A Journey to the Interior of the Earth
I had to follow, clutching at every step. The keen air made me giddy; I felt the spire
rocking with every gust of wind; my knees began to fail; soon I was crawling on my
knees, then creeping on my stomach; I closed my eyes; I seemed to be lost in space.
At last I reached the apex, with the assistance of my uncle dragging me up by the collar.
"Look down!" he cried. "Look down well! You must take a lesson in abysses."
I opened my eyes. I saw houses squashed flat as if they had all fallen down from the
skies; a smoke fog seemed to drown them. Over my head ragged clouds were drifting
past, and by an optical inversion they seemed stationary, while the steeple, the ball and I
were all spinning along with fantastic speed. Far away on one side was the green country,
on the other the sea sparkled, bathed in sunlight. The Sound stretched away to Elsinore,
dotted with a few white sails, like sea-gulls' wings; and in the misty east and away to the
north-east lay outstretched the faintly-shadowed shores of Sweden. All this immensity of
space whirled and wavered, fluctuating beneath my eyes.
But I was compelled to rise, to stand up, to look. My first lesson in dizziness lasted an
hour. When I got permission to come down and feel the solid street pavements I was
afflicted with severe lumbago.
"To-morrow we will do it again," said the Professor.
And it was so; for five days in succession, I was obliged to undergo this anti-vertiginous
exercise; and whether I would or not, I made some improvement in the art of "lofty