has ever mentioned my name.
But to return. A small circular window, made of a single piece of thick clear glass, was neatly fitted on each of the six sides. Several pieces of lead were securely fastened to screws which passed through the bottom of the machine; as well as a thick plank. The screws were so contrived, that by turning them in one direction, the pieces of lead attached to them were immediately disengaged from the hooks with which they were connected. The pieces of lunarium were fastened in like manner to screws, which passed through the top of the machine; so that by turning them in one direction, those metallic pieces would fly into the air with the velocity of a rocket. The Brahmin took with him a thermometer, two telescopes, one of which projected through the top of the machine, and the other through the bottom; a phosphoric lamp, pen, ink, and paper, and some light refreshments sufficient to supply us for some days.
The moon was then in her third quarter, and near the zenith: it was, of course, a little after midnight, and when the coppersmith and his family were in their soundest sleep, that we entered the machine. In about an hour more we had the doors secured, and every thing arranged in its place, when, cutting the cords which fastened us to the ground, by means of small steel blades which worked in the ends of other screws, we rose from the earth with a whizzing sound, and a sensation at first of very rapid ascent: but after a short time, we were scarcely sensible of any motion in the machine, except when we changed our places.
The ardent curiosity I had felt to behold the wonderful things which the Brahmin related, and the hope of returning soon to my children and native country, had made me most impatient for the moment of departure; during which time the hazards and difficulties of the voyage were entirely overlooked: but now that the moment of execution had arrived, and I found myself shut up in this small chest, and about to enter on a voyage so new, so strange, and beset with such a variety of dangers, I will not deny that my courage failed me, and I would gladly have compromised to return to Mozaun, and remain there quietly all the rest of my days. But shame restrained me, and I dissembled my emotions.
At our first shock on leaving the earth, my fears were at their height; but after about two hours, I had tolerably well regained my composure, to which the returning light of day greatly contributed. By this time we had a full view of the rising sun, pouring a flood of light over one half of the circular landscape below us, and leaving the rest in shade. While those natural objects, the rivers and mountains, land and sea, were fast receding from our view, our horizon kept gradually extending as we mounted: but ere 10 o'clock this effect ceased, and the broad disc of the earth began sensibly to diminish.
It is impossible to describe my sensations of mingled awe and admiration at the splendid spectacle beneath me, so long as the different portions of the earth's surface were plainly distinguishable. The novelty of the situation in which I found myself, as well as its danger, prevented me indeed at first from giving more than a passing attention to the magnificent scene; but after a while, encouraged by the Brahmin's exhortation, and yet more by the example of his calm and assured air, I was able to take a more leisurely view of it. At first, as we partook of the diurnal motion of the earth, and our course was consequently oblique, the same portion of the globe from which we had set out, continued directly under us; and as the eye stretched in every direction over Asia and its seas, continents and islands, they appeared like pieces of green velvet, the surrounding ocean like a mirror, and the Ganges, the Hoogley, and the great rivers of China, like threads of silver.
About 11 o'clock it was necessary to get a fresh supply of air, when my companion cautiously turned one of the two stop-cocks to let out that which was no longer fit for respiration, requesting me, at the same time, to turn the other, to let in a fresh supply of condensed air; but being awkward in the first attempt to follow his directions, I was so affected by the exhaustion of the air through the vent now made for it, that I fainted; and having, at the same time, given freer passage to the condensed air than I ought, we must in a few seconds have lost our supply, and thus have inevitably perished, had not the watchful Hermit seen the mischief, and repaired it almost as soon as it occurred. This accident, and the various agitations my mind had undergone in the course of the day, so overpowered me, that at an early hour in the afternoon I fell into a profound sleep, and did not awake again for eight hours.
While I slept, the good Brahmin had contrived to manage both stop-cocks himself. The time of my waking would have been about 11 o'clock at night, if we had continued on the earth; but we were now in a region where there was no alternation of day and night, but one unvarying cloudless sun. Its heat, however, was not in proportion to its brightness; for we found that after we had ascended a few miles from the earth, it was becoming much colder, and the Brahmin had recourse to a chemical process for evolving heat, which soon made us comfortable: but after we were fairly in the great aerial void, the temperature of our machine showed no tendency to change.
The sensations caused by the novelty of my situation, at first checked those lively and varied trains of thought which the bird's-eye view of so many countries passing in review before us, was calculated to excite: yet, after I had become more familiar with it, I contemplated the beautiful exhibition with inexpressible delight. Besides, a glass of cordial, as well as the calm, confiding air of the Brahmin, contributed to restore me to my self-possession. The reader will recollect, that although our motion, at first, partook of that of the earth's on its axis, and although the positive effect was the same on our course, the relative effect was less and less as we ascended, and consequently, that after a certain height, every part of the terraqueous globe would present itself to our view in succession, as we rapidly receded from it. At 9 o'clock, the whole of India was a little to the west of us, and we saw, as in a map, that fertile and populous region, which has been so strangely reduced to subjection, by a company of merchants belonging to a country on the opposite side of the globe—a country not equal to one-fourth of it, in extent or population. Its rivers were like small filaments of silver; the Red Sea resembled a narrow plate of the same metal. The peninsula of India was of a darker, and Arabia of a light and more grayish green.
The sun's rays striking obliquely on the Atlantic, emitted an effulgence that was dazzling to the eyes. For two or three hours the appearance of the earth did not greatly vary, the wider extent of surface we could survey, compensating for our greater distance; and indeed at that time we could not see the whole horizon, without putting our eyes close to the glass.
When the Brahmin saw that I had overcome my first surprise, and had acquired somewhat of his own composure, he manifested a disposition to beguile the time with conversation. "Look through the telescope," said he, "a little from the sun, and observe the continent of Africa, which is presenting itself to our view." I took a hasty glance over it, and perceived that its northern edge was fringed with green; then a dull white belt marked the great Sahara, or Desert, and then it exhibited a deep green again, to its most southern extremity. I tried in vain to discover the pyramids, for our telescope had not sufficient power to show them.
I observed to him, that less was known of this continent than of the others: that a spirit of lively curiosity had been excited by the