The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 68

they seem to the inhabitants
of the earth. The moon, which wanted two days of being full, was of a
terrible bigness.

"I must not forget here, that the stars appeared only on that side
of the globe turned toward the moon, and that the closer they were to it
the larger they seemed. I have also to inform you that, whether it was
calm weather or stormy, I found myself _always immediately between the
moon and the earth._ I_ _was convinced of this for two reasons-because
my birds always flew in a straight line; and because whenever we
attempted to rest, _we were carried insensibly around the globe of the
earth. _For I admit the opinion of Copernicus, who maintains that it
never ceases to revolve _from the east to the west, _not upon the poles
of the Equinoctial, commonly called the poles of the world, but upon
those of the Zodiac, a question of which I propose to speak more at
length here-after, when I shall have leisure to refresh my memory in
regard to the astrology which I learned at Salamanca when young, and
have since forgotten."

Notwithstanding the blunders italicized, the book is not without
some claim to attention, as affording a naive specimen of the current
astronomical notions of the time. One of these assumed, that the
"gravitating power" extended but a short distance from the earth's
surface, and, accordingly, we find our voyager "carried insensibly
around the globe," etc.

There have been other "voyages to the moon," but none of higher merit
than the one just mentioned. That of Bergerac is utterly meaningless. In
the third volume of the "American Quarterly Review" will be found
quite an elaborate criticism upon a certain "journey" of the kind in
question--a criticism in which it is difficult to say whether the critic
most exposes the stupidity of the book, or his own absurd ignorance of
astronomy. I forget the title of the work; but the _means _of the voyage
are more deplorably ill conceived than are even the _ganzas _of our
friend the Signor Gonzales. The adventurer, in digging the earth,
happens to discover a peculiar metal for which the moon has a strong
attraction, and straightway constructs of it a box, which, when cast
loose from its terrestrial fastenings, flies with him, forthwith, to
the satellite. The "Flight of Thomas O'Rourke," is a _jeu d' esprit _not
altogether contemptible, and has been translated into German. Thomas,
the hero, was, in fact, the gamekeeper of an Irish peer, whose
eccentricities gave rise to the tale. The "flight" is made on an eagle's
back, from Hungry

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven Edition Table Of Contents And Index Of The Five Volumes

Page 0
TO MARIE LOUISE (SHEW) TO MARIE LOUISE (SHEW) THE CITY IN THE SEA.
Page 1
GORDON PYM HOP-FROG THE IMP OF THE PERVERSE THE ISLAND OF THE FAY A TALE OF JERUSALEM KING PEST.