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The Book of the Damned

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Author Topic: The Book of the Damned  (Read 3544 times)
Dusk
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« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2009, 01:28:42 pm »

Scientific System, should, consistently with the principles of that system, attempt to assimilate the substance that fell at Memel with some known terrestrial product. At the meeting of the Royal Irish Academy it was brought out that there is a substance, of rather rare occurrence, that has been known to form in thin sheets upon marsh land.

It looks like greenish felt.

The substance of Memel:

Damp, coal-black, leafy mass.

But, if broken up, the marsh-substance is flake-like, and it tears fibrously.

An elephant can be identified as a sunflower—both have long stems. A camel is indistinguishable from a peanut—if only their humps be considered.

Trouble with this book is that we'll end up a lot of intellectual roués: we'll be incapable of being astonished with anything. We knew, to start with, that science and imbecility are continuous; nevertheless so many expressions of the merging-point are at first startling. We did think that Prof. Hitchcock's performance in identifying the Amherst phenomenon as a fungus was rather notable as scientific vaudeville, if we acquit him of the charge of seriousness—or that, in a place where fungi were so common that, before a given evening two of them sprang up, only he, a stranger in this very fungiferous place, knew a fungus when he saw something like a fungus—if we disregard its quick liquefaction, for instance. It was only a monologue, however: now we have an all-star cast: and they're not only Irish; they're royal Irish.

The royal Irishmen excluded "coal-blackness" and included fibrousness: so then that this substance was "marsh paper," which "had been raised into the air by storms of wind, and had again fallen."

Second act:

It was said that, according to M. Ehrenberg, "the meteor-paper was found to consist partly of vegetable matter, chiefly of conifervæ."

Third act:

Meeting of the royal Irishmen: chairs, tables, Irishmen:

Some flakes of marsh-paper were exhibited.

p. 57

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