen hours. This journey, like all the previous
ones, was purely imaginary; still, it was the work of a popular
American author—I mean, Edgar Poe!”

“Cheers for Edgar Poe!” roared the eee. electrified by
their president’s words.

“I have now enumerated,” said Barbicane, “the experiments
which I call purely paper ones, and wholly insufficient to establish
serious relations with the Queen of Night. N evertheless, I am
bound to add that some practical geniuses have attempted to
establish actual communication with her. Thus, a few years ago,
a German geometrician proposed to send a scientific expedition to
the steppes of Siberia. There, on those vast plains, they were to
describe enormous geometric figures, drawn in characters of
reflecting luminosity, amongst which was the prop. regarding the
‘square of the hypothenuse,’ commonly called the ‘ Ass’s bridge’
by the French. ‘Every intelligent being,’ said the geometrician,
‘must understand the scientific meaning of that figure. The
Selenites, do they exist, will respond by a similar figure; and, a
communication being thus once established, it will be easy to
form an alphabet which shall enable us to converse with the inha-
bitants of the moon.’ So spoke the German geometrician; but
his project was never put into practice, and up to the present day
there is no bond in existence between the earth and her satellite.
It is reserved for the practical genius of Amcricans to establish a
communication with the sidereal world. The means of arriving
thither are simple, easy, certain, infallible - —and that is the
purpose of my present proposal.”

A storm of acclamations grected these words. There was not
a single person in the whole audience who was not overcome,
carried away, lifted out of himself by the speaker’s words !

“Hear! hear! Silence!” resounded from all sides.



I4 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

As soon as the excitement had partially subsided, Barbicane
resumed his speech in a somewhat graver voice.

“You know,” said he, “what progress artillery science has
made during the last few years, and what a degree of perfection
fire-arms of every kind have reached. Moreover, you are well
aware that, in general terms, the resisting power of cannon and
the expansive force of gunpowder are practically unlimited.
Well! starting from this principle, I ask myself whether, sup-
posing sufficient apparatus could be obtained constructed upon
the conditions of ascertained resistance, it might not be possible
to project a shot up to the moon ?”

At these words a murmur of amazement escaped from a
thousand panting chests; then succeeded a moment of perfect
silence, resembling that profound stillness which precedes the
bursting of a thunderstorm. In point of fact, a thunderstorm
did peal forth, but it was the thunder of applause, of cries, and
of uproar which made the very hall tremble. The president at-
tempted to speak, but could not. It was fully ten minutes
before he could make himself heard.

_ “Suffer me to finish,” he calmly continued. “I have looked

at the question in all its bearings, I have resolutely attacked
it, and by incontrovertible calculations I find that a projectile
endowed with an initial velocity of 12,000 yards per second, and
aimed at the moon, must necessarily reach it. I have the honour,
my brave colleagues, to propose a trial of this little experi-
ment.”



EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’'S COMMUNICATION. 15
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CHAPTER ITI.
EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’S COMMUNICATION. -

It is impossible to describe the effect produced by the last
words of the hon. president—the cries, the shouts, the succession
of roars, hurrahs, and all the varied vociferations which the
American language is capable of supplying. It was a scene of |
indescribable confusion and uproar. They shouted, they clapped,
they stamped on the floor of the hall. All the weapons in the
museum discharged at once could not have more violently set in
motion the waves of sound. One need not be surprised at
this. There are some cannoneers nearly as noisy as their own
guns.

Barbicane remained calm in the midst of this enthusiastic
clamour; perhaps he was desirous .of addressing a few more
words to his colleagues, for by his gestures he demanded silence,
and his powerful alarum was worn out by its violent reports. No
attention, however, was paid to his request. He was presently
torn from his seat and passed from the hands of his faithful col-
leagues into the arms of a no less excited crowd.

Nothing can astound an American. It has often been asserted
that the word “impossible” .is not a French one. People have
evidently been deceived by the dictionary. In America, all is
easy, all is simple; and as for mechanical difficulties, they are
overcome before they arise. Between Barbicane’s proposition and
its realization no true Yankee would have allowed even the
semblance of a difficulty to be possible. A thing with them is
no sooner said than done.



16 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



The triumphal progress of the president continued throughout
the evening. It was a regular torchlight procession. Irish, Ger-
mans, French, Scotch, all the heterogeneous units which make up
the population of Maryland shouted in their respective vernacu-
lars; and the “ vivas,” “ hurrahs,” and “bravos” were inter-
mingled in inexpressible enthusiasm.

Just at this crisis, as though she comprehended all this agita-
tion regarding herself, the Moon shone forth with serene splendour,
eclipsing by her intense illumination all the surrounding lights.
The Yankees all turned their gaze towards her resplendent orb,
kissed their hands, called her by all kinds of endearing names.
Between eight o’clock and midnight one optician in Jones’-Fall
Street made his fortune by the sale of opera-glasses.

Midnight arrived, and the enthusiasm showed no signs of dimi-
nution. It spread equally among all classes of citizens—men
of science, shopkeepers, merchants, porters, chair-men, as well
as ‘‘greenhorns,” were stirred in their innermost fibres. A
national enterprise was at stake. The whole city, high and low,
the quays bordering the Patapsco, the ships lying in the basins,
disgorged a crowd drunk with joy, gin, and whisky. Every one
chattered, argued, discussed, disputed, applauded, from the gentle-
man lounging upon the bar-room settee with his tumbler of
sherry-cobbler before him down to the waterman who got
drunk upon his ‘‘knock-me-down” in the dingy taverns of Fell
Point. 3

About 2 a.m., however, the excitement. began to subside.
President Barbicane reached his house, bruised, crushed, and
squeezed almost to a mummy. A Hercules could not have re-
sisted a similar outbreak of enthusiasm. The crowd gradually
deserted the squares and streets. The four railways from Ohio,
Susquehanna, Philadelphia, and Washington, which converge at
Baltimore, whirled away the heterogeneous population to the four
corners of the United States, and the city subsided into compara-
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EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’S COMMUNICATION. 17





On the following day, thanks to the telegraphic wires, five
hundred newspapers and journals, daily, weekly, monthly, or bi-
monthly, all took-up the question. They examined it under all
its different aspects, physical, meteorological, economical, or
moral, up to its bearings on politics or civilization. They debated
whether the moon was a finished world, or whether it was des-
tined to undergo any further transformation. Did it resemble
the earth at the period when the latter was destitute as yet of an
atmosphere? What kind of spectacle would its hidden hemi-
sphere present to our terrestrial spheroid? Granting that the
question at present was simply that of sending a projectile up te
the moon, every one must see that that involved the commence-
ment of a series of experiments. All must hope that some day
America would penetrate the deepest secrets of that mysterious
orb; and some even seemed to fear lest its conquest should not
sensibly derange the equilibrium of Europe.

The project once under discussion, not a single paragraph sug-
gested a doubt of its realization. All the papers, pamphlets,
reports—all the journals published by the scientific, literary, and
religious societies enlarged upon its advantages; and the Society
of Natural History of Boston, the Society of Science and Art of
Albany, the Geographical and Statistical Society of New York,
the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and the Smithsonian
of Washington sent innumerable letters of congratulation to the
Gun Club, together with offers of immediate assistance and
money.

From that day forward Impey Barbicane became one of the
greatest citizens of the United States, a kind of Washington of
Science. A single trait of feeling, taken from many others, will
serve to show the point which this homage of a whole people to a
single individual attained.

Some few days after this memorable meeting of the Gun Club,
the manager of an English company announced, at the Baltimore
theatre, the production of “ Much ado about Nothing.” But the

C



18 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

populace, seeing in that title an allusion damaging to Barbicane’s
project, broke into the auditorium, smashed the benches, and com-
pelled the unlucky director to alter his playbill. Being a sensible
man, he bowed to the public will and replaced the offending
comedy by “As you like it;” and for many weeks he realized
fabulous proiits.





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CAMBRII GE OBSERVATORY.

[Page 19.



REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE. 19
rere penn eens

*

CHAPTER IV.
REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE.

BARBICANE, however, lost not one moment amidst all the
enthusiasm of which he had become the object. His first care
was to reassemble his colleagues in the board-room of the Gun
Club. There, after some discussion, it was agreed to consult the
astronomers regarding the astronomical part of the enterprize.
Their reply once ascertained, they could then discuss the
mechanical means, and nothing should be wanting to ensure the
success of this great experiment. |

A note couched in precise terms, containing special interroga-
tories, was then drawn up and addressed to the Observatory of
Cambridge in Massachusetts. This city, where the first Univer-
sity of the United States was founded, is justly celebrated for its
astronomical staff. ‘There are to be found assembled all the most
eminent men of science. Here is to be seen at work that power-
ful telescope which enabled Bond to resolve the nebula of Andro-
meda, and Clarke to discover the satellite of Sirius. This cele-
brated institution fully justified on all points the confidence
reposed in it by the Gun Club.

So, after two days, the reply so impatiently awaited was placed
in the hands of President Barbicane.

It was couched in the following terms :—

“The Director of the Cambridge Observatory to the President of the Gun Club
at Baltimore.
‘CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 7.
“On the receipt of your favour of the 6th inst., addressed to the Observa«
tory of Cambridge in the name of the Members of the Baltimore Gun Club,
c 2



20 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



our staff was immediately called tegether, and it was judged expedient to
reply as follows :—

‘The questions which have been proposed to it are these,—

“¢]. Is it possible to transmit a projectile up to the moon ?

“**2. What is the exact distance which separates the earth from its satel-
lite P

**¢3. What will be the period of transit of the projectile when endowed
with sufficient initial velocity P and, consequently, at what moment ought
it to be discharged in order that it may touch the moon at a particular
point ?P

“4, At what precise moment will the moon present herself in the most
favourable position to be reached by the projectile ?

***5, What point in the heavens ought the cannon to be aimed at which
is intended to discharge the projectile ?

““*6. What place will the moon occupy in the heavens at the moment of
the projectile’s departure P’

“Regarding the first question, ‘Is it possible to transmit a projectile up to
the moon ??

“ Answer.—Yes; provided it possess an initial velocity of 1200 yards per
second ; calculations prove that to be sufficient. In proportion as we recede
from the earth the action of gravitation diminishes in the inverse ratio of the
square of the distance; that is to say, at three times a given distance the
action is nine times less. Consequently, the weight of a shot will decrease,
and will become reduced to zero at the instant that the attraction of the
moon exactly counterpoises that of the earth; that is to say, at 4% of its
passage. At that instant the projectile will have no weight whatever; and,
if it passes that point, it will fall into the moon by the sole effect of the
lunar attraction. The theoretical possibility of the experiment is therefore
absolutely demonstrated; its swecess must depend upon the power of the
engine employed.

“As to the second question, ‘What is the exact distance which separates
the earth from its satellite P’

“ Answer.—The moon does not describe a circle round the earth, but rather
an ellipse, of which our earth occupies one of the foci; the consequence,
therefore, is, that at certain times it approaches nearer to, and at others it
recedes farther from, the earth; in astronomical language, it is at one time
in apogee, at another in perigee. Now the difference between its greatest
and its least distance is too considerable to be left out of consideration. In
point of fact, in its apogee the moon is 247,552 miles, and in its perigee,
218,657 miles only distant; a fact which makes a difference of 28,895 miles,
or more than one ninth of the entire distance. The perigee distance, there-
fore, is that which ought to serve as the basis of all calculations.

“To the third question :-—

“ Answer.—If the shot should preserve continuously its initial velocity of
12,000 yards per second, it would require little more than nine hours to
reach its destination; but, inasmuch as that initial velocity will be con-



REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE. at





tinually decreasing, it results that, taking everything into consideration, it
will occupy 300,000 seconds, that is 83hrs. 20m. in reaching the point where
the attraction of the earth and moon will be in equilibrio. From this point
it will fall into the moon in 50,000 seconds, or 18hrs. 58m. 20sec. It will be
desirable, therefore, to discharge it 97hrs. 18m. 20sec. before the arrival of
the moon at the point aimed at.

“Regarding question four, ‘At what precise moment will the moon
present herself in the most favourable position, &c. P? |

“ Answer.—After what has been said above, it will be necessary, first: of
all, to choose the period when the moon will be in perigee, and also the
moment when she will be crossing the zenith, which latter event will further
diminish the entire distance by a length equal to the radius of the earth,
i.e. 3919 miles; the result of which will be that the final passage remaining
to be accomplished will be 214,976 miles. But although the moon passes
her perigee every month, she does not reach the zenith always at exactly
the same moment. She does not appear under these two conditions simul-
taneously, except at long intervals of time. It will be necessary, therefore,
to wait for the moment when her passage in perigee shall coincide with that
in the zenith. Now, by a fortunate circumstance, on the 4th December in
the ensuing year the moon will present these two conditions. At midnight
she will be in perigee, that is, at her shortest distance from the earth, and
at the same moment she will be crossing the zenith.

“ Qn the fifth question, ‘ At what point in fhe heavens ought the cannon
to be aimed P’

* Answer.—The preceding remarks being edemtied: the cannon ought to
be pointed to the zenith of the place. Its fire, therefore, will be perpen-
dicular to the plane of the horizon; and the projectile will soonest pass
beyond the range of the terrestrial hiashow But, in order that the moon
should reach the zenith of a given place, it is necessary that the place should
not exceed in latitude the declination of the luminary ; in other words, it
must be comprised within the degrees 0° and 28° of lat. N. or S. In every
other spot the fire must necessarily be oblique, which would seriously
militate against the success of the experiment.

““As to the sixth question, ‘What place will the moon occupy in the
heavens at the moment of the projectile’s departure ?’

‘“‘ Answer.—At the moment when the projectile shall be discharged into
space, the moon, which travels daily forward 13° 10! 35”, will be distant
from the zenith point by four times that quantity, i.e. by 52° 42! 20”,-a space
which corresponds to the path which she will describe during the entire
journey of the projectile. But, inasmuch as it is equally necessary to take
into account the deviation which the rotary motion of the earth will impart
to the shot, and as the shot cannot reach the moon until after a deviation
equal to 16 radii of the earth, which, calculated upon the moon’s orbit, are
equal to about eleven degrees, it becomes necessary to add these eleven
degrees to those which express the retardation of the moon just mentioned :
that is to say, in round numbers, about 64 degrees. Consequently, at the



22 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



moment of firing the visual radius applied to the moon will describe, with
the vertical line of the place, an angle of sixty-four degrees.

“These are our answers to the questions proposed to the Observatory of
Cambridge by the members of the Gun Club :—

“To sum up,—

_ “Ist. The cannon ought to be planted in a country situated between 0°
and 28° of N. or §. lat.

“2ndly. It ought to be pointed directly towards the zenith of the place.

“3rdly. The projectile ought to be propelled with an initial velocity of
12,000 yards per second.

“4Athly. It ought to be discharged at 10hrs. 46m. 40sec. of the Ist
December of the ensuing year.

“Sthly. It will meet the moon four days after its discharge, precisely at
midnight on the 4th December, at the moment of its transit across the
zenith,

“The members of the Gun Club ought, therefore, without delay, to com-
mence the works necessary for such an experiment, and to be prepared to
set to work at the moment determined upon ; for, if they should suffer this
4th December to go by, they will not find the moon again under the same condi-
tions of perigee and of zenith until eighteen years and eleven days afterwards.

“The Staff of the Cambridge Observatory place themselves entirely at
their disposal in respect of all questions of theoretical astronomy ; and here-
with add their congratulations to those of all the rest of America.

‘“* For the Astronomical Staff,
“J. M. Brerast,
“ Director of the Observatory of Cambridge.”



THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON. 23
Seb rn reer et ss WS sn rhs PS SS SST

CHAPTER V.
THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON.

AN observer endued with an infinite range of vision, and placed
in that unknown centre around which the entire world revolves,
might have beheld myriads of atoms filling all space during the
chaotic epoch of the universe. Little by little, as ages went on, a
change took place; a general law of attraction manifested itself, to
which the hitherto errant atoms became obedient: these atoms
combined together chemically according to their affinities, formed
themselves into molecules, and composed those nebulous masses
with which the depths of the heavens are strewed.

These masses became immediately endued with a rotary motion
around their own central point. This centre, formed of indefinite
molecules, began to revolve round its own axis during its gradual
condensation; then, following the immutable laws of mechanics,
in proportion as its bulk diminished by condensation, its rotary
motion became accelerated, and these two effects continuing, the
result was the formation of one principal star, the centre of the
nebulous mass.

By attentively watching, the observer would then have per-
ceived the other molecules of the mass, following the example of
this central star, become likewise condensed by gradually acce-
lerated rotation, and gravitating round it in the shape of |
innumerable stars. Thus was formed the Nebule, of which
astronomers have reckoned up nearly 5000.

Amongst these 5000 nebule there is one’ which has received
the name of the Milky Way, and which contains eighteen



24 | FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

Le en ee ee
millions of stars, each of which has become the centre of a solar
world.

If the observer had then specially directed his attention to one
of the more humble and less brilliant.of these stellar bodies, a star
of the fourth class, that which is arrogantly called the Sun, all the
phenomena to which the formation of the Universe is to be
ascribed would have been successively fulfilled before his eyes.
In fact, he would have perceived this sun, as yet in the gaseous
state, and composed of moving molecules, revolving round its axis
in order to accomplish its work of concentration. This motion,
faithful to the laws of mechanics, would have been accelerated
with the diminution of its volume; and a moment would have
arrived when the centrifugal force would have overpowered the
centripetal, which causes the molecules all to tend towards the
centre.

Another phenomenon would now have passed before the
observer’s eye, and the molecules situated on the plane of the
equator escaping, like a stone from a sling of which the cord had
suddenly snapped, would have formed around the sun sundry con-
centric rings resembling that of Saturn. In their turn, again,
these rings of cosmical matter, excited by a rotary motion round
the central mass, would have been broken up and decomposed
into secondary nebulosities, that is to say, into planets. Similarly
he would have observed these planets throw off one or more rings
each, which became the origin of the secondary bodies which we

call satellites. |
- Thus, then, advancing from atom to molecule, from molecule to
nebulous mass, from that to a principal star, from star to sun,
from sun to planet, and hence to satellite, we have the whole
series of transformations undergone by the heavenly bodies during
the first days of the world.

Now, of those attendant bodies which the sun maintains in
their elliptical orbits by the great law of gravitation, some few in
their turn possess satellites. Uranus has eight, Saturn eight,



mT |
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Ha























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aT







THE MOON’S DISK.

[Page 25.



THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON. 25



Jupiter four, Neptune possibly three, and the Earth one. This
last, one of the least important of the entire solar system, we
call the Moon; and it is she whom the daring genius of the
Americans pr sae their intention of conquering.

The moon, by her comparative proximity, and the constantly
varying appearances produced by her several phases, has always
occupied a considerable share of the attention of the inhabitants —
of the earth.

From the time of Thales of Miletus, in the fifth century B.c.,
down to that of Copernicus in the fifteenth and Tycho Brahé in
the sixteenth century A.D., observations have been from time to time
carried on with more or less correctness, until in the present day
the altitudes of the lunar mountains have been determined with
exactitude. Galileo explained the phenomena of the lunar light
produced during certain of her phases by the existence of moun-
tains, to which he assigned a mean altitude of 27,000 feet. After.
him Hévelius, an astronomer of Danizic, reduced the highest
elevations to 15,000 feet ; but the calculations of Riccioli brought
them up again to 21,000 feet.

At the close of the eighteenth century Herschell, armed with
a powerful telescope, considerably reduced the preceding measure-
ments. He assigned a height of 11,400 feet to the maximum
elevations, and reduced the mean of the different altitudes to little
more than 2400 feet. But Herschell’s calculations were in their
turn corrected by the observations of Halley, Nasmyth, Bianchini,
Gruithuysen, and others ; but it was reserved for the labours of
Beer and Meedler finally to solve the question. ‘They succeeded
in measuring 1905 different elevations, of which six exceed
15,000 feet, and twenty-two exceed 14,400 feet. The highest
summit of all towers to a height of 22,606 feet above the surface
of the lunar disc. At the same period the examination of the
moon was completed. She appeared completely riddled with
craters, and her essentially volcanic character was apparent at
each observation. By the absence of refraction in the rays of the



26 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



planets occulted by her we conclude that she is absolutely devoid
of an atmosphere. The absence of air entails the absence of
water. It became, therefore, manifest that the Selenites, to
support life under such conditions, must possess a special organi-
zation of their own, must differ remarkably from the inhabitants
of the earth.

At length, thanks to modern art, instruments of still higher
perfection searched the moon without intermission, not leaving a
single point of her surface unexplored ; and notwithstanding
that her diameter measures 2150 miles, her surface equals the
1-15th part of that of our globe, and her bulk the 1-49th
part of that of the terrestrial spheroid—not one of her secrets
was able to escape the eyes of the astronomers ; and these skilful
men of science carried to even greater ere their prodigious
observations.

Thus they remarked that, during full moon, the dise sposarel
scored in certain parts with white lines ; and, during the phases,
with black. On prosecuting the study of these with still greater
precision, they succeeded in obtaining an exact account of the
nature of these lines. They were long and narrow furrows sunk
between parallel ridges, bordering generally upon the edges of the
craters. Their length varied between ten and 100 miles, and their
width was about 1600 yards. Astronomers called them chasms,
‘but they could not get any farther. Whether these chasms were
the dried-up beds of ancient rivers or not they were unable
thoroughly to ascertain. ;

The Americans, amongst others, hoped one day or other to
determine this geological question, They also undertook to
examine the true nature of that system of parallel ramparts dis-
covered on the moon’s surface by Gruithuysen, a learned professor
of Munich, who considered them to be “a system of fortifications
thrown up by the Selenitic engineers.” These two points, yet
obscure, as well as others, no doubt, could not be definitively
settled except by direct communication with the moon.



THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON. 27



Regarding the degree of intensity of its light, there was nothing
more to learn on this point. It was known that it is 300,000
times weaker than that of the sun, and that its heat has no ap-
preciable effect upon the thermometer. As to the phenomenon
known as the “ ashy light,” it is explained naturally by the effect
of the transmission of the solar rays from the earth to the moon,
which give the appearance of completeness to the lunar disc, while
it presents itself under the crescent form during its first and last .
phases, | ner

Such was the state of knowledge acquired regarding the earth’s
satellite, which the Gun Club undertook to perfect in all its
aspects, cosmographic, geological, political, and moral.



25 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
arena eeeenennemnmeememennrnameaneemnemermmnensenmenmpnemenmamanmenemmmennetenetmemeenemnneeemee enema aneeae

CHAPTER VI.

THE PERMISSIVE LIMITS OF IGNORANCE AND BELIEF IN THE
UNITED STATES.

THE immediate result of Barbicane’s proposition was to place
upon the orders of the day all the astronomical facts relative to
the Queen of Night. Everybody set to work to study assiduously.
One would have thought that the moon had just appeared for the
first time, and that no one had ever before caught a glimpse of
her in the heavens. ‘The papers revived all the old anecdotes in
which the “sun of the wolves” played a part; they recalled the
influences which the ignorance of past ages ascribed to her; in
short, all America was seized with seleno-mania, or had become
moon-mad,

The scientific journals, for their part, dealt more especially with
the questions which touched upon the enterprise of the Gun Club.
The letter of the Observatory of Cambridge was published by
them, and commented upon with unreserved approval.

Until that time most people had been ignorant of the mode in
which the distance which separates the moon from the earth is
calculated. They took advantage of this fact to explain to them
that this distance was obtained by measuring the parallax of the
moon, ‘The term parallax proving “caviare to the general,” they
further explained that it meant the angle formed by the inclination
of two straight lines drawn from either extremity of the earth’s
radius to the moon. On doubts being expressed as to the correct-
ness of this method, they immediately proved that not only was
the mean distance 234,347 miles, but that astronomers could not



THE PERMISSIVE LIMITS OF IGNORANCE, ETC. — 29



possibly be in error in their estimate by more than 70 miles either
way.

To those who were not familiar with the motions of the moon,
they demonstrated that she possesses two distinct motions, the first
being that of rotation upon her axis, the second that of revolution
round the earth, accomplishing both together in an equal period of
time, that is to say, in 271 days.

The motion of rotation is that which produces day and night on
_the surface of the moon; save that there is only one day and one
night in the lunar month, each lasting 3544 hours, But, happily
for her, the face turned towards the terrestrial globe is illuminated
by it with an intensity equal to the light of fourteen moons. As
fo the other face, always invisible to us, it has of necessity 354
hours of absolute night, tempered only by that “pale glimmer
which falls upon it from the stars.”

Some well-intentioned but rather obstinate persons, could not at
first comprehend how, if the moon displays invariably the same
face to the earth during her revolution, she can describe one turn
round herself. To such they answered, “Go into your dining-
room, and walk round the table in such a way as always to keep
your face turned towards the centre; by the time you will have
achieved one complete round you will have completed one turn
round yourself, since your eye will have traversed successively
every point of the room. Well, then, the room is the heavens, the
table is the earth, and the moon is yourself.” And they would go
away delighted.

So, then, the moon displays invariably the same face to the
earth; nevertheless, to be quite exact, it is necessary to add that,
in consequence of certain fluctuations of north and south, and of
west and east, termed her libration, she permits rather more than
the half, that is to say, five-sevenths, to be seen.

As soon as the ignoramuses came to understand as much as the
Director of the Observatory himself knew, they began to worry
themselves regarding her revolution round the earth, whereupon



3° FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

eae



twenty scientific reviews immediately came to the rescue. ‘They
poirted out to them then that the firmament, with its infinitude of
stars, may be considered as one vast dial-plate, upon which the
moon travels, indicating the true time to all the inhabitants of the
earth; that it is during this movement that the Queen of Night
exhibits her different phases; that the moon is full when she is in
opposition with the sun, that is, when the three bodies are on the
same straight line, the earth occupying the centre; that she is new
when she is in conjunction with the sun, that is, when she is
between it and the earth; and lastly, that she is in her jirst or last
quarter, when she makes with the sun and the earth an angle of
which she herself occupies the apex.

Regarding the altitude which the moon attains above the hori-
zon, the letter of the Cambridge Observatory had said all that was
to be said in that respect. Every one knew that this altitude
varies according to the latitude of the observer. But the only
zones of the globe in which the moon passes the zenith, that is, the
point directly over the head of the spectator, are of necessity
comprised between the twenty-eighth parallels and the equator.
Hence the importance of the advice to try the experiment upon
some point of that part of the globe, in order that the projectile
might be discharged perpendicularly, and so the soonest escape
the action of gravitation. This was an essential condition to the
success of the enterprise, and continued actively to engage the
public attention.

Regarding the path described by the moon in her revolution
_ round the earth, the Cambridge Observatory had demonstrated
that this path is a re-entering curve, not a perfect circle, but an
ellipse, of which the earth occupies one of the foct. It was also
well understood that it is farthest removed from the earth during
its apogee, and approaches most nearly to it at its perigee.

Such then was the extent of knowledge possessed by every
American on the subject, and of -which no one could decently
profess ignorance. Still, while these true principles were being



THE PERMISSIVE LIMITS OF IGNORANCE, ETC. 3I
eee
rapidly disseminated many errors and illusory fears proved
easy to eradicate. |

For instance, some worthy persons maintained that the moon
was an ancient comet which, in describing its elongated orbit round
the sun, happened to pass near the earth, and became confined
within her circle of attraction. These drawing-room astronomers
professed so to explain the charred aspect of the moon—a
disaster which they attributed to the intensity of the solar heat ;
only,-on being reminded that comets have an atmosphere, and
that the moon has little or none, they were fairly at a loss for
a reply.

Others again, belonging to the genus /funker, eenrened certain
fears as to the position of themoon. They had heard it said that,
according to observations made in the time of the Caliphs, her
revolution had become accelerated in a certain degree. Hence
they concluded, logically enough, that an acceleration of motion
ought to be accompanied by a corresponding diminution in the
distance separating the two bodies; and that, supposing the
double effect to be continued to infinity, the moon would end by
one day falling into the earth. However, they became reassured
as to the fate of future generations on being apprised that, accord-
ing to the calculations of Laplace, this acceleration of motion is
confined within very restricted limits, and that a proportional °
diminution of speed will be certain to succeed it. So, then, the
stability of the solar system would not be deranged in ages to
come,

Their remains but the third class, the superstitious. These
worthies were not content merely to rest in ignorance; they must
know ail about things which had no existence whatever, and as
to the moon, they had long known all about her. One set regarded
her disc as a polished mirror, by means of which people could see

each other from different points of the earth and inter change their
thoughts. Another set pretended that out of one thousand new
moons that had been observed, nine hundred and fifty had been



32 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



attended with remarkable disturbances, such as cataclysms, revolu-
tions, earthquakes, the deluge, &c. ‘Then they believed in some
mysterious influence exercised by her over human destinies—that
every Selenite was attached to some inhabitant of the earth by a
tie of sympathy; they maintained that the entire vital system is
subject to her control, &c., &c. Butin time the majority renounced
these vulgar errors, and espoused the true side of the question. As
for the Yankees, they had no other ambition than to take posses-
sion of this new continent of the sky, and to plant upon the summit
of its highest elevation the star-spangled banner of the United
States of America.







































































































































































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[Page 33.



THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 33
Pe ee ee an ne a eee ee

CHAPTER VII.
THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL.

Tue Observatory of Cambridge in its memorable letter had treated
the question from a purely astronomical point of view. The
mechanical part still remained. ?
President Barbicane had, without loss of time, nominated a
Working Committee of the Gun Club. The duty of this Com-
mittee was to resolve the three grand questions of the cannon, the
projectile, and the powder. It was composed of four members of
great technical knowledge, Barbicane (with a casting vote in case
of equality), General Morgan, Major Elphinstone, and’ J. T. Mas-
ton, to whom were confided the functions of secretary. On the
8th of October the Committee met at the house of President Bar-
_ bicane, 38, Republican Street. The meeting was opened by the
president himself. | .
“Gentlemen,” said he, “‘ we have to resolve one of the most
important problems in the whole of the noble science of gunnery.
It might appear, perhaps, the most logical course to devote our
first meeting to the discussion of the engine to be employed.
Nevertheless, after mature consideration, it has appeared to me
that the question of the projectile must take precedence of that of
the cannon, and that the dimensions of the latter must poceeaetly
depend upon those of the former.” .
“Suffer me to say a word,” here broke in J. T. Maston. Per-
mission having been granted, “ Gentlemen,” said he, with an
inspired accent, ‘ our president is right in placing the question of
the projectile above all others. ‘The ball we are about to discharge
D



34 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.





at the moon is our ambassador to her, and I wish to consider it
from a moral point of view. The cannon-ball, gentlemen, to my
mind, is the most magnificent manifestation of. human power. If
Providence has-created the stars and the planets, man has called
the cannon-ball into existence. Let Providence claim the swift-
ness of electricity and of light, of the stars, the comets, and the —
planets, of wind and sound—we claim to have invented the swift-
ness of the cannon-ball, a hundred times superior to that of the
swiftest horses or railway train. How glorious will be the moment
when, infinitely exceeding all hitherto attained velocities, we shall
launch our new projectile with the rapidity of seven miles a second!
Shall it not, gentlemen—shall’it not be received up there with
the honours due to a terrestrial ambassador?”

Overcome with emotion the orator sat down and applied himself
to a huge plate of sandwiches before him.

_ “ And now,” said Barbicane, “let us quit the domain of poetry
and come direct to the question.”

*¢ By all means,” replied the members, each with his mouth full
ef sandwich. |

**'The problem before us,” continued the president, “is how to
eommunicate to a projectile a velocity of 12,000 yards per second.
Let us at present examine the velocities hitherto attained. Genera!
Morgan will be able to enlighten us on this point.”

“‘ And the more easily,” replied the general, “that during the
war I was a member of the Committee of experiments. I may
say, then, that the 100-pounder Dahlgrens, which carried a
distance of 5000 yards, impressed upon their projectile an initial
velocity of 500 yards a second. The Rodman Columbiad threw a
shot weighing half a ton a distance of six miles, with a velocity
ef 800 yards per second—a result which Armstrong and Palisser
have never obtained in England.”

“This,” replied Barbicane, “is, I believe, the maximum
velocity ever attained ?”

“Tt is so,” replied the general.





















































~sreeeg IN

SASS





MBIAD

THE RODMAN COLU

[Page 34.



THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 35

Ss

“Ab!” groaned J.T. Maston, “ eu my mortar had not
burst—”

“Yes,” quietly replied Barbicane, “but it did burst. We
must take, then, for our starting-point this velocity of 800 yards.
We must increase it twenty-fold. Now, reserving for another
discussion the means of producing this velocity, I will call your |
attention to the dimensions which it will be proper to assign to
the shot. You understand that we have nothing to do here with
projectiles weighing at most but half a ton.”

‘Why not ?” demanded the major.

“‘ Because the shot,” quickly replied J. T. Maston, “ must be big
enough to attract the attention of the inhabitants of the moon,
if there are any ?” | |

“Yes,” replied Barbicane, “and for another reason more impor-
tant still.”

“‘ What mean you ?” asked the major.

“Y mean that it is not enough to discharge a projectile, and
then take no further notice of it; we must follow it throughout
its course, up to the moment when it shall reach its goal.”

“What ?” shouted the general and the major in great surprise.

“Undoubtedly,” replied Barbicane, composedly, “or our ex-
periment would produce no result.”

“ But then,” replied the major, “you will have to give this
projectile enormous dimensions.”

“No! Be so good as to listen. You know that optical in
struments have acquired great perfection ; with certain telescopes’
we have succeeded in obtaining enlargements of 6000 times and
reducing the moon to within forty miles’ distance. Now, at this
distance, any objects sixty feet square would be perfectly visible.
If, then, the penetrative power of telescopes has not been further
increased, it is because that power detracts from their light ; and
the moon, which is but a reflecting mirror, does not give back
sufficient light to enable us to perceive objects of lesser magni-
tude.”

D 2



26 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

“Well, then, what do you propose to do ?” asked the general.
“Would you give your projectile a diameter of sixty feet ?”

** Not so.” |

“Do you intend, then, to increase the luminous power of the
moon ?”

“Exactly so. If I can succeed in diminishing the density of
the atmosphere through which the moon’s light has to travel I
shall have rendered her light more intense. To effect that object
it will be enough to establish a telescope on some elevated moun-
tain. That is what we will do.” |

“T give it up,” answered the major. ‘ You have such a way .
of simplifying things. And what enlargement do you expect to
obtain in this way ?”

“One of 48,000 times, which should bring the moon within an
apparent distance of five miles; and, in order to be visible,
objects need not have a diameter of more than nine feet.”

“So, then,” cried J. T..Maston, “ our projectile need not ‘be
more than nine feet in diameter.”

‘“‘ Let me observe, however,” A ecantal Major Elphinstone,
“this will involve a weight such as—”

“My dear major,” replied Barbicane, “ before discussing its
weight, permit me to enumerate some of the marvels which our
ancestors have achieved in this respect. I don’t mean to pretend
that the science of gunnery has not advanced, but it is as well to
bear in mind that during the middle ages they obtained results
more surprising, I will venture to say, than ours. For instance,
during the siege of Constantinople by Mahomet IL. in 1453,
stone shot of 1900lbs. weight were employed. At Malta, in the
time of the knights, there was a gun of the fortress of St. Elmo
which threw a projectile weighing 2500lbs. And, now, what is
the extent of what we have seen ourselves? Armstrong guns
discharging shot of 500lbs., and the Rodman guns projectiles
of half a ton! It seems, then, that if projectiles have gained
in range, they have lost far more in weight. Now, if we











































































































































































































































































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THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 37



turn our efforts in that direction, we ought to arrive, with
the progress of science, at ten times the weight of the shot of
_ Mahomet IT. and the Knights of Malta.”

“Clearly,” replied the major; “but what metal do you
caiculate upon employing ?”

“Simply cast iron,” said General Morgan.

“But,” interrupted the major, “since the weight of a shot is
proportionate to its volume, an iron ball of nine feet in ees
would be of tremendous weight.”

*“‘ Yes, if it were solid, not if it were hollow.”

‘* Hollow ? then it would be a shell ?”

“Yes, a shell,” replied Barbicane ; “ decidedly it must be. A
solid shot of 108 inches would weigh more than 200,000lbs.,
a weight evidently far too great. Still, as we must reserve a
certain stability for our projectile, I propose to give it a weight of
20,000lbs.”

‘What, then, will be the thickness of the sides ?” asked the
major.

‘If we follow the usual proportion,” replied Morgan, “a

diameter of 108 inches would sain sides of two feet thickness,
or less.” '
‘That would be too much,” replied Barbicane ; “ for you will
observe that the question is not that of a shot intended to pierce
an iron plate: it will suffice, therefore, to give it sides strong
enough to resist the pressure of the gas. The problem, therefore,
is this—What thickness ought a cast-iron shell to have in order
not to weigh more than 20,000lbs.? Our clever secretary will
soon enlighten us open this point.”

“ Nothing easier,’ ’ replied the worthy secretary of the Com-
mittee; and, rapidly tracing a few algebraical formule upon
paper, among which n’* and x? frequently appeared, he presently
said,—

‘‘ The sides will require a thickness of less than two inches.”

“Will that be enough ’” asked the major doubtfully.



38 | FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



“Clearly not!” replied the president.
“What is to be done, then?” said Elphinstone, with a puzzled
air. |

“‘ Employ another metal instead of iron.”

“‘ Copper?” said Morgan.

“No; that would be too heavy. Ihave better than that to
offer.” |

** What then?” asked the major.

“ Aluminium!” replied Barbicane.

“‘ Aluminium?” cried his three colleagues in chorus.

“Unquestionably, my friends. This valuable metal possesses
the whiteness of silver, the indestructibility of gold, the tenacity
_ of iron, the fusibility of copper, the lightness of glass. It is
easily wrought, is very widely distributed, forming the base of
most of the rocks, is three times lighter than iron, and seems to
have been created for the express purpose of furnishing us with
the material for our projectile.”

“But, my dear president,” said the major, “is not the cost
price of aluminium extremely high?” -

“Tt was so at its first discovery, but it has fallen now to nine
dollars the pound.” |

“But still, nine dollars the pound!” replied the major, who
was not willing readily to give in; “even that is an enormous
price.” |

“Undoubtedly, my dear major; but not beyond our reach.”

‘What will the projectile weigh then?” asked Morgan.

“Here is the result of my calculations,” replied Barbicane.
‘“‘A shot of 108 inches in diameter, and 12 inches in thickness,
would weigh, in cast-iron, 67,440lbs.; cast in aluminium, its
weight will be reduced to 19,250lbs.”

“Capital!” cried the major; “but do you know that, at ning
dollars the pound, this projectile will cost—”

“Qne hundred and seventy-three thousand and fifty dollars
($173,050). I know it quite well. But fear not, my friends; the



THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 39
ae
money will not be wanting for our enterprise, I will answer for
it. Now what say you to aluminium, gentlemen?”

‘‘ Adopted!” replied the three members of the Committee.
So ended the first meeting. The question of the projectile was
definitively settled.



40 fROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
a

CHAPTER, VIII.
HISTORY OF THE CANNON.

Tue resolutions passed at the last meeting produced a great effect
out of doors. Timid people took fright at the idea of a shot
weighing 20,000lbs. being launched into space; they asked what
cannon could ever transmit a sufficient velocity to such a mighty
mass. ‘he minutes of the second meeting were destined trium-
phantly to answer such questions. The following evening the
discussion was renewed.

‘‘ My dear colleagues,” said Barbicane, without further preamble,
“the subject now before us is the construction of the engine, its
length, its composition, and its weight. It is probable that we
shall end by giving it gigantic dimensions; but however great
may be the difficulties in the way, our mechanical genius will
readily surmount them. Be good enough, then, to give me your
attention, and do not hesitate to make objections at the close. I
have no fear of them. The problem before us is how to commu-
nicate an initial force of 12,000 yards per second to a shell of 108
inches in diameter, weighing 20,000lbs. Now when a projectile
is launched into space, what happens to it? It is acted upon by
three independent forces, the resistance of the air, the attraction
of the earth, and the force of impulsion with which it is endowed.
Let us examine these three forces. The resistance of the air is
of little importance. The atmosphere of the earth does not
exceed forty miles. Now, with the given rapidity, the projectile
will have traversed this in five seconds, and the period is too
brief for the resistance of the medium to be regarded otherwise



HISTORY OF THE CANNON. 41
ne EAE ee
than as insignificant. Proceeding, then, to the attraction of the
earth, that is, the weight of the shell, we know that this weight
will diminish in the inverse ratio of the square of the distance.
When a body left to itself falls to the surface of the earth, it falls
five feet in the first second; and if the same body were removed
257,542 miles farther off, in other words, to the distance of the
moon, its fall would be reduced to about half a line in the first
second. That is almost equivalent to a state of perfect rest.
Our business, then, is to overcome progressively this action of
gravitation. The mode of accomplishing that is by the force of
impulsion.” ; |

‘“There’s the difficulty,” broke in the major. ;

“True,” replied the president; “but we will overcome that,
for this force of impulsion will depend upon the length of the
engine and the powder employed, the latter being limited only by
the resisting power of the former. Our business, then, to-day is
with the dimensions of the cannon.” ,

“Now, up to the present time,” said Barbicane, “ our longest
guns have not exceeded twenty-five feet in length. We shall
therefore astonish the world by the dimensions we shall ‘be
obliged to adopt. It must evidently be, then, a gun of great
range, since the length of the piece will increase the detention of
the gas accumulated behind the projectile; but there is no advan-
tage in passing certain limits.” : |

“Quite so,” said the major. ‘“ What is the rule in such a
case ?” : |

‘Ordinarily the length of a gun is 20 to 25 times the diameter
of the shot, and its weight 235 to 240 times tha of the shot.”

‘‘ That is not enough,” cried J. T. Maston impetuously.

“T agree with you, my good friend; and, in fact, following
this proportion for a projectile nine feet in diameter, weighing
30,000lbs., the gun would only have a length of 225 feet, and a
weight of 7,200,000lbs.” |

“ Ridiculous!” rejoined Maston. “ As well take a pistol.”



42 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



“ T think so too,” replied Barbicane; “ that is why I propose
to quadruple that length, and to construct a gun of 900 feet.”

The general and the major offered some objections; never-
theless, the proposition, actively supported by the secretary, was
definitively adopted. |

“* But,” said Elphinstone, “ what thickness must we give it ? ”

** A thickness of six feet,” replied Barbicane.

** You surely don’t think of mounting a mass like that upon a
carriage ?” asked the major.

‘* Tt would be a superb idea, though,” said Maston.

‘“‘ But impracticable,” replied Barbicane. ‘No; I think of
sinking this engine in the earth alone, binding it with hoops of
wrought iron, and finally surrounding it with a thick mass of
masonry of stone and cement. The piece once cast, it must be
bored with great precision, so as to preclude any possible
windage. So there will be no loss whatever of gas, and all
the expansive force of the powder will be employed in the
propulsion.”

** One simple question,” said Elphinstone :. “is our gun to be
rifled ? ”

“No, certainly not,” replied Barbicane; “we require an
enormous initial velocity; and you are well aware that a shot
quits a rifled gun less rapidly than it does a smooth-bore.”

“ True,” rejoined the major.

The Committee here adjourned for a few minutes to tea and
sandwiches. |

On the discussion being renewed, “ Gentlemen,” said Barbi-
cane, “we must now take into consideration the metal to be
employed. Our cannon must be possessed of great tenacity,
great hardness, be infusible by heat, indissoluble, and inoxydable
by the corrosive action of acids.”

“ There is no doubt about that,” replied the major; “ and as
we shall have to employ an immense quantity of metal, we shall
not be at a loss for choice.”





































































EDEAL SKETCH OF J.T. MASTON’S GUN.

[Page 42.



AISTORY OF THE CANNON. 43



“ Well, then,” said Morgan, “I propose the best alloy hitherto
known, which consists of 100 parts of copper, 12 of tin, and 6 of
brass.”

‘““T admit,” replied the president, “ that this composition has
yielded excellent results, but in the present case it would be too
expensive, and very difficult to work. I think, then, that we
ought to adopt a material excellent in its way and of low price,
such as cast iron. What is your advice, major ?”

*“ T quite agree with you,” replied Elphinstone.

** In fact,” continued Barbicane, ‘ cast iron cost ten times less
than bronze; it is easy to cast, it runs readily from the moulds of
sand, it is easy of manipulation, it is at once economical of money
and of time. In addition, it is excellent as a material, and I well
remember that during the war, at the siege of Atlanta, some iron
guns fired one hae rounds at intervals of twenty minutes
without injury.”

“‘ Cast iron is very brittle, sheng ” replied Morgan.

“Yes, but it possesses great resistance. I will now ask our
worthy secretary to calculate the weight of a cast-iron gun with

a bore of nine feet and a thickness of six feet of metal.”
“Tn a moment,” replied Maston. Then, dashing off some alge-
braical formule with marvellous facility, in a minute or two he
declared the following result :—

“The cannon will weigh 68,040 tons. And, at two cents a

pound, it will cost—?”
«6 2,510,701 dollars.”

Maston, the major, and the general regarded Barbicane with
uneasy looks. :

‘““ Well, gentlemen,” replied the president, “I repeat what I
said yesterday. Make yourselves easy; the millions will not be
wanting.”

With this assuranee of their president the Committee sepa-
rated, after having fixed their third meeting for the following
evening.



44 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
Oe ee eee

CHAPTER IX.
TIIE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS.

THERE remained for consideration merely the question of powders. |
The public awaited with interest its final decision. The size of

the projectile, the length of the cannon being settled, what would

be the quantity of powder necessary to produce impulsion ?

‘It is generally asserted that gunpowder was invented in the
fourteenth century by the monk Schwartz, who paid for his
grand discovery with his life. It is, however, pretty well proved
that this story ought to be ranked amongst the legends of the
middle ages. Gunpowder was not invented by any one; it was
the lineal successor of the Greek fire, which, like itself, was
composed of sulphur and saltpetre. Few persons are acquainted
with the mechanical power of gunpowder. Now this is pre-
cisely what is necessary to be understood in order to comprehend
the importance of the question submitted to the committee.

A litre of gunpowder weighs about 2lbs.; during combustion
it produces 400 litres of gas. This gas, on being liberated and
acted upon by a temperature raised to 2400 degrees, occupies a
space of 4000 litres: consequently the volume of powder is to the
volume of gas produced by its combustion as 1 to 4000. One
may judge, therefore, of the tremendous pressure of this gas when
compressed within a space 4000 times too confined. All this was,
of course, well known to the members of the committee when
they met on the following evening.

The first speaker on this occasion was Major Elphinstone,



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THE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS. 45



who had been the director of the gunpowder factories during the
war. | | 2
“Gentlemen,” said this distinguished chemist, “I begin with
some figures which will serve as the basis of our calculation.
The old 24-pounder shot required for its discharge 16lbs. of
powder.”

“You are certain of the amount ?” broke in Barbicane.

“‘ Quite certain,” replied the major. |“ The Armstrong cannon
employs only 75lbs. of powder for a projectile of 800lbs., and the
Rodman Columbiad uses only 160lbs. of powder to send its half-
ton shot a distance of six miles. These facts cannot be called in
question, for I myself raised the point during the depositions taken
before the Committee of Artillery.”

‘Quite true,” said the general.

“Well,” replied the major, “these figures go to prove that the
quantity of powder is not increased with the weight of the shot ;
that is to say, if a 24-pounder shot requires 16lbs. of powder ;—
in other words, if in ordinary guns we employ a quantity of
powder equal to two-thirds of the weight of the projectile, this
proportion is not constant. Calculate, and you will see that in
place of 333lbs. of powder, the quantity is reduced to no more
than 160lbs.” |

“What are you aiming at 2?” asked the president.

“Tf you push your theory to extremes, my dear major,” said
J. A. Maston, “you will get to this, that as soon as your
shot becomes sufficiently heavy you will not require any powder
at all.” ee

“Our friend Maston is always at his jokes, even in serious
matters,” cried the major; “but let him make his mind easy, I
am going presently to propose gunpowder enough to satisfy his
artillerist’s propensities. I only keep to statistical facts when I
say that during the war, and for the very largest guns, the weight
of powder was reduced, as the result of experience, toa tenth part
of the weight of the shot.”



46 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



“Perfectly correct,” said Morgan ; “but before deciding the
quantity of powder necessary to give the impulse, I think it would '
be as well—” |

‘“‘ We shall have to employ a large-grained powder,” continued
the major, “its combustion is more rapid than that of the small.”

“No doubt about that,” replied Morgan, “but it is very
- destructive, and ends by enlarging the bore of the pieces.”

“Granted ; but that which is injurious to a gun destined to
perform long service is not so to our Columbiad. We shall run
no danger of an explosion ; and it is necessary that our powder
should take fire instantaneously in order that its mechanical effect
may be complete.”

“We must have,” said Maston, “several touch-holes, so as to
fire it at different points at the same time.”

“ Certainly,” replied Elphinstone ; “but that will render the
- working of the piece more difficult. I return then to my large-
grained powder, which removes those difficulties. In his Columbiad
charges Rodman employed a powder as large as chestnuts, made
of willow charcoal, simply dried in cast-iron pans. This powder
was hard and glittering, left no trace upon the hand, contained
hydrogen and oxygen in large proportion, took fire instantaneously,
and, though very destructive, did not sensibly injure the mouth-
piece.” | |
Up to this point Barbicane had kept aloof from the discussion;
he left the others to speak while he himself listened ; he had
evidently got an idea. He now simply said, “ Well, my friends,
what quantity of powder do you propose ?”

The three members look at one another.

“Two hundred thousand pounds,” at last said Morgan.

** Five hundred thousand,” added the major.

‘ight hundred thousand,” screamed Maston.

A moment of silence followed this triple proposal ; it was at
last broken by the president.

“Gentlemen,” he quietly said, “I start from this principle, that



| THE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS. 47
Sa a
the resistance of a gun, constructed under the given conditions, is
unlimited. I shall surprise our friend Maston, then, by stigma-
tizing his calculations as timid ; and I propose to double his
800,000lbs. of powder.”

“ Sixteen hundred thousand pounds ?” shouted mae leaping
from his aa

“ Just so.’

“We shall have to come then to my ideal of a cannon half a
mile long ; for you see 1,600,000lbs. will occupy a space of about
20,000 cubie feet; and since the contents of your cannon do not
exceed 54,000 cubic feet, it would be half full; and the bore will
not be more than long enough for the gas to communicate to the
projectile sufficient impulse.” 3

“ Nevertheless,” said the president, “I hold to that quantity of
powder. Now, 1,600,000lbs. of powder will create 6,000,000,000
of litres of gas. Six thousand millions! You quite understand ?”

“‘ What is to be done then?” said the general.

“The thing is very simple; we must reduce this enormous
quantity of powder, while preserving to it its mechanical power.”

“Good; but by what means?” |

“Tam going to tell you,” replied Barbicane quietly. “ Nothing
is more easy than to reduce this mass to one quarter of its bulk.
You know that curious cellular matter which constitutes the
elementary tissues of vegetables? This substance is found quite
pure in many bodies, especially in cotton, which is nothing more
than the down of the seeds of the cotton plant. Now cotton, com-
bined with cold nitric acid, becomes transformed into a substance
eminently insoluble, combustible, and explosive. It was first dis-
covered in 1832, by Braconnot, a French chemist, who called it
xyloidine. In 1838 another Frenchman, Pelouze, investigated its
different properties, and finally, in 1846, Schonbein, Professor of
Chemistry at Bale, proposed its employment for purposes of war.
This powder, now called pyroxyle, or fulminating cotton, is pre-
pared with great facility by simply plunging cotton for fifteen



45 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



minutes in nitric acid, then washing it in water, then drying it,
and it is ready for use.”

‘‘ Nothing could be more simple,” said Morgan.

“Moreover, pyroxyle is unaltered by moisture—a valuable
property to us, inasmuch as it would take several days to charge
the cannon. It ignites at 170 degrees in place of 240, and its com-
bustion is so rapid that one may set light to it on the top of
ordinary powder, without the latter having time to ignite.”

“Perfect!” exclaimed the major.

Only it is more expensive.”

‘What matter?” cried J. T. Maston.

‘Finally, it imparts to projectiles a velocity four times superior
to that of gunpowder. I will even add, that if we mix with it
one-eighth of its own weight of nitrate of potass, its expansive
force is again considerably augmented.”

Will that be necessary ?” asked the major.

“JY think not,” replied Barbicane. “So, then, in place of
1,600,000lbs. of powder, we shall have but 400,000lbs. of ful-
minating cotton; and since we can, without danger, compress
500lb3. of cotton into 27 cubic feet, the whole quantity will not
occupy a height of more than 180 feet within the bore of the
Columbiad. In this way the shot will have more than 700 feet
of bore to traverse under a force of 6, 000, 000,000 litres of gas
before taking its flight towards the moon.’

At this junction J. T. Maston could not repress his emotion;
he flung himself into the arms of his friend with the violence of a
projectile, and Barbicane would have been stove in if he had a not
been bomb-proof.

This incident terminated the third meeting of the Committee.

Barbicane and his bold colleagues, to whom nothing seemed
impossible, had succeeded in solving the complex problems of pro-
jectile, cannon, and powder. Their plan was drawn up, and it
only remained to put it in execution.

“A mere matter of detail, a bagatelle,” said J. T. Maston.













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| ONE ENEMY UV. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS. 49
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CHAPTER X.
ONE ENEMY VU. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS.

Tur American public took a lively interest in the smallest details
of the enterprise of the Gun Club. It followed day by day the
discussions of the committee. The most simple preparation for
the great experiment, the questions of figures which it involved,
the mechanical difficulties to be resolved—in one word, the entire
plan of work—roused the popular excitement to the pene
pitch. .

The purely. scientific shiratbion was cantly intensified by the
following incident :—

We have seen what legions of, sinatiies aad friends Barbicane’s
project had rallied round its author. There was, however, one
single individual alone in all the States of the Union who pro-
tested against the attempt of the Gun Club. He attacked it
furiously on every opportunity, and human nature is such that
Barbicane felt more keenly the opposition of that one man than
he did the applause of all the others. He was well aware of the
motive of this antipathy, the origin of this solitary enmity, the
cause of its personality and old standing, and in what rivalry of
self-love it had its rise. :

This persevering enemy the President of the Gun Club had
never seen. Fortunate that it was so, for a meeting between the
two men would certainly have been attended with serious conse-
quences, This rival wasa man of science, like Barbicane himself,
of a fiery, daring, and violent disposition; a pure Yankee. His
name was Captain Nicholl ; he lived at Philadelphia.



50 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



Most people are aware of the curious struggle which arose
during the Federal war between the guns and the armour of iron-
plated ships. The result was the entire reconstruction of the navy
of both the continents; as the one grew heavier, the other became
thicker in proportion. The ‘ Merrimac,” the ‘ Monitor,” the
“Tennessee,” the “ Weckhausen” discharged enormous projec-
tiles themselves, after having been armour-clad against the pro-
jectiles of others. In fact they did to others that which they would
not they should do to them—that grand prcipls: of immorality
upon which rests the whole art of war.

Now if Barbicane was a great founder of shot, Nicholl was a
great forger of plates; the one cast night and day at Baltimore,
the other forged day and night at Philadelphia. As soon as ever
Barbicane invented a new shot, Nicholl invented a new plate,
each followed a current of ideas essentially opposed to the other.
Happily for these citizens, so useful to their country, a distance
of from fifty to sixty miles separated them from one another, and
_ they had never yet met. Which of these two inventors had the
advantage over the other it was difficult to decide from the results
obtained. By last accounts, however, it would seem that the
armour-plate would in the end have to give way to the shot ;
nevertheless, there were competent judges who had their doubts
on the point.

At the last experiment the cylindro-conical projectiles of
Barbicane stuck like so many pins in the Nicholl plates. On that
day the Philadelphian iron-forger then believed himself victorious,
and could not evince contempt enough for his rival; but when
* the other afterwards substituted for conical shot simple 600Ib.
shells, at very moderate velocity, the captain was obliged to
give in. In fact, these projectiles knocked his best metal plate to
shivers. |

Matters were at this stage, and victory seemed to rest with
the shot, when the war came to an end on the very day when
Nicholl had completed a new armour-plate of wrought steel. It



















































































































IN THE NEWSPAPERS.

NICHOLL PUBLISHED A NUMBER OF LETTERS

{| Page 51.



ONE ENEMY VU. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS. aI



was a masterpiece of its kind, and bid defiance to all the projectiles
in the world. The captain had it conveyed to the Polygon at
Washington, challenging the President of the Gun Club to break
it. Barbicane, peace having been declared, declined to try the
experiment.

Nicholl, now furious, offered to expose his plate to the shock
of any shot, solid, hollow, round, or conical. Refused by the
president, who did not choose to compromise his last success.

Nicholl, disgusted by this obstinacy, tried to tempt Barbicane
by offering him every chance. He proposed to fix the plate
within two hundred yards of the gun. Barbicane still obstinate
in refusal. A hundred yards? Not even seventy-five !

“At fifty then!” roared the captain through the newspapers.
“‘ At twenty-five yards !! and I’ll stand behind !!!”

Barbicane returned for answer that, even if Captain Nicholl
would be so good as tostand in front, he would not fire any more.

Nicholl could not contain himself at this reply; threw out hints
of cowardice; that a man who refused to fire a cannon-shot was
pretty near being afraid of it; that artillerists who fight at six
miles’ distance are substituting mathematical formule for indivi-
dual courage.

To these insinuations Barbicane returned no answer ; perhaps
he never heard of them, so absorbed was he in the calculations
for his great enterprise.

When his famous communication was made to the Gun Club,
the captain’s wrath passed all bounds; with his intense jealousy
was mingled a feeling of absolute impotence. How was he to
invent anything to beat this 900-feet Columbiad ? What armour-
plate could ever resist a projectile of 30,000|bs. weight? Over-
whelmed at first under this violent shock, he by and by recovered
himself, and resolved to crush the proposal by the weight of his
arguments.

He then violently attacked the labours of the Gun Club, pub-
lished a number of letters in the newspapers, endeavoured to

E 2

\



52 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

prove Barbicane ignorant of the first principles of gunnery. He
maintained that it was absolutely impossible to impress upon any
body whatever a velocity of 12,000 yards per second ; that even
with such a velocity a projectile of such a weight could not
transcend the limits of the earth’s atmosphere. Further still,
even regarding the velocity to be acquired, and granting it to be
sufficient, the shell could not resist the pressure of the gas deve-
loped by the ignition of 1,600,000lbs. of powder; and supposing
it to resist that pressure, it would be the less able to support that
temperature; it would melt on quitting the Columbiad, and fall
back in a red-hot shower upon the heads of the imprudent
spectators.

Barbicane continued his work without regarding these attacks.

Nicholl then took up the question in its other aspects. Without
touching upon its uselessness in all points of view, he regarded
the experiment as fraught with extreme danger, both to the
citizens, who might sanction by their presence so reprehensible a
spectacle, and also to the towns in the neighbourhood of this
deplorable cannon. He also observed that if the projectile did
not succeed in reaching its destination (a result absolutely impos-
sible), it must inevitably fall back upon the earth, and that the
shock of such a mass, multiplied by the square of its velocity,
would seriously endanger every point of the globe. Under the
circumstances, therefore, and without interfering with the rights
of free citizens, it was a case for the intervention of Government,
which ought not to endanger the salety of all for the Deere of
one individual.

Spite of all his arguments, however, Captain Nicholl remained
alone in his opinion. Nobody listened to him, and he did not
succeed in alienating a single admirer from the President of the
Gun Club. The latter did not even take the pains to refute the
arguments of his rival.

Nicholl, driven into. his last entrenchments, and not able to fight
personally in the cause, resolved to fight with money. He pub-



ONE ENEMY UV. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS. 53



lished, therefore, in the Richmond Inquirer a series of wagers,
conceived in these terms, and on an increasing scale :—

No. 1 (1000 dols.).—That the necessary funds for the experi- |
ment of the Gun Club will not be forthcoming.

No. 2 (2000 dols.).—That the operation of casting a cannon
of 900 feet is impracticable, and cannot possibly
succeed. |

No. 3 (8000 dols.).—That it is impossible to load the Colum-
biad, and that the pyroxyle will take fire spontane-
ously under the pressure of the projectile.

No. 4 (4000 dols.).—That the Columbiad will burst at the
first fire.

No. 5 (5000 dols.).—That the shot will not travel farther than -

| six miles, and that it will fall back again a few
seconds after its discharge.

It was an important sum, therefore, which the captain risked
in his invincible re He had no less than 15,000 dollars
at stake.

Notwithstanding the importance of the challenge, on the 19th
of May he received a sealed packet containing the following
superbly laconic reply :—

** BALTIMORE, Oct. 19.
** Done.
*‘ BARBICANE.”



54 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER XI.
FLORIDA AND TEXAS,

ONE question yet remained to be decided : it was necessary to
choose a favourable spot for the experiment. According to the
advice of the Observatory of Cambridge, the gun must be fired
perpendicularly to the plane of the horizon, that is to say, towards
the zenith. Now the moon does not traverse the zenith, except
in places situated between O° and 28’ of latitude. It became,
then, necessary to determine exactly that spot on the globe where
the immense Columbiad should be cast.

On the 20th of October, at a general meeting of the Gun Club,
Barbicane produced a magnificent map of the United States.
“Gentlemen,” said he, in opening the discussion, “I presume
that we are all agreed that this experiment cannot and ought not
to be tried anywhere but. within the limits of the soil of the
Union. Now, by good fortune, certain frontiers of the United
States extend downwards as far as the 28th parallel of the north
latitude. If you will cast your eye over this map, you will see
that we have at our disposal the whole of the southern portion of
Texas and Florida.”

It was finally agreed, then, that the Columbiad must be cast on
the soil of either Texas or Florida. The result, however, of this
decision was to create a rivalry entirely without precedent
between the different towns of these two states.

The 28th parallel, on reaching the American coast, traverses
the peninsula of Florida, dividing it into two nearly equal por-
tions. Then, plunging into the Gulf of Mexico, it subtends the



FLORIDA AND TEXAS. 55
a
arc formed by the coast of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana ;
then skirting Texas, off which it cuts an angle, it continues its
course over Mexico, crosses the Sonora, Old California, and loses
itself in the Pacific Ocean. It was, therefore, only those
portions of Texas and Florida which were situated below this
parallel which came within the prescribed conditions of latitude.

Florida, in its southern part, reckons no cities of importance ; it
is simply studded with forts raised against the roving Indians.
One solitary town, Tampa Town, was able to put in a claim in
favour of its situation.

In Texas, on the contrary, the towns are much more numerous
and important. Corpus Christi, in the county of Nuaces, and all
the cities situated on the Rio Bravo, Laredo, Comalites, San
Ignacio on the Web, Rio Grande city on the Starr, Edinburgh
in the Hidalgo, Santa Rita, Elpanda, Brownsville in the Cameron,
formed an imposing league against the pretensions of Florida.
So, scarcely was the decision known, when the Texian and
Floridan deputies arrived at Baltimore in an incredibly short
space of time. From that very moment President Barbicane and
the influential members of the Gun Club were besieged day and
night by formidable claims. If seven cities of Greece contended
for the honour of having given birth to Homer, here were two
entire states threatening to come to plone about the question of a
cannon.

The rival parties promenaded the streets with arms in their
hands ; and at every occasion of their meeting a collision was to
be apprehended which might have been attended with disastrous
results. Happily the prudence and address of President Barbi-
cane averted the danger. These personal demonstrations found a
division in the newspapers of the different states, The New
York Herald and the Tribune supported Texas, while the Times
and the American Review espoused the cause of the Floridan
Deputies. The members of the Gun Club could not decide to
which to give the preference.



56 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

Texas produced its array of twenty-six counties; Florida
replied that twelve counties were better than twenty-six in a
country only one-sixth part of the size.

Texas plumed itself upon its 330,000 natives; Florida with
a far smaller territory, boasted of being much more densely
populated with 56,000.

The Texians, through the columns of the Herald, claimed that
some regard should be had to a state which grew the best cotton
in all America, produced the best green oak for the service of the
navy, and contained the finest oil, besides iron mines, in which the
yield was 50 per cent. of pure metal.

To this the American Review replied that the soil of Florida,
although not equally rich, afforded the best conditions for the
moulding and casting of the Columbiad, consisting as it did of
sand and argillaceous earth.

“That may be all very well,” replied the Texians; “but you
must first get to this country. Now the communications with
Florida are difficult, while the coast of Texas’ offers the bay of
Galveston, which possesses a circumference of fourteen leagues,
and is capable of containing the navies of the entire
world!” |

“A pretty notion truly,” replied the papers in the interest of
Florida, “that of Galveston Bay, delow the 29th parallel! Have
we not got the bay of Espiritu Santo, opening precisely upon the
28th degree, and by which ships can reach Tampa Town by direct
route?”

“A fine bay! half choked with sand!” “Choked yourselves!”
returned the others. |

Thus the war went on for several days, when Florida endea-
voured to draw her adversary away on to fresh ground; and one
morning the Times hinted that, the enterprise being essentially
American, it ought not to be attempted upon other than purely
American territory.

To these words Texas retorted, “ American! are we not as

















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[ Page 57.



FLORIDA AND TEXAS. 59

ee

much so as you? Were not Texas and Florida both incorporated
into the Union in 1845?”

“Undoubtedly,” replied the Times; “ but we have belonged to
the Americans ever since 1820.”

“Yes!” returned the Tribune; “after having been Spaniards
or English for 200 years, you were sold to the United States for
five million dollars!” | :

‘Well! and why need we blush for that? Was not Taina
bought from Napoleon in 1803 at the price of sixteen million
dollars?” :

“Scandalous!” roared the Texian deputies. ‘A wretched
little strip of country like Florida to dare to compare itself to
Texas, who, in place of selling herself, asserted her own inde-
pendence, drove out the Mexicans in March 2, 1836, and declared
herself a federal republic after the victory gained by Samuel
Houston, on the banks of the San Jacinto, over the troops of
Santa Anna !—a country, in fine, which voluntarily annexed itself
to the United States of America!”

“Yes ; because it was afraid of the Mexicans!” replied Florida.

“Afraid!” From this moment the state of things became
intolerable. A sanguinary encounter seemed daily imminent
between the two parties in the streets of Baltimore. It became
necessary to keep an eye upon the deputies.

President Barbicane knew not which way to look. Notes,
documents, letters full of menaces showered down upon his house.
Which side ought he to take? As regarded the appropriation of
the soil, the facility of communication, the rapidity of transport,
the claims of both states were evenly balanced. As for political
prepossessions, they had nothing to do with the question.

This dead block had existed for some little time, when Bar-
bicane resolved to get rid of it at once. He called a meeting of
his colleagues, and laid before them a proposition which, it will
be seen, was profoundly sagacious.

“On carefully considering,” he said, “ what is going on now



58 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



between Florida and Texas, it is clear that the same difficulties
will recur with all the towns of the favoured state. The rivalry
will descend from state to city, and so on downwards. Now
Texas possesses eleven towns within the prescribed conditions,
which will further dispute the honour and create us new enemies,
while Florida has only one. I go in, therefore, for Florida and
Tampa Town.”

This decision, on being made known, utterly crushed the
Texian deputies. Seized with an indescribable fury, they ad-
dressed threatening letters to the different members of the Gun
Club by name. The magistrates had but one course to take, and
they took it. They chartered a special train, forced the Texians
into it whether they would or no; and they quitted the city with
a speed of thirty miles an hour.

Quickly, however, as they were despatched, they found time
to hurl one last and bitter sarcasm at their adversaries.

Alluding to the extent of Florida, a mere peninsula confined
between two seas, they pretended that it could never sustain the
shock of the discharge, and that it would “bust up” at the very
first shot.

“Very well, let it bust up!” replied the Floridans, with a.
brevity worthy of the days of ancient Sparta.



URBI ET ORBI. 59



CHAPTER XII.
URBI ET ORBI.

THE astronomical, mechanical, and topographical difficulties re-
solved, finally came the question of finance. The sum required
was far too great for any individual, or even any single state, to
provide the requisite millions. ;

President Barbicane undertook, despite of the matter being a
purely American affair, to render it one of universal interest, and
to request the financial co-operation of all peoples. It was, he
maintained, the right and the duty of the whole earth to interfere
in the affairs of its satellite. The subscription opened at Balti-
more extended properly to the whole world—Urbi et orbit.

This subscription was successful beyond all expectation; not-
withstanding that it was a question not of lending but of giving
the money. It was a purely disinterested operation in the
strictest sense of the term, and offered not the slightest chance
of profit.

The effect, however, of Barbicane’s communication was not con-
fined to the frontiers of the United States; it crossed‘the Atlantic
and Pacific, invading simultaneously Asia and Europe, Africa and
Oceania. The observatories of the Union placed themselves in
immediate communication with those of foreign countries. Some,
such as those of Paris, Petersburg, Berlin, Stockholm, Hamburg,
Malta, Lisbon, Benares, Madras, and others, transmitted their
good wishes; the rest maintained a prudent silence, quietly
awaiting the result. As for the observator ‘ry at Greenwich,
seconded as it was by the twenty-two astronomical establishments



60 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



of Great Britain, it spoke plainly enough. It boldly denied the
possibility of success, and pronounced in favour of the theories of
Captain Nicholl. But this was nothing more than mere English
jealousy.

On the 8th of October President Barbicane published a mani-
festo full of enthusiasm, in which he made an appeal to “ all per-
sons of good will upon the face of the earth.” This document,
translated into all languages, met with immense success.

Subscription lists were opened in all the principal cities of the
Union, with a central office at the Baltimore Bank, 9, Baltimore
Street. .

In addition, subscriptions were received at the following
banks in the different states of the two continents:—
At Vienna, with S. M. de Rothschild.

5, Petersburg, Stieglitz and Co.
Paris, The Crédit Mobilier.
,, stockholm, Tottie and Arfuredson.
», London, N. M. Rothschild and Son.
Turin, Ardouin and Co.
Berlin, Mendelssohn.
Geneva, Lombard, Odier, and Co.
Constantinople, The Ottoman Bank.
Brussels, J. Lambert.
», Madrid, Daniel Weisweller.
Amsterdam, Netherlands Credit Co.
Rome, Torlonia and Co.
Lisbon, Lecesne.
Copenhagen, Private Bank.

4, Rio Janeiro, do.

,, Monte Video, do.

», Valparaiso and Lima, Thomas la Chambre and Co.

»» Mexico, Martin Daran and Co.

Three days after the manifesto of President Barbicane 4,000,000
of dollars were paid into the different towns of the Union. With

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[ Page 60.



URBI ET ORB. 61





such a balance the Gun Club might begin operations at once.
But some days later advices were received to the effect that the
foreign subscriptions were being eagerly taken up. Certain
countries distinguished themselves by their liberality; others
untied their purse-strings with less facility—matter of tempera-
ment. Figures are, however, more eloquent than words, and
here is the official statement of the sums which were paid in to
the credit of the Gun Club at the close of the subscription.

Russia paid in as her contingent the enormous sum of 368,733
roubles. No one need be surprised at this, who bears in mind
the scientific taste of the Russians, and the impetus which they
have given to astronomical studies—thanks to their numerous
observatories.

France began by deriding the pretensions of the Americans.
The moon served as a pretext for a thousand stale puns and a
score of ballads, in which bad taste contested the palm with
ignorance. But as formerly the French paid before singing, so
now they paid after having had their laugh, and they subscribed
for a sum of 1,253,930 francs. At that price they had a right to
enjoy themselves a little.

Austria showed herself generous in the midst of her financial
crisis. Her public contributions amounted to the sum of 216,000
florins—a perfect godsend.

62,000 rix-dollars were the remittance of Sweden and Norway;
the amount is large for the country, but it would undoubtedly
have been considerably increased had the subscription been opened
in Christiania simultaneously with that at Stockholm. For some
reason or other the Norwegians do not like to send their money
to Sweden.

Prussia, by a remittance of 250,000 cisicig: testified her nen
approval of the enterprise.”

Turkey behaved generously; but she had a personal interest in
the matter. The moon, in fact, regulates the cycle of her years
and her fast of Ramadan. She could not do less than give



62 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.





1,372,640 piastres; and she gave them with an eagerness
which denoted, however, some pressure on the part of the
Government. | :

Belgium distinguished herself among the second-rate states
by a grant of 513,000 francs—about two centimes per head of
her population.

Holland and her colonies interested themselves to the extent of
110,000 florins, only demanding an allowance of five per cent.
discount for paying ready money.

Denmark, a little contracted in territory, gave nevertheless
9000 ducats, proving her love for scientific experiments.

The Germanic Confederation pledged itself to 34,285 florins.
It was impossible to ask for more ; besides, they would not have
given it.

Though very much crippled, Italy found 200,000 lire in the
pockets of her people. If she had had Venetia she would have
done better; but she had not.

The States of the Church thought that they could not send
less than 7040 Roman crowns; and Portugal carried her devotion
to science as far as 30,000 cruzados. It was the widow’s mite—
eighty-six piastres; but self-constituted empires are always rather
short of money.

257 francs, this was the modest contribution of Switzerland to
the American work. One must freely admit that she did not see
the practical side of the matter. It did not seem to her that the
mere despatch of a shot to the moon could possibly establish any
relation of affairs with her; and it did not seem prudent to her to
embark her capital in so hazardous an enterprise. After all,
perhaps she was right.

As to Spain, she could not scrape together more than 110 reals.
She gave as an excuse that she had her railways to finish. The
truth is, that science is not favourably regarded in that country, it
is still in a backward state; and, moreover, certain Spaniards, not
by any means the least educated, did not form a correct estimate





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[Page 63.



URBI ET ORB. 63

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of the bulk of the projectile compared with that of the moon.
They feared that it would disturb the established order of things.
In that case it were better to keep aloof; which eh did to the
tune of some reals.

There remained but England; and we know the contemptuous
antipathy with which she received Barbicane’s proposition. The
English have but one soul for the whole twenty-six millions of
inhabitants which Great Britain contains. They hinted that the
enterprise of the Gun Club was contrary to the “ principle of non-
intervention.” And they did not subscribe a single farthing.

At this intimation the Gun Club merely shrugged its shoulders
and returned to its great work. When South America, that is to
say, Peru, Chili, Brazil, the provinces of La Plata and Columbia,
had poured forth their quota into their hands, the sum of 300,000.
dollars, it found itself in possession of a considerable capital, of
which the following is a statement :—

United States subscriptions . - 4,000,000 dollars,
Foreign subscriptions . : oe O PO.” 25,

—ee

Total . : : . 0,446,675 ,,

Such was the sum which the public poured into the treasury
of the Gun Club.
Let no one be surprised at the vastness of the amount. The



work of casting, boring, masonry, the transport of workmen,
their establishment in an almost uninhabited country, the con-
struction of furnaces and workshops, the plant, the powder, the
projectile, and incidental expenses, would, according to the esti-
mates, absorb nearly the whole. Certain cannon shots in the
Federal war cost 1000 dollars a-piece. This one of President
Barbicane, unique in the annals of gunnery, might well cost five
thousand times more.

On the 20th of October a contract was entered into with the
manufactory of Goldspring, near New York, which during the
war had furnished Parratt with the best cast-iron guns. It was



64 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

a



Serene

stipulated between the contracting parties that the manufactory of
Goldspring should engage to transport to Tampa Town, in southern
Florida, the necessary. materials for casting the Columbiad. The
work was bound to be completed at latest by the 15th of October
following, and the cannon delivered in good condition under
penalty of a forfeit of 100 dollars a day to the moment when
the moon should again present herself under the same conditions—
that is to say, in eighteen years and eleven days.

The engagement of the workmen, their pay, and all the
necessary details of the work, devolved upon the Goldspring
Company.

This contract, executed in duplicate, was signed by Barbicane,
President of the Gun Club, of the one part, and T. Murphison,
director of the Goldspring manufactory, of the other, who thus
executed the deed on behalf of their respective principals.



STONES Hii7. ~° 65

CHAPTER XIII.
STONES HILL.

WHEN the decision was arrived at by the Gun Club, to the dis-
paragement of Texas, every one in America, where reading is an
universal acquirement, set to work to study the geography of
Florida. Never before had there been such a sale for works like
Bertram’s Travels in Florida, Roman’s Natural History of East and
West Florida, William’s Territory of Florida, and Cleland on the
Cultivation of the Sugar-Cane in Florida. It became meecleory ts to
issue fresh editions of these works.

Barbicane had something better to do Pan to ene He socinea
to see things with his own eyes, and to mark the exact position
of the proposed gun. So, without a moment’s loss of time, he
placed at the disposal of the Cambridge Observatory the funds
necessary for the construction of a telescope, and entered into
negotiations with the house of Breadwill and Co., of Albany, for
the construction of an aluminium projectile of the required size.
He then quitted Baltimore, accompanied by J. T. Maston, Major
Elphinstone, and the manager of the Goldspring Factory.

On the following day, the four fellow-travellers arrived at New
Orleans. There they immediately embarked on board the “'Tam-
pico,” a despatch-boat belonging to the Federal navy, which the
Government had placed at their disposal ; and, getting up steam,
the banks of the Louisiana speedily disappeared from sight.

The passage was not long. Two days after starting, the
“Tampico,” having made four hundred and eighty miles, came in
sight of the coast of Florida, On a nearer approach Barbicane

F



66 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



found himself in view of a low, flat country of somewhat barren
aspect. After coasting along a series of creeks abounding in
lobsters and oysters, the ‘‘ Tampico ”’ entered the bay of Espiritu
Santo, where she finally anchored in a small natural harbour,
formed by the embouchure of the River Hillisborough, at seven
p-m., on the 22nd October.

Our four passengers disembarked at once. ‘ Gentlemen,’
Barbicane, *‘ we have no time to lose ; to-morrow we must obtain

> said

horses, and proceed to reconnoitre the country.”

Barbicane had scarcely set his foot on shore when three thousand
of the inhabitants of Tampa Town came forth to meet him, an
honour due to the president who had signalized their country by
his choice. |

Declining, however, every kind of ovation, Barbicane ensconced
himself in a room of the Franklin Hotel.

On the morrow some of those small horses of the Spanish breed,
full of vigour and of fire, stood snorting under his windows ;
but instead of four steeds, here were jifty, together with. their
riders. Barbicane descended with his three fellow-travellers ;
and much astonished were they all to find themselves in the
midst of such a cavalcade. He remarked that every horseman
earried a carbine slung across his shoulders and pistols in his
holsters. .

On expressing his surprise at these preparations, he was speedily
enlightened by a young Floridan, who quietly said,— |

‘‘ Sir, there are Seminoles there.”

‘“* What do you mean by Seminoles? ”

*‘ Savages who scour the prairies. We thought it best, there-
fore, to escort you on your road.”

“Pooh!” cried J. T. Maston, mounting his steed.

* All right,” said the Floridan; “ but it is true enough, never-
theless.”

“Gentlemen,” answered Barbicane, “I thank you for your kind
attention ; but it is time to be off,”













































































































































































































































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[ Page 66.



STONES HILL. a 67
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It was five a.m. when Barbicane and his party, quitting Tampa
Town, made their way along the coast in the direction of Alifia
Creek. This little river falls into Hillisborough Bay twelve miles
above ‘Tampa Town. Barbicane and his escort coasted along its
right bank to the eastward. Soon the waves of the bay dis-
appeared behind a bend of rising ground, and the Floridan
““ champagne” alone offered itself to view.

Florida, discovered on Palm Sunday, in 1512, by Juan Ponce
de Leon, was originally named Pascha Florida. It little deserved
that designation with its dry and parched coasts. But after some
few miles of tract the nature of the soil gradually changes and
the country shows itself worthy of the name. Cultivated plains
soon appear, where are united all the productions of the northern -
and tropical floras, terminating in prairies abounding with pine-
apples and yams, tobacco, rice, cotton-plants, and sugar-canes,
which extend beyond reach of sight, flinging their riches broad-
cast with careless prodigality.

Barbicane appeared highly pleased on observing the progressive
elevation of the land ; and in answer to a question of J. T. Maston,
- replied,—

“My worthy friend, we cannot do better than sink our Colum-
biad in these high grounds.”

“To get nearer to the moon, perhaps ?” said the secretary of
the Gun Club.

“Not exactly,” replied Barbicane, smiling ; “do you not see
that amongst these elevated plateaus we shall have a much easier
' work of it? No struggles with the water-springs, which will
save us long and expensive tubings ; and we shall be working in
daylight instead of down a deep and narrow well. Our business,
then, is to open our trenches upon ground some hundreds of yards
above the level of the sea.” |

“You are right, sir,” struck in Murchison, the engineer ;
“and, if I mistake not, we shall ere long find a suitable spot for
our purpose.” . 7

F 2



68 FROM THE EARTH JO THE MOON.
‘**T wish we were at the first stroke of the pickaxe,” said the
president. | |
“¢ And I wish we were at the last,” cried J. T. Maston. .
About ten a.m. the little band had crossed a dozen miles. To.
fertile plains succeeded a region of forests. ‘There perfumes of
the most varied kinds mingled together in tropical profusion. These
almost impenetrable forests were composed of pomegranates,
orange-trees, citrons, figs, olives, apricots, bananas, huge vines,
whose blossoms and fruits rivalled each other in colour and per-
fume. Beneath. the odorous shade of these magnificent trees
fluttered and warbled a little world of brilliantly plumaged birds.
J. T. Maston and the major could not repress their admiration
on finding themselves in presence of the glorious beauties of this
wealth of nature. President Barbicane, however, less sensitive
to these wonders, was in haste to press forward; the very.
luxuriance of. the country was displeasing to him. They hastened
onwards, therefore, and were compelled to ford several rivers, not
without danger, for they were infested with huge alligators. from
fifteen to eighteen feet long. Maston courageously menaced them
with his steel hook, but he only succeeded in frightening some
pelicans and teal, while tall pane stared stupidly: at ne
party. | i
_ At length these denizens of the swamps disappeared | in their
turn ; smaller trees became thinly scattered among less dense
thickets—a few isolated groups detached the in midst of.endless
plains over which ranged-herds of startled deer. te 9
** At last,” cried Barbicane, rising in his stirrups, “ here we are
at the region of pines!” ,
“Yes! and of savages too,” copied the major.
In fact, some Seminoles had just come in sight upon the horizon j
they rode violently backwards and forwards on their fleet ‘horses,
brandishing their spears or discharging their guns with a dull
report. ‘These hostile demonstrations, however, nae no effect upon
Barbicane and his companions. | : |



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STONES HILL, ~*~ 69





They were then occupying the centre of a rocky plain, which
the sun scorched with its parching rays. This was formed by a
considerable elevation of the soil, which seemed to offer to the
members of the Gun Club all the conditions requisite for the
construction of their Columbiad.

“Halt !” said Barbicane, reining up. “ Has this place any local
appellation ?”

“It is called Stones Hill,” replied one of the Floridans.

Barbicane, without saying a word, dismounted, seized his instru-
ments, and began to note his position with extreme exactness.
The little band, drawn up in rear, watched his proceedings i in pro-
found silence.

At this moment the sun passed the meridian. Barbicane, after
a few moments, eapigty wrote down the result of his ei
and said,—

“This spot is situated 1800 feet above the level of the sea, in
27° 7' N. lat. and 5° 7’ W. long. of the meridian of Washington.
It appears to me by its rocky and barren character to offer all the
conditions requisite for our experiment. On that plain will be
raised our magazines, workshops, furnaces, and workmen’s huts ;
and here, from this very spot,” said he, stamping his foot on the
summit of Stones Hill, “ hence shall our projectile take its flight
into the regions 8 of the Solar World.”



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PROJECTILE TRAINS FOR THE MOON.

[Page 95.
FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON

DIRECT

IN 97 HOURS 20 MINUTES:

AND A TRIP ROUND IT.

By JULES VERNE.

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH

By LOUIS MERCIER, M.A. (Oxon), ann
ELEANOR E. KING.

WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS.

Lonvon ;
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, LOW, AND SEARLE,
CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.
1873.

[All rights reserved.|
LONDON ;:
GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,
ST. JOHN’S SQUARE.
CONTENTS.



FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER I. PAGE
THe Gun CLus ‘ ; ° . : . . . . ; . dt
CHAPTER II.
PRESIDENT BARBICANE’S COMMUNICATION . : ‘ . . . 8

CHAPTER III.

EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’S COMMUNICATION . . ; . . - 1d
CHAPTER IV.
REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE . . . . : . 19
CHAPTER V.
THE ROMANCE OF THE Moon . . ; . . . . : - 23
CHAPTER VI.
THE Permissive Limits oF I¢noRANCE AND BELIEF IN THE UNITED
STATES . . . . . . . ; . ; ’ . 28

CHAPTHR VII.
Tue HymNortHe Cannon-Bann . . . . . . «. « 88

CHAPTER VIII.
HISTORY OF THE CANNON . . . . ; . . . . - AO

CHAPTER IX.
THE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS : . ° . ° . : . 44

CHAPTER X.
One ENEMY v. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS . ; . . . 49
iv CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XI.
FLorRipa AND TEXAS.

. CHAPTER XII,
URBI ET ORBI .

CHAPTER XIII.
Stonrs Hitz |

CHAPTER XIV.
PICKAXE AND TROWEL

CHAPTER XV.
THE FETE OF THE CASTING

CHAPTER XVI.
THE COLUMBIAD

CHAPTER XVII.
A TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCH

CHAPTER XVIII.

THE PASSENGER OF THE *‘ ATLANTA ”’

CHAPTER XIX.
A Monster MEETING

CHAPTER XX,
ATTACK AND RIPOSTE

-CHAPTER XXI.
How A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR .

CHAPTER XXII.

THE NEw CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES

CHAPTER XXITI.

THE PROJECTILE VEHICLE

CHAPTER XXIV.

Tue TELESCOPE OF THE Rocky MountTaAINs

CHAPTER XXV.
Fina Dzraits. ° 7 .

PAGE

. 54

. 59

« 65

70

75

80

85

86

92

99

- 108

- 117

- 122

. 125

. 128
CONTENTS

CHAPTER XXVI. PAGE
FIRE ! . . . : . . . . . : . e - 183
CHAPTER XXVIL |
Fount WEATHER ° ; . . ° 138
CHAPTER XXVIII.
A New Star. -., . . ; . . . : 141
ROUND THE MOON.
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER.
RECAPITULATORY , . . ; . . . . . 145
CHAPTER I.
From Twenty Minutes past TEN To Forty-sEVEN MINUTES PAST
TEN P.M. . 151
. CHAPTER II.
Tar First HALF-HOUR . . . , . . . . . . 157
CHAPTER III.
THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER . . . . ° ° ° ° . 169
CHAPTHR IV.
A Litre ALGEBRA . ; . . . . ° ;: ° ° . 178
CHAPTER V.
Tue Cop or SPACE. . ° . . ; : ° - 185
CHAPTER VI.
QUESTION AND ANSWER . 194
CHAPTER VII.
A Moment oF INTOXICATION. . . . ° . 202

CHAPTER VIII.
AT SEVENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND Five HUNDRED AND FourteEN LEAGUES .

| CHAPTER IX.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION.

212

» 221
v1 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X.
THE OBSERVERS OF THE Moon .

CHAPTER XI.
FANcY AND REALITY . :

CHAPTER XII.
OROGRAPHIC DETAILS

CHAPTER XIII.
Lunar LANDSCAPES .

CHAPTER XIV.

THE Nicut or THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTy-FouR Hours AND A HALF

CHAPTER XV.
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA . . ° ; °

CHAPTER XVI.
THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

CHAPTER XVII.
TYCHO . 7

CHAPTER XVIII.
GRAVE QUESTIONS . °

CHAPTER XIX.
A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE . °

CHAPTER XX.
THE SOUNDINGS OF THE “ SUSQUEHANNA”

CHAPTER XXI.
J. T. MAston RECALLED

CHAPTER XXII.
RECOVERED FROM THE SEA

/ CHAPTER XXIII.
Tae End. e e ® ° e ° e



PAGE
- 228

, 232

. 236

. 243

. 251

. 260

. 270

. 278

. 281

. 289

. 299

- 805

» 812

. 320°
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
The Artillery-men of the Gun Club
President Barbicane me ee ws le eet 1
Meeting of the Gun Club : : : . , , . 12
The Torchlight Procession ; : . . , : : . 16
Cambridge Observatory . : , ; , : . 19
The Moon’s Disc : : : . , ; . 26
Barbicane holds forth . : , , : . . 33
The Rodman Columbiad . , , ; : . d4
Cannon at Malta in the time of the Kaichts , ; , f - ns . 386
Tdeal Sketch of J. T. Maston’s Gun : : ; : . A2
The invention of Gunpowder by the Monk Schwartz : ° : . 44
Captain Nicholl . : : ; . 49
Nicholl published a number of ietbersi in itis Nowaapsis : ‘ - dl
It became necessary to keep an eye upon the Deputies . ‘ ; . 57
The Subscription was opened . : ; ; . ; . 60
The Manufactory of Goldspring, near Now York ; w °F % : . 63
Tampa Town, previous to the undertaking. ‘ ; sip 9 . 66
They were compelled to ford several Rivers . : . . . -. 68
The Work progressed regularly . ; . : ; : ; » W3—
The Casting . : . . : “ : . a CE
Tampa Town, after the anderiaing ; : : ; : : . 82
The Banquet in the Columbiad : . : : : ; - » 88
President Barbicane at his Window : : ; : ‘ : - 87
Michel Ardan . : : : : , ; : : ; : . 88
The Meeting . . _ ; ; : : ‘ : . 92
Projectile Trains for the Moon ; : : : ; : : - 95
Attack and Riposte . : : ; ‘ . : : . LOL
The Platform was suddenly carried: away : : : . ; - 106
Maston burst into the Room . . : : : : . 108
In the midst of this Snare was a poor little Bird ; ; . - . 112
‘Go with me, and see whether we are stopped on our journey”? . . 115
The Cat taken out of the Shell . ; . . : : ° . 120
The Arrival of the Projectile at Stones Hill . : : ° : . 122
J.T. Maston had grown fat. ; : ; : : : ; . 124

The Telescope of the Rocky Mountains . : . ; : : . 127
vill LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS,



PAGE

The Interior of the Projectile . : - 130
An innumerable Multitude covered the Prairie round Stones Hill . . 133
Fire!! .. : : ; : : : : ; : . 136
Effect of the ixplosion : ; : ‘ : : : : ; . 138
The Director at his Post . ; ‘ . ; ‘ : ; : . 139
The courageous Frenchman . - 4 ° ° : : : - 158
They raised Barbicane’ . : : : : : : ; : . 159
The Gas caught fire + ; : : : ; - & . 152
Diana and Satellite . ; : 7 . . : : : : . 154
It was an enormous Disc : ; : ; ; i : : . 163
The Sun chose to be of the party . ; . . 172
Ardan plunged his hand rapidly into certain caysterious ho: S. . 176
“Do I understand it P’”? cried Ardan; “my head is splitting with it” . 183
Satellite was thrown out : : : : : : : : . 193
It was the Body of Satellite . : ; ; - 201
“‘T could have ventured out on the top of the Projectile? me : - 206
anor struck up a frantic dance . ‘ : . ‘ ‘ : - 210
“The Oxygen !”’ he exclaimed : : ° : . ; : . 212
“ Ah! if Raphael had seen us thus” . : : : : . . 217
“‘T should be nothing more thana Pigmy” . : : : ° . 220
The Telescope at Parsonstown ; : : : ‘ - 228
How many people have heard speak of the Moon! . : » 232
“This plain would then be nothing but an immense Cenictery? : . 241
“What Giant Oxen!” . : . : : 245
He could distinguish nothing bat Desert Beds . ; : ; . 247
“Tt is the fault of the Moon” ‘. : . 252
Nothing could equal the splendour of this storey world . : ; . 256
‘““The vapour of our breath will fall in snow around us ” ' . . 258
A Discussion arose . : ; : ; ‘ : ; : - 261
A Prey to frightful Terror ; ; - Se : . : : . 267
What a sight! : ; : ; : : . ; . ; . 267
“The Sun!” , ; : - “% . 271
“ Light and Heat ; all Life i is oontained 4 in chen” i ; ; . 273
He distinguished all this . . . : . : : : ; . 275
Can you picture to yourselves? : ; : : . 277
A violent Contraction of the Lunar Crust : . 282
Around the Projectile were the Objects which had been row out . 291
«These practical people have sometimes most inopportune ideas ” . 295
Ardan applied the lighted Match . : : . ; . : . 296
, I fancy Iseethem” . : . ° : : : ; : . d01
‘A few feet nearer . : ; ° . : ; : - 304
The unfortunate man had disappeatel : ; ° : . : . 3ll
The Descent began : . ; ; : ° : 7 ° . 815
*“ White all, Barbicane ” ° ° . . . 319

The Apotheosis was worthy of the throe Heroes ° ° ° ° - 822
a4
}

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



CHAPTER I.
TIE GUN CLUB.

DvrineG the Federal War in the United States, a new and influen-
tial club was established in the city of Baltimore in the State of
Maryland. It is well known with what energy the taste for
military matters became developed amongst that nation of ship-
owners, shopkeepers, and mechanics. Simple tradesmen jumped
their counters to become extemporized captains, colonels, and
generals, without having ever passed the School of Instruction at
West Point: nevertheless, they quickly rivalled their compeers of
the old continent, and, like them, carried off victories by dint of
lavish expenditure in ammunition, money, and men.

But the point in which the Americans singularly distanced the
Europeans was in the science of gunnery. Not, indeed, that their
weapons retained a higher degree of perfection than theirs, but
that they exhibited unheard-of dimensions, and consequently
attained hitherto unheard-of ranges. In point of grazing, plung-
ing, oblique, or enfilading, or point-blank firing, the English,
French, and Prussians have nothing to learn; but their cannon,
howitzers, and mortars are mere pocket-pistols compared with the
formidable engines of the Amcrican artillery.

B
2 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

eed



This fact need surprise no one. The Yankees, the first me-
chanicians in the world, are engineers—just as the Italians are
musicians and the Germans metaphysicians—by right of birth.
Nothing is more natural, therefore, than to perceive them
applying their audacious ingenuity to the science of gunnery.
Witness the marvels of Parrott, Dahlgren, and Rodman. The
Armstrong, Palliser, and Beaulieu guns were compelled to bow
before their transatlantic rivals. :

Now when an American has an idea, he directly seeks a second
American to share it. If there be three, they elect a president
and two secretaries. Given four, they name a keeper of records,
and the office is ready for work; jive, they convene a general
meeting, and the club is fully constituted. So things were
managed in Baltimore. The inventor of a new cannon associated
himself with the caster and the borer. Thus was formed the
nucleus of the “ Gun Club.” Ina single month after its forma-
tion it numbered 1833 effective members and 30,565 corre-
sponding members.

One condition was imposed as a sine qud non upon every can-
didate for admission into the association, and that was the
condition of having designed, or (more or less) perfected a
cannon; or, in default of a cannon, at least a fire-arm of some
description. It may, however, be mentioned that mere inventions
of revolvers, five-shooting carbines, and ‘similar small arms, met
with but little consideration. Artillerists always commanded the
chief place of favour.

The estimation in which these gentlemen were held, according
to one of the most scientific exponents of the Gun Club, was
*‘ proportional to the masses of their guns, and in the direct ratio
of the square of the distances attained by their projectiles.”

The Gun Club once founded, it is easy to conceive the result
of the inventive genius of the Americans. Their military
weapons attained colossal proportions, and their projectiles, ex-
ceeding the prescribed limits, unfortunately occasionally cut in
THE GUN CLUB. | 3



two some unoffending pedestrians. These inventions, in fact,
left far in the rear the timid instruments of European artil-
lery.

It is but fair toadd that these Yankees, brave as they have
ever proved themselves to be, did not confine themselves to
theories and formule, but that they paid heavily, in propria
persond, for their inventions. Amongst them were to be counted
officers of all ranks, from lieutenants to generals; military men of
every age, from those who were just making their début in the
profession of arms up to those who had grown old on the gun-
carriage. Many had found their rest on the field of battle whose
names figured in the “ Book of Honour” of the Gun Club; and of
those who made good their return the greater proportion bore the
marks of their indisputable valour. Crutches, wooden legs, arti-
ficial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc jaws, silver craniums, pla-
tinum noses, were all to be found in the collection; and it was
calculated by the great statistician Pitcairn that throughout the
Gun Club there was not quite one arm between four persons, and
exactly two legs between six.

Nevertheless, these valiant artillerists took no particular
account of these little facts, and felt justly proud when the
despatches of a battle returned the number of victims at tenfold
the quantity of the projectiles expended. |

One day, however—sad and melancholy day!— peace was
signed between the survivors of the war; the thunder of the, guns
gradually ceased, the mortars were silent, the howitzers were
muzzled for an indefinite period, the cannon, with muzzles
depressed, were returned into the arsenal, the shot were repiled,
all bloody reminiscences were effaced; the cotton-plants. grew
luxuriantly in the well-manured fields, all mourning garments
were laid aside, together with grief; and the Gun Club was.
relegated to profound inactivity.

Some few of the more advanced and inveterate theorists set
themselves again to work upon calculations regarding the laws of

B 2
4 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



projectiles. They reverted invariably to gigantic shells and
howitzers of unparalleled calibre. Still, in default of practical
experience, what was the value of mere theories ? Consequently,
the club-rooms became deserted, the servants dozed in the ante-
chambers, the newspapers grew mouldy on the tables, sounds of
snoring came from dark corners, and the members of the Gun
Club, erstwhile so noisy in their séances, were reduced to silence
by this disastrous peace and gave themselves up wholly to dreams
of a Platonic kind of artillery.

“This is horrible!” said Tom Hunter one evening, while
rapidly carbonizing his wooden legs in the fire-place of the
smoking-room; “nothing to do! nothing to look forward to! what
a loathsome existence! When again shall the guns arouse us in
the morning with their delightful reports ?”

“Those days are gone by,” said jolly Bilsby, trying to extend
his missing arms. “It was delightful once upon a time! One
invented a gun, and hardly was it cast, when one hastened to try
it in the face of the enemy! Then one returned to camp with a
word of encouragement from Sherman or a friendly shake of the
hand from M‘Clellan. But now the generals are gone back to
their counters; and in place of projectiles, they despatch bales
of cotton. By Jove, the future of gunnery in America is -
lost!” |
“Ay! and no war in prospect!” continued the famous James
T. Maston, scratching with his steel hook his gutta-percha
cranium. ‘ Not a cloud in the horizon! and that too at such a
critical period in the progress of the science of artillery! Yes,
gentlemen! I who address you have myself this very morning
perfected a model (plan, section, elevation, &c.) of a mortar
destined to change all the conditions of warfare!”

“No! is it possible?” replied Tom Huntcr, his thoughts
reverting involuntarily to a former invention of the Hon. J. T.
Maston, by which, at its first trial, he had succeeded in killing
three hundred and thirty-seven people.


















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THE ARTILLERY-MEN OF THE GUN-CLUB.
[Page 4.
THE GUN CLUB. 5



“Fact!” replied he. “ Still, what is the use of so ‘many
studies worked out, so many difficulties vanquished? It’s mere
waste of time! The New World seems to have made up its mind
to live in peace; and our bellicose Zribune predicts some approach-
ing catastrophes arising out of this scandalous increase of popu-
lation.”

‘* Nevertheless,” replied Colonel Digncueny, “they are always
struggling in Europe to maintain the principle of nationali-
ties.”

“Well?” .

‘Well, there might be some field for enterprise down there;
and if they would accept our services—”

“‘ What are you dreaming of?” screamed Bilsby; “‘ work at gun-
nery for the benefit of foreigners ?”

“That would be better than doing nothing here,” returned the
colonel.

“Quite so,” said J. T. Maston; “ but still we need not dream of
that expedient.” atts

“And why not?” demanded the colonel.

‘** Because their ideas of progress in the Old World are contrary
to our American habits of thought. Those fellows believe that
one can’t become a general without having served first as an
ensign; which is as much as to say that one can’t point a gun
without having first cast it oneself!”
© Ridiculous!” replied Tom Hunter, whittling with his bowie-
knife the arms of his easy-chair; “but if that be the case.
there, all that is left for us is to plant tobacco and distil whale-
oil.”

“What!” roared J. T. Maston, “shall we not employ these
remaining years of our life in perfecting fire-arms? Shall there
never be a fresh opportunity of trying the ranges of projectiles?
Shall the air never again be lighted with the glare of our guns?
No international difficulty ever arise to enable us to declare war
against some transatlantic power? Shall not the French sink one
6 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
of our steamers, or the English, in defiance of the rights of
nations, hang a few of our countrymen?”

‘No such luck,” replied Colonel Blomsberry; “ nothing of the
kind is likely to happen; and even if it did, we should not profit
by it. American susceptibility is fast declining, and we are all
going to the dogs.”

‘“It is too true,” replied J. T. Maston, with fresh violence;
“there are a thousand grounds for fighting, and yet we don’t
fight. We save up our arms and legs for the benefit of nations
who don’t know what to do with them! But stop—without going
out of one’s way to find a cause for war—did not North America
once belong to the English ? ”

** Undoubtedly,” replied Tom Hunter, stamping his crutch with
fury.

“Well then,” replied J. T. Maston, “why should not England
in her turn belong to the Americans ? ”

“Tt would be but just and fair,” returned Colonel Blomsberry.

‘**Go and propose it to the President of the United States,” cried
J. T. Maston, ‘and see how he will receive you.”

“Bah!” growled Bilsby between the four teeth which the war
had left him; “ that will never do!”

“ By Jove!” cried J. T. Maston, “he minsits count on my vote
at the next election!”

“Nor on ours,” replied unanimously all the bellicose in-
valids. |

“‘ Meanwhile,” replied J. T. M., “allow me to say that, if I can-
not get an opportunity to try my new mortars on a real field of
battle, I shall say good-bye to the members of the Gun Club, and
go and bury myself in the prairies of Arkansas! ”

‘In that case we will accompany you,” cried the others.

Matters were in this unfortunate condition, and the club was
threatened with approaching dissolution, when an unexpected
eircumstance occurred to prevent so deplorable a catastrophe.

On the morrow after this conversation every member of the
THE GUN CLUB. 7
eee
association received a sealed circular couched in the following
terms :—

** BALTIMORE, Oct. 3.
“The President of the Gun Club has the honour to inform his colleagues
that, at the meeting of the 5th instant, he will bring before them a com-
munication of an extremely interesting nature. He requests, therefore,
that they wili make it convenient to attend in accordance with the present

invitation.—Very cordially,
“ TMpPEY BARBICANE, P.G.C.”
8 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER IL
PRESIDENT BARBICANE’S COMMUNICATION.

On the 5th of October, at 8 p.m., a dense crowd pressed towards
the saloons of the Gun Club at No. 21, Union Square. All the
members of the association resident in Baltimore attended the
invitation of their president. As regards the corresponding mem-
bers, notices were delivered by hundreds throughout the streets of
the city, and, large as was the great hall, it was quite inadequate
to accommodate the crowd of savanis. They overflowed into the
adjoining rooms, down the narrow passages, into the outer court-
yards. ‘There they ran against the vulgar herd who pressed up
to the doors, each struggling to reach the front ranks, all eager to
learn the nature of the important communication of President
Barbicane ; all pushing, squeezing, crushing with that perfect
freedom of action which is peculiar to the masses when educated
in ideas of “self-government.”

On that evening a stranger who might have chanced to be in
Baltimore could not have gained admission for love or money
into the great hall. That was reserved exclusively for resident
or corresponding members; no one else could possibly have
obtained a place; and the city magnates, municipal councillors,
and “select men” were compelled to mingle with the mere
townspeople in order to catch stray bits of news from the interior.

Nevertheless the vast hall presented a curious spectacle. Its
immense area was singularly adapted to the purpose. Lofty
pillars formed of cannon, superposed upon huge mortars as a base,
supported the fine ironwork of the arches, a perfect piece of cast-
PRESIDENT BARBICANES COMMUNICATION. 9



iron lacework. Trophies of blunderbuses, matchlocks, arquebuses,
carbines, all kinds of fire-arms, ancient and modern, were pic-
turesquely interlaced against the walls. The gas lit up in full
glare myriads of revolvers grouped in the form of lustres, whilst
groups of pistols, and candelabra formed of muskets bound
together, completed this magnificent display of brilliance. Models
of cannon, bronze castings, ‘sights covered with dents, plates
battered by the shots of the Gun Club, assortments of rammers
and sponges, chaplets of shells, wreaths of projectiles, garlands
of howitzers—in short, all the apparatus of the artillerist, en-
chanted the eye by this wonderful arrangement and induced a
kind of belief that their real purpose was ornamental rather than
deadly.

At the further end of the saloon the president, assisted by four
secretaries, occupied a large platform. His chair, supported by a
carved gun-carriage, was modelled upon the ponderous propor-
tions of a 82-inch mortar. It was pointed at an angle of ninety
degrees, and suspended upon trunnions, so that the president
could balance himself upon it as upon a rocking-chair, a very
agreeable fact in the very hot weather. Upon the table (a huge
iron plate supported upon six carronnades) stood an inkstand of
exquisite elegance, made of a beautifully chased Spanish piece,
and a sonnette, which, when required, could give forth a report
equal to that of a revolver. During violent debates this novel
kind of bell scarcely sufficed to drown the clamour of these
excitable artillerists.

In front of the table benches arranged in zigzag form, like the
circumvallations of a retrenchment, formed a succession of bastions
and curtains set apart for the use of the members of the club;
and on this especial evening one might say, “ All the world was
on the ramparts.” The president was sufficiently well known,
however, for all to be assured that he would not put his col-
leagues to discomfort without some very strong motive.

Impey Barbicane was a man of forty years of age, calm, cold,
Io FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.





austere; of a singularly serious and self-contained demeanour,
punctual as a chronometer, of imperturbable temper and immov-
able character ; by no means chivalrous, yet adventurous withal,
and always bringing practical ideas to bear upon the very rashest
enterprises ; an essentially New-Englander, a Northern colonist,
a descendant of the old anti-Stuart Roundheads, and the impla-
cable enemy of the gentlemen of the South, those ancient Cavaliers
of the mother-country. In a word, he was a Yankee to the

backbone.

Barbicane had made a large fortune as a timber-merchant.
Being nominated Director of Artillery during the war, he proved
himself fertile in invention. Bold in his conceptions, he contri-
buted powerfully to the progress of that arm and gave an immense
impetus to experimental researches. —

He was a personage of the middle height, having, by a rare
exception in the Gun Club, all his limbs complete. His strongly-
marked features seemed drawn by square and rule; and if it be
true that, in order to judge of a man’s character one must look at
his profile, Barbicane, so examined, exhibited the most certain
indications of energy, audacity, and sang-froid.

At this moment he was sitting in hig armchair, silent, absorbed,
lost in reflection, sheltered under his high-crowned hat—a kind
of black silk cylinder which always seems firmly screwed upon
the head of an American. _

Just when the deep-toned clock in the great hall struck eight,
Barbicane, as if he had been set in motion by a spring, raised
himself up. A profound silence ensued, and the speaker, in a
somewhat emphatic tone of voice, commenced as follows :—

‘My brave colleagues, too long already a paralyzing peace has
plunged the members of the Gun Club in deplorable inactivity.
After a period of years full of incidents we have been compelled
to abandon our labours, and to stop short on the road of progress.
I do not hesitate to state, boldly, that any war which should
recall us to arms would be welcome!” (Cries of “ Hear!
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PRESIDENT BARBICANE.
PRESIDENT BARBICANE’S COMMUNICATION. II





hear!”) ‘But war, gentlemen, is impossible under existing
circumstances ; and, however we may desire it, many years may
elapse before our cannon shall again thunder in the field of battle.
We must make up our minds, then, to seek in another train
of ideas some field for the activity which we all pine for.”

The meeting felt that the president was now approaching the
critical point, and redoubled their attention accordingly.

‘* For some months past, my brave colleagues,” continued Bar-
bicane, “I have been asking myself whether, while confining our-
selves to our own particular objects, we could not enter upon
some grand experiment worthy of the nineteenth century; and
whether the progress of artillery science would not enable us to
carry it out to a successful issue. I have been considering,
working, calculating; and the result of my studies is the con-
viction that we are safe to succeed in an enterprise which to any
other country would appear wholly impracticable. This project,
the result of long elaboration, is the object of my present commu-
nication. It is worthy of yourselves, worthy.of the antecedents
of the Gun Club; and it cannot fail to make some noise in the
world.” - |

A thrill of excitement ran through the meeting.

Barbicane, having by a rapid movement firmly fixed his hat
upon his head, calmly continued his harangue:—

“ There is no one among you, my brave colleagues, who has
not seen the Moon, or, at least, heard speak of it. Don’t be sur-
prised if I am about to discourse to you regarding this Queen of
the Night. It is perhaps reserved for us to become the Colum-
buses of this unknown world. Only enter into my plans, and
second me with all your power, and I will lead you to its con- —
quest, and its name shall be added to those of the thirty-six
States which compose this Great Union.”

‘“‘'Three cheers for the Moon!” roared the Gun Club, with one
voice.

“The moon, gentlemen, has been carefully studied,” continued
[2 | FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



Barbicane ; 6 her mass, density, and weight ;. he constitution,
motions, ivences as well as her: place in the solar system, have all
been, exactly determined. Selenographie charts have been con-
structed with. a. perfection which equals, if it does not even sur-
pass, “that. of our terrestrial maps. Photography has given us
proofs of the incomparable beauty of our satellite; in short, all is
known regarding the moon which mathematical Science, astro-
nomy, geology, and optics can learn about her. But up to the
present moment no direct communication has been established
with her.”

A violent movement of interest and surprise here greeted this
remark of the speaker.

‘Permit me,” he continued, ‘to recount to you briefly how
certain ardent spirits, starting on imaginary journeys, have pene-
trated the secrets of our satellite. In the seventeenth century a
certain David Fabricius boasted of having seen with his own eyes
the inhabitants of the moon. In 1649 a Frenchman, one Jean
Baudoin, published.a ‘ Journey performed from the Earth to the |
_ Moon by Domingo Gonzalez,’ a Spanish Adventurer. At the
same period Cyrano de Bergerac published that celebrated
‘Journeys in the Moon’ which met with such success in ‘France.
Somewhat later another Frenchman, named Fontenelle, wrote
‘The Plurality of Worlds,’ a chef-d’euvre of its time. About
1835. a small treatise, translated from the New York American,
related how Sir John Herschell, having been despatched to the
Cape of Good Hope for the purpose of making there some astro-
nomical calculations, had, by means of a telescope brought to
perfection by means of internal lighting, reduced the apparent
distance of the moon to eighty yards! He then distinctly per-
ceived caverns frequented by hippopotami, green mountains
bordered by golden lace-work, sheep with horns of ivor y, a white
species of deer, and inhabitants with membranous wings, like
bats. This brochure, the work of an American named Locke,
had a great sale. But, to bring this rapid sketch to a close,
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PRESIDENT BARBICANES COMMUNICATION. 13
Sa
I will only add that a certain Hans Pfaal, of Rotterdam, launching
himself in a balloon filled with a gas extracted from nitrogen,
thirty-seven times lighter than hydrogen, reached the moon after
a passage of nineteen hours. This journey, like all the previous
ones, was purely imaginary; still, it was the work of a popular
American author—I mean, Edgar Poe!”

“Cheers for Edgar Poe!” roared the eee. electrified by
their president’s words.

“I have now enumerated,” said Barbicane, “the experiments
which I call purely paper ones, and wholly insufficient to establish
serious relations with the Queen of Night. N evertheless, I am
bound to add that some practical geniuses have attempted to
establish actual communication with her. Thus, a few years ago,
a German geometrician proposed to send a scientific expedition to
the steppes of Siberia. There, on those vast plains, they were to
describe enormous geometric figures, drawn in characters of
reflecting luminosity, amongst which was the prop. regarding the
‘square of the hypothenuse,’ commonly called the ‘ Ass’s bridge’
by the French. ‘Every intelligent being,’ said the geometrician,
‘must understand the scientific meaning of that figure. The
Selenites, do they exist, will respond by a similar figure; and, a
communication being thus once established, it will be easy to
form an alphabet which shall enable us to converse with the inha-
bitants of the moon.’ So spoke the German geometrician; but
his project was never put into practice, and up to the present day
there is no bond in existence between the earth and her satellite.
It is reserved for the practical genius of Amcricans to establish a
communication with the sidereal world. The means of arriving
thither are simple, easy, certain, infallible - —and that is the
purpose of my present proposal.”

A storm of acclamations grected these words. There was not
a single person in the whole audience who was not overcome,
carried away, lifted out of himself by the speaker’s words !

“Hear! hear! Silence!” resounded from all sides.
I4 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

As soon as the excitement had partially subsided, Barbicane
resumed his speech in a somewhat graver voice.

“You know,” said he, “what progress artillery science has
made during the last few years, and what a degree of perfection
fire-arms of every kind have reached. Moreover, you are well
aware that, in general terms, the resisting power of cannon and
the expansive force of gunpowder are practically unlimited.
Well! starting from this principle, I ask myself whether, sup-
posing sufficient apparatus could be obtained constructed upon
the conditions of ascertained resistance, it might not be possible
to project a shot up to the moon ?”

At these words a murmur of amazement escaped from a
thousand panting chests; then succeeded a moment of perfect
silence, resembling that profound stillness which precedes the
bursting of a thunderstorm. In point of fact, a thunderstorm
did peal forth, but it was the thunder of applause, of cries, and
of uproar which made the very hall tremble. The president at-
tempted to speak, but could not. It was fully ten minutes
before he could make himself heard.

_ “Suffer me to finish,” he calmly continued. “I have looked

at the question in all its bearings, I have resolutely attacked
it, and by incontrovertible calculations I find that a projectile
endowed with an initial velocity of 12,000 yards per second, and
aimed at the moon, must necessarily reach it. I have the honour,
my brave colleagues, to propose a trial of this little experi-
ment.”
EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’'S COMMUNICATION. 15
. . = SN SSS SS es

CHAPTER ITI.
EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’S COMMUNICATION. -

It is impossible to describe the effect produced by the last
words of the hon. president—the cries, the shouts, the succession
of roars, hurrahs, and all the varied vociferations which the
American language is capable of supplying. It was a scene of |
indescribable confusion and uproar. They shouted, they clapped,
they stamped on the floor of the hall. All the weapons in the
museum discharged at once could not have more violently set in
motion the waves of sound. One need not be surprised at
this. There are some cannoneers nearly as noisy as their own
guns.

Barbicane remained calm in the midst of this enthusiastic
clamour; perhaps he was desirous .of addressing a few more
words to his colleagues, for by his gestures he demanded silence,
and his powerful alarum was worn out by its violent reports. No
attention, however, was paid to his request. He was presently
torn from his seat and passed from the hands of his faithful col-
leagues into the arms of a no less excited crowd.

Nothing can astound an American. It has often been asserted
that the word “impossible” .is not a French one. People have
evidently been deceived by the dictionary. In America, all is
easy, all is simple; and as for mechanical difficulties, they are
overcome before they arise. Between Barbicane’s proposition and
its realization no true Yankee would have allowed even the
semblance of a difficulty to be possible. A thing with them is
no sooner said than done.
16 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



The triumphal progress of the president continued throughout
the evening. It was a regular torchlight procession. Irish, Ger-
mans, French, Scotch, all the heterogeneous units which make up
the population of Maryland shouted in their respective vernacu-
lars; and the “ vivas,” “ hurrahs,” and “bravos” were inter-
mingled in inexpressible enthusiasm.

Just at this crisis, as though she comprehended all this agita-
tion regarding herself, the Moon shone forth with serene splendour,
eclipsing by her intense illumination all the surrounding lights.
The Yankees all turned their gaze towards her resplendent orb,
kissed their hands, called her by all kinds of endearing names.
Between eight o’clock and midnight one optician in Jones’-Fall
Street made his fortune by the sale of opera-glasses.

Midnight arrived, and the enthusiasm showed no signs of dimi-
nution. It spread equally among all classes of citizens—men
of science, shopkeepers, merchants, porters, chair-men, as well
as ‘‘greenhorns,” were stirred in their innermost fibres. A
national enterprise was at stake. The whole city, high and low,
the quays bordering the Patapsco, the ships lying in the basins,
disgorged a crowd drunk with joy, gin, and whisky. Every one
chattered, argued, discussed, disputed, applauded, from the gentle-
man lounging upon the bar-room settee with his tumbler of
sherry-cobbler before him down to the waterman who got
drunk upon his ‘‘knock-me-down” in the dingy taverns of Fell
Point. 3

About 2 a.m., however, the excitement. began to subside.
President Barbicane reached his house, bruised, crushed, and
squeezed almost to a mummy. A Hercules could not have re-
sisted a similar outbreak of enthusiasm. The crowd gradually
deserted the squares and streets. The four railways from Ohio,
Susquehanna, Philadelphia, and Washington, which converge at
Baltimore, whirled away the heterogeneous population to the four
corners of the United States, and the city subsided into compara-
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EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’S COMMUNICATION. 17





On the following day, thanks to the telegraphic wires, five
hundred newspapers and journals, daily, weekly, monthly, or bi-
monthly, all took-up the question. They examined it under all
its different aspects, physical, meteorological, economical, or
moral, up to its bearings on politics or civilization. They debated
whether the moon was a finished world, or whether it was des-
tined to undergo any further transformation. Did it resemble
the earth at the period when the latter was destitute as yet of an
atmosphere? What kind of spectacle would its hidden hemi-
sphere present to our terrestrial spheroid? Granting that the
question at present was simply that of sending a projectile up te
the moon, every one must see that that involved the commence-
ment of a series of experiments. All must hope that some day
America would penetrate the deepest secrets of that mysterious
orb; and some even seemed to fear lest its conquest should not
sensibly derange the equilibrium of Europe.

The project once under discussion, not a single paragraph sug-
gested a doubt of its realization. All the papers, pamphlets,
reports—all the journals published by the scientific, literary, and
religious societies enlarged upon its advantages; and the Society
of Natural History of Boston, the Society of Science and Art of
Albany, the Geographical and Statistical Society of New York,
the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and the Smithsonian
of Washington sent innumerable letters of congratulation to the
Gun Club, together with offers of immediate assistance and
money.

From that day forward Impey Barbicane became one of the
greatest citizens of the United States, a kind of Washington of
Science. A single trait of feeling, taken from many others, will
serve to show the point which this homage of a whole people to a
single individual attained.

Some few days after this memorable meeting of the Gun Club,
the manager of an English company announced, at the Baltimore
theatre, the production of “ Much ado about Nothing.” But the

C
18 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

populace, seeing in that title an allusion damaging to Barbicane’s
project, broke into the auditorium, smashed the benches, and com-
pelled the unlucky director to alter his playbill. Being a sensible
man, he bowed to the public will and replaced the offending
comedy by “As you like it;” and for many weeks he realized
fabulous proiits.


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CAMBRII GE OBSERVATORY.

[Page 19.
REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE. 19
rere penn eens

*

CHAPTER IV.
REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE.

BARBICANE, however, lost not one moment amidst all the
enthusiasm of which he had become the object. His first care
was to reassemble his colleagues in the board-room of the Gun
Club. There, after some discussion, it was agreed to consult the
astronomers regarding the astronomical part of the enterprize.
Their reply once ascertained, they could then discuss the
mechanical means, and nothing should be wanting to ensure the
success of this great experiment. |

A note couched in precise terms, containing special interroga-
tories, was then drawn up and addressed to the Observatory of
Cambridge in Massachusetts. This city, where the first Univer-
sity of the United States was founded, is justly celebrated for its
astronomical staff. ‘There are to be found assembled all the most
eminent men of science. Here is to be seen at work that power-
ful telescope which enabled Bond to resolve the nebula of Andro-
meda, and Clarke to discover the satellite of Sirius. This cele-
brated institution fully justified on all points the confidence
reposed in it by the Gun Club.

So, after two days, the reply so impatiently awaited was placed
in the hands of President Barbicane.

It was couched in the following terms :—

“The Director of the Cambridge Observatory to the President of the Gun Club
at Baltimore.
‘CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 7.
“On the receipt of your favour of the 6th inst., addressed to the Observa«
tory of Cambridge in the name of the Members of the Baltimore Gun Club,
c 2
20 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



our staff was immediately called tegether, and it was judged expedient to
reply as follows :—

‘The questions which have been proposed to it are these,—

“¢]. Is it possible to transmit a projectile up to the moon ?

“**2. What is the exact distance which separates the earth from its satel-
lite P

**¢3. What will be the period of transit of the projectile when endowed
with sufficient initial velocity P and, consequently, at what moment ought
it to be discharged in order that it may touch the moon at a particular
point ?P

“4, At what precise moment will the moon present herself in the most
favourable position to be reached by the projectile ?

***5, What point in the heavens ought the cannon to be aimed at which
is intended to discharge the projectile ?

““*6. What place will the moon occupy in the heavens at the moment of
the projectile’s departure P’

“Regarding the first question, ‘Is it possible to transmit a projectile up to
the moon ??

“ Answer.—Yes; provided it possess an initial velocity of 1200 yards per
second ; calculations prove that to be sufficient. In proportion as we recede
from the earth the action of gravitation diminishes in the inverse ratio of the
square of the distance; that is to say, at three times a given distance the
action is nine times less. Consequently, the weight of a shot will decrease,
and will become reduced to zero at the instant that the attraction of the
moon exactly counterpoises that of the earth; that is to say, at 4% of its
passage. At that instant the projectile will have no weight whatever; and,
if it passes that point, it will fall into the moon by the sole effect of the
lunar attraction. The theoretical possibility of the experiment is therefore
absolutely demonstrated; its swecess must depend upon the power of the
engine employed.

“As to the second question, ‘What is the exact distance which separates
the earth from its satellite P’

“ Answer.—The moon does not describe a circle round the earth, but rather
an ellipse, of which our earth occupies one of the foci; the consequence,
therefore, is, that at certain times it approaches nearer to, and at others it
recedes farther from, the earth; in astronomical language, it is at one time
in apogee, at another in perigee. Now the difference between its greatest
and its least distance is too considerable to be left out of consideration. In
point of fact, in its apogee the moon is 247,552 miles, and in its perigee,
218,657 miles only distant; a fact which makes a difference of 28,895 miles,
or more than one ninth of the entire distance. The perigee distance, there-
fore, is that which ought to serve as the basis of all calculations.

“To the third question :-—

“ Answer.—If the shot should preserve continuously its initial velocity of
12,000 yards per second, it would require little more than nine hours to
reach its destination; but, inasmuch as that initial velocity will be con-
REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE. at





tinually decreasing, it results that, taking everything into consideration, it
will occupy 300,000 seconds, that is 83hrs. 20m. in reaching the point where
the attraction of the earth and moon will be in equilibrio. From this point
it will fall into the moon in 50,000 seconds, or 18hrs. 58m. 20sec. It will be
desirable, therefore, to discharge it 97hrs. 18m. 20sec. before the arrival of
the moon at the point aimed at.

“Regarding question four, ‘At what precise moment will the moon
present herself in the most favourable position, &c. P? |

“ Answer.—After what has been said above, it will be necessary, first: of
all, to choose the period when the moon will be in perigee, and also the
moment when she will be crossing the zenith, which latter event will further
diminish the entire distance by a length equal to the radius of the earth,
i.e. 3919 miles; the result of which will be that the final passage remaining
to be accomplished will be 214,976 miles. But although the moon passes
her perigee every month, she does not reach the zenith always at exactly
the same moment. She does not appear under these two conditions simul-
taneously, except at long intervals of time. It will be necessary, therefore,
to wait for the moment when her passage in perigee shall coincide with that
in the zenith. Now, by a fortunate circumstance, on the 4th December in
the ensuing year the moon will present these two conditions. At midnight
she will be in perigee, that is, at her shortest distance from the earth, and
at the same moment she will be crossing the zenith.

“ Qn the fifth question, ‘ At what point in fhe heavens ought the cannon
to be aimed P’

* Answer.—The preceding remarks being edemtied: the cannon ought to
be pointed to the zenith of the place. Its fire, therefore, will be perpen-
dicular to the plane of the horizon; and the projectile will soonest pass
beyond the range of the terrestrial hiashow But, in order that the moon
should reach the zenith of a given place, it is necessary that the place should
not exceed in latitude the declination of the luminary ; in other words, it
must be comprised within the degrees 0° and 28° of lat. N. or S. In every
other spot the fire must necessarily be oblique, which would seriously
militate against the success of the experiment.

““As to the sixth question, ‘What place will the moon occupy in the
heavens at the moment of the projectile’s departure ?’

‘“‘ Answer.—At the moment when the projectile shall be discharged into
space, the moon, which travels daily forward 13° 10! 35”, will be distant
from the zenith point by four times that quantity, i.e. by 52° 42! 20”,-a space
which corresponds to the path which she will describe during the entire
journey of the projectile. But, inasmuch as it is equally necessary to take
into account the deviation which the rotary motion of the earth will impart
to the shot, and as the shot cannot reach the moon until after a deviation
equal to 16 radii of the earth, which, calculated upon the moon’s orbit, are
equal to about eleven degrees, it becomes necessary to add these eleven
degrees to those which express the retardation of the moon just mentioned :
that is to say, in round numbers, about 64 degrees. Consequently, at the
22 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



moment of firing the visual radius applied to the moon will describe, with
the vertical line of the place, an angle of sixty-four degrees.

“These are our answers to the questions proposed to the Observatory of
Cambridge by the members of the Gun Club :—

“To sum up,—

_ “Ist. The cannon ought to be planted in a country situated between 0°
and 28° of N. or §. lat.

“2ndly. It ought to be pointed directly towards the zenith of the place.

“3rdly. The projectile ought to be propelled with an initial velocity of
12,000 yards per second.

“4Athly. It ought to be discharged at 10hrs. 46m. 40sec. of the Ist
December of the ensuing year.

“Sthly. It will meet the moon four days after its discharge, precisely at
midnight on the 4th December, at the moment of its transit across the
zenith,

“The members of the Gun Club ought, therefore, without delay, to com-
mence the works necessary for such an experiment, and to be prepared to
set to work at the moment determined upon ; for, if they should suffer this
4th December to go by, they will not find the moon again under the same condi-
tions of perigee and of zenith until eighteen years and eleven days afterwards.

“The Staff of the Cambridge Observatory place themselves entirely at
their disposal in respect of all questions of theoretical astronomy ; and here-
with add their congratulations to those of all the rest of America.

‘“* For the Astronomical Staff,
“J. M. Brerast,
“ Director of the Observatory of Cambridge.”
THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON. 23
Seb rn reer et ss WS sn rhs PS SS SST

CHAPTER V.
THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON.

AN observer endued with an infinite range of vision, and placed
in that unknown centre around which the entire world revolves,
might have beheld myriads of atoms filling all space during the
chaotic epoch of the universe. Little by little, as ages went on, a
change took place; a general law of attraction manifested itself, to
which the hitherto errant atoms became obedient: these atoms
combined together chemically according to their affinities, formed
themselves into molecules, and composed those nebulous masses
with which the depths of the heavens are strewed.

These masses became immediately endued with a rotary motion
around their own central point. This centre, formed of indefinite
molecules, began to revolve round its own axis during its gradual
condensation; then, following the immutable laws of mechanics,
in proportion as its bulk diminished by condensation, its rotary
motion became accelerated, and these two effects continuing, the
result was the formation of one principal star, the centre of the
nebulous mass.

By attentively watching, the observer would then have per-
ceived the other molecules of the mass, following the example of
this central star, become likewise condensed by gradually acce-
lerated rotation, and gravitating round it in the shape of |
innumerable stars. Thus was formed the Nebule, of which
astronomers have reckoned up nearly 5000.

Amongst these 5000 nebule there is one’ which has received
the name of the Milky Way, and which contains eighteen
24 | FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

Le en ee ee
millions of stars, each of which has become the centre of a solar
world.

If the observer had then specially directed his attention to one
of the more humble and less brilliant.of these stellar bodies, a star
of the fourth class, that which is arrogantly called the Sun, all the
phenomena to which the formation of the Universe is to be
ascribed would have been successively fulfilled before his eyes.
In fact, he would have perceived this sun, as yet in the gaseous
state, and composed of moving molecules, revolving round its axis
in order to accomplish its work of concentration. This motion,
faithful to the laws of mechanics, would have been accelerated
with the diminution of its volume; and a moment would have
arrived when the centrifugal force would have overpowered the
centripetal, which causes the molecules all to tend towards the
centre.

Another phenomenon would now have passed before the
observer’s eye, and the molecules situated on the plane of the
equator escaping, like a stone from a sling of which the cord had
suddenly snapped, would have formed around the sun sundry con-
centric rings resembling that of Saturn. In their turn, again,
these rings of cosmical matter, excited by a rotary motion round
the central mass, would have been broken up and decomposed
into secondary nebulosities, that is to say, into planets. Similarly
he would have observed these planets throw off one or more rings
each, which became the origin of the secondary bodies which we

call satellites. |
- Thus, then, advancing from atom to molecule, from molecule to
nebulous mass, from that to a principal star, from star to sun,
from sun to planet, and hence to satellite, we have the whole
series of transformations undergone by the heavenly bodies during
the first days of the world.

Now, of those attendant bodies which the sun maintains in
their elliptical orbits by the great law of gravitation, some few in
their turn possess satellites. Uranus has eight, Saturn eight,
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THE MOON’S DISK.

[Page 25.
THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON. 25



Jupiter four, Neptune possibly three, and the Earth one. This
last, one of the least important of the entire solar system, we
call the Moon; and it is she whom the daring genius of the
Americans pr sae their intention of conquering.

The moon, by her comparative proximity, and the constantly
varying appearances produced by her several phases, has always
occupied a considerable share of the attention of the inhabitants —
of the earth.

From the time of Thales of Miletus, in the fifth century B.c.,
down to that of Copernicus in the fifteenth and Tycho Brahé in
the sixteenth century A.D., observations have been from time to time
carried on with more or less correctness, until in the present day
the altitudes of the lunar mountains have been determined with
exactitude. Galileo explained the phenomena of the lunar light
produced during certain of her phases by the existence of moun-
tains, to which he assigned a mean altitude of 27,000 feet. After.
him Hévelius, an astronomer of Danizic, reduced the highest
elevations to 15,000 feet ; but the calculations of Riccioli brought
them up again to 21,000 feet.

At the close of the eighteenth century Herschell, armed with
a powerful telescope, considerably reduced the preceding measure-
ments. He assigned a height of 11,400 feet to the maximum
elevations, and reduced the mean of the different altitudes to little
more than 2400 feet. But Herschell’s calculations were in their
turn corrected by the observations of Halley, Nasmyth, Bianchini,
Gruithuysen, and others ; but it was reserved for the labours of
Beer and Meedler finally to solve the question. ‘They succeeded
in measuring 1905 different elevations, of which six exceed
15,000 feet, and twenty-two exceed 14,400 feet. The highest
summit of all towers to a height of 22,606 feet above the surface
of the lunar disc. At the same period the examination of the
moon was completed. She appeared completely riddled with
craters, and her essentially volcanic character was apparent at
each observation. By the absence of refraction in the rays of the
26 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



planets occulted by her we conclude that she is absolutely devoid
of an atmosphere. The absence of air entails the absence of
water. It became, therefore, manifest that the Selenites, to
support life under such conditions, must possess a special organi-
zation of their own, must differ remarkably from the inhabitants
of the earth.

At length, thanks to modern art, instruments of still higher
perfection searched the moon without intermission, not leaving a
single point of her surface unexplored ; and notwithstanding
that her diameter measures 2150 miles, her surface equals the
1-15th part of that of our globe, and her bulk the 1-49th
part of that of the terrestrial spheroid—not one of her secrets
was able to escape the eyes of the astronomers ; and these skilful
men of science carried to even greater ere their prodigious
observations.

Thus they remarked that, during full moon, the dise sposarel
scored in certain parts with white lines ; and, during the phases,
with black. On prosecuting the study of these with still greater
precision, they succeeded in obtaining an exact account of the
nature of these lines. They were long and narrow furrows sunk
between parallel ridges, bordering generally upon the edges of the
craters. Their length varied between ten and 100 miles, and their
width was about 1600 yards. Astronomers called them chasms,
‘but they could not get any farther. Whether these chasms were
the dried-up beds of ancient rivers or not they were unable
thoroughly to ascertain. ;

The Americans, amongst others, hoped one day or other to
determine this geological question, They also undertook to
examine the true nature of that system of parallel ramparts dis-
covered on the moon’s surface by Gruithuysen, a learned professor
of Munich, who considered them to be “a system of fortifications
thrown up by the Selenitic engineers.” These two points, yet
obscure, as well as others, no doubt, could not be definitively
settled except by direct communication with the moon.
THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON. 27



Regarding the degree of intensity of its light, there was nothing
more to learn on this point. It was known that it is 300,000
times weaker than that of the sun, and that its heat has no ap-
preciable effect upon the thermometer. As to the phenomenon
known as the “ ashy light,” it is explained naturally by the effect
of the transmission of the solar rays from the earth to the moon,
which give the appearance of completeness to the lunar disc, while
it presents itself under the crescent form during its first and last .
phases, | ner

Such was the state of knowledge acquired regarding the earth’s
satellite, which the Gun Club undertook to perfect in all its
aspects, cosmographic, geological, political, and moral.
25 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
arena eeeenennemnmeememennrnameaneemnemermmnensenmenmpnemenmamanmenemmmennetenetmemeenemnneeemee enema aneeae

CHAPTER VI.

THE PERMISSIVE LIMITS OF IGNORANCE AND BELIEF IN THE
UNITED STATES.

THE immediate result of Barbicane’s proposition was to place
upon the orders of the day all the astronomical facts relative to
the Queen of Night. Everybody set to work to study assiduously.
One would have thought that the moon had just appeared for the
first time, and that no one had ever before caught a glimpse of
her in the heavens. ‘The papers revived all the old anecdotes in
which the “sun of the wolves” played a part; they recalled the
influences which the ignorance of past ages ascribed to her; in
short, all America was seized with seleno-mania, or had become
moon-mad,

The scientific journals, for their part, dealt more especially with
the questions which touched upon the enterprise of the Gun Club.
The letter of the Observatory of Cambridge was published by
them, and commented upon with unreserved approval.

Until that time most people had been ignorant of the mode in
which the distance which separates the moon from the earth is
calculated. They took advantage of this fact to explain to them
that this distance was obtained by measuring the parallax of the
moon, ‘The term parallax proving “caviare to the general,” they
further explained that it meant the angle formed by the inclination
of two straight lines drawn from either extremity of the earth’s
radius to the moon. On doubts being expressed as to the correct-
ness of this method, they immediately proved that not only was
the mean distance 234,347 miles, but that astronomers could not
THE PERMISSIVE LIMITS OF IGNORANCE, ETC. — 29



possibly be in error in their estimate by more than 70 miles either
way.

To those who were not familiar with the motions of the moon,
they demonstrated that she possesses two distinct motions, the first
being that of rotation upon her axis, the second that of revolution
round the earth, accomplishing both together in an equal period of
time, that is to say, in 271 days.

The motion of rotation is that which produces day and night on
_the surface of the moon; save that there is only one day and one
night in the lunar month, each lasting 3544 hours, But, happily
for her, the face turned towards the terrestrial globe is illuminated
by it with an intensity equal to the light of fourteen moons. As
fo the other face, always invisible to us, it has of necessity 354
hours of absolute night, tempered only by that “pale glimmer
which falls upon it from the stars.”

Some well-intentioned but rather obstinate persons, could not at
first comprehend how, if the moon displays invariably the same
face to the earth during her revolution, she can describe one turn
round herself. To such they answered, “Go into your dining-
room, and walk round the table in such a way as always to keep
your face turned towards the centre; by the time you will have
achieved one complete round you will have completed one turn
round yourself, since your eye will have traversed successively
every point of the room. Well, then, the room is the heavens, the
table is the earth, and the moon is yourself.” And they would go
away delighted.

So, then, the moon displays invariably the same face to the
earth; nevertheless, to be quite exact, it is necessary to add that,
in consequence of certain fluctuations of north and south, and of
west and east, termed her libration, she permits rather more than
the half, that is to say, five-sevenths, to be seen.

As soon as the ignoramuses came to understand as much as the
Director of the Observatory himself knew, they began to worry
themselves regarding her revolution round the earth, whereupon
3° FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

eae



twenty scientific reviews immediately came to the rescue. ‘They
poirted out to them then that the firmament, with its infinitude of
stars, may be considered as one vast dial-plate, upon which the
moon travels, indicating the true time to all the inhabitants of the
earth; that it is during this movement that the Queen of Night
exhibits her different phases; that the moon is full when she is in
opposition with the sun, that is, when the three bodies are on the
same straight line, the earth occupying the centre; that she is new
when she is in conjunction with the sun, that is, when she is
between it and the earth; and lastly, that she is in her jirst or last
quarter, when she makes with the sun and the earth an angle of
which she herself occupies the apex.

Regarding the altitude which the moon attains above the hori-
zon, the letter of the Cambridge Observatory had said all that was
to be said in that respect. Every one knew that this altitude
varies according to the latitude of the observer. But the only
zones of the globe in which the moon passes the zenith, that is, the
point directly over the head of the spectator, are of necessity
comprised between the twenty-eighth parallels and the equator.
Hence the importance of the advice to try the experiment upon
some point of that part of the globe, in order that the projectile
might be discharged perpendicularly, and so the soonest escape
the action of gravitation. This was an essential condition to the
success of the enterprise, and continued actively to engage the
public attention.

Regarding the path described by the moon in her revolution
_ round the earth, the Cambridge Observatory had demonstrated
that this path is a re-entering curve, not a perfect circle, but an
ellipse, of which the earth occupies one of the foct. It was also
well understood that it is farthest removed from the earth during
its apogee, and approaches most nearly to it at its perigee.

Such then was the extent of knowledge possessed by every
American on the subject, and of -which no one could decently
profess ignorance. Still, while these true principles were being
THE PERMISSIVE LIMITS OF IGNORANCE, ETC. 3I
eee
rapidly disseminated many errors and illusory fears proved
easy to eradicate. |

For instance, some worthy persons maintained that the moon
was an ancient comet which, in describing its elongated orbit round
the sun, happened to pass near the earth, and became confined
within her circle of attraction. These drawing-room astronomers
professed so to explain the charred aspect of the moon—a
disaster which they attributed to the intensity of the solar heat ;
only,-on being reminded that comets have an atmosphere, and
that the moon has little or none, they were fairly at a loss for
a reply.

Others again, belonging to the genus /funker, eenrened certain
fears as to the position of themoon. They had heard it said that,
according to observations made in the time of the Caliphs, her
revolution had become accelerated in a certain degree. Hence
they concluded, logically enough, that an acceleration of motion
ought to be accompanied by a corresponding diminution in the
distance separating the two bodies; and that, supposing the
double effect to be continued to infinity, the moon would end by
one day falling into the earth. However, they became reassured
as to the fate of future generations on being apprised that, accord-
ing to the calculations of Laplace, this acceleration of motion is
confined within very restricted limits, and that a proportional °
diminution of speed will be certain to succeed it. So, then, the
stability of the solar system would not be deranged in ages to
come,

Their remains but the third class, the superstitious. These
worthies were not content merely to rest in ignorance; they must
know ail about things which had no existence whatever, and as
to the moon, they had long known all about her. One set regarded
her disc as a polished mirror, by means of which people could see

each other from different points of the earth and inter change their
thoughts. Another set pretended that out of one thousand new
moons that had been observed, nine hundred and fifty had been
32 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



attended with remarkable disturbances, such as cataclysms, revolu-
tions, earthquakes, the deluge, &c. ‘Then they believed in some
mysterious influence exercised by her over human destinies—that
every Selenite was attached to some inhabitant of the earth by a
tie of sympathy; they maintained that the entire vital system is
subject to her control, &c., &c. Butin time the majority renounced
these vulgar errors, and espoused the true side of the question. As
for the Yankees, they had no other ambition than to take posses-
sion of this new continent of the sky, and to plant upon the summit
of its highest elevation the star-spangled banner of the United
States of America.




































































































































































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[Page 33.
THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 33
Pe ee ee an ne a eee ee

CHAPTER VII.
THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL.

Tue Observatory of Cambridge in its memorable letter had treated
the question from a purely astronomical point of view. The
mechanical part still remained. ?
President Barbicane had, without loss of time, nominated a
Working Committee of the Gun Club. The duty of this Com-
mittee was to resolve the three grand questions of the cannon, the
projectile, and the powder. It was composed of four members of
great technical knowledge, Barbicane (with a casting vote in case
of equality), General Morgan, Major Elphinstone, and’ J. T. Mas-
ton, to whom were confided the functions of secretary. On the
8th of October the Committee met at the house of President Bar-
_ bicane, 38, Republican Street. The meeting was opened by the
president himself. | .
“Gentlemen,” said he, “‘ we have to resolve one of the most
important problems in the whole of the noble science of gunnery.
It might appear, perhaps, the most logical course to devote our
first meeting to the discussion of the engine to be employed.
Nevertheless, after mature consideration, it has appeared to me
that the question of the projectile must take precedence of that of
the cannon, and that the dimensions of the latter must poceeaetly
depend upon those of the former.” .
“Suffer me to say a word,” here broke in J. T. Maston. Per-
mission having been granted, “ Gentlemen,” said he, with an
inspired accent, ‘ our president is right in placing the question of
the projectile above all others. ‘The ball we are about to discharge
D
34 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.





at the moon is our ambassador to her, and I wish to consider it
from a moral point of view. The cannon-ball, gentlemen, to my
mind, is the most magnificent manifestation of. human power. If
Providence has-created the stars and the planets, man has called
the cannon-ball into existence. Let Providence claim the swift-
ness of electricity and of light, of the stars, the comets, and the —
planets, of wind and sound—we claim to have invented the swift-
ness of the cannon-ball, a hundred times superior to that of the
swiftest horses or railway train. How glorious will be the moment
when, infinitely exceeding all hitherto attained velocities, we shall
launch our new projectile with the rapidity of seven miles a second!
Shall it not, gentlemen—shall’it not be received up there with
the honours due to a terrestrial ambassador?”

Overcome with emotion the orator sat down and applied himself
to a huge plate of sandwiches before him.

_ “ And now,” said Barbicane, “let us quit the domain of poetry
and come direct to the question.”

*¢ By all means,” replied the members, each with his mouth full
ef sandwich. |

**'The problem before us,” continued the president, “is how to
eommunicate to a projectile a velocity of 12,000 yards per second.
Let us at present examine the velocities hitherto attained. Genera!
Morgan will be able to enlighten us on this point.”

“‘ And the more easily,” replied the general, “that during the
war I was a member of the Committee of experiments. I may
say, then, that the 100-pounder Dahlgrens, which carried a
distance of 5000 yards, impressed upon their projectile an initial
velocity of 500 yards a second. The Rodman Columbiad threw a
shot weighing half a ton a distance of six miles, with a velocity
ef 800 yards per second—a result which Armstrong and Palisser
have never obtained in England.”

“This,” replied Barbicane, “is, I believe, the maximum
velocity ever attained ?”

“Tt is so,” replied the general.


















































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MBIAD

THE RODMAN COLU

[Page 34.
THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 35

Ss

“Ab!” groaned J.T. Maston, “ eu my mortar had not
burst—”

“Yes,” quietly replied Barbicane, “but it did burst. We
must take, then, for our starting-point this velocity of 800 yards.
We must increase it twenty-fold. Now, reserving for another
discussion the means of producing this velocity, I will call your |
attention to the dimensions which it will be proper to assign to
the shot. You understand that we have nothing to do here with
projectiles weighing at most but half a ton.”

‘Why not ?” demanded the major.

“‘ Because the shot,” quickly replied J. T. Maston, “ must be big
enough to attract the attention of the inhabitants of the moon,
if there are any ?” | |

“Yes,” replied Barbicane, “and for another reason more impor-
tant still.”

“‘ What mean you ?” asked the major.

“Y mean that it is not enough to discharge a projectile, and
then take no further notice of it; we must follow it throughout
its course, up to the moment when it shall reach its goal.”

“What ?” shouted the general and the major in great surprise.

“Undoubtedly,” replied Barbicane, composedly, “or our ex-
periment would produce no result.”

“ But then,” replied the major, “you will have to give this
projectile enormous dimensions.”

“No! Be so good as to listen. You know that optical in
struments have acquired great perfection ; with certain telescopes’
we have succeeded in obtaining enlargements of 6000 times and
reducing the moon to within forty miles’ distance. Now, at this
distance, any objects sixty feet square would be perfectly visible.
If, then, the penetrative power of telescopes has not been further
increased, it is because that power detracts from their light ; and
the moon, which is but a reflecting mirror, does not give back
sufficient light to enable us to perceive objects of lesser magni-
tude.”

D 2
26 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

“Well, then, what do you propose to do ?” asked the general.
“Would you give your projectile a diameter of sixty feet ?”

** Not so.” |

“Do you intend, then, to increase the luminous power of the
moon ?”

“Exactly so. If I can succeed in diminishing the density of
the atmosphere through which the moon’s light has to travel I
shall have rendered her light more intense. To effect that object
it will be enough to establish a telescope on some elevated moun-
tain. That is what we will do.” |

“T give it up,” answered the major. ‘ You have such a way .
of simplifying things. And what enlargement do you expect to
obtain in this way ?”

“One of 48,000 times, which should bring the moon within an
apparent distance of five miles; and, in order to be visible,
objects need not have a diameter of more than nine feet.”

“So, then,” cried J. T..Maston, “ our projectile need not ‘be
more than nine feet in diameter.”

‘“‘ Let me observe, however,” A ecantal Major Elphinstone,
“this will involve a weight such as—”

“My dear major,” replied Barbicane, “ before discussing its
weight, permit me to enumerate some of the marvels which our
ancestors have achieved in this respect. I don’t mean to pretend
that the science of gunnery has not advanced, but it is as well to
bear in mind that during the middle ages they obtained results
more surprising, I will venture to say, than ours. For instance,
during the siege of Constantinople by Mahomet IL. in 1453,
stone shot of 1900lbs. weight were employed. At Malta, in the
time of the knights, there was a gun of the fortress of St. Elmo
which threw a projectile weighing 2500lbs. And, now, what is
the extent of what we have seen ourselves? Armstrong guns
discharging shot of 500lbs., and the Rodman guns projectiles
of half a ton! It seems, then, that if projectiles have gained
in range, they have lost far more in weight. Now, if we








































































































































































































































































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THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 37



turn our efforts in that direction, we ought to arrive, with
the progress of science, at ten times the weight of the shot of
_ Mahomet IT. and the Knights of Malta.”

“Clearly,” replied the major; “but what metal do you
caiculate upon employing ?”

“Simply cast iron,” said General Morgan.

“But,” interrupted the major, “since the weight of a shot is
proportionate to its volume, an iron ball of nine feet in ees
would be of tremendous weight.”

*“‘ Yes, if it were solid, not if it were hollow.”

‘* Hollow ? then it would be a shell ?”

“Yes, a shell,” replied Barbicane ; “ decidedly it must be. A
solid shot of 108 inches would weigh more than 200,000lbs.,
a weight evidently far too great. Still, as we must reserve a
certain stability for our projectile, I propose to give it a weight of
20,000lbs.”

‘What, then, will be the thickness of the sides ?” asked the
major.

‘If we follow the usual proportion,” replied Morgan, “a

diameter of 108 inches would sain sides of two feet thickness,
or less.” '
‘That would be too much,” replied Barbicane ; “ for you will
observe that the question is not that of a shot intended to pierce
an iron plate: it will suffice, therefore, to give it sides strong
enough to resist the pressure of the gas. The problem, therefore,
is this—What thickness ought a cast-iron shell to have in order
not to weigh more than 20,000lbs.? Our clever secretary will
soon enlighten us open this point.”

“ Nothing easier,’ ’ replied the worthy secretary of the Com-
mittee; and, rapidly tracing a few algebraical formule upon
paper, among which n’* and x? frequently appeared, he presently
said,—

‘‘ The sides will require a thickness of less than two inches.”

“Will that be enough ’” asked the major doubtfully.
38 | FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



“Clearly not!” replied the president.
“What is to be done, then?” said Elphinstone, with a puzzled
air. |

“‘ Employ another metal instead of iron.”

“‘ Copper?” said Morgan.

“No; that would be too heavy. Ihave better than that to
offer.” |

** What then?” asked the major.

“ Aluminium!” replied Barbicane.

“‘ Aluminium?” cried his three colleagues in chorus.

“Unquestionably, my friends. This valuable metal possesses
the whiteness of silver, the indestructibility of gold, the tenacity
_ of iron, the fusibility of copper, the lightness of glass. It is
easily wrought, is very widely distributed, forming the base of
most of the rocks, is three times lighter than iron, and seems to
have been created for the express purpose of furnishing us with
the material for our projectile.”

“But, my dear president,” said the major, “is not the cost
price of aluminium extremely high?” -

“Tt was so at its first discovery, but it has fallen now to nine
dollars the pound.” |

“But still, nine dollars the pound!” replied the major, who
was not willing readily to give in; “even that is an enormous
price.” |

“Undoubtedly, my dear major; but not beyond our reach.”

‘What will the projectile weigh then?” asked Morgan.

“Here is the result of my calculations,” replied Barbicane.
‘“‘A shot of 108 inches in diameter, and 12 inches in thickness,
would weigh, in cast-iron, 67,440lbs.; cast in aluminium, its
weight will be reduced to 19,250lbs.”

“Capital!” cried the major; “but do you know that, at ning
dollars the pound, this projectile will cost—”

“Qne hundred and seventy-three thousand and fifty dollars
($173,050). I know it quite well. But fear not, my friends; the
THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL. 39
ae
money will not be wanting for our enterprise, I will answer for
it. Now what say you to aluminium, gentlemen?”

‘‘ Adopted!” replied the three members of the Committee.
So ended the first meeting. The question of the projectile was
definitively settled.
40 fROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
a

CHAPTER, VIII.
HISTORY OF THE CANNON.

Tue resolutions passed at the last meeting produced a great effect
out of doors. Timid people took fright at the idea of a shot
weighing 20,000lbs. being launched into space; they asked what
cannon could ever transmit a sufficient velocity to such a mighty
mass. ‘he minutes of the second meeting were destined trium-
phantly to answer such questions. The following evening the
discussion was renewed.

‘‘ My dear colleagues,” said Barbicane, without further preamble,
“the subject now before us is the construction of the engine, its
length, its composition, and its weight. It is probable that we
shall end by giving it gigantic dimensions; but however great
may be the difficulties in the way, our mechanical genius will
readily surmount them. Be good enough, then, to give me your
attention, and do not hesitate to make objections at the close. I
have no fear of them. The problem before us is how to commu-
nicate an initial force of 12,000 yards per second to a shell of 108
inches in diameter, weighing 20,000lbs. Now when a projectile
is launched into space, what happens to it? It is acted upon by
three independent forces, the resistance of the air, the attraction
of the earth, and the force of impulsion with which it is endowed.
Let us examine these three forces. The resistance of the air is
of little importance. The atmosphere of the earth does not
exceed forty miles. Now, with the given rapidity, the projectile
will have traversed this in five seconds, and the period is too
brief for the resistance of the medium to be regarded otherwise
HISTORY OF THE CANNON. 41
ne EAE ee
than as insignificant. Proceeding, then, to the attraction of the
earth, that is, the weight of the shell, we know that this weight
will diminish in the inverse ratio of the square of the distance.
When a body left to itself falls to the surface of the earth, it falls
five feet in the first second; and if the same body were removed
257,542 miles farther off, in other words, to the distance of the
moon, its fall would be reduced to about half a line in the first
second. That is almost equivalent to a state of perfect rest.
Our business, then, is to overcome progressively this action of
gravitation. The mode of accomplishing that is by the force of
impulsion.” ; |

‘“There’s the difficulty,” broke in the major. ;

“True,” replied the president; “but we will overcome that,
for this force of impulsion will depend upon the length of the
engine and the powder employed, the latter being limited only by
the resisting power of the former. Our business, then, to-day is
with the dimensions of the cannon.” ,

“Now, up to the present time,” said Barbicane, “ our longest
guns have not exceeded twenty-five feet in length. We shall
therefore astonish the world by the dimensions we shall ‘be
obliged to adopt. It must evidently be, then, a gun of great
range, since the length of the piece will increase the detention of
the gas accumulated behind the projectile; but there is no advan-
tage in passing certain limits.” : |

“Quite so,” said the major. ‘“ What is the rule in such a
case ?” : |

‘Ordinarily the length of a gun is 20 to 25 times the diameter
of the shot, and its weight 235 to 240 times tha of the shot.”

‘‘ That is not enough,” cried J. T. Maston impetuously.

“T agree with you, my good friend; and, in fact, following
this proportion for a projectile nine feet in diameter, weighing
30,000lbs., the gun would only have a length of 225 feet, and a
weight of 7,200,000lbs.” |

“ Ridiculous!” rejoined Maston. “ As well take a pistol.”
42 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



“ T think so too,” replied Barbicane; “ that is why I propose
to quadruple that length, and to construct a gun of 900 feet.”

The general and the major offered some objections; never-
theless, the proposition, actively supported by the secretary, was
definitively adopted. |

“* But,” said Elphinstone, “ what thickness must we give it ? ”

** A thickness of six feet,” replied Barbicane.

** You surely don’t think of mounting a mass like that upon a
carriage ?” asked the major.

‘* Tt would be a superb idea, though,” said Maston.

‘“‘ But impracticable,” replied Barbicane. ‘No; I think of
sinking this engine in the earth alone, binding it with hoops of
wrought iron, and finally surrounding it with a thick mass of
masonry of stone and cement. The piece once cast, it must be
bored with great precision, so as to preclude any possible
windage. So there will be no loss whatever of gas, and all
the expansive force of the powder will be employed in the
propulsion.”

** One simple question,” said Elphinstone :. “is our gun to be
rifled ? ”

“No, certainly not,” replied Barbicane; “we require an
enormous initial velocity; and you are well aware that a shot
quits a rifled gun less rapidly than it does a smooth-bore.”

“ True,” rejoined the major.

The Committee here adjourned for a few minutes to tea and
sandwiches. |

On the discussion being renewed, “ Gentlemen,” said Barbi-
cane, “we must now take into consideration the metal to be
employed. Our cannon must be possessed of great tenacity,
great hardness, be infusible by heat, indissoluble, and inoxydable
by the corrosive action of acids.”

“ There is no doubt about that,” replied the major; “ and as
we shall have to employ an immense quantity of metal, we shall
not be at a loss for choice.”


































































EDEAL SKETCH OF J.T. MASTON’S GUN.

[Page 42.
AISTORY OF THE CANNON. 43



“ Well, then,” said Morgan, “I propose the best alloy hitherto
known, which consists of 100 parts of copper, 12 of tin, and 6 of
brass.”

‘““T admit,” replied the president, “ that this composition has
yielded excellent results, but in the present case it would be too
expensive, and very difficult to work. I think, then, that we
ought to adopt a material excellent in its way and of low price,
such as cast iron. What is your advice, major ?”

*“ T quite agree with you,” replied Elphinstone.

** In fact,” continued Barbicane, ‘ cast iron cost ten times less
than bronze; it is easy to cast, it runs readily from the moulds of
sand, it is easy of manipulation, it is at once economical of money
and of time. In addition, it is excellent as a material, and I well
remember that during the war, at the siege of Atlanta, some iron
guns fired one hae rounds at intervals of twenty minutes
without injury.”

“‘ Cast iron is very brittle, sheng ” replied Morgan.

“Yes, but it possesses great resistance. I will now ask our
worthy secretary to calculate the weight of a cast-iron gun with

a bore of nine feet and a thickness of six feet of metal.”
“Tn a moment,” replied Maston. Then, dashing off some alge-
braical formule with marvellous facility, in a minute or two he
declared the following result :—

“The cannon will weigh 68,040 tons. And, at two cents a

pound, it will cost—?”
«6 2,510,701 dollars.”

Maston, the major, and the general regarded Barbicane with
uneasy looks. :

‘““ Well, gentlemen,” replied the president, “I repeat what I
said yesterday. Make yourselves easy; the millions will not be
wanting.”

With this assuranee of their president the Committee sepa-
rated, after having fixed their third meeting for the following
evening.
44 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
Oe ee eee

CHAPTER IX.
TIIE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS.

THERE remained for consideration merely the question of powders. |
The public awaited with interest its final decision. The size of

the projectile, the length of the cannon being settled, what would

be the quantity of powder necessary to produce impulsion ?

‘It is generally asserted that gunpowder was invented in the
fourteenth century by the monk Schwartz, who paid for his
grand discovery with his life. It is, however, pretty well proved
that this story ought to be ranked amongst the legends of the
middle ages. Gunpowder was not invented by any one; it was
the lineal successor of the Greek fire, which, like itself, was
composed of sulphur and saltpetre. Few persons are acquainted
with the mechanical power of gunpowder. Now this is pre-
cisely what is necessary to be understood in order to comprehend
the importance of the question submitted to the committee.

A litre of gunpowder weighs about 2lbs.; during combustion
it produces 400 litres of gas. This gas, on being liberated and
acted upon by a temperature raised to 2400 degrees, occupies a
space of 4000 litres: consequently the volume of powder is to the
volume of gas produced by its combustion as 1 to 4000. One
may judge, therefore, of the tremendous pressure of this gas when
compressed within a space 4000 times too confined. All this was,
of course, well known to the members of the committee when
they met on the following evening.

The first speaker on this occasion was Major Elphinstone,
K SCHWARTZ.

MON

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[Page 44.

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UNPOWDER BY

HE INVENTION OF G

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THE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS. 45



who had been the director of the gunpowder factories during the
war. | | 2
“Gentlemen,” said this distinguished chemist, “I begin with
some figures which will serve as the basis of our calculation.
The old 24-pounder shot required for its discharge 16lbs. of
powder.”

“You are certain of the amount ?” broke in Barbicane.

“‘ Quite certain,” replied the major. |“ The Armstrong cannon
employs only 75lbs. of powder for a projectile of 800lbs., and the
Rodman Columbiad uses only 160lbs. of powder to send its half-
ton shot a distance of six miles. These facts cannot be called in
question, for I myself raised the point during the depositions taken
before the Committee of Artillery.”

‘Quite true,” said the general.

“Well,” replied the major, “these figures go to prove that the
quantity of powder is not increased with the weight of the shot ;
that is to say, if a 24-pounder shot requires 16lbs. of powder ;—
in other words, if in ordinary guns we employ a quantity of
powder equal to two-thirds of the weight of the projectile, this
proportion is not constant. Calculate, and you will see that in
place of 333lbs. of powder, the quantity is reduced to no more
than 160lbs.” |

“What are you aiming at 2?” asked the president.

“Tf you push your theory to extremes, my dear major,” said
J. A. Maston, “you will get to this, that as soon as your
shot becomes sufficiently heavy you will not require any powder
at all.” ee

“Our friend Maston is always at his jokes, even in serious
matters,” cried the major; “but let him make his mind easy, I
am going presently to propose gunpowder enough to satisfy his
artillerist’s propensities. I only keep to statistical facts when I
say that during the war, and for the very largest guns, the weight
of powder was reduced, as the result of experience, toa tenth part
of the weight of the shot.”
46 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



“Perfectly correct,” said Morgan ; “but before deciding the
quantity of powder necessary to give the impulse, I think it would '
be as well—” |

‘“‘ We shall have to employ a large-grained powder,” continued
the major, “its combustion is more rapid than that of the small.”

“No doubt about that,” replied Morgan, “but it is very
- destructive, and ends by enlarging the bore of the pieces.”

“Granted ; but that which is injurious to a gun destined to
perform long service is not so to our Columbiad. We shall run
no danger of an explosion ; and it is necessary that our powder
should take fire instantaneously in order that its mechanical effect
may be complete.”

“We must have,” said Maston, “several touch-holes, so as to
fire it at different points at the same time.”

“ Certainly,” replied Elphinstone ; “but that will render the
- working of the piece more difficult. I return then to my large-
grained powder, which removes those difficulties. In his Columbiad
charges Rodman employed a powder as large as chestnuts, made
of willow charcoal, simply dried in cast-iron pans. This powder
was hard and glittering, left no trace upon the hand, contained
hydrogen and oxygen in large proportion, took fire instantaneously,
and, though very destructive, did not sensibly injure the mouth-
piece.” | |
Up to this point Barbicane had kept aloof from the discussion;
he left the others to speak while he himself listened ; he had
evidently got an idea. He now simply said, “ Well, my friends,
what quantity of powder do you propose ?”

The three members look at one another.

“Two hundred thousand pounds,” at last said Morgan.

** Five hundred thousand,” added the major.

‘ight hundred thousand,” screamed Maston.

A moment of silence followed this triple proposal ; it was at
last broken by the president.

“Gentlemen,” he quietly said, “I start from this principle, that
| THE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS. 47
Sa a
the resistance of a gun, constructed under the given conditions, is
unlimited. I shall surprise our friend Maston, then, by stigma-
tizing his calculations as timid ; and I propose to double his
800,000lbs. of powder.”

“ Sixteen hundred thousand pounds ?” shouted mae leaping
from his aa

“ Just so.’

“We shall have to come then to my ideal of a cannon half a
mile long ; for you see 1,600,000lbs. will occupy a space of about
20,000 cubie feet; and since the contents of your cannon do not
exceed 54,000 cubic feet, it would be half full; and the bore will
not be more than long enough for the gas to communicate to the
projectile sufficient impulse.” 3

“ Nevertheless,” said the president, “I hold to that quantity of
powder. Now, 1,600,000lbs. of powder will create 6,000,000,000
of litres of gas. Six thousand millions! You quite understand ?”

“‘ What is to be done then?” said the general.

“The thing is very simple; we must reduce this enormous
quantity of powder, while preserving to it its mechanical power.”

“Good; but by what means?” |

“Tam going to tell you,” replied Barbicane quietly. “ Nothing
is more easy than to reduce this mass to one quarter of its bulk.
You know that curious cellular matter which constitutes the
elementary tissues of vegetables? This substance is found quite
pure in many bodies, especially in cotton, which is nothing more
than the down of the seeds of the cotton plant. Now cotton, com-
bined with cold nitric acid, becomes transformed into a substance
eminently insoluble, combustible, and explosive. It was first dis-
covered in 1832, by Braconnot, a French chemist, who called it
xyloidine. In 1838 another Frenchman, Pelouze, investigated its
different properties, and finally, in 1846, Schonbein, Professor of
Chemistry at Bale, proposed its employment for purposes of war.
This powder, now called pyroxyle, or fulminating cotton, is pre-
pared with great facility by simply plunging cotton for fifteen
45 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



minutes in nitric acid, then washing it in water, then drying it,
and it is ready for use.”

‘‘ Nothing could be more simple,” said Morgan.

“Moreover, pyroxyle is unaltered by moisture—a valuable
property to us, inasmuch as it would take several days to charge
the cannon. It ignites at 170 degrees in place of 240, and its com-
bustion is so rapid that one may set light to it on the top of
ordinary powder, without the latter having time to ignite.”

“Perfect!” exclaimed the major.

Only it is more expensive.”

‘What matter?” cried J. T. Maston.

‘Finally, it imparts to projectiles a velocity four times superior
to that of gunpowder. I will even add, that if we mix with it
one-eighth of its own weight of nitrate of potass, its expansive
force is again considerably augmented.”

Will that be necessary ?” asked the major.

“JY think not,” replied Barbicane. “So, then, in place of
1,600,000lbs. of powder, we shall have but 400,000lbs. of ful-
minating cotton; and since we can, without danger, compress
500lb3. of cotton into 27 cubic feet, the whole quantity will not
occupy a height of more than 180 feet within the bore of the
Columbiad. In this way the shot will have more than 700 feet
of bore to traverse under a force of 6, 000, 000,000 litres of gas
before taking its flight towards the moon.’

At this junction J. T. Maston could not repress his emotion;
he flung himself into the arms of his friend with the violence of a
projectile, and Barbicane would have been stove in if he had a not
been bomb-proof.

This incident terminated the third meeting of the Committee.

Barbicane and his bold colleagues, to whom nothing seemed
impossible, had succeeded in solving the complex problems of pro-
jectile, cannon, and powder. Their plan was drawn up, and it
only remained to put it in execution.

“A mere matter of detail, a bagatelle,” said J. T. Maston.










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[Page 49.
| ONE ENEMY UV. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS. 49
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CHAPTER X.
ONE ENEMY VU. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS.

Tur American public took a lively interest in the smallest details
of the enterprise of the Gun Club. It followed day by day the
discussions of the committee. The most simple preparation for
the great experiment, the questions of figures which it involved,
the mechanical difficulties to be resolved—in one word, the entire
plan of work—roused the popular excitement to the pene
pitch. .

The purely. scientific shiratbion was cantly intensified by the
following incident :—

We have seen what legions of, sinatiies aad friends Barbicane’s
project had rallied round its author. There was, however, one
single individual alone in all the States of the Union who pro-
tested against the attempt of the Gun Club. He attacked it
furiously on every opportunity, and human nature is such that
Barbicane felt more keenly the opposition of that one man than
he did the applause of all the others. He was well aware of the
motive of this antipathy, the origin of this solitary enmity, the
cause of its personality and old standing, and in what rivalry of
self-love it had its rise. :

This persevering enemy the President of the Gun Club had
never seen. Fortunate that it was so, for a meeting between the
two men would certainly have been attended with serious conse-
quences, This rival wasa man of science, like Barbicane himself,
of a fiery, daring, and violent disposition; a pure Yankee. His
name was Captain Nicholl ; he lived at Philadelphia.
50 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



Most people are aware of the curious struggle which arose
during the Federal war between the guns and the armour of iron-
plated ships. The result was the entire reconstruction of the navy
of both the continents; as the one grew heavier, the other became
thicker in proportion. The ‘ Merrimac,” the ‘ Monitor,” the
“Tennessee,” the “ Weckhausen” discharged enormous projec-
tiles themselves, after having been armour-clad against the pro-
jectiles of others. In fact they did to others that which they would
not they should do to them—that grand prcipls: of immorality
upon which rests the whole art of war.

Now if Barbicane was a great founder of shot, Nicholl was a
great forger of plates; the one cast night and day at Baltimore,
the other forged day and night at Philadelphia. As soon as ever
Barbicane invented a new shot, Nicholl invented a new plate,
each followed a current of ideas essentially opposed to the other.
Happily for these citizens, so useful to their country, a distance
of from fifty to sixty miles separated them from one another, and
_ they had never yet met. Which of these two inventors had the
advantage over the other it was difficult to decide from the results
obtained. By last accounts, however, it would seem that the
armour-plate would in the end have to give way to the shot ;
nevertheless, there were competent judges who had their doubts
on the point.

At the last experiment the cylindro-conical projectiles of
Barbicane stuck like so many pins in the Nicholl plates. On that
day the Philadelphian iron-forger then believed himself victorious,
and could not evince contempt enough for his rival; but when
* the other afterwards substituted for conical shot simple 600Ib.
shells, at very moderate velocity, the captain was obliged to
give in. In fact, these projectiles knocked his best metal plate to
shivers. |

Matters were at this stage, and victory seemed to rest with
the shot, when the war came to an end on the very day when
Nicholl had completed a new armour-plate of wrought steel. It
















































































































IN THE NEWSPAPERS.

NICHOLL PUBLISHED A NUMBER OF LETTERS

{| Page 51.
ONE ENEMY VU. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS. aI



was a masterpiece of its kind, and bid defiance to all the projectiles
in the world. The captain had it conveyed to the Polygon at
Washington, challenging the President of the Gun Club to break
it. Barbicane, peace having been declared, declined to try the
experiment.

Nicholl, now furious, offered to expose his plate to the shock
of any shot, solid, hollow, round, or conical. Refused by the
president, who did not choose to compromise his last success.

Nicholl, disgusted by this obstinacy, tried to tempt Barbicane
by offering him every chance. He proposed to fix the plate
within two hundred yards of the gun. Barbicane still obstinate
in refusal. A hundred yards? Not even seventy-five !

“At fifty then!” roared the captain through the newspapers.
“‘ At twenty-five yards !! and I’ll stand behind !!!”

Barbicane returned for answer that, even if Captain Nicholl
would be so good as tostand in front, he would not fire any more.

Nicholl could not contain himself at this reply; threw out hints
of cowardice; that a man who refused to fire a cannon-shot was
pretty near being afraid of it; that artillerists who fight at six
miles’ distance are substituting mathematical formule for indivi-
dual courage.

To these insinuations Barbicane returned no answer ; perhaps
he never heard of them, so absorbed was he in the calculations
for his great enterprise.

When his famous communication was made to the Gun Club,
the captain’s wrath passed all bounds; with his intense jealousy
was mingled a feeling of absolute impotence. How was he to
invent anything to beat this 900-feet Columbiad ? What armour-
plate could ever resist a projectile of 30,000|bs. weight? Over-
whelmed at first under this violent shock, he by and by recovered
himself, and resolved to crush the proposal by the weight of his
arguments.

He then violently attacked the labours of the Gun Club, pub-
lished a number of letters in the newspapers, endeavoured to

E 2

\
52 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

prove Barbicane ignorant of the first principles of gunnery. He
maintained that it was absolutely impossible to impress upon any
body whatever a velocity of 12,000 yards per second ; that even
with such a velocity a projectile of such a weight could not
transcend the limits of the earth’s atmosphere. Further still,
even regarding the velocity to be acquired, and granting it to be
sufficient, the shell could not resist the pressure of the gas deve-
loped by the ignition of 1,600,000lbs. of powder; and supposing
it to resist that pressure, it would be the less able to support that
temperature; it would melt on quitting the Columbiad, and fall
back in a red-hot shower upon the heads of the imprudent
spectators.

Barbicane continued his work without regarding these attacks.

Nicholl then took up the question in its other aspects. Without
touching upon its uselessness in all points of view, he regarded
the experiment as fraught with extreme danger, both to the
citizens, who might sanction by their presence so reprehensible a
spectacle, and also to the towns in the neighbourhood of this
deplorable cannon. He also observed that if the projectile did
not succeed in reaching its destination (a result absolutely impos-
sible), it must inevitably fall back upon the earth, and that the
shock of such a mass, multiplied by the square of its velocity,
would seriously endanger every point of the globe. Under the
circumstances, therefore, and without interfering with the rights
of free citizens, it was a case for the intervention of Government,
which ought not to endanger the salety of all for the Deere of
one individual.

Spite of all his arguments, however, Captain Nicholl remained
alone in his opinion. Nobody listened to him, and he did not
succeed in alienating a single admirer from the President of the
Gun Club. The latter did not even take the pains to refute the
arguments of his rival.

Nicholl, driven into. his last entrenchments, and not able to fight
personally in the cause, resolved to fight with money. He pub-
ONE ENEMY UV. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS. 53



lished, therefore, in the Richmond Inquirer a series of wagers,
conceived in these terms, and on an increasing scale :—

No. 1 (1000 dols.).—That the necessary funds for the experi- |
ment of the Gun Club will not be forthcoming.

No. 2 (2000 dols.).—That the operation of casting a cannon
of 900 feet is impracticable, and cannot possibly
succeed. |

No. 3 (8000 dols.).—That it is impossible to load the Colum-
biad, and that the pyroxyle will take fire spontane-
ously under the pressure of the projectile.

No. 4 (4000 dols.).—That the Columbiad will burst at the
first fire.

No. 5 (5000 dols.).—That the shot will not travel farther than -

| six miles, and that it will fall back again a few
seconds after its discharge.

It was an important sum, therefore, which the captain risked
in his invincible re He had no less than 15,000 dollars
at stake.

Notwithstanding the importance of the challenge, on the 19th
of May he received a sealed packet containing the following
superbly laconic reply :—

** BALTIMORE, Oct. 19.
** Done.
*‘ BARBICANE.”
54 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER XI.
FLORIDA AND TEXAS,

ONE question yet remained to be decided : it was necessary to
choose a favourable spot for the experiment. According to the
advice of the Observatory of Cambridge, the gun must be fired
perpendicularly to the plane of the horizon, that is to say, towards
the zenith. Now the moon does not traverse the zenith, except
in places situated between O° and 28’ of latitude. It became,
then, necessary to determine exactly that spot on the globe where
the immense Columbiad should be cast.

On the 20th of October, at a general meeting of the Gun Club,
Barbicane produced a magnificent map of the United States.
“Gentlemen,” said he, in opening the discussion, “I presume
that we are all agreed that this experiment cannot and ought not
to be tried anywhere but. within the limits of the soil of the
Union. Now, by good fortune, certain frontiers of the United
States extend downwards as far as the 28th parallel of the north
latitude. If you will cast your eye over this map, you will see
that we have at our disposal the whole of the southern portion of
Texas and Florida.”

It was finally agreed, then, that the Columbiad must be cast on
the soil of either Texas or Florida. The result, however, of this
decision was to create a rivalry entirely without precedent
between the different towns of these two states.

The 28th parallel, on reaching the American coast, traverses
the peninsula of Florida, dividing it into two nearly equal por-
tions. Then, plunging into the Gulf of Mexico, it subtends the
FLORIDA AND TEXAS. 55
a
arc formed by the coast of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana ;
then skirting Texas, off which it cuts an angle, it continues its
course over Mexico, crosses the Sonora, Old California, and loses
itself in the Pacific Ocean. It was, therefore, only those
portions of Texas and Florida which were situated below this
parallel which came within the prescribed conditions of latitude.

Florida, in its southern part, reckons no cities of importance ; it
is simply studded with forts raised against the roving Indians.
One solitary town, Tampa Town, was able to put in a claim in
favour of its situation.

In Texas, on the contrary, the towns are much more numerous
and important. Corpus Christi, in the county of Nuaces, and all
the cities situated on the Rio Bravo, Laredo, Comalites, San
Ignacio on the Web, Rio Grande city on the Starr, Edinburgh
in the Hidalgo, Santa Rita, Elpanda, Brownsville in the Cameron,
formed an imposing league against the pretensions of Florida.
So, scarcely was the decision known, when the Texian and
Floridan deputies arrived at Baltimore in an incredibly short
space of time. From that very moment President Barbicane and
the influential members of the Gun Club were besieged day and
night by formidable claims. If seven cities of Greece contended
for the honour of having given birth to Homer, here were two
entire states threatening to come to plone about the question of a
cannon.

The rival parties promenaded the streets with arms in their
hands ; and at every occasion of their meeting a collision was to
be apprehended which might have been attended with disastrous
results. Happily the prudence and address of President Barbi-
cane averted the danger. These personal demonstrations found a
division in the newspapers of the different states, The New
York Herald and the Tribune supported Texas, while the Times
and the American Review espoused the cause of the Floridan
Deputies. The members of the Gun Club could not decide to
which to give the preference.
56 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

Texas produced its array of twenty-six counties; Florida
replied that twelve counties were better than twenty-six in a
country only one-sixth part of the size.

Texas plumed itself upon its 330,000 natives; Florida with
a far smaller territory, boasted of being much more densely
populated with 56,000.

The Texians, through the columns of the Herald, claimed that
some regard should be had to a state which grew the best cotton
in all America, produced the best green oak for the service of the
navy, and contained the finest oil, besides iron mines, in which the
yield was 50 per cent. of pure metal.

To this the American Review replied that the soil of Florida,
although not equally rich, afforded the best conditions for the
moulding and casting of the Columbiad, consisting as it did of
sand and argillaceous earth.

“That may be all very well,” replied the Texians; “but you
must first get to this country. Now the communications with
Florida are difficult, while the coast of Texas’ offers the bay of
Galveston, which possesses a circumference of fourteen leagues,
and is capable of containing the navies of the entire
world!” |

“A pretty notion truly,” replied the papers in the interest of
Florida, “that of Galveston Bay, delow the 29th parallel! Have
we not got the bay of Espiritu Santo, opening precisely upon the
28th degree, and by which ships can reach Tampa Town by direct
route?”

“A fine bay! half choked with sand!” “Choked yourselves!”
returned the others. |

Thus the war went on for several days, when Florida endea-
voured to draw her adversary away on to fresh ground; and one
morning the Times hinted that, the enterprise being essentially
American, it ought not to be attempted upon other than purely
American territory.

To these words Texas retorted, “ American! are we not as














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[ Page 57.
FLORIDA AND TEXAS. 59

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much so as you? Were not Texas and Florida both incorporated
into the Union in 1845?”

“Undoubtedly,” replied the Times; “ but we have belonged to
the Americans ever since 1820.”

“Yes!” returned the Tribune; “after having been Spaniards
or English for 200 years, you were sold to the United States for
five million dollars!” | :

‘Well! and why need we blush for that? Was not Taina
bought from Napoleon in 1803 at the price of sixteen million
dollars?” :

“Scandalous!” roared the Texian deputies. ‘A wretched
little strip of country like Florida to dare to compare itself to
Texas, who, in place of selling herself, asserted her own inde-
pendence, drove out the Mexicans in March 2, 1836, and declared
herself a federal republic after the victory gained by Samuel
Houston, on the banks of the San Jacinto, over the troops of
Santa Anna !—a country, in fine, which voluntarily annexed itself
to the United States of America!”

“Yes ; because it was afraid of the Mexicans!” replied Florida.

“Afraid!” From this moment the state of things became
intolerable. A sanguinary encounter seemed daily imminent
between the two parties in the streets of Baltimore. It became
necessary to keep an eye upon the deputies.

President Barbicane knew not which way to look. Notes,
documents, letters full of menaces showered down upon his house.
Which side ought he to take? As regarded the appropriation of
the soil, the facility of communication, the rapidity of transport,
the claims of both states were evenly balanced. As for political
prepossessions, they had nothing to do with the question.

This dead block had existed for some little time, when Bar-
bicane resolved to get rid of it at once. He called a meeting of
his colleagues, and laid before them a proposition which, it will
be seen, was profoundly sagacious.

“On carefully considering,” he said, “ what is going on now
58 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



between Florida and Texas, it is clear that the same difficulties
will recur with all the towns of the favoured state. The rivalry
will descend from state to city, and so on downwards. Now
Texas possesses eleven towns within the prescribed conditions,
which will further dispute the honour and create us new enemies,
while Florida has only one. I go in, therefore, for Florida and
Tampa Town.”

This decision, on being made known, utterly crushed the
Texian deputies. Seized with an indescribable fury, they ad-
dressed threatening letters to the different members of the Gun
Club by name. The magistrates had but one course to take, and
they took it. They chartered a special train, forced the Texians
into it whether they would or no; and they quitted the city with
a speed of thirty miles an hour.

Quickly, however, as they were despatched, they found time
to hurl one last and bitter sarcasm at their adversaries.

Alluding to the extent of Florida, a mere peninsula confined
between two seas, they pretended that it could never sustain the
shock of the discharge, and that it would “bust up” at the very
first shot.

“Very well, let it bust up!” replied the Floridans, with a.
brevity worthy of the days of ancient Sparta.
URBI ET ORBI. 59



CHAPTER XII.
URBI ET ORBI.

THE astronomical, mechanical, and topographical difficulties re-
solved, finally came the question of finance. The sum required
was far too great for any individual, or even any single state, to
provide the requisite millions. ;

President Barbicane undertook, despite of the matter being a
purely American affair, to render it one of universal interest, and
to request the financial co-operation of all peoples. It was, he
maintained, the right and the duty of the whole earth to interfere
in the affairs of its satellite. The subscription opened at Balti-
more extended properly to the whole world—Urbi et orbit.

This subscription was successful beyond all expectation; not-
withstanding that it was a question not of lending but of giving
the money. It was a purely disinterested operation in the
strictest sense of the term, and offered not the slightest chance
of profit.

The effect, however, of Barbicane’s communication was not con-
fined to the frontiers of the United States; it crossed‘the Atlantic
and Pacific, invading simultaneously Asia and Europe, Africa and
Oceania. The observatories of the Union placed themselves in
immediate communication with those of foreign countries. Some,
such as those of Paris, Petersburg, Berlin, Stockholm, Hamburg,
Malta, Lisbon, Benares, Madras, and others, transmitted their
good wishes; the rest maintained a prudent silence, quietly
awaiting the result. As for the observator ‘ry at Greenwich,
seconded as it was by the twenty-two astronomical establishments
60 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



of Great Britain, it spoke plainly enough. It boldly denied the
possibility of success, and pronounced in favour of the theories of
Captain Nicholl. But this was nothing more than mere English
jealousy.

On the 8th of October President Barbicane published a mani-
festo full of enthusiasm, in which he made an appeal to “ all per-
sons of good will upon the face of the earth.” This document,
translated into all languages, met with immense success.

Subscription lists were opened in all the principal cities of the
Union, with a central office at the Baltimore Bank, 9, Baltimore
Street. .

In addition, subscriptions were received at the following
banks in the different states of the two continents:—
At Vienna, with S. M. de Rothschild.

5, Petersburg, Stieglitz and Co.
Paris, The Crédit Mobilier.
,, stockholm, Tottie and Arfuredson.
», London, N. M. Rothschild and Son.
Turin, Ardouin and Co.
Berlin, Mendelssohn.
Geneva, Lombard, Odier, and Co.
Constantinople, The Ottoman Bank.
Brussels, J. Lambert.
», Madrid, Daniel Weisweller.
Amsterdam, Netherlands Credit Co.
Rome, Torlonia and Co.
Lisbon, Lecesne.
Copenhagen, Private Bank.

4, Rio Janeiro, do.

,, Monte Video, do.

», Valparaiso and Lima, Thomas la Chambre and Co.

»» Mexico, Martin Daran and Co.

Three days after the manifesto of President Barbicane 4,000,000
of dollars were paid into the different towns of the Union. With

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[ Page 60.
URBI ET ORB. 61





such a balance the Gun Club might begin operations at once.
But some days later advices were received to the effect that the
foreign subscriptions were being eagerly taken up. Certain
countries distinguished themselves by their liberality; others
untied their purse-strings with less facility—matter of tempera-
ment. Figures are, however, more eloquent than words, and
here is the official statement of the sums which were paid in to
the credit of the Gun Club at the close of the subscription.

Russia paid in as her contingent the enormous sum of 368,733
roubles. No one need be surprised at this, who bears in mind
the scientific taste of the Russians, and the impetus which they
have given to astronomical studies—thanks to their numerous
observatories.

France began by deriding the pretensions of the Americans.
The moon served as a pretext for a thousand stale puns and a
score of ballads, in which bad taste contested the palm with
ignorance. But as formerly the French paid before singing, so
now they paid after having had their laugh, and they subscribed
for a sum of 1,253,930 francs. At that price they had a right to
enjoy themselves a little.

Austria showed herself generous in the midst of her financial
crisis. Her public contributions amounted to the sum of 216,000
florins—a perfect godsend.

62,000 rix-dollars were the remittance of Sweden and Norway;
the amount is large for the country, but it would undoubtedly
have been considerably increased had the subscription been opened
in Christiania simultaneously with that at Stockholm. For some
reason or other the Norwegians do not like to send their money
to Sweden.

Prussia, by a remittance of 250,000 cisicig: testified her nen
approval of the enterprise.”

Turkey behaved generously; but she had a personal interest in
the matter. The moon, in fact, regulates the cycle of her years
and her fast of Ramadan. She could not do less than give
62 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.





1,372,640 piastres; and she gave them with an eagerness
which denoted, however, some pressure on the part of the
Government. | :

Belgium distinguished herself among the second-rate states
by a grant of 513,000 francs—about two centimes per head of
her population.

Holland and her colonies interested themselves to the extent of
110,000 florins, only demanding an allowance of five per cent.
discount for paying ready money.

Denmark, a little contracted in territory, gave nevertheless
9000 ducats, proving her love for scientific experiments.

The Germanic Confederation pledged itself to 34,285 florins.
It was impossible to ask for more ; besides, they would not have
given it.

Though very much crippled, Italy found 200,000 lire in the
pockets of her people. If she had had Venetia she would have
done better; but she had not.

The States of the Church thought that they could not send
less than 7040 Roman crowns; and Portugal carried her devotion
to science as far as 30,000 cruzados. It was the widow’s mite—
eighty-six piastres; but self-constituted empires are always rather
short of money.

257 francs, this was the modest contribution of Switzerland to
the American work. One must freely admit that she did not see
the practical side of the matter. It did not seem to her that the
mere despatch of a shot to the moon could possibly establish any
relation of affairs with her; and it did not seem prudent to her to
embark her capital in so hazardous an enterprise. After all,
perhaps she was right.

As to Spain, she could not scrape together more than 110 reals.
She gave as an excuse that she had her railways to finish. The
truth is, that science is not favourably regarded in that country, it
is still in a backward state; and, moreover, certain Spaniards, not
by any means the least educated, did not form a correct estimate


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THE MANUFACTORY OF GOLDSPRING, NEAR NEW YORK.

[Page 63.
URBI ET ORB. 63

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of the bulk of the projectile compared with that of the moon.
They feared that it would disturb the established order of things.
In that case it were better to keep aloof; which eh did to the
tune of some reals.

There remained but England; and we know the contemptuous
antipathy with which she received Barbicane’s proposition. The
English have but one soul for the whole twenty-six millions of
inhabitants which Great Britain contains. They hinted that the
enterprise of the Gun Club was contrary to the “ principle of non-
intervention.” And they did not subscribe a single farthing.

At this intimation the Gun Club merely shrugged its shoulders
and returned to its great work. When South America, that is to
say, Peru, Chili, Brazil, the provinces of La Plata and Columbia,
had poured forth their quota into their hands, the sum of 300,000.
dollars, it found itself in possession of a considerable capital, of
which the following is a statement :—

United States subscriptions . - 4,000,000 dollars,
Foreign subscriptions . : oe O PO.” 25,

—ee

Total . : : . 0,446,675 ,,

Such was the sum which the public poured into the treasury
of the Gun Club.
Let no one be surprised at the vastness of the amount. The



work of casting, boring, masonry, the transport of workmen,
their establishment in an almost uninhabited country, the con-
struction of furnaces and workshops, the plant, the powder, the
projectile, and incidental expenses, would, according to the esti-
mates, absorb nearly the whole. Certain cannon shots in the
Federal war cost 1000 dollars a-piece. This one of President
Barbicane, unique in the annals of gunnery, might well cost five
thousand times more.

On the 20th of October a contract was entered into with the
manufactory of Goldspring, near New York, which during the
war had furnished Parratt with the best cast-iron guns. It was
64 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

a



Serene

stipulated between the contracting parties that the manufactory of
Goldspring should engage to transport to Tampa Town, in southern
Florida, the necessary. materials for casting the Columbiad. The
work was bound to be completed at latest by the 15th of October
following, and the cannon delivered in good condition under
penalty of a forfeit of 100 dollars a day to the moment when
the moon should again present herself under the same conditions—
that is to say, in eighteen years and eleven days.

The engagement of the workmen, their pay, and all the
necessary details of the work, devolved upon the Goldspring
Company.

This contract, executed in duplicate, was signed by Barbicane,
President of the Gun Club, of the one part, and T. Murphison,
director of the Goldspring manufactory, of the other, who thus
executed the deed on behalf of their respective principals.
STONES Hii7. ~° 65

CHAPTER XIII.
STONES HILL.

WHEN the decision was arrived at by the Gun Club, to the dis-
paragement of Texas, every one in America, where reading is an
universal acquirement, set to work to study the geography of
Florida. Never before had there been such a sale for works like
Bertram’s Travels in Florida, Roman’s Natural History of East and
West Florida, William’s Territory of Florida, and Cleland on the
Cultivation of the Sugar-Cane in Florida. It became meecleory ts to
issue fresh editions of these works.

Barbicane had something better to do Pan to ene He socinea
to see things with his own eyes, and to mark the exact position
of the proposed gun. So, without a moment’s loss of time, he
placed at the disposal of the Cambridge Observatory the funds
necessary for the construction of a telescope, and entered into
negotiations with the house of Breadwill and Co., of Albany, for
the construction of an aluminium projectile of the required size.
He then quitted Baltimore, accompanied by J. T. Maston, Major
Elphinstone, and the manager of the Goldspring Factory.

On the following day, the four fellow-travellers arrived at New
Orleans. There they immediately embarked on board the “'Tam-
pico,” a despatch-boat belonging to the Federal navy, which the
Government had placed at their disposal ; and, getting up steam,
the banks of the Louisiana speedily disappeared from sight.

The passage was not long. Two days after starting, the
“Tampico,” having made four hundred and eighty miles, came in
sight of the coast of Florida, On a nearer approach Barbicane

F
66 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



found himself in view of a low, flat country of somewhat barren
aspect. After coasting along a series of creeks abounding in
lobsters and oysters, the ‘‘ Tampico ”’ entered the bay of Espiritu
Santo, where she finally anchored in a small natural harbour,
formed by the embouchure of the River Hillisborough, at seven
p-m., on the 22nd October.

Our four passengers disembarked at once. ‘ Gentlemen,’
Barbicane, *‘ we have no time to lose ; to-morrow we must obtain

> said

horses, and proceed to reconnoitre the country.”

Barbicane had scarcely set his foot on shore when three thousand
of the inhabitants of Tampa Town came forth to meet him, an
honour due to the president who had signalized their country by
his choice. |

Declining, however, every kind of ovation, Barbicane ensconced
himself in a room of the Franklin Hotel.

On the morrow some of those small horses of the Spanish breed,
full of vigour and of fire, stood snorting under his windows ;
but instead of four steeds, here were jifty, together with. their
riders. Barbicane descended with his three fellow-travellers ;
and much astonished were they all to find themselves in the
midst of such a cavalcade. He remarked that every horseman
earried a carbine slung across his shoulders and pistols in his
holsters. .

On expressing his surprise at these preparations, he was speedily
enlightened by a young Floridan, who quietly said,— |

‘‘ Sir, there are Seminoles there.”

‘“* What do you mean by Seminoles? ”

*‘ Savages who scour the prairies. We thought it best, there-
fore, to escort you on your road.”

“Pooh!” cried J. T. Maston, mounting his steed.

* All right,” said the Floridan; “ but it is true enough, never-
theless.”

“Gentlemen,” answered Barbicane, “I thank you for your kind
attention ; but it is time to be off,”










































































































































































































































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[ Page 66.
STONES HILL. a 67
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It was five a.m. when Barbicane and his party, quitting Tampa
Town, made their way along the coast in the direction of Alifia
Creek. This little river falls into Hillisborough Bay twelve miles
above ‘Tampa Town. Barbicane and his escort coasted along its
right bank to the eastward. Soon the waves of the bay dis-
appeared behind a bend of rising ground, and the Floridan
““ champagne” alone offered itself to view.

Florida, discovered on Palm Sunday, in 1512, by Juan Ponce
de Leon, was originally named Pascha Florida. It little deserved
that designation with its dry and parched coasts. But after some
few miles of tract the nature of the soil gradually changes and
the country shows itself worthy of the name. Cultivated plains
soon appear, where are united all the productions of the northern -
and tropical floras, terminating in prairies abounding with pine-
apples and yams, tobacco, rice, cotton-plants, and sugar-canes,
which extend beyond reach of sight, flinging their riches broad-
cast with careless prodigality.

Barbicane appeared highly pleased on observing the progressive
elevation of the land ; and in answer to a question of J. T. Maston,
- replied,—

“My worthy friend, we cannot do better than sink our Colum-
biad in these high grounds.”

“To get nearer to the moon, perhaps ?” said the secretary of
the Gun Club.

“Not exactly,” replied Barbicane, smiling ; “do you not see
that amongst these elevated plateaus we shall have a much easier
' work of it? No struggles with the water-springs, which will
save us long and expensive tubings ; and we shall be working in
daylight instead of down a deep and narrow well. Our business,
then, is to open our trenches upon ground some hundreds of yards
above the level of the sea.” |

“You are right, sir,” struck in Murchison, the engineer ;
“and, if I mistake not, we shall ere long find a suitable spot for
our purpose.” . 7

F 2
68 FROM THE EARTH JO THE MOON.
‘**T wish we were at the first stroke of the pickaxe,” said the
president. | |
“¢ And I wish we were at the last,” cried J. T. Maston. .
About ten a.m. the little band had crossed a dozen miles. To.
fertile plains succeeded a region of forests. ‘There perfumes of
the most varied kinds mingled together in tropical profusion. These
almost impenetrable forests were composed of pomegranates,
orange-trees, citrons, figs, olives, apricots, bananas, huge vines,
whose blossoms and fruits rivalled each other in colour and per-
fume. Beneath. the odorous shade of these magnificent trees
fluttered and warbled a little world of brilliantly plumaged birds.
J. T. Maston and the major could not repress their admiration
on finding themselves in presence of the glorious beauties of this
wealth of nature. President Barbicane, however, less sensitive
to these wonders, was in haste to press forward; the very.
luxuriance of. the country was displeasing to him. They hastened
onwards, therefore, and were compelled to ford several rivers, not
without danger, for they were infested with huge alligators. from
fifteen to eighteen feet long. Maston courageously menaced them
with his steel hook, but he only succeeded in frightening some
pelicans and teal, while tall pane stared stupidly: at ne
party. | i
_ At length these denizens of the swamps disappeared | in their
turn ; smaller trees became thinly scattered among less dense
thickets—a few isolated groups detached the in midst of.endless
plains over which ranged-herds of startled deer. te 9
** At last,” cried Barbicane, rising in his stirrups, “ here we are
at the region of pines!” ,
“Yes! and of savages too,” copied the major.
In fact, some Seminoles had just come in sight upon the horizon j
they rode violently backwards and forwards on their fleet ‘horses,
brandishing their spears or discharging their guns with a dull
report. ‘These hostile demonstrations, however, nae no effect upon
Barbicane and his companions. | : |
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STONES HILL, ~*~ 69





They were then occupying the centre of a rocky plain, which
the sun scorched with its parching rays. This was formed by a
considerable elevation of the soil, which seemed to offer to the
members of the Gun Club all the conditions requisite for the
construction of their Columbiad.

“Halt !” said Barbicane, reining up. “ Has this place any local
appellation ?”

“It is called Stones Hill,” replied one of the Floridans.

Barbicane, without saying a word, dismounted, seized his instru-
ments, and began to note his position with extreme exactness.
The little band, drawn up in rear, watched his proceedings i in pro-
found silence.

At this moment the sun passed the meridian. Barbicane, after
a few moments, eapigty wrote down the result of his ei
and said,—

“This spot is situated 1800 feet above the level of the sea, in
27° 7' N. lat. and 5° 7’ W. long. of the meridian of Washington.
It appears to me by its rocky and barren character to offer all the
conditions requisite for our experiment. On that plain will be
raised our magazines, workshops, furnaces, and workmen’s huts ;
and here, from this very spot,” said he, stamping his foot on the
summit of Stones Hill, “ hence shall our projectile take its flight
into the regions 8 of the Solar World.”
7O FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER XIV
PICKAXE AND TROWEL.

THE same evening Barbicane and his companions returned to
Tampa Town; and Murchison, the engineer, re-erabarked on
board the “ Tampico” for New Orleans. His object was to enlist
an army of workmen, and to collect together the greater part of
the materials. The members of the Gun Club remained at
Tampa Town, for the purpose of setting on foot the preliminary
works by the aid of the people of the country.

Eight days after its departure, the “ Tampico” returned into:
the bay of Espiritu Santo, with a whole flotilla of steamboats.
Murchison had sueceeded in assembling together fifteen hundred
artisans. Attracted by the high pay and considerable bounties
offered by the Gun Club, he had enlisted a choice legion of
stokers, iron-founders, lime-burners, miners, brickmakers, and
artisans of every trade, without distinction of colour. As many
of these people brought their families with pon, their departure
resembled a perfect emigration.

On the 31st October, at ten o’clock in the morning, the troop
disembarked on the quays of Tampa Town ; and one may imagine
the activity which pervaded that little town, whose population
was thus doubled in a single day.

During the first few days they were busy discharging the
cargo brought by the flotilla, the machines, and the rations, as
well as a large number of huts constructed of iron plates,
separately pieced and numbered. At the same period Barbicane
laid the first sleepers of a railway fifteen miles in length, intended
PICKAXE AND TROWEL. 74



to unite Stones Hill with Tampa Town. On the first of Novem-
ber Barbicane quitted Tampa Town with a detachment of work-
-men; and on the following day the whole town of huts was erected
round Stones Hill. This they enclosed with palisades ; and in
respect of energy and activity, it might have shortly been mis-
taken for one of the great cities of the Union. Everything was
placed under a complete system of dicipline, and the works were
commenced in most perfect order.

The nature of the soil having been carefully examined, by
means of repeated borings, the work of excavation was fixed for
the 4th of November. ree

On that day Barbicane called together his foremen and addressed
them as follows :—‘ You are well aware, my friends, of the
object with which I have assembled you together in this wild
part of Florida. Our business is to construct a cannon measuring
nine feet in its interior diameter, six feet thick, and with a stone
revetment of nineteen and a half feet in thickness. We have,
therefore, a well of sixty feet in diameter to dig down to a depth
of nine hundred feet. This great work must be completed
within eight months, so that you have 2,548,400 cubic feet of
earth to excavate in 255 days ; that is to say, in round numbers,
2000 cubic feet per day. That which would present no difficulty
to a thousand navvies working in open country will be of course
more troublesome in a comparatively confined space. However,
the thing must be done, and I reckon for its accomplishment upon
your courage as much as upon your skill.

At eight o’clock in the morning the first stroke of the pickaxe
was struck upon the soil of Florida; and from that moment
that prince of tools was never inactive for one moment in the
hands of the excavators. The gangs relieved each other every
three hours.

On the 4th of November fifty workmen commenced digging,
in the very centre of the enclosed space on the summit of Stones
Hill, a circular hole sixty feet in diameter. The pickaxe first
720 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



struck upon a kind of black earth, six inches in thickness, which
was speedily disposed of. To this earth succeeded two feet of
fine sand, which was carefully laid aside as being valuable for
serving for the casting of the inner mould. After the sand
appeared some compact white clay, resembling the chalk of Great
Britain, which extended down to a depth of four feet. Then the
iron of the picks struck upon the hard bed of the soil; a kind of
rock formed of petrified shells, very dry, very solid, and which
the picks could with difficulty penetrate. At this point the
excavation exhibited a depth of six feet and a half, and the work
of the masonry was begun.

_ At the bottom of this excavation they constructed a wheel of
oak, a kind of circle strongly bolted together, and of immense
strength. The centre of this wooden disc was hollowed out to a
diameter equal to the exterior diameter of the Columbiad. — Upon
this wheel rested the first layers of the masonry, the stones of
which were bound together by hydraulic cement, with irresis-
tible tenacity. The workmen, after laying the stones from the
circumference to the centre, were thus enclosed within a kind of
well twenty-one feet in diameter. When this work was accom-
plished, the miners resumed their picks and cut away the rock
from underneath the wheel itself, taking care to support it as
they advanced upon blocks of great thickness. - At every two
feet which the hole gained in depth they successively withdrew
the blocks. The wheel then sank little by little, and with it
the massive ring of masonry, on the upper bed of which the
masons laboured incessantly, always reserving some vent holes to
‘permit the escape of gas during the operation of casting.

This kind of work required on the part of the workmen
extreme nicety and minute attention. More than one, in digging
underneath the wheel, was dangerously injured by the splinters of
stone. But their ardour never relaxed, night or day. By day
they worked under the rays of the scorching sun; by night,
under the gleam of. the electric light. The sounds of the picks
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“PICKAXE AND TROWEL, | ~~ 73



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against the rock, the bursting of mines, the grinding of the
machines, the wreaths of smoke scattered through the air, traced
around Stones Hill a circle of terror which the herds of buffaloes
and the war parties of the Seminoles never ventured to pass.
Nevertheless, the works advanced regularly, as the steam-cranes
actively removed the rubbish. Of unexpected obstacles there was
little account ; and with regard to foreseen ne — were
speedily disposed of. : | 3

At the expiration of the first month the well had attained the
depth assigned for that lapse of time, viz. 112 feet. This depth
was doubled in December, and trebled in January. rg

During the month of February the workmen had to contend
with a sheet of water which made its way right across the outer
soil. It became necessary to employ very powerful pumps and
compressed air-engines to drain it off, so as to close up the orifice
from whence it issued ; just as one stops a leak on board ship:
They at last succeeded in getting the upper hand of -these
untoward streams ; only, in consequence of the loosening of the
soil, the wheel partly gave way, and a slight partial settlement
ensued. ‘This accident cost the life of several workmen.

No fresh occurrence thenceforward arrested the progress of the
operation; and on the 10th of June, twenty days before the
_ expiration of the period fixed by Barbicane, the well, lined
throughout with its facing of stone, had attained the depth of 900
feet. At the bottom the masonry rested upon a massive block
measuring thirty feet in thickness, whilst on the upper portion it
was level with the surrounding soil.

President Barbicane and the members of the Gun Club warmly
congratulated their engineer Murchison : the cyclopean work had
been accomplished with extraordinary rapidity.

During these eight months Barbicane never quitted Stones Hill
for a single instant. Keeping ever close by the work of excava-
tion, he busied himself incessantly with the welfare and health of
his workpeople, and was singularly fortunate in warding off the
74 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOOM.

————



epidemics common to large communities of men, and so disastrous
in those regions of the globe which are exposed to the influences
of tropical climates.

Many workmen, it is true, paid with their lives for the rashness
inherent in these dangerous labours; but these mishaps are
impossible to be avoided, and they are classed amongst details with
which the Americans trouble themselves but little. They have
in fact more regard for human nature in general than for the
individual in particular. 7

Nevertheless, Barbicane professed opposite principles to these,
and put them in force at every opportunity. So, thanks to his
care, his intelligence, his useful intervention in all difficulties, his
prodigious and humane sagacity, the average of accidents did not
' exceed that of transatlantic countries, noted for their excessive
precautions, France, for instance, among others, where they reckon
about one accident for every two hundred thousand francs of
work.
THE FETE OF THE CASTING. 75



CHAPTER XV.
THE FETE OF THE CASTING.

Durine the eight months which were employed in the work of
excavation the preparatory works of the casting had been carried
on simultaneously with extreme rapidity. A stranger arriving at
Stones Hill would have been surprised at the spectacle offered to
his view. |

At 600 yards from the well, and circularly arranged around it
as a central point, rose 1200 reverberating ovens, each six feet in
diameter, and separated from each other by an interval of three
feet. ‘The circumference occupied by these 1200 ovens presented
a length of two miles. Being all constructed on the same plan,
each with its high quadrangular chimney, they produced a most
singular effect.

It will be remembered that on their third meeting the Com-
mittee had decided to use cast-iron for the Columbiad, and in
particular the white description. This metal in fact is the most
tenacious, the most ductile, and the most malleable, and conse-
quently suitable for all moulding operations ; and when smelted
with pit coal, is of superior quality for all engineering works
requiring great resisting power, such as cannon, steam-boilers,
hydraulic presses, and the like.

Cast-iron, however, if subjected to only one single fusion, is
rarely sufficiently homogeneous ; and it requires a second fusion
completely to refine it by dispossessing it of its last earthly
deposits. So before being forwarded to Tampa Town, the iron
ore, molten in the great furnaces of Goldspring, and brought into
76 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



ee

contact with coal and silicium heated to a high temperature, was
carburized and transformed into cast-iron. After this first opera-
; tion, the metal was sent on to Stones Hill. They had, however,
to deal with 1386,000,000lbs. of iron, a quantity far too costly to
send by railway. The cost of transport would have been double
that of material. It appeared preferable to freight vessels at New
York, and to load them with the iron in bars. This, however,
required not less than sixty-eight vessels of 1000 tons, a veritable
fleet, which, quitting New York on the 8rd of May, on the 10th
of the same month ascended the Bay of Espiritu Santo, and dis-
charged their eargoes, without dues, in the port at Tampa Town.
Thence the iron was transported by rail to Stones Hill, and about
the middle of January this enormous mass of metal was delivered
at its destination.

It will be easily understood that 1200 furnaces were not too
many to melt simultaneously these 60,000 tons of iron. Each of
these furnaces contained nearly 140,000lbs. weight of metal. They
were all built after the model of those which served for the casting
of the Rodman gun, they were trapezoidal: in shape, with a high
elliptical arch. These furnaces, constructed of fireproof brick, were
especially adapted for burning pit coal, with a flat bottom upon
which the iron bars were laid. This bottom, inclined at an angle
of 25°, allowed the metal to flow into the receiving troughs ; and
the 1200 converging trenches carried the molten ne down to
the central well. oo

The day following that on which the works of the masonry and
boring had been completed, Barbicane set to work upon the central]
mould. His object now was to raise within the centre of the
well, and with a coincident axis, a cylinder 900 feet high, and 9
feet in diameter, which should exactly fill up the space reserved
for the bore of the Columbiad. This cylinder was composed of a
mixture of clay and sand, with the addition of a little hay and
straw. The space left between the mould and the masonry was
intended to be filled up a the molten metal, which would thus
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE CASTING.

[Page 77.
THE FETE OF THE CASTING, 77
form the walls six feet in thickness. This cylinder, in order to
maintain its equilibrium, had to be bound by iron bands, and
firmly fixed at certain intervals - by cross-clamps fastened into the
_ Stone lining ; after the castings these would be buried seca block

of metal, leaving no external projection. | | !

This operation was completed on the 8th of J si din the 1 run 1 of |
the metal was fixed for the following day. . |

‘This féte of the casting will be a grand PRO: , ’ said iJ. T.
Maston to his friend Barbicane. |

“Undoubtedly,” said Barbicane ; “but it will aot be: a bi
fete.” ;

“What! will you not open the pate of the pe aa to all
comers ?””. 3 eee ee i wa! |

“I must be very careful, Maston. The casting of the Colum-
biad is an extremely delicate, not to say a dangerous, operation,
-and I should prefer its being done privately. At the cleaner of
the projectile, a féte if you like—till then, no !”

The president was right.: The operation ‘nedeotk ere
dangers, which a great influx of spectators would have hindered
_ him from averting. It was necessary to preserve complete free-
dom of movement. No one was admitted within the enclosure
except a delegation of members of the Gun Club, who had made
the voyage to Tampa Town. Among these was the brisk. Bilsby,
Tom Hunter, Colonel Blomsberry, Major Elphinstone, General
Morgan, and the rest of the lot to whom the casting of the
Columbiad was a matter of personal interest. J.T. Maston
became their cicerone. He omitted no point of detail; he con-
ducted them throughout the magazines, workshops, through the
midst of the engines, and compelled them to, visit the whole 1200
furnaces one after the other. At the end of the twelve -hundredth
visit they were pretty well knocked up.

The casting was to take place at 12 o’clock plete The
previous evening each furnace had been charged with 114 ,000Ibs.
weight of metal in bars disposed cross-ways to each other, so as to
78 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



allow the hot air to circulate freely between them. At daybreak
the 1200 chimneys vomited their torrents of flame into the air, and
the ground was agitated with dull tremblings. As many pounds
of metal as there were to cast, so many pounds of coal were there
to burn. Thus there were 68,000 tons of coal which projected in
the face of the sun a thick curtain of smoke. The heat soon
became insupportable within the circle of furnaces, the rumbling
-of which resembled the rolling of thunder. The powerful venti-
lators added their continuous blasts and saturated with oxygen the
glowing plates. The operation, to be successful, required to be
conducted with great rapidity. On a signal given by a cannon-
shot each furnace was to give vent to the molten iron and com-
pletely to empty itself. ‘These arrangements made, foremen and
workmen waited the preconcerted moment with an impatience
mingled with a certain amount of emotion. Nota soul remained
within the enclosure. Each superintendent took his post by the
aperture of the run. :

Barbicane and his colleagues, perched on a neighbouring emi-
nence, assisted at the operation. In front of them was a, piece of
artillery ready to give fire on the signal from the engineer. Some
minutes before midday the first driblets of metal began to flow;
the reservoirs filled little by little; and, by the time that the
whole melting was completely accomplished, it was kept in
abeyance for a few minutes in order to facilitate the separation of
foreign substances.

Twelve o’clock struck ! A gun-shot suddenly pealed forth and
shot its flame into the air. Twelve hundred melting-troughs
were simultaneously opened and twelve hundred fiery serpents
crept towards the central well, unrolling their incandescent
curves. There, down they plunged with a terrific noise into a
depth of 900 feet. It was an exciting and a magnificent spec-
tacle. The ground trembled, while these molten waves, launching
into the sky their wreaths of smoke, evaporated the moisture of
the mould and hurled it upwards through the vent-holes of the stone

/
THE FETE OF THE CASTING. 79



lining in the form of dense vapour-clouds. ‘These artificial clouds
unrolled their thick spirals to a height of 1000 yards into the air.
A savage, wandering somewhere beyond the limits of the
horizon, might have believed that some new crater was forming
in the bosom of Florida, although there was neither any eruption,
nor typhoon, nor storm, nor struggle of the elements, nor any of
those terrible phenomena which nature is capable of producing.
No, it was man alone who had produced these reddish vapours,
these gigantic flames worthy of a volcano itself, these tremendous
vibrations resembling the shock of an earthquake, these reverbe-
rations rivalling those of hurricanes and storms; and it was his
hand which precipitated into an abyss, dug by himself, a whole
Niagara of molten metal !
So FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
CS, | A oy



CHAPTER XVI.
THE COLUMBIAD.

Hap the casting succeeded ? They were reduced to. mere con-
jecture. There was indeed every reason to expect success, since
the mould had absorbed the entire mass of the molten metal; still
some considerable time must elapse before they could arrive at
any certainty upon the matter.

The patience of the members of the Gun Club was sorely tried
during this period of time. But they could do nothing. J. T.
Maston escaped roasting by a miracle. Fifteen days after the
casting an immense column of smoke was still rising in the open
sky, and the ground burnt the soles of the feet within a radius of
200 feet round the summit of Stones Hill. It was impossible to
approach nearer. All they could do was to wait with what
patience they might.

‘“‘ Here we are at the 10th August,” exclaimed J. T. Maston
one morning, “ only four months to the lst of December! We
shall never be ready in time!” Barbicane said nothing, but his
silence covered serious irritation.

However, daily observations revealed a certain change going on
in the state of the ground. About the 15th August the vapours
ejected had sensibly diminished in intensity and thickness. Some
days afterwards the earth exhaled only a slight puff of smoke, the
last breath of the monster enclosed within its circle of stone.
Little by little the belt of heat contracted, until on the 22nd
August Barbicane, his colleagues, and the engineer were enabled
THE COLUMBIAD. SI



to set foot on the iron sheet which lay level upon the summit of
Stones Hill.

“ At last!” exclaimed the President of the Gun Club, with an
immense sigh of relief.

The work was resumed the same day. They proceeded at once
to extract the interior mould, for the purpose of clearing out the
boring of the piece. Pickaxes and boring irons were set to work
without intermission. The clayey and sandy soils had acquired
extreme hardness under the action of the heat; but by the aid of
the machines, the rubbish on being dug out was’ rapidly carted
away on railway waggons; and such was the ardour of the work,
so persuasive the arguments of Barbicane’s dollars, that by the 3rd
of September all traces of the mould had entirely disappeared.

Immediately the operation of boring was commenced; and by the
aid of powerful machines, a few weeks later, the inner surface of
the immense tube had been rendered perfectly cylindrical, and the
bore of the piece had acquired a thorough polish.

At length, on the 22nd of September, less than a twelvemonth
after Barbicane’s original proposition, the enormous weapon,
accurately bored, and exactly vertically pointed, was ready for
work, There was only the moon now to wait for; and they were
pretty sure that she would not fail in the rendezvous.

The ecstacy of J. T. Maston knew no bounds, and he narrowly
escaped a frightful fall while staring down the tube. But for the
strong hand of Colonel Blomsberry, the worthy secretary, like a —
modern Erostratus, would have found his death in the depths of
the Columbiad.

The cannon was then finished ; there was no possible doubt as
to its perfect completion. So, on the 6th of October, Captain
Nicholl opened an account between himselfand President Barbi-
cane, in which he debited himself to the latter in the sum of 2000
dollars. One may believe that the Captain’s wrath was increased
to its highest point, and must have made him ser lously ill. How-
ever, he had still three bets of three, four, and five thousand

G
82 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

dollars, respectively ; and if he gained two out of these, his
position would not be very bad. But the money question did not
enter into his calculations; it was the success of his rival in
casting a cannon against which iron plates sixty feet thick
would have been ineffectal, that dealt him a terrible blow.

After the 23rd of September the enclosure of Stones Hill was
thrown open to the public; and it will be easily imagined what
was the concourse of visitors to this spot! There was an incessant
flow of people to and from Tampa Town and the place, which
resembled a procession, or rather, in fact, a pilgrimage.

It was already clear to be seen that, on the day of the experi-
ment itself, the aggregate of spectators would be counted by
millions; for they were already arriving from all parts of the earth
upon this narrow strip of promontory. Europe was emigrating
to America. :

Up to that time, however, it must be confessed, the curiosity
of the numerous comers was but scantily gratified. Most had
counted upon witnessing the spectacle of the casting, and they
were treated to nothing but smoke. This was sorry food for
hungry eyes; but Barbicane would admit no one to that operation.
Then ensued grumbling, discontent, murmurs; they blamed the Pre-
sident, taxed him with dictatorial conduct. His proceedings were
declared “un-American.” There was very nearly a riot round
Stones Hill; but Barbicane remained inflexible. When, however,
the Columbiad was entirely finished, this state of closed doors
could no longer be maintained; besides it would have been bad
taste, and even imprudence, to affront the public feeling. Bar-
bicane, therefore, opened the enclosure to all comers; but, true to
his practical disposition, he determined to coin money out of the
public curiosity.

g, indeed, to be enabled to contemplate this
immense Columbiad; but to descend into its depths, this seemed to
the Americans the ne plus ultra of earthly felicity. Consequently,

_ there was not one curious spectator who was not willing to give

It was something


























TAMPA TOWN, AFTER THE UNDERTAKING.

[| Page 82.


THE BANQUET IN THE COLUMBIAD.

83.

[ Page
THE COLUMBIAD. | 83





himself the treat of visiting the interior of this metallic abyss.
Baskets suspended from steam-cranes permitted them to satisfy
their curiosity. There was a perfect mania. Women, children,
old men, all made it a point of duty to penetrate the mysteries
of the colossal gun. The fare for the descent was fixed at five
dollars per head ; and, despite this high charge, during the two
months which preceded the experiment, the influx of visitors
enabled the Gun Club to pocket nearly 500,000 dollars !

It is needless to say that the first visitors of the Columbiad
were the members of the Gun Club. This privilege was justly
reserved for that illustrious body. The ceremony took place on
the 25th September. A basket of honour took down the Presi-
dent, J. T. Maston, Major Elphinstone, General Morgan, Colonel
Blomsberry, and other members of the club, to the number of ten
in all. How hot it was atthe bottom of that long tube of metal !
They were half suffocated. But what delight! What ecstacy !
A table had been laid with six covers on the massive stone which
formed the bottom of the Columbiad, and lighted by a jet of
electric light resembling that of day itself. Numerous exquisite
dishes, which seemed to descend from heaven, were placed
successively before the guests, and the richest wines of France
flowed in profusion during this splendid repast, served nine hundred
feet beneath the surface of the earth!

The festival was animated, not to say somewhat noisy. Toasts
flew backwards and forwards. They drank to the earth and to
her satellite, to the Gun Club, the Union, the moon, Diana,
Pheebe, Selene, the “ peaceful courier of the night”! All the
hurrahs, carried upwards upon the sonorous waves of the immense
acoustic tube, arrived with the sound of thunder at its mouth; and
the multitude ranged round Stones Hill heartily united their
shouts with those of the ten revellers hidden from view at the
bottom of the gigantic Columbiad.

J. T. Maston was no longer master of himself. Whether he
shouted or gesticulated, ate or drank most, would be a difficult

G 2
84 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

>



matter to determine. At all events, he would not have given his
place up for an empire, “not even if the cannon—loaded, primed,
and fired at that very moment—were to blow him in pieces into
the planetary world.”
| A: TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCH. 85
hv esas secutive manage i a epeeeinmmeeincnrmmsiaine

CHAPTER XVII.
A TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCH.

THE great works undertaken by the Gun Club had now virtually
come to an end; and two months still remained before the day for
the discharge of the shot to the moon. To the general impatience
these two months appeared as long as years! Hitherto the
smallest details of the operation had been daily chronicled by the
journals, which the public devoured with eager eyes.

Just at this moment a circumstance, the most unexpected, the
most extraordinary and incredible, occurred to rouse afresh their
panting spirits, and to throw every mind into a state of the most
violent excitement.

One day, the 380th September, at 3.47 p.m., a pleco, foun
mitted by cable from Valentia (Ireland) to Newfoundland and
the American mainland, arrived at the address of President
Barbicane.

The President tore open the ‘ntclape read the earch, and,
despite his remarkable powers of self-control, his lips turned pale
and his eyes grew dim, on reading the twenty words of this
telegram. |

Here is the text of the i ae Which ficures 1 now in the
archives of the Gun Club:—

‘* WRANCE, Paris, .
** 30 September, 4 a.m.
“ Barbicane, Tampa Town, Florida, United States. |
“Substitute for your spherical shell a cylindro-conical projectile. I shall

go inside. Shall arrive by steamer ‘ Atlanta.’
, “ MicHEL ARDAN.”
86 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER XVIII
THE PASSENGER OF THE “ ATLANTA.”

Ir this astounding news, instead of flying through the electric
wires, had simply arrived by post in the ordinary sealed envelope,
Barbicane would not have hesitated a moment. He would have
held his tongue about it, both as a measure of prudence, and in
order not to have to reconsider his plans. This telegram might
be a cover for some jest, especially as it came from a Frenchman.
What human being would ever have conceived the idea of such a
journey? and, if such a person really existed, he must be an idiot,
whom one would shut up in alunatie ward, rather than within the
walls of the projectile. |

The contents of the despatch, however, speedily became known;
for the telegraphic officials possessed but little discretion, and
Michel Ardan’s proposition ran at once throughout the several
States of the Union. Barbicane had, therefore, no further motive
for keeping silence. Consequently, he called together such of his
colleagues as were at the moment in Tampa Town, and without
any expression of his own opinions simply read to them the laconic
text itself. It was received with every possible variety of expres-
sions of doubt, incr edulity, and derision from every one, with the
exception of J. T. Maston, who exclaimed, “Iti is a grand idea,
however!” |

When Barbicane originally proposed to send a shot to the moon
every one looked upon the enterprise as simple and practicable
enough—a mere question of gunnery; but when a person, pro-
fessing to be a reasonable being, offered to take passage within the








































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THE PASSENGER OF THE “ATLANTA.” 87

projectile, the whole thing became a farce, or, in plainer language,
a humbug. |

One question, however, remained. Did such a being exist ?
This telegram flashed across the depths of the Atlantic, the desig-
nation of the vessel on board which he was to take his passage,
the date assigned for his speedy arrival, all combined to impart a
certain character of reality to the proposal. They must get some
clearer notion of the matter. Scattered groups of inquirers at
length condensed themselves into a compact crowd, which made
straight for the residence of President Barbicane. That worthy
individual was keeping quiet with the intention of watching events
as they arose. But he had forgotten to take into account the
public impatience; and it was with no pleasant countenance that
he watched the population of Tampa Town gathering under his
windows. The murmurs and vociferations below presently obliged
him to appear. He came forward, therefore, and on silence being
procured, a citizen put point-blank to him the following question:

—‘* Ts the person mentioned in the telegr sal akc the name of
Michel Ardan, on his way here? Yes or no.’ ey

“Gentlemen,” replied Barbicane, “I know no more than you
do.”

‘We must know,” roared the impatient voices.

“Time will show,” calmly replied the President. ©

‘Time has no business to keep a whole country in suspense,”
replied the orator. ‘ Have you altered the plans of the projectile
according to the request of the telegram?”

‘‘ Not yet, gentlemen; but you are right! we must have battoh
information to go by. The telegraph must complete its informa-
- tion.” | |

“To the telegraph !” roared the crowd.

Barbicane descended; and heading the immense assemblage, led
the way to the telegraph office. A few minutes later a telegram
was despatched to the secretary of the underwriters at Liverpool,
requesting answers to the following queries :—
88 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
Sr

‘‘ About the ship ‘ Atlanta ’—when did she leave Europe? Had
she on board a Frenchman named Michel Ardan?”

Two hours afterwards Barbicane received information too exact
to leave room for the smallest remaining doubt. |

“The steamer ‘ Atlanta’ from Liverpool put to sea on the 2nd

October, bound for Tampa Town, having on board a French-
man borne on the list of passengers by the name of Michel
Ardan.”

That very evening he wrote to the house of Breadwill and Co.,
requesting them to suspend the casting of the projectile until the
receipt of further orders. On the 20th October, at 9 a.m., the
semaphores of the Bahama Canal signalled a thick smoke on the
horizon. Two hours later a large steamer exchanged signals with
them. The name of the “Atlanta” flew at once over Tampa
Town. At four o’clock the English vessel entered the Bay of
Kspiritu Santo. At five it crossed the passage of Hillisborough
Bay at full steam. At six she cast anchor at Port Tampa. The
anchor had scarcely caught the sandy bottom when 500 boats
surrounded the ‘“ Atlanta,” and the steamer was taken by assault.
Barbicane was the first to set foot on deck, and in a voice of
which he vainly tried to conceal the emotion, called “Michel
Ardan.” :

‘‘ Here!” replied an individual perched on the poop.

Barbicane, with arms crossed, looked seedy a at the passenger
of the “ Atlanta.”

He was a man of about 42 years of age, of large build, but
slightly round-shouldered. His massive head momentarily shook
a shock of reddish hair, which resembled a lion’s mane. THis
face was short with a broad forehead, and furnished with a
moustache as bristly as a cat’s, and little patches of yellowish
whisker upon full cheeks. Round, wildish eyes, slightly near-
sighted, completed a physiognomy essentially feline. His nose
was firmly shaped, his mouth particularly sweet in expression,
high forehead, intelligent and furrowed with wrinkles like a












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[Page 88.
THE PASSENGER OF THE “ ATLANTA.” 89



newly-ploughed field. The body was powerfully developed and
firmly fixed upon long legs. Muscular arms, and a general air
of decision gave him the appearance of a hardy, jolly companion.
He was dressed in a suit of ample dimensions, loose neckerchief,
open shirt-collar, disclosing a robust neck; his cuffs were in-
variably unbutioned, through which appeared a pair of red hands.

On the bridge of the steamer, in the midst of the crowd, he
bustled to and fro, never still for a moment, “dragging his
anchors,” as the sailors say, gesticulating, making free with
everybody, biting his nails with nervous avidity. He was one of
those originals which nature sometimes invents in the freak of a
moment, and of which she then breaks the mould.

Amongst other peculiarities, this curiosity gave himself out for
a sublime ignoramus, “like Shakespeare,” and professed supreme
contempt for all scientific men. ‘Those “fellows,” as he called
them, ‘are only fit to mark the points, while we play the game.”
He was, in fact, a thorough Bohemian, adventurous, but not an
adventurer; a hair-brained fellow, a kind of Icarus, only possess-
ing relays of wings. For the rest, he was ever in scrapes, ending
invariably by falling on his feet, like those little pith figures
which they sell for children’s toys. In two words, his motto was
‘‘T have my opinions,” and the love of the impossible constituted
his ruling passion. | : |

Such was the passenger of the “ Atlanta,” always excitable, as
if boiling under the action of some internal fire by the character
of his physical organization. If ever two individuals offered a
striking contrast to each other, these were certainly Michel
Ardan and the Yankee Barbicane; both, moreover, being equally
enterprising and daring, each in his own way.

The scrutiny which the President of the Gun Club had insti-
tuted regarding this new rival was quickly interrupted by the
shouts and hurrahs of the crowd. The cries became at last so
uproarious, and the popular enthusiasm assumed so personal a
form, that Michel Ardan, after having shaken hands some
gO FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

thousands of times, at the imminent risk of leaving his fingers
behind him, was fain at last to make a bolt for his cabin.

Barbicane followed him without uttering a word.

You are Barbicane, I suppose?” said Michel Ardan in a
tone of voice in which he would have addressed a friend of
twenty years’ standing. |

*‘ Yes,” replied the President of the G. C.

‘‘ All right! how d’ye do, Barbicane? how are you getting on
—pretty well? that’s right.”

“So,” said Barbicane, without further preliminary, “you are

quite determined to go.”
“Quite decided.”
“Nothing will stop you?”

‘Nothing. Have you modified your projectile according to
my telegram.”

“TY waited for your arrival. But,” asked Barbicane again,
‘have you carefully reflected ?”

“ Reflected? have I any time'to spare? I find an oppor dantey
of making a tour in the moon, and I mean to profit by it. There
is the whole gist of the matter.”

Barbicane looked hard at this man who spoke so lightly of his
project with such complete absence of anxiety. ‘ But, at least,”
said he, “you have some plans, some means of carrying your
project into execution?”

- “Excellent, my dear Barbicane; only permit me to offer one
remark :—My wish is to tell my story once for all, to everybody,
and then to have done with it; then there will be no need for
recapitulation. So, if you have no objection, assemble your
friends, colleagues, the whole town, all Florida, all America if
you like, and to-morrow I shall be ready to explain my plans and
answer any objections whatever that may be advanced. You
may rest assured I shall wait without stirring. Will that suit
you?”

*‘ All right,” replied Barbicane.
THE PASSENGER OF THE “ ATLANTA,” QI



So saying, the President left the cabin and informed the crowd
of the proposal of Michel Ardan. His words were received with
-clappings of hands and shouts of joy. They had removed all
‘difficulties. To-morrow every one would contemplate at his ease
this European hero. However, some of the spectators, more
infatuated than the rest, would not leave the deck of the “ At-
lanta.” They passed the night on board. Amongst others,
J. ‘IT. Maston got his hook fixed in the combing of the poop, and
it pretty nearly required the capstan to get it out again.

‘He is a hero! a hero!” he cried, a theme of which he was
never tired of ringing the changes; ‘‘and we are only like weak,
silly women, compared with this European!”

As to the president, after having suggested to the visitors it
was time to retire, he re-entered the passenger’s cabin, and re-
mained there till the bell of the steamer made it midnight.

But then the two rivals in popularity shook hands heartily,
and parted on terms of intimate friendship.
Q2 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

CHAPTER XIX.
A MONSTER MEETING.

On the following day Barbicane, fearing that indiscreet questions
might be put to Michel Ardan, was desirous of reducing the num-
ber of the audience to a few of the initiated, his own colleagues
for instance. He might as well have tried to check the Falls of
Niagara! He was compelled, therefore, to give up the idea, and
to let his new friend run the chances of a public conference.
_ The place chosen- for this monster meeting was a vast plain
situated in the rear of the town. Ina few hours, thanks to the
help of the shipping in port, an immense roofing of canvas was
stretched over the parched prairie, and protected it from the
burning rays of the sun. There 300,000 people braved for many
hours the stifling heat while awaiting the arrival of the French-
man. Of this crowd of spectators a first set could both see and
hear ; a second set saw badly and heard nothing at all; and as
for the third, it could neither see nor hear anything at all. At
three o’clock Michel Ardan made his appearance, accompanied by
the principal members of the Gun Club. He was supported on
his right by President Barbicane, and on his left by J. T. Maston,
more radiant than the midday sun and nearly as ruddy. Ardan
mounted a platform, from the top of which his view extended
over a sea of black hats. He exhibited not the slightest embar-
rassment ; he was just as gay, familiar, and pleasant as if he
were at home. To. the hurrahs which greeted him he replied by a
graceful bow ; then, waving his hand to request silence, he spoke
in perfectly correct English as follows :—

“Gentlemen, despite the very hot weather I request your








































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[Page 92.
A MONSTER MEETING. ; 93



patience for a short time while I offer some explanations regard-
ing the projects which seem to have so interested you. I am
neither an orator nor a man of science, and I had no idea of
addressing you in public; but my friend Barbicane has told me
that you would like to hear me, and I am quite at your service.
Listen to me, therefore, with your 600,000 ears, and please to
excuse the faults of the speaker. Now pray do not forget that
you see before you a perfect ignoramus, whose ignorance goes so
far that he cannot even understand the difficulties! It seemed to
him that it was a matter quite simple, natural, and easy to take
one’s place in a projectile and start for the moon! That journey
must be undertaken sooner or later; and, as for the mode of
locomotion adopted, it follows simply the law of progress. Man
began by walking on all-fours ; then, one fine day, on two feet ;
then in a carriage ; then in a stage-coach ; and lastly by railway.
Well, the projectile is the vehicle of the future, and the planets
themselves are nothing else! Now some of you, gentlemen, may
imagine that the velocity we propose to impart to it is extra-
vagant. It is nothing of the kind. All the stars exceed it in
rapidity, and the earth herself is at this moment carrying us
round the sun at three times as rapid a rate, and yet she is a mere
lounger on the way compared with many others of the planets !
And her velocity is constantly decreasing. Is it not evident,
then, I ask you, that there will some day appear velocities far
greater than these, of which light or electricity will probably be
the mechanical agent ? © |

“Yes, gentlemen,” continued the orator, “in spite of the
opinions of certain narrow-minded people, who would shut up the
human race upon this globe, as within some magic circle which it
must never outstep, we shall one day travel to the moon, the
planets, and the stars, with the same facility, rapidity, and
certainty as we now make the voyage from Liverpool to New
York! Distance is but a relative expression, and must end by
being reduced to zero.”
94 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



The assembly, strongly predisposed as they were in favour of the
French hero, were slightly staggered at this bold theory. Michel
Ardan perceived the fact.

‘“‘ Gentleman,” he continued with a pleasant smile, “ you do not
seem quite convinced. Very good! Let us reason the matter
out. Do you know how long it would take for an express train to
reach the moon? Three hundred days; no more! And what is
that? The distance is no more than nine times the circum-
ference of the earth ; and there are no sailors or travellers, of even
moderate activity, who have not made longer journeys than that
in their lifetime. And now consider that I shall be only ninety-
seven hours on my journey. Ah! I see you are reckoning that
the moon is a long way off from the earth, and that one must
think twice before making the experiment. What would you say,
then, if we were talking of going to Neptune, which revolves at
_ a distance of more than two thousand seven hundred and twenty
millions of miles from the sun ! And yet what is that compared with
the distance of the fixed stars, some of which, such as Arcturus,
are at billions of miles distant from us? And then you talk of
the distance which separates the planets from the sun! And
there are people who affirm that such a thing as distance exists,
Absurdity, folly, idiotic nonsense! Would you know what J
think of our own solar universe? Shall I tell you my theory ?
It is very simple! In my opinion the solar system is a solid,
homogeneous body; the planets which compose it are in actual
contact with each other ; and whatever space exists between
them is nothing more than the space which separates the
molecules of the densest metal, such as silver, iron, or platinum !
I have the right, therefore, to affirm, and I repeat, with the con-
viction which must penetrate all your minds, ‘ Distance is but an
empty name; distance does not really exist !’”

“Hurrah!” cried one voice (need it be said it was that of J. T.
Maston?). ‘Distance does not exist!” And overcome by the
energy of his movements, he nearly fell from the platform to the
| A MONSTER MEETING. 95
a oe
ground. He just escaped a severe fall, which would have proved
_to him that distance was by no means an empty name.

“Gentlemen,” resumed the orator, “I repeat that the distance
between the earth and-her satellite is a mere trifle, and unde-
serving of serious consideration. I am convinced that before
twenty years are over one half of our earth will have paid a
visit to the moon. Now, my worthy friends, if you have
any question to put to me, you will, I fear, sadly embarrass
a poor man like myself; still I will do my best to answer
you.” e -

Up to this point the President of the Gun Club had been satis-.
fied with the turn which the discussion had assumed. It became |
now, however, desirable to divert Ardan from questions of a prac-
tical nature, with which he was doubtless far less conversant.
Barbicane, therefore, hastened to get in a word, and began by
asking his new friend whether he thought that the moon and the
planets were inhabited. :

“You put before me a great problem, my worthy President,”
replied the orator, smiling. “ Still, men of great intelligence,
such as Plutarch, Swedenborg, Bernardin de St. Pierre, and
others have, if I mistake not, pronounced in the affirmative,
Looking at the question from the natural philosopher’s point of
view, I should say that nothing useless existed in the world ; and,
replying to your question by another, I should venture to asser t,
that if these worlds are habitable, they either are, have been, or
will be inhabited.” :

“No one could answer more logically or fairly,” replied the
president. “ The question then reverts to this: Are these worlds
habitable ? For my own part I believe they are.”

“For myself, I feel certain of it,” said Michel Ardan.

“ Nevertheless,” retorted one of the audience, “ there are many
arguments agaist the habitability of the worlds. The conditions
of life must evidently be greatly modified upon the majority of |
them. ‘To mention only the planets, we should be either broiled
96 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

alive in some, or frozen to death in others, according as they are
more or less removed from the sun.”

“TI regret,” replied Michel Ardan, “ that I have not the honour
of personally knowing my contradictor, for I would have
attempted to answer him. His objection has its merits, I admit ;
but I think we may successfully combat it, as well as all others
which affect the habitability of the other worlds. If I were a
natural philosopher, I would tell him that if less of caloric were
set in motion upon the planets which are nearest to the sun, and
more, on the contrary, upon those which are farthest removed
from it, this simple fact would alone suffice to equalize the heat,
and to render the temperature of those worlds supportable by
beings organized like ourselves. If I were a naturalist, I would
tell him that, according to some illustrious men of science, nature
has furnished us with instances upon the earth of animals existing
under very varying conditions of life; that fish respire in a
medium fatal to other animals ; that amphibious creatures possess
a double existence very difficult of explanation; that certain
denizens of the seas maintain life at enormous depths, and there
support a pressure equal to that of fifty or sixty atmospheres
without being crushed ; that several aquatic insects, insensible to
temperature, are met with equally among boiling springs and in
the frozen plains of the Polar Sea; in fine, that we cannot help
recognizing in nature a diversity of means of operation oftentimes
incomprehensible, but not the less real. If I were a chemist, I
would tell him that the aerolites, bodies evidently formed exteriorly
of our terrestrial globe, have, upon analysis, revealed indisputable
traces of carbon, a substance which owes its origin solely to orga-
nized beings, and which, according to the experiments of Reichen- |
bach, must necessarily itself have been endued with animation.
And lastly, were I a theologian, I would tell him that the scheme
of the Divine Redemption, according to St. Paul, seems to be
applicable, not merely to the earth, but to all the celestial worlds,
But, unfortunately I am neither theologian, nor chemist, nor
| A MONSTER MEETING. 07
naturalist, nor philosopher ; therefore, in my absolute ignorance of
the great laws which govern the universe, I confine myself to
saying in reply, ‘I do not know whether the worlds are nnabiten
or not ; and since I do not know, I am going to see!’

Whether Michel Ardan’s antagonist hazarued any fabiher argu-
ments or not it is impossible to say, for the uproarious shouts of
the crowd would not allow any expression of opinion to. gain a
hearing. On silence being restored, the triumphant orator con-
tented himself with adding the following remarks :—

“Gentlemen, you will observe that I have but slightly touched
upon this great question. There is another altogether different
line of arguments in favour of the habitability of the stars, which
Iomit for the present. I only desire to call attention to one point.
To those who maintain that the planets are not inhabited one may
reply :—You might be perfectly in the right, if you could only show
that the earth is the best possible world, spite of what Voltaire has
said. She has but one satellite, while Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn,
Neptune have each several, an advantage by no means to be
despised. But that which renders our own globe so uncomfortable
is the inclination of its axis to the plane of its orbit, Hence the
inequality of days and nights ; hence the disagreeable diversity of
the seasons. On the surface of our unhappy spheroid we are
always either too hot or too cold ; we are frozen in winter, broiled
in summer ; it is the planet of rheumatism, coughs, bronchitis ;
while on the surface of Jupiter, for example, where the axis is but
slightly inclined, the inhabitants may enjoy uniform temperatures.
It possesses zones of perpetual springs, summers, autumns, and
winters ; every Jovian may choose for himself what climate he
likes, and there spend the whole of his life in security from all
variations of temperature. You will, I am sure, readily admit this
superiority of Jupiter over our own planet, to say nothing of his
years, which each equal twelve of ours! Under such auspices,
and such marvellous conditions of existence, it appears to me that
the inhabitants of so fortunate a world must be in every respect

H
98 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

superior to ourselves. All we require, in order to attain to such
perfection, is the mere trifle of having an axis of rotation less
inclined to the plane of its orbit !” | | —

‘¢ Hurrah !’. roared an energetic voice, “let us unite our efforts,
invent the necessary machines, and rectify the earth’s axis !”

A thunder of applause followed this proposal, the author of
which was, of course, no other than J. T. Maston. And, in all
probability, if the truth must be told, if the Yankees could only
have found a point of application for it, they would have con- |
structed a lever capable of raising the earth and rectifying its
axis, It was just this deficiency which baffled these daring
: | mechanicians.
ATTACK AND RIPOSTE. 0... 99°



CHAPTER XX.
ATTACK AND RIPOSTE.

As soon as the exaitondorth had subsided, ac fidinnies words were
heard uttered in a strong and determined voice :—. |

‘* Now that the speaker has favoured-us with SO yf patels imagina- —
tion, would he be so good as to return to his subject, and give us a
little practical view of the question ?” - s

All eyes were directed towards the person she ike Ha. was
a little dried-up man, of an active figure, with an American —
“goatee” beard. Profiting by the different movements in the
crowd, he had managed by degrees to gain the front row of spec-
tators. ‘There, with arms crossed and stern gaze, he watched the
hero of the meeting. After having put his question he remained
silent, and appeared to take no notice of the thousands of looks
directed towards himself, nor of the murmur of disapprobation
excited by his words. Meeting at first with no reply, he repeated
his question with marked emphasis, adding, “ We are here to talk
about the moon and not about the earth.” -

“You are right, sir,” replied Michel Ardan: “ ile discussion

has become irregular. We will return to the moon.’

te emer

“Sir,” said the unknown, “you pretend that our satellite is

‘inhabited. Very good; but if Selenites do exist, that race of

beings assuredly must live without breathing, for—I warn you for
your own ee is not the smallest particle of air on the

surface of the moon.’ |
At this remark Ardan pushed up his shock of red hair ; he saw
that he was on the point of being involved in a str uggle with this |
H 2
IOO | FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
person upon the very gist of the whole question. He looked
sternly at him in his turn and said,—

“ Oh ! so there is no air in the moon? And pray, if ou “ane
so good, who ventures to affirm that?”

“The men of science.”

* Really ?”

** Really.”

“ Sir,” replied Michel, *‘pleasantry apart, I have a profound
respect for men of science who do possess science, but a, profound
contempt for men of science who do not.” |

“Do you know any who belong to the latter category ?”

' “Decidedly. In France there are some who maintain that,
mathematically, a bird cannot possibly fly ; and others who demon-
strate theoretically that fishes were never made to live in
water.” | :
‘‘T have nothing to do with persons of that description, and I
can quote, in support of my statement, names which you cannot
refuse deference to.” : |

“Then, sir, you will sadly embarrass a poor ignorant, who,
besides, asks nothing better than to learn.” |

“‘ Why, then, do you introduce scientific questions if you have
never studied them ?” asked the unknown somewhat coarsely.

“For the reason that ‘he is always brave: who never suspects
danger.’ I know nothing, it is true ; but it is precisely my ay
weakness which constitutes my strength.”

“Your weakness amounts to folly,” retorted the unknown i in a
passion. = = .

*¢ All the eet cs our Frenchman, ‘cif it carries me up
to the moon.’ :

Barbicane ma his colleagues devoured with their eyes the in-
truder who had so boldly placed himself in antagonism to their
enterprise. Nobody knew him, and the president, uneasy as to
the result of so free a discussion, watched his new friend with

some anxiety. The meeting began to be somewhat fidgetty also,




























































































































































































































































































































































































































































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: ATTACK AND RIPOSTE.
[Page 101.
ATTACK AND RIPOSTE.. IOF



for the contest directed their attention to the dangers, if not the
actual impossibilities, of the proposed expedition.

“Sir,” replied Ardan’s antagonist, “ there are many and incon-
trovertible reasons which prove the absence of an atmosphere in
the moon. I might say that, @ priori, if one ever did exist, it
must have been absorbed by the earth ; but I prefer to ett
forward indisputable facts.” 3 |

“Bring them forward then, sir, as many as you ania as

** You know,” said the stranger, ‘ that when any ee rays
cross a medium such as the air, they are deflected out of the
straight line; in other words, they undergo refraction,’ Well!
When stars are occulted by the moon, their rays, on grazing the
edge of her disc, exhibit not the least deviation, nor offer the
slightest indication of refraction. It follows, therefore, oe
the moon cannot be surrounded by an atmosphere.”

“In point of fact,” replied Ardan, “ this is your chief, if not
your only argument; and a really scientific man might be puzzled
to answer it. For myself, I will simply say that it is defective, |
because it assumes that the angular diameter of the moon has been
completely determined, which is not the case. But let us proceed.
Tell me, my dear sir, do you admit the existence of volcanoes on
the moon’s surface ?” '

“Extinct, yes! In siege: no !” 3 3

‘These volcanoes, however, were at one ae in a state of
activity ?” |
> True ! but, as they furnished themselves ete oxygen necessary
for combustion, the mere fact of their eruption does not Epreye the
presence of an atmosphere.” : |

“ Proceed again, then ; and let us set aside this elas of argu-
ments in order to come to direct observations. In 1715 the astro-
nomers Louville and Halley, watching the eclipse of the 3rd May,
remarked some very extraordinary scintillations. These jets of |
dight, rapid in nature, and of frequent recurrence, they attributed
to thunderstorms generated in the lunar atmosphere,”
102 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

“In 1715,” replied the unknown, “ihe astronomers Louville and
Halley mistook for lunar phenomena some which were purely
terrestrial, such as meteoric or other bodies which are generated
in our own atmosphere. This was the scientific explanation at.
the time of the facts ; and that is my answer now.”

“On again, then,” replied Ardan; “ Herschel, in 1787, observed
a great number of luminous points on the moon’s surface, did he
not?”

“Yes! but without offering any solution of them. Herschel
himself never inferred from them the necessity of a lunar
atmosphere. And I may add that Beer and Maedler, the two
great authorities upon the moon, are quite agreed as to the entire
absence of air on its surface.”

A movement was here manifest among the assemblage, who
appeared to be growing excited by the arguments of this singular
personage. ‘ |

_ “Let us proceed,” replied Ardan, with perfect coolness, “and
come to one important fact. A skilful French astronomer, M.
Laussedat, in watching the eclipse of July 18, 1860, proved that
the horns of the solar crescent were rounded and truncated. Now,
this appearance could only have been produced by a deviation of
the solar rays in traversing the atmosphere of the moon. There
is no other possible explanation of the fact.”

“ But is this established as a fact ?”

** Absolutely certain!”

A counter-movement here took place in favour of the hero of
the meeting, whose opponent was now reduced to silence. Ardan
resumed the conversation; and, without exhibiting any exultation
at the advantage he had gained, simply said,—

“You see, then, my dear sir, we must not pronounce with abso-
lute positiveness against the existence of an atmosphere in the
moon. ‘That atmosphere is, probably, of extreme rarity; never-
theless at the present day science generally admits that it
exists.” | “4
ATTACK AND RIPOSTE. | 103



“* Not in the mountains, at all Das returned the unknown,
unwilling to give in. as . |

“No! but at the bottom of the valleys, aad not exceeding s a
few hundred feet in height.” -

“In any case you will do well to take every precaution, for the
_ air will be terribly rarified.”

_“ My good sir, there will always be enough for a solitary indi-
vidual; besides, once arrived up there, I shall do my best te
economize, and not to breathe except on grand occasions !”

A tremendous roar of laughter rang in the ears of the mys-
terious interlocutor, who glared fiercely round upon the assembly.

“Then,” continued Ardan, with a careless air, “ since we are
in accord regarding the presence of a certain atmosphere, we
are forced to admit the presence of a certain quantity of water.
This is a happy consequence for me. Moreover, my amiable
contradictor, permit-me to submit to you one further observation.
We only know one side’ of the moon’s disc; and if there is
but little air on the face presented to us, it is possible that there i 8
plenty on the one turned away from us.”

‘*¢ And for what reason ? ” : .

‘* Because the moon, under the action of the earth’s attraction,
has assumed the form of an egg, which we look at from the
smaller end. Hence it follows, by Hausen’s calculations, that its:
centre of gravity is situated in the other hemisphere. Hence it
results that the great mass of air and water must have been
drawn away to the other face of our satellite during the first
days of its creation.” | :

“Pure fancies!” cried the unknown.

“No! Pure theories! which are based upon the laws of
mechanics, and it seems difficult to me to refute them, I
appeal then to this meeting, and I put it to them whether life,
such as exists upon the earth, is possible on the surface of
the moon ?”

Three hundred thousand auditors at once applauded the propo-
Io4 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



sition. Ardan’s opponent tried to get in another word, but he
could not obtain a neon: Cries and menaces 5 fell upon him
like hail. > 3

“Enough! enough! ” evied some.

© Drive the intruder off!” shouted others.

“ Turn him out!” roared the exasperated crowd.

But he, holding firmly on to the platform, did not budge
an-inch, and let the storm pass on, which would soon have
assumed. formidable proportions, if Michel Ardan had not quieted
it by a gesture. He was too chivalrous to abandon his opponent
in an apparent extremity.

‘You wished to say a few more words?” he asked, in a
pleasant voice.

“‘ Yes, a thousand; or rather, no, only one! If you persevere in
your enterprise, you must be a—”

‘‘'Very rash person! How can you treat me as such ? me, who
have demanded a cylindro-conical projectile, in order to prevent
turning round and round on my way like a squirrel ? ”

“ But, “unhappy man, the dreadful recoil will smash you to
pieces at your starting.”

‘‘ My dear contradictor, you have just put your finger upon the
true and the only difficulty; nevertheless, I have too good an
opinion of the industrial genius of the Americans not to believe
that they will succeed in overcoming it.”

“But the heat developed by the rapidity of the projectile
in crossing the strata of air? ”

“Oh! the walls are thick, and I shall soon have crossed the
atmosphere.”

But victuals and water?”

_ “ T have calculated for a bvelvemontits supply, and. I shall be
only four days on the journey.”

‘* But for air to breathe on the road ?”

‘I shall make it by chemical process.”

“ But your fall on the moon, supposing you ever reach it ?”
‘ATTACK AND: RIPOSTE. | 105

eee

“It will be six times less dangerous than a sudden fall upon

the earth, because the moeet will be only one-sixth as great on
the surface of the moon.’

“Still it will be enough to Bs a you like glass!”

“What is to prevent. my retarding the shock by means
of rockets conveniensly, placed, and lighted. at the right
moment?” , 3 a

“ But after all, supposing all difficulties surmounted, all obstacles
removed, supposing everything combined to favour you, and
granting that you may arrive safe and sound in the moon, how
will you come back.?” |

“I am not coming back !”

At this reply, almost sublime in its very simplicity, the esciably
became silent. But its. silence was more eloquent than could have
been its cries of enthusiasm. The unknown profited by the
opportunity and once more protested,— 3

“You will inevitably kill. yourself!” he sii “and your
death will be that of a madman, useless even to science! ” -

“Go on, my dear unknown, for truly your propledies are most
agreeable!” . |

‘Tt really is too much !” ceed Michel Ardan’s adversary. “I
do not know why I should continue so frivolous a discussion !
Please yourself about this insane expedition! We need not.
trouble ourselves about you /” pea

‘‘ Pray don’t stand upon ceremony !” .

_ “No! another person is responsible for your act.” |

“ Who, rey. I ask?” demanded Michel Ar dan in an imperious
tone. .
ee The j ignoramus who organized this oeeey absurd and i Im pos-
sible experiment !” | | ea

The attack was direct. Barbicane, ever since the interference
of the unknown, had been making fearful efforts of self-control;
now, however, seeing himself directly attacked, he could restrain
himself no longer. He rose.suddenly, and was rushing upon the
106 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



enemy who thus braved him to the face, when all at once he
found himself separated from him.

The platform was lifted by a hundred strong arms, and the
President of the Gun Club shared with Michel Ardan triumphal
honours. The shield was heavy, but the bearers came in con-
tinuous relays, disputing, struggling, even: fighting among them-
selves in their eagerness to lend their shoulders to this demon-
stration.

However, the unknown had not profited by the tumult to quit
his post. Besides, he could not have done it in the midst of that
compact crowd. ‘There he held on in the front row, with crossed
arms, glaring at President Barbicane.

_ The shouts of the immense crowd continued at their highest
pitch throughout this triumphant march. Michel Ardan took
it all with evident pleasure. His face gleamed with delight.
‘Several times the platform seemed seized with pitching and-
rolling like a weather-beaten ship. But the two heroes of the
meeting had good sea-legs. They never stumbled; and their
vessel arrived without dues at the port of Tampa Town.

_ Michel Ardan managed fortunately to escape from the last
embraces of his vigorous admirers. He made for the Hotel
Franklin, quickly gained his chamber, and slid under the bed-
clothes, while an army of a hundred thousand men kept watch
under his windows. |

During this time a scene, short, grave, and decisive, took place
between the meee ious personage and the President of the Gun
Club.

Barbicane, free at fact, hada gone straight at his eavere ye

“Come!” he said shortly.

The other followed him on to the quay; oad the two presently
found themselves alone at the entrance of an open wharf on
Jones’ Fall.

The two enemies, still mutually unknown, gazed at each other.

“Who are you?” asked Barbicane.
























































































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ATTACK AND RIPOSTE. - | 107





_ Captain Nicholl!” |

“So I suspected. Hitherto chance has never thrown you in
my way.” :

“Tam come for that purpose.”

** You have insulted me!”

** Publicly !” 7

‘And you will answer to me for this insult: t

‘At this very moment.” ,

“No! I desire that all that passes between us shall be secret.
There is a wood situated three miles from Tampa, the wood of
Skersnaw. Do you know it?” ~~

“T know it.” | van

*¢ Will you be so good as to enter it to-morrow morning - at five
o’clock, on one side?” :

‘“‘ Yes! if you will enter at the Stier side at the same hour.”

‘And you will not forget your rifle?” said Barbicane.

‘‘No more than you will forget yours,” replied Nicholl.

These words having been coldly spoken, the President of the
Gun Club and the captain parted. Barbicane returned to his
lodging; but, instead of snatching a few hours of repose, he
passed the night in endeavouring to discover a means of evading
the recoil of the projectile, and resolving the difficult problem
proposed by Michel Ardan during the discussion at the meeting.
108 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



CHAPTER XXL.
HOW A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR.

Waite the contract of this duel was being discussed by the
president and the captain—this dreadful, savage duel, in which
each adversary became a man-hunter—Michel Ardan was resting
from the fatigues of his triumph. Resting is hardly an appropriate
expression, for American beds rival marble or granite tables for
hardness, ie | 7 |

Ardan was sleeping, then, badly enough, tossing about between
the cloths which served him for sheets, aud he was dreaming of
making a more comfortable couch in his projectile when a frightful
noise disturbed his dreams. ‘Thundering blows shook his door.
They seemed to be caused by some iron instrument. A great
deal of loud talking was distinguishable in this racket, which
was rather too early in the morning. ‘ Open the door,” some one
shrieked, “‘ for Heaven’s sake!” Ardan saw no reason for com-
plying with a demand so roughly expressed. However, he got
up and opened the door just as it was giving way before the
blows of this determined visitor. The secretary of the Gun Club
burst into the room. A bomb could not have made more noise or
have entered the room with less ceremony.

“Last night,” cried J. T. Maston, ex abrupto, “our president
was publicly insulted during the meeting. He provoked his
adversary, who is none other than Captain Nicholl! They are
fighting this morning in the wood of Skersnaw. I heard all
particulars from the mouth of Barbicane himself. If he is killed,
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MASTON BURST INTO THE ROOM.
HOW A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR. 109
ene ee. ee
then our scheme is at end. We must prevent this duel; and one
man alone has enough influence over ene to stop him, and
that man is Michel Ardan.” |
_ While J. T. Maston was speaking, Michel Ardan, without inter-
rupting him, had hastily put on his clothes ; and, in less than two
minutes, the two friends were making for the suburbs. of Tampa
Town with rapid strides. | ;

It was during this walk that Maston told Andak the state of the
case. He told him the real causes of the hostility between
Barbicane and Nicholl; how it was of old date, and why, thanks
to unknown friends, the president and the captain had, as yet,
never met face to face. He added that it arose simply from a
rivalry between iron plates and shot, and, finally, that the scene
at the meeting was only the long-wished-for ey for
Nicholl to pay off an old grudge.

Nothing is more dreadful than private duels in asia’ The
two adversaries attack each other like wild beasts. Then it is
that they might well covet those wonderful properties of the Indians
of the prairies—their quick intelligence, their ingenious cunning,
their scent of the enemy. tion, a single false step may cause death. On these occasions
Yankees are often accompanied by their dogs, and keep oP
the struggle for hours. 7 :

‘What demons you are!” cried Michel Ardan, when his com-
panion had depicted this scene to him with much energy.

“Yes we are,” replied J. T. modestly; “ but we had better
make haste.” .

Though Michel Ardan and he had crossed the plain still wet
with dew, and had taken the shortest route over creeks and rice-
fields, they could not reach Skersnaw under five hours and a half,

Barbicane must have passed the border half an hour ago.

There was an old bushman working there, occupied in selling
faggots from trees that had been levelled by his axe.

Maston ran towards him, saying, “ Have you seen.a man go
IIo FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



into the wood, armed with a rifle ? Barbicane, the president, my
best friend ?” _

The worthy secretary of the Gun Club thought that his presi-
dent must be known by all the world. But the bushman did not
seem to understand him.

_ “A hunter ?” said Ardan.

“A hunter? Yes,” replied the bushman.

“ Long ago ?” | |

‘* About an hour.”

‘Too late!” cried Maston. :

‘‘ Have you heard any gun-shots ?” mica Ar avi

NO 1?

“Not one ?”

** Not one ! that hunter did not look as if he knew how to hunt!”
“ What is to be done ?” said Maston.

“We must go into the wood, at the risk of getting a ball which
not intended for us.”

“ Ah!” cried Maston, in a tone which could not be mistaken,

pat
Tj!

“T would bathe have twenty balls in my own head than one in
Barbicane’s.’

“Forward, then,” said Ardan, pressing his companion’ s hand.

A few moments later the two friends had disappeared in the
copse. It was a dense thicket, in whch rose huge cypresses,
sycomores, tulip-trees, olives, tamarinds, oaks, and magnolias.
These different trees had interwoven their branches into an inex-
tricable maze, through which the eye could not penetrate. Michel
Ardan and Maston walked side by side in silence through the tall
grass, cutting themselves a path through the strong creepers,
casting curious glances on the bushes, and momentarily expecting
to hear the sound of rifles. As for the traces which Barbicane
ought to have left of his passage through the wood, there was not
a vestive of them visible: so they followed the barely perceptible
paths along which Indians had tracked some enemy, and which the
dense foliage darkly overshadowed.
| HOW A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR. III
ec re ee eee Ae eal De ee ee

After an hour spent in vain pursuit the two ‘stopped, in
intensified anxiety.

““It must be all over,” said Maston, discouraged. “A man:
like Barbicane would not dodge with his enemy, or ensnare him,
would not even mancuvre! Heis too open, too brave. He has
gone straight ahead, right into the danger, and doubtless far
enough from the bushman for the wind to prevent his ue the
report of the rifles.” 3

“But surely,” -replied Michel Ardan, “since we entered the
wood we should have heard! ”

“And what if we came too late?” cried, Maston in tones of
despair.

For once Ardan had no reply to make, he and Maston resuming
their walk in silence. From time to time, indeed, they raised
great shouts, cailing alternately Barbicane and Nicholl, neither
of whom, however, answered their cries. Only the birds, awa-
kened by the sound, flew past them and disappeared among the
branches, while some frightened deer fled precipitately before them.

For another hour their search was continued. The greater part
of the wood had beenexplored. ‘There was nothing to reveal the
presence of the combatants. ‘The information of the bushman
was after all doubtful, and Ardan was about to propose their aban-
doning this useless pursuit, when all at once Maston stopped.

** Hush !” said he, ‘‘ there is some one down there ! ”

** Some one ?” repeated Michel Ardan.

“Yes; aman! He seems motionless. His rifle is not in his
hands. What can he be doing?” —

“But can you recognize him?” asked Ardan, suhbee, short
sight was of little use to him in such circumstances,

“Yes! yes! He is turning towards us,” answered Maston.

“ And it is?”

‘‘ Captain Nicholl !”

‘Nicholl ?” cried Michel Ardan, feeling a terrible pang of
grief,
r2 7 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON. —



‘Nicholl unarmed! He has, then, no longer any fear of his
adversary!” .

“Let us. go to him,” said Michel Ardan, “and find out the
truth.”

But he and his companion fies bacly taken fifty steps when
they paused to examine the captain more attentively. They ex-
pected to find a bloodthirsty man, happy in his moweneee !

On seeing him, they remained stupefied. !

A net, composed of very fine meshes, hung between two
enormous tulip-trees, and in the midst of this snare, with its
wings entangled, was a poor little bird, uttering pitiful cries,
while it vainly struggled to escape. The bird-catcher who had
laid this snare was no human being, but a venomous spider,
peculiar to that country, as large as a pigeon’s egg, and armed
with enormous claws. The hideous creature, instead of rushing
on its prey, had beaten a sudden retreat and taken refuge in the
upper branches of the pape for a formidable enemy menaced
its stronghold.

Here, then, was Nicholl, his gun on the ground, forgetful of
danger, trying if possible to save the victim from its cobweb |
prison. At last it was accomplished, and the little bird now
joyfully away and disappeared.

Nicholl lovingly watched its flight, when he heard these words
pronounced by a voice full of emotion,—

‘You are indeed a brave man!” :

- He turned. Michel Ardan was before him, repeating in a
different tone,— . oo
_. “And a kindhearted one!” |
‘Michel Ardan!” cried the captain. ‘ Why are you here ?”
“To press your hand, Nicholl, and to prevent you from either
killing Barbicane or being killed by him.”

“Barbicane !” returned the captain. I have been looking for
him for the last two hours in vain. Where is he hiding ?”

“Nicholl!” said Michel Ardan, “this is not courteous! we
NX Vy es
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IN THE MIDST OF THIS SNARE WAS A POOR LITTLE BIRD.

[Page 112.


HOW A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR. 113
Pe
ought always to treat an adversary with respect ; rest assured if
Barbicane is still alive we shall find him all the more easily ;
because if he has not, like you, been amusing himself with freeing
oppressed birds, he must be looking for you. When we have
found him, ce Ardan io a this, there will be no duel
between you.”

‘Between President Barbicane sal ancolt ” gravely replied
Nicholl, ‘there is a rivalry which the death of one of us—”

“‘Pooh, pooh!” said Ardan. “Brave fellows like you indeed!
you shall not fight!”

“T will fight, sir!”

‘6 No!” | : |

“Captain,” said J. T. Maston, with much feeling, “I am a
friend of the president’s, his alter ego, his second self; if you
really must kill some one, shoot me! it will do just as well!”

“Sir,” Nicholl replied, seizing his rifle convulsively, “these
jokes—” |

“Our friend Maston is not joking,” replied Ardan. “TI fully
understand his idea of being killed himself in’ order to save his
friend. But neither he nor Barbicane will fall before the balls of
Captain Nicholl. Indeed I have s0 attractive a proposal to make
to the two rivals, that both will be eager to accept it.”

“ What is it ?” asked Nicholl with manifest incredulity.

“ Patience!” exclaimed peas “T can only reveal it in the
presence of Barbicane.” |

‘Let us go in search of him then!” oad the captain.

The three men started off at once; the captain having dis-
charged his rifle threw it over his shoulder, and advanced in
silence. | |

Another half-hour ee and the pursuit was still fruitless.
Maston was oppressed by sinister forebodings. He looked fiercely
at Nicholl, asking himself whether the captain’s vengeance had
been already satisfied, and the unfortunate Barbicane, shot, was
perhaps lying dead on some bloody track.. The same thought

1
IIldg FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



seemed to occur to. Ardan; and both were casting inquiring
glances on Nicholl, when suddenly Maston paused.

The motionless figure of a man leaning against a gigantic
catalpa twenty feet off appeared, half-veiled by the foliage.
“It is he!” said Maston. |

Barbicane never moved. Ardan looked at the captain, but he
did not wince. Ardan went forward » rN

‘ Barbicane, Barbicane! ”

No answer! Ardan rushed towards his friend ; but in the act
of seizing his arms, he stopped short and uttered a cry of surprise.

Barbicane, pencil in hand, was tracing geometrical figures in a
-memorandum book, whilst his unloaded rifle lay beside him on the
ground. | |

Absorbed in his studies, Barbicane, in his turn forgetful of the
duel, had seen and heard nothing.

When Ardan took his hand, he looked up and stared at his
visitor in astonishment.

“Ah, it is you!” he cried at last. “I have found it, my friend,
I have found it!” |

‘¢ What ?”
My plan!”

*“¢ What plan ?”

“The plan for cointeraetine ‘the effect of the ‘shock at the
departure of the projectile! ”

“Indeed ?” said Michel Ardan, looking at the captain out of
the corner of his eye. _
_ Yes! water! simply wator, which will act asa epee ea
’ Maston,” cried Barbicane, “ you here also ?”

“Himself,” replied Ardan ; and permit me to introduce to you
at the same time the worthy Captain Nicholl! ”

* Nicholl!” cried Barbicane, who jumped up at once. “ Pardon
mc, captain, I had quite forgotten—I am ready!”

Michel Ardan interfered, without giving the two enemies time
to say anything more.


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[Page 115.
HOW A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR. 1s
pa a ee ee i es Bg Sig ee
“Thank Heaven!” said he. “It isa happy thing that brave
men like you two did not meet sooner! we should now have been —
mourning. for one or other of you. But, thanks to Providence,
which has interfered, there is now no further cause for alarm.
When one forgets one’s anger in mechanics or in en it is a
sign that the anger is not dangerous.”

Michel Ardan then told the eee how the eintahs haa been
found occupied.

“JT put it to you now,” said he in conclusion, “are {wo such
good fellows as you are made on purpose to smash each other" S
skulls with shot ?” 3

There was in “the situation ” ‘sombeial of the ridiculous, some-
thing quite unexpected ; Michel Ardan saw this, and determined
to. effect a reconciliation. | |

“My good friends,” said he, with his most’ pewitehing smile,
“this is nothing but a misunderstanding. Nothing more! well!
to prove that it is all over between you, accept frankly the
proposal I am going to make to you.”

‘Make it,” said Nicholl.

“Our friend Barbicane believes that his projectile will go
straight to the moon ?” | :

“Yes, certainly,” replied the president.

“ And our friend Nicholl is pe suaded it will fall back upon the
earth ?” cpt

“Tam certain of it,” ontel the captain.

“Good!” said Ardan. “I cannot pretend to ie you agree ;
but I suggest this ae with me, and so see whether we are
stopped on our journey.”

_ “What?” exclaimed J. T. Maston, stupefied.

The two rivals, on this sudden proposal, looked steadily at each
_ other. Barbicane waited for the captain’s answer. Nicholl watched
for the decision of the president. © |

“Well?” said Michel. “ There is now no fear of the shock !”

“Done !” cried Barbicane.

12 =
116 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.





But quickly as he pronounced the word, he was not before
Nicholl. — | :

“Hurrah! bravo! hip! hip! hurrah!” cried Michel, giving a
hand to each of the late adversaries. ‘“ Now that it is all settled,
my friends, allow me to treat you after French fashion. Let us
be off to breakfast !”.
THE NEW CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. ' FEF

CHAPTER XXII.
THE NEW CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.

Tat same day all America heard of the affair of Captain Nicholl

and President Barbicane, as well as its singular dénowement.

_ From that day forth, Michel Ardan had not one moment’s rest.

Deputations from all corners of the Union harassed him without

cessation or intermission. He was compelled to receive them all,

whether he would or no. How many hands he shook, how many
people he was “hail-fellow-well-met” with, it is impossible to

guess! Such a triumphal result would have intoxicated any other

man; but he managed to sae himself in a state of oe
semi-tipsiness. : :

Among the deputations of all kinds which assailed him, that of ©
‘The Lunatics” were careful not to forget what they owed to the
future conqueror of the moon. One day, certain of these poor
people, so numerous in America, came to call upon him, and
requested permission to return with him to their native country.

‘Singular hallucination !” said he to Barbicane, after having
dismissed the deputation with promises to convey numbers of mes-
sages to friends in the moon. ‘Do you believe in the influence of
the moon upon distempers ? ” : x

“Scarcely 1” — :

“No more do I, despite some reiiatkable recorded facts of
history. For instance, during an epidemic in 1698, a large number
of persons died at the very moment of an eclipse. The celebrated
Bacon always fainted during an eclipse. Charles VI. relapsed six
times into madness during the year 1399, sometimes during the
118 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



new, sometimes during the full moon. Gall observed that insane
persons underwent an accession of their disorder twice in every
month, at the epochs of new and full moon. In fact, numerous
observations made upon fevers, somnambulisms, and other human
maladies, seem to prove that the moon does exercise some myste-
rious influence upon man.”

‘But the how and the wherefore ?” asked Barbicane.

‘Well, I can only give you the answer which Arago borrowed
from Plutarch, which is nineteen centuries old. ‘Perhaps the
stories are not true !’” |

In the height of his triumph, Michel Ardan had to encounter all
the annoyances incidental to a man of celebrity. Managers of
entertainments wanted to exhibit him. Barnum offered him a
million dollars to make the tour of the United States in his show.
As-for his photographs, they were sold of all sizes, and his portrait
taken in every imaginable posture. More than half a million
copies were disposed of in an incredibly short space of time.

But it was not only the men who paid him homage, but the
women also. He might have married well a hundred times over,
if he had been willing to settle in life. The old maids, in particular,
of forty years and upwards, and dry in proportion, devoured his
photographs day and night: They would have married him by
hundreds, even if he had imposed upon them the condition of
accompanying him into space. He had, however, no intention oi
transplanting a race of Franco-Americans upon the surface of the
moon.

He therefore declined all offers.

As soon as he could withdraw from these somewhat embarrassing
demonstrations, he went, accompanied by his friends, to pay a visit
to the Columbiad. He was highly gratified by his inspection, and
made the descent to the bottom of the tube of this gigantic machine
which was presently to launch him to the regions of the moon.

It is necessary here to mention a proposal of J. T. Maston’s.
When the secretary of the Gun Club found that Barbicane and
THE NEW CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. ITIQ



Nicholl accepted the proposal of Michel Ardan, he determined to
join them, and make one of a snug party of four. So one day
he determined to be admitted as one of the travellers. Barbicane,
pained at having to refuse him, gave him clearly to understand
that the projectile could not possibly contain so many passengers.
Maston, in despair, went in search of Michel Ardan, who coun-
selled him to resign himself to the situation, adding one or two
arguments ad hominem. |

‘You see, old fellow,” he said, ‘‘ you must not take what I say
In bad part; but really, between ourselves, you are in too incom-
plete a condition to appear in the moon !”

“Incomplete ?” shrieked the valiant invalid.

“Yes, my dear fellow! imagine our meeting some of the
inhabitants up there! Would you like to give them such a
melancholy notion of what goes on down here? to teach them
what war is, to inform them that we employ our time chiefly in
devouring each other, in smashing arms and legs, and that too on
a globe which is capable of supporting a hundred billions of
inhabitants, and which actually does contain nearly two hundred
millions? Why, my worthy friend, we aoe have to turn you
out of doors !” :

“But still, a you airive there in pieces, you will be as incom-
plete as I am.’ . Tae

“Unquestionably,” replied Michel Hates ; “but we shall
nab.” “+ oo 3

In fact, a preparatory experiment, tried on the 18th October,
had yielded the best results and caused the most well-grounded
hopes of success. Barbicane, desirous of obtaining some notion of
the effect of the shock at the moment of the projectile’s departure,
had procured a 88-inch mortar from the arsenal of Pensacola.
He had this placed on the bank of Hillisborough Roads, in order
that the shell might fall back into the sea, and the shock be
thereby destroyed. His object was to ascertain the extent of the
shocx of departure, and not that of the return.
120 _ FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

A hollow projectile had been prepared for this curious experi-
ment. A thick padding fastened upon a kind of elastic network,
made of the best steel, lined the inside of the walls. It was a
veritable nest most carefully wadded.

What a pity I can’t find room in there,” said J. T. Maston,
regretting that his height did not allow of his trying the ad-
venture.

Within this shell were shut up a larve cat, and a squirrel belong-
ing to-J. T. Maston, and of which he was particularly fond. They
were’ desirous, however, of ascertaining how this little animal,
least of all others subject to giddiness, would endure this experi-
mental voyage.

The mortar was charged with 160lbs. of ee and the shell
‘placed in the chamber. On being fired, the projectile rose with
great velocity, described a majestic parabola, attained a height of
about a thousand feet, and with a graceful curve descended in the
midst of the vessels that lay there at anchor.

Without a moment’s loss of time a small boat put off in the
direction of its fall; some active divers plunged into the water and
attached ropes to the handles of the shell, which was quickly
dragged on board. Five minutes did not elapse between the
moment of enclosing | the animals and that of unscrewing the
coverlid of their prison. |

Ardan, Barbicane, Maston, and Nicholl were present on board
the boat, and assisted at the operation with an interest which may
readily be comprehended. Hardly had the shell been opened
when the cat leaped out, slightly bruised, but full of life, and
exhibiting no signs whatever of having made an aerial expedi-
tion. No trace, however, of the squirrel could be discovered.
The truth at last became apparent ;—the cat had eaten its fellow-
traveller ! |

J. T. Maston grieved much for the loss of his poor squirrel,
and proposed to add its case to that of other martyrs to science.

After this experiment all hesitation, all fear disappeared.


























































































































































































































































































































































































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THE CAT TAKEN OUT OF THE SHELL.
[Page 120.
| THE NEW CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. I21
a
Besides, Barbicane’s plans would ensure greater perfection for his —
projectile, and go far to annihilate altogether the effects of the
shock. Nothing now remained but to go!

Two days later Michel Ardan received a message from the
President of the United States, an honour of which he showed
himself especially sensible.

After the example of his Masiriede fellow-countryman, the
Marquis de la Fayette, the Government had decreed to him the
title of “ Citizen of the United States of America,”
I22 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON,

CHAPTER XXUUT.
THE PROJECTILE VEHICLE.

On the completion of the Columbiad the public interest centred
in the projectile itself, the vehicle which was destined to carry the
three hardy adventurers into space.

The new plans had been sent to Breadwill and Co., of Albany,
with the request for their speedy execution. The projectile was
consequently cast on the 2nd November, and immediately for-
warded by the Eastern Railway to Stones Hill, which it reached
without accident on the 10th of that month, where Michel Ardan,
Barbicane, and Nicholl were waiting impatiently for it.

The projectile had now to be filled to the depth of three feet
with a bed of water, intended to support a watertight wooden
dise, which worked easily within the walls of the projectile. It was.
upon this kind of raft that the travellers were to take their place.
This body of water was divided by horizontal partitions, which
the shock of the departure would have to break in succession.
Then each sheet of the water, trom the lowest to the highest,
running off into escape tubes towards the top of the projectile,
constituted a kind of spring ; and the wooden dise, supplied with
extremely powerful plugs, could not strike the lowest plate except
after breaking successively the different. partitions. Undoubtedly
the travellers would still have to encounter a violent recoil after
the complete escapement of the water ; but the first shock would
be almost entirely destroyed by this powerful spring. The upper
part of the walls were lined with a thick padding of leather,
fastened upon springs of the best steel, behind which the escape








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THE ARRIVAL OF THE PROJECTILE AT STONES

[Page 122.
| THE PROYECTILE VEHICLE, 123"
Sa
tubes were completely concealed ; thus all imaginable precautions
had been taken for averting the first shock ; and if they did get
crushed, they must, as Michel Ardan said, bs made of very bad
materials, |
_ The entrance into this metallic fs was by a narrow aper-
ture contrived in the wall of the cone. This was hermetically
closed by a plate of aluminium, fastened internally by powerful
Screw-pressure. The travellers could therefore quit their prison’
at pleasure, as soon as they should reach the moon. |
Light and view were given by means of four thick eaten
glass scuttles, two pierced in the circular wall itself, the third i in
the bottom, the fourth in the top. These scuttles then were pro-
tected against the shock of departure by plates let into solid
grooves, which could easily be opened outwards by unscrewing
them from the inside. Reservoirs firmly fixed contained water
cand the necessary provisions; and fire and light were procurable
by means of gas, contained in a special reservoir under a pressure —
_ of several atmospheres. They had only to turn a tap, and for
81x hours the gas would light and warm this comfortable vehicle.
There now remained only the question of air; for allowing for
the consumption of air by Barbicane, his two companions, and
two dogs which he purposed taking ‘with him, it was necessary to
renew the air of the projectile. Now air consists principally of
twenty-one parts of oxygen and seventy-nine of nitrogen. ‘The
lungs absorb the oxygen, which is indispensable for the support
of life, and reject the nitrogen. The air expired loses nearly five
per cent. of the former and contains nearly an equal volume of
carbonic acid, produced by the combustion of the elements of the
blood. In an air-tight enclosure, then, after a certain time, all
the oxygen of the air will be replaced by the carbonic acid—a
gas fatal to life. There were two things to be done then—first,
to replace the absorbed oxygen; secondly, to destroy the expired
carbonic acid; both easy enough to do, by means of chlorate of
potass and caustic potash. The former isa salt which appears
124 PROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

under the form of white crystals; when raised to a temperature
of 400° it is transformed into chlorure of potassium, and the
oxygen which it contains is entirely liberated. Now twenty-
eight pounds of chlorate of potass produce seven pounds of
oxygen, or 2400 litres—the quantity necessary for the travellers
during twenty-four hours. |

Caustic potash has a great affinity for carbonic acid; and it is
sufficient to shake it in order for it to seize upon the acid and
form bi-carbonate of potass. By these two means they would be
enabled to restore to the vitiated air its life-supporting properties.

It is necessary, however, to add that the experiments had
hitherto been made in anima vili. Whatever its scientific accuracy
was, they were at present ignorant how it would answer with
human beings. The honour of putting it to the proof was ener
getically claimed by J. T. Maston.

“Since Iam not to go,” said the brave artillerist, “I may at
least live for a week in the projectile.”

It would have been hard to refuse him; so they consented to
his wish.
caustic potash was placed at his disposal, together with provisions
for eight days. And having shaken hands with his friends, on
the 12th November, at six o’clock a.m., after strictly informing
them not to open his prison before the 20th, at six o’clock p.m.,
he slid down the projectile, the plate of which was at once her-
metically sealed. What did he do with himself during that week ?
They could get no information. The thickness of the walls of
the projectile prevented any sound reaching from the inside to
the outside. On the 20th of November, at six p.m. exactly, the
plate was opened, The friends of J. T. Maston had been all
along in a state of much anxiety; but they were promptly re-
assured on hearing a jolly voice shouting a boisterous hurrah.

Presently afterwards the secretary of the Gun Club appeared
at the top of the cone in a triumphant attitude. He had grown
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[Page 124.
THE TELESCOPE OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. 125
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CHAPTER XXIV.
THE TELESCOPE OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.

On the 20th October in the preceding year, after the close of
the subscription, the president of the Gun Club had credited the
Observatory of Cambridge with the necessary sums for the con-
struction of a gigantic optical instrument. This instrument was
designed for the purpose of rendering visible on the surface of the
moon any object exceeding nine feet in diameter. |

At the period when the Gun Club essayed their great experi-
ment, such instruments had reached a high degree of perfection,
and produced some magnificent results. Two telescopes in par-
ticular, at this time, were possessed of remarkable power and of
gigantic dimensions. The first, constructed by Herschel, was thirty-
six feet in length, and had an object-glass of four feet six inches; it —
possessed a magnifying power of 6000. The second was raised
in Ireland, in Parsonstown Park, and belongs to Lord Rosse. The
length of this tube is forty-eight feet, and the diameter of its object-
glass six feet; it magnifies 6400 times, and required an immense
erection of brickwork and masonry for the purpose of working it,
its weight being twelve tons and a half, |

Still, despite these colossal dimensions, the actual enlargements
scarcely exceeded 6000 times in round numbers ; consequently,
the moon was brought within no nearer an apparent distance than
thirty-nine miles ; and objects of less than sixty feet in diameter,
unless they were of very considerable length, were still impercep-
tible. | |

In the present case, dealing with a projectile nine feet in
diameter and fifteen feet long, it became necessary to bring the
126 _ FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



moon within an apparent distance of five miles at most; and, for
that purpose, to establish a magnifying power of 48,000 times.

Such was the question proposed to the Observatory of Cam-
bridge. There was no lack ok funds ; the difficulty was purely one
of construction.

After considerable discussion as to the best form and principle
of the proposed instrument the work was finally commenced.
_ According to the calculations of the Observatory of Cambridge,
the tube of the new reflector would require to be 280 feet in.
length, and the object-glass sixteen feet in diameter. Colossal as
_ these dimensions may appear, they were diminutive in comparison:
with the 10,000 foot telescope proposed by the astronomer Hooke
only a few years ago! |

Regarding the choice of locality, that matter was promptly
determined. The object was to select some lofty mountain, and
there are not many of these in the United States. In fact there.
are but two chains of moderate elevation, between which runs the:
magnificent Mississippi, the ‘‘ king of rivers,” as these Republican
Yankees delight to call it.

Eastwards rise the Apalachians, the very . highest point of
which, in New Hampshire, does not exceed we very moderate:
altitude of 5600 feet. es
_ On the west, however, rise,the Rocky Mountains, that j immense
range which, commencing at the Straits of Magellan, follows the
western coast of Southern America under the name of the Andes.
or the Cordilleras, until it crosses the Isthmus of Panama, and
runs up the whole of North America to the very borders of the
Polar Sea. The highest elevation of this range still does not.
exceed 10,700 feet. With this elevation, nevertheless, the Gun
Club were compelled to be content, inasmuch as they had deter-
mined that both telescope and Columbiad should be erected within
the limits of the Union. All the necessary apparatus was conse-
quently sent on to the summit es Long’s Peak, in the territory of
Missouri. .




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[Page 127.
THE TELESCOPE OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. 127

Neither pen nor language can describe the difficulties of all kinds |
which the American engineers had to surmount, or the prodigies
of daring and skill which they accomplished. They had to raise
cnormous stones, massive pieces of wrought iron, heavy corner-
clamps and huge portions of cylinder, with an object-glass weigh-
‘ing nearly 80,000lbs., above the line of perpetual snow for more than
10,000 feet in height, after crossing desert prairies, impenetrable
forests, fearful rapids, far from all centres of population, and in
the midst of savage regions, in which every detail of life becomes
an almost insoluble problem. And yet, notwithstanding these
innumerable obstacles, American genius triumphed. In less
than a year after the commencement of the works, towards the
close of September, the gigantic reflector rose into the air to a
height of 280 feet. It was raised by means of an enormous iron
crane ; an ingenious mechanism allowed it to be easily worked
towards all the points of the heavens, and to follow the stars from
the one horizon to the other during their journey emeeee the
heavens. :

It had cost 400,000 dollars. The first time it ‘was vilinedtad
towards the moon, the observers evinced both curiosity and
anxiety. What were they about to discover in the field of this
telescope which magnified objects 48,000 times? Would they
perceive peoples, herds of lunar animals, towns, lakes, seas ? No!
there was nothing which science had not already discovered! and
on all the points of its disc the volcanic nature of the moon i preamne

determinable with the utmost precision.

But the telescope of the Rocky Mountains, before doing its
duty to the Gun Club, rendered immense services to astronomy.
Thanks to its penetrative power, the depths of the heavens were
sounded to the utmost extent; the apparent diameter of a great
number of stars was accurately measured; and Mr. Clark, of the
Cambridge staff, resolved the Crab nebula in Taurus, which the
reflector of Lord Rosse had never been able to decompose.
128 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON,



CHAPTER XXvV.
FINAL DETAILS.

It was the 22nd of November; the departure was to take place
in ten days. One operation alone remained to be accom-
plished to bring all to a happy termination; an operation delicate
and perilous, requiring infinite precautions, and against the suc-
cess of which Captain Nicholl had laid his third bet. It was, in
fact, nothing less than the loading of the Columbiad, and the
introduction into it of 400,000 pounds of gun-cotton. Nicholl
had thought, not perhaps without reason, that the handling
of such formidable quantities of pyroxyle would, in all proba-
bility, involve a grave catastrophe; and at any rate, that this
immense mass of eminently inflammable matter would inevit-
ably ignite when submitted to the pressure of the projectile.

There were indeed dangers accruing as before from the care-
lessness of the Americans, but Barbicane had set his heart on
success, and took all possible precautions. In the first place, he
was very careful as to the fransportation of the gun-cotton to
Stones Hill. He had it conveyed in small quantities, carefully
packed in sealed cases. These were brought by rail from Tampa
Town to the camp, and from thence were taken to the Columbiad
by barefooted workmen, who deposited them in their places by
means of cranes -placed at the orifice of the cannon. No steam-
engine was permitted to work, and every fire was extinguished
within two miles of the works.

Even.in November they feared to work by day, lest the sun’s
rays acting on the gun-cotton might lead to unhappy results.
FINAL DETAILS. | | 129



This led to their working at night, by light produced in a vacuum
by means of Rihmkorff’s apparatus, which threw an artificial
brightness into the depths of the Columbiad. There the cart-
ridges were arranged with the utmost regularity, connected by a
metallic thread, destined to communicate to them all simulta-
neously the electric spark, by which means this mass of gun-
cotton was eventually to be ignited. |
By the 28th of November, 800 cartridges had been placed in
the bottom of the Columbiad. So far the operation had been
successful! But what confusion, what anxieties, what struggles
were undergone by President Barbicane! In vain had he refused
admission to Stones Hill; every day the inquisitive neighbours
scaled the palisades, some even carrying their imprudence to the
point of smoking, while surrounded by bales of gun-cotton. Bar-
bicane was in a perpetual state of alarm. J.T. Maston seconded
him to the best of his ability, by giving vigorous chase to the
intruders, and carefully picking up the still lighted cigar ends
which the Yankees threw about. A somewhat difficult task!
seeing that more than 300,000 persons were gathered round
the enclosure. Michel Ardan had volunteered to superintend the
transport of the cartridges to the mouth of the Columbiad; but
the president, having surprised him with’ an enormous cigar in
his mouth, while he was hunting out the rash spectators to whom
he himself offered so dangerous an example, saw that he could
not trust this fearless smoker, and was therefore obliged to mount
a special guard over him. .
At last, Providence being propitious, this wonderful touting
came to a happy termination, Captain Nicholl’s third bet being
thus lost. It remained now to introduce the projectile into the
Columbiad, and to place it on its soft bed of gun-cotton. |
But before doing this, all those things necessary for the
journey had to be carefully arranged in the projectile-vehicle.
These necessaries were numerous; and had Ardan been allowed to
follow his own wishes, there would have been no space remaining
K
Â¥30 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



for the travellers. It is impossible to conceive of half the
things this charming Frenchman wished to convey to the moon.
A veritable stock of useless trifles! But Barbicane interfered and
refused admission to anything not absolutely needed. Several
thermometers, barometers, and telescopes were packed in the
instrument case.

The travellers being desirous of examining the moon carefully
during their voyage, in order to facilitate their studies, they took
with them Boer and Moélier’s excellent Mappa Selenographica,
a masterpiece of patience and observation, which they hoped
would enable them to identify those physical features in the moon,
with which they were acquainted. This map reproduced with
- scrupulous fidelity the smallest details of the lunar surface which
faces the earth; the mountains, valleys, craters, peaks, and ridges
were all represented, with their exact dimensions, relative posi-
tions, and names; from the mountains Doérfel and Leibnitz on the
eastern side of the disc, to the Mare frigoris of the North Pole.

_ They took also three rifles and three fowling-pieces, and a
large quantity of balls, shot, and powder.

“We cannot tell whom we shall have to deal wali: ” said
Michel Ardan. “Men or beasts may possibly object to our visit.
It is only wise to take all precautions.”

These defensive weapons were accompanied by pickaxes, crow-
bars, saws, and other useful implements, not to mention clothing
adapted to every temperature, from that of the polar regions to
that of the torrid zone.

Ardan wished to convey a number of animals of different sorts
{not indeed a pair of every known species), as he could not see the
necessity of acclimatizing serpents, tigers, alligators, or any other
noxious beasts in the moon. “N evertheless,” he said to Barbi-
cane, “some valuable and useful beasts, bullocks, cows, horses,
and donkeys, would aa the journey very well, and would also
be very useful to us.”

“I dare say, my dear Ardan,” replied the president, “ but our
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THE INTERIOR OF THE PROJECTILE.
FINAL DETAILS. 131



projectile-vehicle is no Noah’s ark, from which it differs both in
dimensions and object. Let us confine ourselves to possibilities.’

After a prolonged discussion, it was agreed that the travellers
should restrict themselves to a sporting-dog belonging to
Nicholl, and to a large Newfoundland. Several packets of seeds
were also included among the necessaries. Michel Ardan, indeed,
was anxious to add some sacks full of earth to sow them in; as
it was, he took a dozen shrubs carefully wrapped up in straw to
pliant in the moon.

The important question of provisions still remained; it being
necessary to provide against the possibility of their finding the
moon absolutely barren. Barbicane managed so successfully,
that he supplied them with sufficient rations for a year. These
consisted of preserved meats and vegetables, reduced by strong
hydraulic pressure to the smallest possible dimensions. They
were also supplied with brandy, and took water enough for two
months, being confident, from astronomical observations, that
there was no lack of water on the moon’s surface. As to provi-
sions, doubtless the inhabitants of the earth would find nourish-
ment somewhere in the moon. Ardan never questioned this; indeed,
had he done so, he would never have undertaken the journey.

** Besides,” he said one day to his friends, “we shall not be
completely abandoned by our terrestrial friends; they will take
care not to forget us.”

*“* No, indeed!” replied J. T. Maston.

* What do you mean?” asked Nicholl.

‘“* Nothing would be simpler,” replied Ardan; ‘‘ the Columbiad
will be always there. Well! whenever the moon is in a favour-
able condition as to the zenith, if not to the perigee, that is to say
about once a year, could you not send us a shell packed with
provisions, which we might expect on some appointed day?” —

Hurrah! hurrah!” cried J.T. Maston; “ what an ingenious -
fellow! what a splendid idea! Indeed, my good friends, we
shall not forget you

{ 7

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132 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



“YT shall reckon upon you! Then, you see, we shall receive
news regularly from the earth, and we shall indeed be stupid if we
hit upon no plan for communicating with our good friends here!”

These words inspired such confidence, that Michel Ardan
earried all the Gun Club with him in his enthusiasm. What he
said seemed so simple and so easy, so sure of success, that none
could be so sordidly attached to this earth, as to hesitate to fol-
low the three travellers on their lunar expedition.

All being ready at last, it remained to place the projectile in the
Columbiad, an operation abundantly accompanied by dangers and
difficulties. .

The enormous shell was conveyed to the summit of Stones
Hill. There, powerful cranes raised it, and held it suspended
over the mouth of the cylinder.

It was a fearful moment! What if the chains should break
under its enormous weight ? The sudden fall of such a body
would inevitably cause the gun-cotton to explode!

Fortunately this did not happen; and some hours later the
projectile-vehicle descended gently into the heart of the cannon
and rested on its couch of pyroxyle, a veritable bed of explosive
eider-down. Its pressure had no result, other than the more
effectual ramming down of the charge of the Columbiad.

“ T have lost,” said the Captain, who forthwith paid President

: Biiewnc the sum of 3000 dollars.

Barbicane did not wish to accept the money from one of his
fellow-travellers, but gave way at last before the determination of
Nicholl, who wished metre leaving the earth to fulfil all his
engagements.

“Now,” said Michel Ardan, “TI have only one thing more to
wish for you, my brave Captain.”

“ What is that?” asked Nicholl.

“It is that you may lose your two other bets! Then we shall
be sure not to be stopped on our journey!”

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AN INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE COVERED THE PRAIRIE ROUND STONES HILL.

[| Page 133.
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FIRE | 133
a a

CHAPTER XXVI.
FIRE !

THE first of December had arrived! the fatal day! for, if the
projectile were not discharged that very night at 10h. 46m. 40s.
p-m., more than eighteen years must roll by before the moon
would again present herself under the same conditions of zenith
and perigee. ) 7

The weather was magnificent. Despite the approach of winter,
the sun shone brightly, and bathed in its radiant light that earth
which three of its denizens were about to abandon for a new
world. }

How many persons lost their rest on the night which preceded
this long-expected day ! All hearts beat with disquietude, save only
the heart of Michel Ardan. That imperturbable personage came
and went with his habitual business-like air, while nothing what-
ever denoted that any unusual matter preoccupied his mind.

After dawn, an innumerable multitude covered the prairie
which extends, as far as the eye can reach, round Stones Hill.
Every quarter of an hour the railway brought fresh accessions of
sightseers ; and, according to the statement of the Tampa Town
Observer, not less than five millions of spectators thronged the
soil of Florida. |

For a whole month previously, the mass of these persons had
bivouacked round the enclosure, and laid the foundations for a
town which was afterwards called “ Ardan’s Town.” The whole
plain was covered with huts, cottages, and tents. Every nation
134 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

under the sun was represented there ; and every language might
be heard spoken at the same time. It was a perfect Babel re-
enacted. All the various classes of American society were
mingled together in terms of absolute equality. Bankers,
farmers, sailors, cotton-planters, brokers, merchants, watermen,
magistrates, elbowed each other in the most free-and-easy way.
Louisiana Creoles fraternised with farmers from Indiana ;
Kentucky and Tennessee gentlemen and haughty Virginians
conversed with trappers and the half-savages of the lakes
and butchers from Cincinnati. Broad-brimmed white hats and
Panamas, blue cotton trowsers, light coloured stockings, cambric
frills, were all here displayed ; while upon shirt-fronts, wristbands,
and neckties, upon every finger, even upon the very ears, they
wore an assortment of rings, shirt-pins, brooches, and trinkets, of
which the value only equalled the execrable taste. Women,
children, and servants, in equally expensive dress, surrounded
their husbands, fathers, or masters, who resembled the patriarchs
of tribes in the midst of their immense households.

At meal-times, all fell to work upon the dishes peculiar to the
Southern States, and consumed with an appetite that threatened
speedy exhaustion of the victualling powers of Florida, fri-
casseed frogs, stuffed monkey, fish chowder, underdone ’possum,
and racoon steaks. And as for the liquors which accompanied this
indigestible repast! The shouts, the vociferations that resounded
through the bars and taverns decorated with glasses, tankards,
and bottles of marvellous shape, mortars for pounding sugar, and
bundles of straws! ‘ Mint-julep!” roars one of the barmen ;
“Claret sangaree!” shouts another; “ Cocktail!” ‘ Brandy-
smash!” ‘Real mint-julep in the new style!” All these cries
intermingled produced a bewildering and deafening hubbub.

But on this day, Ist December, such sounds were rare. No
one thought of cating or drinking, and at four p.m. there were vast
numbers of spectators who had not even taken their customary
Junch! And, a still more significant fact, even the national
Hike: 135
SASSER eee
passion for play seemed quelled for the time under the general
excitement of the hour. |

Up till nightfall, a dull, noiseless agitation, such as precedes
great catastrophes, ran through the anxious multitude. An
indescribable uneasiness pervaded all minds, an indefinable sensa-
tion which oppressed the heart. Every one wished it was over.

However, about seven o’clock, the heavy silence was dissipated.
The moon rose above the horizon. Millions of hurrahs hailed her
appearance. She was punctual to the rendezvous, and shouts of
welcome greeted her on all sides, as her pale beams shone
gracefully in the clear heavens. At this moment the three
intrepid travellers appeared. This was the signal for renewed
cries of still greater intensity. Instantly the vast assemblage, as
with one accord, struck up the national hymn of the United States,
and “ Yankee Doodle,” sung by five millions of hearty throats, rose
like a roaring tempest to the farthest limits of the atmosphere.
Then a profound silence reigned throughout the crowd.

The Frenchman and the two Americans had by this time
entered the enclosure reserved in the centre of the multitude.
They were accompanied by the members of the Gun Club, and by
deputations sent from all the European Observatories. Barbi-
cane, cool and collected, was giving his final directions. Nicholl,
with compressed lips, his arms crossed behind his back, walked
with a firm and measured step. Michel Ardan, always easy,
dressed in thorough traveller’s costume, leathern gaiters on his
legs, pouch by his side, in loose velvet suit, cigar in mouth, was
full of inexhaustible gaiety, laughing, joking, playing pranks
with J. T. Maston. In one word, he was the thorough “ French-
man” (and worse, a “ Parisian *’) to the last moment.

Ten o’clock struck! The moment had arrived for taking their
places in the projectile! The necessary operations for the
descent, and the subsequent removal of the cranes and scaffolding’
that inclined over the mouth of the Columbiad, required a certain
period of time.
136 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



Barbicane had regulated his chronometer to the tenth part of a
second by that of Murchison the engineer, who was charged with
the duty of firing the gun by means of an electric spark. Thus
_ the travellers enclosed within the projectile, were enabled to
follow with their eyes the impassive needle which marked the
precise moment of their departure. |

The moment had arrived for saying “‘ Good-bye!” The scene
was a touching one. Despite his feverish gaiety, even Michel
Ardan was touched. J.T. Maston had found in his own dry eyes
one ancient tear, which he had doubtless reserved for the occasion.
He dropped _it on the forehead of his dear president.

“Can I not go?” he said, “ there is still time ! ”

‘Impossible, old fellow!” replied Barbicane. A few moments

_ later, the three fellow-travellers had ensconced themselves in

the projectile, and screwed down the plate which covered the
entrance-aperture. The mouth of the Columbiad, now completely
disencumbered, was open entirely to the sky.

The moon advanced upwards in a heaven of the purest clear-
ness, outshining in her passage the twinkling light of the stars.
She passed over the constellation of the Twins, and was now
nearing the half-way point between the horizon and the zenith.

A terrible silence weighed upon the entire scene! Nota breath
of wind upon the earth! not a sound of breathing from the
countless chests of the spectators! Their hearts seemed afraid to
beat ! All eyes werefixed uponthe yawning mouth of the Columbiad.

Murchison followed with his eye the hand of his chronometer.
It wanted scarce forty seconds to the moment of departure, but
each second seemed to last an age! At the twentieth there was a
general shudder, as it occurred to the minds of that vast assem-
blage that the bold travellers shut up within the projectile were
also counting those terrible seconds. Some few cries here and
there escaped the crowd.

“ Thirty-five ! — thirty-six !— thirty-seven !— thirty-eight !—
thirty-nine !—forty! Fire!!!”
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“FIRE |” 137

Le nearest cence,





Instantly Murchison pressed with his finger the key of the
electric battery, restored the current of the fluid, and discharged
the spark into the breach of the Columbiad.

An appalling, unearthly report followed instantly, such as can
be compared to nothing whatever known, not even to the roar of
thunder, or the blast of volcanic explosions! No words can
convey the slightest idea of the terrific sound! An immense
spout of fire shot up from the bowels of the earth as from a
crater. ‘The earth heaved up, and with great difficulty some
few spectators obtained a momentary glimpse of the projectile
victoriously cleaving the air in the midst of the fiery vapours! _
138 FROIE THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

LTT LOL TI LEI I LLL LEO CLC LLY CLO LCE CEA EAE CT tL AGEN ETAL TCE CONT tr

CHAPTER XXVII.
FOUL WEATHER.

Art the moment when that pyramid of fire rose to a prodigious
height into the air, the glare of the flame lit up the whole of
Florida; and for a moment day superseded night over a con-
siderable extent of the country. This immense canopy of fire
was perceived ata distance of 100 miles out at sea, and more
than one ship’s captain entered in his log the appearance of this
gigantic meteor.

The discharge of the Columbiad was accompanied by a perfect
earthquake. Florida was shaken to its very depths. The gases
of the powder, expanded by heat, forced back the atmospheric
strata with tremendous violence, and this artificial hurricane
rushed like a waterspout through the air.

Not a single spectator remained on his feet! Men, women,
children, all lay prostrate like ears of corn under a tempest.
There ensued a terrible tumult; a large number of persons were
seriously injured. J.T. Maston, who, despite of all dictates of
prudence had kept in advance of the mass, was pitched back 120°
feet, shooting like a projectile over the heads of his fellow-
citizens. Three hundred thousand persons remained deaf for a
time, and as though struck stupefied. _

As soon as the first effects were over, the injured, the deaf, and
lastly, the crowd in general, woke up with frenzied cries. ‘ Hur-
rah for Ardan! Hurrah for Barbicane! Hurrah for Nicholl!”
rose to the skies. Thousands of persons, noses in air, armed
with telescopes and race-glasses, were questioning space, forget-


















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EFFECT OF THE EXPLOSION.
| Page 138.


| Page 139.































































































































































































































































































































































RECTOR AT HIS POST,







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FOUL WEATHER. 139
a
ting all contusions and emotions in the one idea of watching for
the projectile. They looked in vain! It was no longer to be
seen, and they were obliged to wait for telegrams from Long’s
Peak. The Director of the Cambridge Observatory was at his
post on the Rocky Mountains; and to him, as a skilful and per-
severing astronomer, all observations had been confided.

But an unforeseen phenomenon came in to subject the public
impatience to a severe trial. |

The weather, hitherto so fine, suddenly changed; the sky
became heavy with clouds. It could not have been otherwise
after the terrible derangement of the atmospheric strata, and the
dispersion of the enormous quantity of vapour arising from the
combustion of 200,000lbs. of pyroxyle !

On the morrow the horizon was covered with clouds—a thick
and impenetrable curtain between earth and sky, which unhappily
extended as far as the Rocky Mountains. It was a fatality! But
since man had chosen so to disturb the atmosphere, he was bound
to accept the consequences of his experiment.

Supposing, now, that the experiment had succeeded, the tra-
vellers having started on the 1st of December, at 10h. 46m. 40s.
p-m., were due on the 4th at Oh. p.m. at their destination. So
that up to that time it would have been very difficult after all to
have observed, under such conditions, a body so small as the .
shell. ‘Therefore they waited with what patience they might.

From the 4th to the 6th of December inclusive, the weather
remaining much the same in America, the great European instru-
ments of Herschel, Rosse, and Foucault, were constantly directed
towards the moon, for the weather was then magnificent ; but the
comparative weakness of their glasses prevented any trustworthy
observations being made.

On the 7th the sky seemed to lighten. They were in hopes
now, but their hope was of but short duration, and at night again
thick clouds hid the starry vault from all eyes. |

Matters were now becoming serious, when on the 9th, the
I40 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.



sun reappeared for an instant, as if for the purpose of teasing the
Americans. It was received with hisses ; and wounded, no doubt,
by such a reception, showed itself very sparing of its rays,

On the 10th, no change! J. T’. Maston went nearly mad, and
great fears were entertained regarding the brain of this worthy
individual, which had hitherto been so well preserved within hig
gutta-percha cranium.

But on the 11th one of those inexplicable tempests peculiar
to those intertropical regions, was let loose in the atmosphere. A
terrific east wind swept away the groups of clouds which had
been so long gathering, and at night the semi-dise of the orb of
night rode majestically amidst the soft constellations of the sky.
| A NEW STAR. 141
A te eR SE SESS

CHAPTER XXVIII.
A NEW STAR.

Tat very night, the startling news so impatiently awaited, burst
like a thunderbolt over the United States of the Union, and
thence, darting across the ocean, ran through all the telegraphic
wires of the globe. The projectile had been detected, thanks to
the gigantic reflector of Long’s Peak! Here is the note received
py the Director of the Observatory of Cambridge. It contains
the scientific conclusion regarding this great experiment of the
Gun Club.

‘*Lone’s Peak, December 12.

“To the Officers of the Observatory of Cambridge.

“The projectile discharged by the Columbiad at Stones Hill has been
detected by Messrs. Belfast and J. T. Maston, 12th December, at 8.47 p.m.,
the moon having entered her last quarter. This projectile has not arrived at
its destination. It has passed by the side; but sufficiently near to be
retained by the lunar attraction.

“The rectilinear movement has thus become changed into a circular
motion of extreme velocity, and it is now pursuing an elliptical orbit round
the moon, of which it has become a true satellite.

‘“‘The elements of this new star we have as yet been unable to determine ;
we do not yet know the velocity of its passage. The distance which separates
it from the surface of the moon may be estimated at about 2833 miles.

‘ However, two hypothesis come here into our consideration.

‘1, Hither the attraction of the moon will end by drawing them into
itself, and the travellers will attain their destination ; or,—

“9, The projectile, following an immutable law, will continue to gravitate
round the moon till the end of time.

‘¢ At some future time, our observations will be able to determine this
point, but till then the experiment of the Gun Club can have no other result
than to have provided our solar system with a new star.

“J. Brewrast.”
142 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
Seen Le ee eae 2 ene

Lo how many questions did this unexpected denouement give
rise ? What mysterious results was the future reserving for the
investigations of science ? At all events, the names of Nicholl,
Barbicane, and Michel Ardan were certain to be immortalized in
the annals of astronomy !

When the despatch from Long’s Peak had once become known,

there was but one universal feeling of surprise and alarm. Was
it possible to go to the aid of these bold travellers? No! for
they had placed themselves beyond the pale of humanity, by
crossing the limits imposed by the Creator on his earthly creatures.
_ They had air enough for two months ; they had victuals enough
for twelve;—but after that ? There was only one man who would
not admit that the situation was desperate,—he alone had confi-
dence ; and that was their devoted friend J.T. Maston.

Besides, he never let them get out of sight. His home was
henceforth the post at Long’s Peak ; his horizon, the mirror of
that immense reflector. As soon as the moon rose above the
horizon, he immediately caught her in the field of the telescope ;
he never let her go for an instant out of his sight, and followed
her assiduously in her course through the stellar spaces. He
watched with untiring patience the passage of the projectile
across her silvery disc, and really the worthy man remained in
perpetual communication with his three friends, whom he did not
despair of seeing again some day. |
_ Those three men,” said he, “have carried into space all the
resources of art, science, and industry. With that, one can do
anything ;-and you will see that, some day, they will come out all
right,” :
ROUND THE MOON:
| A SEQUEL TO ee

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

ROUND THE MOON.



PRELIMINARY CHAPTER.

RECAPITULATING THE FIRST PART OF THIS WORK, AND
SERVING AS A PREFACE TO THE SECOND.

Durine the year 186—, the whole world was greatly excited by
a scientific experiment unprecedented in the annals of science.
The members of the Gun Club, a circle of artillerymen formed
at Baltimore after the American war, conceived the idea of
putting themselves in communication with the moon !—yes, with
the moon,—by sending to her a projectile. Their president,
Barbicane, the promoter of the enterprise, having consulted the
astronomers of the Cambridge Observatory upon the subject,
took all necessary means to ensure the success of this extraor-
dinary enterprise, which had been declared practicable by the
majority of competent judges. After setting on foot a public
subscription, which realized nearly 1,200,000/., they began the
gigantic work.

According to the advice forwarded from the members of the
Observatory, the gun destined to launch the projectile had to be
fixed in a country situated between the 0 and 28th degrees of
north or south latitude, in order to aim at the moon when
at the zenith; and its initiatory velocity was fixed at twelve
thousand yards to the second. Launched on the Ist of December,

L
146 ROUND THE MOON.



‘at 10hrs. 46m. 40s. p.m., it ought to reach the moon four days
after its departure, that is on the Sth of December, at midnight
precisely, at the moment of her attaining her perigee, that is her
nearest distance from the earth, which is exactly 86,410 leagues
(French), or 238,833 miles mean distance (English).

The principal members of the Gun Club, President Barbicane,
Major Elphinstone, the secretary Joseph T. Maston, and other
learned men, held several meetings, at which the shape and com-
position of the projectile were discussed, also the position and
nature of the gun, and the quality and quantity of the powder to
be used. It was decided: Ist, that the projectile should be a
shell made of aluminium with a diameter of 108 inches and a thick-
ness of twelve inches to its walls; and should weigh 19,250lbs.
2ndly, that the gun should be a Columbiad cast in iron, 900 feet
long, and run perpendicularly into the earth. 3rdly, that the
charge should contain 400,000 pounds of gun-cotton, which,
giving out six billions of litres of gas in rear of the projectile,
would easily carry it towards the orb of night.

These questions determined President Barbicane, assisted by
Murchison the engineer, to choose a spot situated in Florida, in
27° 7 North latitude, and 77° 3’ W. (Greenwich) longitude. It
was on this spot, after stupendous labour, that the Columbiad
was cast with full success. ‘Things stood thus, when an incident
took place which increased the interest attached to this great
enterprise a hundredfold.

A Frenchman, an enthusiastic Parisian, as witty as he was
bold, asked to be enclosed in the projectile, in order that he
might reach the moon, and reconnoitre this terrestial satellite.
The name of this intrepid adventurer was Michel Ardan. He
' landed in America, was received with enthusiasm, held meetings,
.8aw himself carried in triumph, reconciled President Barbicane to
his mortal enemy, Captain Nicholl, and, as a token of recon-
ciliation, persuaded them both to start with him in the projec-
tile. The proposition being accepted, the shape of the projectile
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. 147



was slightly altered. It was made of a cylindro-conical form.
This species of aerial car was lined with strong springs and
partitions to deaden the shock of. departure. It was provided
with food for a year, water for some months, and gas for some
days. A self-acting apparatus supplied the three travellers with
air to breathe. At the same time, on one of the highest points of
the Rocky Mountains, the Gun Club had a gigantic telescope
erected, in order that they might be able to follow the course
of the projectile through space. All was then ready.

On the 80th November, at the hour fixed upon, from the midst
of an extraordinary crowd of spectators, the departure took place;
and for the first time, three human beings quitted the terrestial
globe, and launched into interplanetary space with almost a cer-
tainty of reaching their destination. These bold travellers,
Michel Ardan, President Barbicane, and Captain Nicholl, ought
to make the passage in ninety-seven hours, thirteen minutes,
and twenty seconds. Consequently, their arrival on the lunar
dise could not take place until the 5th December at twelve at
night, at the exact moment when the moon should be full,
and not on the 4th, as some badly-informed journals had
announced,

But an unforeseen circumstance, viz., the detonation produced
by the Columbiad, had the immediate effect of troubling the ter-
restial atmosphere, by accumulating a large quantity of vapour,
a phenomenon which excited universal indignation, for the
moon was hidden from the eyes of the watchers for several
nights.

The worthy Joseph T. Maston, the staunchest friend of the
three travellers, started for the Rocky Mountains, accompanied —
by the Hon. J. Belfast, director of the Cambridge Observatory,
and reached the station of Long’s Peak, where the telescope was
erected which brought the moon within an apparent distance of
two leagues. The hon. secretary of the Gun Club wished himself
to observe the vehicle of his daring friends.

L 2
148 ROUND THE MOON.



The accumulation of clouds in the atmosphere prevented all.
observations on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th of December.
Indeed it was thought that all observations would have to be put.
off to the 3rd of January in the following year; for the moon
entering its last quarter on the 11th, would then only present an
ever-decreasing portion of her dise, insufficient to allow of their
following the course of the projectile.

At length, to the general satisfaction, a heavy storm cleared
the atmosphere on the night of the 11th and 12th December, and
the moon, with half illuminated dise, was plainly to be seen upon
the black sky.

That very night, a telegram was sent from the station of
Long’s Peak by Joseph T. Maston and Belfast to the gentlemen
of the Cambridge Observatory, announcing that, on the 11th of
December at 8h. 47m. p.m., the projectile launched by the Colum-.
biad of Stones Hill had been detected by Messrs. Belfast and
Maston,—that it had deviated from its course from some un-
known cause, and had not reached its destination; but that it
had passed near enough to be retained by the lunar attraction;
that.its rectilinear movement had been changed to a circular one,
and that following an elliptical orbit round the star of night it had
become zts satellite. The telegram added that the elements of this
new star had not yet been calculated; and indeed three observations
made upon a star in three different positions, are necessary to
determine these elements. Then it showed that the distance
separating the projectile from the lunar surface “might” be
reckoned at about 2833 miles.

It ended with this double hypothesis; either the attraction
of the moon would draw it to herself, and the travellers thus
attain their end; or that the projectile, held in one immutable
orbit, would gravitate around the lunar disc to all eter-
nity. |

With such alternatives, what would be the fate ot the travellers?
Certainly they had food for some time. But supposing they did
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER. | T49
a
succeed in their rash enterprise, how would they return? Could
they ever return? Should they hear from them? These ques-
tions, debated by the most learned pens of the day, strongly -
engrossed the public attention.

It is advisable here to make a remark which ought to be well
considered by hasty observers. When a purely speculative dis-
covery is announced to the public, it cannot be done with too
much prudence. No one is obliged to discover either a planet, a
comet, or a satellite ; and whoever makes a mistake in such a
case exposes himself justly to the derision of the mass. Far
better is it to wait ; and that is what the impatient Joseph T.
Maston should have done before sending this telegram forth to
the world, which, according to his idea, told the whole result of
the enterprise. Indeed this telegram contained two sorts of
errors, aS was proved eventually. Ist, errors of observation, con-
cerning the distance of the projectile from the surface of the
moon, for on the 11th December it was impossible to see it; and
what Joseph T. Maston had seen, or thought he saw, could not
have been the projectile of the Columbiad. 2ndly, errors of
theory on the fate in store for the said projectile ; for in making
it a satellite of the moon, it was putting it in direct contradiction
to all mechanical laws. |

One single hypothesis of the observers of Long’s Peak could
ever be realized, that which foresaw the case of the travellers (if
still alive) uniting their efforts with the lunar attraction to attain
the surface of the dise.

Now these men, as clever as they were daring, had survived
ihe terrible shock consequent on their departure, and it is their
journey in the projectile car which is here related in its most
dramatic as well as in its most singular details. This recital will
destroy many illusions and surmises; but it will give a true idea
of the singular changes in store for such an enterprise ; it will
bring out the scientific instincts of Barbicane, the industrious
resources of Nicholl, and the audacious humour of Michel Ardan.
r5o ROUND THE MOON.



Besides this, it will prove that their worthy friend, Joseph T,
Maston; was wasting his time, while leaning over the gigantic
telescope he watched the course of the moon through the starry
space,
FROM 20 MIN. PAST 10 TO 47 MIN. PAST 10 P.M, I5.r
eee

CHAPTER 1.

FROM TWENTY MINUTES PAST TEN TO FORTY-SEVEN MINUTES
PAST TEN P.M.

As ten o’clock struck, Michel Ardan, Barbicane, and Nicholl,
took leave of the numerous friends they were leaving on the
earth. The two dogs, destined to propagate the canine race on
the lunar continents, were already shut up in the projectile.

The three travellers approached the orifice of the enormous cast-
iron tube, and a crane let them down to the conical top of the
projectile. There, an opening made for the purpose gave them
access to the aluminium car. The tackle belonging to the crane
being hauled from outside, the mouth of the Columbiad was in-
stantly disencumbered of its last supports.

Nicholl, once introduced with his companions inside the projec-
tile, began to close the opening by means of a strong plate, held in
position by powerful screws. Other plates, closely fitted, covered
the lenticular glasses, and the travellers, hermetically enclosed in
their metal prison, were plunged in profound darkness. |

** And now, my dear companions,” said Michel Ardan, “let us
make ourselves at home; I am a domesticated man and strong in
housekeeping. We are bound to make the best of our new
lodgings, and make ourselves comfortable. And first let us
and see a little. Gas was not invented for moles.”

So saying, the thoughtless fellow lit a match by striking it on
the sole of his boot; and approached the burner fixed to the
receptacle, in which the carbonized hydrogen, stored at high pres-
sure, sufficed for the lighting and warming of the projectile for a
152 ROUND THE MOON.

ae



hundred and forty-four hours, or six days and six nights. The
gas caught fire, and thus lighted the projectile looked like a com-
fortable room with thickly padded walls, furnished with a circular
divan, and a roof rounded in the shape of a dome.

The objects it contained, arms, instruments, and utensils securely
fastened against the rounds of wadding, could bear the shock of
departure with impunity. | Humanly speaking, every possible pre-
caution had been taken to bring this rash experiment to a success-
ful termination.

Michel Ardan examined sania, and declared himself satis-
fied with his installation.

“Tt is a prison,” said he, “ but a travelling prison; and, with
the right of putting my nose to the window, I could well stand a
lease of a hundred years. You smile, Barbicane. Have you any
arriére-pensée? Do you say to yourself, ‘This prison may be our
tomb’? ‘Tomb, perhaps ; still I would not change it for Ma-
homet’s, which floats in space, but never advances an inch!”

Whilst Michel Ardan was speaking, Barbicane and Nicholl
were making their last preparations.

Nicholl’s chronometer marked twenty minutes past ten p.m.
when the three travellers were finally enclosed in their projectile.
This chronometer was set within the tenth of a second by that
of Murchison the engineer. Barbicane consulted it.

“‘My friends,” said he, {it is twenty minutes past ten. At
forty-seven minutes past ten Murchison will launch the electric
spark on the wire which communicates with the charge of the
Columbiad. At that precise moment we shall leave our spheroid.
neal we have still cnet y-aven minutes to remain on the
earth. |

- Sahel minutes thirteen seconds,” replied the methodical
Nicholl.

“Well!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, in a good-humoured tone,
‘much may be done in twenty-six minutes. The gravest ques-
tions of morals and politics may be discussed, and even solved.
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FROM 20 MiN. PAST 10 TO 47 MIN. PAST 10 P.M. 153
ee a a eee
Twenty-six minutes well employed are worth more than twenty-
six years in which nothing is done. Some seconds of a Pascal
or a Newton are more precious than the whole existence of a
crowd of raw simpletons—” | |

“And you conclude, then, you everlasting talker ?” asked
Barbicane. |

“IT conclude that we have twenty-six minutes left,” replied
Ardan.

“Twenty-four only,” said Nicholl.

“Well, twenty-four, if you like, my noble captain,” said
Ardan ; “ twenty-four minutes in which to investigate—”

“ Michel,” said Barbicane, “ during the passage we shall have —
plenty of time to investigate the most difficult questions. For the
present we must occupy ourselves with our departure.”

“‘ Are we not ready ?”

‘Doubtless ; but there are still some precautions to be taken, —
to deaden as much as possible the first shock.”

_ Have we not the water-cushions placed between the partition-
breaks, whose elasticity will sufficiently protect us ?”

“T hope so, Michel,” replied Barbicane gently, “but I am not
sure.” |
_ “Ah, the joker!” exclaimed Michel Ardan. “ He hopes !—He
is not sure !—and he waits for the moment when we are encased
to make this deplorable admission! I beg to be allowed to get
out!”

** And how ?” asked Barbicane.

“ Humph !” said Michel Ardan, “it is not easy ; we are in
the train, and the guard’s whistle will sound before twenty-four
minutes are over.”

* Twenty,” said Nicholl.

For some moments the three travellers looked at each other.
Then they began to examine the objects imprisoned with them.

“Everything is in its place,” said Barbicane. ‘ We have now
to decide how we can best place ourselves to resist the shock.
154 ROUND THE MOON.



Position cannot be an indifferent matter ; and we must, as much
as possible, prevent the rush of blood to the head.” |

“* Just so,” said Nicholl.

“Then,” replied Michel Ardan, ready to suit the action to the
word, “let us put our heads down and our feet in the air, like the
clowns in the grand circus.”

‘‘ No,” said Barbicane, “let us stretch ourselves on our sides ;
we shall resist the shock better that way. Remember that, when
the projectile starts, it matters little whether we are in it or
before it; it amounts to much the same thing.” |

“Tf it is only ‘much the same thing,’ I may checr up,” said
Michel Ardan.

‘Do you approve of my idea, Nicholl ?” asked Barbicane.

‘“‘ Entirely,” replied the captain. ‘* We’ve still thirteen minutes
and a half.” | |

“That Nicholl is not a man,” exclaimed Michel; “he is a
chronometer with seconds, an escape, and eight holes.” |

But his companions were not listening ; they were taking up
their last positions with the most perfect coolness. They were
like two methodical travellers in a car, seeking to place them-
selves as comfortably as possible.

We migiit well ask ourselves of what materials are the hearts
of these Americans made, to whom the approach of the most
frightful danger added no pulsation. :

Three thick and solidly-made couches had been placed in the
projectile. Nicholl and Barbicane placed them in the centre of
the disc forming the floor. “There the three travellers were to
stretch themselves some moments before their departure.

During this time, Ardan, not being able to keep still, turned in
his narrow prison like a wild beast in a cage, chatting with his
friends, speaking to the dogs Diana and Satellite, to whom, as
may be seen, he had given significant names.

‘Ah, Diana! Ah, Satellite!” he exclaimed, teazing them ;
‘so you are going to show the moon-dogs the good habits of the


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{Page 154.
FROM 20 MIN. PAST 10 TO 47 MIN. PAST 10 P.M. 158
Sr
dogs of the earth! That will do honour to the canine race! If
ever we do come down again, I will bring a cross type of ‘ moon-
dogs,’ which will make a stir!”

“Tf there are dogs in the moon,” said Barbicane.

“There are,” said Michel Ardan, “just as there are horses,
cows, donkeys, and chickens. I bet that we shall find chickens.”

‘A hundred dollars we shall find none!” said Nicholl.

“Done, my captain!” replied Ardan, clasping Nicholl’s hand.
“But, by the bye, you have already lost three bets with our
president, as the necessary funds for the enterprise have been
found, as the operation of casting has been successful, and lastly,
as the Columbiad has been loaded without accident, six thousand
dollars.” |

“Yes,” replied Nicholl. “ Thirty-seven minutes six seconds
past ten.” :

“Tt is understood, captain. Well, before another quarter of
an hour you will have to count 9000 dollars to the president ;
4000 because the Columbiad will not burst, and 5000 because the
projectile will rise more than-six miles in the air.”

“Ihave the dollars,” replied Nicholl, slapping the pocket of
his coat. I only ask to be allowed to pay.”

“Come, Nicholl, I see that you are a man of method, which I
could never be ; but indeed you have made a series of bets of
very little advantage to yourself, allow me to tell you.”

‘And why ?” asked Nicholl. |

‘* Because, if you gain the first, the Columbiad will have burst,
and the projectile with it ; and Barbicane will no longer be there
to reimburse your dollars.”

‘““My stake is deposited at the bank in Baltimore,” replied
Barbicane simply ; “and if Nicholl is not there, it will go to his
heirs.” |

“Ah, you practical men!” exclaimed Michel Ardan eS]
admire you the more for not being able to understand you.”

“Forty-two minutes past ten!” said Nicholl.

.
156 — ROUND THE MOON.



' © Qnly five minutes more!” answered Barbicane.

** Yes, five little minutes!” replied Michel Ardan; “and we
are enclosed in a projectile, at the bottom of a gun 900 feet long!
And under this projectile are rammed 400,000 lbs. of gun-cotton,
which is equal to 1,600,000lbs. of ordinary powder! And
friend Murchison, with his chronometer in hand, his eye fixed on
the needle, his finger on the electric apparatus, is counting the
seconds preparatory to launching us into interplanetary space.”

“* Enough, Michel, enough!” said Barbicane, in a serious voice;
“let us prepare. A few instants alone separate us from an
eventful moment. One clasp of the hand, my friends.”

Yes,” exclaimed Michel Ardan, more moved than he wished
to appear ; and the three bold pay mone were united 1 in @ last
embrace.’ oe en

‘“‘ God preserve us !” said the religious Barbicane.

Michel Ardan and Nicholl stretched themselves on the couches
placed in the centre of the dise. :

“Forty seven minutes past ten!” murmured the captain.

“Twenty seconds more!” Barbicane quickly put out the gas
and lay down by his companions, and the profound silence was
only broken by the ticking of the ace marking the
seconds.

Suddenly a dreadful shock was felt, and the projectile, under
the force of six billions of litres of gas, developed by the com-
bustion of the pyroxyle, mounted into space.
THE FIRST HALF-HOUR. 157

CHAPTER II.
THE FIRST HALF-HOUR.

Wuat had happened ? What effect had this frightful shock
produced ? Had the ingenuity of the constructors of the pro-
jectile obtained any happy result ? Had the shock been deadened,
thanks to the springs, the four plugs, the water-cushions, and the
partition-breaks? Had they been able to subdue the frightful
pressure of the initiatory speed of more than 11,000 yards, which
was enough to traverse Paris or New York ina second? This
was evidently the question suggested to the thousand spectators
of this moving scene. They forgot the aim of the journey, and
thought only of the travellers. And if one amongst then—J oseph
T. Maston for example—could have cast one glimpse into the
projectile, what would he have seen ?

Nothing then. The darkness was profound. But its cylindro-
conical partitions had resisted wonderfully. Not a rent or a
dent anywhere! The wonderful projectile was not even heated
under the intense deflagration of the powder, nor liquefied, as
they seemed to fear, in a shower of aluminium.

The interior showed but little disorder ; indeed, only a few
objects had been violently thrown towards the roof; but the most
important seemed not to have suffered from the shock at all ;
their fixtures were intact.
~ Qn the movable dise, sunk down to the bottom by the smashing
of the partition-breaks and the escape of the water, three bodies
lay apparently lifeless. Barbicane, Nicholl, and Michel Ardan—
1538 ROUND THE MOON.



ad

did they still breathe ? or was the projectile nothing now but a
metal coffin, bearing three corpses into space ?

Some minutes after the departure of the projectile, one of the
bodies moved, shook its arms, lifted its head, and finally succeeded
in getting on its knees. It was Michel Ardan. He felt himself
all over, gave a sonorous “ Hem !” and then said,—

‘“‘ Michel Ardan is whole. How about the others?” ,

The courageous Frenchman tried to rise, but could not stand.
His head swam, from the rush of blood; he was blind; he was
like a drunken man.

“ Bur-r!” said he. “It produces the same effect as two bottles
of Corton, though perhaps less agreeable to swallow.” Then,
passing his hand several times across his forehead and rubbing
his temples, he called in a firm voice,—

* Nicholl! Barbicane !” |

- He waited anxiously. No answer ; not even a sigh to show
that the hearts of his companions were still beating. He called
again. The same silence. | |

“The devil!” he exclaimed. They look as if they had fallen
from a fifth story on their heads. Bah!” he added, with that
imperturbable confidence which nothing -could check, “if a
Frenchman can get on his knees, two Americans ought to be able
to get on their feet. But first let us light up.”

Ardan felt the tide of life return by degrees. His blood became
calm, and returned to its accustomed circulation. Another effort
restored his equilibrium. He succeeded in rising, drew a match
from his pocket, and approaching the burner lighted it. The
receiver had not suffered at all. The gas had not escaped. Be-
sides, the smell would have betrayed it ; and in that case Michel
Ardan could not have carried a lighted match with impunity
through the space filled with hydrogen. The gas mixing with
the air would have produced. a detonating mixture, and the ex-
plosion would have finished what the shock had perhaps begun.
When the burner was lit, Ardan leaned over the bodies of his com-
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THE FIRST HALF-HOUR, 159



panions : they were lying one on the other, an inert mass, Nicholl
above, Barbicane underneath. |

Ardan lifted the captain, propped him up against the divan,
and began to rub vigorously. This means, used with judgment,
restored Nicholl, who opened his eyes, and instantly recovering
his presence of mind, seized Ardan’s hand and looked around
him. |

** And Barbicane ?” said he. |

‘Hach in turn,” replied Michel Ardan. “I began with you,
Nicholl, because you were on the top. Now let us look to Bar-
bicane.” Saying which, Ardan and Nicholl raised the president
of the Gun Club and laid him on the divan. He seemed to have
suffered more than either of his companions ; he was bleeding,
but Nicholl was reassured by finding that the hemorrhage came
from a slight wound on the shoulder, a mere graze, which he
bound up carefully.

still, Barbicane was a long time coming to himself, wares
frightened his friends, who did not spare friction.

“He breathes though,” said Nicholl, putting his ear to the
chest of the wounded man.

“Yes,” replied Ardan, “he breathes like a man who has some
notion of that daily operation. Rub, Nicholl; let us rub harder.”
And the two improvised practitioners worked so hard and so
well that Barbicane recovered his senses. He opened his eyes,
sat up, took his two friends by the hands, and his first words
were—., :

** Nicholl, are we moving ?”

Nicholl and Barbicane looked at each other ; they had not yet
troubled themselves about the projectile ; their first thought had
been for the traveller, not for the car.

‘Well, are we really moving ?” repeated Michel Ardan.

“ Or quietly resting on the soil of Florida ?” asked Nicholl.

“Or at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico?” added Michel
Ardan,
160 ROUND THE MOON.

_ * What an idea !” exclaimed the president.

And this double hypothesis suggested by his companions had
the effect of recalling him to his senses. In any case they could
not yet decide on the position of the projectile. Its apparent
immovability, and the want of communication with the outside,
prevented them from solving the question. Perhaps the pro-
jectile was unwinding its course through space. Perhaps after a
short rise it had fallen upon the earth, or even in the Gulf of
Mexico—a fall which the narrowness of the peninsula of Florida
would render not impossible.

The case was serious, the problem interesting, and one that
must be solved as soon as possible. Thus, highly excited, Barbi-
cane’s moral energy triumphed over physical weakness, and he
rose to his feet. He listened. Outside was perfect silence ; but
the thick padding was enough to intercept all sounds coming
from the earth. But one circumstance struck Barbicane, viz., that
the temperature inside the projectile was singularly high. The
president drew a thermometer from its case, and consulted it.
The instrument showed 81° Fahr.

“Yes,” he exclaimed, “ yes, we are moving! This stifling
heat, penetrating through the partitions of the projectile, is pro-
duced by its friction on the atmospheric strata. It will soon
diminish, because we are already floating in space, and after
having been nearly stifled, we shall have to suffer intense cold.

“What!” said Michael Ardan. ‘ According to your showing,
Barbicane, we are already beyond the limits of the terrestrial
- atmosphere ?”

- Without a doubt, Michel. Listen to me. It is fifty-five
minutes past ten ; we have been gone about eight minutes ; and
if our initiatory speed has not been checked by the friction, six
seconds would be enough for us to pass through the forty miles
of atmosphere which surrounds the globe.”

—“ Just so,” replied Nicholl ; “but in what proportion do you
estimate the diminution of speed by friction ?” |
THE FIRST HALF-HOUR. 161

nn

“In the proportion of one-third, Nicholl. This diminution is

considerable, but according to my calculations it is nothing. less.

If, then, we had an initiatory speed of 12,000 yards, on leaving

the atmosphere this speed would be reduced to 9165 yards. In
any case we have already passed through this interval, and—”

“And then,” said Michel Ardan, “ friend Nicholl has lost his
two-bets: four thousand dollars because the Columbiad did not
burst ; five thousand dollars because oe projectile has risen more
than six miles. Now, Nicholl, pay up.” :

“Let us prove it first,” said the captain, “ and - we will pay
afterwards. It is quite possible that Barbicane’s reasoning is
correct, and that I have lost my nine thousand dollars. But a
new hypothesis presents itself to my mind, and it annuls the
wager.”

‘‘ What is that ?” asked Barbicane quickly.

“The hypothesis that, for some reason or other, fire was never
set to the powder, we have not started at all.”

‘““My goodness, captain,” exclaimed Michel Ardan, “ that
hypothesis is worthy of my brain! It cannot be a serious one.
For have we not been half annihilated by the shock ? Did I not
recall you to life ? Is not the president’s shoulder still bleeding
from the blow it has received ?”

“Granted,” replied Nicholl ; “but one question.”

“Well, captain ?” |

“Did you hear the detonation, which certainly ought to be
loud ?”

“No,” replied Ardan, much surprised ; “ certainly I did not
hear the detonation.”

*¢ And you, Barbicane ? ”

‘ Nor I, either.”

‘Very well,” said Nicholl.

“Well now,” murmured the president, “why did we not
hear the detonation ?”

The three friends looked at each other with a disconcerted air.

M
162 ROUND THE MOON.

It was quite an inexplicable phenomenon. The projectile had
started, and consequently there must have been a detonation.

“Let us first find out where we are,” said Barbicane, “and
let down the panel.” |

This very simple operation was soon accomplished.

The nuts which held the bolts to the outer plates of the right-
hand scuttle gave way under the pressure of the English wrench.
These bolts were pushed outside, and buffers covered with india;
rubber stopped up the holes which let them through. Imme-
diately the outer plate fell back upon its hinges like a porthole,
and the lenticular glass which closed the scuttle appeared. A
_ similar one was let into the thick partition on the opposite side of
the projectile, another in the top of the dome, and finally, a
fourth in the middle of the base. They could, therefore, make
observations in four different directions: the firmament by the
side and most direct windows, the earth or the moon by the upper
and under openings in the projectile.

Barbicane and his two companions immediately rushed to the
uncovered window. But it was lit by noray of light. Profound
darkness surrounded them, which, however, did not prevent the
president from exclaiming,— |

‘No, my friends, we have not fallen back upon the earth ; no,
nor are we submerged in the Gulf of Mexico. Yes! we are
- mounting into space. See those stars shining in the night,
and that impenetrable darkness heaped up between the earth
and us!”

“Hurrah ! hurrah!” exclaimed Michel Ardan and Nicholl in
one voice.

Indeed, this thick darkness proved that the projectile had left
the earth, for the soil, brilliantly lit by the moonbeams, would
have been visible to the travellers, if they had been lying on its
surface. This darkness also showed that the projectile had
passed the atmospheric strata, for the diffused light spread in the
air would have been reflected on the metal walls, which reflection


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































IT WAS AN ENORMOUS DISC

[Page 163.


THE FIRST HALF-HOUR. 163
a
was wanting. ‘This light would have lit the window, and the
window was dark. Doubt was no longer possible ; the travellers
had left the earth. | |

“TI have lost,” said N icholl.. |

“T congratulate you,” replied Ardan.

“Here are the nine thousand dollars,” said the captain,
drawing a roll of paper dollars from his pocket.

“Will you have a receipt for it?” asked Barbicane, taking the
sum. - _ . |
“Tf you do not mind,” answered Nicholl ; “ it is more business-
like.”

And cooliy and seriously, as if he had been at his strong-box, the
president drew forth his note-book, tore out a blank leaf, wrote a
proper receipt in pencil, dated and signed it with the usual flourish,!
and gave it to the captain, who carefully placed it in his pocket-
book. Michel Ardan, taking off his hat, bowed to his two
companions without speaking. So much formality under such
circumstances left him speechless. He had never before seen
anything so “ American.” |

This affair settled, Barbicane and Nicholl had returned to the
window, and were watching the constellations. The stars looked
like bright points on the black sky. But from that side they
could not see the orb of night, which, travelling from east to
west, would rise by degrees towards the zenith. Its absence
drew the following remark from Ardan. '

‘And the moon ; will she perchance fail at our rendezvous fae

“Do not alarm yourself,” said Barbicane ; “ our future globe -
is at its post, but we cannot see her from this side ; let us open
the other.”

As Barbicane was about leaving the window to open the
opposite scuttle, his attention was attracted by the approach of a
brilliant object. It was an enormous disc, whose colossal dimen-
sion could not be estimated. Its face, which was turned to the
| 1 This is a purely French habit. (Ed.)

M 2
164 ROUND THE MOON.



eee

earth, was very bright. One might have thought it a small
moon reflecting the light of the larger one. She advanced with
great speed, and seemed to describe an orbit round the earth,
which would intersect the passage of the projectile. This body
revolved upon its axis, and exhibited the phenomena of all
celestial bodies abandoned in space.

“Ah!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, “what is that? another
projectile ?”

Barbicane did not answer. The appearance of this enormous
body surprised and troubled him. A collision was possible, and
might be attended with deplorable results ; either the projectile
would deviate from its path, or a shock, breaking its impetus,
might precipitate it to the earth; or, lastly, it might be irre-
sistibly drawn away by the powerful asteroid. The president
caught at a glance the consequences of these three hypotheses,
either of which would, one way or the other, bring their
experiment to an unsuccessful and fatal termination. His com-
panions stood silently looking into space. The object grew
rapidly as it approached them, and by an optical illusion the
projectile seemed to be throwing itself before it.

“By Jove!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, “we shall run into
one another !”

Instinctively the travellers drew back. Their dread was
great, but it did not last many seconds. The asteroid passed
several hundred yards from the projectile and disappeared, not
so much from the rapidity of its course, as that its face being
opposite the moon, it was suddenly merged into the perfect
darkness of space.

“A happy journey to you,” exclaimed Michel Ardan, with
a sigh of relief. “Surely infinity of space is large enough for a
poor little projectile to walk through without fear. Now, what
is this portentous globe which nearly struck us ?”

“YT know,” replied Barbicane.

“Oh, indeed! you know everything.”
THE FIRST HALF-HOUR. 165



“Tt is,” said Barbicane, “a simple meteorite, but an enormous
one, which the attraction of the earth has retained as a satellite.”

“Is it possible!” exclaimed Michel Ardan ; “the earth then
has two moons like Neptune ?” | jou

“Yes, my friend, two moons, though it passes generally for
having only one ; but this second moon is so small, and its speed
so great, that the inhabitants of the earth cannot see it. It was
by noticing disturbances that a French astronomer, M. Petit, was
able to determine the existence of this second satellite and
calculate its elements. According to his observations, this
meteorite will accomplish its revolution round the earth in three
hours and twenty minutes, which implies a wonderful rate of
speed.” | ,

“Do all astronomers admit the existence of this satellite ?”
asked Nicholl. | | .

“No,” replied Barbicane ; “but if, like us, they had met it,
they could no longer doubt it. Indeed, I think that this meteorite,
which, had it struck the projectile, would have much embarrassed
us, will give us the means of deciding what our position in
space is.”

‘“‘ How ?” said Ardan.

“* Because its distance is known, and when we met it, we were
exactly 4650 miles from the surface of the terrestrial globe.

“ More than 2000 French leagues,” exclaimed Michel Ardan.
“That beats the express trains of the pitiful globe called the
earth.”

‘“T should think so,” replied Nicholl, consulting his chrono-
meter ; ‘it is eleven o’clock, and it is only thirteen minutes since
we left the American Continent.”

“Only thirteen minutes ?” said Barbicane.

“Yes,” said Nicholl; “and if our initiatory speed of 12,000
yards has been kept up, we shall have made about 20,000 miles
in the hour.”

“That is all very well, my friends,” said the president, “ but
166 | | ROUND THE MOON.
ee ee eee
the insoluble question still remains. Why did we not hear the
detonation of the Columbiad ?”

For want of an answer the conversation dropped, and Barbi-
cane began thoughtfully to let down the shutter of the second
side. He succeeded ; and through the uncovered glass the moon
filled the projectile with a brilliant light. Nicholl, as an econo-
mical man, put out the gas, now useless, and whose brilliancy
prevented any observation of the interplanetary space.

The lunar dise shone with wonderful purity. Her rays, no
longer filtered through the vapoury atmosphere of the terrestrial
globe, shone through the glass, filling the air in the interior of
the projectile with silvery reflections. The black curtain of the
firmament in reality heightened the moon’s brilliancy, which in
this void of ether unfavourable to diffusion did not eclipse the
neighbouring stars. .The heavens, thus seen, presented quite a.
new aspect, and one which the human eye could never dream of,
One may conceive the interest with which these bold men
watched the orb of night, the great aim of their journey.

In its motion the earth’s satellite was insensibly nearing the
zenith, the mathematical point which it ought to attain ninety-
six hours later. Her mountains, her plains, every projection was
as clearly discernible to their eyes as if they were observing it
from some spot upon the-earth; but its light was developed
through space with wonderful intensity. The disc shone like
a platinum mirror. Of the earth flying from under their feet, the
travellers had lost all recollection.

It was Captain Nicholl who first recalled their attention to the
vanishing globe.

“Yes,” said Michel Ardan, “do not let us be ungrateful to it.
Since we are leaving our country, let our last looks be directed to
it. Iwish to see the earth once more before it is quite hidden
from my eyes.”

To satisfy his companions, Barbicane began to uncover the
window at the bottom of the projectile, which would allow them |
THE FIRST HALF-HOUR, 107



to observe the earth direct. The disc, which the force of the
projection had beaten down to the base, was removed, not without
difficulty. Its fragments, placed carefully against the wall, might
serve again upon occasion. Then a circular gap appeared,
nineteen inches in diameter, hollowed out of the lower part of the
projectile. A glass cover, six inches thick and strengthened
with upper fastenings, closed it tightly. Beneath was fixed an
aluminium plate, held in place by bolts. The screws being
undone, and the bolts let go, the plate fell down, and visible com-
munication was established between the interior and the exterior.

Michel Ardan knelt by the glass. It was cloudy, seemingly
opaque. |

“* Well !” he exclaimed, “and the earth ?”

“The earth ?” said Barbicane. ‘ There it is.”

“What! that little thread ; that silver crescent ?” |

‘Doubtless, Michel. In four days, when the moon will be
full, at the very time we shall reach it, the earth will be new,
and will only appear to us as a slender crescent which will soon
disappear, and for some days will be enveloped in utter dark-
ness.” | | :

“That the earth ?” repeated Michel Ardan, looking with all
his eyes at the thin slip of his native planet.

The explanation given by President Barbicane was correct.
The earth, with respect to the projectile, was entering its last
phase. It was in its octant, and showed a crescent finely traced
on the dark background of the sky. Its light, rendered bluish
by the thick strata of the atmosphere, was less intense than that
of the crescent moon, but it was of considerable dimensions, and
looked like an enormous arch stretched across the firmament.
Some parts brilliantly lighted, especially on its concave part,
showed the presence of high mountains, often disappearing behind
thick spots, which are never seen on the lunar disc. They were
rings of clouds placed concentrically round the terrestrial globe.

Whilst the travellers were trying to pierce the profound dark-
168 ROUND THE MOON.



ness, 2 brilliant cluster of shooting stars burst upon their eyes.
Hundreds of meteorites, ignited by the friction of the atmosphere,
irradiated the shadow of the luminous train, and lined the cloudy
parts of the dise with their fire. At this period the earth was in
its perihelium, and the month of December is so propitious to
these shooting stars, that astronomers have counted as many as
twenty-four thousand in an hour. But Michel Ardan, disdaining
scientific reasonings, preferred thinking that the earth was thus
saluting the departure of her three children with her most
brilliant fireworks.

Indeed this was all they saw of the globe lost in the shadow,
an inferior orb of the solar world, rising and setting to the great
planets like a simple morning or evening star! This globe, where
they had left all their affections, was nothing more than a fugitive
crescent !

Long did the thros friends look without speaking, though
united in heart, whilst the projectile sped onward with an ever-
decreasing speed. ‘Then an irresistible drowsiness crept over
their brain. Was it weariness both of body and mind? No
doubt; for after the over-excitement of those last hours passed
upon earth, reaction was inevitable.

“Well,” said Nicholl, ‘‘ since we must sleep, let us sleep.”

And stretching themselves on their couches, mney were all
three soon in a profound slumber.

But they had not forgotten themselves more than a quarter: of
an hour, when Barbicane sat up suddenly, and rousing his com-

panions with a loud voice, exclaimed,—
“TJ have found it !”

“What have you found ?” asked Michel Ardan, jumping from
his bed.

“The reason why we did not hear the detonation of the
Columbiad.”

** And it is— ?” said Nicholl.

** Because our projectile travelled faster than the sound !”
THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER. 169



CHAPTER III.
THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER.

Tuts curious but certainly correct explanation once given, the
three friends returned to their slumbers. Could they have found
a calmer or more peaceful spot to sleep in? On the earth, houses,
towns, cottages, and country feel every shock given to the exterior
of the globe. On sca, the vessels rocked by the waves are still
in motion; in the air, the balloon oscillates incessantly on the
fluid strata of divers densities. This projectile alone, floating
in perfect space, in the midst of perfect silence, offered perfect
repose. |

Thus the sleep of our adventurous travellers might have been
indefinitely prolonged, if an unexpected noise had not awakenéd
them at about seven o’clock in the morning of the 2nd of Decem:
ber, eight hours after their departure.

This noise was a very natural barking.

“The dogs! it is the dogs!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, rising
at once.

‘They are hungry,” said Nicholl.

“By Jove!” replied Michel, “ we have forgotten nee

‘Where are they?” asked Barbicane.

They looked, and found one of the animals crouched under the
divan. ‘Terrified and shaken by the initiatory shock, it had re-
mained in the corner till its voice returned with the pangs of
hunger. It was the amiable Diana, still very confused, who crept
out of her retreat, though not without much persuasion, Michel
Ardan encouraging her with most gracious words.
I70O ROUND THE MOON.



“Come, Diana,” said he; “come, my girl ! thou whose destiny
will be marked in the cynegetic annals; thou whom the pagans
would have given as companion to the god Anubis, and Christians
as friend to St. Roch; thou who art rushing into interplanetary
space, and wilt perhaps be the Eve of all Selenite dogs! come,
Diana, come here.” |

Diana, flattered or not, advanced by degrees, uttering plaintive
cries. .

“Good,” said Barbicane; “I see Eve, but where is Adam?”

“Adam?” replied Michel; “Adam cannot be far off; he is
there somewhere ; we must call him. Satellite! here, Satellite!”

But Satellite did not appear. Diana would not leave off
howling. They found, however, that she was not bruised, and
they gave her a pie, which silenced her complaints. As to
Satellite, he seemed quite lost. They had to hunt a long time before
finding him in one of the upper compartments of the projectile,
whither some unaccountable shock must have violently hurled him.
The poor beast, much hurt, was in a piteous state.

‘The devil!” said Michel.

They brought the unfortunate dog down with great care. Its
skull had been broken against the roof, and it seemed unlikely
that he could recover from such a shock. Meanwhile, he was
stretched comfortably on acushion. Once there, he heaved a sigh.

“We will take care of you,” said Michel; ‘‘ we are responsible
for your existence. I would rather lose an arm than a paw of my
poor Satellite.” | |

Saying which, he offered some water to the wounded dog, who
swallowed it with avidity.

This attention paid, the travellers watched the earth and the
moon attentively. The earth was now only discernible by a
cloudy dise ending in a crescent, rather more contracted than that
of the previous evening; but its expanse was still enormous,
compared with that of the moon, which was approaching nearer
and nearer to a perfect circle.
THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER. 171



“By Jove!” said Michel Ardan, “I am really sorry that we
did not start when the earth was full, that is to say, when our
globe was in opposition to the sun.”

“Why ?” asked Nicholl.

“Because we should have seen our continents and seas in a
new light,—the first resplendent under the solar rays, the latter
cloudy as represented on some maps of the world. I should like
to have seen those poles of the earth on which the eye of man
has never yet rested. .

‘IT dare say,” replied Barbicane; “but if the earth had been
Jull, the moon would have been new; that is to say, invisible,
because of the rays of the sun. It is better for us to see the
destination we wish to reach, than the point of departure.”

“You are right, Barbicane,” replied Captain Nicholl; and,
besides, when we have reached the moon, we shall have time
during the long lunar nights to consider at our leisure the globe
on which our likenesses swarm.” |

“Our likenesses!” exclaimed Michel Ardan; “they are no more
our likenesses than the Selenites are! We inhabit a new world,
peopled by ourselves—the projectile! I am Barbicane’s likeness,
and Barbicane is Nicholl’s. Beyond us, around us, human nature
is at an end, and we are the only population of this microcosm
until we become pure Selenites. |

“In about eighty-eight hours,” replied the captain.

“Which means to say?” asked Michel Ardan.

“ That it is half-past eight,” replied Nicholl.

“Very well,” retorted Michel; “then it is impossible for me to find
even the shadow of a reason why we should not go to breakfast.”

Indeed the inhabitants of the new star could not live without
eating, and their stomachs were suffering from the imperious
laws of hunger. Michel Ardan, as a Frenchman, was declared
chief cook, an important function, which raised no rival. The
gas gave sufficient heat for the culinary apparatus, and the pro-
vision-box furnished the elements of this first feast.
172 ROUND THE MOON.



The breakfast began with three bowls of excellent soup, thanks
to the liquefaction in hot water of those precious cakes of Liebig,
prepared from the best parts of the ruminants of the Pampas.
To the soup succeeded some beefsteaks, compressed by an hy-
draulic press, as tender and succulent as if brought straight from
the kitchen of an English eating-house. Michel, who was
imaginative, maintained that they were even “red.”

_ Preserved vegetables (“‘ fresher than nature,” said the amiable
Michel) succeeded the dish of meat; and was followed by some
cups of tea with bread and butter, after the American fashion.

The beverage was declared exquisite, and was due to the
infusion of the choicest leaves, of which the Emperor of Russia
had given some chests for the benefit of the travellers.

And lastly, to crown the repast, Ardan brought out a fine
bottle of Nuits, which was found “by chance” in the provision-
box. The three friends drank to the union of the earth and her
satellite. | 3

And, as if he had not already done enough for the generous
wine which he had distilled on the slopes of Burgundy, the sun
chose to be of the party. At this moment the projectile emerged
from the conical shadow cast by the terrestrial globe, and the
rays of the radiant orb struck the lower disc of the projectile
direct, occasioned by the angle which the moon’s orbit makes
with that of the earth.

‘The sun!” exclaimed Michel Ardan.

*“ No doubt,” replied Barbicane ; “I expected it.”

“But,” said Michel, “the conical shadow which the earth
leaves in space extends beyond the moon ?”

‘“‘Far beyond it, if the atmospheric refraction is not taken into
consideration,” said Barbicane. ‘“ But when the moon is en-
veloped in this shadow, it is because the centres of the three
stars, the sun, the earth, and the moon, are all in one and the
same straight line. ‘Then the nodes coincide with the phases of
the moon, and there is an eclipse, If we had started when there
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THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER. 173
was an eclipse of the moon, all our passage would have been in
the shadow, which would have been a pity.”

6é Why 7?

“Because, though we are floating in space, our projectile,
bathed in the solar rays, will receive their light and heat. It
economizes the gas, which is in every respect a good economy.”

Indeed, under these rays which no atmosphere can tem per,
either in temperature or brilliancy, the projectile grew warm and
bright, as if it had passed suddenly from winter to summer. The
moon above, the sun beneath, were inundating it with their fire. |

‘It is pleasant here,” said Nichol. |

“‘T should think so,” said Michel Ardan. ‘ With a little earth
spread on our aluminium planet we should have green peas in
twenty-four hours. I have but one fear, which is that the walls
of the projectile might melt.”

“Calm yourself, my worthy friend,” replied Barbicane; “ the
projectile withstood a very much higher temperature than this as
it slid through the strata of the atmosphere. I should not be
surprised if it did not look like a meteor on fire to the eyes of the
spectators in Florida.”

‘But then Joseph T. Maston will think we are roasted !”

“What astonishes me,” said Barbicane, “is that we have not
been. ‘That was a danger we had not provided for.”

“TI feared it,” said Nicholl simply.

‘And you never mentioned it, my sublime captain,” exclaimed
Michel Ardan, clasping his friend’s hand.

Barbicane now began to settle himself in the projectile as if he’
was never to leave it. One must remember that this aérial car
had a base with a superficies of fifty-four square feet.. Its height
to the roof was twelve feet. Carefully laid out in the inside, and
little encumbered by instruments and travelling utensils which
each had their particuiar place, it left the three travellers a
certain freedom of movement. The thick window inserted in
the bottom could bear any amount of weight, and Barbicane and
174 ROUND THE MOON.

eee
his companions walked upon it as if it were solid plank; but the
sun striking it directly with its rays lit the interior of the pro-
jectile from beneath, thus producing singular effects of light.

They began by investigating the state of their store of water
and provisions, neither of which had suffered, thanks to the care
taken to deaden the shock. Their provisions were abundant, and
plentiful enough to last the three travellers for more than a year.
Barbicane wished to be cautious, in case the projectile should land
on a part of the moon which was utterly barren. As to water
and the reserve of brandy, which consisted of fifty gallons, there
was only enough for two months; but according to the last
observations of astronomers, the moon had a low, dense, and
thick atmosphere, at least in the deep valleys, and there
springs and streams could not fail. Thus, during their passage,
and for the first year of their settlement on the lunar continent,
these adventurous explorers would suffer neither hunger nor
thirst.

Now about the air in the projectile. There, too, they were secure.
Reiset and Regnaut’s apparatus, intended for the production of
oxygen, was supplied with chlorate of potass for two months,
They necessarily consumed a certain quantity of gas, for they
were obliged to keep the producing substance at a temperature of
above 400°. But there again they were all safe. The apparatus
only wanted a little care. But it was not enough to renew the
oxygen ; they must absorb the carbonic acid produced by expira-
tion, During the last twelve hours the atmosphere of the pro-
jectile had become charged with this deleterious gas. Nicholl
discovered the state of the air by observing Diana panting pain-
fully. The carbonic acid, by a phenomenon similar to that pro-
duced in the famous Grotto del Cane, had collected at the bottom of
the projectile owing to its weight. Poor Diana, with her head low,
would suffer before her masters from the presence of this gas. But
Captain Nicholl hastened to remedy this state of things, by placing
on the floor several receivers containing caustic potash which he
THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER. 175



shook about for a time, and this substance, greedy of carbonic
acid, soon completely absorbed it, thus purifying the air.

An inventory of instruments was then begun. The ther-
mometers and barometers had resisted, all but one minimum
thermometer, the glass of which was broken. An excellent
aneroid was drawn from the wadded box which contained it and
hung on the wall. Of course it was only affected by and marked _
the pressure of the air inside the projectile, but it also showed
the quantity of moisture which it contained. At that moment
its needle oscillated between 25:24 and 25-08,

It was fine weather.

Barbicane had also brought several compasses, which he found
‘intact. One must understand that under present conditions their
needles were acting wildly, that is without any constant direction.
Indeed, at the distance they were from the earth, the magnetic
pole could have no perceptible action upon the apparatus; but
the box placed on the lunar dise might perhaps exhibit some
strange phenomena. In any case it would be interesting to see
whether the earth’s satellite submitted like herself to its magnetic
influence. |

A hypsometer to measure the height of the lunar mountains, a
sextant to take the height of the sun, glasses which would be
useful as they neared the moon, all these instruments were care-
fully looked over, and pronounced good in spite of the violent
shock. :

As to the pickaxes and different tools which were Nicholl’s
especial choice ; as to the sacks of different kinds of grain and
shrubs which Michel Ardan hoped to transplant into Selenite
ground, they were stowed away in the upper part of the pro-
jectile. There was a sort of granary there, loaded with things
which the extravagant Frenchman had heaped up. What they
were no one knew, and the good-tempered fellow did not explain.
Now and then he climbed up by cramp-irons rivetted to the walls,
but kept the inspection to himself. He arranged and rearranged,
176 : ROUND THE MOON.



he plunged his hand rapidly into certain mysterious hoxes,
singing in one of the falsest of voices an old French refrain to
enliven the situation.

-Barbicane observed with some interest that his guns and other
arms had not been damaged. These were important, because,
heavily loaded, they were to help to lessen the fall of the pro-
jJectile, when drawn by the lunar attraction (after having passed
the point of neutral attraction) on to the moon’s surface; a fall
which ought to be six times less rapid than it would have been
on the earth’s surface, thanks to the difference of bulk. The inspec-
tion ended with general satisfaction, when each returned to watch
space through the side windows and the lower glass coverlid. |

There was the same view. The whole extent of the celestial
sphere swarmed with stars and constellations of wonderful purity,
enough to drive an astronomer out of his mind! On one side the
sun, like the mouth of a lighted oven, a dazzling dise without a
halo, standing out on the dark background of the sky! On the
other, the moon returning its fire by reflection, and apparently
‘motionless in the midst of the starry world. Then, a large spot
seemingly nailed to the firmament, bordered by a silvery cord: it
was the earth! Here and there nebulous masses like large flakes of
starry snow; and from the zenith to the nadir, an immense ring
formed by an impalpable dust of stars, the “ Milky Way,” in the
midst of which the sun ranks only as a star of the fourth magni-
tude. The observers could not take their eyes from this novel
spectacle, of which no description could give an adequate idea.
What reflections it suggested! What emotions hitherto unknown
awoke in their souls! Barbicane wished to begin the relation
of his journey while under its first impressions, and hour after
hour took notes of all facts happening in the beginning of the
enterprise. He wrote quietly, with his large square writing, in a
business-like style.

During this time Nicholl, the calculator, looked over the
minutes of their passage, and worked out figures with un-
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paralleled dexterity. Michel Ardan chatted first with Barbicane,
who did not answer him, and then with Nicholl, who did not
hear him, with Diana, who understood none of his theories, and
lastly with himself, questioning and answering, going and coming,
busy with a thousand details; at one time bent over the lower
glass, at another roosting in the heights of the projectile, and
always singing. In this microcosm he represented French
loquacity and excitability, and we beg you to believe that they
were well represented. ‘The day, or rather (for the expression is
not correct) the lapse of twelve hours, which forms a day upon
earth, closed with a plentiful supper carefully prepared. No
accident of any nature had yet happened to shake the travellers’
confidence; so, full of hope, already sure of success, they slept
peacefully, whilst the projectile under an uniformly decreasing
speed was crossing the sky.
:178 | ROUND THE MOON.
a ee



CHAPTER IV.
A LITTLE ALGEBRA.

THE night passed without incident. The word “night,” however,
is scarcely applicable.

The position of the projectile with regard to the sun did not
change. Astronomically, it was daylight on the lower part, and
night on the upper; so when during this narrative these words
are used, they represent the lapse of time between the rising and
setting of the sun upon the earth.

The travellers’ sleep was rendered more peaceful by the pro-—
jectile’s excessive speed, for it seemed absolutely motionless. Not
a motion betrayed its onward course through space. The rate of
progress, however rapid it might be, cannot produce any sen-
sible effect on the human frame when it takes place in a vacuum,
or when the mass of air circulates with the body which is carried
with it. What inhabitant of the earth perceives its speed, which,
however, is at the rate of 68,000 miles per hour? Motion under
such conditions is “ felt” no more than repose ; and when a body
is in repose it will remain so as long as no strange force displaces
it; if moving, it will not stop unless an obstacle comes in its way.
_ This indifference to motion or repose is called inertia.

- Barbicane and his companions might have believed themselves
perfectly stationary, being shut up in the projectile; indeed, the
effect would have been the same if they had been on the outside
of it. Had it not been for the moon, which was increasing above
_ them, they might have sworn that they were floating in complete

stagnation. a
A LITTLE ALGEBRA. 179



That morning, the 8rd of December, the travellers were
awakened by a joyous but unexpected noise; it was the crowing
of a cock which sounded through the ear. Michel Ardan, who
was the first on his feet, climbed to the top of the projectile, and
shutting a box, the lid of which was partly open, said in a low
voice, “‘ Will you hold your tongue? That creature will spoil
my design!” |

But Nicholl and Barbicane were awake.

** A cock!” said Nicholl. |

“Why no, my friends,” Michel answered quickly ; “it was I
who wished to awake you by this rural sound.” So saying, he
gave vent to a splendid cock-a-doodledoo, which would have
done honour to the proudest of poultry-yards.

The two Americans could not help laughing.

“Fine talent that,” said Nicholl, looking suspiciously at his
companion.

“Yes,” said Michel; “a joke in my ee It is uely Gallic;
they play the cock so in the best society.”

Then turning the conversation,—

“Barbicane, do you know what I have been thinking of all
night ?”

‘“* No,” answered the president.

‘Of our Cambridge friends. You have already remarked that
I am an ignoramus in mathematical subjects ; and it is impossible
for me to find out how the savants of the Observatory were able
to calculate what initiatory speed the projectile ought to have on
leaving the Columbiad in order to attain the moon.”

“You mean to say,” replied Barbicane, “ to attain that neutral
point where the terrestrial and lunar attractions are equal ; for,
starting from that point, situated about nine-tenths of the distance
travelled over, the projectile would simply fall upon the moon, on
account of its weight.”

So be it,” said Michel ; “but, once more; how could they
calculate the initiatory speed ?” |

N 2
180 ROUND THE MOON.
ee aE a

‘‘ Nothing can be easier,” replied Barbicane.

“ And you knew how to make thai calculation ?” asked Michel
Ardan.

“Perfectly. Nicholl and I would have made it, if the Obser-
vatory had not saved us the trouble.”

“Very well, old Barbicane,” replied Michel; ‘ they might
have cut off my head, beginning at my feet, before they could
have made me solve that problem.”

“Because you do not know algebra,” answered Barbicane
quietly.

“ Ah, there you are, you eaters of 1; you think you have said
all when you have said ‘ Algebra.’ ”

“‘ Michel,” said Barbicane, “can you use a forge without a
hammer, or plough without a ploughshare ?,”

“ Hardly.”

“‘ Well, algebra is a tool, like the plough or the hammer, and a
good tool to those who know how to use it.”

“‘ Seriously ? ”

‘¢ Quite seriously.”

“ And can you use that tool in my presence ? ”

‘“‘ Tf it will interest you.”

“ And show me how they calculated the initiatory speed of our
car?” |

“Yes, my worthy friend ; taking into consideration all the
elements of the problem, the distance from the centre of the earth
to the centre of the moon, of the radius of the earth, of its bulk,
and of the bulk of the moon, I can tell exactly what ought to be
the initiatory speed of the projectile, and that by a simple formula.”

“Tet us see.” ,

‘You shall see it; only I shall not give you the real course
drawn by the projectile between the moon and the earth in con-
sidering their motion round the sun. No, I shall consider these
two orbs as perfectly motionless, which will answer all our
purpose.” |
A LITTLE ALGEBRA. Isr



“And why ?”

“Because it will be trying to solve the problem called ‘the
problem of the three bodies,’ for which the integral calculus is
not yet far enough advanced.”

“Then,” said Michel Ardan, in his sly tone, ** mathematics
have not said. their last word ?”

“Certainly not,” replied Barbicane.

“Well, perhaps the Selenites have carried the integral calculus
farther than you have; and, by the bye, what is this ‘integral

caleulus ?’”

“It is a calculation the converse of the differential, ” replied
Barbicane seriously.

“‘ Much obliged ; it is all very clear, no doubt.”

“And now,” continued Barbicane, “a slip of paper and a bit
of pencil, and before a half-hour is over I will have found the
required formula.” :

Half an hour had not elapsed before Barbicane, raising his head,’
showed Michel Ardan a page covered with algebraical signs, in
which the general formula for the solution was contained.

‘“* Well, and does Nicholl understand what that means ? ”

“Of course, Michel,” replied the captain. “ All these signs,
which seem cabalistic to you, form the plainest, the clearest, and
the most logical language to those who know how to read it.”

“And you pretend, Nicholl,” asked Michel, “ that by means of
these hieroglyphics, more incomprehensible than the Egyptian
Ibis, you can find what initiatory speed it was necessary to give
to the projectile ?” |

‘‘Incontestably,” replied Nicholl; “and even by this same for--
mula I can always tell you its speed at any point of its transit,”

- “Qn your word ?”

“ On my word.”

“Then you are as cunning as our president.”

‘““No, Michel ; the difficult part is what Barbicane has done ;
that is, to get an equation which shall satisfy all the conditions of
182 ROUND THE MOON.

ae ae nee ee ee en ee ee ee
the problem. The remainder is only a question of arithmetic,
- Yequiring merely the knowledge of the four rules.”

“That is something!” replied Michel Ardan, who for his life
eould not do addition right, and who defined the rule as a
Chinese puzzle, which allowed one to obtain all sorts of totals,

“The expression v zero, which you see in that equation, is
the speed which the projectile will have on leaving the atmo-
sphere.”

“ Just so,” said Nicholl ; “it is from that point that we must
calculate the velocity, since we know already that the velocity at
departure was exactly one and a half times more than on leaving
the atmosphere.”

‘*T understand no more,” said Michel.

* It is a very simple calculation,” said Barbicane.

** Not as simple as I am,” retorted Michel.

‘That means, that when our projectile reached the limits of
the terrestrial atmosphere it had already lost one-third of its
initiatory speed.” |

‘As much as that ?”

‘Yes, my friend; merely by friction against the atmospheric
strata. You understand that the faster it goes the more resistance
it meets with from the air.”

“That I admit,” answered Michel; “and I understand it,
although your x’s and zero’s, and algebraic formule, are rattling
in my head like nails in a bag.”

“First effects of algebra,” replied Barbicane ; “and now, to
finish, we are going to prove the given number of these different
expressions, that is, work out their value.”

‘Finish me!” replied Michel.

Barbicane took the paper, and began again to make his calcula-
tions with great rapidity. Nicholl looked over and greedily read
the work as it proceeded.

“ That’s it! that’s it!” at last he cried.

“Ts it clear ?” asked Barbicane.
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A LITTLE ALGEBRA. | | 183



“It is written in letters of fire,” said Nicholl.

“Wonderful fellows !” muttered Ardan.

“Do you understand it at last ?” asked Barbicane.

“Do I understand it?” cried Ardan ; “my head is splitting
with it.”

“And now,” said Nicholl, “to find out the speed of the aoe:
tile when it left the atmosphere, we have only to calculate that.”

The captain, as a practical man equal to all difficulties, began to
write with frightful rapidity. Divisions and multiplications grew
under his fingers; the figures were like hail on the white page.
Barbicane watched him, whilst Michel Ardan nursed a growing
headache with both hands. :

“Very well?” asked Barbicane, after some minutes’ silence.

“ Well!” replied Nicholl ; “every calculation made, v zero, that
is to say, the speed necessary for the projectile on leaving the
atmosphere, to enable it to reach the equal point of attraction,
ought to be—”

“Yes ?” said Barbicane.

“* Twelve thousand yards.”

“What!” exclaimed Barbicane, starting ; “you say—”

“Twelve thousand yards.” :

‘The devil!” cried the president, making a gesture of despair.

‘What is the matter ?” asked Michel Ardan, much surprised.

“What is the matter! why, if at this moment our speed had
already diminished one-third by friction, the initiatory specd
ought to have been—”

“‘ Seventeen thousand yards.” 7

‘‘And the Cambridge Observatory declared that 12,000 yards
was enough at starting; and our projectile, which only started
with that speed—” |

Well?” asked Nicholl.

‘Well, it will not be enough.”

* Good.”

“We shall not be able to reach the neutral point.”
184 | ROUND THE MOON.

**The deuce!” .

“We shall not even get half way.”

“In the name of the projectile!” exclaimed Michel Ardan,
jumping as if it was already on the point of striking the terrestrial
globe. |

«‘ And we shall fall back upon the earth !”
THE COLD OF SPACE. 185

CHAPTER V.
THE COLD OF SPACE,

Tus revelation came like a thunderbolt. Who could have ex-
peeted such an error in calculation ? Barbicane would not believe
it. Nicholl revised his figures: they were exact. As to the
formula which had determined them, they could not suspect its
truth ; it was evident that an initiatory velocity of 17,000
yards in the first second was necessary to enable them to reach.
the neutral point.

The three friends looked at each other silently. There was no
thought of breakfast. Barbicane, with clenched teeth, knitted
brows, and hands clasped convulsively, was watching through the
window. Nicholl had crossed his arms, and was examining his
calculations. Michel Ardan was muttering,—

“That is just like those scientific men: they never do anything .
else. I would give twenty pistoles if we could fall upon the
Cambridge Observatory and crush it, together with the whole lot
of dabblers in figures which it contains.” EN Te

Suddenly a thought struck the captain, which he at once
communicated to Barbicane.

“Ah!” said he; “it is seven o’clock in the mor ning; we have
already been gone thirty-two hours; more than half our passage
is over, and we are not falling that I am aware of.” |

Barbicane did not answer, but, after a rapid glance at the
captain, took a pair of compasses wherewith to measure the
angular distance of the terrestrial globe; then from the lower
window he took an exact observation, and noticed that the pro-:
186 ROUND THE MOON.



jectile was apparently stationary. Then rising and wiping his
forehead, on which large drops of perspiration were standing, he
put some figures on paper. Nicholl understood that the president
was deducting from the terrestrial diameter the projectile’s dis-
tance from the earth. He watched him anxiously.

“No,” exclaimed Barbicane, after some moments, “ no, we are
not falling! no, we are already more than 50,000 leagues from the
earth. We have passed the point at which the projectile would
have stopped if its speed had only been 12,000 yards at starting.
We are still going up.”

“That is evident,” replied Nicholl; “and we must conclude
that our initial speed, under the power of the 400,000 ibs. of gun-
cotton, must have exceeded the required 12,000 yards. Now I
can understand how, after thirteen minutes only, we met the
second satellite, which gravitates round the earth at more than
2000 leagues’ distance.”

*“‘ And this explanation is the more probable,” added Barbicane,
“ because, in throwing off the water enclosed between its partition-
breaks, the projectile found itself lightened of a considerable
weight.”

‘ Just so,” said Nicholl.

‘Ah, my brave Nicholl, we are saved!”

“ Very well, then,” said Michel Ardan quietly ; “as we are safe,
let us have breakfast.” | .

Nicholl was not mistaken. The initial speed had been, very
fortunately, much above that estimated by the Cambridge Obser-
vatory ; but the Cambridge Observatory had nevertheless made
a mistake. | :

The travellers, recovered from this false alarm, breakfasted
merrily. If they ate a great deal, they talked more. Their confi-
dence was greater after than before “ the incident of the algebra.”

“Why should we not succeed?” said Michel Ardan; “ why
should we not arrive safely? We are launched; we have no
obstacle before us, no stones in our way; the road is open, more
THE COLD OF SPACE. 187
aE a, ee ee ee
so than that of a ship battling with the sea; more open than that
of a balloon battling with the wind; and if a ship can reach its
destination, a balloon go where it pleases, why cannot our pro-
jectile attain its end and aim?” ,

“It will attain it,” said Barbicane.

“Tf only to do honour to the Americans,” added Michel Ardan,
“the only people who could bring such an enterprise to a happy
termination, and the only one which could produce a President
Barbicane. Ah, now we are no longer uneasy, I begin to think,
What will become of us? We shall get right royally weary.”

Barbicane and Nicholl made a gesture of denial.

‘* But I have ee for the contingency, my friends,” re-

4

plied Michel; “you have only to speak, and. I have chess,
draughts, cards, and dominoes at your disposal; nothing is
wanting but a billiard-table.” i

“What!” exclaimed Barbicane; “you brought away such
‘trifles ?”

“Certainly,” replied Michel, “and not only to distract our-
‘selves, but also with the laudable intention of endowing the
Selenite smoking divans with them.”

“My friend,” said Barbicane, “if the moon is inhabited, its
inhabitants must have appeared some thousands of years before
‘those of the earth, for we cannot doubt that their star is much
‘older than ours. If then these Selenites have existed their
hundreds of thousands of years, and if their brain is of the same
organization as the human brain, they have already invented all
that we have invented, and even what we may invent in future
ages. They have nothing to learn from us, and we have every-
thing to learn from them.”

“What!” said Michel; “you believe that they have artists
dike Phidias, Michael Angelo, or eeaauel e?

© Yes.”
“ Poets like Homer, Virgil, Milton, Lamartine, and Hugo?”
“Tam sure of it.”
188 | ROUND THE MOON.



_ “ Philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant ? ”
“‘T have no doubt of it.”
* Scientific men like Archimedes, Euclid, Pascal, Newton ?”
*I could swear it.” |

“Comic writers like Arnal, and photographers like —Like
Nadar ?” ,

“ Certain.”

“‘ Then, friend Barbicane, if they are as strong as we are, and
even stronger—these Selenites—why have they not tried to com-
municate with the earth? why have they not launched a lunar
projectile to our terrestrial regions ?” 7

‘Who told you that they have never done so ?” said Barbicane,
seriously,

*¢ Indeed,” added Nicholl, “it would be easier fo them than
for us, for two reasons ; first, because the attraction on the moon’s
surface is six times less than on that of the earth, which would
allow a projectile to rise more easily; secondly, because it would
be enough to send such a projectile only at 8000 leagues instead of
80,000, which would i the force of projection to be ten
times less strong.”

“Then,” continued Michel, “TI repeat it, why have they not
done it ?” : : |

“And I repeat,” said Barbicane ; “who told you that they
have not done it ?”

‘When ?”

Thousands of years before man appeared on earth.”

‘“¢ And. the peQjeence— mere is the projectile? I demand to
sec the projectile.” —

‘My friend,” replied Barbicane, “ the sea covers five-sixths of

&

our globe. From that we may draw five good reasons for sup-
posing that the lunar projectile, if ever launched, is now at the
bottom of the Atlantic or the Pacific, unless it sped into some
crevasse at that period when the crust of the earth was not yet
hardened.”
THE COLD OF SPACE. ’ 189



“Old Barbicane,” said Michel, “you have an answer for every-
thing, and I bow before your wisdom. But there is one hypo-
thesis that would suit me better than all the others, which is, that
the Selenites, being older than we, are wiser, and have not
invented gunpowder.

At this moment Diana joined in the conversation aby a sonorous
barking. She was asking for her breakfast.

“Ah!” said Michel Ardan, “in our discussion we have for-
gotten Diana and Satellite.” | |

Immediately a good-sized pie was given to the dog, which
devoured it hungrily.

“Do you see, Barbicane,” said Michel, “ we should have made
a second Noah’s Ark of this projectile, and borne with us to the
moon a couple of every kind of domestic animal.”

“TI dare say ; but room would have failed us.”

“Oh!” said Michel, “ we might have squeezed a little.”

“The fact is,” replied Nicholl, “ that cows, bulls, and horses,
and all ruminants, would have been very useful on the lunar con-
tinent, but unfortunatelythe car could neither have been made a
stable nor a shed.”

“Well, we might at least kinks brought a donkey, ste, a little
donkey ; that courageous beast which old Silenus loved to mount.
I love those old donkeys ; they are the least favoured animals in
creation ; they are not only beaten while alive, but even after they
are dead.”

‘“‘ How do you make that out?” asked Barbicane.

“Why,” said Michel, “ they make their skins into drums.” -

Barbicane and Nicholl could not help laughing at this ridiculous
remark. But a cry from their merry companion stopped them.
The latter was leaning over the spot where Satellite lay. He
rose, saying,—

‘My good Satellite is no longer ill ”

“ Ah!” said Nicholl. |
_ “No,” answered Michel, “he is dead! There,” added he, ina
190. ROUND THE MOON.

aera



piteous tone, “that is embarrassing. I much fear, my poor Diana,,
that you will leave no progeny in the lunar regions !”

Indeed the unfortunate Satellite had not survived its wound.
It was quite dead. Michel Ardan looked at his friends with a.
rueful countenance. .

“One question presents itself,” said Barbicane. ‘ We cannot.
keep the dead body of this dog with us for the next eon -eight,
hours.?* 4

‘No ! certainly not,” rusted Nicholl ; s ‘but our scuttles are
fixed on hinges.; they can be let down. We will open one, and
throw the body out into space.”

The president thought for some moments, and then said,—

‘Yes, we must do so, but at the same time i talsing very great:
precautions.”

“Why ?” asked Michel.

“For two reasons which you will understand,” answered Bar-
bicane. ‘‘ The first relates to the air shut up in the projectile, and
of which we must lose as little as possible.” |

“ But we manufacture the air ?”

“Only in part. We make only the oxygen, my worthy Michel;
and with regard to that, we must watch that the apparatus does .
not furnish the oxygen in too great a quantity ; for an excess
would bring us very serious physiological troubles. But if we
make the oxygen, we do not make the azote, that medium which
the lungs do not absorb, and which ought to remain intact ; and
that azote will escape rapidly through the open scuttles.”

“Qh! the time for throwing out poor Satellite ?” said Michel.

“ Acreed ; but we must act quickly.”

*¢ And the second reason ?” asked Michel.

“The second reason is that we must not let the outer cold,
which is excessive, penetrate the projectile, or we shall be frozen
to death.’

“ But the sun ?”

“The sun warms our projectile, which absorbs its rays ; but it
THE COLD OF SPACE. Ig!
a ee eee see aa cee ve ee ee ee
does not warm the vacuum in which we are floating at this
moment. Where there is no air, there is no more heat than
diffused light ; and the same with darkness: it is cold where the
sun’s rays do not strike direct. This temperature is only the
temperature produced by the radiation of the stars; that is to say,
what the terrestrial globe would undergo if the sun disappeared
one day.”
‘Which is not to be feared,” replied Nicholl.
“Who knows ?” said Michel Ardan. “ But, in admitting that
the sun does not go out, might it not happen that the earth might



move away from it?” ,

‘“‘ There !” said Barbicane, “ there is Michel with his ideas.”

** And,” continued Michel, “do we not know that in 1861 the
earth passed through the tail of a comet? Or let us suppose a
comet whose power of attraction is greater than that of the sun.
The terrestrial. orbit will bend towards the wandering star, and
the earth, becoming its satellite, will be drawn such a distance
that the rays of the sun will have no action on its surface.”

“That might happen, indeed,” replied Barbicane, “ but the con-
sequences of such a displacement need not be so formidable as
you suppose.”

‘And why not?”

“Because the heat and the cold would be equalized on our
globe. It has been caleulated that, had our earth been carried
along in its course by the comet of 1861, at its perihelion, that is,
its nearest approach to the sun, it would have undergone a heat
28,000 times greater than that of summer. But this heat, which
is sufficient to evaporate the waters, would have formed a thick
ring of cloud, which would have modified that excessive tempera-
ture ; hence the compensation between the cold of the aphelion
and the heat of the perihelion.”

‘At how many degrees,” asked Nicholl, “is the temperature of
the planetary spaces estimated ?”

‘‘Formerly,” replied Barbicane, “it was greatly exaggerated ;
192 ROUND THE MOON.



remem

but now, after the calculations of Fourier, of the French Academy
of Science, it is not supposed to exceed 60° Centigrade below zero.”
_* Pooh !” said Michel, “ that’s nothing !”

99

“Tt is very much,” replied Barbicane ; “the temperature
which was observed in the polar regions, at Melville Island and
Fort Reliance, that is 76° Fahrenheit below zero.”

“If I mistake not,” said Nicholl, “M. Pouillet, another savant,
estimates the temperature of space at 250° Fahr. below zero. We
shall, however, be able to verify these calculations for ourselves.”

‘Not at present ; because the solar rays, beating directly upon
our thermometer, would give, on the contrary, a very high tem-
perature. But, when we arrive in the moon, during its fifteen
days of night at either face, we shall have leisure to make the
experiment, for our satellite lies in a vacuum.”

“What do you mean by a vacuum?” asked Michel. “Is it
perfectly such ?”

‘Tt is absolutely void of air.”

“‘ And is the air replaced by nothing whatever ? ”

‘By the ether only,” replied Barbicane.

‘* And pray what is the ether ?”

- The ether, my friend, is an agglomeration of imponderable
atoms, which, relatively to their dimensions, are as far removed
from each other as the celestial bodies are in space. It is these
atoms which, by their vibratory motion, produce both light and
heat in the universe.”

They now proceeded to the burial of Satellite. They had
merely to drop him inte space, in the same way that sailors

_ drop a body into the sea ; but, as President Barbicane suggested,
they must act quickly, so as to lose as little as possible of that air
whose elasticity would rapidly have spread it into space. The
bolts of the right scuttle, the opening of which measured about
twelve inches across, were carefully drawn, whilst Michel, quite
grieved, prepared to launch his.dog into space. The glass, raised
by a powerful lever, which enabled it to overcome the pressure of
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SATELLITE WAS THROWN OUT,
| Page 193.
THE COLD OF SPACE. 193



the inside air on the walls of the projectile, turned rapidly on its
hinges, and Satellite was thrown out. Scarcely a particle of air
~ could have escaped, and the operation was so successful, that. later
on.Barbicane did not fear to dispose of the rubbish which en-
cumbered the car.
194 ROUND THE MOON.
a a A LE SOO A A Tne mem,

CHAPTER VI.
QUESTION AND ANSWER.

On the 4th of December, when the travellers awoke after fifty-
four hours’ journey, the chronometer marked five o’clock of the
terrestrial morning. In time it was just over five hours and forty
minutes, half of that assigned to their sojourn in the projectile ;
but they had already accomplished nearly seven-tenths of the way.
This peculiarity was due to their regularly decreasing speed.

Now when they observed the earth through the lower window,
it looked like nothing more than a dark spot, drowned in the
solar rays. No more crescent, no more cloudy light! The next
day, at midnight, the earth would be new, at the very moment
when the moon would be full. Above, the orb of night was
nearing the line followed by the projectile, so as to meet it at the
given hour. All around the black vault was studded with bril-
_liant points, which seemed to move slowly ; but, at the great dis-
tance they were from them, their relative size did not seem to
change. The sun and stars appeared exactly as they do to us
upon earth, As to the moon, she was considerably larger ; but
the travellers’ glasses, not very powerful, did not allow them as
yet to make any useful observations upon her surface, or recon-
noitre her topographically or geologically.

Thus the time passed in never-ending conversations all about
the moon. Each one brought forward his own contingent of par-
ticular facts; Barbicane and Nicholl always serious, Michel
Ardan always enthusiastic. The projectile, its situation, its direc-
tion, incidents which might happen, the precautions necessitated
QUESTION AND ANSWER. 195



by their fall on to the moon, were inexhaustible matters of con-
jecture.

As they were breakfasting, a question of Michels, relating to
the projectile, provoked rather a curious answer from Barbicane,
which is worth repeating. Michel, supposing it to be roughly
stopped, whilst still under its formidable initial speed, wished to
know what the consequences of the stoppage would have been.

“But,” said Barbicane, “T do not see how it could have been
stopped.”

‘* But let us suppose so,” said Michel.

“Tt is an impossible supposition,” said the practical Barbicane ;
“unless the impulsive force had failed ; but even then its speed
would diminish by degrees, and it would not have stopped sud-
denly.” |
“ Admit that it had struck a body in space.”

“What body ?” |

“Why that enormous meteor which we met.”

“Then,” said Nicholl, “ the projectile would have beck broken
into a thousand pieces, and we with it.”

‘“‘ More than that,” replied Bar bicane 5 ; “we should have been
burnt to death.” |

“Burnt ?” exclaimed Michel, “by Jove! Iam sorry it did
not happen, ‘just to see.’ ”

‘And you would have seen,” replied Bachicane: “Tt is known
now that heat is only a modification of motion. When water is
warmed—that is to say, when heat is added to it—its particles
are set in motion.”

“ Well,” said Michel, “that is an ingenious theory !”

‘And a true one, my worthy friend ; for it explains every
phenomenon of caloric. Heat is but the motion of atoms, a simple
oscillation of the particles of a body. When they apply the break
to a train, the train comes to a stop ; but what becomes of the
motion which it had previously possessed ’ It is transformed
into heat, and the break becomes hot. Why do they grease the

02
196 ROUND THE MOON.



axles of the wheels ? To prevent their heating, because this heat
would be generated by the motion which is thus lost by trans-
formation.”

‘Yes, I understand,” replica Michel, “perfectly. For example,
when I have run a long time, when I am swimming, when I am
perspiring in large drops, why am I obliged to stop? Simply
because my motion is changed into heat.”

Barbicane could not help smiling at Michel’s reply ; then,
returning to his theory, said,—

“Thus, in case of a shock, it would have been with our pro-
jectile as with a ball which falls in a burning state after having
struck the metal plate ; it is its motion which is turned into heat.
Consequently I affirm that, if our projectile had struck the meteor,
its speed thus suddenly checked would have raised a heat great
enough to turn it into vapour instantaneously.”

“Then,” asked Nicholl, “what would happen if the earth’s
motion were to stop suddenly ?” .

“Her temperature would be raised to such a pitch,” said
Barbicane, “ that she would be at once reduced to vapour.”

“ Well,” said Michel, “ that is a way of ending the earth which
will greatly simplify things.”

“ And if the earth fell upon the sun ?” asked Nicholl.

“ According to calculation,” replied Barbicane, “the fall would
develope a heat equal to that produced by 16,000 globes of coal,
each equal in bulk to our terrestrial globe.”

“‘ Good additional heat for the sun,” replied Michel Ardan, “of
which the inhabitants of Uranus or Neptune would doubtless not
complain ; they must be perished with cold on their planets.”

“Thus, my friends,” said Barbicane, “all motion suddenly
stopped produces heat. And this theory allows us to infer that
the heat of the solar disc is fed by a hail of meteors falling inces-
santly on its surface. They have even calculated—”

“Oh, dear !” murmured Michel, “the figures are coming.”

“They have even calculated,” continued the imperturbable
QUESTION AND ANSWER, 197



Barbicane, “that the shock of each meteor on the sun ought to

produce a heat equal to that of 4000- masses of coal of an equal

bulk.” | |
<* And what is the ae heat ?” asked Michel. |

“It is equal to that produced by the combustion of a stratum of
coal surrounding the sun to a depth of forty-seven miles.”

* And that heat—” ;

** Would be able to boil uve billions nine hundred millions of
cubic myriametres! of water.’

*‘ And it does not roast us !” exclaimed Michel.

‘*No,” replied Barbicane, “ because the terrestrial atmosphere
absorbs four-tenths of the solar heat; besides, the quantity of
heat intercepted by the earth is but a billionth ae of the entire
radiation.”

‘I see that all is for the best,” said Michel, “and that this
atmosphere is a useful invention ; for it not only allows us to
breathe, but it prevents us from roasting.”

“* Yes!” said Nicholl, “ unfortunately, it will not be the same
in the moon.”

** Bah!” said Michel, always hopeful. ‘If there are inhabi-
tants, they must breathe. If there are no longer any, they must
have left enough oxygen for three people, if only at the bottom of
ravines, where its own weight will cause it to accumulate, and we
will not climb the mountains ; that is all.” And Michel, rising,
went to look at the lunar disc, which shone with intolerable
brilliancy.

‘“‘ By Jove!” said he, “it must be hot up there !”

“Without considering,” replied Nicholl, “that the day lasts
860 hours !” 7

“ And to compensate that,” said Barbicane, “the nights have
the same length; and as heat is restored by radiation, their tem-
perature can only be that of the planetary space.”

1 The myriametre is equal to rather more than 10,936 cubic yards Eng.
lish.—(Ed.)
198 | ROUND THE MOON.



“‘ A pretty country, that!” exclaimed Michel. ‘Never mind!
I wish I was there! Ah! my dear comrades, it will be rather
curious to have the earth for our moon, to see it rise on the
horizon, to recognize the shape of its continents, and to say
to oneself, ‘ There is America, there is Europe ;’ then to follow it
when it is about to lose itself in the sun’s rays! By-the-bye,
Barbicane, have the Selenites eclipses ?”

“ Yes, eclipses of the sun,” replied Barbicane, “ when the centres
of the three orbs are on a line, the earth being in the middle. But
they are only partial, during which the earth, cast like a screen
upon the solar disc, allows the greater portion to be seen.”

“ And why,” asked Nicholl, “is there no total eclipse? Does
not the cone of the shadow cast by the earth extend beyond the
moon ?” rie

“Yes, if we do not take into consideration the refraction pro-
duced by the terrestrial atmosphere. No, if we take that refrac-
tion into consideration. Thus let 8 be the horizontal parallel,
and p the apparent semidiameter—”

“Oh!” said Michel. ‘Do speak plainly, you man of algebra!”

“Very well ;” replied Barbicane, “in popular language the mean
distance from the moon to the earth being sixty terrestrial radii,
the length of the cone of the shadow, on acconnt of the refrac-
tion, is reduced to less than forty-two radii. The result is that
when there are eclipses, the moon finds itself beyond the cone of
pure shadow, and that the sun sends her its rays, not only from
its edges, but also from its.centre.”

_ “Then,” said Michel, ina merry tone, “ why are there eclipses,
_ when there ought not to be any ?”

‘Simply because the solar rays are weakened by this refrac-
tion, and the atmosphere through which they pass extinguishes
the greater part of them!”

“That reason satisfies me,” replied Michel. “ Besides we shall
sce when we get there. Now, tell me, Barbicane, do you believe
that the moon is an old comet ?”
QUESTION AND ANSWER. . + 199
sere een ER er ae eT eC ee a ee

** There’s an idea !”

Yes,” replied Michel, with an amaible swagger, “I have a
few ideas of that sort.”

~“ But that idea does not spring from Michel,” answered
Nicholl. Map

“Well, then, I am a plagiarist.”

“No doubt about it. According to the ancients, the Arcadians
pretend that their ancestors inhabited the earth before the moon
became her satellite. Starting from this fact, some scientific men
have seen in the moon a comet whose orbit will one day bring it
so near to the earth that it will be held there by its attraction.”

“Is there any truth in this hypothesis ?” asked Michel.

‘* None whatever,” said Barbicane, “and the proof is, that the
moon has preserved no trace of the gaseous envelope which always
accompanies comets.” 7 3

“ But,” continued Nicholl, ‘“ before becoming the seridt’e satel-
lite, could not the moon, when in her perihelion, pass so near the
sun as by evaporation to get rid of all those gaseous substances ?”

‘“ It is possible, friend Nicholl, but not probable.”

“ Why not ?” | ,

‘* Because—Faith I do not know.”

“ Ah!” exclaimed Michel,” what hundreds of volumes we might
make of all that we do not know!” |

“Ah! indeed. What time is it ?” asked Barbicane.

‘“* Three o’clock,” answered Nicholl.

“ How time goes,” said Michel, “in the conversation of scien-
tific men such as we are! Certainly, I feel I know too much! I
feel that I am becoming a well !”

Saying which, Michel hoisted himself to the roof of the pro-
jectile, “to observe the moon better,” he pretended. During this
time his companions were watching through the lower glass.
Nothing new to note!

When Michel Ardan came down, he went to the side scuttle;
and suddenly they heard an exclamation of surprise !
200 - ROUND THE MOON.
a eae van ET eee ae ve

“* What is it?” asked Barbicane.

The president approached the window, and saw a sort of
flattened sack floating some yards from the projectile. This
object seemed as motionless as the projectile, and was conse-
quently animated with the same ascending movement.

‘¢ What is that machine ?” continued Michel Ardan. “Is it one
of the bodies of space which our projectile keeps within its attrac-
tion, and which will accompany it to the moon ?”

“‘ What astonishes me,” said Nicholl, “is that the specific weight
of the body, which is certainly less than that of the projectile,
allows it to keep so perfectly on a level with it.”

“ Nicholl,” replied Barbicane, after a moment’s reflection, “I do
not know what the object is, pate I do know why it maintains our
level.”

© And why ?”

‘“‘ Because we are floating in space, my dear captain, and in
space bodies fall or move (which is the same thing) with equal
speed whatever be their weight or form; it is the air, which by its
resistance creates these differences in weight. When you create a
vacuum in a tube, the objects you send through it, grains of dust
or grains of lead, fall with the same rapidity. Here in’space is the
same cause and the same effect.”

“ Just so,” said Nicholl, ‘and everything we throw out of the
projectile will accompany it until it reaches the moon.”

‘‘ Ah! fools that we are!” exclaimed Michel.

‘“‘ Why that expletive ?” asked Barbicane.

** Because we might have filled the projectile with useful
objects, books, instruments, tools, &c. We could have thrown
them all out, and all would have followed in our train. But
happy thought! Why cannot we walk outside like the meteor ?
Why cannot we launch into space through the scuttle ? What
enjoyment it would be to feel oneself. thus suspended in ether,
more favoured than the birds who must use their wings to keep
themselves up !”
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QUESTION AND ANSWER. 201

me

Granted,” said Barbicane, “ but how to breathe ?”

‘““ Hang the air, to fail so inopportunely !”

“ But if it did not fail, Michel, your density being less than
that of the projectile, you would soon be left behind.”

‘Then we must remain in our car ?”

“We must!”

‘* Ah !” exclaimed Michel, in a iowa voice.

‘* What is the matter,” asked Nicholl.

“ I know, I guess, what this pretended meteor is! It is no
asteroid which is accompanying us! It is nota piece of a planet.”

““ What is it then ?” asked Barbicane.

“ It is our unfortunate dog! It is Diana’s husband !”

Indeed, this deformed, unrecognizable object, reduced to nothing,
was the body of Satellite, flattened like a ele be without wind,
and ever mounting, mounting !
202 ROUND THE MOON.
RS neemeeeeeeeneneeeeeeeeenees eee ee

CHAPTER VII.
A MOMENT OF INTOXICATION.

Tuus a phenomenon, curious but explicable, was happening under
these strange conditions.

Every object thrown from the projectile would follow the same
course and never stop until it did. There was a subject for con-
versation which the whole evening could not exhaust.

Besides, the excitement of the three travellers increased as
they drew near the end of their journey. They expected unfore-
seen incidents, and new phenomena; and nothing would have
astonished them in the frame of mind they then were in. Their
over-excited imagination went faster than the projectile, whose
speed was evidently diminishing, though insensibly to themselves.
But the moon grew larger to their eyes, and they fancied if they
stretched out their hands they could seize it.

_ The next day, the 5th of N ovember, at five in the morning, all
three were on foot. That day was to be the last of their journey,
if all calculations were true. That very night, at twelve o’clock,
in eighteen hours, exactly at the full moon, they would reach its.
brilliant disc. The next midnight would see that journey ended,
the most extraordinary of ancient or modern times. Thus from
the first of the morning, through the scuttles silvered by its rays,
they saluted the orb of night with a confident and joyous
hurrah.

The moon was advancing majestically along the starry firma-
ment. A few more degrees, and she would reach the exact point
where her meeting with the projectile was to take place.
4 MOMENT OF INTOXICATION, 203
Ss Sl Ney
According to his own observations, Barbicane reckoned that
they would land on her northern hemisphere, where stretch -
immense planes, and where mountains are rare. A favourable
circumstance if, as they thought, the lunar atmosphere was stored
only in its depths. ) |
“ Besides,” observed Michel Ardan, “a plain is easier to dis-
embark upon than a mountain. A Selenite, deposited in Europe
on the summit of Mont Blanc, or in Asia on the top of the
Himalayas, would not be quite in the right place.” |
“ And,” added Captain Nicholl, “on a flat ground, the pro-
jectile will remain motionless when it has once touched ; whereas
on a declivity it would roll like an avalanche, and not being
squirrels we should not come out safe and sound. So it is all for
the best.”
_ Indeed, the success of the audacious attempt no longer appeared
doubtful. But Barbicane was preoccupied with one thought ; but.
not wishing to make his companions uneasy, he kept silence on
the subject. |
_ The direction the projectile was taking towards the moon’s.
northern hemisphere, showed that her course had been slightly
altered. The discharge, mathematically calculated, would carry
the projectile to the very centre of the lunar disc. If it did not
land there, there must have been some deviation. What had
caused it? Barbicane could neither imagine, nor determine the
importance of the deviation, for there were no points to go by.
He hoped, however, that it would have no other result than
that of bringing them near the upper border of the moon, a region
more suitable for landing. |
Without imparting his uneasiness to his companions, Barbicane
contented himself with constantly observing the moon, in order to
see whether the course of the projectile would not be altered ; for
the situation would have been terrible if it failed in its aim, and
being carried beyond the dise should be launched into inter-
planetary space. At that moment, the moon, instead of appearing
204 : ROUND THE MOON.



flat like a disc, showed its convexity. If the sun’s rays had struck
it obliquely, the shadow thrown would have brought out the high
mountains, which would have been clearly detached. The eye
might have gazed into the crater’s gaping abysses, and followed
the capricious fissures which wound through the immense plains.
But all relief was as yet levelled in intense brilliancy. They could
scarcely distinguish those large spots which give to the moon the
appearance of a human face. |

‘Face, indeed!” said Michel Ardan; “but I am sorry for the
amiable sister of Apollo. A very pitted face !”

But the travellers, now so near the end, were incessantly
observing this new world. They imagined themselves walking
through its unknown countries, climbing its highest peaks, de-
scending into its lowest depths. Here and there they fancied
they saw vast seas, scarcely kept together under so rarefied an
atmosphere, and watercourses emptying the mountain tributaries.
Leaning over the abyss, they hoped to catch some sounds from
that orb for ever mute in the solitude of space. That last day
left them.

They took down the most trifling details. A vague uneasiness -
took possession of them as they neared the end. This uneasiness
would have been doubled had they felt how their speed had
decreased. It would have seemed to them quite insufticient to
carry them to the end. It was because the projectile then
“weighed” almost nothing. Its weight was ever decreasing,
and would be entirely annihilated on that line where the lunar
and terrestrial attractions would neutralize each other.

But in spite of his preoccupation, Michel Ardan did not forget
to prepare the morning repast with his accustomed punctuality.
They ate with a good appetite. Nothing was so excellent as the
soup liquefied by the heat of the gas; nothing better than the
preserved meat. Some glasses of good French wine crowned
the repast, causing Michel Ardan to remark that the lunar vines,
warmed by that ardent sun, ought to distil even more generous
A MOMENT OF INTOXICATION. 205



wines; that is, if they existed. In any case, the far-seeing
Frenchman had taken care not to forget in his collection some
precious cuttings of the Médoc and Céte d’Or, upon which he
founded his hopes.

Reiset and Regnault’s apparatus worked with great regularity.
Not an atom of carbonic acid resisted the potash; and as to the
oxygen, Captain Nicholl said “it was of the first quality.” The
little watery vapour enclosed in the projectile mixing with the air
tempered the dryness; and many apartments in London, Paris,
or New York, and many oe were certainly not in such a
healthy condition.

But that it might act with regularity, the apparatus must be
kept in perfect order ; so each morning Michel visited the escape
regulators, tried the taps, and regulated the heat of the gas by
the pyrometer. Everything had gone well up to that time, and
the travellers, imitating the worthy Joseph T. Maston, began to
acquire a degree of embonpoint, which would have rendered them
unrecognizable if their imprisonment had been prolonged to some
months. In a word, they behaved like chickens in a coop; they
were getting fat.

In looking through the scuttle Barbicane saw the spectre of
the dog, and other divers objects which had been thrown from the
projectile obstinately following them. Diana howled lugubriously
on seeing the remains of Satellite, which seemed as motionless as
if they reposed on the solid earth.

“Do you know, my friends,” said Michel Ardan, “that if one
of us had succumbed to the shock consequent on departure, we
should have had a great deal of trouble to bury him? What am I
saying? to etherize him, as here ether takes the place of earth.
You see the accusing body would have followed us into space like
a remorse.”

‘That would have been sad,” said Nicholl.

“Ah?” continued Michel, “ what I regret is not being atle to
take a walk outside. What voluptuousness to float amid this
206 ROUND THE MOON.



radiant ether, to bathe oneself in it, to wrap oneself in the sun’s
pure rays. If Barbicane had only thought of furnishing us with
a diving apparatus and an air-pump, I could have ventured out
and assumed fanciful attitudes of feigned monsters on the ne of -
the projectile.”

** Well, old Michel,” replied Barbicane, “‘ you would not have
made a feigned monster long, for in. spite of your diver’s dress,
swollen by the expansion of air within you, you would have burst
like a shell, or rather like a balloon which has risen too high. So
do not regret it, and do not forget this—as long as we float in
space, all sentimental walks beyond the projectile are forbidden.”

Michel Ardan allowed himself to be convinced to a certain
extent. He admitted that the thing was difficult but not im-
possible, a word which he never uttered.

The conversation passed from this subject to another, not
failing for an instant. It seemed to the three friends as though,
under present conditions, ideas shot up in their brains as leaves
shoot at the first warmth of spring. They felt bewildered. In the
middle of the questions and answers which crossed each other,
Nicholl put one question which did not find an immediate solution.

“Ah, indeed!” said he; “it is all very well to go to the moon,
but how to get back again ?”

His two interlocutors looked surprised. One would have
thought that this possibility now occurred to them for the first
time.

“What do you mean by that, Nicholl?” asked Barbicane
eravely.

“To ask for means to leave a country,” added Michel, “ when
we have not yet arrived there, seems to me rather inopportune.”

“I do not say that, wishing to draw back,” replied Nicholl;
“but I repeat my question, and I ask, ‘How shall we return ?’”

“I know nothing about it,” answered Barbicane.

“ And I,” said Michel, “if I had known how to return, I would
never have started.”
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A MOMENT OF INTOXICATION. 207



“’There’s an answer!” cried Nicholl.

“TI quite approve of Michel’s words,” said Barbicane; “and
add, that the question has no real interest. Later, when we
think it advisable to return, we will take counsel together. If
the Columbiad is not there, the projectile will be.”

“That is a step certainly. A ball without a gun!”

“The gun,” replied Barbicane, “can be manufactured. The
powder can be made. Neither metals, saltpetre, nor coal can.
fail in the depths of the moon, and we need only go 8000 leagues
in order to fall upon the terrestrial globe by virtue of the mere
laws of weight.”

“Enough,” said Michel with animation. “ Let it be no longer
a question of returning: we have already entertained it too long.
As to communicating with our former earthly colleagues, that will
not be difficult.”

**And how ?”

“‘ By means of meteors launched by lunar volcanos.”

“ Well thought of, Michel,” said Barbicane in a convinced tone
of voice. “ Laplace has calculated that a force five times creater
than that of our gun would suffice to send a meteor from the
moon to the earth, and there is not one voleano which has not |
a greater power of propulsion than that.”

“Hurrah!” exclaimed Michel; “these meteors are handy
postmen, and cost nothing. And how we shall be able to laugh
at the post-office administration. But now I think of it—”

** What do you think of ?”

“A capital idea. Why did we not fasten a thread to our pro-
jectile, and we could have exchanged telegrams with the earth ?”

“The deuce!” answered Nicholl. “Do you consider the
weight of a thread 250,000 miles long nothing ?”

“As nothing. They could have trebled the Columbiad’s
charge ; they could have quadrupled or quintupled it!” ex-
claimed Michel, with whom the verb took a higher intonation
each time. |
208 ROUND THE MOON.

- There is but one little objection to make to your proposition,”
replied Barbicane, ‘which is that, during the rotary motion of
the globe, our thread would have wound itself round it like a
chain on a capstan, and that it would inevitably have brought us
to the ground.” - |

“By the thirty-nine stars of the Union!” said Michel, “TI
have nothing but impracticable ideas to-day; ideas worthy of
J. T. Maston. But I have a notion that, if we do not return to
earth, J. T. Maston will be able to come to us.” . |

“Yes, he’ll come,” replied Barbicane; “he is a worthy and a
courageous comrade. Besides, what is easier? Is not the
Columbiad still buried in the soil of Florida? Is cotton and
nitric acid wanted wherewith to manufacture the pyroxile? Will
not the moon again pass to the zenith of Florida? In eighteen
years’ time will she not occupy exactly the same place as to-day?”

“Yes,” continued Michel, “ yes, Marston will come, and with
him our friends Elphistone, Blomsberry, all the members of the
_.Gun Club, and they will be well received. And by and by they
will run trains of projectiles between the earth and the moon!
Hurrah for J. T. Maston!”

It is probable that, if the Hon. J. T. Maston did not hear the
hurrahs uttered in his honour, his ears at least tingled. What
was he doing then? Doubtless posted in the Rocky Mountains,
at the station of Long’s Peak, he was trying to find the invisible
projectile gravitating in space. If he was thinking of his dear
companions, we must allow that they were not far behind him;
and that, under the influence of a strange excitement, they were
devoting to him their best thoughts.

But whence this excitement, which was evidently growing upon
the tenants of the projectile? Their sobriety could not be doubted.
This strange irritation of the brain, must it be attributed to the
peculiar circumstances under which they found themselves, to
their proximity to the orb of night, from which only a few hours
separated them, to some secret influence of the moon acting upon
A MOMENT OF INTOXICATION. 209
their nervous system? Their faces were as rosy as if they had
been exposed to the roaring flames of an oven; their voices
resounded in loud accents; their words escaped like a champagne
cork driven out by carbonic acid ; their gestures became annoying,
they wanted so much room to perform them ; and, strange to say,
they none of them noticed this great tension of the mind.

** Now,” said Nicholl, in a short tone, “now that I do not
know-whether we shall ever return from the moon, I want to
know what we are going to do there ?”

“What we are going to do there?” replied Barbicane, stamp-
ing with his foot as if he was in a fencing saloon; “I do not
know.” |

“You do not know!” exclaimed Michel, with a bellow which
provoked a sonorous echo in the projectile.

‘No, I have not even thought about it,” retorted Barbicane,
in the same loud tone.

“‘ Well, I know,” replied Michel.

“Speak, then,” cried Nicholl, who could no longer contain the
growling of his voice.

“T shall speak if it suits me,” exclaimed Michel, seizing his
companions’ arms with violence.

“Jt must suit you,” said Barbicane, with an eye on fire and a
threatening hand. ‘It was you who drew us into this frightful
journey, and we want to know what for.”

*“‘ Yes,” said the captain, “now that I do not know where I am
going, I want to know why I am going.”

“Why?” exclaimed Michel, jumping a yard high, “why ?
To take possession of the moon in the name of the United States;
to add a fortieth State to the Union; to colonize the lunar regions ;
to cultivate them, to people them, to transport thither all the
prodigies of art, of science, and industry ; to civilize the Selenites,
unless they are more civilized than we are; and to constitute
them a republic, if they are not already- one !”

‘‘ And if there are no Selenites ?” retorted Nicholl, who, under

P
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210 ROUND THE MOON.

a eee ee ee ES CIEE ee ae ee
the influence of this unaccountable intoxication, was very con-
tradictory.

‘Who said that there were no. oe °” exclaimed Michel
in a threatening tone.

‘¢T do,” howled Nicholl.

“ Captain,” said Michel, “do not repeat that insolence, or I
will knock your teeth down your throat!”

The two adversaries were going to fall upon each other, and
the incoherent discussion threatened to merge into a fight, when
Barbicane intervened with one bound. as

“‘ Stop, miserable men,” said he, separating his two companions ;
“if there are no Selenites, we will do without them.”

“Yes,” exclaimed Michel, who was not particular ; “yes, we
will do without them. We have only to make Selenites. Down
with the Selenites !” |

“The empire of the moon belongs to us,” said Nicholl. “Let

us three constitute the republic.”

- “J will be the congress,” cried Michel.

“And I the senate,” retorted Nicholl.

“ And Barbicane, the president,” howled Michel.

‘‘ Not a president elected by the nation,” replied Barbicane.

“Very well, a president elected by the congress,” cried
Michel; “and as I am the congress, you are unanimously
elected!”

“Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah! ! far Pr esident Barbicane,” ex-—
claimed Nicholl. | |

“Hip! hip! hip!” vociferated Michel Ardan.

Then the President and the Senate struck up in a tremendous
voice the popular song “ Yankee Doodle,” whilst from the Congress
resounded the masculine tones of the “ Marscillaise.”

Then they struck up a frantic dance, with maniacal gestures,
idiotic stampings, and somersaults like those of the boneless
clowns in the circus. Diana, joining in the dance, and howling
in her turn, jumped to the top of the projectile. An unaccount-
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A MOMENT OF INTOXICATION. 211



able flapping of wings was then heard amidst most fantastic
cock-crows, while -five or six hens fluttered like bats against the
walls, |

Then the three travelling companions, acted upon by some
unaccountable influence above that of intoxication, inflamed by
the air which had set their respiratory apparatus on fire, fell
motionless to the bottom of the projectile. |

£2
212 ROUND THE MOON.



CHAPTER VIII.

AT SEVENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN
LEAGUES.

Wuat had happened ? Whence the cause of this singular intoxi-
cation, the consequences of which might have been very disas-
trous ? A simple blunder of Michel’s, which, fortunately, Nicholl
was able to correct in time.

After a perfect swoon, which lasted some minutes, the captain,
recovering first, soon collected his scattered senses. Although he
had breakfasted only two hours before, he felt a gnawing hunger,
as if he had not eaten anything for several days. Everything
about him, stomach and brain, were overexcited to the highest
degree. He got up and demanded from Michel a supplementary
repast. Michel, utterly done up, did not answer.

Nicholl then tried to prepare some tea destined to help the
absorption of a dozen sandwiches. He first tried to get some fire,
and struck a match sharply. What was his surprise to see the
sulphur shine with so extraordinary a brilliancy as to be almost
unbearable to the eye. From the gas-burner which he lit rose a
flame equal to a jet of electric light.

A revelation dawned on Nicholl’s mind. That intensity of
light, the physiological troubles which had arisen in him, the
overexcitement of all his moral and quarrelsome faculties,—he
understood all. |

* The oxygen !” he exclaimed.

And leaning over the air apparatus, he saw that the tap was
aliowing the scentless colourless gas to escape freely, life-giving,
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AT 78,514 LEAGUES. | 213



but in its pure state producing the gravest disorders in the
system. Michel had blunderingly opened the tap of the apparatus
to the full.

Nicholl hastened to stop the escape of oxygen with which the
atmosphere was saturated, which would have been the death of .
the travellers, not by suffocation, but by combustion. An hour
later, the air less charged with it restored the lungs to their
normal condition. By degrees the three friends recovered from
their intoxication ; but they were obliged to sleep themselves
sober over their oxygen, as a drunkard does over his wine.

When Michel learnt his share of the responsibility of this inci-
dent, he was not much disconcerted. This unexpected drunken-
ness broke the monotony of the journey. Many foolish things had
been said while under its influence, but also quickly forgotten.

‘And then,” added the merry Frenchman, “I am not SOIry
to have tasted a little of this heady gas. Do you know, my
friends, that a curious establishment might be founded with
rooms of oxygen, where people whose system is weakened could
for a few hours live a more active life. Fancy parties where
the room was saturated with this heroic fluid, theatres where it
should be kept at high pressure; what passion in the souls of
the actors and spectators ! what fire, what enthusiasm! And if, |
instead of an assembly only a whole people could be saturated,
what activity in its functions, what a supplement to life it would

derive. From an exhausted nation they might make a great and
| strong one, and I know more than one state in old Europe which
ought to put itself under the regime of oxygen for the sake of its
health ?”

Michel spoke with so much animation, that one might have
fancied that the tap was still too open. But a aw words from
Barbicane soon scattered his enthusiasm.

‘¢ That is all very well, friend Michel, ” said he, “ but will you
inform us where these chickens came from which have mixed
themselves up in our concert ?”
214 . ROUND THE MOON.



‘Those chickens ?”

Yes.” |

Indeed, half a dozen chickens and a fine cock were wang
about, flapping their wings and chattering.

“ Ah, the awkward things !” exclaimed Michel. “The oxygen
has made them revolt.”

“ But what do you want to do with these chickens ?” asked
Barbicane.”

“To acclimatize them in the moon, by Jove !”

‘“‘ Then why did you hide them ?”

‘‘ A joke, my worthy president, a simple joke, which has proved
a miserable failure. I wanted to set them free on the lunar con-
tinent, without saying anything. Oh, what would have been
your amazement on seeing these earthly-winged animals pecking
in the lunar fields !”_

“You rascal, you unmitigated rascal,” replied Barbicane, “ you
do not want oxygen to mount to the head. You are always what
we were under the influence of the gas; you are always
foolish !” whic es. :

“ Ah, who says that we were not wise then ?” replied Michel
Ardan.

After this philosophical reflection, the three friends set about
restoring the order of the projectile. Chickens and cock were
reinstated in their coup. But whilst proceeding with this opera-
tion, Barbicane and his two companions had a most desired per-
ception of a new phenomenon. From the moment of leaving the
earth, their own weight, that of the projectile, and the objects it
enclosed, had been subject to an increasing diminution. If they
could not prove this loss of the projectile, a moment would arrive
when it would be sensibly felt upon themselves and the utensils
and instruments they used.

It is needless to say that a scale would not show this loss; for
the weight destined to weigh the object would have lost exactly

as much as the object itself; but a spring steelyard for example, —
AT 78,514 LEAGUES. 215



the tension of which was independent of the attraction, would
have given a just estimate of this loss.

We know that the attraction, otherwise called the weight, is in
proportion to the densities of bodies, and inversely as the squares
of the distances. Hence this effect : If the earth had been alone
in space, if the other celestial bodies had been suddenly anni-
hilated, the projectile, according to Newton’s laws, would weigh
less as it got farther from the earth, but without ever losing its
weight entirely, for the terrestrial attraction would always have
made itself felt, at whatever distance.

But, in reality, a time must come when the projectile would no’
longer be subject to the law of weight, after allowing for the
other celestial bodies whose effect could not be set down as zero.
Indeed, the projectile’s course was being traced between the
earth and the moon. As it distanced the earth, the terrestrial
attraction diminished: but the lunar attraction rose in proportion.
‘There must then come a point where these two attractions would -
neutralize each other: the projectile would possess weight no
longer. Ifthe moon’s and the earth’s densities had been equal,
this point would have been at an equal distance between the two
orbs. But taking the different densities into consideration, it was
easy to reckon that this point would be situated at 47-60ths of the
whole journey, i.e. at 78,114 leagues from the earth. At this
point, a body having no principle of speed or displacement in
itself, would remain immovable for ever, being attracted equally
by both orbs, and not being drawn more towards one than towards
the other.

_ Now if the projectile’s impulsive force had been correctly cal-
scleiee. it would attain this point without speed, having lost all
trace of weight, as well as all the objects within it. What would
happen then? Three hypotheses presented themselves.

1. Hither it would retain a certain amount of motion, and pass
the point of equal attraction, and fall upon the moon by virtue of
the excess of the lunar attraction over the terrestrial,
216 ROUND THE MOON.

2. Or, its speed failing, and unable to reach the point of equal

attraction, it would fall upon the moon by virtue of the excess of

the lunar attraction over the terrestrial.

3. Or, lastly, animated with sufficient speed to enable it to reach
the neutral point, but not sufficient to pass it, it would remain for
ever suspended in that spot like the pretended tomb of Mahomet,
between the zenith and the nadir.

Such was their situation; and Barbicane clearly explained
the consequences to his travelling companions, which greatly
interested them. But how should they know when the projec-
tile had reached this neutral point situated at that distance,
especially when neither themselves, nor the objects enclosed
in the projectile, would be any longer subject to the laws of
weight ?

Up to this time, the travellers, whilst admitting that this
action was constantly decreasing, had not yet become sensible to
its total absence. |

But that day, about eleven o’clock in the morning, Nicholl
having accidentally let a glass slip from his hand, the glass,
instead of falling, remained suspended in the air.

“Ah!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, “ that is rather an amusing
piece of natural philosophy.”

And immediately divers other objects, firearms and bottles,

‘abandoned to themselves, held themselves up as by enchantment.

Diana too, placed in space by Michel, reproduced, but without
any trick, the wonderful suspension practised by Caston and

-Robert Houdin. Indeed the dog did not secm to know that she

was floating in air.

The three adventurous companions were surprised and stupe-
fied, despite their scientific reasonings. They felt themselves
being carried into the domain of wonders! they felt that weight
was really wanting to their bodies. If they stretched out their

_ arms, they did not attempt to fall. Their heads shook on their

shoulders. Their feet no longer clung to the floor of the pro-
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“an! IF RAPHAEL HAD SEEN US THUS.

{ Page 217
AT 78,514 LEAGUES. 217
jectile. They were like drunken men having no stability in
themselves.

Fancy has depicted men without reflection, others without ©
shadow. But here reality, by the neutralisation of attractive
forces, produced men in whom nothing had any weight, and who
weighed nothing themselves. |

Suddenly Michel, taking a spring, left the floor and remained
suspended in the air, like Murillo’s monk of the Cusine des Anges.

The two friends joined him instantly, and all three formed a
miraculous “ Ascension ” in the centre of the projectile.

“Ts it to be believed? is it probable? is it possible?” ex-
claimed Michel; “and yet it is so. Ah! if Raphael had seen us
thus, what an ‘ Assumption’ he would have thrown upon canvas !”

“‘'The ‘ Assumption’ cannot last,” replied Barbicane. “If the
' projectile Beers the neutral point, the lunar attraction will draw
us to the moon.’

“Then our feet will be upon the roof,” replied Michel

“No,” said Barbicane, ‘‘ because the projectile’s centre of
gravity is very low; it will only turn by degrees.”

“Then all our portables will be upset from top to bottom, that
is a fact.”

“Calm yourself, Michel,” replied Nicholl; ‘no upset is to be
feared; not a thing will move, for the projectile’s evolution will
be impercena

“ Just so,” continued Rarbieade: ; “and when it has passed the
point of equal attraction, its base, being the heavier, will draw it
perpendicularly to the moon; but, in order that this phenomenon
should take place, we must have passed the neutral line.”

‘Pass the neutral line! ” cried Michel; “ then let us do as the
sailors do when they cross the equator.” |

A slight side movement brought Michel back towards the
padded side; thence he took a bottle and glasses, placed them “ in
space” before his companions, and, drinking merrily, they saluted
the linc with a triple hurrah. The influence of these attractions
218 ROUND THE MOON.

scarcely lasted an hour; the travellers felt themselves insensibly
drawn towards the floor, and Barbicane fancied that the conical
end of the projectile was varying a little from its normal direction
towards the moon. By an inverse motion the base was approach-
ing first; the lunar attraction was prevailing over the terrestrial ;
the fall towards the moon was beginning, almost imperceptibly as
yet, but by degrees the attractive force would become stronger,
the fall would be more decided, the projectile, drawn by its base,
would turn its cone to the earth, and fall with ever-increasing
speed on to the surface of the Selenite continent; their destina-
_ tion would then be attained. Now nothing could prevent the
success of their enterprise, and Nicholl and Michel Ardan shared
Barbicane’s joy.

Then they chatted of all the phenomena which had astonished
them one after the other, particularly the neutralization of the
laws of weight. Michel Ardan, always enthusiastic, drew con-
clusions which were purely fanciful.

“Ah, my worthy friends,” he exclaimed, “what progress we
should make if on earth we could throw off some of that weight,
some of that chain which binds us to her; it would be the
prisoner set at liberty; no more fatigue of either arms or legs.
Or, if it is true that in order to fly on the earth’s surface, to keep
oneself suspended in the air merely by the play of the muscles,
there requires a strength a hundred and fifty times greater than
- that which we possess, a simple act of volition, a caprice, would
bear us into Eppes if attraction did not exist.”

“ Just so,” said Nicholl, smiling; “if we could succeed in
suppressing weight as they suppress pain by anesthesia, that
would change the face of modern society !”

“Yes,” cried Michel, full of his subject, “ destroy weight, and
no more burdens!”

“Well said,” replied Barbicane; “but if nothing had any
weight, nothing would keep in its place, not even your hat on
your head, worthy Michel; nor your house, whose stones only
AT 78,514 LEAGUES. 219



adhere by weight; not a boat, whose stability on the water is
caused only by weight; not, even the ocean, whose waves
would no longer be equalized by terrestrial attraction ; and lastly,
not even the atmosphere, whose atoms, being no longer held. in
their places, would disperse in space!”

“That is tiresome,” retorted Michel; “nothing like these
matter-of-fact people for bringing one back to the bare reality.”

“But console yourself, Michel,” continued Barbicane, “for if
no orb exists from whence all laws of weight are banished, you are
at least going to visit one where it is much less than on the earth.”

**The moon?”

“Yes, the moon, on whose surface objects weigh six times less

than on the earth, a phenomenon easy to prove.” |

‘¢ And we shall feel it?” asked Michel.

“Evidently, as 200lbs. will only weigh 30lbs. on the surface
of the moon.” |

‘And our muscular strength will not diminish ?”

“Not at all; instead of jumping one yard high, you will rise
eighteen feet high.”

“But we shall be regular Herculeses in the moon!” exclaimed
Michel.

“Yes,” replied Nicholl; “for if the height of the Selenites is
in proportion to the density of their globe, they will be scarcely a
foot high.”

“ Lilliputians!” ejaculated Michel; “I shall play the part of
Gulliver. We are going to realize the fable of the giants. This
is the advantage of leaving one’s own planet and overrunning
the solar world.” | ,

~ “Qne moment, Michel,” answered Barbicane; “if you wish to
play the part of Gulliver, only visit the inferior planets, such as
Mercury, Venus, or Mars, whose density is a little less than that
of the earth ; but do not venture into the great planets, Jupiter,
Saturn, Uranus, Neptune; for there the order will be changed,
~and you will become Lilliputian.”
220 ROUND THE MOON.



*¢ And in the sun?”

“In the sun, if its density is thirteen hundred and twenty-four
thousand times greater, and the attraction is twenty-seven times
greater than on the surface of our globe, keeping everything
in proportion, the inhabitants ought to be at least two hundred
feet high.” :

“By Jove!” exclaimed Michel; “I should be nothing more
than a pigmy, a shrimp!”

“ Gulliver with the giants,” said Nicholl.

— © Just so,” replied Barbicane.

“And it would not be quite useless to carry some pieces of
artillery to defend oneself.” :

“Good,” replied Nicholl; “your projectiles would have no
effect on the sun; they would fall back on the earth after some
minutes.”

“That is a strong remark.”

“It is certain,” replied Barbicane ;. “ the attraction is so great
on this enormous orb, that an object weighing 70,000lbs. on
the earth would weigh but 1920lbs. on the surface of the sun.
If you were to fall upon it you would weigh—let me see—about
5000lbs., a weight which you would never be able to raise again.”

“The devil!” said Michels ‘one would want a portable crane.
However, we will be satisfied with the moon for the present ;
there at least we shall cut a great figure. We will see about the
sun by and by.”

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[Page 220.


THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION. 221





CHAPTER IX.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION.

BaARBICANE had now no fear of the issue of the journey, at least
as far as the projectile’s impulsive force was concerned ; its own
speed would carry it beyond the neutral line; it would certainly
not return to earth; it would certainly not remain motionless
on the line of attraction. One single hypothesis remained to be
realized, the arrival of the projectile at its destination by the
action of the lunar attraction.

It was in reality a fall of 8296 leagues on an orb, it is true,
where weight could only be reckoned at one-sixth of terrestrial
weight; a formidable fall, nevertheless, and one against which
every precaution must be taken without delay.

These precautions were of two sorts, some to deaden the shock
when the projectile should touch the lunar soil, others to elegy the
fall, and consequently make it less violent.

To deaden the shock, it was a pity that Barbicane was no
longer able to employ the means which had so ably weakened the
shock at departure, that is to say, re water used as springs and
the partition-breaks.

The partitions still existed but water failed, for they could not
use their reserve, which was precious, in case during the first
days the liquid element should be found wanting on lunar
soil. -

And indeed this reserve would have been quite insufficient for
a spring. The layer of water stored in the projectile at their
departure, and on which the waterproof disc lay, occupied no less
222 ROUND THE MOON.



than three feet in depth, and spread over a surface of not less
than fifty-four square feet. Besides, the cistern did not contain
one fifth part of it; they must therefore give up this efficient
means of deadening the shock of arrival. Happily, Barbicane,
not content with employing water, had furnished the movable |
dise with strong spring plugs, destined to lessen the shock against
the base after the breaking of the horizontal partitions. These
plugs still existed ; they had only to readjust them and replace
the movable disc; every piece, easy to handle, as their weight
was now scarcely felt, was quickly mounted.

The different pieces were fitted without trouble, it being only a
matter of bolts and screws; tools were not wanting, and soon the
reinstated disc lay on its steel plugs, like a table on its legs. One
— inconvenience resulted from the replacing of the disc, the lower
- window was blocked up; thus it was impossible for the travellers
to observe the moon from that opening while they were being
precipitated perpendicularly upon her; but they were obliged to
give it up; even by the side openings they could still see vast
lunar regions, as an aéronaut sees the earth from his car.

This replacing of the disc was at least an hour’s work. It was
past twelve when all preparations were finished. Barbicane took
fresh observations on the inclination of the projectile, but to his
annoyance it had not turned over sufficiently for its fall; it
seemed to take a curve parallel to the lunar disc. The orb of
night shone splendidly into space, whilst, ePEoati the orb of day
blazed with fire.

Their situation began to make them uneasy.

‘‘ Are we reaching our destination ?” said Nicholl.

“Let us act as if we were about reaching it,” replied Bar-
bicane. | | |

“You are funkers,” retorted Michel Ardan. ‘ We shall arrive,
and that, too, quicker than we like.”

This answer brought Barbicane back to his preparations, and
he occupied himself with placing the contrivances intended to

x
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION, 223



break their descent. We may remember the scene of the meeting
held at Tampa Town, in Florida, when Captain Nicholl came
forward as Barbicane’s enemy and Michel Ardan’s adversary. To
Captain Nicholl’s maintaining that the projectile would smash like
glass, Michel replied that he would break their fall by means of
rockets properly placed.

Thus, powerful fireworks, taking their starting-point from the
base and bursting outside, could, by producing a recoil, check to
- @ certain degree the projectile’s speed. These rockets were to
burn in space, it is true ; but oxygen would not fail them, for they
could supply themselves with it, like the lunar volcanoes, the
burning of which has never yet been stopped by the want of
atmosphere round the moon.

Barbicane had accordingly supplied himself with these fire-
works, enclosed in little steel guns, which could be screwed on to
the base of the projectile. Inside, these guns were flush with the
bottom ; outside, they protruded about eighteen inches. There
were twenty of them. An opening left in the disc allowed them
to light the match with which each was provided. All the effect
was felt outside. The burning mixture had been already rammed
into each gun. They had, then, nothing to do but to raise the
metallic buffers fixed in the base, and replace them by the guns,
which fitted closely in their places. —

This new work was finished about three o’clock, and after
taking all these precautions there remained but to wait. But the
projectile was perceptibly nearing the moon, and evidently suc-
cumbed to her influence to a certain degree ; though its own
velocity also drew it in an oblique direction. From these con-
- flicting influences resulted a line which might become a tangent.
But it was certain that the projectile would not fail directly on
the moon ; for its lower part, by reason of its weight, ought to be
turned towards her. |

Barbicane’s uneasiness increased as he saw his projectile resist
the influence of gravitation. The Unknown was opening before
224 ROUND THE MOON.



him, the Unknown in interplanetary space. The man of science
thought he had foreseen the only three hypotheses possible—the
return to the earth, the return to the moon, or stagnation on the
neutral line; and here a fourth hypothesis, big with all the
terrors of the Infinite, surged up inopportunely. To face it with-
out flinching, one must be a resolute savant like Barbicane, a
phlegmatic being like Nicholl, or an audacious adventurer like
Michel Ardan.

Conversation was started upon this subject. Other men would
have considered the question from a practical point of view; they
would have asked themselves whither their projectile carriage was
carrying them. Not so with these ; they sought for the cause
which produced this effect.

‘So we have become diverted from our route,” said Michel ;
* but why ?”

“T very much fear,” answered Nicholl, “that, in spite of all
precautions taken, the Columbiad was not fairly pointed. An
error, however small, would be ta to throw us out of the
moon’s attraction.”

“Then they must have aimed badly ?” asked Michel.

**T do not think so,” replied Barbicane. “The perpendicularity
of the gun was exact, its direction to the zenith of the spot incon-
testible ; and the moon passing to the zenith of the spot, we
ought to — it at the full. There is another reason, but it
escapes me.’

“ Are we not arriving too sintag ?” asked Nicholl.

‘Too late ?” said Barbicane.

“Yes,” continued Nicholl. “The Cambridge Observatory’s
note says that the transit ought to be accomplished in ninety-
seven hours thirteen minutes and twenty seconds ; which means
to say, that sooner the moon will not be at the point indicated,
and that later it will have passed it.”

“True,” replied Barbicane. “But we started the Ist of
December, at thirteen minutes and twenty-five seconds to eleven
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION. 225
ee eae eM oT eee OT TS
at night ; and we ought to arrive on the dth at midnight, at the
exact moment when the moon would be full ; and we are now at
the 5th of December. It is now half past three in the evening ;
half past eight ought to see us at the end of our journey. Why
do we not arrive ?”

“Might it not be an excess of speed?” answered Nicholl ;
“for we know now that its initial velocity was greater than they
supposed.”

“No! a hundred times, No!” replied Barbicane. “ An excess
of speed, if the direction of the projectile had been right, would
not have prevented us reaching the moon. No, ee has been a
deviation. We have been turned out of our course.”

“ By whom ? by what?” asked Nicholl.

‘IT cannot say,” replied Barbicane.

“Very well, then, Barbicane,” said Michel, “do you wish to
know my opinion on the subject of finding out this deviation ?”

‘¢ Speak.”

“T would not give half a dollar to know it. That we have
deviated is a fact. Where we are going to matters little ; we
shall soon see.’ Since we are being borne along in space we shall
end by falling into some centre of attraction or other.”

Michel Ardan’s indifference did not content Barbicane. Not
that he was uneasy about the future, but he wanted to know at
any cost why his projectile had deviated.

But the projectile continued its course sideways to the moon,
and with it the mass of things thrown out. Barbicane could even
prove, by the elevations which served as landmarks upon the
moon, which was only 2000 leagues distant, that its speed was
becoming uniform—fresh proof that there was no fall. Its impul-
sive force still prevailed over the lunar attraction, but the projec-
tile’s course was certainly bringing it nearer to the moon, and
they might hope that at a nearer point the weight, predominating,
would cause a decided fall.

The three friends, having nothing better to do, continued their

Q
226 | ROUND THE MOON.



observations ; but they could not yet determine the topographical
position of the satellite ; every relief was levelled under the
reflection of the solar rays.

They watched thus through the side windows until eight
o'clock at night. The moon had then grown so large in their
_eyes that it filled half of the firmament. The sun on one side, and
the orb of night on the other, flooded the projectile with light.

At that moment, Barbicane thought he could estimate the dis-
tance which separated them from their aim at no more than 700
leagues. ‘The speed of the projectile seemed to him to be more
than 200 yards, or about 170 leagues a second. Under the cen-
tripetal force, the base of the projectile tended towards the moon;
but the centrifugal still prevailed; and it was probable that its
rectilineal course would be changed to a curve of some sort, the
nature of which they could not at present determine. |

Barbicane was still seeking the solution of his insoluble
problem. Hours passed without any result. The projectile was
evidently nearing the moon, but it was also evident that it would
_never reach her. As to the nearest distance at which it would
pass her, that must be the result of the two forces, attraction and
repulsion, affecting its motion.

“T ask but one thing,” said Michel ; “that we may pass near
enough to penetrate her secrets.” |

’ “ Cursed be the thing that has caused our projectile to deviate
from its course,” cried Nicholl.

And, as if a light had suddenly broken in upon his mind, Bar-
bicane answered, “ Then cursed be the meteor which crossed our
path.”

“What ?” said Michel Ardan.

“What do you mean ?” exclaimed Nicholl.

“TI mean,” said Barbicane in a decided tone, “I mean that our
deviation is owing solely to our meeting with this erring body.”

“ But it did not even brush us as it passed,” said Michel.

“What does that matter? Its mass, compared to that of our
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION. 227



- projectile, was enormous, and its attraction was enough to influence
‘our course.”

“So little?” cried Nicholl.

“Yes, Nicholl ; but however little it might be,” replied Bar-
bicane, “in a distance of 84,000 leagues, it wanted no more to
make us miss the moon.” |
228 ROUND THE MOONe



CORTE ONT © AD SOO | B- eteenanite,

CHAPTER X.
THE OBSERVERS OF THE MOON, |

_ Barpicane had evidently hit upon the only plausible reason of
this deviation. However slight it might have been, it had sufficed
_ to modify the course of the projectile. It was a fatality. The
bold attempt had miscarried by a fortuitous circumstance; and
unless by some exceptional event, they could now never reach the
moon’s disc. |

Would they pass near enough to be able to solve certain phy-
sical and geological questions until then insoluble ? This was
the question, and the only one, which occupied the minds of these
bold travellers. As to the fate in store for themselves, they did
not even dream of it.

But what would become of them amid these infinite solitudes,
these who would soon want air? A few more days, and they |
would fall stifled in this wandering projectile. But some days
to these intrepid fellows was a century; and they devoted all
their time to observe that moon which they no longer hoped to
reach. |

The distance which then separated the projectile from the
satellite was estimated at about 200 leagues. Under these con-
ditions, as regards the visibility of the details of the dise, the
travellers were farther from the moon than are the inhabitants of
the earth with their powerful telescopes.

Indeed, we know that the instrument mounted by Lord Rosse
at Parsonstown, which magnifies 6500 times, brings the moon to
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[Page 228.
THE OBSERVERS OF THE MOON. 229



that, with the powerful one set up at Long’s Peak, the orb of
night, magnified 48,000 times, is brought to within less than two
leagues, and objects having a diameter of thirty feet are seen
very distinctly. So that, at this distance, the topographical
details of the moon, observed without glasses, could not be
determined with precision. The eye caught the vast outline of
those immense depressions inappropriately called “ seas,” but they
could not recognize their nature. The prominence of the moun-
tains disappeared under the splendid irradiation produced by the
reflection of the solar rays. The eye, dazzled as if it was leaning
over a bath of molten silver, turned from it involuntarily ; but
the oblong form of the orb was quite clear. It appeared like a
gigantic egg, with the small end turned towards the earth.
Indeed the moon, liquid and pliable in the first days of its for-
mation, was originally a perfect sphere ; but, being soon drawn
within the attraction of the earth, it became elongated under the
influence of gravitation. In becoming a satellite, she lost her
native purity of form; her centre of gravity was in advance of
the centre of her figure; and from this fact some savants
draw the conclusion that the air and water had taken refuge on
the opposite surface of the moon, which is never seen from the
earth. ‘This alteration in the primitive form of the satellite was
only perceptible for a few moments. The distance of the pro-
jectile from the moon diminished very rapidly under its speed,
though that was much less than its initial velocity,—but eight or
nine times greater than that which propels our express trains.
The oblique course of the projectile, from its very obliquity, gave
Michel Ardan some hopes of striking the lunar dise at some point
or other. He could not think that they would never reach it.
No! he could not believe it; and this opinion he often repeated.
But Barbicane, who was a better judge, always answered him
with merciless logic.
‘No, Michel, no! We can only reach the moon by a fall, and
we are not falling. ‘The centripetal force keeps us under the
230 ROUND THE MOON.



moon’s influence, but the centrifugal force draws us irresistibly
away from it.” — |

This was said in a tone which quenched Michel Ardan’s last
hope. |

The portion of the moon which the projectile was nearing was
the northern hemisphere, that which the Selenographic maps place
below ; for these maps are generally drawn after the outline given
by the glasses, and we know that they reverse the objects. Such
was the Mappa Selenographica of Boer and Moedler which
Barbicane consulted. ‘This northern hemisphere presented vast
plains, dotted with isolated mountains.

At midnight the moon was full. At that precise moment the
travellers should have alighted upon it, if the mischievous meteor
had not diverted their course. The orb was exactly in the
condition determined by the Cambridge Observatory. It was
mathematically at its perigee, and at the zenith of the twenty-
eighth parallel. An observer placed at the bottom of the enormous
Columbiad, pointed perpendicularly to the horizon, would have
framed the moon in the mouth of the gun. A straight line drawn
through the axis of the piece would have passed through the
centre of the orb of night. It is needless to say, that during the
night of the 5th—6th of December, the travellers took not an
instant’s rest. Could they close their eyes when so near this new
world? No! All their feelings were concentrated in one single
thought :—See! Representatives of the earth, of humanity, past
and present, all centred in them! It is through their eyes that
the human race look at these lunar regions, and penetrate the
secrets of their-satellite! A strange emotion filled their hearts as
they went from one window to the other.

Their observations, reproduced by Barbicane, were rigidly
determined. To take them, they had glasses ; to correct them,
maps. a |

As regards the optical instruments at their disposal, they had
excellent marine glasses specially constructed for this journey.
THE OBSERVERS OF THE MOON. 231



ome ey

They possessed magnifying powers of 100. They would thus
have brought the moon to within a distance (apparent) of less
than 2000 leagues from the earth. But then, at a distance which
for three hours in the morning did not exceed sixty-five miles,
and in a medium free from all atmospheric disturbances, these
instruments could reduce the lunar surface to within less than
1500 yards!
232 ROUND THE MOON.

Carrere eer etme cement enema atta ama

CHAPTER XI.

FANCY AND REALITY.

‘“‘ Have you ever seen the moon ?” asked a professor, ironically
_of one of his pupils.

“* No, sir !” replied the pupil, still more ironically, “but I must
say I have heard it spoken of.”

In one sense, the pupil’s witty answer might be given by a large
- majority of sublunary beings. How many people have heard speak
of the moon, who have never seen it—at least through a glass
or a telescope! How many have never examined the map of their
satellite ! |

In looking at a selenographic map, one peculiarity strikes us.
Contrary to the arrangement followed for that of the Earth
and Mars, the continents occupy more particularly the southern
hemisphere of the lunar globe. These continents do not show
such decided, clear, and regular boundary lines as South America,
Africa, and the Indian peninsula. Their angular, capricious, and
deeply indented coasts, are rich in gulfs and peninsulas. They
remind one of the confusion in the islands of the Sound, where
the land is excessively indented. If navigation ever existed on
the surface of the moon, it must have been wonderfully difficult
and dangerous ; and we may well pity the Selenite sailors and
hydrographers ; the former, when they came upon these perilous
coasts, the latter, when they took the soundings of its stormy .
banks..

We may also notice that, on the lunar sphere, the south pole is
much more continental than the north pole. On the latter, there
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HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE HEARD SPEAK OF THE MOON!

(Page 232.
FANCY AND REALITY. 233



is but one slight strip of land separated from other continents by
vast seas. Towards the south, continents clothe almost the
whole of the hemisphere. It is even possible that the Selenites
have already planted the flag on one of their poles, whilst
Franklin, Ross, Kane, Dumont d’Urville, and Lambert, have
never yet been able to attain that unknown point of the terrestrial
globe. . |
As to islands, they are numerous on the surface of the moon.
Nearly all oblong or circular, and as if traced with the compass,
they seem to form one vast Archipelago, equal to that charming
group lying between Greece and Asia Minor, and which mytho-
logy in ancient times adorned with most graceful legends.
Involuntarily the names of Naxos, Tenedos, and Carpathos,
rise before the mind, and we seek vainly for Ulysses’ vessel
or the “clipper” of the Argonauts. So at least it. was in
Michel Ardan’s eyes. ‘To him it was a Grecian Archipelago
‘that he saw on the map. To the eyes of his matter-of-fact com-
panions, the aspect of these coasts recalled rather the parcelled-
out land of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; and where
the Frenchman discovered traces of the heroes of fable, these
Americans were marking the most favourable points for the
establishment of stores in the interests of lunar commerce and
industry.

After wandering over these vast continents, the eye is attracted
by still greater seas. Not only their formation, but their situation
and aspect remind one of the terrestrial oceans; but again, as on
earth, these seas occupy the greater portion of the globe. But in
point of fact, these are not liquid spaces, but plains, the nature of
which the travellers hoped soon to determine. Astronomers, we
must allow, have graced these pretended seas with at least odd
names, which science has respected up to the present time.
Michel Ardan was right when he compared this map to a
“Tendre card,” got up by a Scudary or a Cyrano de Bergerac.
“Only,” said he, “it is no longer the sentimental card of the
aoa | ROUND THE MOON.

seventeeenth century, it is the card of life, very neatly divided
into two parts, one feminine, the other masculine; the right hemi-
sphere for woman, the left for man.”

In speaking thus, Michel made his prosaic companions shrug
their shoulders. Barbicane and Nicholl looked upon the lunar
map from a very different point of view to that of their fantastic
friend. Nevertheless, their fantastic friend was a little in the
right. Judge for yourselves.

In the left hemisphere stretches the “Sea of Clouds,” where
human reason is so often shipwrecked. Not far off lies the * Sea
of Rains,” fed by all the fever of existence. Near this is the
‘¢ Sea of Storms,” where man is ever fighting against his passions,
which too often gain the victory. Then, worn out by deceit,
treasons, infidelity, and the whole body of terrestrial misery,
what does he find at the end of his career? that vast “Sea of
Humours,” barely softened by some drops of the waters from the
“Gulf of Dew!” Clouds, rain, storms, and humours,—does the life
of man contain aught but these? and is it not summed up in these
four words? | |

The right hemisphere, ‘ dedicated to the ladies,” encloses
smaller seas, whose significant names contain every incident of a
feminine existence. There is the “Sea of Serenity,” over which
the young girl bends; ‘‘ The Lake of Dreams,” reflecting a joyous
future; “the Sea of Nectar,” with its waves of tenderness and
breezes of love; “ The Sea of Fruitfulness;” “The Sea of Crises ;?
then the “ Sea of Vapours,” whose dimensions are perhaps a little
too confined ; and lastly, that vast ‘ Sea of Tranquillity,” in which
every false passion, every useless dream, every unsatisfied desire
is at length absorbed, and whose waves emerge eee into the
** Lake of Death !”

What a strange succession of names! What a ingulas division
of the moon’s two hemispheres, joined to one another like man
and woman, and forming that sphere of life carried into space!
And was not the fantastic Michel right in thus interpreting the
FANCY AND REALITY. 235



fancies of the ancient astronomers? But whilst his imagination
thus roved over “the seas,” his grave companions were con-
sidering things more geographically. They were learning
this new world by heart. They were measuring angles and
diameters. |
236 ROUND THE MOON.
er ene eeeeretp

CHAPTER XII.
OROGRAPHIC DETAILS.

THE course taken by the projectile, as we have before remarked,
was bearing it towards the moon’s northern hemisphere. The
travellers were far from the central point which they would have
struck, had their course not been subject to an irremediable
deviation. It was past midnight; and Barbicane then estimated
the distance at 750 miles, which was a little greater than the
length of the lunar radius, and which would diminish as it
advanced nearer to the North Pole. The projectile was then
not at the altitude of the equator; but across the tenth parallel,
and from that latitude, carefully taken on the map to the pole,
Barbicane and his two companions were able to observe the moon
under the most favourable conditions. Indeed, by means of
glasses, the above named distance was reduced to little more than
fourteen miles. The telescope of the Rocky Mountains brought
the moon much nearer; but the terrestrial atmosphere singularly
lessened its power. Thus Barbicane, posted in his projectile,
- with the glasses to his eyes, could seize upon details which were
almost imperceptible to earthly observers.

“ My friends,” said the president, in a serious voice, “I do not
know whither we are going ; I do not know if we shall ever see
the terrestrial globe again. Nevertheless, let us proceed as if our
work would one day be useful to our fellow-men. Let us keep
our minds free from every other consideration. We are astro-
nomers ; and this projectile is a room in the Cambridge University,
carried into space. Let us make our observations !”
OROGRAPHIC DETAILS. 237

This said, work was begun with great exactness; and they
faithfully reproduced the different aspects of the moon, at the
different distances which the projectile reached.

At the time that the projectile was as high as the tenth parallel,
N. latitude, it seemed rigidly to follow the twentieth degree,
E. longitude. We must here make one important remark with
regard to the map by which they were taking observations. In
the selenographical maps where, on account of the reversing of
the objects by the glasses, the south is above and the north below,
it would seem natural that, on account of that inversion, the east
should be to the left hand, and the west to the right. But it is
not so, Ifthe map were turned upside down, showing the moon
as we see her, the east would be to the /eft, and the west to the
right, contrary to that which exists on terrestrial maps. The
following is the reason of this anomaly. Observers in the
northern hemisphere (say in Europe) see the moon in the south,—
according to them. When they take observations, they turn their
backs to the north, the reverse position to that which they occupy
when they study a terrestrial map. As they turn their backs to
the north, the east is on their left, and the west to their right.
_ To observers in the southern hemisphere (Patagonia for example),
the moon’s west would be quite to their left, and the east to their
right, as the south is behind them. Such is the reason of the
apparent reversing of these two cardinal points, and we must bear
it in mind in order to be able to follow President Barbicane’s
observations. | |

With the help of Boeer and Moedler’s Mappa Selenographica, the
travellers were able at once to recognize that portion of the dise
enclosed within the field of their glasses. |

“What are we looking at, at this moment ?” asked Michel.

“‘ At the northern part of the ‘ Sea of Clouds,’” answered Bar-
bicane. ‘ We are too far off to recognize its nature. Are these
plains composed of arid sand, as the first astronomer maintained ?
Or are they nothing but immense forests, according to M. Warren
| 238 ROUND THE MOCN. |

eter eae STE Ee ee ee eS ee
de la Rue’s opinion, who gives the moon an atmosphere, though
a very low and a very dense one? ‘That we shall know by and
by. We must affirm nothing until we are in a position to
do so.” |

This “ Sea of Clouds” is rather doubtfully marked out upon
the maps. It is supposed that these vast plains are strewn with
blocks of lava from the neighbouring volcanoes on its right,
Ptolemy, Purbach, Arzachel. But the projectile was advancing,
and sensibly nearing it. Soon there appeared the heights which.
bound this sea at this northern limit. Before them rose a moun-
tain radiant with beauty, the top of which seemed lost in an
eruption of solar rays.

*‘ ‘That is— ?” asked Michel.

‘‘ Copernicus,” replied Barbicane.

** Let us see Copernicus.”

This mount situated in 9° north latitude and 20° east longitude,
rose to a height of 10,600 feet above the surface of the moon. It is
quite visible from the earth; and astronomers can study it with
ease, particularly during the phase between the last quarter and
the new moon, because then the shadows are thrown lengthways
from east-to west, allowing them to measure the heights.

This Copernicus forms the most important of the radiating
system, situated in the southern hemisphere, according to Tycho
Brahé. It rises isolated like a gigantic lighthouse on that portion
of the Sea of Clouds, which is bounded by the “ Sea of Tem-
pests,” thus lighting by its splendid rays two oceans at a time.
It was a sight without an equal, those long luminous trains, so
dazzling in the full moon, and which, passing the boundary chain
on the north, extends to the “Sea of Rains.” At one o’clock of
the terrestrial morning, the projectile, like a balloon borne into
space, overlooked the top of this superb mountain. Barbicane
could recognize perfectly its chief features. Copernicus is com-
prised in the series of ringed mountains of the first order, in the
division of great circles. Like Kepler and Aristarchus, which
OROGRAPHIC DETAILS. 239



ear

overlook the Ocean of Tempests, sometimes it appeared like a
brilliant point through the cloudy light, and was taken for a
volcano in activity. But it is only an extinct one,—like all on that
side of the moon. Its circumference showed a diameter of about
twenty-two leagues. The glasses discovered traces of stratifica-
tion produced by successive eruptions, and the neighbourhood
was strewn with volcanic remains which still choked some of the |
craters.

‘“‘ There exist,” said Barbicane, “ several kinds of circles on the
surface of the moon, and it is easy to see that Copernicus belongs
to the radiating class. If we were nearer, we should see the
cones bristling on the inside, which in former times were so many
fiery mouths. A curious arrangement, and one without an
exception on the lunar dise, is that the interior surface of these
circles is the reverse of the exterior, and contrary to the form
taken by terrestrial craters. It follows, then, that the general
curve of the bottom of these sila gives a sphere of a smaller
diameter than that of the moon.’

“And why this peculiar disposition ?” asked Nicholl.

“We do not know,” replied Barbicane.

‘“‘ What splendid radiation!” said Michel. “One could hardly
see a finer spectacle, I think.”

“What would you say, then,” replied Barbicane, “if chance
should bear us towards the southern hemisphere 2

“ Well, I should say that it was still more beautiful,” retorted
Michel Ardan.

At this moment the projectile hung perpendicularly over the
circle. ‘The circumference of Copernicus formed almost a perfect
circle, and its steep escarpments were clearly defined. They
could even distinguish a second ringed enclosure. Around spread
a greyish plain, of a wild aspect, on which every relief was
marked in yellow. At the bottom of the circle, as if enclosed in a
jewel case, sparkled for one instant two or three eruptive cones,
like enormous dazzling gems. Towards the north the escarp-
240 ! ROUND THE MOON,



ments were lowered by a depression which would probably have
siven access to the interior of the crater.

In passing over the surrounding plains, Barbicane noticed a
great number of less important mountains; and among others a
little ringed one called Guy Lussac, the breadth of which
measured twelve miles.

Towards the south, the plain was very flat, without one eleva-
tion, without one projection. Towards the north, on the contrary,
till where it was bounded by the Sea of Storms it resembled a
liquid surface agitated by a storm, of which the hills and hollows
formed a succession of waves suddenly congealed. Over the
whole of this, and in all directions, lay the luminous lines, all
converging to the summit of Copernicus.

The travellers discussed the origin of these strange rays; but
they could not determine their nature any more than terrestrial
observers. | |

“But why,” said Nicholl, “should not these rays be simply
spurs of mountains which reflect more vividly the light of the
sun ?” | |
*“‘No,” replied Barbicane; “if if was so, under certain con-
ditions of the moon, these ridges would cast shadows, and they
do not cast any.”

And indeed, these rays only appeared when the orb of day was
in opposition to the moon, and disappeared as soon as its rays
became oblique.

“But how have they endeavoured to explain these lines of
light?” asked Michel; “ for I cannot believe that savants would
ever be stranded for want of an explanation.”

* Yes,” replied Barbicane; ‘Herschel has put forward an
opinion, but he did not venture to affirm it.”

“Never mind. What was the opinion?”

“ He thought that these rays might be streams of cooled lava
which shone when the sun beat straight upon them. It may be
50; but nothing can be less certain. Besides, if we pass nearer
















THIS PLAIN WOULD THEN BE NOTHING BUT AN IMMENSE
CEMETERY.”’

[Page 241.
OROGRAPHIC DETAILS. 241
to Tycho, we shall be in a better position to find out the cause of
this radiation.”

“Do you know, my friends, what that plain, seen from the
height we are at, resembles?” said Michel. |

‘** No,” replied Nicholl.

“Very well; with all those pieces of lava leawihened like
rockets, it resembles an immense game of spelikans thrown a
mell. There wants but the hook to pull them out one Dy: one.”

‘Do be serious,” said Barbicane. ' |

‘Well, let us be serious,” replied Michel, anietigs ip nd
instead of spelikans, let us put bones. This plain would then be
nothing but an immense cemetery, on which would repose the
mortal remains of thousands of extinct generations. Do you
prefer that high-flown comparison ?” (eb |

‘One is as good as the other,” retorted Barbicane.

‘My word, you are difficult to please,” answered Michel.

“My worthy friend,” continued the matter-of-fact Barbicane,
ehh matters but little what it resembles, when we do not know
what it ts.’

‘Well answered,” exclaimed Michel. “ That will lendl me to
reason with savants.” on

But the projectile continued to advance with almost uniform
speed around the lunar disc. The travellers, we may easily imagine,
did not dream of taking a moment’s rest. Every minute changed
the landscape which fled from beneath their gaze. About half
past one o’clock in the morning, they caught a glimpse of the tops
of another mountain. Barbicane, consulting his map, recognized
Eratosthenes.

It was a ringed mountain 9000 foot high, and one of those
circles so numerous on this satellite. With regard to this, Bar-
bicane related Kepler’s singular opinion on the formation of
circles. According to that celebrated mathematician, these crater«
like cavities had been dug by the hand of man.

For what purpose?” asked Nicholl.

nr
242 ROUND THE MOON.
|

“ For a very natural one,” replied Barbicane. ‘The Selenites
might have undertaken these immense works and dug these
enormous holes for a refuge and shield from the solar rays which
beat upon them during fifteen consecutive days.”

‘The Selenites are not fools,” said Michel.

“A singular idea,” replied Nicholl; “but it is probable that
Kepler did not know the true dimensions of these circles, for
the digging of them would have been the work of giants, quite
impossible for the Selenites.”

“Why? if weight on the moon’s surface is six times less
than on the earth?” said Michel. |

‘ But if the Selenites are six times smaller?” retorted Nicholl.

‘¢ And if there are no Selenites ?” added Barbicane.

This put an end to the discussion.

Soon Eratosthenes disappeared under the horizon without the
projectile being sufficiently near to allow of close observation.
This mountain separated the Apennines from the Carpathians.
In the lunar orography they have discerned some chains of moun-
tains, which are chiefly distributed over the northern hemisphere.
Some, however, occupy certain portions of the southern hemi-
sphere also.

About two o'clock in the morning Barbicane found that
they were above the twentieth lunar parallel. The distance of
the projectile from ‘the moon was not more than 600 miles.
Barbicane, now perceiving .that the projectile was steadily ap- -
proaching the lunar disc, did not despair, if of reaching her, at
least of discovering the secrets of her configuration.
LUNAR LANDSCAPES. 243



CHAPTER XIII.
LUNAR LANDSCAPES.

AT half-past two in the morning, the projectile was over the
thirteenth lunar parallel and at the effective distance of 500 miles,
reduced by the glasses to five. It still seemed impossible, however,
that it could ever touch any part of the disc. Its motive speed,
comparatively so moderate, was inexplicable to President Bar-
bicane. At that distance from the moon it must have been con-
siderable, to enable it to bear up against her attraction. Here
was a phenomenon the cause of which escaped them again.
Besides, time failed them to investigate the cause. All lunar
relief was defiling under the eyes of the travellers, and they
would not lose a single detail.

Under the glasses the disc appeared at the distance of five
miles. What would an aeronaut, borne to this distance from the
earth, distinguish on its surface? We cannot say, since the
greatest ascension has not been more than 25,000 feet.

This, however, is an exact description of what Barbicane and
his companions saw at this height. Large patches of different
colours appeared on the disc. Selenographers are not agreed
upon the nature of these colours. There are several, and
rather vividly marked. Julius Schmidt, pretends that, if the
terrestrial oceans were dried up, a Selenite observer could not
distinguish on the globe a greater diversity of shades between
the oceans and the continental plains than those on the moon
present to a terrestrial observer. According to him, the colour
common to the vast plains known by the name of “seas” is a

R 2
244 ROUND THE MOON.



dark grey mixed with green and brown. Some of’ the large
craters present the same appearance. Barbicane knew this
opinion of the German selenographer, an opinion shared by
Boeer and Moedler. Observation has proved that right was on
their side, and not on that of some astronomers who admit the
existence of only grey on the moon’s surface. In some parts
green was very distinct, such as springs, according to Julius
Schmidt, from the seas of Serenity and Humours. Barbicane
also noticed large craters, without any interior cones, which shed
a bluish tint similar to the reflection of a sheet of steel freshly
polished. ‘These colours belonged really to the lunar dise, and
did not result, as some astronomers say, either from the imper-
fection in the objective of the glasses or from the interposition of
the terrestrial atmosphere.

Not a doubt existed in Barbicane’s mind with regard to it, as
he observed it through space, and so could not commit any
optical error. He considered the establishment of this fact as an
acquisition to science. Now, were these shades of green, belong-
ing to tropical vegetation, kept up by a low dense atmosphere?
He could not yet say.

Farther on, he noticed a reddish tint, aii defined. The same
shade had before been observed at the bottom of an isolated
enclosure, known by the name of Lichtenburg’s circle, which is
situated near the Hercynian mountains, on the borders of the
‘moon ; but they could not tell the nature of it.

They were not more fortunate with regard to another peculiarity
of the dise, for they could not decide upon the cause of it.

Michel Ardan was watching near the president, when he
noticed long white lines, vividly lighted up by the direct rays of
the sun. It was a succession of luminous furrows, very different
from the radiation of Copernicus not long before; they ran
parallel with each other.

‘Michel, with his usual readiness, hastened to exclaim,—

“‘ Look there! cultivated fields! ”


















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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[Page 245.


LUNAR LANDSCAPES. © ;, . BAS
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‘“ Cultivated fields!” replied Nicholl, shrugging his shoulders.

“ Ploughed, at all events,” retorted Michel Ardan; “ but what
labourers those Selenites must be, and what giant oxen they must
harness to their plough to cut such furrows!”

“They are not furrows,” said Barbicane ; “ they are rifts.” |

“Rifts ?. stuff!” replied Michel mildly; “but what do you
mean by ‘ rifts’ in the scientific world ?” :

Barbicane immediately enlightened his companion as to what
he knew about lunar rifts. He knew that they were a kind of
furrow found on every part of the dise which was not mountain-

us; that these furrows, generally isolated, measured from 400
to 500 leagues in length; that their breadth varied from 1000
to 1500 yards, and that their borders were strictly parallel; but
he knew nothing more either of their formation or their nature.

Barbicane, through his glasses, observed these rifts with great
attention. He noticed that their borders were formed of steep
declivities; they were long parallel ramparts, and with some
small amount of imagination he might have admitted the
existence of long lines of fortifications, raised by Selenite engi-
neers. Of these different rifts some were perfectly straight, as
if cut by a line; others were slightly curved, though still keeping
their borders parallel ; some crossed each other, some cut through
craters; here they wound through ordinary cavities, such as Posi-
donius or Petavius; there they wound through the seas, such as
the Sea of Serenity.

These natural accidents naturally excited the imaginations of
these terrestrial astronomers. The first observations had not
discovered these rifts. Neither Hevelius, Cassim, La Hire, nor
Herschel seemed to have known them. It was Schroeter who in
1789 first drew attention to them. Others followed who studied
them, as Pastorff, Gruithuysen, Boer, and Moedler. At this
time their number amounts to seventy; but, if they have been
counted, their nature has not yet been determined; they are
certainly not fortifications, any more than they are the ancient
246 ROUND THE MOON.



beds of dried-up rivers; for, on one side, the waters, so slight
on the moon’s surface, could never have worn such drains for
themselves ; and, on the other, they often cross craters of great
elevation.

We must, however, allow that Michel Ardan had “an idea,”
and that, without knowing it, he coincided in that respect with
Julius Schmidt. |

“Why,” said he, “should not these unaccountable appearances
be simply phenomena of vegetation ?”

“What do you mean ?” asked Barbicane quickly.

_ “Do not excite yourself, my worthy president,” replied Michel;
“might it not be possible that the dark lines forming that bastion
were rows of trees regularly placed ? ” |

“ You stick to your vegetation, then ?” said Barbicane.

“T like,” retorted Michel Ardan, “ to explain what you savants
cannot explain; at least my hypothesis has the advantage of
indicating ee ree rifts disappear, or seem to disappear, at
eertain seasons.’

“ And for what reason ? ”

“ For the reason that the trees become invisible when they lose
their leaves, and visible when they regain them.” |

“Your explanation is ingenious, my dear companion,” replied
Barbicane, “ but inadmissable.”

Why?”

‘Because, so to speak, there are no seasons on the moon’s
surface, and that, eee lee ee the phenomena of vegetation of
which you speak cannot occur.’ |

Indeed, the slight obliquity of the lunar axis keeps the sun
at an almost equal height in every latitude. Above the
equatorial regions the radiant orb almost invariably occupies the
zenith, and does not pass the limits of the horizon in the polar
regions; thus, according to each region, there reigns a perpetual
Winter, spring, summer, or autumn, as in the planet Jupiter, whose
axis is but little inclined upon its orbit.
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LUNAR LANDSCAPES. 247



What origin do they attribute to these rifts? That is a
question difficult to solve. They are certainly anterior to the
formation of craters and circles, for several have introduced them-—
selves by breaking through their circular ramparts. Thus it
may be that, contemporary with the latter geological epochs, they
are due to the expansion of natural forces.

But the projectile had now attained the 40° of lunar lat., at a
distance not exceeding 400 miles. Through the glasses objects
appeared to be only four miles distant.

At this point, under. their feet, rose Mount Helicon, 1520 feet
high, and round about the left rose moderate elevations, enclosing
a small portion of the “Sea of Rains,” under the name of the
Gulf of Iris. The terrestrial atmosphere would have to be one
hundred and seventy times more transparent than it is, to allow
astronomers to make perfect observations on the moon’s surface;
but in the void in which the projectile floated no fluid interposed
itself between the eye of the observer and the object observed. And
more, Barbicane found himself carried to a greater distance than —
the most powerful telescopes had ever done before, either that of
Lord Rosse or that of the Rocky Mountains. He was, therefore,
under extremely favourable conditions for solving that great ques-
tion of the habitability of the moon; but the solution still escaped
him; he could distinguish nothing but desert beds, immense
plains, and towards the north, arid mountains. Not a work be-
trayed the hand of man; nota ruin marked his course; not a group
of animals was to be seen indicating life, even in an inferior
degree. In no part was there life, in no part was there an
appearance of vegetation. Of the three kingdoms which share the
terrestrial globe between them, one alone was represented on the
lunar, and that the mineral.

‘¢ Ah, indeed!” said Michel Ardan, a little out of countenance;
‘“‘ then you see no one ?”

“No,” answered Nicholl ; “up to this time not a man, not an
animal, not a tree! After all, whether the atmosphere has taken
248. as ROUND THE MOON.
Sr
refuge at the bottom of cavities, in the midst of the circles, or
even on the opposite face of the moon, we cannot decide.” |

‘‘ Besides,” added Barbicane, ‘even to the most piercing eye a
man cannot be distinguished farther than three miles and a half
off ; so that, if there are any Selenites, they can see our projectile,
but we cannot see them.”

Towards four in the morning, at the height of the fiftieth
parallel, the distance was reduced to 800 miles. To the left ran
a line of mountains capriciously shaped, lying in the full light.
To the right, on the contrary, lay a black hollow resembling a
vast well, unfathomable and gloomy, drilled into the lunar soil.

This hole was the “Black Lake;” it was Pluto, a deep circle
which can be conveniently studied from the earth, between the
last quarter and the new moon, when the shadows fall from west
to east.

This black colour is rarely met with on the surface of the
satellite. As yet it has only been recognized in the depths of the
circle of Endymion, to the east of the Cold Sea, in the northern
hemisphere, and at the bottom of Grimaldi’s circle, on the equator,
towards the eastern border of the orb.

Pluto is an annular mountain, situated in 51° north latitude,
and 9° east longitude. Its circuit is forty-seven miles long and
thirty-two broad.

Barbicane regretted that they were not passing directly above
this vast opening. There was an abyss to fathom, perhaps some
mysterious phenomenon to surprise ; but the projectile’s course
could not be altered. They must rigidly submit. They could
not guide a balloon, still less a projectile, when once enclosed
within its walls. Towards five in the morning the northern limits
of the Sea of Rains was at length passed. The mounts of Con-
damine and Fontenelle remained—one on the right, the other
on the left. That part of the disc beginning with 60° was
becoming quite mountainous. The glasses brought them to
within two miles, less than that separating the summit of Mont
LUNAR LANDSCAPES. 249

_————



Blanc from the level of the sea. The whole region was bristling
with spikes and circles. ‘Towards the 60° Philolaus stood pre-
dominant at a height of 5550 feet with its elliptical crater,
and seen from this distance, the disc showed a very fantastical
appearance. Landscapes were presented to the eye under very
different conditions from those on the earth, and also very inferior
to them,

The moon having no atmosphere, the consequences arising
from the absence of this gaseous envelope have already been
shown. No twilight on her surface; night following day and
day following night with the suddenness of a lamp which is ex-
tinguished or lighted amidst profound darkness,—no transition
from cold to heat, the temperature falling in an instant from
boiling point to the cold of space.

Another consequence of this want of air is that absolute dark-
ness reigns where the sun’s rays do not penetrate. That which on
earth is called diffusion of light, that luminous matter which the
air holds in suspension, which creates the twilight and the day-
break, which produces the umbre and the penumbra, and all the
magic of chiaro-oscuro, does not exist on the moon. Hence the
harshness of contrasts, which only admit.of two colours, black and
white. Ifa Selenite were to shade his eyes from the sun’s rays,
the sky would seem absolutely black, and the stars would shine to
him as on the darkest night. Judge of the impression produced
on Barbicane and his three friends by this strange scene! Their
eyes were confused. *They could no longer grasp the respective
distances of the different plains. A lunar landscape without the
softening of the phenomena of chiaro-oscuro could not be rendered
by an earthly landscape painter : it would be spots of ink ona
white page—nothing more.

This aspect was not altered even when the projectile, at the
height of 80°, was only separated from the moon by a dis-
tance of fifty miles ; nor even when, at five in the morning, it
passed at less than twenty-five miles from the mountain of Gioja,
250 ROUND THE MOON.



a distance reduced by the glasses to a quarter of a mile. It
seemed as if the moon might be touched by the hand! It seemed
impossible that, before long, the projectile would not strike her, if
only at the north pole, the brilliant arch of which was so distinctly
visible on the black sky. |

Michel Ardan wanted to open one of the scuttles and throw
himself on to the moon’s surface! A very useless attempt; for
if the projectile could not attain any point whatever of the
satellite, Michel, carried along by its motion, could not attain it
either. |

At that moment, at six o’clock, the lunar pole appeared. The
dise only presented to the travellers’ gaze one half brilliantly lit
up, whilst the other disappeared in the darkness. Suddenly the
projectile passed the line of demarcation between intense light
and absolute darkness, and was plunged in profound night !
THE NIGHT OF 354. HOURS AND A HALF. 25

renner enrages ennnanennnrennanneegener

CHAPTER XIV.

THE NIGHT. OF THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR HOURS
AND A HALF.

At the moment when this phenomenon took place so rapidly, the
projectile was skirting the moon’s north pole at less that twenty-
five miles distance. Some seconds had sufficed to plunge it into the
absolute darkness of space. The transition was so sudden, without
shade, without gradation of light, without attenuation of the
Juminous waves, that the orb seemed to have been extinguished
by a powerful blow.

‘“‘ Melted, disappeared!” Michel Ardan exclaimed, aghast.

Indeed, there was neither reflection nor shadow. Nothing
more was to be seen of that dise, formerly so dazzling. The dark-
ness was complete, and rendered even more so by the rays from
the stars. It was “ that blackness” in which the lunar nights are
insteeped, which last three hundred and four hours and a half at
each point of the disc, a long night resulting from the equality of
the translatory and rotatory movements of the moon. ‘The pro-
jectile, immerged in the conical shadow of the satellite, expe-
rienced the action of the solar rays no more than any of its
invisible points. |

In the interior, the obscurity was complete. They could not
see each other. Hence the necessity of dispelling the darkness,
However desirous Barbicane might be to husband the gas, the
reserve of which was small, he was obliged to ask from it
a fictitious light, an expensive brilliancy which the sun then

refused.
252 ROUND THE MOON.

‘ Devil take the radiant orb !”’ exclaimed Michel Ardan, “ which
forces us to expend gas, instead of giving us his rays gratuitously.”

“Do not let us accuse the sun,” said Nicholl, “it is not his
fault, but that of the moon, which has come and placed herself
like a screen between us and it.”

‘‘ Tt is the sun!” continued Michel.

“ It is the moon !” retorted Nicholl.

An idle dispute, which Barbicane put an end to by saying,—

‘* My friends, it is neither the fault of the sun nor of the moon;
it is the fault of the projectile, which, instead of rigidly following
its course, has awkwardly missed it. To be more just, it is the
fault of that unfortunate meteor which has so deplorably altered
our first direction. 7

“ Well,” replied Michel Ardan, “as the matter is settled, let us
have breakfast. After a whole night of watching, it is fair to
build ourselves up a little.”

This proposal meeting with no Roueradactions Michel prepared
the repast in a few minutes. But they ate for eating’s sake, they
drank without toasts, without hurrahs. The bold travellers being
borne away into gloomy space, without their accustomed cortége of
rays, felt a vague uneasiness at their hearts. The “strange”
shadow so dear to Victor Hugo’s pen bound them on all sides.
But they talked over the interminable night of three hundred and
fifty-four hours and a half, nearly fifteen days, which the law
of physics has imposed on the inhabitants of the moon.

Barbicane gave his friends some explanation of the causes and
the consequences of this curious phenomenon.

“Curious indeed,” said they ; “for, if each hemisphere of the moon
is deprived of: solar light for fifteen days, that above which. we
now float does not even enjoy during its long night any view of
the earth so beautifully lit up. In a word she has no moon
(applying this designation to our globe) but on one side of her dise.
Now if this were the case with the earth,—if, for example, Europe
never saw the moon, and she was only visible at the Antipodes,








































































—————




































































































THE NIGHT OF 354 HOURS AND A HALF. 253

imagine to yourself the astonishment of a European on arriving
in Australia.” |

“They would make the voyage for nothing but to see the
moon!” replied Michel. |

“Very well!” continued Barbicane, “that astonishment is
reserved for the Selenites who inhabit the face of the moon oppo-
site to the earth, a face which is ever invisible to our countrymen
of the terrestrial globe.”

‘And which we should have seen,” added Nicholl, “if we had
arrived here when the moon was new, that is to say fifteen days later.”

‘I will add, to make amends,” continued Barbicane, “ that the
inhabitants of the visible face are singularly favoured by nature,
to the detriment of their brethren on the invisible face. The latter,
as you see, have dark nights of 354 hours, without one single ray
to break the darkness. The other, on the contrary, when the sun
which has given its light for fifteen days sinks below the horizon,
see a splendid orb rise on the opposite horizon. It is the earth,
which is thirteen times greater than that diminutive moon that we |
know ;—the earth which developes itself at a diameter of two
degrees, and which sheds a light thirteen times greater than that
qualified by atmospheric strata—the earth which only disappears
at the moment when the sun reappears in its turn !”

‘“‘ Nicely worded!” said Michel, “slightly academical perhaps.”

“‘ It follows, then,’ continued Barbicane, without knitting his
brows, “‘ that the visible face of the disc must be very agreeable
to inhabit, since it always looks on either the sun when the moon
is full, or on the earth when the moon is new.”

“ But,” said Nicholl, “that advantage must be well compen-
sated by the insupportable heat which the light brings with it.”

‘‘ The inconvenience, in that respect, is the same for the two
faces, for the earth’s light is evidently deprived of heat. But the
invisible face is still more searched by the heat than the visible
face. I say that for you, Nicholl, because Michel will probably
not understand.”
254 | ROUND THE MOON.
ae eT PoE a RE ee
“Thank you,” said Michel. |

- “Indeed,” continued Barbicane, “when the invisible face re-
ceives at the same time light and heat from the sun, it is because
the moon is new ; that is to say, she is situated between the sun
and the earth, It follows, then, considering the position which
she occupies in opposition when full, that she is nearer to the sun
by twice her distance from the earth; and that distance may
be estimated at the two-hundredth part of that which separates
the sun from the earth, or in round numbers 400,000 miles. So
that invisible face is so much nearer to the sun when she receives
its rays.”

“ Quite right,” replied Nicholl.

“On the contrary,” continued Barbicane.

“One moment,” said Michel, interrupting his grave companion.

What do you want ?”

“Task to be allowed to continue the explanation.”

** And why ?”

To prove that I understand.”

“Get along with you,” said Barbicane, smiling.

“On the contrary,” said Michel, imitating the tone and ges-
tures of the president, “ on the contrary, when the visible face of
the moon is lit by the sun, it is because the moon is full, that is
to say, opposite the sun with regard to the earth. The distance
separating it from the radiant orb is then increased in round
numbers to 400,000 miles, and the heat which she receives must
be a little less.” |

- Very well said !”’ exclaimed Barbicane. “ Do you know,
Michel, that, for an amateur, you are intelligent.”

“Yes,” replied Michel coolly, “ we are all so on the Boulevard
des Italiens.”

Barbicane gravely clasped the hand of his amiable companion,
and continued to enumerate the advantages reserved for the
inhabitants of the visible face. — |

Amongst others, he mentioned eclipses of the sun, which only
THE NIGHT OF 354 HOURS AND A HALF. 255
ee
take place on this side of the lunar dise 3 since, in order that they
may take place, it is necesssary for the moon to be in opposition.
These eclipses, caused by the interposition of the earth between _
the moon and the sun, can last two hours ; during which time, by
reason of the rays refracted by its atmosphere, the terrestrial
globe can appear as nothing but a black point upon the sun.

“So,” said Nicholl, “there is a hemisphere, that invisible
hemisphere which is very ill supplied, very ill treated, by
nature.” | : |

“Never mind,” replied Michel ; “if we ever become Selenites,
we will inhabit the visible face. I like the light.”

“Unless, by any chance,” answered Nicholl, “the atmosphere
should be condensed on the other side, as certain astronomers
pretend.”

“That would be a consideration,” said Michel.

Breakfast over, the observers returned to their post. They
tried to see through the darkened scuttles by extinguishing all
light in the projectile ; but not a luminous spark made its way
through the darkness.

One inexplicable fact preoccupied Barbicane. Why, having
passed within such a short distance of the moon—about twenty-
five miles only—why the projectile had not fallen? If its speed
had been enormous, he could have understood that the fall would
not have taken place ; but, with a relatively moderate speed, that
resistance to the moon’s attraction could not be explained. Was
the projectile under some foreign influence? Did some kind o:
body retain it in the ether? It was quite evident that it could
never reach any point of the moon. Whither was it going? Was
it going farther from, or nearing, the disc? Was it being borne
in that profound darkness through the infinity of space? How
could they learn, how calculate, in the midst of this night? All
these questions made Barbicane uneasy, but he could not solve
them.

Certainly, the invisible orb was there, perhaps only some few
256 ROUND THE MOON.



miles off; but neither he nor his companions could see it. If
there was any noise on its surface, they could not hear it. Air,
that medium of sound, was wanting to transmit the groanings of
that moon which the Arabic legends call “a man already half
granite, and still breathing.”

One must allow that that was enough to aggravate the most
patient observers. It was just that unknown hemisphere which
was stealing from their sight. That face which fifteen days
sooner, or fifteen days later, had been, or would be, splendidly
illuminated by the solar rays, was then being lost in utter
darkness. In fifteen days where would the projectile be ? Who
could say ? Where would the chances of conflicting attractions
have drawn it to? The disappointment of the travellers in the
midst of this utter darkness may be imagined. All observation
of the lunar disc was impossible. The constellations alone
claimed all their attention ; and we must allow that the astro-
nomers Faye, Charconac, and Secchi, never found themselves in
circumstances so favourable for their observation.

Indeed, nothing could equal the splendour of this starry world,
bathed in limpid ether. Its diamonds set in the heavenly vault
sparkled magnificently. The eye took in the firmament from the
Southern Cross to the North Star, those two constellations which
in 12,000 years, by reason of the succession of equinoxes,
will resign their part of polar stars, the one to Canopus in the
_ southern hemisphere, the other to Wega in the northern. Ima-
gination loses itself in this sublime Infinity, amidst which the
projectile was gravitating, like a new star created by the hand of
man. From a natural cause, these constellations shone with a
soft lustre; they did not twinkle, for there was no atmosphere
which, by the intervention of its layers unequally dense and oi
different degrees of humidity, produces this scintillation. These
stars were soft eyes, looking out into the dark night, amidst the
silence of absolute space.

Long did the travellers stand mute, watching the constellated






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































NOTHING COULD EQUAL THE SPLENDOUR OF THIS STARRY WORLD.

{ Page 256.


THE NICHT OF 354 HOURS AND A HALF. 257



firmament, upon which the moon, like a vast screen, made an
enormous black hole. But at length a painful sensation drew
them from their watchings. This was an intense cold, which
soon covered the inside of the glass of the scuttles with a thick
coating of ice. The sun was no longer warming the projectile
with its direct rays, and thus it was losing the heat stored up in
its walls by degrees. This heat was rapidly evaporating into
Space by radiation, and a considerably lower temperature was the
result. The humidity of the interior was changed into ice upon
contact with the glass, preventing all observation.

Nicholl consulted the thermometer, and saw that it had fallen
to seventeen degrees (centigrade) below zero.1 So that, in spite
of the many reasons for economizing, Barbicane, after having
begged light from the gas, was also obliged to beg for heat. The
projectile’s low temperature was no longer endurable. Its tenants
would have been frozen to death.

“Well!” observed Michel, “we cannot reasonably complain of
the monotony of our journey! What variety we have had, at least
in temperature. Now we are blinded with light and saturated
with heat, like the Indians of the Pampas! now plunged into
profound darkness, amidst the cold like the Esquimauxs of the
north pole. No, indeed! we have no right to complain; nature
does wonders in our honour.”

“* But,” asked Nicholl, “ what is the temperature outside ?”

‘‘ Exactly that of the planetary space,” replied Barbicane.

“ Then,” continued Michel Ardan, “ would not this be the time
to make the experiment which we dared not attempt, when we
were drowned in the sun’s rays ?”

‘It is now or never,” replied Barbicane, “ for we are in a good
position to verify the temperature of space, and see if Fourier or
Pouillet’s calculations are exact.”

“Tn any case it is cold,” said Michel. “See! the steam of the

11° Fahr. (Kd.)
\

(258 : ROUND THE MOON.



et a Sp renee,
ee

interior is condensing on the glasses of the scuttles. If the fall
continues, the vapour of our breath will fall in snow around
us.” | |

99

‘“‘ Let us prepare a thermometer,” said Barbicane.

We may imagine that an ordinary thermometer would afford no
result under the circumstances in which this instrument was to be
exposed. The mercury would have been frozen in its ball, as
below forty-two degrees below zero” it is no longer liquid. But
Barbicane had furnished himself with a spirit thermometer on
Watferdin’s system, which gives the minima of excessively low
temperatures. 2

Before beginning the panetient this instrument was com-
pared with an ordinary one, and then Barbicane prepared to use it.

“‘ How shall we set about it ?” asked Nicholl.

** Nothing is easier,” replied Michel Ardan, who was uever at
a loss. “We open the scuttle rapidly; throw out the instru-
ment; it follows the projectile with esompany docility ; and a
quarter of an hour after, draw it in. 7

‘¢ With the hand ?” asked Barbicane.

“ With the hand,” replied Michel.

“Well then, my friend, do not expose yourself,” answered
Barbicane, “ for the hand that you draw in again will be nothing
but a stump frozen and deformed by the frightful cold.”

_ © Really !” ;

“ You will feel as if you had had a terrible burn, like that of
iron at a white heat; for whether the heat leaves our bodies
briskly or enters briskly, it is exactly the same thing. Besides, I
am not at all certain that the objects we have thrown out are still
following us.”

“ Why not ?” asked Nicholl.

_ © Because, if we are passing through an atmosphere of the

_ slightest density, these objects will be retarded. Again, the dark-

ness prevents our seeing if they still float around us. But in order
| 2 44° Fahr. (Ed)
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THE VAPOUR OF OUR BREATH WILL FALL iN SNOW AROUND Us.’



[ Pace 258.
THE NIGHT OF 354 HOURS AND A HALF. 259



not to expose ourselves to the loss of our thermometer, we will
fasten it, and we can then more easily pull it back again.”

Barbicane’s advice was followed. Through the scuttle rapidly —
opened, Nicholl threw out the instrument which was held by a
short cord, so that it might be more easily drawn up. The scuttle
had not been opened more than a second, but that second had
sufficed to let in a most intense cold.

“The devil!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, “ it is cold enough to
freeze a white bear.” ; |

Barbicane waited until half an hour had elapsed, which was
more than time enough to allow the instrument to fall to the level
of the surrounding temperature. Then it was rapidly pulled in.

Barbicane calculated the quantity of spirits of wine overflowed
into the little phial soldered to the lower part of the instrument,
and said,—

‘‘ A hundred and forty degrees centigrade* below zero!”

M. Pouillet was right and Fourier wrong. That was the
undoubted temperature of the starry space. Such is, perhaps,
that of the lunar contiaents, when the orb of night has lost by
radiation all the heat which fifteen days of sun have poured

into her,
3 —218° Fahr. (Ed.)

s 2.
— 260 ROUND THE MOON,

CHAPTER XV.
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA.

WE may, perhaps, be astonished to find Barbicane and his com-
panions so little occupied with the future reserved for them in
their metal prison which was bearing them through the infinity
of space. Instead of asking where they were going, they passed
their time making experiments, as if they had been quietly
installed in their own study.

We might answer that men so strong-minded were above such
anxieties—that they did not trouble themselves about such trifles
—and that they had ees else to do than to occupy their
minds with the future.

The truth was that they were not masters of their projectile ;
they could neither check its course, nor alter its direction.

A sailor can change the head of his ship as he pleases; an
aéronaut can give a vertical motion to his balloon. They, on the
contrary, had no power over their vehicle. Every manceuvre was
forbidden. Hence the inclination to let things alone, or as the
sailors say, “let her run.”

Where did they find themselves at this moment, at eight o’clock
in the morning of the day called upon the earth the 6th of De-
cember ? Very certainly in the neighbourhood of the moon, and
even near enough for her to look to them like an enormous black
screen upon the firmament. As to the distance which separated
them, it was impossible to estimate it. The projectile, held by
some unaccountable force, had been within four miles of grazing
the satellite’s north pole.
ire

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A DISCUSSION AROSE.
[Page 261.
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA. ; 261



But since entering the cone of shadow these last two hours, had
the distance increased cr diminished ? Every point of mark was
wanting by which to estimate both the direction a the speed of
the projectile. |

Perhaps it was rapidly leaving the disc, so that it would soon
quit the pure shadow. Perhaps, again, on the other hand, it
might be nearing it so much that in a short time it might strike
some high point on the invisible hemisphere, which would doubt-
lessly have ended the journey much to the detriment of the
travellers. 3

A discussion arose on this subject, and Michel Ardan, always
ready with an explanation, gave it as his opinion that the pro-
jectile, held by the lunar attraction, would end by falling on the
surface of the terrestrial globe like an aérolite.

‘‘ First of all, my friend,” answered Barbicane, “ every aérolite
does not fall to the earth ; it is only a small proportion which do
so ; and if we had passed into an aérolite, it does not necessarily
follow that we should ever reach the surface of the moon.”

“ But how if we get near enough ?” replied Michel. |

“Pure mistake,” replied Barbicane. “Have you not seen
shooting stars rush through the sky by thousands at certain
seasons ?”

Yes.”

“‘ Well, these stars, or rather corpuscules, only shine when they
are heated by gliding over the atmospheric layers. Now, if they
enter the atmosphere, they pass at least within forty miles of the
earth, but they seldom fall upon it. The same with our pro-
jectile. It may approach very near to the moon, and yet not fall
upon. it.” oo |

“ But then,” asked Michel, “I shall be curious to know how
our erring vehicle will act in space ?”

“I see but two hypotheses,” replied Pacgiene: after some
moments’ reflection.

‘What are they ?”
262 ROUND THE MOON



“The projectile has the choice between two mathematical
eurves, and it will follow one or the other according to the speed
with which it is animated, and which at this moment I cannot
estimate.” |

“Yes,” said Nicholl, “it will follow either a parabola or a
hyperbola.” |

“ Just so,” replied Barbicane. ‘“ With a certain speed it will
assume the parabola, and with a greater the hyperbola.”

“TI like those grand words,” exclaimed Michel Ardan ; “ one
knows directly what they mean. And pray what is your para-
bola, if you please ?” |

“My friend,” answered the captain, “the parabola is a curve
of the second order, the result of the section of a cone intersected
by.a plane parallel to one of its sides.”

“Ah! ah!” said Michel, in a satisfied tone.

“Tt is very nearly,” continued Nicholl, “the course described
by a bomb launched from a mortar.”

“Perfect ! And the hyperbola ?”

“The hyperbola, Michel, is a curve of the mecond order, pro-
duced by the intersection of a conic surface and a plane parallel
to its axis, and constitutes two branches separated one from the
other, both tending indefinitely in the two directions.”

“Ts it possible !” exclaimed Michel Ardan in a serious tone, as
if they had told him of some serious event, ‘ What I particularly
hike in your definition of the hyperbola (I was going to say hyper-
blague) is that it is still more obscure than the word you pretend
to define.”

Nicholl and Barbicane cared little for Michel Ardan’s fun.
They were deep in a scientific discussion. What curve would the
projectile follow ? was their hobby. One maintained the hyper-
bola, the other the parabola. They gave each other reasons
bristling with « Their arguments were couched in language
which made Michel jump. ‘The discussion was hot, and neither
would give up his chosen curve to his adversary.
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA. 2623

Cerne pacer

This scientific dispute lasted so long that it made Michel very
impatient.

“Now, gentlemen co-sines, will you cease to throw parabolas
and hyperbolas at each other’s heads ? I want to understand the
only interesting question in the whole affair. We shall follow one
or other of these curves? Good. But where will they lead us
to?”

‘“* Nowhere,” replied Nicholl.

‘* How, nowhere ? ”

“ Evidently,” said Barbicane, * ‘they ¢ are open curves, which
may be prolonged indefinitely.”

“Ah, savants!” eried Michel; “and what are either the one
or the other to us from the moment we know that they equally
lead us into infinite space ?”

Barbicane and Nicholl could not forbear smiling. They had
just been creating “art for art’s sake.” Never had so idle a
question been raised at such an inopportune moment. The
sinister truth remained that, whether hyperbolically or paraboli-
cally borne away, the projectile would never again meet either
the earth or the moon. |

What would become of these bold travellers in the immediate
future? If they did not die of hunger, if they did not die of
thirst, in some days, when the gas failed, they would die from
want of air, unless the cold had killed them first. Still, important
as it was to economize the gas, the excessive lowness of the sur-
rounding temperature obliged them to consume a certain quantity.
Strictly speaking, they could do without its déght, but not without
its heat.. Fortunately the caloric generated by Reiset’s and
Regnaut’s apparatus raised the temperature of the interior of the
projectile a little, and without much expenditure they were able
to keep it bearable. | |

But observations had now become very difficult. The damp-
ness of the projectile was condensed on the windows and
congealed immediately. ‘This cloudiness had to be dispersed
264 _ ROUND THE MOON.





continually. In any case they might hope to be able to discover
some phenomena of the highest interest.

But up to this time the disc remained dumb and dark. It did
not answer the multiplicity of questions put by these ardent
minds; a matter which drew this reflection from Michel, appa-
rently a just one

“If ever we boa this journey over again, we shall ae well to
choose the time when the moon is at the full.”

“Certainly,” said Nicholl, “that circumstance will be more.
favourable. I allow that the moon, immersed in the sun’s rays,
will not be visible during the transit, but instead we should see
the earth, which would be full. And what is more, if we were
drawn round the moon, as at this moment, we should at least
have the advantage of seeing the invisible part of her disc
magnificently lit.”

“‘ Well said, Nicholl,” replied Michel Ardan. ‘What do you
think, Barbicane ?” |

“I think this,” answered the grave president: “If ever we
begin this journey again, we shall start at the same time and
under the same conditions. Suppose we had attained our end,
would it not have been better to have found continents in broad
daylight, than a country plunged in utter darkness? Would not
our first installation have been made under better circumstances ?
Yes, evidently. As to the invisible side, we could have visited
it in our exploring expeditions on the lunar globe. So that the
time of the full moon was well chosen. But we ought to have
arrived at the end ; and in order to have so arrived, we ought to
have suffered no deviation on the road.”

“‘T have nothing to say to that,’ answered Michel Ardan.
“Here is, however, a good opportunity lost of observing the other
side of the moon.”

But the projectile was now describing in the shadow that
incalculable course which no sight-mark would allow them io
ascertain. Had its direction been altered, cither by the influence
HVPERBOLA OR PARABOLA. 265



of the lunar attraction, or by the action of some unknown star?
naecria could not say. But a change had taken place in the

elative position of the vehicle; and Barbicane verified it about
four i in the morning. : , | |

The change consisted in this, that the base of the projectile
bad turned towards the moon’s surface, and was so held by a
perpendicular passing through its axis. The attraction, that is
to say the wezght, had brought about this alteration. 'The heaviest
part of the projectile inclined towards the invisible disc as if it
would fall upon it. s }

Was it falling? Were the travellers attaining that much
desired end? No. And the observation of a sign-point, quite
inexplicable in itself, showed Barbicane that his projectile was
not nearing the moon, and that it had shifted “by following an
almost concentric curve.

This point of mark was a luminous brightness, which Nicholl
sighted suddenly, on the limit of the horizon formed by the black
disc. This point could not be confounded with a star. It was
a reddish incandescence which increased by degrees, a decided
proof that the projectile was shifting towards it and not falling
normally on the surface of the moon. |

“A volcano! it is a volcano in action!” cried Nicholl; *“
disembowelling of the interior fires of the moon! That world is
not quite extinguished.”

“Yes, an eruption,” replied Barbicane, who was carefully
studying the phenomenon through his night glass. “ What should
it be, if not a volcano ?” 3

‘ But, then,” said Michel Ardan, “in order to maintain that
combustion, there must be air. So an atmosphere does surround
that part of the moon.” .

“ Perhaps so,” replied Barbicane, “but not necessarily. The vol-
cano, by the decomposition of certain substances, can provide its
own oxygen, and thus throw flames into space. It seems to me
that the deflagration, by the intense brilliancy of the substances
266 ROUND THE MOON.

eee



ere

. in combustion, is produced in pure oxygen. ‘We must not be in a
hurry to proclaim the existence of a lunar atmosphere.”

The fiery mountain must have been situated about the 45°
south latitude on the invisible part of the disc ; but, to Barbicane’s
great displeasure, the curve which the projectile was describing
was taking it far from the point indicated by the eruption. Thus
he could not determine its nature exactly. Half an hour after
being sighted, this luminous point had disappeared behind the
dark horizon; but the verification of this phenomenon was of
considerable consequence in their selenographic studies. It proved
that all heat had not yet disappeared from the bowels of this
globe ; and where heat exists, who can affirm that the vegetable
kingdom, nay, even the animal kingdom itself, has not up to this
time .resisted all destructive influences? The existence of this
volcano in eruption, unmistakably seen by these earthly savants,
would doubtless give rise to many theories favourable to the grave
question of the habitability of the moon.

Barbicane allowed himself to be carried away by these reflec-
tions. He forgot himself in a deep reverie in which the mys-
terious destiny of the lunar world was uppermost. He was
secking to combine together the facts observed up to that time,
when a new incident recalled him briskly to reality. This
incident was more than a cosmical phenomenon; it was a
threatened danger, the consequences of which might be disas-
trous in the extreme.

Suddenly, in the midst of the ether, in the profound darkness,
an enormous mass appeared. It was like a moon, but an incan-
descent moon, whose brilliancy was all the more intolerable as it
cut sharply on the frightful darkness of space. This mass, of a
circular form, threw a light which filled the projectile. The
forms of Barbicane, Nicholl, and Michel Ardan, bathed in its
white sheets, assumed that livid spectral appearance which
physicians produce with the fictitious light of alcohol impregnated
with salt.








[Page 267.









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[Page 267.
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA. | 267
Na ew

“By Jove !” cried Michel Ardan, “we are hideous. What is
that ill-conditioned moon ?”

“A meteor,” replied Barbicane.

‘“‘ A meteor burning in space ?”

sess

This shooting globe suddenly appearing in shadow at a distance
of at most 200 miles, ought, according to Barbicane, to have a
diameter of 2000 yards. It advanced at a speed of about one mile
and a half per second. It cut the projectile’s path, and must reach |
it in some minutes. As it approached it grew to enormous
proportions.

Imagine, if possible, the situation of the travellers! It is
impossible to deseribe it. In spite of their courage, their sang-
Jroid, their carelessness of danger, they were mute, motionless
with stiffened limbs, a prey to frightful terror. Their projectile,
the course of which they could not alter, was rushing straight on
this ignited mass, more intense than the open mouth of an oven.
It seemed as though they were being precipitated towards an abyss . |
of fire.

Barbicane had seized the hands of his two companions, and all
three looked through their ‘half-open eyelids upon that asteroid
heated to a white heat. If thought was not destroyed within
them, if their brains still worked amidst all this awe, they must
have given themselves up for lost.

Two minutes after the sudden appearance of the meteor (to
them two centuries of anguish) the projectile seemed almost about
to strike it, when the globe of fire burst like a bomb, but without
making any noise in that void where sound, which is but the
agitation of the layers of air, could not be generated.

Nicholl uttered a cry, and he and his companions rushed to the
scuttle. What a sight! What pen can describe it? What
palette is rich enough in colours to reproduce so magnificent a
spectacle ?

It was like the opening of a crater, like the seattering of an
268 ROUND THE MOON.



+ gata

immense conflagration, Thousands of luminous fragments lit up
and irradiated space with their fires. Every size, every colour,
was there intermingled. There were rays of yellow and pale
"yellow, red, green, grey—a crown of fireworks of all colours. Of
the enormous and much-dreaded giobe there remained nothing
but these fragments carried inall directions, now become asteroids
in their turn, some flaming like a sword, some surrounded by a
whitish cloud, and others leaving behind them trains of brilliant
cosmical dust. |

These incandescent biocks crossed and struck each other, scat-
tering still smaller fragments, some of which struck the projectile.
Its left scuttle was even cracked by a violent shock. It seemed
to be floating amidst a hail of howitzer shells, the smallest of
which might destroy it instantly.

The light which saturated the ether was so wonderfully intense,
that Michel, drawing Barbicane and Nicholl to his window,
exclaimed, “ The invisible moon, visible at last !”

And through a luminous emanation, which lasted some seconds,
the whole three caught a glimpse of that mysterious disc which
the eye of man now saw for the first time. What could they dis-
tinguish at a distance which they could not estimate? Some
lengthened bands along the disc, real clouds formed in the midst
of a very confined atmosphere, from which emerged not only all
the mountains, but also projections of less importance; its circles,
its yawning craters, as capriciously placed as on the visible sur-
face. ‘Then immense spaces, no longer arid plains, but real seas,
oceans, widely distributed, reflecting on their liquid surface all the
dazzling magic of the fires of space ; and, lastly, on the surface of
the continents, large dark masses, looking like immense forests
under the rapid illumination of a brilliance.

Was it an illusion, a mistake, an optical illusion ? Could they
give a scientific assent to an observation so superficially obtained ?
Dared they pronounce upon the question of its habitability after
so slight a elimpse of the invisible dise ?
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA. 269

But the lightnings in space subsided by degrees ; its accidental
brilliancy died away ; the astcroids dispersed in different direc-
tions and were extinguished in the distance. The ether returned
to its accustomed darkness ; the stars, eclipsed for a moment,
again twinkled in the firmament, and the disc, so hastily discerned,
was again buried in impenetrable night.
270 ROUND THE MOON.
pennant

CHAPTER XVI.
TUE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.

THE projectile had just escaped a terrible danger, and a very
unforeseen one. Who would have thought of such a rencontre
with meteors ? These erring bodies might. create serious perils
for the travellers. They were to them so many sandbanks upon
that sea of ether which, less fortunate than sailors, they could not
escape. But did these adventurers complain of space? No, not
since nature had given them the splendid sight of a cosmical
meteor bursting from expansion, since this inimitable firework,
which no Ruggieri could imitate, had lit up for some seconds the
invisible glory of the moon. In that flash, continents, seas, and
forests had become visible to them. Did an atmosphere, then,
bring to this unknown face its life-giving atoms ? Questions still
insoluble, and for ever closed against human curiosity !

It was then half past three in the afternoon. The projectile
was following its curvilinear direction round the moon. Had its
course been again altered by the meteor? It was to be feared so.
But the projectile must describe a curve unalterably determined
‘by the laws of mechanical reasoning. Barbicane was inclined to
believe that this curve would be rather a parabola than a hyper-
bola. But admitting the parabola, the projectile must quickly
have passed through the cone of shadow projected into space
opposite the sun. This cone, indeed, is very narrow, the angular
diameter of the moon being so little when compared with the
diameter of the orb of day; and up to this time the projectile
had been floating in this deep shadow. Whatever had been its
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| Page 271.
THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 278





speed (and it could not have been insignificant) its period of
occultation continued. That was evident, but perhaps that would

not have been the case in a supposed rigidly parabolical trajectory,
-——a new problem which tormented Barbicane’s brain, imprisoned -
as he was in a circle of unknowns which he could not unravel.

_ Neither of the travellers thought of taking an instant’s repose.
Each one watched for an unexpected fact, which might throw
some new light on their uranographic studies. About five o’clock,
Michel Ardan distributed, under the name of. dinner, some pieces
of bread and cold meat, which were quickly swallowed without
either of them abandoning their scuttle, the glass of which was
incessantly encrusted by the condensation of vapour. |

About forty-five minutes past five in the evening, Nicholl,
armed with his glass, sighted towards the southern border of the
moon, and in the direction followed by the projectile, some bright
points cut upon the dark shield of the sky. ‘They looked like a
succession of sharp points lengthened into a tremulous line. They
were very bright. Such appeared the terminal line of the moon
when in one of her octants. |

They could not be mistaken. It was no longer a simple meteor.
This luminous ridge had neither colour nor motion. Nor was it a
volcano in eruption. And Barbicane did not hesitate to pronounce
upon it. -

-“ The sun!” he exolitiel:

“ What ! the sun ?” answered Nicholl and Michel Ardan.

“ Yes, my friends, it is the radiant orb itself lighting up the
summit of the mountains situated on the southern borders of the
moon. We are evidently nearing the south pole.” :

“ After having passed the north pole,” replied Michel. We
have made the circuit of our satellite, then

“ Yes, my good Michel.”

“Then, no more hyperbolas, no more parabolas, no more open
curves to fear ?”

‘No, but a closed curve.”
272 ROUND THE MOON.



“ Which is called—”

“An ellipse. Instead of losing itself in interplanetary space, it
is probable that the projectile will describe an elliptical orbit
around the moon.” |

** Indeed !”

*“¢ And that it will become her satellite.”

‘“* Moon of the moon!” cried Michel Ardan.

“ Only, I would have you observe, my worthy friend,” replied
Barbicane, “ that we are none the less lost for that.”

“Yes, in another manner, and much more pleasantly,” answered
the careless Frenchman with his most amiable smile.


















































































































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‘*LIGHT AND HEAT; ALL LIFE IS CONTAINED IN THEM.”

[Page 273.
TYCHO. | 273

CHAPTER XVII.
TYCHO.
At six in the evening the projectile passed the south pole at less
than forty miles off, a distance equal to that already reached at the
north pole. The elliptical curve was being rigidly carried out.

At this moment the travellers once more entered the blessed
rays of the sun. They saw once more those stars which move
slowly from east to west. The radiant orb was saluted by a
triple hurrah. With its light it also sent heat, which soon
pierced the metal walls. ‘The glass resumed its accustomed
appearance. ‘The layers of ice melted as if by enchantment ;
and immediately, for economy’s sake, the gas was put out, the air
apparatus alone consuming its usual quantity.

“ Ah!” said Nicholl, “these rays of heat are good. With what
impatience must the Selenites wait the reappearance of oe orb
of day.” |

“Yes,” replied Michel Ardan, “imbibing as it were the brilliant
ether, light and heat, all life is contained in them.”

At this moment the bottom of the projectile deviated orient
from the lunar surface, in order to follow the slightly lengthened
elliptical orbit. From this point, had the earth been at the full,
Barbicane and his companions could have seen it, but immersed
in the sun’s irradiation she was quite invisible. Another spectacle
attracted their attention, that of the southern part of the moon,
brought by the glasses to within 450 yards. ‘They did not again
leave the scuttles, and noted every detail of this fantastical

continent.
T
274 ROUND THE MOON.

Mounts Doerfel and Leibnitz formed two separate groups very
near the south pole. The first group extended from the pole to
the eighty-fourth parallel, on the eastern part of the orb; the
second occupied the eastern border, extending from the 65° of
latitude to the pole.

On their capriciously formed ridge appeared dazzling sheets, as
mentioned by Pére Secchi. With more certainty than the illus-
trious Roman astronomer, Barbicane was enabled to recognize their
nature.

‘“‘ They are snow,” he exclaimed.

“ Snow ?” repeated Nicholl.

“Yes, Nicholl, snow; the surface of which is deeply frozen.
See how they reflect the luminous rays. Cooled lava would
never give out such intense reflection. There must then be
water, there must be air on the moon. As little as you please,
but the fact can no longer be contested.” No, it could not be.
And if ever Barbicane should see the earth again, his notes will
bear witness to this great fact in his selenographic observations.

These mountains of Doerfel and Leibnitz rose in the midst of
plains of a medium extent, which were bounded by an indefinite
succession of circles and annular ramparts. These two chains
are the only ones met with in this region of circles. Compara-
tively but slightly marked, they throw up here and there some
sharp points, the highest summit of which attains an altitude of
24,600 feet. i

But the projectile was high above all this landscape, and the
projections disappeared in the intense brilliancy of the disc. And
to the eyes of the travellers there reappeared that original aspect
of the lunar landscapes, raw in tone, without gradation of colours,
and without degrees of shadow, roughly black and white, from
the want of diffusion of light. |

But the sight of this desolate world did not fail to captivate
them by its very strangeness. ‘They were moving over this
.. “region as if they had been borne on the breath of some storm,
































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HE DISTINGUISHED ALL THIS.

[Page 275
TYCHO. | 275

watching heights defile under their feet, piercing the cavities with
their eyes, going down into the rifts, climbing the ramparts,
sounding these mysterious holes, and levelling all cracks. But
no trace of vegetation, no appearance of cities ; nothing but
stratification, beds of lava, overflowings polished like immense
mirrors, reflecting the sun’s rays with overpowering brilliancy.
Nothing belonging to a living world—everything to a dead
world, where avalanches, rolling from the summits of the moun-
tains, would disperse noiselessly at the bottom of the abyss,
retaining the motion, but wanting the sound. In any case it
was the image of death, without its being possible even to say
that life had ever existed there. ,

Michel Ardan, however, thought he recognized a heap of
ruins, to which he drew Barbicane’s attention. It was about the
80th parallel, in 80° longitude. This heap of stones, rather
regularly placed, represented a vast fortress, overlooking a long
rift, which in former days had served as a bed to the rivers of
prehistorical times. Not far from that, rose to a height of
17,400 feet the annular mountain of Short, equal to the Asiatic
Caucasus. Michel Ardan, with his accustomed ardour, main-
tained “the evidences ” of his fortress. Beneath it he discerned
the dismantled ramparts of a town; here the still intact arch
of a portico, there two or three columns lying under their base ;
farther on, a succession of arches which must have supported the
conduit of an aqueduct; in another part the sunken pillars of
a gigantic bridge, run into the thickest parts of the rift. He
distinguished all this, but with so much imagination in his
glance, and through glasses so fantastical, that we must mistrust
his observation. But who could affirm, who would dare to say,
that the amiable fellow did not really see that which his two
companions would not sce ? |

Moments were too precious to be sacrificed in idle discussion.
The Selenite city, whether imaginary or not, had already dis-
appeared afar off. The distance of the projectile from the lunar

T 2
276 - ROUND THE MOON.



ns

disc was on tbe increase, and the details of the soil were being
lost in a confused jumble. The reliefs, the circles, the craters
and plains alone remained, and still showed their boundary
lines distinctly. At this moment, to the left, lay extended one
of the finest circles of lunar orography, one of the curiosities of
this continent. It was Newton, which Barbicane recognized
without trouble, by referring to the Mappa Selenographica.

Newton is situated in exactly 77° south lat., and 16° east long.
It forms an annular crater, the ramparts of which, rising to a
height of 21,300 feet, seemed to be impassable.

Barbicane made his companions observe that the height of this
mountain above the surrounding plain was far from equalling the
depth of its crater. This enormous hole was beyond all measure-
ment, and formed a gloomy abyss, the bottom of which the sun’s
rays could never reach. There, according to Humboldt, reigns
utter darkness, which the light of the sun and the earth cannot
break. Mythologists could well have made it the mouth of hell.

‘‘Newton,” said Barbicane, “is the most perfect type of these
annular mountains, of which the earth possesses no sample. They
prove that the moon’s formation, by means of cooling, is due to
violent causes; for whilst under the pressure of internal fires the
reliefs rise to considerable height, the depths withdraw far below
the lunar level.”

“T do not dispute the fact,” replied Michel Ardan.

Some minutes after passing Newton, the projectile directly
overlooked the annular mountain of Moret. It skirted at some
distance the summits of Blancanus, and at about half-past seven
in the evening reached the circle of Clavius. |
- This circle, one of the most remarkable of the dise, is situated
in 58° south lat., and 15° east long. Its height is estimated
at 22,950 feet. The travellers, at a distance of twenty-four
niles (reduced to four by their glasses), could admire this vast
crater in its entirety.

_ © Terrestrial volcanoes,” said Barbicane, “are but molehills
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[Page 2
TYCHO. : 277

compared with those of the moon. Measuring the old craters
formed by the first eruptions of Vesuvius and Etna, we find them
little more than three miles in breadth. In France the circle of
Cantal measures six miles across ; at Ceyland the circle of the
island is forty miles, which is considered the largest on the globe.
_ What are these diameters against that of Clavius, which we over-
Icok at this moment ? ”

‘““ What is its breadth ?” asked Nicholl.

“Tt is 150 miles,” replied Barbicane. ‘This circle is certainly
the most important on the moon, but many others measure
150, 100, or 75 miles.” | : |

“Ah! my friends,” exclaimed Michel, “can you picture to
yourselves what this now peaceful orb of night must have been
when its craters, filled with thunderings, vomited at the same
time smoke and tongues of flame What a wonderful spectacle
then, and now what decay! This moon is nothing more than a
thin carease of fireworks, whose squibs, rockets, serpents and
suns, after a superb brilliancy, have left but sadly broken cases.
Who can say the cause, the reason, the motive force of these
cataclysms ?”

Barbicane was not listening to Michei Ardan; he was contem-
plating those ramparts of Clavius, formed by large mountains
spread over several miles. At the bottom of the immense cavity
burrowed hundreds of small extinguished craters, riddling the
soil like a colander, and overlooked by a peak 15,000 feet high.

Around, the plain appeared desolate. Nothing so arid as these
reliefs, nothing so sad as these ruins of mountains, and (if
we may so express ourselves) these fragments of peaks and
mountains which strewed the soil. The satellite seemed to have
burst at this spot.

The projectile was still advancing, and this movement did not
subside. Circles, craters, and uprooted mountains succeeded each
other incessantly. No more plains; no more seas. A never-
ending Switzerland and Norway. And lastly, in'the centre of
278 ROUND THE MOON.





this region of crevasses, the most splendid mountain on the lunar
dise, the dazzling Tycho, in which posterity will ever preserve
the name of the illustrious Danish astronomer.

In observing the full moon in a cloudless sky no one has
failed to remark this brilliant point of the southern hemisphere.
Michel Ardan. used every metaphor that his imagination could
supply to designate it by. To him this Tycho was a focus of
light, a centre of irradiation, a crater vomiting rays. It was the
tire of a brilliant wheel, an asteria enclosing the disc with its
silver tentacles, an enormous eye filled with flames, a glory carved
for Pluto’s head, a star launched by the Creator’s hand, and
crushed against the face of the moon!

Tycho forms such a concentration of light that the inhabitants
of the earth can see it without glasses, though at a distance of
240,000 miles! Imagine, then, its intensity to the eye of
observers placed at a distance of only fifty miles! Seen through
this pure ether, its brilliancy was so intolerable that Barbicane
and his friends were obliged to blacken their glasses with the gas
smoke before they could bear the splendour. Then silent,
scarcely uttering an interjection of admiration, they gazed, they
contemplated. All their feelings, all their impressions, were con-
centrated in that look, as under any violent emotion all life is
concentrated at the heart.

Tycho belongs to the system of radiating mountains, like Aris-
tarchus and Copernicus ; but it is of all the most complete and
decided, showing unquestionably the frightful volcanic action to
which the formation of the moon is due. Tycho is situated in
43° south lat., and 12° east long. Its centre is occupied by a
crater fifty miles broad. It assumes a slightly elliptical form, and
is surrounded by an enclosure of annular ramparts, which on the
east and west overlook the outer plain froma height of 15,000 feet.
It is a group of Mont Blancs, placed round one common centre,
and crowned by radiating beams. |

What this incomparable mountain really is, with all the projec-
TYCHO. 279



tions converging towards it, and the interior excrescences of its
crater, photography itself could never represent. Indeed, it is.
during the full moon that Tycho is seen in all its splendour.
Then all shadows disappear, the foreshortening of perspective
disappears, and all proofs become white—a disagreeable fact ; for
this strange region would have been marvellous if reproduced
with photographic exactness. It is but a group of hollows,
craters, circles, a network of crests ; then, as far as the eye could
see, a whole volcanic network cast upon this encrusted soil. One
can then understand that the bubbles of this central eruption have
kept their first form. Crystallized by cooling, they have stereo-
typed that aspect which the moon formerly presented when under
the Plutonian forces.

The distance which separated the travellers from the annular
summits of Tycho was not so great but that they could catch the
principal details. Even on the causeway forming the fortifications
of Tycho, the mountains hanging on to the interior and exterior
sloping flanks rose in stories like gigantic terraces. They ap-
peared to be higher by 300 or 400 feet to the west than to the
east. No system of terrestrial encampment could equal these
natural fortifications. A town built at the bottom of this Emenlar
cavity would have been utterly inaccessible.

Inaccessible and wonderfully extended over this soil covered
with picturesque projections! Indeed, nature had not left the
bottom of this crater flat and empty. It possessed its own
peculiar orography, a mountainous system, making it a world
in itself. The travellers could distinguish clearly cones, cen-
tral hills, remarkable positions of the soil, naturally placed to
receive the chefs-d’ceuvre of Selenite architecture. There was
marked out the place for a temple, here the ground of a forum, on
this spot the plan of a palace, in another the plateau for a
citadel; the whole overlocked by a central mountain of 1500 feet.
A vast circle, in which ancient Rome could have been held in its
entirety ten times over.
280 — ROUND THE MOON.



“Ah!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, enthusiastic at the sight;
“ what a grand town might be constructed within that ring
of mountains! A quiet city, a peaceful refuge, beyond all human
misery. How calm and isolated those misanthropes, those
haters of humanity might live there, and all who have a distaste

_ for social life!”

“All! It would be too small for them,” replied Barbicane

simply.
GRAVE QUESTIONS.. 281





CHAPTER XVIII.
GRAVE QUESTIONS.

Bur the projectile had passed the enceinte of Tycho, and
Barbicane and his two companions watched with scrupulous
attention the brilliant rays which the celebrated mountain shed
so curiously all over the horizon.

What was this radiant glory? What geological phenomenon
had designed these ardent beams? ‘This question occupied
Barbicane’s mind.

Under his eyes ran in all directions luminous furrows, raised at
the edges and concave in the centre, some twelve miles, others
thirty miles broad. These brilliant trains extended in some places
to within 600 miles of Tycho, and seemed to cover, particularly
towards the east, the north-east and the north, the half of the
southern hemisphere. One of these jets extended as far as the
circle of Neander, situated on the 40th meridian. Another by a
slight curve furrowed the Sea of Nectar, breaking against the
chain of Pyrenees, after a circuit of 800 miles. Others, towards
the west, covered the Sea of Clouds and the Sea of Humours with
a luminous network. What was the origin of these sparkling
rays, which shone on the plains as well as on the reliefs, at what-
ever height they might be? All started from a common centre,
the crater of Tycho. They sprang from him. Herschel attri-
buted their brilliancy to currents of lava congealed by the cold;
an opinion, however, which has not been generally adopted. Other
astronomers have seen in these inexplicable rays a kind of moraines,
282 ROUND THE MOON.



rows of erratic blocks, which had been thrown up at the period of
Tycho’s formation.

‘And why not ?” asked Nicholl of Barbicane, who was relating
and rejecting these different opinions.

‘Because the regularity of these luminous lines, and the violence
necessary to carry volcanic matter to such distances, is inex-
pheable.”

‘Eh! by Jove!” replied Michel Ardan, “it secms easy enough
to me to explain the origin of these rays.”

“Indeed ?” said Barbicane.

“Indeed,” continued Michel. “It is enough to say that it is a
vast star, similar to that produced by a ball or a stone thrown at a
square of glass !” |

“Well!” replied Barbicane, smiling. ** And what hand would
be powerful enough to throw a ball to give such a shock as that ?”

‘‘'The hand is not necessary,” answered Nicholl, not at all con-
founded ; “‘and as to the stone, let us suppose it to be a comet.”

‘Ah! those much-abused comets!” exclaimed Barbicane.
‘*My brave Michel, your explanation is not bad ; but your comet
is useless. The shock which produced that rent must have come
from the inside of the star. A violent contraction of the lunar
crust, while cooling, might suffice to imprint this gigantic star.”

“A contraction ! something like a lunar stomach-ache,” said
Michel Ardan. ; |

“ Besides,” added Barbicane, “ this opinion is that of an English
savant, Nasmyth, and it seems to me to emery explain the
radiation of these mountains.”

‘That Nasmyth was no fool!” replied Michel.

Long did the travellers, whom such a sight could never weary,
admire the splendours of Tycho. Their projectile, saturated with
luminous gleams in the double irradiation of sun and moon, must
have appeared like an incandescent globe. They had passed |
suddenly from excessive cold to intense heat. Nature was thus
preparing them to become Selenites. Become Sclenites! That


































































































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A VIOLENT CONTRACTION OF THE LUNAR CRUST.

[Page 282.


GRAVE QUESTIONS. 283
ener
idea brought up once more the question of the habitability of the
moon. After what they had seen, could the travellers solve it ?
Would they decide for or against it ? Michel Ardan persuaded
his two friends to form an opinion, and asked them directly if
they thought that men and animals were represented in the lunar
world.

“TJ think that we can answer,” said Barbicane ; “but according
to my idea the question ought not to be put in that form. I ask
it to be put differently.”

“Put it your own way,” replied Michel.

“Here it is,” continued Barbicane. “The problem is a double
one, and requires a double solution. Is the moon habitable? Has
the moon ever been inhabited ?”

“Good !” replied Nicholl. “ First let us see whether the moon
is habitable.”

“To tell the truth, I know nothing about it,” answered
Michel.

“And I answer in the negative,” continued Barbicane. “In
her actual state, with her surrounding atmosphere certainly very
much reduced, her seas for the most part dried up, her insufficient
supply of water restricted, vegetation, sudden alterations of cold
and heat, her days and nights of 854 hours; the moon does not
seem habitable to me, nor does she seem propitious to animal
development, nor sufficient for the wants of existence as we
understand it.”

“Agreed,” replied Nicholl. But is not the moon habitable
for creatures differently organized from ourselves ? ”

“That question is more difficult to answer, but I will try ;
and i ask Nicholl if motion appears to him to be a necessary
result of life, whatever be its organization ? ” |

** Without a doubt !” answered Nicholl.

“Then, my worthy companion, I would answer that we have
observed the lunar continent at a distance of 500 yards at most,
aud that nothing seemed to us to move on the moon’s surface.
284 ROUND THE MOON.

The presence of any kind of life would have been betrayed by
its attendant marks, such as divers buildings, and even by ruins.
And what have we seen ? Everywhere and always the geological
works of nature, never the work of man. If, then, there exist
representatives of the animal kingdom on the moon, they must
have fled to those unfathomable cavities which the eye cannot
reach ; which I cannot admit, for they must have left traces of
their passage on those plains which the atmosphere must cover,
however slightly raised it may be. These traces are nowhere
visible. There remains but one hypothesis, that of a living race
to which motion, which is life, is foreign.”

“One might as well say, living creatures which do not live,”
replied Michel.

“ Just so,” said Barbicane, ‘which for us has no meaning.”

‘*’Phen we may form our opinion ?” said Michel.

“Yes,” replied Nicholl.

“Very well,” continued Michel Ardan, “the Scientific Com-
mission assembled in the projectile of the Gun Club, after having
founded their argument on facts recently observed, decide
unanimously upon the question of the habitability of the moon—
‘No ! the moon is not habitable.’ ”

This decision was consigned by President Barbicane to his note-
book, where the process of the sitting of the 6th of December
may be seen.

** Now,” said N icholl, “let us attack the second question, an
indispensable complement of the first. I ask the honourable
Commission, if the moon is not habitable, has she ever been in-
habited, Citizen Barbicane ?”

‘“‘My friends,” replied Barbicane, “I did not undertake this
journey in order to form an opinion on the past habitability of our —
satellite ; but I will add that our personal observations only con-
firm me in this opinion. I believe, indeed I affirm, that the moon
has been inhabited by a human race organized like our own; that
she has produced animals anatomically formed like the terrestrial
GRAVE QUESTIONS. 285

animals ; but I add that these races, human or animal, have had
their day, and are now for ever extinct ! ”

“Then,” asked Michel, “the moon must be older than the
earth ?”

“No!” said Barbicane decidedly, “but a world which has
grown old quicker, and whose formation and deformation have
been more rapid. Relatively, the organizing force of matter has
been much more violent in the interior of the moon than in the |
interior of the terrestrial globe. The actual state of this cracked,
twisted, and burst dise abundantly proves this. The moon and
the earth were nothing but gaseous masses originally. These
gases have passed into a liquid state under different influences,
and the solid masses have been formed later. But most certainly
our sphere was still gaseous or liquid, when the moon was
solidified by cooling, and had become habitable.” .

‘‘T believe it,” said Nicholl.

“Then,” continued Barbicane, “an atmosphere surrounded it,
the waters contained within this gaseous envelope could not
evaporate. Under the influence of air, water, light, solar heat,
and central heat, vegetation took possession of the continents
prepared to receive it, and certainly life showed itself about this
period, for nature does not expend herself in vain ; and a world
so wonderfully formed for habitation must necessarily be in-
habited.

“But,” said Nicholl, ‘“‘many phenomena inherent in our
satellite might cramp the expansion of the animal and vegetable
kingdom. For example, its days and nights of 354 hours ?”

‘‘ At the terrestrial poles they last six months,” said Michel.

“An argument of little value, since the poles are not in-
habited.”

‘Let us observe, my friends,” continued Barbicane, “ that if
in the actual state of the moon its long nights and long days created
differences of temperature insupportable to organization, it was
not so at the historical period of time. ‘The atmosphere enveloped
286 ROUND THE MOON.

the disc with a fluid mantle ; vapour deposited itself in the shape
of clouds ; this natural screen tempered the ardour of the solar
rays, and retained the nocturnal radiation. Light, like heat, can
diffuse itself in the air ; hence an equality between the influences
which no longer exists, now that that atmosphere has almost ©
entirely disappeared. And now I am going to astonish
you.”

** Astonish us ?” said Michel Ardan.

“I firmly believe that at the period when the moon was in-
habited, the nights and days did not last 354 hours !”

** And why ?” asked Nicholl quickly.

‘Because most probably then the rotary motion of the moon
upon her axis was not equal to her revolution, an equality which
presents each part of her disc during fifteen days to the action
of the solar rays.”

“Granted,” replied Nicholl, “but why should not these two
motions have been equal, as they are really so ?” |

“Because that equality has only been determined by terrestrial
attraction. And who can say that this attraction was powerful
enough to alter the motion of the moon at ot period when the
earth was still fluid ?”

“ Just so,” replied Nicholl; “and who can say that the moon
has always been a satellite of the earth ?”

‘And who can say,” exclaimed Michel Ardan, “that the moon
did not exist before the earth ? ”

Their imaginations carried them away into an indefinite field of
hypothesis. Barbicane sought to restrain them.

“Those speculations are too high,” said he; “ problems utterly
insoluble, Do not let us enter upon them. Let us only ad-
mit the insufficiency of the primordial attraction ; and then by
the inequality of the two motions of rotation and revolution, the
days and nights could have succeeded each other on the moon as
they succeed each other on the earth. Besides, even without
these conditions, life was possible.”
GRAVE QUESTIONS. 207



“And so,” asked Michel Ardan, “humanity has disappeared
from the moon ? ”

“Yes,” replied Barbicane, “after having doubtless remained
persistently for millions of centuries ; by degrees the atmosphere
becoming rarefied, the disc became uninhabitable, as the terrestrial _
globe will one day become by cooling.” ©

** By cooling ?”

“ Certainly,” replied Barbicane ; ‘as the internal fires became
extinguished, and the incandescent matter concentrated itself, the
lunar crust cooled. By degrees the consequences of these pheno-
mena showed themselves in the disappearance of organized beings,
and by the disappearance of vegetation. Soon the atmosphere was
rarefied, probably withdrawn by terrestrial attraction ; then aérial
departure of respirable air, and disappearance of water by means
of evaporation. At this period the moon becoming uninhabitable,
was no longer inhabited. It was a dead world, such as we see
it to-day.”

“And you say that the same fate is in store for the
earth ?” |

“* Most probably.”

** But when ?”

“ When the cooling of its crust shall have made it uninhabitable.”

“‘And have they calculated the time which our unfortunate
sphere will take to cool ?”

“ Certainly.”

‘And you know these calculations ?”

‘“‘ Perfectly.”

“But speak, then, my clumsy savant,” exclaimed Michel Arden,
“for you make me boil with impatience !”

“Very well, my good Michel,” replied Barbicane quietly, “we
know what diminution of temperature the earth undergoes in the
lapse of a century. And according to certain calculations, this
mean temperature will, after a period of 400,000 years, be brought
down to zero!”
288 ROUND THE MOON.

——



“ Four hundred thousand years!” exclaimed Michel. “ Ah! I
breathe again. Really Iwas frightened to hear you; I imagined
that we had not more than 50,000 years to live.”

Barbicane and Nicholl could not help laughing at their compa-
nion’s uneasiness. Then Nicholl, who wished to end the discus-
sion, put the second question, which had just been considered
again. :

“Has the moon been inhabited ?” he asked.

The answer was unanimously in the affirmative. But during
this discussion, fruitful in somewhat hazardous theories, the
projectile was rapidly leaving the moon; the lineaments faded
away from the travellers’ eyes, mountains were confused in the
distance; and of all the wonderful, strange, and fantastical form
of the earth’s satellite, there soon remained nothing but the

imperishable remembrance.
A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE. 289
A SSS EP PSRSESOSSIED,

CHAPTER XIX.
A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE.

For a long time Barbicane and his companions looked silently
and sadly upon that world which they had only seen from a dis-
tance, as Moses saw the land of Canaan, and which they were
leaving without a possibility of ever returning to it. The pro-
jectile’s position with regard to the moon had altered, and the
base was now turned to the earth.

This change, which Barbicane verified, did not fail to surprise
them. Ifthe projectile was to gravitate round the satellite in an
elliptical orbit, why was not its heaviest part turned towards it,
as the moon turns hers to the earth? That was a difficult point.

In watching the course of the projectile they could see that
on leaving the moon it followed a course analogous to that traced
in approaching her. It was describing a very long ellipse, which
would most likely extend to the point of equal attraction, where
the influences of the earth and its satellite are neutralized.

Such was the conclusion which Barbicane very justly drew
from facts already observed, a conviction which his two friends
shared with him. |

‘And when arrived at this dead point, what will become of
us?” asked Michel Ardan.

‘We don’t know,” replied Barbicane.

‘But one can draw some hypotheses, I suppose ?”

“Two,” answered Barbicane; “either the projectile’s speed
will be insufficient, and it will remain for ever immovable on this
line of double attraction—”
290 _. ROUND THE MOON.



“TI prefer the other hypothesis, whatever it may be,” inter-
rupted Michel.

“Or,” continued Barbicane, “its speed will be sufficient, and it
will continue its elliptical course, to gravitate for ever around the
orb of night.”

‘A revolution not at all consoling,” said Michel, “to pass to
the state of humble servants to a moon whom we are accustomed
to look upon as our own handmaid. So that is the fate in store
for us?” |

Neither Barbicane nor Nicholl answered.

“You do not answer,” continued Michel impatiently.

‘There is nothing to answer,” said Nicholl.

“Is there nothing to try ?”

“No,” answered Barbicane. ‘Do you pretend to fight against
the impossible ?” :

“Why not? Do one Frenchman and two Amcricans shrink
from such a word ?”

‘But what would you do?”

‘‘ Subdue this motion which is bearing us away,”

“ Subdue it?”

“Yes,” continued Michel, getting animated, “or else alter it,
and employ it to the accomplishment of our own ends.”

“And how?”

That is your affair. If artillerymen are not masters of their
projectile they are not artillerymen. If the projectile is to com-
mand the gunner, we had better ram the gunner into the gun.
My faith! fine savants ! who do not know what is to become of us
after inducing me—”

“Inducing you!” cried Barbicane and Nicholl. “Inducing
you! What do you mean by that?” .

‘No recrimination,” said Michel. “I do not complain; the
trip has pleased me, the projectile agrees with me; but let us do
all that is humanly possible to do to fall somewhere, even if only
on the moon.”






































































































































































AROUND THE PROJECTILE WERE THE OBJECTS WHICH HAD BEEN
THROWN OUT.

| Page 291.


A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE. | 291

“We ask no peut my worthy Michel,” replied Barbicane,
‘but means fail us.’ |

“ as canes alter the motion of the tojacile:

66 No O.

‘Nor diminish its speed?”

66 No. 9.

“Not even by lightening it, as hay lighten an overloaded
vessel ?”

** What would you throw out?” said Nicholl. ‘We have no
ballast on board; and indeed it seems to me that if Bereened | it
would go much quicker.”

% Slower.”

* Quicker.”

‘Neither slower nor quicker,” said Barbicane, wishing to
make his two friends agree: “for we float in space, and must no
longer consider specific weight.”

“Very well,” cried Michel Ardan in a decided voice; “ then
there remains but one thing to do.”

‘“‘' What is it?” said Nicholl.

‘‘ Breakfast,” answered: the cool, audacious Frenchman, who.
always brought up this solution at the most difficult juncture.

In any case, if this operation had no influence on the projectile’s
course, it could at least be tried without inconvenience, and even
with success from a stomachic point of view. Certainly Michel
had none but good ideas.

They breakfasted then at two in the mcrning; the hour mat-
tered little. Michel served his usual repast, crowned by a
glorious bottle drawn from his private cellar. If ideas did not
crowd on their brains, we must despair of the Chambertin of 1853.
The repast finished, observations began again. Around the pro-
jectile, at an invariable distance, were the objects which had been
thrown out. Evidently, in its translatory motion round the moon,
it had not passed through any atmosphere, for the specific weight
of these different objects wouid have checked their relative speed.
| U 2
292 ROUND THE MOON.



On the side of the terrestrial sphere nothing was to be seen.
The earth was but a day old, having been new the night before
at twelve; and two days must elapse before its crescent, freed
‘ from the solar rays, would serve as a clock to the Selenites, as in its
rotatory movement each of its points after twenty-four hours
repasses the same lunar meridian.

On the moon’s side the sight was different; the orb shone in
all her splendour amidst innumerable constellations, whose purity
could not be troubled by her rays. On the disc, the plains were
already returning to the dark tint which is seen from the earth.
The other part of the nimbus remained brilliant, and in the
midst of this general brilliancy, Tycho shone prominently like
a sun.

Barbicane had no means of estimating the projectile’s speed,
but reasoning showed that it must uniformly decrease, according
to all the laws of mechanical reasoning. Having admitted that
the projectile was describing an orbit round the moon, this
orbit must necessarily be elliptical; science proves that it must
be so. No motive body circulating round an attracting body
fails in this law. Every orbit described in space is elliptical.
And why should the projectile of the Gun Club escape this
natural arrangement? In elliptical orbits, the attracting body
always occupies one of the foci; so that at one moment the
satellite is nearer, and at another farther from the orb around
which it gravitates. When the earth is nearest the sun, she is in
_ her perihelion; and in her aphelion at the farthest point. Speak-
ing of the moon, she is nearest to the earth in her perigee, and
farthest from itin her apogee. To use analogous expressions,
with which the astronomers’ language is enriched, if the projectile
remains as a satellite of the moon, we must say that it is in its
“ anoselene” at its farthest point, and in its ‘ periselene ” at its
nearest. In the latter case, the projectile would attain its maxi-
mum of speed; and in the former its minimum. It was evidently
moving towards its aposelenitical point; and Barbicane had
A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE. 293

reason to think that its speed would decrease up to this point, and
then increase by degrees as it neared the moon. This speed
would even become nil, if this point joined that of equal attraction.
‘Barbicane studied the consequences of these different situations,
and thinking what inference he could draw from them, when he
was roughly disturbed by a cry from Michel Ardan.

“By Jove!” he exclaimed, “I must admit we are downright
simpletons! ” :

““T do not say we are not,” replied Barbicane ; “but why?”

‘‘ Because we have a very simple means of checking this speed
which is bearing us from the moon, and we do not use it!”

‘* And what is the means? ”

*‘ To use the recoil contained in our rockets.”

“Done!” said Nicholl.

“We have not used this force yet,” said Barbicane, “ itis true,
but we will do so.”

“When?” asked Michel.
“‘ When the time comes. Observe, my friends, that in the

position occupied by the projectile, an oblique position with
regard to the lunar disc, our rockets, in slightly altering its
direction, might turn it from the moon instead of drawing it
nearer? ”

“ Just so,” replied Michel.

“ Let us wait, then. By some inexplicable influence, the pro-
jectile is turning its base towards the earth. It is probable that
at the point of equal attraction, its conical cap will be directed
rigidly towards the moon ; at that moment we may hope that
its speed will be nil; then will be the moment to act, and with
the influence of our rockets, we may perhaps provoke a fall
ditectly on the surface of the lunar disc.”

‘ Bravo!” said Michel. ‘ What we did not do, what we could
not do on our first passage at the dead point, because the projec-
tile was then endowed with too great a speed.”

“Very well reasoned,” said Nicholl.
204 | ROUND THE MOON. |
eee

“Let us wait patiently,” continued Barbicane. “Putting every
chance on our side, and after having so much despaired, I may
say I think that we shall gain our end.”

This conclusion was a signal for Michel Ardan’s hips and
hurrahs. And none of the audacious boobies remembered the
question that they themselves had solved in the negative. No!
the moon is not inhabited; no! the moon is probably not
habitable. _And yet they were going to try every thing to
reach her. | |

One single question remained to be solved. At what precise
moment the projectile would reach the point of equal attraction,
on which the travellers must play their last card. In order to
calculate this to within a few seconds, Barbicane had only to
refer to his notes, and to reckon the different heights taken on
the lunar parallels. Thus the time necessary to travel over the
distance between the dead point and the south pole would be
equal to the distance separating the north pole from the dead
point. The hours representing the time travelled over were
carefully noted, and the calculation was easy. Barbicane found
that this point would be reached at one in the morning on the
night of the 7th—8th of December. So that, if nothing interfered
with its course, it would reach the given point in twenty-two hours.
The rockets had primarily been placed to check the fall of
the projectile upon the moon, and now they were going to employ
them for a directly contrary purpose. In any case they were
ready, and nee only to wait for the moment to set fire to
them. )

“ Since there is nothing else to be done,” said Nicholl, “ I make
a proposition.”

“ What is it?” asked Barbicane.

“I propose to go to sleep.”

“ What a motion!” exclaimed Michel Ardan.

“It is forty hours since we closed our eyes,” said Nicholl.
** Some hours of sleep will restore our strength.”








[Page 295.

























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A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE. 295
a a

“ Never,” interrupted Michel.

“Well,” continued Nicholl, “ every one to his taste; I shall
go to sleep.” And stretching himself on the divan, he soon -
snored like a forty-eight pounder.

“That Nicholl has a good deal of sense,” said Barbicane,
“presently I shall follow his example.” Some moments after his
continued base supported the captain’s barytone.

“ Certainly,” said Michel Ardan, finding himself alone, * these
practical people have sometimes most opportune ideas.”

And with his long legs stretched out, and his great arms folded
under his head, Michel slept in his turn.

But this sleep could be neither peaceful nor lasting, the minds
of these three men were too much occupied, and some hours
after, about seven in the morning, all three were on foot at the
same instant.

The projectile was still leaving the moon, and turning its
conical part more and more towards her.

An explicable phenomenon, but one wane” happily served
Barbicane’s ends.

Seventeen hours more, and the moment for action would fave
arrived. ; :

The day seemed long. However bold the travellers might be,
they were greatly impressed by the approach of that moment
which would decide all—either precipitate their fall on to the
moon, or for ever chain them in an immutable orbit. They
counted the hours as they passed too slow for their wish ; Barbi-
cane and Nicholl were obstinately plunged in their calculations,
Michel going and coming between the narrow walls, and watch-

ing that impassive moon with a longing eye.

At times recollections of the earth crossed their minds, They
saw once more their friends of the Gun Club, and the dearest of
all, J. T. Maston. At that moment, the honourable secretary
must be filling his post on the Rocky Mountains. If he could.
see the projectile through the glass of his gigantic te1escope.
296 ROUND THE MOON.





ees

what would he think? After seeing it disappear behind tlic
moon’s south pole, he would see them reappear by the north pole !
They must therefore be a satellite of a satellite! Had J. T.
Maston given this unexpected news to the world's ? Was this the
dénouement of this great enterprise ? |

But the day passed without incident. The terrestrial midnight
arrived. ‘The 8th of December was beginning. One hour more,
and the point of equal attraction would be reached. What speed
would then animate the projectile? They could not estimate it.
But no error could vitiate Barbicane’s calculations. At one in the
morning, this speed ought to be and would be nil.

Besides, another phenomenon would mark the projectile’s stop-
ping-point on the neutral line. At that spot the two attractions,
lunar and terrestrial, would be annulled. Objects would “weigh”
no more. This singular fact, which had surprised Barbicane and
his companions so much in going, would be repeated on their
return under the very same conditions. At this precise moment
they must act. | |

Already the projectile’s conical top was sensibly turned towards
the lunar disc, presented in such a way as to utilize the whole of
the recoil produced by the pressure of the rocket apparatus. The
chances were in favour of the travellers. If its speed was utterly
annulled on this dead point, a decided movement towards the
moon would suffice, however slight, to determine its fall.

‘“‘ Five minutes to one,” said Nicholl.

“ All is ready,” replied Michel arden, cans a ' lighted match
to the flame of the gas.

© Wait!” said Barbicane, holding his chronometer in his hand.

At that moment weight had no effect. The travellers felt in
themselves the entire disappearance of it. They were very near
the neutral point, if they did not touch it.

One o’clock,” said Barbicane.

Michel Ardan applied the lighted match to a train in com-
munication with the rockets. No detonation was heard in the
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ARDAN APPLIED THE LIGHTED














































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE, 297
inside, for there was no air. But, through the scuttles Barbicane
saw a prolonged smoke, the flames of which were immediately
extinguished.

The projectile sustained a certain shock, which was sensibly
felt in the interior.

The three friends looked and listened without speaking, and
scarcely breathing. One might have heard the beating of their
hearts amidst this perfect silence.

“ Are we falling ? ” asked Michel Ardan, at length.

“No,” said Nicholl, “ since the bottom of the projectile is not
turning to the lunar dise !”

At this moment, Barbicane, quitting the scuttle, turned to his
two companions. He was frightfully pale, his forehead wrinkled,
and his lips contracted.

“We are falling !” said he.

“Ah!” eried Michel Ardan, * on to the moon ? ”

‘On to the earth!”

‘“‘ The devil!” exclaimed Michel Ardan, adding philosophically,
‘‘ well, when we came into this projectile we were very doubtful
as to the ease with which we should get out of it!”

And now this fearful fall had begun. ‘The speed retained had
borne the projectile beyond the dead point. The explosion of the
rockets could not divert its course. This speed in going had
carried it over the neutral line, and in returning had done the
same thing. The laws of physics condemned it to pass through
every point which it had already gone through. It was a terrible
fall, from a height of 160,000 miles, and no springs to break it.
According to the laws of gunnery, the projectile must strike the
earth with a speed equal to that with which it left the mouth of
tlhe Columbiad, a speed of 16,000 yards in the last second.

But to give some figures of comparison, it has been reckoned
that an object thrown from the top of the towers of Notre
Dame, the height of which is only 200 feet, will arrive on the
pavement at a speed of 240 miles per hour. Jere the pro-
298 ROUND THE MOON.



jectile must strike the earth with a speed of 115,200 miles per
hour.

‘“* We are lost!” said Michel coolly. _ |

“Very well! if we die,” answered Barbicane, with a sort of
religious enthusiasm, “the result of our travels will be magnifi-
cently spread. It is His own secret that God will tell us! In the
other life, the soul will want to know nothing, either of machines
or engines! It will be identified with eternal wisdom !”’

“In fact,” interrupted Michel Ardan, “the whole of the other
world may well console us for the loss of that inferior orb called
the moon !” | |

Barbicane crossed his arms on his breast, with a motion of
sublime resignation, saying at the same time,—

* The will of heaven be done!”
THE SOUNDINGS OF THE “ SUSQUEHANNA.” 2909

OS A Senin ernst sss snstasteye poorer ave Sire

CHAPTER XX.
THE SOUNDINGS OF THE “ SUSQUEHANNA.”

“WELL, lieutenant, and our soundings ?”

‘JT think, sir, that the operation is nearing its completion,”
replied Lieutenant Bronsfield. “ But who would have thought
of finding such a depth so near in shore, and only 200 miles from
the American coast ?”

“Certainly, Bronsfield, there is a great depression,” said
Captain Blomsberry. “In this spot there is a submarine valley
worn by Humboldt’s current, which skirts the coast of America
as far as the Straits of Magellan.”

“These great depths,” continued the lieutenant, “are not
favourable for laying telegraphic cables. A level bottom, like
that supporting the American cable between Valentia and New-
foundland, is much better.” a

“T agree with you, Bronsfield. With your permission,
lieutenant, where are we now ?”

“Sir, at this moment we have 3508 fathoms of line out, and
the ball which draws the sounding lead has not yet touched the
bottom ; for if so, it would have come up of itself.”

“ Brook’s apparatus is very ingenious,’ said Captain Blomsberry;
‘“‘it gives us very exact soundings.”

“Touch!” cried at this moment one of the men at the fore-
wheel, who was superintending the operation.

The captain and the lieutenant mounted the quarter-deck.

‘What depth have we?” asked the captain.
300 ROUND THE MOON.

“Three thousand six hundred and twenty-seven fathoms,”
replied the lieutenant, entering it in his note-book.

“‘ Well, Bronsfield,” said the captain, ‘“I will take down the
result. Now haul in the sounding line. It will be the work of
some hours. In that time the engineer can light the furnaces, and
we shall be ready to start as soon as you have finished. It is ten
o’clock, and with your permission, lieutenant, I will turn in.”

“Do so, sir ; do so!” replied the lieutenant obligingly.

The captain of the “ Susquehanna,” as brave a man as need
be, and the humble servant of his officers, returned to his cabin,
took a brandy-grog, which earned for the steward no end of praise,
and turned in, not without having complimented his servant upon
his making beds, and slept a peaceful sleep.

It was then ten at night. The eleventh day of the month of
December was drawing to a close in a magnificent night.

The ‘ Susquehanna,” a corvette of 500 horse-power, of the
United States’ navy, was occupied in taking soundings in the
Pacific Ocean about 200 miles off the American coast, following
that long peninsula which stretches down the coast of New
Mexico. :

The wind had dropped by degrees. There was no disturbance
in the air. Their pennant hung motionless from the maintop-
gallant-mast truck.

Captain. Jonathan Blomsberry (cousin-german of Colonel
Blomsberry, one of the most ardent supporters of the Gun Club,
who had married an aunt of the captain and daughter of an
honourable Kentucky merchant, )—Captain Blomsberry could not
have wished for finer weather in which to bring to a close his
delicate operations of sounding. His corvette had not even felt
the great tempest, which by sweeping away the groups of clouds
on the Rocky Mountains, had allowed them to observe the course
of the famous projectile.

Everything went well, and with all the fervour of a Presby-
terian, he did not forget to thank heaven for it. The series of














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[Page 301
THE SOUNDINGS OF THE “ SUSQUEHANNA.” 301



soundings taken by the “ Susquehanna,” had for its aim the find-
ing of a favourable spot for the laying of a submarine cable to
connect the Hawaian Islands with the coast of America.

It was a great undertaking, due to the instigation of a powerful
company. Its managing director, the intelligent Cyrus Field,
purposed even covering all the islands of Oceania with a vast
electrical network, an immense enterprise, and one worthy of
American genius,

To the corvette ‘‘Susquehanna” had been confided the first
operations of sounding. It was on the night of the 11th—12th
December, she was in exactly 27° 7’ north lat., and 41° 37’
west long., on the meridian of Washington. |

The moon, then in her last quarter, was beginning to rise above
_ the horizon. |

After the departure of Captain Blomsberry, the lieutenant and
some officers were standing together on the poop. On the appear-
ance of the moon, their thoughts turned to that orb which the
eyes of a whole hemisphere were contemplating. The best naval
glasses could not have discovered the projectile wandering around
its hemisphere, and yet all were pointed towards that brilliant dise
which millions of eyes were looking at at the same moment.

‘They have been gone ten days,” said Lieutenant Bronsfield
atlast. ‘* What has become of them ?”

“They have arrived, lieutenant,” exclaimed a young midship-
man, “and they are doing what all travellers do when they arrive
in a new country, taking a walk !”

“Oh! Iam sure of that, if you tell me s0, my young friend, -

said Lieutenant Bronsfield, smiling.

“But,” continued another officer, “their arrival cannot be
doubted. ‘The projectile was to reach the moon when full on the
5th at midnight. We are now at the 11th of December, which
makes six days. And in six times twenty-four hours, without
darkness, one would have time to settle comfortably. I fancy I
sec my brave countrymen encamped at the bottom of some valley,
302 | ROUND THE MOON.
$$ esesesesessseeeeSeSeSSSFSseF
on the borders of a Selenite stream, near a projectile half buried
by its fall amidst volcanic rubbish, Captain Nicholl beginning his
levelling operations, President Barbicane writing out his notes,
and Michel Ardan embalming the lunar solitudes with the perfume
of his—” | |

“Yes! it must be so, it is so!” exclaimed the corns midship-
man, worked up to a pitch of enthusiasm by this ideal description
of his superior officer. _

“TI should like to believe it,” replied the lieutenant, who was
quite unmoved. ‘Unfortunately direct news from the lunar world
is still wanting.” 3 7

‘“‘Beg pardon, lieutenant,” said the midshipman, “but cannot
President Barbicane write ?”

A burst of laughter greeted this answer.

zh No letters !” continued the young man quickly. ‘The postal
administration has something to see to there.”

“Might it not be the telegraphic service that is at fault?”
asked one of the officers ironically. | |

‘Not necessarily,” replied the midshipman, not at all confused.
“But it is very easy to set up a graphic communication with the
earth.” |

«“ And how 2”

“By means of the telescope at Long’s Peak. You know it
brings the moon to within four miles of the Rocky Mountains, and
that it shows objects on its surface of only nine feet in diameter.
Very well ; let our industrious friends construct a gigantic
alphabet ; let them write words three fathoms long, and sentences
three miles long, and then they can send us news of themselves ?”

‘The young midshipman, who had a certain amount of imagina-
tion, was loudly applauded ; Lieutenant Bronsfield allowing that
the idea was possible, but observing that if by these means they
could receive news from the lunar world they could not send any
from the terrestrial, unless the Selenites had instruments fit for
taking distant observations at their disposal,
THE SOUNDINGS OF THE “SUSQUEHANNA.” 303

“ Evidently,” said one of the officers; “but what has become
of the travellers ? what they have done, what they have seen,
that above all must interest us. Besides, if the experiment has
succeeded (which I do not doubt), they will try it again. The
Columbiad is still sunk in the soil of Florida. It is now only a
question of powder and shot; and every time the moon is at her
zenith, a cargo of visitors may be sent to her.”

“It is clear,” replied Lieutenant Bronsfield, “ that J. T. Maston
will one day join his friends.”

“‘Ifhe will have me,” cried the midshipman, “I am ready!”

“Oh! volunteers will not be wanting,” answered Bronsfield;
“and if it were allowed, half of the earth’s inhabitants would
emigrate to the moon !”

This conversation between the officers of the “ Susquehanna”?
was kept up until nearly one in the morning. We cannot
say what blundering systems were broached, what inconsis-
tent theories advanced by these bold spirits. Since Bar-
bicane’s attempt, nothing seemed impossible to the Americans.
They had already designed an expedition, not only of savants, but
of a whole colony towards the Selenite borders, and a complete
army, consisting of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, to conden
the lunar world.

At one in the morning, the hauling in of the sounding-line was
not yet completed; 1670 fathoms were still out, which would
entail some hours’ work. According to the commander’s orders,
the fires had been lighted, and steam was being got up. The
‘¢ Susquehanna ’”’ could have started that very instant.

At that moment (it was seventeen minutes past one in the
morning) Lieutenant Bronsfield was preparing to leave: the
watch and return to his cabin, when his attention was attracted
by a distant hissing noise. His comrades and himself first thought
that this hissing was caused by the letting off of steam ; but lifting
their heads, they found that the noise was produced in the highest
regions of the air. ‘They had not time to question each other
304 ROUND THE MOON.



before the hissing became frightfully intense, and suddenly there
appeared to their dazzled eyes an enormous meteor, ignited by the
rapidity of its course and its friction through the atmospheric
strata. . :

This fiery mass grew larger to their eyes, and fell, with the
noise of thunder, upon the bowsprit, which it smashed close to the
stem, and buried itself in the waves with a deafening roar! _

A few feet nearer, and the “ Susquehanna” would have foun-
dered with all on board!

At this instant Captain Blomsberry appeared, half dressed, and
rushing on to the forecastle-deck, whither all the officers had
hurried, exclaimed, “ With your permission, gentlemen, what has
happened ? ” : |

And the midshipman, making himself as it were the echo of
the body, cried, ‘‘ Commander, it is ‘ they ’ come back again !””












































































































































































































A FEW FEET NEARER.

[Page 304.
fF T. MASTON RECALLED. 305

CHAPTER XXI.
J. T. MASTON RECALLED.

“Iris ‘ they’ come back again!” the young midshipman had
said; and every one had understood him. No one doubted but
that that meteor was the projectile of the Gun Club. As to the
travellers which it enclosed, opinions were divided regarding their
fate.

“They are dead !” said one.

‘They are alive!” said another; “the crater is deep, and the
shock was deadened.”’ |

“ But they must have wanted air,” continued a third speaker;
“‘ they must have died of suffocation.”

“Burnt!” replied a fourth; ‘ the projectile was nothing but an
incandescent mass as it crossed the atmosphere.”

“* What does it matter!” they exclaimed unanimously; “ living
or dead, we must pull them out!”

But Captain Blomsberry had assembled his officers, and “ with
their permission,” was holding a council. They must decide upon
something to be done immediately. The more hasty ones were
for fishing up the projectile. A difficult operation, though not an
impossible one. But the corvette had no proper machinery, which
must be both fixed and powerful; so it was resolved that they
should put in at the nearest port, and give information to the
Gun Club of the projectile’s fall. |

This determination was unanimous. The choice of the port
had to be discussed. The neighbouring coast had no anchorage
on 27°. lat. Higher up, above the peninsula of Monterey, stands

x

te
306 ROUND THE MOON.



the important town from which it takes its name ; but, seated on
the borders of a perfect desert, it was not connected with the
interior by a network of telegraphic wires, and electricity alone
could spread these important news fast enough.

Some degrees above opened the bay of San Francisco. Through
the capital of the gold country, communication would be easy
with the heart of the Union. And in less than two days the
‘¢ Susquehanna,” by putting on high pressure, could arrive in that
port. She must therefore start at once.

The fires were made up ; they could set off immediately. Two
thousand fathoms of line were still out, which Captain Bloms-
berry, not wishing to lose precious time in hauling in, resolved to
cut. wae

““'We will fasten the end to a buoy,” said he; “and that buoy
will show us the exact spot where the projectile fell.”

_ “ Besides,” replied Lieutenant Bronsfield, “we have our situa-
tion exact—27° 7’ north lat. and 41° 87’ west long.”

“* Well, Mr. Bronsfield,” replied the captain, “now, with your
permission, we will have the line cut.”

A strong buoy, strengthened by a couple of spars, was thrown
into the ocean. The end of the rope was carefully lashed to it;
and, left solely to the rise and fall of the billows, the buoy would
not sensibly deviate from the spot. — |

At this moment the engineer sent to inform the captain that
- steam was up and they could start, for which agreeable commu-
nication the captain thanked him. The course was then given
north-north-east, and the corvette, wearing, steered at full steam
, direct for San Francisco. It was three in the morning.
Four hundred and fifty miles to cross; it was nothing for a
— good vessel like the “Susquehanna.” In thirty-six hours she
had covered that distance; and on the 14th of December, at
twenty-seven minutes past one at night, she entered the bay of
San Francisco. |

At the sight of a ship of the national navy arriving at full
Â¥ T. MASTON RECALLED. 307



speed, with her bowsprit broken, public curiosity was greatly
roused. A dense crowd soon assembled on the quay, waiting for
them to disembark.

After casting anchor, Captain Blomsberry and Lieutenant
Bronsfield entered an eight-oared cutter, which soon brought
them to land.

They jumped on to the quay.

“The telegraph?” they asked, without answering one of the
thousand questions addressed to them.

The officer of the port conducted them to the ileaeapie -office
through a concourse of spectators. Blomsberry and Bronsfield
entered, while the crowd crushed each other at the door.

Some minutes later a fourfold telegram was sent out—the first
to the Naval Secretary at Washington; the second to the Vice-
President of the Gun Cluh, Baltimore; the third to the Hon.
J. I’. Maston, Long’s Peak, Rocky Mountains; the fourth to the
Sub-Director of the Cambridge Observatory, Massachusetts.

It was worded as follows:—

‘In 20° 7 north lat., and 41° 37! west long., on the 12th of December, at
17 minutes past 1 in the morning, the projectile of the Columbiad fell into
' the Pacific. Send instructions.—BLomsBERRY, Commander ‘ Susquehanna.’ ”

Five minutes afterwards the whole town of San Francisco
learned the news. JBefore six in the evening the different States
of the Union had heard the great catastrophe; and after mid-
night, by the cable, the whole of Europe knew the result of the
great American experiment.

We will not attempt to picture the effect produced on the
entire world by that unexpected dénouement.

On receipt of the telegram the Naval Secretary telegraphed to
the “ Susquehanna” to wait in the bay of San Francisco without
extinguishing her fires. Day and night she must be ready to put
to sea.

The Cambridge Observatory called a special meeting ; and, with
that composure which distinguishes learned bodies in general,

x 2
308 ROUND THE MOON.

peacefully discussed the scientific bearings of the question. At
the Gun Club there was an explosion. All the gunners were
assembled. Vice-President the Hon. Wilcome was in the act of
reading the premature despatch, in which J. T, Maston and Bel-
fast announced that the projectile had just been seen in the gigantic
reflector of Long’s Peak, and also that it was held by lunar attrac-
tion, and was playing the part of under satellite to the lunar
world, <—

We know the truth on that point.
- But on the arrival of Blomsberry’s despatch, so decidedly con-
tradicting J. T. Maston’s telegram, two parties were formed in the
bosom of the Gun Club. On one side were those who admitted
the fall of the projectile, and consequently the return of the
travellers ; on the other, those who believed in the observations
of Long’s Peak, concluded that the commander of the “ Susque-
hanna” had made a mistake. To the latter the pretended pro-
jectile was nothing but a meteor! nothing but a meteor, a
shooting globe, which in its fall had smashed the bows of the
corvette. It was difficult to answer this argument, for the speed
with which it was animated must have made observation very
difficult. The commander of the “ Susquehanna” and her officers
might have made a mistake in all good faith; one argument,
however, was in their favour, namely, that if the projectile had
fallen on the earth, its place of meeting with the terrestrial globe
could only take place on-this 27° north lat., and (taking into
consideration the time that had elapsed, and the rotary motion of.
the earth) between the forty-first and the forty-second degree of
west longitude. In any case, it was decided in the Gun Club that
Blomsberry brothers, Bilsby, and Major Elphinstone should go
straight to San Francisco, and consult as to the means of raising
the projectile from the depths of the ocean.

These devoted men set off at once ; and the railr oad, which will
soon cross the whole of central America, took them as far as St.
Louis, where the swift mail-coaches awaited them. Almost at
ZF. T. MASTON RECALLED. 309



the same moment in which the Secretary of Marine, the Vice-
President of the Gun Club, and the Sub-Director of the Observa-
tory received the despatch from San Francisco, the Honourable
J.T. Maston was undergoing the greatest excitement he had ever
experienced in his life, an excitement which even the bursting of
his pet gun, which had more than once nearly cost him his life,
had not caused him. We may remember that the Secretary of the
Gun Club had started soon after the projectile (and almost as
quickly) for the station in Long’s Peak, in the Rocky Mountains,
J. Belfast, Director of the Cambridge Observatory, accompanying
him. Arrived there, the two friends had installed themselves at
once, never quitting the summit of their enormous telescope. We
know that this gigantic instrument had been set up according to
the reflecting system, called by the English, “ front view.” This
arrangement subjected all objects to but one reflection, making
the view consequently much clearer; the result was that,
when they were taking observations, J. T. Maston and Belfast
were placed in the upper part of the instrument and not in the
lower, which they reached by a circular staircase, a master-
piece of lightness, while below them opened a metal well,
terminated by the metallic mirror, which measured 280 feet in
depth.

It was on a narrow platform placed above the telescope that the
two savants passed their existence, execrating the day which hid
the moon from their eyes, and the clouds which obstinately veiled
her during the night.

What, then, was their delight hen, after some days of waiting,
on the night of the 6th of December, they saw the vehicle which
was bearing their friends into space! To this delight succeeded
a great deception, when, trusting to a cursory observation, they
launched their first telegram to the world, erroneously affirming
that the projectile had become a satellite of the moon, ere
in an immutable orbit.

From that moment it had never shown itself to their eyes—a
35O ROUND THE MOON.

disappearance all the more easily explained, as it was then passing
behind the moon’s invisible disc; but when it was time for it to
reappear on the visible disc, one may imagine the impatience of
the fuming J. T. Maston and his not less impatient companion.
Each minute of the night they thought they saw the projectile
once more, and they did not see it. Hence constant discussions
and violent disputes between them, Belfast affirming that the
projectile could not be seen, J. T. Maston maintaining that ‘it
had put his eyes out.”

“It is the projectile!” repeated J. T. Maston.

‘‘ No,” answered Belfast; “it is an avalanche detached from a
lunar mountain.” |

‘Well, we shall see it to-morrow.”

“No, we shall not see it any more. It is carried into space.”

‘Yes 1”

“Nole

And at these moments, when contradictions rained like hail,
the well-known irritability of the Secretary of the Gun Club con-
stituted a permanent danger for the Hon. Belfast. The existence
of these two together would soon have become impossible; but an
unforeseen event cut short their everlasting discussions.

During the night, from the 14th to the 15th of December, the
two irreconcilable friends were busy observing the lunar disc,
J. T. Maston abusing the learned Belfast as usual, who was by
his side ; the Secretary of the Gun Club maintaining for the
thousandth time that he had just seen the projectile, and adding
- that he could see Michel Ardan’s face looking through one of the
scuttles, at the same time enforcing his argument by a series of
gestures which his formidable hook rendered very unpleasant.

At this moment Belfast’s servant appeared on the platform (it
was ten at-night) and gave him a despatch. It was the com-
mander of the ‘‘ Susquehanna’s” telegram.

Belfast tore the envelope and read, and uttered a cry.

“What!” said J. T. Maston.


























vn
SAD
mS)



THE UNFORTUNATE MAN HAD DISAPPEARED

[Page 311.
T. MASTON RECALLED. 311



‘The projectile!”

“Well!” —

‘* Has fallen to the earth!”

Another cry, this time a perfect howl, anawored him. He
turned towards J. T. Maston. The unfortunate man, impru-
dently leaning over the metal tube, had disappeared in the im-
mense telescope. A fall of 280 feet! Belfast, dismayed, rushed
to the orifice of the reflector.

He breathed. J.T. Maston, caught by his metal hook, was
holding on by one of the rings which bound the telescope
together, uttering fearful cries.

Belfast called. Help was brought, tackle was let down, and

they hoisted up, not without some trouble, the imprudent Secre-
tary of the Gun Club. |

He reappeared at the upper orifice without hurt.

“Ah!” said he, “if I had broken the mirror ?”

“You would have paid for it,” replied Belfast severely.

‘“‘ And that cursed projectile has fallen?” asked J. T. Maston.

“‘Tnto the Pacific!”

“Let us go!”

A quarter of an hour after the two savants were descending
the declivity of the Rocky Mountains ; and two days after, at the
same time as their friends of the Gun Club, they arrived at San
Francisco, having killed five horses on the road.

Elphinstone, the brothers Blomsberry, and Bilsby rushed
towards them on their arrival.

‘¢ What shall we do?” they exclaimed.

‘Fish up the projectile,” replied J. T. Maston, “and the
sooner the better.”
312 ROUND THE MOON.

CHAPTER XXII.
RECOVERED FROM THE SEA.

THE spot where the projectile sank under the waves was exactly
known; but machinery to grasp it and bring it to the surface of
the ocean was still wanting. It must first be invented, then
made. American engineers could not be troubled with such
trifles. The grappling-irons once fixed, by their help they were
sure to raise it in spite of its weight, which was lessened by the
density of the liquid in which it was plunged.

But fishing-up the projectile was not the only thing to be
thought of. They must act promptly in the interest of the
travellers. No one doubted that they were still living.

“Yes,” repeated J. T. Maston incessantly, whose confidence
gained over everybody, “our friends are clever people, and they
cannot have fallen like simpletons. They are alive, quite alive ;
but we must make haste if we wish to find them so. Food and
water do not trouble me; they have enough for a long while.
But air, air, that is what they will soon want; so quick, quick!”

And they did go quick. , They fitted up the ‘‘ Susquehanna”
for her new destination. Her powerful machinery was brought
to bear upon the hauling-chains. The aluminium projectile only
weighed 19,250lbs., a weight very inferior to that of the trans-
atlantic cable which had been drawn up under similar conditions.
The only difficulty was in fishing-up a cylindro-conical projectile,
the walls of which were so smooth as to offer no hold for the
hooks. On that account engineer Murchison hastened to San
Francisco, and had some enormous grappling-irons fixed on an
RECOVERED FROM THE SE4. 313
Se
automatic system, which would never let the projectile go if it
once succeeded in seizing it in its powerful claws. Diving-
dresses were also prepared, which through this impervious cover-
ing allowed the divers to observe the bottom of the sea. He
also had put on board an apparatus of compressed air very
cleverly designed. There were perfect chambers pierced with
scuttles, which, with water let into certain compartments,
could draw it down into great depths, These apparatuses were
at San Francisco, where they had been used in the construction
of a submarine breakwater; and very fortunately it was so, for
there was no time to construct any. But in spite of the perfec-
tion of the machinery, in spite of the ingenuity of the savants
entrusted with the use of them, the success of the operation was
far from being certain. How great were the chances against
them, the projectile being 20,000 feet under the water! And if
even it was brought to the surface, how would the travellers |
have borne the terrible shock which 20,000 feet of water had
perhaps not sufficiently broken? At any rate they must act
quickly. J. T. Maston hurried the workmen day and night.
He was ready to don the diving-dress himself, or try the air
apparatus, in order to reconnoitre the situation of his courageous
friends.

But in spite of all diligence displayed in preparing the different
engines, in spite of the considerable sum placed at the disposal of
the Gun Club by the Government of the Union, five long days
(five centuries!) elapsed before the preparations were complete.
During this time public opinion was excited to the highest pitch,
Telegrams were exchanged Incessantly throughout the entire
world by means of wires and electric cables. ‘The saving of
Barbicane, Nicholl, and Michel Ardan was an_ international
affair. Every one who had subscribed to the Gun Club was
directly interested in the welfare of the travellers.

At length the hauling-chaing, the air-chambers, and the auto-
matic grappling-irons were put on board. J.T. Maston, Engineer ~
314 ROUND THE MOON.

Murchison, and the delegates of the Gun Club, were already in
their cabins. They had but to start, which they did on the 21st
of December, at eight o’clock at night, the corvette meeting with
a beautiful sea, a north-easterly wind, and rather sharp cold.
_ The whole population of San Francisco was gathered on the quay,
greatly excited but silent, reserving their hurrahs for the return.
Steam was fully up, and the screw of the “ Susquehanna”
carried them briskly out of the bay.

It is needless to relate the conversations on board between the
officers, sailors, and passengers. All these men had but one
thought. All these hearts beat under the same emotion. Whilst
they were hastening to help them, what were Barbicane and his
companions doing? What had become of them? Were they
able to attempt any bold manwuvre to regain their liberty ?
None could say. The truth is that every attempt must have
failed ! Immersed nearly four miles under the ocean, this metal
prison defied every effort of its prisoners,

On the 28rd inst.,at eight in the morning, after a rapid passage,
the “ Susquehanna” was due at the fatal spot. They must wait
till twelve to take the reckoning exactly. The buoy to which
the sounding line had been lashed had not yet been recognized.

At twelve, Captain Blomsberry, assisted by his officers who
superintended the observations, took the reckoning in the presence
of the delegates of the Gun Club. Then there was a moment of
anxiety, Her position decided, the “ Susquehanna” was found
to be some minutes to westward of the spot where the projectile
- had disappeared beneath the waves.

The ship’s course was then changed so as to reach this exact
point.

At forty-seven minutes past twelve they reached the buoy, it
was in perfect condition, and must have shifted but little.

** At last!” exclaimed J. T. Maston.

“Shall we begin ?” asked Captain Blomsberry.

‘* Without losing a second.”






























































































































































































































































































































































































































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THE DESCENT BEGAN.

[Page 315.
RECOVERED FROM THE SEA. 315



Every precaution was taken to keep the corvette almost coni-
pletely motionless. Before trying to seize the projectile, Engineer
Murchison wanted to find its exact position at the bottom of the
ocean, The submarine apparatus destined for this expedition was
supplied with air. The working of these engines was not without
danger, for at 20,000 feet below the surface of the water,
and under such great pressure, they were exposed to fracture, the
consequences of which would be dreadful.

J. T. Maston, the Brothers Blomsberry, and Engineer Murchi-
son, without heeding these dangers, took their places in the air-
chamber. The commander, posted on his bridge, superintended
the operation, ready to stop or haul in the chains on the slightest
signal. ‘The screw had been shipped, and the whole power of
the machinery collected on the capstan would have quickly
drawn the apparatus on board. The descent began at twenty-five
minutes past one at night, and the chamber, drawn under by the
reservoirs full of water, disappeared from the surface of the ocean.

The emotion of the officers and sailors on board was now
divided between the prisoners in the projectile and the prisoners
in the submarine apparatus. As to the latter, they forgot them-
selves, and, glued to the windows of the scuttles, attentively
watched the liquid mass through which they were passing.

The descent was rapid. At seventeen minutes past two, J. T.
Maston and his companions had reached the bottom of the
Pacific; but they saw nothing but an arid desert, no longer
animated by either fauna or flora, By the light of their lamps,
furnished with powerful reflectors, they could see the dark beds
of the ocean for a considerable extent of view, but the projectile
was nowhere to be seen.

The impatience of these bold divers cannot be described, and
having an electrical communication with the corvette, they made
a signal already agreed upon, and for the space of a mile the
* Susquehanna ” moved their chamber along some yards above
the bottom.
316 ROUND THE MOON.

Thus they explored the whole submarine plain, deceived at
every turn by optical illusions which almost broke their hearts.
Here a rock, there a projection from the ground, seemed to be the
much-sought-for projectile; but their mistake was soon discovered,
and then they were in despair.

‘But where are they? where are they?” cried J. T. Maston.
And the poor man called loudly upon Nicholl, Barbicane, and
Michel Ardan, as if his unfortunate friends could either hear or
answer him through such an impenetrable medium! The search
continued under these conditions until the vitiated air compelled
the divers to ascend.

The hauling in began about six in the evening, and was not
ended before midnight.

** To-morrow,” said J. T. Maston, as he set. foot on the bridge
of the corvette.

“Yes,” answered Captain Blomauenes

© And on another spot ?”

* es." |

J. T. Maston did not doubt of their final success, but