A Drop Of Goodly Ditch Water

From The Times in 1833, enthusing about the new hydro-oxygen microscope:

“It can, in truth represent objects five hundred thousand times larger in size than they really are. Thus the pores of the slenderest twig and the fibres of the most delicate leaf expand into coarse net work. The external integuments of a fly’s eye, filled with thousands of lenses, appear the dimensions of a lady’s veil – that gentleman yclept the flea, swells into six feet – worms seem like boa constrictors: while the population of a drop of goodly ditch water presents such shapes as Teniers should have seen before he pencilled the grotesque monsters who troubled the sleep of St Anthony.”

Quoted in The Sun And The Moon : The Remarkable True Account Of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, And Lunar Man-Bats In Nineteenth-Century New York by Matthew Goodman (2008)

One thought on “A Drop Of Goodly Ditch Water

  1. Where, apart from the radio football reports of Stuart Hall and the darts commentary of Sid Waddell, can one find such linguistic grandeur in today’s media outlets? Nowhere, that’s where.

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