Page:Pyrotechnics the history and art of firework making (1922).djvu/102

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veritable fireworks without extraneous matter in the form of scenery and buildings. This may account for the fact that there was, on this occasion, considerably less of the usual outcry against the "waste" involved. It is curious that on occasions of this kind there are always to be found certain damp spirits who begin a clamour against the expenditure of money on fireworks which might be applied to other objects. The Aix-la-Chapelle display excited these gentlemen to a great pitch, probably on account of the elaborate nature of the preparations, which, as we have already seen, occupied over five months, thus providing them with plenty of time to develop their theme, or an object lesson to prove their statements.

Where, however, the display consists—as on the occasion under consideration—solely of fireworks proper, a few days' preparation on the actual site is usually sufficient; the kill-*joy has less time to spread himself. It may be mentioned his season is over with the display; generally the British public, having enjoyed itself, turns a deaf ear to those who would convince it that it ought not to have done so.

Other displays took place in various parts of the kingdom: in Edinburgh on Arthur's Seat, at Portsmouth on the Fleet, to mention two only.

An interesting event which took place on the 25th August was the entertainment of 2,000 men of the Guards at the Surrey Gardens. This resort was at the time the home of British pyrotechny, the displays being conducted by Southby, who, as we have said, went into Woolwich Arsenal to assist in the production of the fireworks for the official displays. The amusements of the day concluded with an exhibition of fireworks.

A further event connected with the foregoing celebration was the festivities in Moscow on the occasion of the coronation