Punch,  55 (1868), 67.

The Great Eclipse



News-Commentary, Drollery


Astronomy, Prognostication, Superstition, Periodicals, Gas Chemistry, Domestic Economy

    Announcing the date of the great solar eclipse as 18 August, reports that newspapers have been reassuring people that the event will 'not affect this country' but worries that the 'propagation of a fable is justifiable under any circumstances'. Explains that although there is no 'real danger' from the eclipse, it is important to take 'proper precautions' in regard to an event over which 'it is impossible to exercise any control'. Points out that Britain has seen no total eclipse since 1715 and urges a number of bizarre responses. For example, insists that 'all metal likely to be acted on by the penumbra of the node' should be placed in a cellar, that windows should be blackened, that inhaling 'nitrate of hydrogen' will diminish the effects of 'mesozoic eocene', and that noise should be avoided in case of 'oolitic aberration'.

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