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From the Earth to the Moon; and, Round the Moon

Jules Verne

  Produced by Rich Schroeppel



  Jules Verne

  Table of Contents

  I. The Gun Club II. President Barbicane's Communication III. Effect of the President's Communication IV. Reply From the Observatory of Cambridge V. The Romance of the Moon VI. The Permissive Limits of Ignorance and Belief in the United States VII. The Hymn of the Cannon-Ball VIII. History of the Cannon IX. The Question of the Powders X. One Enemy _V._ Twenty-Five Millions of Friends XI. Florida and Texas XII. Urbi et Orbi XIII. Stones Hill XIV. Pickaxe and Trowel XV. The Fete of the Casting XVI. The Columbiad XVII. A Telegraphic Dispatch XVIII. The Passenger of the Atlanta XIX. A Monster Meeting XX. Attack and Riposte XXI. How A Frenchman Manages An Affair XXII. The New Citizen of the United States XXIII. The Projectile-Vehicle XXIV. The Telescope of the Rocky Mountains XXV. Final Details XXVI. Fire! XXVII. Foul WeatherXXVIII. A New Star


  Preliminary Chapter-- Recapitulating the First Part of This Work, and Serving as a Preface to the Second

  I. From Twenty Minutes Past Ten to Forty-Seven Minutes Past Ten P. M. II. The First Half Hour III. Their Place of Shelter IV. A Little Algebra V. The Cold of Space VI. Question and Answer VII. A Moment of Intoxication VIII. At Seventy-Eight Thousand Five Hundred and Fourteen Leagues IX. The Consequences of A Deviation X. The Observers of the Moon XI. Fancy and Reality XII. Orographic Details XIII. Lunar Landscapes XIV. The Night of Three Hundred and Fifty-Four Hours and A Half XV. Hyperbola or Parabola XVI. The Southern Hemisphere XVII. Tycho XVIII. Grave Questions XIX. A Struggle Against the Impossible XX. The Soundings of the Susquehanna XXI. J. T. Maston Recalled XXII. Recovered From the Sea XXIII. The End




  During the War of the Rebellion, a new and influential club wasestablished in the city of Baltimore in the State of Maryland.It is well known with what energy the taste for military mattersbecame developed among that nation of ship-owners, shopkeepers,and mechanics. Simple tradesmen jumped their counters to becomeextemporized captains, colonels, and generals, without havingever passed the School of Instruction at West Point;nevertheless; they quickly rivaled their compeers of the oldcontinent, and, like them, carried off victories by dint oflavish expenditure in ammunition, money, and men.

  But the point in which the Americans singularly distanced theEuropeans was in the science of gunnery. Not, indeed, thattheir weapons retained a higher degree of perfection thantheirs, but that they exhibited unheard-of dimensions, andconsequently attained hitherto unheard-of ranges. In point ofgrazing, plunging, oblique, or enfilading, or point-blankfiring, the English, French, and Prussians have nothing tolearn; but their cannon, howitzers, and mortars are merepocket-pistols compared with the formidable engines of theAmerican artillery.

  This fact need surprise no one. The Yankees, the firstmechanicians in the world, are engineers-- just as the Italiansare musicians and the Germans metaphysicians-- by right of birth.Nothing is more natural, therefore, than to perceive themapplying 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 bowbefore their transatlantic rivals.

  Now when an American has an idea, he directly seeks a secondAmerican to share it. If there be three, they elect a presidentand two secretaries. Given four, they name a keeper of records,and the office is ready for work; five, they convene a generalmeeting, and the club is fully constituted. So things weremanaged in Baltimore. The inventor of a new cannon associatedhimself with the caster and the borer. Thus was formed thenucleus of the "Gun Club." In a single month after its formationit numbered 1,833 effective members and 30,565 corresponding members.

  One condition was imposed as a _sine qua non_ upon everycandidate for admission into the association, and that was thecondition of having designed, or (more or less) perfected acannon; or, in default of a cannon, at least a firearm ofsome description. It may, however, be mentioned that mereinventors of revolvers, fire-shooting carbines, and similarsmall arms, met with little consideration. Artillerists alwayscommanded the chief place of favor.

  The estimation in which these gentlemen were held, according toone of the most scientific exponents of the Gun Club, was"proportional to the masses of their guns, and in the directratio of the square of the distances attained by their projectiles."

  The Gun Club once founded, it is easy to conceive the result ofthe inventive genius of the Americans. Their military weaponsattained colossal proportions, and their projectiles, exceedingthe prescribed limits, unfortunately occasionally cut in twosome unoffending pedestrians. These inventions, in fact, leftfar in the rear the timid instruments of European artillery.

  It is but fair to add that these Yankees, brave as they haveever proved themselves to be, did not confine themselves totheories and formulae, but that they paid heavily, _in propriapersona_, for their inventions. Among them were to be countedofficers of all ranks, from lieutenants to generals; militarymen of every age, from those who were just making their _debut_in the profession of arms up to those who had grown old in thegun-carriage. Many had found their rest on the field of battlewhose names figured in the "Book of Honor" of the Gun Club; andof those who made good their return the greater proportion borethe marks of their indisputable valor. Crutches, wooden legs,artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc jaws, silver craniums,platinum noses, were all to be found in the collection; and itwas calculated by the great statistician Pitcairn that throughoutthe Gun Club there was not quite one arm between four personsand two legs between six.

  Nevertheless, these valiant artillerists took no particularaccount of these little facts, and felt justly proud when thedespatches of a battle returned the number of victims atten-fold the quantity of projectiles expended.

  One day, however-- sad and melancholy day!-- peace was signedbetween the survivors of the war; the thunder of the gunsgradually ceased, the mortars were silent, the howitzers weremuzzled for an indefinite period, the cannon, with muzzlesdepressed, were returned into the arsenal, the shot wererepiled, all bloody reminiscences were effaced; thecotton-plants grew luxuriantly in the well-manured fields, allmourning garments were laid aside, together with grief; and theGun Club was relegated to profound inactivity.

  Some few of the more advanced and inveterate theorists setthemselves again to work upon calculations regarding the lawsof projectiles. They reverted invariably to gigantic shellsand howitzers of unparalleled caliber. Still in default ofpractical experience what was the value of mere theories?Consequently, the clubrooms became deserted, the servants dozedin the antechambers, the newspapers grew mouldy on the tables,sounds of snoring came from dark corners, and the members of theGun Club, erstwhile so noisy in their seances, were reduced tosilence by this disastrous peace and gave themselves up whollyto dreams of a Platonic kind of artillery.

  "This is horrible!" said Tom Hunter one evening, while rapidlycarbonizing his wooden legs in the fireplace of thesmoking-room; "nothing to do! nothing to look forward to! whata loathsome existence! When again shall the guns arouse us inthe morning with their delightful reports?"

  "Those days are gone by," said jolly Bilsby, trying to extendhis missing arms. "It was delightful once upon a time!One invented a gun, and hardly was it cast, when one hastenedto
try it in the face of the enemy! Then one returned to campwith a word of encouragement from Sherman or a friendly shakeof the hand from McClellan. But now the generals are goneback to their counters; and in place of projectiles, theydespatch bales of cotton. By Jove, the future of gunnery inAmerica 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 on the horizon! and that too at such a criticalperiod in the progress of the science of artillery! Yes, gentlemen!I who address you have myself this very morning perfected amodel (plan, section, elevation, etc.) of a mortar destined tochange all the conditions of warfare!"

  "No! is it possible?" replied Tom Hunter, his thoughts revertinginvoluntarily to a former invention of the Hon. J. T. Maston, bywhich, at its first trial, he had succeeded in killing threehundred and thirty-seven people.

  "Fact!" replied he. "Still, what is the use of so many studiesworked out, so many difficulties vanquished? It's mere wasteof time! The New World seems to have made up its mind to live inpeace; and our bellicose _Tribune_ predicts some approachingcatastrophes arising out of this scandalous increase of population."

  "Nevertheless," replied Colonel Blomsberry, "they are alwaysstruggling in Europe to maintain the principle of nationalities."


  "Well, there might be some field for enterprise down there; andif they would accept our services----"

  "What are you dreaming of?" screamed Bilsby; "work at gunneryfor the benefit of foreigners?"

  "That would be better than doing nothing here," returned the colonel.

  "Quite so," said J. T. Matson; "but still we need not dream ofthat expedient."

  "And why not?" demanded the colonel.

  "Because their ideas of progress in the Old World are contraryto our American habits of thought. Those fellows believe thatone can't become a general without having served first as anensign; which is as much as to say that one can't point a gunwithout having first cast it oneself!"

  "Ridiculous!" replied Tom Hunter, whittling with his bowie-knifethe arms of his easy chair; "but if that be the case there, allthat is left for us is to plant tobacco and distill whale-oil."

  "What!" roared J. T. Maston, "shall we not employ theseremaining years of our life in perfecting firearms? Shall therenever be a fresh opportunity of trying the ranges of projectiles?Shall the air never again be lighted with the glare of our guns?No international difficulty ever arise to enable us to declarewar against some transatlantic power? Shall not the French sinkone of our steamers, or the English, in defiance of the rightsof nations, hang a few of our countrymen?"

  "No such luck," replied Colonel Blomsberry; "nothing of the kindis likely to happen; and even if it did, we should not profit by it.American susceptibility is fast declining, and we are all goingto the dogs."

  "It is too true," replied J. T. Maston, with fresh violence;"there are a thousand grounds for fighting, and yet we don't fight.We save up our arms and legs for the benefit of nations who don'tknow what to do with them! But stop-- without going out of one'sway to find a cause for war-- did not North America once belongto the English?"

  "Undoubtedly," replied Tom Hunter, stamping his crutch with fury.

  "Well, then," replied J. T. Maston, "why should not England inher turn belong to the Americans?"

  "It would be but just and fair," returned Colonel Blomsberry.

  "Go and propose it to the President of the United States," criedJ. T. Maston, "and see how he will receive you."

  "Bah!" growled Bilsby between the four teeth which the war hadleft him; "that will never do!"

  "By Jove!" cried J. T. Maston, "he mustn't count on my vote atthe next election!"

  "Nor on ours," replied unanimously all the bellicose invalids.

  "Meanwhile," replied J. T. Maston, "allow me to say that, if Icannot get an opportunity to try my new mortars on a real fieldof battle, I shall say good-by to the members of the Gun Club,and go and bury myself in the prairies of Arkansas!"

  "In that case we will accompany you," cried the others.

  Matters were in this unfortunate condition, and the club wasthreatened with approaching dissolution, when an unexpectedcircumstance occurred to prevent so deplorable a catastrophe.

  On the morrow after this conversation every member of theassociation received a sealed circular couched in thefollowing terms:

  BALTIMORE, October 3.The president of the Gun Club has the honor to inform his colleaguesthat, at the meeting of the 5th instant, he will bring beforethem a communication of an extremely interesting nature. He requests,therefore, that they will make it convenient to attend inaccordance with the present invitation. Very cordially, IMPEY BARBICANE, P.G.C.