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more than fungi of the earth) is a primary element,
and that water is also a primary element; while air
and fire are not.

" Having established the elements, I shall, for
brevity's sake, suppose the world created. In the
beginning, the orb was placed in vacuum, station
ary, and with its axis perpendicular to the plane of
what is now called its orbit. Its only revolution was
the diurnal."

" And the changes of the seasons ?"
" Had not yet taken place. The days and nights
were equal; there were no eclipses; the same stars
were always visible. This state of the earth is
supposed, from certain geological proofs, to have
continued about a thousand years, during which
time the struggle between mind and matter was
solely confined to quadrupeds. Man is thought to
have made his appearance, so far as our documents
go to establish the fact, about the year of the world
one thousand and three. About this period, too, it
is supposed that fire was generated by the friction
of the earth's axis, while making the diurnal move
ment ; or, as some imagine, by the friction of the
periphery of the orb, rubbing against vacuum at
the rate of so many thousand miles in a minute
The fire penetrating the crust, soon got access to the

180 THE M05IK1N9.

bodies of water that fill the cavities of the earth.
From this time is to be dated the existence of a
new and most important agent in the terrestrial
phenomena, called steam. Vegetation now began
to appear, as the earth received warmth from
within "

" Pray, sir, may I ask in what manner all the
animals existed previously ?"

" By feeding on each other. The strong devoured
the weak, until the most diminutive of the animal-
cula was reached, when these turned on their per
secutors, and, profiting by their insignificance,
commenced devouring the strongest. You find
daily parallels to this phenomenon in the history
of man. He who, by his energy and force, has
triumphed over his equals, is frequently the prey of
the insignificant and vile. You doubtless know that
the polar regions, even in the original attitude of
the earth, owing to their receiving the rays of the
sun obliquely, must have possessed a less genial
climate than the parts of the orb that lie between
the arctic and the antarctic circles. This was a
wise provision of Providence to prevent a prema
ture occupation of those chosen regions, or to cause
them to be left uninhabited, until mind had so far
mastered matter, as to have brought into existence
the first monikin."

" May I venture to ask to what epoch you refer
the appearance of the first of your species ?"

" To the Monikin Epocha, beyond a doubt, sir
but if you mean to ask in what year of the world
this event took place, I should answer, about the
year 4017. It is true, that certain of our writers
affect to think that divers men were approaching
to the sublimation of the monikin mind, previously to
this period; but the better opinion is, that these cases
were no more than what are termed premonitory

TE MONlKIffS. 161

Thus, Socrates, Plato, Confucius, Aristotle, Euclid,
Zeno, Diogenes, and Seneca, were merely so many
admonishing types of the future condition of man,
indicating their near approach to the monikin, or
to the final translation."

" And Epicurus- "

" Was an exaggeration of the material principle,
that denoted the retrogression of a large portion of
the race towards brutality and matter. These phe
nomena are still of daily occurrence."

" Do you then hold the opinion, for instance, Dr.
Reasono, that Socrates is now a monikin philoso
pher, with his brain unravelled and rendered logic
ally consecutive, and that Epicurus is transformed
perchance into a hippopotamus or a rhinoceros,
with tusks, horns, and hide 1"

" You quite mistake our dogmas, Sir John. We
do not believe in transmigration in the individual
at all, but in the transmigration of classes. Thus,
we hold that whenever a given generation of men, in
a peculiar state of society, attain, in the aggregate,
a certain degree of moral improvement, or mentality,
as we term it in the schools, that there is an admix
ture of their qualities in masses, some believe by
scores, others think by hundreds, and others again
pretend by thousands; and if it is found, by the
analysis that is regularly instituted by nature, that
the proportions are just, the material is consigned
to the monikin birth ; if not, it is repudiated, and
either kneaded anew for another human experi
ment, or consigned to the vast stores of dormant
matter. Thus all individuality, so far as it is con
nected with the past, is lost."

"But, sir, existing facts contradict one of the

most important of your propositions; while you

admit that a want of a change in the seasons would

be a consequence of the perpendicularity of the



earth's axis to the plane of its present orbit, this
change in the seasons is a matter not to be denied.
Flesh and blood testify against you here, no less
than reason."

"I spoke of things as they were, sir, 'previously
to the birth of the monikinia ; since which time a
great, salutary, harmonious, and contemplated alter
ation has occurred. Nature had reserved the polar
regions for the new species, with divers obvious and
benevolent purposes. It was rendered uninhabitable
by the obliquity of the sun's rays ; and though mat
ter, in the shape of mastodons and whales, with an
instinct of its antagonist destination, had frequently
invaded their precincts, it was only to leave the
remains of the first embedded in fields of ice, me
morials of the uselessness of struggling against
destiny, and to furnish proofs of the same great
truth in the instance of the others ; who, if they did
enter the polar basins as masters of the great deep,
either left their bones there, or returned in the same
characters as they went From the appearance of
animal nature on the earth, down to the period
when the monikin race arose, the regions in ques
tion were not only uninhabited, but virtually unin
habitable. When, however, Nature, always wary,
wise, beneficent, and never to be thwarted, had
prepared the way, those phenomena were exhibited
that cleared the road for the new species. I have
alluded to the internal struggle between fire and
water, and to their progeny, steam. This new
agent was now required to act. A moment's
attention to the manner in which the next great
step in the progress of civilization was made, will
show with what foresight and calculation our com
mon mother had established her laws. The earth
is flattened at the poles, as is well imagined by
some of the human philosophers, in consequence


of its diurnal movement commencing while the ball
was still in a state of fusion, which naturally threw
off a portion of the unkneaded matter, towards the
periphery. This was not done without the design
of accomplishing a desired end. The matter that
was thus accumulated at the equator, was necessa
rily abstracted from other parts ; and, in this man
ner, the crust of the globe became thinnest at the
poles. When a sufficiency of steam had been gene
rated in the centre of the ball, a safety-valve was
evidently necessary to prevent a total disruption.
As there was no other machinist than Nature, she
worked with her own tools, and agreeably to her
own established laws. The thinnest portions of the
crust opportunely yielded to prevent a catastrophe,
when the superfluous and heated vapor escaped, in
a right line with the earth's axis, into vacuum.
This phenomenon occurred, as nearly as we have
been able to ascertain, about the year 700 before
the Christian era commenced, or some two cen
turies previously to the birth of the first monikins."

"And. why so early, may I presume to inquire,

" Simply that there might be time for the new
climate to melt the ice that had accumulated about
the islands and continents of that region, (for it
was only at the southern extremity of the earth
that the explosion had taken place,) in the course
of so many centuries. Two hundred and seventy
years of the active and unremitted agency of steam
sufficed for this end ; since the accomplishment of
which, the monikin race has been in the undis
turbed enjoyment of the whole territory, together
with its blessed fruits."

"Am I to understand," asked Captain Poke,
with more interest than he had before manifested
in the philosophei 's lecture, " that your folks, when

184 THE MOfflKItfS.

at hum', live to the south'ard of the belt of ice that
we mariners always fall in with somewhere about
the parallel of 77 south latitude ?"

"Precisely so alas! that we should, this day,
be so far from those regions of peace, delight, intel
ligence, and salubrity ! But the will of Providence
be done ! doubtless, there is a wise motive for our
captivity and sufferings, which may yet lead to the
further glory of the monikin race !"

" Will you have the kindness to proceed with
your explanations, Doctor? If you deny the annual
revolution of the earth, in what manner do you
account for the changes of the seasons, and other
astronomical phenomena, such as the eclipses which
so frequently occur ?"

" You remind me that the subject is not yet ex
hausted," the philosopher hurriedly rejoined, hastily
and covertly dashing a tear from his eye. "Pros
perity produced some of its usual effects, among
the founders of our species. For a few centuries,
they went on multiplying in numbers, elongating
and rendering still more consecutive their caudcr,
improving in knowledge and the arts, until some
spirits, more audacious than the rest, became restive
under the slow march of events, which led them
towards perfection at a rate ill-suited to their fiery
impatience. At this time, the mechanic arts were
at the highest pitch of perfection amongst us we
have since, in a great measure, abandoned them,
as unsuited to, and unnecessary for, an advanced
state of civilization we wore clothes, constructed
canals, and effected other works that were greatly
esteemed among the species from which we had
emigrated. At this time, also, the whole monikin
family lived together as one people, enjoyed the
same laws, and pursued the same objects. But a


political sect arose in the region, under -.he direction
of misguided and hot-headed leaders, who brought
down upon us the just judgment of Providence, and
a multitude of evils that it will require ages to
remedy. This sect soon had recourse to religious
fanaticism and philosophical sophisms, to attain its
ends. It grew rapidly in power and numbers ; for
we monikins, like men, as I have had occasion to
observe, are seekers of novelties. At last it pro
ceeded to absolute overt acts of treason against
the laws of Providence itself. The first violent
demonstration of its madness and folly, was setting
up the doctrine that injustice had been done the
monikin race, by causing the safety-valve of the
world to be opened within their region. Although
we were manifestly indebted to this very circum
stance for the benignity of our climate, the value
of our possessions, the general healthfulness of our
families nay, for our separate existence itself, as
an independent species, yet did these excited and
ill-judging wretches absolutely wage war upon the
most benevolent and the most unequivocal friend
they had. Specious premises led to theories, theo
ries to declamations, declamation to combination,
combination to denunciation, and denunciation to
open hostilities. The matter in dispute was debated
for two generations, when the necessary degree of
madness having been excited, the leaders of the
party, who by this time had worked themselves,
through their hobby, into the general control of the
monikin affairs, called a meeting of all their parti
sans, and passed certain resolutions, which will
never be blotted from the monikin memory, so fatal
were their consequences, so ruinous, for a time,
their effects ! They were conceived in the follow
ing terms :



" AT a full and overflowing meeting of the most
monikinized of the monikin race, holden at the house
of Peleg Pat, (we still used the human appellations,
at that epoch,) in the year of the world 3,007, and
of the monikin era 317, Plausible Shout was called
to the chair, and Ready Quill was named secretary

" After several excellent and eloquent addresses
from all present, it was unanimously resolved as
follows, viz.

" That steam is a curse, and not a blessing ; and
that it deserves to be denounced by all patriotic
and true monikins.

" That we deem it the height of oppression and
injustice in Nature, that she has placed the great
safety-valve of the world, within the lawful limit?
of the monikin territories.

" That the said safety-valve ought to be removeo
forthwith ; and that it shall be so removed, peace
ably if it can, forcibly if it must.

" That we cordially approve of the sentiments of
John Jaw, our present estimable chief magistrate,
the incorruptible partisan, the undaunted friend of
his friends, the uncompromising enemy of steam
and the sound, pure, orthodox, and true monikin.

" That we recommend the said Jaw to the conf:
dence of all monikins.

" That we call upon the country to sustain us ip
our great, holy, and glorious design, pledging our
selves, posterity, the bones of our ancestors, and al
who have gone before or who may come afte<
us, to the faithful execution of our intentions.
" Signed,


" READY QUILL, Secretary."

"No sooner were these resolutions promulgated
(for instead of beiag passed at a full meeting, it ia


now understood they were drawn up between
Messrs. Shout and Quill, under the private dicta
tion of Mr. Jaw,) than the public mind began
seriously to meditate proceeding to extremities
That perfection in the mechanic arts which had
hitherto formed our pride and boast, now proved
to be our greatest enemy. It is thought that the
leaders of this ill-directed party meant, in truth,
vO confine themselves to certain electioneering
effects ; but who can stay the torrent, or avert the
current of prejudice ! The stream was setting
against steam ; the whole invention of the species
was put in motion ; and in one year from the pas
sage of the resolutions I have recited, mountains
were transported, endless piles of rocks were
thrown into the gulf, arches were constructed, and
the hole of the safety-valve was hermetically
sealed. You will form some idea of the waste of
intelligence and energy on this occasion, when I
add, that it was found, by actual observation, that
this artificial portion of the earth was thicker,
stronger, and more likely to be durable than the
natural. So far did infatuation lead the victims,
that they actually caused the whole region to be
sounded, and, having ascertained the precise local
ity of the thinnest portion of the crust, John Jaw,
and all the most zealous of his followers, removed
to the spot, where they established the seat of
their government in triumph. All this time Nature
rested upon her arms, in the quiet of conscious
force. It was not long, however, before our an
cestors began to perceive the consequences of their
act, in the increase of the cold, in the scarcity of
fruits, and in the rapid augmentation of the ice.
The monikin enthusiasm is easily awakened in
favor of any plausible theory, but it invariably
yields to physical pressure. No doubt the human

188 THE MOlflKINS.

race, better furnished with the material of physical
resistance, does not exhibit so much of this weak
ness, but "

" Do not flatter us with the exception, Doctor.
I find so many points of resemblance between us
that I really begin to think we must have had tho
same origin ; and if you would only admit that
man is of the secondary formation and the moni-
kins of the primary, I would accept the whole of
your philosophy without a moment's delay."

" As such an admission would be contrary to
both fact and doctrine, I trust, my dear sir, you
will see the utter impossibility of a Professor in
the University of Leaphigh making the conces
sion, even in this remote part of the world. As I
was about to observe, the people began to betray
uneasiness at the increasing and constant inclem
ency of the weather ; and Mr. John Jaw found it
necessary to stimulate their passions by a new
development of his principles. His friends and
partisans were all assembled in the great square
of the new capital, and the following resolutions
were, to use the language of a handbill that is still
preserved in the archives of the Leaphigh Histo
rical Society, (for it would seem they were printed
before they were passed,) " unanimously, enthu
siastically, and finally adopted," viz,

Besolved, That this meeting has the utmost
contempt for steam.

Resolved, That this meeting defies snow, and
sterility, and all other natural disadvantages.

Resolved, That we will live for ever.

Resolved, That we will henceforward go naked,
as the most effectual means of setting the frost at


Resolved, That we are now over the thinnest
Dart of the earth's crust in the polar regions.

Resolved, That henceforth we will support no
monikin for any public trust, who will not give a
pledge to put out all his fires, and to dispense with
cooking altogether.

Resolved, That we are animated by the true
spirit of patriotism, reason, good faith, and firm

Resolved, That this meeting now adjourn sine die.

"We are told that the last resolution was just
carried by acclamation, when Nature arose in her
might, and took ample vengeance for all her
wrongs. The great boiler of the earth burst, with
a tremendous explosion, carrying away, as the
thinnest part of the workmanship, not only Mr.
John Jaw, and all his partisans, but forty thousand
square miles of territory. The last that was seen
of them was about thirty seconds after the occur
rence of the explosion, when the whole mass dis
appeared near the northern horizon, going at a
rate a little surpassing that of a cannon-ball which
has just left its gun."

" King !" exclaimed Noah ; " that is what we
sailors call, to cut and run."

" Was nothing ever heard of Mr. Jaw and his
companions, my good Doctor?"

" Nothing that could be depended on. Some of
our naturalists assume that the monkeys which
frequent the other parts of the earth are their
descendants, who, stunned by the shock, have lost
their reasoning powers, while, at the same time,
they show glimmerings of their origin. This is,
in truth, the better opinion of our savans; and it
is usual with us, to distinguish all the human spe
cies of monkeys by the name of " the lost moni-


kins." Since my captivity, chance has thrown
me in the way of several of these animals, who
were equally under the control of the cruel Sa
voyards ; and in conversing with them, in order to
inquire into their traditions and to trace the analo
gies of language, I have been led to think there is
some foundation for the opinion. Of this, how
ever, hereafter."

" Pray, Dr. Reasono, what became of the forty
thousand square miles of territory ?"

" Of that, we have a better account ; for one of
our vessels, which was far to the northward, on an
exploring expedition, fell in with it in longitude 2
from Leaphigh, latitude C S., and by her means
it was ascertained that divers islands had been
already formed by falling fragments; and, judging
from the direction of the main body when last
seen, the fertility of that part of the world, and
various geological proofs, we hold that the great
western Archipelago is the deposit of the remain

" And the monikin region, sir, what was the
consequence of this phenomenon to that part of
the world T"

" Awful sublime various and durable ! The
more important, or the personal consequences,
shall be mentioned first. Fully one-third of the
monikin species was scalded to death. A great
many contracted asthmas and other diseases of
the lungs, by inhaling steam. Most of the bridges
were swept away by the sudden melting of the
snows, and large stores of provisions were spoilt
by the unexpected appearance and violent charac
ter of the thaw. These may be enumerated among
the unpleasant consequences. Among the pleasant,
we esteem a final and agreeable melioration of the
climate, which regained most of its ancient char


acter, and a rapid and distinct elongation of our
caudce, by a sudden acquisition of wisdom.

" The secondary, or the terrestrial consequences,
were as follow. By the suddenness and force
with which so much steam rushed into space, find
ing its outlet several degrees from the pole, the
earth was canted from its perpendicular attitude,
and remained fixed with its axis having an inclina
tion of 23 27 to the plane of its orbit. At the
same time, the orb began to move in vacuum, and,
restrained by antagonist attractions, to perform
what is called its annual revolution."

" I can very well understand, friend Reasono,"
observed Noah, " why the 'arth should heel under
so sudden a flaw, though a well-ballasted ship
would right again when the puff was over ; but I
cannot understand how a little steam leaking out
at one end of a craft should set her a-going at the
rate we are told this world travels 1"

" If the escape of the steam were constant, the
diurnal motion giving it every moment a new posi
tion, the earth would not be propelled in its orbit,
of a certainty, Captain Poke ; but as, in fact, this
escape of the steam has the character of pulsation,
being periodical and regular, nature has ordained
that it shall occur but once in the twenty-four hours,
and this at such a time as to render its action uni
form, and its impulsion always in the same direc
tion. The principle on which the earth receives
this impetus, can be easily illustrated by a familiar
experiment. Take, for instance, a double-barrelled
fowling-piece, load both barrels with extra quan
tities of powder, introduce a ball and two wads
into each barrel, place the breech within 4 T ^-V
inches of the abdomen, and take care to fire both
barrels at once. In this case, the balls will give
an example of the action of the forty thousand


square miles of territory, and the person experi
menting will not fail to imitate the impulsion, or
the backward movement, of the earth."

" While I do not deny that such an experiment
would be likely to set both parties in motion, friend
Reasono, I do not see why the 'arth should not final
ly stop, as the man would be sure to do, after he
had got through with hopping, and kicking, and

" The reason why the earth, once set in motion
in vacuum, does not stop, can also be elucidated
by experiment, as follows. Take Captain Noah
Poke, provided as he is by nature with legs and
the power of motion ; lead him to the Place Ven-
dome ; cause him to pay three sous, which will gain
him admission to the base of the column ; let him
ascend to the summit ; thence let him leap with all
his energy, in a direction at right angles with the
shaft of the column, into the open air ; and it will
be found that, though the original impulsion would
not probably impel the body more than ten or
twelve feet, motion would continue until it had
reached the earth. Corollary: hence it is proved,
that all bodies in which the vis inertia has been
overcome, will continue in motion, until they come
in contact with some power capable of stopping

" King! Do you not think, Mr. Reasono, that the
'arth makes its circuit, as much owing to this said
steam of yours shoving, as it were, always a little
on one side, acting thereby in some fashion as a
rudder, which causes her to keep waring, as we
seamen call it, and as big crafts take more room
than small ones in waring, why, she is compelled
to run so many millions of miles before, as it might
be, she comes up to the wind ag'in ? Now, there
;s reason in such an idee ; whereas, I never could


reconcile it to my natur', that these little bits of
stars should keep a craft like the 'arlh in her
course, with such a devil of a way on her, as we
know in reason she must have, to run so far in a
twelve-month. Why, the smallest yaw and, for
a hooker of her keel, a thousand miles would n't
be a broader yaw than a hundred feet in a ship
the smallest yaw would send her aboard of the
Jupiter, or the Marcury, when there would be a
smashing of out-board work such as mortal never
before witnessed !"

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