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The Miraculous Luminaries








You must previously prepare the following phosphorus: Calcine common
oyster-shells, by burning them in the fire for half an hour; then
reduce them to powder; of the clearest of which take three parts, and
of flowers of sulphur one part; put the mixture into a crucible, about
an inch and a half deep. Let it burn in a strong fire for rather
better than an hour; and when it is cool, turn it out and break it in
pieces; and, taking those pieces into a dark place, scrape off the
parts that shine brightest, which, if good, will be a white powder.

Then construct a circular board, of three or four feet diameter, on
the centre of which draw in gum-water, or any adhesive liquid, a
half-moon, of three or four inches diameter, and a number of stars
round it, at different distances, and of various magnitudes. Strew the
phosphorus over the figures, to the thickness of about a quarter of an
inch, laying one coat over the other. Place this board behind a
curtain; and when you draw the curtain up or back, discharge one
electrifying jar or phial over each figure, at the distance of about
an inch, and they will become illuminated, exhibiting a very striking
resemblance of the moon and stars; and will continue to shine for
about half an hour, their splendour becoming gradually more faint.





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