Dienstag, 10. November 2015

Part 2; Alvim Corrêa: Illustrations pour H.G. Wells LA GUERRE DES MONDES

The Thunder Child

They exploded any stores of powder they came upon, cut every telegraph, and wrecked the railways here and there.

It was with greatest difficulty they could get her down to the beach, where presently my brother succeeded in atracting the attention of some men on a paddle steamer out of the Thames.

The little steamer was already flapping her way eastward of the big crescent of shipping, and the low Essex coast was growing blue and hazy, when Martian appeared, small and faint in the remote distance, advancing along the muddy coast from the direction of Foulness.

She was steaming at such a pace that in a minute she seemed half-way between the steamboat and the Martians...suddenly the foremost Martian lowered his tube, and discharged a canister of the black gas at the ironclad. It hit her larboard side, and glanced off in an inky jet, that rolled away to seaward, an unfolding torrent of black smoke, from which the ironclad drove free.

Then with a violant thud, a blinding flash, her decks, her funnels, leapt upward. The Martian staggered with the violence of her explosion, and in another moment the flaming wreckage, still driving forward with the impetus of its pace, had struck him and crumpled him up like a cardboard.

It was deep twilight when the captain cried out and pointed....Something rushed up into
the sky out of the greyness, rushed slantingly upwards and very swiftly into the luminous clearness above the clouds in the western sky...

...something flat and broad and very large, the swept round in a vast curve, grew smaller, sank slowly, and vanished again into the grey mystery of the night. And as it flew it rained down darkness upon the land.



 Four or five little black figures hurried before it across the green-gray of the field, and in ma moment it was evident this Martian pursued them. In three strides he was among them, and they ran radiating from his feet in all directions. He used no Heat-Ray to destroy them, but picked them up one by one.

 ...came a thud behind me, a clash of glass, a crash and a rattle of falling masonry all about us, and incontinently the plaster of the ceiling came down upon us, smashing into a multitude of fragments upon our head....

I sat up. "Don't move," he said. "The floor is covered with smashed crockery from the dresser."

 The fifth cylinder must have fallen rightb into the midst of the house we had first visited. The building had vanished, completely smashed, pulverized and dispersed by the blow.

The cylinder was already opened in the centre of the pit, and on the farther edge of the pit, amidst the smashed and gravel-heaped shrubbery, one of the great Fighting Machines stood, deserted by its occupant, stiff and tall against the evening sky.

They were huge round bodies - or, rather, heads - about four feet in diameter, each body having in front of it a face. this face had no nostrils - indeed, the Martians do not seem to have had any sense of smell - but it had a pair of very large, dark-coloured eyes, and just beneath this a kind of fleshy beak.

...blood obtained from a still living animal, in most cases from a human being, was run directly by means of a little pipette into the recipient canal...

Their undeniable preference for men as their source of nourishment is partly explained by the nature of the remains of the victims they had brought with them as provisions from Mars. These creatures...were bipeds, with flimsy silice skeletons....
...the Martians were absolutely without sex, and therefore without any of the tumultuous emotions that arise from that difference among men.

Almost all the joints of the machinery present a complicated system of sliding parts moving over small but beautifuly curved friction bearings. And while upon this matter of detail, it is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature of discs in a elastic sheath....

When I looked again thebusy Handling Machine had already put together several of the pieces of apparatus it had taken out of the cylinder...


 We would race across the kitchen in a grotesque pace between eagerness and the dread of making a noise, and strike one another, and thrust and kick, withon a few inches of exposure.

I crouched, watching this Fighting Machine closely, satisfying myself now for the first time that the hood did indeed contain a Martian.

 and for amoment there was silence. And then began a shrieking and a sustained and cheerful hooting from the Martians...

In a flash I was after him. I was fierce with fear. Before he was half-wayacross the kitchen I had overtaken him. With one last touch of humanity I turned the blade back and and struck him with the butt. He went headlong forward, and lay stretched on the ground.

Then a heavy body - I knew too well what- was dragged across the floor of the kitchen towards the opening.


The neighbouring houses had all been wrecked, but none had been burned; their walls stood sometimes to the second storey, with smashed windows and shattered doors. The Red Weed grew tumultuously in their roofless rooms.


At Putney, as I afterwards saw, the bridge was almost lost in a tangle of this weed, and at Richmond, too, the Thames waterpoured in a broad and shallow stream across the meadows...


...you see, how I mean to live is underground. I've been thinking about the drains...but under this London are miles and miles...

The risk is that we who keep wild will go savage - degenerate into a sort of big savage rat....

One night last week, he said, some fools got the electric light in order, and there was all Refent Street and the Circus ablaze, crowded with painted and ragged drunkards, men and women, dancing and shouting till dawn...

 I had ma first inkling of the gulf between his dreams and his powers. Such a hole I could have dug in a day.

I found the card game and several others we played extremely interesting.

I remined a very long time upon the roof, wondering about the grotesque changes of the day.


The Red Weed was tumultuous at that time, and nearly choked the bridge roadway...

Dead London

the desertion and the stillness

 I came into Oxford Street by the Marblr Arch, and here again was black powder and several bodies, and an evil, ominous smell...

London about me gazed at me spectrally. the windows in the white houses were like the eye-sockets of skulls.

I saw a second Martian, motionlss as the first, standing in the park towards the Zoological Gardens, and silent.

...and then as I drew nearer and the light grew, I saw that a multitude of black birds was circling and clustering about the hood.

...and stood upon the crest, and the interor of the redoubt was below me. A mighty space it was, with gigantic machines here and there within it, huge mounds of material and strange shelter-places. And, scattered about it, some in their over-turned war-machines, some in the now rigid Handling Machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were Martians -dead!

...the mighty engines, so great and wonderful in their power and complexity, so unearthly in their tortuous forms, rose weird and vague and strange out of the shadows towards the light.

The death of the Martians


 A number of people were standing aboutit, and some sappers were busy in the midst of it.

 I looked at my house...

And there, amazed and afraid, even as I stood amazed and afraid, were my cousin and my wife....

 The results of an anatomical examination of thevMartians,...I have already given.

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