It seems to me that imagination and reasoning have reached magnificent heights with some writers, especially poets. Among them, I strongly believe, the highest ever was Edgar Allan Poe. With Baudelaire I state that "le poete est souverainement intelligent, qu'il est l'intelligence par excellence, -et que l'imagination est la plus scientifique des facultes, parce que seule elle comprend l'analogie universelle...". One of those poets was Edgar Allan Poe. I reproduce here "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" as a gesture against what Baudelaire called "la ferocite de l'hypocrisie bourgeoise", and what I personally call mediocrity, imbecility, and comprehensive intellectual dishonesty, all of which is presented as "realistic thinking". And, as we know, contemporary development studies are full of  "realistic thinking". So, let us learn something from Edgar Allan Poe!.  (Róbinson Rojas - 1996)
The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe V. 1
Volume 1 of the Raven Edition  #6 in our series by Edgar Allan Poe

VOLUME I  Contents
Edgar Allan Poe, An Appreciation
Life of Poe, by James Russell Lowell
Death of Poe, by N. P. Willis
The Unparalled Adventures of One Hans Pfall
The Gold Bug
Four Beasts in One
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Mystery of Marie Rogêt
The Balloon Hoax
MS. Found in a Bottle
The Oval Portrait                          BACK TO MAIN INDEX

                            THE BALLOON-HOAX
    [Astounding News by Express, _via_ Norfolk !  - The Atlantic 
crossed in Three Days !  Signal Triumph of Mr. Monck Mason's Flying 
Machine ! - Arrival at Sullivan's Island, near Charlestown, S.C., of 
Mr. Mason, Mr. Robert Holland, Mr. Henson, Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, 
and four others, in the Steering Balloon, "Victoria," after a passage 
of Seventy-five Hours from Land to Land !  Full Particulars of the 
    The subjoined _jeu d'esprit_ with the preceding heading in 
magnificent capitals, well interspersed with notes of admiration, was 
originally published, as matter of fact, in the "New York Sun," a 
daily newspaper, and therein fully subserved the purpose of creating 
indigestible aliment for the _quidnuncs_ during the few hours 
intervening between a couple of the Charleston mails.  The rush for 
the "sole paper which had the news," was something beyond even the 
prodigious ;  and, in fact, if (as some assert) the "Victoria" _did_ 
not absolutely accomplish the voyage recorded, it will be difficult 
to assign a reason why she _should_ not have accomplished it.]
    THE great problem is at length solved !  The air, as well as the 
earth and the ocean, has been subdued by science, and will become a 
common and convenient highway for mankind.  _The Atlantic has been 
actually crossed in a Balloon!_ and this too without difficulty - 
without any great apparent danger - with thorough control of the 
machine - and in the inconceivably brief period of seventy-five hours 
from shore to shore !  By the energy of an agent at Charleston, S.C., 
we are enabled to be the first to furnish the public with a detailed 
account of this most extraordinary voyage, which was performed 
between Saturday, the 6th instant, at 11, A.M.,  and 2, P.M., on 
Tuesday, the 9th instant, by Sir Everard Bringhurst ;  Mr. Osborne, a 
nephew of Lord Bentinck's ;  Mr. Monck Mason and Mr. Robert Holland, 
the well-known æronauts ;  Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, author of "Jack 
Sheppard," &c. ;  and Mr. Henson, the projector of the late 
unsuccessful flying machine - with two seamen from Woolwich - in all, 
eight persons.  The particulars furnished below may be relied on as 
authentic and accurate in every respect, as, with a slight exception, 
they are copied _verbatim_ from the joint diaries of Mr. Monck Mason 
and Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, to whose politeness our agent is also 
indebted for much verbal information respecting the balloon itself, 
its construction, and other matters of interest.  The only alteration 
in the MS. received, has been made for the purpose of throwing the 
hurried account of our agent, Mr. Forsyth, into a connected and 
intelligible form.
    "Two very decided failures, of late - those of Mr. Henson and Sir 
George Cayley - had much weakened the public interest in the subject 
of aerial navigation.  Mr. Henson's scheme (which at first was 
considered very feasible even by men of science,) was founded upon 
the principle of an inclined plane, started from an eminence by an 
extrinsic force, applied and continued by the revolution of impinging 
vanes, in form and number resembling the vanes of a windmill.  But, 
in all the experiments made with models at the Adelaide Gallery, it 
was found that the operation of these fans not only did not propel 
the machine, but actually impeded its flight. The only propelling 
force it ever exhibited, was the mere _impetus_ acquired from the 
descent of the inclined plane ;  and this _impetus_ carried the 
machine farther when the vanes were at rest, than when they were in 
motion - a fact which sufficiently demonstrates their inutility ; 
and in the absence of the propelling, which was also the _sustaining_ 
power, the whole fabric would necessarily descend.  This 
consideration led Sir George Cayley to think only of adapting a 
propeller to some machine having of itself an independent power of 
support - in a word, to a balloon ;  the idea, however, being novel, 
or original, with Sir George, only so far as regards the mode of its 
application to practice.  He exhibited a model of his invention at 
the Polytechnic Institution.  The propelling principle, or power, was 
here, also, applied to interrupted surfaces, or vanes, put in 
revolution.  These vanes were four in number, but were found entirely 
ineffectual in moving the balloon, or in aiding its ascending power. 
The whole project was thus a complete failure.
    "It was at this juncture that Mr. Monck Mason (whose voyage from 
Dover to Weilburg in the balloon, "Nassau," occasioned so much 
excitement in 1837,) conceived the idea of employing the principle of 
the Archimedean screw for the purpose of propulsion through the air - 
rightly attributing the failure of Mr. Henson's scheme, and of Sir 
George Cayley's, to the interruption of surface in the independent 
vanes.  He made the first public experiment at Willis's Rooms, but 
afterward removed his model to the Adelaide Gallery.
    "Like Sir George Cayley's balloon, his own was an ellipsoid.  Its 
length was thirteen feet six inches - height, six feet eight inches. 
It contained about three hundred and twenty cubic feet of gas, which, 
if pure hydrogen, would support twenty-one pounds upon its first 
inflation, before the gas has time to deteriorate or escape.  The 
weight of the whole machine and apparatus was seventeen pounds - 
leaving about four pounds to spare.  Beneath the centre of the 
balloon, was a frame of light wood, about nine feet long, and rigged 
on to the balloon itself with a network in the customary manner. 
From this framework was suspended a wicker basket or car.
    "The screw consists of an axis of hollow brass tube, eighteen 
inches in length, through which, upon a semi-spiral inclined at 
fifteen degrees, pass a series of steel wire radii, two feet long, 
and thus projecting a foot on either side.  These radii are connected 
at the outer extremities by two bands of flattened wire - the whole 
in this manner forming the framework of the screw, which is completed 
by a covering of oiled silk cut into gores, and tightened so as to 
present a tolerably uniform surface.  At each end of its axis this 
screw is supported by pillars of hollow brass tube descending from 
the hoop.  In the lower ends of these tubes are holes in which the 
pivots of the axis revolve.  From the end of the axis which is next 
the car, proceeds a shaft of steel, connecting the screw with the 
pinion of a piece of spring machinery fixed in the car.  By the 
operation of this spring, the screw is made to revolve with great 
rapidity, communicating a progressive motion to the whole.  By means 
of the rudder, the machine was readily turned in any direction.  The 
spring was of great power, compared with its dimensions, being 
capable of raising forty-five pounds upon a barrel of four inches 
diameter, after the first turn, and gradually increasing as it was 
wound up.  It weighed, altogether, eight pounds six ounces.  The 
rudder was a light frame of cane covered with silk, shaped somewhat 
like a battledoor, and was about three feet long, and at the widest, 
one foot.  Its weight was about two ounces.  It could be turned 
_flat_, and directed upwards or downwards, as well as to the right or 
left ;  and thus enabled the æronaut to transfer the resistance of 
the air which in an inclined position it must generate in its 
passage, to any side upon which he might desire to act ;  thus 
determining the balloon in the opposite direction.
    "This model (which, through want of time, we have necessarily 
described in an imperfect manner,) was put in action at the Adelaide 
Gallery, where it accomplished a velocity of five miles per hour; 
although, strange to say, it excited very little interest in 
comparison with the previous complex machine of Mr. Henson - so 
resolute is the world to despise anything which carries with it an 
air of simplicity.  To accomplish the great desideratum of ærial 
navigation, it was very generally supposed that some exceedingly 
complicated application must be made of some unusually profound 
principle in dynamics.
    "So well satisfied, however, was Mr. Mason of the ultimate 
success of his invention, that he determined to construct 
immediately, if possible, a balloon of sufficient capacity to test 
the question by a voyage of some extent - the original design being 
to cross the British Channel, as before, in the Nassau balloon.  To 
carry out his views, he solicited and obtained the patronage of Sir 
Everard Bringhurst and Mr. Osborne, two gentlemen well known for 
scientific acquirement, and especially for the interest they have 
exhibited in the progress of ærostation.  The project, at the desire 
of Mr. Osborne, was kept a profound secret from the public - the only 
persons entrusted with the design being those actually engaged in the 
construction of the machine, which was built (under the 
superintendence of Mr. Mason, Mr. Holland, Sir Everard Bringhurst, 
and Mr. Osborne,) at the seat of the latter gentleman near 
Penstruthal, in Wales.  Mr. Henson, accompanied by his friend Mr. 
Ainsworth, was admitted to a private view of the balloon, on Saturday 
last - when the two gentlemen made final arrangements to be included 
in the adventure.  We are not informed for what reason the two seamen 
were also included in the party - but, in the course of a day or two, 
we shall put our readers in possession of the minutest particulars 
respecting this extraordinary voyage.
    "The balloon is composed of silk, varnished with the liquid gum 
caoutchouc.  It is of vast dimensions, containing more than 40,000 
cubic feet of gas ;  but as coal gas was employed in place of the 
more expensive and inconvenient hydrogen, the supporting power of the 
machine, when fully inflated, and immediately after inflation, is not 
more than about 2500 pounds.  The coal gas is not only much less 
costly, but is easily procured and managed.
    "For its introduction into common use for purposes of 
aerostation, we are indebted to Mr. Charles Green.  Up to his 
discovery, the process of inflation was not only exceedingly 
expensive, but uncertain. Two, and even three days, have frequently 
been wasted in futile attempts to procure a sufficiency of hydrogen 
to fill a balloon, from which it had great tendency to escape, owing 
to its extreme subtlety, and its affinity for the surrounding 
atmosphere.  In a balloon sufficiently perfect to retain its contents 
of coal-gas unaltered, in quantity or amount, for six months, an 
equal quantity of hydrogen could not be maintained in equal purity 
for six weeks.
    "The supporting power being estimated at 2500 pounds, and the 
united weights of the party amounting only to about 1200, there was 
left a surplus of 1300, of which again 1200 was exhausted by ballast, 
arranged in bags of different sizes, with their respective weights 
marked upon them - by cordage, barometers, telescopes, barrels 
containing provision for a fortnight, water-casks, cloaks, 
carpet-bags, and various other indispensable matters, including a 
coffee-warmer, contrived for warming coffee by means of slack-lime, 
so as to dispense altogether with fire, if it should be judged 
prudent to do so.  All these articles, with the exception of the 
ballast, and a few trifles, were suspended from the hoop overhead. 
The car is much smaller and lighter, in proportion, than the one 
appended to the model.  It is formed of a light wicker, and is 
wonderfully strong, for so frail looking a machine.  Its rim is about 
four feet deep.  The rudder is also very much larger, in proportion, 
than that of the model ;  and the screw is considerably smaller.  The 
balloon is furnished besides with a grapnel, and a guide-rope ; 
which latter is of the most indispensable importance. A few words, in 
explanation, will here be necessary for such of our readers as are 
not conversant with the details of aerostation.
    "As soon as the balloon quits the earth, it is subjected to the 
influence of many circumstances tending to create a difference in its 
weight ;  augmenting or diminishing its ascending power.  For 
example, there may be a deposition of dew upon the silk, to the 
extent, even, of several hundred pounds ;  ballast has then to be 
thrown out, or the machine may descend.  This ballast being 
discarded, and a clear sunshine evaporating the dew, and at the same 
time expanding the gas in the silk, the whole will again rapidly 
ascend.  To check this ascent, the only recourse is, (or rather 
_was_, until Mr. Green's invention of the guide-rope,) the permission 
of the escape of gas from the valve ;  but, in the loss of gas, is a 
proportionate general loss of ascending power ;  so that, in a 
comparatively brief period, the best-constructed balloon must 
necessarily exhaust all its resources, and come to the earth.  This 
was the great obstacle to voyages of length.
    "The guide-rope remedies the difficulty in the simplest manner 
conceivable.  It is merely a very long rope which is suffered to 
trail from the car, and the effect of which is to prevent the balloon 
from changing its level in any material degree.  If, for example, 
there should be a deposition of moisture upon the silk, and the 
machine begins to descend in consequence, there will be no necessity 
for discharging ballast to remedy the increase of weight, for it is 
remedied, or counteracted, in an exactly just proportion, by the 
deposit on the ground of just so much of the end of the rope as is 
necessary.  If, on the other hand, any circumstances should cause 
undue levity, and consequent ascent, this levity is immediately 
counteracted by the additional weight of rope upraised from the 
earth.  Thus, the balloon can neither ascend or descend, except 
within very narrow limits, and its resources, either in gas or 
ballast, remain comparatively unimpaired. When passing over an 
expanse of water, it becomes necessary to employ small kegs of copper 
or wood, filled with liquid ballast of a lighter nature than water. 
These float, and serve all the purposes of a mere rope on land. 
Another most important office of the guide-rope, is to point out the 
_direction_ of the balloon.  The rope _drags_, either on land or sea, 
while the balloon is free ;  the latter, consequently, is always in 
advance, when any progress whatever is made :  a comparison, 
therefore, by means of the compass, of the relative positions of the 
two objects, will always indicate the _course_.  In the same way, the 
angle formed by the rope with the vertical axis of the machine, 
indicates the _velocity_.  When there is _no_ angle - in other words, 
when the rope hangs perpendicularly, the whole apparatus is 
stationary ;  but the larger the angle, that is to say, the farther 
the balloon precedes the end of the rope, the greater the velocity ; 
and the converse.
    "As the original design was to cross the British Channel, and 
alight as near Paris as possible, the voyagers had taken the 
precaution to prepare themselves with passports directed to all parts 
of the Continent, specifying the nature of the expedition, as in the 
case of the Nassau voyage, and entitling the adventurers to exemption 
from the usual formalities of office :  unexpected events, however, 
rendered these passports superfluous.
    "The inflation was commenced very quietly at daybreak, on 
Saturday morning, the 6th instant, in the Court-Yard of Weal-Vor 
House, Mr. Osborne's seat, about a mile from Penstruthal, in North 
Wales ;  and at 7 minutes past 11, every thing being ready for 
departure, the balloon was set free, rising gently but steadily, in a 
direction nearly South ;  no use being made, for the first half hour, 
of either the screw or the rudder.  We proceed now with the journal, 
as transcribed by Mr. Forsyth from the joint MSS.  Of Mr. Monck 
Mason, and Mr. Ainsworth.  The body of the journal, as given, is in 
the hand-writing of Mr. Mason, and a P.  S.  is appended, each day, 
by Mr. Ainsworth, who has in preparation, and will shortly give the 
public a more minute, and no doubt, a thrillingly interesting account 
of the voyage.
    "_Saturday, April the 6th_.  - Every preparation likely to 
embarrass us, having been made over night, we commenced the inflation 
this morning at daybreak ;  but owing to a thick fog, which 
encumbered the folds of the silk and rendered it unmanageable, we did 
not get through before nearly eleven o'clock.  Cut loose, then, in 
high spirits, and rose gently but steadily, with a light breeze at 
North, which bore us in the direction of the British Channel.  Found 
the ascending force greater than we had expected ;  and as we arose 
higher and so got clear of the cliffs, and more in the sun's rays, 
our ascent became very rapid.  I did not wish, however, to lose gas 
at so early a period of the adventure, and so concluded to ascend for 
the present.  We soon ran out our guide-rope ;  but even when we had 
raised it clear of the earth, we still went up very rapidly.  The 
balloon was unusually steady, and looked beautifully.  In about ten 
minutes after starting, the barometer indicated an altitude of 15,000 
feet.  The weather was remarkably fine, and the view of the subjacent 
country - a most romantic one when seen from any point, - was now 
especially sublime. The numerous deep gorges presented the appearance 
of lakes, on account of the dense vapors with which they were filled, 
and the pinnacles and crags to the South East, piled in inextricable 
confusion, resembling nothing so much as the giant cities of eastern 
fable.  We were rapidly approaching the mountains in the South ;  but 
our elevation was more than sufficient to enable us to pass them in 
safety.  In a few minutes we soared over them in fine style ;  and 
Mr. Ainsworth, with the seamen, was surprised at their apparent want 
of altitude when viewed from the car, the tendency of great elevation 
in a balloon being to reduce inequalities of the surface below, to 
nearly a dead level.  At half-past eleven still proceeding nearly 
South, we obtained our first view of the Bristol Channel ;  and, in 
fifteen minutes afterward, the line of breakers on the coast appeared 
immediately beneath us, and we were fairly out at sea.  We now 
resolved to let off enough gas to bring our guide-rope, with the 
buoys affixed, into the water.  This was immediately done, and we 
commenced a gradual descent.  In about twenty minutes our first buoy 
dipped, and at the touch of the second soon afterwards, we remained 
stationary as to elevation.  We were all now anxious to test the 
efficiency of the rudder and screw, and we put them both into 
requisition forthwith, for the purpose of altering our direction more 
to the eastward, and in a line for Paris.  By means of the rudder we 
instantly effected the necessary change of direction, and our course 
was brought nearly at right angles to that of the wind ;  when we set 
in motion the spring of the screw, and were rejoiced to find it 
propel us readily as desired.  Upon this we gave nine hearty cheers, 
and dropped in the sea a bottle, enclosing a slip of parchment with a 
brief account of the principle of the invention.  Hardly, however, 
had we done with our rejoicings, when an unforeseen accident occurred 
which discouraged us in no little degree.  The steel rod connecting 
the spring with the propeller was suddenly jerked out of place, at 
the car end, (by a swaying of the car through some movement of one of 
the two seamen we had taken up,) and in an instant hung dangling out 
of reach, from the pivot of the axis of the screw.  While we were 
endeavoring to regain it, our attention being completely absorbed, we 
became involved in a strong current of wind from the East, which bore 
us, with rapidly increasing force, towards the Atlantic.  We soon 
found ourselves driving out to sea at the rate of not less, 
certainly, than fifty or sixty miles an hour, so that we came up with 
Cape Clear, at some forty miles to our North, before we had secured 
the rod, and had time to think what we were about.  It was now that 
Mr. Ainsworth made an extraordinary, but to my fancy, a by no means 
unreasonable or chimerical proposition, in which he was instantly 
seconded by Mr. Holland - viz.:  that we should take advantage of the 
strong gale which bore us on, and in place of beating back to Paris, 
make an attempt to reach the coast of North America.  After slight 
reflection I gave a willing assent to this bold proposition, which 
(strange to say) met with objection from the two seamen only.  As the 
stronger party, however, we overruled their fears, and kept 
resolutely upon our course.  We steered due West ;  but as the 
trailing of the buoys materially impeded our progress, and we had the 
balloon abundantly at command, either for ascent or descent, we first 
threw out fifty pounds of ballast, and then wound up (by means of a 
windlass) so much of the rope as brought it quite clear of the sea. 
We perceived the effect of this manœuvre immediately, in a vastly 
increased rate of progress ;  and, as the gale freshened, we flew 
with a velocity nearly inconceivable ;  the guide-rope flying out 
behind the car, like a streamer from a vessel.  It is needless to say 
that a very short time sufficed us to lose sight of the coast.  We 
passed over innumerable vessels of all kinds, a few of which were 
endeavoring to beat up, but the most of them lying to.  We occasioned 
the greatest excitement on board all - an excitement greatly relished 
by ourselves, and especially by our two men, who, now under the 
influence of a dram of Geneva, seemed resolved to give all scruple, 
or fear, to the wind.  Many of the vessels fired signal guns ;  and 
in all we were saluted with loud cheers (which we heard with 
surprising distinctness) and the waving of caps and handkerchiefs. We 
kept on in this manner throughout the day, with no material incident, 
and, as the shades of night closed around us, we made a rough 
estimate of the distance traversed.  It could not have been less than 
five hundred miles, and was probably much more.  The propeller was 
kept in constant operation, and, no doubt, aided our progress 
materially.  As the sun went down, the gale freshened into an 
absolute hurricane, and the ocean beneath was clearly visible on 
account of its phosphorescence.  The wind was from the East all 
night, and gave us the brightest omen of success.  We suffered no 
little from cold, and the dampness of the atmosphere was most 
unpleasant ;  but the ample space in the car enabled us to lie down, 
and by means of cloaks and a few blankets, we did sufficiently well.
    "P.S.  (by Mr. Ainsworth.) The last nine hours have been 
unquestionably the most exciting of my life.  I can conceive nothing 
more sublimating than the strange peril and novelty of an adventure 
such as this.  May God grant that we succeed !  I ask not success for 
mere safety to my insignificant person, but for the sake of human 
knowledge and - for the vastness of the triumph.  And yet the feat is 
only so evidently feasible that the sole wonder is why men have 
scrupled to attempt it before.  One single gale such as now befriends 
us - let such a tempest whirl forward a balloon for four or five days 
(these gales often last longer) and the voyager will be easily borne, 
in that period, from coast to coast.  In view of such a gale the 
broad Atlantic becomes a mere lake.  I am more struck, just now, with 
the supreme silence which reigns in the sea beneath us, 
notwithstanding its agitation, than with any other phenomenon 
presenting itself.  The waters give up no voice to the heavens.  The 
immense flaming ocean writhes and is tortured uncomplainingly.  The 
mountainous surges suggest the idea of innumerable dumb gigantic 
fiends struggling in impotent agony.  In a night such as is this to 
me, a man _lives_ - lives a whole century of ordinary life - nor 
would I forego this rapturous delight for that of a whole century of 
ordinary existence.
    "_Sunday, the seventh_.  [Mr. Mason's MS.] This morning the gale, 
by 10, had subsided to an eight or nine - knot breeze, (for a vessel 
at sea,) and bears us, perhaps, thirty miles per hour, or more. It 
has veered, however, very considerably to the north ;  and now, at 
sundown, we are holding our course due west, principally by the screw 
and rudder, which answer their purposes to admiration.  I regard the 
project as thoroughly successful, and the easy navigation of the air 
in any direction (not exactly in the teeth of a gale) as no longer 
problematical.  We could not have made head against the strong wind 
of yesterday ;  but, by ascending, we might have got out of its 
influence, if requisite.  Against a pretty stiff breeze, I feel 
convinced, we can make our way with the propeller.  At noon, to-day, 
ascended to an elevation of nearly 25,000 feet, by discharging 
ballast.  Did this to search for a more direct current, but found 
none so favorable as the one we are now in.  We have an abundance of 
gas to take us across this small pond, even should the voyage last 
three weeks.  I have not the slightest fear for the result.  The 
difficulty has been strangely exaggerated and misapprehended.  I can 
choose my current, and should I find _all_ currents against me, I can 
make very tolerable headway with the propeller.  We have had no 
incidents worth recording.  The night promises fair. 
    P.S.  [By Mr. Ainsworth.] I have little to record, except the 
fact (to me quite a surprising one) that, at an elevation equal to 
that of Cotopaxi, I experienced neither very intense cold, nor 
headache, nor difficulty of breathing ;  neither, I find, did Mr. 
Mason, nor Mr. Holland, nor Sir Everard.  Mr. Osborne complained of 
constriction of the chest - but this soon wore off.  We have flown at 
a great rate during the day, and we must be more than half way across 
the Atlantic.  We have passed over some twenty or thirty vessels of 
various kinds, and all seem to be delightfully astonished.  Crossing 
the ocean in a balloon is not so difficult a feat after all.  _Omne 
ignotum pro magnifico.  Mem :_  at 25,000 feet elevation the sky 
appears nearly black, and the stars are distinctly visible ;  while 
the sea does not seem convex (as one might suppose) but absolutely 
and most unequivocally _concave_.{*1}
    "_Monday, the 8th_.  [Mr. Mason's MS.] This morning we had again 
some little trouble with the rod of the propeller, which must be 
entirely remodelled, for fear of serious accident - I mean the steel 
rod - not the vanes.  The latter could not be improved.  The wind has 
been blowing steadily and strongly from the north-east all day  and 
so far fortune seems bent upon favoring us.  Just before day, we were 
all somewhat alarmed at some odd noises and concussions in the 
balloon, accompanied with the apparent rapid subsidence of the whole 
machine.  These phenomena were occasioned by the expansion of the 
gas, through increase of heat in the atmosphere, and the consequent 
disruption of the minute particles of ice with which the network had 
become encrusted during the night.  Threw down several bottles to the 
vessels below. Saw one of them picked up by a large ship - seemingly 
one of the New York line packets.  Endeavored to make out her name, 
but could not be sure of it.  Mr. Osbornes telescope made it out 
something like "Atalanta." It is now 12 ,at night, and we are still 
going nearly west, at a rapid pace.  The sea is peculiarly 
    "P.S.  [By Mr. Ainsworth.] It is now 2, A.M., and nearly calm, as 
well as I can judge - but it is very difficult to determine this 
point, since we move _with_ the air so completely.  I have not slept 
since quitting Wheal-Vor, but can stand it no longer, and must take a 
nap.  We cannot be far from the American coast.
    "_Tuesday, the _9_th_.  [Mr. Ainsworth's MS.] _One, P.M.  We are 
in full view of the low coast of South Carolina_.  The great problem 
is accomplished.  We have crossed the Atlantic - fairly and _easily_ 
crossed it in a balloon !  God be praised !  Who shall say that 
anything is impossible hereafter? "
    The Journal here ceases.  Some particulars of the descent were 
communicated, however, by Mr. Ainsworth to Mr. Forsyth.  It was 
nearly dead calm when the voyagers first came in view of the coast, 
which was immediately recognized by both the seamen, and by Mr. 
Osborne. The latter gentleman having acquaintances at Fort Moultrie, 
it was immediately resolved to descend in its vicinity.  The balloon 
was brought over the beach (the tide being out and the sand hard, 
smooth, and admirably adapted for a descent,) and the grapnel let go, 
which took firm hold at once.  The inhabitants of the island, and of 
the fort, thronged out, of course, to see the balloon ;  but it was 
with the greatest difficulty that any one could be made to credit the 
actual voyage - _the crossing of the Atlantic_.  The grapnel caught 
at 2, P.M.,  precisely ;  and thus the whole voyage was completed in 
seventy-five hours ;  or rather less, counting from shore to shore. 
No serious accident occurred. No real danger was at any time 
apprehended.  The balloon was exhausted and secured without trouble ; 
 and when the MS.  from which this narrative is compiled was 
despatched from Charleston, the party were still at Fort Moultrie. 
Their farther intentions were not ascertained ;  but we can safely 
promise our readers some additional information either on Monday or 
in the course of the next day, at farthest.
    This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, 
and the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even 
attempted by man.  What magnificent events may ensue, it would be 
useless now to think of determining.

~~~ End of Text ~~~
{*1} _Note_. - Mr. Ainsworth has not attempted to account for this 
phenomenon, which, however, is quite susceptible of explanation. A 
line dropped from an elevation of 25,000 feet, perpendicularly to the 
surface of the earth (or sea), would form the perpendicular of a 
right-angled triangle, of which the base would extend from the right 
angle to the horizon, and the hypothenuse from the horizon to the 
balloon. But the 25,000 feet of altitude is little or nothing, in 
comparison with the extent of the prospect. In other words, the base 
and hypothenuse of the supposed triangle would be so long when 
compared with the perpendicular, that the two former may be regarded 
as nearly parallel. In this manner the horizon of the æronaut would 
appear to be _on a level_ with the car. But, as the point immediately 
beneath him seems, and is, at a great distance below him, it seems, 
of course, also, at a great distance below the horizon. Hence the 
impression of _concavity_ ; and this impression must remain, until 
the elevation shall bear so great a proportion to the extent of 
prospect, that the apparent parallelism of the base and hypothenuse 
disappears - when the earth's real convexity must become apparent.