Art. VIII. [Review of Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte, by Dominique V Denon]
Exploration, Light, Heat, War, Degeneration
States that the French troops, 'in passing through the desert [...,] experienced for the first time, that optical deception which makes a burning surface of sand assume the appearance of a lake of water. This appearance the French have denominated mirage; the nature of it is thus explained by M. Denon—"It is an illusion produced by the mirage of salient objects on the oblique rays of the sun, refracted by the heat of the burning soil. [...]" This explanation, is, no doubt, completely satisfactory; though it is rather a new notion we believe, that the rays of the sun can be refracted by heat'. (333–34) Refers to the 'degenerate natives', and observes: 'M. Denon assures us, that while sitting among the ruins of Luxor, he was seriously asked by one of their Sheiks, whether it was the French or the English that had erected these monuments ?' (342).
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