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Title: A Voyage to the Moon
Author: Tucker, George
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                      A
             VOYAGE TO THE MOON:
                     WITH
                 SOME ACCOUNT
                    OF THE
  MANNERS AND CUSTOMS, SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY,
                    OF THE
              PEOPLE OF MOROSOFIA,
                     AND
                OTHER LUNARIANS.



        BY GEORGE TUCKER (JOSEPH ATTERLEY)



    "It is the very error of the moon,
    She comes more near the earth than she was wont,
    And makes men mad."--_Othello_.



                    1827


     CONTENTS.



     CHAPTER I.

Atterley's birth and education--He makes a voyage--
  Founders off the Burman coast--Adventures in
  that Empire--Meets with a learned Brahmin from
  Benares.

     CHAPTER II.

The Brahmin's illness--He reveals an important secret
  to Atterley--Curious information concerning the
  Moon--The Glonglims--They plan a voyage to
  the Moon.

     CHAPTER III.

The Brahmin and Atterley prepare for their voyage--
  Description of their travelling machine--Incidents
  of the voyage--The appearance of the earth;
  Africa; Greece--The Brahmin's speculations on
  the different races of men--National character.

     CHAPTER IV.

Continuation of the voyage--View of Europe; Atlantic
  Ocean; America--Speculations on the future
  destiny of the United States--Moral reflections--
  Pacific Ocean--Hypothesis on the origin of the
  Moon.

     CHAPTER V.

The voyage continued--Second view of Asia--The
  Brahmin's speculations concerning India--Increase
  of the Moon's attraction--Appearance of the Moon
  --They land on the Moon.

     CHAPTER VI.

Some account of Morosofia, and its chief city, Alamatua
  --Singular dresses of the Lunar ladies--Religious
  self-denial--Glonglim miser and spendthrift.

     CHAPTER VII.

Physical peculiarities of the Moon--Celestial phenomena
  --Farther description of the Lunarians--National
  prejudice--Lightness of bodies--The Brahmin
  carries Atterley to sup with a philosopher--
  His character and opinions.

     CHAPTER VIII.

A celebrated physician: his ingenious theories in physics:
  his mechanical inventions--The feather-hunting Glonglim.

     CHAPTER IX.

The fortune-telling philosopher, who inspected the
  finger nails: his visiters--Another philosopher,
  who judged of the character by the hair--The
  fortune-teller duped--Predatory warfare.

     CHAPTER X.

The travellers visit a gentleman farmer, who is a great
  projector: his breed of cattle: his apparatus for
  cooking--He is taken dangerously ill.

     CHAPTER XI.

Lunarian physicians: their consultation--While they
  dispute the patient recovers--The travellers visit
  the celebrated teacher Lozzi Pozzi.

     CHAPTER XII.

Election of the Numnoonce, or town-constable--
  Violence of parties--Singular institution of the Syringe
  Boys--The prize-fighters--Domestic manufactures.

     CHAPTER XIII.

Description of the Happy Valley--The laws, customs,
  and manners of the Okalbians--Theory of population
  --Rent--System of government.

     CHAPTER XIV.

Further account of Okalbia--The Field of Roses--
  Curious superstition concerning that flower--The
  pleasures of smell traced to association, by a
  Glonglim philosopher.

     CHAPTER XV.

Atterley goes to the great monthly fair--Its various
  exhibitions; difficulties--Preparations to leave the
  Moon--Curiosities procured by Atterley--Regress
  to the Earth.

     CHAPTER XVI.

The Brahmin gives Atterley a history of his life.

     CHAPTER XVII.

The Brahmin's story continued--The voyage concluded
  --Atterley and the Brahmin separate--Atterley
  arrives in New-York.


 Appendix: Anonymous Review of _A Voyage to the
     Moon,_ reprinted from _The American Quarterly
     Review_ No. 5 (March 1828)



APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC.


Having, by a train of fortunate circumstances, accomplished a voyage, of
which the history of mankind affords no example; having, moreover, exerted
every faculty of body and mind, to make my adventures useful to my
countrymen, and even to mankind, by imparting to them the acquisition
of secrets in physics and morals, of which they had not formed the
faintest conception,--I flattered myself that both in the character
of traveller and public benefactor, I had earned for myself an immortal
name. But how these fond, these justifiable hopes have been answered,
the following narrative will show.

On my return to this my native State, as soon as it was noised abroad
that I had met with extraordinary adventures, and made a most wonderful
voyage, crowds of people pressed eagerly to see me. I at first met their
inquiries with a cautious silence, which, however, but sharpened their
curiosity. At length I was visited by a near relation, with whom I felt
less disposed to reserve. With friendly solicitude he inquired "how much
I had made by my voyage;" and when he was informed that, although I had
added to my knowledge, I had not improved my fortune, he stared at me a
while, and remarking that he had business at the Bank, as well as an
appointment on 'Change, suddenly took his leave. After this, I was not
much interrupted by the tribe of inquisitive idlers, but was visited
principally by a few men of science, who wished to learn what I could
add to their knowledge of nature. To this class I was more communicative;
and when I severally informed them that I had actually been to the
Moon, some of them shrugged their shoulders, others laughed in my face,
and some were angry at my supposed attempt to deceive them; but all,
with a single exception, were incredulous.

It was to no purpose that I appealed to my former character for veracity.
I was answered, that travelling had changed my morals, as it had changed
other people's. I asked what motives I could have for attempting to
deceive them. They replied, the love of distinction--the vanity of being
thought to have seen what had been seen by no other mortal; and they
triumphantly asked me in turn, what motives Raleigh, and Riley, and
Hunter, and a hundred other travellers, had for their misrepresentations.
Finding argument thus unavailing, I produced visible and tangible proofs
of the truth of my narrative. I showed them a specimen of moonstone.
They asserted that it was of the same character as those meteoric stones
which had been found in every part of the world, and that I had merely
procured a piece of one of these for the purpose of deception. I then
exhibited some of what I considered my most curious Lunar plants: but
this made the matter worse; for it so happened, that similar ones were
then cultivated in Mr. Prince's garden at Flushing. I next produced
some rare insects, and feathers of singular birds: but persons were
found who had either seen, or read, or heard of similar insects and
birds in Hoo-Choo, or Paraguay, or Prince of Wales's Island. In short,
having made up their minds that what I said was not true, they had an
answer ready for all that I could urge in support of my character; and
those who judged most christianly, defended my veracity at the expense
of my understanding, and ascribed my conduct to partial insanity.

There was, indeed, a short suspension to this cruel distrust. An old
friend coming to see me one day, and admiring a beautiful crystal which
I had brought from the Moon, insisted on showing it to a jeweller, who
said that it was an unusually hard stone, and that if it were a diamond,
it would be worth upwards of 150,000 dollars. I know not whether the
mistake that ensued proceeded from my friend, who is something of a wag,
or from one of the lads in the jeweller's shop, who, hearing a part of
what his master had said, misapprehended the rest; but so it was, that
the next day I had more visiters than ever, and among them my kinsman,
who was kind enough to stay with me, as if he enjoyed my good fortune,
until both the Exchange and the Banks were closed. On the same day,
the following paragraph appeared in one of the morning prints:

    "We understand that our enterprising and intelligent traveller,
    JOSEPH ATTERLEY, Esquire, has brought from his Lunar Expedition,
    a diamond of extraordinary size and lustre. Several of the most
    experienced jewellers of this city have estimated it at from
    250,000 to 300,000 dollars; and some have gone so far as to say
    it would be cheap at half a million. We have the authority of a
    near relative of that gentleman for asserting, that the satisfactory
    testimonials which he possesses of the correctness of his narrative,
    are sufficient to satisfy the most incredulous, and to silence
    malignity itself."

But this gleam of sunshine soon passed away. Two days afterwards, another
paragraph appeared in the same paper, in these words:

    "We are credibly informed, that the supposed diamond of the _famous_
    traveller to the Moon, turns out to be one of those which are found
    on Diamond Island, in Lake George. We have heard that Mr. A----y
    means to favour the public with an account of his travels, under
    the title of 'Lunarian Adventures;' but we would take the liberty
    of recommending, that for _Lunarian_, he substitute _Lunatic_."

Thus disappointed in my expectations, and assailed in my character,
what could I do but appeal to an impartial public, by giving them a
circumstantial detail of what was most memorable in my adventures, that
they might judge, from intrinsic evidence, whether I was deficient either
in soundness of understanding or of moral principle? But let me first
bespeak their candour, and a salutary diffidence of themselves, by one
or two well-authenticated anecdotes.

During the reign of Louis the XIVth, the king of Siam having received
an ambassador from that monarch, was accustomed to hear, with wonder
and delight, the foreigner's descriptions of his own country: but the
minister having one day mentioned, that in France, water, at one time
of the year, became a solid substance, the Siamese prince indignantly
exclaimed,--"Hold, sir! I have listened to the strange things you have
told me, and have hitherto believed them all; but now when you wish to
persuade me that water, which I know as well as you, can become hard, I
see that your purpose is to deceive me, and I do not believe a word you
have uttered."

But as the present patriotic preference for home-bred manufactures, may
extend to anecdotes as well as to other productions, a story of domestic
origin may have more weight with most of my readers, than one introduced
from abroad.

The chief of a party of Indians, who had visited Washington during
Mr. Jefferson's presidency, having, on his return home, assembled his
tribe, gave them a detail of his adventures; and dwelling particularly
upon the courteous treatment the party had received from their "Great
Father," stated, among other things, that he had given them ice, though
it was then mid-summer. His countrymen, not having the vivacity of our
ladies, listened in silence till he had ended, when an aged chief stepped
forth, and remarked that he too, when a young man, had visited their
Great Father Washington, in New-York, who had received him as a son, and
treated him with all the delicacies that his country afforded, but had
given him no ice. "Now," added the orator, "if any man in the world could
have made ice in the summer, it was Washington; and if he could have made
it, I am sure he would have given it to me. Tustanaggee is, therefore, a
liar, and not to be believed."

In both these cases, though the argument seemed fair, the conclusion was
false; for had either the king or the chief taken the trouble to satisfy
himself of the fact, he might have found that his limited experience had
deceived him.

It is unquestionably true, that if travellers sometimes impose on the
credulity of mankind, they are often also not believed when they speak
the truth. Credulity and scepticism are indeed but different names for
the same hasty judgment on insufficient evidence: and, as the old woman
readily assented that there might be "mountains of sugar and rivers
of rum," because she had seen them both, but that there were "fish
which could fly," she never would believe; so thousands give credit
to Redheiffer's patented discovery of perpetual motion, because they
had beheld his machine, and question the existence of the sea-serpent,
because they have not seen it.

I would respectfully remind that class of my readers, who, like the
king, the Indian, or the old woman, refuse to credit any thing which
contradicts the narrow limits of their own observation, that there are
"more secrets in nature than are dreamt of in their philosophy;" and
that upon their own principles, before they have a right to condemn me,
they should go or send to the mountains of Ava, for some of the metal
with which I made my venturous experiment, and make one for themselves.

As to those who do not call in question my veracity, but only doubt my
sanity, I fearlessly appeal from their unkind judgment to the sober and
unprejudiced part of mankind, whether, what I have stated in the following
pages, is not consonant with truth and nature, and whether they do not
there see, faithfully reflected from the Moon, the errors of the learned
on Earth, and "the follies of the wise?"

JOSEPH ATTERLEY.

_Long-Island, September_, 1827.



VOYAGE TO THE MOON.


CHAPTER I.

_Atterley's birth and education--He makes a voyage--Founders off the
Burman coast--Adventures in that Empire--Meets with a learned Brahmin
from Benares._


Being about to give a narrative of my singular adventures to the world,
which, I foresee, will be greatly divided about their authenticity,
I will premise something of my early history, that those to whom I am
not personally known, may be better able to ascertain what credit is
due to the facts which rest only on my own assertion.

I was born in the village of Huntingdon, on Long-Island, on the 11th day
of May, 1786. Joseph Atterley, my father, formerly of East Jersey, as it
was once called, had settled in this place about a year before, in
consequence of having married my mother, Alice Schermerhorn, the only
daughter of a snug Dutch farmer in the neighbourhood. By means of the
portion he received with my mother, together with his own earnings,
he was enabled to quit the life of a sailor, to which he had been bred,
and to enter into trade. After the death of his father-in-law, by whose
will he received a handsome accession to his property, he sought, in the
city of New-York, a theatre better suited to his enlarged capital. He
here engaged in foreign trade; and, partaking of the prosperity which
then attended American commerce, he gradually extended his business, and
finally embarked in our new branch of traffic to the East Indies and
China. He was now very generally respected, both for his wealth and fair
dealing; was several years a director in one of the insurance offices;
was president of the society for relieving the widows and orphans of
distressed seamen; and, it is said, might have been chosen alderman,
if he had not refused, on the ground that he did not think himself
qualified.

My father was not one of those who set little value on book learning,
from their own consciousness of not possessing it: on the contrary, he
would often remark, that as he felt the want of a liberal education
himself, he was determined to bestow one on me. I was accordingly, at
an early age, put to a grammar school of good repute in my native village,
the master of which, I believe, is now a member of Congress; and, at the
age of seventeen, was sent to Princeton, to prepare myself for some
profession. During my third year at that place, in one of my excursions
to Philadelphia, and for which I was always inventing pretexts, I became
acquainted with one of those faces and forms which, in a youth of twenty,
to see, admire, and love, is one and the same thing. My attentions were
favourably received. I soon became desperately in love; and, in spite of
the advice of my father and entreaties of my mother, who had formed other
schemes for me nearer home, I was married on the anniversary of my
twenty-first year.

It was not until the first trance of bliss was over, that I began to
think seriously on the course of life I was to pursue. From the time
that my mind had run on love and matrimony, I had lost all relish for
serious study; and long before that time, I had felt a sentiment bordering
on contempt for the pursuits of my father. Besides, he had already taken
my two younger brothers into the counting-house with him. I therefore
prevailed on my indulgent parent, with the aid of my mother's intercession,
to purchase for me a neat country-seat near Huntingdon, which presented a
beautiful view of the Sound, and where, surrounded by the scenes of my
childhood, I promised myself to realise, with my Susanna, that life of
tranquil felicity which fancy, warmed by love, so vividly depicts.

If we did not meet with all that we had expected, it was because we had
expected too much. The happiest life, like the purest atmosphere, has
its clouds as well as its sunshine; and what is worse, we never fully
know the value of the one, until we have felt the inconvenience of the
other. In the cultivation of my farm--in educating our children, a son
and two daughters, in reading, music, painting--and in occasional visits
to our friends in New-York and Philadelphia, seventeen years glided
swiftly and imperceptibly away; at the end of which time death, in
depriving me of an excellent wife, made a wreck of my hopes and enjoyments.
For the purpose of seeking that relief to my feelings which change of
place only could afford, I determined to make a sea voyage; and, as one
of my father's vessels was about to sail for Canton, I accordingly
embarked on board the well-known ship the _Two Brothers_, captain
Thomas, and left Sandy-hook on the 5th day of June, 1822, having first
placed my three children under the care of my brother William.

I will not detain the reader with a detail of the first incidents of
our voyage, though they were sufficiently interesting at the time they
occurred, and were not wanting in the usual variety. We had, in singular
succession, dead calms and fresh breezes, stiff gales and sudden squalls;
saw sharks, flying-fish, and dolphins; spoke several vessels: had a
visit from Neptune when we crossed the Line, and were compelled to
propitiate his favour with some gallons of spirits, which he seems
always to find a very agreeable change from sea water; and touched at
Table Bay and at Madagascar.

On the whole, our voyage was comparatively pleasant and prosperous, until
the 24th of October; when, off the mouths of the Ganges, after a fine
clear autumnal day, just about sunset, a small dark speck was seen in
the eastern horizon by our experienced and watchful captain, who, after
noticing it for a few moments, pronounced that we should have a hurricane.
The rapidity with which this speck grew into a dense cloud, and spread
itself in darkness over the heavens, as well as the increasing swell of
the ocean before we felt the wind, soon convinced us he was right. No
time was lost in lowering our topmasts, taking double reefs, and making
every thing snug, to meet the fury of the tempest. I thought I had
already witnessed all that was terrific on the ocean; but what I had
formerly seen, had been mere child's play compared with this. Never can
I forget the impression that was made upon me by the wild uproar of the
elements. The smooth, long swell of the waves gradually changed into an
agitated frothy surface, which constant flashes of lightning presented
to us in all its horror; and in the mean time the wind whistled through
the rigging, and the ship creaked as if she was every minute going to
pieces.

About midnight the storm was at its height, and I gave up all for lost.
The wind, which first blew from the south-west, was then due south, and
the sailors said it began to abate a little before day: but I saw no
great difference until about three in the afternoon; soon after which
the clouds broke away, and showed us the sun setting in cloudless majesty,
while the billows still continued their stupendous rolling, but with a
heavy movement, as if, after such mighty efforts, they were seeking
repose in the bosom of their parent ocean. It soon became almost calm;
a light western breeze barely swelled our sails, and gently wafted us
to the land, which we could faintly discern to the north-east. Our ship
had been so shaken in the tempest, and was so leaky, that captain Thomas
thought it prudent to make for the first port we could reach.

At dawn we found ourselves in full view of a coast, which, though not
personally known to the captain, he pronounced by his charts to be a
part of the Burmese Empire, and in the neighbourhood of Mergui, on the
Martaban coast. The leak had now increased to an alarming extent, so
that we found it would be impossible to carry the ship safe into port.
We therefore hastily threw our clothes, papers, and eight casks of
silver, into the long-boat; and before we were fifty yards from the
ship, we saw her go down. Some of the underwriters in New York, as I
have since learnt, had the conscience to contend that we left the ship
sooner than was necessary, and have suffered themselves to be sued for
the sums they had severally insured. It was a little after midday when
we reached the town, which is perched on a high bluff, overlooking
the coasts, and contains about a thousand houses, built of bamboo,
and covered with palm leaves. Our dress, appearance, language, and
the manner of our arrival, excited great surprise among the natives,
and the liveliest curiosity; but with these sentiments some evidently
mingled no very friendly feelings. The Burmese were then on the eve
of a rupture with the East India Company, a fact which we had not before
known; and mistaking us for English, they supposed, or affected to
suppose, that we belonged to a fleet which was about to invade them,
and that our ship had been sunk before their eyes, by the tutelar divinity
of the country. We were immediately carried before their governor,
or chief magistrate, who ordered our baggage to be searched, and finding
that it consisted principally of silver, he had no doubt of our hostile
intentions. He therefore sent all of us, twenty-two in number, to prison,
separating, however, each one from the rest. My companions were released
the following spring, as I have since learnt, by the invading army of
Great Britain; but it was my ill fortune (if, indeed, after what has
since happened, I can so regard it) to be taken for an officer of high
rank, and to be sent, the third day afterwards, far into the interior,
that I might be more safely kept, and either used as a hostage or offered
for ransom, as circumstances should render advantageous.

The reader is, no doubt, aware that the Burman Empire lies beyond the
Ganges, between the British possessions and the kingdom of Siam; and
that the natives nearly assimilate with those of Hindostan, in language,
manners, religion, and character, except that they are more hardy and
warlike.

I was transported very rapidly in a palanquin, (a sort of decorated
litter,) carried on the shoulders of four men, who, for greater despatch,
were changed every three hours. In this way I travelled thirteen days,
in which time we reached a little village in the mountainous district
between the Irawaddi and Saloon rivers, where I was placed under the
care of an inferior magistrate, called a Mirvoon, who there exercised
the chief authority.

This place, named Mozaun, was romantically situated in a fertile valley,
that seemed to be completely shut in by the mountains. A small river,
a branch of the Saloon, entered it from the west, and, after running
about four miles in nearly a straight direction, turned suddenly round
a steep hill to the south, and was entirely lost to view. The village
was near a gap in the mountain, through which the river seemed to have
forced its way, and consisted of about forty or fifty huts, built of
the bamboo cane and reeds. The house of my landlord was somewhat larger
and better than the rest. It stood on a little knoll that overlooked
the village, the valley, the stream that ran through it, and commanded
a distant view of the country beyond the gap. It was certainly a lovely
little spot, as it now appears to my imagination; but when the landscape
was new to me, I was in no humour to relish its beauties, and when my
mind was more in a state to appreciate them, they had lost their novelty.

My keeper, whose name was Sing Fou, and who, from a long exercise of
magisterial authority, was rough and dictatorial, behaved to me somewhat
harshly at first; but my patient submission so won his confidence and
good will, that I soon became a great favourite; was regarded more as
one of his family than as a prisoner, and was allowed by him every
indulgence consistent with my safe custody. But the difficulties in the
way of my escape were so great, that little restraint was imposed on
my motions. The narrow defile in the gap, through which the river rushed
like a torrent, was closed with a gate. The mountains, by which the
valley was hemmed in, were utterly impassable, thickly set as they were
with jungle, consisting of tangled brier, thorn and forest trees, of
which those who have never been in a tropical climate can form no adequate
idea. In some places it would be difficult to penetrate more than a
mile in the day; during which time the traveller would be perpetually
tormented by noxious insects, and in constant dread of beasts of prey.

The only outlet from this village was by passing down the valley along
the settlements, and following the course of the stream; so that there
was no other injunction laid on me, than not to extend my rambles far
in that direction. Sing Fou's household consisted of his wife, whom I
rarely saw, four small children, and six servants; and here I enjoyed
nearly as great a portion of happiness as in any part of my life.

It had been one of my favourite amusements to ramble towards a part of
the western ridge, which rose in a cone about a mile and a half from the
village, and there ascending to some comparatively level spot, or point
projecting from its side, enjoy the beautiful scenery which lay before
me, and the evening breeze, which has such a delicious freshness in a
tropical climate.

Nor was this all. In a deep sequestered nook, formed by two spurs of this
mountain, there lived a venerable Hindoo, whom the people of the village
called the Holy Hermit. The favourable accounts I received of his
character, as well as his odd course of life, made me very desirous
of becoming acquainted with him; and, as he was often visited by the
villagers, I found no difficulty in getting a conductor to his cell. His
character for sanctity, together with a venerable beard, might have
discouraged advances towards an acquaintance, if his lively piercing eye,
a countenance expressive of great mildness and kindness of disposition,
and his courteous manners, had not yet more strongly invited it. He was
indeed not averse to society, though he had seemed thus to fly from it;
and was so great a favourite with his neighbours, that his cell would
have been thronged with visitors, but for the difficulty of the approach
to it. As it was, it was seldom resorted to, except for the purpose of
obtaining his opinion and counsel on all the serious concerns of his
neighbours. He prescribed for the sick, and often provided the medicine
they required--expounded the law--adjusted disputes--made all their little
arithmetical calculations--gave them moral instruction--and, when he
could not afford them relief in their difficulties, he taught them
patience, and gave them consolation. He, in short, united, for the simple
people by whom he was surrounded, the functions of lawyer, physician,
schoolmaster, and divine, and richly merited the reverential respect in
which they held him, as well as their little presents of eggs, fruit, and
garden stuff.

From the first evening that I joined the party which I saw clambering up
the path that led to the Hermit's cell, I found myself strongly attached
to this venerable man, and the more so, from the mystery which hung
around his history. It was agreed that he was not a Burmese. None deemed
to know certainly where he was born, or why he came thither. His own
account was, that he had devoted himself to the service of God, and in
his pilgrimage over the east, had selected this as a spot particularly
favourable to the life of quiet and seclusion he wished to lead.

There was one part of his story to which I could scarcely give credit.
It was said that in the twelve or fifteen years he had resided in this
place, he had been occasionally invisible for months together, and no
one could tell why he disappeared, or whither he had gone. At these
times his cell was closed; and although none ventured to force their
way into it, those who were the most prying could hear no sound indicating
that he was within. Various were the conjectures formed on the subject.
Some supposed that he withdrew from the sight of men for the purpose
of more fervent prayer and more holy meditation; others, that he visited
his home, or some other distant country. The more superstitious believed
that he had, by a kind of metempsychosis, taken a new shape, which, by
some magical or supernatural power, he could assume and put off at
pleasure. This opinion was perhaps the most prevalent, as it gained a
colour with these simple people, from the chemical and astronomical
instruments he possessed. In these he evidently took great pleasure,
and by their means he acquired some of the knowledge by which he so
often excited their admiration.

He soon distinguished me from the rest of his visitors, by addressing
questions to me relative to my history and adventures; and I, in turn,
was gratified to have met with one who took an interest in my concerns,
and who alone, of all I had here met with, could either enter into my
feelings or comprehend my opinions. Our conversations were carried on
in English, which he spoke with facility and correctness. We soon found
ourselves so much to each other's taste, that there was seldom an evening
that I did not make him a visit, and pass an hour or two in his company.

I learnt from him that he was born and bred at Benares, in Hindostan;
that he had been intended for the priesthood, and had been well instructed
in the literature of the east. That a course of untoward circumstances,
upon which he seemed unwilling to dwell, had changed his destination,
and made him a wanderer on the face of the earth. That in the neighbouring
kingdom of Siam he had formed an intimacy with a learned French Jesuit,
who had not only taught him his language, but imparted to him a knowledge
of much of the science of Europe, its institutions and manners. That after
the death of this friend, he had renewed his wanderings; and having been
detained in this village by a fit of sickness for some weeks, he was
warned that it was time to quit his rambling life. This place being
recommended to him, both by its quiet seclusion, and the unsophisticated
manners of its inhabitants, he determined to pass the remnant of his days
here, and, by devoting them to the purposes of piety, charity, and
science, to discharge his duty to his Creator, his species, and himself;
"for the love of knowledge," he added, "has long been my chief source of
selfish enjoyment."

Our tastes and sentiments accorded in so many points, that our acquaintance
ripened by degrees into the closest friendship. We were both
strangers--both unfortunate; and were the only individuals here who had any
knowledge of letters, or of distant parts of the world. These are, indeed,
the main springs of that sympathy, without which there is no love among
men. It is being overwise, to treat with contempt what mankind hold in
respect: and philosophy teaches us not to extinguish our feelings, but to
correct and refine them. My visits to the hermitage were frequently renewed
at first, because they afforded me the relief of variety, whilst his
intimate knowledge of men and things--his remarkable sagacity and good
sense--his air of mingled piety and benignity,--cheated me into
forgetfulness of my situation. As these gradually yielded to the lenitive
power of time, I sought his conversation for the positive pleasure it
afforded, and at last it became the chief source of my happiness. Day after
day, and month after month, glided on in this gentle, unvarying current,
for more than three years; during which period he had occasionally thrown
out dark hints that the time would come when I should be restored to
liberty, and that he had an important secret, which he would one day
communicate. I should have been more tantalized with the expectations that
these remarks were calculated to raise, had I not suspected them to be a
good-natured artifice, to save me from despondency, as they were never made
except when he saw me looking serious and thoughtful.



CHAPTER II.

_The Brahmin's illness--He reveals an important secret to Atterley--
Curious information concerning the Moon--The Glonglims--They plan a
voyage to the Moon._


About this period, one afternoon in the month of March, when I repaired
to the hermitage as usual, I found my venerable friend stretched on his
humble pallet, breathing very quickly, and seemingly in great pain. He
was labouring under a pleurisy, which is not unfrequent in the mountainous
region, at this season. He told me that his disease had not yielded to
the ordinary remedies which he had tried when he first felt its approach,
and that he considered himself to be dangerously ill. "I am, however,"
he added, "prepared to die. Sit down on that block, and listen to what
I shall say to you. Though I shall quit this state of being for another
and a better, I confess that I was alarmed at the thought of expiring,
before I had an opportunity of seeing and conversing with you. I am the
depository of a secret, that I believe is known to no other living mortal.
I once determined that it should die with me; and had I not met with you,
it certainly should. But from our first acquaintance, my heart has been
strongly attracted towards you; and as soon as I found you possessed
of qualities to inspire esteem as well as regard, I felt disposed to
give you this proof of my confidence. Still I hesitated. I first wished
to deliberate on the probable effects of my disclosure upon the condition
of society. I saw that it might produce evil, as well as good; but on
weighing the two together, I have satisfied myself that the good will
preponderate, and have determined to act accordingly. Take this key,
(stretching out his feverish hand,) and after waiting two hours, in
which time the medicine I have taken will have either produced a good
effect, or put an end to my sufferings, you may then open that blue
chest in the corner. It has a false bottom. On removing the paper which
covers it, you will find the manuscript containing the important secret,
together with some gold pieces, which I have saved for the day of
need--because--(and he smiled in spite of his sufferings)--because
hoarding is one of the pleasures of old men. Take them both, and use
them discreetly. When I am gone, I request you, my friend, to discharge
the last sad duties of humanity, and to see me buried according to the
usages of my caste. The simple beings around me will then behold that
I am mortal like themselves. And let this precious relic of female
loveliness and worth, (taking a small picture, set in gold, from his
bosom,) be buried with me. It has been warmed by my heart's blood for
twenty-five years: let it be still near that heart when it ceases
to beat. I have yet more to say to you; but my strength is too much
exhausted."

The good old man here closed his eyes, with an expression of patient
resignation, and rather as if he courted sleep than felt inclined to it:
and, after shutting the door of his cell, I repaired to his little
garden, to pass the allotted two hours. Left to my meditations, when
I thought that I was probably about to be deprived for ever of the
Hermit's conversation and society, I felt the wretchedness of my situation
recur with all its former force. I sat down on a smooth rock under a
tamarind tree, the scene of many an interesting conference between the
Brahmin and myself; and I cast my eyes around--but how changed was every
thing before me! I no longer regarded the sparkling eddies of the little
cascade which fell down a steep rock at the upper end of the garden, and
formed a pellucid basin below. The gay flowers and rich foliage of this
genial climate--the bright plumage and cheerful notes of the birds--were
all there; but my mind was not in a state to relish them. I arose, and in
extreme agitation rambled over this little Eden, in which I had passed so
many delightful hours.

Before the allotted time had elapsed--shall I confess it?--my fears for
the Hermit were overcome by those that were purely selfish. It occurred
to me, if he should thus suddenly die, and I be found alone in his cell,
I might be charged with being his murderer; and my courage, which, from
long inaction, had sadly declined of late, deserted me at the thought.
After the most torturing suspense, the dial at length showed me that the
two hours had elapsed, and I hastened to the cell.

I paused a moment at the door, afraid to enter, or even look in; made one
or two steps, and hearing no sound, concluded that all was over with the
Hermit, and that my own doom was sealed. My delight was inexpressible,
therefore, when I perceived that he still breathed, and when, on drawing
nearer, I found that he slept soundly. In a moment I passed from misery
to bliss. I seated myself by his side, and there remained for more than
an hour, enjoying the transition of my feelings. At length he awoke, and
casting on me a look of placid benignity, said,--"Atterley, my time is
not yet come. Though resigned to death, I am content to live. The worst
is over. I am already almost restored to health." I then administered to
him some refreshments, and, after a while, left him to repose. On again
repairing to the garden, every object assumed its wonted appearance. The
fragrance of the orange and the jasmine was no longer lost to me. The
humming birds, which swarmed round the flowering cytisus and the beautiful
water-fall, once more delighted the eye and the ear. I took my usual
bath, as the sun was sinking below the mountain; and, finding the Hermit
still soundly sleeping, I threw myself on a seat, under the shelter of
some bamboos, fell asleep, and did not awake until late the next morning.

When I arose, I found the good Brahmin up, and, though much weakened by
his disease, able to walk about. He told me that the Mirvoon, uneasy at
my not returning as usual in the evening, had sent in search of me, and
that the servant, finding me safe, was content to return without me. He
advised me, however, not to repeat the same cause of alarm. Sing Fou, on
hearing my explanation, readily forgave me for the uneasiness I had
caused him. After a few days, the Brahmin recovered his ordinary health
and strength; and having attended him at an earlier hour than usual,
according to his request on the previous evening, he thus addressed
me:--

"I have already told you, my dear Atterley, that I was born and educated
at Benares, and that science is there more thoroughly understood and
taught than the people of the west are aware of. We have, for many
thousands of years, been good astronomers, chymists, mathematicians, and
philosophers. We had discovered the secret of gunpowder, the magnetic
attraction, the properties of electricity, long before they were heard of
in Europe. We know more than we have revealed; and much of our knowledge
is deposited in the archives of the caste to which I belong; but, for
want of a language generally understood and easily learnt, (for these
records are always written in the Sanscrit, that is no longer a spoken
language,) and the diffusion which is given by the art of printing,
these secrets of science are communicated only to a few, and sometimes
even sleep with their authors, until a subsequent discovery, under more
favourable circumstances, brings them again to light.

"It was at this seat of science that I learnt, from one of our sages,
the physical truth which I am now about to communicate, and which he
discovered, partly by his researches into the writings of ancient Pundits,
and partly by his own extraordinary sagacity. There is a principle of
repulsion as well as gravitation in the earth. It causes fire to rise
upwards. It is exhibited in electricity. It occasions water-spouts,
volcanoes, and earthquakes. After much labour and research, this principle
has been found embodied in a metallic substance, which is met with in the
mountain in which we are, united with a very heavy earth; and this
circumstance had great influence in inducing me to settle myself here.

"This metal, when separated and purified, has as great a tendency to
fly off from the earth, as a piece of gold or lead has to approach it.
After making a number of curious experiments with it, we bethought
ourselves of putting it to some use, and soon contrived, with the aid
of it, to make cars and ascend into the air. We were very secret in
these operations; for our unhappy country having then recently fallen
under the subjection of the British nation, we apprehended that if we
divulged our arcanum, they would not only fly away with all our treasures,
whether found in palace or pagoda, but also carry off the inhabitants,
to make them slaves in their colonies, as their government had not then
abolished the African slave trade.

"After various trials and many successive improvements, in which our
desires increased with our success, we determined to penetrate the
aerial void as far as we could, providing for that purpose an apparatus,
with which you will become better acquainted hereafter. In the course
of our experiments, we discovered that this same metal, which was repelled
from the earth, was in the same degree attracted towards the moon; for in
one of our excursions, still aiming to ascend higher than we had ever
done before, we were actually carried to that satellite; and if we had
not there fallen into a lake, and our machine had not been water-tight,
we must have been dashed to pieces or drowned. You will find in this
book," he added, presenting me with a small volume, bound in green
parchment, and fastened with silver clasps, "a minute detail of the
apparatus to be provided, and the directions to be pursued in making
this wonderful voyage. I have written it since I satisfied my mind that
my fears of British rapacity were unfounded, and that I should do more
good than harm by publishing the secret. But still I am not sure,"
he added, with one of his faint but significant smiles, "that I am
not actuated by a wish to immortalize my name; for where is the mortal
who would be indifferent to this object, if he thought he could attain it?
Read the book at your leisure, and study it."

I listened to this recital with astonishment; and doubted at first,
whether the Brahmin's late severe attack had not had the effect of
unsettling his brain: but on looking in his face, the calm self-possession
and intelligence which it exhibited, dispelled the momentary impression.
I was all impatience to know the adventures he met with in the moon,
asking him fifty questions in a breath, but was most anxious to learn
if it had inhabitants, and what sort of beings they were.

"Yes," said he, "the moon has inhabitants, pretty much the same as the
earth, of which they believe their globe to have been formerly a part.
But suspend your questions, and let me give you a recital of the most
remarkable things I saw there."

I checked my impatience, and listened with all my ears to the wonders
he related. He went on to inform me that the inhabitants of the moon
resembled those of the earth, in form, stature, features, and manners,
and were evidently of the same species, as they did not differ more than
did the Hottentot from the Parisian. That they had similar passions,
propensities, and pursuits, but differed greatly in manners and habits.
They had more activity, but less strength: they were feebler in mind as
well as body. But the most curious part of his information was, that a
large number of them were born without any intellectual vigour, and
wandered about as so many automatons, under the care of the government,
until they were illuminated with the mental ray from some earthly brains,
by means of the mysterious influence which the moon is known to exercise
on our planet. But in this case the inhabitant of the earth loses what
the inhabitant of the moon gains--the ordinary portion of understanding
allotted to one mortal being thus divided between two; and, as might be
expected, seeing that the two minds were originally the same, there is a
most exact conformity between the man of the earth and his counterpart in
the moon, in all their principles of action and modes of thinking.

These Glonglims, as they are called, after they have been thus imbued
with intellect, are held in peculiar respect by the vulgar, and are
thought to be in every way superior to those whose understandings are
entire. The laws by which two objects, so far apart, operate on each
other, have been, as yet, but imperfectly developed, and the wilder
their freaks, the more they are the objects of wonder and admiration.
"The science of _lunarology_," he observed, "is yet in its infancy.
But in the three voyages I have made to the moon, I have acquired so
many new facts, and imparted so many to the learned men of that planet,
that it is, without doubt, the subject of their active speculations
at this time, and will, probably, assume a regular form long before the
new science of phrenology of which you tell me, and which it must, in
time, supersede. Now and then, though very rarely, the man of the earth
regains the intellect he has lost; in which case his lunar counterpart
returns to his former state of imbecility. Both parties are entirely
unconscious of the change--one, of what he has lost, and the other of
what he has gained."

The Brahmin then added: "Though our party are the only voyagers of which
authentic history affords any testimony, yet it is probable, from obscure
hints in some of our most ancient writings in the Sanscrit, that the
voyage has been made in remote periods of antiquity; and the Lunarians
have a similar tradition. While, in the revolutions which have so changed
the affairs of mankind on our globe, (and probably in its satellite,)
the art has been lost, faint traces of its existence may be perceived
in the opinions of the vulgar, and in many of their ordinary forms of
expression. Thus it is generally believed throughout all Asia, that the
moon has an influence on the brain; and when a man is of insane mind, we
call him a lunatic. One of the curses of the common people is, 'May the
moon eat up your brains;' and in China they say of a man who has done
any act of egregious folly, 'He was gathering wool in the moon.'"

I was struck with these remarks, and told the Hermit that the language
of Europe afforded the same indirect evidence of the fact he mentioned:
that my own language especially, abounded with expressions which could
be explained on no other hypothesis;--for, besides the terms "lunacy,"
"lunatic," and the supposed influence of the moon on the brain, when we
see symptoms of a disordered intellect, we say the mind _wanders_,
which evidently alludes to a part of it rambling to a distant region, as
is the moon. We say too, a man is "_out of his head_," that is, his
mind being in another man's head, must of course be out of his own.
To "know no more than the man in the moon," is a proverbial expression
for ignorance, and is without meaning, unless it be considered to refer
to the Glonglims. We say that an insane man is "distracted;" by which we
mean that his mind is drawn two different ways. So also, we call a
lunatic _a man beside himself_, which most distinctly expresses the two
distinct bodies his mind now animates. There are, moreover, many other
analogous expressions, as "moonstruck," "deranged," "extravagant," and
some others, which, altogether, form a mass of concurring testimony that
it is impossible to resist.

"Be that as it may," said he, "whether the voyage has been made in former
times or not, is of little importance: it is sufficient for us to know
that it has been effected in our time, and can be effected again. I am
anxious to repeat the voyage, for the purpose of ascertaining some facts,
about which I have been lately speculating; and I wish, besides, to
afford you ocular demonstration of the wonders I have disclosed; for,
in spite of your good opinion of my veracity, I have sometimes perceived
symptoms of incredulity about you, and I do not wonder at it."

The love of the marvellous, and the wish for a change, which had long
slumbered in my bosom, were now suddenly awakened, and I eagerly caught
at his proposal.

"When can we set out, father?" said I.

"Not so fast," replied he; "we have a great deal of preparation to make.
Our apparatus requires the best workmanship, and we cannot here command
either first-rate articles or materials, without incurring the risk of
suspicion and interruption. While most of the simple villagers are
kindly disposed towards me, there are a few who regard me with distrust
and malevolence, and would readily avail themselves of an opportunity
to bring me under the censure of the priesthood and the government.
Besides, the governor of Mergui would probably be glad to lay hold of
any plausible evidence against you, as affording him the best chance of
avoiding any future reckoning either with you or his superiors. We must
therefore be very secret in our plans. I know an ingenious artificer
in copper and other metals, whose only child I was instrumental in curing
of scrofula, and in whose fidelity, as well as good will, I can safely
rely. But we must give him time. He can construct our machine at home,
and we must take our departure from that place in the night."



CHAPTER III.

_The Brahmin and Atterley prepare for their voyage--Description of their
machine--Incidents of the voyage--The appearance of the earth; Africa;
Greece--The Brahmin's speculations on the different races of men--National
character._


Having thus formed our plan of operations, we the next day proceeded to
put them in execution. The coppersmith agreed to undertake the work
we wanted done, for a moderate compensation; but we did not think it
prudent to inform him of our object, which he supposed was to make some
philosophical experiment. It was forthwith arranged that he should
occasionally visit the Hermit, to receive instructions, as if for the
purpose of asking medical advice. During this interval my mind was
absorbed with our project; and when in company, I was so thoughtful
and abstracted, that it has since seemed strange to me that Sing Fou's
suspicions that I was planning my escape were not more excited. At
length, by dint of great exertion, in about three months every thing
was in readiness, and we determined on the following night to set out
on our perilous expedition.

The machine in which we proposed to embark, was a copper vessel, that
would have been an exact cube of six feet, if the corners and edges
had not been rounded off. It had an opening large enough to receive
our bodies, which was closed by double sliding pannels, with quilted
cloth between them. When these were properly adjusted, the machine
was perfectly air-tight, and strong enough, by means of iron bars running
alternately inside and out, to resist the pressure of the atmosphere,
when the machine should be exhausted of its air, as we took the precaution
to prove by the aid of an air-pump. On the top of the copper chest
and on the outside, we had as much of the lunar metal (which I shall
henceforth call _lunarium_) as we found, by calculation and experiment,
would overcome the weight of the machine, as well as its contents,
and take us to the moon on the third day. As the air which the machine
contained, would not be sufficient for our respiration more than about
six hours, and the chief part of the space we were to pass through was
a mere void, we provided ourselves with a sufficient supply, by condensing
it in a small globular vessel, made partly of iron and partly of lunarium,
to take off its weight. On my return, I gave Mr. Jacob Perkins, who
is now in England, a hint of this plan of condensation, and it has
there obtained him great celebrity. This fact I should not have thought
it worth while to mention, had he not taken the sole merit of the
invention to himself; at least I cannot hear that in his numerous public
notices he has ever mentioned my name.

But to return. A small circular window, made of a single piece of thick
clear glass, was neatly fitted on each of the six sides. Several pieces
of lead were securely fastened to screws which passed through the bottom
of the machine; as well as a thick plank. The screws were so contrived,
that by turning them in one direction, the pieces of lead attached
to them were immediately disengaged from the hooks with which they
were connected. The pieces of lunarium were fastened in like manner
to screws, which passed through the top of the machine; so that by
turning them in one direction, those metallic pieces would fly into
the air with the velocity of a rocket. The Brahmin took with him a
thermometer, two telescopes, one of which projected through the top
of the machine, and the other through the bottom; a phosphoric lamp,
pen, ink, and paper, and some light refreshments sufficient to supply
us for some days.

The moon was then in her third quarter, and near the zenith: it was, of
course, a little after midnight, and when the coppersmith and his family
were in their soundest sleep, that we entered the machine. In about an hour
more we had the doors secured, and every thing arranged in its place, when,
cutting the cords which fastened us to the ground, by means of small steel
blades which worked in the ends of other screws, we rose from the earth
with a whizzing sound, and a sensation at first of very rapid ascent: but
after a short time, we were scarcely sensible of any motion in the machine,
except when we changed our places.

The ardent curiosity I had felt to behold the wonderful things which the
Brahmin related, and the hope of returning soon to my children and native
country, had made me most impatient for the moment of departure; during
which time the hazards and difficulties of the voyage were entirely
overlooked: but now that the moment of execution had arrived, and I found
myself shut up in this small chest, and about to enter on a voyage so new,
so strange, and beset with such a variety of dangers, I will not deny that
my courage failed me, and I would gladly have compromised to return to
Mozaun, and remain there quietly all the rest of my days. But shame
restrained me, and I dissembled my emotions.

At our first shock on leaving the earth, my fears were at their height; but
after about two hours, I had tolerably well regained my composure, to which
the returning light of day greatly contributed. By this time we had a full
view of the rising sun, pouring a flood of light over one half of the
circular landscape below us, and leaving the rest in shade. While those
natural objects, the rivers and mountains, land and sea, were fast receding
from our view, our horizon kept gradually extending as we mounted: but ere
10 o'clock this effect ceased, and the broad disc of the earth began
sensibly to diminish.

It is impossible to describe my sensations of mingled awe and admiration at
the splendid spectacle beneath me, so long as the different portions of the
earth's surface were plainly distinguishable. The novelty of the situation
in which I found myself, as well as its danger, prevented me indeed at
first from giving more than a passing attention to the magnificent scene;
but after a while, encouraged by the Brahmin's exhortation, and yet more by
the example of his calm and assured air, I was able to take a more
leisurely view of it. At first, as we partook of the diurnal motion of the
earth, and our course was consequently oblique, the same portion of the
globe from which we had set out, continued directly under us; and as the
eye stretched in every direction over Asia and its seas, continents and
islands, they appeared like pieces of green velvet, the surrounding ocean
like a mirror, and the Ganges, the Hoogley, and the great rivers of China,
like threads of silver.

About 11 o'clock it was necessary to get a fresh supply of air, when
my companion cautiously turned one of the two stop-cocks to let out
that which was no longer fit for respiration, requesting me, at the
same time, to turn the other, to let in a fresh supply of condensed
air; but being awkward in the first attempt to follow his directions,
I was so affected by the exhaustion of the air through the vent now
made for it, that I fainted; and having, at the same time, given freer
passage to the condensed air than I ought, we must in a few seconds
have lost our supply, and thus have inevitably perished, had not the
watchful Hermit seen the mischief, and repaired it almost as soon as
it occurred. This accident, and the various agitations my mind had
undergone in the course of the day, so overpowered me, that at an early
hour in the afternoon I fell into a profound sleep, and did not awake
again for eight hours.

While I slept, the good Brahmin had contrived to manage both stop-cocks
himself. The time of my waking would have been about 11 o'clock at night,
if we had continued on the earth; but we were now in a region where there
was no alternation of day and night, but one unvarying cloudless sun. Its
heat, however, was not in proportion to its brightness; for we found that
after we had ascended a few miles from the earth, it was becoming much
colder, and the Brahmin had recourse to a chemical process for evolving
heat, which soon made us comfortable: but after we were fairly in the great
aerial void, the temperature of our machine showed no tendency to change.

The sensations caused by the novelty of my situation, at first checked
those lively and varied trains of thought which the bird's-eye view of so
many countries passing in review before us, was calculated to excite: yet,
after I had become more familiar with it, I contemplated the beautiful
exhibition with inexpressible delight. Besides, a glass of cordial, as well
as the calm, confiding air of the Brahmin, contributed to restore me to my
self-possession. The reader will recollect, that although our motion, at
first, partook of that of the earth's on its axis, and although the
_positive_ effect was the same on our course, the _relative_ effect was
less and less as we ascended, and consequently, that after a certain
height, every part of the terraqueous globe would present itself to our
view in succession, as we rapidly receded from it. At 9 o'clock, the whole
of India was a little to the west of us, and we saw, as in a map, that
fertile and populous region, which has been so strangely reduced to
subjection, by a company of merchants belonging to a country on the
opposite side of the globe--a country not equal to one-fourth of it, in
extent or population. Its rivers were like small filaments of silver; the
Red Sea resembled a narrow plate of the same metal. The peninsula of India
was of a darker, and Arabia of a light and more grayish green.

The sun's rays striking obliquely on the Atlantic, emitted an effulgence
that was dazzling to the eyes. For two or three hours the appearance
of the earth did not greatly vary, the wider extent of surface we could
survey, compensating for our greater distance; and indeed at that time
we could not see the whole horizon, without putting our eyes close to
the glass.

When the Brahmin saw that I had overcome my first surprise, and had
acquired somewhat of his own composure, he manifested a disposition
to beguile the time with conversation. "Look through the telescope,"
said he, "a little from the sun, and observe the continent of Africa,
which is presenting itself to our view." I took a hasty glance over
it, and perceived that its northern edge was fringed with green; then
a dull white belt marked the great Sahara, or Desert, and then it exhibited
a deep green again, to its most southern extremity. I tried in vain
to discover the pyramids, for our telescope had not sufficient power
to show them.

I observed to him, that less was known of this continent than of the
others: that a spirit of lively curiosity had been excited by the
western nations of Europe, to become acquainted with the inhabited
parts of the globe; but that all the efforts yet made, had still left
a large portion almost entirely unknown. I asked if he did not think it
probable that some of the nations in the interior of Africa were more
advanced in civilization than those on the coast, whose barbarous custom
of making slaves of their prisoners, Europeans had encouraged and
perpetuated, by purchasing them.

"No, no," said he; "the benefits of civilization could not have been so
easily confined, but would have spread themselves over every part of that
continent, or at least as far as the Great Desert, if they had ever
existed. The intense heat of a climate, lying on each side of the Line,
at once disinclines men to exertion, and renders it unnecessary. Vegetable
diet is more suited to them than animal, which favours a denser population.
Talent is elicited by the efforts required to overcome difficulties
and hardships; and their natural birth-place is a country of frost and
snow--of tempests--of sterility enough to give a spur to exertion, but
not enough to extinguish hope. Where these difficulties exist, and give
occasion to war and emulation, the powers of the human mind are most
frequently developed."

"Do you think then," said I, "that there is no such thing as natural
inferiority and differences of races?"

"I have been much perplexed by that question," said he. "When I regard
the great masses of mankind, I think there seems to be among them some
characteristic differences. I see that the Europeans have every where
obtained the ascendancy over those who inhabit the other quarters of
the globe. But when I compare individuals, I see always the same passions,
the same motives, the same mental operations; and my opinion is changed.
The same seed becomes a very different plant when sowed in one soil or
another, and put under this or that mode of cultivation."

"And may not," said I, "the very nature of the plant be changed, after a
long continuance of the same culture in the same soil?"

"Why, that is but another mode of stating the question. I rather think,
if it has generally degenerated, it may, by opposite treatment, be also
gradually brought back to its original excellence."

"Who knows, then," said I, "what our missionaries and colonization
societies may effect in Africa."

He inquired of me what these societies were; and on explaining their
history, observed: "By what you tell me, it is indeed a small beginning;
but if they can get this grain of mustard-seed to grow, there is no
saying how much it may multiply. See what a handful of colonists have
done in your own country. A few ship-loads of English have overspread
half a continent; and, from what you tell me, their descendants will
amount, in another century, to more than one hundred millions. There is
no rule," he continued, "that can be laid down on this subject, to which
some nations cannot be found to furnish a striking exception. If mere
difficulties were all that were wanting to call forth the intellectual
energies of man, they have their full share on the borders of the Great
Desert. There are in that whitish tract which separates the countries
on the southern shores of the Mediterranean from the rest of Africa,
thousands of human beings at this moment toiling over that dreary ocean
of sand, to whom a draught of fresh water would be a blessing, and the
simplest meal a luxury.

"Perhaps, however, you will say they are so engrossed with the animal
wants of hunger and thirst, that they are incapable of attending to any
thing else. Be it so. But in the interior they are placed in parallel
circumstances with the natives of Europe: they are engaged in struggles
for territory and dominion--for their altars and their homes; and this
state of things, which has made some of them brave and warlike, has made
none poets or painters, historians or philosophers. There, poetry has not
wanted themes of great achievement and noble daring; but heroes have
wanted poets. Nor can we justly ascribe the difference to the enervating
influence of climate, for the temperature of the most southern parts of
Africa differs little from that of Greece. And the tropical nations, too,
of your own continent, the Peruvians, were more improved than those who
inhabited the temperate regions. Besides, though the climate had instilled
softness and feebleness of character, it might also have permitted the
cultivation of the arts, as has been the case with us in Asia. On the
whole, without our being able to pronounce with certainty on the subject,
it does seem probable that some organic difference exists in the various
races of mankind, to which their diversities of moral and intellectual
character may in part be referred."--By this time the Morea and the
Grecian Archipelago were directly under our telescope.

"Does not Greece," said I, "furnish the clearest proof of the influence
of moral causes on the character of nations? Compare what that country
formerly was, with what it now is. Once superior to all the rest of the
habitable globe, (of which it did not constitute the thousandth part,)
in letters, arts, and arms, and all that distinguishes men from brutes;
not merely in their own estimation, (for all nations are disposed to rate
themselves high enough,) but by the general consent of the rest of the
world. Do not the most improved and civilized of modern states still take
them as their instructors and guides in every species of literature--in
philosophy, history, oratory, poetry, architecture, and sculpture? And
those too, who have attained superiority over the world, in arms, yield
a voluntary subjection to the Greeks in the arts. The cause of their
former excellence and their present inferiority, is no doubt to be found
in their former freedom and their present slavery, and in the loss of
that emulation which seems indispensable to natural greatness."

"Nay," replied he, "I am very far from denying the influence of moral
causes on national character. The history of every country affords
abundant evidence of it. I mean only to say, that though it does much,
it does not do every thing. It seems more reasonable to impute the changes
in national character to the mutable habits and institutions of man,
than to nature, which is always the same. But if we look a little nearer,
we may perhaps perceive, that amidst all those mutations in the character
of nations, there are still some features that are common to the same
people at all times, and which it would therefore be reasonable to
impute to the great unvarying laws of nature. Thus it requires no
extraordinary acuteness of observation, no strained hypothesis, to
perceive a close resemblance between the Germans or the Britons of
antiquity and their modern descendants, after the lapse of eighteen
centuries, and an entire revolution in government, religion, language,
and laws. And travellers still perceive among the inhabitants of modern
Greece, deteriorated and debased as they are by political servitude,
many of those qualities which distinguished their predecessors: the
same natural acuteness--the same sensibility to pleasure--the same
pliancy of mind and elasticity of body--the same aptitude for the arts
of imitation--and the same striking physiognomy. That bright, serene
sky--that happy combination of land and water, constituting the perfection
of the picturesque, and that balmy softness of its air, which have proved
themselves so propitious to forms of beauty, agility, and strength, also
operate benignantly on the mind which animates them. Whilst the fruit
is still fair to the eye, it is not probable that it has permanently
degenerated in fragrance or flavour. The great diversities of national
character may, perhaps, be attributed principally to moral and accidental
causes, but partly also to climate, and to original diversities in the
different races of man."



CHAPTER IV.

_Continuation of the voyage--View of Europe; Atlantic Ocean; America--
Speculations on the future destiny of the United States--Moral reflections
--Pacific Ocean--Hypothesis on the origin of the Moon._


By this time the whole Mediterranean Sea, which, with the Arabian Gulf,
was seen to separate Africa from Europe and Asia, was full in our view.
The political divisions of these quarters of the world were, of course,
undistinguishable; and few of the natural were discernible by the naked
eye. The Alps were marked by a white streak, though less bright than the
water. By the aid of our glass, we could just discern the Danube, the
Nile, and a river which empties itself into the Gulf of Guinea, and which
I took to be the Niger: but the other streams were not perceptible. The
most conspicuous object of the solid part of the globe, was the Great
Desert before mentioned. The whole of Africa, indeed, was of a lighter hue
than either Asia or Europe, owing, I presume, to its having a greater
proportion of sandy soil: and I could not avoid contrasting, in my mind,
the colour of these continents, as they now appeared, with the complexions
of their respective inhabitants.

I was struck too, with the vast disproportion which the extent of the
several countries of the earth bore to the part they had acted in history,
and the influence they had exerted on human affairs. The British islands
had diminished to a speck, and France was little larger; yet, a few
years ago it seemed, at least to us in the United States, as if there
were no other nations on the earth. The Brahmin, who was well read in
European history, on my making a remark on this subject, reminded me that
Athens and Sparta had once obtained almost equal celebrity, although
they were so small as not now to be visible. As I slowly passed the
telescope over the face of Europe, I pictured to myself the fat, plodding
Hollander--the patient, contemplative German--the ingenious, sensual
Italian--the temperate Swiss--the haughty, superstitious Spaniard--the
sprightly, self-complacent Frenchman--the sullen and reflecting Englishman
--who monopolize nearly all the science and literature of the earth,
to which they bear so small a proportion. As the Atlantic fell under our
view, two faint circles on each side of the equator, were to be perceived
by the naked eye. They were less bright than the rest of the ocean. The
Brahmin suggested that they might be currents; which brought to my memory
Dr. Franklin's conjecture on the subject, now completely verified by this
circular line of vapour, as it had been previously rendered probable by
the floating substances, which had been occasionally picked up, at great
distances from the places where they had been thrown into the ocean. The
circle was whiter and more distinct, where the Gulf Stream runs parallel
to the American coast, and gradually grew fainter as it passed along the
Banks of Newfoundland, to the coast of Europe, where, taking a southerly
direction, the line of the circle was barely discernible. A similar circle
of vapour, though less defined and complete, was perceived in the South
Atlantic Ocean.

When the coast of my own beloved country first presented itself to my
view, I experienced the liveliest emotions; and I felt so anxious to see
my children and friends, that I would gladly have given up all the
promised pleasures of our expedition. I even ventured to hint my feelings
to the Brahmin; but he, gently rebuking my impatience, said--

"If to return home had been your only object, and not to see what not one
of your nation or race has ever yet seen, you ought to have so informed
me, that we might have arranged matters accordingly. I do not wish you
to return to your country, until you will be enabled to make yourself
welcome and useful there, by what you may see in the lunar world. Take
courage, then, my friend; you have passed the worst; and, as the proverb
says, do not, when you have swallowed the ox, now choke at the tail.
Besides, although we made all possible haste in descending, we should,
ere we reached the surface, find ourselves to the west of your continent,
and be compelled then to choose between some part of Asia or the Pacific
Ocean."

"Let us then proceed," said I, mortified at the imputation on my courage,
and influenced yet more, perhaps, by the last argument. The Brahmin then
tried to soothe my disappointment, by his remarks on my native land.

"I have a great curiosity," said he, "to see a country where a man, by
his labour, can earn as much in a month as will procure him bread, and
meat too, for the whole year; in a week, as will pay his dues to the
government; and in one or two days, as will buy him an acre of good land:
where every man preaches whatever religion he pleases; where the priests
of the different sects never fight, and seldom quarrel; and, stranger
than all, where the authority of government derives no aid from an army,
and that of the priests no support from the law."

I told him, when he should see these things in operation with his
own eyes, as I trusted he would, if it pleased heaven to favour our
undertakings, they would appear less strange. I reminded him of the
peculiar circumstances under which our countrymen had commenced their
career.

"In all other countries," said I, "civilization and population have
gone hand in hand; and the necessity of an increasing subsistence
for increasing numbers, has been the parent of useful arts and of
social improvement. In every successive stage of their advancement,
such countries have equally felt the evils occasioned by a scanty and
precarious subsistence. In America, however, the people are in the full
enjoyment of all the arts of civilization, while they are unrestricted
in their means of subsistence, and consequently in their power of
multiplication. From this singular state of things, two consequences
result. One is, that the progress of the nation in wealth, power, and
greatness, is more rapid than the world has ever before witnessed.
Another is, that our people, being less cramped and fettered by their
necessities, and feeling, of course, less of those moral evils which
poverty and discomfort engender, their character, moral and intellectual,
will be developed and matured with greater celerity, and, I incline
to think, carried to a higher point of excellence than has ever yet
been attained. I anticipate for them the eloquence and art of Athens--the
courage and love of country of Sparta--the constancy and military prowess
of the Romans--the science and literature of England and France--the
industry of the Dutch--the temperance and obedience to the laws of the
Swiss. In fifty years, their numbers will amount to forty millions; in
a century, to one hundred and sixty millions; in two centuries, (allowing
for a decreasing rate of multiplication,) to three or four hundred
millions. Nor does it seem impossible that, from the structure of their
government, they may continue united for a few great national purposes,
while each State may make the laws that are suited to its peculiar habits,
character, and circumstances. In another half century, they will extend
the Christian religion and the English language to the Pacific Ocean.

"To the south of them, on the same continent, other great nations will
arise, who, if they were to be equally united, might contend in terrible
conflicts for the mastery of this great continent, and even of the world.
But when they shall be completely liberated from the yoke of Spanish
dominion, and have for some time enjoyed that full possession of their
faculties and energies which liberty only can give, they will probably
split into distinct States. United, at first, by the sympathy of men
struggling in the same cause, and by similarity of manners and religion,
they will, after a while, do as men always have done, quarrel and fight;
and these wars will check their social improvement, and mar their
political hopes. Whether they will successively fall under the dominion
of one able and fortunate leader, or, like the motley sovereignties of
Europe, preserve their integrity by their mutual jealousy, time only can
show."

"Your reasoning about the natives of Spanish America appears very
probable," said the Brahmin; "but is it not equally applicable to your
own country ?"

I reminded him of the peculiar advantages of our government. He shook
his head.

"No, Atterley," said he, "do not deceive yourself. The duration of every
species of polity is uncertain; the works of nature alone are permanent.
The motions of the heavenly bodies are the same as they were thousands
of years ago. But not so with the works of man. He is the identical animal
that he ever was. His political institutions, however cunningly devised,
have always been yet more perishable than his structures of stone and
marble. This is according to all past history: and do not, therefore,
count upon an exception in your favour, that would be little short of
the miraculous. But," he good-naturedly added, "such a miracle may take
place in your system; and, although I do not expect it, I sincerely
wish it."

We were now able to see one half of the broad expanse of the Pacific,
which glistened with the brightness of quicksilver or polished steel.

"Cast your eyes to the north," said he, "and see where your continent
and mine approach so near as almost to touch. Both these coasts are
at this time thinly inhabited by a rude and miserable people, whose
whole time is spent in struggling against the rigours of their dreary
climate, and the scantiness of its productions. Yet, perhaps the Indians
and the Kamtschadales will be gradually moulded into a hardy, civilized
people: and here may be the scene of many a fierce conflict between your
people and the Russians, whose numbers, now four times as great as yours,
increase almost as rapidly."

He then amused me with accounts of the manners and mode of life of the
Hyperborean race, with whom he had once passed a summer. Glancing my eye
then to the south,--"See," said I, "while the Kamtschadale is providing
his supply of furs and of fish, for the long winter which is already
knocking at the door of his hut, the gay and voluptuous native of the
Sandwich and other islands between the tropics. How striking the contrast!
The one passes his life in ease, abundance, and enjoyment; the other in
toil, privation, and care. No inclemency of the seasons inflicts present
suffering on these happy islanders, or brings apprehensions for the
future. Nature presents them with her most delicious fruits spontaneously
and abundantly; and she has implanted in their breast a lively relish for
the favours she so lavishly bestows upon them."

The Brahmin, after musing a while, replied: "The difference is far less
than you imagine. Perhaps, on balancing their respective pleasures and
pains, the superior gain of the islander will be reduced to nothing: for,
as to the simplest source of gratification, that of palatable food, if
nature produces it more liberally in the islands, she also produces there
more mouths to consume it. The richest Kamtschadale may, indeed, oftener
go without a dinner than the richest Otaheitan; but it may be quite the
reverse with the poorest. Then, as to quality of the food: if nature
has provided more delicious fruits for the natives of tropical climates,
she has given a sharper appetite and stronger digestion to the Hyperborean,
which equalizes the sum of their enjoyments. A dry crust is relished, when
an individual is hungry, more than the most savoury and delicate dainties
when he is in a fever; and water to one man, is a more delicious beverage
than the juice of the grape or of the palm to another. As to the necessity
for labour, which is ever pressing on the inhabitants of cold countries,
it is this consequent and incessant activity which gives health to their
bodies, and cheerful vigour to their minds; since, without such exercise,
man would have been ever a prey to disease and discontent. And, if no
other occupation be provided for the mind of man, it carves out employment
for itself in vain regrets and gloomy forebodings--in jealousy, envy, and
the indulgence of every hateful and tormenting passion: hence the
proverb,--'If you want corn, cultivate your soil; if you want weeds, let
it alone.'

"But again: the native of those sunny isles is never sensible of the
bounty of Providence, till he is deprived of it. Here, as well as every
where else, desire outgoes gratification. Man sees or fancies much that
he cannot obtain; and in his regret for what he wants, forgets what he
already possesses. What is it to one with a tooth-ache, that a savoury
dish is placed before him? It is the same with the mind as the body: when
pain engrosses it in one way, it cannot relish pleasure in another. Every
climate and country too, have their own evils and inconveniences."

"You think, then," said I, "that the native of Kamtschatka has the
advantage?"

"No," he rejoined, "I do not mean to say that, for the evils of his
situation are likewise very great; but they are more manifest, and
therefore less necessary to be brought to your notice."

It was now, by our time-pieces, about two o'clock in the afternoon--that
is, two hours had elapsed since we left terra firma; and, saving a few
biscuits and a glass of cordial a-piece, we had not taken any sort of
refreshment. The Brahmin proposed that we now should dine; and, opening
a small case, and drawing forth a cold fowl, a piece of dried goat's
flesh, a small pot of ghee, some biscuits, and a bottle of arrack
flavoured with ginger and spices, with a larger one of water, we ate as
heartily as we had ever done at the hermitage; the slight motion of our
machine to one side or the other, whenever we moved, giving us nearly
as much exercise as a vessel in a smooth sea. The animal food had been
provided for me, for the Brahmin satisfied his hunger with the ghee,
sweetmeats, and biscuit, and ate sparingly even of them. We each took
two glasses of the cordial diluted with water, and carefully putting
back the fragments, again turned our thoughts to the planet we had left.

The middle of the Pacific now lay immediately beneath us. I had never
before been struck with the irregular distribution of land and water on
our globe, the expanse of ocean here being twice as large as in any
other part; and, on remarking this striking difference to the Brahmin,
he replied:

"It is the opinion of some philosophers in the moon, that their globe
is a fragment of ours; and, as they can see every part of the earth's
surface, they believe the Pacific was the place from which the moon was
ejected. They pretend that a short, but consistent tradition of the
disruption, has regularly been transmitted from remote antiquity; and
they draw confirmation of their hypothesis from many words of the Chinese,
and other Orientals, with whom they claim affinity."

"Ridiculous!" said I; "the moon is one-fourth the diameter of the earth;
and if the two were united in one sphere, the highest mountains must
have been submerged, and of course there would have been no human
inhabitants; or, if any part of the land was then bare, on the waters
retiring to fill up the chasm made by the separation of so large a body
as the moon, the parts before habitable would be, instead of two, three,
or at most four miles, as your Himalah mountains are said to be, some
twenty or thirty miles above the level of the ocean."

"That is not quite so certain," said he: "we know not of what the interior
of the earth is composed, any more than we could distinguish the contents
of an egg, by penetrating one hundredth part of its shell. But we see,
that if one drop of water be united with another, they form one large
drop, as spherical as either of the two which composed it: and on the
separation of the moon from the earth, if they were composed of mingled
solids and fluids, or if the solid parts rested on fluid, both the
fragment and the remaining earth would assume the same globular appearance
they now present.

"On this subject, however, I give no opinion. I only say, that it is not
contradicted by the facts you have mentioned. The fluid and the solid
parts settling down into a new sphere, might still retain nearly their
former proportion: or, if the fragment took away a greater proportion
of solid than of fluid, then the waters retiring to fill up the cavity,
would leave parts bare which they had formerly covered. There are some
facts which give a colour to this supposition; for most of the high
mountains of the earth afford evidence of former submersion; and those
which are the highest, the Himalah, are situated in the country to which
the origin of civilization, and even the human species itself, may be
traced. The moon too, we know, has much less water than the earth: and
all those appearances of violence, which have so puzzled cosmogonists,
the topsy-turvy position in which vegetable substances are occasionally
found beneath the soil on which they grew, and the clear manifestations
of the action of water, in the formation of strata, in the undulating
forms it has left, and in the correspondent salient and retiring angles
of mountains and opposite coasts, were all caused by the disruption;
and as the moon has a smaller proportion of water than the earth, she
has also the highest mountains."

"But, father," said I, "the diameter of the earth being but four times
as large as that of the moon, how can the violent separation of so large
a portion of our planet be accounted for? Where is the mighty agent to
rend off such a mass, and throw it to thirty times the earth's diameter?"

"Upon that subject," said he, "the Lunarian sages are much divided.
Many hypotheses have been suggested on the subject, some of which are
very ingenious, and all very fanciful: but the two most celebrated, and
into which all the others are now merged, are those of Neerlego and
Darcandarca; the former of whom, in a treatise extending to nine quarto
volumes, has maintained that the disruption was caused by a comet; and
the latter, in a work yet more voluminous, has endeavoured to prove, that
when the materials of the moon composed a part of the earth, this planet
contained large masses of water, which, though the particles cohered with
each other, were disposed to fly off from the earth; and that, by an
accumulation of the electric fluid, according to laws which he has
attempted to explain, the force was at length sufficient to heave the
rocks which encompassed these masses, from their beds, and to project
them from the earth, when, partaking of the earth's diurnal motion, they
assumed a spherical form, and revolved around it. And further, that
because the moon is composed of two sorts of matter, that are differently
affected towards the earth in its revolution round that planet, the same
parts of its surface always maintain some relative position to us, which
thus necessarily causes the singularity of her turning on her axis
precisely in the time in which she revolves round the earth."

"I see," said I, "that doctors differ and dispute about their own fancies
every where."

"That is," said he, "because they contend as vehemently for what they
imagine as for what they see; and perhaps more so, as their _perceptions_
are like those of other men, while their _reveries_ are more exclusively
their own. Thus, in the present instance, the controversy turns upon the
mode in which the separation was effected, which affords the widest field
for conjecture, while they both agree that such separation has taken
place. As to this fact I have not yet made up my mind, though it must
be confessed that there is much to give plausibility to their opinion.
I recognise, for instance, a striking resemblance between the animal
and vegetable productions of Asia and those of the moon."

"Do you think, father," said I, "that animal, or even vegetable life,
could possibly exist in such a disruption as is supposed?"

"Why not?" said he: "you are not to imagine that the shock would be felt
in proportion to the mass that was moved. On the contrary, while it would
occasion, in some parts, a great destruction of life, it would, in others,
not be felt more than an earthquake, or rather, than a succession of
earthquakes, during the time that the different parts of the mass were
adjusting themselves to a spherical form; whilst a few pairs, or even a
single pair of animals, saved in some cavity of a mountain, would be
sufficient, in a few centuries, to stock the whole surface of the earth
with as many individuals as are now to be found on it.

"After all," he added, "it is often difficult in science to distinguish
Truth from the plausibility which personates her. But let us not, however,
be precipitate; let us but hear both sides. In the east we have a saying,
that 'he who hears with but one ear, never hears well.'"



CHAPTER V.

_The voyage continued--Second view of Asia--The Brahmin's speculations
concerning India--Increase of the Moon's attraction--Appearance of the
Moon--They land on the Moon._


The dryness of the preceding discussion, which lay out of the course of
my studies, together with the effect of my dinner, began to make me a
little drowsy; whereupon the Brahmin urged me to take the repose which
it was clear I needed; remarking, that when I awoke, he would follow
my example. Reclining my head, then, on my cloak, in a few minutes my
senses were steeped in forgetfulness.

I slept about six hours most profoundly; and on waking, found the good
Brahmin busy with his calculations of our progress. I insisted on his
now taking some rest. After requesting me to wake him at the end of three
hours, (or sooner, if any thing of moment should occur,) and putting up
a short prayer, which was manifested by his looks, rather than by his
words, he laid himself down, and soon fell into a quiet sleep.

Left now to my own meditations, and unsupported by the example and
conversation of my friend, I felt my first apprehensions return, and
began seriously to regret my rashness in thus venturing on so bold an
experiment, which, however often repeated with success, must ever be
hazardous, and which could plead little more in its favour than a vain
and childish curiosity. I took up a book, but whilst my eye ran over the
page, I understood but little what I read, and could not relish even that.
I now looked down through the telescope, and found the earth surprisingly
diminished in her apparent dimensions, from the increased rapidity of our
ascent. The eastern coasts of Asia were still fully in view, as well as
the entire figure of that vast continent--of New Holland--of Ceylon, and
of Borneo; but the smaller islands were invisible. I strained my eye to
no purpose, to follow the indentations of the coast, according to the map
before me; the great bays and promontories could alone be perceived. The
Burman Empire, in one of the insignificant villages of which I had been
confined for a few years, was now reduced to a speck. The agreeable
hours I had passed with the Brahmin, with the little daughter of Sing Fou,
and my rambling over the neighbouring heights, all recurred to my mind,
and I almost regretted the pleasures I had relinquished. I tried, with
more success, to beguile the time by making notes in my journal; and after
having devoted about an hour to this object, I returned to the telescope,
and now took occasion to examine the figure of the earth near the Poles,
with a view of discovering whether its form favoured Captain Symmes's
theory of an aperture existing there; and I am convinced that that
ingenious gentleman is mistaken. Time passed so heavily during these
solitary occupations, that I looked at my watch every five minutes, and
could scarcely be persuaded it was not out of order. I then took up my
little Bible, (which had always been my travelling companion,) read a
few chapters in St. Matthew, and found my feelings tranquillized, and
my courage increased. The desired hour at length arrived; when, on waking
the old man, he alertly raised himself up, and at the first view of the
diminished appearance of the earth, observed that our journey was a third
over, as to time, but not as to distance. After a few moments, the Brahmin
again cast his eye towards his own natal soil; on beholding which, he
fetched a deep sigh, and, if I was not mistaken, I saw a rising tear.

"Alas!" said he, "my country and my countrymen, how different you are in
many respects from what I should wish you to be! And yet I do not love
you the less. Perhaps I love you the more for your faults, as well as
for your misfortunes.

"Our lot," continued he, "is a hard one. That quarter of the world has
sent letters, and arts, and religion abroad to adorn and benefit the
other four; and these, the chief of human blessings and glories, have
deserted us!"

I told him that I had heard the honours, which he claimed for India,
attributed to Egypt. He contended, with true love of country, great
plausibility, and an intimate knowledge of Oriental history, that letters
and the arts had been first transplanted from Asia into Egypt.

"No other part of Africa," said he, "saving Egypt, can boast of any
ancient monuments of the arts or of civilization. Even the pyramids,
the great boast of Egypt, are proofs of nothing more than ordinary patient
labour, directed by despotic power. Besides, look at that vast region,
extending five thousand miles from the Mediterranean to the Cape of Good
Hope, and four thousand from the Red Sea to the Atlantic. Its immense
surface contains only ignorant barbarians, who are as uncivilized now as
they were three thousand years ago. Is it likely that if civilization and
letters originated in Egypt, as is sometimes pretended, it would have
spread so extensively in one direction, and not at all in another?
I make no exception in favour of the Carthagenians, whose origin was
comparatively recent, and who, we know, were a colony from Asia."

I was obliged to admit the force of this reasoning; and, when he proceeded
to descant on the former glories and achievements of Asiatic nations,
and their sad reverses of fortune--while he freely spoke of the present
degradation and imbecility of his countrymen, he promptly resisted every
censure of mine. It was easy, indeed, to see that he secretly cherished
a hope that the day would come, when the whole of Hindostan would be
emancipated from its European masters, and assume that rank among nations
to which the genius of its inhabitants entitled it. He admitted that the
dominion of the English was less oppressive than that of their native
princes; but said, that there was this great difference between foreign
and domestic despotism,--that the former completely extinguished all
national pride, which is as much the cause as the effect of national
greatness.

I asked him whether he thought if his countrymen were to shake off the
yoke of the English, they could maintain their independence?

"Undoubtedly," said he. "Who would be able to conquer us?"

I suggested to him that they might tempt the ambition of Russia; and
cautiously inquired, whether the abstinence from animal food might not
render his country much less capable of resistance; and whether it might
not serve to explain why India had so often been the prey of foreign
conquest? Of this, however, he would hear nothing; but replied, with
more impatience than was usual with him--

"It is true, Hindostan was invaded by Alexander--but not conquered; and
that it has since submitted, in succession, to the Arabians, to the
Tartars, under Genghis Khan, and under Tamerlane; to the Persians, under
Nadir Shah, and, finally, to the British. But there are few countries
of Europe which have not been conquered as often. That nation from which
you are descended, and to which mine is now subject, furnishes no
exception, as it has been subjugated, in succession, by the Romans, the
Danes, the Saxons, the Normans. And, as to courage, we see no difference
between those Asiatics who eat animal food as you do, and those who
abstain from it as I do. I am told that the Scotch peasantry eat much
less animal food than the English, and the Irish far less than they; and
yet, that these rank among the best troops of the British. But surely a
nation ought not to be suspected of fearing death, whose very women show
a contempt of life which no other people have exhibited."

This led us to talk of that strange custom of his country, which impels
the widow to throw herself on the funeral pile of her husband, and to be
consumed with him. I told him that it had often been represented as
compulsory--or, in other words, that it was said that every art and means
were resorted to, for the purpose of working on the mind of the woman, by
her relatives, aided by the priests, who would be naturally gratified by
such signal triumphs of religion over the strongest feelings of nature. He
admitted that these engines were sometimes put in operation, and that
they impelled to the sacrifice, some who were wavering; but insisted, that
in a majority of instances the _Suttee_ was voluntary.

"Women," said he, "are brought up from their infancy, to regard our sex
as their superiors, and to believe that their greatest merit consists in
entire devotion to their husbands. Under this feeling, and having, at
the same time, their attention frequently turned to the chance of such a
calamity, they are better prepared to meet it when it occurs. How few of
the officers in your western armies, ever hesitate to march, at the head
of their men, on a forlorn hope? and how many even court the danger for
the sake of the glory? Nay, you tell me that, according to your code of
honour, if one man insults another, he who gives the provocation, and he
who receives it, rather than be disgraced in the eyes of their countrymen,
will go out, and quietly shoot at each other with firearms, till one of
them is killed or wounded; and this too, in many cases, when the injury
has been merely nominal. If you show such a contempt of death, in
deference to a custom founded in mere caprice, can it be wondered that
a woman should show it, in the first paroxysms of her grief for the
loss of him to whom was devoted every thought, word, and action of her
life, and who, next to her God, was the object of her idolatry? My dear
Atterley," he continued, with emotion, "you little know the strength of
woman's love!"

Here he abruptly broke off the conversation; and, after continuing
thoughtful and silent for some time, he remarked:

"But do not forget where we are. Nature demands her accustomed rest, and
let us prepare to indulge her. I feel little inclined to sleep at
present; yet, by the time you have taken some hours' repose, I shall
probably require the same refreshment."

I would willingly have listened longer; but, yielding to his prudent
suggestion, again composed myself to rest, and left my good monitor to
his melancholy meditations. When I had slept about four hours, I was
awakened by the Brahmin, in whose arms I found myself, and who, feeble
as he was, handled me with the ease that a nurse does a child, or rather,
as a child does her doll. On looking around, I found myself lying on what
had been the ceiling of our chamber, which still, however, felt like the
bottom. My eyes and my feelings were thus in collision, and I could only
account for what I saw, by supposing that the machine had been turned
upside down. I was bewildered and alarmed.

After enjoying my surprise for a moment, the Brahmin observed: "We have,
while you were asleep, passed the middle point between the earth's and the
moon's attraction, and we now gravitate less towards our own planet than
her satellite. I took the precaution to move you, before you fell by your
own gravity, from what was lately the bottom, to that which is now so,
and to keep you in this place until you were retained in it by the moon's
attraction; for, though your fall would have been, at this point, like
that of a feather, yet it would have given you some shock and alarm. The
machine, therefore, has undergone no change in its position or course;
the change is altogether in our feelings."

The Brahmin then, after having looked through either telescope, but for
a longer time through the one at the bottom, and having performed his
customary devotions, soon fell into a slumber, but not into the same
quiet sleep as before, for he was often interrupted by sudden starts,
of so distressing a character, that I was almost tempted to wake him.
After a while, however, he seemed more composed, when I betook myself
to the telescope turned towards the earth.

The earth's appearance I found so diminished as not to exceed four times
the diameter of the moon, as seen from the earth, and its whole face was
entirely changed. After the first surprise, I recollected it was the
moon I was then regarding, and my curiosity was greatly awakened. On
raising myself up, and looking through the upper telescope, the earth
presented an appearance not very dissimilar; but the outline of her
continents and oceans were still perceptible, in different shades, and
capable of being easily recognised; but the bright glare of the sun made
the surfaces of both bodies rather dim and pale.

After a short interval, I again looked at the moon, and found not only
its magnitude very greatly increased, but that it was beginning to
present a more beautiful spectacle. The sun's rays fell obliquely on
her disc, so that by a large part of its surface not reflecting the light,
I saw every object on it, so far as I was enabled by the power of my
telescope. Its mountains, lakes, seas, continents, and islands, were
faintly, though not indistinctly, traced; and every moment brought
forth something new to catch my eye, and awaken my curiosity. The
whole face of the moon was of a silvery hue, relieved and varied by the
softest and most delicate shades. No cloud nor speck of vapour intercepted
my view. One of my exclamations of delight awakened the Brahmin, who
quickly arose, and looking down on the resplendent orb below us, observed
that we must soon begin to slacken the rapidity of our course, by
throwing out ballast. The moon's dimensions now rapidly increased; the
separate mountains, which formed the ridges and chains on her surface,
began to be plainly visible through the telescope; whilst, on the shaded
side, several volcanoes appeared upon her disc, like the flashes of
our fire-fly, or rather like the twinkling of stars in a frosty night.
He remarked, that the extraordinary clearness and brightness of the
objects on the moon's surface, was owing to her having a less extensive
and more transparent atmosphere than the earth: adding--"The difference
is so great, that some of our astronomical observers have been induced
to think she has none. If that, however, had been the case, our voyage
would have been impracticable."

After gazing at the magnificent spectacle, with admiration and delight,
for half an hour, the Brahmin loosed one of the balls of the lunar metal,
for the purpose of checking our velocity. At this time he supposed we
were not more than four thousand miles, or about twice the moon's
diameter, from the nearest point of her surface. In about four hours
more, her apparent magnitude was so great, that we could see her by
looking out of either of the dark side-windows. Her disc had now lost
its former silvery appearance, and began to look more like that of the
earth, when seen at the same distance. It was a most gratifying spectacle
to behold the objects successively rising to our view, and steadily
enlarging in their dimensions. The rapidity with which we approached the
moon, impressed me, in spite of myself, with the alarming sensation of
falling; and I found myself alternately agitated with a sense of this
danger, and with impatience to take a nearer view of the new objects that
greeted my eyes. The Brahmin was wholly absorbed in calculations for the
purpose of adjusting our velocity to the distance we had to go, his
estimates of which, however, were in a great measure conjectural; and
ever and anon he would let off a ball of the lunar metal.

After a few hours, we were so near the moon that every object was seen in
our glass, as distinctly as the shells or marine plants through a piece
of shallow sea-water, though the eye could take in but a small part of
her surface, and the horizon, which bounded our view, was rapidly
contracting. On letting the air escape from our machine, it did not now
rush out with the same violence as before, which showed that we were
within the moon's atmosphere. This, as well as ridding ourselves of the
metal balls, aided in checking our progress. By and bye we were within a
few miles of the highest mountains, when we threw down so much of our
ballast, that we soon appeared almost stationary. The Brahmin remarked,
that he should avail himself of the currents of air we might meet with,
to select a favourable place for landing, though we were necessarily
attracted towards the same region, in consequence of the same half of
the moon's surface being always turned towards the earth.

"In our second voyage," said he, "we were glad to get foothold any where;
for, not having lightened our machine sufficiently, we came down, with a
considerable concussion, on a barren field, remote from any human
habitation, and suffered more from hunger and cold, for nearly three days,
than we had done from the perils and privations of the voyage. The next
time we aimed at landing near the town of Alamatua, which stands, as you
may see, a little to the right of us, upon an island in a lake, and looks
like an emerald set in silver. We came down very gently, it is true, but
we struck one of the numerous boats which ply around the island, and had
nearly occasioned the loss of our lives, as well as of theirs. In our
last voyage we were every way fortunate. The first part of the moon we
approached, was a level plain, of great extent, divided into corn-fields,
on which, having lowered our grapnel, we drew ourselves down without
difficulty.

"We must now," continued he, "look out for some cultivated field, in one
of the valleys we are approaching, where we may rely on being not far
from some human abode, and on escaping the perils of rocks, trees, and
buildings."

While the Brahmin was speaking, a gentle breeze arose, as appeared by our
horizontal motion, which wafted us at the rate of about ten miles an hour,
in succession, over a ridge of mountains, a lake, a thick wood, and a
second lake, until at length we reached a cultivated region, recognised
by the Brahmin as the country of the Morosofs, the place we were most
anxious to reach.

"Let off two of the balls of lead to the earth," said he. I did so, and
we descended rapidly. When we were sufficiently near the ground to see
that it was a fit place for landing, we opened the door, and found the
air of the moon inconceivably sweet and refreshing. We now loosed one of
the lower balls, and somewhat checked our descent. In a few minutes more,
however, we were within twenty yards of the ground, when we let go the
largest ball of lunarium, which, having a cord attached to it, served us
in lieu of a grapnel. It descended with great force to the ground, while
the machine, thus lightened, was disposed to mount again. We, however,
drew ourselves down; and as soon as the machine touched the ground,
we let off some of our leaden balls to keep it there. We released
ourselves from the machine in a twinkling; and our first impulse was
to fall on our knees, and return thanks for our safe deliverance from
the many perils of the voyage.



CHAPTER VI.

_Some account of Morosofia, and its chief city Alamatua--Singular
dresses of the Lunar ladies--Religious self denial--Glouglim miser and
spendthrift._


My feelings, at the moment I touched the ground, repayed me for all I
had endured. I looked around with the most intense curiosity; but nothing
that I saw, surprised me so much as to find so little that was surprising.
The vegetation, insects and other animals, were all pretty much of the
same character as those I had seen before; but after I became better
acquainted with them, I found the difference to be much greater than I at
first supposed. Having refreshed ourselves with the remains of our stores,
and secured the door of our machine, we bent our course, by a plain road,
towards the town we saw on the side of a mountain, about three miles
distant, and entered it a little before the sun had descended behind the
adjacent mountain.

The town of Alamatua seemed to contain about two thousand houses, and to
be not quite as large as Albany. The houses were built of a soft shining
stone, and they all had porticoes, piazzas, and verandas, suited to the
tropical climate of Morosofia. The people were tall and thin, of a pale
yellowish complexion; and their garments light, loose, and flowing, and
not very different from those of the Turks. The lower order of people
commonly wore but a single garment, which passed round the waist. One
half the houses were under ground, partly to screen them from the continued
action of the sun's rays, and partly on account of the earthquakes caused
by volcanoes. The windows of their houses were different from any I had
ever seen before. They consisted of openings in the wall, sloping so
much upwards, that while they freely admitted the light and air, the sun
was completely excluded: and although those who were within could readily
see what was passing in the streets, they were concealed from the gaze of
the curious. In their hot-houses, it was common to have mirrors in the
ceilings, which at once reflected the street passengers to those who were
on the floor, and enabled the ostentatious to display to the public eye
the decorations of their tables, whenever they gave a sumptuous feast.

The inhabitants subsist chiefly on a vegetable diet; live about as long
as they do on the earth, notwithstanding the great difference of climate,
and other circumstances; and, in short, do not, in their manners, habits,
or character, differ more from the inhabitants of our planet, than some of
these differ from one another. Their government was anciently monarchical,
but is now popular. Their code of laws is said to be very intricate. Their
language, naturally soft and musical, has been yet further refined by the
cultivation of letters. They have a variety of sects in religion,
politics, and philosophy. The territory of Morosofia is about 150 miles
square. This brief sketch must content the reader for the present. I refer
those who are desirous of being more particularly informed, to the work
which I propose to publish on lunar geography; and, in the mean time,
some of the most striking peculiarities of this people, in opinions,
manners, and customs, will be developed in this, which must be considered
as my _personal narrative_.

As soon as we were espied by the inhabitants, we were surrounded by a
troop of little boys, as well as all the idle and inquisitive near us.
The Brahmin had not gone far, before he was met by some persons of his
acquaintance, who immediately recognised him, and seemed very much pleased
to see him again in the moon. They politely conducted us to the house of
the governor, who received us very graciously. He appeared to be about
forty-five years of age, was dressed in a pearl-coloured suit, and had a
mild, amiable deportment. He began a course of interesting inquiry about
the affairs of the earth; but a gentleman, whom we afterwards understood
was one of the leaders of the popular party, coming in, he soon despatched
us; having, however, first directed an officer to furnish us with all
that was necessary for our accommodation, at the public expense--which
act of hospitality, we have reason to fear, occasioned him some trouble
and perplexity at the succeeding election. We very gladly withdrew, as
both by reason of our long walk, and the excitement produced by so many
new objects, we were greatly fatigued. The officer conducted us to
respectable private lodgings, in a lightsome situation, which overlooked
the chief part of the city.

After a frugal, but not unpalatable repast, and a few hours' sleep,
the Brahmin took me round the city and a part of its environs, to make me
acquainted with the public buildings, streets, shops, and the appearance
of the inhabitants. I soon found that our arrival was generally known
and that we excited quite as much curiosity as we felt, though many of
the persons we met had seen the Brahmin before. I was surprised that we
saw none of their women; but the Brahmin told me that they were every
where gazing through their windows; and, on looking up, through these
slanting apertures I could often see their eyes peeping over the upper
edge of the window-sill.

I shall now proceed to record faithfully what I deem most memorable; not
as many travellers have done, from their recollection, after their return
home, but from notes, which I regularly made, either at the moment of
observation, or very shortly afterwards. When we first visited the shops,
I was equally gratified and surprised with what was familiar and what was
new; but I was particularly amused with those of the tailors and milliners.
In the lower part of their dress, the Lunarians chiefly resemble the
Europeans; but in the upper part, the Asiatics--for they shave the head,
and wear turbans; from which fact the Brahmin drew another argument in
favour of the hypothesis, that the moon was originally a part of the
earth. Some of the female fashions were so extremely singular and
fanciful, as to deserve particular mention.

One piece of their attire was formed of a long piece of light stiff
wood, covered with silk, and decorated with showy ornaments. It was
worn across the shoulders, beyond each of which it jutted out about half
a yard; and from either end a cord led to a ring running round the upper
part of the head, bearing no small resemblance to the yard of a ship's
mast, and the ropes used for steering it. Several other dresses I
saw, which I am satisfied would be highly disapproved by my modest
countrywomen. Thus, in some were inserted glasses like watch crystals,
adapted to the form and size of the female bosom. But, to do the Lunar
ladies justice, I understood that these dresses were condemned by the
sedate part of the sex, and were worn only by the young and thoughtless,
who were vain of their forms. I observed too, that instead of decorating
their heads with flowers, like the ladies of our earth, they taxed the
animal world for a correspondent ornament. Many of the head-dresses were
made of a stiff open gauze, occasionally stuck over with insects of the
butterfly and _coccinella_ species, and others of the gayest hues. At
other times these insects were alive; when their perpetual buzzing and
fluttering in their transparent cages, had a very animating effect. One
decoration for the head in particular struck my fancy: it was formed of a
silver tissue, containing fireflies, and intended to be worn in the night.

But the most remarkable thing of all, was the whim of the ladies in
the upper classes, of making themselves as much like birds as possible;
in which art, it must be confessed, they were wonderfully successful.
The dress used for this purpose, consisted of a sort of thick cloak,
covered with feathers, like those of the South Sea islands, and was so
fashioned, by means of a tight thick quilting, as to make the wearer, at
a little distance, very much resemble an overgrown bird, except that the
legs were somewhat too thick. Their arms were concealed under the wings;
and the resemblance was yet further increased, by marks with beaks adapted
to the particular plumage: some personating doves, some magpies; others
again, hawks, parrots, &c., according to their natural figure, humour,
&c.; while the deception was still further assisted by their extraordinary
agility, compared with ours, by means of which they could, with ease,
hop eighteen or twenty feet. I told the Brahmin that some of the Indians
of our continent showed a similar taste in dress, by decorating themselves
with horns like the buffalo, and with tails like horses; which furnished
him with a further argument in favour of a common origin.

We spent above an hour in examining these curious habiliments, and in
inquiring the purposes and uses of the several parts. Sometimes I was
induced, through the Brahmin, to criticise their taste and skill, having
been always an admirer of simplicity in female attire. But I remarked
on this occasion, as on several others, subsequently, that the people of
the moon were neither very thankful for advice, nor thought very highly
of the judgment of those who differ from them in opinion.

After having rambled over the city about six hours, our appetites told
us it was time to return to our lodgings; and here I met with a new
cause of wonder. The family with whom we were domesticated, belonged
to a numerous and zealous sect of religionists, and were, in their way,
very worthy, as well as pious people. Their dinner consisted of several
dishes of vegetables, variously served up; of roots, stalks, seeds,
flowers, and fruits, some of which resembled the productions of the
earth; and in particular, I saw a dish of what I at first took to be
very fine asparagus, but supposed I was mistaken, when I saw them eat
the coarse fibrous part alone. On tasting it, however, in the ordinary
way, I found it to be genuine, good asparagus; but I perceived that the
family looked extremely shocked at my taste. After the other dishes were
removed, some large fruit, of the peach kind, were set on the table,
when the members of the family, having carefully paired off the skin,
ate it, and threw the rest away. They in like manner chewed the shells
of some small grayish nuts, and threw away the kernels, which to me were
very palatable. The younger children, consisting of two boys and a girl,
exchanged looks with each other at the selections I made, and I thought
I perceived in the looks of the mother, still more aversion than surprise.
I found too, that my friend the Brahmin abstained from all these things,
and partook only of those vegetables and fruits of which both they and I
ate alike. Some wine was offered us, which appeared to me to be neither
more nor less than vinegar; and, what added to my surprise, a bottle,
which they said was not yet fit to drink, seemed to me to be pretty good,
the Brahmin having passed it to me for my judgment, as soon as they
pronounced upon it sentence of condemnation.

After we arose from this strange scene, and had withdrawn to our chamber,
I expressed my surprise to my companion at this contrariety in the tastes
of the Terrestrials and Lunarians: whereupon he told me, that the
difference was rather apparent than real.

"These people," said he, "belong to a sect of Ascetics in this country,
who are persuaded that all pleasure received through the senses is sinful,
and that man never appears so acceptable in the sight of the Deity, as
when he rejects all the delicacies of the palate, as well as other
sensual gratifications, and imposes on himself that food to which he
feels naturally most repugnant. You may see that those peaches, which
were so disdainfully thrown into the yard, are often secretly picked up
by the children, who obey the impulses of nature, and devour them most
greedily. Even in the old people themselves, there is occasionally some
backsliding into the depravity of worldly appetite. You might have
perceived, that while the old man was abusing the wine you drank as
unripe, and making wry faces at it, he still kept tasting it; and if I
had not reached it to you, he would probably, before he had ceased his
meditations, have finished half the bottle. It must be confessed, that
although religion cherishes our best feelings, it also often proves a
cloak for the worst."

I told him that our clergy were superior to this weakness, most of them
manifesting a proper sense of the bounty of Providence, by eating and
drinking of the best, (not very sparingly neither); and that in New-York,
we considered some of our preachers the best judges of wine among us. Soon
afterwards, we again sallied forth in quest of adventures, and bent our
course towards the suburbs.

We had not gone far, before we saw several persons looking at a man
working hard at a forge, in a low crazy building. On approaching him, we
found he was engaged in making nails, an operation which he performed
with great skill and adroitness; and as soon as he had made as many
as he could take up in his hand at once, he carried them behind his
little hovel, and dropped them into a narrow deep well. Some of the
by-standers wished to beg a few of what he seemed to value so lightly,
and others offered to give him bread or clothes in exchange for his
nails, but he obstinately resisted all their applications; in fact,
little heeding them, although he was almost naked, had a starved, haggard
appearance, and evidently regarded the food they proffered with a
wishful eye.

The lookers on told us the blacksmith had been for years engaged in this
business of nail-making; he worked with little intermission, scarcely
allowing himself time for necessary sleep or refreshment; that all the
fruits of his incessant labour were disposed of in the manner we had
just seen; and that he had already three wells filled with nails, which
he had carefully closed. He had, moreover, a large and productive farm,
the increase arising from which, was laid out in exchange for the metal
of which his nails were made. He had, we were informed, so much attachment
to these pieces of metal, that he was often on the point of starvation
before he would part with one.

I observed to the Brahmin, that it was a singular, and somewhat
inexplicable, species of madness.

"True," he replied; "this man's conduct cannot be explained upon any
rational principles--but he is one of the Glonglims, of which I have
spoken to you; and examples are not wanting on our planet, of conduct
as irreconcilable to reason. This man is making an article which is
scarce, as well as useful, in this country, where gravity is less than
it is with us: the force of the wind is very great, and the metal is
possessed but by a few. Now, if you suppose these nails to be pieces
of gold and silver, his conduct will be precisely that of some of our
misers, who waste their days and nights in hoarding up wealth which they
never use, nor mean to use; but, denying themselves every comfort of
life, anxiously and unceasingly toil for those who are to come after
them, though they are so far from feeling, towards these successors,
any peculiar affection, that they often regard them with jealousy and
hatred."

While we thus conversed, there stepped up to us a handsome man, foppishly
dressed in blue trowsers, a pink vest, and a red and white turban; who,
after having shaken my companion by the ears, according to the custom of
the country among intimate friends, expressed his delight at seeing him
again in Morosofia. He then went on, in a lively, humorous strain, to
ridicule the nail-smith, and told us several stories of his singular
attachment to his nails. In the midst of these sallies, however, a harsh
looking personage in brown came up, upon which the countenance of our
lively acquaintance suddenly changed, and they walked off together.

"I apprehend," said the Brahmin, "that my gay acquaintance yonder
continues as he formerly was. The man in brown, who so unseasonably
interrupted his pleasantry, is an officer of justice, and has probably
taken him before a magistrate, to answer some one of his numerous
creditors. You must know," added he, "that the people of the moon,
however irrational themselves, are very prompt in perceiving the
absurdities of others: and this lively wit, who, as you see, wants neither
parts nor address, acts as strangely as the wretch he has been ridiculing.
He inherited a large estate, which brought him in a princely revenue;
and yet his desires and expenses so far outgo his means, that he is
always in want. Both he and the nailmaker suffer the evils of poverty--
of poverty created by themselves--which, moreover, they can terminate
when they please; but they must reach the same point by directly opposite
roads. The blacksmith will allow himself nothing--the beau will deny
himself nothing: the one is a slave to pleasure--the other, the victim
of fear. I told you that there were but few whose estates produced the
metal of which these nails are made; and this thoughtless youth happens
to be one. A few years since, he wanted some of the blacksmith's nails
to purchase the first rose of the season, and pledged his mines to pay,
at the end of the year, three times the amount he received in exchange;
and although, if he were to use but half his income for a single year,
the other half would discharge his debts. I apprehend, from what I have
heard, that he has, from that time to this, continued to pay the same
exorbitant interest. When I was here before, I prevailed on him to take
a ride with me into the country, and, under one pretext or another,
detained him ten days at a friend's house, where he had no inducement
to expense. When he returned, he found his debts paid off; but knowing
he was master of so ready and effectual an expedient, he, the next day,
borrowed double the sum at the old rate. Since that time his debts have
accumulated so rapidly, that he will probably now be compelled to
surrender his whole estate."

"Is he also a Glonglim?" I asked.

"Assuredly: what man, in his entire senses, could act so irrationally?"

"There is nothing on earth that exceeds this," said I.

"No," said the Brahmin; "human folly is every where the same."



CHAPTER VII.

_Physical peculiarities of the Moon-Celestial phenomena--Further
description of the Lunarians--National prejudice--Lightness of bodies--The
Brahmin carries Atterley to sup with a philosopher--His character and
opinions_.


After we had been in the moon about forty eight hours, the sun had sunk
below the horizon, and the long twilight of the Lunarians had begun. I will
here take occasion to notice the physical peculiarities of this country,
which, though very familiar to those who are versed in astronomy, may not
be unacceptable to the less scientific portion of my readers.

The sun is above the horizon nearly a fortnight, and below it as long; of
course the day here is equal to about twenty-seven of ours. The earth
answers the same purpose to half the inhabitants of the moon, that the moon
does to the inhabitants of the earth. The face of the latter, however, is
more than twelve times as large, and it has not the same silvery appearance
as the moon, but is rather of a dingy pink hue, like that of her iron when
beginning to lose its red heat. As the same part of the moon is always
turned to the earth, one half of her surface is perpetually illuminated by
a moon ten times as large to the eye as the sun; the other hemisphere is
without a moon. The favoured part, therefore, never experiences total
darkness, the earth reflecting to the Lunarians as much light as we
terrestrials have a little before sunrise, or after sunset. But our planet
presents to the Lunarians the same changes as the moon does to us,
according to its position in relation to the sun. It always, however,
appears to occupy nearly the same part of the heavens, when seen from the
same point on the moon's surface; but its altitude above the horizon is
greater or less, according to the latitude of the place from which it is
seen: so that there is not a point of the heavens which the earth may not
be seen permanently to occupy, according to the part of the moon from which
the planet is viewed.

From the length of time that the sun is above the horizon, the continued
action of his rays, in those climates where they fall vertically, or nearly
so, would be intolerable, if it was not for the high mountains, from whose
snow-clad summits a perpetual breeze derives a refreshing coolness, and for
the deep glens and recesses, in which most animals seek protection from his
meridian beams. The transitions from heat to cold are less than one would
expect, from the length of their days and nights--the coolness of the one,
as well as the heat of the other, being tempered by a constant east wind.
The climate gradually becomes colder as we approach the Poles; but there is
little or no change of seasons in the same latitude.

The inhabitants of the moon have not the same regularity in their meals, or
time for sleep, as we have, but consult their appetites and inclinations
like other animals. But they make amends for this irregularity, by a very
strict and punctilious observance of festivals, which are regulated by the
motions of the sun, at whose rising and setting they have their appropriate
ceremonies. Those which are kept at sunrise, are gay and cheerful, like the
hopes which the approach of that benignant luminary inspires. The others
are of a grave and sober character, as if to prepare the mind for serious
contemplation in their long-enduring night. When the earth is at the full,
which is their midnight, it is also a season of great festivity with them.

_Eclipses of the sun_ are as common with the Lunarians as those of the
moon are with us--the same relative position of the three bodies producing
this phenomenon; but an _eclipse of the earth_ never takes place, as
the shadow of the moon passes over the broad disc of our planet, merely as
a dark spot.

The inhabitants of the moon can always determine both their latitude and
longitude, by observing the quarter of the heavens in which the earth is
seen: and, as the sun invariably appears of the same altitude at their
noon, the inhabitants are denominated and classed according to the length
of their shadows; and the terms _long shadow_, or _short shadow_, are
common forms of national reproach among them, according to the relative
position of the parties. I found the climate of those whose shadows are
about the length of their own figure, the most agreeably to my own
feelings, and most like that of my own country.

Such are the most striking natural appearances on one side of this
satellite. On the other there is some difference. The sun pursues the same
path in the corresponding latitudes of both hemispheres; but being without
any moon, they have a dull and dreary night, though the light from the
stars is much greater than with us. The science of astronomy is much
cultivated by the inhabitants of the dark hemisphere, and is indebted to
them for its most important discoveries, and its present high state of
improvement.

If there is much rivalship among the natives of the same hemisphere, who
differ in the length of their shadows, they all unite in hatred and
contempt for the inhabitants of the opposite side. Those who have the
benefit of a moon, that is, who are turned towards the earth, are lively,
indolent, and changeable as the face of the luminary on which they pride
themselves; while those on the other side are more grave, sedate, and
industrious. The first are called the Hilliboos, and the last the
Moriboos--or bright nights, and dark nights. And this mutual animosity is
the more remarkable, as they often appeared to me to be the same race, and
to differ much less from one another than the natives of different
climates. It is true, that enlightened and well educated men do not seem to
feel this prejudice, or at least they do not show it: but those who travel
from one hemisphere to the other, are sure to encounter the prejudices of
the vulgar, and are often treated with great contempt and indignity. They
are pointed at by the children, who, according as they chance to have been
bred on one side or the other say, "There goes a man who never saw
Glootin," as they call the earth; or, "There goes a Booblimak," which means
a night stroller.

All bodies are much lighter on the moon than on the earth; by reason of
which circumstance, as has been mentioned, the inhabitants are more active,
and experience much less fatigue in ascending their precipitous mountains.
I was astonished at first at this seeming increase in my muscular powers;
when, on passing along a street in Alamatua, soon after my arrival, and
meeting a dog, which I thought to be mad, I proposed to run out of his way,
and in leaping over a gutter, I fairly bounded across the street. I
measured the distance the next day, and found it to be twenty-seven feet
five inches; and afterwards frequently saw the school-boys, when engaged in
athletic exercises, make running leaps of between thirty and forty feet,
backwards and forwards. Another consequence of the diminished gravity here
is, that both men and animals carry much greater burdens than on the earth.

The carriages are drawn altogether by dogs, which are the largest animals
they have, except the zebra, and a small buffalo. This diminution of
gravity is, however, of some disadvantage to them. Many of their tools are
not as efficient as ours, especially their axes, hoes, and hammers. On the
other hand, when a person falls to the ground, it is nearly the same thing
as if an inhabitant of the earth were to fall on a feather bed. Yet I saw
as many instances of fractured limbs, hernia, and other accidents there, as
I ever saw on the earth; for when they fall from great heights, or miscarry
in the feats of activity which they ambitiously attempt, it inflicts the
same injury upon them, as a fall nearer the ground does upon us.

After we had been here sufficiently long to see what was most remarkable in
the city, and I had committed the fruit of my observations to paper, the
Brahmin proposed to carry me to one of the monthly suppers of a philosopher
whom he knew, and who had obtained great celebrity by his writings and
opinions.

We accordingly went, and found him sitting at a small table, and apparently
exhausted with the labour of composition, and the ardour of intense
thought. He was a small man, of quick, abrupt manners, occasionally very
abstracted, but more frequently voluble, earnest, and disputatious. He
frankly told us he was sorry to see us, as he was then putting the last
finish to a great and useful work he was about to publish: that we had thus
unseasonably broken the current of his thoughts, and he might not be able
to revive it for some days. Upon my rising to take my leave, he assured me
that it would be adding to the injury already done, if we then quitted him.
He said he wished to learn the particulars of our voyage; and that he, in
turn, should certainly render us service, by disclosing some of the results
of his own reflections. He further remarked, that he expected six or eight
friends--that is, (correcting himself,) "enlightened and congenial minds,"
to supper, on the rising of a constellation he named, which time, he
remarked, would soon arrive. Finding his frankness to be thus seasoned with
hospitality, we resumed our seats. It soon appeared that he was more
disposed to communicate information than to seek it; and I became a patient
listener. If the boldness and strangeness of his opinions occasionally
startled me, I could not but admire the clearness with which he stated his
propositions, the fervour of his elocution, and the plausibility of his
arguments.

The expected guests at length arrived; and various questions of morals and
legislation were started, in which the disputants seemed sometimes as if
they would have laid aside the character of philosophers, but for the
seasonable interposition of the Brahmin. Wigurd, our host, often laboured
with his accustomed zeal, to prove that every one who opposed him, was
either a fool, or biassed by some petty interest, or the dupe of blind
prejudice.

After about two hours of warm, and, as it seemed to me, unprofitable
discussion, we were summoned to our repast in the adjoining room. But
before we rose from our seats, our host requested to know of each of us if
we were hungry; and, whether it were from modesty, perverseness, or really
because they had no appetite, I know not, but a majority of the company, in
which I was included, voted that their hour of eating was not yet come:
upon which Wigurd remarked that his own vote, as being at home, and the
Brahmin's, as being at once a philosopher and a stranger, should each count
for two; and by this mode of reckoning there was a casting vote in favour
of going to supper.

We found the table covered with tempting dishes, served up in a costly and
tasteful style, and a sprightly, well-looking female prepared to do the
honours of the feast. She reproved our host for his delay, and told him the
best dish was spoiled, by being cold. I was fearful of a discussion; but he
sat down without making a reply, and immediately addressing the company,
descanted on the various qualities of food, and their several adaptations
to different ages, constitutions, and temperaments. He condemned the absurd
practice which prevailed, for the master or mistress of the house to lavish
entreaties on their guests to eat that which they might be better without;
and insisted, at the same time, that the guests ought not to consult their
own tastes exclusively. He maintained, that the only course worthy of
rational and benevolent beings, was for every man to judge for his
neighbour as well as for himself; and, should any collision arise between
the different claimants, then, if any one were guided by that decision,
which an honest and unbiassed judgment would tell him was right, they would
all come to the same just and harmonious result.

"But," added he, "you have not yet been sufficiently prepared for this
disinterested operation. As ye have proved this night that ye are not yet
purged of the feelings and prejudices of a vicious education, I will
perform this office for you all, and set you an example, by which ye may
hereafter profit. To begin, then, with you--(addressing himself to a
corpulent man, of a florid complexion, at the lower end of the table:)--As
you already have a redundancy of flesh and blood, I assign the _soupe
maîgre_ to you; while to our mathematical friend on this side, whose
delicate constitution requires nourishment, I recommend the smoking ragoût.
This cooling dish will suit your temperament," said he to a third; "and
this stimulating one, yours," to a fourth. "Those little birds, which cost
me five pieces, I shall divide between my terrestrial friend here (looking
at the Brahmin) and myself, we being the most meritorious of the company,
and it being of the utmost importance to society, that food so wholesome
should give nourishment to our bodies, and impart vigour and vivacity to
our minds."

From this decision there was no appeal, and no other dissent than what was
expressed by a look or a low murmur. But I perceived the corpulent
gentleman and the wan mathematician slily exchange their dishes, by which
they both seemed to consider themselves gainers. The dish allotted to me,
being of a middling character, I ate of it without repining; though, from
the savoury fumes of my right-hand neighbour's plate, I could not help
wishing I had been allowed to choose for myself.

This supper happening near the middle of the night, (at which time it was
always pretty cool,) a cheerful fire blazed in one side of the room and I
perceived that our host and hostess placed themselves so as to be at the
most agreeable distance, the greater part of the guests being either too
near or too far from it.

After we had finished our repast, various subjects of speculation were
again introduced and discussed, greatly to my amusement. Wigurd displayed
his usual ingenuity and ardour, and baffled all his antagonists by his
vehemence and fluency. He had two great principles by which he tested the
good or evil of every thing; and there were few questions in which he could
not avail himself of one or the other. These were, general _utility_
and _truth_.

By a skilful use of these weapons of controversy, he could attack or defend
with equal success. If any custom or institution which he had denounced,
was justified by his adversaries, on the ground of its expediency, he
immediately retorted on them its repugnancy to sincerity, truth, and
unsophisticated nature; and if they, at any time, resorted to a similar
justification for our natural feelings and propensities, he triumphantly
showed that they were inimical to the public good. Thus, he condemned
gratitude as a sentiment calculated to weaken the sense of justice, and to
substitute feeling for reason. He, on the other hand, proscribed the little
forms and courtesies, which are either founded in convenience, or give a
grace and sweetness to social intercourse, as a direct violation of honest
nature, and therefore odious and mean. He thus was able to silence every
opponent. I was very desirous of hearing the Brahmin's opinion; but, while
he evidently was not convinced by our host's language, he declined engaging
in any controversy.

After we retired, my friend told me that Wigurd was a good man in the main,
though he had been as much hated by some as if his conduct had been
immoral, instead of his opinions merely being singular. "He not long ago,"
added the Brahmin "wrote a book against marriage, and soon afterwards
wedded, in due form, the lady you saw at his table. She holds as strange
tenets as he, which she supports with as much zeal, and almost as much
ability. But I predict that the popularity of their doctrines will not
last; and if ever you visit the moon again, you will find that their glory,
now at its height, like the ephemeral fashions of the earth, will have
passed away."



CHAPTER VIII.

_A celebrated physician: his ingenious theories in physics: his mechanical
inventions--The feather-hunting Glonglim._


On returning to our lodgings, we, acting under the influence of long habit,
went to bed, though half the family were up, and engaged in their ordinary
employments. One consequence of the length of the days and nights here is,
that every household is commonly divided into two parts, which watch and
sleep by turns: nor have they any uniformity in their meals, except in
particular families, which are regulated by clocks and time-pieces. The
vulgar have no means of measuring smaller portions of time than a day or
night, (each equal to a fortnight with us,) except by observing the
apparent motion of the sun or the stars, in which, considering that it is
nearly thirty times as slow as with us, they attain surprising accuracy.
They have the same short intervals of labour and rest in their long night
as their day--the light reflected from the earth, being commonly sufficient
to enable them to perform almost any operation; and, ere our planet is in
her second quarter, one may read the smallest print by her light.

To compensate their want of this natural advantage, the inhabitants of
Moriboozia are abundantly supplied with a petroleum, or bituminous liquid,
which is found every where about their lakes, or on their mountains, and
which they burn in lamps, of various sizes, shapes, and constructions. They
have also numerous volcanoes, each of which sheds a strong light for many
miles around.

We slept unusually long; and, owing in part to Wigurd's good cheer, I awoke
with a head-ache. I got up to take a long walk, which often relieves me
when suffering from that malady; and, on ascending the stairs, I met our
landlord's eldest daughter, a tall, graceful girl of twenty. I found she
was coming down backwards, which I took to be a mere girlish freak, or
perhaps a piece of coquetry, practised on myself: but I afterwards found,
that about the time the earth is at the full, the whole family pursued the
same course, and were very scrupulous in making their steps in this awkward
and inconvenient way, because it was one of the prescribed forms of their
church.

As my head-ache became rather worse, than better, from my walk, the Brahmin
proposed to accompany me to the house of a celebrated physician, called
Vindar, who was also a botanist, chemist, and dentist, to consult him on my
case; and thither we forthwith proceeded. I found him a large, unwieldy
figure, of a dull, heavy look, but by no means deficient in science or
natural shrewdness. He confirmed my previous impression that I ought to
lose blood, and plausibly enough accounted for my present sensation of
fulness, from the inferior pressure of the lunar atmosphere to that which I
had been accustomed. He proposed, however, to return to my veins a portion
of thinner blood in place of what he should take away, and offered me the
choice of several animals, which he always kept by him for that purpose.
There were two white animals of the hog kind, a male and a female lama,
three goats, besides several birds, about the size of a turkey, some
tortoises, and other amphibious animals. He professed himself willing, in
case I had any foolish scruples against mixing my blood with that of
brutes, to purify my own, and put it back; but I obstinately declined both
expedients; whereupon he opened a vein in my arm, and took from it about
fourteen ounces of blood. Finding myself, weakened as well as relieved, by
the operation, he invited me to rest myself; and while I was recovering my
strength, he discoursed with the Brahmin and myself on several of his
favourite topics. On returning home, I committed to paper some of the most
remarkable of his opinions, which it may be as well to notice, that those
who have since propounded, or may hereafter propound, the same to the
world, may not claim the merit of originality.

He maintained that the number of our senses was greater than that commonly
assigned to us. That we had, for example, a sense of acids, of alkalies, of
weight, and of heat. That acid substances acted upon our bodies by a
peculiar set of nerves, or through some medium of their own, was evident
from this, that they set the teeth on edge, though these, from their hard
and bony nature, are insensible to the touch. That astringents shrivelled
up the flesh and puckered the mouth, even when their taste was not
perceived. That when the skin shrunk on the application of vinegar, could
it be said that it had not a peculiar sense of this liquid, or rather of
its acidity, since the existence of the senses was known only by effects
which external matter produced on them? That the senses, like that of
touch, were seated in most parts of the body, but were most acute in the
mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. He showed some disposition to maintain the
popular notions of the Greeks and Romans, that the rivers and streams are
endowed with reason and volition; and endeavoured to prove that some of
their windings and deviations from a straight line, cannot be explained
upon mechanical principles.

Vindar is, moreover, a projector of a very bold character; and not long ago
petitioned the commanding general of an army, suddenly raised to repel an
incursion of one of their neighbours, to march his troops into
Goolo-Tongtoia, for the purpose of digging a canal from one of their
petroleum lakes into Morosofia, and conducting it, by smaller streams, over
that country, for the purpose of warming it during their long cool nights.

He has, too, a large grist and saw mill, which are put in motion by the
explosion of gunpowder. This is conveyed, by a sufficiently ingenious
machine, in very small portions, to the bottom of an upright cylinder,
which is immediately shut perfectly close. A flint and steel are at the
same time made to strike directly over it, and to ignite the powder. The
air that is thus generated, forces up a piston through a cylinder, which
piston, striking the arm of a wheel, puts it in motion, and with it the
machinery of the mills. A complete revolution of the wheel again prepares
the cylinder for a fresh supply of gunpowder, which is set on fire, and
produces the same effect as before.

He told me he had been fifteen years perfecting this great work, in which
time it had been twice blown up by accidents, arising from the carelessness
or mismanagement of the workmen; but that he now expected it would repay
him for the time and money he had expended. He had once, he said, intended
to use the expansive force of congelation for his moving power; but he
found, after making a full and accurate calculation, that the labourers
required to keep the machine supplied with ice, consumed something more
than twice as much corn as the mill would grind in the same time. He then
was about to move it to a fine stream of water in the neighbourhood, which,
by being dammed up, so as to form a large pond, would afford him a
convenient and inexhaustible supply of ice. But the millwright, after the
dam was completed, having artfully obtained his permission to use the waste
water, and fraudulently erected there a common water-mill, which soon
obtained all the neighbouring custom, he had sold out that property, and
resorted to the agency of gunpowder, which is quite as philosophical a
process as that of congelation, and much less expensive. In answer to an
inquiry of the Brahmin's, he admitted, that though he had been able, by the
force of congelation, to burst metallic tubes several inches thick, he had
never succeeded in making it put the lightest machinery into a continued
motion.

Having now nearly recovered, and being, I confess, somewhat bewildered by
the variety and complexity of these ingenious projects, I felt disposed to
take my leave; but Vindar insisted on conducting us into an inner
apartment, to see his _poetry box_. This was a large piece of furniture,
profusely decorated with metals of various colours, curiously and
fantastically inlaid. It contained a prodigious number of drawers,
which were labelled after the manner of those in an apothecary's shop,
(from whence he denied, however, that he first took the hint,) and the
labels were arranged in alphabetical order.

"Now," says he, "as the excellence of poetry consists in bringing before
the mind's eye what can be brought before the corporeal eye, I have here
collected every object that is either beautiful or pleasing in nature,
whether by its form, colour, fragrance, sweetness, or other quality, as
well as those that are strikingly disagreeable. When I wish to exhibit
those pictures which constitute poetry, I consult the appropriate cabinet,
and I take my choice of those various substances which can best call up the
image I wish to present to my reader. For example: suppose I wish to speak
of any object that is white, or analogous to white, I open the drawer that
is thus labelled, and I see silver, lime, chalk, and white enamel, ivory,
paper, snow-drops, and alabaster, and select whichever of these substances
will best suit the measure and the rhyme, and has the most soft-sounding
name. If the colour be yellow, then there are substances of all shades of
this hue, from saffron and pickled salmon to brimstone and straw. I have
sixty-two red substances, twenty-seven green ones, and others in the same
proportion. It is astonishing what labour this box has saved me, and how
much it has added to the beauty and melody of my verse.

"You perceive," he added, "the drawer missing. That contained substances
offensive to the sight or smell, which my maid, conducted to it by her
nose, conceived to be some animal curiosities I had been collecting, in a
state of putrefaction and decay, and did not hesitate to throw them into
the fire. I afterwards found myself very much at a loss, whenever my
subject led me to the mention of objects of this character, and I therefore
spoke of them as seldom as possible." After bestowing that tribute of
admiration and praise which every great author or inventor expects, in his
own house, and not omitting his customary medical fee, we took our leave.

We had not long left Vindar's house, before we saw a short fat man in the
suburbs, preparing to climb to the top of a plane tree, on which there was
one of the tail feathers of a sort of flamingo. He was surrounded by
attendants and servants, to whom he issued his commands with great rapidity
and decision, occasionally intermingling with his orders the most
threatening language and furious gesticulations. Some offered to get a
ladder, and ascend, and others to cut down the tree; all of which he
obstinately rejected. He swore he would get the feather--he would get it by
climbing--and he would climb but one way, which way was on the shoulders of
his men. His plan was to make a number of them form a solid square, and
interlock their arms; then a smaller number to mount upon their shoulders,
on whom others were in like manner placed, and so on till the pyramid was
sufficiently high, when he himself was to mount, and from the shoulders of
the highest pluck the darling object of his wishes. He had in this way, I
afterwards learnt, gathered some of the richest flowers of the bignonia
scarlatina, as well as such fruits as had tempted him by their luscious
appearance, and at the same time frightening all the birds from their
nests, which he commonly destroyed: and although some of his attendants
were occasionally much hurt and bruised in this singular amusement, he
still persevered in it. He had continued it for several years, with no
intermission, except a short one, when he was engaged in breaking a young
llana in the place of an old one, which had been many years a favourite,
but was now in disgrace, because, as he said, he did not think it so safe
for going down hill, but in reality, because he liked the figure and
movements of the young one better.

I could not see this rash Glonglim attempt to climb that dangerous ladder,
without feeling alarm for his safety. At first all seemed to go on very
well; but just as he was about to lay hold of the gaudy prize, there arose
a sudden squall, which threw both him and his supporters into confusion,
and the whole living pyramid came to the ground together. Many were
killed--some were wounded and bruised. Polenap himself, by lighting on his
men, who served him as cushions, barely escaped with life. But he received
a fracture in the upper part of his head, and a dislocation of the hip,
which will not only prevent him from ever climbing again, but probably make
him a cripple for life.

The Brahmin and I endeavoured to give the sufferers some assistance; but
this was rendered unnecessary, by the crowd which their cries and
lamentations brought to their relief. I thought that the author of so much
mischief would have been stoned on the spot; but, to my surprise, his
servants seemed to feel as much for his honour as their own safety, and
warmly interfered in his behalf, until they had somewhat appeased the rage
of the surrounding multitude.



CHAPTER IX.

_The fortune-telling philosopher, who inspected the finger nails: his
visiters--Another philosopher, who judged of the character by the
hair--The fortune-teller duped--Predatory warfare._


As we returned to our lodgings, we saw a number of persons, some of whom
were entering and some leaving a neat small dwelling; and on joining the
throng, we learnt that a famous fortune-teller lived there, who, at
stated periods, opened his house to all that were willing to pay for
being instructed in the events of futurity, or for having the secrets of
the present or past revealed to them. On entering the house, and
descending a flight of steps, we found, at the farther end of a dark
room, lighted with a chandelier suspended from the ceiling, an elderly
man, with a long gray beard, and a thin, pale countenance, deeply
furrowed with thought rather than care. He received us politely, and
then resumed the duties of his vocation. His course of proceeding was to
examine the finger nails, and, according to their form, colour,
thickness, surface, and grain, to determine the character and destinies
of those who consulted him. I was at once pleased and surprised at the
minuteness of his observation, and the infinite variety of his
distinctions. Besides the qualities of the nails that I have mentioned,
he noticed some which altogether eluded my senses, such as their
milkiness, flintiness, friability, elasticity, tenacity, and
sensibility; whether they were aqueous, unctious, or mealy; with many
more, which have escaped my recollection.

A modest, pensive looking girl, apparently about seventeen, was timidly
holding forth her hand for examination, at the time we entered.
Avarabet, (for that was the name of this philosopher,) uttered two or
three words, with a significant shake of his head, upon which I saw the
rising tear in her eyes. She withdrew her hand, and had not courage to
let him take another look.

A fat woman, of a sanguine temperament, holding a little girl by the
hand, then stepped up and showed her fingers. He pronounced her amorous,
inconstant, prone to anger, and extravagant; that she had made one man
miserable, and would probably make another. She also abruptly withdrew,
giving manifest signs of one of the qualities ascribed to her.

An elderly matron then approached, holding forth one trembling, palsied
hand, with a small volume in the other. Avarabet hesitated for some
time; examined the edges as well as the surface of the nails; drew his
finger slowly over them, and then said,--"You have a susceptible heart;
you are in sorrow, but your affliction will soon have an end." It was
easy to see, in the look of the applicant, signs of pious resignation,
and a lively hope of another and a better state of existence.

I thought I perceived in the scene that was passing before us, an
exhibition that is not uncommon on our earth, of cunning knavery
imposing on ignorance and credulity; and I expressed my opinion to the
Brahmin; but he assured me that the class of persons in the moon, who
were resorted to on account of their supposed powers of divination, was
very different from the similar class in Asia or Europe, and that
oracular art was here regularly studied and professed as a branch of
philosophy. "You would be surprised," said he, "to find how successful
they have been in investing their craft with the forms and trappings of
science, the parade of classification, and the mystery imparted by
technical terms. By these means they have given plausibility enough to
their theories, to leave many a one in doubt, whether it is really a new
triumph of human discovery, or merely a later form of empiricism. Its
professors are commonly converts to their own theories, at least in a
great degree; for, strange as it may seem, there can mingle with the
disposition to deceive others, the power of deceiving one's self; and
while they exercise much acuteness and penetration in discovering, by
the air, look, dress, and manner of those who consult them, the leading
points in the history or character of persons of whom they have no
previous knowledge, they at the same time persuade themselves that they
see something indicative of their circumstances in their finger nails.
Such is the equivocal character of the greater part of their sect: but
there are some who are mere honest dupes to the pretensions of the
science; and others again, who have not one tittle of credulity to
extenuate their impudent pretensions.

"When I was here before, I remember a physician, who acquired great
celebrity by affecting to cure diseases by examining a lock of the
patient's hair; and, not content with merely pronouncing on the nature
of the disease, and suggesting the remedy, he would enter into an
elaborate, and often plausible course of reasoning, in defence of his
system. That system was briefly this: that the hair derived its length,
strength, hue, and other properties, from the brain; which opinion he
supported by a reference to acknowledged facts--as, that it changes its
hue with the difference of the mental character in the different stages
of life; that violent affections of the mind, such as grief or fear,
have been known to change it in a single night. Science on this, as on
other occasions, is merely augmenting and methodizing facts that the
mass of mankind had long observed--as, that red hair had always been
considered indicative of warm temperament; that affliction, and even
love, were believed to create baldness; and that in great terror, the
hair stands on end. The different ages too, are distinguished as much by
their hair as their complexion, their facial angle, or in any other way.
He was led to this theory first, by observing at school that a boy of a
stiff, bristly head of hair, was remarkably cruel. He professed to have
been able, from a long course of observation, to assign to every
different colour and variety of hair, its peculiar temperament and
character. One mental quality was indicated by its length, another by
its fineness, and others again as it chanced to be greasy, or lank, or
curled. He would also blow on it with a bellows, to see how the parts
arranged themselves: hold it near the fire, and watch the operation of
its crisping by the heat: and although he had often been mistaken in his
estimates of character, by the rules of his new science, he did not lose
the confidence of his disciples on that account--some of them refusing
to believe the truth, rather than to admit themselves mistaken; and
others insisting that, if his science was not infallible, it very rarely
deceived."

It was now our turn to submit our hands to Avarabet for examination. He
discovered signs of the loftiest virtues and most heroic enterprise in
the Brahmin; and, near the bottom of one of his nails, a deep-rooted
sorrow, which would leave him only with his life. A transient shade of
gloom on the Brahmin's countenance was soon succeeded by a piercing,
inquisitive glance cast on the diviner. He saw the other's eyes directed
on the miniature which he always wore, and which discovered itself to
Avarabet as he stooped forward. A smile of contempt now took the place
of his first surprise, and he seemed in a state of abstraction, during
the continued rhapsodies of the oracle.

My hand was next examined; but little was said of me, except that I had
been a great traveller, and should be so again; that I should encounter
many dangers and difficulties; that I possessed more intelligence than
sensibility, and more prudence than generosity. Thus he discovered in me
great courage, enterprise, and constancy of purpose.

A hale, robust, well-set man, now bursting through the crowd, and
thrusting out his hand, abruptly asked the wise man to tell him, if he
could, in what part of the country he lived. Avarabet mentioned a
distant district on the coast of Morosofia.

"Good," said the other; "and what is my calling?"

After a slight pause, he replied, that he got his living on the water.

"Good again. Shall I ever be rich?"

"No, not very:--never."

"Better and better," rejoined the inquirer, at the same time giving vent
to a loud and hearty laugh. Surely, thought I, sailors are every where
the same sort of beings, rough and boisterous as the elements they
roam over.

"And what is your opinion of me farther?"

"You are bold, frank, improvident, credulous and good-natured."

"Excellent, indeed! Now, what will you say, old sham wisdom, when I tell
you that I never made a voyage in my life; was never two days' journey
from this spot, and am seldom off my own dominion? That I own the forest
of Tongloo, where I sometimes hunt, from morning till night, and from
night till morning, twelve out of the thirteen days in the year? That my
wealth, which was considerable when I came to my estate, has, by my
habits of life, greatly increased, and that I am bent upon adding to it
yet more? I drink nothing but water; and have come here only to win a
wager, that you were not as knowing as you pretended to be, and that I
could impose on you. You thus have a specimen of my candour,
improvidence, and credulity." So saying, he leaped on his zebra, gave a
sort of huntsman's shout, and was off in a twinkling.

This adventure created great tumult in the crowd, a few enjoying the
jest, but the greater number manifesting ill-will and resentment towards
the sportsman. The Brahmin and I took advantage of the confusion, to
withdraw unnoticed by the bystanders. After remaining at our lodgings
long enough to take rest and refreshment, and to make minutes of what we
had seen, we proposed to spend the remainder of the night in the
country, the weather being more pleasant at this time in that climate,
than when the sun is above the horizon.

We accordingly set out when the earth was in her second quarter, and it
was about two of our days before sunrise. After walking about three
miles, the freshness of the morning air, the fragrance of the flowers,
and the music of innumerable birds, whose unceasing carols testified
their joy and delight at the approach of a more genial month, we came to
a large, well cultivated farm, in which a number of coarse looking men
were employed, with the aid of dogs, cross-bows, and other martial
weapons, in hunting down llamas, and a small kind of buffalo, which, in
one of our former walks, we had seen quietly feeding on a rich and
extensive pasture. We inquired of some stragglers from the throng, the
meaning of what we saw; but they were too much occupied with their sport
to afford us any satisfaction. We walked on, indulging our imaginations
in conjecture; but had not proceeded more than a quarter of a mile,
before we beheld a similar scene going on to our left, by the same
ill-looking crew. Our curiosity was now redoubled, and we resolved to
wait a while on the highway, for the chance of some passenger more at
leisure to answer our inquiries, and more courteously inclined than
these fierce marauders. We had not stopped many minutes, before a
well-dressed man, wearing the appearance of authority, having ridden up,
we asked him to explain the cause of their violent, and seemingly
lawless proceedings.

"You are strangers, I see, or you would have understood that I am
exercising my baronial privilege of doing myself justice. These cattle
belong to the owners of a neighbouring estate, by whom I and my tenants
have been injured and insulted; and, according to the usage in such
cases, I have given the signal to my people to lay hold on what they can
of his flocks and herds, and, to quicken their exertions, I give them
half of what they catch."

"And how does your neighbour bear this in the mean time?" said the
Brahmin.

"Oh, for that matter," said the other, "he is not at all behindhand, and
I lose nearly as many cattle as I get. But it gives me much more
pleasure to kill one of his buffaloes or llamas, than it does pain me
when he kills one of mine. I consider how much it will vex him, and that
some of his vassals are thereby deprived of their sustenance. I have
upwards of thirty strong men employed in ranging this plain and wood,
and during the last year they took for me four hundred head."

"Indeed!--and how many did you lose in the same time?

"Not above three hundred and eighty."

"But very inferior?" said the Brahmin.

"Why, no," replied he: "as my pastures are richer and more luxuriant
than his, two of my cattle are worth perhaps three of his."

"Is this custom," asked the Brahmin, "an advantage or a tax on your
estate?"

"A tax, indeed! Why it is worth from four to five hundred head a-year."

"And how much is it worth to your neighbour?"

"I presume nearly as much."

"Do your vassals get rich by the bounty you give them?"

"As to that matter, some who are lucky succeed very well, and the rest
make a living by it."

"And what do they give you for the privilege of hunting your neighbour's
cattle?"

"Nothing at all: I even lose my customary rent from those who engage in
it."

"And it is the same case with your neighbour?"

"Certainly," said he.

"Then," said the Brahmin, "it seems to me, if you would agree to lay
aside this old custom, you would both be considerable gainers. I see you
look incredulous, but listen a moment. Each one would, in that case,
instead of having half his neighbour's cattle, have all his own; and,
being kept in their native pastures, they would be less likely to stray
away, and you could therefore slay and eat as you wanted them; whereas,
in your hunting matches many more are either killed or maimed than are
wanted for present use, and they are consequently consumed in waste. You
would, moreover, be a gainer by the amount of the labour of these thirty
boors, whom you keep in this employment, and who very probably acquire
habits of ferocity, licentiousness, and waste, which are not very
favourable to their obedience or fidelity."

The proprietor, having pondered a while upon my friend's remarks, in a
tone of exultation said,--"Do you think, then, I could ever prevail on
my people to forbear, when they saw a likely flock, from laying violent
hands on it; or could I resist so favourable an opportunity of revenge?
Nay, more; if we were then tamely to tie up our hands, do you think that
Bulderent and his men would consent to do the same? No, no, old man," he
continued, with great self-complacency, "your arguments appear plausible
at first, but when closely considered, they will not stand the lest of
experience. They are the fancies of a stranger--of one who knows more of
theory than practice. Had you lived longer among us, you would have
known that your ingenious project could never be carried into execution.
If I observed it, Bulderent would not; and if he observed it, I verily
believe I could not--and thus, you see, the thing is altogether
impracticable." As one soon tires of preaching to the winds, the Brahmin
contented himself with asking his new acquaintance to think more on the
subject at his leisure; and we proceeded on our walk.



CHAPTER X.

_The travellers visit a gentleman farmer, who is a great projector: his
breed of cattle: his apparatus for cooking: he is taken
dangerously ill._


After we had gone about half a mile farther, our attention was arrested
by a gate of very singular character. It was extremely ingenious in its
structure, and, among other peculiarities, it had three or four latches,
for children, for grown persons, for those who were tall and those who
were short, and for the right hand as well as the left. In the act of
opening, it was made to crush certain berries, and the oil they yielded,
was carried by a small duct to the hinge, which was thus made to turn
easily, and was prevented from creaking. While we were admiring its
mechanism, an elderly man, rather plainly dressed, on a zebra in low
condition, rode up, and showed that he was the owner of the mansion to
which the gate belonged, and that he was not displeased with the
curiosity we manifested. We found him both intelligent and obliging. He
informed us that he was an experimental farmer; and when he learnt that
we were strangers, and anxious to inform ourselves of the state of
agriculture in the country, he very civilly invited us to take our next
meal with him. Our walk having now made us hungry and fatigued, we
gladly accepted of his hospitality; whereupon he alighted, and walked
with us to his lodgings.

He was very communicative of his modes of cultivation and management,
but chiefly prided himself on his success in improving the size of his
cattle. He informed us that he had devoted sixteen years of his life to
this object, and had then in his farm-yard a buffalo nearly as heavy as
three of the ordinary size. His practice was to kill all the young
animals which were not uncommonly large and thrifty; to cram those he
kept, with as much food as they would eat, and to tempt their appetites
by the variety of their nourishment, as well as of the modes of
preparing it.

"All this," said he, "costs a great deal, it is true; but I am paid for
it by the additional price." I was struck with this notable triumph of
industry and skill in the goodly art of husbandry--that art which I
venerate above every other; and I was all anxiety to receive from him
some instructions which I might, in case I should have the good fortune
to get safely back, communicate to my friends on Long-Island, who had
never been able even to double the common size, and who boasted greatly
of that: but a hesitating look, and a few inquiries on the part of my
sly friend, checked my enthusiasm.

"Have you always," he asked, "had the same number of acres in grain and
grass under your new and old system?"

"Pretty nearly," says the other. "My new breed, however, though fewer,
consume more than their predecessors."

"How many head did you formerly sell in a year?"

"About thirty."

"How many do you now sell?"

"Though for some years I have not sold more than nine or ten, I expect
to exceed that number in another year."

"Which you expect will yield you more than the thirty did formerly?"

"Certainly; because such meat as mine commands an extraordinary price."

"So long," replied the Brahmin, "as this is novelty, you may receive a
part of the price which men are ever ready to pay for it; but as soon as
others profit by your example, your meat falls to the ordinary rate, and
then, if I understand you aright, as you will have somewhat less in
quantity than you formerly had, your gross receipts will be less, to say
nothing of your additional labour and expense."

"But who has the skill," quickly rejoined the other, "of which I can
boast? and who would take the same trouble, although they had
the skill?"

"But stop here a moment," said our host, "till I go to see how my last
improved oil-cake is relished by my cattle."

The Brahmin then turning to me, said,--"This gentleman may, indeed,
improve his fortune by the business of a grazier; but the same pains and
unremitting attention would always be sure of a liberal reward, though
the system on which they were exerted was not among the best. Nothing,
my dear Atterley, is more true than the saying of your wise book--_that
all flesh is grass;_ and it always takes the same quantity of one to
make a given quantity of the other, whether that given quantity may be
in the form of a single individual, or two or three. But in the former
case, great labour is required to force nature beyond her ordinary
limits, and the same labour must be unceasingly kept up, or she will
certainly relapse to her original dimensions. This system may do, as our
host here tells us it actually does, for the moon, but it is not suited
to our earth. If, however, you are ambitious of a name among the
speculative men of your country, this little stone," added he, stooping,
and picking up a small stone from the ground, "will answer your purpose
quite as well as any improvement in husbandry. It is precisely of the
same species as those which we threw over in our aerial voyages, and
which, though correctly called moon-stones by the vulgar, (who are
oftener right than the learned suppose,) some of the western
philosophers declared to have been gravitated in the atmosphere."

"And is this really the origin," said I, "of that strange phenomenon,
which has furnished so much matter of speculation to the sages both of
Europe and America?"

"Nothing is more true," replied he. "These stones are common to the
earth and to the moon; and some of those which have been so carefully
analyzed by your most celebrated chemists, and pronounced different from
any known mineral production of the earth, were small fragments of a
very common rock in the mountains of Burma. In our first voyages we had
taken some of them with us as ballast; and those which we first threw
over, we afterwards learnt from the public journals, fell in France,
some of the others fell in India, but the greater number in the ocean.
Those which have fallen at other times, have been real fossils of the
moon, and either such stones as this I hold in my hand, or such metallic
substances as are repelled from that body, and attracted towards the
earth; and it is the force with which they strike the earth, which first
suggested the idea of a thunder-bolt.

"Our party were greatly amused at the disputations of a learned society
in Europe, in which they undertook to give a mathematical demonstration
that they could not be thrown from a volcano of the earth, nor from the
moon, but were suddenly formed in the atmosphere. I should as soon
believe that a loaf of bread could be made and baked in the atmosphere."

Finding that our landlord prided himself on his interior management, as
well as on that without doors, we expressed a wish to see some of his
household improvements. He readily consented, and conducted us at once
into his kitchen, and showed us inventions and contrivances out of
number, for saving fuel, and meat, and labour; in short, for saving
every thing but money. The large room into which he carried us, appeared
as a vast laboratory, from the infinite variety of pots, pans, skillets,
knives, forks, ladles, mortars, sieves, funnels, and other utensils of
metal, glass, pottery, and wood. The steam which he used for cooking,
was carried along a pipe under a succession of kettles and boilers,
descending in regular gradation, by which a great saving of fuel was
effected; and, to perfect this part of the apparatus, the pipe could be
removed, to give place to one of the size suited to the occasion.

His seven-guest pipe was now in use. The wood, which was all cut to the
same length, and channelled out to admit the free passage of the air,
was then duly placed in the stove, and set on fire; but the heat not
passing very readily through all the sinuosities of the pipe, he ordered
his head cook to screw on his exhauster. The man, in less than ten
minutes, unscrewed a plate at the farther end, and fixed on an air-pump,
made for the purpose, on which the door of the stove suddenly slammed
to. Our host saw the accident, and hurrying to open the stove, fell over
a heap of channelled logs, and cut a gash in his forehead. The cook ran
to help him up; and after he was on his legs, and his forehead wiped,
the stove was opened, when the fire, which had been deprived of its
aliment, was entirely extinguished. I thought he was hardly sorry for
the accident, as it afforded him an occasion of showing how ingeniously
he kindled a fire. He had an electric machine brought to him, by means
of which he set fire to a few grains of gunpowder; this lighted some
tinder, which again ignited spirits, whose blaze reached the lower
extremity of his lamp. Taking the precaution of keeping the stove open
this time, the air was again exhausted at the farther end of the pipe,
and in a little time the flame was seen to ascend even to the air-pump,
and to scorch the parts made of wood; whereupon I saw a glow of triumph
on his face, which amply compensated him for his wound and vexation.
There was a grand machine for roasting, that carried the fire round the
meat, the juices of which, he said, by a rotary motion, would be thrown
to the surface, and either evaporate or be deteriorated. Here was also
his digestor, for making soup of rams' horns, which he assured me
contained a good deal of nourishment, and the only difficulty was in
extracting it. He next showed us his smoke-retractor, which received the
smoke near the top of the chimney, and brought it down to be burnt over
again, by which he computed that he saved five cords and a half of wood
in a year. The fire which dressed his victuals, pumped up, by means of a
steam engine, water for the kitchen turned one or more spits, as well as
two or three mills for grinding pepper, salt, &c.; and then, by a
spindle through the wall, worked a churn in the dairy, and cleaned the
knives: the forks, indeed, were still cleaned by hand; but he said he
did not despair of effecting this operation in time, by machinery. I
mentioned to him our contrivance of silver forks, to lessen this labour;
but he coldly remarked, that he imagined science was in its infancy
with us.

He informed us that he had been ten years in completing this ingenious
machine; and certainly, when it was in full operation, I never saw
exultation and delight so strongly depicted in any human face. The
various sounds and sights, that met the ear and eye, in rapid
succession, still farther worked on his feelings, and heightened his
raptures. There was such a simmering, and hissing, and bubbling of
boiled, and broiled, and fried--such a whirling, and jerking, and
creaking of wheels, and cranks, and pistons--such clouds of steam, and
vapours, and even smoke, notwithstanding all of the latter that was
burnt,--that I almost thought myself in some great manufactory.

After having suffered as much as we could well bear, from the heat and
confined air of this laboratory of eatables, and passed the proper
number of compliments on the skill and ingenuity they displayed, we
ascended to his hall, to partake of that feast, to prepare which we had
seen all the elements and the mechanical powers called into action.
There were a few of his city acquaintances present, besides ourselves:
but whether it was owing to the effect of the steam from the dishes on
our stomachs, or that this scientific cookery was not suited to our
unpractised palates, I know not, but we all made an indifferent repast,
except our host, who tasted every dish, and seemed to relish them all.

After sitting some time at table, conversing on the progress of science,
its splendid achievements, and the pleasing prospects which it yet dimly
showed in the future, our hospitable entertainer, perceiving we were
fatigued with the labours of the day, invited us to take our next
_lallaneae_, or sleep, with him, for which hospitality we felt very
grateful. We were then shown to a room, in which there were marks of the
same fertile invention, in saving labour and promoting convenience; but
we were too sleepy to take much notice of them. Our beds were filled
with air, which is quite as good as feathers, except that when the
leather covering gets a hole in it, from ripping, or other accidents, it
loses its elasticity with its air--an accident which happened to me this
very night; for a mouse having gnawed the leather where the housemaid's
greasy fingers had left a mark, I sunk gently down, not to soft repose,
but on the hard planks, where I uncomfortably lay until the bell warned
us to rise for breakfast.

As soon as I was dressed, I walked out into a large garden, and, as the
sun was not yet so high as to make it sultry, was enjoying the balmy
sweetness of the air, and the flowering shrubs, which in beauty and
fragrance almost exceeded those of India, when I saw a servant run by
the garden wall, enter the stable, and bring out a zebra. On inquiring
the cause, I was made to understand that our noble host was taken
suddenly ill. I immediately returned to the house, and found the
domestics running to and fro, and manifesting the greatest anxiety, as
well as hurry, in their looks. I went into the Brahmin's room, and found
him dressed. He went out, and after some time, informed me that our kind
host had a violent _cholera morbus_, in consequence of the various kinds
of food with which he had overloaded his stomach at dinner; that he
considered himself near his last end, and was endeavouring to arrange
his affairs for the event.

I could not help meditating on the melancholy uncertainty of human life,
when I contrasted the comforts, the pleasures, the pride of conscious
usefulness and genius felt by this gentleman a short time since, with
the agony which that trying and bitter hour brings to the stoutest and
most callous heart--when it must quit this state of being for another,
of which it knows so little, and over which fear and doubt throw a gloom
that hope cannot entirely dispel.



CHAPTER XI.

_Lunarian physicians: their consultation--While they dispute the patient
recovers--The travellers visit the celebrated teacher Lozzi Pozzi._


While I indulged in these sad meditations, and felt for my host while I
felt no less for myself, I saw the physician approach who had been sent
for. He was a tall, thin man, with a quick step, a lively, piercing eye,
a sallow complexion, and very courteous manners, and always willing to
display the ready flow of words for which he was remarkable. I felt
great curiosity to witness the skill of this Lunar Aesculapius, and he
was evidently pleased with the interest I manifested. It turned out that
he was well acquainted with the Brahmin; and learning from the latter my
wish, he conducted me into the room of our sick host. We found him lying
on a straw bed, and strangely altered within a few hours. The physician,
after feeling his pulse, (which, as every country has its peculiar
customs, is done here about the temples and neck, instead of the
wrist)--after examining his tongue, his teeth, his water, and feces,
proposed bleeding. We all walked to the door, and ventured to oppose the
doctor's prescription, suggesting that the copious evacuations he had
already experienced, might make bleeding useless, if not dangerous.

"How little like a man of sense you speak," said the other; "how readily
you have chimed in with the prejudices of the vulgar! I should have
expected better things from you: but the sway of empiricism is destined
yet to have a long struggle before it receives its final overthrow. I
have attacked it with success in many quarters; but when it has been
prostrated in one place, it soon rises up in another. Have you, my good
friend, seen my last essay on morbid action?"

The Brahmin replied, that he had not yet had an opportunity of meeting
with it.

"I am sorry you have not," said the other. "I have there completely
demonstrated that disease is an unit, and that it is the extreme of
folly to divide diseases into classes, which tend but to produce
confusion of ideas, and an unscientific practice. Sir," continued he, in
a more animated tone, "there is a beautiful simplicity in this theory,
which gives us assurance of its conformity to nature and truth. It needs
but to be seen to be understood--but to be understood, to be approved,
and carried into successful operation."

The Brahmin asked him if this unit did not present different symptoms on
different occasions.

"Certainly," he replied: "from too much or too little action, in this
set of vessels or that, it is differently modified, and must be treated
accordingly."

"This unit, then," said my friend, "assumes different forms, and
requires various remedies? Is there not, then, a convenience in
separating these modifications (or _forms_, if you prefer it) from one
another, by different names?"

"Stop, my friend; you do not apprehend the matter. I will explain." At
this moment two other gentlemen, of a grave aspect and demeanour,
entered the room. They also were physicians of great reputation in the
city. They appeared to be formal and reserved towards one another, but
they each manifested still more shyness and coldness towards the learned
Shuro. They entered the sick chamber, and having informed themselves of
the state of the patient, all three withdrew to a consultation.

They had not been long together, before their voices grew, from a
whisper, so loud, that we could distinctly hear all they said. "Sir,"
says Dr. Shakrack, "the patient is in a state of direct debility: we
must stimulate, if we would restore a healthy action. Pour in the
_stimulantia_ and _irritentia_, and my life for it, the patient
is saved."

"Will you listen to me for one moment?" says Dr. Dridrano, the youngest
of the three gentlemen. "It may be presumption for one of my humble
pretensions to set myself in opposition to persons of your age,
experience, and celebrity; but I am bound, by the sacred duties of the
high functions I have undertaken to perform, to use my poor abilities in
such a way as I can, to advance the noble science of medicine, and, in
so doing, to give strength to the weak, courage to the disheartened, and
comfort to the afflicted. Gentlemen, I say, I hope if my simple views
should be found widely different from yours, you will not impute it to a
presumption which is as foreign to my nature as it would be unsuited to
your merits. I consider the human body a mere machine, whose parts are
complicated, whose functions are various, and whose operations are
liable to be impeded and frustrated by a variety of obstacles. There is,
you know, one set of tubes, or vessels, for the blood; another for the
lymph; another for the sweat; and so on. Now, although each of these
fluids has its several channels, yet, if by any accident any one of them
is obstructed, and there is so great an accumulation of the obstructed
fluid that it cannot find vent by its natural channel, or duct, then you
must carry off the redundancy by some other; for you well know, that
that which can be carried off by one, can be carried off by all.
Gentlemen, I beg you not to turn away; hear me for a moment. Then, if
the current of the blood be obstructed, I make large draughts of urine,
or sweat or saliva, or of the liquor amnii; and I find it matters little
which of these evacuants I resort to. This system, to which, with
deference to your longer experience, I have had the honour of giving
some celebrity in Morosofia, explains how it is that such various
remedies for the same disease have been in vogue at different times.
They have all had in town able advocates. I could adduce undeniable
testimonials of their efficacy, because, in fact, they are all
efficacious; and it seems to me a mere matter of earthshine, whether we
resort to one or the other mode of restoring the equilibrium of the
human machine; all that we have to do, being to know when and to what
extent it is proper to use either. Determine, then, gentlemen,--you, for
whose maturer judgment and years I feel profound respect,--whether we
shall blister, or sweat, or bleed, or salivate."

Dr. Shuro, who had manifested his impatience at this long harangue, by
frequent interruptions, and which Dridrano's show of deference could
scarcely keep down, hastily replied: "You have manifestly taken the hint
of your theory from me; and because I have advanced the doctrine that
disease is an unit, you come forward now, and insist that remedy is an
unit too."

"You do me great honour, learned sir," said Dridrano. "Surely it would
be very unbecoming, in one of my age and standing, to set up a theory in
opposition to yours, but it would be yet more discreditable to be a
plagiarist; and, with all due respect for your superior wisdom, it does
seem to my feeble intellect, that no two theories can be more different.
You use several remedies for one disease: I admit several diseases, and
use one remedy."

"And does not darkness remind us of light," replied Shuro, "by the
contrast? heat of cold--north of south?"

"Gentlemen," then said Shakrack, who had been walking to and fro, during
the preceding controversy, "as you seem to agree so ill with each other,
I trust you will unite in adopting my course. Let us begin with this
cordial; we will then vary the stimulus, if necessary, by means of the
elixir, and you will see the salutary effects immediately. A loss of
blood would still farther increase the debility of the patient; and I
appeal to your candour, Dr. Shuro, whether you ever practised
venesection in such a case?"

"In such a case? ay, in what _you_ would call much worse. I was not long
since called in to a man in a dropsy. I opened a vein. He seemed from
that moment to feel relief; and he so far recovered, that after a short
time I bled him again. I returned the next day, and had I arrived half
an hour sooner, I should have bled him a third time, and in all human
probability have saved his life."

"If you had stimulated him, you might have had an opportunity of making
your favourite experiment a little oftener," said Shakrack.

"You are facetious, sir; I imagine you have been using your own panacea
somewhat too freely to-day."

"Not so," said his opponent, angrily; "but if you are not more guarded
in your expressions, I shall make use of yours, in a way you
won't like."

Upon which they proceeded to blows, Dridrano all the while bellowing, "I
beg, my worthy seniors, for the honour of science, that you
will forbear!"

The noise of the dispute had waked the patient, who, learning the cause
of the disturbance, calmly begged they would give themselves no concern
about him, but let him die in peace. The domestics, who had been for
some time listening to the dispute, on hearing the scuffle, ran in and
parted the angry combatants, who, like an abscess just lanced, were
giving vent to all the malignant humours that had been so long silently
gathering.

In the mean while, the smooth and considerate Dr. Dridrano stept into
the sick room, with the view of offering an apology for the unmannerly
conduct of his brethren, and of tendering his single services, as the
other sages of the healing art could not agree in the course to be
pursued; when he found that the patient, profiting by the simple
remedies of the Brahmin, and an hour's rest, had been so much refreshed,
that he considered himself out of danger, and that he had no need of
medical assistance; or, at any rate, he was unwilling to follow the
prescriptions of one physician, which another, if not two others,
unhesitatingly condemned. Each one then received his fee, and hurried
home, to publish his own statement of the case in a pamphlet.

The Brahmin, who had never left the sick man's couch during his sleep,
now that he was out of danger, was greatly diverted at the dispute. But
he good-naturedly added, that, notwithstanding the ridiculous figure
they had that day made, they were all men of genius and ability, but had
done their parts injustice by their vanity, and the ambition of
originating a new theory. "With all the extravagance," said he, "to
which they push their several systems, they are not unsuccessful in
practice, for habitual caution, and an instinctive regard for human
life, which they never can extinguish, checks them in carrying their
hypotheses into execution: and if I might venture to give an opinion on
a subject of which I know so little, and there is so much to be known, I
would say, that the most common error of theorists is to consider man as
a machine, rather than an animal, and subject to one set of the laws of
matter, rather than as subject to them all.

"Thus," he continued, "we have been regarded by one class of theorists
as an hydraulic engine, composed of various tubes fitted with their
several fluids, the laws and functions of which have been deduced from
calculations of velocities, altitudes, diameters, friction, &c. Another
class considered man as a mere chemical engine, and his stomach as an
alembic. The doctrine of affinities, attractions, and repulsions, now
had full play. Then came the notion of sympathies and antipathies, by
which name unknown and unknowable causes were sought to be explained,
and ignorance was cunningly veiled in mystery. But the science will
never be in the right tract of improvement, until we consider,
conjointly, the mechanical operations of the fluids, the chemical agency
of the substances taken into the stomach, and the animal functions of
digestion, secretion, and absorption, as evinced by actual observation."
I told him that I believed that was now the course which was actually
pursued in the best medical schools, both of Europe and America.

Our worthy host, though very feeble, had so far recovered as to dress
himself, and receive the congratulations of his household, who had all
manifested a concern for his situation, that was at once creditable to
him and themselves. Expressing our gratitude for his kind attentions,
and promising to renew our visit if we could, we bade him adieu.

We took a different road home from the way we had come, and had not
walked far, before we met a number of small boys, each having a bag on
his back, as large as he could stagger under. Surprised at seeing
children of their tender years, thus prematurely put to severe labour, I
was about to rail at the absurd custom of this strange country, when my
friend checked me for my hasty judgment, and told me that these boys
were on their way to school, after their usual monthly holiday. We
attended them to their schoolhouse, which stood in sight, on the side of
a steep chalky hill. The Brahmin told me that the teacher's name was
Lozzi Pozzi, and that he had acquired great celebrity by his system of
instruction. When the boys opened their bags, I found that instead of
books and provisions, as I had expected, they were filled with sticks,
which they told us constituted the arithmetical lessons they were
required to practise at home. These sticks were of different lengths and
dimensions, according to the number marked on them; so that by looking
at the inscription, you could tell the size, or by seeing or feeling the
size, you could tell the number.

The master now made his appearance, and learning our errand, was very
communicative. He descanted on the advantages of this manual, and ocular
mode of teaching the science of numbers, and gave us practical
illustrations of its efficacy, by examining his pupils in our presence.
He told the first boy he called up, and who did not seem to be more than
seven or eight years of age, to add 5, 3, and 7 together, and tell him
the result. The little fellow set about hunting, with great alacrity,
over his bag, until he found a piece divided like three fingers, then a
piece with five divisions, and lastly, one with seven, and putting them
side by side, he found the piece of a correspondent length, and thus, in
less than eight minutes and a half, answered, "fifteen." The ingenious
master then exercised another boy in subtraction, and a third in
multiplication: but the latter was thrown into great confusion, for one
of the pieces having lost a division, it led him to a wrong result.

The teacher informed us that he taught geometry in the same way, and had
even extended it to grammar, logic, rhetoric, and the art of
composition. The rules of syntax were discovered by pieces of wood,
interlocking with each other in squares, dovetails, &c., after the
manner of geographical cards; and as they chanced to fit together, so
was the concordance between the several parts of speech ascertained. The
machine for composition occupied a large space; different sets of
synonymes were arranged in compartments of various sizes. When the
subject was familiar, a short piece was used; when it was stately or
heroic, then the longest slips that could be found were resorted to.
Those that were rounded at the ends were mellifluous; the jagged ones
were harsh; the thick pieces expressed force and vigour. Where the
curves corresponded at one end, they served for alliteration; and when
at the other, they answered for rhyme. By way of proving its progress,
he showed us a composition by a man who was deaf and dumb, in praise of
Morosofia, who, merely by the use of his eyes and hands, had made an
ingenious and high-sounding piece of eloquence, though I confess that
the sense was somewhat obscure. We went away filled with admiration for
the great Lozzi Pozzi's inventions.

Having understood that there was an academy in the neighbourhood, in
which youths of maturer years were instructed in the fine arts, we were
induced to visit it; but there being a vacation at that time, we could
see neither the professors nor students, and consequently could gain
little information of the course of discipline and instruction pursued
there. We were, however, conducted to a small _menagerie_ attached to
the institution, by its keeper, where the habits and accomplishments of
the animals bore strong testimony in favour of the diligence and skill
of their teachers.

We there saw two game-cocks, which, so far from fighting, (though they
had been selected from the most approved breed,) billed and cooed like
turtle-doves. There was a large zebra, apparently ill-tempered, which
showed his anger by running at and butting every animal that came in his
way. Two half-grown llamas, which are naturally as quiet and timid as
sheep, bit each other very furiously, until they foamed at the mouth.
And, lastly, a large mastiff made his appearance, walking in a slow,
measured gait, with a sleek tortoise-shell cat on his back; and she, in
turn, was surmounted by a mouse, which formed the apex of this
singular pyramid.

The keeper, remarking our unaffected surprise at the exhibition, asked
us if we could now doubt the unlimited force of education, after such a
display of the triumph of art over nature. While he was speaking, the
mastiff, being jostled by the two llamas still awkwardly worrying each
other, turned round so suddenly, that the mouse was dislodged from his
lofty position, and thrown to the ground; on seeing which, the cat
immediately sprang upon it, with a loud purring noise, which being heard
by the dog, he, with a fierce growl, suddenly seized the cat. The
llamas, alarmed at this terrific sound, instinctively ran off, and
having, in their flight, approached the heels of the zebra, he gave a
kick, which killed one of them on the spot.

The keeper, who was deeply mortified at seeing the fabric he had raised
with such indefatigable labour, overturned in a moment, protested that
nothing of the sort had ever happened before. To which we replied, by
way of consolation, that perhaps the same thing might never happen
again; and that, while his art had achieved a conquest over nature, this
was only a slight rebellion of nature against art. We then thanked him
for his politeness, and took our leave.



CHAPTER XII.

_Election of the Numnoonce, or town-constable--Violence
of parties--Singular institution of the Syringe Boys--The
prize-fighters--Domestic manufactures._


When we got back to the city, we found an unusual stir and bustle among
the citizens, and on inquiring the cause, we understood they were about
to elect the town-constable. After taking some refreshment at our
lodgings, where we were very kindly received, we again went out, and
were hurried along with the crowd, to a large building near the centre
of the city. The multitude were shouting and hallooing with great
vehemence. The Brahmin remarking an elderly man, who seemed very quiet
in the midst of all this ferment, he thought him a proper person to
address for information.

"I suppose," says he, "from the violence of these partisans, they are on
different sides in religion or politics?"

"Not at all," said the other; "those differences are forgotten at the
present, and the ground of the dispute is, that one of the candidates is
tall, and the other is short--one has a large foretop, and the other is
bald. Oh, I forgot; one has been a schoolmaster, and the other
a butcher."

Curiosity now prompted me to enter into the thickest of the throng; and
I had never seen such fury in the maddest contests between old George
Clinton and Mr. Jay, or De Witt Clinton and Governor Tompkins, in my
native State. They each reproached their adversaries in the coarsest
language, and attributed to them the vilest principles and motives. Our
guide farther told us that the same persons, with two others, had been
candidates last year, when the schoolmaster prevailed; and, as the
supporters of the other two unsuccessful candidates had to choose now
between the remaining two, each party was perpetually reproaching the
other with inconsistency. A dialogue between two individuals of opposite
sides, which we happened to hear, will serve as a specimen of the rest.

"Are you not a pretty fellow to vote for Bald-head, whom you have so
often called rogue and blockhead?"

"It becomes you to talk of consistency, indeed! Pray, sir, how does it
happen that you are now against him, when you were so lately sworn
friends, and used to eat out of the same dish?"

"Yes; but I was the butcher's friend too. I never abused him. You'll
never catch me supporting a man I have once abused."

"But I catch you abusing the man you once supported, which is rather
worse. The difference between us is this:--you professed to be friendly
to both; I professed to be hostile to both: you stuck to one of your
friends, and cast the other off; and I acted the same towards my
enemies." A crowd then rushed by, crying "Huzza for the Butcher's
knives! Damn pen and ink--damn the books, and all that read in them!
Butchers' knives and beef for ever!"

We asked our guide what these men were to gain by the issue of the
contest.

"Nineteenths of them nothing. But a few hope to be made deputies, if
their candidates succeed, and they therefore egg on the rest."

We drew near to the scaffold where the candidates stood, and our ears
were deafened with the mingled shouts and exclamations of praise and
reproach. "You cheated the corporation!" says one. "You killed two black
sheep!" says another. "You can't read a warrant!" "You let Dondon cheat
you!" "You tried to cheat Nincan!" "You want to build a watch-house!"
"You have an old ewe at home now, that you did not come honestly by!"
"You denied your own hand!"--with other ribaldry still more gross and
indecent. But the most singular part of the scene was a number of little
boys, dressed in black and white, who all wore badges of the parties to
which they belonged, and were provided with a syringe, and two canteens,
one filled with rose-water, and the other with a black liquid, of a very
offensive smell, the first of which they squirted at their favourite
candidates and voters, and the last on those of the opposite party. They
were drawn up in a line, and seemed to be under regular discipline; for,
whenever the captain of the band gave the word, "Vilti Mindoc!" they
discharged the dirty liquid from their syringes; and when he said "Vilti
Goulgoul!" they filled the air with perfume, that was so overpowering as
sometimes to produce sickness. The little fellows would, between whiles,
as if to keep their hands in, use the black squirts against one another;
but they often gave them a dash of the rose-water at the same time.

I wondered to see men submit to such indignity; but was told that the
custom had the sanction of time; that these boys were brought up in the
church, and were regularly trained to this business. "Besides," added my
informer, "the custom is not without its use; for it points out the
candidates at once to a stranger, and especially him who is successful,
those being always the most blackened who are the most popular." But it
was amusing to see the ludicrous figure that the candidates and some of
the voters made. If you came near them on one side, they were like roses
dripping with the morning dew; but on the other, they were as black as
chimney sweeps, and more offensive than street scavengers. As these
Syringe Boys, or Goulmins, are thus protected by custom, the persons
assailed affected to despise them; but I could ever and anon see some of
the most active partisans clapping them on the back, and saying, "Well
done, my little fellows! give it to them again! You shall have a
ginger-cake--and you shall have a new cap," &c. Surely, thought I, our
custom of praising and abusing our public men in the newspapers, is far
more rational than this. After the novelty of the scene was over, I
became wearied and disgusted with their coarseness, violence, and want
of decency, and we left them without waiting to see the result of
the contest.

In returning to our lodgings, the Brahmin took me along a quarter of the
town in which I had never before been. In a little while we came to a
lofty building, before the gate of which a great crowd were assembled.
"This," said my companion, "is one of the courts of justice." Anxious to
see their modes of proceeding in court, I pushed through the crowd,
followed by the Brahmin, and on entering the building, found myself in a
spacious amphitheatre, in the middle of which I beheld, with surprise,
several men engaged, hand to hand, in single combat. On asking an
explanation of my friend, he informed me that these contests were
favourite modes of settling private disputes in Morosofia: that the
prize-fighters I saw, hired themselves to any one who conceived himself
injured in person, character, or property. "It seems a strange mode of
settling legal disputes," I remarked, "which determines a question in
favour of a party, according to the strength and wind of his champion."

"Nor is that all," said the Brahmin, "as the judges assign the victory
according to certain rules and precedents, the reasons of which are
known only to themselves, if known at all, and which are often
sufficiently whimsical--as sometimes a small scratch in the head avails
more than a disabling blow in the body. The blows too, must be given in
the right time, as well as in the right place, or they pass for nothing.
In short, of all those spectators who are present to witness the powers
and address of the prize-fighters, not one in a hundred can tell who has
gained the victory, until the judges have proclaimed it."

"I presume," said I, "that the champions who thus expose their persons
and lives in the cause of another, are Glonglims?"

"There," said he, "you are altogether mistaken. In the first place, the
prize-fighters seldom sustain serious injury. Their weapons do not
endanger life; and as each one knows that his adversary is merely
following his vocation, they often fight without animosity. After the
contest is over, you may commonly see the combatants walking and talking
very sociably together: but as this circumstance makes them a little
suspected by the public, they affect the greater rage when in conflict,
and occasionally quarrel and fight in downright earnest. No," he
continued, "I am told it is a very rare thing to see one of these
prize-fighters who is a Glonglim; but most of their employers belong to
this unhappy race."

On looking more attentively, I perceived many of these beings among the
spectators, showing, by their gestures, the greatest anxiety for the
issue of the contest. They each carried a scrip, or bag, the contents of
which they ever and anon gave to their respective champions, whose wind,
it is remarked, is very apt to fail, unless thus assisted.

Having learnt some farther particulars respecting this singular mode of
litigation, which would be uninteresting to the general reader, I took
my leave, not without secretly congratulating myself on the more
rational modes in which justice is administered on earth.

When we had nearly reached our lodgings, we heard a violent altercation
in the house, and on entering, we found our landlord and his wife
engaged in a dispute respecting their domestic economy, and they both
made earnest appeals to my companion for the correctness of their
respective opinions. The old man was in favour of their children making
their own shoes and clothes; and his wife insisted that it would be
better for them to stick to their garden and dairy, with the proceeds of
which they could purchase what they wanted. She asserted that they could
readily sell all the fruits and vegetables they could raise; and that
whilst they would acquire greater skill by an undivided attention to one
thing, they who followed the business of tailors, shoemakers, and
seamstresses, would, in like manner, become more skilful in their
employments, and consequently be able to work at a cheaper rate. She
farther added, that spinning and sewing were unhealthy occupations; they
would give the girls the habit of stooping, which would spoil their
shapes; and that their thoughts would be more likely to be running on
idle and dangerous fancies, when sitting at their needles, than when
engaged in more active occupations.

This dame was a very fluent, ready-witted woman, and she spoke with the
confidence that consciousness of the powers of disputation commonly
inspires. She went on enlarging on the mischiefs of the practice she
condemned, and, by insensible gradations, so magnified them, that at
last she clearly made out that there was no surer way of rendering their
daughters sickly, deformed, vicious, and unchaste, than to set them
about making their own clothes.

After she had ceased, (which she did under a persuasion that she had
anticipated and refuted every argument that could be urged in opposition
to her doctrine,) the husband, with an emotion of anger that he could
not conceal, began to defend his opinion. He said, as to the greater
economy of his plan, there could be no doubt; for although they might,
at particular times, make more by gardening than they could save by
spinning or sewing, yet there were other times when they could not till
the ground, and when, of course, if they did not sew or spin, they would
be idle; but if they did work, the proceeds would be clear gain. He said
he did not wish his daughters to be constantly employed in making
clothes, nor was it necessary that they should be. A variety of other
occupations, equally indispensable, claimed their attention, and would
leave but a comparatively small portion of time for needlework: that in
thus providing themselves with employment at home, they at least saved
the time of going backwards and forwards, and were spared some trips to
market, for the sale of vegetables to pay, as would then be necessary,
for the work done by others. Besides, the tailor who was most convenient
to them, and who, it was admitted, was a very good one, was insolent and
capricious; would sometimes extort extravagant prices, or turn them into
ridicule; and occasionally went so far as to set his water-dogs upon
them, of which he kept a great number. He declared, that for his part he
would incur a little more expense, rather than he would be so imposed
upon, and subjected to so much indignity and vexation.

He denied that sewing would affect his daughters' health, unless,
perhaps, they followed it exclusively as an occupation; but, as they
would have it in their power to consult their inclinations and
convenience in this matter, they might take it up when the occasion
required, and lay it down whenever they found it irksome or fatiguing:
that as they themselves were inclined to follow this course, it was a
plain proof that the occupation was not unhealthy. He maintained that
they would stoop just as much in gardening, and washing and nursing
their children, as in sewing; and that we were not such frail or
unpliant machines as to be seriously injured, unless we persisted in one
set of straight, formal notions, but that we were adapted to variety,
and were benefited by it. That as to the practice being favourable to
wantonness and vice, while he admitted that idleness was productive of
these effects, he could not see how one occupation encouraged them more
than another. That the tailor, for example, whom he had been speaking
of, though purse-proud, overbearing, and rapacious, was not more immoral
or depraved than his neighbours, and had probably less of the libertine
than most of them. He admitted that evil thoughts would enter the mind
in any situation, and could not reasonably be expected to be kept out of
his daughters' heads (being, as he said, but women): yet he conceived
such a result as far less probable, if they were suffered to ramble
about in the streets, and to chaffer with their customers, than if they
were kept to sedate and diligent employment at home.

Having, with great warmth and earnestness, used these arguments, he
concluded, by plainly hinting to his wife that she had always been the
apologist of the tailor, in all their disputes; and that she could not
be so obstinately blind to the irrefragable reasoning he had urged, if
she were not influenced by her old hankering after this fellow, and did
not consult his interests in preference to those of her own family. Upon
this remark the old woman took fire, and, in spite of our presence, they
both had recourse to direct and the coarsest abuse.

The Brahmin did not, as I expected, join me in laughing at the scene we
had just witnessed; but, after some musing, observed: "There is much
truth in what each of these parties say. I blame them only for the
course they take towards each other. Their dispute is, in fact, of a
most frivolous and unmeaning character; for, if the father was to carry
his point, the girls would occasionally sell the productions of their
garden, and pay for making their clothes, or even buy them ready made.
Were the mother, on the other hand, to prevail, they would still
occasionally use their needles, and exercise their taste and skill in
sewing, spinning, knitting, and the like. Nay," added he, "if you had
not been so much engrossed with this angry and indecorous altercation,
you might have seen two of them at their needles, in an adjoining
apartment, while one was busy at work in the garden, and another up to
the elbows in the soap-suds--all so closely engaged in their several
pursuits, that they hardly seemed to know they were the subject of
discussion."

I told the Brahmin that a dispute, not unlike this, had taken place in
my own country, a few years since; some of our politicians contending
that agricultural labour was most conducive to the national wealth,
whilst others maintained that manufacturing industry was equally
advantageous, wherever it was voluntarily pursued;--but that the
controversy had lately assumed a different character--the question now
being, not whether manufactures are as beneficial as agriculture, but
whether they deserve extraordinary encouragement, by taxing those who do
not give them a preference.

"That is," said the Brahmin, "as if our landlady, by way of inducing her
daughters to give up gardening for spinning, were to tell them, if they
did not find their new occupation as profitable as the old, she would
more than make up the difference out of her own pocket, which, though it
might suit the daughters very well, would be a losing business to
the family."



CHAPTER XIII.

_Description of the Happy Valley--The laws, customs, and manners of the
Okalbians--Theory of population--Rent--System of government._


The Brahmin, who was desirous of showing me what was most remarkable in
this country, during the short time we intended to stay, thought this a
favourable time to visit Okalbia, or the Happy Valley. The Okalbians are
a tribe or nation, who live separated from the rest of the Lunar world,
and whose wise government, prudence, industry, and integrity, are very
highly extolled by all, though, by what I can learn, they have few
imitators. They dwell about three hundred miles north of the city of
Alamatua, in a fertile valley, which they obtained by purchase about two
hundred years since, and which is about equal to twenty miles square,
that is, to four hundred square miles. A carriage and four well-broke
dogs, was procured for us, and we soon reached the foot of the mountain
that encloses the fortunate valley, in about fifty-two hours. We then
ascended, for about three miles, with far fatigue than I formerly
experienced in climbing the Catskill mountains of my native State, and
found ourselves on the summit of an extensive ridge, which formed the
margin of a vast elliptical basin, the bottom of which presented a most
beautiful landscape. The whole surface was like a garden, interspersed
with patches of wood, clumps of trees, and houses standing singly or in
groupes. A lake, about a mile across, received several small streams,
and on its edge was a town, containing about a thousand houses. After
enjoying the beauties of the scene for some minutes, we descended by a
rough winding road, and entered this Lunar Paradise, in about four
hours. Along the sides of the highway we travelled, were planted rows of
trees, not unlike our sycamores, which afforded a refreshing shade to
the traveller; and commonly a rivulet ran bubbling along one side or the
other of the road.

After journeying about eight miles, we entered a neat, well built town,
which contained, as we were informed, about fifteen thousand
inhabitants. The Brahmin informed me, that in a time of religious
fervour, about two centuries ago, a charter was granted to the founder
of a new sect, the Volbins, who had chanced to make converts of some of
the leading men in Morosofia, authorising him and his followers to
purchase this valley of the hunting tribe to whom it belonged, and to
govern themselves by their own laws. They found no difficulty in making
the purchase. It was then used as a mere hunting ground, no one liking
to settle in a place that seemed shut out from the rest of the world. At
first, the new settlers divided the land equally among all the
inhabitants, one of their tenets being, that as there was no difference
of persons in the next world, there should be no difference in sharing
the good things of this. They tried at first to preserve this equality;
but finding it impracticable, they abandoned it. It is said that after
about thirty years, by reason of a difference in their industry and
frugality, and of some families spending less than they made, and some
more, the number of land owners was reduced to four hundred, and that
fifty of these held one half of the whole; since which time the number
of landed proprietors has declined with the population, though not in
the same proportion. As the soil is remarkably fertile, the climate
healthy, and the people temperate and industrious, they multiplied very
rapidly until they reached their present numbers, which have been long
stationary, and amount to 150,000, that is, about four hundred to a
square mile; of these, more than one half live in towns and villages,
containing from one hundred to a thousand houses.

They have little or no commerce with any other people, the valley
producing every vegetable production, and the mountains every mineral,
which they require; and in fact, they have no foreign intercourse
whatever, except when they visit, or are visited from curiosity. Though
they have been occasionally bullied and threatened by lawless and
overbearing neighbours; yet, as they can be approached by only a single
gorge in the mountain, which is always well garrisoned, (and they
present no sufficient object to ambition, to compensate for the scandal
of invading so inoffensive and virtuous a people,) they have never yet
been engaged in war.

I felt very anxious to know how it was that their numbers did not
increase, as they were exempt from all pestilential diseases, and live
in such abundance, that a beggar by trade has never been known among
them, and are remarkable for their moral habits.

"Let us inquire at the fountain-head," said the Brahmin; and we went to
see the chief magistrate, who received us in a style of unaffected
frankness, which in a moment put us at our ease. After we had explained
to him who we were, and answered such inquiries as he chose to make:

"Sir," said I, through the Brahmin, who acted as interpreter, "I have
heard much of your country, and I find, on seeing it, that it exceeds
report, in the order, comfort, contentment, and abundance of the people.
But I am puzzled to find out how it is that your numbers do not
increase. I presume you marry late in life?"

"On the contrary," said he; "every young man marries as soon as he
receives his education, and is capable of managing the concerns of a
family. Some are thus qualified sooner, and some later."

"Some occasionally migrate, then?"

"Never. A number of our young men, indeed, visit foreign countries, but
not one in a hundred settles abroad."

"How, then, do your associates continue stationary?"

"Nothing is more easy. No man has a larger family than his land or
labour can support, in comfort; and as long as that is the case with
every individual, it must continue to be the case with the whole
community. We leave the matter to individual discretion. The prudential
caution which is thus indicated, has been taught us by our own
experience. We had gone on increasing, under the encouraging influence
of a mild system of laws, genial climate, and fruitful soil, until,
about a century ago, we found that our numbers were greater than our
country, abundant as it is, could comfortably support; and our seasons
being unfavourable for two successive years, many of our citizens were
obliged to banish themselves from Okalbia; and their education not
fitting them for a different state of society, they suffered severely,
both in their comforts and morals. It is now a primary moral duty,
enforced by all our juvenile instructors with every citizen, to adapt
his family to his means; and thus a regard which each individual has for
his offspring, is the salvation of the State."

"And can these prudential restraints be generally practised? What a
virtuous people! Love for one another brings the two sexes
together--love for their offspring makes them separate!"

"I see," said the magistrate, smiling, "you are under an error. No
separation takes place, and none is necessary."

"How, then, am I to believe.....?"

"You are to believe nothing," said he, with calm dignity, "which is
incompatible with virtue and propriety. I see that the most important of
all sciences--that one on which the well-being and improvement of
society mainly depends,--is in its infancy with you. But whenever you
become as populous as we are, and unite the knowledge of real happiness
with the practice of virtue, you will understand it. It is one of our
maxims, that heaven gives wisdom to man in such portions as his
situation requires it; and no doubt it is the same with the people of
your earth."

I did not, after this, push my inquiries farther; but remarked, aside to
the Brahmin,--"I would give a good deal to know this secret, provided it
would suit our planet."

"It is already known there," replied he, "and has been long practised by
many in the east: but in the present state of society with you, it might
do more harm than good to be made public, by removing one of the checks
of licentiousness, where women are so unrestrained as they are
with you."

Changing now the subject, I ventured to inquire how they employed their
leisure hours, and whether many did not experience here a wearisome
sameness, and a feeling of confinement and restraint.

"It is true," said the magistrate, "men require variety; but I would not
have you suppose he cannot find it here. He may cultivate his lands,
improve his mind, educate his children; these are his serious
occupations, affording every day some employment that is, at once, new
and interesting: and, by way of relaxation, he has music, painting, and
sculpture; sailing, riding, conversation, storytelling, and reading the
news of what is passing, both in the valley and out of it."

I asked if they had newspapers. He answered in the affirmative; and
added, that they contained minute details of the births, deaths,
marriages, accidents, state of the weather and crops, arbitrations,
public festivals, inventions, original poetry, and prose compositions.
In addition to which, they had about fifty of their most promising young
men travelling abroad, who made observations on all that was remarkable
in the countries they passed through, which they regularly transmitted
once a month to Okalbia. I inquired if they travelled at the public
expense or their own?

"They always pursue some profession or trade, by the profits of which
they support themselves. We have nothing but intellect and ingenuity to
export; for though our country produces every thing, there is no
commodity that we can so well spare. Their talents find them employment
every where; and the necessity they are under of a laborious exertion of
these talents, and of submitting to a great deal from those whose
customs and manners are not to their taste, and whom they feel inferior
to themselves, is a considerable check to the desire to go abroad, so
much so, that we hold out the farther inducement of political
distinction when they return."

"What, then! you have ambition among you?"

"Certainly; our institutions have only tempered it, and not vainly
endeavoured to extinguish it; and we find it employment in this way: Of
our youthful travellers, those who are most diligent in their vocation;
who give the most useful information, and communicate it in the happiest
manner, are made magistrates, on their return, and sometimes have
statues decreed to them. Besides, the name which their conduct or
talents procure them abroad, is echoed back to the valley, long before
their return, and has much influence in the general estimate of their
character.

"But have you not many more competitors, than you have public offices?"

"There are, without doubt, many who desire office; but to manifest their
wish, would be one of the surest means of defeating it. We require
modesty, (at least in appearance,) moderation and disinterestedness, and
of course, the less pains a candidate takes to show himself off,
the better."

"But have they no friends, who can at once render them this service, and
relieve them from the odium of it?"

"There is, indeed, somewhat of this; but you must remember, that the
highest of our magistrates has comparatively little power. He has no
army, no treasury, no patronage; he merely executes the laws. But, as a
farther check on the immoderate zeal of friends, the expense of doing
this, as well as of maintaining him in office, is defrayed by those who
vote for him. There seems, at first view, but little justice in this
regulation; but we think, that as every one cannot have his way, those
who carry their point, and have the power, should also bear the burden:
besides, in this way the voices of the most generous and disinterested
prevail. We have," he added, "found this the most difficult part of our
government. We once thought that the very lively interest excited in the
electioneering contests, particularly for that of Gompoo, or chief
magistrate, was to be ascribed to the power he possessed; and we
resorted to various expedients to lessen it--such as dividing it among a
greater number--requiring a quick rotation of office--abridging the
powers themselves: but we discovered, that however small the power, the
distinction it gave to those who possessed it, was always an object of
lively interest with the ambitious, and indeed with the public in
general. We have, therefore, enlarged the power, and the term of holding
it, and make him who would attain it, purchase it by previous exertion
and self-denial: and we farther compel those who favour him, to lose as
well as gain. We array the love of money against the love of power; or
rather, one love of power to another. Moreover, as it is only by the
civic virtues that our citizens recommend themselves to popular favour,
there is nothing of that enthusiasm which military success excites among
the natives."

Our Washington then presented himself to my mind, and for a moment I
began to question his claim to the unexampled honours bestowed on him by
his countrymen, until I recollected that he was as distinguished by his
respect for the laws, and his sound views of national policy, as for his
military services.

I then inquired into the occupations and condition of those who were
without land; and was told that they were either cultivators of the
soil, or practised some liberal or mechanical art; and, partly owing to
the education they receive, and partly from the active competition that
exists among them, they are skilful, diligent, and honest. Now and then
there are some exceptions, according to the proverb, that _in the best
field of grain there will be some bad ears_. The land-owners sometimes
cultivate the soil with their own hands--sometimes with hired
labourers--and sometimes they rent them for about a third of their
produce. The smallest proprietors commonly adopt the first course; the
middling, the second; and the great landholders the third."

"But I thought," said I, "that all the land in the valley was of equal
fertility."

"So it is; but what has that to do with rent?"

"Sir," said I, "our ablest writers on this subject have lately
discovered that there can be no rent where there is not a gradation of
soils, such as exists in every country of the earth."

"I see not," said he, "what could have led them into that error. It is
true, if there was inferior land, there would be a difference of rent in
proportion to the difference of fertility; and if it was so poor as
merely to repay the expense of cultivation, it would yield no rent at
all. But surely, if one man makes as much as several consume, (and this
he can easily do with us,) he will be able to get much of their labour
in exchange for this surplus, which is so indispensable to them, and to
get more and more, until the greatest number has come into existence
which such surplus can support. What they thus give, if the proprietor
retains the land himself, you may regard as the extraordinary profits of
agricultural labour, or rent, if paid to any one to whom he transfers
this benefit. This is precisely our present situation."

There was no denying this statement of facts: but I could not help
exclaiming,--"Surely there is nothing certain in the universe; or
rather, truth is one thing in the moon, and another thing on the earth."



CHAPTER XIV.

_Farther account of Okalbia--The Field of Roses--Curious superstition
concerning that flower--The pleasures of smell traced to association, by
a Glonglim philosopher._


Though I felt some reluctance to abuse the patience of this polite and
intelligent magistrate, I could not help making some inquiry about the
jurisprudence of his country, and first, what was their system of
punishment.

"We have no capital punishment," says he; "for, from all we learn, it is
not more efficacious in preventing crime, than other punishments which
are milder; and we prefer making the example to offenders a lasting one.
But we endeavour to prevent offences, not so much by punishment as by
education; and the few crimes committed among us, bring certain censure
on those who have the early instruction of the criminal. Murders are
very rare with us; thefts and robbery perhaps still more so. Our
ordinary disputes about property, are commonly settled by arbitration,
where, as well as in court, each party is permitted to state his case,
to examine what witnesses and to ask what questions he pleases."

"You do not," said I, "examine witnesses who are interested?"

"Why not? The judges even examine the parties themselves."

I then told him that the smallest direct interest in the issue of the
controversy, disqualified a witness with us, from the strong bias it
created to misrepresent facts, and even to misconceive them.

He replied with a smile,--"It seems to me that your extreme fear of
hearing falsehood, must often prevent you from ascertaining the truth.
It is true, that wherever the interest of a witness is involved, it has
an immediate tendency to make him misstate facts: but so would personal
ill-will--so would his sympathies--so would any strong feeling. What,
then, is your course in these cases?"

I told him that these objections applied to the credibility, and not to
the competency, of witnesses, which distinctions of the lawyers I
endeavoured to explain to him.

"Then I think you often exclude a witness who is under a small bias, and
admit another who is under a great one. You allow a man to give
testimony in a case in which the fortune or character of his father,
brother or child is involved, but reject him in a case in which he is
not interested to the amount of a greater sum than he would give to the
first beggar he met. Is it not so?"

"That, indeed, may be the operation of the rule. But cases of such
flagrant inconsistency are very rare; and this rule, like every other,
must be tried by its general, and not its partial effects."

"True; but your rule must at least be a troublesome one, and give rise
to a great many nice distinctions, that make it difficult in the
application. All laws are sufficiently exposed to this evil, and we do
not wish unnecessarily to increase it. We have, therefore, adopted the
plan of allowing either party to ask any question of any witness he
pleases, and leave it to the judges to estimate the circumstances which
may bias the witness. We, in short, pursue the same course in
investigating facts in court that we pursue out of it, when no one forms
a judgment until he has first heard what the parties and their friends
say on the subject."

On my return home, I repeated this conversation to a lawyer of my
acquaintance, who told me that such a rule of evidence might do for the
people in the moon, but it certainly would not suit us. I leave the
matter to be settled by more competent heads than mine, and return to my
narrative.

I farther learnt from this intelligent magistrate, that the territory of
the Happy Valley, or Okalbia, is divided into forty-two counties, and
each county into ten districts. In each district are three magistrates,
who are appointed by the legislature. Causes of small value are decided
by the magistrates of the district; those of greater importance, by the
county courts, composed of all the magistrates of the ten districts; a
few by the court of last court, consisting of seven judges. The
legislature consists of two houses, of which the members are elected
annually, three from each county for one branch, and one member for the
other. No qualification of property is required either to vote, or to be
eligible to either house of the legislature, as they believe that the
natural influence of property is sufficient, without adding to that
influence by law; and that the moral effects of education among them,
together with a few provisions in their constitution, are quite
sufficient to guard against any improper combination of those who have
small property. Besides, there are no odious privileges exclusively
possessed by particular classes of men, to excite the envy or resentment
of the other classes, and induce them to act in concert.

"Have you, then, no parties?" said I.

"Oh yes; we are not without our political parties and disputes; and we
sometimes wrangle about very small matters--such as, what amount of
labour shall be bestowed on the public roads--the best modes of
conducting our schools and colleges--the comparative merits of the
candidates for office, or the policy of some proposed change in the
laws. Man is made, you know, of very combustible materials, and may be
kindled as effectually by a spark falling at the right time, in the
right place, as when within reach of a great conflagration."

The women appeared here to be under few restraints. I understood that
they were taught, like our sex, all the speculative branches of
knowledge, but that they were more especially instructed, by professed
teachers, in cookery, needlework, and every sort of domestic economy; as
were the young men in the occupations which require strength and
exposure. They have a variety of public schools, and some houses for
public festivals, but no public hospitals or almshouses whatever, the
few cases of private distress or misfortune being left for relief to the
merits of the sufferer and the compassion of individuals.

After passing a week among this singular and fortunate people, whom we
every where found equally amiable, intelligent, and hospitable, we
returned to Alamatua in the same way that we had come; that is, in a
light car, drawn by four large mastiffs. When we had recovered from the
fatigues of the journey, and I had carefully committed to paper all that
I had learnt of the Okalbians, the Brahmin and I took a walk towards a
part of the suburbs which I had not yet seen, and where some of the
literati of his acquaintance resided. The sun appeared to be not more
than two hours high (though, in fact, it was more than fifty); the sky
was without a cloud, and a fresh breeze from the mountains contributed
to make it like one of the most delightful summer evenings of a
temperate climate.

We carelessly rambled along, enjoying the balmy freshness of the air,
the picturesque scenery of the neighbouring mountains, the beauty or
fragrance of some vegetable productions, and the oddity of others,
until, having passed through a thick wood, we came to an extensive
plain, which was covered with rose-bushes. The queen of flowers here
appeared under every variety of colour, size, and species--red, white,
black, and yellow--budding, full-blown, and half-blown;--some with
thorns, and some without; some odourless, and others exhaling their
unrivalled perfume with an overpowering sweetness. I was about to pluck
one of these flowers, (of which I have always been particularly fond,)
when a man, whom I had not previously observed, stepping up behind me,
seized my arm, and asked me if I knew what I was doing. He told us that
the roses of this field, which is called Gulgal, were deemed sacred, and
were not allowed to be gathered without the special permission of the
priests, under a heavy penalty; and that he was one of those whose duty
it was to prevent the violation of the law, and to bring the offenders
to punishment.

The Brahmin, having diverted himself a while with my surprise and
disappointment, then informed me, that the rose had ever been regarded
in Morosofia, as the symbol of female purity, delicacy, and sweetness;
which notion had grown into a popular superstition, that whenever a
marriage is consummated on the earth, one of these flowers springs up in
the moon; and that in colour, shape, size, or other property, it is a
fit type of the individual whose change of state is thus commemorated.

"What, father," said I, "could have given rise to so strange an
opinion?"

"I know not," said he; "but I have heard it thus explained:--That the
roses generally spring up, as well as blow, in the course of their long
nights, during which the earth's resplendent disc is the most
conspicuous object in the heavens; which two facts stand, in the opinion
of the multitude, in the relation of cause and effect. Attributing,
then, the symbolical character of the rose to its tutelary planet, they
regard the earth in the same light as the ancients did the chaste Diana,
and believe that she plants this her favourite flower in the moon,
whenever she loses a votary. The priesthood encourage this superstition,
as they have grafted on it some mystical rites, which add to their power
and profit, and which one of our Pundits thinks has a great resemblance
to the Eleusinian mysteries. There is, however, my dear Atterley, little
satisfaction in tracing the origin of vulgar superstitions. They grow up
like a strange plant in a forest, without our being able to tell how the
seed found its way there. It is generally believed in the east, that the
moon, at particular periods of her revolution round the earth, has a
great influence in causing rain; though every one must see, that,
notwithstanding such influence must be the same in every part of the
earth, it is invariably fair in one place, at the very time that it is
rainy in another. Nay, we may safely aver that there is not a day, nor
an hour, in the year, in which it is not dry and rainy, cloudy and
clear, windy and calm, in hundreds of places at once."

I told the Brahmin that the same opinion prevailed in my country. That
the vulgar also believe the moon, according to its age, to have
particular effects on the flesh of slaughtered animals; and that all
sailors distinguish between a wet and a dry day, according to the
position of the crescent.

We then inquired of the warden of this flowery plain, if he had ever
remarked any difference in the number of roses which sprung up in a
given period of time. He said he thought they were more numerous about
five and twenty or thirty years ago, than he had ever seen them before
or since. With that exception, he said, the number appeared to be nearly
the same every year.

The Brahmin happening to be in one of those pleasant moods which are
occasionally experienced by amiable tempers, even when under the
pressure of sorrow and age, now amused himself in pointing out the
flowers which probably represented the different nations of the earth;
and when he saw any one remarkably small, pale and delicate, he insisted
that it belonged to his own country; which point, however, I, not
yielding to him in nationality, warmly contested. I would here remark,
that as the rose is called _gul_ in the Persian language and the ancient
Sanscrit, the name of this field furnished another argument in support
of the Brahmin's hypothesis of the origin of the moon.

While thus oblivious of the past, and reckless of the future, we were
enjoying the present moment in this _badinage_, and I was extolling the
odour of the rose, as beyond every other grateful to the olfactory
nerves of man, a lively, flippant little personage came up, and accosted
the Brahmin with the familiarity of an acquaintance. My companion
immediately introduced me to him, and at the same time gave me to
understand that this was the great Reffei, one of the most distinguished
literati of the country. Although his eye was remarkably piercing, I
perceived in it somewhat of the wildness which always characterizes a
Glonglim. He was evidently impatient for discussion; and having informed
himself of the subject of my rhapsody when he joined our party, he
vehemently exclaimed,--"I am surprised at your falling in with that
popular prejudice; while it is easy to show, that but for some feeling
of love, or pity, or admiration, with which the rose happens to be
associated--some past pleasure which it brings to your recollection, or
some future pleasure which it suggests,--any other flower would be
equally sweet. You see the rose a very beautiful flower; and you have
been accustomed, whenever you saw and felt its beauty, to perceive, at
the same time, a certain odour. The beauty and the odour thus become
associated in your mind, and the smell brings along with it the pleasure
you feel in looking at it. But the chief part of the gratification you
receive from smelling a rose, arises from some past scene of delight of
which it reminds you; as, of the days of your innocence and childhood,
when you ran about the garden--or when you were decorated with
nosegays--or danced round a may-pole, (this is rather a free
translation)--or presented a bunch of flowers to some little favourite."
He said a great deal more on the subject, and spoke so prettily and
ingeniously, as almost to make a convert of me; when, on bringing my
nose once more to the flower, I found in it the same exquisite
fragrance as ever.

"Why do we like," he continued, "the smell of a beef-steak, or of a cup
of tea, except for the pleasure we receive from their taste?"

I mentioned, as an exception to his theory, the codfish, which is
esteemed a very savoury dish by my countrymen, but which no one ever
regarded as very fragrant. But he repelled my objection by an ingenious
hypothesis, grounded on certain physiological facts, to show that this
supposed disagreeable smell was also the effect of some early
associations. I then mentioned to him assafoetida, the odour of which I
believed was universally odious. He immediately replied, that we are
always accustomed to associate with this drug, the disagreeable ideas of
sickness, female weakness, hysterics, affectation, &c. Unable to
continue the argument, I felt myself vanquished. I again stooped to the
flower, and as I inhaled its perfume, "Surely," said I to myself, "this
rose would be sweet if I were to lose my memory altogether:" but
recollecting the great Reffei's argument, I mentally added thanks to
divine philosophy, which always corrects our natural prejudices.



CHAPTER XV.

_Atterley goes to the great monthly fair--Its various exhibitions;
difficulties--Preparations to leave the Moon--Curiosities procured by
Atterley--Regress to the Earth._


The philosopher, not waiting to enjoy the triumph of victory, abruptly
took his leave, and we, refreshed and delighted with our walk, returned
home. Our landlord informed us that we had arrived in good time to
attend the great fair, or market, which regularly takes place a little
before the sun sinks below the horizon. Having taken a short repast,
while the Brahmin called on one of his acquaintance, I sallied forth
into the street, and soon found myself in the bustling throng, who were
hastening to this great resort of the busy, the idle, the knavish, and
the gay; some in pursuit of gain, and some of pleasure; whilst others
again, without any settled purpose, were carried along by the vague
desire of meeting with somewhat to relieve them from the pain
of idleness.

The fair was held in a large square piece of ground in one of the
suburbs, set apart for that purpose; and on each of its four sides a
long low building, or rather roof, supported on massy white columns,
extended about six hundred yards in length, and was thirty yards wide.
Immediately within this arcade were arranged the finer kinds of
merchandise, fabrics of cotton or silk, and articles of jewelry,
cutlery, porcelain, and glass. On the outside were provisions of every
kind, vegetable and animal, flesh, fish, and fowl, as well as the
coarser manufactures. At no great distance from this hollow square,
(which was used exclusively for buying and selling,) might be seen an
infinite variety of persons, collected in groupes, all engaged in some
occupation or amusement, according to their several tastes and humours.
Here a party of young men were jumping, or wrestling, or shooting at a
mark with cross-bows. There, girls and boys were dancing to the sound of
a pipe, or still smaller children were playing at marbles, or amusing
themselves with the toys they had just purchased. Not far from these, a
quack from one scaffold was descanting on the virtues of his medicines,
whilst a preacher from another was holding forth to the graver part of
the crowd, the joys and terrors of another life; and yet farther on, a
motley groupe were listening to a blind beggar, who was singing to the
music of a sort of rude guitar. Here and there curtains, hanging from a
slight frame of wood-work, veiled a small square from the eyes of all,
except those who paid a nail for admittance. Some of these curtained
boxes contained jugglers--some tumblers--some libidinous pictures--and
others again, strange birds, beasts, and other animals. I observed that
none of the exhibitions were as much frequented as these booths; and I
was told that the corporation of the city derived from them a
considerable revenue. Amidst such an infinite variety of objects, my
attention was so distracted that it could not settle down upon any one,
and I strolled about without object or design.

When I had become more familiar with this mixed multitude of sights and
sounds, I endeavoured to take a closer survey of some of the objects
composing the medley. The first thing which attracted my particular
notice, was a profusion of oaths and imprecations, which proceeded from
one of the curtained booths. I paid the admittance money to a
well-dressed man, of smooth, easy manners, and entered. I found there
several parties paired off, and engaged at different games; but, like
the rest of the bystanders, I felt myself most strongly attracted
towards the two who were betting highest. One of these was an elderly
man, of a tall stature, in a plain dress; the other was a short man, in
very costly apparel, and some years younger. For a long time the scales
of victory seemed balanced between them; but at length the tall man, who
had great self-possession, and who played with consummate skill, won the
game: soon after which he rose up, and making a graceful, respectful bow
to the rest of the company, he retired. Not being able to catch his eye,
so intent was he on his game, I felt some curiosity to know whether he
was a Glonglim; but could not ascertain the fact, as some of whom the
Brahmin inquired, said that he was, while others maintained that he was
not. His adversary, however, evidently belonged to that class, and, when
flushed with hope, reminded me of the feather-hunter. At first he
endeavoured, by forced smiles, to conceal his rage and disappointment.
He then bit his lips with vexation, and challenged one of the bystanders
to play for a smaller stake. Fortune seemed about to smile on him on
this occasion; but one of the company, who appeared to be very much
respected by the rest, detected the little man in some false play, and
publicly exposing him, broke up the game. I understood afterwards, that
before the fair was over, the gamester avenged himself for this injury
in the other's blood: that he then returned to the fair, secretly
entered another gambling booth, where he betted so rashly, that he soon
lost not only his patrimonial estate, which was large, but his acquired
wealth, which was much larger. Having lost all his property, and even
his clothes, he then staked and lost his liberty, and even his teeth,
which were very good; and he will thus be compelled to live on soups for
the rest of his life.

I saw several other matches played, in which great sums were betted,
great skill was exhibited, and occasionally much unfairness practised.
There was one man in the crowd, whose extraordinary good fortune I could
not but admire. He went about from table to table, sometimes betting
high and sometimes low, but was generally successful, until he had won
as much as he could fairly carry; after which he went out, and amused
himself at a puppet-show, and the stall of a cake-woman, with whom he
had formerly quarrelled, but who now, when she learnt his success, was
obsequiously civil to him. I did not see that he manifested superior
skill, but still he was successful; and in his last great stake with a
young, but not inexpert player, he won the game, though the chances were
three to two against him. "Surely," thought I, "fortune rules the
destinies of man in the moon as well as on the earth."

On looking now at my watch, I found that I had been longer a witness of
these trials of skill and fortune, than I had been aware; and on leaving
the booth, perceived that the sun had sunk behind the western mountains,
and that the earth began to beam with her nocturnal splendour. Those who
had come from a distance, were already hurrying back with their carts;
and here and there light cars, of various forms and colours, and drawn
by dogs, were conveying those away whose object had been amusement. Some
were snatching a hasty meal; and a few, by their quiet air, seemed as if
they meant to continue on the spot as long as the regulations permit,
after sunset, which is about twenty of our hours. I found the Brahmin at
home when I returned, and I felt as much pleased to see him, as if we
had not seen each other for many months.

As the shades of night approached, my anxiety to return to my native
planet increased, and I urged my friend to lose no time in preparing for
our departure. We were soon afterwards informed that a man high in
office, and renowned for his political sagacity, proposed to detain us,
on the ground that when such voyages as ours were shown to be
practicable, the inhabitants of the earth, who were so much more
numerous than those of the moon, might invade the latter with a large
army, for the purposes of rapine and conquest. We farther learnt that
this opinion, which was at first cautiously circulated in the higher
circles, had become more generally known, and was producing a strong
sensation among the people.

The Brahmin immediately presented himself before the council of state,
to remove the impression. He pointed out to them the insurmountable
obstacles to such an invasion, physical and moral. He urged to them that
the nations of the earth felt so much jealousy and ill-will towards one
another, that they never cordially co-operated in any enterprise for
their common interest or glory; and that if any one nation were to send
an army into the moon, such a scheme of ambition would afford at once a
temptation and pretext for its neighbours to invade it. That his country
had not the ability, and mine had not the inclination, to attack the
liberties of any other: so far from that, he informed them, on my
authority, that we were in the habit of sending teachers abroad, to
instruct other nations in the duties of religion, morals, and humanity.
He entered into some calculations, to show that the project was also
impracticable on account of its expense; and, lastly, insisted that if
all other difficulties were removed, we should find it impossible to
convince the people of the earth that we had really been to the moon. I
have since found that the Brahmin was more right in his last argument,
than I then believed possible.

I am not able to say what effect these representations of the Brahmin
would have produced, if they had not been taken up and enforced by the
political rival of him who had first opposed our departure; but by his
powerful aid they finally triumphed, and we obtained a formal permission
to leave the moon whenever, we thought proper.

As we meant to return in the same machine in which we came, we were not
long in preparing for our voyage. We proposed to set out about the
middle of the night; and we passed the chief part of the interval in
making visits of ceremony, and in calling on those who had shown us
civility. I endeavoured also, to collect such articles as I thought
would be most curious and rare in my own country, and most likely to
produce conviction with those who might be disposed to question the fact
of my voyage. I was obliged, however, to limit myself to such things as
were neither bulky nor weighty, the Brahmin thinking that after we had
taken in our instruments and the necessary provisions, we could not
safely take more than twenty or thirty pounds in addition.

Some of my lunar curiosities, which I thought would be most new and
interesting to my countrymen, have proved to be very familiar to our men
of science. This has been most remarkably the case with my mineral
specimens. Of the leaves and flowers of above seventy plants, which I
brought, more than forty are found on the earth, and several of these
grow in my native State. With the insects I have been more successful;
but some of these, as well as of the plants, I am assured, are found on
the coasts of the Pacific, or in the islands of that ocean; which fact,
by the way, gives a farther support to the Brahmin's hypothesis.

Besides the productions of nature that I have mentioned, I procured some
specimens of their cloth, a few light toys, a lady's turban decorated
with cantharides, a pair of slippers with heavy metallic soles, which
are used there for walking in a strong wind, and by the dancing girls to
prevent their jumping too high. As this metal, which gravitates to the
moon, is repelled from the earth, these slippers assist the wearer here
in springing from the ground as much as they impeded it in the moon, and
therefore I have lent them to Madame ----, of the New-York Theatre, who
is thus enabled to astonish and delight the spectators with her
wonderful lightness and agility.

But there is nothing that I have brought which I prize so highly as a
few of their manuscripts. The Lunarians write as we do, from left to
right; but when their words consist of more than one syllable, all the
subsequent syllables are put over the first, so that what we call _long
words_, they call _high_ ones: which mode of writing makes them more
striking to the eye. This peculiarity has, perhaps, had some effect in
giving their writers a magniloquence of style, something like that which
so laudably characterises our Fourth of July Orations and Funeral
Panegyrics: that composition being thought the finest in which the words
stand highest. Another advantage of this mode of writing is, that they
can crowd more in a small page, so that a long discourse, if it is also
very eloquent, may be compressed in a single page. I have left some of
the manuscripts with the publisher of this work, for the gratification
of the public curiosity.

Having taken either respectful or affectionate leave of all, and got
every thing in readiness, on the 20th day of August, 1825, about
midnight we again entered our copper balloon, if I may so speak, and
rose from the moon with the same velocity as we had formerly ascended
from the earth. Though I experienced somewhat of my former sensations,
when I again found myself off the solid ground, yet I soon regained my
self-possession; and, animated with the hope of seeing my children and
country, with the past success of our voyage, and (I will not disguise
it,) with the distinction which I expected it would procure me from my
countrymen, I was in excellent spirits. The Brahmin exhibited the same
mild equanimity as ever.

As the course of our ascent was now less inclined from the vertical line
than before, in proportion as the motion of the moon on its axis, is
slower than that of the earth, we for some hours could see the former,
only by the light reflected from our planet; and although the objects on
the moon's surface were less distinct, they appeared yet more beautiful
in my eyes than they had done in the glare of day. The difference,
however, may be in part attributed to my being now in a better frame of
mind for enjoying the scene. As our distance increased, the face of the
moon became of a lighter and more uniform tint, until at length it
looked like one vast lake of melted silver, with here and there small
pieces of greyish dross floating on it. After contemplating this lovely
and magnificent spectacle for about an hour, I turned to the Brahmin,
and reminded him of his former promise to give me the history of his
early life. He replied, "as you have seen all that you can see of the
moon, and the objects of the earth are yet too indistinct to excite much
interest, I am not likely to have a more suitable occasion;" and after a
short pause, he began in the way that the reader may see in the
next chapter.



CHAPTER XVI.

_The Brahmin gives Atterley a history of his life._


"I have already informed you that I was born at Benares, which, as you
know, is a populous city on the banks of the Ganges, and the most
celebrated seat of Hindoo science and literature. My father was a priest
of Vishun, of a high rank; and as his functions required him to live
within the precincts of the Pagoda, he was liberally maintained out of
its ample revenues. I was his only son, and according to the usage of
our country, was destined to the same holy calling. At an early age I
was put under a private tutor, and then sent to one of the schools
attached to the Pagoda. Upon what little matters, my dear Atterley, do
our fortunes, and even our characters depend! Had I been sent to another
school, the whole destiny of my life would have been changed.

"I was in my twelfth year when I entered this school, which contained
from thirty to forty boys about my age. The cleverest of these was Balty
Mahu, who, like myself, belonged to the higher order of Brahmins. He
took the lead, not only in the exercises within the school, but in all
the sports and pastimes out of it. Nature, however, had not been equally
kind to him in temper and disposition. He was restless, ambitious,
proud, vindictive, and implacable. He could occasionally, too, practise
cunning and deception; although anger and violence were more congenial
to his nature.

"It soon appeared that I was to be his rival in the school, and from
that moment he cordially hated me. The praises that had previously been
lavished on him by the teacher, were now shared by me, and most of the
boys secretly rejoiced to see his proud spirit humbled. In our sports I
was also his successful competitor. Nature had given me an excellent
constitution; and though I had not a very robust frame, I could boast of
great agility and flexibility of limbs. When the sun had descended
behind the mountain which screened our play-ground from his evening
rays, we commonly amused ourselves in foot-races, and other pastimes, of
which running was an important part. In this exercise I had no equal. I
could also jump higher and farther than any boy in school, except one,
and that one was not Balty Mahu.

"His ill-will was not slow in manifesting itself. He took every occasion
of contradicting me: sometimes indulged in sly sneers at my expense, and
now and then even attempted to turn me into open ridicule. I always
replied with spirit; but I found such contests as disagreeable to me as
they were new. One evening, under the pretext that I had purposely
jostled him in running, he struck me, and we fought. Although he was
probably stronger than I, as he was heavier and older, my suppleness
enabled me to get the better of him in a wrestle; and I got him under
me, when the master, attracted by the shouts of the boys, made his
appearance. He separated and reproved us, and sent us off in disgrace to
our respective rooms. From that time Balty Mahu treated me with more
outward respect than before; but I believe he hated me with more rancour
than ever.

"I had now become the general favourite of the boys. The school was,
indeed, divided into parties, but mine was much the strongest; and of
those who adhered to my rival, very few seemed cordially to dislike me.
Though this state of things was very annoying to me, it proved
advantageous in one respect, as it made me more diligent in my studies,
lest I should furnish my rival with an occasion of triumphing ever me;
so that I owe a part of what I gained to the enmity of my rival.

"When I had reached my sixteenth year, I was removed to the college in
Benares. This is commonly a very interesting event in the life of a
youth, as it reminds him that he is drawing near the period of manhood,
and leaves him more a master of his actions. But on the present occasion
my pleasure had two drawbacks: I could not but feel the contrast between
the warm and confiding attachment of my late school-fellows, and the
coldness and reserve of my new companions. Yet the most disagreeable
circumstance was, that I here met with my former rival, Balty Mahu. He
had entered the college about a month before me, and, aware of my
intention, had spared no pains, as I afterwards learnt, of prejudicing
the students against me.

"After a few months, however, our relative standing was the same here as
it had been at the school. I gradually overcame the prejudices of the
students, and gained their good will, while he was always giving offence
by his meddlesome disposition and overbearing manners: yet his talents
and force of character always procured him a few followers, whom he
managed as he pleased. Of their aid he made use to gratify his
malevolence towards me, for this feeling had grown with his growth, and
now seemed to be the master passion of his breast. I was able to trace
the result of their machinations every where. Sometimes it was intimated
to the teachers that I had been assisted in my exercises; at others,
that I had infringed the college rules, or had put false reports in
circulation, or had neglected some of the many ceremonies required by
our religion. This was their favourite, as well as the most efficient
mode of attack, as in these respects there was some colour for their
accusation.

"In my early childhood I had been spared, by the tenderest of mothers,
from many of the ablutions practised by the Hindoos, under the belief
that they would be injurious to my constitution, which, though healthy,
had never been robust. A foundation was thus laid with me for habitual
remissness in these ceremonies; and after I grew up, I persuaded myself
that they were of less importance than they were deemed by my
countrymen. My chief delight had ever been in books; and although, when
engaged in active pursuits, I took a lively interest in them for the
time, I always returned to my first love with unabated ardour.

"Some of these accusations, being utterly groundless, I was able to
disprove; but the few that were true I endeavoured to excuse, and thus,
by their admission, credit was procured for their most unfounded
calumny. These petty transgressions, (for I cannot even now regard them
as sins,) industriously reported and artfully exaggerated, did me
lasting injury with all the most pious of our caste. The charitable
portion, indeed, were merely estranged from me; but the more bigoted
part began to regard me with aversion and horror.

"In one of our vacations, my father allowed me to visit a brother of
his, who lived in the country, about thirty miles from Benares. My uncle
had two sons, of nearly my own age, and several daughters. With the
former I rode, played chess, and engaged in such sports as are not
forbidden to my profession; but my female cousins I seldom saw, as they
rarely left their Zenana, into which I was not permitted to enter. I was
of an age to be desirous of becoming better acquainted with my female
cousins, especially after I learnt that they then had as guests, a lady
and her daughter, who had come to pass some weeks here during the
absence of her husband, then employed in some public mission to
Calcutta. But it was only now and then that I had been able to catch a
transient and distant view of these females, during the first week after
my arrival; and the little I saw, served but to increase my curiosity.
Chance, however, soon afforded me the means of gratifying it.

"An important festival in our calendar was now approaching, and
preparations were made to celebrate it in various modes, and, amongst
others, by a fight between a _royal_ tiger and an elephant. For several
days all was bustle and confusion in my uncle's family. Howdahs, newly
gilded and painted, were provided for the elephants--new caparisons for
the horses--new liveries for the attendants--cloth and silk, of the
richest dyes and hues, united with a profusion of gold and silver
ornaments, to dazzle the eye with their varied splendour. This was one
of those exhibitions, which those who were intended for the priesthood,
were prohibited from attending. I confess, when I witnessed these showy
and costly preparations, and pictured to myself the magnificent scene
for which they were intended--those formidable animals contending in
mortal conflict--the thousands of gaily dressed spectators, gazing in
breathless anxiety,--I repined at my lot, and regretted I had not been
born in a condition which, though of less dignity, would not have cut me
off from some of the most exquisite pleasures of life. At length the
important day arrived, and I found my mortification so acute, that I
determined to withdraw myself, as much as I could, from a scene that I
could not witness without pain. Among my acquirements at college, was a
knowledge of your language; and I had now begun to take the liveliest
interest in its beautiful fictions, which I greatly preferred to ours,
as being more true to nature, and as exhibiting women in characters at
once lovely, pure, and elevated. I was then reading "The Vicar of
Wakefield," and had reached the middle of that interesting tale, on the
morning of the festival, when my tranquillity was interrupted in the way
I have mentioned. Accordingly, taking my book and English dictionary, I
retired to a small summer-house at the foot of the garden, and
determined to remain there till the cavalcade had set out. It was some
time before I could fix my attention on what I read; but after a while,
the interest the book had previously excited returned, and I became at
length so engrossed by the incidents of the story, as to forget the
festival, the procession, the tiger, and the elephant, as much as if
they had never before entered my head.

"After some hours passed in this intellectual banquet, I waked from my
day dream, and I thought again of the spectacle with a feeling bordering
on indifference. I walked towards the house, where all appeared to be
still and silent as a desert. I entered it, and of the forty or fifty
menials belonging to it, not one was to be seen. Those who were not in
attendance on the family, had sought some respite from their ordinary
labours. The Zenana then caught my eye, and I felt irresistibly impelled
to enter it. I used great caution, however, looking around me in every
direction as I proceeded there. I found the same silence and desertion
as in the other parts of the mansion. I passed through a sitting-room
into a long gallery, with which the bed-chambers of the ladies
communicated. The doors were all open, and the whole interior of their
apartments exhibited so strange a medley of unseemly objects, and such
utter disorder, as materially to affect my opinion of female delicacy,
and to damp my desire of becoming acquainted with my cousins. I passed
on, with a feeling of disappointment bordering on disgust, when I came
to a room which went far to redeem the character of the sex in my
estimation. Here all was neatness and propriety: every thing was either
in place, or only enough out of it to indicate the recent occupation of
the room, or to show the taste or talent of the occupant; such as a book
left half open at one end of an ottoman, and a piece of embroidery at
the other. The flowers too, which decorated the room, showed by their
freshness that they had not long left their beds. I could not help
stopping to survey a scene which accorded so well with my previous
notions of female refinement. At the end of the gallery was a veranda,
facing the east, and surrounded by lattices. In this were a number of
flower-pots, arranged with the same air of neatness and taste as had
been conspicuous in the chamber. I entered it, for the purpose of
looking into the flower-garden, with which it communicated; and on
approaching the lattice, I saw, seated in an alcove not far from the
veranda, a face and form that struck me as being the most beautiful I
had ever beheld. I remained for some time riveted to the spot, but soon
found myself irresistibly impelled to get a nearer view of the lovely
object. With as light a step and as little noise as possible, I
descended into the garden from the veranda, and approaching the alcove
on the side where its foliage was thickest, I found that the beauty, of
which I had before thought so highly, did not appear less on a closer
survey. The vision on which I gazed in silent rapture, a maiden, who,
though she had apparently attained her full stature, did not seem to be
more than thirteen or fourteen years of age. Her eyes had the brightness
and fulness of the antelope's, but, owing to their long silken lashes,
were yet more expressive of softness than of spirit; and at this time
they evinced more than usual languor. She was in a rich undress, and was
apparently an invalid. Her long raven locks hung with careless grace,
partly behind, and partly over, a neck that might have served as a model
for the sculptor. She was looking wistfully on a bunch of flowers in her
hand, which I felt pleasure in recognising to be the same I had seen on
the piece of embroidery. I feared to advance, lest I should give
offence; but I felt also unable to retreat. I fancied I saw one of those
lovely and dignified females which the writers in your language describe
so well. But a sudden movement of the fair damsel to get up, bringing me
full in her view, she started back with alarm and surprise, and in a
moment afterwards her cheek, which had been before pale, almost to
European whiteness, was deeply suffused. I respectfully approached her,
and inquired if she was one of my cousins. She answered in the negative;
said she was on a visit to the family, to whom she was related: added
that she had not expected to see any one in the garden; but this was
said as if she meant rather to apologise for her undress, than to
reproach me for my intrusion. These remarks were uttered with a
propriety and sweetness that won upon me yet more than her beauty. I
then, in return, assured her that I had not supposed any of the family
had remained at home, when I strolled to this part of the mansion. I
begged she would not regard me with the formality of a stranger; and
insisted that, as she was the cousin of my relation, she was also mine.
To this ingenious argument she answered with so much good sense, and at
the same time, so much gentleness and artlessness, that I thought I
could have listened to her for ever. While I spoke, she continued to
move on. I entreated to know if she was satisfied with my apology;
repeated that I had not meant to intrude on her privacy. She mildly
replied that she was. I then asked permission to call her cousin. She
said she should not object, if it would gave me pleasure. It was, my
dear Atterley, her ineffable sweetness of disposition, and of manners so
entirely free from pride, coquetry, or affectation, in which this lovely
creature excelled all other women, yet more than in beauty and grace. I
then inquired when I should again see my lovely cousin. She replied, "I
walk in the great garden sometimes with my companions, when their
brothers are away; but the girls will not think it proper to walk when
you are there." Perceiving that I looked chagrined, she added: "It is
said, you know, that the light from mens' eyes is yet worse for womens'
faces than the light of the sun;" and she blushed as if she had said
something wrong. I stammered out I know not what extravagant compliment
in reply, and entreated that I might have an opportunity of seeing and
conversing with her sometimes: to which she promptly answered that she
should not object, if her mother approved it. I inquired why she had not
attended the exhibition; when I learnt from her, that, as she had been
slightly indisposed the day before, and her mother being unwilling she
should expose herself to the heat of the weather and the crowd, she had
been left under the care of her nurse; but that finding herself better,
she had permitted her attendants to walk over the grounds, while she
amused herself in embroidery; and that she had come into the garden to
get a fresh supply of the flowers she was working.

"She had by this time approached a small gate, which communicated with
the apartments on the ground-floor of the Zenana; when, turning to me,
she said, "You can return the way you came, but I must leave you here;"
and, making a slight bow, she sprung like a young fawn through the gate,
and was out of sight in a moment.

"You may wonder, my dear Atterley, that I should remember all these
minute circumstances, after the lapse of more than forty years; but
every incident of that day is as fresh in my memory as the occurrence of
yesterday. To this single green spot in my existence, my mind is never
tired of returning.

"I continued for some time in a sort of dreaming ecstasy; but as soon as
I collected my thoughts, I began to devise some scheme by which I could
again have the happiness of seeing and conversing with the lovely
Veenah. My brain had before that time teemed with ambitious projects of
distinguishing myself; sometimes as a priest--sometimes as a writer; and
occasionally I thought I would bend all my efforts to rouse my
countrymen to throw off the ignominious yoke of Great Britain. But this
short interview had changed the whole current of my thoughts. I had now
a new set of feelings, opinions, and wishes. My mind dwelt solely upon
the pleasures of domestic life--the surpassing bliss of loving and of
being beloved.

"When the cavalcade returned in the evening, its gaudy magnificence,
which I would not permit myself even to see in the morning, I now
regarded with cold indifference; nay, more, I congratulated myself on
having missed the exhibition, though a few hours before I had deemed
this privation one of the misfortunes of my life.

"The next day I went to the garden betimes; and as it communicated with
the shrubbery and grounds attached to the Zenana, and the males of the
family occasionally entered it when the ladies were not present, I
prevailed on the gardener to grant me admission, under the pretext of
gathering some uncommonly fine mangoes, which were then ripe. I went to
the several spots where I had first seen Veenah--where I had conversed
with her--where I had parted from her; and they each had some secret and
indescribable charm for me. I fear, Atterley, I fatigue you. The
feelings of which I speak, are fully known only to the natives of warm
climates, and to those but once in their lives."

I assured him that he was mistaken; that the emotions he described, were
the same in all countries, and at all times, and begged him to proceed.

"I repeated my visit," he continued, "several times the same day, under
any pretext I could invent--to gather an orange, or other fruit--to
pluck a rose--to frighten away mischievous birds--to catch the
unobstructed breeze, or sit in a cooler shade; in which artifices I
played a part that had before been foreign to my nature. I was
disappointed, however, in my wishes. I thought, indeed, I once saw some
one in the veranda, looking through the lattice into the garden, but the
figure soon disappeared.

"On the following day I had the satisfaction to hear my young companions
propose to go on a fishing party, an amusement in which, by the rules of
my caste, I was not allowed to partake. They had scarcely left the house
before I flew to the garden with a book in my hand, and passing as
before to the shrubbery, I buried myself in a close thicket at one end
of it. I remained there from the morning till late in the afternoon,
without refreshment of any kind; and such was the intensity of my
emotion, that I did not feel the want of it. At length, a little before
sunset, I saw Veenah and her three cousins enter the garden. I soon
contrived to show myself, with my book in my hand. I approached, bowed
to them all, but to Veenah last; and although my cousins showed surprise
at seeing me in their garden, at this time, they did not seem
displeased. I felt very desirous, I could not tell why, to conceal my
feelings from every person except her who was the object of them. I
forced a conversation with my two eldest cousins, who were modest
pleasing girls, and then with an embarrassed air addressed a few words
to Veenah and her companion, the youngest of my cousins. Occasionally I
would stray off from them as if I was about to leave them, and then
suddenly return. In one of these movements, I perceived that Veenah and
her associate had separated from the others, and strolled to a distant
part of the garden. I soon joined them as if it were by accident,
entered into conversation with them alternately, and of course only one
half of that which I either heard or said proceeded from the heart or
found its way thither. I know not if Veenah expected to see me, but she
was dressed with unusual care. We had not been conversing many minutes
before the eldest sister beckoning to them, they bid me good night and
returned to the house.

"To the same sort of management I had recourse every day, and seldom
failed to see and converse with Veenah, sometimes in company with all
her cousins, but oftener with Fatima, the youngest. By dividing my
attentions among them all, I succeeded for a while in concealing from
them the object of my preference; but the sex are too sharp-sighted to
be long deceived in these matters. As soon as I perceived that my secret
was discovered, I endeavoured to make a friend of Fatima, in which I was
successful. After this our meetings were more frequent, and what was of
greater importance, they were uninterrupted. Fatima, who was one of the
most generous and amiable girls in the world, would often take Veenah
out to walk, when her sisters were otherwise engaged; at which times she
was perpetually contriving, under some little pretext, to leave us
alone. We were not long in understanding each other; and when I urged
our early marriage, she ingenuously replied, that I had her consent
whenever I had her father's, and that she hoped I could obtain that; but
added, (and she trembled while she spoke) she did not know his views
respecting her. In the first raptures of requited affection, what lover
thinks of difficulties? In obtaining Veenah's heart I believed that all
mine were at an end, and my time was passed in one dream of unmixed
delight. Oh! what happiness I enjoyed in these interviews--in seeing
Veenah--in gazing on her lovely features--in listening to her
sentiments, that were sometimes gay and thoughtless, sometimes serious
and melancholy, but always tender and affectionate,--and now and then,
when not perceived, in venturing to take her hand. These fleeting joys
are ever recurring to my imagination, to show me what my lot might have
been, and to contrast it with its sad reverse!

"The time now approached for Veenah and her mother to return to Benares.
On the evening before they set out, Fatima contrived for us a longer
interview than usual. It was as melancholy as it was tender. But in the
midst of my grief, at the prospect of our separation, I recollected that
we were soon to meet again in the city; while Veenah's tears, for she
did not attempt to disguise or suppress her feelings, seemed already to
forebode that our happiness was here to terminate.

"When about to part, we exchanged amaranths I took her hand to bid her
adieu, and, without seeming to intend it, our lips met, and the first
kiss of love was moistened with a tear. Pardon me, Atterley, nature will
have her way."--And here the venerable man wept aloud.

I availed myself of this interruption to the narrative, to propose to my
venerable friend to take some refreshment. Having partaken of a frugal
repast, and invigorated ourselves, each with about four hours sleep, the
Brahmin thus resumed his story.



CHAPTER XVII.

_The Brahmin's story continued--The voyage concluded--Atterley and the
Brahmin separate--Atterley arrives in New--York._


"I was not slow to follow Veenah to the city, and as had been agreed
upon, had to ask the consent of her father to our union, as soon as I
had obtained the approbation of my own. Here I met with a difficulty
which I had not expected. My partial father had formed very high hopes
of my future advancement, and thought that an early marriage, though not
incompatible with my profession, or a successful discharge of its
duties, would put an end to my ambition, or at all events, lessen my
exertions. He first urged me to postpone my wishes, till I had completed
my college course, and had by travelling seen something of the world.
But finding me immoveable on this point, he then suggested that I might
meet with serious obstacles from Veenah's father, whom he represented as
remarkable both for his avarice and his bigotry; that consequently he
was likely to dispose of his daughter to the son-in-law who could pay
most liberally for her; and that the imputations which had been cast on
my religious creed, would reach his ears, if they had not already done
so, and be sure to prejudice him against me.

"These last considerations prevailed on me to defer my application to
Shunah Shoo, until the suspicions regarding my faith had either died
away, or been falsified by my scrupulous observance of all religious
duties. My excellent mother, who at first had entered into my feelings
and seconded my views, readily acquiesced in the good sense of my
father's advice.

"My next object was to communicate this to Veenah. I accordingly sat
down, and wrote a full account of all that had occurred, and folding up
the packet, hurried to the opposite quarter of the town where Shunah
Shoo lived. It was then in the dusk of the evening, and I was fearful it
was too late for me to be recognised; but after I had taken two or three
turns in the street, I saw the white amaranth I had given Veenah,
suspended by a thread from the lattice of an upper window. I immediately
held up the packet, and soon afterwards a cord was let down from the
same lattice to the ground. To this I hastily fastened the paper, and
passed on to avoid observation. The next evening you may be sure I was
at the same spot. The little amaranth again announced that I was
recognised; and as soon as we were satisfied that no one was observing
us, the cord let down one letter and took up another. Veenah's pen had
given an expression to her feelings, that her tongue had never ventured
to do before. She moreover commended my course--besought me to be
prudent--and above all, to do nothing to offend her father.

"The first letter which a lover receives from his mistress, is a new era
in his life. Again and again I kissed the precious paper, and almost
wore it out in my bosom. We afterwards improved in this mode of
intercourse, and, by various preconcerted signals, were able to carry on
our correspondence altogether in the night. Not a day passed that we did
not exchange letters, which, though they contained few facts, and always
expressed the same sentiments, still repeated what we were never tired
of hearing. To the moment at which I was to receive a letter from
Veenah, my thoughts were continually and anxiously turned: and it now
seems to me as if our passion was inflamed yet more by this sort of
intercourse, than by our personal interviews. I am convinced it wrought
more powerfully upon our imaginations. In the mean time I continued my
daily attendance at college, though my studies were utterly neglected,
one single object absorbing all my thoughts and feelings.

"I know not whether the evident change in my habits induced my old
enemy, Balty Mahu, to observe my motions. But so it was, that one
moonlight night I thought I was watched by some person; and on the
following night an individual of the same figure, and whom I now
suspected to be Balty Mahu, came suddenly from a cross street, and
passed near me. A few evenings afterwards, instead of a letter, I
received a scrap of paper from Veenah, on which was written the
following words:--

"We are discovered. Balty Mahu, who is my relative and your enemy, has
been here. He has persuaded my father that you are an unbeliever. I am
denied pen and ink. If you cannot convince my father of his error, O!
pity, and try to forget, your unhappy VEENAH."

"This writing was indistinctly traced with a burnt stick, on a blank
leaf torn out of a book. In the first moment of indignation, I felt
disposed to seek Balty Mahu, the great enemy of my life, and wreak my
vengeance on him for all his persecutions; but the conviction that such
a course would extinguish the last spark of hope, restrained me. I then
determined to see Shunah Shoo, and endeavour to remove his prejudices. I
accordingly called on him at his own house: but after he had heard my
vindication, (to which he evidently gave no credit,) he coolly told me
that he meant to dispose of his daughter in another way. The words fell
like ice upon my heart. I expostulated; and, offensive as was his
haughty air, even had recourse to entreaty. But he, in a yet harsher
manner, told me that he must be permitted to manage his own affairs in
his own way; and added, that he did not wish to be longer prevented from
attending to them. I was compelled to retire, with my heart almost as
full of hatred for the father, as of love for the child.

"On the same night, I again betook myself to the street in which Shunah
Shoo lived, but not by the ordinary route. I cautiously approached his
house. All was stillness and quiet: no light appeared to be burning in
Veenah's room, nor indeed in any other part of the house. I hence
concluded that they had now deprived her of light, as well as of pen and
ink. I continued in the street until near morning, straining my eyes and
ears in the hope of catching something that would give me intelligence
concerning her. Often, in the course of that painful suspense, did I
fancy I heard a noise at the lattice in Veenah's apartment, or in some
other part of the mansion; and once I persuaded myself I saw a light:
but these illusions served only to aggravate my disappointment. The next
morning, before I had left my room, my father informed me that Shunah
Shoo, with his family, had left Benares early the preceding evening; but
whither they had gone, he had not learnt.

"I rose, and immediately set about discovering their course; but all I
could learn was, that they had embarked in one of the passage-boats
which ply on the Ganges, and that Shunah had taken his palanquins and
many of his servants with him: and, as Balty Mahu had suddenly absented
himself from college at the same time, I did not doubt that he had aided
in executing the plan which he had also probably formed. My father, who
saw what I suffered, spared no pains to discover the place of their
retreat; but our endeavours were all ineffectual.

"At the end of three months, in which time my anxiety increased rather
than diminished, the mystery was dispelled. It was now trumpeted through
the city, that Shunah Shoo had returned to Benares in great pomp,
accompanied by a wealthy Omrah of a neighbouring district, to whom he
had given, or rather sold, his daughter. The news came upon me like a
clap of thunder. My previous state of suspense was happiness compared
with what I now felt, when I knew she was in the arms of another. In the
first transports of my grief and rage, I could have freely put to death
the father, daughter, husband, and myself. I was particularly desirous
of seeing Veenah, and venting on her the bitterest reproaches. Unjust
that I was! Her sufferings were not inferior to mine; but she had not,
like me, the privilege of making them known. I soon found that
Hircarrahs, in the pay of Balty Mahu, watched all my motions; and if I
had attempted any scheme of vengeance, its execution would have been
impracticable.

"After my first transports had subsided into deep and settled grief, my
love and tenderness for Veenah returned in full force. I endeavoured to
get a sight of her, and thought I should be comparatively happy if I
could converse with her, as formerly, though she was the wife of
another. After a short time, my uncle's family came to Benares, on a
visit to my father and to Shunah Shoo. By the aid of my indulgent
mother, who was seriously alarmed for what she saw I suffered, I was
able to see Fatima, and to make her the bearer of a letter to Veenah,
complaining of her breach of faith, and soliciting an interview. She
verbally replied to it through Fatima; and stated, in her justification,
that she was hurried from Benares to a town on the river, whence she was
rapidly transported to the castle of Omrah, who had not long before lost
his wife, and who was more than four times her age. That notwithstanding
the notions of filial obedience in which she had been brought up, and
the severity with which her father had ever exercised his authority, she
had resisted his commands on this occasion, and would have preferred
death to marrying the Omrah--nay, would have inflicted it on herself;
but that finding her unyielding after all their exertions, they had
effected their purpose by a deception which they had practised on her,
wherein it seemed that I had unconsciously concurred; for, by means of
an intercepted letter of mine to Fatima, in which, hopeless of learning
the place of Veenah's retreat, I had expressed an intention of visiting
England; and, by the farther aid of some dexterous forgeries, calculated
to impose on more experienced minds than hers, they succeeded in
persuading her that I had actually set out for Europe, with an intention
of never returning. That entertaining no doubt of this intelligence
--hopeless of ever seeing me again, and indifferent to every
thing besides, she had been led an unresisting victim to the altar.

"Such was the vindication which she considered it just to make me. But
all the entreaties of Fatima--all my letters, impassioned as they were,
appealing at once to her generosity, humanity, and love,--could not
prevail on her to grant me an interview.

"'Tell him,' said she, 'that heaven has forbid it, and to its decrees we
are bound to submit. I am now the wife of another, and it is our duty to
forget all that is past. But if this be possible, my heart tells me it
can be only by our never meeting!'

"In saying this, she wept bitterly; but at the same time exacted a
promise from Fatima, that she would never mention the subject to her
again. Finding her thus inexorable, I fell into a settled melancholy,
and my health was visibly declining. The Europeans consider the natives
of Hindostan to be feeble and effeminate; but the soul, that which
distinguishes man from brutes, acts with an intensity and constancy of
purpose of which they can furnish no examples.

"How long I could have withstood the corrosive effects of my hopeless
passion, irritated as it was by my being in the vicinity of its
object--by hearing perpetually of her beauty, and sometimes catching a
glimpse of it,--I know not; but the Omrah, after a few months spent with
his father-in-law, returned with his bride to his castle in the country.
Yielding now to the wishes of my anxious parents, I consented to travel.
I was at first benefited by the exercise and change of scene; but after
a while, my melancholy returned, and my health grew worse. Though
indifferent to life itself, and all that it now promised, I exerted
myself for the sake of my parents, especially of my mother, who suffered
so acutely on my account: but I carried a barbed arrow in my heart, and
the greater the efforts to extract it, the more they rankled the wound.

"After spending more than a year in travelling, first through the
mountainous district of our country, and then along the coast, and
finding no change for the better, I determined to try the effect of a
sea voyage. I accordingly embarked at Calcutta, in a coasting vessel
that was bound to Madras. At this time I had wasted away to a mere
skeleton, and no one who saw me, believed I could live a month. Such,
indeed, were my own impressions. In the letter which I wrote to my
parents, I endeavoured to prepare them for the worst. When, after a long
voyage, we reached Madras, my health was evidently improved; but a piece
of intelligence I here received, had perhaps a still greater effect I
learnt that Balty Mahu, who had kept himself concealed from me before I
left Benares, had lately visited Madras, on a travelling tour. This news
operated on me like a charm. The idea of avenging myself on the author
of all my calamities, infused new life into my exhausted frame, and from
the moment that I determined to pursue him, I felt like another man.

"You must not, however, suppose that I even then entertained the purpose
of taking away my enemy's life. No, I could not bring my mind exactly to
that; but I had a vague, undefined hope, that if we met, some new
provocation on his part would afford me just occasion for avenging
myself on all; so ingenious, my dear friend, is the sophistry of
the passions.

"I lost no time in setting out on the track of Balty Mahu, and, ere many
days, overtook him at a small town which he had left just as I entered
it, but not before he had received, through his servant, notice of my
arrival. My wary enemy, who had little expected to see me here, and who
had travelled as much to keep out of my way as to see the country,
conjectured my purpose, from the consciousness of what he had done to
provoke it. Thus, while we both appeared to others to be merely making a
tour of Hindostan, it was soon known to both of us, that my chief
purpose was to pursue him, and his to elude my pursuit. In the ardour,
as well as exercise of the chase, my health mended rapidly, but I was no
nearer the object of my pursuit; for, although I travelled somewhat
faster than Bally Mahu, as he wished to avoid the appearance of flying
from me, he sometimes contrived to put me on a wrong track. In this way
I was once led to travel towards the coast, while he proceeded in an
opposite direction to Benares, where he considered he would be most safe
from my vengeance, and where the restraints both of religion and law
would be more likely to operate on me than in a foreign district.

"My usual practice, on arriving at any town, was to endeavour to learn
if Balty Mahu had passed through it; if so, when and in what direction;
and to get the information, if possible, without seeming to seek it. On
one of these occasions, I heard from a party of merchants that the Omrah
Addaway, whose health had been declining for some time, had gone to
Benares, for the benefit of medical advice; that his disease, however,
had become more serious; and that it was generally thought it would soon
occasion his death. What a train of new thoughts, hopes, and desires,
did this intelligence excite in me! At first, influenced by the custom
of my country, which prohibits widows from marrying again, I thought
only of the pleasure of Veenah's society, which I should, of course, be
permitted to enjoy, when duty no longer forbade it; but my imagination
kindling in its course, I soon pictured her to myself as my wife. The
usages which stood in the way of our union, appeared to me barbarous and
absurd, and I thought that, banishment from my country, with Veenah,
would be infinitely better than any other condition of life without her.
These new-born visions so entirely absorbed me, that Balty Mahu was
entirely forgotten, or remembered only as we think of an insect which
had stung us an hour before. I travelled on at a yet more rapid rate
than I had done; and, without stopping on the road to make inquiries, I
heard enough to satisfy me that the Omrah could not long survive. When
within something more than ten leagues of Benares, I called, about
twilight, at a small inn, and meant, after refreshing myself with a few
hours' rest, to proceed on my journey. Two travellers were there, who
had just left Benares, and had taken up their quarters for the night.
They soon fell into conversation about the place they had left, when the
mention of Shunah Shoo's name excited my attention.

"'What a shame,' said one, 'that he should have sacrificed that
beautiful young creature to the rich old Omrah, when she had so good an
offer as Gurameer, the Brahmin Gafawad's only son.'

"'And is it not strange,' said the other, 'that a woman so young and
beautiful, should be content to follow to the grave one who is old
enough to be her grandfather, and whom she once loathed? But I suppose
that that old miser, Shunah Shoo, is at the bottom of it; and, as he
deprived her of the man she loved, he has compelled her to sacrifice
herself to the one she hates, that he may have her jewels and wealth.'

"'For that matter,' said the first, 'though Shunah Shoo is bad enough
for any thing where money is in the way, yet it is said that Veenah goes
to the funeral pile of her own accord. She has never seemed to set any
value on life since her marriage; and after she heard of Gurameer's
death, she has never been seen to smile. Poor young man!'--And here they
launched out into a strain of panegyric, which is often bestowed on the
dead; but I heeded only the first part of their discourse. Had it not
been nearly dark, they must have discovered the force of the feelings
which then agitated me. I trembled from head to foot, and, though
burning with impatience to obtain from them farther particulars, it was
some moments before I could trust myself to speak. At length I asked
them when the Suttee would take place; and was answered by one of them,
that it would certainly be performed on the following day; and that he
had seen the funeral pile himself. Without any farther delay, I set out
immediately for the city, and reached it in as short a time as a jaded
horse could carry me.

"I came in sight of Benares the next morning, from a hill which
overlooks it from the east. The sun was just rising, and pouring a flood
of light ever the city, the river, and the surrounding country. Never
was contrast greater than between my present feelings, and those which
the same spectacle had formerly excited. I now sickened at the prospect,
which once would have set my heart bounding with joy. I pressed on in
desperate haste, scarcely, however, knowing what I did, being at once
overpowered with fatigue, loss of sleep, and harassing emotions. I still
had to travel a circuitous course of some two or three miles; and when I
reached the city, its crowded population was already in motion: a great
multitude of women, of the lower order, with alarm and expectation
strongly depicted in their faces, were to be seen mingling in the crowd,
and pressing on in the same direction. I would have proceeded
immediately to my father's house, but for the fear of being too late.
Alighting, therefore, from my horse, I gave him in charge to my servant,
whom I sent to inform my parents of my arrival, and to request my father
to meet me at the Suttee. I then joined the mixed multitude, which now
thronged the streets. Occupied, as my thoughts were, with the scene I
was about to witness, and with fears for its issue, they were often
interrupted with remarks made in the crowd, in which Veenah's name or
mine were mentioned--some lamenting her cruel fate, others pitying mine;
but all condemning and execrating Shunah Shoo. Fortunately I was not
recognised by any whom I saw. When we reached the spot selected for the
sacrifice, the crowd that had there assembled, was not so great as to
prevent our getting near the funeral pile; but the numbers continued to
augment, until nothing could be seen from the slight eminence on which I
stood, but one dense mass of heads, all looking one way, and expressing
the intense interest they felt. At length a murmur, like that of distant
thunder, ran through the crowd: a passage was, with some difficulty,
effected through the multitude by the officers in attendance, and the
wretched Veenah made her appearance, supported by her own father on one
side, and an uncle on the other--pale enough to be taken for an
European--emaciated indeed, but still retaining the same exquisite beauty
of features and symmetry of form. She moved with the air of one who was
utterly indifferent to the concerns of this world, and to the awful fate
which awaited her. She turned her head on hearing the sound of my voice,
and, seeing me, shrieked out, "He lives! he lives!" but immediately
afterwards fainted in the arms of her supporters: at the same moment I
was forcibly held back by some of the attendants, and a number of the
bystanders rushed in between us, and intercepted my view. I heard my
name now repeated in every direction by the multitude--some calling out
to the priests to desist, and others to proceed. I struggled to
extricate myself, and passion lent me momentary strength; but it was
insufficient. After a short interval, I distinctly heard Veenah
imploring them to spare her. I called to the Brahmins who held her, to
leave her to herself. I endeavoured to rouse the multitude; but they
took the precaution to drown our voices, by the musical instruments
which are used on these occasions. Four of these monsters I saw
profaning the name of religion, by forcibly placing their victim on the
pile, under the show of assisting her to mount it; and there held her
down, beside the dead body of her husband, until, by cords provided for
the purpose, she was prevented from rising. I besought--I threatened--I
raved;--but all thoughts and minds were engrossed by the premature fate
of one so young and beautiful, and I was unheeded.

"Among the relatives who pressed around the funeral pile, I saw Balty
Mahu; and indignation for a moment got the better of grief. The pile was
now lighted, and in a moment all was hidden in smoke. I sickened at the
sight, and was obliged to turn away. Even then I heard, or thought I
heard, the dying shrieks of the victim, amid the groans and cries, and
the thousand shouts that rent the air! The pile and its contents being
now enveloped in flame, my keepers set me free, when, by an impulse of
frenzy, I rushed' to the pile, to make a last vain effort to rescue
Veenah, or to share her fate; but was stopped by some of the bystanders,
who called my act a profanation.

"'Yes,' said Balty Mahu, 'he has always been a scoffer of our religion.'
As soon as these words reached my ears, with the quickness of thought I
snatched a cimeter from the hands of one of the guards, and plunged it
in his breast. Of all that happened afterwards, my recollection is very
confused. I was rudely seized, and hurried to prison. My father was
coming to meet me, when he was informed of the fatal deed. I remember
that my coolness, or rather stupor, was in strong contrast with the
violence of his emotion. He accompanied me to prison, and continued with
me that night.

"It is not easy to take the life of one of my caste in India; and, by
dint of the exertions of my friends, in spite of the influence of Shunah
Shoo, and the family of the Omrah, I was pardoned, on condition of doing
penance, which was, that I should never live in a country in which the
religion of Brahmin prevailed, and should not again look at, or converse
with, any woman for two minutes together. Ere this took place, my
excellent mother, unable to withstand the shocks she had received from
my supposed death, my misfortunes, and my crime, died a martyr to
maternal affection. Wishing to conform to the sentence, and to be as
near my father as I could, I removed to the kingdom of Ava, where, you
know, they are followers of Buddha. Here I continued as long as my
father lived, which was about six years. In this period, time had so
alleviated my grief, that I began to take pleasure in the cultivation of
science, which constituted my chief employment.

"After my father's death, I indulged a curiosity I had felt in my youth,
of seeing foreign countries; and I visited China, Japan, and England.
During my residence in Asia, I had discovered lunarium ore in the
mountain near Mogaun; and this circumstance, many years afterwards, when
I determined to rest from my labours, induced me to settle in that
mountain, as I have before stated. I have occasionally used the metal to
counterbalance the gravity of a small car, by which I have profited, by
a favourable wind, to indulge the melancholy satisfaction of looking
down on the tombs of my parents, and of the ill-fated Veenah:
approaching the earth near enough, in the night, to see the sacred
spots, but not enough to violate the religious injunctions of my caste;
to avoid which, however, it was sometimes necessary for me to go across
Hindostan to Arabia or Persia, and there wait for a change of wind
before I could return: and it was these excursions which suggested to
the superstitious Burmans that my form had undergone a temporary
transformation. When such have been the woes of my life, you can no
longer think it strange, Atterley, that I delayed their painful recital;
or that, after having endured so much, all common dangers and
misfortunes should appear to me insignificant."

       *       *       *       *       *

The venerable Brahmin here concluded his narrative, and we both remained
thoughtful and silent for some time; he, apparently absorbed in the
recollections of his eventful life; and I, partly in the reflections
awakened by his story, and partly in the intense interest of revisiting
my native earth, and beholding once more all who were dear to me.
Already the extended map beneath us was assuming a distinct and varied
appearance; and the Brahmin, having applied his eye to the telescope,
and made a brief calculation of our progress, considered that
twenty-four hours more, if no accident interrupted us, would end our
voyage; part of which interval I passed in making notes in my journal,
and in contemplating the different sections of our many-peopled globe,
as they presented themselves successively to the eye. It was my wish to
land on the American continent, and, if possible, in the United States.
But the Brahmin put an end to that hope, by reminding me that we should
be attracted towards the Equator, and that we had to choose between
Asia, Africa, and South America; and that our only course would be, to
check the progress of our car over the country of greatest extent,
through which the equinoctial circle might pass. Saying which, he
relapsed into his melancholy silence, and I betook myself once more to
the telescope. With a bosom throbbing with emotion, I saw that we were
descending towards the American continent. When we were about ten or
twelve miles from the earth, the Brahmin arrested the progress of the
car, and we hovered over the broad Atlantic. Looking down on the ocean,
the first object which presented itself to my eye, was a small
one-masted shallop, which was buffeting the waves in a south-westerly
direction. I presumed it was a New England trader, on a voyage to some
part of the Republic of Colombia: and, by way of diverting my friend
from his melancholy reverie, I told him some of the many stories which
are current respecting the enterprise and ingenuity of this portion of
my countrymen, and above all, their adroitness at a bargain.

"Methinks," says the Brahmin, "you are describing a native of Canton or
Pekin. But," added he, after a short pause, "though to a superficial
observer man appears to put on very different characters, to a
philosopher he is every where the same--for he is every where moulded by
the circumstances in which he is placed. Thus; let him be in a situation
that is propitious to commerce, and the habits of traffic produce in him
shrewdness and address. Trade is carried on chiefly in towns, because it
is there carried on most advantageously. This situation gives the trader
a more intimate knowledge of his species--a more ready insight into
character, and of the modes of operating on it. His chief purpose is to
buy as cheap, and to sell as dear, as he can; and he is often able to
heighten the recommendations or soften the defects of some of the
articles in which he deals, without danger of immediate detection; or,
in other words, his representations have some influence with his
customers. He avails himself of this circumstance, and thus acquires the
habit of lying; but, as he is studious to conceal it, he becomes wary,
ingenious, and cunning. It is thus that the Phenicians, the
Carthagenians, the Dutch, the Chinese, the New-Englanders, and the
modern Greeks, have always been regarded as inclined to petty frauds by
their less commercial neighbours." I mentioned the English nation.

"If the English," said he, interrupting me, "who are the most commercial
people of modern times, have not acquired the same character, it is
because they are as distinguished for other things as for traffic: they
are not merely a commercial people--they are also agricultural, warlike,
and literary; and thus the natural tendencies of commerce are mutually
counteracted."

We afterwards descended slowly; the prospect beneath us becoming more
beautiful than my humble pen can hope to describe, or will even attempt
to portray. In a short time after, we were in sight of Venezuela. We met
with the trade-winds, and were carried by them forty or fifty miles
inland, where, with some difficulty, and even danger, we landed. The
Brahmin and myself remained together two days, and parted--he to explore
the Andes, to obtain additional light on the subject of his hypothesis,
and I, on the wings of impatience, to visit once more my long-deserted
family and friends. But before our separation, I assisted my friend in
concealing our aerial vessel, and received a promise from him to visit,
and perhaps spend with me the evening of his life. Of my journey home,
little remains to be said. From the citizens of Colombia, I experienced
kindness and attention, and means of conveyance to Caraccas; where,
embarking on board the brig Juno, captain Withers, I once more set foot
in New York, on the 18th of August, 1826, after an absence of four
years, resolved, for the rest of my life, to travel only in books, and
persuaded, from experience, that the satisfaction which the wanderer
gains from actually beholding the wonders and curiosities of distant
climes, is dearly bought by the sacrifice of all the comforts and
delights of home.

THE END.



       *       *       *       *       *



APPENDIX

Anonymous Review of _A Voyage to the Moon_

Reprinted from the American Quarterly Review No. 5 (March 1828), 61-88.

ART. III.--_A Voyage to the Moon: with some account of the Manners
and Customs, Science and Philosophy, of the People of Morosofia and
other Lunarians_: By JOSEPH ATTERLEY. New-York: Elam Bliss, 1827.
12mo. pp. 264.


It is somewhat remarkable, that perhaps the _only_ "Voyages to
the Moon," which have been published in the English tongue, should
have been the productions of English bishops:--the first forming a
tract, re-published in the Harleian Miscellany, and said to have been
written by Dr. Francis Goodwin, Bishop of Landaff, (who died in 1633,)
and entitled "_The Man in the Moon, or the discourse of a voyage
thither_, by Domingo Gonsales,"--and the second written in 1638, by
Dr. John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester, under the title of "_The
Discovery of a New World, or a Discourse tending to prove, that 'tis
probable there may be another habitable world in the Moon, with a
discourse concerning the possibility of a passage thither."_ These
two works differ in several essential particulars:--in Dr. Goodwin's,
we have men of enormous stature and prodigious longevity, with a
flying chariot, and some other slight points of resemblance to the
Travels of Gulliver:--whilst Bishop Wilkins's is intended honestly and
scientifically to prove, "that it is possible for some of our
posterity to find out a conveyance to this other world; and, if there
be inhabitants there, (which the Bishop, satisfactorily to himself,
settles,) to have commerce with them!" From the first of these, Swift
has derived many hints in his voyage to Laputa, and improved them into
those humorous and instructive allusions, which have caused the
reputation of the author of the _"Travels of Gulliver"_ to be
extended to every portion of the civilized globe. Since the appearance
of this celebrated satire, no one sufficiently comprehensive to lash
the follies of the age--the _quicquid agunt homines_--has made
its appearance: we have had numerous ephemeral productions, inflicting
severe castigations upon particular vices or absurdities; but the
visionary conceits of the many, constantly promulgated in the
progressive advancement of human knowledge, although legitimate
objects of censure, have not, since the time of Swift, been embodied
into one publication.

The evident aim of the author of the Satirical Romance before us, is
to fulfil for the present age, what _Swift_ so successfully
accomplished for that which has passed by:--to attack, by the weapons
of ridicule, those votaries of knowledge, who may have sought to avail
themselves of the universal love of novelty amongst mankind, to acquire
celebrity; or who may have been misled by their own ill-regulated
imaginations, to obtrude upon the world their crude and imperfect
theories and systems, to the manifest retardation of knowledge:--an
effect, too, liable to be induced in a direct ratio with the degree
of talent and ingenuity by which their views may have been supported.
Several of these may always be more successfully attacked by ridicule
than by reason; inasmuch as they are, in this way, more likely to become
the subjects of popular animadversion; and many, who could withstand
the serious arguments of their fraternity, cannot placidly endure their
ridicule. Satire has, indeed, often done more service to the cause of
religion and morality than a sermon, since the remedy is agreeable,
whilst it at the same time communicates indignation or fear:--

    "Of all the ways that wisest men could find,
    To mend the age and mortify mankind,
    Satire, well writ, has most successful prov'd.
    And cures, because the remedy is lov'd."

To produce, however, the full effect, satire must possess a certain
degree of impartiality, and be levelled in all instances at the vices
or follies, and not at the man. The first sketch of Gulliver's Travels
occurs in the proposed Travels of Martinus Scriblerus, devised in that
pleasing society where most of Swift's miscellanies were planned. Had
the work, however, been executed under the same auspices, it would
probably, as Sir Walter Scott has suggested,[1] "have been occupied by
that personal satire, upon obscure and unworthy contemporaries, to
which Pope was but too much addicted. But when the Dean mused in
solitude over the execution of his plan, it assumed at once a more
grand and a darker complexion. The spirit of indignant hatred and
contempt with which he regarded the mass of humanity; his quiet and
powerful perception of their failings, errors, and crimes; his zeal
for liberty and freedom of thought, tended at once to generalize,
while it embittered, his satire, and to change traits of personal
severity for that deep shade of censure which Gulliver's Travels throw
upon mankind universally." Most of the sentiments which impressed
Swift, seem also to have been felt by the unknown author of the work
before us: it is not, however, free from personal allusions; but they
are all conveyed in so good natured a manner, as to satisfy the reader
that the author has been solicitous to animadvert only on the vices of
the individual; and in no part of the work is there the slightest
evidence of prejudice or venom.

The pseudo _Joseph Atterley_, the hero of the narrative, was born
in Huntingdon, Long-Island, on the 11th of May, 1786. He was the son
of a seafaring individual, who, by means of the portion he received by
his wife, together with his own earnings, was enabled to quit that
laborious occupation, and to enter into trade; and, after the death of
his father-in-law, by whose will he received a handsome accession to
his property, he sought, in the city of New-York, a theatre better
adapted to his enlarged capital. "He here engaged in foreign trade,
and partaking of the prosperity which then attended American commerce,
gradually extended his business, and finally embarked in the then new
branch of traffic to the East Indies and China; he was now generally
respected both for his wealth and fair dealing; was several years a
director in one of the insurance offices; was president of the society
for relieving the widows and orphans of distressed seamen; and, it is
said, might have been chosen alderman, if he had not refused, on the
ground that he did not think himself qualified."

Our hero was, at an early age, put to a grammar school of good repute,
in his native village, and, at seventeen, was sent to Princeton, to
prepare himself for some profession; during his third year at that
place, in one of his excursions to Philadelphia, he became enamoured
"with one of those faces and forms, which, in a youth of twenty, to
see, admire, and love, is one and the same thing;" and was united to
the object of his affections, on the anniversary of his twenty-first
year. This event gave him a distaste for serious study; and, long
before this, he had felt a sentiment, bordering on contempt, for
mercantile pursuits; he therefore prevailed upon his father to
purchase him a neat country seat in the vicinity of Huntingdon. Here,
seventeen happy years glided away swiftly and imperceptibly, when
death, by depriving him of the partner of his felicity, prostrated all
his hopes and enjoyments. For the purpose of seeking for that relief
to the feelings, which variety can best afford, he now determined to
make a voyage; and, as one of his father's vessels was about to sail
for Canton, embarked on board of her, and left Sandyhook on the 5th
day of June, 1822. From this period, until the 24th of October, their
voyage was comparatively agreeable; but when off the mouths of the
Ganges, one of those hurricanes, well known to the experienced
navigators of the eastern seas, struck the ship, and rendered her so
leaky, that the captain considered it advisable to make for the
nearest port; the leak, however, increasing rapidly, and finding
themselves off a coast, which the captain, by his charts, pronounced
to be a part of the Burman empire, and in the neighbourhood of Mergui,
on the Martaban coast, they hastily threw their clothes, papers, and
eight casks of silver, into the long-boat; and, before they were fifty
yards from the ship, had the melancholy satisfaction to see her go
down.

  "It was a little after mid-day when we reached the town, which is
  perched on a high bluff, overlooking the coasts, and contains about a
  thousand houses, built of bamboo, and covered with palm leaves. Our
  dress, appearance, language, and the manner of our arrival, excited
  great surprise among the natives, and the liveliest curiosity; but
  with these sentiments some evidently mingled no very friendly
  feelings. The Burmese were then on the eve of a rupture with the East
  India Company, a fact which we had not before known; and mistaking us
  for English, they supposed, or affected to suppose, that we belonged
  to a fleet which was about to invade them, and that our ship had been
  sunk before their eyes, by the tutelar divinity of the country. We
  were immediately carried before their governor, or chief magistrate,
  who ordered our baggage to be searched, and finding that it consisted
  principally of silver, he had no doubt of our hostile intentions. He
  therefore sent all of us, twenty-two in number, to prison, separating,
  however, each one from the rest. My companions were released the
  following spring, as I have since learnt, by the invading army of
  Great Britain; but it was my ill fortune (if, indeed, after what has
  since happened, I can so regard it) to be taken for an officer of high
  rank, and to be sent, the third day afterwards, far into the interior,
  that I might be more safely kept, and either used as a hostage or
  offered for ransom, as circumstances should render advantageous."

Our hero was transported very rapidly in a palanquin, for thirteen
successive days, when he reached Mozaun, a small village delightfully
situated in the mountainous district between the Irawaddi and Saloon
rivers, where he was placed under the care of an inferior magistrate,
who there exercised the chief authority. By submissive and respectful
behaviour, he succeeded in ingratiating himself so completely with his
keeper, that he was regarded more as one of his family, than as a
prisoner; and was allowed every indulgence, consistently with his safe
custody. It had been one of his favourite recreations, to ascend a
part of the western ridge of mountains, which rose in a cone, about a
mile and a half from the village, for the purpose of enjoying the
enchanting scenery that lay before him, and the evening breeze, which
possesses so delicious a degree of freshness in tropical climates.
Here he became acquainted with a personage, of whom, as he exerted an
important influence over the future conduct of our hero, it is of
consequence that the reader should acquire early information:--

  "In a deep sequestered nook, formed by two spurs of this mountain,
  there lived a venerable Hindoo, whom the people of the village called
  the Holy Hermit. The favourable accounts I received of his character,
  as well as his odd course of life, made me very desirous of becoming
  acquainted with him; and, as he was often visited by the villagers, I
  found no difficulty in getting a conductor to his cell. His character
  for sanctity, together with a venerable beard, might have discouraged
  advances towards an acquaintance, if his lively piercing eye, a
  countenance expressive of great mildness and kindness of disposition,
  and his courteous manners, had not yet more strongly invited it. He
  was indeed not averse to society, though he had seemed thus to fly
  from it; and was so great a favourite with his neighbours, that his
  cell would have been thronged with visiters, but for the difficulty of
  the approach to it. As it was, it was seldom resorted to, except for
  the purpose of obtaining his opinion and counsel on all the serious
  concerns of his neighbours. He prescribed for the sick, and often
  provided the medicine they required--expounded the law--adjusted
  disputes--made all their little arithmetical calculations--gave them
  moral instruction--and, when he could not afford them relief in their
  difficulties, he taught them patience, and gave them consolation. He,
  in short, united, for the simple people by whom he was surrounded, the
  functions of lawyer, physician, schoolmaster, and divine, and richly
  merited the reverential respect in which they held him, as well as
  their little presents of eggs, fruit, and garden stuff.

  "From the first evening that I joined the party which I saw clambering
  up the path that led to the Hermit's cell, I found myself strongly
  attached to this venerable man, and the more so, from the mystery
  which hung around his history. It was agreed that he was not a
  Burmese. None deemed to know certainly where he was born, or why he
  came thither. His own account was, that he had devoted himself to the
  service of God, and in his pilgrimage over the east, had selected this
  as a spot particularly favourable to the life of quiet and seclusion
  he wished to lead.

  "There was one part of his story to which I could scarcely give
  credit. It was said that in the twelve or fifteen years he had resided
  in this place, he had been occasionally invisible for months together,
  and no one could tell why he disappeared, or whither he had gone. At
  these times his cell was closed; and although none ventured to force
  their way into it, those who were the most prying could hear no sound
  indicating that he was within. Various were the conjectures formed on
  the subject. Some supposed that he withdrew from the sight of men for
  the purpose of more fervent prayer and more holy meditation; others,
  that he visited his home, or some other distant country. The more
  superstitious believed that he had, by a kind of metempsychosis, taken
  a new shape, which, by some magical or supernatural power, he could
  assume and put off at pleasure This opinion was perhaps the most
  prevalent, as it gained a colour with these simple people, from the
  chemical and astronomical instruments he possessed In these he
  evidently took great pleasure, and by then means he acquired some of
  the knowledge by which he so often excited their admiration.

  "He soon distinguished me from the rest of his visiters, by addressing
  questions to me relative to my history and adventures, and I, in turn,
  was gratified to have met with one who took an interest in my
  concerns, and who alone, of all I had here met with, could either
  enter into my feelings or comprehend my opinions. Our conversations
  were earned on in English, which he spoke with facility and
  correctness We soon found ourselves so much to each other's taste,
  that there was seldom an evening that I did not make him a visit, and
  pass an hour or two in his company

  "I learned from him that he was born and bred at Benares, in
  Hindostan, that he had been intended for the priesthood, and had been
  well instructed in the literature of the east That a course of
  untoward circumstances, upon which he seemed unwilling to dwell, had
  changed his destination, and made him a wanderer on the face of the
  earth That in the neighbouring kingdom of Siam he had formed an
  intimacy with a learned French Jesuit, who had not only taught him his
  language, but imparted to him a knowledge of much of the science of
  Europe, its institutions and manners That after the death of this
  friend, he had renewed his wanderings, and having been detained in
  this village by a fit of sickness for some weeks, he was warned that
  it was time to quit his rambling life. This place being recommended to
  him, both by its quiet seclusion, and the unsophisticated manners of
  its inhabitants, he determined to pass the remnant of his days here,
  and, by devoting them to the purposes of piety, charity, and science,
  to discharge his duty to his Creator, his species, and himself, 'for
  the love of knowledge,' he added, 'has long been my chief source of
  selfish enjoyment'"

The acquaintance between Atterley and the Brahmin, ripened by degrees,
into that close friendship, which a congeniality of tastes and
sentiments, under proper opportunities, never fails to engender.
Atterley's visits to the hermitage, became more and more frequent, for
upwards of three years, during which period, the Brahmin had
occasionally thrown out obscure hints, that the time would come, when
our hero should be restored to liberty, and that he had an important
secret which he would one day communicate. About this period, one
afternoon in the month of March, when Atterley repaired, as usual, to
the hermitage, he found the Brahmin dangerously ill of a pleuritic
affection, and apprehensive that the attack might prove fatal--

  "Sit down," said he, "on that block, and listen to what I shall say to
  you Though I shall quit this state of being for another and a better,
  I confess that I was alarmed at the thought of expiring, before I had
  an opportunity of seeing and conversing with you I am the depository
  of a secret, that I believe is known to no other living mortal I once
  determined that it should die with me, and had I not met with you, it
  certainly should But from our first acquaintance, my heart has been
  strongly attracted towards you, and as soon as I found you possessed
  of qualities to inspire esteem as well as regard, I felt disposed to
  give you this proof of my confidence Still I hesitated I first wished
  to deliberate on the probable effects of my disclosure upon the
  condition of society I saw that it might produce evil, as well as
  good, but on weighing the two together, I have satisfied myself that
  the good will preponderate, and have determined to act accordingly
  Take this key, (stretching out his feverish hand,) and after waiting
  two hours, in which time the medicine I have taken will have either
  produced a good effect or put an end to my sufferings, you may then
  open that blue chest in the corner It has a false bottom On removing
  the paper which covers it, you will find the manuscript containing the
  important secret, together with some gold pieces, which I have saved
  for the day of need--because--(and he smiled in spite of his
  sufferings)--because hoarding is one of the pleasures of old men. Take
  them both, and use them discreetly."

Atterley quitted the cell, and waited with feverish expectation for
the termination of the allotted two hours, when, to his inexpressible
delight, he found, on re-entering the cell, that not only did the
Brahmin breathe, but that he slept soundly; and, in the course of an
hour, he awoke, almost restored to health. This event, however, was
the occasion of a more early disclosure of the Brahmin's important
secret, but not until he had recovered his ordinary health and
vigour:--

  "I have already told you, my dear Atterley, that I was born and
  educated at Benares, and that science is there more thoroughly
  understood and taught than the people of the west are aware of. We
  have, for many thousands of years, been good astronomers, chymists,
  mathematicians, and philosophers. We had discovered the secret of
  gunpowder, the magnetic attraction, the properties of electricity,
  long before they were heard of in Europe. We know more than we have
  revealed, and much of our knowledge is deposited in the archives of
  the castle to which I belong, but, for want of language generally
  understood and easily learnt, (for these records are always written in
  the Sanscrit, that is no longer a spoken language,) and the diffusion
  which is given by the art of printing, these secrets of science are
  communicated only to a few, and sometimes even sleep with their
  authors, until a subsequent discovery, under more favourable
  circumstances, brings them again to light.

  "It was at this seat of science that I learned, from one of our sages,
  the physical truth which I am now about to communicate, and which he
  discovered, partly by his researches into the writings of ancient
  Pundits, and partly by his own extraordinary sagacity. There is a
  principle of repulsion as well as gravitation in the earth. It causes
  fire to rise upwards. It is exhibited in electricity. It occasions
  water-spouts, volcanoes, and earthquakes. After much labour and
  research, this principle has been found embodied in a metallic
  substance, which is met with in the mountain in which we are, united
  with a very heavy earth, and this circumstance had great influence in
  inducing me to settle myself here.

  "This metal, when separated and purified, has as great a tendency to
  fly off from the earth, as a piece of gold or lead has to approach it.
  After making a number of curious experiments with it, we bethought
  ourselves of putting it to some use, and soon contrived, with the aid
  of it, to make cars and ascend into the air. We were very secret in
  these operations, for our unhappy country having then recently fallen
  under the subjection of the British nation, we apprehended that if we
  divulged our arcanum, they would not only fly away with all our
  treasures, whether found in palace or pagoda, but also carry off the
  inhabitants, to make them slaves in their colonies, as their
  government had not then abolished the African slave trade.

  "After various trials and many successive improvements, in which our
  desires increased with our success, we determined to penetrate the
  aerial void as far as we could, providing for that purpose an
  apparatus, with which you will become better acquainted hereafter. In
  the course of our experiments, we discovered that this same metal,
  which was repelled from the earth, was in the same degree attracted
  towards the moon, for in one of our excursions, still aiming to ascend
  higher than we had ever done before, we were actually carried to that
  satellite, and if we had not there fallen into a lake, and our machine
  had not been water-tight, we must have been dashed to pieces or
  drowned. You will find in this book," he added, presenting me with a
  small volume, bound in green parchment, and fastened with silver
  clasps, "a minute detail of the apparatus to be provided, and the
  directions to be pursued in making this wonderful voyage. I have
  written it since I satisfied my mind that my fears of British rapacity
  were unfounded, and that I should do more good than harm by publishing
  the secret. But still I am not sure," he added, with one of his faint
  but significant smiles, "that I am not actuated by a wish to
  immortalize my name; for where is the mortal who would be indifferent
  to this object, if he thought he could attain it? Read the book at
  your leisure, and study it."

Here, by the way, we may remark, that the kind of vehicle best adapted
for conveyance through the aerial void, has been a weighty stumbling
block to authors, from the time of the eagle-mounted Ganymede, to that
of Daniel O'Rourke; or of the wing furnished Daedalus and Icarus, to
that of the flying Turk in Constantinople, referred to by Busbequius;
or of the flying artist of the happy valley, in Rasselas. When
Trygaeus was desirous of reaching the Gods, he erected, we are told, a
series of small ladders--[Greek: epeita lepta klimakia]--but receiving
a severe contusion on the head, from their downfall, he ingeniously
had recourse to a scheme of flying through the air, on a colossal
variety of those industrious but not over-delicate insects, the
_Scarabaeus Carnifex_--the only insect, notwithstanding, according
to Aesop, privileged to ascend to the habitations of the gods--

    [Greek: monos peteinoon eis theous aphigmenos.[2]]

Most of the stories of Pegasi and Hippogriffs, and of flying chariots,
from that of Phaeton downwards to Astolfo's,[3] were evidently
intended by their authors as mythical; not so, however, with Bishop
Wilkins;--he boldly avers, for several reasons which he keeps to
himself, and for others not very comprehensible to us, which he
details "seriously and on good grounds," "that it is possible to make
a flying chariot, in which a man may sit, and give such a motion unto
it, as shall convey him through the air; and this perhaps might be
made large enough to carry divers men at the same time, together with
food for their _viaticum_, and commodities for traffic." "It is
not," lucidly continues the Bishop, "the bigness of any thing in this
kind, that can hinder its motion, if the motive faculty be answerable
thereunto. We see a great ship swims as well as a small cork; and an
eagle flies in the air, as well as a little gnat. This engine may be
contrived from the same principles by which Archytas made a wooden
dove, and Regiomontanus a wooden eagle. I conceive it were no
difficult matter, (if a man had leisure,) to show more particularly
the means of composing it"!--which want of leisure in the credulous
Bishop, our readers will regret with us, especially those inventive
geniuses, who, like the projector in the reign of George I., published
a scheme for manufacturing pine plank from pine saw-dust, or the still
more ingenious undertaker of later times, who proposed to make _pine
plank_ out of _oak_ saw-dust, by the mere addition of a little
turpentine!

Again, Swift's flying Island of Laputa is a phenomenon so opposed to
all scientific probability, and so directly at variance with natural
laws, that it loses in interest in a direct ratio with the violence it
does to our feelings. Nor is the mode of conveyance imagined by
Voltaire less incongruous than that of Swift. When Micromegas, ah
inhabitant of Sirius, whose adventures were evidently suggested by
those of Gulliver, accompanied by an inhabitant of Saturn, leaves the
latter planet, they are, in the first place, made to leap upon the
Ring of Saturn, which they find tolerably flat, "comme l'a fort bien
deviné un illustre habitant de notre petit globe:" thence they go from
moon to moon, and a comet passing close to one of these, they throw
themselves upon it, with their attendants and instruments. In their
course, they fall in with the satellites of Jupiter, and pass on to
Jupiter itself, where they remain for a year; but what becomes of the
comet in the mean time, we are not informed! Leaving Jupiter, they
"coast" along the planet Mars, and finally reach the earth, where they
resolve to disembark. Accordingly "ils passèrent sur la queue de la
comète; et trouvant une aurore boréale toute prête, ils se mirent
dedans, et arrivèrent à terre sur le bord septentrional de la Mer
Baltique"![4]

The vehicle, however, has not formed the sole obstacle to those
projectors:--the _viaticum_, especially the food, has been a
difficulty not readily got over. Before Bishop Wilkins alludes to his
flying chariot, he remarks, that even if men could fly, the swiftest
of them would probably be half a year in reaching the end of his
journey; and hence a problem would arise, "how it were possible to
tarry so long without sleep or diet?" Of the former obstacle, however,
he quickly disposes,--"seeing we do not then spend ourselves in any
labour, we shall not, it may be, _need_ the refreshment of sleep:
but if we do, we cannot desire a softer bed than the air, where we may
repose ourselves firmly and safely as in our chambers"! Of the latter
he finds somewhat more difficulty in disposing,--"and here it is
considerable, that, since our bodies will then be devoid of gravity
and other impediments of motion, we shall not at all spend ourselves
in any labour, and so, consequently, not much need the reparation of
diet, but may perhaps live altogether without it, as those creatures
have done, who, by reason of their sleeping for many days together,
have not spent any spirits, and so not wanted any food; which is
commonly related of serpents, crocodiles, bears, cuckoos, swallows,
and such like. To this purpose, Mendoca reckons up divers strange
relations, as that of Epimenides, who is storied to have slept
seventy-five years; and another of a rustic in Germany, who, being
accidentally covered with a hay-rick, slept there for all the autumn
and the winter following, without any nourishment Or, if we must needs
feed upon something else, why may not smells nourish us? Plutarch, and
Pliny, and divers other ancients, tell us of a nation in India, that
lived only upon pleasing odours; and it is the common opinion of
physicians, that these do strangely both strengthen and repair the
spirits. Hence was it that Democritus was able, for divers days
together, to feed himself with the mere smell of hot bread.[5] Or, if
it be necessary that our stomachs must receive the food, why then it
is not impossible that the purity of the etherial air, being not mixed
with any improper vapours, may be so agreeable to our bodies, as to
yield us sufficient nourishment," with many other arguments of the
like nature. The Bishop ultimately, however, severs the knot, by the
suggestion of his flying chariot, which he makes large enough (for,
_ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute!_) to carry not only food
for the _viaticum_ of the passengers, but also commodities for
their traffic!

Infinitely more ingenuity did the great comic poet of antiquity
display, when he selected the _Scarabaeus;_ as the food which had
already served the purposes of digestion with the Rider, was still
capable of affording nutrition to the animal:--

    [Greek:
    nun d'att'an autos kataphagoo ta sitia.
    toutoisi tois autoisi touton chortasoo[6]]

Now all these schemes, ingenious as they may be, are objectionable for
the same reasons as the flying Island of Laputa--their glaring
violation of verisimilitude, and many of them of possibility. In these
respects, that of the author of the work before us is liable to less
objection: he only resorts to an extension of avowed physical
principles; and if we could suppose a substance, which, instead of
gravitating towards the earth, is repelled from it and attracted
towards the moon, (certainly a difficult  "_premier pas_,") the
remainder of the machinery, for reaching that luminary, would not be
inconsistent with probability or the known laws of physics.

But, to return to the narrative:--The Brahmin having given Atterley a
description of some of the remarkable objects which he met with, in
his voyage to the moon; expressed his anxiety to repeat it, for the
purpose of ascertaining some facts about which he had been
speculating, as well as of removing the incredulity with which, he
could not but perceive, his story had impressed his hearer,
notwithstanding his belief in the Hermit's integrity; when Atterley
eagerly caught at the proposal. Their preparations, however, required
time as well as considerable skill, not only for the construction of
the vehicle, but also to avoid suspicion and interruption from the
Governor of Mergui,--and the priesthood, who possessed the usual
Oriental superstition and intolerance.

For the construction of their apparatus they had recourse to an
ingenious artificer in copper and other metals, whose child the
Brahmin had been instrumental in curing of a chronic disease, and in
whose fidelity as well as good will they could securely rely.

  "The coppersmith agreed to undertake the work we wanted done, for a
  moderate compensation, but we did not think it prudent to inform him
  of our object, which he supposed was to make some philosophical
  experiment. It was forthwith arranged that he should occasionally
  visit the Hermit, to receive instructions, as if for the purpose of
  asking medical advice. During this interval my mind was absorbed with
  our project; and when in company, I was so thoughtful and abstracted,
  that it has since seemed strange to me that Sing Fou's suspicions that
  I was planning my escape were not more excited. At length, by dint of
  great exertion, in about three months every thing was in readiness,
  and we determined on the following night to set out on our perilous
  expedition.

  "The machine in which we proposed to embark, was a copper vessel, that
  would have been an exact cube of six feet, if the corners and edges
  had not been rounded off. It had an opening large enough to receive
  our bodies, which was closed by double sliding pannels, with quilted
  cloth between them. When these were properly adjusted, the machine was
  perfectly air-tight, and strong enough, by means of iron bars running
  alternately inside and out, to resist the pressure of the atmosphere,
  when the machine should be exhausted of its air, as we took the
  precaution to prove by the aid of an air pump. On the top of the
  copper chest and on the outside, we had as much of the lunar metal
  (which I shall henceforth call _lunarium_) as we found by
  calculation and experiment, would overcome the weight of the machine,
  as well as its contents, and take us to the moon on the third day. As
  the air which the machine contained, would not be sufficient for our
  respiration more than about six hours, and the chief part of the space
  we were to pass through was a mere void, we provided ourselves with a
  sufficient supply, by condensing it in a small globular vessel, made
  partly of iron and partly of lunarium, to take off its weight. On my
  return, I gave Mr. Jacob Perkins, who is now in England, a hint of
  this plan of condensation, and it has there obtained him great
  celebrity. This fact I should not have thought it worth while to
  mention, had he not taken the sole merit of the invention to himself,
  at least I cannot hear that in his numerous public notices he has ever
  mentioned my name.

  "But to return. A small circular window, made of a single piece of
  thick clear glass, was neatly fitted on each of the six sides. Several
  pieces of lead were securely fastened to screws which passed through
  the bottom of the machine as well as a thick plank. The screws were so
  contrived, that by turning them in one direction, the pieces of lead
  attached to them were immediately disengaged from the hooks with which
  they were connected. The pieces of lunarium were fastened in like
  manner to screws, which passed through the top of the machine; so that
  by turning them in one direction, those metallic pieces would fly into
  the air with the velocity of a rocket. The Brahmin took with him a
  thermometer, two telescopes, one of which projected through the top of
  the machine, and the other through the bottom; a phosphoric lamp, pen,
  ink, and paper, and some light refreshments sufficient to supply us
  for some days.

  "The moon was then in her third quarter, and near the zenith: it was,
  of course, a little after midnight, and when the coppersmith and his
  family were in their soundest sleep, that we entered the machine. In
  about an hour more we had the doors secured, and every thing arranged
  in its place, when, cutting the cords which fastened us to the ground,
  by means of small steel blades which worked in the ends of other
  screws, we rose from the earth with a whizzing sound, and a sensation
  at first of very rapid ascent, but after a short time, we were
  scarcely sensible of any motion in the machine, except when we changed
  our places."

After the apprehensions of Atterley, occasioned by the novelty and
danger of his situation, had partly subsided, he was enabled, with
mingled awe and admiration, to contemplate the magnificent spectacle
beneath him. As the earth turned round its axis, during their ascent,
every part of its surface came successively under view. At nine
o'clock, the whole of India was to the west of them; its rivers
resembling small filaments of silver, and the Red Sea a narrow plate
of the same metal. The peninsula of India was of a dark, and Arabia of
a light, grayer green, and the sun's rays striking on the Atlantic,
emitted an effulgence dazzling to the eyes. On looking, some time
afterwards, through the telescope, they observed the African
Continent, at its northern edge; fringed, as it were, with green;
"then a dull white belt marked the great Sahara or Desert, and then it
exhibited a deep green to its most southern extremity." The Morea and
Grecian Archipelago now fell under their telescope, and gradually the
whole Mediterranean, and Arabian Gulf--the great media separating
Africa from Europe and Asia; "the political divisions of these
quarters of the world were of course undistinguishable, and few of the
natural were discernible by the naked eye. The Alps were marked by a
white streak, though less bright than the water." By the aid of the
glass they could just discern the Danube, the Nile, and "a river which
empties itself into the Gulf of Guinea," and which Atterley took to be
the Niger; but the other streams were not perceptible. The most
conspicuous object of the solid part of the globe was the great
Desert; the whole of Africa, however, appeared of a brighter hue than
either Asia or Europe.

  "I was struck too, with the vast disproportion which the extent of the
  several countries of the earth bore to the part they had acted in
  history, and the influence they had exerted on human affairs. The
  British islands had diminished to a speck, and France was little
  larger, yet, a few years ago it seemed, at least to us in the United
  States, as if there were no other nations on the earth. The Brahmin,
  who was well read in European history, on my making a remark on this
  subject, reminded me that Athens and Sparta had once obtained almost
  equal celebrity, although they were so small as not now to be visible.
  As I slowly passed the telescope over the face of Europe, I pictured
  to myself the fat, plodding Hollander--the patient, contemplative
  German--the ingenious, sensual Italian--the temperate Swiss--the
  haughty, superstitious Spaniard--the sprightly, self-complacent
  Frenchman--the sullen and reflecting Englishman--who monopolise nearly
  all the science and literature of the earth, to which they bear so
  small a proportion. As the Atlantic fell under our view, two faint
  circles on each side of the equator, were to be perceived by the naked
  eye. They were less bright than the rest of the ocean. The Brahmin
  suggested that they might be currents; which brought to my memory Dr.
  Franklin's conjecture on the subject, now completely verified by this
  circular line of vapour, as it had been previously rendered probable
  by the floating substances, which had been occasionally picked up, at
  great distances from the places where they had been thrown into the
  ocean. The circle was whiter and more distinct, where the Gulf Stream
  runs parallel to the American coast, and gradually grew fainter as it
  passed along the Banks of Newfoundland, to the coast of Europe, where,
  taking a southerly direction, the line of the circle was barely
  discernible. A similar circle of vapour, though less defined and
  complete, was perceived in the South Atlantic Ocean."

By degrees the travellers saw one half of the broad expanse of the
Pacific, which glistened like quicksilver or polished steel, and
subsequently the middle of the Pacific lay immediately beneath them;
the irregular distribution of land and water on the globe, the expanse
of Ocean here, being twice as large as in any other part, gives
occasion to some amusing discussions on the various theories of
cosmogony, to which we can only refer the reader; wearied, however, by
these and other discussions, Atterley slept for six hours, and on
awaking, found the Brahmin busy in calculating their progress; after
which the latter lay down and soon fell into a tranquil sleep, having
previously requested that he might be awakened at the expiration of
three hours, or sooner if any thing of moment should occur. Atterley
now looked down again through the telescope, and found the earth
surprisingly diminished in its apparent dimensions, from the increased
rapidity of their ascent; the eastern coasts of Asia were still full
in view, as well as the whole figure of that extensive continent--of
New-Holland, of Ceylon and of Borneo; but the smaller islands were
invisible.

  "I strained my eye to no purpose, to follow the indentations of the
  coast, according to the map before me, the great bays and promontories
  could alone be perceived. The Burman Empire, in one of the
  insignificant villages of which I had been confined for a few years,
  was now reduced to a speck. The agreeable hours I had passed with the
  Brahmin, with the little daughter of Sing Fou, and my rambling over
  the neighbouring heights, all recurred to my mind, and I almost
  regretted the pleasures I had relinquished. I tried with more success
  to beguile the time by making notes in my journal, and after having
  devoted about an hour to this object, I returned to the telescope, and
  now took occasion to examine the figure of the earth near the Poles,
  with a view of discovering whether its form favoured Captain Symmes's
  theory of an aperture existing there, and I am convinced that that
  ingenious gentleman is mistaken. Time passed so heavily during these
  solitary occupations, that I looked at my watch every five minutes,
  and could scarcely be persuaded it was not out of order. I then took
  up my little Bible, (which had always been my travelling companion,)
  read a few chapters in St. Matthew, and found my feelings
  tranquillized, and my courage increased. The desired hour at length
  arrived; when, on waking the old man, he alertly raised himself up,
  and at the first view of the diminished appearance of the earth,
  observed that our journey was a third over, as to time, but not as to
  distance."

After having again composed himself to rest for about four hours,
Atterley was awakened by the Brahmin, in whose arms he found himself,
and, on looking around, discovered that he was lying on what had been
the ceiling of the chamber, which still, however, felt like the
bottom. The reason of this phenomenon was thus explained to him by the
Brahmin--"we have, while you were asleep, passed the middle point
between the earth's and the moon's attraction; and we now gravitate
less towards our own planet than (to) her satellite. I took the
precaution to move you, before you fell by your own gravity, from what
was lately the bottom, to that which is now so, and to keep you in
this place until you were retained in it by the moon's attraction; for
though your fall would have been, at this point, like that of a
feather, yet it would have given you some shock and alarm. The
machine, therefore, has undergone no change in its position or
course;--the change is altogether in our feelings."

The whole face of the moon, Atterley now found to be entirely changed,
and on looking through the upper telescope, the earth presented an
appearance not very dissimilar; but the outline of her continents and
oceans was still perceptible in different shades, and capable of being
readily recognised; the bright glare of the sun, however, made the
surfaces of both bodies somewhat dim and pale.

  "After a short interval, I again looked at the moon, and found not
  only its magnitude very greatly increased, but that it was beginning
  to present a more beautiful spectacle. The sun's rays fell obliquely
  on her disc, so that by a large part of its surface not reflecting the
  light, I saw every object on it, so far as I was enabled by the power
  of my telescope. Its mountains, lakes, seas, continents, and islands,
  were faintly, though not indistinctly, traced; and every moment
  brought forth something new to catch my eye, and awaken my curiosity.
  The whole face of the moon was of a silvery hue, relieved and varied
  by the softest and most delicate shades. No cloud nor speck of vapour
  intercepted my view. One of my exclamations of delight awakened the
  Brahmin, who quickly arose, and looking down on the resplendent orb
  below us, observed that we must soon begin to slacken the rapidity of
  our course, by throwing out ballast. The moon's dimensions now rapidly
  increased; the separate mountains, which formed the ridges and chains
  on her surface, began to be plainly visible through the telescope;
  whilst, on the shaded side, several volcanoes appeared upon her disc,
  like the flashes of our fire-fly, or rather like the twinkling of
  stars in a frosty night. He remarked, that the extraordinary clearness
  and brightness of the objects on the moon's surface, was owing to her
  having a less extensive and more transparent atmosphere than the
  earth: adding--'The difference is so great, that some of our
  astronomical observers have been induced to think she has none. If
  that, however, had been the case, our voyage would have been
  impracticable.'"

After gazing for some time on this magnificent spectacle, with
admiration and delight, one of their balls of _lunarium_ was let
off for the purpose of checking their velocity. At this time the
Brahmin supposed they were not more than four thousand miles from the
nearest point of the moon's surface. In about four hours more, her
apparent magnitude was so great, that they could see her by looking
out of either of the side windows.

  "Her disc had now lost its former silvery appearance, and began to
  look more like that of the earth, when seen at the same distance. It
  was a most gratifying spectacle to behold the objects successively
  rising to our view, and steadily enlarging in their dimensions. The
  rapidity with which we approached the moon, impressed me, in spite of
  myself, with the alarming sensation of falling; and I found myself
  alternately agitated with a sense of this danger, and with impatience
  to take a nearer view of the new objects that greeted my eyes. The
  Brahmin was wholly absorbed in calculations for the purpose of
  adjusting our velocity to the distance we had to go, his estimates of
  which, however, were in a great measure conjectural; and ever and anon
  he would let off a ball of the lunar metal.

  "After a few hours, we were so near the moon that every object was
  seen in our glass, as distinctly as the shells or marine plants
  through a piece of shallow sea-water, though the eye could take in but
  a small part of her surface, and the horizon, which bounded our view,
  was rapidly contracting. On letting the air escape from our machine,
  it did not now rush out with the same violence as before, which showed
  that we were within the moon's atmosphere. This, as well as ridding
  ourselves of the metal balls, aided in checking our progress. By and
  by we were within a few miles of the highest mountains, when we threw
  down so much of our ballast, that we soon appeared almost stationary.
  The Brahmin remarked, that he should avail himself of the currents of
  air we might meet with, to select a favourable place for landing,
  though we were necessarily attracted towards the same region, in
  consequence of the same half of the moon's surface being always turned
  towards the earth."

The Brahmin now pointed out the necessity of looking out for some
cultivated field, in one of the valleys they were approaching, where
they might rely on being not far distant from some human habitation,
and on escaping the perils necessarily attendant on a descent amongst
rocks, trees, and buildings. A gentle breeze now arising, as appeared
by their horizontal motion, which wafted them at the rate of about ten
miles an hour, over a ridge of mountains, a lake, a thick wood, &c.
they at length reached a cultivated region, which the Brahmin
recognised as the country of the Morosofs, the place they were anxious
to visit. By now letting off two balls of lead to the _Earth_,
they descended rapidly; and when they were sufficiently near the
ground to observe that it was a fit place for landing, opened the door
of their Balloon, and found the air of the moon inconceivably sweet
and refreshing. They now let loose one of their lower balls, which
somewhat retarded their descent; and in a few minutes more, being
within twenty yards of the ground, they let go the largest ball of
lunarium, which, having a cord attached to it, served in lieu of a
grapnel; by this they drew themselves down, were disengaged from the
machine in a twinkling, and landed "safe and sound" on, we presume,
"_luna firma!_"

Having seen our travellers securely deposited in the moon, we may
remark, that in the passage from the earth, various topics of an
interesting and important character were canvassed by the Brahmin and
his companion; one, _on the causes of national superiority_,
suggested by the views of Africa, and a comparison between that
benighted country and others more illuminated, is especially worthy of
attention, as containing a condensed and philosophical view of the
subject; eloquently and perspicuously conveyed.

The view of America, suggests some remarks on the _political
peculiarities of the United States_, with speculations on their
future destiny.

A lively description of the contrast between the circumstances of the
Kamtschadale--

    "The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone,"

and the gay, voluptuous native of the Sandwich, and other isles within
the tropics--the one passing his life in toil, privation, and care--the
other in ease, abundance, and enjoyment--leads to a similar conclusion
to that expressed by Goldsmith:--

    "And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
    And estimate the blessings which they share,
    Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
    An equal portion dealt to all mankind."

A disquisition also takes place--_whether India or Egypt were the
parent of the Arts?_

This leads them to refer to the strange custom in the country of the
Brahmin, which impels the widow to throw herself on the funeral pile,
and be consumed with her husband:--

  "I told him," says Atterley, "that it had often been represented as
  compulsory--or, in other words, that it was said that every art and
  means were resorted to, for the purpose of working on the mind of the
  woman, by her relatives, aided by the priests, who would be naturally
  gratified by such signal triumphs of religion over the strongest
  feelings of nature. He admitted that these engines were sometimes put
  in operation, and that they impelled to the sacrifice, some who were
  wavering; but insisted, that in a majority of instances, the
  _Suttee_ was voluntary.

  "'Women,' said he, 'are brought up from their infancy, to regard our
  sex as their superiors, and to believe that their greatest merit
  consists in entire devotion to their husbands. Under this feeling, and
  having, at the same time, their attention frequently turned to the
  chance of such a calamity, they are better prepared to meet it when it
  occurs. How few of the officers in your western armies, ever hesitate
  to march, at the head of their men, on a forlorn hope? and how many
  even court the danger for the sake of the glory? Nay, you tell me
  that, according to your code of honour, if one man insults another, he
  who gives the provocation, and he who receives it, rather than be
  disgraced in the eyes of their countrymen, will go out, and quietly
  shoot at each other with fire-arms, till one of them is killed or
  wounded; and this too, in many cases, when the injury has been merely
  nominal. If you show such a contempt of death, in deference to a
  custom founded in mere caprice, can it be wondered that a woman should
  show it, in the first paroxysms of her grief for the loss of him to
  whom was devoted every thought, word, and action of her life, and who,
  next to her God, was the object of her idolatry? My dear Atterley,' he
  continued, with emotion, 'you little know the strength of woman's
  love!'"

Other topics of interest are also discussed with the like ingenuity.

After this episode, it is time for us to return to our travellers,
whose feelings, the moment they touched the ground, repayed them for
all they had endured. Atterley looked around with the most intense
curiosity; but nothing he saw, "surprised him so much, as to find so
little that was surprising:"--vegetation, insects, and other animals,
were pretty much of the same character as those he had before seen;
but, on better acquaintance, he found the difference greater than he
had at first supposed. Having refreshed themselves with the remains of
their stores, and secured the door of the machine, they bent their
course to the town of Alamatua, about three miles distant, which
seemed to contain about two thousand houses, and to be not quite as
large as Albany; the people were tall and thin, and of a pale,
yellowish complexion; their garments light, loose, and flowing, and
not very different from those of the Turks; they subsist chiefly on a
vegetable diet, live about as long as we do on the earth,
notwithstanding the great difference of climate, and other
circumstances; and do not, in their manners, habits, or character,
differ more from the inhabitants of this globe, than some of the
latter do from one another; their government, anciently monarchical,
is now popular; their code of laws very intricate; their language,
naturally soft and musical, has been yet further refined by the
cultivation of letters; and they have a variety of sects in religion,
politics, and philosophy.

The lunarians do not, as Butler has it--

    "When the sun shines hot at noon,
    Inhabit cellars under ground,
    Of eight miles deep and eighty round."

But, one half of their houses is beneath the surface, partly for the
purpose of screening them from the continued action of the sun's rays,
and partly on account of the earthquakes caused by volcanoes. The
windows of the houses consisted of openings in the wall, sloping so
much upwards, that, whilst they freely admitted the light and air, the
sun was completely excluded. As soon as they were espied by the
natives, great curiosity was of course excited; not, however, to so
troublesome an extent, as might have been, from the circumstance of
the Brahmin's having visited the moon before. Hence he was soon
recognised by some of his acquaintances, and conducted to the house of
the governor, by whom they were graciously received, and who "began a
course of interesting inquiries regarding the affairs of the earth;"
but a gentleman, whom they afterwards understood to be one of the
leaders of the popular party, coming in, he soon despatched them;
having, however, first directed an officer to furnish them with all
that was necessary for their accommodation, at the public expense;
"which act of hospitality, they had reason to fear, occasioned him
some trouble and perplexity at the succeeding election."

A more minute description follows, of the dress of the male and female
lunarians, especially of that of the latter, to which we can merely
refer the reader. There is one portion, however, of the inhabitants,
with whom the reader must be made acquainted, inasmuch as they form
some of the author's most prominent characters. A large number of
lunarians, it seems, are born without any intellectual vigour, and
wander about like so many automatons, under the care of the
government, until illumined by the mental ray, from some terrestrial
brain, through the mysterious influence which the moon is known to
exercise on our planet. But, in this case, the inhabitant of the earth
loses what he of the moon gains, the ordinary portion of understanding
being divided between two; and, "as might be expected, there is a most
exact conformity between the man of the earth, and his counterpart in
the moon, in all their principles of action, and modes of thinking:"--

  "These Glonglims, as they are called, after they have been thus imbued
  with intellect, are held in peculiar respect by the vulgar, and are
  thought to be in every way superior to those whose understandings are
  entire. The laws by which two objects, so far apart, operate on each
  other, have been, as yet, but imperfectly developed, and the wilder
  their freaks, the more they are the objects of wonder and admiration."

"Now and then, though very rarely, the man of the earth regains the
intellect he has lost; in which case, his lunar counterpart returns to
his former state of imbecility. Both parties are entirely unconscious
of the change--one, of what he has lost, and the other, of what he has
gained."[7]

The belief of the influence of the moon on the human intellect, the
Brahmin remarks, may be perceived in the opinions of the vulgar, and
in many of the ordinary forms of expression; and he takes occasion to
remark, that these very opinions, as well as some obscure hints in the
Sanscrit, give countenance to the idea, that they were not the only
voyagers to the moon; but that, on the contrary, the voyage had been
performed in remote antiquity; and the Lunarians, we are told, have a
similar tradition. Many ordinary forms of expression are adduced in
support of these ideas.

"Thus," says the Brahmin, "it is generally believed, throughout all
Asia, that the moon has an influence on the brain: and when a man is
of insane mind, we call him a lunatic. One of the curses of the common
people is, 'May the moon eat up your brains!' and in China, they say
of a man who has done any act of egregious folly, 'He was gathering
wool in the moon.'" I was struck with these remarks; and told the
hermit that the language of Europe afforded the same indirect evidence
of the fact he mentioned,--that my own language, especially, abounded
with expressions which could be explained on no other hypothesis: for,
besides the terms "lunacy," "lunatic," and the supposed influence of
the moon on the brain, when we see symptoms of a disordered intellect,
we say the mind _wanders_, which evidently alludes to a part of
it rambling to a distant region, as is the moon. We say too, a man is
"_out of his head_," that is, his mind being in another man's
head, must of course be out of his own. To "know no more than the man
in the moon," is a proverbial expression for ignorance, and is without
meaning, unless it be considered to refer to the Glonglims.[8]

"We say that an insane man is 'distracted,' by which we mean that his
mind is drawn two different ways. So also, we call a lunatic _a man
beside himself_, which most distinctly expresses the two distinct
bodies his mind now animates. There are, moreover, many other
analogous expressions, as 'moonstruck,' 'deranged,' 'extravagant,' and
some others, which, altogether, form a mass of concurring testimony
that it is impossible to resist."

Leaving this ingenious _badinage_ with the defence of the serious
and sentimental Schiller,

    "Hoher Sinn liegt oft in Kindischen Spiele,"

we return to our travellers, who, at their lodgings, meet with an
instance of _lunar puritanism_--the family eating those portions
of fruits, vegetables, &c., which are thrown away by us, and _vice
versa_, "from a persuasion that all pleasure received through the
senses is sinful, and that man never appears so acceptable in the sight
of the Deity, as when he rejects all the delicacies of the palate, as
well as other sensual gratifications, and imposes on himself that food
to which he feels naturally most repugnant."

_Avarice_ is satirized by the story of one of these Glonglims, who
is occupied in making nails, and then dropping them into a well--refusing
to exchange them for bread or clothes, notwithstanding his starved,
haggard appearance, and evident desire for the food proffered:--

    "Mettant toute sa gloire et son souverain bien
    A grossir un trésor qui ne lui sert de rien."

And this is followed by a picture of _reckless prodigality_ in
another Glonglim.

We pass over the description of the physical peculiarities of the
moon, which seem to be according to the received opinions of
astronomers, as well as the satire on _National Prejudices_, in
the persons of the Hilliboos and Moriboos, and that on the Godwinian
system of morals.

An indisposition experienced by Atterley, occasions his introduction
to Vindar,[9] a celebrated physician, botanist, &c., on whose opinions
we have a keen satire.

On leaving Vindar's house, they observed a short man, (Napoleon,)
preparing to climb to the top of a plane tree, on which there was one
of the tail feathers of a flamingo; and this he would only mount in
one way--on the shoulders of his men:--

  "I could not see this rash Glonglim attempt to climb that dangerous
  ladder, without feeling alarm for his safety. At first all seemed to
  go on very well; but just as he was about to lay hold of the gaudy
  prize, there arose a sudden squall, which threw both him and his
  supporters into confusion, and the whole living pyramid came to the
  ground together. Many were killed--some were wounded and bruised.
  Polenap himself, by lighting on his men, who served him as cushions,
  barely escaped with life. But he received a fracture in the upper part
  of his head, and a dislocation of the hip, which will not only prevent
  him from ever climbing again, but probably make him a cripple for
  life.

  "The Brahmin and I endeavoured to give the sufferers some assistance;
  but this was rendered unnecessary, by the crowd which their cries and
  lamentations brought to their relief. I thought that the author of so
  much mischief would have been stoned on the spot; but, to my surprise,
  his servants seemed to feel as much for his honour as their own
  safety, and warmly interfered in his behalf, until they had somewhat
  appeased the rage of the surrounding multitude."

The _absurdities_ of the _physiognomical system_ of Lavater,
and of the _craniological system_ of MM. Gall and Spurzheim, were
not likely to escape animadversion, in a work of general satire,
fruitful as they have already been in such themes. The representative
of the former, is a fortune-telling philosopher, Avarabet, (Lavater,)
whose course of proceeding was, to examine the finger nails, and,
according to their form, colour, thickness, surface, grain, and other
properties, to determine the character and destinies of those who
consulted him; and that of the latter, a physician, who judged of the
character of disposition or disease, by the examination of a lock of
the hair. The upshot of the story is, as might be anticipated, that
the fortune-telling philosopher is caught, and exposed in his own
toils.

The _impolicy of privateers, and of letters of marque and
reprisals_, is next animadverted on, by the story of two
neighbours, who are at variance, and whose dependants are occupied in
laying hold of what they can of each other's flocks and herds, and
doing as much mischief as possible, by which both parties, of
necessity, suffer.

A visit to a projector in building, husbandry, and cookery, introduces
us to some inventions not unworthy of the occupation, of the courtiers
of _La Reine Quinte_, or of the Professors of the Academy of
Lagado.

The doctrine of the aerial formation of meteoric stones, receives,
too, a passing notice from our author, who is clearly no supporter of
it. It was a long time before the ancients received credit for their
stories of showers of stones; and all were ready to joke with Butler,
at the story of the Thracian rock, which fell in the river Aegos:--

    "For Anaxagoras, long agon,
    Saw hills, as well as you i'th' moon,
    And held the sun was but a piece
    Of red hot iron as big as Greece.
    Believ'd the heavens were made of stone,
    Because the sun had voided one:
    And, rather than he would recant
    Th' opinion, suffered banishment."

A difficulty surrounds the subject, however we view it.
_Aerolites_, as they have been designated, have now been found in
almost every region and climate of the globe--from Arabia to the
farthest point of Baffin's Bay; and this very circumstance would seem
to be opposed to their aerial origin, unless we are to suppose that
they can be formed in every state, and in the opposite extremes of the
atmosphere. The Brahmin assigns them a lunar origin, and adds, "our
party were greatly amused at the disputations of a learned society in
Europe, in which they undertook to give a mathematical demonstration,
that they could not be thrown from a volcano of the earth, nor from
the moon, but were suddenly formed in the atmosphere. I should as soon
believe, that a loaf of bread could be made and baked in the
atmosphere."

The "gentleman farmer and projector," being attacked, during their
visit, with cholera morbus, and considering himself _in extremis_,
a consultation of physicians takes place, in which one portrait
will be obvious--that of Dr. Shuro, who asserts disease to be
a unit; and that it is the extreme of folly, to divide diseases into
classes, which tend but to produce confusion of ideas, and an
unscientific practice. The enthusiasm of the justly celebrated
individual--the original of this portrait, was so great, that the
slightest data were sufficient for the formation of some of his most
elaborate _hypotheses_--for _theories_ they could not properly
be called; and, accordingly, many of his beautiful and ingenious
superstructures are now prostrated, leaving, in open day, the
insufficiency of their foundation. One of the most striking
examples of this nature, was his belief that the black colour of
the negro is a disease, which depletion, properly exercised, might
be capable of remedying--a scheme not a whit more feasible, than
that of the courtiers of _La Reine Quinte_, referred to by
Rabelais, "who made blackamoors white, as fast as hops, by just
rubbing their stomachs with the bottom of a pannier."

The satire here is not so fortunately displayed, as in other
instances, owing probably to the difficulty of saying any thing new on
so hackneyed a subject; for it has ever happened, that,--

    "The Galenist and Paracelsian,
    Condemn the way each other deals in."

The affair concludes, by the Doctors quarrelling; and, in the mean
time, the patient, profiting by some simple remedies administered by
the Brahmin, and an hour's rest, was so much refreshed, that he
considered himself out of danger, and had no need of medical
assistance.

_Pestolozzi's system of education_, is with justice satirized;
since, instead of affording facilities to the student, as the
superficial observer might fancy, it retards his acquisition of
knowledge, by teaching him to exercise his external senses, rather
than his reflection.[10]

In a _menagerie_ attached to an academy, in which youths of
maturer years were instructed in the fine arts, the travellers had an
opportunity of observing the vain attempts of education, to control
the natural or instinctive propensities.

    "Naturam expellas furca tamen usque recurret."

    "For nature driven out, with proud disdain,
    All powerful goddess, will return again."

The election of a town constable, exhibits the violence of _Lunar
Politics_ to be much the same as the terrestrial, and seems to have
some allusion to an existing and important controversy amongst
ourselves. The _prostitution of the press_ is satirized by the
story of a number of boys dressed in black and white--wearing the
badges of the party to which they respectively belong, and each
provided with a syringe and two canteens, the one filled with rose
water, and the other with a black, offensive, fluid: the rose water
being squirted at the favourite candidates and voters--the other fluid
on the opposite party. All these were under regular discipline, and at
the word of command discharged their syringes on friend or foe, as the
case might be.

The "_glorious uncertainty of the law_" (proverbial with us,)
falls also under notice. In Morosofia, it seems, a favourite mode of
settling private disputes, whether concerning person, character, or
property, is by the employment of prize fighters who hire themselves
to the litigants:--

    "And out of foreign controversies
    By aiding both sides, fill their purses:
    But have no int'rest in the cause
    For which th' engage and wage the laws
    Nor farther prospect than their pay
    Whether they lose or win the day."

The chapter concludes with a discussion between an old man and his
wife, in which the _policy of encouraging manufactures_, is
argued.

In an account of Okalbia--a happy valley--similar only in name to that
in _Rasselas_, the author seems to sketch his views of a _perfect
commonwealth_, and glances at some important questions of
_politics_ and _political economy_. Prudential restraints are
considered sufficient to obviate a _redundancy of population_--and
on _Ricardo's theory of rent_, the author holds the same opinions
as those already expressed in this Journal.

Some useful hints are also afforded on the subject of _legislation
and jurisprudence_.

After having passed a week amongst the singular and happy Okalbians,
whom our travellers found equally amiable, intelligent, and
hospitable, they returned to Alamatua.

Jeffery's _theory of beauty_, as developed in the article
_beauty_, of the _supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica_,
in which he denies the existence of original beauty and refers
it to association, is ridiculed by an extension of a similar kind
of reasoning to the smell.

A description of a _Lunar fair_ follows, which, like a
terrestrial, is the resort of the busy, the idle, the knavish, and the
gay: some in pursuit of pleasure; others again, without any settled
purpose, carried along by the vague desire of meeting with something
to relieve them from the pain of idleness. _Political contests_
are here represented under the character of gambling transactions, and
if we mistake not, there is a distinct allusion to more than one
important contest in the annals of this country.

Having now satisfied his curiosity, Atterley became anxious to return
to his native planet, and accordingly urged the Brahmin to lose no
time in preparing for their departure. They were soon, however,
informed that a man high in office, by way of affecting political
sagacity, had proposed to detain them, on the ground that when such
voyages as their's were shown to be practicable, the inhabitants of
the earth, who were so much more numerous than those of the moon,
might invade the latter with a large army, for the purpose of rapine
and contest; but notwithstanding the influence of this sapient
politician, they finally obtained leave to quit the moon whenever they
thought proper.

Having taken a "respectful or affectionate" leave of all their
lunarian friends, and got every thing in readiness,--at midnight of
the twentieth of August, they again entered their copper
_balloon_, and after they had ascended until the face of the moon
looked like one vast lake of melted silver, with here and there small
pieces of grayish dross floating on it, Atterley reminded the Brahmin
of a former promise to detail the history of his early life, to which
he assented:--of this, perhaps the most interesting part of the book,
to the general reader, we regret that our limits will only admit of
our giving a very condensed and imperfect narrative.

Gurameer, the Brahmin, was born at Benares. He was the only son of a
priest of Vishnu, of rank, and was himself intended for the
priesthood. At school, he meets with a boy of the name of _Balty
Mahu_, between whom and himself a degree of rivalry, and
subsequently the most decided enmity, existed--a circumstance that
decided the character of Gurameer's subsequent life. They afterwards
met at college, where a more extended theatre was afforded for the
exercise of Balty Mahu's malignity. During a vacation, Gurameer, being
on a visit to an uncle in the country, one day, when the family had
gone to witness a grand spectacle in honour of an important festival
in their calendar, which he could not himself attend consistently with
the rules of his caste, was tempted to visit the deserted Zenana, or
ladies' apartment, where he accidentally meets with a beautiful young
female. The acquaintance, thus begun, soon ripened into intimacy, by
means of walks in the garden, contrived by Fatima, one of his female
cousins. At length they are constrained to separate. Veenah (for so
the young lady is named) returns to Benares, whither Gurameer soon
follows her. On making his father acquainted with his attachment, the
latter endeavours to persuade him to overcome it, and informs him that
Veenah's father is avaricious, and a bigot, and hence, that he would
probably be prejudiced against him, owing to some imputations which
had been cast on Gurameer's religious creed, and industriously
circulated by his old enemy, Balty Mahu, who proves to be the cousin
of Veenah These considerations prevail upon Gurameer to defer any
application to Veenah's father, until the suspicions regarding his
faith had either died away or been falsified by his scrupulous
observance of all religious duties. This resolution he determines to
communicate to his mistress. Accordingly, in the evening, he betakes
himself to the quarter of the city where Veenah's father lives; and,
walking to and fro before the house, soon discovers that he is
recognised. By a cord, let down from the window, he conveys a letter
to her, which, the following evening, she answers; and thus a regular
correspondence was kept up, which, by the exercise it afforded to
their imaginations, and the difficulties attendant upon it, inflamed
their passion to the highest pitch. He had, however, soon the
misfortune to be discovered by Balty Mahu, and, in consequence, Veenah
is debarred from pen and ink, but contrives to acquaint her lover that
their intercourse has been discovered, by a short note, written with a
burnt stick. Gurameer now goes in despair to Veenah's father, from
whom he experiences a haughty repulse, and who, in the following
night, secretly leaves the city, with his daughter, embarking on the
Ganges, and taking measures to prevent the discovery of the place of
his retreat. At the expiration of two or three months, an end is put
to Gurameer's doubts and apprehensions, by his return, with his
daughter and son-in-law--a rich Omrah, four times her age. After the
first ebullitions of rage have subsided, his love returns; but he is
never able to succeed in obtaining an interview with Veenah. By his
cousin Fatima, he learns the circumstances of Veenah's marriage, and
the deceptions which had been practised on her, aided by the unbounded
authority which parents exercise in eastern countries. The unhappy
Veenah, as firm in her principles as she was gentle in disposition,
refuses to see him. "Tell him," said she, "that Heaven has forbidden
it, and to its decrees we are bound to submit I am now the wife of
another, and it is our duty to forget all that is past. But if this be
possible, my heart tells me it can be only by our never meeting!"

Gurameer now fell into a state of settled melancholy, and consented to
travel, more for the purpose of pleasing his parents, than from any
concern for his own health; but travelling had little effect--"he
carried a barbed arrow in his heart; and the greater the efforts to
extract it, the more they rankled the wound." When so much emaciated
that he was not expected to live a month, he took a voyage, coastwise,
to Madras; and, on his arrival there, learned that Balty Mahu had
recently left that place. This intelligence operated like a charm; the
desire of revenge roused all his energies and became his master
passion. He immediately set off in pursuit; but, although often near,
could never overtake him. His health rapidly improves; and at length
he hears that the old Omrah's health is rapidly declining. This
information awakens new thoughts and hopes, and Balty Mahu is
forgotten. He hastens hack to Benares; and when near the city, hears
two merchants, in conversation, remark that the Omrah is dead, and
that his widow was the next day to perform the _Suttee_. He
immediately mounts his horse, and reaches the city the next morning at
sunrise. In the street he mixes with the throng;--hears Veenah pitied,
her father blamed, and himself lamented. He now sees Veenah approach
the funeral pile, who, at the well known sound of his voice, shrieked
out, "he lives! he lives!" and would have attempted to save herself
from the flames; but the shouts of the surrounding multitude, and the
sound of the instruments, drowned her voice. He now attempts to
approach the pile for the purpose of rescuing her, but is forcibly
held back until the wretched Veenah is enveloped in flames. On his
again attempting to reach the pile, he was charged with profanation;
and, on Balty Mahu's making his appearance and encouraging the charge,
in frantic desperation he seizes a scymetar from one of the guards,
and plunges it in his breast. The influence of his friends, and the
sacred character of persons of his caste, saved the Brahmin from
capital punishment; but he was banished from Hindostan. He now removed
to the kingdom of Ava, where he continued so long as his parents
lived, after which he visited several countries, both of Asia and
Europe; and in one of his journeys, having discovered Lunarium Ore in
the mountain near Mogaun, he determined to pass the remainder of his
days in that secluded retreat.--"So ends this strange, eventful
history."

When the Brahmin terminated his narrative, the extended map beneath
them was already assuming a distinct and varied appearance:--

  "The Brahmin, having applied his eye to the telescope, and made a
  brief calculation of our progress, considered that twenty-four hours
  more, if no accident interrupted us, would end our voyage; part of
  which interval I passed in making notes in my journal, and in
  contemplating the different sections of our many peopled globe, as
  they presented themselves successively to the eye. It was my wish to
  land on the American continent, and, if possible, in the United
  States. But the Brahmin put an end to that hope, by reminding me that
  we should be attracted towards the Equator, and that we had to choose
  between Asia, Africa, and South America; and that our only course
  would be, to check the progress of our car over the country of
  greatest extent, through which the equinoctial circle might pass.
  Saying which, he relapsed into his melancholy silence, and I betook
  myself once more to the telescope. With a bosom throbbing with
  emotion, I saw that we were descending towards the American continent.
  When we were about ten or twelve miles from the earth, the Brahmin
  arrested the progress of the car, and we hovered over the broad
  Atlantic. Looking down on the ocean, the first object which presented
  itself to my eye, was a small one-masted shallop, which was buffetting
  the waves in a south-westerly direction. I presumed it was a
  New-England trader, on a voyage to some part of the Republic of
  Colombia: and, by way of diverting my friend from his melancholy
  reverie, I told him some of the many stories which are current
  respecting the enterprise and ingenuity of this portion of my
  countrymen, and above all, their adroitness at a bargain.

  "'Methinks,' says the Brahmin, 'you are describing a native of Canton
  or Pekin. But,' added he, after a short pause, 'though to a
  superficial observer man appears to put on very different characters,
  to a philosopher he is every where the same--for he is every where
  moulded by the circumstances in which he is placed. Thus; let him be
  in a situation that is propitious to commerce, and the habits of
  traffic produce in him shrewdness and address. Trade is carried on
  chiefly in towns, because it is there carried on most advantageously.
  This situation gives the trader a more intimate knowledge of his
  species--a more ready insight into character, and of the modes of
  operating on it. His chief purpose is to buy as cheap, and to sell as
  dear, as he can; and he is often able to heighten the recommendations
  or soften the defects of some of the articles in which he deals,
  without danger of immediate detection; or, in other words, big
  representations have some influence with his customers. He avails
  himself of this circumstance, and thus acquires the habit of lying;
  but, as he is studious to conceal it, he becomes wary, ingenious, and
  cunning. It is thus that the Phenicians, the Carthagenians, the Dutch,
  the Chinese, the New-Englanders, and the modern Greeks, have always
  been regarded as inclined to petty frauds by their less commercial
  neighbours.' I mentioned the English nation.

  "'If the English,' said he, interrupting me; 'who are the most
  commercial people of modern times, have not acquired the same
  character, it is because they are as distinguished for other things as
  for traffic: they are not merely a commercial people--they are also
  agricultural, warlike, and literary; and thus the natural tendencies
  of commerce are mutually counteracted.'

  "We afterwards descended slowly; the prospect beneath us becoming more
  beautiful than my humble pen can hope to describe, or will even
  attempt to portray. In a short time after, we were in sight of
  Venezuela. We met with the trade winds and were carried by them forty
  or fifty miles inland, where, with some difficulty, and even danger,
  we landed. The Brahmin and myself remained together two days, and
  parted--he to explore the Andes, to obtain additional light on the
  subject of his hypothesis, and I, on the wings of impatience, to visit
  once more my long-deserted family and friends. But before our
  separation, I assisted my friend in concealing our aerial vessel, and
  received a promise from him to visit, and perhaps spend with me the
  evening of his life. Of my journey home, little remains to be said.
  From the citizens of Colombia, I experienced kindness and attention,
  and means of conveyance to Caraccas; where, embarking on board the
  brig Juno, captain Withers, I once more set foot in New-York, on the
  18th of August, 1826, after an absence of four years, resolved, for
  the rest of my life, to travel only in books, and persuaded, from
  experience, that the satisfaction which the wanderer gains from
  actually beholding the wonders and curiosities of distant climes, is
  dearly bought by the sacrifice of all the comforts and delights of
  home."

We have thus placed before the reader an analysis of this interesting
Satirical Romance. The time and space we have occupied sufficiently
indicate the favourable sentiments respecting it with which we have
been impressed. Of the execution of the satires, from the several
extracts we have given, the reader will himself be enabled to judge.
This is of course unequal, but generally felicitous. In the personal
allusions which occur through the work, the author exhibits, as we
have before noticed, a freedom from malice and all uncharitableness,
and in many of them has attained that happy _desideratum_ which
Dryden considered a matter of so much difficulty:--

  "How easy is it," he observes, "to call rogue and villain, and that
  wittily! But how hard to make a man appear a fool, a blockhead, or a
  knave, without using any of those opprobrious terms! To spare the
  grossness of the names, and to do the thing yet more severely, is to
  draw a full face, and to make the nose and cheeks stand out, and yet
  not to employ any depth of shadowing. This is the mystery of that
  noble trade, which yet no master can teach to his apprentice; he may
  give the rules, but the scholar is never the nearer in his practice;
  neither is it true, that this fineness of raillery is offensive. A
  witty man is tickled, while he is hurt, in this manner, and a fool
  feels it not: the occasion of an offence may possibly be given, but he
  cannot take it. If it be granted, that, in effect, this way does more
  mischief--that a man is secretly wounded, and, though he be not
  sensible himself, yet the malicious world will find it out for him,
  yet, there is still a vast difference betwixt the slovenly butchering
  of a man, and the fineness of a stroke that separates the head from
  the body, and leaves it standing in its place. A man may be capable,
  as Jack Ketch's wife said of his servant, of a plain piece of work, a
  bare hanging; but to make a malefactor die sweetly, was only belonging
  to her husband."[11]

In conclusion, we must express our regret, that the author should not
have added notes to the work--the want of them will be seriously felt
by every one; some of the satires, indeed, must escape the reader,
unless he pay a degree of attention, which notes would have rendered
unnecessary. In his next edition, we trust that this deficiency may be
supplied; and we anticipate as much instruction and entertainment,
from the wide scope which such an undertaking will afford, as we have
derived from the perusal of the text. Cheerfully would we extend to
him, if required, the leisure claimed by Spenser, after he had
composed the first six books of his "_Faerie Queene_," provided
he would promise us similar conditions:--

    "After so long a race as I have run
      Through Faery Land, which those six books compile,
    Give leave to rest me, being half foredonne,
      And gather to myself new breath awhile;

    "Then, as a steed refreshed after toyle,
      Out of my prison will I break anew,
    And stoutly will that second work assoyle,
      With strong endeavour, and attention due."


       *       *       *       *       *


[APPENDIX FOOTNOTES]


[Footnote 1: Scott's Swift, vol. xi. p. 4]


[Footnote 2: Aristoph. in Pace. 130.]


[Footnote 3: Orlando furioso, Canto xxxiv. St. 68 and 69.]


[Footnote 4: Micromègas, Histoire Philosophique, chap. 8.]


[Footnote 5: Fuller, a learned contemporary of the Bishop, has given
us an amusing case of litigation, originating from this nourishing
character of odours.--

"A poor man, being very hungry, staid so long in a cook's shop, who
was dishing up meat, that his stomach was satisfied with only the
smell thereof. The choleric cook demanded of him to pay for his
breakfast, the poor man denied having had any; and the controversy was
referred to the deciding of the next man that should pass by, who
chanced to be the most notorious idiot in the whole city be, on the
relation of the matter, determined that the poor man's money should be
put betwixt two empty dishes, and the cook should be recompensed with
the jingling of the poor man's money, as he was satisfied with the
smell of the cook's meat."--_Fuller's Holy State_, lib. iii. c.
12.]


[Footnote 6: Aristophan. in pace. 137.]


[Footnote 7: The idea of the Glonglims is the author's. Ariosto makes
the lost intellect, of those who become insane upon the earth, ascend
to the moon, where it is kept _bottled_.--

    "Era come un liquor suttile e molle,
    Atto a esalar, se non si tien ben chiuso;
    E si vedea raccolto in varie ampolle,
    Qual più, qual men capace, atte a quell' uso."

                  _Orlando furioso_, Cant. 34. St. 83.]


[Footnote 8: Our author might also have alluded to the old apology for
every thing inane or contemptible--"It is a tale of the man in the
moon." When that arch flatterer, John Lylie, published (in 1591) his
"_Endymion_, or _the man in the moon_"--a _court comedy_, as it
was afterwards called; in other words, intended for the gratification
of Queen Elizabeth, and in which her personal charms and attractions
are grossly lauded--he pleads guilty to its defect in plot, in the
following exquisite apologetic prologue:--

"Most high and happy Princess, we must tell you a tale of the man in
the moon; which, if it seem ridiculous for the method, or superfluous
for the matter, or for the means incredible, for three faults we can
make but one excuse,--it is a tale of the man of the moon."

"It was forbidden in old time to dispute of Chymera, because it was a
fiction: we hope in our times none will apply pastimes, because they
are fancies: for there liveth none under the sun that knows what to
make of the man in the moon. We present neither comedy, nor tragedy,
nor story, nor any thing, but that whosoever heareth may say this:--
'Why, here is a tale of the man in the moon.' Yet this is the man
designated by Blount, who re-published his plays in 1632, as the '_only
rare poet of that time, the witie, comicall, facetiously-quicke, and
unparallel'd John Lylie, Master of Arts!'"]


[Footnote 9: It is to be regretted that the author has not followed
the good example set him by Johnson, in his _Debates in the Senate
of Magna Lilliputia_, published in the Gentlemen's Magazine for
1738: the denominations of the speakers being formed of the letters of
their real names, so that they might be easily deciphered. This
neglect has obscured many of the author's most interesting satires.
Who could suppose from the letters alone, that _Wigurd_, _Vindar_,
and _Avarabet_, were respectively intended for _Godwin_, _Darwin_,
and _Lavater_?]


[Footnote 10: It is a curious circumstance, that Swift, in his
description of the Academy of Lagado, should have so completely
anticipated the Pestalozzian invention.]


[Footnote 11: Dryden's Essay on Satire]





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