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for the obscurity under which he at- endured another torture of thirty-five tempted to conceal his true convictions; hours, without allowing a word to esfor the memory of what Galileo had cape him; while Galileo recanted, and not been able to endure was still fresh Descartes was so frightened that he hid in the minds of men, and another vic- his “ Treatise on Light” for fear of tim of intolerance had but just made persecution. his sufferings known to the world. Two great events led, during the same This was the learned Campanella, one century, to renewed efforts to ascertain of the noblest martyrs of blind and the precise nature of the Man in the cruel fanaticism, whose name, however, Moon: the improvements in telescopes, is but rarely mentioned by the side of which enabled astronomers to ascertain his greater fellow-sufferers. Like them the very striking nature of the moon's denying the truth of the ancient Aris- surface, with its mountains, valleys, and totelian and scholastic philosophy, he lakes, and the discovery of a new coninsisted upon a plurality of worlds, and tinent by Columbus.
These encouragespecially upon the actual existence of ing circumstances led to the publication created beings in the moon. What he of quite a number of voyages to the paid for his stanch adherence to truth, moon, of which Goodwin's “Man in he tells us himself in his Memoirs : the Moon," published in 1638, in Lon“ The last time the torture lasted forty don, is probably the most important. hours. Garroted with ropes which cut The pious Bishop of Llandaff represents into my bones, suspended, with my a young gentleman from Seville setting hands tied behind my back, over the out on his travels, and reaching, after sharp point of a post, which tore away many adventures among the antipodes, the sixth part of my flesh and drew ten the island of St. Helena, where he canpounds of blood, at the end of forty not get accustomed to men, because hours I was utterly undone, and they there are none. Having amused himwere forced to pause in my torments. self with the taming of wild geese, Some insulted me, and, to add to my which he taught to bear burdens on sufferings, they shook the rope by their broad wings and to carry their which I was suspended; but others master on a simple stick through the praised my courage in an undertone. air, he escapes, by their assistance, from When I was at last healed, after six a wreck, rises to the top of the Peak of months, by a real miracle, they threw Teneriffe, and then sets out on a trip of me into a ditch, where I was kept for a twelve days through the air. He manlong time, accused of heresy, because I ages to make friends with the evil spirmaintained that the sun and the moon its hovering about in those regions, who changed; contrary to Aristotle, who at first try to frighten his team and to makes the world eternal and unchange- keep him from proceeding, but finally able.” From this fearful ditch he writes change their mind, and even furnish again, after having been tortured for him with the needful provisions. At the seventh time without succumbing: length, on a Tuesday, the 11th of Sep“It is now twelve years that I suffer, tember, be touched the moon, landing and pain pervades all my limbs. I have gently on a high mountain. Soon a been ma
rized seven times; the igno- number of lunar men gathered around rant have cursed and ill-treated me. him; they were twice as large as he My muscles are torn, my bones broken; himself, and had an olive-brown commy flesh is lacerated, and my blood plexion and pleasing manners, but the shed in abundance. I have been given most extraordinary costumes. They up to the unbounded fury of men, and differed in rank according to their size, my food is insufficient and unwhole- and thus formed three classes of men, some. Is not that enough, O God, to of ten, twenty, and thirty feet height let me hope that Thou wilt be my help respectively. Their language was muin trouble?" And yet the noblo Italian sical, and of great sweetness. Gonzales was inmediately brought before the careful not to offend the Church or the local prince, who was subject to a high- orthodox believer, and naïvely expresser dignitary, while finally a king ruled es a hope that, if his views on a pluralover the whole globe. The Spaniard ity of worlds and the motion of the was much pleased with the Man in the earth should be occasionally erroneous, Moon, as he appeared so far; only one the learned will pardon him as readily feature in their daily life troubled him as the ignorant will have overlooked sorely: the air around the moon exer- the mistake. This book, especially valcised so little pressure on its surface, uable as manifesting a remarkable mind, that, when a man jumped for joy or free of superstition, and yet cautious in for fright, he reached instantly a height the extreme, treats the question of the of some fifty feet, and could not come Man in the Moon at full length. He down again, being there beyond the firmly believes that the moon must be sphere of attraction. His friends had inhabited by intelligent beings, as God to go to work with huge fans to help would surely not bave created that him down again. Another feature planet and provided all the means for which struck him at first unpleasantly, life, if he had not also filled it with was the length of the lunar days and persons able to enjoy these advantages. nights, which lasted each a fortnight. He does not believe, however, that they The Man in the Moon, moreover, slept are men like ourselves, but different in soundly during this long day, unable as nature, proportions, and endowments. he was to endure the unbroken brillian- Perhaps, he says, they are an intermecy of the sun. He awoke only when diate class of beings between ourselves the earth rose to light his globe during and the angels; for the interval between the long night. Fortunately, he was these two is too great not to contain virtuous, knowing neither theft nor creatures of which, as yet, we have no falsehood nor murder; and, after a knowledge; and God, no doubt, has long, happy life, he dried up and dis- made them of all kinds, to glorify Himappeared, to the sincere delight of his self more fully in the works of His omfriends, leaving his body to his family, nipotence and wisdom. who kept their ancestors forever with The good Bishop is naturally somethem. The Spaniard, however, soon what troubled by the difficulty of combecame homesick, and, as three of bis municating with the moon, but he hopes geese had already died, he took leave confidently that the spirit of discovery, of the king, who made him many curi- which even in his day had produced ous presents, and flew off in the pres- wonders already, will add more and ence of an immense crowd of specta- more, till the way to the distant planet tors.
will be as open as the path across the This rather amusing than instructive great oceans. As we smile at the blindaccount of the Man in the Moon was ness of our ancestors, he remarks with soon after followed by a much more admirable candor, so posterity will no serious work, the famous “Discourse doubt smile at our ignorance. He then concerning a New World and Another quotes the Irish, who for ages fancied Planet,” by Bishop Wilkins—a book themselves to. be the only inhabitants which obtained the rare distinction of of this globe, and thought it impossible being translated into French and Ger- to cross the sea that separated them man during the lifetime of the author. from other continents. This is exactly While Godwin contented himself with our case, he continues; we know as litwriting a romance in which no regard tle of the Man in the Moon as these was had to science or even to probabil- early Irish knew of their neighbors in ity, Wilkins, on the contrary, treats the France, and as little of the means of question from a scientific and religious reaching his dwelling-place as they point of view. He is, however, as it knew of sails and ships. He regrets that was natural at his time (1640), still very there is no Drake and no Columbus to
undertake the perilous voyage to the believe the moon to be a world like our moon; nor even a Dædalus to invent a own. They laughed at me. "Well,' way through the air. Kepler's boast, said I, 'perhaps they are laughing just that, as soon as the art of flying should now in the moon also at somebody who be invented, one of his countrymen thinks the earth is inhabited, and a would be the first to lead a colony to world like the moon.'" that other world, does not appear to It seems that this accident led the him by any means presumptuous. He merry Frenchman to speculate long thinks of all the necessary precautions. enough on the true nature of the moon As there are no real castles in the air, to invent, at last, and after many grievthe question of food becomes very im- ous failures, a machine which carried portant, especially since he cannot be- him to our satellite. There he met the lieve, with the pleasant Jewish writer, Man in the Moon. “ After half a mile's Philo, that the harmony of the spheres walk I met two large animals, one of will be sufficient nourishment for the which stopped before me, while the aërial traveller. How would it do to other ran away quickly. He returned, follow the example of Democritus, and however, shortly, with seven or eight to live for several days on the odor of hundred others, who surrounded me on hot bread ? or, better still, to sleep, all sides. When I saw them more disafter the manner of hybernating ani- tinctly, I found that they had the same mals, during the whole trip? He sug- form and size as we have. From time gests a mechanism like the wings of to time they raised most terrible howls, birds, or the possibility of mounting on excited no doubt by their admiration the back of colossal birds such as he for my beauty, till I thought I had behas heard exist in Madagascar; or, come a beast myself. At last one of finally, the building of a flying-machine these beast-men took me by the side and such as we are building in our day. threw me on his back, as a wolf seizes With charming modesty and great can- and carries away a lamb; and now I dor he concludes his chapter on the saw tbat, men though they were, they Man in the Moon with the words: “As walked on all-fours." He was handed for me, I dare assert nothing about over to a menagerie-keeper, who taught these Selenites; but I believe that the him to make faces, to throw somercoming ages will discover more about sets, and to amuse the public. Fortuthem."
nately, he fell in with the demon of Among the most anciful of all the Socrates, who had, for his instruction, voyages to the moon must be counted assumed the shape of a young man in the rare work of Cyrano de Bergerac, the moon, and who now taught him to published in 1649.
“ The moon was
become a philosopher. Two things full,” he says, " the sky clear, and nine struck him as most strange in lunar o'clock had. struck, when, returning life. One was, that, when he wanted from a good bowl presented to us by a to dine, they showed him into a large friend near Paris, we fell to talking dining-room, which was perfectly bare about the moon, which filled our eyes and unfurnished. When he had been with its rays. One of us declared it stripped of all his clothing, he ordered was an opening in the heavens; anoth- some soup, and at once the rich fraer assured us it was the press on which grance of a superb soup rose to his nosDiana dried Apollo's neckhandkerchief; trils. He was on the point of running and a third thought it might be the sun to the place where he thought the himself, who had laid aside his rays and tempting dish was waiting for him, was looking through a hole to see what when the waiter stopped him, and inthe world was doing when he was not formed him that the Man in the Moon there; and I–I said, 'I do not care to did not, like earth-born beings, feed on tickle time with such absurdities in coarse meats and herbs, but only inhaled order to make it pass more swiftly; I the concentrated fragrance of a number of dishes. His room was then lighted ast, Swedenborg, who gravely assures up with bottled rays of the sun, that his readers and followers that he went had been carefully purged of their heat, to the moon on the 22d of September, and his bed proved to be a couch 1748, and saw and heard what he proformed of roses. The other remarkable ceeds to recite. It is well known that feature was the way in which the Man he conceived the whole universe to be in the Moon determined the time of the an immense human body, the several day. When Cyrano asked a passer-by parts of which were represented by the in the street what time it was, the lat- different spheres.
Mercury, for inter, for all answer, opened his mouth, stance, represented the memory of imclosed his teeth, and turned his face up- material things, and Venus the memory side down. He learned at last that they of material things. This is one of the made of their teeth a correct dial, so great arcana revealed to him by the anthat, when they opened their lips, the gelic spirits. He saw, of course, the shadow of the nose fell upon the pre- Man in the Moon also. His voice came cise tooth which showed the hour of from the abdomen, and resembled disthe day.
tant thunder; the lunar air, being difThe most learned writer on the sub- ferent from ours, had to be forcibly ject, on the other hand, is no doubt the compressed, hence the violence of its French savant Gassendi, who examined eruption. He represents in the Greatthe question very thoroughly after hav- est-Man the scutiform cartilage to which ing compared the views pf all his pre- the ribs are attached ! Otherwise he decessors. That the stars are tbem- learned to know him only spiritually ; selves animated beings, as the ancients and as beyond his New Jerusalem the believed; or that they are deities, as pious seer remains incomprehensible to others dared assert; or, finally, that all who are not equally favored with each sphere is governed by a special direct inspiration from on high, he does guardian angel-all these theories he not add much to our knowledge of the rejects as idle conjectures, the result of other worlds. vague speculation. That, on the other The other visitor was no less a perhand, spirits or demons, of unknown sonage than an “American from New form and nature, may live in the moon York,” under the guise of Sir John Herand from thence influence the affairs of schel, Astronomer-Royal. Having coninen, he thinks not impossible. He structed a monster telescope with a lens admits that, to inquire into the fitness of twenty-four feet in diameter, he had, of the moon to be the home of beings in 1835, discovered a number of strange like ourselves, is a legitimate question, plants in the moon, then mineral strucand quotes, in support of this view, the tures, buffaloes and unicorns, pelicans long series of ancient and mediæval au- and amphibious creatures of marvellous thors who have written on this subject. shape. At last, one fine day, four bands The Man in the Moon, however, he of winged beings were seen to come out thinks, must necessarily be so small as of a forest, looking very much like to escape all possible discovery by our gigantic bats. Here was, at last, the imperfect instruments, and thus the dis- veritable Man in the Moon.
He was creet author abandons the investigation. small, barely four feet high, covered all
From that time forward the Man in over with long copper-colored hair, exthe Moon became a favorite topic with cept in the face, and endowed with churchmen and laymen, from Baxter to wings consisting of most delicate memChalmers and from Fontenelle to Des- branes, which hung comfortably over cartes. We can find room here only for the back from the shoulders to the two visitors which he received from calves. The face, of a yellowish hue, among men, the one in a vision, the resembled that of the orang-outang. other in pure imagination. The former The account was so graphically written, visit was paid by the Swedish enthusi- the details so minute and so plausible,
and the absence of Sir John Herschel our earth constitutes but a very secondat the Cape of Good Hope so favorable ary feature among the planets, being to the hoax, that thousands were taken neither the largest nor the smallest, the in, and the pamphlet created a great nearest nor the most remote, the warmsensation all over the world. Countless est nor the coldest, and since we find it editions were published in all civilized yet teeming with life and blessed with countries; copies of the original draw- a special incarnation of the Most High, ings were to be seen in all the shop- we cannot but suppose that life, and windows, and, for a few months at least, life similar to our own, must exist in very lively and amusing discussions other planets also. We can no longer were carried on concerning the genuine- presume that those magnificent worlds ness of the discovery. The great as- which we see revolving around our sun, tronomer was perhaps the last person to and other suns, should not have been become aware of the liberty which had endowed by the Creator at least as been taken with his name, and is said highly as our little earth ; nor can we to have been not a little amused by the flatter our vanity with the fancy that controversy that followed. It was about our globe is the best possible of worlds. the same time that,
The objections raised against the theory
of another race of created beings someWith a heart of furious fancies, Whereof I am commander,
what like ourselves, living on our satelWith a burning spear and a horse of air, lite, lose every year in weight and im
portance. Even the absence of an atmoon wandered Hans Pfaall of Rotter- mosphere around the moon has recently dam, under the guidance of our own become doubtful, since the famous ItalPoe, and, in a manner far more ingeni, ian astronomer, Father Secchi, las disous than the above-mentioned moon- covered a slight atmosphere, through hoax of Mr. Locke, related what he had which the peaks of high lunar mounseen there of lunar topography, and of tains are seen to penetrate. Doubtless the Man in the Moon.
many generations will yet pass away And what, we may well ask, after all before the inhabitants of our own mothese visions, fancies, and hoaxes, what ther-earth will have positive proofs of is the truth about the Man in the Moon ? the existence of a living Man in the Does he exist at all ?
Moon, but the extreme probability of We can only say that, the more the the fact is established beyond all doubt. earth shrinks in our estimate, the great- Actual sight by means of improved er becomes the importance of other instruments, well-ascertained scientific heavenly bodies. As long as the earth data, and sound philosophical reasonwas placed, by the vanity of man, in ing, all point to the one great fact, that the centre of the universe, and looked the heavenly bodies may be inhabited, upon as the most important orb in crea- and probably are the abodes of intellition, the question how far the little, gence more or less developed; so that aged moon might be inhabited, was of there is no violence done to reason or little importance. But since astronomy faith in supposing the actual existence has taught us beyond all doubt that of a Man in the Moon.