6 – Poetry and Quotations from The Lunar Men Show

from The Economy of Vegetation 

By Erasmus Darwin – 1789 – part of “The Botanic Garden”
“Let there be light!” proclaimed the Almighty Lord

Astonished Chaos heard the potent word
Through all his realms
The kindling ether runs
And the mass starts into a million suns

Earths round each sun with quick explosions burst
And second planets issue from the first
Then as they journey with projectile force
In bright ellipses their reluctant course

Orbs wheel in orbs round centres roll
And form self-balanced, one revolving whole

The Creativity of Invention

By Sarah Matthews and Doug Eunson – 2012

And so that light, took hold within them all

And every man did hear the others’ words

Through all their ventures

All their twists and turns

New ideas passed to their future sons

Inspired thoughts to new inventions turn

And second visions issue from the first

And as they journey by the moon’s pale light

Across this land, new ideas took flight

Orbs wheel…..

Erasmus Darwin’s son Robert remembered his father saying:

“The world was not governed by the clever men, but by the active and energetic.”

Joseph Wright of Derby (showing how he could memorise detail and the lucidity of his imagination):

“Moon lights & fire lights are but a sort of work with me for I can’t with impunity go out at night and study the former, & the latter I have seen but once, and at a time too, when I thought not of painting such effects.”

Matthew Boulton:

‘Birmingham is my native town. I am interested in its manufactures both as merchant and manufacturer. Few men have endeavoured more than I to improve those arts upon which it depends.’

James Watt described Boulton as:

an ‘amiable and friendly character’, and paid tribute to ‘his sanguine disposition’ and wrote, ‘I can with great sincerity say that he was a most affectionate & steady friend & patron with whom during a close connection of 35 years I have never had any serious difference.

To James Boswell when he visited the Soho Foundry Matthew Boulton declared:

‘I sell here, sir, what all the world desires to have – power!’

Matthew Boulton said about the visitors he had to his Soho manufactory:

‘Each week brings forth new and unexpected engagements. I had Lords and Ladys to wait on yesterday. I have French men and Spaniards today, and the day after Germans, Russians, Norwegians.’

Matthew Boulton to James Watt in 1781:

‘The people in London, Manchester and Birmingham are steam mill mad … I don’t mean to hurry you but I think that in the course of a month or two we should determine to take out a patent for certain methods of producing rotative motion.’

James Keir on Matthew Boulton:

“The desire of visiting Soho became a fashion among the higher and opulent ranks … He thus gained the acquaintance of most men distinguished for rank, influence and knowledge in the Kingdom, the good effects of which he felt in his several applications to Parliament.”

James Watt wrote of Matthew Boulton:

‘His conception of the nature of any new invention was quick and he was not less quick in perceiving the uses to which it might be applied and the profits which might accrue from it.’

James Watt on Matthew Boulton:

‘Few men have had his abilities & still fewer have exerted them as he has done and if to them we add his urbanity, his generosity and his affection to his friends, we shall make up a character rarely to be equalled.’

Darwin said of Small:

He “always went and drank tea with those he heard had spoken against him; and it is best to show a little attention at public assemblies to those who dislike one; and it generally conciliates them.”

Motto written on Erasmus Darwin’s carriage (which Lichfield dignitaries put pressure on him to paint over):

E conchis omnia (Everything from shells)


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