31. If one of these bodies should approach our little globe in order to transverse its orbit, and return to its apogee situated at an immeasurable distance from the sun, let us follow it in thought, in order to visit with it the sidereal countries. To do so we must leap over the prodigious expanse of ethereal matter, which separates the sun from the nearest stars; and observing the combined movements of this body, that one could well believe lost in this desert of infinitude, we should find there still an eloquent proof of the universality of nature’s laws, which are exercised in distances the extent of which the most fervid imagination can hardly conceive.
There the elliptic form is exchanged for the parabolic; and the tail is lessened at the point of transition to only a few yards, while at its perigee it would extend many millions of leagues. Perhaps a more powerful sun, more important than the one it has just quitted, will exert over this comet a greater attraction, and will receive it into the ranks of its own subjects; and then the astonished children of your little Earth will wait in vain for the return they had prognosticated by imperfect observations. In this case, we, whose thought has followed the wandering comet into those unknown regions, will encounter then a new nation never seen before by terrestrial eyes, unimaginable by spirits who inhabit the Earth, inconceivable even to their thought; for it will be the theater of unexplored marvels.
We have arrived at the astral world in this brilliant universe of vast suns which shine in infinite space, and which are the brilliant flowers of the magnificent garden of creation. Until we arrive there, we can never know what the Earth really is.