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Con'CLAVE, n., an assembly of cardi- | VERTI-CAL, a., being in the zenith, or nals.

perpendicularly over head. BRA'SIER (-zher), n., a pan for coals. THE'o-RIST, n., one given to-speculaIN FLATE', v. t., to swell with wind. tion. PRO-TRUDE', v. t., to thrust out. AL'TI-TUDE, n., height. HY'DRO-GEN (-jen), n., a gas which is PĂR'A-CHUTE (-shoot), n., an instru. one of the elements of water.

ment like an umbrella, for safety E-LON’GATE (e-long'gāte), v. t., to against a fall from a balloon. lengthen.

A-E'RI-AL, a., belonging to the air. CO-HE’sion (ko-heʼzhun), n., the act A'ER-O-NAUT, n., one who goes up in of sticking together.

a balloon. DEM-O-LYTION, .,

destruction. PEN'AL-TY, n., punishment. Avoid saying attemps for at-tempts'; objex for ob'jects. Pronounce Bologna, Bolõn'ya ; Montgolfier, Möng-gol-fe-a'; the e in Re'no as in prey; Rozier, Ro-ze-a'.

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1. WILD and daring as was the act, it is no less true that men's first attempts at a flight through the air were literally with wings. They supposed that, by elongating their arms with a broad mechanical covering, they could convert them into wings. They did not consider that birds possess air-cells, which they can inflate; that they have enormous strength of sinew, expressly for the purpose of flying; and that their bõnes are full of air instead of marrow..

2. And so there have been desperate half-theorists, who, in their ignorance, have launched themselves from towers and other high places, and floundered down, to the děmolition of their necks or limbs, accord. ing to the obvious laws and penalties of nature. The most successful of these instances of the extraordinary but misapplied force of human energies and daring was that of a certain citizen of Bologna, in the thir. teenth century, who actually managed, with some kinda of wing contrivance, to fly from a mountain of Bologna to the River Reno, without injury.

3... Wonderful I admirable!” cried all the citizens. Stop a little,” said the religious authorities of tho


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times ; " this must be looked into." They sat in sacred con'clave. “If the man had been killed," said they, " or even mutilated shockingly, our religious scruples would have been satisfied; but, as he has escaped unhurt, it is clear he must be in league with the evil

poor “successful

man was therefore condemned to be burnt alive, and the sentence was carried into execution.

4. So far as we can see, the first real discoverer of the balloon was Dr. Black, who, in 1767, proposed to inflate a large skin with hydrogen gas; and the first who brought theory into practice were the brothers Montgolfier. But their theory was that of the “fireballoon," or the formation of an artificial cloud of smoke, by means of heat from a lighted brasier placed beneath an enormous bag, or balloon, and fed with fuel while up in the air. The Academy of Sciences immediately gave the invention every encouragement, and two gentlemen volunteered to risk an ascent in this alarming machine.

5. The first of these was De Rozier, a gentleman of scientific attainments, who was to conduct the machine; and he was accompanied by an officer of the Guards. They ascended, in the year 1783, in the presence of the Court of France and all the scientific men in Paris. The intrepid voyagers had several narrow escapes. : The whole machine was near taking fire; but eventually they returned to the ground in safety, after a journey of about six miles. Both these courageous men subsequently came to untimely ends.

6. But let us ascend into the sky. Taking balloons as they are," for better, for worse," let us for once have an aërial flight. The first thing you naturally expect is some extraordinary sensation, which takes away your breath for a time, in springing high up into the air. But no such matter occurs. The extraordinary

thing is, that you experience no sensation at all, so far as motion is concerned.

7. A very amusing illustration of this is given in a letter published by Mr. Poole, the well-known author, shortly after his ascent.

“I do not despise you,” says he, "for talking about a balloon going up, for it is an error which you share in common with some millions of our fellow-creatures; and I, in the days of my ignorance, thought with the rest of you. I know better now. The fact is, we do not go up at all; but at about five minutes past six, on the evening of Friday, the 14th of September, 1838 — at about that time, Vauxhall Gardens, with all the people in them, went down!"

8. Feeling nothing of the ascending motion, the first impression that takes possession of you, in "going up” in a balloon, is the quietude, the silence, that grows more and more entire. The restless heaving to and fro of the huge inflated sphere above your head (to say nothing of the noise of the crowd), the flapping of ropes, the rustling of silk, and the creaking of the basket-work of the car - all has ceased. There is a total cessation of all atmospheric resistance. You sit in a silence which becomes more perfect every second.

. After the bustle of many moving objects, you stare before you into blank air.

9. So much for what you first feel; and now what is the thing you first do? In this case every body is alike. We all do the same thing. We look over the side of the car. We do this very cautiously, keeping a firm seat, as though we clung to it by a certain attraction of cohesion; and then, holding on by the edge, we carefully protrude the peak of our travelingcap, and then the tip of the nose, over the edge of the car, upon which we rest our mouth.

10. Every thing below is seen in so new a form, so flat, compressed, and so simultaneously, — so much

too-much-at-a-time,- that the first look is hardly so satisfactory as could be desired. But soon we thrust the chin fairly over the edge, and take a good stars downward; and this repays us much better. Objects appear under very novel circumstances from this

vertical position. They are stunted and foreshortened, and rapidly flattened to a map-like appearance; they get smaller and smaller, and clearer and clearer.

11. Away goes the earth, with its hills and valleys, its trees and buildings, its men, women and children, its horses and cattle, its rivers and vessels, — all sinking lower and lower, and becoming less and less, but getting more and more distinct and defined as they diminish in size. But, besides the retreat toward minuteness, the outspread objects flatten as they lessen;

men and women are five inches high, then four, three, two, one inch — and now a speck. As for the Father of Rivers, he becomes a dusky-gray, winding streamlet, and his largest ships are no more than flat, pale decks, all the masts and rigging being foreshortened to nothing. We soon come, now, to the shadowy, the indistinct, and then all is lost in air. Floating clouds fill up the space beneath. 12. How do we feel, all this time?

“Calm, sir,calm and resigned.” Yes, and more than this. After a little while, when you find nothing happens, and see nothing likely to happen, a delightful serenity takes the place of all other sensations; to this the extraor. dinary silence, as well as the pale beauty and floating hues that surround you, chiefly contribute. The silence is perfect-a wonder and a rapture. We hear the ticking of our watches. Tick! tick! -- or is it the beat of our own hearts? We are sure of the watch; and now we think we can hear both.

13. Two other sensations must by no means be forgotten. You become very cold, and desperately

hungry. Of the increased coldness which you feel on passing from a bright cloud into a dark one, the balloon is quite as sensitive as you can be; and probably much more so, for it produces an immediate change of altitude. The expansion and contraction which two romantic gentlemen fancied took place in the size of their heads, does really take place in the balloon, according as it passes from a cloud of one temperature into that of another.

14. But here we are, still above the clouds ! Wo may assume that you would not like to be “let off” in a parachute, even on the improved principle; we will therefore prepare for descending with the balloon. The valve-line is pulled !- out rushes the gas from the top of the balloon - you see the flag fly upwarddown through the clouds you sink, faster and faster, lower and lower. Now you begin to see dark masses below — there's the old earth again ! — The dark masses now discover themselves to be little forests, little towns, tree-tops, house-tops. Out goes a shower of sand from the ballast-bags, and our descent becomes slower- another shower, and up we mount again, in search of a better spot to alight upon.

15. Our guardian aëronaut gives each of us a bag of ballast, and directs us to throw out its contents when he calls each of us by name, and in such quantities only as he specifies. Moreover, no one is suddenly to leap out of the balloon when it touches the earth; partly because it may cost him his own life or limbs, and partly because it would cause the balloon to shoot up again with those who remained, and so make them lose the advantage of the good descent already gained, if nothing worse happened. Meantime, the grapnel-iron has been lowered, and is dangling down at the end of a strong rope of a hundred and fifty feet long. It is now trailing over the ground.

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