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The Eiffel Tower.

From the finely illustrated and grand description of that “ aerial observatory which human audacity has just established of a height of three hundred metres above Paris,” by M. Camill Flammarion, president of the French Astronomical Society, in the July ‘ Cosmopolitan,’ wo extract the following interesting paragraphs■ At first you are dazzled by tho details of its construction, and the prodigious entanglement of this forest of iron. As you get up higher you gradually estimate the elevation attained by the diminution of the surrounding edifices, by tho panorama of Paris spread Before you, by the extent of the horizon which keeps receding. Up to tho first platform, of which the height is sixty metres, you ara specially struck by the grandeur of the work, by the skill of the engineers who constructed this iron building, and you are tempted to feel some pride in the power of man. At the second platform, at a height of 119 metres, you are still living in the sphere of humanity, you admire the genius of science and industry, you feel the intense life of the Paris which surrounds you, you reflect on its history, ages long. Human life in its different manifestations is there under your eyes. You see it, you hear it, and while you tower above it you feel that you are a part of it. But as you go higher you begin to have a feeling of isolation, of a void, of aerial solitude, which aeronauts alone understand completely. The third storey of the tower soars at a height of 207 metres, that is at an elevation greater than all the structures existing on the globe. From that point Paris is already shrunken—still, however, a city of stone (white or grey according to the light) in a verdant country. It still extends quite far ia different directions, but appears surrounded with verdure. The city, the hills which are about it, are lowered, and Paris extends in the middle of an immense plain in which the Seine marks its sinuous course. Passy, Montmartre, P£re La Chaise, Meudon, Mt. Valericn, St. Germain make part of this plain without bounds. The noises of the great city are extinguished, the wind blows in our ears and seems to carry away, like a dream, the last echoes that reach us. Let us go still higher, and reach the fourth platform at a height of 273 metres. For this a slow ascent of three-quarters of an hour on foot suffices. From this point we look down into the atmosphere. The horizon has risen with us, and remains at the height of our eyes, traced like a circular line all round us, with a radius of sixty kilometres (thirty-six miles). The immense capital appears like an island in the ocean of Nature, It is no longer Paris alone, but a small portion of France that we have under our eyes. About this highest platform rises a round cupola, divided into three working cabinets, one for astronomy, another for meteorology and physical science, the third for biological studies and the micrographic _ analysis of the air. Above these cabinets is the lighthouse or beacon, which will he lighted by electricity, with an illuminating power equal to from 5,000 to 6,000 carcel lamps. Finally, above the lighthouse, the tower terminates in a terrace, which stands in mid-air 300 metres (about 1,000 ft) above the ground. Standing on_ this narrow summit, the horizon seems without bounds, circular and regular like that of the sea ; and the size of the sky is indescribable—an immense cupola placed on the terrestrial plane at an immeasurable You have not precisely the sensation experienced in the basket of a balloon which floats freely at a height of several thousand metres and transports ns above entire nations, with their frontiers effaced. Yon are still fastened to the earth; you have your feet on tho globe, but relatively you are much more isolated than the highest mountains, because the tower rises straight and solitary into the sky ; and, better than the basket of a balloon, you enjoy the grandeur of the heavens, which for the aeronaut are partly hidden by the balloon itself.

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Bibliographic details

The Eiffel Tower., Issue 8043, 21 October 1889

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The Eiffel Tower. Issue 8043, 21 October 1889

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