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Title: A Voyage to the Moon
Author: Bergerac, Cyrano de
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Voyage to the Moon" ***








      Cyrano de Bergerac.

      Note on the Translation.

      The Translator to the Reader.

      Title-page of Lovell's Translation of The
      Comical History of the States and Empires
      of the World of the Moon: London, 1687.

      I.--Of how the Voyage was Conceived.

      II.--Of how the Author set out, and where
      he first arrived.

      III.--Of his Conversation with the Vice-Roy
      of New France; and of the system of this

      IV.--Of how at last he set out again for
      the Moon, tho without his own Will.

      V.--Of his Arrival there, and of the Beauty
      of that Country in which he fell.

      VI.--Of a Youth whom he met there, and of
      their Conversation: what that country was,
      and the Inhabitants of it.

      VII.--Being cast out from that Country, of
      the new Adventures which Befell him; and of
      the Demon of Socrates.

      VIII.--Of the Languages of the People in
      the Moon; of the Manner of Feeding there,
      and Paying the Scot; and of how the Author
      was taken to Court.

      IX.--Of the little Spaniard whom he met
      there, and of his quaint Wit; of Vacuum,
      Specific Weights, and sundry other
      Philosophical Matters.

      X.--Where the Author comes in doubt,
      whether he be a Man, an Ape, or an
      Estridge; and of the Opinion of the Lunar
      Philosophers concerning Aristotle.

      XI.--Of the Manner of making War in the
      Moon; and of how the Moon is not the Moon,
      nor the Earth the Earth.

      XII.--Of a Philosophical Entertainment.

      XIII.--Of the little Animals that make up
      our Life, and likewise cause our Diseases;
      and of the Disposition of the Towns in the

      XIV.--Of the Original of All Things; of
      Atomes; and of the Operation of the Senses.

      XV.--Of the Books in the Moon, and their
      Fashion; of Death, Burial, and Burning;
      of the Manner of telling the Time; and of

      XVI.--Of Miracles; and of Curing by the

      XVII.--Of the Author's Return to the Earth.


    CYRANO DE BERGERAC, Frontispiece

[Illustration: frontispiece--Cyrano de Bergerac.

    La terre me fut importune
    Le pris mon essort vers les Cieux.
    l'y vis le soleil, et la lune.
    Et maintenant J'y vois les Dieux

    ("All weary with the earth too soon,
        I took my flight into the skies,
      Beholding there the sun and moon
        Where now the Gods confront my eyes.")

From a 17th Century Engraving of the original portrait
by Zacharie Heince.]


Savinien Hercule de Cyrano Bergerac, swashbuckler, hero, poet, and
philosopher, came of an old and noble family, richer in titles than in
estates. His grandfather still kept most of the titles, and was called
Savinien de Cyrano Mauvières Bergerac Saint-Laurent. He was secretary
to the King in 1571, and held other important offices. Since there
was no absolute right of primo-geniture in those matters, the names,
as well as what was left of the properties they had represented, were
distributed among his descendants. Our hero seems to have received a
fair share of the titles; but of the property, nothing.

He was the fifth among seven children, and was born on the 6th of
March, 1619; not in 1620, as has been usually stated. He was born,
moreover, at Paris, not in Gascony; we must, alas, admit that he was
not a Gascon. He ought to have been one, he certainly deserved to be
one. But Fortune, who seems to have taken pleasure in always making him
just miss his destiny, began by doing him this first and greatest wrong
of not letting him be born a Gascon. The family was not even of distant
Gascon origin, but was Périgourdin; Bergerac itself is a small town
near Périgueux. Cyrano, however, did his best to repair this as well as
the other wrongs of Destiny; he acquired the Gascon accent, and often
made himself pass for a Gascon.

The fortune of his early education made him fall into the hands of a
country curate, who was an insufferable pedant (the species seems to
have been common at that time), and who had no real scholarship (the
two things are by no means contradictory). Cyrano dubbed his master an
"Aristotelic Ass," and wrote to his father that he preferred Paris.

This period of exile had one very important result, however: the
formation of his first and most lasting friendship, that with Lebret,
who shared in the instruction of the country curate, but with a more
docile acceptance of his teachings. Here again Fortune seems to have
played tricks with Cyrano, in giving him by accident for lifelong
friend one who just missed being what a real friend should be; who was
true and loyal, but who was always seeking to reform Cyrano or to push
him forward in the world; who admired him, who loved him, but who was
of such opposite nature that he understood him not at all.

Back at Paris, Cyrano was sent to the Collège de Beauvais afterward
Racine's college where he completed the course, under the principalship
of another pedant named Grangier, who was a little more scholarly,
but no less ridiculous than the first, and who figures in the leading
rôle of Cyrano's comedy _Le Pédant joué_. He lived the Paris student's
life, burning honest tradesmen's signs and "doing other crazy things,"
as his contemporary Tallemant des Réaux tells us. On leaving college
he started upon a downward track, according to Lebret; "on which,"
says the same good Lebret, "I dare to boast that I stopped him ... by
compelling him to enter the company of the Guards with me." It may be
doubted whether a temporary suspension of the paternal allowance had
nothing to do with the matter; and whether, after all, Cyrano felt so
much repugnance to entering this company of the Guards.

For this company was the famous regiment of the "garde-nobles,"
commanded by Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, a "triple Gascon" and a "triple
brave." And his men were hardly a step behind him, all of them nobles
that was an essential condition of entrance and almost all of them
Gascons. Cyrano, at first in the position rather of the Christian than
of the Cyrano of M. Rostand's play, by his gallantry and wit compelled
them to accept him, and even won among these "braves" the title of
"_démon de la bravoure_." Unable to be the most Gascon of the Gascons,
he made it up by being more Gascon than the Gascons.

Among his exploits the most famous is that of the fight with the
hundred ruffians; for this appears to be not a dramatic creation or
a legend, but history. One of his poet-friends, Linière (the name
is sometimes spelt Lignière) a writer of epigram and contributor
to the "Recueils" or "Keep-sakes" of the epoch, had wounded the
susceptibilities of a certain "grand seigneur," who planned to avenge
himself by the same method which another noble lord, in the eighteenth
century, actually used against Voltaire. He posted his hundred men at
the Porte de Nesle, to waylay Linière. Linière, hearing of it, came to
take refuge with Cyrano for the night. But Cyrano would not receive
him. "No, you shall sleep at home," said he. "Here, take this lantern"
(this is M. Brun's version), "walk behind me and hold the light, and
I'll make bed-quilts of them for you!" And the next morning there were
found scattered about the Porte de Nesle two dead men, seven wounded,
and many hats, sticks, and pikes.

According to Lebret's account, the battle took place in broad daylight,
and had several witnesses. For the rest, his story coincides with that
above. And all versions agree in saying that M. de Cuigy and M. de
Brissailles both men of the time fairly well known: one the son of an
Advocate of the Parliament of Paris, the other Mestre de Camp of the
Prince de Conti's regiment bore witness to the facts; and that the
story became generally known, and was never denied. Perhaps it will not
be well to guarantee the exactness of the number one hundred; but the
story must be for the most part true.

Another exploit, less magnificent, but perhaps as characteristic of the
wild temper of Cyrano, is his battle with Fagotin. A mountebank named
Brioché had a theatre of marionnettes, near the Pont-Neuf, and used
an ape called Fagotin, fantastically dressed, to attract spectators.
Some enemy of Cyrano, perhaps Dassoucy, one day persuaded Brioché to
dress his ape up in imitation of Cyrano, with long sword and nose as
long. Cyrano, arriving and seeing this parody of himself exalted on a
platform, unsheathes in blind rage, drives the crowd of lackeys and
loafers right and left with the flat of his sword, and impales the
poor ape who was holding out his sword in a posture of self-defence.
According to the contemporary pamphlet, partly in prose and partly in
verse, which was made upon this marvellous adventure, Brioché brought
suit for damages against Bergerac. But even in these ridiculous
circumstances Cyrano managed to get the laughers on his side; and
claiming that in the country of art there was no such thing as gold and
silver, and that he had a right to pay in the money of the country,
he promised to eternize the dead ape in Apollinic verse; and so was

The story of Montfleury, the fat actor whom Cyrano detested, is hardly
less fantastic; and in connection with it we have the witness of
Cyrano's own letter "Against Montfleury the Fat, bad Actor and bad
Author," the tenth of the _Satiric Letters_. According to all the books
of theatrical anecdotes, Cyrano one evening ordered him off the stage,
and forbade him to reappear for a month; and when two days later he
did reappear, Cyrano once more drove him in disgrace to the wings. The
audience protesting, Cyrano challenged them each and all to meet him
in duel, and carried his point. Whether he offered to take down their
names in order or not, does not appear.

In the meantime, more serious work turned up. The regiment of the
cadets was sent against the Germans, entered Mouzon, was besieged
there. In a sortie, Cyrano was seriously wounded, a musket-ball passing
through his body. Hardly recovered from his wound, he rejoined the army
at the siege of Arras, in 1640; unfortunately for the story, he was
probably no longer with the cadets there, but in the regiment of the
Prince de Conti. Again he was wounded, this time even more seriously,
with a sword-cut in the throat. And compelled to abandon the military
career, he returned to Paris and took up his studies and his writing.

For he had always been a student and a poet. It is probable that
the _Pédant joué_ was in part composed during his college days.
Lebret pictures him to us as studying between two duels, and working
at an Elegy in all the noise of the regimental barracks, "as
undistractedly as if he had been in a quiet study." He now joined a
group of independents in thought and life, naturalists in ethics and
empiricists in philosophy, and forced his way into a private class of
the philosopher Gassendi, where he had for fellow-students Hesnaut,
Chapelle, Bernier, and almost certainly a young Jean-Baptiste
Poquelin, who was very soon to take the name of Molière, found the
"Illustre Théâtre," and after its failure start on a fifteen years'
tour of the provinces.

Cyrano was an earnest and capable student of philosophy, and came to
it with the fresh interest not only of his own personality, but of a
young man of barely twenty-two; he naturally imposed himself as a sort
of leader in the group of young "libertins" or free-thinkers, just as
he had done among the Guards. He knew well not only Gassendi, but also
Campanella, and of course Descartes, in his works at least. He even
seems to have read widely among the half-philosophers, half-occultists
of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, such as Cornelius
Agrippa, Jerome Cardan, Abbot Tritheim, César de Nostradamus, etc.
Among the ancients, his first favorites were Lucretius and Pyrrho:
Pyrrho whom he especially admired, "because he was so nobly free, that
no thinker of his age had been able to enslave his opinions; and so
modest, that he would never give final decision on any point." There is
much of Cyrano in this phrase, both in the half-bold modesty and in the
half-timid fierceness of independence. Cyrano shuddered at the thought
of having even a single one of his ideas enslaved to those of another
thinker. Just as he had refused the Maréchal de Gassion for patron when
he was in the Guards, so he would accept no one's _magister dixit_, no
patron of his thought, not even the Aristotle of the Schools.

The period of his life from 1643 to 1653 is a very obscure one. Yet
probably almost all of his works were composed during this time. He may
have travelled; there are traditions and suggestions that he visited
England, Italy, even Poland. He probably stood in danger of persecution
from the Jesuits on account of his philosophical ideas, and may have
suffered it, as did his contemporaries Campanella and Galileo, or, to
mention a French poet only a little older than he, _Théophile de Viau_,
who was even condemned to death for less independence than Cyrano's;
though the sentence was fortunately commuted. He probably mingled
somewhat in the society of the "Précieuses" of the time as well as in
that of the "libertins"; for he has left a series of "Love-Letters"
which must almost exactly have suited the taste of those who prepared
Discourses on the Tender Passion. He probably had many duels still, for
Lebret tells us that he served a hundred times as second--the round
number is to be taken as such--and any one acquainted with the epoch,
or with the _Three Musketeers_ of Dumas, knows that the seconds fought
as well as the principals. Lebret adds, to be sure, that he never had
a quarrel on his own account, but we may perhaps take this as a bit
of the conscientious "white-washing" which Lebret could not refrain
from in speaking of his friend's reputation; for we know enough of his
character even from Lebret, and of his life from other sources, to
make a gentle peacefulness, so out of keeping with the epoch, somewhat
doubtful; and then there was his nose.

The Nose is authentic also. It appears in all the portraits, of which
there are four. And in all of these it is the same: not a little ugly
nose, flat at the top and projecting at the bottom in a little long
gable turned up at the end; but a large, generous, well-shaped nose,
hooked rather than retroussé, and planted squarely in the symmetrical
middle of the face; not ridiculous, but monumental! The anecdotes of
the duels it caused are so many, that one comes in spite of oneself
to believe some of them. It is said that this nose brought death upon
more than ten persons; that one could not look upon it, but he must
unsheathe; if one looked away, it was worse; and as for speaking of
Noses, that was a subject which Cyrano reserved for himself, to do it
fitting honor. Listen to his treatment of it in the _Pédant joué_: "This
veridic nose arrives everywhere a quarter of an hour before its master.
Ten shoemakers, good round fat ones too, go and sit down to work under
it out of the rain." As for defending large noses, as the index of
valor, intelligence, and all high qualities, it will appear in the
_Voyage to the Moon_ that he could do it as well with his pen as with
his sword.

The end of his life was difficult and sad. He was finally compelled
to accept the patronage of the Duc d'Arpajon, for no man could live
or even exist by literature at that period, except as literature
brought patronage or pensions. The great Corneille himself, than
whom no one could be more simply sturdy and high of character, wrote
begging letters to the great minister who controlled the pensions of
literature. Cyrano dedicated the edition of his "Miscellaneous Works"
in 1654 to the Duc d'Arpajon, in an epistle which fulfils, but with
dignity and independence, the laws of the _genre_, and accompanied it
with a sonnet addressed to the Duke's daughter, which is in the taste
of the time, yet considerably better than the taste of the time. Things
went well till _Agrippine_ appeared, which had a "succès de scandale";
but its "belles impiétés," as the happy book-seller called them, seem
to have pleased the timidly orthodox Duke less. In the meantime Cyrano
had received a wound from a falling beam whether by mere accident or
not, will never be known; but Cyrano had many enemies, and it has
generally been thought that there was purpose behind the accident.
For whatever reason, the Duc d'Arpajon seems to have advised Cyrano
to leave him, and Cyrano was received by Regnault des Bois-Clairs,
a friend of Lebret. There he was kindly cared for and lectured on
the evil of his past life by Lebret and three women of the Convent
of the Daughters of the Cross: Soeur Hyacinthe, an aunt of Cyrano
himself; Mère Marguerite, the superior of the convent; and the Baronne
de Neuvillette, a cousin of Cyrano, who was Madeleine Robineau, and
had married the Baron Christophe de Neuvillette, killed at the siege
of Arras in 1640. The three women persuaded themselves that they had
converted Cyrano to the true Church. This is doubtful, since he dragged
himself away to the country to die, at the house of the cousin whom he
speaks of at the end of the _Voyage to the Moon_. In any case, Mère
Marguerite reclaimed his body, and he was buried in holy ground at the

_The Voyage to the Moon_ was not published till 1656, the year after
Cyrano's death. It was certainly written as early as 1650, probably in
1649. It had been circulated widely in manuscript, and possibly a few
copies had been printed, before the author's death. _The Voyage to the
Sun_, or, to give the title more accurately, the "Comic History of the
States and Empires of the Sun," was probably written immediately after
the _Voyage to the Moon_, but was not published till 1662. The _History
of the Spark_ has never been found, unless that be the subtitle of a
part of the Voyage to the Sun, as seems fairly probable.

The _Letters_ of Cyrano are, in part at least, his earliest work.
They were probably scattered over a considerable period in point of
composition, but most of them were published in 1654. It is to be
remembered that like all the letters of that epoch which we have, they
were meant to be read in company, in the salons, or sometimes (like
that "Against Dassoucy"), in the taverns, corresponding to the modern
cafés, where men of letters gathered. They were written not for the
postman, but for the parlor; and not so much for the parlor as for the
printer. But even with the artificiality of this method, and with the
burlesque or précieuse expression that was obligatory in Letters at
that time, there are touches of real sincerity and passion constantly
breaking through.

The _Pédant joué_ is a prose-comedy in five acts, made almost entirely
on the model of the Italian "commedia dell' arte," a form in which
Molière's early work is written, and which was practically the only
form known at the time when Cyrano wrote for the play is certainly
anterior to Corneille's _Menteur_. We have the almost obligatory two
pairs of young lovers; the old father who is tyrannical but easily
deceived in this particular case combined with the pedant-doctor type;
the valet who does the deceiving, in the service of the young lovers;
and the terrible captain, who takes flight at the shadow of danger.
Cyrano has, however, introduced one new type a peasant with his dialect
and local characteristics: a type that Molière used to great advantage
later, but hardly so very much better than Cyrano uses it here;
witness the fact that a number of this peasant's phrases have become
proverbs. The famous scene of "qu'allait-il faire dans cette galère"
(despairingly repeated by the father who is compelled to give up his
cherished money for the ransom of a son held in captivity supposedly on
a Turkish galley) is exceedingly well imagined, and Molière did well
to use it, sixteen years after Cyrano's death, for the two best scenes
of his _Fourberies de Scapin_. It is not a matter to reproach Molière
with, but it is a case in which Cyrano should receive due credit.

The only serious poetical work of Cyrano is his tragedy of _Agrippine,
veuve de Germanicus_, written at some time in the forties, played in
1653, and published in 1654. The statement, repeated categorically
by Mr. Sidney Lee in his recent Life of Shakespeare, that "Cyrano
de Bergerac plagiarized 'Cymbeline,' 'Hamlet,' and 'The Merchant
of Venice' in his 'Agrippina,'" has not the slightest foundation.
There are no resemblances, either superficial or essential, on which
to base it, and it is altogether improbable that Cyrano even knew of
Shakespeare's existence. The subject of Agrippine is similar to that
of Corneille's _Cinna_--a conspiracy under the Roman Empire. There are
no resemblances to Corneille's work in the details of the plot, but
in general spirit the play is what we call Cornelian, partly because
Corneille was the only one who possessed this spirit of the epoch with
sufficient creative and individual power to compel the attention of
posterity. Cyrano, once more, just missed this. But his play is worthy
not only to be ranked with the best dramas of any of his contemporaries
except Corneille, but even to be at least compared with Corneille's
better work (except perhaps the _Cid_ and _Polyeucte_). The play is
not thoroughly well constructed, and so misses something of dramatic
effectiveness, though by no means missing it entirely; but it is as
well constructed as Corneille's _Cinna_, and better than his Horace to
take examples only among his greatest plays. It has no scene to compare
with that of the clemency of Augustus in _Cinna_, no character-study
so fine as that of the different sentiments of Augustus. But it
approaches, though it does not quite attain, the heroics of _Horace_.
It is full of exaggeration so is Corneille; and of an exaggeration that
sometimes becomes burlesque as in Corneille; but it is an exaggeration
that is high and heroic, like Corneille's. And the high and heroic
sometimes as in a line like this:

    Et puis, mourir n'est rien; c'est achever de naître--

sometimes, but too rarely, drops its exaggeration to become simple as
simple as real heroism, which is the simplest thing in the world.

Except real genius. Real genius is, finally, the essential thing, which
Cyrano once more just missed attaining missed just by the lack of
that simplicity, perhaps. But exaggeration, sometimes carried to the
burlesque, is the essential trait which makes him what he is; and we
cannot wish it away.

                                                  CURTIS HIDDEN PAGE.


There have been at least three translations into English of the _Voyage
to the Moon_: that alluded to on page 1; the present translation; and
one made in the eighteenth century by Samuel Derrick. The last is
dedicated to the Earl of Orrery, author of "Remarks on the Life and
Writings of Jonathan Swift," and attributes its "call from obscurity"
to "your Lordship's mentioning it in your _Life of Swift_" as having
served for inspiration to _Gulliver's Travels_.

Samuel Derrick's translation, however, is not so good as that of
A. Lovell. The seventeenth century translation is more flowery and
fanciful, and by that very fact closer to the original. For though the
_Voyage to the Moon_ is the most sober in style of Cyrano's works, yet
there are still many touches of the "high fantastical" in its manner
as well as in its substance. The eighteenth century translator has
toned down the style to make it more acceptable to that age of reason
and regularity. It is still another case of the irony of Fate pursuing
Cyrano; the regularity of seventeenth century literature in France,
against whom he struggled so swashbucklerly, had completely triumphed
and spread their influence over Europe; so that even in the land where
liberty and individuality are native, his work had to suffer correction
in all its most fanciful passages. There are constant omissions of
phrases or sentences in the eighteenth century translation, and
there are also numerous mistakes, as well as many points missed.
The seventeenth century translation, on the other hand, is faithful
throughout to its original, and accurate as well as vivid.

The translation has been compared throughout with the French of the
edition of 1661, and the two or three slight corrections needed have
been made in footnotes. Except for the breaking up of some very long
paragraphs, and slight changes in punctuation when necessary for
clearness, the text has been reprinted as exactly as possible. All
changes or additions, except the correction of evident misprints, have
been bracketed.

C. H. P.



It is now Seven and Twenty Years, since the Moon appeared first
Historically on the English Horizon[1]: And let it not seem strange,
that she should have retained Light and Brightness so long here,
without Renovation; when we find by Experience, that in the Heavens,
she never fails once a Month to Change and shift her Splendor. For
it is the Excellency of Art, to represent Nature even in her absence;
and this being a Piece done to the Life, by one that had the advantage
of the true Light, as well as the Skill of Drawing, in this kind, to
Perfection; he left so good an Original, which was so well Copied by
another Hand, that the Picture might have served for many Years more,
to have given the Lovers of the Moon, a sight of their Mistress, even
in the darkest Nights; and when she was retired to put on a clean Smock
in Phoebus his Apartment; if they had been so curious, as to have
encouraged the Exposers.

However, Reader, you have now a second View of her, and that under the
same Cover with the Sun too, which is very rare; since these two were
never seen before in Conjunction. Yet I would have none be afraid,
that their Eyes being dazzled with the glorious Light of the Sun, they
should not see her; for Fancy will supply the Weakness of the Organ,
and Imagination, by the help of this Mirrour, will not fail to discover
them both; though Cynthia lye hid under Apollo's shining Mantle. And so
much for the Luminaries.

Now as to the Worlds, which, with Analogy to ours below, I may call the
Old and New; that of the Moon having been discovered, tho imperfectly,
by others, but the Sun owing its Discovery wholly to our Author:[2]
I make no doubt, but the Ingenious Reader will find in both, so
extraordinary and surprizing Rarities, as well Natural, Moral, as
Civil; that if he be not as yet sufficiently disgusted with this lower
World, (which I am sure some are) to think of making a Voyage thither,
as our Author has done; he will at least be pleased with his Relations.
Nevertheless, since this Age produces a great many bold Wits, that
shoot even beyond the Moon, and cannot endure, (no more than our
Author) to be stinted by Magisterial Authority, and to believe nothing
but what Gray-headed Antiquity gives them leave: It's pity some soaring
Virtuoso, instead of Travelling into France, does not take a flight up
to the Sun; and by new Observations supply the defects of its History;
occasioned not by the Negligence of our Witty French Author, but by the
accursed Plagiary of some rude Hand, that in his Sickness, rifted his
Trunks, and stole his Papers, as he himself complains.[3]

Let some venturous Undertaker auspiciously attempt it then;
and if neither of the two Universities, Gresham-College, nor
Greenwich-Observatory can furnish him with an Instrument of
Conveyance; let him try his own Invention, or make use of our Author's
Machine: For our Loss is, indeed, so great, that one would think,
none but the declared Enemy of Mankind, would have had the Malice, to
purloyn and stiffle those rare Discoveries, which our Author made in
the Province of the Solar Philosophers; and which undoubtedly would
have gone far, as to the settleing our Sublunary Philosophy, which, as
well as Religion, is lamentably rent by Sects and Whimseys; and have
convinced us, perhaps, that in our present Doubts and Perplexities, a
little more, or a little less of either, would better serve our Turns,
and more content our Minds.

[1] This evidently refers to an earlier translation of the _Voyage
to the Moon_, published probably in 1660. The present editor will be
greatly obliged to any one who will put him on the track of a copy
of this, or any other early translation from Cyrano, such as the
"Satyrical Characters and handsome Descriptions, in Letters, written to
several Persons of Quality, by Monsieur De Cyrano Bergerac. Translated
from the French, by a Person of Honor. London, 1658."

[2] Among the "others" who had previously "discovered" the Moon,
Ariosto is the most prominent. In his _Orlando Furioso_, Astolfo
goes to the moon, visits the "Valley of Lost Things," finds there
many broken resolutions, idlers' days, lovers' tears, and other such
matters; and finally recovers Orlando's lost wits, which he brings back
to the earth.

The _Satire Ménippée_ (1594) gives, in its _Supplément_, "News from the
Regions of the Moon."

Quevedo, the Spanish satirist and novelist (1580-1645), with whose
works Cyrano was acquainted, also gives an account of the moon in his
Sixth Vision.

In England, the Rev. John Wilkins (1614-1672), once Principal
of Trinity College, Cambridge, and later Bishop of Chester, a
brother-in-law of Cromwell, and one of the founders of the Royal
Society, published in 1638 the "_Discovery of a New World_; or, a
Discourse to prove it is probable there may be another habitable
world in the Moon; with a discourse concerning _the possibility of a
passage thither_"; and later, in 1640, the "_Discourse_ concerning a
new Planet; tending to prove it is probable our earth is one of the
Planets." These two works are said to have done more than any others to
popularize the Copernican system in England. The _Discovery of a New
World_ was translated into French by Jean de Montagne, and published
at Rouen in 1655 or 1656. See Charles Nodier, _Mélanges extraits d'une
petite bibliothèque_.

Finally, the most important of Cyrano's predecessors in the discovery
of the moon was Francis Godwin, M.A., D.D., Bishop of Llandaff and
later of Hereford (1562-1633). It was not till 1638, after the worthy
Bishop's death, and in the same year that Rev. (later Bishop) John
Wilkins' _Discovery of a New World_ was published, that there appeared
his "_Man in the Moone_; or a Discourse of a Voyage Thither, by Domingo
Gonsales, the Speedy Messenger." This was translated into French by
Jean Baudoin or Baudouin in 1648, as "L'homme dans la lune ... voyage
... fait par Dominique Gonzales, aventurier espagnol," and was well
known to Cyrano, as we shall see.

In saying that "the sun owes its discovery wholly to our author," the
translator appears to be ignorant of a work which Cyrano certainly
knew: the _Civitas solis_ of Campanella, published in 1623 as a part of
his _Realis Philosophiæ Epilogisticæ Partes IV_.

[3] Cf. the last sentence of the _Voyage to the Moon_.

(The Title-page of Lovell's translation.)


of the


of the WORLD of the MOON.

Written in French by


And now Englished by


Printed for Henry Rhodes, next door to the Swan-tavern,
near Bride-lane in Fleet Street, 1687.


_Of how the Voyage was Conceived._

I Had been with some Friends at Clamard, a House near Paris, and
magnificently Entertain'd there by Monsieur de Cuigy,[1] the Lord of
it; when upon our return home, about Nine of the Clock at Night, the
Air serene, and the Moon in the Full, the Contemplation of that bright
Luminary furnished us with such variety of Thoughts as made the way
seem shorter than, indeed, it was. Our Eyes being fixed upon that
stately Planet, every one spoke what he thought of it: One would needs
have it be a Garret Window of Heaven; another presently affirmed, That
it was the Pan whereupon _Diana_ smoothed _Apollo's_ Bands; whilst
another was of Opinion, That it might very well be the Sun himself, who
putting his Locks up under his Cap at Night, peeped through a hole to
observe what was doing in the World during his absence.

"And for my part, Gentlemen," said I, "that I may put in for a share,
and guess with the rest; not to amuse my self with those curious
Notions wherewith you tickle and spur on slow-paced Time; I believe,
that the Moon is a World like ours, to which this of ours serves
likewise for a Moon."

This was received with the general Laughter of the Company. "And
perhaps," said I, "(Gentlemen) just so they laugh now in the Moon, at
some who maintain, That this Globe, where we are, is a World." But I'd
as good have said nothing, as have alledged to them, That a great many
Learned Men had been of the same Opinion; for that only made them laugh
the faster.

However, this thought, which because of its boldness suited my Humor,
being confirmed by Contradiction, sunk so deep into my mind, that
during the rest of the way I was big with Definitions of the Moon which
I could not be delivered of: Insomuch that by striving to verifie this
Comical Fancy by Reasons of appearing weight, I had almost perswaded my
self already of the truth on't; when a Miracle, Accident, Providence,
Fortune, or what, perhaps, some may call Vision, others Fiction,
Whimsey, or (if you will) Folly, furnished me with an occasion that
engaged me into this Discourse. Being come home, I went up into my
Closet, where I found a Book open upon the Table, which I had not put
there. It was a piece of _Cardanus_[2]; and though I had no design
to read in it, yet I fell at first sight, as by force, exactly upon
a Passage of that Philosopher where he tells us, That Studying one
evening by Candle-light, he perceived Two tall old Men enter in through
the door that was shut, who after many questions that he put to them,
made him answer, That they were Inhabitants of the Moon, and thereupon
immediately disappeared.

[Illustration: CYRANO IN HIS STUDY.--From a 17th Century Engraving]

I was so surprised, not only to see a Book get thither of it self; but
also because of the nicking of the Time so patly, and of the Page at
which it lay upon, that I looked upon that Concatenation of Accidents
as a Revelation, discovering to Mortals that the Moon is a World.
"How!" said I to my self, having just now talked of a thing, can a
Book, which perhaps is the only Book in the World that treats of that
matter so particularly, fly down from the Shelf upon my Table; become
capable of Reason, in opening so exactly at the place of so strange
an adventure; force my Eyes in a manner to look upon it, and then to
suggest to my fancy the Reflexions, and to my Will the Designs which I

"Without doubt," continued I, "the Two old Men, who appeared to that
famous Philosopher, are the very same who have taken down my Book and
opened it at that Page, to save themselves the labour of making to me
the Harangue which they made to _Cardan_."

"But," added I, "I cannot be resolved of this Doubt, unless I mount up

"And why not?" said I instantly to my self. "_Prometheus_ heretofore
went up to Heaven, and stole fire from thence. Have not I as much
Boldness as he? And why should not I, then, expect as favourable a

[1] Monsieur de Cuigy, who is mentioned by Lebret as a friend
and admirer of Cyrano, and who was one of the witnesses of his
famous battle against the hundred ruffians, possessed an estate at
Clamart-sous-Meudon, near Paris. He appears as a character in M.
Rostand's play of _Cyrano de Bergerac_.

[2] Jerome Cardan, 1501-1576, natural philosopher, doctor, astrologer,
mathematician, and a voluminous author; in short, a sort of Italian
Paracelsus, both by his universal learning, and by his intense interest
in all domains of possible knowledge, in which he included astrology
and necromancy. His most important work is the one referred to here,
the _De Subtilitate Rerum_, 1551.


_Of how the Author set out, and where he first arrived._

After these sudden starts of Imagination, which may be termed, perhaps,
the Ravings of a violent Feaver, I began to conceive some hopes of
succeeding in so fair a Voyage: Insomuch that to take my measures
aright, I shut my self up in a solitary Country-house; where having
flattered my fancy with some means, proportionated to my design, at
length I set out for Heaven in this manner.

I planted my self in the middle of a great many Glasses full of Dew,
tied fast about me;[1] upon which the Sun so violently darted his Rays,
that the Heat, which attracted them, as it does the thickest Clouds,
carried me up so high, that at length I found my self above the middle
Region of the Air. But seeing that Attraction hurried me up with so
much rapidity that instead of drawing near the Moon, as I intended,
she seem'd to me to be more distant than at my first setting out; I
broke several of my Vials, until I found my weight exceed the force of
the Attraction, and that I began to descend again towards the Earth.
I was not mistaken in my opinion, for some time after I fell to the
ground again; and to reckon from the hour that I set out at, it must
then have been about midnight. Nevertheless I found the Sun to be in
the Meridian, and that it was Noon. I leave it to you to judge, in what
Amazement I was; The truth is, I was so strangely surprised, that not
knowing what to think of that Miracle, I had the insolence to imagine
that in favour of my Boldness God had once more nailed the Sun to the
Firmament, to light so generous[2] an Enterprise. That which encreased
my Astonishment was, That I knew not the Country where I was; it seemed
to me, that having mounted straight up, I should have fallen down again
in the same place I parted from.

However, in the Equipage I was in, I directed my course towards a
kind of Cottage, where I perceived some smoke; and I was not above a
Pistol-shot from it, when I saw my self environed by a great number
of People, stark naked: They seemed to be exceedingly surprised at
the sight of me; for I was the first, (as I think) that they had
ever seen clad in Bottles. Nay, and to baffle all the Interpretations
that they could put upon that Equipage, they perceived that I hardly
touched the ground as I walked; for, indeed, they understood not that
upon the least agitation I gave my Body the Heat of the beams of the
Noon-Sun raised me up with my Dew; and that if I had had Vials enough
about me, it would possibly have carried me up into the Air in their
view. I had a mind to have spoken to them; but as if Fear had changed
them into Birds, immediately I lost sight of them in an adjoyning
Forest. However, I catched hold of one, whose Legs had, without doubt,
betrayed his Heart. I asked him, but with a great deal of pain, (for
I was quite choked) how far they reckoned from thence to _Paris_? How
long Men had gone naked in _France_? and why they fled from me in so
great Consternation? The Man I spoke to was an old tawny Fellow, who
presently fell at my Feet, and with lifted-up Hands joyned behind his
Head, opened his Mouth and shut his Eyes: He mumbled a long while
between his Teeth, but I could not distinguish an articulate Word; so
that I took his Language for the maffling[3] noise of a Dumb-man.

Some time after, I saw a Company of Souldiers marching, with Drums
beating; and I perceived Two detached from the rest, to come and take
speech of me. When they were come within hearing, I asked them, Where I
was? "You are in _France_" answered they: "But what Devil hath put you
into that Dress? And how comes it that we know you not? Is the Fleet
then arrived? Are you going to carry the News of it to the Governor?
And why have you divided your Brandy into so many Bottles?" To all this
I made answer, That the Devil had not put me into that Dress: That they
knew me not; because they could not know all Men: That I knew, nothing
of the _Seine's_ carrying Ships to _Paris_: That I had no news for the
_Marshal de l'Hospital_;[4] and that I was not loaded with Brandy. "Ho,
ho," said they to me, taking me by the Arm, "you are a merry Fellow
indeed; come, the Governor will make a shift to know you, no doubt

They led me to their Company, where I learnt that I was in reality in
_France_, but that it was in _New-France_: So that some time after, I
was presented before the Governor, who asked me my Country, my Name and
Quality; and after that I had satisfied him in all Points, and told
him the pleasant Success of my Voyage, whether he believed it, or only
pretended to do so, he had the goodness to order me a Chamber in his
Apartment. I was very happy, in meeting with a Man capable of lofty
Opinions, and who was not at all surprised when I told him that the
Earth must needs have turned during my Elevation; seeing that having
begun to mount about Two Leagues from _Paris_, I was fallen, as it
were, by a perpendicular Line in _Canada_.

[1] Cf. M. Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, act III., scene xi.: "One way
was to stand naked in the sunshine, in a harness thickly studded with
glass phials, each filled with morning dew. The sun in drawing up the
dew, you see, could not have helped drawing me up too!" (Miss Gertrude
Hall' s translation.)

[2] Generous = _noble_. Cf. Lord Burleigh, _Precepts to his Son_: "Let
her not be poor, how _generous_ soever; for a man can buy nothing in
the market with gentility."

[3] Stammering, mumbling; a North of England word.

[4] Paul Lacroix, the editor of the French edition of Cyrano's
works, not understanding this phrase, has ingeniously invented the
interpretation of "quarantine officer" for it. Not only have the words
never had this meaning, but they are evidently a proper name. And in
fact _François de l'Hospital, Maréchal de France_, was Governor of
Paris in 1649, the year when the _Voyage to the Moon_ was probably
written. Cyrano, thinking he has fallen in France, near Paris, and
being asked if he carries news of the fleet to the Governor, naturally
answers that he knows nothing of ships going to Paris, and that he
carries no news to the Maréchal de l'Hospital.


_Of his Conversation with the Vice-Roy of New France; and of the system
of this Universe._

When I was going to Bed at night, he came into my Chamber, and spoke
to me to this purpose: "I should not have come to disturb your Rest,
had I not thought that one who hath found out the secret of Travelling
so far in Twelve hours space, had likewise a charm against Lassitude.
But you know not," added he, "what a pleasant Quarrel I have just now
had with our Fathers, upon your account? They'll have you absolutely
to be a Magician; and the greatest favour you can expect from them, is
to be reckoned only an Impostor: The truth is, that Motion which you
attribute to the Earth[1] is a pretty nice Paradox; and for my part
I'll frankly tell you, That that which hinders me from being of your
Opinion, is, That though you parted yesterday from _Paris_, yet you
might have arrived today in this Country without the Earth's turning:
For the Sun having drawn you up by the means of your Bottles, ought he
not to have brought you hither; since according to _Ptolemy_, and the
Modern Philosophers,[2] he marches obliquely, as you make the Earth to
move? And besides, what great Probability have you to imagine, that the
Sun is immoveable, when we see it go? And what appearance is there,
that the Earth turns with so great Rapidity, when we feel it firm under
our Feet?"

"Sir," replied I to him, "These are, in a manner, the Reasons that
oblige us to think so: In the first place, it is consonant to common
Sense to think that the Sun is placed in the Center of the Universe;
seeing all Bodies in nature standing in need of that radical Heat, it
is fit he should reside in the heart of the Kingdom, that he may be
in a condition readily to supply the Necessities of every Part; and
that the Cause of Generations should be placed in the middle of all
Bodies, that it may act there with greater Equality and Ease: After
the same manner as Wise Nature hath placed the Seeds in the Center of
Apples, the Kernels in the middle of their Fruits; and in the same
manner as the Onion, under the cover of so many Coats that encompass
it, preserves that precious Bud from which Millions of others are to
have their being. For an Apple is in itself a little Universe; the
Seed, hotter than the other parts thereof, is its Sun, which diffuses
about it self that natural Heat which preserves its Globe: And in the
Onion, the Germ is the little Sun of that little World, which vivifies
and nourishes the vegetative Salt of that little mass. Having laid down
this, then, for a ground, I say, That the Earth standing in need of the
Light, Heat, and Influence of this great Fire, it turns round it, that
it may receive in all parts alike that Virtue which keeps it in Being.
For it would be as ridiculous to think, that that vast luminous Body
turned about a point that it has not the least need of; as to imagine,
that when we see a roasted Lark, that the Kitchin-fire must have turned
round it. Else, were it the part of the Sun to do that drudgery, it
would seem that the Physician stood in need of the Patient; that the
Strong should yield to the Weak; the Superior serve the Inferior; and
that the Ship did not sail about the Land, but the Land about the Ship.

"Now if you cannot easily conceive how so ponderous a Body can move;
Pray, tell me, are the Stars and Heavens, which, in your Opinion, are
so solid, any way lighter? Besides, it is not so difficult for us, who
are assured of the Roundness of the Earth, to infer its motion from its
Figure: But why do ye suppose the Heaven to be round, seeing you cannot
know it, and that yet, if it hath not this Figure, it is impossible it
can move? I object not to you your _Excentricks_ nor _Epicycles_,[3]
which you cannot explain but very confusedly, and which are out of
doors in my Systeme. Let's reflect only on the natural Causes of that
Motion. To make good your Hypothesis, you are forced to have recourse
to Spirits or _Intelligences_, that move and govern your Spheres. But
for my part, without disturbing the repose of the supreme Being, who,
without doubt, hath made Nature entirely perfect, and whose Wisdom
ought so to have compleated her, that being perfect in one thing, she
should not have been defective in another: I say, that the Beams and
Influences of the Sun, darting Circularly upon the Earth, make it to
turn as with a turn of the Hand we make a Globe to move; or, which is
much the same, that the Steams which continually evaporate from that
side of it which the Sun shines upon, being reverberated by the Cold
of the middle Region, rebound upon it, and striking obliquely do of
necessity make it whirle about in that manner.

"The Explication of the other Motions[4] is less perplexed still; for
pray, consider a little" At these words the Vice-Roy interrupted me: "I
had rather," said he, "you would excuse your self from that trouble;
for I have read some Books of _Gassendus_[5] on that subject: And hear
what one of our Fathers, who maintained your Opinion one day, answered
me. 'Really,' said he, 'I fancy that the Earth does move, not for the
Reasons alledged by _Copernicus_; but because Hell-fire being shut up
in the Center of the Earth, the damned, who make a great bustle to
avoid its Flames, scramble up to the Vault, as far as they can from
them, and so make the Earth to turn, as a Turn-spit[6] makes the Wheel
go round when he runs about in it.'"

We applauded that Thought, as being a pure effect of the Zeal of that
good Father: And then the Vice-Roy told me, That he much wondered,
how the Systeme of _Ptolemy_, being so improbable, should have been
so universally received. "Sir," said I to him, "most part of Men, who
judge of all things by the Senses, have suffered themselves to be
perswaded by their Eyes; and as he who Sails along a Shoar thinks the
Ship immoveable, and the Land in motion; even so Men turning with the
Earth round the Sun have thought that it was the Sun that moved about
them. To this may be added the unsupportable Pride of Mankind, who
perswade themselves that Nature hath only been made for them; as if
it were likely that the Sun, a vast Body Four hundred and thirty four
times bigger than the Earth,[7] had only been kindled to ripen their
Medlars and plumpen their Cabbage.

"For my part, I am so far from complying with their Insolence, that
I believe the Planets are Worlds about the Sun, and that the fixed
Stars are also Suns which have Planets about them, that's to say,
Worlds, which because of their smallness, and that their borrowed light
cannot reach us, are not discernable by Men in this World: For in good
earnest, how can it be imagined that such spacious Globes are no more
but vast Desarts; and that ours, because we live in it, hath been
framed for the habitation of a dozen of proud Dandyprats? How, must it
be said, because the Sun measures our Days and Years, that it hath only
been made to keep us from running our Heads against the Walls? No, no,
if that visible Deity shine upon Man, it's by accident, as the King's
Flamboy by accident lightens a Porter that walks along the Street."

"But," said he to me, "[if,] as you affirm, the fixed Stars be so
many Suns, it will follow that the World is infinite; seeing it is
probable that the People of that World which moves about that fixed
Star you take for a Sun, discover above themselves other fixed Stars,
which we cannot perceive from hence, and so others in that manner _in

"Never question," replied I, "but as God could create the Soul
Immortal, He could also make the World Infinite; if so it be, that
Eternity is nothing else but an illimited Duration, and an infinite, a
boundless Extension: And then God himself would be Finite, supposing
the World not to be _infinite_; seeing he cannot be where nothing is,
and that he could not encrease the greatness of the World without
adding somewhat to his own Being, by beginning to exist where he did
not exist before. We must believe then, that as from hence we see
_Saturn_ and _Jupiter_; if we were in either of the Two, we should
discover a great many Worlds which we perceive not; and that the
Universe extends so _in infinitum_."

"I' faith;" replied he, "when you have said all you can, I cannot at
all comprehend that Infinitude." "Good now," replied I to him, "do
you comprehend the Nothing that is beyond it? Not at all. For when
you think of that _Nothing_, you imagine it at least to be like Wind
or Air, and that is a Being: But if you conceive not an _Infinite_ in
general, you comprehend it at least in particulars; seeing it is not
difficult to fancy to our selves, beyond the Earth, Air, and Fire which
we see, other Air, and other Earth, and other Fire. Now Infinitude
is nothing else but a boundless Series of all these. But if you ask
me, How these Worlds have been made, seeing Holy Scripture speaks
only of one that God made? My answer is, That I have no more to say:
For to oblige me to give a Reason for every thing that comes into my
Imagination, is to stop my Mouth, and make me confess that in things of
that nature my Reason shall always stoop to Faith."

He ingeniously[8] acknowledged to me that his Question was to be
censured, but bid me pursue my notion: So that I went on, and told
him, That all the other Worlds, which are not seen, or but imperfectly
believed, are no more but the Scum that purges out of the Suns. For how
could these great Fires subsist without some matter, that served them
for Fewel? Now as the Fire drives from it the Ashes that would stifle
it, or the Gold in a Crucible separates from the Marcasite[9] and
Dross, and is refined to the highest Standard; nay, and as our Stomack
discharges it self by vomit, of the Crudities that oppress it; even
so these Suns daily evacuate, and reject the Remains of matter that
might incommode their Fire: But when they have wholly consumed that
matter which entertains[10] them; you are not to doubt, but they spread
themselves abroad on all sides to seek for fresh Fewel, and fasten upon
the Worlds which heretofore they have made, and particularly upon those
that are nearest: Then these great Fires, reconcocting all the Bodies,
will as formerly force them out again, Pell-mell, from all parts; and
being by little and little purified, they'll begin to serve for Suns to
other little Worlds, which they procreate by driving them out of their
Spheres: And that without doubt, made the _Pythagoreans_ foretel the
universal Conflagration.

"This is no ridiculous Imagination, for _New-France_ where we
are, gives us a very convincing instance of it. The vast Continent
of _America_ is one half of the Earth, which in spight of our
Predecessors, who a Thousand times had cruised the Ocean, was not
at that time discovered: Nor, indeed, was it then in being, no more
than a great many Islands, Peninsules, and Mountains that have since
started up in our Globe, when the Sun purged out its Excrements to a
convenient distance, and of a sufficient Gravity to be attracted by the
Center of our World; either in small Particles, perhaps, or, it may
be also, altogether in one lump. That is not so unreasonable but that
_St. Austin_[11] would have applauded to it, if that Country had been
discovered in his Age. Seeing that great Man, who had a very clear Wit,
assures us, That in his time the Earth was flat like the floor of an
Oven, and that it floated upon the Water, like the half of an Orange:
But if ever I have the honour to see you in _France_, I'll make you
observe, by means of a most excellent Celescope, that some Obscurities,
which from hence appear to be Spots, are Worlds a forming."

My Eyes that shut with this Discourse, obliged the Vice-Roy to

[1] In connection with this discussion it is to be remembered that
nearly two centuries were required for the Copernican system,
promulgated in 1543, in the De orbium _coelestium revolutionibus_, to
become generally popularized; and that in 1633, only sixteen years
before the _Voyage to the Moon_ was written, Galileo had been compelled
by the Inquisition to deny the motion of the earth.

[2] According to the Ptolemaic system, still generally accepted by
"modern Philosophers" at the time of Cyrano's writing, the fixed stars,
the sun, the moon, and each of the five (then known) planets, revolved
about the earth in different orbits, according to various "epicycles"
and "excentrics."

[3] The motion of the moon, for instance, was explained in the
Ptolemaic system as an epicycle carried by an excentric; the centre of
the excentric moving about the earth in a direction opposite to that of
the epicycle.

[4] The French has: "of the _two_ other motions": _i.e._, the movement
of the fixed stars, and that of the planets.

[5] _Gassendus_ or _Gassendi_ was Cyrano's own teacher of Philosophy.
Of Provençal origin, and at first Professor in the University of Aix,
he came to Paris in 1641, and gave both private lessons and public
courses as Professor of the Collège Royal. It was in one of his private
classes that Cyrano was a fellow-student with Chapelle, Hesnaut,
Bernier, and almost certainly Molière; the most important group of
young "libertins" (_i.e._ free-thinkers) of the epoch.

Gassendi was a bitter opponent of the supposedly Aristotelian
school-philosophy of the time; and was on the whole the leader of
those who in the seventeenth century followed Epicurean methods in
thought. He is the author of a life of Epicurus, and an exposition
of his philosophy. He was also an opponent of Descartes, being the
most important contemporary supporter of empiricism as against the
essentially idealistic method of Descartes.

He is important also as a popularizer of the Copernican system, by his
Life of Copernicus, and his _Institutio Astronomica_ (1647).

[6] A dog trained to turn a spit, by running about in a rotary cage
attached to it. The French has simply: "as a _dog_ makes a wheel turn,
when he runs about in it."

[7] Cyrano had probably learned this from his master Gassendi. _Cf_.
his "Epistola XX. de apparente magnitudine solis," 1641. Modern
Gassendis say the sun is 1,300,000 times greater than the earth in
volume, 316,000 times in mass.

[8] _Ingenuously_. The two words were interchangeable in the
seventeenth century.

[9] Iron pyrites.

[10] _Supports, feeds_; cf. Shakspere, _Richard III_.

    "I'll be at charges for a looking-glass,
    And entertain a score or two of tailors."

[11] St. Augustine.


_Of how at last he set out again for the Moon, tho without his own

Next Day, and the Days following, we had some Discourses to the same
purpose: But some time after, since the hurry of Affairs suspended our
Philosophy, I fell afresh upon the design of mounting up to the Moon.

So soon as she was up, I walked about musing in the Woods, how I might
manage and succeed in my Enterprise; and at length on St. John's[1]
Eve, when they were at Council in the Fort, whether they should assist
the Wild Natives of the Country against the _Iroqueans_; I went all
alone to the top of a little Hill at the back of our Habitation, where
I put in Practice what you shall hear. I had made a Machine which I
fancied might carry me up as high as I pleased, so that nothing seeming
to be wanting to it, I placed my self within, and from the Top of a
Rock threw my self in the Air: But because I had not taken my measures
aright, I fell with a sosh in the Valley below.

Bruised as I was, however, I returned to my Chamber without loosing
courage, and with Beef-Marrow I anointed my Body, for I was all over
mortified from Head to Foot: Then having taken a dram of Cordial Waters
to strengthen my Heart, I went back to look for my Machine; but I could
not find it, for some Soldiers, that had been sent into the Forest to
cut wood for a Bonnefire, meeting with it by chance, had carried it
with them to the Fort: Where after a great deal of guessing what it
might be, when they had discovered the invention of the Spring, some
said, that a good many Fire-Works should be fastened to it, because
their Force carrying them up on high, and the Machine playing its large
Wings, no Body but would take it for a Fiery Dragon. In the mean time
I was long in search of it, but found it at length in the Market-place
of Kebeck (Quebec), just as they were setting Fire to it. I was so
transported with Grief, to find the Work of my Hands in so great Peril,
that I ran to the Souldier that was giving Fire to it, caught hold of
his Arm, pluckt the Match out of his Hand, and in great rage threw
my self into my Machine, that I might undo the Fire-Works that they
had stuck about it; but I came too late, for hardly were both my Feet
within, when whip, away went I up in a Cloud.

The Horror and Consternation I was in did not so confound the faculties
of my Soul, but I have since remembered all that happened to me at that
instant. For so soon as the Flame had devoured one tier of Squibs,
which were ranked by six and six, by means of a Train that reached
every half-dozen, another tier went off, and then another;[2] so that
the Salt-Peter taking Fire, put off the danger by encreasing it.
However, all the combustible matter being spent, there was a period put
to the Fire-work; and whilst I thought of nothing less than to knock
my Head against the top of some Mountain, I felt, without the least
stirring, my elevation continuing; and adieu Machine, for I saw it fall
down again towards the Earth.

[Illustration: CYRANO en route FOR THE MOON.--From a 17th Century

That extraordinary Adventure puffed up my Heart with so uncommon a
Gladness; that, ravished to see my self delivered from certain danger,
I had the impudence to philosophize upon it. Whilst then with Eyes and
Thought I cast about to find what might be the cause of it, I perceived
my flesh blown up, and still greasy with the Marrow, that I had daubed
my self over with for the Bruises of my fall: I knew that the Moon
being then in the Wain, and that it being usual for her in that Quarter
to suck up the Marrow of Animals, she drank up that wherewith I was
anointed, with so much the more force that her Globe was nearer to me,
and that no interposition of Clouds weakened her Attraction.[3]

When I had, according to the computation I made since, advanced a good
deal more than three quarters of the space that divided the Earth from
the Moon; all of a sudden I fell with my Heels up and Head down, though
I had made no Trip; and indeed, I had not been sensible of it, had not
I felt my Head loaded under the weight of my Body: The truth is, I knew
very well that I was not falling again towards our World; for though I
found my self to be betwixt two Moons, and easily observed, that the
nearer I drew to the one, the farther I removed from the other; yet I
was certain, that ours was the bigger Globe of the two: Because after
one or two days Journey, the remote Refractions of the Sun, confounding
the diversity of Bodies and Climates, it appeared to me only as a
large Plate of Gold: That made me imagine, that I byassed[4] towards
the Moon; and I was confirmed in that Opinion, when I began to call to
mind, that I did not fall till I was past three quarters of the way.
For, said I to my self, that Mass being less than ours, the Sphere of
its Activity must be of less Extent also; and by consequence, it was
later before I felt the force of its Center.

[1] The Feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24.

[2] _Cf_. the play of _Cyrano de Bergerac_, act III., scene xi.:
"Or else, mechanic as well as artificer, I could have fashioned a
giant grasshopper, with steel joints, which, impelled by successive
explosions of saltpetre, would have hopped with me to the azure meadows
where graze the starry flocks."

[3] _Cf_., in the play, the fifth of Cyrano's means for scaling the
sky: "Since Phoebe, the moon-goddess, when she is at wane, is greedy, O
beeves! of your marrow,... with that marrow have besmeared myself!"

[4] The translator has apparently misread _biaisais_ where the French
editions have _baissais_: _i.e._, I _was descending_ toward the moon.


_Of his Arrival there, and of the Beauty of that Country in which he

In fine, after I had been a very long while in falling, as I judged,
for the violence of my Precipitation hindered me from observing it more
exactly: The last thing I can remember is, that I found my self under
a Tree, entangled with three or four pretty large Branches which I had
broken off by my fall; and my face besmeared with an Apple, that had
dashed against it.

By good luck that place was, as you shall know by and by * * * * * *[1]
that you may very well conclude, that had it not been for that Chance,
if I had had a thousand lives, they had been all lost. I have many
times since reflected upon the vulgar Opinion, That if one precipitate
himself from a very high place, his breath is out before he reach the
ground; and from my adventure I conclude it to be false, or else that
the efficacious Juyce of that Fruit,[2] which squirted into my mouth,
must needs have recalled my soul, that was not far from my Carcass,
which was still hot and in a disposition of exerting the Functions of
Life. The truth is, so soon as I was upon the ground my pain was gone,
before I could think what it was; and the Hunger, which I felt during
my Voyage, was fully satisfied with the sense that I had lost it.[3]

When I was got up, I had hardly taken notice of the largest of Four
great Rivers, which by their conflux make a Lake; when the Spirit, or
invisible Soul, of Plants that breath upon that Country, refreshed my
Brain with a delightful smell: And I found that the Stones there were
neither hard nor rough; but that they carefully softened themselves
when one trode upon them.

[4] I presently lighted upon a Walk with five Avenues, in figure like
to a Star; the Trees whereof seemed to reach up to the Skie, a green
plot of lofty Boughs: Casting up my Eyes from the root to the top, and
then making the same Survey downwards, I was in doubt whether the Earth
carried them, or they the Earth, hanging by their Roots: Their high and
stately Forehead seemed also to bend, as it were by force, under the
weight of the Celestial Globes; and one would say, that their Sighs and
out-stretched Arms, wherewith they embraced the Firmament, demanded of
the Stars the bounty of their purer Influences before they had lost
any thing of their Innocence in the contagious Bed of the Elements.
The Flowers there on all hands, without the aid of any other Gardiner
but Nature, send out so sweet (though wild) a Perfume, that it rouzes
and delights the Smell: There the incarnate of a Rose upon the Bush,
and the lively Azure of a Violet under the Rushes, captivating the
Choice, make each of themselves to be judged the Fairest: There the
whole Year is Spring; there no poysonous Plant sprouts forth, but is
as soon destroyed; there the Brooks by an agreeable murmuring, relate
their Travels to the Pebbles; there Thousands of Quiristers make the
Woods resound with their melodious Notes; and the quavering Clubs of
these divine Musicians are so universal, that every Leaf of the Forest
seems to have borrowed the Tongue and shape of a Nightingale; nay, and
the Nymph _Eccho_ is so delightful[5] with their Airs, that to hear her
repeat, one would say, She were sollicitous to learn them. On the sides
of that Wood are Two Meadows, whose continued Verdure seems an Emerauld
reaching out of sight. The various Colours, which the Spring bestows
upon the numerous little Flowers that grow there, so delightfully
confounds and mingles their Shadows, that it is hard to be known,
whether these Flowers shaken with a gentle Breeze pursue themselves,
or fly rather from the Caresses of the Wanton _Zephyrus_; one would
likewise take that Meadow for an Ocean, because, as the Sea, it
presents no Shoar to the view; insomuch, that mine Eye fearing it might
lose it self, having roamed so long, and discovered no Coast, sent my
Thoughts presently thither; and my Thoughts, imagining it to be the end
of the World, were willing to be perswaded, that such charming places
had perhaps forced the Heavens to descend and join the Earth there. In
the midst of that vast and pleasant Carpet, a rustick Fountain bubbles
up in Silver Purles, crowning its enamelled Banks with Sets of Violets,
and multitudes of other little Flowers, that seem to strive which shall
first behold it self in that Chrystal Myrroir: It is as yet in the
Cradle, being but newly Born, and its Young and smooth Face shews not
the least Wrinkle. The large Compasses it fetches, in circling within
it self, demonstrate its unwillingness to leave its native Soyl: And as
if it had been ashamed to be caressed in presence of its Mother, with a
Murmuring it thrust back my hand that would have touched it: The Beasts
that came to drink there, more rational than those of our World, seemed
surprised to see it day upon the Horizon, whilst the Sun was with the
_Antipodes_; and durst not bend downwards upon the Brink, for fear of
falling into the Firmament.

I must confess to you, That at the sight of so many Fine things, I
found my self tickled with these agreeable Twitches, which they say the
_Embryo_ feels upon the infusion of its Soul: My old Hair fell off, and
gave place for thicker and softer Locks: I perceived my Youth revived,
my face grow ruddy, my natural Heat mingle gently again with my radical
Moisture: And in a word, I grew younger again by at least Fourteen

[1] "That place was," unquestionably, the Garden of Eden, which Cyrano
heretically locates in the Moon; and the "Tree" turough which he has
fallen, and an "Apple" of which has besmeared his face and recalled him
to life, is the Tree of Life, that stood "in the midst of the garden."

This is the first of a series of hiatuses, which occur in all the
French editions as well as the English, and which are marked by those
stars that Cyrano refers to in the play: "But I intend setting all
this down in a book, and the golden stars I have brought back caught
in my shaggy mantle, when the book is printed, will be seen serving as

Lebret speaks of these gaps in his preface, saying he would have tried
to fill them but for fear of mixing his style with Cyrano's: "For the
melancholy colour of my style will not let me imitate the gayety of
his; nor can my Wit follow the fine flights of his Imagination."

It seems altogether improbable, however, that Cyrano himself left
the work thus incomplete, as Lebret would imply. And in fact we can
supply from a Manuscript recently acquired (1890) by the _Bibliothèque
Nationale_, a long passage not printed by Lebret (see pp. 60 ff.*).
There can be little doubt that the passages were deliberately _cut out_
by some one on account of their "heretical" character. It even seems
probable, from passages at the beginning of the _Voyage to the Sun_,
that when the work was circulated in Manuscript, Cyrano had been the
object of persecution on account of them.

(*search: start p. 60: "the Earth, I threw out my Bowl...")

The passages lacking were cut out then but by whom? The usually
accepted opinion is that of our English translator, who says the gaps
are "occasioned, not by the Negligence of our Witty French Author, but
by the accursed Plagiary of some rude Hand, that in his sickness rifted
his Trunks and stole his Papers, as he himself complains." M. Brun has
suggested, however, and with some plausibility, that Lebret himself
was responsible for the omissions; and that he thus continued, after
Cyrano's death, his lifelong attempts at reforming and toning down
the impolitic, unorthodox notions of his too-independent friend. So
Cyrano was conquered once more in his battle with "les Compromis, les
Préjugés, les Lâchètes," and finally "la Sottise":

    "Je sais bien qu' à la fin vous me mettrez à bas;
    N'importe! je me bats, je me bats, je me bats!"

We are proud of printing for the first time in any edition of the
_Voyage to the Moon_, at least a part of what had been cut out; and
of being able to indicate for the first time what must have been the
substance of the other lost passages, and what is the sense of the
fragments preserved.

[2] The Apple of the Tree of Life.

[3] The translation is not fully adequate here; the French means: "...
was fully satisfied, and left me in its place only a slight memory of
having lost it."

[4] This beautiful Nature-description, the like of which cannot be
found in all seventeenth-century French literature outside of Cyrano's
works, was apparently his favorite passage, since it is the only one he
has used twice. _Cf_. his _Lettre XI_., "D'une maison de campagne."

[5] In the literal sense, _full of delight_, delighted.


_Of a Youth whom he met there, and of their Conversation: what that
country was, and the Inhabitants of it._

I had advanced half a League, through a Forest of Jessamines and
Myrtles, when I perceived something that stirred, lying in the Shade:
It was a Youth, whose Majestick Beauty forced me almost to Adoration.
He started up to hinder me; crying, "It is not to me but to God that
you owe these Humilities." "You see one," answered I, "stunned with so
many Wonders that I know not what to admire most; for coming from a
World, which without doubt you take for a Moon here, I thought I had
arrived in another, which our Worldlings call a Moon also; and behold I
am in Paradice at the Feet of a God, who will not be Adored." "Except
the quality[1] of a God," replied he, "whose Creature I only am, the
rest you say is true: This Land is the Moon, which you see from your
Globe, and this place where you are is * * * * * * * * "[2]

"Now at that time Man's Imagination was so strong, as not being as
yet corrupted, neither by Debauches, the Crudity of Aliments, nor the
alterations of Diseases, that being excited by a violent desire of
coming to this Sanctuary, and his Body becoming light through the heat
of this Inspiration; he was carried thither in the same manner, as some
Philosophers, who having fixed their Imagination upon the contemplation
of a certain Object have sprung up in the Air by Ravishments, which
you call Extasies. The Woman, who through the infirmity of her Sex was
weaker and less hot, could not, without doubt, have the imagination
strong enough to make the Intension of her Will prevail over the
Ponderousness of her Matter; but because there were very few * * * *
the Sympathy which still united that half to its whole,[3] drew her
towards him as he mounted up, as the Amber attracts the Straw, [as] the
Load-stone turns towards the North from whence it hath been taken, and
drew to him that part of himself, as the Sea draws the Rivers which
proceed from it. When they arrived in your Earth, they dwelt betwixt
_Mesopotamia_ and _Arabia_:[4] Some People knew them by the name of * *
* *,[5] and others under that of _Prometheus_, whom the Poets feigned
to have stolen Fire from Heaven, by reason of his Offspring, who were
endowed with a Soul as perfect as his own: So that to inhabit your
World, that Man left this destitute; but the All-wise would not have so
blessed an Habitation, to remain without Inhabitants; He suffered a few
ages after that * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* *[6] cloyed with the company of Men, whose Innocence was corrupted,
had a desire to forsake them. This person,[7] however, thought no
retreat secure enough from the Ambition of Men, who already Murdered
one another about the distribution of your World; except that blessed
Land, which his Grand-Father[8] had so often mentioned unto him, and
to which no Body had as yet found out the way: But his Imagination
supplied that; for seeing he had observed that * * * he filled Two
large Vessels which he sealed Hermetically, and fastened them under
his Armpits: So soon as the Smoak began to rise upwards, and could not
pierce through the Mettal, it forced up the Vessels on high, and with
them also that Great Man.[9] When he was got as high as the Moon, and
had cast his Eyes upon that lovely Garden, a fit of almost supernatural
Joy convinced him, that that was the place where his Grandfather had
heretofore lived. He quickly untied the Vessels, which he had girt
like Wings about his Shoulders, and did it so luckily, that he was
scarcely Four Fathom in the Air above the Moon, when he set his Fins a
going;[10] yet he was high enough still to have been hurt by the fall,
had it not been for the large skirts of his Gown, which being swelled
by the Wind, gently upheld him till he set Foot on ground.[11] As for
the two Vessels, they mounted up to a certain place, where they have
continued: And those are they, which now a-days you call the _Balance_.

"I must now tell you, the manner how I came hither: I believe you have
not forgot my name,[12] seeing it is not long since I told it you. You
shall know then, that I lived on the agreeable Banks of one of the
most renowned Rivers of your World, where amongst my Books, I lead a
Life pleasant enough not to be lamented, though it slipt away fast
enough. In the mean while, the more I encreased in Knowledge, the more
I knew my Ignorance. Our Learned Men never put me in mind of the famous
_Mada_,[13] but the thoughts of his perfect Philosophy made me to Sigh.
I was despairing of being able to attain to it, when one day, after a
long and profound Studying. I took a piece of Load-stone about two Foot
square, which I put into a Furnace; and then after it was well purged,
precipitated and dissolved, I drew the calcined Attractive of it, and
reduced it into the size of about an ordinary Bowl.[14]

"After the Preparations, I got a very light Machine of Iron made,
into which I went, and when I was well seated in my place, I threw
this Magnetick Bowl as high as I could up into the Air. Now the Iron
Machine, which I had purposely made more massive in the middle than
at the ends, was presently elevated, and in a just Poise; because the
middle received the greatest force of Attraction. So then, as I arrived
at the place whither my Load-stone had attracted me, I presently threw
up my Bowl in the Air over me."[15] "But," said I, interrupting him,
"How came you to heave up your Bowl so streight over your Chariot, that
it never happened to be on one side of it?" "That seems to me to be no
wonder at all," said he; "for the Load-stone being once thrown up in
the Air, drew the Iron streight towards it; and so it was impossible,
that ever I should mount sideways. Nay more, I can tell you, that when
I held the Bowl in my hand, I was still mounting upwards; because
the Chariot flew always to the Load-stone, which I held over it. But
the effort of the Iron to be united to my Bowl, was so violent that
it made my Body bend double; so that I durst but once essay that
new Experiment. The truth is, it was a very surprizing Spectacle to
behold; for the Steel of that flying House, which I had very carefully
Polished, reflected on all sides the light of the Sun with so great
life and lustre, that I thought my self to be all on fire.[16] In
fine, after often Bowling and following of my Cast, I came, as you
did, to an Elevation from which I descended towards this World; and
because at that instant I held my Bowl very fast between my hands,
my Machine, whereof the Seat pressed me hard, that it might approach
its Attractive, did not forsake me; all that now I feared was, that
I should break my Neck: But to save me from that, ever now and then
I tossed up my Bowl; that by its attractive Virtue it might prevent
the violent Descent of my Machine, and render my fall more easie, as
indeed it happened; for when I saw my self within Two or three hundred
fathom of the Earth, I threw out my Bowl on all hands, level with the
Chariot, sometimes on this side, and sometimes on that, until I came
to a certain Distance; and immediately then, I tossed it up above me;
so that my Machine following it, I left it, and let my self fall on
the other side, as gently as I could, upon the Sand; insomuch that my
fall was no greater than if it had been but my own height. I shall not
describe to you the amazement I was in at the sight of the wonders of
this place, seeing it was so like the same, wherewith I just now saw
you seized. [17] You shall know then, that on the morrow I met with the
Tree of Life, by the means of which I have kept my self from growing
old; it straightway consumed the Serpent[18] and made him to vanish
away in smoke."

At these words: "Venerable and holy patriarch," said I to him, "I am
eager to know what you understand by that Serpent which was consumed."
He, with face a smiling, answered me thus:...[19]

"The Tree of Knowledge is planted opposite; its fruit is covered with
a Rind which produces Ignorance in whomsoever hath tasted thereof; yet
this Rind preserves underneath its thickness all the spiritual virtues
of this learned food. God, when he had driven Adam from this fortunate
country, rubbed his gums with this same Rind, that he might never find
the way back again; for more than fifteen years thereafter he did dote,
and did so completely forget all things, that neither he nor any of his
descendants till Moses ever remembered even so much as the Creation;
but what Power was left of this direful Rind at last passed away
through the warmth and brightness of that great Prophet's genius.

"I happily met with one among these apples, which through ripeness
was despoiled of its skin; hardly had my mouth watered with it, when
Universal Knowledge penetrated my being, I felt as it were an infinite
number of Eyes fix themselves in my head, and I knew the means of
speaking with the Lord.

"When I have since reflected on these miraculous events, I have judged
that I could in no wise have overcome, by any occult powers of a simple
natural body, the vigilance of that Seraph whom God has ordained to
guard this Paradise; but since he is pleased to use _second causes_, I
imagined that he had inspired me to find this means of entering there;
even as he thought good to take of the ribs of Adam to make him a wife,
though he could form her of Earth, as well as he did Adam.

"I remained long in this Garden, walking about alone; but in fine,
since the angel that was Keeper of the Gate seemed to me to be in chief
my Host here, I was taken with the desire to salute him. In an hour's
journey I came to a place where a thousand Lightnings mingled together
in one blinding light that served but to make Darkness visible. I was
not yet fully recovered from this dazzlement, when I saw before me a
beautiful Young man. 'I am,' said he, 'the Archangel whom you seek,
I have but now read in God that he had inspired you with the means of
coming here, and that he willed you should here expect his pleasure.'
He talked with me of many things, and told me among the rest:

"That the light wherewith I had been amazed was nothing fearful, but
that it appeared almost every evening when he went his rounds, seeing
that to avoid sudden attack from the Evil Spirits, which may enter
secretly at any place, he was constrained mightily to swing his Flaming
Sword in circles, all about the bounds of the Earthly Paradise; and
that the light I had seen was the lightnings which the steel of it gave
forth. 'Those also which you perceive from your Earth,' he added, 'are
of my creation. And if sometimes you see them at a great distance, it
is because the clouds of some distant region hold themselves in such
disposition as to receive an impression of these unbodied fires, and
reflect them to your eyes; just as clouds otherwise disposed may prove
themselves fit to make the Rainbow.'

"I will not instruct you further in these matters, since to be sure the
Apple of Knowledge is not far from hence; whereof as soon as you have
eaten, you will know all things even as I. But see you make no mistake,
for most of the Fruits that hang from that Plant are encased in a Rind,
whose taste will abase you even below man; while the part within will
make you mount up to be even as the Angels."

Elijah had come to this point of the teachings of the Seraph, when
a little short man came up with us; "This is that Enoch of whom I
told you," said my guide to me apart; and even while he finished
the words, Enoch offered us a basketful of I know not what fruits,
like to Pomegranates, which he had but discovered that same day in a
distant coppice. I took some and put in my pockets, as Elijah bade me.
Here-upon Enoch asked him who I might be. "That is a matter," answered
my guide, "to entertain us at more leisure; this evening when we have
withdrawn he shall tell us himself of the miraculous particulars of his

With these words we arrived beneath a sort of Hermitage, made of
palm-branches skilfully interlaced with myrtle and orange-branches.
There I saw, in a little nook, great piles of a kind of floss-silk, so
white and so delicate that one might take it for the virgin Soul of
the snow; and I saw distaffs lying here and there; whereupon I asked
my guide what use they served. "To spin," he answered me; "when the
good Enoch would relax his mind from meditation, he applies himself
sometimes to dressing this Lady-distaff, sometimes to weaving the cloth
from which they make Shifts for the eleven thousand Virgins. Surely
in your world you have met with that something white, which flutters
on the winds in Autumn about the season of the Winter-sowings. Your
peasant-folk call it Our Lady's Cotton, but it is no other than the
Flock that Enoch purges his Linen of, when he cards it."

We made little delay there, and but barely took leave of Enoch, whom
this cabin served for his Cell; in truth what made us leave him so soon
was this: that he said some prayer there every six hours; and it was at
least that time since he had finished the last one.

As we went forward, I begged Elijah to finish that history which he had
begun, of the _Assumptions_ or _Translations_; and I said, that he had
come, I thought, to that of Saint _John_ the Evangelist.

Then said he to me: "Since you have not the patience, to wait till the
Apple of Knowledge teach you all these things better than I can, I will
even tell you. Know then that God----"

At this word, in some way I know not how, the Devil would have his
Finger in that pie; or howsoever it came about, so it was that I could
not forbear Interrupting him with raillery.

"I remember that case," said I: "God heard one day that the Soul of the
Evangelist was so loosed from his Body, that he no more kept it in but
by shutting his teeth hard; and at that moment the hour when he had
foreseen that he should be translated hither was almost past; so having
no time to get him a machine made ready for coming, He was constrained
to make him suddenly _be_ here, without having time to _bring_ him."

During all my discourse Elijah bent upon me such a look, as would have
been fit to kill me, had I then been capable of dying from aught but
Hunger. "Thou Wretch," said he, and drew back in horror, "thou hast
the insolence to rail at Holy Things! Surely thou shouldst not go
unpunished, were it not that the All-wise determines to spare thee as
a marvellous example of His long-suffering, a witness to the Nations.
Get hence, thou Blasphemer, go thou and publish in this little World,
and in the other (for thou art predestined to return thither), the
unforgetting Hatred that God bears to Atheists."

Hardly had he finished this Curse, when he seized me roughly to drag
me toward the Gate. When we were arrived beside a great Tree whose
branches bent almost to Earth with the burden of their Fruit, "Here,"
said he, "is that Tree of Knowledge where thou shouldst have got
Enlightenment inconceivable, but for thy Infidelity."

At that word I feigned to swoon with weakness, and letting my self fall
against a low branch I handily filched an Apple from it. And in but a
few strides more I was set down outside of that delicious Garden.

In that moment, being so violently pressed by Hunger, that I even
forgot I was in the grip of the angry Prophet, I drew from my pocket
one of those Apples I had filled it with, wherein I buried my teeth as
deep as I could. But so it was, that in place of taking one of those
Enoch had given me, my hand fell on that very Apple I had plucked from
the Tree of Knowledge, which for my misfortune I had not freed of its

[20] Scarcely had I tasted it, when a thick Cloud overcast my Soul:
I saw no body now near me; and in the whole Hemisphere my Eyes could
not discern the least Tract of the way I had made; yet nevertheless I
fully remembered every thing that befel me. When I reflected since upon
that Miracle, I fanced that the skin of the Fruit which I bit had not
rendered me altogether brutish; because my Teeth piercing through it
were a little moistened by the Juyce within, the efficacy whereof had
dissipated the Malignities of the Rind. I was not a little surprised to
see my self all alone, in a Country I knew not. It was to no purpose
for me to stare and look about me; for no Creature appeared to comfort

[1] "Quality" = _title_--as often in the seventeenth century; _cf_.
Shakspere, _Henry V_.:

    "Gentlemen of blood and quality."

[2] Probably a long passage has been lost here, in which the "Youth"
(the Prophet Elijah, who had "translated" himself hither and become
young by eating of the Tree of Life) describes the place where they
are as the original Garden of Eden; and tells of the Creation, the
Fall, and the Banishment of Adam and Eve. At the beginning of the next
paragraph he is still speaking, and telling of Adam's transference from
the Moon to the Earth.

[3] The woman to the man, from whose side she was taken. Probably only
a few words have been omitted at the last hiatus.

[4] The supposed situation of the Earthly Paradise.

[5] Adam and Eve.

[6] We may imagine this a short hiatus, to be filled in as follows:
"He suffered a few ages after that, _that a holy man, whose name was
Enoch_, cloyed with the company of men...." etc.

[7] Enoch. On his translation, which Cyrano here makes Elijah account
for, see Genesis, chapter v.

[8] Adam. Cyrano may possibly have confused the Enoch who was
translated with another Enoch who was the son of Cain and so grandson
of Adam. But it is more probable that he used the word _aïeul_ in its
common sense of _ancestor_; as indeed "grandfather" was used in old

[9] _Cf_. the play: "Since smoke by its nature ascends, I could have
blown into an appropriate globe a sufficient quantity to ascend with

[10] "Qu'il prit congé de ses nageoires," = "when he _abandoned_ his
_floats_ (or _bladders_)."

[11] Cyrano may here be credited with anticipating the idea of the

[12] Elijah, The passage referred to is lost.

[13] Spell the name backward.

[14] _Ball_ Cf. _Bowling_. Cf. also p. 177. (Search: start p. 177:
"... mentally divided every little Visible Body...")

[15] _Cf_. the "sixth means" in the play: "Or else, I could have placed
myself upon an iron plate, have taken a magnet of suitable size, and
thrown it in the air! That way is a very good one! The magnet flies
upward, the iron instantly after; the magnet no sooner overtaken
than you fling it up again.... The rest is clear! You can go upward

[16] The "chariot of fire" in which Elijah was taken up into heaven.
_Cf_. 2 Kings, ii. 11.

[17] The following pages are translated from the text as printed for
the first time, from the Manuscript at the _Bibliothèque Nationale_, in
an appendix to M. Brun's thesis on Cyrano Bergerac, 1893.

[18] "The serpent," as soon appears, is original sin, which

    "Brought _death_ into the world, and all our woe."

[19] Our author's treatment of "original sin" is, according to M. Brun,

[20] Here the original text resumes, as found in all the editions, both
French and English.


_Being cast out from that Country, of the new_ _Adventures which Befell
him; and of the_ Demon _of_ Socrates.

At length I resolved to march forwards, till Fortune should afford
me the company of some Beasts, or at least the means of Dying. She
favourably granted my desire; for within half a quarter of a League,
I met two huge Animals, one of which stopt before me, and the other
fled swiftly to its Den; for so I thought at least; because that some
time after, I perceived it come back again in company of above Seven
or Eight hundred of the same kind, who beset me. When I could discern
them at a near distance, I perceived that they were proportioned and
shaped like us. This adventure brought into my mind the old Wives Tales
of my Nurse concerning _Syrenes, Faunes_ and _Satyrs_: Ever now and
then they raised such furious Shouts, occasioned undoubtedly by their
Admiration[1] at the sight of me, that I thought I was e'en turned a
Monster. At length one of these Beast-like men, catching hold of me by
the Neck, just as Wolves do when they carry away Sheep, tossed me upon
his back and brought me into their Town; where I was more amazed than
before, when I knew they were Men, that I could meet with none of them
but who marched upon all four.

When these People saw that I was so little, (for most of them are
Twelve Cubits long,) and that I walked only upon Two Legs, they could
not believe me to be a Man: For they were of opinion, that Nature
having given to men as well as Beasts Two Legs and Two Arms, they
should both make use of them alike. And, indeed, reflecting upon
that since, that scituation of Body did not seem to me altogether
extravagant; when I called to mind, that whilst Children are still
under the nurture of Nature, they go upon all four, and that they rise
not on their two Legs but by the care of their Nurses; who set them in
little running Chairs, and fasten straps to them, to hinder them from
falling on all four, as the only posture that the shape of our Body
naturally inclines to rest in.

They said then, (as I had it interpreted to me since) That I was
infallibly the Female of the Queens little Animal. And therefore as
such, or somewhat else, I was carried streight to the Town-House,
where I observed by the muttering and gestures both of the People and
Magistrates, that they were consulting what sort of a thing I could be.
When they had conferred together a long while, a certain Burgher, who
had the keeping of the strange Beasts, besought the Mayor and Aldermen
to commit me to his Custody, till the Queen should send for me to
couple me to my Male. This was granted without any difficulty, and that
Juggler carried me to his House; where he taught me to Tumble, Vault,
make Mouths, and shew a Hundred odd Tricks, for which in the Afternoons
he received Money at the door from those that came in to see me.

But Heaven pitying my Sorrows, and vext to see the Temple of its Maker
profaned, so ordered it, that one day [when] I was tied to a Rope,
wherewith the Mountebank made me Leap and Skip to divert the People,
I heard a Man's voice, who asked me what I was, in Greek. I was much
surprised to hear one speak in that Country as they do in our World. He
put some Questions to me, which I answered, and then gave him a full
account of my whole design, and the success of my Travels: He took the
pains to comfort me, and, as I take it, said to me: "Well, Son, at
length you suffer for the frailties of your World: There is a Mobile[2]
here, as well as there, that can sway with nothing but what they are
accustomed to: But know, that you are but justly served; for had any
one of this Earth had the boldness to mount up to yours, and call
himself a Man, your Sages would have destroyed him as a Monster."

[Sidenote: The Demon of Socrates]

He then told me, That he would acquaint the Court with my disaster;
adding, that so soon as he had heard the news that went of me, he
came to see me, and was satisfied that I was a man of the World of
which I said I was; because he had Travelled there formerly, and
sojourned in _Greece_, where he was called the _Demon of Socrates_:
That after the Death of that Philosopher, he had governed and taught
_Epaminondas_ at _Thebes_: After which being gone over to the _Romans_,
Justice had obliged him to espouse the party of the Younger _Cato_:
That after his Death, he had addicted himself to Brutus: That all
these great Men having left in that World no more but the shadow of
their Virtues, he with his Companions had retreated to Temples and
Solitudes. "In a word," added he, "the People of your World became so
dull and stupid, that my Companions and I lost all the Pleasure that
formerly we had had in instructing them: Not but that you have heard
Men talk of us; for they called us _Oracles, Nymphs, Geniuses, Fairies,
Houshold-Gods, Lemmes_,[3] _Larves_[4] _Lamiers_,[5] _Hobgoblins,
Nayades, Incubusses, Shades, Manes, Visions_ and _Apparitions_: We
abandoned your World, in the Reign of _Augustus_, not long after I had
appeared to _Drusus_ the Son of _Livia_, who waged War in _Germany_,
whom I forbid to proceed any farther. It is not long since I came from
thence a second time; within these Hundred Years I had a Commission to
Travel thither: I roamed a great deal in _Europe_, and conversed with
some, whom possibly you may have known. One Day, amongst others, I
appeared to _Cardan_,[6] as he was at his Study; I taught him a great
many things, and he in acknowledgment promised me to inform Posterity
of whom he had those Wonders, which he intended to leave in writing.[7]
There I saw _Agrippa_[8] the Abbot _Trithemius_[9] Doctor _Faustus_,
_La Brosse_, _Cæsar_,[10] and a certain Cabal of Young Men, who are
commonly called _Rosacrucians_[11] or _Knights of the Red Cross_, whom
I taught a great many Knacks and Secrets of Nature, which without doubt
have made them pass for great Magicians: I knew _Campanella_[12] also;
it was I that advised him, whilst he was in the Inquisition at _Rome_,
to put his Face and Body into the usual Postures of those whose inside
he needed to know, that by the same frame of Body he might excite
in himself the thoughts which the same scituation had raised in his
Adversaries; because by so doing, he might better manage their Soul,
when he came to know it; and at my desire he began a Book, which we
Entituled, _De Sensu Rerum_.[13]

"I likewise haunted, in _France, La Mothe le Vayer_[14] and
_Gassendus_;[15] this last hath written as much like a Philosopher,
as the other lived: I have known a great many more there, whom your
Age call _Divines_[16] but all that I could find in them was a great
deal of Babble and a great deal of Pride. In fine, since I past over
from your Country into _England_, to acquaint my self with the manners
of its Inhabitants, I met with a Man, the shame of his Country; for
certainly it is a great shame for the Grandees of your States to
know the virtue which in him has its Throne, and not to adore him:
That I may give you an Abridgement of his Panegyrick, he is all
Wit, all Heart, and possesses all the Qualities, of which one alone
was heretofore sufficient to make an Heroe: It was _Tristan_ the
Hermite.[17] The Truth is, I must tell you, when I perceived so exalted
a Virtue I mistrusted it would not be taken notice of, and therefore
I endeavoured to make him accept Three Vials, the first filled with
the Oyl of Talk,[18] the other with the Powder of Projection,[19] and
the third with _Aurum Potabile_;[20] but he refused them with a more
generous Disdain than _Diogenes_ did the Complements of _Alexander_. In
fine, I can add nothing to the Elogy[21] of that Great Man, but that he
is the only Poet, the only Philosopher, and the only Freeman amongst
you: These are the considerable Persons that I conversed with; all
the rest, at least that I know, are so far below Man that I have seen
Beasts somewhat above them.

"After all, I am not a Native neither of this Country nor yours, I was
born in the Sun; but because sometimes our World is overstock'd with
people, by reason of the long Lives of the Inhabitants, and that there
is hardly any Wars or Diseases amongst them: Our Magistrates, from time
to time, send Colonies into the neighbouring Worlds. For my own part,
I was commanded to go to yours; being declared Chief of the Colony
that accompanyed me. I came since into this World, for the Reasons I
told you; and that which makes me continue here, is, because the Men
are great lovers of Truth; and have no Pedants among them; that the
Philosophers are never perswaded but by Reason, and that the Authority
of a Doctor, or of a great number, is not preferred before the Opinion
of a Thresher in a Barn, when he has right on his side. In short, none
are reckoned Madmen in this Country, but Sophisters and Orators." I
asked him how they lived? he made answer, three or four thousand Years;
and thus went on:

"Though the Inhabitants of the Sun be not so numerous as those of this
World; yet the Sun is many times over stocked, because the People being
of a hot constitution are stirring and ambitious, and digest much."

"You ought not to be surprised at what I tell you; for though our Globe
be very vast, and yours little, though we die not before the end of
Four thousand Years, and you at the end of Fifty; yet know, that as
there are not so many Stones as clods of Earth, nor so many Animals as
Plants, nor so many Men as Beasts; just so there ought not to be so
many Spirits as Men, by reason of the difficulties that occur in the
Generation of a perfect Creature."

I asked him, if they were Bodies as we are? He made answer, That they
were Bodies, but not like us, nor any thing else which we judged such;
because we call nothing a Body commonly, but what we can touch: That,
in short, there was nothing in Nature but what was material; and that
though they themselves were so, yet they were forced, when they had a
mind to appear to us, to take Bodies proportionated to what our Senses
are able to know; and that, without doubt, that was the reason why many
have taken the Stories that are told of them for the Delusions of a
weak Fancy, because they only appeared in the night time: He told me
withal, That seeing they were necessitated to piece together the Bodies
they were to make use of, in great haste, many times they had not
leisure enough to render them the Objects of more Senses than one at a
time, sometimes of the Hearing, as the Voices of _Oracles_, sometimes
of the Sight, as the _Fires_ and _Visions_, sometimes of the Feeling,
as the _Incubusses_; and that these Bodies being but Air condensed in
such or such a manner, the Light dispersed them by its heat, in the
same manner as it scatters a Mist.

So many fine things as he told me, gave me the curiosity to question
him about his Birth and Death; if in the Country of the Sun, the
_individual_ was procreated by the ways of Generation, and if it died
by the dissolution of its Constitution, or the discomposure of its
Organs? "Your senses," replied he, "bear but too little proportion
to the Explication of these Mysteries: Ye Gentlemen imagine, that
whatsoever you cannot comprehend is spiritual, or that it is not at
all; but that Consequence[22] is absurd, and it is an argument, that
there are a Million of things, perhaps, in the Universe, that would
require a Million of different Organs in you to understand them. For
instance, I by my Senses know the cause of the Sympathy that is betwixt
the Load-stone and the Pole, of the ebbing and flowing of the Sea, and
what becomes of the Animal after Death; you cannot reach these high
Conceptions but by Faith, because they are Secrets above the power of
your Intellects; no more than a Blind-man can judge of the beauties of
a Land-skip, the Colours of a Picture, or the streaks of a Rainbow; or
at best he will fancy them to be somewhat palpable, to be like Eating,
a Sound, or a pleasant Smell: Even so, should I attempt to explain to
you what I perceive by the Senses which you want, you would represent
it to your self as somewhat that may be Heard, Seen, Felt, Smelt or
Tasted, and yet it is no such thing."

He was gone on so far in his Discourse, when my Juggler perceived, that
the Company began to be weary of my Gibberish, that they understood
not, and which they took to be an inarticulated Grunting: He therefore
fell to pulling my Rope afresh to make me leap and skip, till the
Spectators having had their Belly-fulls of Laughing, affirmed that I
had almost as much Wit as the Beasts of their Country, and so broke up.

[1] Astonishment.

[2] Mobile = people, populace. _Cf_. p. 145. (Search: start p. 145:
"... there he entertained me till Suppertime...")

[3] Lemures; malicious spirits of the dead. _Cf_. Milton:

    "The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint."

[4] Lars, larvas; ghosts, spectres.

[5] Lamias; female demons or vampires.

[6] _Cf_. p. 12 (Search: start p. 12: "... Accident, Providence, Fortune,
or what...")

[7] "Jerome Cardan pretended to have written most of his books under
the dictation of a Familiar Spirit ... but, in his treatise _De Rerum
Varietate_, he ingenuously declares that he had never had any other
genius but his own: _Ego certe nullum dæmonem aut genium mihi adesse
cognosce_" (Note of Paul Lacroix.)

[8] Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim, 1486-1535, philosopher,
astrologer, and alchemist. Cyrano introduces him in his _Lettre XII_.,
"Pour les Sorciers."

[9] Jean Trithème (or Johann Tritheim), Abbot of Spanheim; a man of
universal scholarship, and an experimenter in alchemy; also accused of

[10] César de Nostradamus, physician and astrologer of the early
sixteenth century.

[11] A famous occult order which probably never existed, but about
which much was written in the first half of the seventeenth century.
It was supposed to have been founded early in the fifteenth century by
Rosenkrenz, a pilgrim who had acquired all the wisdom of the Orient.

[12] Tomaso Campanella, 1568-1639, Italian poet and philosopher, who
came to Paris in 1634. His philosophy was much admired by Cyrano, since
he rejected the Aristotelism of the schools, advocated empiricism
as the only method of arriving at truth, and insisted on the "four
Elements" as the origin of all things.

He appears as an important character in Cyrano's _Voyage to the
Sun_, where he is Cyrano's companion and guide to the Land of the

[13] Campanella's principal work, published in 1620.

[14] François de La Mothe le Vayer, 1588-1672. He was the tutor of the
Due d'Orléans, brother of Louis XIV., and, after 1654, of Louis XIV.
himself. In philosophy he was a free-thinker, in literature a disciple
of Montaigne. He nevertheless concealed his scepticism in philosophy,
even in his chief work, the _Doutes sceptiques_, under a pretended
orthodoxy in religion, and so was never persecuted. Possibly it is to
this that Cyrano refers in saying, that he "_lived_ as much like a
philosopher, as Gassendi wrote."

[15] _Cf_. p 28, n. 1. (See note 5 chap. III)

[16] _Divine_. The translator has mistaken an adjective for a noun.

[17] François Tristan Thermite, 1601-1655, a French dramatist of
importance. His tragedy of _Mariamne_, in date contemporary with
Corneille's _Cid_, marks him as a predecessor of Racine in method and
manner. He is also the author of fugitive verse, but neither that nor
his plays make him quite worthy of Cyrano's exalted "Elogy."

He was compelled to pass the years 1614-1620 in England, on account of
a duel fought at the age of thirteen!

[18] Talc, silicate of magnesia.

[19] The "Philosopher's Stone," in form of powder, for chemical
"projection" upon baser metals, to transmute them into gold.

[20] The "Elixir of Life," or the "Philosopher's Stone" in liquid form.

[21] _Eulogy_. Still so used at the end of the eighteenth century.

[22] Consequence = _conclusion_, deduction. Cf. Matthew Prior:

    "Can syllogisms set things right?
    No, majors soon with minors fight.
    Or both in friendly consort joined
    The consequence limps false behind."


_Of the Languages of the People in the Moon; of the Manner of Feeding
there, and Paying the_ Scot; _and of how the Author was taken to Court_.

Thus, all the comfort I had during the misery of my hard Usage,
were the visits of this officious[1] Spirit; for you may judge what
conversation I could have with these that came to see me, since besides
that they only took me for an Animal, in the highest class of the
_Category_ of Bruits, I neither understood their Language, nor they
mine. For you must know, that there are but two Idioms in use in that
Country, one for the Grandees, and another for the People in general.

[Sidenote: Languages of the Moon]

That of the great ones is no more but various inarticulate Tones,
much like to our Musick when the Words are not added to the Air:[2]
and in reality it is an Invention both very useful and pleasant; for
when they are weary of talking, or disdain to prostitute their Throats
to that Office, they take either a Lute or some other Instrument,
whereby they communicate their Thoughts as well as by their Tongue:
So that sometimes Fifteen or Twenty in a Company will handle a point
of Divinity, or discuss the difficulties of a Law-suit, in the most
harmonious Consort that ever tickled the Ear.

The second, which is used by the Vulgar, is performed by a shivering
of the Members, but not, perhaps, as you may imagine; for some parts
of the Body signifie an entire Discourse; for example, the agitation
of a Finger, a Hand, an Ear, a Lip, an Arm, an Eye, a Cheek, every one
severally will make up an Oration, or a Period with all the parts of
it: Others serve only instead of Words, as the knitting of the Brows,
the several quiverings of the Muscles, the turning of the Hands, the
stamping of the Feet, the contorsion of the Arm; so that when they
speak, as their Custom is, stark naked, their Members being used to
gesticulate their Conceptions, move so quick that one would not think
it to be a Man that spoke, but a Body that trembled.

Every day almost the Spirit came to see me, and his rare Conversation
made me patiently bear with the rigour of my Captivity. At length one
morning I saw a Man enter my Cabbin, whom I knew not, who having a
long while licked me gently, took me in his Teeth by the Shoulder, and
with one of his Paws, wherewith he held me up for fear I might hurt my
self, threw me upon his Back; where I found my self so softly seated,
and so much at my ease, that, [though] being afflicted to be used like
a Beast, I had not the least desire of making my escape; and besides,
these Men that go upon all four are much swifter than we, seeing the
heaviest of them make nothing of running down a Stagg.

In the mean time I was extreamly troubled that I had no news of my
courteous Spirit; and the first night we came to our Inn, as I was
walking in the Court, expecting till Supper should be ready, a pretty
handsome young Man came smiling in my Face and cast his Two Fore-Legs
about my Neck. After I had a little considered him: "How!" said he in
_French_, "do you [not] know your Friend then?" I leave you to judge in
what case I was at that time; really, my surprise was so great, that I
began to imagine, that all the Globe of the Moon, all that had befallen
me, and all that I had seen, had only been Enchantment: And that
Beast-man, who was the same that had carried me all day, continued to
speak to me in this manner; "You promised me, that the good Offices I
did you should never be forgotten, and yet it seems you have never seen
me before;" but perceiving me still in amaze: "In fine," said he, "I am
that same Demon of Socrates, who diverted you during your Imprisonment,
and who, that I may still oblige you, took to my self a Body, on which
I carried you to day:" "But," said I interrupting him, "how can that
be, seeing that all Day you were of a very long Stature, and now you
are very short; that all day long you had a weak and broken Voice, and
now you have a clear and vigorous one; that, in short, all day long you
were a Grey-headed old Man, and are now a brisk young Blade: Is it then
that whereas in my Country, the Progress is from Life to Death; Animals
here go Retrograde from Death to Life, and by growing old become young

"So soon as I had spoken to the Prince," said he, "and received orders
to bring you to Court, I went and found you out where you were, and
have brought you hither; but the Body I acted in was so tired out with
the Journey, that all its Organs refused me their ordinary Functions,
so that I enquired the way to the Hospital; where being come in I found
the Body of a young Man, just then expired by a very odd Accident, but
yet very common in this Country. I drew near him, pretending to find
motion in him still, and protesting to those who were present, that he
was not dead, and that what they thought to be the cause of his Death,
was no more but a bare Lethargy; so that without being perceived, I put
my Mouth to his, by which I entered as with a breath: Then down dropt
my old Carcass, and as if I had been that young Man, I rose and came to
look for you, leaving the Spectators crying a Miracle."

[Sidenote: The Manner of Eating]

With this they came to call us to Supper, and I followed my Guide
into a Parlour richly furnished; but where I found nothing fit to be
eaten. No Victuals appearing, when I was ready to die of Hunger, made
me ask him where the Cloath was laid: But I could not hear what he
answered, for at that instant Three or Four young Boys, Children of
the House, drew near, and with much Civility stript me to the Shirt.
This new Ceremony so astonished me, that I durst not so much as ask
my Pretty _Valets de Chamber_ the cause of it; and I cannot tell how
my Guide, who asked me what I would begin with, could draw from me
these two Words, _A Potage_; but hardly had I pronounced them, when I
smelt the odour of the most agreeable Soop that ever steamed in the
rich Gluttons Nose: I was about to rise from my place, that I might
trace that delicious Scent to its source, but my Carrier hindered me:
"Whither are you going," said he, "we shall fetch a walk by and by;
but now it is time to Eat, make an end of your _Potage_, and then
we'll have something else:" "And where the Devil is the _Potage_?"
answered I half angry: "Have you laid a wager you'll jeer me all this
Day?" "I thought," replied he, "that at the Town we came from, you had
seen your Master or some Bo[dy] else at meal, and that's the reason
I told you not, how People feed in this Country. Seeing then you are
still ignorant, you must know, that here they live on Steams. The
art of Cookery is to shut up in great Vessels, made on purpose, the
Exhalations that proceed from the Meat whilst it is a dressing; and
when they have provided enough of several sorts and several tastes,
according to the Appetite of those they treat; they open one Vessel
where that Steam is kept, and after that another; and so on till the
Company be satisfied.

"Unless you have already lived after this manner, you would never
think, that the Nose without Teeth and Gullet can perform the office of
the Mouth in feeding a Man; but I'll make you experience it your self."
He had no sooner said so, but I found so many agreeable and nourishing
Vapours enter the Parlour, one after another, that in less than half a
quarter of an Hour I was fully satisfied. When we were got up; "This
is not a matter," said he, "much to be admired at, seeing you cannot
have lived so long, and not have observed, that all sorts of Cooks, who
eat less than People of another Calling, are nevertheless much Fatter.
Whence proceeds that Plumpness, d'ye think, unless it be from the
Steams that continually environ them, which penetrate into their Bodies
and fatten them? Hence it is, that the People of this World enjoy a
more steady and vigorous Health, by reason that their Food hardly
engenders any Excrements, which are in a manner the original[3] of all
Diseases. You were, perhaps, surprised, that before supper you were
stript, since it is a Custom not practised in your Country; but it is
the fashion of this, and for this end used, that the Animal may be the
more transpirable to the Fumes." "Sir," answered I, "there is a great
deal of probability in what you say, and I have found somewhat of it my
self by experience; but I must frankly tell you, That not being able
to Unbrute my self so soon, I should be glad to feel something that
my Teeth might fix upon:" He promised I should, but not before next
Day; "because," said he, "to Eat so soon after your meal would breed

[Sidenote: The Manner of Lighting]

After we had discoursed a little longer, we went up to a Chamber to
take our rest; a Man met us on the top of the Stairs, who having
attentively Eyed us, led me into a Closet where the floor was strowed
with Orang-Flowers Three Foot thick, and my Spirit into another filled
with Gilly-Flowers and Jessamines: Perceiving me amazed at that
Magnificence, he told me they were the Beds of the Country. In fine,
we laid our selves down to rest in our several Cells, and so soon as
I had stretched my self out upon my Flowers, by the light of Thirty
large Glow-worms shut up in a Crystal, (being the only Candles _Charon_
uses,[4]) I perceived the Three or Four Boys who had stript me before
Supper, One tickling my Feet, another my Thighs, the Third my Flanks,
and the Fourth my Arms, and all so delicately and daintily, that in
less than in a Minute I was fast asleep.

Next Morning by Sun-rising my Spirit came into my Room and said to me,
"Now I'll be as good as my Word, you shall breakfast this Morning more
solidly that you Supped last Night." With that I got up, and he led
me by the Hand to a place at the back of the Garden, where one of the
Children of the House stayed for us, with a Piece in his Hand much like
to one of our Fire-Locks. He asked my Guide if I would have a dozen
of Larks, because _Baboons_ (one of which he took me to be,) loved to
feed on them? I had hardly answered, Yes, when the Fowler discharged a
Shot, and Twenty or Thirty Larks fell at our Feet ready Roasted. This,
thought I presently with my self, verifies the Proverb in our World,
of a Country where Larks fall ready Roasted; without doubt it has been
made by some Body that came from hence. "Fall too, fall too," said
my Spirit, "don't spare; for they have a knack of mingling a certain
Composition with their Powder and Shot, which Kills, Plucks, Roasts,
and Seasons the Fowl all at once." I took up some of them, and eat them
upon his word; and to say the Truth, In all my Life time I never eat
any thing so delicious.

Having thus Breakfasted we prepared to be gone, and with a Thousand odd
Faces, which they use when they would shew their Love, our Landlord
received a Paper from my Spirit. I asked him, if it was a Note for the
Reckoning? He replied, No, that all was paid, and that it was a Copy of
Verses. "How! Verses," said I, "are your Inn-Keepers here curious of
Rhime then?" "It's," said he, "the Money of the Country, and the charge
we have been at here, hath been computed to amount to Three _Couplets_,
or Six Verses, which I have given him. I did not fear we should outrun
the Constable; for though we should Pamper our selves for a whole Week,
we could not spend a _Sonnet_, and I have Four about me, besides Two
_Epigrams_, Two _Odes_, and an _Eclogue_."

"Would to God," said I, "it were so in our World; for I know a good
many honest Poets there who are ready to Starve, and who might live
plentifully if that Money would pass in Payment." I farther asked
him, If these Verses would always serve, if one Transcribed them? He
made answer, No, and so went on: "When an Author has Composed any, he
carries them to the Mint, where the sworn Poets of the Kingdom sit in
Court. There these versifying Officers essay the pieces; and if they be
judged Sterling, they are rated not according to their Coyn; that's to
say, That a _Sonnet_ is not always as good as a _Sonnet_; but according
to the intrinsick value of the piece; so that if any one Starve, he
must be a Blockhead: For Men of Wit make always good Chear." With
Extasie I was admiring the judicious Policy of that Country, when he
proceeded in this manner:

"There are others who keep Publick-house after a far different manner:
When one is about to be gone, they demand, proportionably to the
Charges, an Acquittance for the other World; and when that is given
them, they write down in a great Register, which they call _Doomsday's
Book_, much after this manner: _Item_, The value of so many Verses,
delivered such a Day, to such a Person, which he is to pay upon the
receipt of this Acquittance, out of his readiest Cash: And when they
find themselves in danger of Death, they cause these Registers to be
Chopt in pieces, and swallow them down; because they believe, that if
they were not thus digested, they would be good for nothing."

This Conversation was no hinderance to our Journey; for my Four-legged
Porter jogged on under me, and I rid stradling on his Back. I shall not
be particular in relating to you all the Adventures that happened to us
on our way, till we arrived at length at the Town where the King holds
his Residence.

[1] Officious = kindly, ready to serve, doing good offices. _Cf_.
Milton, _Paradise Lost_:

    "Yet, not to earth are those bright luminaries
    Officious; but to thee, earth's habitant."

[2] Cf. _The Man in the Moone_, of Francis Godwin: "Their Language
is very difficult, since it hath no Affinity with any other I ever
heard, and consists not so much of Words and Letters, as Tunes and
strange Sounds which no Letters can express; for there are few Words
but signify several Things, and are distinguished only by their Sounds,
which are sung as it were in uttering; yea many Words consist of Tunes
only, without Words."

[3] Origin. _Cf_. pp. 137, 170, 174*; and _cf_. Shakspere, _Henry IV._,
Part II.:

    "It hath its original from much grief."

(*p. 137 starts with: "...last meeting, had said, That..."
  p. 170: "... Thus he concluded, and..."
  p. 174: "CHAPTER IV")


    "... On ne s'attendait guère
     De voir [Charon] en cette affaire!"

In fact, our translator has made an amusing mistake, for which the
printer of the 1661 edition is perhaps partly responsible; in that
edition we read] "(Caron ne se sert pas d'autres chandelles)," which
should of course be, as in the other editions, "Caron ...;" "For they
use no other candles."


_Of the Little_ Spaniard _whom he met there, and of his quaint Wit; of_
Vacuum, _Specific Weights, and sundry other Philosophical Matters_.

I was no sooner come, but they carryed me to the Palace, where the
Grandees received me with more Moderation, than the people had done as
I passed the streets: but both great and small concluded, that without
doubt I was the Female of the Queen's little Animal. My Guide was my
Interpreter; and yet he himself understood not the Riddle, and knew
not what to make of that little Animal of the Queen's; but we were
soon satisfied as to that; for the King having some time considered
me, ordered it to be brought, and about half an hour after I saw a
company of Apes, wearing Ruffs and Breeches, come in, and amongst them
a little Man almost of my own Built, for he went on Two Legs; so soon
as he perceived me, he Accosted me with a _Criado de vuestra merced_[1]
I answered his Greeting much in the same Terms. But alas! no sooner
had they seen us talk together, but they believed their Conjecture to
be true; and so, indeed, it seemed; for he of all the By-standers,
that past the most favourable Judgment upon us, protested that our
Conversation was a Chattering we kept for Joy at our meeting again.

That little Man told me, that he was an _European_, a Native of old
_Castille_:[2] That he had found a means by the help of Birds[3] to
mount up to the World of the Moon, where then we were: That falling
into the Queen's Hands, she had taken him for a Monkey, because Fate
would have it so, That in that Country they cloath Apes in a _Spanish_
Dress; and that upon his arrival, being found in that habit, she had
made no doubt but he was of the same kind. "It could not otherwise be,"
replied I, "but having tried all Fashions of Apparel upon them, none
were found so Ridiculous, and by consequence more becoming a kind of
Animals which are only entertained for Pleasure and Diversion." "That
shews you little understand the Dignity of our Nation," answered he,
"for whom the Universe breeds Men only to be our Slaves, and Nature
produces nothing but objects of Mirth and Laughter." He then intreated
me to tell him, how I durst be so bold as to Scale the Moon with the
Machine I told him of? I answered, That it was because he had carried
away the Birds, which I intended to have made use of. He smiled at this
Raillery; and about a quarter of an hour after, the King commanded
the Keeper of the Monkeys to carry us back. The King's Pleasure was
punctually obeyed; at which I was very glad, for the satisfaction
I had, of having a Mate to converse with during the solitude of my

[Illustration: The "Little Spaniard's" Trip to the Moon--From an
Engraving in "The Strange Voyage of Domingo Gonzales to the World in
the Moon."]

One Day my Male (for I was taken for the Female) told me, That the
true reason which had obliged him to travel all over the Earth, and at
length to abandon it for the Moon, was that he could not find so much
as one Country where even Imagination was at liberty. "Look ye," said
he, "how the Wittiest thing you can say, unless you wear a Cornered
Cap, if it thwart the Principles of the Doctors of the Robe, you are an
Ideot, a Fool, and something worse perhaps. I was about to have been
put into the Inquisition at home, for maintaining to the Pedants Teeth,
That there was a _Vacuum_, and that I knew no one matter in the World
more Ponderous than another." I asked him, what probable Arguments
he had, to confirm so new an Opinion? "To evince that," answered he,
"you must suppose that there is but one Element; for though we see
Water, Earth, Air and Fire distinct, yet are they never found to be
so perfectly pure but that there still remains some Mixture. For
example, When you behold Fire, it is not Fire but Air much extended;
the Air is but Water much dilated; Water is but liquified Earth, and
the Earth it self but condensed Water; and thus if you weigh Matter
seriously, you'll find it is but one, which like an excellent Comedian
here below acts all Parts, in all sorts of Dresses: Otherwise we must
admit as many Elements as there are kinds of Bodies: And if you ask
me why Fire burns, and Water cools, since it is but one and the same
matter, I answer, That that matter acts by Sympathy, according to the
Disposition it is in at the time when it acts. Fire, which is nothing
but Earth also, more dilated than is fit for the constitution of Air,
strives to change into it self, by Sympathy, what ever it meets with:
Thus the heat of Coals, being the most subtile Fire, and most proper to
penetrate a Body, at first slides through the pores of our Skin; and
because it is a new matter that fills us, it makes us exhale in Sweat;
that Sweat dilated by the Fire is converted to a Steam, and becomes
Air; that Air being farther ratified by the heat of the _Antiperistasis_,
or of the Neighbouring Stars, is called Fire, and the Earth abandoned
by the Cold and Humidity which were Ligaments to the whole, falls to
the ground: Water, on the other hand, though it no ways differ from the
matter of Fire, but in that it is closer, burns us not; because that
being dense by Sympathy, it closes up the Bodies it meets with, and
the Cold we feel is no more but the effect of our Flesh contracting it
self, because of the Vicinity of Earth or Water, which constrains it to
a Resemblance. Hence it is, that those who are troubled with a Dropsie
convert all their nourishment into Water; and the Cholerick convert all
the Blood that is formed in their Liver into Choler.

"It being then supposed, that there is but one Element; it is most
certain, that all Bodies, according to their several qualities, incline
equally towards the Center of the Earth. But you'll ask me, Why then
does Iron, Metal, Earth and Wood, descend more swiftly to the Center
than a Sponge, if it be not that it is full of Air which naturally
tends upwards? That is not at all the Reason, and thus I make it out:
Though a Rock fall with greater Rapidity than a Feather, both of
them have the same inclination for the Journey; but a Cannon Bullet,
for instance, were the Earth pierced through, would precipitate with
greater haste to the Center thereof than a Bladder full of Wind; and
the reason is, because that mass of Metal is a great deal of Earth
contracted into a little space, and that Wind a very little Earth in
a large space: For all the parts of Matter, being so closely joined
together in the Iron, encrease their force by their Union; because
being thus compacted, they are many that Fight against a few, seeing a
parcel of Air equal to the Bullet in Bigness is not equal in Quantity.

"Not to insist on a long Deduction of Arguments to prove this, tell
me in good earnest, How a Pike, a Sword or a Dagger wounds us? If it
be not because the Steel, being a matter wherein the parts are more
continuous and more closely knit together than your Flesh is, whose
Pores and Softness shew that it contains but very little Matter within
a great extent of Place; and that the point of the Steel that pricks
us, being almost an innumerable number of Particles of matter against
a very little Flesh, it forces it to yield to the stronger, in the
same manner as a Squadron in close order will easily break through a
more open Battalion; for why does a Bit of red hot Iron burn more than
a Log of Wood all on Fire? Unless it be, that in the Iron there is
more Fire in a small space, seeing it adheres to all the parts of the
Metal, than in the Wood which being very Spongy by consequence contains
a great deal of _Vacuity_; and that _Vacuity_, being but a Privation
of Being, cannot receive the form of Fire. But, you'll object, you
suppose a _Vacuum_, as if you had proved it, and that's begging of the
question: Well then I'll prove it, and though that difficulty be the
Sister of the _Gordian knot_, yet my Arms are strong enough to become
its _Alexander_.

"Let that vulgar Beast, then, who does not think it self a Man, had it
not been told so, answer me if it can: Suppose now there be but one
Matter, as I think I have sufficiently proved; whence comes it, that
according to its Appetite it enlarges or contracts its self; whence is
it, that a piece of Earth by being Condensed becomes a Stone? Is it
that the parts of that Stone are placed one with another, in such a
manner that wherever that grain of Sand is settled, even there, or in
the same point, another grain of Sand is Lodged? That cannot be, no not
according to their own Principles, seeing there is no Penetration of
Bodies: But that matter must have crowded together, and if you will,
abridged it self, so that it hath filled some place which was empty
before. To say that it is incomprehensible, that there should be a
Nothing in the World, that we are in part made up of Nothing: Why not,
pray? Is not the whole World wrapt up in Nothing? Since you yield me
this point, then confess ingeniously, that it's as rational that the
World should have a Nothing within it, as Nothing about it.

"I well perceive you'll put the question to me, Why Water compressed
in a Vessel by the Frost should break it, if it be not to hinder
a Vacuity? But I answer, That that only happens, because the Air
overhead, which as well as Earth and Water tends to the Center, meeting
with an empty Tun by the way, takes tip his Lodging there: If it find
the pores of that Vessel, that's to say, the ways that lead to that
void place, too narrow, too long, and too crooked, with impatience it
breaks through and arrives at its Tun.

"But not to trifle away time, in answering all their objections, I
dare be bold to say, That if there were no _Vacuity_, there could be
no Motion; or else a Penetration of Bodies must be admitted; for it
would be a little too ridiculous to think, that when a Gnat pushes
back a parcel of Air with its Wings, that parcel drives another before
it, that other another still; and that so the stirring of the little
Toe of a Flea should raise a bunch upon the Back of the Universe. When
they are at a stand, they have recourse to Rarefaction: But in good
earnest, How can it be when a Body is ratified, that one Particle of
the Mass does recede from another Particle, without leaving an empty
Space betwixt them; must not the two Bodies, which are just separated,
have been at the same time in the same place of this; and that so they
must have all three penetrated each other? I expect you'll ask me, why
through a Reed, a Syringe or a Pump, Water is forced to ascend contrary
to its inclination? To which I answer, That that's by violence, and
that it is not the fear of a _Vacuity_ that turns it out of the right
way; but that being linked to the Air by an imperceptible Chain, it
rises when the Air, to which it is joined, is rarified.

"That's no such knotty Difficulty, when one knows the perfect Circle
and the delicate Concatenation of the Elements: For if you attentively
consider the Slime which joines the Earth and Water together in
Marriage, you'll find that it is neither Earth nor Water; but the
Mediator betwixt these Two Enemies. In the same manner, the Water and
Air reciprocally send a Mist, that dives into the Humours of both, to
negotiate a Peace betwixt them; and the Air is reconciled to the Fire,
by means of an interposing Exhalation which Unites them."

I believe he would have proceeded in his Discourse, had they not
brought us our Victuals; and seeing we were a hungry, I stopt my Ears
to his discourse, and opened my Stomack to the Food they gave us.

I remember another time, when we were upon our Philosophy, for neither
of us took pleasure to Discourse of mean things: "I am vexed," said he,
"to see a Wit of your stamp infected with the Errors of the Vulgar. You
must know then, in spight of the Pedantry of _Aristotle_ with which
your Schools in _France_ still ring, That every thing is in every
thing; that's to say, for instance, That in the Water there is Fire,
in the Fire Water, in the Air Earth, and in the Earth Air: Though that
Opinion makes Scholars open their Eyes as big as Sawcers, yet it is
easier to prove it, than perswade it. For I ask them, in the first
place, if Water does not breed Filth: If they deny it, let them dig a
Pit, fill it with meer Element,[4] and to prevent all blind Objections
let them if they please strain it through a Strainer, and I'll oblige
my self, in case they find no Filth therein within a certain time,
to drink up all the Water they have poured into it: But if they find
Filth, as I make no doubt on't; it is a convincing Argument that there
is both Salt and Fire there. Consequentially now, to find Water in
Fire; I take it to be no difficult Task. For let them chuse Fire, even
that which is most abstracted from Matter, as Comets are, there is
a great deal in them still; seeing if that Unctuous Humour, whereof
they are engendered, being reduced to a Sulphur by the heat of the
Antiperistasis which kindles them, did not find a curb of its Violence
in the humid Cold that qualifies and resists it, it would spend it self
in a trice like Lightning. Now that there is Air in the Earth, they
will not deny it; or otherwise they have never heard of the terrible
Earth-quakes, that have so often shaken the Mountains of _Sicily_:
Besides, the Earth is full of Pores, even to the least grains of Sand
that com[pose] it. Nevertheless no Man hath as yet said, that these
Hollows were filled with _Vacuity_: It will not be taken amiss then, I
hope, if the Air takes up its quarters there. It remains to be proved,
that there is Earth in the Air; but I think it scarcely worth my pains,
seeing you are convinced of it, as often as you see such numberless
Legions of Atomes fall upon your heads, as even stiffle Arithmetick.

"But let us pass from simple to compound Bodies, they'll furnish me
with much more frequent Subjects; and to demonstrate that all things
are in all things, not that they change into one another, as your
_Peripateticks_ Juggle:[5] for I will maintain to their Teeth, that the
Principles mingle, separate, and mingle again in such a manner, that
that hath been made Water by the Wise Creator of the World, will always
be Water; I shall suppose no Maxime, as they do, but what I prove.

"And therefore take a Billet, or any other combustible stuff, and set
Fire to it, they'll say when it is in a Flame, That what was Wood is
now become Fire; but I maintain the contrary, and that there is no more
Fire in it, when it is all in Flame, than before it was kindled; but
that which before was hid in the Billet, and by the Humidity and Cold
hindered from acting; being now assisted by the Stranger, hath rallied
its forces against the Phlegm that choaked it, and commanding the Field
of Battle, that was possessed by its Enemy, triumphs over his Jaylor
and appears without Fetters. Don't you see how the Water flees out at
the two ends of the Billet, hot and smoaking from the Fight it was
engaged in. That flame which you see rise on high is the purer Fire,
unpestered from the Matter, and by consequence the readiest to return
home to it self: Nevertheless it Unites it self by tapering into a
Piramide till it rise to a certain height, that it may pierce through
the thick Humidity of the Air which resists it; but as mounting it
disengaged it self by little and little from the violent company of its
Landlords; so it diffuses it self, because then it meets with nothing
that thwarts its passage, which negligence, though, is many times the
cause of a second Captivity: For marching stragglingly, it wanders
sometimes into a Cloud, and if it meet there with a Party of its own
sufficient to make head against a Vapour, they Engage, Grumble, Thunder
and Roar, and the Death of Innocents is many times the effect of the
animated Rage of those inanimated Things. If, when it finds it self
pestered among those Crudities of the middle Region, it is not strong
enough to make a defence, it yields to its Enemy upon discretion;
which by its weight constrains it to fall again to the Earth: And this
Wretch,[6] inclosed in a drop of Rain, may per haps fall at the Foot
of an Oak, whose Animal Fire will invite the poor Straggler to take a
Lodging with him; and thus you have it in the same condition again as
it was a few Days before.

"But let us trace the Fortune of the other Elements that composed that
Billet. The Air retreats to its own Quarters also, though blended
with Vapours; because the Fire all in a rage drove them briskly
out _Pell-mell_ together. Now you have it serving the Winds for a
Tennis-ball, furnishing Breath to Animals, filling up the Vacuities
that Nature hath left; and, it may be also, wrapt up in a drop of Dew,
suckling the thirsty Leaves of that Tree, whither our Fire retreated:
The Water driven from its Throne by the Flame, being by the heat
elevated to the Nursery of the Meteors, will distil again in Rain upon
our Oak, as soon as upon another; and the Earth being turned to Ashes,
and then cured of its Sterility, either by the nourishing Heat of a
Dunghill on which it hath been thrown, or by the vegetative Salt of
some neighbouring Plants, or by the teeming Waters of some Rivers, may
happen also to be near this Oak, which by the heat of its Germ will
attract it, and convert it into a part of its bulk.

"In this manner, these Four Elements undergo the same Destiny, and
return to the same State, which they quitted but a few days before: So
that it may be said, that all that's necessary for the composition of
a Tree, is in a Man; and in a Tree, all that's necessary for making of
a Man. In fine, according to this way, all things will be found in all
things; but we want a _Prometheus_, to pluck us out of the Bosom of
Nature, and render us sensible, which I am willing to call the _First

These were the things, I think, with which we past the time; for that
little _Spaniard_ had a quaint Wit. Our conversation, however, was only
in the Night time; because from Six a clock in the morning until night,
Crowds of the People, that came to stare at us in our Lodging, would
have disturbed us: For some threw us Stones, others Nuts, and others
Grass; there was no talk, but of the Kings Beasts; we had our Victuals
daily at set hours. I cannot tell, whether it was that I minded their
Gestures and Tones more than my Male did: But I learnt sooner than he
to understand their Language, and to smatter a little of it, which made
us to be lookt upon in another guess manner than formerly; and the news
thereupon flew presently all over the Kingdom, that two Wild Men had
been found, who were less than other Men, by reason of the bad Food we
had had in the Desarts; and who through a defect of their Parents Seed,
had not the fore Legs strong enough to support their Bodies.

[1] "Your excellency's servant."

[2] Domingo Gonzales, the hero of Bishop Francis Godwin's _The Man in
the Moone_ (see Translator to Reader, note 2), who says of himself: "I
must acknowledge my Stature is so little, as I think no Man living is

[3] The engraving opposite, showing how he was carried up by his birds,
is copied from an old edition of _The Man in the Moone_. The other
winged figures about him are supposed to represent demons who attacked
him when just above "the middle region."

[4] With the _pure_ element (Lat., _merus_); _i.e._, water alone
unmixed with impurities or other elements.

[5] Fr. gazouillent, _babble_.

[6] Unfortunate creature ("ce malheureux").

[7] The translator has here mistaken a Dative for an Accusative. The
sense of the French is: "But we need a Prometheus to pluck out for us,
from the bosom of Nature, and make tangible to us, that which I will
call _First Matter_."


_Where the Author comes in doubt, whether he be a_ Man, _an_ Ape, _or an_
Estridge;[1] _and of the Opinion of the Lunar Philosophers concerning_

This belief would have taken rooting by being spread, had it not been
for the Learned Men of the Country, who opposed it, saying, That it
was horrid Impiety to believe not only Beasts, but Monsters, to be of
their kind. It would be far more probable, (added the calmer Sort) that
our Domestick Beasts should participate of the privilege of Humanity
and by consequence of Immortality, as being bred in our Country, than
a Monstrous Beast that talks of being born I know not where, in the
Moon; and then observe the difference betwixt us and them. We walk upon
Four Feet, because God would not trust so precious a thing upon weaker
Supporters, and he was afraid least marching otherwise some Mischance
might befall Man; and therefore he took the pains to rest him upon four
Pillars, that he might not fall, but disdaining to have a hand in the
Fabrick of these two Brutes, he left them to the Caprice of Nature, who
not concerning her self with the loss of so small a matter, supported
them only by Two Feet.

"Birds themselves," said they, "have not had so hard measure as they;
for they have got Feathers at least, to supply the weakness of their,
Legs, and to cast themselves in the Air when we pursue them; whereas
Nature, depriving these Monsters of Two Legs, hath disabled them from
scaping our Justice.

"Besides, consider a little how they have the Head raised toward
Heaven; it is because God would punish them with scarcity of all
things, that he hath so placed them; for that supplicant Posture shews
that they complain to Heaven of him that Created them, and that they
beg Permission to make their best of our Leavings. But we, on the
contrary, have the Head bending downwards, to behold the Blessings
whereof we are the Masters, and as if there were nothing in Heaven that
our happy condition needed Envy."

I heard such Discourses, or the like, daily at my Lodge; and at length
they so curbed the minds of the people as to that point, that it was
decreed, That at best I should only pass for a Parrot without Feathers;
for they confirmed those who were already perswaded, in that I had but
two Legs no more than a Bird, which was the cause that I was put into a
Cage by express orders from the Privy Council.

There the Queen's Bird-keeper taking the pains daily to teach me
to Whistle, as they do Stares[2] or Singing-Birds here, I was
really happy in that I wanted not Food; In the mean while, with the
Sonnets[3] the Spectators stunned me [with], I learnt to speak as they
did; so that when I was got to be so much Master of the Idiom as to
express most of my thoughts, I told them the finest of my Conceits.
The Quaintness of my Sayings was already the entertainment of all
Societies, and my Wit was so much esteemed that the Council was obliged
to Publish an Edict, forbidding all People to believe that I was
endowed with Reason; with express Commands to all Persons, of what
Quality or Condition soever, not to imagine but that whatever I did,
though never so wittily, proceeded only from Instinct.

Nevertheless, the decision of what I was, divided the Town into Two
Factions. The party that stood for me encreased daily; and at length
in spight of the _Anathema_, whereby they endeavoured to scare the
multitude: They who held for me, demanded a Convention of the States,
for determining that Controversie. It was long before they could agree
in the Choice of those who should have a Vote; but the Arbitrators
pacified the heat, by making the number of both parties equal, who
ordered that I should be brought unto the Assembly, as I was: But I was
treated there with all imaginable Severity. My Examiners, amongst other
things, put questions of Philosophy to me; I ingenuously told them all
that my Tutor had heretofore taught me, but they easily refuted me by
more convincing Arguments: So that having nothing to answer for my
self, my last refuge was to Principles of _Aristotle_, which stood me
in as little stead, as his Sophisms did; for in two Words, they let me
see the falsity of them.

"That same Aristotle," said they, "whose Learning you brag so much of,
did without doubt accommodate Principles to his Philosophy;[4] instead
of accommodating his Philosophy to Principles; and besides he ought to
have proved them at least to be more rational than those of the other
Sects you mentioned to us: Wherefore the good Man will not take it ill,
we hope, if we bid him God b'w'."

In fine, when they perceived that I did nothing but bawl, that they
were not more knowing than Aristotle, and that I was forbid to
dispute against those who denied his Principles: They all unanimously
concluded, That I was not a Man, but perhaps a kind of _Estridge_,[5]
seeing I carried my Head upright like them, that I walked on two
Legs, and that, in short, but for a little Down, I was every way like
one of them; so that the Bird-keeper was ordered to have me back to
my Cage. I spent my time pretty pleasantly there, for because I had
correctly learned their Language, the whole Court took pleasure to
make me prattle. The Queen's Maids, among the rest, slipt always some
Boon into my Basket, and the gentilest of them all, having conceived
some kindness for me, was so transported with Joy, when in private I
entertained her with the manners and divertisements of the People of
our World, and especially our Bells, and other Instruments of Musick,
that she protested to me, with Tears in her Eyes, That if ever I found
my self in a condition to fly back again to our World, she would follow
me with all her Heart.

[1] Ostrich.

[2] Starlings.

[3] Fr., "sornettes," _nonsense_.

[4] Wrest the facts to fit his theories.

[5] Ostrich.


_Of the Manner of making War in the Moon; and of how the Moon is not the
Moon, nor the Earth the Earth._

One Morning early, having started out of my Sleep, I found her
Taboring[1] upon the grates of my Cage: "Take good heart," said she to
me, "yesterday in Council a War was resolved upon, against the King
[Illustration: bar 1][2] I hope that during the hurry of Preparations,
whilst our Monarch and his Subjects are absent, I may find an occasion
to make your escape." "How, a War," said I interrupting her, "have the
Princes of this World, then, any quarrels amongst themselves, as those
of ours have? Good now, let me know their way of Fighting."

"When the Arbitrators," replied she, "who are freely chosen by the two
Parties, have appointed the time for raising Forces for their March,
the number of Combatants, the day and place of Battle, and all with
so great equality, that there is not one Man more in one Army, than
in the other: All the maimed Soldiers on the one side, are lifted in
one Company; and when they come to engage, the _Mareshalls de Camp_[3]
take care to expose them to the maimed of the other side: The Giants
are matched with Colosses, the Fencers with those that can handle their
Weapons, the Valiant with the Stout, the Weak with the Infirm, the Sick
with the Indisposed, the Sturdy with the Strong; and if any undertake
to strike at another than the Enemy he is matched with, unless he can
make it out that it was by mistake, he is Condemned for a Coward. When
the Battle is over, they take an account of the Wounded, the Dead and
the Prisoners, for Runaways they have none; and if the loss be equal on
both sides, they draw Cuts, who shall be Proclaimed Victorious.

"But though a Kingdom hath defeated the Enemy in open War, yet there
is hardly any thing got by it; for there are other smaller Armies of
Learned and Witty Men, on whose Disputations the Triumph or Servitude
of States wholly depends.

"One Learned Man grapples with another, one Wit with another, and one
Judicious Man with another Judicious Man: Now the Triumph which a State
gains in this manner is reckoned as good as three Victories by open
force. After the Proclamation of Victory, the Assembly is broken up,
and the Victorious People either chuse the Enemies King to be theirs,
or confirm their own."

I could not forbear to Laugh at this scrupulous way of giving Battle;
and for an Example of much stronger Politicks, I alledged the Customs
of our _Europe_, where the Monarch would be sure not to let slip any
favourable occasion of gaining the day; but mind what she said as to

"Tell me, pray, if your Princes use not a pretext of Right, when they
levy Arms:" "No doubt," answered I, "and of the Justice of their
Cause too." "Why then," replied she, "do they not chuse Impartial and
Unsuspected Arbitrators to compose their Differences? And if it be
found, that the one has as much Right as the other, let things continue
as they were; or let them play a game at _Picket_, for the Town or
Province that's in dispute."

"But why all these Circumstances," replied I, "in your way of Fighting?
Is it not enough, that both Armies are equal in the number of Men?"
"Your Judgment is Weak," answered she. "Would you think in Conscience,
that if you had the better of your Enemy, Hand to Hand, in an open
Field, you had fairly overcome him, if you had had on a Coat of Mail,
and he none; if he had had but a Dagger, and you a Tuck[4]; and in a
Word, if he had had but one Arm, and you both yours? Nevertheless,
what Equality soever you may recommend to your Gladiators, they never
fight on even terms; for the one will be a tall Man, and the other
Short; the one skilful at his weapon, and the other a Man that never
handled a Sword; the one will be strong, and the other Weak: And though
these Disproportions were not, but that the one were as skillful and
strong as the other; yet still they might not be rightly matched; for
one, perhaps, may have more Courage than the other, who being rash and
hot-headed, inconcerned in danger, as not foreseeing it; of a bilious
Temper, a more contracted Heart, with all the qualities that constitute
Courage, (as if that, as well as a Sword, were not a Weapon which his
Adversary hath not:) He makes nothing of falling desperately upon,
terrifying, and killing this poor Man, who foresees the danger; who
has his Heat choked in Phlegme, and a Heart too wide to close in the
Spirits in such a posture as is necessary for thawing that Ice which is
called Cowardise. And now you praise that Man, for having killed his
Enemy at odds, and praising him for his Boldness you praise him for a
Sin against nature; seeing such Boldness tends to its destruction. And
this puts me in mind to tell ye, that some Years ago application was
made to the Council of War for a more circumspect and conscientious
Rule to be made, as to the way of Fighting. The Philosopher who gave
the advice, if I mistake it not, spake in this manner.

"You imagine, Gentlemen, that you have very equally balanced the
advantages of two Enemies, when you have chosen both Tall Men, both
skillful, and both couragious: But that's not enough, seeing after all
the Conquerour must have the better on't either through his Skill,
Strength, or good Fortune. If it be by Skill, without doubt he hath
taken his Adversary on the blind side, which he did not expect; or
struck him sooner than was likely, or faining to make his Pass on one
side, he hath attacked him on the other: Nevertheless all this is
Cunning, Cheating, and Treachery, and none of these make a brave Man:
If he hath triumphed by Force, would you judge his Enemy overcome,
because he hath been over-powered? No; doubtless, no more than you'll
say that a Man hath lost the Victory, when, overwhelm'd by a Mountain,
it was not in his power to gain it: Even so, the other was not
overcome, because he was not in a suitable Disposition, at that nick of
time, to resist the violences of his Adversary. If Chance hath given
him the better of his Enemy, Fortune ought then to be Crowned, since he
hath contributed nothing to it; and, in fine, the vanquished is no more
to be blamed, than he who at Dice having thrown Seventeen, is beat by
another that throws three Sixes.'

"They confessed he was in the right; but that it was impossible,
according to humane Appearances, to remedy it; and that it was better
to submit to a small inconvenience, than to open a door to a hundred of
greater Importance."

She entertained me no longer at that time, because she was afraid to
be found alone with me so early; not that Impudicity is a Crime in
that Country: On the contrary, except Malefactors Convicted, all Men
have power over all Women; and in the same manner, a Woman may bring
her Action against a Man for refusing her: But she durst not keep
me company publickly, because the Members of Council, at their last
meeting, had said, That it was chiefly the Women who gave it out that I
was a Man; which was the reason that for a long time I neither saw her,
nor any other of her Sex.

[Sidenote: Moon Not the Moon]

In the mean time, some must needs have revived the Disputes about
the Definition of my Being; for whilst I was thinking of nothing
else but of dying in my Cage, I was once more brought out to have
another Audience. I was then questioned, in presence of a great many
Courtiers, upon some points of Natural Philosophy; and, as I take it,
my Answers gave some kind of Satisfaction; for the President declared
to me at large his thoughts concerning the structure of the World.
They seemed to me very ingenious; and had he not traced it to its
Original,[5] which he maintained to be Eternal, I should have thought
his Philosophy[6] more rational than our own: But as soon as I heard
him maintain a Foppery[6b] so contrary to our Faith. I broke with him;
at which he did but laugh; and that obliged me to tell him, That since
they were thereabouts with it, I began again to think that their World
was but a Moon.

But then all cried, "Don't you see here Earth, Rivers, Seas? what's
all that then?" "No matter," said I, "Aristotle assures us it is but
a Moon; and if you had said the contrary in the Schools, where I have
been bred, you would have been hissed at." At this they all burst out
in laughter; you need not ask, if it was their Ignorance that made them
do so; for in the mean time I was carried back to my Cage.

But some more passionate Doctors, being informed that I had the
boldness to affirm, That the Moon, from whence I came, was a World; and
that their World was no more but a Moon, thought it might give them a
very just pretext to have me condemned to the Water, for that's their
way of rooting out Hereticks. For that end, they went in a Body, and
complained to the King, who promised them Justice; and order'd me once
more to be brought to the Bar.

Now was I the third time Un-caged; and then the most Ancient spoke, and
pleaded against me. I do not well remember his Speech; because I was
too much frighted to receive the tones of his Voice without disorder;
and because also in declaiming, he made use of an Instrument which
stunn'd me with its noise: It was a Speaking-Trumpet, which he had
chosen on purpose that by its Martial Sound he might rouse them to
my death; and by that Emotion of their Spirits, hinder Reason from
performing its Office: As it happens in our Armies, where the noise of
Drums and Trumpets hinders the Souldiers from minding the importance of
their Lives.

When he had done, I rose up to defend my Cause; but I was excused from
it, by an Accident that will surprize you. Just as I had opened my
Mouth, a Man, who with much ado had pressed through the Crowd, fell at
the King's Feet, and a long while rouled himself upon his Back in his
presence. This practice did not at all surprize me, because I knew it
to be the posture they put themselves into, when they have a mind to be
heard in publick: I only stopt my own Harangue, and gave Ear to his.

"Just Judges," said he, "listen to me; you cannot Condemn that Man,
that Monkey or Parrot, for saying, That the Moon from whence he comes
is a World; for if he be a Man, though he were not come from the
Moon, since all Men are free, is not he free also to imagine what he
pleases? How can you constrain him not to have Visions, as well as
you? You may very well force him to say, That the Moon is not a World,
but he will not believe it for all that; for to believe a thing, some
possibilities enclining more to the Yea than to the Nay, must offer to
ones Imagination: And unless you furnish him that Probability, or his
own mind hit upon it, he may very well tell you that he believes, but
still remain an Infidel.[8]

[Sidenote: Earth Not the Earth]

"I am now to prove, that he ought not to be condemned if you lift him
in the Catalogue of Beasts.

"For suppose him to be an Animal without Reason, would it be rational
in you to Condemn him for offending against it? He hath said, that the
Moon is a World. Now Beasts act only by the instinct of Nature: it
is Nature then that says so, and not he: To think that wise Nature,
who hath made the World and the Moon, knows not her self what it is;
and that ye who have no more Knowledge but what ye derive from her,
should more certainly know it, would be very Ridiculous. But if Passion
should make you renounce your Principles, and you should suppose that
Nature does not guide Beasts; blush, at least, to think on't, that the
Caprices of a Beast should so discompose you.

"Really, Gentlemen, should you meet with a Man come to the Years of
Discretion, who made it his business to inspect the Government of
_Pismires_, giving a blow to one that had overthrown its Companion,
imprisoning another that had robb'd its Neighbour of a grain of Corn,
and inditing a third for leaving its Eggs; would you not think him a
mad Man, to be employed in things so far below him, and to pretend to
give Laws to Animals, that never had Reason? How will you then, most
Venerable Assembly, justifie your selves for being so concerned at the
Caprices of that little Animal? Just Judges, I have no more to say."

When he had made an end, all the Hall rung again with a kind of Musical
Applause; and after all the Opinions had been canvased, during the
space of a large quarter of an hour, the King gave Sentence:

That for the future, I should be reputed to be a Man, accordingly
set at liberty, and that the Punishment of being Drowned, should
be converted into a publick Disgrace (the most honourable way of
satisfying the Law in that Country) whereby I should be obliged to
retract openly what I had maintained in saying, That the Moon was a
World, because of the Scandal that the novelty of that opinion might
give to weak Brethren.

This Sentence being pronounced, I was taken away out of the Palace,
richly Cloathed; but in derision, carried in a magnificent Chariot,
as on a Tribunal, which four Princes in Harness drew; and in all the
publick places of the Town, I was forced to make this Declaration:

"Good People, I declare to you, That this Moon here is not a Moon, but
a World; and that that World below is not a World, but a Moon: This the
Council thinks fit you should believe."

[1] Drumming, striking; _cf_. Nahum ii. 7: "And her maids shall lead
her as with the voice of doves, tabouring upon their breasts."

[2] Cyrano writes all proper names by musical notation, in imitation of
the language of the moon as he has described it.

[3] Possibly "field officers" here; in exact ranking, the Maréchal de
Camp stands between Colonel and Lieutenant-Général, and corresponds to

[4] Fencing sword. _Cf_. Shakspere, _Hamlet_:

    "If he by chance escape your venomed tuck."

[5] _Cf_. P. 95, n. 1. (See note 3 chap. VIII)

[6] Folly, foolishness, ridiculous belief. _Cf_. Shakspere. _Merry
Wives of Windsor_: "... drove the grossness of the _foppery_ into a
received belief."

[7] _Cf_. the saying attributed to Galileo immediately after his public
recantation (June 22, 1633): "E pur si muove"--"yet it does move."


_Of a Philosophical Entertainment._

After I had Proclaimed this, in the five great places of the Town, my
Advocate came and reached me his Hand to help me down. I was in great
amaze, when after I had Eyed him I found him to be my Spirit; we were
an hour in embracing one another: "Come lodge with me," said he, "for
if you return to Court, after a Publick Disgrace, you will not be well
lookt upon: Nay more, I must tell you, that you would have been still
amongst the Apes yonder, as well as the _Spaniard_ your Companion,
if I had not in all Companies published the vigour and force of your
Wit, and gained from your Enemies the protection of the great Men in
your favours." I ceased not to thank him all the way, till we came to
his Lodgings; there he entertained me till Suppertime with all the
Engines he had set a work to prevail with my Enemies, notwithstanding
the most specious pretexts they had used for riding the Mobile,[1] to
desist from so unjust a Prosecution. But as they came to acquaint us
that Supper was upon the Table, he told me that to bear me company that
evening he had invited Two Professors of the University of the Town
to Sup with him: "I'll make them," said he, "fall upon the Philosophy
which they teach in this World, and by that means you shall see my
Landlord's Son: He's as Witty a Youth as ever I met with; he would
prove another _Socrates_, if he could use his Parts aright, and not
bury in Vice the Graces wherewith God continually visits him, by
affecting a Libertinism,[2] as he does, out of a Chimerical Ostentation
and Affectation of the name of a Wit. I have taken Lodgings here, that
I may lay hold on all Opportunities of Instructing him:" He said no
more, that he might give me the Liberty to speak, if I had a mind to
it; and then made a sign, that they should strip me of my disgraceful
Ornaments, in which I still glistered.

The Two Professors, whom we expected, entered just as I was undrest,
and we went to sit down to Table, where the Cloth was laid, and where
we found the Youth he had mentioned to me, fallen to already. They
made him a low Reverence, and treated him with as much respect as a
Slave does his Lord. I asked my Spirit the reason of that, who made me
answer, that it was because of his Age; seeing in that World, the Aged
rendered all kind of Respect and Difference[3] to the Young; and which
is far more, that the Parents obeyed their Children, so soon as by the
Judgment of the Senate of Philosophers they had attained to the Years
of Discretion.[4]

[Sidenote: Why Parents Obey Children]

"You are amazed," continued he, "at a Custom so contrary to that of
your Country; but it is not all repugnant to Reason: For say, in your
Conscience, when a brisk young Man is at his Prime in Imagining,
Judging, and Acting, is not he fitter to govern a Family than a
Decrepit piece of Threescore Years, dull and doting, whose Imagination
is frozen under the Snow of Sixty Winters, who follows no other Guide
but what you call the Experience of happy Successes; which yet are no
more but the bare effects of Chance, against all the Rules and Oeconomy
of humane Prudence? And as for Judgment, he hath but little of that
neither, though the people of your World make it the Portion of Old
Age: But to undeceive them, they must know, That that which is called
Prudence in an Old Man is no more but a panick Apprehension, and a
mad Fear of acting any thing where there is danger: So that when he
does not run a Risk, wherein a Young Man hath lost himself; it is not
that he foresaw the Catastrophe, but because he had not Fire enough to
kindle those noble Flashes, which make us dare: Whereas the Boldness
of that Young Man was as a pledge of the good Success of his design;
because the same Ardour that speeds and facilitates the execution,
thrust him upon the undertaking.

"As for Execution, I should wrong your Judgment if I endeavoured to
convince it by proofs: You know that Youth alone is proper for Action;
and were you not fully perswaded of this, tell me, pray, when you
respect a Man of Courage, is it not because he can revenge you on your
Enemies or Oppressors? And does any thing, but meer Habit, make you
consider[5] him, when a Battalion of Seventy _Januarys_ hath frozen his
Blood and chilled all the noble Heats that youth is warmed with?
When you yield to the Stronger, is it not that he should be obliged
to you for a Victory which you cannot Dispute him? Why then should
you submit to him, when Laziness hath softened his Muscles, weakened
his Arteries, evaporated his Spirits, and suckt the Marrow out of his
Bones? If you adore a Woman, is it not because of her Beauty? Why
should you then continue your Cringes, when Old Age hath made her a
Ghost, which only represents a hideous Picture of Death? In short,
when you loved a Witty Man, it was because by the Quickness of his
Apprehension he unravelled an intricate Affair, seasoned the choicest
Companies with his quaint Sayings, and sounded the depth of Sciences
with a single Thought; and do you still honour him, when his worn
Organs disappoint his weak Noddle, when he is become dull and uneasy in
Company, and when he looks like an aged Fairy[6] rather than a rational

"Conclude then from thence, Son, that it is fitter Young Men should
govern Families, than Old; and the rather, that according to your own
Principles, _Hercules, Achilles, Epaminondas, Alexander_, and _Cæsar_,
of whom most part died under Fourty Years of Age, could have merited
no Honours, as being too Young in your account, though their Youth
was the only cause of their Famous Actions; which a more advanced Age
would have rendered ineffectual, as wanting that Heat and Promptitude
that rendered them so highly successful. But you'll tell me, that all
the Laws of your World do carefully enjoin the Respect that is due to
Old Men: That's true; but it & as true also, that all who made
Laws have been Old Men, who feared that Young Men might justly have
dispossessed them of the Authority they had usurped.

"You owe nothing to your mortal Architector, but your Body only; your
Soul comes from Heaven, and Chance might have made your Father your
Son, as now you are his. Nay, are you sure he hath not hindered you
from Inheriting a Crown? Your Spirit left Heaven, perhaps with a design
to animate the King of the _Romans_, in the Womb of the Empress; it
casually encountered the _Embryo_ of you by the way, and it may be to
shorten its journey, went and lodged there: No, no, God would never
have razed your name out of the List of Mankind, though your Father had
died a Child. But who knows, whether you might not have been at this
day the work of some valiant Captain, that would have associated you
to his Glory, as well as to his Estate. So that, perhaps, you are no
more indebted to your Father--for the life he hath given you, than
you would be to a Pirate who had put you in Chains, because he feeds
you: Nay, grant he had begot you a Prince, or King; a Present loses
its merit, when it is made without the Option of him who receives
it. _Cæsar_ was killed, and so was _Cassius_ too: In the mean time
_Cassius_ was obliged to the Slave, from whom he begg'd his Death, but
so was not _Cæsar_ to his Murderers, who forced it upon him. Did your
Father consult your Will and Pleasure, when he Embraced your Mother?
Did he ask you, if you thought fit to see that Age, or to wait for
another; if you would be satisfied to be the Son of a Sot, or if you
had the Ambition to spring from a Brave Man? Alas, you whom alone the
business concerned, were the only Person not consulted in the case.
May be then, had you been shut up any where else, than in the Womb of
Nature's Ideas, and had your Birth been in your own Opinion, you would
have said to the _Parca_, my dear Lady, take another Spindle in your
Hand: I have lain very long in the Bed of Nothing, and I had rather
continue an Hundred years still without a Being, than to Be to day,
that I may repent of it to morrow: However, Be you must, it was to no
purpose for you to whimper and squall to be taken back again to the
long and darksome House they drew you out of, they made as if they
believed you cryed for the Teat.

"These are the Reasons, at least some of them, my Son, why Parents
bear so much respect to their Children: I know very well that I have
inclined to the Childrens side more than in justice I ought; and that
in favour of them, I have spoken a little against my Conscience. But
since I was willing to repress the Pride of some Parents, who insult
over the weakness of their little Ones; I have been forced to do as
they do who to make a crooked Tree streight bend it to the contrary
side, that betwixt two Conversions it may become even: Thus I have made
Fathers restore to their Children what they have taken from them, by
taking from them a great deal that belonged to them; that so another
time they may be content with their own. I know very well also that by
this Apology I have offended all Old men: But let them remember, that
they were Children before they were Fathers, and Young before they were
Old; and that I must needs have spoken a great deal to their advantage,
seeing they were not found in a Parsley-bed:[7] But, in fine, fall
back, fall edge, though my Enemies draw up against my Friends, it will
go well enough still with me; for I have obliged all men, and only
disobliged but one half."

With that he held his tongue, and our Landlord's Son spoke in this
manner: "Give me leave," said he to him, "since by your care I am
informed of the Original, History, Customs, and Philosophy, of the
World of this little Man; to add something to what you have said; and
to prove that Children are not obliged to Parents for their Generation,
because their Parents were obliged in Conscience to procreate them.

"The strictest Philosophy of their World acknowledges that it is better
to dye, since to dye one must have lived, than not to have had a Being.
Now seeing, by not giving a Being to that Nothing, I leave it in a
state worse than Death, I am more guilty in not producing, than in
killing it. In the mean time, my little Man, thou wouldst think thou
hadst committed an unpardonable Parracide, shouldst thou have cut thy
Sons throat: It would indeed be an enormous Crime, but it is far more
execrable, not to give a Being to that which is capable of receiving
it: For that Child whom thou deprivest of life for ever, hath had the
satisfaction of having enjoyed it for some time. Besides, we know that
it is but deprived of it, but for some ages; but these forty poor
little Nothings, which thou mightest have made forty good Souldiers for
the King, thou art so malicious as to deny them Life, and lettest them
corrupt in thy Reins, to the danger of an Appoplexy, which will stifle

This Philosophy did not at all please me, which made me three or four
times shake my head; but our Preceptor held his tongue, because Supper
was mad to be gone.

We laid our selves along, then, upon very soft Quilts, covered with
large Carpets; and a young man that waited on us, taking the oldest of
our Philosophers, led him into a little parlour apart, where my Spirit
called to him to come back to us as soon as he had supped.

This humour of eating separately, gave me the curiosity of asking the
Cause of it: "He'll not relish," said he, "the steam of Meat, nor yet
of Herbs, unless they die of themselves, because he thinks they are
sensible of Pain." "I wonder not so much," replied I, "that he abstains
from Flesh, and all things that have had a sensitive Life: For in
our World the _Pythagoreans_, and even some holy _Anchorites_, have
followed that Rule; but not to dare, for instance, cut a Cabbage, for
fear of hurting it; that seems to me altogether ridiculous." "And for
my part," answered my Spirit, "I find a great deal of probability in
his Opinion."

[Sidenote: The Soul of Plants]

"For tell me, Is not that Cabbage you speak of, a Being existent in
Nature, as well as you? Is not she the common Mother of you both? Yet
the Opinion that Nature is kinder to Mankind, than to Cabbage-kind,
tickles and makes us laugh: But seeing she is incapable of Passion, she
can neither love nor hate any thing; and were she susceptible of Love,
she would rather bestow her affection upon this Cabbage, which you
grant cannot offend her, than upon that Man who would destroy her, if
it lay in his power.

"And moreover, Man cannot be born Innocent, being a Part of the first
Offender: But we know very well, that the first Cabbage did not offend
its Creator. If it be said, that we are made after the Image of the
Supreme Being, and so is not the Cabbage; grant that to be true; yet
by polluting our Soul, wherein we resembled Him, we have effaced that
Likeness, seeing nothing is more contrary to God than Sin. If then
our Soul be no longer his Image, we resemble him no more in our Feet,
Hands, Mouth, Forehead and Ears, than a Cabbage in its Leaves, Flowers,
Stalk, Pith, and Head: Do not you really think, that if this poor
Plant could speak, when one cuts it, it would not say, 'Dear Brother
Man, what have I done to thee that deserves Death? I never grow but in
Gardens, and am never to be found in desart places, where I might live
in Security: I disdain all other company but thine; and scarcely am I
sowed in thy Garden, when to shew thee my Goodwill, I blow, stretch out
my Arms to thee; offer thee my Children in Grain; and as a requital
for my civility, thou causest my Head to be chopt off.' Thus would a
Cabbage discourse, if it could speak.

"Well, and because it cannot complain, may we therefore justly do it
all the Wrong which it cannot hinder? If I find a Wretch bound Hand
and Foot, may I lawfully kill him, because he cannot defend himself?
so far from that, that his Weakness would aggravate my Cruelty. And
though this wretched Creature be poor, and destitute of all the
advantages which we have, yet it deserves not Death; and when of all
the Benefits of a Being it hath only that of Encrease, we ought not
cruelly to snatch that away from it. To massacre a Man, is not so
great Sin, as to cut and kill a Cabbage, because one day the Man will
rise again, but the Cabbage has no other Life to hope for: By putting
to death a Cabbage, you annihilate it; but in killing a Man, you make
him only change his Habitations Nay, I'll go farther with you still:
since God doth equally cherish all his Works, and hath equally divided
the Benefits betwixt Us and Plants, it is but just we should have an
equal Esteem for Them as for our Selves. It is true we were born first,
but in the Family of God there is no Birthright. If then the Cabbage
share not with us in the inheritance of Immortality, without doubt
that Want was made up by some other Advantage, that may make amends
for the shortness of its Being; may be by an universal Intellect, or
a perfect Knowledge of all things in their Causes; and it's for that
Reason, that the wise Mover of all things hath not shaped for it Organs
like ours, which are proper only for a simple Reasoning, not only weak,
but many times fallacious too; but others, more ingeniously framed,
stronger, and more numerous, which serve to manage its Speculative
Exercises. You'll ask me, perhaps, when ever any Cabbage imparted those
lofty Conceptions to us? But tell me, again, who ever discovered to
us certain Beings, which we allow to be above us; to whom we bear no
Analogy nor Proportion, and whose Existence it is as hard for us to
comprehend, as the Understanding and Ways whereby a Cabbage expresses
its self to its like, though not to us, because our senses are too dull
to penetrate so far.

"_Moses_, the greatest of Philosophers, who drew the Knowledge of
Nature from the Fountain-Head, Nature her self, hinted this truth to us
when he spoke of the Tree of Knowledge; and without doubt he intended
to intimate to us under that Figure, that Plants, in Exclusion to
Mankind, possess perfect Philosophy. Remember, then, O thou Proudest
of Animals! that though a Cabbage which thou cuttest sayeth not a
Word, yet it pays it at Thinking; but the poor Vegetable has no fit
Organs to howl as you do, nor yet to frisk it about, and weep: Yet,
it hath those that are proper to complain of the Wrong you do it, and
to draw a Judgement from Heaven upon you for the Injustice. But if
you still demand of me, how I come to know that Cabbage and Coleworts
conceive such pretty Thoughts? Then will I ask you, how come you to
know that they do not; and that some amongst them, when they shut up at
Night, may not Compliment one another as you do, saying: Good Night,
Master _Cole-Curled-Pate_; your most humble Servant, good Master

So far was he gone on in his Discourse, when the young Lad, who had led
out our Philosopher, led him in again; "What, Supped already?" cryed
my Spirit to him. He answered, yes, almost: The Physiognomist having
permitted him to take a little more with us. Our young Landlord stayed
not till I should ask him the meaning of that Mystery; "I perceive,"
said he, "you wonder at this way of Living; know then, that in your
World, the Government of Health is too much neglected, and that our
Method is not to be despised."

[Sidenote: The Physiognomist]

"In all Houses there is a Physiognomist entertained by the Publick,[8]
who in some manner resembles your Physicians, save that he only
prescribes to the Healthful, and judges of the different manners how
we are to be Treated only according to the Proportion, Figure, and
Symmetry of our Members; by the Features of the Face, the Complexion,
the Softness of the Skin, the Agility of the Body, the Sound of the
Voice, and the Colour, Strength, and Hardness of the Hair. Did not you
just now mind a Man, of a pretty low Stature, who ey'd you; he was the
Physiognomist of the House: Assure your self, that according as he
observed your Constitution, he hath diversified the Exhalation of your
Supper: Mark the Quilt on which you lie, how distant it is from our
Couches; without doubt, he judges your Constitution to be far different
from ours; since he feared that the Odour which evaporates from those
little Pipkins that stand under our Noses, might reach you, or that
yours might steam to us; at Night, you'll see him chuse the Flowers for
your Bed with the same Circumspection."

[1] The people, the populace. _Cf_. pp. 74 (starts with "... without any
difficulty, and...") and 168 ("... But you'll say, some are...").

[2] "Libertinism" in seventeenth-century English is like the French
_libertinage_, applied rather to licentiousness of opinion than of
practice; so here it means rather "free thought" than free living.

[3] Deference.

[4] _Cf_. Gulliver's Voyage to Lilliput, chap. vi.

[5] Respect.

[6] Fr., _Dieu Foyer_. The change seems to be an interesting embroidery
of the translator's fancy, since he has correctly translated the words
as "Household God" on p. 76 (starts with "... Companions had retreated
to Temples...").

[7] Fr., "sous une pomme de chou" under a cabbage-head; where, as too
curious children are sometimes told in France, the babies are found.
The English expression is exactly equivalent. Cf. Locke: "Sempronia dug
Titus out of the parsley bed, as they used to tell children, and so
became his mother."

[8] Supported by the State. _Cf_. p. 34, n. 1. (See note 10 chap. III.)


_Of the little Animals that make up our Life, and likewise cause our
Diseases; and of the Disposition of the Towns in the Moon._

During all this Discourse, I made Signs to my Landlord, that he would
try if he could oblige the Philosophers to fall upon some head of the
Science which they professed. He was too much my Friend, not to start
an Occasion upon the Spot: But not to trouble the Reader with the
Discourse and Entreaties that were previous to the Treaty, wherein Jest
and Earnest were so wittily interwoven, that it can hardly be imitated;
I'll only tell you that the Doctor, who came last, after many things,
spake as follows:

"It remains to be proved, that there are infinite Worlds, in an
infinite World: Fancy to your self then the Universe as a great Animal;
and that the Stars, which are Worlds, are in this great Animal, as
other great Animals that serve reciprocally for Worlds to other
Peoples; such as we, our Horses, &c. That we in our turns, are
likewise Worlds to certain other Animals, incomparably less than our
selves, such as Nits, Lice, Hand-worms, &c. And that these are an
Earth to others, more imperceptible ones; in the same manner as every
one of us appears to be a great World to these little People. Perhaps
our Flesh, Blood, and Spirits, are nothing else but a Contexture of
little Animals[1] that correspond, lend us Motion from theirs, and
blindly suffer themselves to be guided by our Will which is their
Coachman; or otherwise conduct us, and all Conspiring together, produce
that Action which we call Life.

"For tell me, pray, is it a hard thing to be believed, that a Louse
takes your Body for a World; and that when any one of them travels
from one of your Ears to the other, his Companions say, that he hath
travelled the Earth from end to end, or that he hath run from one
Pole to the other? Yes, without doubt, those little People take your
Hair for the Forests of their Country; the Pores full of Liquor, for
Fountains; Buboes and Pimples, for Lakes and Ponds; Boils, for Seas;
and Defluxions, for Deluges: And when you Comb your self, forwards, and
backwards, they take that Agitation for the Flowing and Ebbing of the
Ocean. Doth not Itching make good what I say? What is the little Worm
that causes it but one of these little Animals, which hath broken off
from civil Society, that it may set up for a Tyrant in its Country? If
you ask me, why are they bigger than other imperceptible Creatures? I
ask you, why are Elephants bigger than we? And the _Irish_-men, than

"As to the Blisters, and Scurff, which you know not the Cause of;
they must either happen by the Corruption of their Enemies, which
these little Blades have killed, or which the Plague has caused by the
scarcity of Food, for which the Seditious worried one another[2] and
left Mountains of Dead Carcases rotting in the Field; or because the
Tyrant, having driven away on all Hands his Companions, who by their
Bodies stopt up the Pores of ours, hath made way out for the waterish
matter, which being extravasted out of the Sphere of the Circulation
of our Blood, is corrupted. It may be asked, perhaps, why a Nit, or
Hand-worm, produces so many disorders: But that's easily conceived,
for as one Revolt begets another, so these little People, egg'd on by
the bad Example of their Seditious Companions, aspire severally to
Sovereign Command; and occasion every where War, Slaughter, and Famine.

"But you'll say, some are far less subject to Itching than others;
and, nevertheless, all are equally inhabited by these little Animals,
since you say they are the Cause of our Life. That's true; for we
observe, that Phlegmatick People are not so much given to scratching as
the Cholerick; because the People sympathizing with the Climate they
inhabit, are slower in a cold Body, than those others that are heated
by the temper of their Region, who frisk and stir, and cannot rest in
a place: Thus a Cholerick Man is more delicate than a Phlegmatick;
because being animated in many more Parts, and the Soul being the
Action of these little Beasts, he is capable of Feeling in all
places where these Cattle stir. Whereas the Phlegmatick Man, wanting
sufficient Heat to put that stirring Mobile in Action, is sensible but
in a few places.

"To prove more plainly that universal _Vermicularity_, you need but
consider, when you are wounded, how the Blood runs to the Sore: Your
Doctors say that it is guided by provident Nature, who would succour
the parts debilitated; which might make us conclude, that, besides the
Soul and Mind, there were a third intellectual Substance, that had
distinct Organs and Functions: And therefore, it seems to me far more
Rational to say, That these little Animals finding themselves attacked
send to demand Assistance from their Neighbours, and thus, Recruits
flocking in from all Parts and the Country being too little to contain
so many, they either die of Hunger or We stifled in the Press. That
Mortality happens when the Boil is ripe; for as an Argument that these
Animals at that time are stifled, the Flesh becomes insensible: Now,
if Blood-letting, which is many times ordered to divert the Fluxion,
do any good, it is because, much being lost by the Orifice which these
little Animals laboured to stop, they refuse their Allies Assistance,
having no more Forces than is enough to defend themselves at home."

Thus he concluded, and when the second Philosopher perceived by all our
Looks that we longed to hear him speak in his turn:

"Men," said he, "seeing you are curious to instruct this little
Animal, (our like), in somewhat of the Science which we profess, I am
now dictating a Treatise which I wish he might see, because of the
Light it gives to the Understanding of our Natural Philosophy; it is
an Explication of the Original[3] of the World: But seeing I am in
haste to set my Bellows at work, (for to Morrow, without delay, the
Town departs;) I hope you'll excuse my want of time, and I promise to
satisfie you as soon as the Town is arrived at the place whither it is
to go."

[Sidenote: Towns in the Moon]

At these words, the Landlord's Son called his Father, to know what
it was a Clock? who having answered him, that it was past Eight, he
asked him in a great Rage, Why he did not give him notice at Seven,
according as he had commanded him; that he knew well enough the Houses
were to be gone to Morrow; and that the City Walls were already upon
their Journey? "Son," replyed the good Man, "since you sate down to
Table, there is an Order published, That no House shall budg before
next day:" "That's all one," answered the young Man; "you ought blindly
to obey, not to examine my Orders, and only remember what I commanded
you. Quick, go fetch me your Effigies:" So soon as it was brought, he
took hold on't by the Arm, and Whipt it a whole quarter of an Hour:
"Away you ne'er be good," continued he; "as a Punishment for your
disobedience, it's my Will and Pleasure, that this day you serve for
a Laughing-stock to all People; and therefore I command you, not to
walk but upon two Legs, till Night." The Poor Man went out in a very
mournful Condition, and the Young man excused to us his Passion.

I had much ado, though I bit my Lip, to forbear Laughing at so pleasant
a Punishment; and therefore to take me off of this odd piece of
Pedantick Discipline, which, without doubt, would have made, me burst
out at last; I prayed my Philosopher to tell me what he meant by that
Journey of the Town he talked of, and if the Houses and Walls Travelled?

"Dear Stranger," answered he, "we have some Ambulatory Towns, and some
Sedentary; the Ambulatory, as for instance this wherein now we are, are
Built in this manner: The Architector, as you see, builds every Palace
of a very light sort of Timber; supported by four Wheels underneath; in
the thickness of one of the Walls he places ten large pair of Bellows,
whose Snouts pass in a Horizontal Line through the upper Story, from
one Pinacle to the other; so that when Towns are to be removed from one
place to another, (for according to the Seasons they change the Air)
every one spreads a great many Sails upon one side of the House, before
the Noses of the Bellows; then having wound up a Spring to make them
play, in less than Eight days time their Houses, by the continual Puffs
which these Windy Monsters blow, are driven, if one pleases, an Hundred
Leagues and more.

"For those which we call Sedentary, they are almost like to your
Towers; save that they are of Timber, and that they have a Great and
Strong Skrew or Vice in the Middle, reaching from the top to the
Bottom; whereby they may be hoisted up or let down as People please.
Now the Ground under neath is dugg as deep as the House is high; and it
is so ordered, that so soon as the Frosts begin to chill the Air, they
may sink their Houses down under Ground, where they keep themselves
secure from the Severity of the Weather: But as soon as the gentle
Breathings of the Spring begin to soften and qualifie the Air; they
raise them above Ground again, by means of the great Skrew I told you

[1] This and the following paragraphs appear to be an anticipation of
the microbe theory.

[2] Fr., "dont les Séditieux se sont gorgés"--with which the rebels
have filled their bellies.

[3] Cf. p. 95, n. 1.


_Of the_ Original _of All Things; of Atomes_; _and of the Operation of the

I prayed him, since he had shew'd so much goodness, and that the Town
was not to part[1] till next day, that he would tell me somewhat of
that Original of the World, which he had mentioned not long before;
"and I promise you," said I, "that in requital, so soon as I am got
back to the Moon, from whence my Governour (pointing to my Spirit) will
tell you that I am come, I'll spread your Renown there, by relating the
rare things you shall tell me: I perceive you Laugh at that promise,
because you do not believe that the Moon I speak of is a World, and
that I am an Inhabitant of it; but I can assure you also, that the
People of that World, who take this only for a Moon, will Laugh at me
when I tell them that your Moon is a World, and that there are Fields
and Inhabitants in it:"

He answered only with a smile, and spake in this manner:

"Since in Ascending to the Original of this Great A L L, we are forced
to run into three or four Absurdities; it is but reasonable we should
follow the way wherein we may be least apt to stumble. I say then, that
the first Obstacle that stops us short is the Eternity of the World;
and the minds of men, not being able enough to conceive it, and being
no more able to imagine, that this great Universe, so lovely and so
well ordered, could have made it self, they have had their recourse
to Creation: But like to him that would leap into a River for fear of
being wet with Rain, they save themselves out of the Clutches of a
Dwarf, by running into the Arms of a Giant; and yet they are not safe
for all that: For that Eternity which they deny the World, because
they cannot comprehend it, they attribute it to God, as if he stood in
need of that Present, and as if it were easier to imagine it in the
one than in the other; for tell me, pray, was it ever yet conceived in
Nature, how Something can be made of Nothing? Alas! Betwixt Nothing
and an Atome only, there are such infinite Disproportions, that the
sharpest Wit could never dive into them; therefore to get out of this
inextricable Labyrinth, you must admit of a Matter Eternal with God:
But you'll say to me, grant I should allow you that Eternal Matter; how
could that Chaos dispose and order it self? That's the thing I am about
to explain to you.

"My little Animal, after you have mentally divided every little Visible
Body, into an infinite many little invisible Bodies; you must imagine,
That the infinite Universe consists only of these Atomes, which are
most solid, most incorruptible, and most simple; whose Figures are
partly Cubical, partly Parallelograms, partly Angular, partly Round,
partly Sharp-pointed, partly Pyramidal, partly Six-cornered, and partly
Oval; which act all severally, according to their Various Figures: And
to shew that it is so, put a very round Ivory Bowl upon a very smooth
place, and with the least touch you give it will be half a quarter of
an hour before it rest: Now I say, that if it were perfectly round,
as some of the Atomes I speak of are, and the Surface on which it is
put perfectly smooth, it would never rest. If Art then be capable of
inclining a Body to a perpetual Motion, why may we not believe that
Nature can do it? It's the same with the other Figures, of which the
Square requires a perpetual Rest, others an oblique Motion, others a
half Motion, as Trepidation; and the Round, whose Nature is to move,
joyning a Pyramidal, makes that, perhaps, which we call Fire; because
not only Fire is in continual Agitation, but also because it easily
penetrates: Besides, the Fire hath different effects, according to
the openings and quality of the Angles, when the round Figure is
joyned; for Example, The Fire of Pepper is another thing than the Fire
of Sugar, the Fire of Sugar differs from that of Cinnamon; that of
Cinnamon, from that of the Clove; and this from the Fire of a Faggot.
Now the Fire, which is the Architect of the parts and whole of the
Universe, hath driven together, and Congregated into an Oak, the
quantity of Figures which are necessary for the Composition of that Oak.

"But you'll say, how could Hazard congregate into one place all the
Figures that are necessary for the production of that Oak? I answer,
That it is no wonder that Matter so disposed should form an Oak, but
the wonder would have been greater, if the Matter being so disposed the
Oak had not been produced; had there been a few less of some Figures,
it would have been an Elm, a Poplar, a Willow; and fewer of 'em still,
it would have been the Sensitive Plant, an Oyster, a Worm, a Flie, a
Frog, a Sparrow, an Ape, a Man. If three Dice being flung upon a Table,
there happen a Raffle of two, or all;[2] a three, a four, and a five;
or two sixes, and a third in the bottom;[3] would you say, O strange!
that each Die should turn up such a chance, when there were so many
others. A Sequence of three hath happened, O strange! Two sixes turned
up, and the bottom of the third, O strange! I am sure that being a man
of Sense, you'll never make such Exclamations; for since there is but
a certain quantity of Numbers upon the Dice, it's impossible but some
of them must turn up; and you wonder, after that, how matter shuffled
together Pell-Mell, as Chance pleases, should make a Man, seeing so
many things were necessary for the Construction of his Being. You
know not then, that this Matter tending to the Fabrick of a Man hath
been a Million of times stopt in it's Progress for forming sometimes
a Stone, sometimes Lead, sometimes Coral, sometimes Flower, sometimes
a Comet; and all because of more or less Figures, that were required
for the framing of a Man: So that it is no greater wonder, if amongst
infinite Matters, which incessantly change and stir, some have hit upon
the construction of the few Animals, Vegetables, and Minerals which
we see, than if in a Hundred Casts of the Dice, one should throw a
Raffle: Nay, indeed, it is impossible, that in this hurling of things,
nothing should be produced; and yet this will be always admired[4] by
a Blockhead, who little knows how small a matter would have made it
to have been otherwise. When the great River of [Illustration bar 3]
makes a Mill to Grind, or guides the Wheels of a Clock, and the Brook
of [Illustration: bar 4] only runs, and sometimes absconds, you will
not say that that River hath a great deal of Wit, because you know that
it hath met with things disposed for producing such rare Feats; for
had not the Mill stood in the way, it would not have ground the Corn;
had it not met the Clock, it would not have marked the Hours: and if
the little Rivulet I speak of had met with the same Opportunities, it
would have wrought the very same Miracles. Just so it is with the Fire
that moves of it self; for finding Organs fit for the Act of Reasoning,
it Reasons; when it finds only such as are proper for Sensation, it
Sensates; and when such as are fit for Vegetation, it Vegetates. And to
prove it is so, put out but the Eyes of a Man, the Fire of whose Soul
makes him to see, and he will cease to see; just as our great Clock
will leave off to make the Hours, if the Movements of it be broken.

"In fine, these Primary and indivisible Atomes make a Circle, whereon
without difficulty move the most perplexed Difficulties of Natural
Philosophy; not so much as even the very Operation of the Senses, which
no Body hitherto hath been able to conceive, but I will easily explain
by these little Bodies. Let us begin with the Sight. It deserves, as
being the most incomprehensible, our first Essay.

[Sidenote: Operation of the Senses]

[5]"It is performed then, as I imagine, when the Tunicles of the Eye,
whose Pores resemble those of Glass, transmitting that fiery Dust which
is called Visual Rays, the same is stopt by some opacous Matter which
makes it recoil; and then, meeting in its retreat the Image of the
Object that forced it back, and that Image being but an infinite number
of little Bodies exhaled in an equal Superfice from the Object beheld,
it pursues it to our Eye: You'll not fail to Object, I know, that Glass
is an Opacous Body, and very Compact; and that nevertheless, instead of
reflecting other Bodies, it lets them pass through: But I answer, that
the Pores of Glass are shaped in the same Figure as those Atomes are
which pass through it; and as a Wheat-Sieve is not proper for Sifting
of Oats, nor an Oat-Sieve to Sift Wheat; so a Box of Deal-Board,
though it be thin and lets a sound go through it, is impenetrable to
the Sight; and a piece of Chrystal, though transparent and pervious to
the Eye, is not penetrable to the Touch."

I could not here forbear to interrupt him: "A great Poet and
Philosopher[6] of our World," said I, "hath after _Epicurus_ and
_Democritus_[7] spoken of these little Bodies, in the same manner
almost as you do; and therefore, you don't at all surprise me by that
Discourse: Only tell me, I pray, as you proceed, how, according to your
Principles, you'll explain to me the manner of drawing your Picture in
a Looking-Glass."

"That's very easie," replied he, "for imagine with your self, that
those Fires of our Eyes, having passed through the Glass and meeting
behind it an Opacous Body that reverberates them, they come back the
way they went; and finding those little Bodies marching in equal
Superfices upon the Glass, they repel them to our Eyes; and our
Imagination, hotter than the other Faculties of our Soul, attracts the
more subtile, wherewith it draws our Picture in little.

"It is as easie to conceive the Act of Hearing, and for _Brevities_
sake, let us only consider it in the Harmony of a Lute, touched by the
Hand of a Master. You'll ask me, How can it be, that I perceive at so
great a distance a thing which I do not see? Does there a Sponge go
out of my Ears, that drinks up that Musick, and brings it back with it
again? Or does the Player beget in my Head another little Musician,
with another little Lute, who has Orders like an Eccho to sing over
to me the same Airs? No; But that Miracle proceeds from this, that
the String touched, striking those little Bodies of which the Air is
composed, drives it gently into my Brain, with those little Corporeal
Nothings that sweetly pierce into it; and according as the String is
stretched, the Sound is high, because it more vigorously drives the
Atomes; and the Organ being thus penetrated, furnisheth the Fancy
wherewith to make a Representation; if too little, then our Memory not
having as yet finished its Image, we are forced to repeat the same
sound to it again; to the end it may take enough of Materials, which,
for Instance, the Measures of a _Saraband_[8] furnish it with, for
finishing the Picture of that _Saraband_; but that Operation is nothing
near so wonderful as those others, which by the help of the same Organ
excite us sometimes to Joy, sometimes to Anger.

"And this happens, when in that motion these little Bodies meet with
other little Bodies within us moving in the same manner, or whose
Figure renders them susceptible of the same Agitation; for then these
Newcomers stir up their Landlords to move as they do; & thus, when
a violent Air meets with the Fire of our Blood, it inclines it to the
same Motion, and animates it to a Sally, which is the thing we call
Heat of Courage; if the Sound be softer, and have only force enough
to raise a less Flame in greater Agitation, by leading it along the
Nerves, Membranes, and through the interstices of our Flesh it excites
that Tickling which is called Joy: And so it happens in the Ebullition
of the other Passions, according as these little Bodies are more or
less violently tossed upon us, according to the Motion they receive
by the rencounter of other Agitations, and according as they find
Dispositions in us for motion. So much for Hearing.

"Now, I think the Demonstration of Touching will be every whit as
easie, if we conceive that out of all palpable Matter there is a
perpetual Emission of little Bodies, and that the more we touch them,
the more evaporates; because we press them out of the Subject it self,
as Water out of a Sponge when we squeez it. The Hard make a report to
the Organ of their Hardness; the Soft, of their Softness; the Rough,
&c. And since this is so, we are not so quaint in Feeling with
Hands used to Labour, because of the Thickness of the Skin, which
being neither porous, nor animated, with difficulty transmits the
Evaporations of Matter. Some, perhaps, may desire to know where the
Organ of Touching has its Residence. For my part, I think it is spread
over all the Surface of the Body, seeing in all parts it feels: Yet
I imagine, that the nearer the Member, wherewith we touch, be to the
Head, the sooner we distinguish; which Experience convinces us of, when
with shut Eyes we handle any thing, for then we'll more easily guess
what it is; and if on the contrary we feel it with our hinder Feet,
it will be harder for us to know it: And the Reason is, because our
Skin being all over perforated, our Nerves, which are of no compacter
Matter, lose by the way a great many of those little Atomes through the
little Holes of their Contexture, before they reach the Brain, which
is their Journeys end: It remains, that I speak of the Smelling and

"Pray tell me, when I taste a Fruit, is it not because the Heat of my
Mouth melts it? Confess to me then, that there being Salts in a Pear,
and that they being separated by Dissolution into little Bodies of a
different Figure from those which make the Taste of an Apple, they must
needs pierce our Pallate in a very different manner: Just so as the
thrust of a Pike, that passes through me, is not like the Wound which
a Pistol-Bullet makes me feel with a sudden start; and as that Pistol
Bullet makes me suffer another sort of Pain than that of a Slug of

"I have nothing to say, as to the Smelling, seeing the Philosophers
themselves confess, that it is performed by a continual Emission of
little Bodies.

"Now upon the same Principle will I explain to you the Creation,
Harmony, and Influence of the Celestial Globes, with the immutable
Variety of Meteors."

He was about to proceed; but the Old Landlord coming in, made our
Philosopher think of withdrawing: He brought in Christals full of
Glow-worms, to light the Parlour; but seeing those little fiery Insects
lose much of their Light, when they are not fresh gathered, these which
were ten days old had hardly any at all. My Spirit stayed not till the
Company should complain of it, but went up to his Chamber, and came
immediately back again with two Bowls of Fire so Sparkling that all
wondred he burnt not his Fingers. "These incombustible Tapers," said
he, "will serve us better than your Week[9] of Worms. They are Rays of
the Sun, which I have purged from their Heat; otherwise, the corrosive
qualities of their Fire would have dazzled and offended your Eyes;
I have fixed their Light, and inclosed it within these transparent
Bowls.[10] That ought not to afford you any great Cause of Admiration;
for it is not harder for me, who am a Native of the Sun, to condense
his Beams, which are the Dust of that World, than it is for you to
gather the Atomes of the pulveriz'd Earth of this World."

Thereupon our Landlord sent a Servant to wait upon the Philosophers
home, it being then Night, with a dozen Globes of Glowworms hanging
at his four Legs. As for my Preceptor and my self, we went to rest,
by order of the Phisiognomist. He laid me that Night in a Chamber of
Violets and Lillies, [and] ordered me to be tickled after the usual

[1] _Part_ and _depart_ were interchangeable in the seventeenth
century. _Cf_. Shakspere, _Two Gentlemen of Verona_:

                 "But now he parted hence ";
    and, on the other hand, _King John_:

    "Hath willingly departed with a part" (= _given up_ a

[2] Two alike, or all three alike.

[3] Two sixes and a one.

[4] Wondered at.

[5] Notice that the basis of this discussion is the supposition that
the visual rays _start from the eye_.

[6] Lucretius.

[7] Democritus was the originator of the atomic theory.

[8] A lively Spanish dance-measure.

[9] Wick (_cf_. the Standard Dictionary). Some modern French editions
have "pelotons de verre," meaning "glass bulbs," but this is evidently
a mistake, since the seventeenth-century editions have _verres_, which
is their form, in all cases, for the modern _vers_. See also the first
meaning of _peloton_ in Littré.

[10] The incandescent electric light?


_Of the Books in the Moon, and their Fashion; of Death, Burial, and
Burning; of the Manner of telling the Time; and of_ Noses.

Next Morning about Nine a Clock, my Spirit came in, and told me that
he was come from Court, where [Illustration: bar 1] one of the Queens
Maids of Honour, had sent for him, and that she had enquired after me,
protesting that she still persisted in her Design to be as good as her
Word; that is, that with all her Heart she would follow me, if I would
take her along with me to the other World; "which exceedingly pleased
me," said he, "when I understood that the chief Motive which inclined
her to the Voyage, was to become Christian: And therefore, I have
promised to forward her Design, what lies in me; and for that end to
invent a Machine that may hold three or four, wherein you may mount to
day, both together, if you think fit. I'll go seriously set about the
performance of my Undertaking; and in the mean time, to entertain you,
during my Absence, I leave you here a Book, which heretofore I brought
with me from my Native Countrey; the Title of it is, _The States and
Empires of the Sun, with an Addition of the History of the Spark_.[1] I
also give you this, which I esteem much more; it is the great Work of
the Philosophers, composed by one of the greatest Wits of the Sun.[2]
He proves in it that all things are true, and shews the way of uniting
Physically the Truths of every Contradiction; as, for Example, That
White is Black, and Black White; that one may be, and not be at the
same time; that there may be a Mountain without a Valley; that nothing
is something, and that all things that are, are not; but observe,
that he proves all these unheard-of Paradoxes without any Captious or
Sophistical Argument."

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR'S FLYING MACHINE.--From a 17th Century

"When you are weary of Reading, you may Walk, or Converse with our
Landlord's Son, he has a very Charming Wit; but that which I dislike
in him is, that he is a little Atheistical. If he chance to Scandalize
you, or by any Argument shake your Faith, fail not immediately to come
and propose it to me, and I'll clear the Difficulties of it; any other,
but I, would enjoin you to break Company with him; but since he is
extreamly proud and conceited, I am certain he would take your flight
for a Defeat, and would believe your Faith to be grounded on no Reason,
if you refused to hear his."

Having said so, he left me; and no sooner was his back turned, but I
fell to consider attentively my Books and their Boxes, that's to say,
their Covers, which seemed to me to be wonderfully Rich; the one was
cut of a single Diamond, incomparably more resplendent than ours; the
second looked like a prodigious great Pearl, cloven in two. My Spirit
had translated those Books into the Language of that World; but because
I have none of their Print, I'll now explain to you the Fashion of
these two Volumes.

[Sidenote: Books in the Moon]

As I opened the Box, I found within somewhat of Metal, almost like to
our Clocks, full of I know not what little Springs and imperceptible
Engines: It was a Book, indeed; but a Strange and Wonderful Book, that
had neither Leaves nor Letters: In fine, it was a Book made wholly for
the Ears, and not the Eyes. So that when any Body has a mind to read in
it, he winds up that Machine with a great many Strings; then he turns
the Hand to the Chapter which he desires to hear, and straight, as from
the Mouth of a Man, or a Musical Instrument, proceed all the distinct
and different Sounds,[3] which the _Lunar_ Grandees make use of for
expressing their Thoughts, instead of Language.

When I since reflected on this Miraculous Invention, I no longer
wondred that the Young--Men of that Country were more knowing at
Sixteen or Eighteen years Old, than the Gray-Beards of our Climate;
for knowing how to Read as soon as Speak, they are never without
Lectures,[4] in their Chambers, their Walks, the Town, or Travelling;
they may have in their Pockets, or at their Girdles, Thirty of these
Books, where they need but wind up a Spring to hear a whole Chapter,
and so more, if they have a mind to hear the Book quite through; so
that you never want the Company of all the great Men, living and Dead,
who entertain you with Living Voices. This Present employed me about an
hour; and then hanging them to my Ears, like a pair of Pendants, I went
a Walking; but I was hardly at End of the Street when I met a Multitude
of People very Melancholy.

Four of them carried upon their Shoulders a kind of a Herse, covered
with Black: I asked a Spectator, what that Procession, like to a
Funeral in my Country, meant? He made me answer, that that naughty
[Illustration bar 2] called so by the People because of a knock he had
received upon the Right Knee, being convicted of Envy and Ingratitude,
died the day before; and that Twenty Years ago, the Parliament had
Condemned him to die in his Bed, and then to be interred after his
Death. I fell a Laughing at that Answer. And he asking me, why? "You
amaze me," said I, "that that which is counted a Blessing in our World,
as a long Life, a peaceable Death, and an Honourable Burial, should
pass here for an exemplary Punishment." "What, do you take a Burial for
a precious thing then," replyed that Man? "And, in good earnest, can
you conceive any thing more Horrid than a Corps crawling with Worms, at
the discretion of Toads which feed on his Cheeks; the Plague it self
Clothed with the Body of a Man? Good God! The very thought of having,
even when I am Dead, my Face wrapt up in a Shroud, and a Pike-depth of
Earth upon my Mouth, makes me I can hardly fetch breath. The Wretch
whom you see carried here, besides the disgrace of being thrown into
a Pit, hath been Condemned to be attended by an Hundred and Fifty
of his Friends; who are strictly charged, as a Punishment for their
having loved an envious and ungrateful Person, to appear with a sad
Countenance at his Funeral; and had it not been that the Judges took
some compassion of him, imputing his Crimes partly to his want of Wit,
they would have been commanded to Weep there also.

"All are Burnt here, except Malefactors: And, indeed, it is a most
rational and decent Custom: For we believe, that the Fire having
separated the pure from the impure, the Heat by Sympathy reassembles
the natural Heat which made the Soul, and gives it force to mount
up till it arrive at some Star, the Country of certain people more
immaterial and intellectual than us; because their Temper ought to suit
with, and participate of the Globe which they inhabit.

"However, this is not our neatest way of Burying neither; for when any
one of our Philosophers comes to an Age, wherein he finds his Wit begin
to decay, and the Ice of his years to numm the Motions of his Soul, he
invites all his Friends to a sumptuous Banquet; then having declared to
them the Reasons that move him to bid farewel to Nature, and the little
hopes he has of adding any thing more to his worthy Actions, they
shew him Favour; that's to say, they suffer him to Dye; or otherwise
are severe to him and command him to Live. When then, by plurality of
Voices, they have put his Life into his own Hands, he acquaints his
dearest Friends with the day and place. These purge, and for Four and
Twenty hours abstain from Eating; then being come to the House of the
Sage, and having Sacrificed to the Sun, they enter the Chamber where
the generous Philosopher waits for them on a Bed of State; every one
embraces him, and when it comes to his turn whom he loves best, having
kissed him affectionately, leaning upon his Bosom, and joyning Mouth to
Mouth, with his right hand he sheaths a Dagger in his Heart."

[Sidenote: Telling the Time]

I interrupted this Discourse, saying to him that told me all, That this
Manner of Acting much resembled the ways of some People of our World;
and so pursued my Walk, which was so long that when I came back Dinner
had been ready Two Hours. They asked me, why I came so late? It is not
my Fault, said I to the Cook, who complained: I asked what it was a
Clock several times in the Street, but they made me no answer but by
opening their Mouths, shutting their Teeth, and turning their Faces

"How," cried all the Company, "did not you know by that, that they
shewed you what it was a Clock?" "Faith," said I, "they might have
held their great Noses in the Sun long enough, before I had understood
what they meant." "It's a Commodity," said they, "that saves them the
Trouble of a Watch; for with their Teeth they make so true a Dial, that
when they would tell any Body the Hour of the day, they do no more but
open their Lips, and the shadow of that Nose, falling upon their Teeth,
like the Gnomon of a Sun-Dial, makes the precise time.

"Now that you may know the reason, why all People in this Country have
great Noses; as soon as a Woman is brought to Bed the Midwife carries
the Child to the _Master of the Seminary_; and exactly at the years
end, the Skillful being assembled, if his Nose prove shorter than the
standing Measure, which an Alderman keeps, he is judged to be a _Flat
Nose_, and delivered over to be gelt. You'll ask me, no doubt, the
Reason of that Barbarous Custom, and how it comes to pass that we,
amongst whom Virginity is a Crime, should enjoyn Continence by force;
but know that we do so, because after Thirty Ages experience we have
observed, that a great Nose is the mark of a Witty, Courteous, Affable,
Generous and Liberal Man; and that a little Nose is a Sign of the
contrary:[5] Wherefore of _Flat Noses_ we make Eunuchs, because the
Republick had rather have no Children at all than Children like them."

[Sidenote: Of Noses]

He was still a speaking, when I saw a man come in stark Naked; I
presently sat down and put on my Hat to shew him Honour, for these
are the greatest Marks of Respect, that can be shew'd to any in
that Country. "The Kingdom," said he, "desires you would give the
Magistrates notice, before you return to your own World; because
a Mathematician hath just now undertaken before the Council, that
provided when you are returned home, you would make a certain Machine,
that he'll teach you how to do; he'll attract your Globe, and joyn it
to this."

During all this Discourse we went on with our Dinner; and as soon as we
rose from Table, we went to take the Air in the Garden; where taking
Occasion to speak of the Generation and Conception of things, he said
to me, "You must know, that the Earth, converting it self into a Tree,
from a Tree into a Hog, and from a Hog into a Man, is an Argument that
all things in Nature aspire to be Men; since that is the most perfect
Being, as being a Quintessence, and the best devised Mixture in the
World; which alone unites the Animal and Rational Life into one. None
but a Pedant will deny me this, when we see that a Plumb-Tree, by the
Heat of its Germ, as by a Mouth, sucks in and digests the Earth that's
about it; that a Hog devours the Fruit of this Tree, and converts it
into the Substance of it self; and that a Man feeding on that Hog,
reconcocts that dead Flesh, unites it to himself, and makes that Animal
to revive under a more Noble Species. So the Man whom you see, perhaps
threescore years ago was no more but a Tuft of Grass in my Garden;
which is the more probable, that the Opinion of the _Pythagorean
Metamorphosis_, which so many Great Men maintain, in all likelyhood has
only reached us to engage us into an Enquiry after the truth of it; as,
in reality, we have found that Matter, and all that has a Vegetative
or Sensitive Life, when once it hath attained to the period of its
Perfection, wheels about again and descends into its Inanity, that it
may return upon the Stage and Act the same Parts over and over." I went
down extreamly satisfyed to the Garden, and was beginning to rehearse
to my Companion what our Master had taught me; when the Physiognomist
came to conduct us to Supper, and afterwards to Rest.

[1] Cyrano's own work. It is full of interesting matters, including
a trip through the country of the Birds, which offers many points of
comparison with Gulliver's Voyage to the country of the Houyhnhms.
Cyrano finally, under the guidance of Campanella, arrives at the land
of the Philosophers of the Sun (compare Swift's Laputa), where he meets
Descartes and Gassendi, as Gulliver does in the Laputan province of
Glubbdubdrib (Voyage to Laputa, chap. viii.).

Cyrano's machine for reaching the sun, depicted in the illustration
opposite, is best described in the words of M. Rostand's play, and
completes our parallels with all the six means of scaling the sky
which Cyrano there enumerates: "Or else, I could have let the wind
into a cedar coffer, then ratified the imprisoned element by means of
cunningly adjusted burning glasses, and soared up with it."

[2] Probably Campanella; cf. p. 78, n. 1. On his "great work," _cf_.
also p. 79, n. 1. (see note 12 and 13 chap. VII.)

[3] Is this an anticipation of the phonograph?

[4] _Readings_. Cf. Sir Thomas Browne: "In the lecture of Holy
Scripture, their apprehensions are commonly confined unto the literal
sense of the text."

[5] _Cf_. M. Rostand's _Cyrano de Bergerac_, act I. scene iv.:
"_Cyrano_. A great nose is properly the index of an affable, kindly,
courteous man, witty, liberal, brave, such as I am! and such as you are
forevermore precluded from supposing yourself, deplorable rogue!"


_Of Miracles; and of Curing by the Imagination._

Next Morning, so soon as I awoke, I went to call up my Antagonist. "It
is," said I, accosting him, "as great a Miracle to find a great Wit,
like yours, buried in Sleep, as to see Fire without Heat and Action:"
He bore with this ugly Compliment; "but," (cryed he, with a Cholerick
kind of Love) "will you never leave these Fabulous Terms? Know, that
these Names defame the Name of a Philosopher; and that seeing the wise
Man sees nothing in the World, but what he conceives, and judges may
be conceived, he ought to abhor all those Expressions of Prodigies,
and extraordinary Events of Nature, which Block heads have invented to
excuse the Weakness of their Understanding."

I thought my self then obliged in Conscience, to endeavour to undeceive
him; and therefore, said I, "Though you be very stiff and obstinate in
your Opinions, yet I have plainly seen supernatural Things happen:"
"Say you so," continued he; "you little know, that the force of
Imagination is able to cure all the Diseases which you attribute to
supernatural Causes, by reason of a certain natural Balsam, that
contains Qualities quite contrary to the qualities of the Diseases
that attack us; which happens, when our Imagination informed by Pain
searches in that place for the specifick Remedy, which it applies
to the Poison. That's the reason, why an able Physician of your
World advises the Patient to make use of an Ignorant Doctor whom he
esteems to be very knowing, rather than of a very Skilful Physician
whom he may imagine to be Ignorant; because he fancies, that our
Imagination labouring to recover our Health, provided it be assisted
by Remedies, is able to cure us; but that the strongest Medicines are
too weak, when not applied by Imagination. Do you think it strange,
that the first Men of your World lived so many Ages without the least
Knowledge of Physick? No. And what might have been the Cause of that,
in your judgement; unless their Nature was as yet in its force, and
that natural Balsam in vigour, before they were spoilt by the Drugs
wherewith Physicians consume you; it being enough then for the recovery
of ones Health, earnestly to wish for it, and to imagine himself cured:
So that their vigorous Fancies, plunging into that vital Oyl, extracted
the Elixir of it, and applying Actives to Passives, in almost the
twinkling of an Eye they found themselves as sound as before: Which,
notwithstanding the Depravation of Nature, happens even at this day,
though somewhat rarely; and is by the Multitude called a Miracle: For
my part, I believe not a jot on't, and have this to say for my self,
that it is easier for all these Doctors to be mistaken, than that the
other may not easily come to pass: For I put the Question to them;
A Patient recovered out of a Feaver, heartily desired, during his
sickness, as it is like, that he might be cured, and, may be, made
Vows for that effect; so that of necessity he must either have dyed,
continued sick, or recovered: Had he died, then would it have been
said, kind Heaven hath put an end to his Pains; Nay, and that according
to his Prayers, he was now cured of all Diseases, praised be the Lord:
Had his Sickness continued, one would have said, he wanted Faith;
but because he is cured, it's a Miracle forsooth. Is it not far more
likely, that his Fancy, being excited by violent Desires, hath done
its Duty and wrought the Cure? For grant he hath escaped, what then?
must it needs be a Miracle? How many have we seen, pray, and after many
solemn Vows and Protestations, go to pot with all their fair Promises
and Resolutions."

"But at least," replied I to him, "if what you say of that Balsam be
true, it is a mark of the Rationality of our Soul; seeing without the
help of our Reason, or the Concurrence of our Will, she Acts of her
self; as if being without us, she applied the Active to the Passive.
Now if being separated from us she is Rational, it necessarily follows
that she is Spiritual; and if you acknowledge her to be Spiritual, I
conclude she is immortal; seeing Death happens to Animals, only by the
changing of Forms, of which Matter alone is capable."

The Young Man at that, decently sitting down upon his Bed, and making
me also to sit, discoursed, as I remember, in this manner: "As for
the Soul of Beasts, which is Corporeal, I do not wonder they Die;
seeing the best Harmony of the four Qualities may be dissolved, the
greatest force of Blood quelled, and the loveliest Proportion of
Organs disconcerted; but I wonder very much, that our intellectual,
incorporeal, and immortal Soul should be constrained to dislodge and
leave us, by the same Cause that makes an Ox to perish. Hath she
covenanted with our Body, that as soon as he should receive a prick
with a Sword in the Heart, a Bullet in the Brain, or a Musket-shot
through the Chest, she should pack up and be gone? And if that Soul
were Spiritual, and of her self so Rational that being separated from
our Mass she understood as well as when Clothed with a Body; why cannot
Blind Men, born with all the fair advantages of that intellectual Soul,
imagine what it is to see? Is it because they are not as yet deprived
of Sight, by the Death of all their Senses? How! I cannot then make use
of my Right Hand, because I have a Left!

"And in fine, to make a just comparison which will overthrow all that
you have said; I shall only alledge to you a Painter, who cannot work
without his pencil: And I'll tell you, that it is just so with the
Soul, when she wants the use of the Senses. Yet they have the Soul,
which can only act imperfectly, because of the loss of one of her
Tools, in the course of Life, to be able then to work to Perfection,
when after our death she hath lost them all. If they tell me, over
and over again, that she needeth not these Instruments for performing
her Functions, I'll tell them e'en so, That then all the Blind about
the Streets ought to be Whipt at a Carts-Arse, for playing the
Counterfeits in pretending not to See a bit."

He would have gone on in such impertinent Arguments, had not I stopt
his Mouth, by desiring him to forbear, as he did for fear of a quarrel;
for he perceived I began to be in a heat: So that he departed, and left
me admiring the People of that World, amongst whom even the meanest
have Naturally so much Wit; whereas those of ours have so little, and
yet so dearly bought.


_Of the Author's Return to the Earth._

At length my Love for my Country took me off of the desire and thoughts
I had of staying there; I minded nothing now but to be gone; but I saw
so much impossibility in the matter, that it made me quite peevish and
melancholick. My Spirit observed it, and having asked me, What was
the reason that my Humor was so much altered? I frankly told him the
Cause of my Melancholy; but he made me such fair Promises concerning my
Return, that I relied wholly upon him. I acquainted the Council with my
design; who sent for me, and made me take an Oath, that I should relate
in our World, all that I had seen in that. My Passports then were
expeded, and my Spirit having made necessary Provisions for so long
a Voyage, asked me, What part of my Country I desired to light in? I
told him, that since most of the Rich Youths of _Paris_, once in their
life time, made a Journey to _Rome_; imagining after that that there
remained no more worth the doing or seeing; I prayed him to be so good
as to let me imitate them.

"But withal," said I, "in what Machine shall we perform the Voyage, and
what Orders do you think the Mathematician, who talked t'other day of
joyning this Globe to ours, will give me?" "As to the Mathematician,"
said he, "let that be no hinderance to you; for he is a Man who
promises much, and performs little or nothing. And as to the Machine
that's to carry you back, it shall be the same which brought you to
Court." "How," said I, "will the Air become as solid as the Earth, to
bear your steps? I cannot believe that." "And it is strange," replied
he, "that you should believe, and not believe. Pray why should the
Witches of your World, who march in the Air, and conduct whole Armies
of Hail, Snow, Rain, and other Meteors, from one Province into another,
have more Power than we? Pray have a little better opinion of me, than
to think I would impose upon you." "The truth is," said I, "I have
received so many good Offices from you, as well as _Socrates_, and the
rest, for whom you have [had] so great kindness, that I dare trust my
self in your hands, as now I do, resigning my self heartily up to you."

I had no sooner said the word, but he rose like a Whirlwind, and
holding me between his Arms, without the least uneasiness he made me
pass that vast space which Astronomers reckon betwixt the Moon and
us, in a day and a halfs time; which convinced me that they tell a
Lye who say that a Millstone would be Three Hundred Threescore, and
I know not how many years more, in falling from Heaven, since I was
so short a while in dropping down from the Globe of the Moon upon
this. At length, about the beginning of the Second day, I perceived I
was drawing near our World; since I could already distinguish Europe
from Africa, and both from Asia; when I smelt Brimstone which I saw
steaming out of a very high Mountain,[1] that incommoded me so much
that I fainted away upon it.

I cannot tell what befel me afterwards; but coming to my self again,
I found I was amongst Briers on the side of a Hill, amidst some
Shepherds, who spoke _Italian_. I knew not what was become of my
Spirit, and I asked the Shepherds if they had not seen him. At that
word they made the sign of the Cross, and looked upon me as if I had
been a Devil my self: But when I told them that I was a Christian,
and that I begg'd the Charity of them, that they would lead me to
some place where I might take a little rest; they conducted me into a
Village, about a Mile off; where no sooner was I come but all the Dogs
of the place, from the least Cur to the biggest Mastiff, flew upon me,
and had torn me to pieces, if I had not found a House wherein I saved
my self: But that hindered them not to continue their Barking and
Bawling, so that the Master of the House began to look upon me with
an Evil Eye; and really I think, as people are very apprehensive when
Accidents which they look upon to be ominous happen, that man could
have delivered me up as a Prey to these accursed Beasts, had not I
bethought my self that that which madded them so much at me, was the
World from whence I came; because being accustomed to bark at the Moon,
they smelt I was come from thence, by the scent of my Cloaths, which
stuck to me as a Sea-smell hangs about those who have been long on
Ship-board, for some time after they come ashore. To Air myself then,
I lay three or four hours in the Sun, upon a Terrass-walk; and being
afterwards come down, the Dogs, who smelt no more that influence which
had made me their Enemy, left barking, and peaceably went to their
several homes.

Next day I parted for _Rome_, where I saw the ruins of the Triumphs of
some great men, as well as of Ages: I admired those lovely Relicks;
and the Repairs of some of them made by the Modern. At length, having
stayed there a fortnight in Company of _Monsieur de Cyrano_ my Cousin,
who advanced me Money for my Return, I went to _Civita vecchia_, and
embarked in a Galley that carried me to _Marseilles_.

During all this Voyage, my mind run upon nothing but the Wonders of
the last I made. At that time I began the Memoires of it; and after my
return, put them into as good order, as Sickness, which confines me
to Bed, would permit. But foreseeing, that it will put an end to all
my Studies, and Travels;[2] that I may be as good as my word to the
Council of that World; I have begg'd of _Monsieur le Bret_, my dearest
and most constant Friend, that he would publish them with the History
of the _Republick of the Sun_, that of the _Spark_, and some other
Pieces of my Composing, if those who have Stolen them from us restore
them to him, as I earnestly adjure them to do.[3]

[1] Vesuvius.

[2] Fr., "travaux," _i.e._, old English _Travails_.

[3] The Manuscript of the _Bibliothèque Nationale_ ends differently:
"I enquired at the port when a ship would leave for France. And when I
was embarked, my mind ran upon nothing but the Wonders of my Voyage.
I admired a thousand times the Providence of God who had set apart
these naturally Infidel men in a place by themselves where they could
not corrupt his Beloved; and had punished them for their pride by
abandoning them to their own self-sufficiency. Likewise I doubt not
that he has put off till now the sending of any to preach the Gospel to
them, for the very reason that he knew they would receive it ill; and
so, hardening their hearts, it would serve but to make them deserve the
harsher punishment in the world to come."

This is very likely the original ending of the work as it was
circulated in Manuscript between 1649 and 1655. In any case, the
particular thrust-and-parry used here is a favorite stroke with the
"libertins" of the epoch in their duels against "Les Préjugés." "These
are not my opinions and arguments," they say; "Heaven forbid!... They
only express the ideas of my characters which of course I abhor." At
the same time the arguments have been stated, which was the object in
view. Cyrano has several times used this method already, notably at the
end of Chapter xvi.

The ending in the text above, that of all the editions, may have been
substituted by Cyrano himself during his last illness.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Voyage to the Moon" ***

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