The War of the Wenuses

The War of the Wenuses

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The War of the Wenuses, by C. L. Graves and E. V. LucasThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The War of the WenusesAuthor: C. L. Graves and E. V. LucasRelease Date: January 13, 2005 [eBook #14678]Language: English***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE WAR OF THE WENUSES***E-text prepared by David Starner, Edna Badalian, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading TeamTHE WAR OF THE WENUSESbyC. L. GRAVES AND E. V. LUCASReprint of the 1898 ed. published by J. W. ArrowsmithBristol, Eng.[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF THE INVISIBLE AUTHOR.(From a Negative by THE SPECTROSCOPIC Co.)]THE WAR OF THE WENUSESTranslated from the Artesian of H. G. PozzuoliAuthor of The Treadmill, The Isthmus of Dr. Day, The VanishingLady, etc., etc.byC. L. GRAVES AND E. V. LUCAS"Not novels and poetry swipes, but ideas, science, books" The Artilleryman[Illustration: Arrowsmith colophon]TOH. G. WELLSTHIS OUTRAGE ON A FASCINATING AND CONVINCING ROMANCECONTENTSBOOK I.—The Coming of the Wenuses.ChapterI. "JUST BEFORE THE BATTLE, MOTHER"II. THE FALLING STARIII. THE CRINOLINE EXPANDSIV. HOW I REACHED HOMEBOOK II.—London Under the Wenuses.I. THE DEATH OF THE EXAMINERII. THE MAN AT UXBRIDGE ROADIII. THE TEA-TRAY IN ...

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The Project Gtuneebgre oBko ,e Thr Wa tof Whesune ,seC yb.L .ves  GraE. Vand acs .uL
[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF THE INVISIBLE AUTHOR. (From a Negative by THE SPECTROSCOPIC Co.)]
THE WAR OF THE WENUSES by C. L. GRAVES AND E. V. LUCAS Reprint of the 1898 ed. published by J. W. Arrowsmith Bristol, Eng.
E-text prepared by David Starner, Edna Badalian, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
Title: The War of the Wenuses Author: C. L. Graves and E. V. Lucas Release Date: January 13, 2005 [eBook #14678] Language: English
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE WAR OF THE WENUSES***
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
THE WAR OF THE WENUSES
Translated from the Artesian of H. G. Pozzuoli
Author ofThe Treadmill,The Isthmus of Dr. Day,The Vanishing Lady, etc., etc.
by
C. L. GRAVES AND E. V. LUCAS
"Not novels and poetry swipes, but ideas, science, books"The Artilleryman
[Illustration: Arrowsmith colophon]
TO
H. G. WELLS
THIS OUTRAGEON A FASCINATINGAND CONVINCINGROMANCE
CONTENTS
BOOK I.—The Coming of the Wenuses.
Chapter
I. "JUST BEFORETHEBATTLE, MOTHER"
II. THEFALLINGSTAR
III. THECRINOLINEEXPANDS
IV. HOW I REACHED HOME
BOOK II.—London Under the Wenuses.
I. THEDEATH OFTHEEXAMINER
II. THEMAN AT UXBRIDGEROAD
III. THETEA-TRAYIN WESTBOURNEGROVE
IV. WRECKAGE
V. BUBBLES
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B
BOOK I.
The Comi
The Comi
    * * * * *
ng of the Wenuses.
ng of the Wenuses.
.IJ"SUT BEFORE THE BATTLE, MOTHER."
No one would have believed in the first years of the twentieth century that men and modistes on this planet were being watched by intelligences greater than woman's and yet as ambitious as her own. With infinite complacency maids and matrons went to and fro over London, serene in the assurance of their empire over man. It is possible that the mysticetus does the same. Not one of them gave a thought to Wenus as a source of danger, or thought of it only to dismiss the idea of active rivalry upon it as impossible or improbable. Yet across the gulf of space astral women, with eyes that are to the eyes of English women as diamonds are to boot-buttons, astral women, with hearts vast and warm and sympathetic, were regarding Butterick's with envy, Peter Robinson's with jealousy, and Whiteley's with insatiable yearning, and slowly and surely maturing their plans for a grand inter-stellar campaign. The pale pink planet Wenus, as I need hardly inform the sober reader, revolves round the sun at a mean distance of [character: Venus sigil] vermillion miles. More than that, as has been proved by the recent observations of Puits of Paris, its orbit is steadily but surely advancing sunward. That is to say, it is rapidly becoming too hot for clothes to be worn at all; and this, to the Wenuses, was so alarming a prospect that the immediate problem of life became the discovery of new quarters notable for a gentler climate and more copious fashions. The last stage of struggle-for-dress, which is to us still remote, had embellished their charms, heightened their heels and enlarged their hearts. Moreover, the population of Wenus consisted exclusively of Invisible Men—and the Wenuses were about tired of it. Let us, however, not judge them too harshly. Remember what ruthless havoc our own species has wrought, not only on animals such as the Moa and the Maori, but upon its own inferior races such as the Wanishing Lady and the Dodo Bensonii. The Wenuses seem to have calculated their descent with quite un-feminine accuracy. Had our instruments permitted it, we might have witnessed their preparations. Similarly pigs, had they wings, might fly. Men like Quellen of Dresden watched the pale pink planet—it is odd, by the way, that for countless centuries Wenus has been the star of Eve— evening by evening growing alternately paler and pinker than a literary agent, but failed to interpret the extraordinary phenomena, resembling a series of powder puffs, which he observed issuing from the cardiac penumbra on the night of April 1st, 1902. At the same time a great light was remarked by Idos of Yokohama and Pegadiadis of Athens. The storm burst upon us six weeks later, about the time of the summer sales. As Wenus approached opposition, Dr. Jelli of Guava set the wires of the astronomical exchange palpitating with the intelligence of a huge explosion of laughing gas moving risibly towards the earth. He compared it to a colossal cosmic cachinnation. And, in the light of subsequent events, the justice of the comparison will commend itself to all but the most sober readers. Had it not been for my chance meeting with Swears, the eminent astronomer and objurgationist, this book would never have been written. He asked me down to our basement, which he rents from me as an observatory, and in spite of all that has happened since I still remember our wigil very distinctly. (I spell it with a "w" from an inordinate affection for that letter.) Swears moved about, invisible but painfully audible to my naked ear. The night was very warm, and I was very thirsty. As I gazed through the syphon, the little star seemed alternately to expand and contract, and finally to assume a sort of dual skirt, but that was simply because my eye was tired. I remember how I sat under the table with patches of green and crimson swimming before my eyes. Grotesque and foolish as this may seem to the sober reader, it is absolutely true. Swears watched till one, and then he gave it up. He was full of speculations about the condition of Wenus. Swears' language was extremely sultry. "The chances against anything lady-like on Wenus," he said, "are a million to one." EvenPearson's Weeklyto the disturbance at last, and Mrs. Lynn Linton contributed an article entitled "Whatwoke up Women Might Do" to theQueen. A paper calledPunch, if I remember the name aright, made a pun on the subject, which was partially intelligible with the aid of italics and the laryngoscope. For my own part, I was too much occupied in teaching my wife to ride a Bantam, and too busy upon a series of papers inNatureon the turpitude of the classical professoriate of the University of London, to give my undivided attention to the impending disaster. I cannot divide things easily; I am an indivisible man. But one night I went for a bicycle ride with my wife. Shewasa Bantam of delight, I can tell you, but she rode very badly. It was starlight, and I was attempting to explain the joke in the paper called, if I recollect aright,Punchstars she saw as she fell off her. It was an extraordinarily sultry night, and I told her the names of all the machine. She had a good bulk of falls. There were lights in the upper windows of the houses as the people went to bed. Grotesque and foolish as this will seem to the sober reader, it is absolutely true. Coming home, a party of bean-feasters from Wimbledon, Wormwood Scrubs, or Woking passed us, singing and playing concertinas. It all seemed so safe and tranquil. But the Wenuses were even then on their milky way.
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