A Journey in Other Worlds
J. J. Astor

Part 1 out of 6

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The protracted struggle between science and the classics appears
to be drawing to a close, with victory about to perch on the
banner of science, as a perusal of almost any university or
college catalogue shows. While a limited knowledge of both Greek
and Latin is important for the correct use of our own language,
the amount till recently required, in my judgment, has been
absurdly out of proportion to the intrinsic value of these
branches, or perhaps more correctly roots, of study. The
classics have been thoroughly and painfully threshed out, and it
seems impossible that anything new can be unearthed. We may
equal the performances of the past, but there is no opportunity
to surpass them or produce anything original. Even the
much-vaunted "mental training" argument is beginning to pall; for
would not anything equally difficult give as good developing
results, while by learning a live matter we kill two birds with
one stone? There can be no question that there are many forces
and influences in Nature whose existence we as yet little more
than suspect. How much more interesting it would be if, instead
of reiterating our past achievements, the magazines and
literature of the period should devote their consideration to
what we do NOT know! It is only through investigation and
research that inventions come; we may not find what we are in
search of, but may discover something of perhaps greater moment.
It is probable that the principal glories of the future will be
found in as yet but little trodden paths, and as Prof. Cortlandt
justly says at the close of his history, "Next to religion, we
have most to hope from science."


IN A.D. 2000





The Callisto and the Comet
The Callisto was going straight up
The Signals from the Arctic Circle
Diagram of the Comparative Sizes of the Planets
The Ride on the Giant Tortoise
A Battle Royal on Jupiter
The Combat with the Dragons
Ayrault's Vision
They look into the Future
The Return





Jupiter--the magnificent planet with a diameter of 86,500
miles, having 119 times the surface and 1,300 times the volume of
the earth--lay beneath them.

They had often seen it in the terrestrial sky, emitting its
strong, steady ray, and had thought of that far-away planet,
about which till recently so little had been known, and a burning
desire had possessed them to go to it and explore its mysteries.
Now, thanks to APERGY, the force whose existence the ancients
suspected, but of which they knew so little, all things were

Ayrault manipulated the silk-covered glass handles, and the
Callisto moved on slowly in comparison with its recent speed,
and all remained glued to their telescopes as they peered through
the rushing clouds, now forming and now dissolving before their
eyes. What transports of delight, what ecstatic bliss, was
theirs! Men had discovered and mastered the secret of apergy,
and now, "little lower than the angels," they could soar through
space, leaving even planets and comets behind.

"Is it not strange," said Dr. Cortlandt, "that though it has been
known for over a century that bodies charged with unlike
electricities attract one another, and those charged with like
repel, no one thought of utilizing the counterpart of
gravitation? In the nineteenth century, savants and Indian
jugglers performed experiments with their disciples and masses of
inert matter, by causing them to remain without visible support
at some distance from the ground; and while many of these, of
course, were quacks, some were on the right track, though they
did not push their research."

President Bearwarden and Ayrault assented. They were steering
for an apparently hard part of the planet's surface, about a
degree and a half north of its equator.

"Since Jupiter's axis is almost at right angles to the plane of
its orbit," said the doctor, "being inclined only about one
degree and a half, instead of twenty-three and a half, as was the
earth's till nearly so recently, it will be possible for us to
have any climate we wish, from constantly warm at the equator to
constantly cool or cold as we approach the poles, without being
troubled by extremes of winter and summer."

Until the Callisto entered the planet's atmosphere, its five
moons appeared like silver shields against the black sky, but now
things were looking more terrestrial, and they began to feel at
home. Bearwarden put down his note-book, and Ayrault returned a
photograph to his pocket, while all three gazed at their new
abode. Beneath them was a vast continent variegated by chains of
lakes and rivers stretching away in all directions except toward
the equator, where lay a placid ocean as far as their telescopes
could pierce. To the eastward were towering and massive
mountains, and along the southern border of the continent smoking
volcanoes, while toward the west they saw forests, gently rolling
plains, and table-lands that would have satisfied a poet or set
an agriculturist's heart at rest. "How I should like to mine
those hills for copper, or drain the swamps to the south!"
exclaimed Col. Bearwarden. "The Lake Superior mines and the
reclamation of the Florida Everglades would be nothing to this."

"Any inhabitants we may find here have so much land at their
disposal that they will not need to drain swamps on account of
pressure of population for some time," put in the doctor.

"I hope we may find some four-legged inhabitants," said Ayrault,
thinking of their explosive magazine rifles. "If Jupiter is
passing through its Jurassic or Mesozoic period, there must be
any amount of some kind of game." Just then a quiver shook the
Callisto, and glancing to the right they noticed one of the
volcanoes in violent eruption. Smoke filled the air in clouds,
hot stones and then floods of lava poured from the crater, while
even the walls of the hermetically sealed Callisto could not
arrest the thunderous crashes that made the interior of the car

"Had we not better move on?" said Bearwarden, and accordingly
they went toward the woods they had first seen. Finding a firm
strip of land between the forest and an arm of the sea, they
gently grounded the Callisto, and not being altogether sure how
the atmosphere of their new abode would suit terrestrial lungs,
or what its pressure to the square inch might be, they cautiously
opened a port-hole a crack, retaining their hold upon it with its
screw. Instantly there was a rush and a whistling sound as of
escaping steam, while in a few moments their barometer stood at
thirty-six inches, whereupon they closed the opening.

"I fancy," said Dr. Cortlandt, "we had better wait now till we
become accustomed to this pressure. I do not believe it will go
much higher, for the window made but little resistance when we
shut it."

Finding they were not inconvenienced by a pressure but little
greater than that of a deep coal-mine, they again opened the
port, whereupon their barometer showed a further rise to
forty-two, and then remained stationary. Finding also that the
chemical composition of the air suited them, and that they had no
difficulty in breathing, the pressure being the same as that
sustained by a diver in fourteen feet of water, they opened a
door and emerged. They knew fairly well what to expect, and were
not disturbed by their new conditions. Though they had
apparently gained a good deal in weight as a result of their
ethereal journey, this did not incommode them; for though
Jupiter's volume is thirteen hundred times that of the earth, on
account of its lesser specific gravity, it has but three hundred
times the mass--i. e., it would weigh but three hundred times as
much. Further, although a cubic foot of water or anything else
weighs 2.5 as much as on earth, objects near the equator, on
account of Jupiter's rapid rotation, weigh one fifth less than
they do at the poles, by reason of the centrifugal force.
Influenced by this fact, and also because they were 483,000,000
miles from the sun, instead of 92,000,000 as on earth, they had
steered for the northern limit of Jupiter's tropics. And, in
addition to this, they could easily apply the apergetic power in
any degree to themselves when beyond the limits of the Callisto,
and so be attracted to any extent, from twice the pull they
receive from gravitation on earth to almost nothing.

Bearwarden and Ayrault shouldered their rifles, while Dr.
Cortlandt took a repeating shot-gun with No. 4 shot, and, having
also some hunting-knives and a sextant, all three set out in a
northwesterly direction. The ground was rather soft, and a warm
vapor seemed to rise from it. To the east the sky was veiled by
dense clouds of smoke from the towering volcanoes, while on their
left the forest seemed to extend without limit. Clumps of huge
ferns were scattered about, and the ground was covered with
curious tracks.

"Jupiter is evidently passing through a Carboniferous or Devonian
period such as existed on earth, though, if consistent with its
size, it should be on a vastly larger scale," said the doctor.
"I never believed in the theory," he continued, "that the larger
the planet the smaller should be its inhabitants, and always
considered it a makeshift, put forward in the absence of definite
knowledge, the idea being apparently that the weight of very
large creatures would be too great for their strength. Of the
fact that mastodons and creatures far larger than any now living
on earth existed there, we have absolute proof, though
gravitation must have been practically the same then as now."

Just here they came upon a number of huge bones, evidently the
remains of some saurian, and many times the size of a grown
crocodile. On passing a growth of most luxuriant vegetation,
they saw a half-dozen sacklike objects, and drawing nearer
noticed that the tops began to swell, and at the same time became
lighter in colour. Just as the doctor was about to investigate
one of them with his duck-shot, the enormously inflated tops of
the creatures collapsed with a loud report, and the entire group
soared away. When about to alight, forty yards off, they
distended membranous folds in the manner of wings, which checked
their descent, and on touching the ground remained where they
were without rebound.

"We expected to find all kinds of reptiles and birds," exclaimed
the doctor. "But I do not know how we should class those
creatures. They seem to have pneumatic feet and legs, for their
motion was certainly not produced like that of frogs."

When the party came up with them the heads again began to swell.

"I will perforate the air-chamber of one," said Col. Bearwarden,
withdrawing the explosive cartridge from the barrel of his rifle
and substituting one with a solid ball. "This will doubtless
disable one so that we can examine it."

Just as they were about to rise, he shot the largest through the
neck. All but the wounded one, soared off, while Bearwarden,
Ayrault, and Cortlandt approached to examine it more closely.

"You see," said Cortlandt, "this vertebrate--for that is as
definitely as we can yet describe it--forces a great pressure of
air into its head and neck, which, by the action of valves, it
must allow to rush into its very rudimentary lower extremities,
distending them with such violence that the body is shot upward
and forward. You may have noticed the tightly inflated portion
underneath as they left the ground."

While speaking he had moved rather near, when suddenly a
partially concealed mouth opened, showing the unmistakable tongue
and fangs of a serpent. It emitted a hissing sound, and the
small eyes gleamed maliciously.

"Do you believe it is a poisonous species?" asked Ayrault.

"I suspect it is," replied the doctor; "for, though it is
doubtless able to leap with great accuracy upon its prey, we saw
it took some time to recharge the upper air-chamber, so that,
were it not armed with poison glands, it would fall an easy
victim to its more powerful and swifter contemporaries, and would
soon become extinct."

"As it will be unable to spring for some time," said Bearwarden,
"we might as well save it the disappointment of trying," and,
snapping the used shell from his rifle, he fired an explosive
ball into the reptile, whereupon about half the body disappeared,
while a sickening odour arose. Although the sun was still far
above the horizon, the rapidity with which it was descending
showed that the short night of less than five hours would soon be
upon them; and though short it might be very dark, for they were
in the tropics, and the sun, going down perpendicularly, must
also pass completely around the globe, instead of, as in northern
latitudes on earth in summer, approaching the horizon obliquely,
and not going far below it. A slight and diffused sound here
seemed to rise from the ground all about them, for which they
could not account. Presently it became louder, and as the sun
touched the horizon, it poured forth in prolonged strains. The
large trumpet-shaped lilies, reeds, and heliotropes seemed fairly
to throb as they raised their anthem to the sky and the setting
sun, while the air grew dark with clouds of birds that gradually
alighted on the ground, until, as the chorus grew fainter and
gradually ceased, they flew back to their nests. The three
companions had stood astonished while this act was played. The
doctor then spoke:

"This is the most marvellous development of Nature I have seen,
for its wonderful divergence from, and yet analogy to, what takes
place on earth. You know our flowers offer honey, as it were, as
bait to insects, that in eating or collecting it they may catch
the pollen on their legs and so carry it to other flowers,
perhaps of the opposite sex. Here flowers evidently appeal to
the sense of hearing instead of taste, and make use of birds, of
which there are enormous numbers, instead of winged insects, of
which I have seen none, one being perhaps the natural result of
the other. The flowers have become singers by long practice, or
else, those that were most musical having had the best chance to
reproduce, we have a neat illustration of the 'survival of the
fittest.' The sound is doubtless produced by a shrinking of the
fibres as the sun withdraws its heat, in which case we may expect
another song at sunrise, when the same result will be effected by
their expanding."

Searching for a camping-place in which to pass the coming hours,
they saw lights flitting about like will-o'-the-wisps, but
brighter and intermittent.

"They seem to be as bright as sixteen-candle-power lamps, but the
light is yellower, and appears to emanate from a comparatively
large surface, certainly nine or ten inches square," said the

They soon gave up the chase, however, for the lights were
continually moving and frequently went out. While groping in the
growing darkness, they came upon a brown object about the size of
a small dog and close to the ground. It flew off with a humming
insect sound, and as it did so it showed the brilliant
phosphorescent glow they had observed.

"That is a good-sized fire-fly," said Bearwarden. "Evidently the
insects here are on the same scale as everything else. They are
like the fire-flies in Cuba, which the Cubans are said to put
into a glass box and get light enough from to read by. Here they
would need only one, if it could be induced to give its light

Having found an open space on high ground, they sat down, and
Bearwarden struck his repeater, which, for convenience, had been
arranged for Jupiter time, dividing the day into ten hours,
beginning at noon, midnight being therefore five o'clock.

"Twenty minutes past four," said he, "which would correspond to
about a quarter to eleven on earth. As the sun rises at
half-past seven, it will be dark about three hours, for the time
between dawn and daylight will, of course, be as short as that we
have just experienced between sunset and night."

"If we stay here long," said the doctor, "I suppose we shall
become accustomed, like sailors, to taking our four, or in this
case five, hours on duty, and five hours off."

"Or," added Ayrault, "we can sleep ten consecutive hours and take
the next ten for exploring and hunting, having the sun for one
half the time and the moons for the other."

Bearwarden and Cortlandt now rolled themselves in their blankets
and were soon asleep, while Ayrault, whose turn it was to watch
till the moons rose--for they had not yet enough confidence in
their new domain to sleep in darkness simultaneously--leaned his
back against a rock and lighted his pipe. In the distance he saw
the torrents of fiery lava from the volcanoes reflected in the
sky, and faintly heard their thunderous crashes, while the
fire-flies twinkled unconcernedly in the hollow, and the night
winds swayed the fernlike branches. Then he gazed at the earth,
which, but little above the horizon, shone with a faint but
steady ray, and his mind's eye ran beyond his natural vision
while he pictured to himself the girl of his heart, wishing that
by some communion of spirits he might convey his thoughts to her,
and receive hers. It was now the first week of January on earth.
He could almost see her house and the snow-clad trees in the
park, and knew that at that hour she was dressing for dinner, and
hoped and believed that he was in her heart. While he thus
mused, one moon after another rose, each at a different phase,
till three were at once in the sky. Adjusting the electric
protection- wires that were to paralyze any creature that
attempted to come within the circle, and would arouse them by
ringing a bell, he knocked the ashes from his pipe, rolled
himself in a blanket, and was soon asleep beside his friends.



"Come in!" sounded a voice, as Dr. Cortlandt and Dick Ayrault
tapped at the door of the President of the Terrestrial Axis
Straightening Company's private office on the morning of the 21st
of June, A. D. 2000. Col. Bearwarden sat at his capacious desk,
the shadows passing over his face as April clouds flit across the
sun. He was a handsome man, and young for the important post he
filled--being scarcely forty--a graduate of West Point, with
great executive ability, and a wonderful engineer. "Sit down,
chappies," said he; "we have still a half hour before I begin to
read the report I am to make to the stockholders and
representatives of all the governments, which is now ready. I
know YOU smoke," passing a box of Havanas to the professor.

Prof. Cortlandt, LL. D., United States Government expert,
appointed to examine the company's calculations, was about fifty,
with a high forehead, greyish hair, and quick, grey eyes, a
geologist and astronomer, and altogether as able a man, in his
own way, as Col. Bearwarden in his. Richard Ayrault, a large
stockholder and one of the honorary vice-presidents in the
company, was about thirty, a university man, by nature a
scientist, and engaged to one of the prettiest society girls, who
was then a student at Vassar, in the beautiful town of

"Knowing the way you carry things in your mind, and the
difficulty of rattling you," said Cortlandt, "we have dropped in
on our way to hear the speech that I would not miss for a
fortune. Let us know if we bother you."

"Impossible, dear boy," replied the president genially. "Since I
survived your official investigations, I think I deserve some of
your attention informally."

"Here are my final examinations," said Cortlandt, handing
Bearwarden a roll of papers. "I have been over all your figures,
and testify to their accuracy in the appendix I have added."

So they sat and chatted about the enterprise that interested
Cortlandt and Ayrault almost as much as Bearwarden himself. As
the clock struck eleven, the president of the company put on his
hat, and, saying au revoir to his friends, crossed the street to
the Opera House, in which he was to read a report that would be
copied in all the great journals and heard over thousands of
miles of wire in every part of the globe. When he arrived, the
vast building was already filled with a distinguished company,
representing the greatest intelligence, wealth, and powers of the
world. Bearwarden went in by the stage entrance, exchanging
greetings as he did so with officers of the company and directors
who had come to hear him. Cortlandt and Ayrault entered by the
regular door, the former going to the Government representatives'
box, the latter to join his fiancee, Sylvia Preston, who was
there with her mother. Bearwarden had a roll of manuscript at
hand, but so well did he know his speech that he scarcely glanced
at it. After being introduced by the chairman of the meeting,
and seeing that his audience was all attention, he began, holding
himself erect, his clear, powerful voice making every part of the
building ring.



"To the Bondholders and Stockholders of the Terrestrial Axis
Straightening Company and Representatives of Earthly Governments.

"GENTLEMEN: You know that the objects of this company are, to
straighten the axis of the earth, to combine the extreme heat of
summer with the intense cold of winter and produce a uniform
temperature for each degree of latitude the year round. At
present the earth's axis--that is, the line passing through its
centre and the two poles--is inclined to the ecliptic about
twenty-three and a half degrees. Our summer is produced by the
northern hemisphere's leaning at that angle towards the sun, and
our winter by its turning that much from it. In one case the
sun's rays are caused to shine more perpendicularly, and in the
other more obliquely. This wabbling, like that of a top, is the
sole cause of the seasons; since, owing to the eccentricity of
our orbit, the earth is actually fifteen hundred thousand miles
nearer the sun during our winter, in the northern hemisphere,
than in summer. That there is no limit to a planet's
inclination, and that inclination is not essential, we have
astronomical proof. Venus's axis is inclined to the plane of her
orbit seventy-five degrees, so that the arctic circle comes
within fifteen degrees of the equator, and the tropics also
extend to latitude seventy-five degrees, or within fifteen
degrees of the poles, producing great extremes of heat and cold.

"Venus is made still more difficult of habitation by the fact
that she rotates on her axis in the same time that she revolves
about the sun, in the same way that the moon does about the
earth, so that one side must be perpetually frozen while the
other is parched.

"In Uranus we see the axis tilted still further, so that the
arctic circle descends to the equator. The most varied climate
must therefore prevail during its year, whose length exceeds
eighty-one of ours.

The axis of Mars is inclined about twenty-eight and two thirds
degrees to the plane of its orbit; consequently its seasons must
be very similar to ours, the extremes of heat and cold being
somewhat greater.

"In Jupiter we have an illustration of a planet whose axis is
almost at right angles to the plane of its orbit, being inclined
but about a degree and a half. The hypothetical inhabitants of
this majestic planet must therefore have perpetual summer at the
equator, eternal winter at the poles, and in the temperate
regions everlasting spring. On account of the straightness of
the axis, however, even the polar inhabitants--if there are
any--are not oppressed by a six months' night, for all except
those at the VERY pole have a sunrise and a sunset every ten
hours--the exact day being nine hours, fifty five minutes, and
twenty-eight seconds. The warmth of the tropics is also tempered
by the high winds that must result from the rapid whirl on its
axis, every object at the equator being carried around by this at
the rate of 27,600 miles an hour, or over three thousand miles
farther than the earth's equator moves in twenty-four hours.

"The inclination of the axis of our own planet has also
frequently considerably exceeded that of Mars, and again has been
but little greater than Jupiter's at least, this is by all odds
the most reasonable explanation of the numerous Glacial periods
through which our globe has passed, and of the recurring mild
spells, probably lasting thousands of years, in which elephants,
mastodons, and other semi-tropical vertebrates roamed in Siberia,
some of which died so recently that their flesh, preserved by the
cold, has been devoured by the dogs of modern explorers.

"It is not to be supposed that the inclining of the axes of
Jupiter, Venus, the Earth, and the other planets, is now fixed;
in some cases it is known to be changing. As long ago as 1890,
Major-Gen. A. W. Drayson, of the British Army, showed, in a work
entitled Untrodden Ground in Astronomy and Geology, that, as a
result of the second rotation of the earth, the inclination of
its axis was changing, it having been 23@ 28' 23" on January 1,
1750, 23@ 27' 55.3" on January 1, 1800, and 23@ 27' 30.9" on
January 1, 1850; and by calculation one hundred and ten years ago
showed that in 1900 (one hundred years ago) it would be 23@ 27'
08.8". This natural straightening is, of course, going on, and
we are merely about to anticipate it. When this improvement was
mooted, all agreed that the EXTREMES of heat and cold could well
be spared. 'Balance those of summer against those of winter by
partially straightening the axis; reduce the inclination from
twenty-three degrees, thirty minutes, to about fifteen degrees,
but let us stop there,' many said. Before we had gone far,
however, we found it would be best to make the work complete.
This will reclaim and make productive the vast areas of Siberia
and the northern part of this continent, and will do much for the
antarctic regions; but there will still be change in temperature;
a wind blowing towards the equator will always be colder than one
blowing from it, while the slight eccentricity of the orbit will
supply enough change to awaken recollections of seasons in our
eternal spring.

"The way to accomplish this is to increase the weight of the pole
leaving the sun, by increasing the amount of material there for
the sun to attract, and to lighten the pole approaching or
turning towards the sun, by removing some heavy substance from
it, and putting it preferably at the opposite pole. This
shifting of ballast is most easily accomplished, as you will
readily perceive, by confining and removing water, which is
easily moved and has a considerable weight. How we purpose to
apply these aqueous brakes to check the wabbling of the earth, by
means of the attraction of the sun, you will now see.

"From Commander Fillmore, of the Arctic Shade and the Committee
on Bulkheads and Dams, I have just received the following by
cable telephone: 'The Arctic Ocean is now in condition to be
pumped out in summer and to have its average depth increased one
hundred feet by the dams in winter. We have already fifty
million square yards of windmill turbine surface in position and
ready to move. The cables bringing us currents from the dynamos
at Niagara Falls are connected with our motors, and those from
the tidal dynamos at the Bay of Fundy will be in contact when
this reaches you, at which moment the pumps will begin. In
several of the landlocked gulfs and bays our system of confining
is so complete, that the surface of the water can be raised two
hundred feet above sea- level. The polar bears will soon have to
use artificial ice. Perhaps the cheers now ringing without may
reach you over the telephone.'"

The audience became greatly interested, and when the end of the
telephone was applied to a microphone the room fairly rang with
exultant cheers, and those looking through a kintograph (visual
telegraph) terminating in a camera obscura on the shores of
Baffin Bay were able to see engineers and workmen waving and
throwing up their caps and falling into one another's arms in
ecstasies of delight. When the excitement subsided, the
president continued:

"Chairman Wetmore, of the Committee on Excavations and
Embankments in Wilkesland and the Antarctic Continent, reports:
'Two hundred and fifty thousand square miles are now hollowed out
and enclosed sufficiently to hold water to an average depth of
four hundred feet. Every summer, when the basin is allowed to
drain, we can, if necessary, extend our reservoir, and shall have
the best season of the year for doing work until the earth has
permanent spring. Though we have comparatively little water or
tidal power, the earth's crust is so thin at this latitude, on
account of the flattening, that by sinking our tubular boilers
and pipes to a depth of a few thousand feet we have secured so
terrific a volume of superheated steam that, in connection with
our wind turbines, we shall have no difficulty in raising half a
cubic mile of water a minute to our enclosure, which is but
little above sea-level, and into which, till the pressure
increases, we can fan or blow the water, so that it can be full
three weeks after our longest day, or, since the present
unimproved arrangement gives the indigenes but one day and night
a year, I will add the 21st day of December.

"'We shall be able to find use for much of the potential energy
of the water in the reservoir when we allow it to escape in June,
in melting some of the accumulated polar ice-cap, thereby
decreasing still further the weight of this pole, in lighting and
warming ourselves until we get the sun's light and heat, in
extending the excavations, and in charging the storage batteries
of the ships at this end of the line. Everything will be ready
when you signal "Raise water."'"

"Let me add parenthetically," said Bearwarden, "that this means
of obtaining power by steam boilers sunk to a great depth is much
to be commended; for, though the amount of heat we can withdraw
is too small to have much effect, the farther towards the centre
our globe can be cooled the deeper will the water of the oceans
be able to penetrate--since it is its conversion into steam that
prevents the water from working its way in farther--and the more
dry land we shall have."

"You see," the president continued, "the storage capacity at the
south pole is not quite as great as at the north, because it is
more difficult to excavate a basin than to close the exits of one
that already exists, which is what we have done in the arctic.
The work is also not so nearly complete, since it will not be
necessary to use the southern reservoir for storing weight for
six months, or until the south pole, which is now at its maximum
declination from the sun, is turned towards it and begins to move
away; then, by increasing the amount of matter there, and at the
same time lightening the north pole, and reversing the process
every six months, we decrease the speed at which the departing
pole leaves the sun and at which the approaching pole advances.
The north pole, we see, will be a somewhat more powerful lever
than the south for working the globe to a straight position, but
we may be sure that the latter, in connection with the former,
will be able to hold up its end."

[The building here fairly shook with applause, so that, had the
arctic workers used the microphone, they might have heard in the
enthusiastic uproar a good counterpart of their own period.]

"I only regret," the president continued, "that when we began
this work the most marvellous force yet discovered--apergy--was
not sufficiently understood to be utilized, for it would have
eased our labours to the point of almost eliminating them. But
we have this consolation: it was in connection with our work that
its applicability was discovered, so that had we and all others
postponed our great undertaking on the pretext of waiting for a
new force, apergy might have continued to lie dormant for
centuries. With this force, obtained by simply blending negative
and positive electricity with electricity of the third element or
state, and charging a body sufficiently with this fluid,
gravitation is nullified or partly reversed, and the earth repels
the body with the same or greater power than that with which it
still attracts or attracted it, so that it may be suspended or
caused to move away into space. Sic itur ad astra, we may say.
With this force and everlasting spring before us, what may we not
achieve? We may some day be able to visit the planets, though
many may say that, since the axes of most of those we have
considered are more inclined than ours, they would rather stay
here. 'Blessed are they that shall inherit the earth,'" he went
on, turning a four-foot globe with its axis set vertically and at
right angles to a yellow globe labelled "Sun"; and again waxing
eloquent, he added: "We are the instruments destined to bring
about the accomplishment of that prophecy, for never in the
history of the world has man reared so splendid a monument to his
own genius as he will in straightening the axis of the planet.

"No one need henceforth be troubled by sudden change, and every
man can have perpetually the climate he desires. Northern Europe
will again luxuriate in a climate that favoured the elephants
that roamed in northern Asia and Switzerland. To produce these
animals and the food they need, it is not necessary to have great
heat, but merely to prevent great cold, half the summer's sun
being absorbed in melting the winter's accumulation of ice.

"When the axis has reached a point at which it inclines but about
twelve degrees, it will become necessary to fill the antarctic
reservoir in June and the Arctic Ocean in December, in order to
check the straightening, since otherwise it might get beyond the
perpendicular and swing the other way. When this motion is
completely arrested, I suggest that we blow up the Aleutian Isles
and enlarge Bering Strait, so as to allow what corresponds to the
Atlantic Gulf Stream in the Pacific to enter the Arctic
Archipelago, which I have calculated will raise the average
temperature of that entire region about thirty degrees, thereby
still further increasing the amount of available land.

"Ocean currents, being the result of the prevailing winds, which
will be more regular than at present, can be counted upon to
continue practically as they are. It may not be plain to you why
the trade winds do not blow towards the equator due south and
north, since the equator has much the same effect on air that a
stove has in the centre of a room, causing an ascending current
towards the ceiling, which moves off in straight lines in all
directions on reaching it, its place being taken by cold currents
moving in opposite directions along the floor. Picture to
yourselves the ascending currents at the equator moving off to
the poles from which they came. As they move north they are
continually coming to parts of the globe having smaller circles
of latitude than those they have left, and therefore not moved
forward as rapidly by the earth's daily rotation as the latitudes
nearer the equator. The winds consequently run ahead of the
surface, and so move east of north--the earth turning towards the
east--while the heavier colder surface currents, rushing towards
the equator to take the place of the ascending column, coming
from regions where the surface whirls comparatively slowly to
those where it is rotating faster, are continually left behind,
and so move southwest; while south of the equator a corresponding
motion results. Though this is not the most exact explanation,
it may serve to make the action clear. I will add, that if any
one prefers a colder or a warmer climate than that of the place
in which he lives, he need only go north or south for an hour;
or, if he prefers his own latitude, he can rise a few thousand
feet in the air, or descend to one of the worked-out coal-mines
which are now used as sanitariums, and secure his object by a
slight change of altitude. Let us speed the departure of racking
changes and extremes of climate, and prepare to welcome what we
believe prevails in paradise--namely, everlasting spring."

Appended to the address was the report of the Government
Examining Committee, which ran: "We have critically examined the
Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company's figures and
calculations, also its statements involving natural philosophy,
physics, and astronomy, all of which we find correct, and hereby

[Signed] "For the Committee:



The Board of Directors having ratified the acts of its officers,
and passed congratulatory resolutions, the meeting adjourned sine



IN A. D. 2000.

Prof. Cortlandt, preparing a history of the times at the
beginning of the great terrestrial and astronomical change, wrote
as follows: "This period--A.D. 2000--is by far the most
wonderful the world has as yet seen. The advance in scientific
knowledge and attainment within the memory, of the present
generation has been so stupendous that it completely overshadows
all that has preceded. All times in history and all periods of
the world have been remarkable for some distinctive or
characteristic trait. The feature of the period of Louis XIV was
the splendour of the court and the centralization of power in
Paris. The year 1789 marked the decline of the power of courts
and the evolution of government by the people. So, by the spread
of republican ideas and the great advance in science, education
has become universal, for women as well as for men, and this is
more than ever a mechanical age.

"With increased knowledge we are constantly coming to realize how
little we really know, and are also continually finding
manifestations of forces that at first seem like exceptions to
established laws. This is, of course, brought about by the
modifying influence of some other natural law, though many of
these we have not yet discovered.

"Electricity in its varied forms does all work, having superseded
animal and manual labour in everything, and man has only to
direct. The greatest ingenuity next to finding new uses for this
almost omnipotent fluid has been displayed in inducing the forces
of Nature, and even the sun, to produce it. Before describing
the features of this perfection of civilization, let us review
the steps by which society and the political world reached their
present state.

"At the close of the Franco-Prussian War, in 1871, Continental
Europe entered upon the condition of an armed camp, which lasted
for nearly half a century. The primary cause of this was the
mutual dislike and jealousy of France and Germany, each of which
strove to have a larger and better equipped national defence than
the other. There were also many other causes, as the ambition of
the Russian Czar, supported by his country's vast though
imperfectly developed resources and practically unlimited supply
of men, one phase of which was the constant ferment in the Balkan
Peninsula, and another Russia's schemes for extension in Asia;
another was the general desire for colonies in Africa, in which
one Continental power pretty effectually blocked another, and the
latent distrust inside the Triple Alliance. England, meanwhile,
preserved a wise and profitable neutrality.

"These tremendous sacrifices for armaments, both on land and
water, had far-reaching results, and, as we see it now, were
clouds with silver linings. The demand for hardened steel
projectiles, nickel-steel plates, and light and almost
unbreakable machinery, was a great incentive to improvement in
metallurgy while the necessity for compact and safely carried
ammunition greatly stimulated chemical research, and led to the
discovery of explosives whose powers no obstacle can resist, and
incidentally to other more useful things.

"Further mechanical and scientific progress, however, such as
flying machines provided with these high explosives, and
asphyxiating bombs containing compressed gas that could be fired
from guns or dropped from the air, intervened. The former would
have laid every city in the dust, and the latter might have
almost exterminated the race. These discoveries providentially
prevented hostilities, so that the 'Great War,' so long expected,
never came, and the rival nations had their pains for nothing,
or, rather, for others than themselves.

"Let us now examine the political and ethnological results.
Hundreds of thousands, of the flower of Continental Europe were
killed by overwork and short rations, and millions of desirable
and often--unfortunately for us--undesirable people were driven
to emigration, nearly all of whom came to English-speaking
territory, greatly increasing our productiveness and power. As,
we have seen, the jealousy of the Continental powers for one
another effectually prevented their extending their influence or
protectorates to other continents, which jealousy was
considerably aided by the small but destructive wars that did
take place. High taxes also made it more difficult for the
moneyed men to invest in colonizing or development companies,
which are so often the forerunners of absorption; while the
United States, with her coal--of which the Mediterranean states
have scarcely any--other resources, and low taxes, which, though
necessary, can be nothing but an evil, has been able to expand
naturally as no other nation ever has before.

"This has given the English-speakers, especially the United
States, a free hand, rendering enforcement of the Monroe doctrine
easy, and started English a long way towards becoming the
universal language, while all formerly unoccupied land is now
owned by those speaking it.

"At the close of our civil war, in 1865, we had but 3,000,000
square miles, and a population of 34,000,000. The country
staggered beneath a colossal debt of over $4,000,000,000, had an
expensive but essentially perishable navy, and there was an
ominous feeling between the sections. The purchase of Alaska in
1867, by which we added over half a million square miles to our
territory, marked the resumption of the forward march of the
United States. Twenty-five years later, at the presidential
campaign of 1892, the debt had been reduced to $900,000,000,
deducting the sinking fund, and the charge for pensions had about
reached its maximum and soon began to decrease, though no one
objected to any amount of reward for bona fide soldiers who had
helped to save the country. The country's wealth had also
enormously increased, while the population had grown to
65,000,000. Our ancestors had, completed or in building, a navy
of which no nation need be ashamed; and, though occasionally
marred by hard times, there was general prosperity.

"Gradually the different States of Canada--or provinces, as they
were then called--came to realize that their future would be far
grander and more glorious in union with the United States than
separated from it; and also that their sympathy was far stronger
for their nearest neighbours than for any one else. One by one
these Northern States made known their desire for consolidation
with the Union, retaining complete control of their local
affairs, as have the older States. They were gladly welcomed by
our Government and people, and possible rivals became the best of
friends. Preceding and also following this, the States of
Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America, tiring of
the incessant revolutions and difficulties among themselves,
which had pretty constantly looked upon us as a big brother on
account of our maintenance of the Monroe doctrine, began to
agitate for annexation, knowing they would retain control of
their local affairs. In this they were vigorously supported by
the American residents and property-holders, who knew that their
possessions would double in value the day the United States
Constitution was signed.

"Thus, in the first place, by the encouragement of our people,
and latterly, apparently, by its own volition, the Union has
increased enormously in power, till it now embraces 10,000,000
square miles, and has a free and enlightened population of
300,000,000. Though the Union established by Washington and his
contemporaries has attained such tremendous proportions, its
growth is by no means finished; and as a result of modern
improvements, it is less of a journey now to go from Alaska to
the Orinoco than it was for the Father of his Country to travel
from New York or Philadelphia to the site of the city named in
his honour.

"Adequate and really rapid transportation facilities have done
much to bind the different parts of the country together, and to
rub off the edges of local prejudice. Though we always favour
peace, no nation would think of opposing the expressed wishes of
the United States, and our moral power for good is tremendous.
The name Japhet means enlargement, and the prophecy seems about
to be literally fulfilled by these his descendants. The bankrupt
suffering of so many European Continental powers had also other
results. It enabled the socialists--who have never been able to
see beyond themselves--to force their governments into selling
their colonies in the Eastern hemisphere to England, and their
islands in the Western to us, in order to realize upon them.
With the addition of Canada to the United States and its loss to
the British Empire, the land possessions of the two powers became
about equal, our Union being a trifle the larger. All danger of
war being removed by the Canadian change, a healthful and
friendly competition took its place, the nations competing in
their growth on different hemispheres. England easily added
large areas in Asia and Africa, while the United States grew as
we have seen. The race is still, in a sense, neck-and-neck, and
the English-speakers together possess nearly half the globe. The
world's recent rate of progress would have been impossible
without this approximation to a universal language. The causes
that checkmated the Continental powers have ceased to exist.
Many millions of men whose principal thought had been to destroy
other members of the race became producers, but it was then too
late, for the heavy armaments had done their work.

"Let us now glance at the times as they are, and see how the
business of life is transacted. Manhattan Island has something
over 2,500,000 inhabitants, and is surrounded by a belt of
population, several miles wide, of 12,000,000 more, of which it
is the focus, so that the entire city contains more than
14,500,000 souls. The several hundred square miles of land and
water forming greater New York are perfectly united by numerous
bridges, tunnels, and electric ferries, while the city's great
natural advantages have been enhanced and beautified by every
ingenious device. No main avenue in the newer sections is less
than two hundred feet wide, containing shade and fruit trees, a
bridle-path, broad sidewalks, and open spaces for carriages and
bicycles. Several fine diagonal streets and breathing-squares
have also been provided in the older sections, and the existing
parks have been supplemented by intermediate ones, all being
connected by parkways to form continuous chains.

"The hollow masts of our ships--to glance at another phase en
passant--carry windmills instead of sails, through which the wind
performs the work, of storing a great part of the energy required
to run them at sea, while they are discharging or loading cargo
in port; and it can, of course, work to better advantage while
they are stationary than when they are running before it. These
turbines are made entirely of light metal, and fold when not in
use, so that only the frames are visible. Sometimes these also
fold and are housed, or wholly disappear within the mast.
Steam-boilers are also placed at the foci of huge concave
mirrors, often a hundred feet in diameter, the required heat
being supplied by the sun, without smoke, instead of by bulky and
dirty coal. This discovery gave commercial value to Sahara and
other tropical deserts, which are now desirable for mill-sites
and for generating power, on account of the directness with which
they receive the sun's rays and their freedom from clouds. Mile
after mile Africa has been won for the uses of civilization, till
great stretches that were considered impassible are as productive
as gardens. Our condensers, which compress, cool, and rarefy
air, enabling travellers to obtain water and even ice from the
atmosphere, are great aids in desert exploration, removing
absolutely the principal distress of the ancient caravan. The
erstwhile 'Dark Continent' has a larger white population now than
North America had a hundred years ago, and has this advantage for
the future, that it contains 11,600,000 square miles, while North
America has less than 9,000,000. Every part of the globe will
soon sustain about as large and prosperous a population as the
amount of energy it receives from the sun and other sources will
warrant; public debts and the efficiency of the governments being
the variable elements.

"The rabbits in Australia, and the far more objectionable
poisonous snakes in South America and India, have been
exterminated by the capture of a few dozen of the creatures in
the infested districts, their inoculation with the virus similar
to the murus tiphi, tuberculosis or any other contagious-germ
complaint to which the species treated was particularly
susceptible, and the release of these individuals when the
disease was seen to be taking hold. The rabbits and serpents
released at once returned to their old haunts, carrying the
plague far and wide. The unfortunate rabbits were greatly
commiserated even by the medicos that wielded the death-dealing
syringe; but, fortunately for themselves, they died easily. The
reptiles, perhaps on account of the wider distribution of the
nerve centres, had more lingering but not painful deaths, often,
while in articulo mortis, leaving the holes with which they
seemed to connect their discomfort, and making a final struggle
along the ground, only to die more quickly as a result of their
exertions. We have applied this also to the potato-bug, locust,
and other insect pests, no victim being too small for the
ubiquitous, subtle germ, which, properly cultivated and utilized,
has become one of man's best friends.

"We have microbe tests that show us as unmistakably whether the
germs of any particular disease--like malaria, typhoid, or
scarlet fever--are present in the air, as litmus-paper shows
alkalinity of a solution. We also inoculate as a preventive
against these and almost all other germ diseases, with the same
success that we vaccinate for smallpox.

"The medicinal properties of all articles of food are so well
understood also, that most cures are brought about simply by
dieting. This, reminds me of the mistakes perpetrated on a
friend of mine who called in Dr. Grave-Powders, one of the
old-school physicians, to be treated for insomnia and dyspepsia.
This old numskull restricted his diet, gave him huge doses of
medicine, and decided most learnedly that he was daily growing
worse. Concluding that he had but a short time to live, my
friend threw away the nauseating medicines, ate whatever he had a
natural desire for, and was soon as well as ever--the obvious
moral of which is, that we can get whatever treatment we need
most beneficially from our food. Our physicians are most serious
and thoughtful men. They never claim to be infallible, but study
scientifically to increase their knowledge and improve the
methods of treatment. As a result of this, fresh air, regular
exercise for both sexes, with better conditions, and the
preservation of the lives of children that formerly died by
thousands from preventable causes, the physique, especially of
women, is wonderfully improved, and the average longevity is
already over sixty.

"Our social structure, to be brief, is based on science, or the
conservation of energy, as the Greek philosophers predicted. It
was known to them that a certain amount of power would produce
only a certain amount of work--that is, the weight of a clock in
descending or a spring in uncoiling returns theoretically the
amount of work expended in raising or coiling it, and in no
possible way can it do more. In practice, on account of
friction, etc., we know it does less. This law, being
invariable, of course limits us, as it did Archimedes and
Pythagoras; we have simply utilized sources of power that their
clumsy workmen allowed to escape. Of the four principal
sources--food, fuel, wind, and tide--including harnessed
waterfalls, the last two do by far the most work. Much of the
electrical energy in every thunderstorm is also captured and
condensed in our capacious storage batteries, as natural hygeia
in the form of rain was and is still caught in our country
cisterns. Every exposed place is crowned by a cluster of huge
windmills that lift water to some pond or reservoir placed as
high as possible. Every stiff breeze, therefore, raises millions
of tons of water which operate hydraulic turbines as required.
Incidentally these storage reservoirs, by increasing the surface
exposed to evaporation and the consequent rainfall, have a very
beneficial effect on the dry regions in the interior of the
continent, and in some cases have almost superseded irrigation.
The windmill and dynamo thus utilize bleak mountain-tops that,
till their discovery, seemed to be but indifferent successes in
Dame Nature's domain. The electricity generated by these, in
connection with that obtained by waterfalls, tidal dynamos,
thunderstorms, chemical action, and slow-moving
quadruple-expansion steam engines, provides the power required to
run our electric ships and water-spiders, railways, and
stationary and portable motors, for heating the cables laid along
the bottom of our canals to prevent their freezing in winter, and
for almost every conceivable purpose. Sometimes a man has a
windmill on his roof for light and heat; then, the harder the
wintry blasts may blow the brighter and warmer becomes the house,
the current passing through a storage battery to make it more
steady. The operation of our ordinary electric railways is very
simple: the current is taken from an overhead, side, or
underneath wire, directly through the air, without the
intervention of a trolley, and the fast cars, for they are no
longer run in trains, make five miles a minute. The entire
weight of each car being used for its own traction, it can ascend
very steep grades, and can attain high speed or stop very

"Another form is the magnetic railway, on which the cars are
wedge-shaped at both ends, and moved by huge magnets weighing
four thousand tons each, placed fifty miles apart. On passing a
magnet, the nature of the electricity charging a car is
automatically changed from positive to negative, or vice versa,
to that of the magnet just passed, so that it repels while the
next attracts. The successive magnets are charged oppositely,
the sections being divided halfway between by insulators, the
nature of the electricity in each section being governed by the
charge in the magnet. To prevent one kind of electricity from
uniting with and neutralizing that in the next section by passing
through the car at the moment of transit, there is a "dead
stretch" of fifty yards with rails not charged at all between the
sections. This change in the nature of the electricity is
repeated automatically every fifty miles, and obviates the
necessity of revolving machinery, the rails aiding communication.

"Magnetism being practically as instantaneous as gravitation, the
only limitations to speed are the electrical pressure at the
magnets, the resistance of the air, and the danger of the wheels
bursting from centrifugal force. The first can seemingly be
increased without limit; the atmospheric resistance is about to
be reduced by running the cars hermetically sealed through a
partial vacuum in a steel and toughened glass tube; while the
third has been removed indefinitely by the use of galvanized
aluminum, which bears about the same relation to ordinary
aluminum that steel does to iron, and which has twice the tensile
strength and but one third the weight of steel. In some cases
the rails are made turned in, so that it would be impossible for
a car to leave the track without the road-bed's being totally
demolished; but in most cases this is found to be unnecessary,
for no through line has a curve on its vast stretches with a
radius of less than half a mile. Rails, one hundred and sixty
pounds to the yard, are set in grooved steel ties, which in turn
are held by a concrete road-bed consisting of broken stone and
cement, making spreading rails and loose ballast impossible. A
large increase in capital was necessary for these improvements,
the elimination of curves being the most laborious part,
requiring bridges, cuttings, and embankments that dwarf the
Pyramids and would have made the ancient Pharaohs open their
eyes; but with the low rate of interest on bonds, the slight cost
of power, and great increase in business, the venture was a
success, and we are now in sight of further advances that will
enable a traveller in a high latitude moving west to keep pace
with the sun, and, should he wish it, to have unending day."



"In marine transportation we have two methods, one for freight
and another for passengers. The old-fashioned deeply immersed
ship has not changed radically from the steam and sailing vessels
of the last century, except that electricity has superseded all
other motive powers. Steamers gradually passed through the five
hundred-, six hundred-, and seven hundred-foot-long class, with
other dimensions in proportion, till their length exceeded one
thousand feet. These were very fast ships, crossing the Atlantic
in four and a half days, and were almost as steady as houses, in
even the roughest weather.

"Ships at this period of their development had also passed
through the twin and triple screw stage to the quadruple, all
four together developing one hundred and forty thousand indicated
horse-power, and being driven by steam. This, of course,
involved sacrificing the best part of the ship to her engines,
and a very heavy idle investment while in port. Storage
batteries, with plates composed of lead or iron, constantly
increasing in size, had reached a fair state of development by
the close of the nineteenth century.

"During the second decade of the twentieth century the engineers
decided to try the plan of running half of a transatlantic
liner's screws by electricity generated by the engines for
driving the others while the ship was in port, this having been a
success already on a smaller scale. For a time this plan gave
great satisfaction, since it diminished the amount of coal to be
carried and the consequent change of displacement at sea, and
enabled the ship to be worked with a smaller number of men. The
batteries could also, of course, be distributed along the entire
length, and placed where space was least valuable.

"The construction of such huge vessels called for much
governmental river and harbour dredging, and a ship drawing
thirty-five feet can now enter New York at any state of the tide.
For ocean bars, the old system of taking the material out to sea
and discharging it still survives, though a jet of water from
force-pumps directed against the obstruction is also often
employed with quick results. For river work we have discovered a
better method. All the mud is run back, sometimes over a mile
from the river bank, where it is used as a fertilizer, by means
of wire railways strung from poles. These wire cables combine in
themselves the functions of trolley wire and steel rail, and
carry the suspended cars, which empty themselves and return
around the loop for another load. Often the removed material
entirely fills small, saucer-shaped valleys or low places, in
which case it cannot wash back. This improvement has ended the
necessity of building jetties.

"The next improvement in sea travelling was the 'marine spider.'
As the name shows, this is built on the principle of an insect.
It is well known that a body can be carried over the water much
faster than through it. With this in mind, builders at first
constructed light framework decks on large water-tight wheels or
drums, having paddles on their circumferences to provide a hold
on the water. These they caused to revolve by means of machinery
on the deck, but soon found that the resistance offered to the
barrel wheels themselves was too great. They therefore made them
more like centipeds with large, bell-shaped feet, connected with
a superstructural deck by ankle-jointed pipes, through which,
when necessary, a pressure of air can be forced down upon the
enclosed surface of water. Ordinarily, however, they go at great
speed without this, the weight of the water displaced by the bell
feet being as great as that resting upon them. Thus they swing
along like a pacing horse, except that there are four rows of
feet instead of two, each foot being taken out of the water as it
is swung forward, the first and fourth and second and third rows
being worked together. Although, on account of their size, which
covers several acres, they can go in any water, they give the
best results on Mediterraneans and lakes that are free from ocean
rollers, and, under favourable conditions, make better speed than
the nineteenth-century express trains, and, of course, going
straight as the crow flies, and without stopping, they reach a
destination in considerably shorter time.

Some passengers and express packages still cross the Atlantic on
'spiders,' but most of these light cargoes go in a far pleasanter
and more rapid way. The deep-displacement vessels, for heavy
freight, make little better speed than was made by the same class
a hundred years ago. But they are also run entirely by
electricity, largely supplied by wind, and by the tide turning
their motors, which become dynamos while at anchor in any stream.
They therefore need no bulky boilers, engines, sails, or
coal-bunkers, and consequently can carry unprecedentedly large
cargoes with comparatively small crews. The officers on the
bridge and the men in the crow's nest--the way to which is by a
ladder INSIDE the mast, to protect the climber from the
weather--are about all that is needed; while disablement is made
practically impossible, by having four screws, each with its own
set of automatically lubricating motors.

"This change, like other labour-saving appliances, at first
resulted in laying off a good many men, the least satisfactory
being the first to go; but the increase in business was so great
that the intelligent men were soon reemployed as officers at
higher rates of pay and more interesting work than before, while
they as consumers were benefited as much as any one else by the
decreased cost of production and transportation.

"With a view to facilitating interchange still further, our
Government has gradually completed the double coast-line that
Nature gave us in part. This was done by connecting islands
separated from shore by navigable water, and leaving openings for
ingress and exit but a few hundred yards wide. The breakwaters
required to do this were built with cribbing of incorrodible
metal, affixed to deeply driven metallic piles, and filled with
stones along coasts where they were found in abundance or excess.
This, while clearing many fields and improving them for
cultivation, provided just the needed material; since irregular
stones bind together firmly, and, while also insoluble, combine
considerable bulk with weight. South of Hatteras, where stones
are scarce, the sand dredged from parts of the channel was filled
into the crib, the surface of which has a concave metallic cover,
a trough of still water being often the best barrier against the
passage of waves. This double coast-line has been a great
benefit, and propelled vessels of moderate draught can range in
smooth water, carrying very full loads, from Labrador to the
Orinoco. The exits are, of course, protected by a line of
cribbing a few hundred feet to seaward.

"The rocks have been removed from all channels about New York and
other commercial centres, while the shallow places have been
dredged to a uniform depth. This diminishes the dangers of
navigation and considerably decreases the speed with which the
tides rush through. Where the obstructions consisted of reefs
surrounded by deep water, their removal with explosives was easy,
the shattered fragments being allowed to sink to the bottom and
remain there beneath the danger line.

"Many other great works have also been completed. The canals at
Nicaragua have been in operation many years, it having been found
best to have several sizes of locks, and to use the large ones
only for the passage of large vessels. The improved Erie and
Champlain Canals also enable ships four hundred feet long to
reach New York from the Great Lakes via the Hudson River.

"For flying, we have an aeroplane that came in when we devised a
suitable motor power. This is obtained from very light
paper-cell batteries that combine some qualities of the primary
and secondary type, since they must first be charged from a
dynamo, after which they can supply full currents for one hundred
hours--enough to take them around the globe--while partly
consuming the elements in the cells. The power is applied
through turbine screws, half of which are capable of propelling
the flat deck in its inclined position at sufficient speed to
prevent its falling. The moving parts have ball bearings and
friction rollers, lubrication being secured automatically, when
required, by a supply of vaseline that melts if any part becomes
hot. All the framing is of thin but very durable galvanized
aluminum, which has superseded steel for every purpose in which
weight is not an advantage, as in the permanent way on railways.
The air ships, whose length varies from fifty to five hundred
feet, have rudders for giving a vertical or a horizontal motion,
and several strengthening keels that prevent leeway when turning.
They are entirely on the principle of birds, maintaining
themselves mechanically, and differing thus from the unwieldy
balloon. Starting as if on a circular railway, against the wind,
they rise to a considerable height, and then, shutting off the
batteries, coast down the aerial slope at a rate that sometimes
touches five hundred miles an hour. When near the ground the
helmsman directs the prow upward, and, again turning on full
current, rushes up the slope at a speed that far exceeds the
eagle's, each drop of two miles serving to take the machine
twenty or thirty; though, if the pilot does not wish to soar, or
if there is a fair wind at a given height, he can remain in that
stratum of the atmosphere by moving horizontally. He can also
maintain his elevation when moving very slowly, and though the
headway be entirely stopped, the descent is gradual on account of
the aeroplane's great spread, the batteries and motors being
secured to the under side of the deck.

"The motors are so light that they develop two horse power for
every pound of their weight; while, to keep the frames thin, the
necessary power is obtained by terrific speed of the moving
parts, as though a steam engine, to avoid great pressure in its
cylinders, had a long stroke and ran at great piston speed,
which, however, is no disadvantage to the rotary motion of the
electric motor, there being no reciprocating cranks, etc., that
must be started and stopped at each revolution.

"To obviate the necessity of gearing to reduce the number of
revolutions to those possible for a large screw, this member is
made very small, and allowed to revolve three thousand times a
minute, so that the requisite power is obtained with great
simplicity of mechanism, which further decreases friction. The
shafts, and even the wires connecting the batteries with the
motors, are made large and hollow. Though the primary battery
pure and simple, as the result of great recent advances in
chemistry, seems to be again coming up, the best aeroplane
batteries are still of the combination- storage type. These have
been so perfected that eight ounces of battery yield one horse
power for six hours, so that two pounds of battery will supply a
horse power for twenty-four hours; a small fifty-horse-power
aeroplane being therefore able to fly four days with a battery
weight of but four hundred pounds.

"Limestone and clarified acid are the principal parts of these
batteries. It was known long ago that there was about as much
imprisoned solar energy in limestone as in coal, but it was only
recently that we discovered this way of releasing and using it.

"Common salt plays an important part in many of our chemical
reactions. By combining it with limestone, and treating this
with acid jelly, we also get good results on raising to the

"However enjoyable the manly sport of yachting is on water, how
vastly more interesting and fascinating it is for a man to have a
yacht in which he can fly to Europe in one day, and with which
the exploration of tropical Africa or the regions about the poles
is mere child's play, while giving him so magnificent a
bird's-eye view! Many seemingly insoluble problems are solved by
the advent of these birds. Having as their halo the enforcement
of peace, they have in truth taken us a long step towards heaven,
and to the co-operation and higher civilization that followed we
shall owe much of the success of the great experiment on Mother
Earth now about to be tried.

"Another change that came in with a rush upon the discovery of a
battery with insignificant weight, compact form, and great
capacity, was the substitution of electricity for animal power
for the movement of all vehicles. This, of necessity brought in
good roads, the results obtainable on such being so much greater
than on bad ones that a universal demand for them arose. This
was in a sense cumulative, since the better the streets and roads
became, the greater the inducement to have an electric carriage.
The work of opening up the country far and near, by straightening
and improving existing roads, and laying out new ones that
combine the solidity of the Appian Way with the smoothness of
modern asphalt, was largely done by convicts, working under the
direction of State and Government engineers. Every State
contained a horde of these unprofitable boarders, who, as they
formerly worked, interfered with honest labour, and when idle got
into trouble. City streets had been paved by the municipality;
country roads attended to by the farmers, usually very
unscientifically. Here was a field in which convict labour would
not compete, and an important work could be done. When once this
was made the law, every year showed improvement, while the
convicts had useful and healthful occupation.

"The electric phaetons, as those for high speed are called, have
three and four wheels, and weigh, including battery and motor,
five hundred to four thousand pounds. With hollow but immensely
strong galvanically treated aluminum frames and pneumatic or
cushion tires, they run at thirty-five and forty miles an hour on
country roads, and attain a speed over forty on city streets, and
can maintain this rate without recharging for several days. They
can therefore roam over the roads of the entire hemisphere, from
the fertile valley of the Peace and grey shores of Hudson Bay, to
beautiful Lake Nicaragua, the River Plate, and Patagonia,
improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine
the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the
country well.

"To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every
town and village, two copper pins attached to insulated copper
wires are shoved into smooth-bored holes. These drop out of
themselves by fusing a small lead ribbon, owing to the increased
resistance, when the acid in the batteries begins to 'boil,'
though there is, of course, but little heat in this, the function
of charging being merely to bring about the condition in which
part of the limestone can be consumed, the batteries themselves,
when in constant use, requiring to be renewed about once a month.
A handle at the box seat turns on any part of the attainable
current, for either going ahead or reversing, there being six or
eight degrees of speed for both directions, while the steering is
done with a small wheel.

"Light but powerful batteries and motors have also been fitted on
bicycles, which can act either as auxiliaries for hill-climbing
or in case of head wind, or they can propel the machine

"Gradually the width of the streets became insufficient for the
traffic, although the elimination of horses and the consequent
increase in speed greatly augmented their carrying capacity,
until recently a new system came in. The whole width of the
avenues and streets in the business parts of the city, including
the former sidewalks, is given up to wheel traffic, an iron ridge
extending along the exact centre to compel vehicles to keep to
the right. Strips of nickel painted white, and showing a bright
phosphorescence at night, are let into the metal pavement flush
with the surface, and run parallel to this ridge at distances of
ten to fifteen feet, dividing each half of the avenue into four
or five sections, their width increasing as they approach the
middle. All trucks or drays moving at less than seven miles an
hour are obliged to keep in the section nearest the building
line, those running between seven and fifteen in the next,
fifteen to twenty-five in the third, twenty-five to thirty-five
in the fourth, and everything faster than that in the section
next the ridge, unless the avenue or street is wide enough for
further subdivisions. If it is wide enough for only four or
less, the fastest vehicles must keep next the middle, and limit
their speed to the rate allowed in that section, which is marked
at every crossing in white letters sufficiently large for him
that runs to read. It is therefore only in the wide
thoroughfares that very high speed can be attained. In addition
to the crank that corresponds to a throttle, there is a gauge on
every vehicle, which shows its exact speed in miles per hour, by
gearing operated by the revolutions of the wheels.

"The policemen on duty also have instantaneous kodaks mounted on
tripods, which show the position of any carriage at half- and
quarter-second intervals, by which it is easy to ascertain the
exact speed, should the officers be unable to judge it by the
eye; so there is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that
allowed in the section in which it happens to be; neither can a
slow one remain on the fast lines.

"Of course, to make such high speed for ordinary carriages
possible, a perfect pavement became a sine qua non. We have
secured this by the half-inch sheet of steel spread over a
carefully laid surface of asphalt, with but little bevel; and
though this might be slippery for horses' feet, it never
seriously affects our wheels. There being nothing harder than
the rubber ties of comparatively light drays upon it--for the
heavy traffic is carried by electric railways under ground--it
will practically never wear out.

"With the application of steel to the entire surface, car-tracks
became unnecessary, ordinary wheels answering as well as those
with flanges, so that no new tracks were laid, and finally the
car companies tore up the existing ones, selling them in many
instances to the municipalities as old iron. Our streets also
need but little cleaning; neither is the surface continually
indented, as the old cobble-stones and Belgian blocks were, by
the pounding of the horses' feet, so that the substitution of
electricity for animal power has done much to solve the problem
of attractive streets.

"Scarcely a ton of coal comes to Manhattan Island or its vicinity
in a year. Very little of it leaves the mines, at the mouths of
which it is converted into electricity and sent to the points of
consumption by wire, where it is employed for all uses to which
fuel was put, and many others. Consequently there is no smoke,
and the streets are not encumbered with coal-carts; the entire
width being given up to carriages, etc. The ground floors in the
business parts are used for large warehouses, trucks running in
to load and unload. Pedestrians therefore have sidewalks level
with the second story, consisting of glass floors let into
aluminum frames, while all street crossings are made on bridges.
Private houses have a front door opening on the sidewalk, and
another on the ground level, so that ladies paying visits or
leaving cards can do so in carriages. In business streets the
second story is used for shops. In place of steel covering,
country roads have a thick coating of cement and asphalt over a
foundation of crushed stone, giving a capital surface, and have a
width of thirty-three feet (two rods) in thinly settled
districts, to sixty-six feet (four rods) where the population is
greater. All are planted with shade and fruit trees, while the
wide driveways have one or two broad sidewalks. The same rule of
making the slow-moving vehicles keep near the outside prevails,
though the rate of increase in speed on approaching the middle is
more rapid than in cities, and there is usually no dividing
ridge. On reaching the top of a long and steep hill, if we do
not wish to coast, we convert the motors into dynamos, while
running at full speed, and so change the kinetic energy of the
descent into potential in our batteries. This twentieth-century
stage-coaching is one of the delights to which we are heirs,
though horses are still used by those that prefer them.

We have been much aided in our material progress by the facility
with which we obtain the metals. It was observed, some time ago,
that when artesian and oil wells had reached a considerable
depth, what appeared to be drops of lead and antimony came up
with the stream. It finally occurred to a well-borer that if he
could make his drill hard enough and get it down far enough,
keeping it cool by solidified carbonic acid during the
proceeding, he would reach a point at which most of the metals
would be viscous, if not actually molten, and on being freed from
the pressure of the crust they would expand, and reach the
surface in a stream. This experiment he performed near the hot
geysers in Yellowstone Park, and what was his delight, on
reaching a depth scarcely half a mile beyond his usual stopping-
place, to be rewarded by a stream of metal that heralded its
approach by a loud explosion and a great rush of superheated
steam! It ran for a month, completely filling the bed of a
small, dried-up river, and when it did stop there were ten
million tons in sight. This proved the feasibility of the
scheme, and, though many subsequent attempts were less
successful, we have learned by experience where it is best to
drill, and can now obtain almost any metal we wish.

"'Magnetic eyes' are of great use to miners and Civil engineers.
These instruments are something like the mariner's compass, with
the sensitiveness enormously increased by galvanic currents. The
'eye,' as it were, sees what substances are underground, and at
what distances. It also shows how many people are in an
adjoining room--through the magnetic properties of the iron in
their blood--whether they are moving, and in what directions and
at what speed they go. In connection with the phonograph and
concealed by draperies, it is useful to detectives, who, through
a registering attachment, can obtain a record of everything said
and done.

"Our political system remains with but little change. Each State
has still two United States Senators, though the population
represented by each representative has been greatly increased, so
that the Senate has grown numerically much more than the House.
It is the duty of each member of Congress to understand the
conditions existing in every other member's State or district,
and the country's interest always precedes that of party. We
have a comprehensive examination system in the civil service, and
every officeholder, except members of the Cabinet, retains his
office while efficiently performing his duty, without regard to
politics. The President can also be re-elected any number of
times. The Cabinet members, as formerly, usually remain in
office while he does, and appear regularly in Congress to defend
their measures.

"The really rapid transit lines in New York are underground, and
have six tracks, two being used for freight. At all stations the
local tracks rise several feet towards the street and slope off
in both directions, while the express tracks do this only at
stations at which the faster trains stop. This gives the
passengers a shorter distance to descend or rise in the
elevators, and the ascent before the stations aids the brakes in
stopping, while the drop helps the motors to start the trains
quickly in getting away.

"Photography has also made great strides, and there is now no
difficulty in reproducing exactly the colours of the object

"Telephones have been so improved that one person can speak in
his natural voice with another in any part of the globe, the wire
that enables him to hear also showing him the face of the speaker
though he be at the antipodes. All telephone wires being
underground and kept by themselves, they are not interfered with
by any high-tension electric-light or power wires, thunderstorms,
or anything else.

"Rain-making is another subject removed from the uncertainties,
and has become an absolute science. We produce clouds by
explosions in the atmosphere's heights and by surface air forced
by blowers through large pipes up the side of a mountain or
natural elevation and there discharged through an opening in the
top of a tower built on the highest part. The aeriduct is
incased in a poor heat-conductor, so that the air retains its
warmth until discharged, when it is cooled by expansion and the
surrounding cold air. Condensation takes place and soon serves
to start a rain.

"Yet, until the earth's axis is straightened, we must be more or
less dependent on the eccentricities of the weather, with
extremes of heat and cold, droughts and floods, which last are of
course largely the result of several months' moisture held on the
ground in the form of snow, the congestion being relieved
suddenly by the warm spring rains.

"Medicine and surgery have kept pace with other
improvements--inoculation and antiseptics, as already seen,
rendering most of the germ diseases and formerly dreaded
epidemics impotent; while through the potency of electrical
affinity we form wholesome food-products rapidly, instead of
having to wait for their production by Nature's slow processes.

"The metric system, now universal, superseded the old-fashioned
arbitrary standards, so prolific of mistakes and confusion, about
a century ago.

"English, as we have seen, is already the language of 600,000,000
people, and the number is constantly increasing through its
adoption by the numerous races of India, where, even before the
close of the last century, it was about as important as Latin
during the greatness of Rome, and by the fact that the Spanish
and Portuguese elements in Mexico and Central and South America
show a constant tendency to die out, much as the population of
Spain fell from 30,000,000 to 17,000,000 during the nineteenth
century. As this goes on, in the Western hemisphere, the places
left vacant are gradually filled by the more progressive
Anglo-Saxons, so that it looks as if the study of ethnology in
the future would be very simple.

"The people with cultivation and leisure, whose number is
increasing relatively to the population at each generation, spend
much more of their year in the country than formerly, where they
have large and well-cultivated country seats, parts of which are
also preserved for game. This growing custom on the part of
society, in addition to being of great advantage to the
out-of-town districts, has done much to save the forests and
preserve some forms of game that would otherwise, like the
buffalo, have become extinct.

"In astronomy we have also made tremendous strides. The
old-fashioned double-convex lens used in telescopes became so
heavy as its size grew, that it bent perceptibly from its own
weight, when pointed at the zenith, distorting the vision; while
when it was used upon a star near the horizon, though the glass
on edge kept its shape, there was too much atmosphere between it
and the observed object for successful study. Our recent
telescopes have, therefore, concave plate-glass mirrors, twenty
metres in diameter, like those used for converging the sun's rays
in solar engines, but with curves more mathematically exact,
which collect an immense amount of light and focus it on a
sensitive plate or on the eye of the observer, whose back is
turned to the object he is studying. An electrical field also
plays an important part, the electricity being as great an aid to
light as in the telephone it is to sound. With these placed
generally on high mountain peaks, beyond the reach of clouds, we
have enormously increased the number of visible stars, though
there are still probably boundless regions that we cannot see.
These telescopes have several hundred times the power of the
largest lenses of the nineteenth century, and apparently bring
Mars and Jupiter, when in opposition, within one thousand and ten
thousand miles, respectively, so that we study their physical
geography and topography; and we have good maps of Jupiter, and
even of Saturn, notwithstanding their distance and atmospheric
envelopes, and we are able to see the disks of third-magnitude

"It seems as if, when we wish any particular discovery or
invention, in whatever field, we had but to turn our efforts in
its direction to obtain our desire. We seem, in fact, to have
awakened in the scenes of the Arabian Nights; yet the mysterious
genius which we control, and which dims Aladdin's lamp, is the
gift of no fairy godmother sustained by the haze of dreams, but
shines as the child of science with fadeless and growing
splendour, and may yet bring us and our little planet much closer
to God.

"We should indeed be happy, living as we do at this apex of
attained civilization, with the boundless possibilities of the
future unfolding before us, on the horizon of which we may fairly
be said to stand.

"We are freed from the rattling granite pavement of only a
century ago, which made the occupant of an omnibus feel like a
fly inside of a drum; from the domination of our local politics
by ignorant foreigners; and from country roads that either filled
the eyes, lungs, and hair of the unfortunates travelling upon
them with dust, or, resembling ploughed and fertilized fields,
saturated and plastered them with mud. These miseries, together
with sea-sickness in ocean travelling, are forever passed, and we
feel that 'Excelsior!' is indeed our motto. Our new and
increasing sources of power have so stimulated production and
manufacturing that poverty or want is scarcely known; while the
development of the popular demand, as a result of the supplied
need, is so great that there is no visible limit to the
diversification of industry or the possibilities of the arts.

"It may seem strange to some that apparently so disproportionate
a number of inventions have been made in the last century. There
are several reasons. Since every discovery or advance in
knowledge increases our chance of obtaining more, it becomes
cumulative, and our progress is in geometric instead of
arithmetical ratio. Public interest and general appreciation of
the value of time have also effectively assisted progress. At
the beginning of each year the President, the Governors of the
States, and the Mayors of cities publish a prospectus of the
great improvements needed, contemplated, and under way within
their jurisdiction--it may be planning a new boulevard, a new
park, or an improved system of sewers; and at the year's end they
issue a resume of everything completed, and the progress in
everything else; and though there is usually a great difference
between the results hoped for and those attained, the effect is
good. The newspapers publish at length the recommendations of
the Executives, and also the results obtained, and keep up public
interest in all important matters.

"Free to delve in the allurement and fascination of science,
emancipated man goes on subduing Nature, as his Maker said he
should, and turning her giant forces to his service in his
constant struggle to rise and become more like Him who gave the
commandments and showed him how he should go.

"Notwithstanding our strides in material progress, we are not
entirely content. As the requirements of the animal become fully
supplied, we feel a need for something else. Some say this is
like a child that cries for the moon, but others believe it the
awakening and craving of our souls. The historian narrates but
the signs of the times, and strives to efface himself; yet there
is clearly a void, becoming yearly more apparent, which
materialism cannot fill. Is it some new subtle force for which
we sigh, or would we commune with spirits? There is, so far as
we can see, no limit to our journey, and I will add, in closing,
that, with the exception of religion, we have most to hope from



Knowing that the rectification of the earth's axis was
satisfactorily begun, and that each year would show an increasing
improvement in climate, many of the delegates, after hearing
Bearwarden's speech, set out for their homes. Those from the
valley of the Amazon and the eastern coast of South America
boarded a lightning express that rushed them to Key West at the
rate of three hundred miles an hour. The railroad had six
tracks, two for through passengers, two for locals, and two for
freight. There they took a "water-spider," six hundred feet long
by three hundred in width, the deck of which was one hundred feet
above the surface, which carried them over the water at the rate
of a mile a minute, around the eastern end of Cuba, through
Windward Passage, and so to the South American mainland, where
they continued their journey by rail.

The Siberian and Russian delegates, who, of course, felt a keen
interest in the company's proceedings, took a magnetic
double-ender car to Bering Strait. It was eighteen feet high,
one hundred and fifty feet long, and had two stories. The upper,
with a toughened glass dome running the entire length, descended
to within three feet of the floor, and afforded an unobstructed
view of the rushing scenery. The rails on which it ran were ten
feet apart, the wheels being beyond the sides, like those of a
carriage, and fitted with ball bearings to ridged axles. The
car's flexibility allowed it to follow slight irregularities in
the track, while the free, independent wheels gave it a great
advantage in rounding curves over cars with wheels and axle in
one casting, in which one must slip while traversing a greater or
smaller arc than the other, except when the slope of the tread
and the centrifugal force happen to correspond exactly. The fact
of having its supports outside instead of underneath, while
increasing its stability, also enabled the lower floor to come
much nearer the ground, while still the wheels were large.
Arriving in just twenty hours, they ran across on an electric
ferry-boat, capable of carrying several dozen cars, to East Cape,
Siberia, and then, by running as far north as possible, had a
short cut to Europe.

The Patagonians went by the all-rail Intercontinental Line,
without change of cars, making the run of ten thousand miles in
forty hours. The Australians entered a flying machine, and were
soon out of sight; while the Central Americans and members from
other States of the Union returned for the most part in their
mechanical phaetons.

"A prospective improvement in travelling," said Bearwarden, as he
and his friends watched the crowd disperse, "will be when we can
rise beyond the limits of the atmosphere, wait till the earth
revolves beneath us, and descend in twelve hours on the other

"True," said Cortlandt, "but then we can travel westward only,
and shall have to make a complete circuit when we wish to go

A few days later there was a knock at President Bearwarden's
door, while he was seated at his desk looking over some papers
and other matters. Taking his foot from a partly opened desk
drawer where it had been resting, he placed it upon the handle of
a handsome brass-mounted bellows, which proved to be
articulating, for, as he pressed, it called lustily, "Come in!"
The door opened, and in walked Secretary of State Stillman,
Secretary of the Navy Deepwaters, who was himself an old sailor,
Dr. Cortlandt, Ayrault. Vice-President Dumby, of the T. A. S.
Co., and two of the company's directors.

"Good-morning," said Bearwarden, as he shook hands with his
visitors. "Charmed to see you."

"That's a great invention," said Secretary Stillman, examining
the bellows. "We must get Congress to make an appropriation for
its introduction in the department buildings in Washington. You
have no idea how it dries my throat to be all the time shouting,
'Come in!'"

"Do you know, Bearwarden," said Secretary Deepwaters, "I'm afraid
when we have this millennium of climate every one will be so well
satisfied that our friend here (pointing to Secretary Stillman
with his thumb) will have nothing to do."

"I have sometimes thought some of the excitement will be gone,
and the struggle of the 'survival of the fittest' will become
less problematical," said Bearwarden.

"The earth seems destined to have a calm old age," said
Cortlandt, "unless we can look to the Cabinet to prevent it."

"This world will soon be a dull place. I wish we could leave it
for a change," said Ayrault. "I don't mean forever, of course,
but just as people have grown tired of remaining like plants in
the places in which they grew. Alan has been a caterpillar for
untold ages; can he not become the butterfly?"

"Since we have found out how to straighten the axis," said
Deepwaters, "might we not go one better, and improve the orbit as
well?--increase the difference between aphelion and perihelion,
and give those that still like a changing climate a chance, while
incidentally we should see more of the world--I mean the solar
system--and, by enlarging the parallax, be able to measure the
distance of a greater number of fixed stars. Put your helm hard
down and shout 'Hard-a-lee!' You see, there is nothing simpler.
You keep her off now, and six months hence you let her luff."

"That's an idea!" said Bearwarden. "Our orbit could be enough
like that of a comet to cross the orbits of both Venus and Mars;
and the climatic extremes would not be inconvenient. The whole
earth being simultaneously warmed or cooled, there would be no
equinoctials or storms resulting from changes on one part of the
surface from intense heat to intense cold; every part would have
a twelve-hour day and night, and none would be turned towards or
from the sun for six months at a time; for, however eccentric the
orbit, we should keep the axis absolutely straight. At
perihelion there would simply be increased evaporation and clouds
near the equator, which would shield those regions from the sun,
only to disappear again as the earth receded.

"The only trouble," said Cortlandt, "is that we should have no
fulcrum. Straightening the axis is simple enough, for we have
the attraction of the sun with which to work, and we have but to
increase it at one end while decreasing it at the other, and
change this as the poles change their inclination towards the
sun, to bring it about. If a comet with a sufficiently large
head would but come along and retard us, or opportunely give us a
pull, or if we could increase the attraction of the other planets
for us, or decrease it at times, it might be done. If the force,
the control of which was discovered too late to help us
straighten the axis, could be applied on a sufficiently large
scale; if apergy----"

"I have it!" exclaimed Ayrault, jumping up. "Apergy will do it.
We can build an airtight projectile, hermetically seal ourselves
within, and charge it in such a way that it will be repelled by
the magnetism of the earth, and it will be forced from it with
equal or greater violence than that with which it is ordinarily
attracted. I believe the earth has but the same relation to
space that the individual molecule has to any solid, liquid, or
gaseous matter we know; and that, just as molecules strive to fly
apart on the application of heat, this earth will repel that
projectile when electricity, which we are coming to look upon as
another form of heat, is properly applied. It must be so, and it
is the manifest destiny of the race to improve it. Man is a
spirit cursed with a mortal body, which glues him to the earth,
and his yearning to rise, which is innate, is, I believe, only a
part of his probation and trial."

"Show us how it can be done," shouted his listeners in chorus.

"Apergy is and must be able to do it," Ayrault continued.
"Throughout Nature we find a system of compensation. The
centripetal force is offset by the centrifugal; and when,
according to the fable, the crystal complained of its hard lot in
being unable to move, while the eagle could soar through the
upper air and see all the glories of the world, the bird replied,
'My life is but for a moment, while you, set in the rock, will
live forever, and will see the last sunrise that flashes upon the

"We know that Christ, while walking on the waves, did not sink,
and that he and Elijah were carried up into heaven. What became
of their material bodies we cannot tell, but they were certainly
superior to the force of gravitation. We have no reason to
believe that in miracles any natural law was broken, or even set
aside, but simply that some other law, whose workings we do not
understand, became operative and modified the law that otherwise
would have had things its own way. In apergy we undoubtedly have
the counterpart of gravitation, which must exist, or Nature's
system of compensation is broken. May we not believe that in
Christ's transfiguration on the mount, and in the appearance of
Moses and Elias with him--doubtless in the flesh, since otherwise
mortal eyes could not have seen them--apergy came into play and
upheld them; that otherwise, and if no other modification had
intervened, they would have fallen to the ground; and that apergy
was, in other words, the working principle of those miracles?"

"May we not also believe," added Cortlandt, "that in the
transfiguration Christ's companions took the substance of their
material bodies--the oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon--from
the air and the moisture it contained; for, though spiritual
bodies, be their activity magnetic or any other, could of course
pass the absolute cold and void of space without being affected,
no mortal body could; and that in the same manner Elijah's body
dissolved into air without the usual intervention of
decomposition; for we know that, though matter can easily change
its form, it can never be destroyed."

All assented to this, and Ayrault continued: "If apergy can
annul gravitation, I do not see why it should not do more, for to
annul it the repulsion of the earth that it produces must be as
great as its attraction, unless we suppose gravitation for the
time being to be suspended; but whether it is or not, does not
affect the result in this case, for, after the apergetic
repulsion is brought to the degree at which a body does not fall,
any increase in the current's strength will cause it to rise, and
in the case of electro-magnets we know that the attraction or
repulsion has practically no limit. This will be of great
advantage to us," he continued, "for if a projectile could move
away from the earth with no more rapid acceleration than that
with which it approaches, it would take too long to reach the
nearest planet, but the maximum repulsion being at the start by
reason of its proximity to the earth--for apergy, being the
counterpart of gravitation, is subject to Newton's and Kepler's
laws--the acceleration of a body apergetically charged will be
greatest at first. Two inclined planes may have the same fall,
but a ball will reach the bottom of one that is steepest near the
top in less time than on any other, because the maximum
acceleration is at the start. We are all tired of being stuck to
this cosmical speck, with its monotonous ocean, leaden sky, and
single moon that is useless more than half the time, while its
size is so microscopic compared with the universe that we can
traverse its great circle in four days. Its possibilities are
exhausted; and just as Greece became too small for the
civilization of the Greeks, and as reproduction is growth beyond
the individual, so it seems to me that the future glory of the
human race lies in exploring at least the solar system, without
waiting to become shades."

"Should you propose to go to Mars or Venus?" asked Cortlandt.

"No," replied Ayrault, "we know all about Mars; it is but one
seventh the size of the earth, and as the axis is inclined more
than ours, it would be a less comfortable globe than this; while,
as our president here told us in his T. A. S. Company's report,
the axis of Venus is inclined to such a degree that it would be
almost uninhabitable for us. It would be as if colonists tried
to settle Greenland, or had come to North America during its
Glacial period. Neither Venus nor Mars would be a good place

"Where should you propose to go?" asked Stillman.

"To Jupiter, and, if possible, after that to Saturn," replied
Ayrault; "the former's mean distance from the sun is 480,000,000
miles; but, as our president showed us, its axis is so nearly
straight that I think, with its internal warmth, there will be
nothing to fear from cold. Though, on account of the planet's
vast size, objects on its surface weigh more than twice as much
as here, if I am able to reach it by means of apergy, the same
force will enable me to regulate my weight. Will any one go with

"Splendid!" said Bearwarden. "If Mr. Dumby, our vice-president,
will temporarily assume my office, nothing will give me greater

"So will I go, if there is room for me," said Cortlandt. "I will
at once resign my place as Government expert, and consider it the
grandest event of my life."

"If I were not afraid of leaving Stillman here to his own
devices, I'd ask for a berth as well," said Deepwaters.

"I am afraid," said Stillman, "if you take any more, you will be

"Modesty forbids his saying," said Deepwaters, "that it wouldn't


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