Account of the late śronautical expedition from London to Weilburg: accomplished by Robert Holland, esq., Monck Mason, esq., and Charles Green, œronaut

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F.C. Westley, 1836 - Technology & Engineering - 52 pages
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Page 26 - The scene itself was one which exceeds description. The whole plane of the earth's surface, for many and many a league around, as far and farther than the eye distinctly could embrace, seemed absolutely teeming with the scattered fires of a watchful population, and exhibited a starry spectacle below that almost rivalled in brilliancy the remoter lustre of the concave firmament above.
Page 24 - Calais and the neighbouring shores were already glittering beneath us ; the barrier of clouds which I have before mentioned as starting up so abruptly in our path as abruptly terminated; and the whole adjacent coast of France, variegated with lights, and rife with all the nocturnal signs of population, burst at once upon our view. We had, in fact, crossed the sea; and in the short space of about one hour from the time we had quitted the shores of England were floating tranquilly, though rapidly,...
Page 21 - It was forty-eight minutes past four when the first line of waves breaking on the beach appeared beneath us, and we might be said to have fairly quitted the shores of our native soil, and entered upon the hitherto dreaded regions of the sea. " It would be impossible not to have been struck with the grandeur of the prospect at this particular moment of our voyage ; the more especially as the approaching shades of night rendered it a matter of certainty that it would be the last in which earth would...
Page 33 - ... had already attained an elevation of upwards of twelve thousand feet. At this moment, while all around is impenetrable darkness and stillness, and darkness most profound, an unusual explosion issues from the machine above, followed instantaneously by a violent rustling of the silk, and all the signs which may be supposed to accompany the bursting of the balloon, in a region where nothing but itself exists to give occasion to such awful and unnatural disturbance. In the same instant, the car,...
Page 23 - ... appear, . . . the effects produced upon our persons, undefended as they were by any extraordinary precautions, were by no means commensurate to the cause." 22. See Mason, Account, p. 16n: "I scarcely know whether it is an observation worthy of being committed to paper, that the sea, unless perhaps under circumstances of the most extraordinary agitation, does not in itself appear to be the parent of the slightest sound; unopposed by any material obstacle, an awful stillness seems to reign over...
Page 14 - ... times indicate the exact direction of her course; while with equal certainty, an estimate can at once be obtained of the velocity with which she is proceeding, by observing the angle formed by the guide-rope, and the vertical axis of the machine. In proportion as this angle enlarges, an increase in the rate of the balloon may be infallibly inferred: and, vice versa, its diminution will be found to correspond exactly with the diminished velocity of her advance. When the rope is dependent perpendicularly,...
Page 22 - ... of mural fortifications, appeared as if designed to bar our further progress, and completely obstructed all view of the shores, towards which we were now rapidly drawing nigh . In a few minutes after, we had entered within its dusky limits, and for a while became involved in the double obscurity of the surrounding vapours and of the gradual approach of night. Not a sound now reached our ears ; the beating of the waves upon the British shores had already died away in silence, and from the ordinary,...
Page 29 - The perfect correctness with which every line of street was marked out by its particular line of fires, the forms and positions of the more important features of the city — the theatres and squares, the markets and public buildings — indicated by the presence of the larger and more irregular accumulation of lights, added to the faint murmur of a busy population still actively engaged in the pursuits of pleasure, or the avocations of game, all together combined to form a picture which for singularity...
Page 17 - ... was dismissed from the ground, and rising gently under the influence of a moderate breeze bore speedily away towards the south-east, traversing in her course the cultivated plains of Kent, and passing in succession nearly over the towns of Eltham, Bromley, Footscray, and others, whose variegated outlines beautifully diversified the rich landscape that lay beneath us.
Page 27 - By degrees, as we drew nigh, this confused mass of illumination would appear to increase in intensity, extending itself over a larger portion of the earth, and assuming a distincter form and a more imposing appearance, until at length, having attained a position from whence we could more immediately direct our view, it would gradually resolve itself into its parts, and shooting out into streets, or spreading into squares, present us with the most perfect model of a town, diminished only in size,...

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