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WHAT is it like on the moon? Men have pondered that question for ages past, some using the scientific data available, others letting their imaginations wander unchecked by practical considerations. One of the latter was Bishop Francis Godwin, whose book "The Man in the Moon," published in 1638, certainly does not mirror the scientific knowledge which had been achieved up to the period in which he lived. It was the first story in English literature, however, dealing with interplanetary adventure.

The hero of the book, Domingo Gonzales, finds some swans on St. Helena which he calls gansas, and which he trains to carry weights and to obey orders. He then builds a seat for himself, to which he harnesses a number of gansas, so that they may fly with him through the air. To his surprise, the birds fly straight for the moon, as it it were the destination of their yearly migration. They fly for twelve days at great speed. The air between the "zones of attraction" oi the earth and the moon he finds to be mild and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, and having the miraculous property of preventing the pangs of hunger, no matter how severe.

At length he lands on the moon. It is found to be a perfect paradise, a place without want, unrest, or war. It is inhabited by human beings like those on earth except that they are of larger size, of better quality, and greater wisdom. The language is a musical one, so much so that it cannot be written in letters; notes must be used. After spending some time on the moon, the gansas seem eager to fly back, and Domingo returns to the earth in the same pleasant manner in which he made the ascent.