Punch, 59 (1870), 188.
The Northern Lights
Meteorology, Astronomy, Light, Superstition, War, Telegraphy, Magnetism, Education, Electricity, Psychology
Begins by noting the rarity of seeing 'the heavens a-blaze / Of late on starry nights, / With green and crimson rays' and that some 'wiseacres' imagined this to be a 'dire' portent of the burning of Paris. Notes that the northern lights made 'feeble folk afraid', 'telegraphs derange' with 'Magnetic currents', and 'crowds stare [...] with fear of change'. Considers that 'A happy man is he' who knows the 'sources and the springs' of 'seeming marvels', unlike the 'clown', who is alarmed when a meteor 'shines or shoots'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
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