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JULES VERNE

JULES VERNE

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JULES VERNE

  1. 1. juíes ‘Verne as a French author of adventure novels who drew upon his interest in eography to write about space, airf and undcrwater travel. He is best novels Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty wenty Thousand Lenguas Under the Sea. He also helped pioneer the of science fiction, along with the British author H. G. Wells. es, France, he summered with his ‘family near the Loire River where he ‘would often rent boats and where the many ships navigating the river re’s imagination. As a child he became very interested in exploration. I Paris to study law but dropped law for writing, His father found out financial support. Verne had to make money by selling his stories and as a stockbroker (which he hated doing), While in Paris he met the mous French novelists Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. z anticipated many scientific achievements of the twentieth century. nare than fifty books during his lifetime, and many plays and films have been made from his widely read works. JOURNGY TO The ‘f CGNTGR or The GHRTh ‘Ïfie Mysteríaus Tarcfiment i‘; ' r‘ ne Sunday my Gernmn uncle, Professor Otto Lidenhrock, came rushíng back to his house. He was heading for his study when lie shouted, "Follow me, Axel! ” My uncle was a professor of philosophy, Chemistry, geolngy, and mineralogy He was a great scientist, capable ofclasïiïying any mineral among the six hundred known types. And l, his orphaned nephew, who loved nïineralogy above all else, had become an assistant to this brilliant but ¡mpatient man. My unclc was absorbed in an old book. “A masterpiece! This is the Chronicle ufthe Norwegian princes who ruled Icelandl A manuscript dating from the twelfth century! " M ¿ A small scmp rxfparchment Fell out ot" the book. My nncle grabbed it, r‘ and, as he spread 1t flat on the table, we could discem some lettcrs of an old, e magical text that my uncle said was ancicnt runic script, He saw at once that there was a secret in those synlbols and determined to discover it. He began to transcribe each character using the lettcrs of our a alphabct, but all that appcarctï was a list ofwurds without meaning. “Its a code, ” he cried, striking the table with his fist. “Someone hid a message in these letters. Undoubtedly lt conceals the key to a great discovery! " On the second page of the book there was a note, perhaps by the same person who had written the parchment. All that could bc read was "Ame Saknussenini, ” the name of a celebrated Icelandic ‘ ww Scholar and alcheniist from the sixteenth century.
  2. 2. lared he weuldn’: eat or sleep until he had discovered the secret——and l wouldn't either. eventnally want to eat and sleep, I also tried to decipher the rnessageTu n it was written hackwurd l found the words FYUÍBI’ and Earth, Then it ¡ke a flash of hghtnmg. I had got the elue! You could read the entire was terrified—a man had had the Courage to penetrate the center of r uncle, saying, “I have made a very important discovery. ” d with excitelnent. “You don't mean to say that you have any idea of the rawl? " s nothing ifyou read from left to right, but if from right to left—" l” ctied my uncle in amazement. “Oh most eunning Saknussemm! ” d up the document and began to read: a? cmf Ey "¡ay of m” 5cartaris taucfit-ï ¿ram at - ¿{esc «Mi naval"- rímttfiesfiaff°"’”f fl adígfig center S? ! Vw’ "Z a EL ¿Mffgggïacicr mí _ a l A _ 4 s. Edfïm the emï “fïunc a y p- af tñe {artïiv 1 M ü’ i. ‘ - » m Bm: ‘,53l‘““°’°m My uncle lcaped three feet From the ground with joy. “Axel, pack your bag and mine! " Awmmunmw ‘Ïfie Qïaúffloumey Qïegíns A chill went down my spme on hearing these wordsTo go to the center of the Earth! What madness! I wanted [0 make my uncle see that it Was all nonsensefia hoax. Besides, what was the meaning of those words—SiM_Ú"ulx and S(r1r/ nrí5—that l had never heard in my life? “Very simple, ” my uncle said. “Look at this map of Iceland. The whole island is composed ofvolcanoes. Ifwe follow the coast to this peninsula, we come to a nrountnin. That's Snefïels, an extinct Volcano, made up of several CYaterS. Toward the end of June, Scartaris, one of the mountain peaks, must throw its shadow precisely on the crater that leads to the center nfthe Earth. ” “WellÏI cried, ovcrcume at last, “let us gn and see! ” “Fear nothing and say not a word to any living soul. Our success depends on secrecy and speed. " I left my unclek study. Our preparations were soon done, and we departed even sooner than expected un ourjourney into the center otfithe Earth. Hans, Our Iceúzncííc guide t w ) We reached Copenhagen at the beginning ofjune and then embarked for Iceland, one of the largest islands in Europe, on the ship VnlkyrirhWhen We reached the hay oFl-Leykjavik my uncle pointed to a mountain with two peaks. “Sneíïels! ” he exelaimed. The first thing we did was to hire a guide to accornpany us on our climh up the extinet Volcano. Hans was .1 tal], powerful man with intelligent eyes and an iianocent expression. He was a duek hunter and did not talk much. Then we began to make our final preparations. ln addition to a thernionieter, a stopwatch, two eompasses, and a number nflanterns, we mok picks, walking Sticks, ladders, and ropesnWe took enough meat and biscuits for six vnonths. We traveled for days. We reached land that seemed crushed under the weight of enormous stones. Finally we saw the iininense base ofthe Volcano. Sneffels is almost SJJÜU feet tall. l was frightened at the thought of the Volcano erupting, hut my unele again assured me that It was quite safe. I wasnlt so sure.
  3. 3. Tu tfie Earth’; Center ntainside was very difficult. Only Hansk skill kept us from being crushed never felt such exhaustion in iny life. l was ready to faint iiriin hnngei‘ i: reached the sumniit ofSneffels. It was a wondrotis sight. red, and then began the climb down the Volcano. At inidday we reached els was composed of three chinineys, which when it was active would 1 burning lava and poisonons Vapors. The professor examined each ly. Suddenly he gave a wild cry. ited. “Come here—it’s wonderful! ” he read an inscripcion on the block ofstonezAliNF. SAKNUSSEMM. ‘er, do you begin to have faith? cried iny uncle. t cncl ofjnne and had only to wait for the shadow ofScartaris to point e text written by the Icelandic wise inan said. And after several cloud)‘ y indicated the central chimneyWThere it isl” said the professorÏNour begins! " lt l should ever scc ofany sky? I looked down the horrible abyss and iny End. It was like a gaping well. with walls that ran straight up and down. one halfofa rope around an outcropping rock and let the other half fall the bottom. ln this way, holding tight to the two halves we Could íescend and then recover the tope when we got to the bottom. Loaded down with our baggage, we went down in this order: Hans, my uncle. and LAfter ten and a halfhours of exhausting desceiit, we reached the bottom of the chimneyr, where we could finally rest. We turned on our ILIBÉCTHS and the effect was magical! “FoiwvardW ‘y cried my uncle, and ive were engulfed in the disinal passage". We moved forward with our lanterns, along slopes covered with hardened lava of an mfinitL‘ variety of colors. According to the professorï calrulations we were now well below sea level—a depth that had never before been rea Here l ¡uointed out to iny tincle our greatest tianger: lack ofwater. l reached a Crossroads from whirh there einerged two niiriow, dark paths. My uncle those Kationing our uater careflill). for dass we went down l'arthei' and farthcr unti "wc the tunnel that had the steepest HIClÍHtAiTCl’ a while, I renlized that we were going uimWe had taken the wrong road! ‘Witfiout ‘Water We turned back and retraced our steps. Unless we timnd untei soon wc would tllC of ‘il to un} ine further. M) eses could no longer see. My kiiees shookxl gave one despniring thirsLThe sufferiugs ue endured were horrible. Mi‘ uncle led ux on until H1)‘ liinbs refn. cry ¿ud (fill, "llelp. l .111] tlsingVThe List thing I saw was iny tinclels face distorted with sorrovv and then iny esas closed, When I lCgillllcti coiisciousness l su“ Hans leiuing us. During a long, wear)‘ hour delirious thoughts carne to iny niind. all sorts ofreiisons as to why our fiiithtiil guide Ind departed. Snddenly, howexer, there arose. ns it were froiii the depths ofthe earth, Ll voii e of comfort. l lans appeared. «wing “ Vfllfürl. “ "W/ aterl Water, " I cried. Waking up iny lliltlr‘ We followed Hans As he led us down the tuniiel. An hour later we had ¿idvanced a thousand ,11 ds and descended two thousand il t. At that moment l heard a welhknouïi sound running along the tloors of the granire i'ock—zi kind of dull and sulleii roni, like that ofzi distant uaterfiill, “Therek no doubt about it, ” the professor said excitedly, “an underground river is flowing beside usÏWith a pick Hans began to cut through the rock little hy little, until a wlnstling was heard and a gush ofwater canieiout. l plunged iny hands into theier and imniediately shoiited, “lt's boiling! But at least we had water—we would wait until it cooled off. We would survivel Last! A terrible incident happened to nie on the 7th of August coinpanions. I was exanunnig different layers of granite 'when I was walking first in line, followed by iny and was completely absorbed in iny ivork. When I halted and turned around, l found that I “ras alone!
  4. 4. l turned back and shouted, but Lhere was no oncl ascended the tunnel for over half an hour, hcaring only the cchoes ofmy nwn footstepi. At last l stopped. My lantern went out and I was left in darkness, I was literally buried alive! No words can depict my utter despair. I ms lost, lost, LOST! I started shouting, running, but eventually lost my suength. l fell and lost consciousness. when l awolte l was bleeding fiorn iny fall. suddenly l heard a sound, then nothing. it seemed like voices in the dismnce. I shouted with all my strength. "Uncle Lideribrockl" “Axel! ls it you? Where are youwresponded a taravwy voice. “Lost and with no light. " “AxelÏl heard my uncle sayflyou got lost in one ofthe many passage: that lead to the hig eayern where we ateAll you hnvc to do ls erawl downvurd and you'll find in. " So I started dragging myselralong unt| l l fell into a holewhen I reached the bottom, l hit it so hard that I lost consciuusness againÁX/ heii I recovcrcd my senses, I found myself with niy head handaged ¡ind wrapped in hlanltets, with Hans and iny uriele looking rlowii at me. “He's alive! ” I felt very wenkThcrc were rio lainps or torehes ht, but ari uuexplmnable light taine iii through ari opening in die eaveflHai/ e we gone hack ro the surface, Uncle Lidcnbrock? " “Of course notl Now test and tomorrow wc shall go on board. " On board whacfiiid how? Tfie Liifenfirock 52a At first l could see nothing, bur When my eyes got used to the light I was astonished. “The sea! ” “YcsÏ replied iny unclc with pride. “No fiiture nayigator will deny the fact or my having diseovered it. " lt was quite trueWe were in front of a mst expanse of water. A se: m the middle of the Earth! The beach, the waves, everything was just like an earthly sea—nnly horribly savage. The shore consisted of golden sand and small shells. An unknown light aeted as a sun and lit up the cave. Yet it was not like the sun, for it gave no heaLAftcr so many days in those dark tunnels it was marvelous, yet sad. Instead of sky above, there was only a heavy roof of gTaníte. We called it the Lidenbrock Sea. in honor of the professor. when 1 got iny strength haelt, we walked along the heaeh nnd discovercd an amazing landscape. Behind a liill there was a lofty forest with trees that seen-led like umbtellas. As we came closer wc saw the trecs were actually giant lnuslrroomsl Then we came upon floweríng ferns as tnll as pine trccs. And on the ground we found a Jawbone, then a whole skeleton. Here were the bones of inastodons—pre— historic elephants long extirictl My unCle ivanted to travel to the far shore, so Hans built a rJfi. We set out to sea. We sailed tapidly rar beyond anything possible on the Earth's surface. Before us was nothing but the vast and apparently lirriitlcss ocean, which must have been as wide ae the Mediterranean or even the great Atlantic Ocean. We sailed for days, finally catching a living fish With no eyei—a species long extiiict on EarthAX/ c lowcrcd an iron bar into the ocean to test the watefs depth, and when we pulled it out we found ir crushcd hy giant teeth marks! l was teriified hy the thought of an enormous unknown monster. Suddenly we came upon a huge sea lizard. a rortyxoor turtle, and a whale. Hans seized the rudder to escape when a giant ctocodile and a sca serpent came on either side of us. The rest of the fearful creatures plunged bencath the waves as those two monsters passed within fifty fcct of Lhc raft, and then nude a rush at une another—their fury prcveriting them from seeing | J>. A deadly struggle coriiriiencedwe distinctly made out every action of the two hideous monsters, each who wanted to bc sole king of the seas. They raised nlountains of water, whieh dashed in spray over the raftwe seemed ori the puirir orheing
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JULES VERNE

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