Page:Pyrotechnics the history and art of firework making (1922).djvu/81

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Cascades, Pyramids (40 feet high) of Gerbs, etc., etc. The chief piece seems to be one "from whence Fire issues out and retires within, twelve times alternately; when without, it forms a Glory; when within, it composes a Star of eight Points, and then changes to a Royal brilliant Wheel, whose Fire is thirty feet in diameter, and is moved by twelve fires."

The remainder of this century in England appears to be rather barren of firework displays on a large scale.

A writer in the "St. James's Chronicle," under the date February 18th, 1764, in a letter advocating certain improvements in St. James's Park, evidently recalling the outcry over the 1749 display, observes: "We had no fireworks at the peace last year, that will surely obviate any argument preferred against the expense of the undertaking."

Until nearly the end of the eighteenth century, according to Strutt, writing at that time, it was customary "for the Train of Artillery to display a grand fire-work on Tower Hill, on the King's Birthday, but owing to the disturbances that occurred, the inhabitants a few years since petitioned against it." There was, however, a great increase in the number of displays. Fireworks became a feature of the programme of the majority of the then fashionable tea and pleasure gardens.

Walpole describes a firework display given in 1763 by the notorious Duchess of Kingston, who was thirteen years later tried by her peers on a charge of bigamy.

The display appears to have taken place in Hyde Park, opposite the residence of the Duchess, then at the height of her popularity. He records that "the fireworks were fine and succeeded well." One item seems curious to modern ideas; it took the form of a cenotaph for the Princess Elizabeth, a sister of the king, bearing the inscription: "All honours the dead can receive."

The sequel was even more extraordinary, as "about one