Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Moon-Voyage

"Have you ever seen the moon?" a professor asked one of his pupils ironically.

"No, sir," answered the pupil more ironically still, "but I have heard it spoken of."

"In one sense the jocose answer of the pupil might have been made by the immense majority of sublunary beings. How many people there are who have heard the moon spoken of and have never seen it--at least through a telescope! How many even have never examined the map of their satellite!"

"Looking at a comprehensive selenographic map, one peculiarity strikes us at once. In contrast to the geographical arrangements of the earth and Mars, the continents occupy the more southern hemisphere of the lunar globe. These continents have not such clear and regular boundary-lines as those of South America, Africa, and the Indian Peninsula. Their angular, capricious, and deeply-indented coasts are rich in gulfs and peninsulas. They recall the confusion in the islands of the Sound, where the earth is excessively cut up. If navigation has ever existed upon the surface of the moon it must have been exceedingly difficult and dangerous, and the Selenite mariners and hydrographers were greatly to be pitied, the former when they came upon these perilous coasts, the latter when they were marine surveying on the stormy banks...."

read on here: Jules Verne;The Moon-Voyage; Chapter XI. Imagination and Reality.

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