Book//mark - The First Men in the Moon | H.G. Wells, 1901

The First Men in the Moon, 1901                                                                 H.G. Wells, 1901


“What is this spirit in man that urges him forever to depart from happiness and security, to toil, to place
 himself in danger, even to risk a reasonable certainty of death? It dawned upon me up there in the
 moon as a thing I ought always to have known, that man is not made simply to go about being safe
 and comfortable and well fed and amused. Against his interest, against his happiness he is constantly
 being driven to do unreasonable things. Some force not himself impels him and go he must.”

“One can't always be magnificent, but simplicity is always a possible alternative.”

“He showed it to me with all the confiding zest of a man who has been living too much
 alone. This seclusion was overflowing now in an excess of confidence, and I had the good
 luck to be the recipient.”

“So utterly at variance is Destiny with all the little plans of men.”

“Over me, about me, closing in on me, embracing me ever nearer, was the Eternal, that which was
 before the beginning and that which triumphs over the end; that enormous void in which all light 
and life and being is but the thin and vanishing splendour of a falling star, the cold, the stillness,
 the silence, - the infinite and final Night of space.”

“I perceived with a sudden novel vividness the extraordinary folly of everything I had ever done.”

“It is really in the end a far more humane proceeding than our earthly method of
 leaving children to grow into human beings, and then making machines of them.”

“The sense of my utter loneliness had been agony.”

“Sooner or later it must come out, even if other men rediscover it. And then...Governments and
 powers will struggle to get hither, they will fight against one another and against these moon 
people. It will only spread warfare and multiply the occasions of war. In a little while, in a very
 little while if I tell my secret, this planet to it's deepest galleries will be strewn with human 
dead. Other things are doubtful, but this is certain...It is not as though man had any use for the
 moon. What good would the moon be to men? Even of their own planet what have they made 
but a battleground and theatre of infinite folly? Small as his world is, and short as his time, he 
has still in his little life down there far more than he can do. No! Science has toiled too long 
forging weapons for fools to use. It is time she held her hand. Let him find it out for himself 
again-in a thousand years' time.”

It's [the moon] dead - dead! Vast extinct volcanoes, lava wildernesses, tumbled wastes 
of snow, or frozen carbonic acid, or frozen air, and everywhere landslip seams and cracks 
and gulfs. Nothing happens. Men have watched this planet systematically with telescopes
 for over two hundred years. How much change do you think they have seen? None.

"Those who have only seen the starry sky from the earth cannot imagine its appearance 
when the vague half-luminous veil of our air has been withdrawn. The stars we see on
 earth are the mere scattered survivors that penetrate our misty atmosphere."


H.G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon, 1901

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