Punch,  52 (1867), 93.

The Eclipse of the Sun, On Wednesday, March 6, 1867



Poetry, Drollery


Astronomy, Physics, Light, Instruments, Observation, Politics, Superstition, Prognostication

    Begins by noting that some leading statesmen rose early on the morning of 6 March to see the eclipse of the sun. Insists that those who fail to wash and carry out 'ablutions' in order to see such an event are 'not fit' to see it at all. Notes that William E Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli cared less about the clouds on the 'political horizon' than those that obscured the eclipse. Notes that 'In the times of old' when 'party leaders' knew no science, the eclipse would have been 'regarded as an omen of office lost and won, / In the battle of Reform', but adds that now 'your statesman only reads / To discover the corona, rose-flames, and "Baily's beads"'.

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