He assigned a height of 11,400 feet to the maximum elevations, and reduced the mean of the different altitudes
to little more than 2,400 feet.
In the course of a couple hours we reached a fine breezy altitude
where the little shepherd huts had big stones all over their roofs to hold them down to the earth when the great storms rage.
of the gallows that would turn to water and quench it, no functionary, by any stretch of mathematics, was able to calculate successfully.
He first took my altitude
by a quadrant, and then, with a rule and compasses, described the dimensions and outlines of my whole body, all which he entered upon paper; and in six days brought my clothes very ill made, and quite out of shape, by happening to mistake a figure in the calculation.
But we must have already emerged and gone seven hundred or eight hundred leagues; and if I had here an astrolabe to take the altitude
of the pole, I could tell thee how many we have travelled, though either I know little, or we have already crossed or shall shortly cross the equinoctial line which parts the two opposite poles midway.
Presently a great city showed below me, but it was not Helium, as that alone of all Barsoomian metropolises consists in two immense circular walled cities about seventy-five miles apart and would have been easily distinguishable from the altitude
at which I was flying.
Some are known to you, such as the thermometer, which gives the internal temperature of the Nautilus; the barometer, which indicates the weight of the air and foretells the changes of the weather; the hygrometer, which marks the dryness of the atmosphere; the storm-glass, the contents of which, by decomposing, announce the approach of tempests; the compass, which guides my course; the sextant, which shows the latitude by the altitude
of the sun; chronometers, by which I calculate the longitude; and glasses for day and night, which I use to examine the points of the horizon, when the Nautilus rises to the surface of the waves.
It is conjectured by some that the whole country may originally have been of the altitude
of these tabular hills; but through some process of nature may have sunk to its present level; these insulated eminences being protected by broad foundations of solid rock.
Though some of these rise to the region of perpetual snows, and are upwards of eleven thousand feet in real altitude
, yet their height from their immediate basis is not so great as might be imagined, as they swell up from elevated plains, several thousand feet above the level of the ocean.
In about ten minutes after starting, the barometer indicated an altitude
of 15,000 feet.
Doubtless, the height of the tower, seated as it was on the hill-top, the rushing of the ceaseless wind, the hypnotic effect of the lofty altitude
of the speck in the sky at which he gazed, and the rushing of the paper messengers up the string till sight of them was lost in distance, all helped to further affect his brain, undoubtedly giving way under the strain of beliefs and circumstances which were at once stimulating to the imagination, occupative of his mind, and absorbing.
As such she compared him with herself; and at every discovery of the abundance of his illuminations, and the unmeasurable, Andean altitude
of his, she became quite dejected, disheartened from all further effort on her own part whatever.
No sound of conflict reached our ears, for in the rarefied atmosphere of our great altitude
no sound wave could penetrate; they were dissipated in thin air far below us.
We sailed along the shore of the island of Pico, under a stately green pyramid that rose up with one unbroken sweep from our very feet to an altitude
of 7,613 feet, and thrust its summit above the white clouds like an island adrift in a fog!
So he moderated the flame of his cylinder, and the balloon, in a few moments, had descended to an altitude
only three hundred feet above the soil.