From the Earth to the Moon, Direct in Ninety-Seven Hours and Twenty Minutes: and a Trip Round It

From the Earth to the Moon, Direct in Ninety-Seven Hours and Twenty Minutes: and a Trip Round It

Author:
Jules Verne
Author:
Jules Verne
Format:
epub
language:
English

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Author: Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Science fiction
Space flight to the moon — Fiction
Herodotus. History
Space ships — Fiction
Manned space flight — Fiction
From the Earth to the Moon, Direct in Ninety-Seven Hours and Twenty Minutes: and a Trip Round It

E-text prepared by by an anonymous volunteer
from page images generously made available by
Internet Archive
(https://archive.org)

 

 


 

Frontispiece. PROJECTILE TRAINS FOR THE MOON.
FROM THE

EARTH TO THE MOON,

DIRECT IN NINETY-SEVEN HOURS
AND TWENTY MINUTES:

AND A TRIP ROUND IT:
by
JULES VERNE,
Author of “A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.”
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH
by
LOUIS MERCIER, M.A., (Oxon,) and ELEANOR E. KING.
———
WITH EIGHTY FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.
———
NEW YORK:
SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG & COMPANY.
1874.
BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
—————————
A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
With 53 Illustrations. One Vol. 12mo, $2.00.

CONTENTS

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
ROUND THE MOON.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
CHAPTER I.
THE GUN CLUB

CHAPTER II.
PRESIDENT BARBICANE’S COMMUNICATION

CHAPTER III.
EFFECT OF THE PRESIDENT’S COMMUNICATION

CHAPTER IV.
REPLY FROM THE OBSERVATORY OF CAMBRIDGE

CHAPTER V.
THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON

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

CHAPTER VII.
THE HYMN OF THE CANNON-BALL

CHAPTER VIII.
HISTORY OF THE CANNON

CHAPTER IX.
THE QUESTION OF THE POWDERS

CHAPTER X.
ONE ENEMY v. TWENTY-FIVE MILLIONS OF FRIENDS

CHAPTER XI.
FLORIDA AND TEXAS

CHAPTER XII.
URBI ET ORBI

CHAPTER XIII.
STONES HILL

CHAPTER XIV.
PICKAXE AND TROWEL

CHAPTER XV.
THE FÊTE OF THE CASTING

CHAPTER XVI.
THE COLUMBIAD

CHAPTER XVII.
A TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCH

CHAPTER XVIII.
THE PASSENGER OF THE “ATLANTA”

CHAPTER XIX.
A MONSTER MEETING

CHAPTER XX.
ATTACK AND RIPOSTE

CHAPTER XXI.
HOW A FRENCHMAN MANAGES AN AFFAIR

CHAPTER XXII.
THE NEW CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES

CHAPTER XXIII.
THE PROJECTILE-VEHICLE

CHAPTER XXIV.
THE TELESCOPE OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS

CHAPTER XXV.
FINAL DETAILS

CHAPTER XXVI.
FIRE!

CHAPTER XXVII.
FOUL WEATHER

CHAPTER XXVIII.
A NEW STAR

ROUND THE MOON
PRELIMINARY CHAPTER
RECAPITULATORY

CHAPTER I.
FROM TWENTY MINUTES PAST TEN TO FORTY-SEVEN MINUTES PAST TEN P.M.

CHAPTER II.
THE FIRST HALF-HOUR

CHAPTER III.
THEIR PLACE OF SHELTER

CHAPTER IV.
A LITTLE ALGEBRA

CHAPTER V.
THE COLD OF SPACE

CHAPTER VI.
QUESTION AND ANSWER

CHAPTER VII.
A MOMENT OF INTOXICATION

CHAPTER VIII.
AT SEVENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN LEAGUES

CHAPTER IX.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DEVIATION

CHAPTER X.
THE OBSERVERS OF THE MOON

CHAPTER XI.
FANCY AND REALITY

CHAPTER XII.
OROGRAPHIC DETAILS

CHAPTER XIII.
LUNAR LANDSCAPES

CHAPTER XIV.
THE NIGHT OF THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR HOURS AND A HALF

CHAPTER XV.
HYPERBOLA OR PARABOLA

CHAPTER XVI.
THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

CHAPTER XVII.
TYCHO

CHAPTER XVIII.
GRAVE QUESTIONS

CHAPTER XIX.
A STRUGGLE AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE

CHAPTER XX.
THE SOUNDINGS OF THE “SUSQUEHANNA”

CHAPTER XXI.
J. T. MASTON RECALLED

CHAPTER XXII.
RECOVERED FROM THE SEA

CHAPTER XXIII.
THE END

———

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.

———

ROUND THE MOON.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

 

The Artillery-men of the Gun Club
President Barbicane
Meeting of the Gun Club
The Torchlight Procession
Cambridge Observatory
The Moon’s Disc
Barbicane holds forth
The Rodman Columbiad
Cannon at Malta in the time of the Knights
Ideal Sketch of J. T. Maston’s Gun
The invention of Gunpowder by the Monk Schwartz
Captain Nicholl
Nicholl published a number of Letters in the Newspapers
It became necessary to keep an eye upon the Deputies
The Subscription was opened
The Manufactory at Coldspring, near New York
Tampa Town, previous to the undertaking
They were compelled to ford several Rivers
The Work progressed regularly
The Casting
Tampa Town, after the undertaking
The Banquet in the Columbiad
President Barbicane at his Window
Michel Ardan
The Meeting
Projectile Trains for the Moon
Attack and Riposte
The Platform was suddenly carried away
Maston burst into the Room
In the midst of this Snare was a poor little Bird
“Go with me, and see whether we are stopped on our journey”
The Cat taken out of the Shell
The Arrival of the Projectile at Stones Hill
J. T. Maston had grown fat
The Telescope of the Rocky Mountains
The Interior of the Projectile
An innumerable Multitude covered the Prairie round Stones Hill
Fire!!
Effect of the Explosion
The Director at his Post
The Gas caught fire
Diana and Satellite
The courageous Frenchman
They raised Barbicane
It was an enormous Disc
They gave her a pie
The Sun chose to be of the party
Ardan plunged his hand rapidly into certain mysterious boxes
“Do I understand it?” cried Ardan; “my head is splitting with it”.
Satellite was thrown out
It was the Body of Satellite
“I could have ventured out on the top of the Projectile”
They struck up a frantic dance
“The Oxygen!” he exclaimed
“Ah! if Raphael had seen us thus”
The Telescope at Parsonstown
How many people have heard speak of the Moon!
“This plain would then be nothing but an immense Cemetery”
“What Giant Oxen!”
He could distinguish nothing but Desert Beds
“It is the fault of the Moon”
Nothing could equal the splendour of this starry world
“The vapour of our breath will fall in snow around us”
A Discussion arose
A Prey to frightful Terror
What a sight!
“The Sun!”
“Light and Heat; all Life is contained in them”
He distinguished all this
Can you picture to yourselves
A violent Contraction of the Lunar Crust
Around the Projectile were the Objects which had been thrown out
“These practical people have sometimes most inopportune ideas”
Ardan applied the lighted Match
“I fancy I see them”
A few feet nearer
The unfortunate man had disappeared
The Descent began
“White all, Barbicane”
The Apotheosis was worthy of the three Heroes

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.
———

CHAPTER I.

THE GUN CLUB.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gun Club once founded, it is easy to conceive the result of the inventive genius of the Americans. Their military weapons attained colossal proportions, and their projectiles, exceeding the prescribed limits, unfortunately occasionally cut in two some unoffending pedestrians. These inventions, in fact, left far in the rear the timid instruments of European artillery.

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

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

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

Some few of the more advanced and inveterate theorists set themselves again to work upon calculations regarding the laws of projectiles. They reverted invariably to gigantic shells and howitzers of unparalleled calibre. Still, in default of practical experience what was the value of mere theories? Consequently, the club-rooms became deserted, the servants dozed in the antechambers, the newspapers grew mouldy on the tables, sounds of snoring came from dark corners, and the members of the Gun Club, erstwhile so noisy in their seances, were reduced to silence by this disastrous peace and gave themselves up wholly to dreams of a Platonic kind of artillery.

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

“Those days are gone by,” said jolly Bilsby, trying to extend his missing arms. “It was delightful once upon a time! One invented a gun, and hardly was it cast, when one hastened to try it in the face of the enemy! Then one returned to camp with a word of encouragement from Sherman or a friendly shake of the hand from M’Clellan. But now the generals are gone back to their counters; and in place of projectiles, they despatch bales of cotton. By Jove, the future of gunnery in America is lost!”

“Ay! and no war in prospect!” continued the famous James T. Maston, scratching with his steel hook his gutta-percha cranium. “Not a cloud in the horizon! and that too at such a critical period in the progress of the science of artillery! Yes, gentlemen! I who address you have myself this very morning perfected a model (plan, section, elevation, &c.) of a mortar destined to change all the conditions of warfare!”

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

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