Gent. Septen. Histor. lib. 4 cap. 13. And however, 'tis usual among those that Travel in Dark Nights, that the Guides wear something of White to be Discern'd by, there being scarce any Night so Dark, but that in the Free Air there remains some Light, though Broken and Debilitated perhaps by a thousand Reflections from the Opacous Corpuscles that Swim in the Air, and lend it to one another before it comes to arrive at the Eye.
Hast made me forget to take notice that I went abroad the same Morning, the Sun shining forth clear enough, to look upon the Diamond though a Microscope, that I might try whether by that Magnifying Glass any thing of peculiar could be discern'd in the Texture of the Stone, and especially of the whitish Cloud that possest a good part of it.
I thank'd her, and began to step down the ladder. She stood for a moment to watch, leaving the trap open for better light. Between the avenue of casks and bins I stumbled toward the door and lantern that were just to be discern'd at the far end of the cellar. As I struck steel on flint, I heard the trap close: and since then have never set eyes on that kind-hearted girl.
And then, also, there is wit that is not wit. As someone has written: Nor ever noise for wit on me could pass, When thro' the braying I discern'd the ass. I had read many of his reviews of books and plays, and while I confess their wit and brilliancy, I had thought them to be hard and intellectual and lacking in all that broader base of humor which aims at truth.
And that you may not be Startled, Pyrophilus, that I should Venture to say, that a Rough and Coiour'd Object may serve for a Speculum to Reflect the Artificial Rain-bow I have been mentioning, consider what usually happens in Darkned Rooms, where a Wall, or other Body conveniently Situated within, may so Reflect the Colours of Bodies, without the Room, that they may very clearly be Discern'd and Distinguish'd, and yet 'tis taken for granted, that the Colours seen in a Darkned Room, though they leave no Traces of themselves upon the Wall or Body that Receives them, are the True Colours of the External Objects, together with which the Colours of the Images are Mov'd or do Rest.
And even in Minerals, the Opacity is not always so great as many think, if the Body be made Thin, for White Marble though of a pretty Thickness, being within a Due distance plac'd betwixt the Eye and a Convenient Light, will Suffer the Motions of ones Finger to be well discern'd through it, and so will pieces, Thick enough, of many common Flints.
And the last, to make every where such exact calculations, and such generall reviews, That I might be confident to have omitted Nothing. Neither was I much troubled to seek by which it behooved me to begin, for I already knew, that it was by the most simple, and the easiest to be discern'd.
But because the flame of a Candle is offensive to my weak eyes, and because it is apt to either black or sully the contiguous part of the Steel which is held in it, and thereby hinder the change of Colours from being so long and clearly discern'd, I have sometimes made this Experiment by laying the Steel to be tempered upon a heated bar of Iron, which we finde also to be employ'd by some Artificers in the tempering of such great Instruments, as are too big to be soon heated sufficiently by the flame of a Candle.
Then they fasten'd Iron Bars to the Spokes of the Wheel, and turn'd it about with such Celerity, that not one Man of those that hung upon it cou'd be discern'd from another; for the whole Wheel appear'd like a Circle of Fire: And when they had fasten'd the Soldier to it and, by turning it about, lift him up in the Air, he called upon the Name of Jesus, and came down unhurt.
We were no fools, as every one discern'd, And stopp'd at nought our projects in fulfilling; But now the world seems topsy-turvy turn'd, To keep it quiet just when we were willing. Now, this class of individuals entertain a mortal hatred for Lavengro and its writer, and never lose an opportunity of vituperating both. It is true that such hatred is by no means surprising.