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lightning ran down the tree, striking down the
two men who had sought shelter beneath its
branches. One of them was killed on the spot,
without any other mark being left on his body
than a slight singeing of the hair at the back
of his neck. The other was not killed; but he
had a burn the whole length of his thigh, and
a jagged wound on the sole of one of his feet.

The Journal of the Academy of Sciences, just
published, contains an account, sent by Dr.
Chretien, of a youth who was killed by lightning
in the presence of his mother and three
friends who had come to see him; he being ill
in bed. They were sitting close together,
when the lightning burst through the window
of an adjoining room, scattering the glass
in all directions; then forced its way through
a wall into the bedroom, striking the sick
youth dead, burning part of the legs of the
trousers of one of the visitors, wounding the
leg of another, and bruising and scorching the
woman's left leg. In another case, a man had
his watch and money melted in his pocket, and
every one of his joints dislocated. But
probably the most comprehensive instance
occurred at Venice, in the theatre. The
audience may have been about six hundred in
number, when the electric fluid descended upon
the theatre in such quantity that it put out the
lights, killed several persons, scorched others,
melted earrings, splitting the stones, melted
watch-cases, snatched a fiddle out of the hands
of one of the musicians and tore it to splinters,
fortunately without wounding the owner.

Though the number of persons killed by a
single flash of lightning may have been greater,
there is probably not many instances on record
of its having covered so great an area as in
a family at Eastbourne. The coachman and
butler were outside the house. The former was
struck dead, and the latter was so much affected
by the shock, that, without being hardly
conscious of what he was doing, he went into the
house. Here he found his master insensible,
and, as it turned out, very much hurt on the
left side. In the pantry he found the footman
lying dead on the floor; and a further examination
of the house showed that the lightning
had been through all parts of it. Everywhere
the windows were broken, looking-glasses
shattered, articles of furniture torn to splinters,
cornices and ceilings cracked, bell-wires melted, and
so forth. The owner's daughter had a wonderful
escape. The electric stream entered the room
where she was dressing, and splintered the bed
she had just left, besides doing other damage.
It is evident that this was not a case of a small
stream passing from one object to another,
inasmuch as the coachman was struck dead
outside the building. But, large as the area was
over which this extended, it was not equal to that
at Reichenbach, which town was fired in so many
places, that the inhabitants had the greatest
difficulty in escaping into the country, without
being able to save any part of their goods; even
a regiment of cavalry quartered in the town were
unable to save any portion of their baggage.

Two women were struck by lightning in a
bleaching-ground at Kirkaldy; one of whom was
sitting on a part of the ground a little higher
than the rest, holding her infant to her breast.
The mother was struck dead, and, as she fell
over, the infant rolled from her arms down the
hill, but was picked up unhurt. A similar case
occurred in the Isle of Wight, where a man
who was riding across Wotton Common with
his son behind him, was struck dead, together
with his horse, but the little boy escaped with
a few bruises caused by the fall. Similar
capriciousness was exhibited at Shields, where a man
and his wife were both killed, while a person
sitting between them remained uninjured; at
the same time a child lying in bed was burnt
to death, and another much scorched; the house
itself being set on fire in several places. The
death of a woman, and the escape of the infant
she was holding in her arms, represents a case
that has occurred several times, but the child
is not always so fortunate. There was a curious
record of instantaneous death, produced by
lightning, found engraved on a tombstone in a
churchyard in Donegal: "Here are deposited,
with a design of mingling them with the parent
earth from which the mortal part came, a mother
who loved her son to the destruction of his death.
She clasped him to her bosom with all the joy of
a parent, the pulse of whose heart beat with
maternal affection; and in the very moment,
whilst the gladness of joy danced in the pupil
of the boy's eyes, and the mother's bosom
swelled with transport, Death's arrow, in a flash
of lightning, pierced them both in a vital part,
and totally dissolving the entrails of the son,
without injuring his skin, and burning to a
cinder the liver of the mother, sent them out of
the world at one and the same moment of time."

The appearances presented by persons who
have been killed by lightning differs very much.
Often, the expression of the countenance after
death is precisely what it was at the instant
they were struck, and the body is either without
any external mark, or one that is only
perceptible on a close examination. Much
depends on the position of the person smitten, and
on whether the stroke is received direct from
the atmosphere or through the medium of some

The majority of persons struck in the open
air appear to have received the shock on the
head, after which it has passed through the
body and out at the foot, or it has been drawn
aside by money in the pocket, or by some
metallic object worn beneath the outer clothing.
This was so with a tailor who was struck
dead in Whitfield's chapel, Tottenham-court-
road. He was leaning against the wall, holding
a child in his arms; he stooped to put
the child on its feet, and had just resumed his
position, when the subtle fluid ran down the
wall, burnt the hair off the side of his head
nearest to it, melted the studs in the sleeves of
his shirt, burst the veins over nearly the whole
of his body, and riddled his clothes as though
he had been a mark for any quantity of small