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The Eve of the WarH. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter.
It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable.
It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days.
At most, terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet, across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.
And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment. The planet Mars, I scarcely need remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of , miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that received by this world.
It must be, if the nebular hypothesis has any truth, older than our world, and long before this earth ceased to be molten life upon its surface must have begun its course. The fact that it is scarcely one-seventh of the volume of the earth must have accelerated its cooling to the temperature at which life could begin.
It has air and water, and all that is necessary for the support of animated existence. Yet so vain is man, and so blinded by his vanity, that no writer, up to the very end of the nineteenth century, expressed any idea that intelligent life might have developed there far, or indeed at all, beyond its earthly level.
The secular cooling that must some day overtake our planet has already gone far indeed with our neighbor. Its physical condition is still largely a mystery, but we know now that even in its equatorial region the mid-day temperature barely approaches that of our coldest winter.
Its air is much more attenuated than ours, its oceans have shrunk until they cover but a third of its surface, and as its slow seasons change huge snow caps gather and melt about either pole and periodically inundate its temperate zones.
That last stage of exhaustion, which to us is still incredibly remote, has become a present-day problem for the inhabitants of Mars.
The immediate pressure of necessity has brightened their intellects, enlarged their powers, and hardened their hearts. And looking across space, with instruments and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance, only 35, of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and gray with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud-wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas.
And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars.
Their world is far gone in its cooling, and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that generation after generation creeps upon them.
And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years.
Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit? The Martians seem to have calculated their descent with amazing subtlety—their mathematical learning is evidently far in excess of ours—and to have carried out their preparations with a well-nigh perfect unanimity.Detailed analysis of Characters in H.G.
Wells's The War of the Worlds. Learn all about how the characters in The War of the Worlds such as Narrator and Martians contribute to the story and how they fit into the plot.
The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells, He discovers the Martians have assembled towering three-legged "fighting-machines" (tripods), it is revealed that the main characters will visit a world called "Martian Protectorate" where the events of The War of the Worlds are occurring.
In The War of the Worlds, Martians invade England. These Martians are worm-like creatures who intend to use Earth as a feeding ground, and the Earthlings are powerless to stop this.
In the end. The War of the Worlds Themes and Characters The Martians represent colonialists, while the Europeans-traditionally the colonialists themselves-are the primitives confronting invaders who possess a bewilderingly superior technology.
Sep 05, · The War of the Worlds/Book 1/Chapter 1.
From Wikisource three little points of light, three telescopic stars infinitely remote, and all around it was the unfathomable darkness of. Ogilvy is one of the three characters whose main job is to be incinerated. He's the first named person we meet in the story, and he's instrumental in the discovery of the first Martian cylinder.