The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 66

that is required, man's
ingenuity would ultimately prove equal to the task, and we might have
them of any size demanded. But, unhappily, in proportion to the increase
of size in the lens, and consequently of space-penetrating power, is the
diminution of light from the object, by diffusion of its rays. And for
this evil there is no remedy within human ability; for an object is seen
by means of that light alone which proceeds from itself, whether direct
or reflected. Thus the only "artificial" light which could avail
Mr. Locke, would be some artificial light which he should be able to
throw-not upon the "focal object of vision," but upon the real object
to be viewed-to wit: upon the moon. It has been easily calculated that,
when the light proceeding from a star becomes so diffused as to be as
weak as the natural light proceeding from the whole of the stars, in
a clear and moonless night, then the star is no longer visible for any
practical purpose.

The Earl of Ross's telescope, lately constructed in England, has
a _speculum_ with a reflecting surface of 4,071 square inches; the
Herschel telescope having one of only 1,811. The metal of the Earl of
Ross's is 6 feet diameter; it is 5 1/2 inches thick at the edges, and 5
at the centre. The weight is 3 tons. The focal length is 50 feet.

I have lately read a singular and somewhat ingenious little book, whose
title-page runs thus: "L'Homme dans la lvne ou le Voyage Chimerique
fait au Monde de la Lvne, nouellement decouvert par Dominique Gonzales,
Aduanturier Espagnol, autremet dit le Courier volant. Mis en notre
langve par J. B. D. A. Paris, chez Francois Piot, pres la Fontaine de
Saint Benoist. Et chez J. Goignard, au premier pilier de la grand'salle
du Palais, proche les Consultations, MDCXLVII." Pp. 76.

The writer professes to have translated his work from the English of one
Mr. D'Avisson (Davidson?) although there is a terrible ambiguity in the
statement. "J' en ai eu," says he "l'original de Monsieur D'Avisson,
medecin des mieux versez qui soient aujourd'huy dans la cõnoissance des
Belles Lettres, et sur tout de la Philosophic Naturelle. Je lui ai cette
obligation entre les autres, de m' auoir non seulement mis en main
cc Livre en anglois, mais encore le Manuscrit du Sieur Thomas D'Anan,
gentilhomme Eccossois, recommandable pour sa vertu, sur la version
duquel j' advoue que j' ay tiré le plan de la mienne."

After some irrelevant adventures, much in the manner of Gil Blas, and
which occupy the first thirty pages, the author relates

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