My wife took a step forward, and put her hand to my ear. I fell.
[Footnote 1: Cleaver in a subsequent Memoir [Sonnenschein, London, pp. xiv., 954, 20 in. x 8-1/2, price L2 2s. net] has made out, reluctantly and against the judgment of his firm, that the basic material of the globules, the peculiar tenacity of which was due to some toughening ingredient imported by the Wisitors from their planet, was undoubtedly that indispensable domestic article which is alleged to “save rubbing.”]
My mother, whose vigilance during the Wenuses’ invasion has been throughout of the greatest assistance to me, kept copies of the various papers of importance which commented upon that event. From them I am enabled, with my mother’s consent, to supplement the allusions to contemporary journalism in the body of my history with the following extracts:—
The Times, or, as it is better known, the Thunder Child of Printing House Square, said:
“The Duke of Curzon’s statesmanlike reply in the House of Lords last night to the inflammatory question or string of questions put by Lord Ashmead with reference to our planetary visitors will go far to mitigate the unreasoning panic which has laid hold of a certain section of the community. As to the methods by which it has been proposed to confront and repel the invaders, the Duke’s remark, ’that the use of dynamite violated the chivalrous instincts which were at the root of the British Nature,’ called forth loud applause. The Foreign Secretary, however, showed that, while deprecating senseless panic, he was ready to take any reasonable steps to allay the natural anxiety of the public, and rising later on in the evening, he announced that a Royal Commission had been appointed, on which Lord Ashmead, Dr. Joseph Parker (of the City Temple), and Mr. Hall Caine, representing the Isle of Man, had consented to serve, and would be dispatched without delay to Kensington Gardens to inquire into the cause of the visit, and, if possible, to induce the new comers to accept an invitation to tea on the Terrace. By way of supplementing these tranquillizing assurances, we may add that we have the authority of the best scientific experts, including Dr. Moreau, Professor Sprudelkopf of Carlsbad, and Dr. Fountain Penn of Philadelphia, for asserting that no animate beings could survive their transference from the atmosphere of Venus to that of our planet for more than fourteen days. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the members of the Royal Commission may be successful in impressing upon our aerial visitors the imperative necessity of a speedy return. In these negotiations it is anticipated that the expressive pantomime of Dr. Parker, and Mr. Hall Caine’s mastery of the Manx dialect, will be of the greatest possible assistance.”
To the Daily Telegraph Sir Edwin Arnold contributed a poem entitled “Aphrodite Anadyomene; or, Venus at the Round Pond.” My mother can remember only the last stanza, which ran as follows: