en-fr  Doctor Dolittle in the Moon — Chapter I
Titre . Docteur Dolittle dans la Lune
Auteur : Hugh Lofting
* Un livre numérique du Projet Gutenberg Australien * Livre numérique No : 0607691.txt Langue : Anglais
Chapitre I NOUS ATTERRISSONS SUR UN NOUVEAU MONDE

En écrivant l'histoire de nos aventures sur la Lune, moi, Thomas Stubbins, secrétaire de John Dolittle, docteur en médecine (et fils de Jacob Stubbins, le cordonnier de Puddleby-on-the-Marsh), me trouve très perplexe. Ce n'est pas une tâche aisée de se souvenir de chaque jour et de chaque heure de ces semaines denses et passionnantes. Il est vrai que j'ai pris beaucoup de notes pour le Docteur, j'en ai des cahiers entièrement remplis. Mais cette documentation était presque entièrement de nature scientifique. Et j'ai sentiment que je dois raconter l'histoire ici non pas pour la science mais pour le public en général. Et c'est pour cette raison que je suis perplexe.

Parce que cette histoire pourrait être racontée de plusieurs façons. Les gens sont si différents en ce qui concerne ce qu'ils souhaitent apprendre d'un voyage. À l'époque, j'avais pensé que Jip pourrait m'aider ; et après lui avoir lu plusieurs chapitres tels que je les avais couchés sur le papier, je lui demandai son avis. J'ai découvert qu'il était bien plus intéressé par le fait de savoir si nous avions vu des rats sur la Lune. J'ai constaté que je ne pouvais pas le lui dire. Je ne me souviens pas en avoir vu ; et pourtant je suis sûr qu'il devait y avoir... une espèce de créature ressemblant à un rat.

Ensuite, j'ai demandé à Gub-Gub. Et ce qu'il voulait surtout entendre, c'était le genre de comestibles dont nous nous étions nourris. (Dab-Dab ne compatit pas à ma peine et dit que j'aurais mieux fait de lui demander.) J'ai essayé avec ma mère. Elle voulait savoir comment nous avions géré nos sous-vêtements — et beaucoup d'autres choses sur nos conditions de vie, auxquelles je ne pouvais pratiquement pas répondre. Ensuite, je suis allé chez Matthew Mugg. Et les points qui l'intéressaient étaient pires que ceux de ma mère ou de Jip : y avait-il des boutiques sur la Lune ? Comment étaient les chiens et les chats ? Le gentil marchand de nourriture pour chats semblait l'avoir imaginé comme un endroit pas très différent de Puddleby ou de l'extrémité Est de Londres.

Non, essayer de découvrir ce que la plupart des gens voulaient lire à propos de la Lune ne m'a pas apporté plus de réponse. Je n'arrivais pas à leur dire les choses qu'ils avaient le plus envie de savoir. Ça me rappelait la première fois que j'étais venu chez le Docteur, espérant être engagé comme assistant, et c'était ce cher vieux Polynésie le perroquet qui m'avait interrogé. — Êtes-vous un bon observateur ? avait-elle demandé. J'avais toujours pensé que j'étais... plutôt assez bon, en tout cas. Mais à présent je ressens que j'ai été un bien piètre observateur. Car il semblerait que je n'aie rien noté de ce que j'aurais dû afin de rendre intéressante l'histoire de notre voyage pour un public ordinaire.

Bien sûr, le problème c'était l'attention. L'attention humaine est comme le beurre, vous ne pouvez l'étaler qu'en couche fine mais pas en couche super fine. Si vous essayez de l'étaler sur trop de choses à la fois, vous ne vous souvenez plus de rien. Et certainement pendant toutes les heures où nous étions éveillés sur la Lune il y avait tellement de choses à entendre, à voir et à penser que c'en était une merveille, j'y pense souvent, ce qui fait qu'il en reste des souvenirs clairs.

Jamaro Bumblelily, le papillon de nuit géant qui nous a transportés là-bas, aurait pu être celui qui m'aurait le plus aidé dans l'écriture de mes impressions sur la Lune. Mais comme il était loin de moi quand je me mis à travailler sur ce livre, je décidai que je ferais mieux de ne pas tenir compte des souhaits particuliers de Jip, de Gub-Gub, de ma mère, de Matthew ou de n'importe qui d'autre. . De toute façon, le conte sera clairement imparfait et incomplet. Et la seule chose à faire est d'aller de l'avant, étape par étape, au mieux de mes souvenirs, depuis le moment où l'immense insecte s'est rapproché du relief de la Lune rayonnante et l'a survolé, nos cœurs battants pressés contre son large dos.

Tout le monde peut témoigner que le papillon connaissait tous les détails de la région sur laquelle nous avons atterri. Planant, décrivant des cercles et plongeant, il a délibérément dirigé son corps aux larges ailes vers une petite vallée bordée de collines. Le fond de celle-ci, je le vis lorsque nous nous en approchions, était plat, sablonneux et sec.

Les montagnes frappaient tout de suite par leur apparence inhabituelle. En fait, toutes les montagnes (car on pouvait voir à présent la masse imposante des plus hautes dans la faible lueur verdâtre en arrière des chaines plus basses et plus proches) avaient une particularité. Les sommets semblaient avoir été tranchés en forme de coupe. Le Docteur m'expliqua ensuite qu'il s'agissait de volcans éteints. Récemment tous ces sommets avaient craché du feu et de la lave en fusion mais ils étaient désormais froids et morts. Certains avaient été entaillés et usés par les vents, les intempéries et le temps et ils prenaient des formes étranges, alors que d'autres avaient été remplis ou presque ensevelis par des nuages de sable, ce qui leur avait presque fait perdre leur aspect de volcans. Cela faisait penser aux "Whispering Rocks" (les rochers des soupirs) que nous avions vu dans l'île du Singe-araignée. Et bien que ce décor soit différent en de nombreux points, aucun de ceux qui avaient vu un paysage de volcans auparavant n'aurait pu le prendre pour autre chose.

La petite vallée, longue et étroite, qu'apparemment nous traversions, ne montrait pas beaucoup de signes de vie, végétale ou animale. Mais cela ne nous perturbait pas. Le Docteur au moins,ne l'était pas. Il avait vu un arbre et il était persuadé qu'il trouverait sous peu de l'eau, de la végétation et des êtres vivants.

Après être descendu à moins de de vingt pieds du sol il étendit ses ailes immobiles et comme un grand cerf-volant il toucha doucement le sol, courut encore un peu, et se prépara à l'immobilisation finale.

Nous nous étions posé sur la Lune !

À ce moment-là, nous avions eu le temps de nous habituer un peu plus à la nouvelle atmosphère. Mais avant que nous ayons fait la moindre tentative de « débarquement », le Docteur pensa qu'il serait préférable de demander à notre vaillante monture de rester là où elle était un moment, afin que nous puissions encore nous habituer à la nouvelle atmosphère et aux nouvelles conditions.

Cette requête fut accordée de bonne grâce. En effet, le pauvre insecte lui-même, j'imagine, était assez content de pouvoir se reposer un moment. De quelque part dans ses paquets John Dolittle sortit une ration d'urgence de chocolat qu'il avait gardée pour cela. Tous les quatre nous l'avons grignoté en silence, trop affamés et trop impressionnés par notre nouvel environnement pour dire un mot.

La lumière changeait sans cesse. Ça me rappelait les lumières du nord, les aurores boréales. Si nous regardions les montagnes au-dessus de nous, que nous nous en détournions un moment et y revenions, nous découvrions que tout ce qui avait été rose était vert et que les ombres qui avaient été violettes étaient rosées.

La respiration était encore un peu difficile. Nous étions obligés pour le moment de garder les « clochettes de lune » à portée de main. C'étaient de grandes fleurs orangées que le papillon de nuit nous avait apportées. C'était leur parfum (ou leurs émanations) qui nous avait permis de traverser la ceinture dépourvue d'air qui se trouve entre la Terre et la Lune. Si nous les respirions trop longtemps, une quinte de toux pouvait toujours nous surprendre. Mais nous avions déjà l'impression de nous habituer à ce nouvel air et de bientôt pouvoir nous passer des clochettes.

Aussi la gravité était très déroutante. Passer d'une position assise à une position debout ne demandait guère d'efforts. Marcher n'exigeait aucun effort — pour les muscles — mais pour les poumons, c'était une autre question. La sensation la plus extraordinaire était de sauter. La moindre petite flexion des chevilles vous envoyait voler dans les airs de la façon la plus fantastique. S'il n'y avait pas eu ce problème de respiration proprement dit (que le Docteur semblait vouloir considérer avec beaucoup de prudence en raison de son effet possible sur le cœur), nous nous serions tous abandonnés à la sensation la plus euphorique qui ne se soit jamais emparée de nous. Je me souviens, moi-même, avoir poussé la chansonnette — la mélodie était quelque peu indistincte car j'avais la bouche pleine de chocolat — et j'avais hâte de descendre du dos du papillon et de partir à travers les collines et les vallées pour explorer ce nouveau monde .

Mais je me rends compte maintenant que John Dolittle fut très sage de nous faire patienter. Il donna l'ordre (de cette voix basse et chuchotante que nous avions jugé utile de prendre dans cette nouvelle atmosphère légère ) à chacun d'entre nous que, pour le moment présent, les fleurs ne devaient pas être abandonnées une seule seconde.

Elles étaient encombrantes, mais nous obéîmes aux ordres. Nul besoin d'échelle désormais pour descendre. Le saut le plus insignifiant vous faisait quitter le dos de l'insecte et vous vous posiez au sol, avec aisance et facilité, après une chute de vingt-cinq pieds. Zip ! C'était le printemps. Et nous pataugions dans les sables d'un nouveau monde.
unit 1
Title: Doctor Dolittle in the Moon .
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 2
Author: Hugh Lofting .
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 3
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No: 0607691/txt Language: English .
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 4
CHAPTER 1.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 5
WE LAND UPON A NEW WORLD.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 6
unit 7
(and son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh), find myself greatly puzzled.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 8
It is not an easy task, remembering day by day and hour by hour those crowded and exciting weeks.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 9
It is true I made many notes for the Doctor, books full of them.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 10
But that information was nearly all of a highly scientific kind.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 11
unit 12
And it is in that I am perplexed.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 13
For the story could be told in many ways.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 14
People are so different in what they want to know about a voyage.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 16
I discovered he was mostly interested in whether we had seen any rats in the Moon.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 17
I found I could not tell him.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 19
Then I asked Gub-Gub.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 20
And what he was chiefly concerned to hear was the kind of vegetables we had fed on.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 21
(Dab-Dab snorted at me for my pains and said I should have known better than to ask him.)
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 22
I tried my mother.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 24
Next I went to Matthew Mugg.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 26
What were the dogs and cats like?
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 28
unit 29
I couldn't seem to tell them any of the things they were most anxious to know.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 31
"Are you a goodnoticer?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 32
she had asked.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 33
I had always thought I was--pretty good, anyhow.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 34
But now I felt I had been a very poor noticer.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 36
The trouble was of course attention.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 37
Human attention is like butter: you can only spread it so thin and no thinner.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 38
If you try to spread it over too many things at once you just don't remember them.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 42
Clearly the tale must be in any case an imperfect, incomplete one.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 44
Any one could tell that the moth knew every detail of the country we were landing in.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 46
The bottom of this, I saw as we drew nearer, was level, sandy and dry.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 47
The hills struck one at once as unusual.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 49
The tops seemed to be cut off and cup-like.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 50
The Doctor afterwards explained to me that they were extinct volcanoes.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 51
Nearly all these peaks had once belched fire and molten lava but were now cold and dead.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 53
I was reminded of "The Whispering Rocks" which we had seen in Spidermonkey Island.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 56
But we were not disturbed by that.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 57
At least the Doctor wasn't.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 58
unit 60
We had landed on the Moon!
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 61
By this time we had had a chance to get a little more used to the new air.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 63
This request was willingly granted.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 64
Indeed, the poor insect himself, I imagine, was glad enough to rest a while.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 66
All four of us munched in silence, too hungry and too awed by our new surroundings to say a word.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 67
The light changed unceasingly.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 68
It reminded me of the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 70
Breathing was still kind of difficult.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 71
We were compelled for the moment to keep the "moon-bells" handy.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 72
These were the great orange-coloured flowers that the moth had brought down for us.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 74
A fit of coughing was always liable to come on if one left them too long.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 76
The gravity too was very confusing.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 77
It required hardly any effort to rise from a sitting position to a standing one.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 78
Walking was no effort at all--for the muscles--but for the lungs it was another question.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 79
The most extraordinary sensation was jumping.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 80
The least little spring from the ankles sent you flying into the air in the most fantastic fashion.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 83
But I realize now that John Dolittle was very wise in making us wait.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 85
They were cumbersome things to carry but we obeyed orders.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 86
No ladder was needed now to descend by.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 88
Zip!
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 89
The spring was made.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 90
And we were wading in the sands of a new world.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
Oplusse • 13642  commented on  unit 72  7 months, 3 weeks ago
Oplusse • 13642  translated  unit 88  7 months, 3 weeks ago
Oplusse • 13642  translated  unit 4  7 months, 3 weeks ago

Title: Doctor Dolittle in the Moon .
Author: Hugh Lofting .
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No: 0607691/txt
Language: English .
CHAPTER 1. WE LAND UPON A NEW WORLD.

In writing the story of our adventures in the Moon I, Thomas Stubbins, secretary to John Dolittle, M.D. (and son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh), find myself greatly puzzled. It is not an easy task, remembering day by day and hour by hour those crowded and exciting weeks. It is true I made many notes for the Doctor, books full of them. But that information was nearly all of a highly scientific kind. And I feel that I should tell the story here not for the scientist so much as for the general reader. And it is in that I am perplexed.

For the story could be told in many ways. People are so different in what they want to know about a voyage. I had thought at one time that Jip could help me; and after reading him some chapters as I had first set them down I asked for his opinion. I discovered he was mostly interested in whether we had seen any rats in the Moon. I found I could not tell him. I didn't remember seeing any; and yet I am sure there musthave been some--or some sort of creature like a rat.

Then I asked Gub-Gub. And what he was chiefly concerned to hear was the kind of vegetables we had fed on. (Dab-Dab snorted at me for my pains and said I should have known better than to ask him.) I tried my mother. She wanted to know how we had managed when our underwear wore out--and a whole lot of other matters about our living conditions, hardly any of which I could answer. Next I went to Matthew Mugg. And the things he wanted to learn were worse than either my mother's or Jip's: Were there any shops in the Moon? What were the dogs and cats like? The good Cats'-meat-Man seemed to have imagined it a place not very different from Puddleby or the East End of London.

No, trying to get at what most people wanted to read concerning the Moon did not bring me much profit. I couldn't seem to tell them any of the things they were most anxious to know. It reminded me of the first time I had come to the Doctor's house, hoping to be hired as his assistant, and dear old Polynesia the parrot had questioned me. "Are you a goodnoticer?" she had asked. I had always thought I was--pretty good, anyhow. But now I felt I had been a very poor noticer. For it seemed I hadn't noticed any of the things I should have done to make the story of our voyage interesting to the ordinary public.

The trouble was of course attention. Human attention is like butter: you can only spread it so thin and no thinner. If you try to spread it over too many things at once you just don't remember them. And certainly during all our waking hours upon the Moon there was so much for our ears and eyes and minds to take in it is a wonder, I often think, that any clear memories at all remain.

The one who could have been of most help to me in writing my impressions of the Moon was Jamaro Bumblelily, the giant moth who carried us there. But as he was nowhere near me when I set to work upon this book I decided I had better not consider the particular wishes of Jip, Gub-Gub, my mother, Matthew or any one else, but set the story down in my own way. Clearly the tale must be in any case an imperfect, incomplete one. And the only thing to do is to go forward with it, step by step, to the best of my recollection, from where the great insect hovered, with our beating hearts pressed close against his broad back, over the near and glowing landscape of the Moon.

Any one could tell that the moth knew every detail of the country we were landing in. Planing, circling and diving, he brought his wide-winged body very deliberately down towards a little valley fenced in with hills. The bottom of this, I saw as we drew nearer, was level, sandy and dry.

The hills struck one at once as unusual. In fact all the mountains as well (for much greater heights could presently be seen towering away in the dim greenish light behind the nearer, lower ranges) had one peculiarity. The tops seemed to be cut off and cup-like. The Doctor afterwards explained to me that they were extinct volcanoes. Nearly all these peaks had once belched fire and molten lava but were now cold and dead. Some had been fretted and worn by winds and weather and time into quite curious shapes; and yet others had been filled up or half buried by drifting sand so that they had nearly lost the appearance of volcanoes. I was reminded of "The Whispering Rocks" which we had seen in Spidermonkey Island. And though this scene was different in many things,no one who had ever looked upon a volcanic landscape before could have mistaken it for anything else.

The little valley, long and narrow, which we were apparently making fordid not show many signs of life, vegetable or animal. But we were not disturbed by that. At least the Doctor wasn't. He had seen a tree and he was satisfied that before long he would find water, vegetation andcreatures.

At last when the moth had dropped within twenty feet of the ground hes pread his wings motionless and like a great kite gently touched the sand, in hops at first, then ran a little, braced himself and came to a standstill.

We had landed on the Moon!

By this time we had had a chance to get a little more used to the new air. But before we made any attempt to "go ashore" the Doctor thought it best to ask our gallant steed to stay where he was a while, so that we could still further accustom ourselves to the new atmosphere and conditions.

This request was willingly granted. Indeed, the poor insect himself, I imagine, was glad enough to rest a while. From somewhere in his packages
John Dolittle produced an emergency ration of chocolate which he had been saving up. All four of us munched in silence, too hungry and too awed by our new surroundings to say a word.

The light changed unceasingly. It reminded me of the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis. You would gaze at the mountains above you, then turn away a moment, and on looking back find everything that had been pink was now green, the shadows that had been violet were rose.

Breathing was still kind of difficult. We were compelled for the moment to keep the "moon-bells" handy. These were the great orange-coloured flowers that the moth had brought down for us. It was their perfume (or gas) that had enabled us to cross the airless belt that lay between the Moon and the Earth. A fit of coughing was always liable to come on if one left them too long. But already we felt that we could in time get used to this new air and soon do without the bells altogether.

The gravity too was very confusing. It required hardly any effort to rise from a sitting position to a standing one. Walking was no effort at all--for the muscles--but for the lungs it was another question. The most extraordinary sensation was jumping. The least little spring from the ankles sent you flying into the air in the most fantastic fashion. If it had not been for this problem of breathing properly (which the Doctor seemed to feel we should approach with great caution on account of its possible effect on the heart) we would all have given ourselves up to this most light-hearted feeling which took possession of us. I remember, myself, singing songs--the melody was somewhat indistinct on account of a large mouthful of chocolate--and I was most anxious to get down off the moth's back and go bounding away across the hills and valleys to explore this new world.

But I realize now that John Dolittle was very wise in making us wait. He issued orders (in the low whispers which we found necessary in this new clear air) to each and all of us that for the present the flowers were not to be left behind for a single moment.

They were cumbersome things to carry but we obeyed orders. No ladder was needed now to descend by. The gentlest jump sent one flying off the insect's back to the ground where you landed from a twenty-five-foot drop with ease and comfort. Zip! The spring was made. And we were wading in the sands of a new world.