The Peace Illuminations - the Royal Exchange, 1856. London celebrations to mark the end of the Crimean War. 'In a fit of old-boyish excitement...the old gentlemen of England determined to make the people "jolly," to give them a grand spectacle, such as children and savages love, and to immolate the War-demon in the several parks of the metropolis in a shower of rockets and Roman candles, and amid a gush of blue and crimson flame...it was resolved to celebrate the auspicious birthday of the Queen and the inauspicious Treaty of Peace on the same evening...Ten, and probably twenty, thousand pounds' worth of gunpowder and other combustibles was thus expended...to teach the people, we suppose, how much more rational and pleasant it is to put gunpowder to such uses than to employ it in the demolition of Russian fortresses, or in the restoration of the equilibrium of Europe'. From "Illustrated London News", 1856.
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