Five Weeks in a Balloon

The End of a much-applauded Speech. The Presentation of Dr. Samuel Ferguson. Excelsior. Full-length Portrait of the Doctor. A Fatalist convinced. A Dinner at the Travellers' Club. Several Toasts for the Occasion.

There was a large audience assembled on the 14th of January, 1862, at the session of the Royal Geographical Society, No. 3 Waterloo Place, London. The president, Sir Francis M—-, made an important communication to his colleagues, in an address that was frequently interrupted by applause.

This rare specimen of eloquence terminated with the following sonorous phrases bubbling over with patriotism:

“England has always marched at the head of nations” (for, the reader will observe, the nations always march at the head of each other), “by the intrepidity of her explorers in the line of geographical discovery.” (General assent). “Dr. Samuel Ferguson, one of her most glorious sons, will not reflect discredit on his origin.”

“This attempt, should it succeed” (“It will succeed!”), “will complete and link together the notions, as yet disjointed, which the world entertains of African cartology” (vehement applause); “and, should it fail, it will, at least, remain on record as one of the most daring conceptions of human genius!” (Tremendous cheering.)

“Huzza! huzza!” shouted the immense audience, completely electrified by these inspiring words.

The wildest cheering resounded on all sides; the name of Ferguson was in every mouth, and we may safely believe that it lost nothing in passing through English throats. Indeed, the hall fairly shook with it.

From https://www.classicreader.com/book/1838/1/

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