The houses were built of a soft shining stone, and they all had porticoes, piazzas, and verandas, suited to the tropical climate of Morosofia. The people were tall and thin, of a pale yellowish complexion; and their garments light, loose, and flowing, and not very different from those of the Turks. The lower order of people commonly wore but a single garment, which passed round the waist.
All these were under regular discipline, and at the word of command discharged their syringes on friend or foe, as the case might be. In Morosofia, it seems, a favourite mode of settling private disputes, whether concerning person, character, or property, is by the employment of prize fighters who hire themselves to the litigants:
Their code of laws is said to be very intricate. Their language, naturally soft and musical, has been yet further refined by the cultivation of letters. They have a variety of sects in religion, politics, and philosophy. The territory of Morosofia is about 150 miles square. This brief sketch must content the reader for the present.
By way of proving its progress, he showed us a composition by a man who was deaf and dumb, in praise of Morosofia, who, merely by the use of his eyes and hands, had made an ingenious and high-sounding piece of eloquence, though I confess that the sense was somewhat obscure. We went away filled with admiration for the great Lozzi Pozzi's inventions.
The Brahmin, having diverted himself a while with my surprise and disappointment, then informed me, that the rose had ever been regarded in Morosofia, as the symbol of female purity, delicacy, and sweetness; which notion had grown into a popular superstition, that whenever a marriage is consummated on the earth, one of these flowers springs up in the moon; and that in colour, shape, size, or other property, it is a fit type of the individual whose change of state is thus commemorated.
Some account of Morosofia, and its chief city Alamatua Singular dresses of the Lunar ladies Religious self denial Glouglim miser and spendthrift. My feelings, at the moment I touched the ground, repayed me for all I had endured. I looked around with the most intense curiosity; but nothing that I saw, surprised me so much as to find so little that was surprising.
On asking an explanation of my friend, he informed me that these contests were favourite modes of settling private disputes in Morosofia: that the prize-fighters I saw, hired themselves to any one who conceived himself injured in person, character, or property.
The Brahmin informed me, that in a time of religious fervour, about two centuries ago, a charter was granted to the founder of a new sect, the Volbins, who had chanced to make converts of some of the leading men in Morosofia, authorising him and his followers to purchase this valley of the hunting tribe to whom it belonged, and to govern themselves by their own laws.
While we thus conversed, there stepped up to us a handsome man, foppishly dressed in blue trowsers, a pink vest, and a red and white turban; who, after having shaken my companion by the ears, according to the custom of the country among intimate friends, expressed his delight at seeing him again in Morosofia.
Anonymous Review of A Voyage to the Moon ART. III. A Voyage to the Moon: with some account of the Manners and Customs, Science and Philosophy, of the People of Morosofia and other Lunarians: By JOSEPH ATTERLEY. New-York: Elam Bliss, 1827. 12mo. pp. 264.