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"A TRIP TO THE MOON"
MURTGAGH MC.DERMOT (pseudonimo)
(pagina a cura di Michele Caldarelli)
Murtagh Mc. Dermot è lo pseudonimo di uno scrittore inglese o irlandese, non meglio identificato, che ha pubblicato nel 1727 il racconto satirico dal titolo A Trip to the Moon. Nel libro l'autore descrive paesaggi ed esseri di fantasia nello stile di Jonathan Swift, dedicandolo, tra l'altro, al Capitano Lemuel Gulliver.
Riportiamo per i curiosi: oltre alla prefazione, i contenuti dei capitoli.
THE PREFACEI am not ignorant to what Danger Treatise of this Nature are liable, on account of a Mistake that prevails among, the more ignorant Sort, who deny the Transmigration of an Inhabitant of one Planet to another, as firmly as they deny the Transmigration of Souls from one Body to another. But tho' I do not take upon me to defend the latter since I dare not pretend to argue better than Pythagoras
has done, yet I hold the former, and bring the most convincing Argument for it, Experience. I went Isaw, I return'd ; I venture'd my Life many Times for the Information of my Countrymen, who, I hope, will shortly by their own Ingenuity, confirm what I have said. There is one Objection against this Piece, which I think, ought to be remov'd. It may be said, that the Author never has been in the Moon, since be relates very little, but what is observable among us, for he talks of Plays, Coffee-Houses, Balls, Ladies, Tea, Intriguing, Pythagoreans, and other Things, which may be easily apply'd to our selves, and are in use among us. To this I answer, First, that to condemn a Man without sufficient Evidence, is contrary to our Irish Statutes, neither can such Evidence be had, till same Body arrives from the Moon, who I am sure will bear Witness to all I have set down. Secondly, the Similitude of Manners is but a weak Objection. Does not every Body know that Nature in all her Works delights in Uniformity? Why then may not the Inhabitants of our seeondary Planet be like us in their Behaviour? J doubt not, but if I had seen more of them should have been able to describe Persons like some of our Neighbours. As to what is said concerning Government, let none misapply it : I had sworn Allegiance to King George the First of glorious Memory, before my Departure, and was always firmly attach'd to the Hanoverian Succession, against the base Pretensions of a cowardly, spurious, Popish Pretender; besides a monarchical Government can never be applied with the least probability to the Crown of Great Britain. In the next Place, let me make some Apology for endeavouring to account for some things in an uncommon Manner. The best Philosophers have been famous for their own Conjectures, some of which I have followed, and made hold to add my own, where they were not very positive. Other Accounts I have related according to the receiv'd
Doctrine of the Moon, for which I am oblig'd to my dear Friend Tckbrff.
What has been said, may suffice to vindicate me from sucb Aspersions as evil-minded Persons may cast upon me, who look no higher than their own native Earth. It remains that I address my self to those of a more generous Disposition, who I hope will escuse small Faults, and impute them rather to my Ignorance, than to any design of imposmg en the Publick.
Nei panni di "McDermot" il protagonista si imbarca per Tenerife prima di intraprendere il suo viaggio nello spazio.
Containing an Account of the Author's Design to travel.
His going to Sea. His Arrival at Teneriffe. His
Ascent to the Peak. His being taken up by a Whirlwind.
The Manner of his "Journey towards the
Moon. Some Reflections made by the Way, His
Arrival at the Moon, and what happened thereupon,
Containing an Account of the People's Care of him. His
Surprize upon his Recovery. His manner of Learning
their Language in a Night's time, with an Account for
Containing an Account of his being Sent for by the King.
His Discours with Tckbrff about the King.
HisManner of approaching him.
Some Observations on his Courtiers.
His Approach to him. His escaping being put to death;
and what Discourse he had with Tckbrff
about the People of his own Country, and the People of the Moon.
Containing an Account of their Discourfe about an Amour
between Fribbigghe and Blmmil. their Characters.
He turns Fribbigghe's Rival. Makes a Speech to
Blmmfl. Fribbigghe is discarded.
Containing an Account of Blmmffs inviting him to drink
Tea with her. A pbilosopbical Account of the Effects
of Tea, with its first Rise. His Departure from
Blmmfl; and his Usage towards Fribbigghe.
Containing an Account of his Observations on
the Customs, Manners, and Religion of the
People of the Moon.
Containing an Account of his going to a Coffee-
House what he observ'd and heard there.
His Defign to go to a Play-House. An Account
of what Tckbrff said to him before
they went thither; what he observ'd and
heard there; with a natural Account for a
Man's becoming a Critick.
Containing an Account of his Drearn: Its Extravagance
accounted for. His being awaken'd
by People dancing; with fome Observations
upon a Ball.
Containing an Account of his sailing under
Water: The Manner of it. The Boat's splitting
against a Rock: Their being receiv'd
into a subterraneous Cavern : Their Reception.
An Account of mechanical Poetry: Sactuff's
Kindness to them.
Containing a brief Account of Sactuff's Life,
with the Manner of his coming there. Of
his shewing them his Rarities, especially a
Colour fubsisting without a Body, and the
Philosopher's Stone; with some Account
Containing an Account of the Author's
hammering out a Poem. The Poem. Sactuff's
Form and Mantle. The Author and Tckbrff's
Escape thence; with their Arrival at a
strange Country. An amazing Sight : The
Reason of it; with the Manner of their learning
their Language. Their Appearing before
the King; and their being made Correctors-
General to the Book of Fame.
Containing an Account of the People. The Author's
and Tckbrff's Banishment. The Author
alone prepares to return to the Earth :
The Manner of his coming. HisArrival at
the Land of Parrots: Their Kindness to
him. He destroys fome of their Enemies.
In return, they lend their Assisance to fit
him on the Coast of Guinea ; whence he sail'd
La propulsione necessaria all'ultima parte del suo viaggio viene fornita dalla polvere da sparo e la cosa lascia intendendere che Mc.Dermot si sia ispirato anche a Cyrano de Bergerac.